It seems like I'm on the bad side of machines or something these days. First, two weeks ago the lawn mower died. It stalls and stalls and stalls, every couple of minutes. And we just replaced the blade and the battery. That's annoying, but no worries, I took the truck out and got a new one. Had to go to 3 big box stores to get the brand I wanted, but at least I got it, and cheaper than I had expected.
Got home and discovered that the mower was cheaper than expected because it was corded, not cordless. Dang! I was super irritated, because I checked the box with the cashier, telling him over and over that I would only buy it if it was cordless. (Our yard is way too big and obstacle-y for a power cord.) We couldn't find anything that said one way or the other, but finally he pointed to some marking about the electrical rating and said that meant it was cordless. Well he was wrong.
Again, no worries. Georg took it back the next day, and I ordered the one we wanted from Amazon. The cost was more like I had expected, almost double the corded model, but with no sales tax and free shipping we came out better than if I had found the right one at the big box store.
Okay, so the mower arrived at the mail center yesterday, Georg is going to set it up tonight and then I can mow tomorrow. Next problem: the washing machine. We have a small front-loading machine, which we love. Until last week it suddenly started making a hellacious racket. It seems to wash the clothes all right; there's just this terrible banging noise during the spin cycle.
It took us awhile to get a recommendation for an appliance repairman, but we got one last weekend. Called all day yesterday and got a busy signal, finally got through to them this morning. And guess what, they don't work on front-loading washers! She couldn't even suggest someone else; she said most appliance repairmen don't.
The really annoying part is that they would have come out tomorrow, if it had been a top-loading machine. Still, Georg searched online and found another repair service that does front-loading washers. He's calling to schedule a service call and I'll find out tonight when they're coming. Good thing there's a laundromat right down the road from us.
So that's the washing machine. Next problem: the truck. The truck has gotten a lot more use lately than normal. I've been driving it because Undersea Mah Jongg was overdue for inspection. Finally got around to dropping UMJ off at the mechanic yesterday before work. Stopped at Whole Foods to pick up lunch on my way to the office. When I got back in the truck and turned the key, it .. just .. died. All the lights, the fan and the radio went out, and after that it wouldn't respond in any way no matter what I did. No clicking, no nothing.
Okay, I'm resourceful, I can deal. Called the office, called AAA (by the way --- AAA Plus, the best thing ever), called my mechanic to let them know the truck was on its way over. If I had to break down, Whole Foods parking lot was a good place to do it. I got an iced tea and sat down outside to watch for the tow driver. I could work while I waited, using their free wireless. And I even found a table next to a power strip, so I could plug in my (nearly dead) phone and make all those calls.
The tow guy was awesome. Arrived early, and then fixed the problem! Turns out it was just a loose battery terminal, which he was able to wiggle back into place. He told me to get the terminal replaced, but that it should be safe to drive in the meantime. My only regret is that I didn't have any cash to give him a tip. He saved me a lot of hassle.
So the truck didn't have to be towed to my mechanic, but it did still need new battery terminals. I dropped it off yesterday evening when I picked up Undersea Mah Jongg. While they were at it, I asked them to check for an oil leak. We lent the truck out to a friend last month, and while he had it the oil light came on. He had the oil changed along with some other minor work, all of which I felt terribly guilty about. Then last weekend, the oil light came on again! That doesn't seem right, so I wanted the mechanic to take a look.
And that's the bad news. The oil leak is due to a bad oil pan gasket. The mechanic said they'll have to drop the engine to get to it. It will be $600 of labor to replace a $20 part. Aie!
What with the mower and the washing machine, I'm putting the truck repair off. It will have to be done at some point. Definitely by the fall when we start doing a lot of yardwork again and need the truck regularly. But not right now. In the short term I'm just going to buy a case of oil and keep adding oil as needed. The lady at the mechanic said that will work until it won't, in other words until the gasket gets so bad I can't keep oil in it. It's not an environmentally friendly solution, but it's much more pocketbook friendly. Which has to take precedence sometimes.
[ETA: the washing machine repairman is coming on Saturday. We don't have to take time off work and if he can fix it right then we won't have to go to the laundromat again. yay!]