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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 4

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 4 - 1

Dear Kay, As the sun set yesterday afternoon, and the yard was at low tide, I realized that I’ve had it all wrong. This geothermal project isn’t about HVAC; it’s art. It all becomes tolerable when you think of it as an expression of some primordial artistic impulse. I think Andy Goldsworthy got his start in HVAC. In my attempt to capture the many maws of this experience–the holes, the vents, the ducts, my slack jaw as it...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3 - 1

Dear Kay, Yesterday it got so loud that I fell asleep. Between the (very nice) guy drilling holes in the foundation for the tankless water heater vents, to the final death throes of Hole Number Five, I was like one of those babies who falls asleep beside the vacuum cleaner. New and fascinating equipment continues to show up. The guys operating it are uniformly cheerful and unconcerned about anything going wrong. Either they’re heavily...

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MRS. SHAYNE’S ADVENTURES IN GEOTHERMAL, PART 2

MRS. SHAYNE'S ADVENTURES IN GEOTHERMAL, PART 2 - 1

DEAR KAY, I CAN’T REALLY EXPRESS TO YOU HOW LOUD THINGS ARE AT MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW. YESTERDAY MORNING THIS THING SHOWED UP IN MY YARD: AND IT HAS BEEN DRILLING 300′ HOLES IN THE GROUND FOR EIGHT HOURS YESTERDAY AND PROBABLY ANOTHER FOUR HOURS TODAY. THEY JUST STARTED HOLE NUMBER FOUR, OF FIVE. THIS IS ABOUT TEN FEET OUTSIDE MY OFFICE WINDOW. IT’S LIKE A QUARRY. OR THE WORLD’S HUGEST ROOT CANAL. I FEEL LIKE MY HOUSE IS...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 1

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 1 - 1

Dear Kay, Our upstairs heater went out a few weeks ago. I called the guy. He came, handed me a piece of paper with an estimate scrawled on it, and said, “We can do it on Thursday if you want us to.” Someday soon, I may look back on that day with regret and nostalgia, because at this point, we seem to have departed on a journey in HVAC that feels like Captain Cook heading off for the Hawaiian Islands. We, and by “we” I...

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Happy Birthday to My Dad!

Happy Birthday to My Dad! - 1

Dear Kay, Today is Dad’s 80th birthday. A few years ago, he let me take custody of his baby book. It’s one of those treasures that I would jump back into a burning house to retrieve. It’s a bit of time travel back to 1931 in south Alabama. I frankly think he has not changed a bit. He looks exactly like this today: This next picture is so haunting. Cahaba was outside Selma where Dad and his family would spend the summer. It...

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