Sunday, August 20, 2006

The last two days, it seems that everything is breaking on me. OK, not everything, maybe, but a couple major things just randomly broke, within hours of each other, and now it's got me paranoid.

The first thing that "broke" was the airline system. When I booked our Florida trip through Travelocity, they wouldn't let me go ticketless on Delta. I had to have paper tickets. I don't want them, I *like* electronic ticketing, but it's only $20 more, and the flights are priced right, so I figure what the hell. Big mistake.

When we're flying from Orlando to Miami, in the midst of the heightened security (this was the day after the new "no liquids" rule) and with a sleeping 3-year-old between us, Suzanne and I must have exchanged boarding passes about four times. We had to show them to the security agent at the line, the security agent at the scanner and somewhere else as well. At some point, during all this juggling, the paper ticket became detached from Katy's ticket. We didn't realize it, I'm not used to flying with them, so I didn't really even know they were there.

When we get up to get on the plane, they won't let us on. Other people are boarding around us, the flight takes off in like 10 minutes and they're telling us that we can't take the flight. Or at least, Katy can't, which pretty much means we can't either. I started getting desperate and even offered to re-buy the ticket. They checked in on that, found out that the price would be $520 (about $300 more than I paid for it originally, since now it's the "on the day" price). I said no, of course, trying to work something else out. Then I find out that if we don't get on the plane, we're still going to have to buy a ticket tomorrow for Katy, plus pay a change fee for mine and Suzanne's tickets, *plus* get a hotel in Orlando for the night... I bit the bullet and paid the $520, on top of the $1200 I'd already paid for the flight. Expensive lesson in not flying with paper tickets ever again.

Last night, I came home, hoping to finally watch The Matador (which I rented from Netflix about a month ago) on my 5-disc Sony DVD player, which I bought about a year ago. Except I couldn't remember which tray it was in, so I tried to open the player. It said "tray locked." Weird. It would still play the discs, but it wouldn't open. Thinking maybe somehow a child lock feature had been engaged, I went to the web, found the PDF manual and found that there was indeed a child lock. Tried to disengage, it wouldn't work. Suzanne and I tried several times in different button combinations, sure that it was child locked somehow but we couldn't get it open. Then I found another indicator on the manual and realized it hadn't been mistakenly child locked, but had just decided to stop working. The advice was "Take it in to a Sony repair center."

I guess a year later, it's not expected that it would still be working, as the thing is out of warranty, and they want to charge me almost as much as I paid for it (or would pay for a new one) to get it repaired. And I still need to make sure I get the discs out, because I may like the Matador, I may not, but I don't want to buy one only to return it to Netflix in replacement for the disc stuck in my player. Nor do I want to replace Dumbo, A Bug's Life or Disc Two of Newsradio Season Four, also stuck. So, resigning myself to having to buy a new DVD player, Suzanne and I crack this one open and get the discs out. Everything looks fine, the mechanisms seem to work, so I can't help but think it's a weird software glitch. But I have *no* idea how to fix a DVD player. The upside, at least, is that I've been meaning to pick up a new Home Theatre speaker set for the living room "someday" and all of them came with a DVD player, which I already have. Now I guess I don't, so that'll expand my shopping options a bit.

This morning, around 9:30, Suzanne and Katy got up to go see a kid's show at a local coffeehouse. I was sleeping in. About one minute after they left, I heard a loud pop from the direction of the bathroom. I walk out and see that for some reason, the pump in the back of the toilet in Katy's bathroom has popped up, and water is now spraying (thankfully into the tank, not onto the floor yet). I turned the water off at the wall and tried to see if I could fix it, but the pump is a lost cause. Randomly. Just decided to pop up and off, without anyone having used it in the last 10 minutes or touched it at all. Glad I was home, or that bathroom probably would have been flooded.

The upside here is that Suzanne is planning on redoing the bathrooms, with new toilets, sinks, etc. and even has an estimate. Of course, if we wait on the new toilet/bathroom, that means we're back to having a 1-bathroom house for a month (at least) and probably longer, so I doubt we'll be doing that.

So tomorrow I've got to shop around for a new DVD player and call a plumber, all the while keeping in mind that I burned about $500 more on the Florida trip than I meant to and hoping that nothing else breaks. Cross your fingers for me, and if anyone has any gremlin repellant, please send it my way.

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