What A Nickle's Worth

On Monday, the parts for my space age washing machine did not arrive, as scheduled, from NEW ZELAND, in time for the TEAM to make it out to fix the d&%n thing. The new control panel and pump arrived late Monday afternoon, and the TEAM showed up bright and early yesterday to restore order in the Boyer laundry room. Mission accomplished!

The brave repairman came upstairs with the ticket, which had already been paid, because parts must be paid for upfront as UPS only runs in one direction--FROM--on the New Zealand route. Along with the ticket, which I had to sign for reasons unclear, the brave repairman held a nickle, and the old washing machine pump motor.

I bet you can see where this is going. He spun the rotor on the motor. It made a hellacious noise. He grinned. "The nickle got in the motor and made it go out. That's what shorted out the control panel.

"How did the nickle get into the insides of the washing machine?" I asked. I mean, even if it was in the tub, how could it get to the motor?

He shrugged. "I've seen all kinds of stuff get in there. Underwear, rocks, sticks..."

A month, without a washing machine, because one of us missed a nickle when emptying the change from our pockets into the jar which holds lottery money. (Not money we've won, but spare change with which we allow ourselves to purchase tickets, in hopes that we will one day win Giraffe Money. If you don't know what Giraffe Money is, here's a clue: Michael Jackson owns a Giraffe, or used to, on his Neverland... err, Ranch.

Talk to y'all later. I've got to go search a load for stowaway coins. That nickle cost me $396.65.

Peace, out...


Yet Another Reason to Buy Stuff Made in the USA

On April 29th, my washing machine died peacefully in mid-cycle. One minute it was spinning my delicates, and the next, it had departed this world. As it was only four years old, and had died long before its time, I pulled out my manuals, located the customer service number, and called New Zealand.

You see, when we purchased this state-of-the-art-high-efficiency-eco-friendly appliance and its brother, the dryer, we were totally sold on how efficient and eco-friendly it was. It was a high-end set, one that we normally would have avoided due to the price tag. But it was ON SALE!

The folks at Jeff Lynch saw me coming. They'd likely had this blue-blooded marvel of modern machinery for months with no takers, because the suckers were made in NEW ZEALAND, and most folks in Greenville have better sense. Regrettably, I do not. I was quite impressed with the salesman's assurance that THIS washer and dryer only had two moving parts each which would naturally cut down on repairs...

The nice lady in New Zealand informed me that, of course their washers will last longer than four years. It simply needed to be repaired. She gave me the phone number of the lone authorized repair shop in the area. I called. They come to Greenville on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they said, but they were all booked up that week. They could come out the NEXT Monday.

Because my husband loves me, and knows that if I had to go inside a laundry mat my therapy sessions would increase to three times a week (which would be very expensive), he went.

On Monday, the repair team (yes, it takes two repairmen to look at appliances made in New Zealand) were here exactly four minutes before the brave one informed me that all they could do that day was collect the $65 for the service call because the control panel had gone out, and a new one would have to be ordered. They don't stock repair parts on this brand.

I said something my mamma probably wouldn't approve of, then wrote him a check. He told me that I'd have to call the office and order the part because the computer was down. He wasn't sure what it would cost, but I'd have to pay for it in advance because parts ordered from NEW ZEALAND are non-returnable.

I called. I said some more things my mother wouldn't approve of to the poor lady who answered the phone. She ordered my control board ($245) and scheduled the team to come back out the following Monday. Poor Jim went back to the laundry mat.

But, the part didn't arrive on time from NEW ZEALAND, and she called me the next Monday morning to let me know that they'd have to reschedule for Wednesday. On Wednesday, I was going to be out of town, so we rescheduled for the next Monday.

Poor Jim went back to the laundry mat. But this time, sure that the washer would finally be fixed on Monday, he only did what we absolutely had to have to get through the weekend.

On Monday morning (of this week) the repair team came in with the control panel. "This shouldn't take long," the brave one said. I came upstairs and went about my day. Ten minutes later, the brave one called upstairs, "Ah, Ma'am?"

I was on the phone, but quickly finished my call and scurried downstairs, alarmed by his now not-so-confident tone. The team was huddled over the patient, which had been disassembled like one of those bodies being autopsied on CSI. I will tell you right now that there are way more than two moving parts.

The brave one shook his head. "It was your motor that shorted out the control panel. Soon as we got the new one on, it took it right out. We're going to have to order a new motor," he said. From--you guessed it--NEW ZEALAND. All they could do was collect the money for the motor. The computer was up, so they knew they needed a check for another $86.43. "You won't have to pay for another circuit board," the one that never would look me in the eye assured me.

They're coming back next Monday.

Poor Jim will go back to the laundry mat this weekend...

But because LAST weekend he only did what we thought we'd need until Monday, I am slap out of workout clothes. Which is why I did not make it to Jazzercise yesterday, nor will I make it today or tomorrow. I am not happy about this at all, because I was finally back into my routine, but, let's face it, I can't dance without my motion-control workout bras and lycra capris.

I bet you those New Zealand washing machine manufacturers are all are part of the Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy.

Peace, out...


The Singing Alien

Okay, today was an interesting day in the torture chamber, and I'll tell y'all all about it just as soon as I get something off of my chest: there ought to be some agency that regulates people who manufacture scales. I have cut WAY back on what I'm eating--I've not had a Mega Moo Mocha Moolatte since way before they closed the Dairy Queen in Greer. I've even cut back on wine--I only drink it only on weekends. And I've been exercising my derrierre off every day.

And today, that lying piece-of-junk scale said I'd gained a pound. Myra should have that thing calibrated more often. With all those starving people with aching muscles running around the place, somebody could snap. It might be me.

Anyway, today, I danced with Donna, who, previously I had thought of as "The Serene Alien." She just has this peaceful aura about her that calms your nerves while your blood is pounding in your ears and your left arm is tingling. Today her serenity was taxed when there was a music malfunction. Now, with no music, many Jazzercise instructors would have immediately opted to switch to a body sculpt format, which would have meant getting to lie down on the mats sooner, but lots more spot torture.

Not Donna...in Donna's class, the show does in fact go on. She SANG the songs to us, seamlessly inserting cues into the lyrics. It hepled that Donna actually CAN sing--she's quite good. But the truly amazing thing--and the dead give away that's she's a high ranking alien--is that she never lost her breath nor glistened while dancing the highest intensity song in her set and singing the whole time.

Betty was Donna's class manager today. Class managers log the victims into the computer and keep 911 on speed dial and such. They also assist in technical emergencies. Things really got interesting when Betty joined in to help Donna out with the singing. Don't get me wrong--lots of us sing from time to time: with the music playing at rock-concert levels, who can tell that you couldn't carry a tune in a Kate Spade purse? But, there was no music today...

Betty, bless her heart...the best thing I can say about Betty's singing is that it's better than mine. And I'll say this: Betty didn't sing long before Donna somehow fiddled with that sound system and got that sucker kick-started.

I'm going to get my aspirin. Then I'm going to Goggle the manufacturer of that sorry excuse for a scale...

Peace, out...


Postpartum Depression

No, I haven't been on maternity leave since last June. Y'all wouldn't believe all the many valid (or at least plausible) reasons that I've fallen off the exercise wagon (and abandoned my blog) for nearly a year, so I'll skip those, but none involved bearing children. Likely, it was due to the efforts of the notorious Vast Fat-Wing Conspiracy (VFWC).

Anyway...when last I reported on my attempts to become svelte, the Queen of Pain (also know as Casey, the alien Jazzercise instructor), was undergoing a bizarre alien birthing ritual that required her to perch on her throne for months while others brought her offerings of peanut butter milkshakes.

A while back she delivered a gorgeous child that appears to be a human baby girl. We'll see. The QOP has been back on stage significantly longer than I have been back on the dance floor. I drug my self back in about a month ago. This was a huge mistake.

Pregnancy, I have learned, turns your average alien aerobics instructor into a woman consumed with the need to burn calories...mine, yours, hers...all calories must be dealt with harshly. We are ALL suffering to make sure that the QOP (who is, naturally, skinnier than she was pre-pregnancy) looks good in her bikini this summer. She shoved a whole extra song into her set today, and every last one of them was so fast I swear it sounded like she was auctioning cattle while she cued.

I crawled out of there, drug myself home and started speed eating aspirin.

It's going to be a long, painful road back...

Peace, out...