Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I am forgetful and not terribly bright, I'm going to admit to that right up front.

Not my best evening last night. I lost track of time at the end of work, and ended up leaving too late to fit in any time at the gym before dinner. I get home and do some chores, and go to start dinner. "Seems a little chilly - I'll turn up the heat." I do so, but I don't hear the furnace kick in. I don't think much of it, and after dinner head upstairs to work on my tax return and such. It's always warmer in the attic, so I don't think about the temperature.

I got a fair amount of the return done, and head downstairs to work on indexing the library. And it's actually pretty cold. I check the thermostat, and it all seems in order. I head to the basement to check the furnace. Nothing obviously wrong. But attached to the furnace is a check sheet, with a list of items to inspect if the furnace isn't operating. "Check oil tank." Oh, of course. I couldn't find a gauge anywhere, but the hollow noise when I knocked on the tank answered all of my questions. Damn.

But I'm in luck! I have the fireplace, and wood on the porch. I get the fire going, thinking this time will be different. I'll keep the doors closed, so the smoke goes up the chimney instead of into my living room. But the doors are not air tight. Not at all. So, it starts to smell like a campsite again. I set off two smoke alarms. I dump water on the fire, because if this goes on much longer, I won't be able to sleep. I go looking for air fresheners to cover up the smoke. While I'm away, the fire reignites. Damn! I put it out again, and start ventilating my living room. At least it isn't below freezing outside.

I check the thermometer in the kitchen, and it reads 62°. I decided to call it a night.

I remember once growing up, when our old furnace died. In the middle of winter. In Vermont. It was frigid. I remember going to bed in long underwear, under many extra layers of blankets, comforters, and afghans, for about a week. So this wasn't so bad. But it got down below freezing overnight, and the kitchen thermometer read 51° when I got up. Oddly, plenty of hot water - turns out my hot water heater is gas fired, like my oven. Only the furnace needs oil.

Then I forgot my gym bag, so I probably won't go the pool today, either. This sucks, and the fact that it is all of my own doing makes it embarrassing to boot. Not exactly my best day ever. And if the fuel had just held out a few more days, I might have been fine - we may touch 70° this weekend.


Vermonter said...

Not to alarm you, but MAKE SURE YOUR PLUMBING IS SAFE!

Arrange to get the tank filled ASAP. If it can't happen today find a temporary electric heater to keep things above 0 C in the basement, if in fact the temperature drops below that mark outside tonight. For a preview of what happens to pipes when they freeze...

Good times.

Anonymous said...

Danny, you is .... you is .... you is a dumb!

Kelly said...

I hope you have a warmer night! But this isn't Vermont, you should be okay. :) If not - I would go to Buffalo Wild Wings, that'll warm you up.