To Keep The Spirit Of The Holidays Alive, I Just Need To Write The Check

So, to bring you up to date to the calumnies befalling Nogglestead. Remember our misadventures this holiday season so far:

So what has befallen us lately?

The misadventures with our dryer repair continue. I guess it was a year ago already that I replaced the fuse and thermostat; I had thought it was only earlier this year. It developed a squeak this summer, so my youngest and I replaced the belt and the tensioner. The kit we put in did have two drum support wheels with it, but they were about a millimeter too tight to fit the shafts in the dryer, so we just cleaned the shafts and lubricated them with a little WD40 and put the old wheels back on. Which silenced the squeak banshee wail for a couple of days, but it redeveloped for a while. I ordered another belt-and-wheel kit, but before I could try to put this one in and replace the felt strip where the drum meets the washing machine, it fell silent again for a couple of weeks. Until about a week ago, when it developed a galloping sound. And then stopped heating the air in the dryer.

In unrelated news, it would not be Christmas without the receiver or record player failing in the parlor, preventing us from listening to our growing collection of Christmas music. This year, the receiver went into standby lock. I found a potential fix on the Internet for it, and I tried it in spite of one response saying the fix almost set the unit on fire. Well, it forced the unit out of standby mode, but it sounded like it popped a capacitor inside, and that was it. I’m not sure if the receivers in there fail because one of our cats likes to lie on it, leading to cat hair in it and the occasional cat vomit. Or is it sketchy electrical currents running into that corner of the house? When we had our ceiling fan replaced, the electrician found and replaced a short in the switch in the living room which we hoped might fix the variable and fluctuating current that seemed to plague the living room and the parlor. But did it really? Regardless, we were down the receiver, and the Christmas music came to a screeching silent halt.

What to do? What to do?

I mean, I could order the parts I thought I’d need (well, I could try to diagnose whether it was the heating element or the thermostat/fuse again) and get them in a couple of days, and, maybe, fix the problem. To be honest, with the dryer continuing to act up and the threat of the garbage disposal falling at any moment, I’m a little less sanguine about my do-it-yourself abilities as I was a year ago.

As to replacing the receiver, c’mon, man, the replacement for the one that just failed would be about $500. I am getting a little leery as to spending money on the upstairs audio systems these days.


I called the appliance repair service we’ve used on our laundry equipment, and they came out the next day with a truck full of parts. The technician showed me the way to test if it’s the heating element or the fuse/thermostat–test the voltage at the heating element. And he had a couple of wheels of the right size. I just had to write a check of a couple hundred dollars.

And when we went to the antique mall to look for holiday gifts, I spotted a receiver priced $60. Buying a receiver at an antique mall is a bit of pig in a poke–if it doesn’t work, it’s not like they’ll take it back (or would they? I just assume that they sell things as is). But it turns out that this one worked; I got it hooked up, and it’s a Christmas miracle. I just had to spend the money.

You know, it’s not so much spending the money that offers the emotional relief. It’s the decisiveness to spend the money that removes a lot of dithering and Hamleting about what I should do. Perhaps I should earn more money for more of that freedom.

But, in keeping with the spirit of the season, in between paragraphs of this cri-de-coeur, I managed to stab myself with a fork. Again. This time, I was cleaning formerly moist but now metamorphic rock cat food from a fork, and in my fervent back-and-forth scrubbing with a Scotch Brite pad, I managed to jam the fork into my thumb. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Now, for my next trick, I’m going to update Node.js and have everything work. To be honest, anything working after the upgrade would be a victory.

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