Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Picture: almost completed pergola.

Hello bloggers,

Its some kind of cosmic rule, or maybe cosmic joke, that your a/c breaks down just when the weather turns beastly hot (or the heat goes out at the first sign of a wintry blast). You develop some sort of potentially alarming eye condition when you can't get to a doctor because you must stay in your 85 degree house while the a/c people install a new system that's much more expensive than you anticipated it would be. As someone once said to Job as he was perched on his dunghill, ah, I know you're suffering, but there's possibly a book there! In my case, a short story maybe.

I called the eye doctor this morning. The eye doctor is not happy with me. His nurse insisted that it was critically important that I come in right away as my condition may be a detached retina. If so, I could go blind without immediate surgery. Now, I didn't tell them that the problem actually started last Thursday in the late afternoon. I called Friday, but they were closed. I should have called yesterday, but I was too miserable in the heat to do anything. Today, with a second window a/c humming merrily, its not so bad in the part of the house I'm holed up in. So, I could think clearly and I called. But, I'm already 5 days past onset, so my delay has potentially already been too long.

I don't ordinarily ignore eye troubles like I ignore other physical ailments since I had a serious injury as a toddler that required surgery-- and I do not take vision for granted. But, the summer before last I had exactly the same symptoms in the other eye and it turned out not be be a detached retina so I'm not totally freaking out about this. Still, I am a little bit worried. So, cross your fingers.

The a/c guys say they may have the system up and running by this afternoon. The landscaping project is moving slower than last week, at least as far as I can tell. Not concerned am I my little padawans. It will get done when it gets done. Being so hot that I felt sick all day yesterday put my priorities in order fast!

Live long and prosper.


11:30 a m: I hear a pounding on the garage door. Opening it, I behold a large scowling male brandishing a form like the Sword of Damocles. "I'm Joe Meanie from the city," he growls. "Your contractor didn't pull a permit for this job and I'm shutting it down as of right now!"

Thinking he means the landscapers,who are nowhere in sight I reply, "They told me they had a permit."

"Well," I don't have one on my desk, so they didn't," he sneers.

"Well," I say, trying to peer around his bulk, "I'm sure they will take care of it."

"Nothing will happen until I have a permit on my desk," he repeats, brandishing his form. "And I'm sending the workmen away. "

"Okay," I say, thinking, but they're already gone. "We'll take care of it ."

"I'm leaving the violation form with you," growls the Knight of Code Enforcement, striding away.

As soon as he disappears, I glance at the younger a/c repairman who is leaning against the washer."Wait a minute," I say, realization breaking through my mid morning allergy headache fog. "Is he talking about you guys or the landscapers?"

"Us," says the a/c guy ruefully. "We have a call in to the office. Apparently, somebody forgot to pull a permit."

"He didn't have to be so rude, did he?" I ask." He acted like we were all criminals."

"I'm sorry," the older installer says. "Usually those guys don't mess with us, but I guess we will have to stop working."

"I didn't know you had to have a city permit to replace an air handler," I say in amazement.

"Well, usually you don't," he says. "But sometimes Winter Park likes to collect extra fees."

"Ah," I nod, thinking, Winter Park, land of McMansions and high taxes. Extra fees alway needed. Makes sense. "Well, he sure was rude. Makes me wish I'd opened the door with one of the dogs. But then, I'd probably get fined for that."

The younger a/c guy nods. "He was, ah, somewhat condescending."

"Don't worry,"says the older man. "If the salesman doesn't take care of it, I'll go to the city and pull a permit myself if I have to. But, we'll have to go now. We'll be back."

It is two hours later. I now have the permit taped prominently to my window. The a/c guys are coming back and I'm going to leave the side garage door unlocked for them. They can do what they need to do today without coming into the house. I'm going to see my eye doctor. Life doesn't have to be as complicated as people make it sometimes, although the anal sort of people who make a living in the code enforcement departments seem to prefer to make things uncomfortable for the rest of us. As Laura used to say in her toddler years, "Lax, deese tings happen." It turned out to be an honest mistake from a company that's been doing business here since 1945.

I wonder if code enforcement people are the same sort of people who apply for jobs in Homeland Security and Immigration? Huummm...anyway, luckily for me and Mr Grumpy today, I was more concerned with my eye and problem solving than reacting to unnecessary male rudeness and the dominance gambit. Generally speaking, German/Scottish women aren't the most patient sorts and don't take kindly to aggressive males. Specially Celtic women with half Rottweilers and Daddy's who teach them boxing moves. Whatever.

Ta for now.

Postscript 2: The a/c guys came back. They swear they will be finished with the installation tomorrow. The doc says my eye thing is the same as before. Not a detached retina. Could develop into one but isn't yet. The spider shaped and feathery and half moon floaters will eventually break off from the eyeball and drift to the bottom of my eye like flakes in a snow globe. The blurry spot will go away. Eventually. Unless the light flashes intensify and I notice significant vision changes I should be okay. No diving into the pool or riding jerky theme park rides or running. Avoid excessive reading or blows to the head (?). So, I guess I'll skip Sheikra, all math textbooks, jogging, and falling brass lamps. Ta for real.

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