Tag Archives: Appliance Hell

Friday Fast Five: Kick a$$ red heads with bad hair days, What the Swiss do better, Effing birds, and the Latest Chapter in Appliance Hell.

Friday Fast Five: Kick a$$ red heads with bad hair days, What the Swiss do better, Effing birds, and the Latest Chapter in Appliance Hell.

Yay! It’s actually Friday! The only reason I’m on time with this post is because I missed my morning spin work-out at the gym.

1. The reason my butt is sitting in front of the computer now instead of on a stationary bike while I cry and swear (the Friday instructor is cruel, but she gets results) is because I ran late trying to tame the monster that is Lil’ G’s hair. My youngest child is blessed and cursed with my mane of wild red curls and, like her personality, getting it to obey is a monumental task. It also involves tears and swearing. Though I won’t say which of us does what.

2. On the subject of crazy red hair, I am taking my girls to see the new Disney movie BRAVE this weekend. Lil’ G intends to wear Merida’s dress to the theatre (Also: Halloween costume, check). The girl is such a dead ringer for the character, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up signing autographs. I am looking forward to seeing the film too; yay for kick-ass red head heroines!

3. Every kick-ass heroine needs to start her day with a great breakfast, right? Well, Merida is Scottish, and Scots are known for loving their morning bowl of porridge. Me, I prefer the Swiss version. The Swiss are known for excellent chocolate, time pieces, and -  I’d like to add -  oatmeal. A month or so ago the family had breakfast at the Corner Bakery and I made the life-changing decision to order the Swiss Oatmeal. Ok, it wasn’t life-changing…but it was really good! So good I consulted the mighty Google to find a copy-cat recipe. Here are a few of my favorites:

4. While enjoying a yummy healthy breakfast of Swiss Oatmeal, you’d think it would be pleasant to hear the sound of birds chirping, right? Sure…as long as the chirping isn’t coming from your effing chimney. We recently discovered we have birds living in our chimney. The good news, I suppose, is the fact they are living – I’ve heard horror stories of dead things caught in chimneys (and no, I’m not talking about that ridiculous Santa story from Gremlins). It was the husband’s turn to consult the mighty Google, and he learned that we have a family of Chimney Swifts living with us. At first I was annoyed, but now Chester (yes, my family named at least one of the chimney chirpers) has become a part of our daily routine – we hear him happily chirping and fluttering away. Besides, even if I wanted to hire a sweep to clean out the chimney and the nest – it is against the law to do so…Chimney Swifts are a protected species, and advocates suggest homeowners do what they can to make their chimneys more accommodating for the migrating birds. Like in this article: Being A Good Chimney Swift Landlord. Um…I’m not going to kick the ones that have moved in out…but I’m not hanging a welcome mat out on my roof either, thank you very much. Apparently, as a local newspaper explained, while the bird is becoming rare in other parts of the country, it is thriving here in the Mid-West. Well, I hope Chester and his family enjoys his stay. He better not poop too much in there.

5. While birds in the chimney turned out to be not frustrating enough to earn a spot in Appliance Hell, the same week we discovered Chester, our a/c went on the fritz. Lucky for us, I noticed it just before we left for vacation, so we were able to make an appointment for as soon as we came home. Even luckier, it was a not-too-expensive or time-consuming fix, and the a/c was working again in time for the nasty heat wave that hit earlier this week. If you notice your air conditioner is running normally, but the air coming out of the vents is not cool, it might be your capacitor (no, not a flux capacitor…though wouldn’t that be cool). It’s a thing that kind of looks like a pop-can sized 9-volt battery.

Sometimes the capacitor will "pop" - and that's what ours looked like: a pop can that exploded.

Apparently it’s possible to fix this problem yourself, if interested check out this post on Do It Yourself HVAC Repair. I prefer to pay someone who knows what they’re doing…who, in this case, turned out to be a former student of mine. I still live in the area I used to teach high school, and occasionally will run into old students (and by old, they really are getting old – with jobs and kids and oh, God…that makes me really old!). This young man asked me if ever taught at so-and-so school, and of course I had, and though I didn’t remember his name immediately, I recalled who he was once we talked for a minute. Thank goodness he liked me as a teacher (or at least, he didn’t hate me). I suppose if he held any grudges, it would have been easy to make me sweat a little…literally.

And with that horrible pun, I shall wish you a happy Friday and hope you have a cool, relaxing bird-free weekend.

10 Things I am Grateful For

10 Things I am Grateful For

Right now I need to do this…my sanity depends on it.

I need to reflect on some good things, big and small that make for a good life; cuz today was a bit on the crappy side. This morning my vacuum cleaner started shooting fireworks, then just decided to shut off – which I guess is preferable to bursting into flames. Later, while outside raking leaves, the leaf blower started to melt its cord. The icing on the cake occurred when my main computer flipped the heck out and crashed beyond anything my beloved nerdy husband has seen before. Oh, and we found another stray hornet flying around the house, a renegade of the nest we know to be hiding in our wall, and which we paid $200 to destroy last week. And did I mention one of my tires has a slow leak? That’s one mystery I can’t wait to solve.

So, at the end of this day of awesomeness, I need to recall some of the more pleasant things in life – to remind me that all is not fried appliances, crapped out hard drives, and hornets from hell.

10. My treadmill still works – some days I fear it is ready to blow up, but I manage to log 4 or so miles on it faithfully most days, and hope to continue to do so. For that matter, I am grateful to have two healthy legs to walk and run and a strong back that doesn’t ache too much.

9. I have a netbook. So even though my “real” computer is out of commision, I still have access to e-mail and the internet, and that staves off the panic.

8. I’m lounging on the couch drinking cold Belgian Beer with the husband. It’s nice to spend the evening like this, even if he’s just channel surfing and I’m blogging.

7. We finally have had a run of nice fall weather. This weekend was warm (and dry) enough for a trip to one of my favorite pumpkin farms, it made for a fun time at our annual Halloween party, and we got to spend a few hours at a local theme park – enjoying the  season before it’s gone. Today was Gorgeous – perfect fall weather  – the girls and I took a break from the schoolwork to run around outside (I raked leaves so I could pretend I was hard at work).

6. I finally managed to clean out my car today. It no longer looks like a homeless shelter. While we’re at it, I am grateful I have a home, and do not have to live in my car or stay at a homeless shelter.

5. After a few weeks of horrendous behavior and a long talk last night, Miss A is really working on trying to do better with controlling her temper, cutting back on the whining, doing her homeschool without arguing, and generally being a “good kid.”

4. I don’t have to work tomorrow. (Well, if you don’t count housework, parenting, and teaching homeschool work).

3. Both my children may have runny noses, but overall are very healthy. I am blessed in so many ways with my girls.

2.  I am going on a weekend getaway soon – just me and some girlfriends. I am grateful for the break from the everyday, I am thankful I have a husband who will take care of things at home so I can go, and I am excited for the chance to have some true, genuine ME time.

1. My birthday is approaching…yes, I am getting older, but it’s still a long way til 40, and I am not ashamed to admit how much I adore presents.

Aaaaah…I do feel better…not as good as a pedicure and a massage would have made me feel – but certainly better than I did a few hours ago while trying to lure a hornet into my garbage disposal.

Appliance Hell: Phone Sex Edition

Appliance Hell: Phone Sex Edition

I bet you didn’t know this…but switch one zero for a three in the LG Customer Service line, and instead of sub-par phone grunts rolling their eyes at your domestic dramatic diatribe, you get sub-par phone grunts rolling their eyes at your domestic drama while saying things like “Oh yeah baby, take my thong off with your teeth.” And stuff like that.
At least, I think that’s what they would say…instead of giving them my credit card number when asked, I hung up the phone in shock.

For a second or two I seriously thought the service dude who effed up his schedule and forgot he was supposed to be at my house first thing this morning gave me the phone sex number in place of the LG phone number on purpose.

I was a bit of a bitch to him after all.
What can I say, incompetence brings out the worst in me.

But no, looking at my phone I realized I had added an extra 3 and dropped a 0.

Who knows, this info may come in handy (har-har)…I’m sure there are plenty of people so insanely frustrated by LG’s pathetic excuse for customer service that they’d be delighted to discover a cellslut/telehooker/mobilemistress on the other line.

In the meantime, my fridge still sports a warped patch on the ceiling, and the temp control board is hanging from wires dangling out of melted sockets. And there ain’t nothing sexy about that.

As far as I can tell, the only thing LG excels at is the ability to turn a simple  service call into a clusterf or astronomical proportions.  I witnessed it first hand last year with my dryer, and joy of joys, am experiencing it again with my easy-bake oven fridge.

The phone sex chicks might actually fix my fridge faster.

Maybe I should call them back.

I thought just once…I might escape…

I thought just once…I might escape…

As August arrives and summer comes to a close, I thought – just once, I was going to escape an annual visit to Appliance Hell. But those malicious, sadistic, evil Appliance Gods had other plans for me. I see now that they were toying with me…allowing me to relax and grow comfortable and to almost expect my appliances to work on a regular basis, instead of saying a prayer of thanksgiving each time I used one and it functioned properly.

I mean, yeah, the beer fridge has stopped working but that is not a necessity (well, maybe it is if you ask the husband) so I can live with that. And there was that moment I freaked out because the thermostat was flipping out – but I realized it just needed some new batteries. So nothing serious or too over the top. Nothing to put me into debt or give me an ulcer.

So I admit it…I let my faith wane, I stopped offering blessings of appreciation every time I pressed a button on my washer and it started, every time the a.c. kicked on when it should…and every time I opened my fridge and it was cold.

The Gods knew my faith had grown weak, and decided to take action.

It’s a lucky thing Miss A has a serious chocolate milk addiction. When I got home from work this afternoon she immediately demanded a glass. Now, after being the victim of fridge issues in the past, I keep a little thermometer in both the fridge and the freezer to let me know what the ACTUAL temp of each one is…thereby hopefully spotting any problems before it gets too bad…like last time, a puddle of melted ice cream seeping from the freezer, or – as in the case of today, the top of my fridge LIGHTING ON FREAKING FIRE. Luckily I caught the problem before actual flames ensued (unlike the time when the flames of hell were literally shooting out of my microwave).

Upon opening the fridge, I see my trusty thermostat shows not the expected 38 or so degrees…but 50. Ok, something is most definitely wrong…sniffing, I detect an odd burning plastic smell – also not good. Further inspection reveals that the lightbulbs at the top of the fridge have not been turning off…instead, as one angry blogger with the same problem described – they turn the fridge into AN EASYBAKE OVEN.

Trying to remain calm, I remove the plastic covering the bulbs, noting it has warped from the heat. Then, oh so carefully, I unscrew the bulbs using potholders…they were insanely hot. Both sockets were scorched. Next I discover the metal panel above the bulbs is letting off some major heat…so I carefully unscrew the panel so it isn’t in actual contace with the fridge. Good call on my part, since I discover the metal was so hot, it has actually melted and warped the top of the fridge.  W. T. F.

All this in only a matter of hours… I cannot even fathom the result if this had gone unrealized for a day…oh wait I can.

Do I hear the sound of sirens in the distance?

I lock down the urge to do something very stupid involving my fridge and a baseball bat, then call LG customer service. At first they are super quick to point out that my fridge is out of warranty (yeah, it’s barely 2 years old, I know  – so ancient it should be on it’s last legs, right?)…but as I describe the problem the rep says, “Oh! Well, there is a 3 year warranty for that issue….” So a repair man is coming on Monday.

I am trepidatious.

1. After some brief surfing – it appears that this light bulb burning defect is running rampant in LG fridges…as urged by many other frustrated consumers, I reported the safety hazard to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Like the oodles of others who have faced this issue, I want to know – WHY HASN’T THERE BEEN A RECALL YET??? Does someone really need to get fried to a crisp first? It has even been on the freakin’ news! Maybe I should call Oprah.

2. I am very skeptical about Monday’s repair visit after the horrible service and pathetic run around we got from the LG repair service last summer when my brand new dryer (still under warranty, you bastards!) flipped out and I went for months hanging clothes up in my backyard and begging friends to let me use their dryer so Lil’ G  (who was barely 2 months old) would have soft pj’s.

3. I am a tense ball of nerves waiting to see if the meltdown caused other issues…it is very hard not to keep opening the fridge to see if the temp has gone back down to normal…very hard indeed.

So, until Monday, I shall await and see.

And shake my fist at the Appliance Gods in frustration.

And never. ever. buy an LG appliance again.

What LG and the IRS have in common

What LG and the IRS have in common

They both irritate the hell out of me. A year or two ago we were faced with a frustrating and expensive experience with the IRS due to incompetence and general asshattery on the part of someone(S) shabby work. An experience which led me to play the acronym game, as seen here.

As I mentioned recently, many items have been contributing to my stress level lately, among them my barely 3 month old dryer which quit working almost a full month ago. An LG product, and still under warranty, the company sent someone from a local repair shop to deal with the problem…the repair shop they use is operated by baboons. Wait, no, that’s an insult to baboons. 3 visits and nearly 4 weeks later, I’m still waiting for a working dryer. I’ve resorted to drying clothes on a line outside, hanging out at friends and relatives homes to use their appliances, and seriously considering the next dreaded step: going to a laundromat. Yes I know plenty of people don’t have the luxury of a washer and dryer at home and use laundromats on a regular basis – but I spent good money to not be one of those people. Despite numerous calls and e-mails to LG complaining of the slow and pathetic customer service we have been receiving, we are getting no where. “This is highly unusual!” They say. “We’re so sorry!” they murmur – but do we have a working dyer? NO. Look, if our situation was in the realm of normal, we wouldn’t be complaining!!! It’s not – and you should be doing something about it! AS of yet, they haven’t – and to vent some frustration, I shall play the acronym game now…
LG =

Loves Garbage

Looks Ghetto

Lacks Genius

Laughable Goods

Lackluster Goods

I’m gonna quit now, my blood pressure is rising, and I’m getting a headache. Supposedly my dryer will be fixed on Tuesday, if it’s not…bad things may happen.

A dream come true?

A dream come true?

This is another episode in appliance hell; the last of which included an exploding microwave (which, by the way, is still awaiting a happy ending (ie – a new microwave – nope, I haven’t bought one yet…it’s a good thing we really don’t use one too often around here).

This installment of appliance hell concerns those workhorse appliances: the handy dandy machines that keep our clothes clean clean and smelling fresh – your washer and dryer. Now, mind you – our current w/d were in a pretty sad state when we became their proud owners (along with the house they came in). The washer would flood if you tried to use the extra large capacity setting, and the dryer had a broken handle (managed to fix that so I didn’t have to keep wedging a coat hanger into it every time I wanted to open it) and a cracked piece on the inside drum that clothes would snag on and get severely tangled (or worse, would rip). Yeah, it kinda sucked – but for the most part they did the job, so I couldn’t justify buying new…especially in light of all the other crap that DIDN’T work and DID need to be fixed.
And so I chugged along, doing laundry – if not happily, at least consistently. Until the last month or so when the dryer started to sound like a screeching, moaning animal. Aw, heck – it was still drying clothes, and yeah…it’ll probably break soon…but the old girl still had some life in her yet, so we’ll press our luck. Then, bam! A sneak attack from her sister appliance! Here I am just dreading the moment the dryer up and dies, when it’s the washer that croaks first. Yep – went in to put a load in the dryer and found the clothes still soaking wet. No big deal, I think – I’ll just run the spin cycle again. So I did this…twice. Then after some experimentation, I realize the washer isn’t spinning. And I don’t have to be Martha Stewart to realize that: no spinn-ey, no dry-ey. After playing pioneer days with the husband and wringing out clothes by hand, I immediately jump on-line to research appliances. Happy Easter, Home Depot – here we come.

I can’t pretend that a part of me isn’t happy with the situation; aside from the expense and inconvenient timing, I’m glad the w/d decided to bow out and make the decision for us…because, despite my kinship with this woman and her appliance fantasy, I just can’t see dumping such a load of cash for anything less than absolute necessity. Though the giant catapult is very tempting… (I just love the fact they include a warning not to attempt this at home, uh-oh, better cancel that order for the giant Medieval Catapult Kit).

Speaking of that commercial, apparently the concept of a woman lusting for new appliances is gauche…several sites are lambasting LG for the advertisement; like these grouchy old people whining. Oh, lighten up; have you never owned a faulty appliance? Clearly, you must not have…or you’d surely be able to empathize. Then there are these people who like to feel superior by complaining about stuff they hate in commercials , I’m sure these same blowhards who are getting all bent out of shape about a chick wishing to demolish her current appliances also think the scene from Office Space where the cubicle boys take a baseball bat to the scanner/copier just totally rocks. (BTW, if you do a YouTube search for “Office Space” & “Copier” or “Fax” or “Smash” etc, you would not believe the number of people who have re-enacted this scene with their own electronics. Go ahead…do a search).

As for whining about stereotypes…a woman doesn’t have to be Donna Reed to get excited about a washing machine…in fact, I doubt Donna ever wished she could take a jackhammer to her appliances. Or if she did, she just added that to her overstuffed closet of repressed urges.

So, no, while I did not tie my w/d to the train tracks or drop them off a cliff while wearing an evening gown, I shall be saying goodbye to them with as much glee as the woman with the catapult.

And now, for the next episode…

And now, for the next episode…

…in the continuing saga of Appliance Hell. In today’s episode, mild-mannered housewife Mimi Johnson is attempting to get dinner together for the family (like a good housewife should) when ZAP! PING! WHOOSH! flames are shooting out of the microwave!!! Our heroine keeps a cool head though, and soaks a towel before shoving it into the roof of the microwave, dousing the flames (and ruining much of dinner in the process). Apt punishment for daring to cook a meal in such a non-Martha Stewart fashion? Egads, no – poor Mimi was merely attempting to warm up the gourmet Veggie Tart she had baked from scratch the day before.  So, the microwave is dead…stay tuned for our next episode, when who knows what dangers lurk – an exploding dryer, a flooding dishwasher? The possibilities are endless.

When it rains, it pours.

When it rains, it pours.

Buckets.

Of sh*t.

Somewhere, someone must be laughing about this – I know I’m nearing the point where I burst into hysterical giggles. Ever see the movie, The Money Pit? That moment when Tom Hanks begins to cackle uncontrollably? I understand that now.

Problem #1: So the fridge crisis had been resolved for less than a week, when, much to my horror – I discover the basement is flooding…and it’s not raining. Seems our backup sub-pump was broken; the sub-pump that the condensation from the ac drains into. Yeah. The good news is my Dad was able to help me pull the disgusting, broken one out, buy a new one at – you guessed it – Appliance Valhalla (aka Home Depot), and install the shiny new one. So – the bad news is it cost me about $200, but the good news is that I saved about that much since I didn’t have to pay some dude to do the work for me. As an added bonus, I now know how to install a sub-pump, so when the main one decides to crap out (and it will, I have no doubt on that score) I can put my madskillz to work and install that puppy myself.

Problem #2: While fixing the sub-pump, I decided to fix the drain line from the AC – which had been leaking forever. I assumed it was just the cracked putty around the drain that was the problem – an easy, 10 minute fix for $10. Ha-ha, I’m such a fool. Turns out that the condensation pan under the A-coil has a hole rusted through it. After some research, I discover this is not a simple matter. The easiest and cheapest solution would be to reseal the pan – with a plastic liner or epoxy. Next would be to pull the old pan out and put in a new one – difficult and costly because the pan is not easy to remove, and getting a new pan that is the right size is also…not so easy. The last option – and the one that that HVAC guy who is coming later today will probably insist on – is to buy and install a whole new Acoil. Now, my initial research shows these to cost between $1500 and $2000.

I can feel that hysterical laughter bubbling to the surface again.

The kicker is that the AC is working f-i-i-i-i-i-ine. Perfectly! The unit is only 3 years old! What I didn’t know, is that when you buy a new ac unit, it doesn’t automatically come with a new a-coil. It’s like floor mats for your new car, or batteries: NOT INCLUDED. So, while our ac is relatively new, it’s heart is old and rusty. I guess the previous cheapa$$ owners (we moved here in ’05) didn’t opt for the floor mats. Apparently, the owners before that (who must’ve purchased the Acoil) didn’t opt for the rustproofing.

Guess who’s left with dirty floorboards to clean?

All Hail the Appliance Gods.

All Hail the Appliance Gods.

It appears they do exist, and heck, they don’t even need a shrine. After going to appliance Valhalla (aka: Home Depot) and choosing a shiny new fridge (which was delivered on Freyja’s Day, oh Happy Friday!) I am basking in their benevolence (aka: 0% interest). Here’s the kicker – a day after moving the malfunctioning  Maytag monster that used to be my fridge into the garage, I decided to play a little game of “what if” and plugged it in to see what would happen. I’ll be damned, the obstinate thing decided to work perfectly! So, I’m delighted to have a great new fridge and blissful that my husband won’t electrify himself trying to fix the old one; and while said husband looked at me with some suspicion when I told him the old fridge is “working great now!” he didn’t hesitate to stake his claim – declaring that the old fridge was now officially the “beer fridge” and was to be his sole domain – to remain untouched by non-alcoholic libations.

Whatever dude, the diet cokes and juice boxes are going in there too.

Do Appliance Gods Exist?

Do Appliance Gods Exist?

If so, I’m building a shrine to him/her/them/it in my garage. It’ll be made from all the broken sh*t that has brought me to my knees, ready to pray to a higher power to come save the life of my (fill in the blank here) furnace, fridge, washer, dryer, etc. Are you there Appliance God? It’s me, Melonie.

So, last year it was the furnace that blew up – this summer our fridge is fried. Why can’t the fridge break when it’s cold enough outside to chill stuff in the garage, and the furnace break when it’s hot enough outside to fry an egg on the driveway? Why, Appliance God, why?!? Because the appliance God is one sadistic b*tch, that’s why.

Maybe, because I love to stroll the aisles of dept. stores and ooh and aaah at fridges, I committed some form of appliance hubris and brought this technological tragedy upon myself. I know the husband thinks so – he’s halfway convinced I did something to break the fridge just so I could buy a new one. Ha-ha, but no – I was simply waiting for the moment our fridge would breathe its last – will I EVER learn to be careful what I wish for?