Frigidaire taught me to hate again.

This is a story that I’ve been waiting to tell for months now. I like telling stories! Normally, it’s fun, and it comes from a place that is lousy with giant robots, magic, and just so many swords. So many swords. This story though, it comes from a place soaked in blood and mind numbing fury.  I wish it were something that actually mattered, in the long term, but it’s usually the inconsequential things that cause the most anger. You are never closer to actually murdering someone than when some prick cuts you off traffic, or when some dick cuts in front of you in line at the grocery store and then pays for his twelve pack of Bud Light in nickels. I write from that place of anger.

TL;DR: It took Frigidaire SIX MONTHS to do do anything about our broken freezer and we ended up losing $400 in the deal. Don’t buy Frigidaire. Ever. Don’t do it.

Warning! If you don’t like or approve of profanity, move on. This is not the blog post for you.

I would love to was poetic about this whole life episode for a few thousand words, but it would just be far too “first world problems” the whole time. Instead, I’ll focus on what went wrong, and all the ways that Frigidaire fucked up. It’s still going to be long. But there will be swearing! You all like swearing and rage, right?

Six months ago, my wife and I bought a new chest freezer to put in our new basement. We were pretty excited, since it would mean she’d get to experiment with more frozen meals, and we’d get to try out some other things that we just didn’t have the freezer space for. We chose a Frigidaire, mostly for the brand recognition. I had done a little research but there hadn’t been too many red flags, in fact it seemed they were pretty much on par, compared with their peers, in terms of negative feedback. It made sense. Frigidaire. Cold air! What could go wrong? The freezer was delivered, we filled it up, all was cool. (See what I did there?)

Two weeks later, all the food was ruined. Well over $300 of food, gone. The freezer had failed, thawed, and remained thawed for long enough for bread dough to start to raise. “Well, shit,” I thought, “Guess I’ll have to call Nebraska Furniture Mart.” They told me there was nothing they could do, I had to call Frigidaire, since it was still under manufacturer warranty. I didn’t know it yet, but I’d just been condemned to six months in consumer hell.

I’ll preface what comes next by saying that the customer service reps were always polite, and their computer always knew who I was, letting them pull up my information without me having to continually go into everything again. I don’t really blame them. The organization they belong to, on the other hand, fills me with rage.

Going in, I thought that this would probably be a simple thing. Frigidaire has people to come out and service their products. Unfortunately for me, after failing in such a spectacular way, the freezer had gone back to freezing things, after being unplugged and plugged back in. We took some steps to rule out things like the outlet being bad, something not being set up right…basically any sort of user error. That out of the way, I called into Frigidaire. They were very sorry that I had experienced problems, but didn’t want to send anyone out to take a look at it, since it was working again. I was supposed to watch the thing and see if it happened again. There was nothing they could do about the food though, they didn’t cover food loss.

We weren’t happy about the food loss, but, at the time, I figured it was just the sort of thing you have to expect from time to time. That’s just life, right? And maybe it was just a one time thing. Really, I’d just be happy with a working freezer. We had the small one left over from our last place that would get us by until we knew one way or another.  The customer service rep was polite and courteous and if the freezer actually worked we could deal with the food loss.

We watched the freezer over the next couple weeks, leaving it plugged in, without any food in it. It sat useless in the basement, attempting to prove its worth to us. In the end, it failed another three times, so I called in again. Frigidaire Customer Service (heretofore referred to as the Devil, Satan, Father of Lies) was very sorry to hear about that. They would contact Nebraska Furniture Mart and arrange for a replacement, probably by the end of the week (late in October). “Well, that’s that!” I thought, foolishly, “That wasn’t so bad.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves.

One week went by. Then two. We got a letter in the mail requesting the original receipt from Furniture Mart and the serial and model numbers of the freezer. Which is odd, I thought, because they already have both of those, since when I called in the first time I’d registered the freezer with them. Confused, and beginning to become annoyed, I called the Devil up again to see what was going on, since the letter hadn’t really explained anything. Satan told me that Nebraska Furniture Mart wasn’t working with them to replace my freezer, so they’d be buying it back from me. With some small addendums: They wouldn’t be paying for taxes or delivery fees. Well…fuck.

You see, that changes the math just a little fucking bit. We paid $220 for that shitty freezer, and about $22 in taxes and another $50 for the delivery fee.  Add that to the (minimum) $300 of food that the freezer had destroyed and we were now out nearly twice the cost of the original freezer, at $370 some dollars. But wait, it gets better! Not only that, but we were going to have to pay to get a new one delivered, another $50 that The Father of Lies didn’t give a shit about.   A call to Nebraska Furniture Mart excused that cost, but pretty much means we have to buy from them again. Also, there was still nothing they could do, I was stuck with Satan, for all my freezer related servicing needs. A quick reminder that Satan, the Devil, The Father of Lies is Frigidaire Customer Service.

Well, fuck it. I’m stuck. If I want this piece of garbage out of my basement and working freezer in there, I’ve got to go along with what they want.  I sent them the original receipt and the serial and model number, hoping for a quick turn around.

Two weeks pass. We get another letter. They want the serial and model number before they can proceed. “The fuck?” I say, “I sent this to those assholes twice.” Back to the phone for another wonderful conversation with the Devil. Turns out they didn’t just need any old paper with with model and serial number on it, they needed some obscure piece of paper that was either taped onto the outside of the freezer, or the inside, when we’d first gotten it. I have no memory of the paper they described, nor was it with any of the saved paper work.

I’m doing my absolute best now to be patient with the customer service reps. They didn’t ask to have to deal with people who their own company was in the process of giving the run around.  At this point though, I’ve had an unplugged, useless piece of junk in my basement taking up space for months, and I’m sick of their surveys after every call. I’m sick of the wait times, I’m sick of the hoops and I don’t have the fucking piece of paper they just have to have.

They have a solution though. On the back of the freezer is a sticker that has the model and serial number. I can scrape that off, and send it in. Wait? The only mark on this goddamned useless hunk of junk that identifies it as the hunk of useless junk I paid $220 for four months ago. Yes, that sounded like a fucking awesome idea. I wanted another solution. Any solution that didn’t give them the last bit of evidence the machine was the one I paid for.

I called Nebraska Furniture Mart again. No help there. Fantastic. I had another option that had produced results in the past. Social media! I went to the Twitters, and bitched about my problems to their official account, and received a quick reply. We got a dialogue going, the connected me with the account I had in their system and I explained the problem that I was having. I took a picture of the sticker in question and posted it to them.  No. They needed me to physically remove it, and mail the thing in. There was no other way.

I would like to reiterate. They’ve had the original receipt for way more than a month now. They knew the model and serial number when they registered the fucking freezer, which was no problem at the time. I’ve had a non-functional fucking brick in my basement for three to four months now, largely waiting on them, with no communication that wasn’t initiated by me. It doesn’t take a moron to realize when you’re being given the runaround. This is the path open to me, so I took what photographic evidence I could, got the sticker off, also pouring all my hatred for them into that envelope and mailed it off.

Another two weeks go by. We hear nothing from them. I am now slowly simmering in my anger, and just imagining writing this exact blog post. But since we haven’t heard a goddamned thing, haven’t gotten any sort of confirmation or status update I have to once again talk to Satan.

Did they get that fucking sticker they just had to have? Yes? What’s the hold up then? Oh, the turn around to get me a refund is three to four weeks.  When are they going to arrange to have the broke ass freezer picked up and disposed of? Haha…They aren’t.  That fucking huge brick in my basement isn’t going anywhere unless I pay to have it gotten rid of, which, let’s check the price, is at least, another $50.

I like math. Let’s do some fucking MATH! $220 (Freezer) + $50 (Delivery Fee) + $300 (Ruined Food) + $50 (Disposal) – $220 (Refund) = $400. I would like to reiterate that going with Frigidaire straight up cost us $400 that we’re not going to get back for the privilege of having that piece of shit in our basement for six months and so many goddamned hours on the phone. I know. At the beginning of the whole fiasco I was willing to write the food off and call it “Lesson in life” but now? After all this shit? Their broken ass piece of garbage ruined $300 of what it was supposed to keep unruined. That was its only job. So, fuck that and fuck Frigidaire. Fuck them with their broken ass freezer that has been in my basement for six months.

Fine! Fine. It had been two weeks, we only had another couple of weeks till we got the money and we’re done with Frigidaire forever.

We waited another month. Another month. Six total weeks, for them to get us a fucking prepaid credit card, with $220 in it. It only less than four weeks for my computer to get built and shipped to me. I want you guys to think about that. Four weeks gets me a gaming quality PC. It takes Frigidaire six weeks to get me a fucking piece of plastic with some money on it after MONTHS of knowing they were going to have to do that exact thing.

And thus, I’ve come to the end of my story. We have our money back, or at least a fractional portion and the one joy I can take from it is attempting to make sure anyone who reads this doesn’t purchase anything from Frigidaire. Will you listen? Maybe, maybe not. If you buy something from Frigidaire, maybe it’ll work just fine. But then, maybe it won’t and you’ll have to spend the next six months or more of your life dealing with Satan, the Devil, Father of Lies, which, once again, is Frigidaire Customer Service.

Where I will make exactly one resolution

I don’t have anything against New Year’s resolutions. I really don’t. The only one I can remember making last year was to write more than I did the year before. In that I succeeded. I had other goals: such as finishing Impervious and getting more done on WordKeeperAlpha. Well, I didn’t finish Impervious. I didn’t even finish the second draft, which is a little disappointing. WordKeeperAlpha, however saw a lot of success in 2015 as I added some new features, tightened up existing functionality and in general made it marginally better.

This year, like last, I’m not going to make a lot of resolutions. I’m going to resolve to write more than I did last year, and that’s about it. That means I need to write more than 130,000 words.  All said and done, that shouldn’t be too difficult. I did that this year and that was with buying a house.  Granted, 50,000 of those words happened in November, but I’ll take any win I can get.

What I’d really like to do, is focus much more of my energy on completing the second draft of Impervious, then finishing the third draft and so on.  I’m going to do my best to stay focused on that goal, and get the second draft done as early on in the year as possible. I just finished plotting it out through the end of the book, and I’m getting close to the point where I won’t have to completely rewrite quite so much of the content.  I’ve got a few plot snags to tighten up, but otherwise I feel really comfortable with wear its going.

Don’t worry, anyone who’s reading this for the WordKeeperAlpha update. I also plan on putting a lot of effort into that. I’m going to have an update sometime in the next two months that will add some much requested features (which I’ll explain in another blog post) and hopefully give a visual refresh to several pages.   I gotten a lot of work done on WordKeeperAlpha already this year.

I’ll also try to keep my blog updated with relevant information, and maybe I’ll even get around to writing a few more interesting posts. *sigh* I need to keep my social media more updated anyway. I’ve been letting Twitter and Facebook slide lately. Part of that is because Facebook is just lousy with politics and if I see exactly one more person come out in support of Trump or Cruz I’m going to get a little stabby.


A knife holder that signifies my feelings about certain presidential candidates.

You get stabbed! And you get stabbed! Everyone gets stabbed!


Anyway. Here’s to writing, coding and staying sane this year amidst the storm of politics that is going to descend on the land.

Oh…and any of my friends abroad…you guys got a place to crash? No reason…just … Ugh… Trump. *shiver*

2015: Excuses and Explanations

Ok, so, as years go, 2015 was actually pretty good from a writing perspective. Granted, I didn’t accomplish several goals that I set for myself, but I did make significant progress on many goals, and accomplished others that I hadn’t set. One goal that I did accomplish was writing more in 2015 than I wrote in 2014. I’ve got graphs to prove it too! Still, the title of the blog post has more to do with my love of alliteration than of anything else. Now, onward!

In 2014 I wrote a little more than 100,000 words. There are significant periods where I wasn’t writing much, which was primarily due to working on WordKeeperAlpha.


In 2015 I wrote around 135,000 words, which, while not the 180,000 I was aiming for, is a significant improvement. This year, too, there were significant dry spells, having to do entirely with buying a house.  That was a pretty huge thing.


While I wanted the second draft of Impervious done by November, that just didn’t happen. I did make really excellent progress with it though, the story going through several changes and revisions for the better. I’m roughly half way done with the draft two rewrite at the moment, with a pretty clear path of how to finish it out.  Draft three will have some significant work involved, but thankfully not a full rewrite. But, that’s for my “2016: Some clever title” post (coming soon.)

I spent a fair amount of time working on WordKeeperAlpha this year as well. Not too many new features, but mostly because I’m saving them all for one large update in the first half of this year. I’ve made significant changes to the graphing system that will let users choose their own goal graphs and graphs based on projects, too. I’ve also got the beginnings of an API that will let users post their progress on their blogs.

I ironed out a lot of bugs over the course of the year. Thanks to all my users who let me know about them when they crop up. I try my best to correct issues you guys have as soon as I hear about them, so please, keep letting me know.

Other things that happened in 2015:

  • We bought a house and moved! It’s completely awesome, and my office is sweet.
  • I got glasses and became that much older.
  • I won NaNoWriMo, which felt good after not completing it last year.
  • I built more IKEA furniture than I knew existed.
  • I replaced a faucet, earning my Homeowner merit badge!
  • Played perhaps too many video games and didn’t read enough books.
  • More stuff I’m forgetting about, because it’s lost in the pre-history of ‘last year’.

Well, that’s another year done. A new one is already under way, but as I said, I’m leaving goals and projects for another blog post. November – December were kind of non-months in terms of blogging, and that means I’m going to overcompensate by stretching out my ‘life-update’ posts as much as possible. That being said, I’m going to check out and try to get a head start on this year’s goals.

National Novel Writing Month in Perspective

Phew! So that was a thing that happened. In case it wasn’t obvious from the title I participated in NaNoWriMo this month, and unlike last year, I won! I won in the sense that I wrote 50,200 words, rather than finished an actual novel. I don’t think anything I ever write is going to be finished in a paltry fifty thousand words: Such is the fate of the genre author. I am including short fiction in that by the way. I’m absolutely awful at writing anything under ten thousand words, which is why I don’t submit to many magazines. More’s the pity.

Still, if you did National Novel Writing Month, good on you! Doesn’t matter if you finished or not. If you wrote one thousand words then that’s a thousand more words you have written now than you did in October. Since I wrote a big ol’ web app for the sole purpose of graphing my progress, I thought I’d show them off here. And since there’s nothing you can do to stop me… Well I don’t know where I was going with that, but here’s the graphs.


As you can see, I kind of rely on a few big pushes to get myself through the month. I also take more days off than I should. I think my goal for next year is going to be to write every day during the month, no matter how few words I log.  This is what my progress looks like through the lens of the NaNoWriMo bar graph:

Graph of writing in November 2015

I spent a good portion of the latter half of the month behind schedule, but I don’t think I ever got more than two days behind.  I’ve had months where I got really discouraged being just a day behind, figuring I’d have to load all that extra writing into one writing session or I’d never get caught up. Key lesson here is that if you miss a day, just make it up over several days and don’t let that bog you down.

Something that those of you who actually follow the blog might have noticed that I started off with very noble intentions of writing a NaNoWriMo journal that I wanted to use to kind of map my progress. That didn’t even last half way through the month. Oh well. Maybe next year? Yeah, probably won’t happen, but I’m always game to try!

So, what did I actually write? Up till now I’ve been a big fan of fantasy. I decided that this year I’d stretch myself a little bit and write some science fiction. I got the idea a while ago for a group of space pirates (think Firefly meets Honor Harrington) manages to acquire a fully equipped, brand new, colony vessel. The universe’s situation is kind of shitty, being pretty much a space dystopia. Companies have a method of colonizing new worlds via indentured servants, using them to build the base of the new world, then just keeping them there indefinitely. Two of the major powers are on the edge of war and things are just generally shitty. So, the pirates decide to keep the ship, and use it to basically start their own world. They grab a bunch of other colonists, and other people fed up with the way the universe works and bugger off.

I got a decent start on a first draft and not all of it I’m happy with. One of the things is that I have to really crank up the challenges the crew faces, but I have to do it in such a way that it doesn’t make their task impossible. For instance, just getting the colony ship in the first place required a LOT to go coincidently right that even I was having trouble buying it.  Of course, that was largely because I was making it up as I went.

I tried experimenting with just about every science fiction trope that I know and love, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I was setting up a pretty big universe, so I don’t know exactly how much I wanted to just dump on the reader, but I had fun trying things out. I had some aliens, had transforming space fighters a la Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (because if I’m going to write a sci fi it’s going to have giant robots), space battles, and I ended up tossing in an Artificial Intelligence.  I also, ahem, wrote a couple sex scenes.

What?! I was experimenting… Phrasing… Trying new things… damn … Look, everyone has their first try at something. I don’t know if any of those will see the light of day, but I figure it’s something I probably need to learn how to do at least decently well. And let’s face it. It is a little bit fun to write people boning.

This story easily had my biggest cast of characters to date and it was more than a little difficulty to keep them all straight. My evil businessman who is going to be the main protagonist ended up being mostly just competent and kind of amoral as opposed to cackling madly in front of a storm. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I ended up spending less time than I should have focusing on the Captain of my pirate ship… I just wasn’t really sure what made her interesting quite yet. In short, that story needs a LOT of work before its ever going to end up on bookshelves, if it ever does.

If anyone wants to read it, I’d be happy to share, but you probably shouldn’t be expecting anything great.

Anyway! It’s December now so I’m going to be getting back to work on and back to work on Impervious. I’ve had a little break and its time to take some of the lessons I learned in November and finish out the year strong. Be expecting more news about in the near future and hopefully an update on the status of Impervious. In the meantime, you’ve had a couple days, get back to writing! Show me those word counts, right down there in the comments. I want to see them!


NaNoWriMo Journal Day 13 (delayed): It’s my birthday!

As with all blogging activities, I could be doing better at this whole journal thing. But really, its hard to write more after you’ve been busting your hump to make your word count. 

Right now, I’m a little behind since I took last night off and played StarCraft. What? I am but mortal and subject to temptation as is any man. Still, since its my birthday today I took the day off work and set about catching up.  This is a nice free weekend for me, so I intend to not only make up for my missed words but get back ahead and on schedule.

Today I wrote another 2600 words, bringing me to 20,700 total. My goal for tomorrow is to hit 25,000, and then maybe 28,000 on Sunday. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with the story so far. I’ve got space pirates, transforming space fighters, a la robotech, tyranical interstellar corporations, a budding war between superpowers and I haven’t even gotten to the scenes I’m really looking forward to writing.

I’ve kind of split the story into two big scenes so far: the first was our introduction to the Elusive Raptor, captained by Cassandra Trubedier and crewed by a collection of fun (I’m hoping) privateers.  I even included a rather, ahem, sexy scene in this part. Wink wink. 😉

The next part is about the other main character, Alan Cradey, who’s going to start the whole ball down the hill by being pushed just a little too far. Now, he’s going to start pushing back.  I’m just about to the part where he starts pushing, and encounters the good crew of the Raptor. 

Whew! I’m excited! Its fun to write something new and different. Not that Impervious is boring me, but a little variety every now and again is good for an author? Right. Ok, I’m out, there’s birthday shenanigans to get to. Away!