Ex Trailer Trash


I mostly love living in the boondocks.

Despite a population hovering around 10K people, we have one stoplight in town. The main drag includes a few small businesses: a national pizza chain, a tee-shirt shop, a dollar store, coffee shop, etc. There’s an itty bitty IGA grocery in the same building as the USPS. It’s rare when more than 3 cars go down our street – that’s during the entire day, not all at once. To say it’s quiet is an understatement.

The downsides include no convenience store or gas station in town. Closest of those is only 3 miles down the road, though. And to be fair, the one big bonus (albeit unrelated to being Teenytown) is the gas stations there consistently offer the lowest gas prices in the state. I can deal with driving three miles to get gas for the price difference, as much as a dollar a gallon less than some parts of Phoenix.

High-speed Internet options were limited until recently. We just got a new fiber optics provider, one where the caps are significantly higher than the 40mbps we’re getting with our current provider. We may switch, but considering we think we’re kinda treading water here, we may just stick it out a little longer to avoid the cost increase.

That picture at the top of this post? I bought that sign for the office, because I can NOT read the WiFi password on the side of our router, not without a magnifying glass. It has become a royal pain in the ass at times.

Ahem. Plot diversion.

The only significant and ongoing downside to Teenytown for me is there’s no local mail delivery. A PO Box is mandatory and requires going into the Post Office once a year with proof of home ownership. Which means standing in line. I don’t do standing in line well, but don’t like hauling out my mobility chair unless the line is outrageously long. Getting package delivery – other than UPS/Fedex/Amazon – can be challenging timewise, in addition to my issues standing in line.

It’s more secure, I guess; but we only get our mail once a week because I can’t be bothered to go in and check my box for the latest round of junk mail.

I pay almost all my bills online and have paperless billing where it’s available.

Those of you who follow me on FB already know there was a power outage after the storm last Sunday. This doesn’t exaggerate how red everything got:


It was eerie as hell. I’ve seen dust storms with a pinkish cast before. They’re always followed by rain. I haven’t seen anything like this. We got plenty of rain and crazy wind. Our front door is under a shallow porch and is sealed pretty well. The wind and rain were extreme enough to gush mud and water just inside the door, coming from under and around it.

We had no electricity between Sunday 7:40pm and Wednesday midday or thereabouts. (We weren’t here when it came back on.) It wasn’t only us affected; a hefty chunk of the state got slammed by Mother Nature. She knocked out power to a bunch of the Phoenix valley, to the bigger city near us (50K+ people), and to a whole slew of littler places along the way. It was one of the nastier weather events I’ve seen in the nearly fifty years I’ve lived in Arizona. We live in Arizona City, which is mentioned in the clip below. And remember, the number of customers doesn’t equal the number of people; that’s how many homes and businesses were affected.

Incidentally, while you can’t tell from the above clip, some of the snapped power lines were those big grid-style metal transmission lines. Miles of them, in fact. Yeah, it was mucho ugly out there. I’m amazed they restored power quickly as they did.

Bad and widespread as it was, this storm stayed true to its Arizona roots. It claimed no lives and caused only one serious injury.

Unfortunately it did hit during the hottest time of the year. While G and I escaped to my daughter’s place during the outage, lots of neighbors had nowhere else to go. Temps this week have been 110ยบ and up. No bueno.

We were among the lucky ones. We were able to save the food from our freezer, by hauling it to the kid’s house and shoving it into her freezer for a few days. The contents of the fridge were gone, of course: milk, eggs, and a few condiments. By spending time at the daughter’s house, I didn’t miss work. Our poor neighbors couldn’t even rent a motel room until the third night: the motels with power were all at capacity from other people trying to escape the heat.

There’s one other major downside to living in Teenytown: getting service people out to the house in a timely manner.

Our geriatric AC unit is wheezing and gasping. Not sure how much of it was the storm and how much just the end of its life. This afternoon with the AC blasting nonstop, the temperature in the house was 87 degrees. I work in the industry – a 10-year-old AC is considered old, and this one’s at least 16 years old.

When I called the last AC company we’d used, they didn’t bother to answer their phone at all. That’s often been our experience with services in Arizona, by the way.

Such fun.

This afternoon I called our neighbor lady and asked her for a recommendation. She hooked us up with a local company who’s gonna get someone here first thing Monday.

Poor lady on the phone was all kinds of apologetic because they couldn’t get an HVAC tech here sooner. I laughed and pointed out I work in the industry, albeit for companies in other states. I understand and wasn’t expecting anyone today. She was overjoyed when I didn’t rip her head off. I wouldn’t: I absolutely get it. They’re unquestionably slammed after the storm. If an AC is marginal, this kind of mess will take it out. Besides, the last time we tried finding an AC repair company, it took us over a week to get anyone out, and that wasn’t after a significant weather event. I’ll take Monday with a smile.

2 thoughts on “Why-Fied”

    1. I’m philosophical about the AC situation. Even if we have to replace the unit now, we’re adding value to the house for when we sell it, and probably reducing our electric bill overall. And if we don’t replace it now, it’s still just a matter of time.

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