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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Albion Heater-Bad Customer Service #4

In November of 2008, we bought one of those electric wood stove-looking space heaters to help heat our sunroom.  Menards had the one that we liked the best so we plunked down $100 and brought it home.

In case you are wondering, those things on the heater are coconut monkeys.  Actually, one of the monkey's is famous and has been featured in a very prominent and prestigious magazine.

Why coconut monkeys, you ask.  This sunroom is done in a tropical theme as it overlooks the pool.  Here are a few shots to show you.

Well, we had this space heater for what I thought was well over a year and it quit.  And I mean it completely quit-no fire, no heat, nothing.  I thought it was over the year warranty so I got in no hurry to mess with it.  A few weeks later, I thought that I might as well check the receipt and was mad at myself to see that it had broken within the year period but now was 1 week over a year.  I called anyways and they graciously (so I thought) offered to honor the warranty.  Now, I read the warranty and it said that they would send a replacement.  Imagine my surprise when a month later, I got a box of parts in the mail.  I called the number again (and mind you that it was at the very LEAST a half hour wait EVERY time I called).  I could not believe when they informed me that it was easy and I could just fix it myself with a screwdriver.  They didn't seem to care when I told them that this wasn't a Pez Dispenser I was fixing but an electrical appliance that I had no training in that could possibly burn my house down.  She assured me that it was very simple so I thought "what the Hell" and hung up.  Okay Corey, get a screwdriver.

Check.  Now start taking it apart.  I did manage to get it into pieces and to gouge the shit out of my hand as well in this "simple" process.

Okay, it wasn't really gouged quite that badly but pretty damn close.  The whole time I was doing this, I was just trying to picture my grandma attempting this when she was alive.  Would they have asked her to do this?

"Okay, got my screwdriver.  Now point me to that electronical thingamajig."

"That's a shoe horn, grandma."

"Shut the Hell up you snot nosed little bastard."

So, back to the story.  I went to put the new parts in which were switches and the heating unit and NONE of them fit.  They were all the wrong parts.  So back to the phone and a half hour later I was met with a promise of new and correct parts to be mailed out to me.  Another month rolled by and a package arrived.  I was glad I was finally going to have it fixed because it was now late December and getting pretty cold.  Better get some blankets out there.  Wrong parts again.  Another half hour, another promise, another month, another box of wrong parts.  Meanwhile, this is what my living room looked like for 4 months because I was afraid to move anything for fear I wouldn't remember how to put it back together as the wiring was actually pretty complicated.

This was the last time.  I was pissed now and they got the full-on Corey.  I yelled at them how ridiculous it was to have a customer trying to fix their shitty appliance that they couldn't build correctly the first f**king time.  I also let them know that it wasn't really as f**king easy as they kept stressing to me EVERY time I called.  Sure, it was easy to them.  They were sitting in a cubicle in Canada.  They were also made aware that in this "easy" repair,  I had gouged the shit out of my hand and the wiring was just a spaghetti mess of wires with no diagram of how to re-hook it all up.  As usual, my yelling paid off and they emailed me a form to take back to Menard's to return it with and exchange for a new one.  I still had my original receipt so I scooped up the pieces of my heater and headed to Menards.  I stopped at the returns desk and dropped off the pieces of my heater and headed to get a new one.  They still carried the exact same heater so I went and got it and gave them my old receipt.  I could not believe when they just did a regular exchange on it.  I asked if they needed this letter from the manufacturer and got a "Nah".  I went through all of that for NOTHING.  I could have just returned the damn thing.  I about grabbed the return desk girl and forced her to take that note and like it.  But soon my anger melted away as did all of the snow, since winter was almost over now that I had my new space heater.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Yes, I Write Children's Books

I have a whole series of children's books I wrote starring a mischievous rabbit who always ends up doing the right thing in the end.  My Perry books cover Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the 4th of July.  I tried getting the Christmas one (the 1st one) published once and gave up.  Someday, I will try again especially now that I have a whole series.  The Christmas one is claymation and the rest are cartoons that I illustrated on the computer in Quark.  Read with your kids, hopefully enjoy, and let me know what they think.  I used to bring them to the children's class to have their teachers read to the kids but once they hit 5th grade, I got a cease and desist order from Lukah.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Mister Heat Miser, I'm Mister Sun

Well, Christmas will soon be here so I thought the following photo was holiday appropriate to get you all in the spirit.  I always sleep with a pillow over my face (except for my mouth because I have become accustomed to breathing and am quite fond of it), so when I wake up, every hair on my head is usually standing on end.  So, this morning I got up and thought my hair looked like Heat Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus.

This photo really doesn't do it justice but you have to give it to me that there is a resemblance.

Speaking of resemblances, I always thought that Heat Miser looked more like he should be the brother of Burgermeister Meisterburger from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town . . . 

instead of Snow Miser who I think looks more like. . . 

 the postal carrier/narrator (Fred Astaire) of Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.

I do know one thing.  Hermey (thought it was "Herbie"?  Me, too.  Look it up on from Rudolph and Ace Ventura go to the same barber.
On a similar same note, our kids have looked like other people to us before.  When Callahan was little, what little hair he had was white so he looked bald as a cue ball thus resembling Charlie Brown.
On a side note related to Charlie Brown, I put this Christmas tree up in our bedroom every year.  Andi hates it because she thinks it looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  
I have had it since I was a little kid.  The base broke off decades ago and it is held up with a block of wood, a toothpick, and love (but mostly the toothpick).
Now back to Callahan.  When he got a little older, his hair got curly and we thought he looked more like Matthew McConaughey.  That's probably why the chicks dug him in preschool.
When Mikah was little, her face was a dead ringer for the Pepsi girl.  Their hair was different colors but her features were exact right down to the split in her front teeth.  She got tired of people constantly pointing this out to her.
In Mikah's old age, she now slightly reflects Jennifer Aniston.

On the other hand, Lukah has just always looked like Reese Witherspoon.
Don't you love how we only picked beautiful people for our children to resemble.  Mikah might lose some self confidence had I said she looked more like Jack Elam.
Even Andi used to get likened to a celebrity early on in our marriage.  More than once she was compared to Lisa Kudrow but I think Andi is much prettier (Score Corey 10 brownie points now please).
As for myself, I am annoyed getting constantly stopped at the grocery store being mistaken for. . . . 
It's creepy, isn't it?  Watching ER is just like staring at myself in a mirror for an hour.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Insult Letters #10

Well, here we are down to just ones that I have directed at my much older, dumber, less-talented sister and none from her in return.  If she ever decides to write a new one, I will post it but I think she may have just admitted defeat due to my superior intellect.

And on the inside. . . . . 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yeah, I'm Part Italian. You Got A Problem Wit Dat?

Fuhgeddaboutit.  That's right, I'm part Italian.  I am proud to be part of a race of people where being fat is cool.

Now I am also part of a lot of other nationalities but my closest link is to Italy, more specifically Sicily.  I could regale you with tales from my grandma about mafia ties and witnessing mafia dons at funerals but we all know that the mafia doesn't really exist.  There mafia guys, now don't come after me.  My great grandfather, Mariano Capodici (or Capodice, yes I am related to the mega rich Capodices of Bloomington but yet ironically, I wear Wal-Mart jeans), came over in 1899 from Termini, Sicily on the ship Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Then, in 1900, he returned to Sicily to bring over my great grandmother Rosa Rini.

Now, here we are over a century later.  They made their millions in produce and I made my hundreds in the printing industry.  A few years ago, my aunt used to host what was called the "Italian Family Reunion".  I'm not sure what the difference was between this one and the regular "Boring Family Reunion" other than my Aunt Marietta standing on a picnic table singing Italian songs at the top of her lungs.  I guess it did draw some of the extended relatives that I had never seen before and some odd stares from neighbors.  Even the food was all Italian themed and my brother looked to the Italian flag for inspiration.

He made a lovely cake and set it on the dessert table when we arrived.  Once my great Uncle Martin was done urinating in the shrubbery, it was time to eat.  My brother and I worked our way down the food line and came to his cake.

After witnessing all of the little miniature Italian toothpick flags all down the table, we soon both realized that he had reversed the red and green color bars on the flag.  We stood there distraught and confused trying to figure out how such a huge oversight could happen.

We were even discussing how to sneak the cake off of the table before anyone noticed this embarrassing predicament.  Or maybe he could eat the red stripe, I could eat the green stripe and no one would be the wiser.  Then, a little girl (about 4 years old I'm guessing) heard our plight and offered. . . 

Duh, dammit!  That worked.  Or I guess we also could have just went to the other side of the table.  Regardless, it all worked out and we even sent over some friends to personally thank the little sweetie for pointing out our stupidity.