Cold, crockpot, and TV, misc.

It’s 16° outside. My furnace has been running constantly. The corner of  the kitchen where my computer is feels about 40°. It always is colder or hotter than the rest of the house. These are the days when I think about getting a lap top so I can stay snuggled warm in bed while I compose my thoughts. It is currently warmer in Chicago by nine degrees than it is down here.

I made plans to go to see Sherlock Holmes this afternoon with a friend. Afterwards we are coming back here. In about an hour I’m putting chicken into the crockpot so when we get back we’ll have chicken and noodles. That ought to make us a little warmer.

 I think it’s supposed to get up to about 30 today but there is a good stiff wind going on outside. I have chimes on my front porch that have not stopped ringing since I sat down here. My battered flag is really flapping right now. It is not in very good shape but I’ve been hesitant to replace it. I’m afraid some Boy Scout will be looking over my shoulder to make certain I dispose of it properly. If by some chance I do sell my house, there are not always homes where it is easy to display a flag on the front of the house, so I don’t want to buy a new one right now.

I don’t even know why I fly the flag or what prompted me to start displaying it in the first place. I think I may have flown the first one for a Fourth of July parade many years ago and kept it up ever since. I am currently on my third flag and soon to be fourth if I permanently decide to reside here. It’s easy for people to find my house. That’s for sure.

I tried to watch Angels and Demons on my DVD yesterday. It started to play but there was no audio. I called Best Buy and was told I would have to purchase an audio cable. The same player worked just fine with my old TV. It seems the three prong cable is all for video on the new TV. I braved the cold and went to the computer store that a friend has recommended. I saved $15.00 over the price I was quoted.

I tried two different places in the back of the TV and nothing happened. I called BB again. While I was talking to the tech, I spied a third place to plug in the cable underneath cables for my Roku. I got sound. However, neither of my remotes, TV or dish would now control the volume.

The sales rep told me about the buttons on the side of the TV. They were almost hidden. Everything got screwed up. We thought perhaps the batteries in the new remote were not fresh so I once again went to the store. Thankfully, the wind was calm and the temperature was up to 25 by that time. I came home and changed batteries but it still didn’t control things correctly. I had unplugged the DVD audio cords by that time but nothing helped. The screen showed PC and said there was no signal by that time. I had gotten into the menu so see if the volume could be adjusted from there.

Later last night I tried one more time. I was able to get the TV working again but I’m not yet ready to try to attach the audio cords again. I can’t imagine what would have happend to cause both remotes to cease working. “Analog brain” again. I also can’t understand why the cords didn’t work in the first two audio ports.

After looking at my bill yesterday and at the TV, I decided that I really didn’t want two of the services I was sold. The first service was $ 200 for the squad to come to my home in March to recalibrate the TV for the brightness of the room. I had never heard of that before. I was told that the manufacturer sets the screen on the highest brightness so it will display well in the store. Best Buy won’t calibrate it for free. They pass the charge on to the customers. I started thinking, if I do decide to go back on the market I would have to calibrate it again in a new home. That’s $400 for both. A little expensive.

The other item I bought was a premium warranty. Basically, the only difference in their “black tie” warranties was the one I bought gave me a loaner TV if they had to bring the TV back to the store. I don’t reallly need a loaner. I have a smaller TV in my bedroom. I would not be denied…just maybe a little more inconvenienced. I usually don’t buy warranties but I’m a little leery. My last TV was a Panasonic. It worked very well. The warranty went out and I decided I would not renew it. Less than a month later, the TV malfunctioned. The repair job was not 100% but was quite costly. It never did work quite as well after that when it was first turned on. However, as it “warmed up” or whatever these TVs do these days, the picture became clearer. I didn’t want to take any more chances but I only wanted the basic four year warranty.

With that in mind I called the store. They told me I’d have to call the credit card company. After a l o o o n g wait, a heavily accented Indian customer service rep answered who said I’d have to call the warranty department. .. who said, are you ready?….I would have to take my receipt back to  the store where I purchased the TV. I was switched to the department that did the callibrations. Their computer didn’t even show I had an appointment in March to recallibrate it. They suggested….call the local store.  I called the store and spoke to three different sales reps before being connected with “a boss”. I was told I would have to bring in my receipt to make certain that the services had not been performed. I mentioned one more time  that I was cancelling a service set up in March and changing the level of my four year warranty. Both issues should not have to involve me coming back to store. I was told  to talk with a particular person  in Home Theater. She happened to be out to lunch.

I was actually called back about an hour after she got back from lunch. She was able to do all the “bookwork” (an antiquated term these days) on the phone as I knew she would. In the meantime, I had discovered that the TV I bought on the 30th was $50 less this week. She lowered the charge. That was the good thing.

In the meantime this morning, I have to see if the remotes are working again. I don’t really know why they stopped working yesterday. If they are, I can cancel my Geek Squad visit tomorrow morning.

It’s time to put the chicken in the crockpot. Ya’ll have a safe and warm day now. Namaste. Attic Annie

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