New PPR (Personal Procrastination Record)

Ah, gentle reader. As you might know about me, I tend to put things off, especially home maintenance or repair projects. They will sit for weeks months years, and then I will do them in a short period of time. Instead of a sense of accomplishment, a look what I did triumph, I’ll then recriminate myself for not having done it sooner. And this very week, I have the topper of all stories in that ilk.

In late summer 2009, we had house-shopped in Springfield for a couple of months on intermittent weekends, and we settled on Nogglestead (like our home in Old Trees, we magickally found a house on the very last day we were house-shopping). I made the round trip after the paperwork was in motion for the home inspection and followed Dennis, the home inspector, around the house with my own tools to poke and prod what he was and what he was not (after all, home inspectors adhere to a checklist closely, and they’re paid by the home sellers, so they don’t go off book at risk of their continued employment).

One thing he pointed out was that the insulation around the copper line from the external air conditioner condenser unit to the house, the pipe that brings the cooled, erm, coolant back into the house was breaking down. It was an easy fix: just take it off and replace it with standard pipe insulation. It wasn’t on his checklist, and I didn’t make it part of the nickel-and-dime remediation conditions for purchase. But shortly after we bought Nogglestead, I went to the hardware store and bought two lengths of pipe insulation. And then I put them in the garage, a little out of the way, and….

Almost fifteen years pass.

Gentle reader, I have alluded to the fact that I am in a slow motion process of cleaning up my garage (which includes the slow grind of painting my fence so that I can get the three five gallon buckets of Mission Brown and three smaller buckets of Russet out of the garage). On Monday, I used a cardboard poster tube that originally contained a poster that we framed and gave to my mother-in-law for Christmas probably twenty years ago (when we lived in Casinoport, undoubtedly). It was on the top shelf of a, erm, shelving unit with round things: Rolled up replacement screen material, rolls of kraft paper for landscaping and/or painting, a couple of poster tubes in case I ever got back into the Ebay thing selling movie posters (which I have not for almost a quarter century), and the pipe insulation.

I noticed when running the line trimmer around the house that the line was almost bare copper these days, and it was sweating as much as I was. So it was time.

I got the insulation down, took a scissors and a roll of duct tape, and spent five minutes replacing the insulation. I peeled the remainder of the old insulation off, cut the new insulation down to size, wrapped it around, pulled the tape to the adhesive on the edges, pressed the edges together, and added a couple loops of duct tape, and….

It took almost as long to walk around the house and back as it did to fix the thing.

I probably put it off so long (as with other repairs like it) because I have little experience with HVAC and I was afraid I would somehow damage the unit. The next morning, the fear was almost realized, as the condenser had a weird rattle that it had not had before. However, I discovered that I left the duct tape on the condenser unit, and it was rattling. So, apparently, I have not damaged the unit.

I hate to think how much the delay cost me in energy costs.

But it’s done now, and I don’t think I can even top this procrastination record. And it’s a small step in cleaning my garage as well. So, ultimately, it is a funny (in a sad way) story and a small win anyway.

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