Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Out of Gas

Well, yesterday was a day.

It barely qualifies as a separate day, really, because I was up all night in reaction to the event that started it all. As best as I can piece together, sometime around 2 or 3 AM, a fire started in a discarded couch or other furniture, stupidly piled on top of a Southwest Gas meter in the alley between Calle Mumble and the street behind it. The gas main went up, and it took a couple hours to put out the fire. The photo above was taken many hours later, after much activity on the part of Southwest Gas crews and equipment, but you can see that half of my neighbor's fence has burned down.

Around 4:30 AM the Southwest Gas inspectors were out and about, checking for gas leaks. One showed up at our front door, asking to check our gas range and so on. The range was fine, but they found a leak in the back yard. We now have to pay to replace the (probably decades-old) gas line.

Two options: have Southwest Gas move the meter up to the house, where it can be read remotely, or hire a plumber to replace the gas line, and then have Southwest Gas turn it on. The plumber option involves a city permit and bringing stuff up to code, which adds to the cost; plus there's the uncertainty of whether the company we hire is reliable. I interviewed a Southwest Gas engineer and then three plumbers throughout the day. We're going with the Southwest gas option. Meanwhile we have no gas for the stove, and when it's all done there won't be gas going to the ancient pool heater, fireplace or outlet for a barbecue we never had. No loss there. We never used any of that stuff.

I now need to rush off with the contract down to Southwest Gas, I work at church in a little over an hour, and I'm expecting a return call from my other potential employer. So I'd better sign off for now.


Update: I got the contract dropped off at Southwest Gas on Palo Verde near I-10, just around the corner from whether I worked for Beaudry RV for eight months in 2007-2008. The receptionist and engineer I talked to were very nice and efficient, and I feel good about our decision. The work will be done Monday. I hope that means Monday morning, because I just this moment realized I'm scheduled to work at church on Monday afternoon.

After dropping of the meter relocation contract, I grabbed a flatbread sandwich at Subway and headed to church for another training and work session. I got to work with payroll and bills and band reconciliation, so I'm rapidly getting practice in on most of the routine stuff. It looks like I'll be going to training sessions on the Church Windows software (and fund accounting) on Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning next week. I invited John to take vacation time and come along, on the theory that he could browse comic book shops during my seminars. But although he's dying to get out of town, his work situation and our finances led him to say no. Ah, well, some other time we'll get a proper break together.

I'm also still waiting for a call back from the gentleman who interviewed me a week ago. He left a message on my cell phone this morning, which was two rooms away (and I was asleep). I've left him two voicemails, so with luck I hope to hear from him before the day is out.


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