The Myriad Flavors of Break-Downs  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

As you might remember, last summer the central air went out, for good, after many freon refills, and not being able to afford to replace it, we bought a number of window units. I have been impressed with their overall ability to keep the house bearably cool and dry without raising my electric bill in the process. Matter of fact, I think they have actually SAVED me some dough, thanks to their energy efficiency. Well, unfortunately, the el-cheapo unit I acquired for the bedroom hasn't seemed to be up to the task in several ways, including noise level and ability to control the humidity level. Both of these shortcomings have conspired to rob me of sleep, so we decided it was time to go shopping for an alternative.

After a bit of research and roaming the stores all over town, I have hit on, believe it or not, a small Sears Kenmore unit, which according to online reviews was rated very highly, AND, it was on sale! Me, I like sales. Anyway, I haul this puppy home and wrestle it into place in the window was alot quieter in the store than it is here. However, I DO think that with the fan on low, it IS just a tad bit quieter than the cheaper (quality-wise) unit it replaced, AND, it has a pretty damn high efficiency rating of 10.8, so I think I will have to see how it handles the humidity before I start complaining. Now I can put the old machine in the guest bedroom, which didn't have one at all.

While on the subject of machinery, THE Wife and I had decided that one of our trees had to be felled and I dragged out the old chain saw to do the deed. However, after the chain came off the bar, I discovered to my massive aggravation that the bolts holding the bar onto the motor housing were now rotating when I was tightening the nuts that keeps the chain tensioned, the result being that I can't get the damn chain back on the bar! ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!

So the hell with it; I have decided to go electric, and not have to worry about gas or noise or pulling on a starter cord or all that nasty exhaust pollution. I have my eyes set on, yep, you guessed it, a very powerful and cost-competitive model at SEARS. I am somewhat amazed at the deals I am finding at this once-vaulted king of the retail scene, which I suppose has had to try hard to compete against the likes of Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes. I can't afford the hundred bucks for the saw this paycheck, having had to dish out for this air-conditioner, but the tree stump can wait......the old gas hog cut up most of the tree before the quality of it's construction finally doomed it. Maybe I can use that motor, which is still working just fine, on a bicycle or something.............

After having taken the better half to work, while waiting for the Sears store to open, I had me a coffee at the Books-A-Million and thumbed through a few books, the last one being a photographic retrospective of the Vietnam conflict. Sigh, it was a gut-wrenching experience, sitting there paging thru vivid black and white scenes of pain, mayhem, blood and anguish, chronicles of the dismemberment of a country at the hands of both it's own citizens and those who presumed to know what was best for them. As I gazed upon photographs of young men, now my age and older, experiencing what could only be described as a whole different kind of hell on Earth, I was at the same time picturing equally disturbing scenes of young men now experiencing their own unique brand of hell on Earth, in a much drier but equally hot place where once again we presume to know what is best for the citizens of another country not our own. I have to tell you I sat there wanting to allow the tears to come and drown me and relieve me of the overflowing sadness that welled up in my heart and tore at my soul. These were, and now are, my brothers, who but for the grace of joining a different branch of service fighting a different kind of war went I. The men and women of MY generation marched and protested and raised all holy hell and STILL we lost more than 50,000 promising souls to utter stupidity, regardless of good intentions, before the madness ended. I now think of Eddy, my young friend with a wife and kids and a good heart, and I ask you, my fellow Americans, how many are we going to sacrifice to THIS folly before we once again come to our senses? And when are we going to hold accountable the bastards that started this FUBAR to begin with?

To the kind lady who thought I was condemning an entire gender by my last tirade, I am not sure which gender exactly you thought I was placing on trial. Whichever one you thought it was, I can assure you that we are BOTH equally guilty of the sins that BOTH sexes commit against each other regardless of our love for one other. I am, and perhaps will always be, lacking in many respects, and on occasion I will point out trials and tribulations I blame upon my sexual counterparts, but in the end, I assure you that there are no winners here in the halls of behaviors. Each gender commits it's own special sin against the other, but we love each other regardless, and sometimes we survive each other till death do us part. I'm working on that.....really I am.

There are a million things I want to get done this day which won't, but I have to try, so allow me to leave you fine people with these musings, and allow me to invite you back to Pendragon Hold, where emotions run high, because, well, shit has and will continue to happen. That's what makes it such a fun read, I suppose..........

Stay safe, Eddy. We love you, man.........

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at Wednesday, June 25, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

8 slick comments


There's a "green" alternative to that chain saw; power supplied my mighty Michael.

June 25, 2008 at 2:37 PM

So mote it be for Eddy.

Man's inhumanity to man And everything else. hard to fight it...

June 25, 2008 at 6:54 PM

My point, really, was that there are more within-group (in this case gender) differences than between-group. So it's so hard to generalize.

My chain saw is electric, by the way, and I love it. Fairly hassle-free.

June 25, 2008 at 9:56 PM

Thanks, Cit, I will feel good about retiring the old screaming meany.

June 25, 2008 at 10:10 PM

I live in a pine forest and have four chainsaws, each of which has its purpose.

An old screamin--meemie McCulloch, good for falling trees and bucking firewood out in the woods. I don't use it very much since the gas came in.

An electric Wen for light use around the house.

A cordless made-in-China number from Harbor Freight, absolutely great for light work when I don't want to deal with running a cord or to work past a cord's length.

My latest acquisition, a B&D Alligator Lopper. So cool I just had to have one!

June 26, 2008 at 4:20 PM

First of all... I can say you are genius? Thanks.

Oh the wars... I still think about Vietnam every day and remember my dear loving friend who is no longer of this world. I miss him so.

Come home Eddy. Keep blogging my dear michael.

June 27, 2008 at 1:48 AM

Its not the lives that were lost that was the tradgedy but the living that were forgotten. Remember your fallen comrades, stand up for the forgotten. The soldiers of past and present are not always recieving the care they need and deserve because the government trys to go the cheap route with healthcare. They will take a soldiers wounds and try to make less of them so they dont have to put so much out.

June 27, 2008 at 1:55 PM

And you know what, Eddy? It's always been that way. I was just doing some genealogy the other day on my ancestors who fought in the Civil War. They also had to fight for their government pensions. Stay safe, man.

No chain saws in this house, only musical saws. If we had a chain saw, the only one who would know how to use it would be the teenager, and she would cut us down like trees.

June 27, 2008 at 5:16 PM

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