After cold, rain, and a variety of weathers which may or may not feel particularly spring-like, you'd think that here in West Michigan we'd be completely unprepared for summer. I know that officially the start of summer is still a month away, but two-and-a-half weeks into the Summer-I Session at WMU, I know the college students figure it's summer. So it was with some surprise to realize that the last couple of days hit into the 80s and today the temperature exceeded 90degF. You'd think that fat old winter-loving Dr. Phil would be complaining about the heat, but I guess with the breezes that accompanied the weather, it's not so bad. There's even been some bouts of humidity. But the nighttime weather has dropped back into the 50s and 60s. It's not like "real" summer yet where you can never really free the house of the heat and the humidity overnight. That's when the true toll of summer hits you.
So I guess I'll enjoy this early quasi-summer.
We bought the 1996 S-10 Blazer a year ago April 1st. When summer hit last year we found that the AC didn't work. A recharge of refrigerant made it work, but a dye and UV light test indicated that the compressor was leaking. Still, I made it all the way through summer cooling and winter defrosting just fine. But by March, the AC was gone again. So I bit the bullet and got a new compressor. In case you're keeping score, that's two AC compressors this year, one each for the 1994 and 1996 4-door 4WD Blazers, the mainstay of our fleet. Ouch. $893 and change. For this one.
When I grew up in New York State and we had cars without AC, my general feeling was that AC was for wimps. Living in North Carolina and driving back and forth across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and N.C. in summer heat while in college and beyond changed that attitude, and I realize now that at my "advanced age" that being cool, dry and comfortable keeps me more alert on the road and cuts mightily down on the stresses and wear-and-tear of all this commuting. And there is no substitute for having clear dry glass in winter defroster mode. So there you are.
I Saw This Coming, Too
Yesterday I pointed out the $3.65.9/gallon regular gasoline in West Michigan. Last night even our Allendale Mobile and the Standale Meijer's had succumbed to the Oil Company's Greed. But as I rolled through Allendale, there was quite a traffic jam near Lake Michigan Drive and 68th Avenue. The Admiral gas station had gone from something like $3.27.9/gal in the morning to a "bargain" $3.37.9/gal in the early evening and the local thrifty West Michiganders were flocking to buy "cheap" gas -- and creating quite a traffic safety crisis. This happens several times a year at the Admiral.
Today Admiral was $3.58.9/gallon, as were most of the gas stations west into Holland MI, except for one I saw at $3.61.9/gal. Having jerked our chains and gotten our attention three days before the Memorial Day Weekend with $3.65.9, they now want us to be grateful and luxuriate in the kinder and gentler throes of $3.58.9's embrace.
Bah humshit, folks! Someone, and it isn't the poor mom-and-pop dealers around here, is making a mockery of good business practice and somebody besides Dr. Phil has to stand up and explain that the Oil Company Emperors Have No Clothes -- because as you know, They Didn't Ask Me and Nobody Listens To Me. But I Have No Strong Opinions About Anything.