"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Winter of My Discontent

I had to call a repairman last week to beat some sense into a Toyo oil heater, so I called Jack. He lives in a neighboring village and sells and services the heaters. He came into my entry way, bent over to untie his boot laces, and said, "And how are you doing?"

"Great," I said. Jack stood up and looked at me to see if I was being facetious. I wasn't. I meant it.

"Wow," he replied. "I never hear anyone say that."

On second thought, maybe I should take that back, at least part of the way.

Here's the list:

Kenmore dishwasher
Jenn Air dishwasher
Sony TV
Insignia TV
Dish satellite receiver
Kenmore refrigerator
Sharp Microwave/convection oven
Sharp Microwave/convection oven (yes, another one)
HP All-in-One printer
HP computer
%!*#&%!!! Facebook
Homeowner's Insurance
Auto Insurance
Toyo oil heater
GE front loading washing machine
Delta dripping faucets (3 of them)

Those are the things that are driving me batty this winter. Some are in my house; some in a small guest apartment on my property. Some quick explanations:

After a gazillion years of loyalty (on my part) and a small fortune (again on my part), State Farm refused to renew my mega-bucks (think Uncle Scrooge dog-paddling in his treasure room) homeowner's insurance because I don't have rails around my decks. Despite the fact that I don't want rails around my decks, when State Farm advised me last year that I had to have them, I hired a contractor, who ordered the material, which I paid for.

Short story: winter came too early, contractor died this summer, one doesn't have a large list of contractors from which to choose in Moose Pass, rails didn't get done. I now have insurance through another insurer, and a garage full of building materials for rails. I now also have auto insurance through another insurer, in one of those "I'll teach you" moves (ummm....on my part again).

The Sharp micro/convection quit after thirty years, which included some heavy duty use in the restaurant I used to own. A replacement arrived today after being misdirected by UPS and taking a scenic route to my house. The new one was defective. Best Buy.com won't send a replacement until they "research" the problem and e-mail a shipping label to return the defective oven, which I should then take to a UPS office. My solution to save two weeks: I reordered another oven and UPS can just pick up the bad one when they deliver the new one.

Refrigerator replaced. Toyo heater beaten into cooperation. Pump arrived for one dishwasher.

Extended warranty outfit hasn't been able to find a repairman for in-home repair of Jenn Air dishwasher for over a week now.

The two TVs and the Dish Network receiver are all related. On Sunday I had closed captioning on my TVs. Heavy snow plastered my dish and I lost reception for a time. Now I don't have closed captioning, no matter how many times I try to select "on" in the setup menu, and each company places the blame on the other. Result: I have a sore left ear from too much phone time with no satisfactory results, and no closed captioning.

I really don't want to know what's making that horrendous noise when the clothes washer is in spin mode. I'm sure one day I will have to confront that issue.

HP printer doesn't like to feed paper on the right side, thus lots of wrinkled and wasted paper.

HP computer is driving me nuts. I was surfing the web looking for clip art last week. Somehow Bing hijacked my search engine so instead of my old pal Google, I was forced to use Bing. Chat sites contained extraordinarily complicated explanations of how to send Bing packing, directing me to places on my computer that, well, it's best I not know about those places.

Finally found a site with simple instructions on how to prop up Google's self-confidence, and Google and I are now once again swingin' to the Oldies, although Google blogs has decided not to show share buttons at the bottom of my posts, thus making it more difficult to link my blog to Facebook.

I won't even get started on what Facebook is doing to annoy me.

However, before Google and I were reunited, I was poking my nose into places I seldom visit and decided to change the desktop photo. That looked so nice (actually, it takes my breath away when I walk into the loft and see it), I thought I'd change the color scheme, too. I'm big on colors coordinating--like the towels in the bathrooms.

I chose eggplant.

Perfect. I now have soft seafoam green and magenta icon titles that are perfectly color coordinated for my photo of fireweed at Jerome Lake. Soft and peaceful, it takes my mind off the above list.

Hey, ya gotta take your successes when your find 'em.

This is too blue but Picassa wouldn't allow me to change it to seafoam green, and you really can't see how the title bar at the top segues into magenta.

But, somewhere along the line I lost every single one of my bookmarks and every single one of my saved user names and passwords. Every. Single. One.

Anyway, here's the thing about petty and not so petty annoyances: they make great fodder for blog stories.

Now if only I can figure out how to get the Chinese off my netbook...

PS: I have tried--unsuccessfully--to change the font in this post from Ariel to Georgia.

PPS: Oh, I see. We now have Ariel, Georgia, and Times New Roman all in the same post. What's next?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Yeah, life's getting too complicated. The feminist d'un certain rage and I, more-or-less locked into a fixed income, live in fear of our appliances' health – and the fact that technology keeps forcing one to have to upgrade from perfectly good gizmos that have been superseded.

    And of course, not unlike your situation, it's close to impossible to get tradespersons to our island even by offering them extra bucks.

    Re the deck: We also prefer our deck not to have rails, and by a small miracle, when I designed it I found that the edge was going to be 90cm above the ground immediately below. The local building regulations let one not have rails if the deck is less than 100cm from the ground. Mind you, in our case that ground falls away so sharply that if anyone took a fall off parts of the deck the ground would be maybe 150cm or more down at the point where they'd land (and keep rolling).

    Except now I'm wondering about our insurance – is that some kind of public liability cover you're talking about, or regular property insurance? The insurance companies are playing nasty games here in Queensland – arguing that some flood damage isn't covered because there's a difference between 'flooding' from rising water and that from rainfall. Huh?

  3. The care and feeding of our stuff can drive the most mild-mannered and well-adjusted person mad from time to time. I'm the gizmo-meister in our household (unless it has to do with the old tractor), and some days have to (try to) assume a zen-like attitude when I know a whole day will be wasted untying knots in a temporarily insane computer or in tracking down a repair person who will come out to the woods to fix something gone bonkers. (As you well know, whatever it is, its always expensive!) As for the Chinese. . . may as well go ahead and learn it now.

  4. Sounds like a hot cup of soothing tea is in order!

    Hope things go smoother this week :)
    p.s. Your home is beautiful!! I love the deck w/o rails.

  5. This is exactly why I'm so glad I married my husband. He's the one who fixes anything mechanical or gadgety around here (His degree in computer information systems is also very handy). It's much better for everyone if he just does it than for me to stumble around trying to figure out what I'm doing, screw it up even worse, and then have him fix it anyway. I just jump straight to the last step.

  6. I just noticed this Post on your List of Labels (computer problems) and here I am, all the way from Kyzyl in Russian Siberia. Interesting Post to say the least. Technically your computer was not having problems and that (computer problems) is what caught my eye. I too do NOT like Bing. So much for that. Smiles .. Cap and I include Patti