Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ya Just Gotta Laugh

Those of you following along may be aware of my furnace woes.  With impeccable timing, the dadburned thing conked out in the wee hours of Friday morning, during our coldest night this winter. Unable to work any of my magic on it, I finally resorted to calling my ever-helpful Home Warranty Company which put me in touch with a contractor whose first available appointment was Monday morning.  Meh - we limped through the weekend with space heaters and managed okay.

In fact, for the most part, it stayed pretty comfortable in the house.  The downside, of course, to running multiple space heaters in your crap-wired home at once is that they tend to get into pissing matches with other appliances like, oh, you know, hair dryers, vacuums and the like.  Which, in turn, leads to blown fuses.  Which are easy enough fixes, usually. I know how to flip the switch on the breaker panel.  I know how to hit the re-set button on the outlet.  All good.  In theory.  (We'll revisit that notion momentarily.)

So, Monday morning rolls around, and Mr. Furnace Repair Man comes out and fiddles around with it all and advises that I've got both a fried motherboard and a fried igniter.  Both of which sound vaguely familiar. (A quick review of my saved repair invoices shows that both have already been replaced once in the four-and-a-half years I've lived here.)  He also advises me that there's a bit of a red flag -- you see, the prior owners of the home, in their infinite wisdom, for some reason opted to install a 125,000 BTU furnace in an 1100 square foot house.  For those of you not well-versed in the ways of furnaces -- that's a WHOLE LOTTA furnace for an itty-bitty house.  Which probably explains, at least in part, my repeated issues with the infernal thing.

The kicker is - Mr. Furnace Repair Man isn't entirely certain the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company will actually cover the necessary repair, seeing as how the furnace is over-sized, yada, yada.  Well, that's interesting, seeing as how they issued the Warranty and have repaired the thing several times since I've been here.  We won't get into those legalities just yet, though. We left it with the knowledge that I'd be receiving a call from them today, and go from there on the repairs -- which, by the way, would take anywhere from three to five days to set up, even assuming they were covered.  Have I mentioned it's January?  (Of course it is -- furnaces never break down in late March.) 

Yesterday morning's furnace festivities complete, I headed off to the office for a productive half-day of work. On the way home, I stopped off at WalMart.  I had with me at the time a rebate check from the manufacturer of Pringle's Heartgard.  No great shakes - $15.  But since I'd unearthed it while cleaning out the office yesterday morning (while waiting on Mr. Furnace Repair Man), I decided to take it with and deposit it in the bank yesterday evening.  You may recall yesterday was a rather windy day.  Which presaged last night's tornado sirens and hailstorm.  As I made my way back to the car and fumbled around in my purse for my keys, the wind picked up, and I thought -- maybe -- I heard something hit the ground.  

I convinced myself it was just my imagination and got into the car.  Then thought..."the check!"  I rummaged through my purse for it - not there.  I jumped out and looked all around under the car.  Not there.  I broadened my search, to the cars around me.  Looked all around the immediate vicinity.  Nowhere in sight.  The check had vanished.  It was....gone with the wind.  (Shout out to my friend Michelle Lancaster on that.)  Now, it was only $15 -- not $50. And in the whole scheme of things, not really that big a deal.  Still, I do take a bit of umbrage at the fact that the wind chose to swipe the check, and not one of the several unneccessary receipts that were also floating around my purse at the time. 

Shook my head and proceeded home to unwind a bit.  Maybe watch some TV.  Which became a challenge because there were three things on at the same time I was interested in watching.  The GOP Presidential Debate, The Bachelor and Alcatraz.  Hey - what can I say? I have eclectic taste in my entertainment.  Thank goodness for DVR's!! Set that puppy to record all three shows, and flipped back and forth between them until it was time for my favorite radio show.  

Later, as I settled down in bed, I thought I'd round out the evening by watching the second half of The Bachelor.  Ooops!  DVR not working right.  Well, whatever.  Too tired to fiddle with it -- I'd worry about it tomorrow...at Tara.  ;)

So, today brought with it the not-super-unexpected news that, indeed, the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company would not be covering the repair (or, what's really needed - the replacement) of the furnace.  Although they are willing to offer me a cash settlement for parts and labor...Yeah, again, we're going to have  a more in-depth discussion about that, the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company (which covers everything but the kitchen sink and the repairs you REALLY need to have done) and I.  

Oh, but the repair company is willing to help and give me a bid for replacing the whole thing.  Which is kind of interesting in itself, seeing as how they're the ones who advised the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company that the furnace was over-sized. Hmmmm....one does wonder....

Anyway, the upshot is...I probably need a new furnace.  And, I'm told by a good friend who knows his stuff, in reality, I probably need a new AC unit, too, just taking into account the re-configuring of the duct-work that will be required.  

And, by the way, for those of you still following along -- the water heater still doesn't work right.  Oh, but the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company doesn't cover repair/replacement resulting from sedimentary build up. Which, let's face it, is likely what my problem is there.  

Have I mentioned I've an appointment to take my car in for an oil change on Thursday?  Oh, and to have the battery checked. Because, I'm told, it's probably due to be replaced.  We won't even speculate as to what other sorts of "recommended maintenance" the dealership is going to dazzle me with at that point.  My guess is whatever it is will run me somewhere between $4-500.  

Oh....I almost forgot -- the DVR.  Yeah.  See, I tried again tonight to watch the recorded episode of The Bachelor.  Only...it loads, but then freezes up.  And has to be rebooted.  And then does it all again.  Seems that one of the blown fuse incidents (compliments of the space heaters being on, compliments of the furnace being busted) monkeyed with the DVR, and it's no longer working properly....

How's that old song go? "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all..?" Yes, indeedy.  Ya just gotta laugh! 


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