Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Al Gore owes me 2Gs

One of the benefits of living in the warm, humid armpit that is Atlanta in July is the frequent, hair-raising thunderstorms. For those in underadvantaged areas of the country or outside world, these can be mighty interesting and can produce wildly unpredictable changes in ones in-home infrastructure.

Last Tuesday evening, a relatively minor but incredibly accurate thunderstorm popped up over my neighborhood, awoke some peacefully sleeping children, sent some local dogs into a frenzy, and electrocuted some innocent home electronics. Among the victims was my upstairs air conditioner.

If you have the option of losing any one of your A/C units in the midst of a nationwide heatwave, I highly suggest that you opt for the one located closer to sea level (unless you live in New Orleans and sea level is somewhere above your roofline). Heat tends to rise, and our upstairs living area - complete with all bedrooms - was a sultry 88 degrees in short order.

To make a terribly long and painfully sad story short, we were forced to purchase a new blower - which is part of the heating system, ironically - in order to return our home to livable and less intensely sweaty conditions. Yes, we bought a new furnace in July. Such are the complications of life.

We were offered two options for new furnaces - the less expensive yet perfectly fine option or the more expensive and environmentally friendly version. The latter includes such options as variable blowers and free-range chloroflorocarbons or some such, and is promised to pay for itself in about 3 years. I suppose it pays for itself by doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, but I didn't ask.

We don't plan to be in this house for three years. In fact, we've already passed our previous record for habitating in a single locale. The only reason that we haven't moved yet is because we're being picky about the next home we inhabit. (My suspicion is that the house gods will only allow us to move once we have spent a minimum amount on non-recoverable home improvements.) Therefore, economically we should choose the less expensive, glacier-melting version of furnace.

And here's where Al and his minions enter the picture. My spouse and I are healthy skeptics as to whether or not humans are causing the global temperature to rise. In general, we scoff at the Gore myrmidon army. However, that doesn't mean that we don't believe that saving energy and reducing pollution are necessarily bad things.

We bought the eco-friendly furnace. Two, actually.

The cost difference between the ozone-spewing version and the eco-friendly version was about $2Gs. I am expecting my check from the environmental movement any day now. Please contact me for the mailing address at your earliest convenience.

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