Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Who Knew I'd Rue a Lack of Hot Air?

The end of summer has been a bit of a slog.  Things just seem unsettled with me.  Granted, a lot of it is work stuff, but I know that will work itself out eventually.  But the home stuff has been dragging out too.

Yes, I know, I live alone and have a simple life with just me, myself, and I.  But shit happens.

Like, a couple of weeks ago, my dryer died.  (The laundry dryer, not a hair dryer.  Like I would use a hair dryer where a soft cloth would do.)

You may remember, I had to replace my washer about a year and a half ago and argue with Best Buy about buying their required but not really required hoses.  Well, the dryer lasted only this much longer before it stopped heating up.  The drum would spin, but there was no heat, so the clothes never got dry.  I had to hang stuff up all over the house, so it looked like I lived on a sock farm. 

I can’t complain, though.  I got almost 19 years out of that dryer so I got my money’s worth.  So back to Best Buy I went.

I got a cheapish dryer; I only wanted something simple.  I mean damn; some of the control panels on the upscale dryers looked like the dashboard of a 747.  I just needed a cycle dial and on/off button.  Also got free delivery, and 12 months same-as-cash.  I did have to buy a new vent hose and connector, and get this: an electrical cord for the dryer.

When the saleslady told me that, I was like, “I have to buy the cord to plug it in, separately?  WTF?”  She explained that there are different kinds of electrical systems in different areas and the manufacturer (Whirlpool) wanted maximum flexibility.

OK, fine.  Whatever it takes, you know?  So we got the deal done on a Saturday and I asked them to deliver it the following Friday when I’d be working from home.

Cut to Friday, they show up right on time, swap out the dryers and all was well and good... until I went to do a load of laundry the next day.  The dryer didn’t heat up.  I tried all the different cycles and settings, and let the damned thing run for an hour and a half, but no go.  Back to the sock farm I went.

I called Best Buy the next day and spent 23 goddamned minutes on hold before I could explain my situation to someone, who then transferred me to another department where I went straight to voicemail.  I left a message, but no one ever called back. 


I was about to go down there right then, but I remembered that on Monday (Labor Day), I’d be in the neighborhood anyway when I made my annual trip to the State Fair.

Now, I’m notorious for going off and forgetting to bring things I need.  I combat that by laying everything out in my staging area, where I gather my shit before leaving the house.  That Monday, I had to be sure to bring my receipt and paperwork from the dryer, and a functioning pen to use at the track (at the Fair). Bastards charge you 50 cents for a stubby pencil at the gate.

So I got my dryer documents and pen laid out with my wallet and the hat I wanted to wear for the day, so I was all set.  Then after getting showered and dressed, I came out of the bedroom, made sure I scooped up all my shit and went out the door.  About a millisecond after the door latched, I realized I forgot my keys.  I was locked out of my apartment on a weekend.  On Labor Day.


I was so concerned with not forgetting the other shit, I forgot to go to Part Two of my staging area, the Key Rack.  It was just like back in 2014 when I did the same thing.  Only this time, I had my cell with me, so I wouldn’t have to bother my neighbor, Daryl (Licht).

Last time, after I got Daryl to call for help, I found that the back bedroom window had been left unlocked, allowing me to slither in.  This time, I figured I’d check things out before I alerted anybody and almost immediately I remembered something else I’d forgotten.

It had been a really nice morning, so I had my kitchen window and back patio sliding door open for some cross breeze.  I closed the slider before I left but forgot all about the kitchen window.  So there was my “in.”

I raised the screen, raised the window higher, and ninjaed my way in.  The bottom of the window is at ground level, but is 3-feet off the ground on the inside, so I probably shouldn’t have gone in feet first, facing up.  Next time, I’m going to have to remember to go in feet first and facing down.  It’s much easier to bend that way.  At my age, I’m lucky I didn’t end up in traction.

So, I had a nice day at the races… bet nine races and lost about $25.  Hit two exactas and a daily double, but none of them paid much; I think eight bucks was the biggest one.  But it was fun.  I also took this picture:

Caption: I was curious what the effect would be if I went down to the rail and take an iPhone Panorama shot while the horses were running by.  This is it… Kind of trippy.

After the races, I headed over to Best Buy to talk about defective dryers.  At least they were nice about it.  I figured they’d want to send someone to look at it, or question me on what I had done.  But they just said they’d replace it right off.  We scheduled it for the next Friday when I’d be working from home again.

Friday came, they swapped dryers (again) and the dryer did not heat up (AGAIN).

I’m like, “What in the holy fuck is going on with these stupid dryers?

Because we had tested it before the delivery guy left, I was at least able to discuss the situation with someone this time.  The guy said that while it was possible that there was a bad batch of dryer elements floating around, it was more likely that there was something wrong with the electrical outlet or the fuse box.

I thought that was weird, and said, “If the outlet was bad, how come the barrel turns at all?

He said he’d seen it before where a breaker had flipped and cut the usual amount of juice needed to run a dryer.  I’d never heard of such a thing, but hell, I’m no electrician.  And because I’m an apartment dweller, I can call the landlord’s office and have them send someone out to have a look.

I also told the driver about my experience on hold the previous week and expressed my reluctance to get on that train again.  He then gave me an “inside number” that would fast-track my call the next time.  (No, I’m not telling.)

By this time, it was late afternoon on a Friday and even though I called the landlord as soon as the delivery guy left, there wasn’t enough time in the day to get someone out before the maintenance staff went home for the weekend.  I knew I’d be off on Tuesday (following a Steelers Monday night game) so I asked for them so send someone out then.

At least I’m on a 2-week laundry cycle, so it wasn’t like I was running out of undies.  I had time to play with before things would get serious.  But still, I’m uncomfortable when things are left up in the air.  I still didn’t know why my kitchen was becoming the Bermuda Triangle of Dryers.

So this afternoon, some maintenance guys came out, I explained the problem, and they checked the breaker box.

One-half of the dryer double-breaker was tripped.  They reset it and the dryer began producing heat.   

I had them show me which one it was and what to look for in case anything like this ever happens again.

I’m glad my household is settled again, but of course, I still have one regret…

I probably never really had to buy a new dryer in the first place.


  1. but you don't want to live in the "sock farm". Consider festooning your apartment with colorful and significant wearables. You could have wall to wall MOJO!

    1. You know, when I had the cable guy run the cable from the outlet, across the room to my PC, I shouldn't have had him run it along the wall; he should have run it right across the middle of the room. Then I could use it as a clothesline. It would be like I was holding a bi-weekly harvest of socks and underwear. #MissedOpportunity

  2. Still time to do just that. You can run a clothesline across the middle of the room, creating endless décor possibilities.
    And those spring top clothespins are great for sealing freshness into open potato chip bags.

    1. Yeah, you could clothespin your potato chip bags to the line to save yourself from having to go all the way into the kitchen. You could hang up different flavors for whatever chip mood you are in.
      P.S. Double breakers should be outlawed.
      P.P.S. Heating elements are cheap and easy to replace. You can probably find something on YouTube.

    2. Could also be useful as a spaghetti dryer, if I should ever consider making it from scratch.

      I'd never heard of double breakers... I just learned an expensive lesson, because I bet my original dryer was just fine. Too late now.


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