Hot time in the city!

Normally in mid-July I’d be writing this blog while watching part of the Osprey family that lives on the telephone pole behind my house swoop in to grab an unsuspecting herring out of the cove. No longer! That house is gone to the next owner who is welcome to the views as well as the alarm system misfires, garden maintenance, wild turkeys on the front lawn, back deck where the temperature approaches 120 degrees on a sunny day and the microwave that can’t figure out how to defrost. She’s also welcome to the long list of “service providers” I left on the kitchen counter and the computer-controlled thermostats that Cape Light Compact manipulates to roast you out of the house on heat emergency days in the summer.


The house was sold in March but there’s always something. In this case, the something was an email I got from the Compact people telling me they were planning to jack up the thermostat on the house last week. I admit I gave some serious thought to letting the new owner go through the same agony I had to go through to figure out how to wrest control of the thermostats from the Compact, but in the end, I relented and emailed the Compact that we were done.


So I’m in Sarasota in July finally attempting to figure out how this house works. Or, in some cases, doesn’t. Somehow, we’ve been living here for four years although I could have sworn the moving van just belched out a final goodbye puff of diesel smoke last month. It’s ninety degrees every day which correlates well with the humidity, which is tracking at 90 percent. Since outdoor activities are very optional, I’ve got time to…


Replace the gardener. For the fourth time. Since I only knew the three gardeners who hadn’t worked out, I drove around some nice neighborhoods in Sarasota to find gardens that looked like I wanted ours to look, and then watched who showed up to do the work. Fingers and toes crossed that these new guys will at least show up every week, which is no guarantee of anything as we learned that…


The pool guy who does show up each week doesn’t really clean the pool. He checks the chemical balance, pulls the two pine needles floating on top out with his strainer (we have a pool cage) and pretends to clean the edge of the tile. Even though every pool truck in Sarasota is outfitted with a pool vacuum, I’m pretty sure they’re just plastic mockups like the TVs in show houses. I know that because Robin put on his dive mask, swam around on the bottom and rumbled to the surface saying “pool robot”. At any rate, we are now the proud owners of the Polaris Aqua IQ pool cleaning robot with its own Iphone App.


I know you’re wondering how I managed to get a pool robot since all pool robots in the world are on extended back order due to a (pick one)

  • Chip shortage

  • Shipping container shortage

  • Worker shortage

  • All of the above


If you picked all of the above, you have been spending too much time with the Wall St Journal’s Logistics Report. I was only able to snag this robot because it is the MOST EXPENSIVE, and only, model available. Let’s just attribute the price to inflation and move on…


To the pool heater. It turns out that these gas heaters only last about five years and have a warranty for one year and it’s been four years since we closed on the house. Those of you good at math will not be surprised that we will soon be the proud owners of a new pool heater, which makes the cleaning robot look like a bargain.


Suprisingly, there is an upside to all of this. Since it’s July, the gardeners were willing to take us on as a customer, the pool robot store actually had one in stock and the pool heater guy is able to install the new heater in two days instead of the more traditional six to eight weeks in season.


However, not all news is good news. Next week, I have deal with the smart house software: Crestron, Lutron, Visualint, Alarm.com and Honeywell. What could possibly go wrong?


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