AC Days 3 and 4: mission accomplished

First, the punch line: for the first time, as of about 2:00 PM this afternoon, I am making mortgage payments on a house with central air.

Details: yesterday, under Lisa’s close eye, the contractors pulled all the tubing, connected the electrical wire, installed the compressor, installed a new thermostat, and test-fired the blower (albeit without refrigerant). Today the head HVAC guy came out to inspect the system, and (long story short) the AC is now running upstairs.

Which is good, given the outlook for the weekend:

sunny day, sweeping the clouds away

So what’s next? Quite a lot, actually: The installation of the first floor and basement air handler; installation of a new Viessmann boiler and connection to the hot water coils in both air handlers; and removal of steam pipes, oil-fired boiler, and oil tank. But that’s a matter for a few weeks in July.

Then we get to fix the holes in the walls. Currently we have two open stud bays that need to stay open until the work gets done, at which point I learn everything about plaster repair. Fortunately the holes are eminently patchable with large pieces of backing board and I will get a lot of practice in making smooth plaster coats.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to turn lemons into lemonade. With those open stud bays, it sounds like a great time to run coax up to the top floor for future cable modem/TV hookups. Finally that structured media panel is going to pay off. And I might as well get started since Lisa is on the road all next week.

Nights are growing long: Alex Chilton free concert

Well, I may have missed Sleater-Kinney at Avalon (sob), and I can’t make My Morning Jacket and Wilco tomorrow night, but I’m damned if I’m going to miss Alex Chilton at the Hatch Shell on Saturday—for free. He’s going to be there with “the original Box Tops”—not sure if that means the actual band or the session players that played on all the group’s classic 1960s Memphis soul albums—but he could turn up with a Turkish prison band and I’d still go if he were singing.

For the uninitiated: Alex Chilton was 17 when he had his #1 hit with the Box Tops, “The Letter” (as in, “My baby, she wrote me a letter”); then went on to be the core of Big Star, a band which single-handedly created both indie pop and power pop, as well as reviving the “jangle” sound of the Byrds so that it could be absorbed by early REM. Unfortunately Big Star failed to make a chart impact and the band fell apart over several years, but not before releasing three incredibly seminal albums.

So this should be a fun show. For more modern day Box Tops stuff, check out what’s in Current Listening on the lower right side of the page…