Our pellet stove is out again. Last month it was the igniter that went out. Now it's the auger. Right now, as I type this, I have it running, but it is making a noise that makes me think of a goose being sodomized. (Not that I think about such things often. Or ever.) The guy came out again (I'm going to bake him some cookies next time. Because there will be a next time.) yesterday and said it was the transmission that runs the motor that turns the auger. (That lives in the house that Jack built.) (Anyone else think that immediately after that sentence? Just me? Hmh.) He also said that he had just cleaned out his truck and wasn't carrying any parts and would come back tomorrow, which is today. He said in the meantime to run it and if it burned up, it burned up, he was going to replace all the guts anyway. If we could handle the noise. I was fine being cold. That noise makes me want to stab things.The only reason I have it on today is because Conner is here and he's a baby and babies shouldn't be cold.
Yesterday morning it was 58* in our living room. It was WAY colder than that in the bedrooms. I could see my breath when I emerged from under the covers. This morning it was a whopping 60*. I have our little infrared heater (built by the Amish!) going on one end of the living room and the pellet stove burning on the other and it's 64*. Pellet Stove Dude will be here after 3. Just two more hours of MWAAAAAHHHHHHH......MWAAAHHHHHHHHH.......CA-CHUNK........MWAAAAAHHHHHHH.......rattle rattle.............MWAAAAAAHHHHHHH.......
This morning while waiting in the van for the bus to pick up the kids I decided to read the mail that I pick up but sits in the van a few days until I'm bored enough to go through it. Apparently mine and Abby's phones, LG Banters, have some electronic glitch in them that makes them possibly unable to complete 911 calls. Uh....911 calls are not calls that possibly might not go through. The phones need a critical update, available only at a US Cellular retail store. I would rather drive nails into my temples than visit the retail store in Miami. That has to be the rudest staff I've ever experienced. Case in point: Once I went in to do something that I was told BY US CELLUAR ON THE PHONE could be done. The gal in the store said it couldn't be done. Wasn't possible. She also had to put down her personal cell phone when I cleared my throat one too many times for her liking while she blabbered about personal things and had to see why on earth I was interrupting her day AT WORK. I guess we'll drive to Joplin. And hope we don't need 911 on the way.
This morning the satellite receiver wouldn't work. It was frozen with a picture from last night's 10:00 news on the screen. I restarted the system. Nothing. I restarted the system again.....lonnnnnng re-boot. Finally a message popped up on the screen that said, "Your AT&T Homezone receiver is having serious issues and is currently just a silver box sitting atop your gigantic TV. You should probably call someone about that. If you want to watch TV, that is."
Now, two years ago, when we decided to enter this century and get a DVR the nice man from Dish Network made a funny little comment about the receiver he was installing. He said, "I wonder why they gave you this thing. I never install this box. It's like, just one we never use. Hmm. Wonder why you got it." Like he was suggesting we were on old Santa Dish's naughty list or something and got the crappiest receiver they make because lumps of coal are so outdated. It's an AT&T Homezone receiver and considering we do not have AT&T internet or cell service and our land line is the most basic of basic packages you can get and still have a land line I, too, wondered why we got the AT&T receiver. We were never able to access anything other than Dish Network on it - not the pictures and other features it boasted.
When I called Dish Network this morning the first representative, Pat, I talked to said she would connect me to AT&T Homezone and then put me on hold. Three minutes later she came back on the line and said she was actually not able to transfer me, but if I had a paper and pencil handy I could just jot down the number and call them directly. I did and was connected instantly to Juan, a friendly fellow who said he would do everything he could to figure out the problem. Then he informed me that he could not access my account. I asked why. He said because....well, he didn't really know, but he would be happy to put me on hold and talk to a Dish Network representative and would do his best to get me up and running. After confirming the issues I was having with the receiver he put me on hold. Five minutes later he came back on the line with another rep from Dish Network who would get me fixed up in a jiffy, but not to worry because he'd stay on the line with me to assure things went smoothly. I thought it a noble gesture, but it kind of concerned me - like, was he my bodyguard now? So the Dish gal asked me to repeat the issues to her and then without warning put me and ol' Juan on hold. A few seconds passed and Juan nearly scared me to death when he said, "Uh...Mrs. Hoover, it appears we have been put on hold. But do not worry, I will stay here with you." But again, this indeed worried me. Was being on hold putting me at risk of something that warranted protection? We waited five minutes, my friend Juan and I, just listening to the funky 1930's jam that was ever-so-heavy on the ukelele playing in our ears, occasionally clearing our throats to assure the other we were still there, on the line, still safe, still out of harm's way.
When the Dish Network rep came back on the line she confirmed that the hard drive on my receiver had passed on and she was so sorry for my loss, which florist should she use for flowers? Oh and for $15 shipping and processing she could send me a BRAND! NEW! receiver. I said that would be great at which point my friend Juan popped in with, "Mrs. Hoover, it appears you are being well taken care of and if you are okay now I will say good-bye and leave you with Dish Network." I was never not okay, Juan, but thanks for being a buddy. Then the Dish Gal told me the new receiver would not be an AT&T receiver, but that the new receiver would be the same model. I could tell she sensed the question I was getting ready to ask because she said, "The difference? Yes, the difference is that your new receiver will not have the word 'AT&T' on it."
[WARNING! The next paragraph is chock full of very large, runon sentences. If you are my high school English teacher or my editor at WelchOK.com, read with caution and know that Mrs. E., you did not fail and Tyson, I will try really hard to keep too many of these out of my column.]
So we can watch live TV and change the channel and access the program guide, but pausing the live TV is not possible. We also cannot access the DVR. My sister also informed me that we have lost everything stored on the DVR and this makes me not happy at all because I had four movies stored on there, one of which was Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and I big puffy pink heart that movie and so do the kids and we watch it every weekend and it was free when I recorded it from Nick and now I'm going to have to go and pay money for it on DVD because it's gone, gone, GONE and have I mentioned we really like that movie? I'm not upset about losing Pursuit of Happyness because now I have an excuse to not watch it. I recorded it on a day I was feeling like I could handle such a movie, but have since decided that no, my emotions cannot handle the hotness of Will Smith AND a movie about a daddy who has fallen on hard times and has a cute kid who is the new Karate Kid, but I couldn't bring myself to delete it and there it was, looming on the DVD, looking at me with pitiful puppy dog/Karate Kid eyes. I'm only moderately upset about losing Because I Said So and Interview with the Vampire because I just recorded them late one night because I was tired of the scheduled recordings to only be Ren and Stimpy and Fringe and LOST and thought, "Hey, those will be good ones to watch the next time I have insomnia or the flu or a day alone in the house without the kids, but who am I kidding, like that's ever going to happen because days without the kids means CLEANING, but at least there's something on the DVR besides Ren and Stimpy, right?"
So a word of caution, if you value your electronics, large machinery or small pets you might want to avoid me for awhile. The small pets warning is just a precaution - I haven't actually harmed a small pet, but much more of listening to MWAAAHHHHH........MWAAAHHHHHHH.....clunk clunk.......MWAAAHHHHH and I can't be held responsible for my actions.
Oh and also? Watching LOST tonight is going to be very, very difficult without the ability to stop the TV and scream, "WHAT? HUH? I AM SO CONFUSED!" like I do multiple times every week. I will have to save my exclamations for commercials like we did back in the olden days. Like Laura Ingalls Wilder did.