Monday, August 31, 2009


It has been my experience that one periodically goes through times when apparently it is decreed (by some minor and annoying god, no doubt) that an unusual number of things should fail to work, or be recalcitrant, or otherwise drive one somewhat mad.
I have alluded to how the drains on tub, sink, and dishwasher all had to be fixed shortly after I moved in. To update these specific items, the tub proves not to like hair-washing, and its drain clogs after two or three washings; the sink now doesn't really hold water long enough to soak laundry; and the dishwasher (a fancy-looking new Siemens) has to be run every couple of days now because it is apparently a weapon of biological warfare and promptly grows mold on anything placed in it, mold which is only mostly removed during the wash cycle. My previous dishwasher could accumulate dishes for a couple of weeks without mold growth, and removed pretty much everything except dairy-related encrustations. (I could also fit a lot more dishes in that one without wondering whether they would dance around and break one another.)
Speaking of things that go bad, they are doing so at a record pace in the refrigerator. I didn't think refrigerated fruit usually had to be eaten within a day or two. Let's keep in mind, too, that the house is air-conditioned, so we're not dealing with a sweltering kitchen.
Then there was the adventure of the blender. I hadn't had a blender in quite some time, but thought that if I got one, I could make fruit smoothies and rapidly boost the amount of fruit in my diet, as I imagined that would be simpler than making fruit salad. I bought the blender and put it together according to the instructions, or so it seemed, but it dismantled itself and dribbled a lot of liquefied fruit everywhere. For that matter, the stuff I was able to salvage didn't taste nearly as good as a fruit salad would have. I have been hesitant about trying the blender again, since I'm sure the motor got inundated with fruit and water, and I'm not sure that I've put the apparatus together any better than before.
I am not sure that the vacuum cleaner is picking up much, although I replaced its bag just before moving here.
On the automotive front, about a month ago I had my windshield replaced due to the remarkable size and quantity of debris thrown at it by various trucks. I was very pleased with the replacement for at least a week or two... specifically when I moved... and the rubber molding around it came loose. The job being under lifetime warranty, a technician came out to fix it once I finally had a chance to schedule an appointment. It has now come loose again.
While the windshield problem was initially alarming (at first I thought the windshield might fly off as I drove down Highway 70), it has not been as troublesome as the car airconditioning, which I had fixed in two separate ways during the summer to the tune of well over $1000. The airconditioning gave out again as I left Chicago and I have really not had time to schedule an appointment with the shop that did the original work.
I may not have mentioned previously that the electricity in the garage gave out just after I moved in (fortunately with the garage door open rather than closed, or I would have been stuck at home for awhile), but my landlord and his able assistant were able to rewire the building in less than a day, so perhaps that doesn't count as remarkably troublesome.
In the realm of the internet, as I have noted earlier, the signal came into the building well before I was able to make use of it. This was because the DSL modem I had gotten from Verizon stubbornly subverted everything from AT&T. I still don't understand how this can be, but that was what the AT&T technical staff, who tried quite a few tests, concluded. People often complain about technical support, but I felt the people I dealt with were pretty clever and well trained, and they were nonetheless stymied. On the plus side here, however, the new modem is also a router, so I have wifi all over the house. This is an excellent thing since the lapine contingent wants me in sight.
Speaking of the lapines, I knew I would have to keep them out of the office (cords and boxes) and possibly the bedroom. As it turned out, the office door doesn't close--it gets to about two inches of closed and then quits. So I bought a handsome pet gate, one with wire since Ms. Spots has been known to destroy plastic gates. Well, it is designed to be pulled as wide as the doorway or other passageway and to stay in place with the aid of rubber bumpers. Whether this actually normally works, I cannot say, but the height and thickness of the baseboards here make it impossible to keep in position as designed. I thus stuck the thing at the foot of the stairs, sort of leaning against the stairs a bit. Mostly this works, but Ms. Spots rapidly figured out that if it's tilted enough, she can climb on it and go up the stairs anyway. She's always rather surprised when she succeeds, and since what she always seems to want is breakfast, this hasn't caused a real problem yet... but it could.
That's more than enough ranting for now.

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