Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Coasterville Evacuated

Coasterville Evacuated

I thought I had seen the worst of this particular snow storm on Thursday December 8, 2005 when it took me three and a half hours to commute home from work, a trip that usually takes about 40 minutes. Cincinnati had taken a beating in the form of 5 inches of an ice/rain/snow mixture that managed to bring almost every major road in town to a grinding halt. Some friends who went outside for a smoke break around 3:00 reported back we had nothing to fear, by 3:30 the ground was covered, by 4:00 the roads were so bad that it was taking some people 2 hours just to get out of the parking garage.

Being responsible, when I finally arrived home, I proceeded to perform the required snow removal. I know I probably could have waited till the weekend, but we had Cincinnati Pops tickets on Friday, so I figured this was my best shot at having time to remove the snow. I did, however, watch Survivor first, because I needed to warm up, and I just had to find out how the whole car for yourself, or 4 cars for your tribemates challenge played out.

So after a snow removal job that was just over an hour long I went to bed just hoping Mother Nature would be nice to me. Friday morning arrived and things didn’t seem all that bad, roads were clear enough for driving, and traffic was back to normal. I reported to work relieved everything was all over, or was it?

Shortly after 1:00 I receive ca call telling me the furnace was making real loud nasty noises, and was not putting out heat, and that a service tech had been called. As you might presume with the cold snowspell we were enduring the repairman just barely beet me to the house, at 5:45. The good news was it didn’t take the service tech long to figure out what the problem was, the bad news was that he didn’t have the appropriate parts on his truck. The worse news was that he was doubtful that they would be able to service our furnace before Monday. We did feel relived, however, that he told us we did the right thing by calling him, and that had we continued to let the furnace run as is, the blower motor could have completely burnt out leading to electrical fire. To be fair, the company did loan us some portable space heaters, and the furnace itself was under a service agreement, however we decided to forgo the space heaters (which do almost nothing in a huge house like ours, besides their own fire risks) and opted to find temporary accommodations elsewhere. At around 7:30 we were packed up and moving to a local hotel.

We figured we would probably be at the hotel until Monday, but at the time were thankful to avoided the potential fire, and being season ticket holders for the Pops, were able to get our seats changed for the Saturday night show, and then the Survivor finale on Sunday, some shopping to do, and a couple inspection visits back home. A friend warned us to shut off the water service and drain as much water out of the system as possible, so we did that. So we had enough activities to fill our time. On Saturday, we received confirmation that they did not have the part on hand and would have to order it, but with it being a weekend and a busy season for the shipping industry, we would have to wait till Tuesday. Needless to say we were not happy, and added another night to the hotel bill. Tuesday comes, we check out of the hotel, return to home in time for our appointment and wait around until we finally get impatient and call to learn that the parts we needed did not arrive with the days shipment, so its back to the hotel, for another night. Well we have the Amazing Race finale tonight, so that will keep us occupied but by this time, the novelty of living in a hotel has worn off and we feel defeated.

Fortunately for everybody’s sakes the parts did arrive on Wednesday and the entire repair job only took about 30-40 minutes, it took several more hours for the house to heat up from 37 degrees back up to 75. As of Wednesday afternoon, everything has been resolved and we are back to living a normal life.

Now to bring the light side to this, over the years my boss and I have joked about how if money were no object, it would be really cool to live in either a hotel or a cruise ship. Advantages would be not having to worry about maintenance, having a valet to do your laundry, concierge to run errands for you, having restaurants and convenience shopping right in the building, the availability of room service, the lack of utility, cable, or internet bills, daily housekeeping service, furnished furniture that is updated, and your basic bathroom supplies covered. We though the cruise ship sounded wonderful with its added bonus of included entertainment and travel, but the hotel would provide better face to face contact with all the friends you had built up through the years.


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