The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 189-193

July 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm (Food) (, , )

Hello again friends, welcome back!  Sorry for the prolonged absence, but I have an excuse!!  (no, my dog did not eat my log book)

Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from my boys saying they heard a really loud crack followed immediately by thunder, and half the lights in the house went out.  Silly me, I figure lightning hit CLOSE TO the house and just set something off.  So I send James, 19 years old, old enough to handle some instructions, out to the garage to check the breaker box.  He says a couple of them are off or popped, so I tell him to turn them all the way off, then back on, and see if that doesn’t fix things.  Well, they got lights back, but the A/C wasn’t working and the cable/internet/phone weren’t working.  So, first things first, I decide that I can wait until I get home to call the landlord…  first mistake.  No after hours service, no after hours phone number even, and the person I usually deal with never answers his cell phone, and that night was no exception.  Great.  Next call, Verizon, see if they can reset the cable, or whatever it is they do.  They run all sorts of tests while I wait on the phone, in the garage, sweating my butt off (Oh how I wish!!), have me disconnect the battery (which looks like a mini car battery by the way, did NOT need to know that) and reconnect it, plug the unit into a different outlet (had to hunt down some extension cords for that one, sweat some more), still nothing.  So, they decide they have to send out a technician, can’t come out until Thursday, oh joy.  Well, we can live without cable and internet, right?  We aren’t like addicted or anything, right??  Well….  we didn’t kill each other, so I guess we were OK.  We all sat around reading that night.  Needless to say, I did NOT cook!  No A/C, in Florida, in July…  no, I did NOT cook!!!  KFC, here we come.

So Wednesday morning, I finally get hold of the landlord’s office, not my particular agent, but the office.  I tell them what we think happened, lightning really close to the house, think maybe it blew a circuit breaker or something.  Could they send someone out.  They give me the number of an electrician, whom I call three times, no answer, left messages.  After lunch, I call back to the landlord, they have also called and left messages without getting answers, so let’s try someone else.  This time, THEY make the calls, not me.  About an hour later, I get a call from an electrician, or their office at least.  Very nice lady, tell her the story, she sends someone out.  Sometime during the afternoon they show up, no warning call as they said they would, but I guess that’s OK.  They replaced a GFI (surge protected) outlet in the garage that was fried, but they never mention what they think might have done that, they just say, we fixed it, should be all good now.  Well, just so happens that this outlet is where the Verizon box was plugged in, so we think Hey, if the outlet is fixed, maybe the Verizon might work???  No…  that would just be too easy!  So, another night with no A/C, no cable, no internet, no phone, we decide to order pizza and plug in a movie.  Again, no A/C, in Florida, in July, I did NOT cook!

Thursday morning rolls around, I call the landlord again, still have yet to talk to MY agent, but I’m OK with that, I don’t much like him anyway, he’s a bit of an ass.  I do, however, really like his associate/assistant or whatever he is.  Guy named Nate, very helpful, doesn’t talk down to me, doesn’t make me feel like I’ve been slimed, yeah, I can deal with this guy, and he calls me back!  Tell him the electrician was in, replaced an outlet, but something is still not right, we still don’t have A/C.  The unit is working, blowing air, the electrician checked everything and said that electrically it was fine.  Told him about the fried Verizon box, happens to be on the same wall as the air handler in the garage that isn’t doing it’s job, might just be a coincidence, tell him Verizon is coming out in the afternoon, maybe they could send out an A/C person, too?  Yeah, OK, we’ll send someone, they’ll call you to let you know when they will be there. This time they got a really good company first try.  Got a call not even an hour later, they would be there between 4 and 6, check everything out and fix it right up!  I’m thinking YEAH!!  But it just wasn’t meant to be…  Verizon replaced the hub out in the garage that powers the whole internet/cable/phone system, so we had internet and cable again, but still no phone.  Technician says that’s pretty normal, takes a few hours for the system to reset itself, but he’ll ask them to move it along a little.  Um, yeah.  Anyway, the A/C guy is poking around when I get home from work, says everything is working but all the freon is gone.  OK, where did it go???  So, I ask him, did anyone tell you what we think happened here?  Ummm, no…  so I tell him, lightning close to the house, not sure exactly what happened, but they had to replace a GFI outlet and the Verizon hub.  Hmmm…  next thing I know, he’s climbing around on the roof!  OK, no A/C unit up there, buddy, what the heck??  Well, seems that the condenser in outside, and there is a copper pipe which goes from the condenser to the air handler in the garage, UP OVER THE ROOF.  Well, lightning didn’t strike NEAR the house, lightning struck this copper pipe ON THE HOUSE, put a hole in the pipe letting the freon out, conducted the electricity into the garage, and fried both the outlet and the Verizon box, and, we later found out, shorted out the phone lines which still don’t work!  And as it turned out, he did not have the parts he needed to fix this particular issue, so he had to come back Friday.   😦   So, still, no A/C Thursday night.  It was Mike’s late night at work, and he had to stop at Walmart on his way home anyway, so two huge fans, chicken strips and ice cream!!  Once again, no A/C, in Florida, in July, I did NOT cook!!

Here’s the pics of the pipe:

That black spot with the hole in the middle is the original strike point, and the smaller holes are where the lightning sort of skittered across the pipe.

Anyway, he came back Friday afternoon, fixed everything up, just in time for James to leave for work and a weekend with the girlfriend.  I feel bad that he and William suffered through that heat all those days, but they were really good sports about the whole thing.  They cleared paths in the garage for the workers, broke down a bunch of empty boxes and put them away or got them ready for trash.  Still managed to do some chores even though it was 90+ in the house.  Good kids!!!

Meanwhile, while I was at work, I got onto the Verizon website and chatted with a technician while I was doing some work, they didn’t have my ticket in their online system, so I actually had to tell this guy what happened, but that was OK.  I’m a fairly quick typist most of the time.  So they ran some more tests, and came back to tell me that there was a short somewhere inside the house keeping the dial tone from reaching the phone, said their system said “hazardous potential” when they tried to send a signal, and they could send someone out for $79.99 plus $39.99 an hour to fix it.  I think not!!  So, I called Nate the landlord guy back, told him what was going on, asked him to send that nice electrician back out.  Some time next week would be fine, it’s not critical, we can live without phone service, after all, we ALL have cell phones!  But it does need to be fixed, if nothing else, for whomever ends up buying this house someday!

Oh, and one bit of good news, on Friday the 13th ironically…  my temp position WILL be turning into a permanent position, just need to hammer out the details with the head of HR this coming week!  YEAH!!!  So, even though we finally had A/C, we had to go out and celebrate!  So, dinner at Golden Corral, yummy!

And here we are, Saturday.  Grocery shopping is done, laundry is about half done, dishes are done, chicken flavored rice is in the cooker, going to fry up some Kielbasa and maybe steam some veggies.  Nothing too complicated, but home made nonetheless. Sorry, no complicated recipes today, I’m just not up to it after this week!  But I’m thinking about doing some prep work for the rest of the week tomorrow, and maybe a little baking, so maybe I’ll have something cool to share tomorrow.  Oh wait, guess I could tell you about the rice…

Chicken Flavored Rice

Rice Cooker!

Fill pot with water to “3” mark

Add in 2 packets of Chicken flavor Flavor Boost, mix well

Add in 3 cups (not actual “cups”, but the “cup” that came with your rice cooker!!) rice, stir until rice settles

Plug in the cooker, set to cook, and wait until it pops!

Serve with whatever you like to have with rice!  It’s sort of like Rice a Roni without the Roni part…

Anyway, that’s it for today.  My fingers and forearms are tired from typing, and I gotta go cook that Kielbasa, it won’t cook itself.

So until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!



1 Comment

  1. Love ya sweetie, Mom aka Grammy :~) said,

    WOW! what a week from HELL, but it did end on a good note! Love you guys, MOM aka Grammy

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