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Spring 2017


I am writing this from the Birmingham, Alabama airport. It is the first time I have had a chance to take the time to do a little reflecting and put my thoughts to pen and paper. (That is a lie, I wrote this on an iPad; no pen, no paper) I am waiting for my flight back to Chicago. I came to Alabama for another, in a series of many, training class. I'm starting to get used to being the oldest guy in class. Not really sure what that means. Am I a slow learner or do I just have a thirst for knowledge? Either way, I did learn a few things and I also taught a few things. It's nice to be able to give and take.

So you may have noticed that there was no fall newsletter and this is coming a little later in the year than it normally does. There are a few reasons why. This last year and a half has been a very trying . I lost my son-in-law, a very good friend and most recently, my father. Sometimes it's just hard keeping things in perspective. But we must keep moving forward. And move forward we shall.

On a brighter note, many of you know that I am very involved in Bolingbrook's Clow Airport Cavalcade of Planes event. Last year we had record turn-out. They estimated over 30,000 between the two days.  On Sunday, both ramps from I-55 to Weber Road were backed up about a quarter mile for most of the day. Guess we have some growing pains, but I did not hear anyone complain. I do know that we are going to online ticket pre-purchase, so that will eliminate the long lines at the entrance. And there were no major problems all weekend long.  I think we had a lost child both days but each was quickly resolved. What a great event! Come on out and remember to help support the Illinois Aviation Museum.

I hope everyone had  happy holidays and enjoyed the winter weather, what little of it we had. Hopefully you remembered to change the filter in your furnace, at least once, if not more often. Now that spring is here, I can't tell you how important it is to have your equipment serviced. When we do, we will be doing a very thorough inspection and advising you if we find anything wrong, or better yet, that everything is OK.  Also, as an FYI, refrigerant 22, or R22, or Freon, whatever you call it, is getting more and more expensive. Much more expensive. This is due to the world-wide phase-out of the refrigerant. I have heard that we will be having to charge around $100 per pound for the old refrigerant R22 this spring. Unfortunately, that means many of the systems out there will not be worth it to repair. It will just be too expensive. Sorry for the bad news, but it gives you a chance to have a plan of action should that apply to you.

I never got the chance to jump on the band wagon and congratulate the Cubbies on their historic win. I spent the entire summer of '69 at Wrigley field watching them fall apart after the all-star game, so it was a real treat to cheer them on last year. A very big, CONGRATS to the Cubbies.  I think it's funny that "Back to the Future II" predicted not only the Cubs World Series win, but also PRESIDENT Trump.

Like him or not, he is our elected president and it is turning out to be nothing, if not interesting while watching from the sidelines. Most of you know I am not very political, I just hope for the best.

Now for the weather. I truly don't put a lot of faith in these things, but there were many forecasting a long, very cold winter.  You all know how well that turned out so we won't say anything about the coming summer weather, other than.....enjoy it!


With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. Now that the threat of winter’s passed, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer.
Inspect the roof. Winter can take quite a toll on the roof. When spring arrives, start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. Use binoculars or a camera or smartphone with a telephoto feature if needed. Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, don’t get on the roof yourself. Contact a licensed roofer.
Prevent mosquitoes. In recent years, we’ve become more aware of the potential danger mosquitos can pose to our health. West Nile and the Zika virus are just the latest diseases caused by these pests. The best way to prevent mosquitos around your home is simply by getting rid of any standing water. “Walk around your property, peek at your neighbors, if you see anything or any area where water stands, fix it, tip it, get rid of it or maintain it regularly.
Clean gutters and downspouts. After the last frost has passed, it’s important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and repaired. “Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause the wood trim at the eaves to rot, and that can invite all kinds of critters into your attic.
Prepare your lawn mower for summer. Change the engine oil and sharpen the cutting blade. You'll lengthen the life of the mower and improve the look of your lawn.
Clear vegetation around your AC compressor. To work efficiently, the compressor needs good airflow. Prune any plant growth that could block it
Clean your dryer vent. Not all lint is caught in the lint trap; some makes its way into the dryer vent. A clear vent will save you money by reducing the time your dryer has to run. A plugged vent not only wastes money, but could also cause a house fire
Clean or replace your HVAC filters. You need to do this more often than once a year. A dirty filter forces your HVAC system to work harder, which in turn drains your wallet. It could also shorten the life of your blower motor.