“Just give me a second and I can direct you to a Samsung service provider in your area,”said the woman on the other end of the line.

“Sure.”  I redirected my focus to my laptop and my Snow Monkey line-up.  A buy week for the Cowboys meant I was rolling with the Amish rifle this Sunday. Among the things I need to address now that I’m back home (beside my fantasy football team) is my crappy Samsung dishwasher.  I’ve already touched on the problems I’ve experienced since scrapping my old, environmentally unfriendly dishwasher for a greener, significantly slower, much less dependable model.   Lately, it’s taken to leaking and hitting internal temperatures hot enough to melt plastic.  I’ve toyed with the idea of cooking a whole chicken in there.

“Still looking,”said the Samsung representative once she checked back with me some five minutes later.  “What was the city again?”


A brief pause while she completed her search, then: “What’s the closest city?”

I was at a loss.  Seattle?

“Toronto?”she asked.  “Hold, please.”  A few more minutes – more presumably to make it look good – and then she returned to inform me that there were no Samsung service providers in my area.  Well, technically there were, but they only serviced products still under warranty.  “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”she asked.

I hesitated as I tried to think of something, anything that would make this phone call to Samsung’s customer support line even remotely helpful.  “Who do you like in the flex position this weekend?  Nate Washington or Dexter McCluster?”  But too late.  She’s already hung up.

The infernal dishwasher is just one of the many home projects I have to get around to.  Another is the back porch.  “And what’s wrong with the back porch?”you may be wondering.  Well, a couple of summers ago, my ex put a heavy planter on the deck.  “How heavy?”you’re again wondering.  Well…

Pretty damn heavy.

And, another little project I’d like to get around to…

Yep, the library is in need of an overhaul.  It’s the garage for the home decorating magazines, gardening tomes, and feel-good spiritual shelf-wasters, and an alphabetization and reorganization for my genre titles and trade paperbacks.  Paul and I have a Monday conference call to discuss two potential future projects (including that very well-written pilot script I mentioned a couple of entries back).  There’s that, the Dark Matter comic book series that comes out in January which we’ll be pitching soon after – and I’m also considering taking a run at DC and Marvel in the new year.  So I figure now is a good time to start my research on everything from Onslaught to Fear Itself, Zero Hour to the New 52.  I came across this awesome site to help get me focused: Trade Paperback Timelines. Awesome, no?

What about all of you?  What’s on the agenda?

50 thoughts on “October 4, 2011: Samsung, Snow Monkeys, and Pet Projects!

  1. I have a Samsung Impression phone. Hasn’t worked since I got it. They keep giving me new ones… with the same problems (plural). Argh!

    Me, just bought a canvas, getting ready to slap some paint on it….

    that’s after I grade my student biology projects.

  2. I was just going to write on yesterday’s blog could you please live west coast but blog east coast time? LOL YEAH.
    On my agenda is to get some legal paperwork done, go through all my DVDs so I quit buying the same one twice (worse with books, but still) and organize them. And get rid of at least 10 boxes of stuff before spring, when I intend to completely clean out my storage units and keep only the essentials. 🙂

  3. Hey, I feel your pain. I posted something a while back about Samsung DLP TVs and the “light tunnel” issue they tend to develop over time. (http://www.pause.com/index.php/how-to-get-your-samsung-dlp-light-tunnel-issue-fixed-for-free/)

    Samsung in the U.S. has been pretty helpful about repairing even non-warrantied TVs free of charge, but Samsung Canada? Not so much (as you can see from the comments at the above link)

    I didn’t realize they made planters to hold things like the Titanic. Sucks that you had one on your deck.

    Let’s see…what am I working on…

    Trying to get the new place decorated
    Trying to get the old place sold
    Working on building out a tiki lounge in the basement
    Looking for a tiger Halloween costume our 3-year old wants (all of a sudden)
    Planning a trip to NY for Christmas
    Marketing, marketing, marketing for Yumbly.com
    Finishing up some new websites for various restaurant clients
    Trying to take in as much of the new TV season as possible
    Seeing if there’s any time left over to relax…ahhhh

  4. I’m headed to Asheville, North Carolina on Thursday to visit my sister. How long has it been you may be asking me next? Five or six years. The last few years, I’ve been deferring any family trips to Jeff to use our frequent flyer miles to go visit his aging parents up in Connecticut while they were still trying to live independently, making him go up and take care of anything they needed done/repairing, etc. while he was there. But they have since sold their home and his dad is now in a nursing home because his Alzheimer’s has progressed and his mom is in an apartment now. I bought the ticket before my hospitalization last month. I did buy travel insurance, but I think my stamina is up for the trip. If I’m exhausted, it’s my sister–I can just go lay down.

    Today I was volunteering at a fundraiser for Patrick’s school, a tennis tournament. I won two raffle items. It was a lucky day for me. Not bad for a $25 investment.

    Tomorrow I have an overdue appointment with my neurologist. I totally missed my 6-month appointment. I was too busy being bit by spiders, having kidney stones, etc.

    I come back on Sunday (because really if I stayed any longer with my sister other than Thursday-Sunday we would probably not talk again for many years), and on Monday, Patrick has off because it’s Columbus Day, even though it’s well established that Christopher Columbus did not discover America, but hey, people need their shopping day and their government day off work (government workers only). Other schelps still have to work.

    I had book club on Sunday where I got to play with my furry friend, Sawyer, a beautiful golden retriever. Then as soon as I got home, I put Dexter on. It was awesome.

    And I’m trying to work, like right now, except everyone leaves me the crap work and this physician dictating is God-awful. Doesn’t he understand I get paid BY THE WORD??? It’s SO aggravating. Equally aggravating that my fellow co-workers disappear so that I get two of his reports in a row. They just sign off and take a break hoping that when they get back, it will be gone. Did I mention it was aggravating?

    How’s the pups?

  5. Toilet removal and cutting out tree roots under house and said toilet. Replacing light switch (which doubles as a defribilator) in said bathroom. Elway to vet’s office for nail trim (don’t try this at home…), Summer to vet for thing in hole where her eye used to be. Good times. 🙂 I need a day off.

  6. I have to clean my sewing room so I can actually sew in there. Long term projects: do something with the hardwood floor in the front room. The house was furnished when we viewed it for sale, the water damage from the potted floorplants was artfully hidden. The hall needs the carpet torn up, paint, new doors on the bedrooms and closets, and baseboard. The basement living room needs the rest of the indoor/outdoor carpet taken up and something put over the striped 70s tile. Which is kinda cool, but slippery, cold and paint-spotted. The guest room where dad’s kitties live needs patching, painting and baseboards, and a closet upgrade. The basement shower is just ooky and spooky. Our bedroom could use some new paint (same salmon color though, I like it), and the grapevine/orchard fruit kitchen wall paper looks awfully dingy and out-dated. Oh, and find a place for the spa outside.

    Plus, we need to revamp the little single seat Rhoadescar four wheeled bike into a mobile Goth Bondage Buggy for Burning Man next year. Black leather, spikes, cool solar lighting. Yeah. Well, you asked.

  7. My big projects for the Fall are basically of the “clean up and throw out a lot crap” kind. I’ve accumulated way too many things that at the time I got them seemed needful, but I haven’t had use for for many years. Time to purge, and the more the better.

    Like Thoreau said, “Simplify, simplify!”

  8. I’m joining a private practice, as I just got licensed as a therapist. Willing to do virtual sessions!

    Sit down. Tell me what’s been going on in your life right now.

  9. Look at you, King of the to-do list. I barely keep up with all the homework each week, but beyond the usual long list of papers (plus all the research ideas I should be doing outside class in a seemingly vain attempt to write something publishable or at least conference-worthy) is planning *something* for the big 100th Homecoming at my university and Halloween. And in between, I’m taking a mini vacation to see the first Vikings-Packers game of the season.

    Good luck with that porch! I’d have to hire out to professionals. 😛

  10. Oh…I know all about those projects that you intended to do, and told yourself that you were gonna do them no matter what. Then…days go by. You pass by those same projects that you meant to get done, but never got to them because other things kept coming up. Days just go by one after another. Still those project are still not done. Story of my life. 😉

    In our house, we have a 2-car garage, and at this moment only one car (my dad’s) can fit ’cause the other side is used for storage…of God knows what. This past summer was supposed to be the summer to clean out the garage so I can fit my in the garage. Well…it’s October and my car still sits on the driveway because we just didn’t get around to cleaning out the garage this past summer. Now…it’s getting too cold to clean out the stinkin’ garage. Guess we’ll have to wait till next summer. 🙂 LOL!

  11. I’m writing for a game, but all writing and editing and reviewing and succinctifying is on hold for the game to be playtested and de-bugged, so I’m a playtester. But we’re waiting for a new release right now so there’s no playtesting. So I’m just playing games to stay in the loop with gamers, but I have to complain loudly about it so people know I’m not doing it for fun (even though it’s fun).

    You need to complain more about how tedious your comic book research is or people will expect you to make it a low priority.

    Also on the to do list
    -Care for and teach children
    -Prepare for a yard sale
    -Laquer table top
    -Tung oil treatment for wood finishes in house
    -Clean the outdoor carpeting on the porch
    -Start that script
    -Revise that other script
    -Listen to baby giggles
    -Waste time in on-line forums
    -Throw away blighted vegetation and treat ground for blight
    -Edge the yard
    -Ask my dad if those mushrooms are poisonous or yummy
    -Replace remaining blinds with non-child-strangling window treatments
    -Remove bathroom carpeting and replace wax ring for toilet
    -Return very overdue library books
    -Develop that 15 year old film from a panoramic camera that also contains a pic of a triple rainbow that splashes into the pyramid in front of the Louvre

    My list is shorter than it was! I’m encouraged.

    1. Wow, people are putting their to-do lists on here. My to-do list is about 5 pages long, single-spaced. It’s truly pathetic.

      @Das I’m not sure if the Biltmore House is on the agenda. My sister said something about it being “expensive” and she is on a rather tight budget.

  12. Okay, on my agenda…

    1. You know I recently cleaned out some cabinets and had a yard sale. So I can tic that one off my list – cabinets and coat closet cleaned and organized! Woo!

    2. Now that my cabinets are organized, time to move onto the bedroom closet and bureau drawers. I really hate clothes, and tend to just shove stuff wherever it will fit. Yes, I fold, and yes, I put stuff on hangers, but everything is sooooo jammed tight stuff gets all wrinkled to hell anyway. It’ll take the best part of a day to reorganize…and that includes trying on stuff to see if it still fits. Ugh.

    3. Before the winter, we MUST clean out our garage, or I’ll go insane! It’s such a mess, and the yard sale only put a small dent in it. Mostly it needs a good organizing, and cleaning. It totally looks like a hoarder garage, I swear. Some is household stuff that I store there until it’s needed, but a lot belongs to hubby and his locksmith business. It’s just very jumbled and disorganized, and will take a solid weekend to clean up. Double ugh…and a BIG AAAARRRGGGHH!

    4. I really need to paint my house, especially the living room. It hasn’t been painted since we fixed up the place when we moved here 16 years ago, and I am sick of the dull off-white color. I would like to paint the kitchen, ‘ship room’ and utility room, too, but at least they have been painted over the years since we’ve lived here.

    5. Speaking of painting, since I really can’t afford new shutters, I need to paint the ones I have. Not sure we’ll ever have the time to do it, though, so it’ll probably wait until spring.

    6. The paint is peeling off the back door. It’s been that way since we bought the house. Always meant to get to it, but never found the time. Maybe this year…

    7. My kitchen cabinets are old, and really beat. However, they are solid wood and the shelves don’t sag. I don’t want to replace them, and can’t afford to reface them, so maybe I’ll paint them, or stain them…or maybe it’s just easier to stick with the shabby chic look they’re sporting now. 😛

    I’m gonna stop there. I have SO many things that need to be done, and so little time to get to them all. I took a week off of work (my ‘vacation’) to clean out the cabinets and stuff, so who knows when I’ll be able to tackle all these other things.

    Have a good night, Joey.


  13. Joseph, maybe you need to hire an intern/assistant to handle all those bothersome tasks? Perfect opportunity to bring Ashleigh back into the blog’o’sphere now that you’re back in Vancouver. She’ll have that deck fixed in no time 🙂

    My personal agenda, is finding future business. Recently began self-employment. I was getting way too frustrated applying for jobs that had either been filled before they were advertised, or were filled by people either way less/or way more qualified then myself. So far it’s been good. Just getting established. It’s daunting to be sure, but what is life without challenge.

  14. Joe, I’m amazed at how often you solicit input from your readers; it’s one of the reasons I find your blog so entertaining to read. That and the diversity of comments you engender.

    As for what’s on my agenda, I need to put the Easyset pool away for the winter, winterize the camper, color-sand a spot on my friend’s car (I fixed a roof-line rust spot last weekend for him), replace the air shocks on my truck, paint the shed, waterproof the deck, re-tile the master bath, and clean up the basement. All while taking my son to scouts, football practice and football games, going to my middle daughter’s softball games, and helping my oldest daughter shop for a new car (oh and earn a living by working every weekday). And now I have to go to a technical conference in San Jose next week. Its no wonder I not getting anything done on my plane 🙁

    That deck repair looks major! At least a couple of joists, a header, and a few planks. I’m guessing you’re going to have a contractor do it, or do you have skills with a hammer you haven’t told us about?

    As for the Samsung dishwasher, have you tried searching online forums about your dishwasher problems? It may point you in a direction towards getting it fixed.

  15. As a general rule, I don’t like to buy from companies that have their hands in too many things. Samsung makes decent phones/tablets, but not much else.

    My agenda includes renting a Rug Doctor and maybe admitting to myself that I have a sinus infection and and not impervious to allergy medicine allergies and going to the doctor to get it fixed…Bleh

  16. I think it’s safe to say the deck could use some TLC….Looks like bigfoot came by and had a seat.

    My agenda is simple. Go to work, get home about 7:30am. Eat, shower, sleep. Then I rinse and repeat.. I also need to get a gym membership, but I need to figure out when I have time to actually go there. Which reminds me of all the other mini projects I need to get to work on.

    To be honest, I still think you have some kind of time dilation device that allows you to get done all the things you do.. That or, you’re a witch.

  17. I’m thinking it wasn’t a big pot that caused that much damage. Termites? It does get cold where you live though, so possibly not. Looks like you’re getting a new deck.

    On my agenda:

    We’re in escrow on a house. This is the money pit to beat all money pits. It needs everything. But it’s old and has charm and will be worth so much more once we pour a gazillion dollars into it. And oh, we have to sell the house we live in now. It’s done. Anyone want to buy a house? It has lovely gardens and not one, but two nice decks. Living in California, you have to deal with termites. Nasty little critters.

  18. I’ve never been one to buy into this “X Company Sucks!” mentality.
    Either the product you buy works, or it doesn’t.
    It’s nothing that should make you decide to suddenly hate the entire company!
    If something’s going to break, then it’s going to break, that’s all there is to it.

    quick example : I’ve not purchased a Playstation 2 or 3, but have bought Xbox 1/2 and Gamecube and Wii.. so everyone around me naturally assumes I HATE SONY!!!
    I don’t hate sony. I loved the first Playstation. It was a massive breath of fresh air for gamers.
    I just pick and choose the consoles with the right games at the time.
    I have nothing against Sony. I’m no fanboy!
    .. honest..

    After-care support is the thing you should be most wary of. That’s when it all goes horribly, horribly wrong!


    What am I doing?
    I’m working on a nice happy platform game.

  19. Joe – try complaining on the Samsung Canada facebook page(and sound very upset) – i’ve seen them create tickets for people to call in about.

    As for Samsung – they make lots of great things – they are huge in Korea. They make internal parts for many items you use on a daily basis. Not that I have any sammy retail products apart from my SGS.

  20. Well I have to sort out my Fantasy team this week….my gut says Nate Washington…so maybe go with McCluster.

    Pet projects for me:

    Get a building permit & get onto Henry about building my pergola (I’m such a procrastinator…was supposed to be done last Summer)
    Clean up the junk room…note to everyone….never call a room a junk room
    Buy a modular lounge
    Plan and go on trip to Canada

    Good luck with all of your projects!!

    Cheers, Chev

  21. Sorry to hear about your dishwasher. Personally I have a theory that I stick to with many of these large electonics companies: only buy the product that they’re known for excelling at making really well. For Samsung, it’s TV’s, sorry to say. Picture quality, longevity, features, you name it, all top notch from all my research. Between my friends and I, we’ve had 5 of them, DLP’s, LCD’s, and now the new edge-lit LED’s, all have been awesome and have never had a problem(knock on wood).

    Now then, when it comes to great dishwashers that are highly efficient, super quiet, and a breeze to install, it’s Bosch. I’ve had one for about two years now and it great. My old DW started leaking as well so I took my friend’s suggestion and went with the Bosch. Bosch’s have a seperate tank underneath the main compartment that should there be a leak, this tank captures the water and when it fills up, turns the whole DW off, including te water pump to avoid ruining your floor. I recently did a part time stint with my friend’s high-end appliance company because he was swamped with installs and needed the extra help. These things are incredibly easy to install and should take a pro no longer than about 40 minutes to do. If you were to do it yourself, probably about 1.5 hours. That’s just because you’d want to double check everything to be sure it’s right. I got to the point where I could practically do these in my sleep.

    As for my agenda? Honestly, I’m puting the final touches on the shoulder mods on my Blackhawk tactical vest for my Atlantis “costume”. I put costume in quotes because the uniform I have was actually used on the show so it’s 100% correct head to toe. I just bought the vest and drop leg holster to finish out the ensemble. I did TONS of research to make sure everything was 100% right which includes this old vest and adding the the clips to the shoulders with elastic bands around them. I’ve also got tons of screen grabs to make sure my stitching pattern it correct. I’m quite handy with my sewing machine so these mods have been pretty straight forward and easy. I can’t wait to put it all together for Halloween!!! It’s scary to think how accurate it’ll look and be when I’m done!


  22. Hi
    I’m planning a trip to Sydney, Australia! Yeah! (last week of february, first of april). So I’m looking for information and I’m saving money. Bad timing, my refrigerator has broken down. Any advices for my trip? Other that to work on my english!!!

  23. On my agenda?
    Very easy, after 6 months minus a week and four days I’ve been studying for exams and in between exams and now I have 11 days to refill my batteries for the next semester… any clues what would refill my batteries for another 6 months well enough to go full power for new and hopefully better grades? No? – me nether…

    I’m so through with everything, I feel completely dead @_@
    But I at least I have this blog to read, which always gets my thoughts to something better than uni. Thx Joe!

  24. Wishing you luck on getting your agenda done.

    My agenda—first to feel better from whatever icky thing I’ve caught. Then, keep up with the kids’ lesson plans, plan out my NaNowrimo novel, and keep up with all the household stuff. Maybe I should just go back and lie down. 🙂

    Have a great day!!!!

  25. Another vote for, “my first thought was, Samsung makes dishwashers?” The damage from the planter is unreal. Your conversation with the Samsung rep is priceless. My books are all over my house. They are in every room. On my “one of these days” list is dedicate one room in my home as a library. To do today: basic home improvement on my kitchen – patch this, paint that. It’s change the kitty litter day – thorough cleaning, and complete litter replacement. Vacuuming. All the usual daily chores. Also, I’ll try to not spend all day perusing Trade Paperback Timelines, which is awesome, yes! I’ve already lost some chore time just looking through the Army of Darkness Universe.

  26. Books, ugh. If you’re Kindling then you don’t need ’em, same goes for DVDs thanks to the web. You can try donating books and dvd to the library, or selling them on Amazon. I should talk, I never made it to the library this summer to donate my own pile of books and DVD’s.

    What about a nice terrace instead of a deck? Or a cool solarium, with lots of sun (and anti UV glass) and plants so you can feel like you’re writing outside without all the bugs.

  27. A buy week for the Cowboys meant I was rolling with the Amish rifle this Sunday. Huh?????

    On the schedule for this weekend? Washing floors and walls, washing and waxing the car for winter before the crappy weather sets in, vacuuming. Basically all things I will probably let myself get distracted from doing rather quickly.

  28. I’m baking an apple pie and reading Robopocalypse this weekend…I cannot wait!

    This is my first time commenting, so I just want to thank you for the wonderful entertainment you’ve provided.

  29. Just finished weeding my best friend’s back yard. Her daughter is getting married in a week and a half and said daughter and husband to be are arriving from Seattle on Saturday to stay until the wedding. And the new in-laws will be visiting the following week. It’s more fun to weed someone else’s garden than to clean the basement (which is the next thing on my to-do list).

    And now, taking the dog to the vet – again – this time to look at a sore she has on her chest.

  30. @Lisa R: You’re doing NaNoWriMo? Congratulations and good luck! I know a few people that have done it for the past couple of years and love it.

    Hope you feel better.

    @Joe: put the magazines out for recycling and make room for the books. Books are good. I love them. Looking at computer screens aggravates my migraines.

    1. @Sparrow_hawk: Yep, I did NaNoWrimo last year. It was an incredible experience, and I finished. Made some great friends too!! Looking forward to this year. And I’m feeling beetter too. Thanks.

  31. @PBMom
    I’m headed to Asheville, North Carolina ::::

    Wow, I lived in Asheville as a child! Beautiful area.

  32. Trading in your old books is a good idea, if you buy used books. Since my son is a teen now, we’ve just been too busy to sell our old stuff. I’d rather donate it to an organization and let them deal with it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do you know any good home improvement guys? You could make a call and have that wood replaced on the deck in a week! One more thing off your list…
    I’ve been working on getting my magazines converted to an e-version. The ipad is great for magazines!
    As for the “crappy” dishwasher, do they have an organization in your community that takes old appliances, repairs them and sells them low cost to people that need the break?

    Our big project is replacing the carpet and fixing the tile. My hubby has 95% of the carpet up and has put in laminate flooring through most of the house. We have a small house and I don’t think we would get our money out of the house if we replaced the carpet with wood. The laminate is easy to clean up after the cat “hairballs” it, as well 😉 . The next house we buy will NOT have carpet!!!!
    All the houses in our neighborhood has ceramic tile that has cracked (poor prep on the foundation I suppose). I’m considering replacing the broken tiles myself. Every time I see those cracked tiles, my OCD threatens to take over so I may have to hire someone to replace them (for sanity reasons). The housing market has slowed down and the only positive thing that I can hope happens is that the houses are not thrown up but build with care. I can dream right?
    We’ve had a lot of work done to the house the last 24 months. We had the windows replaced, replaced our wood siding with vinyl, put on gutter guards and had two slabs poured in the back yard. Hubby wants to build a shed on one of the slabs (next year) and I would love for him to build me an arbor on the other slab.
    Right now…, our lives revolve around my son’s band competitions. My hubby is now a “roadie” for the school band. Check this picture out: http://twitpic.com/6vl9o5 Hubby is behind the sign in the back (right) and son is the sax player, right of the 50 yard line.
    Yes, it may be awhile before the bathroom floor gets tiled…they had carpet in there! Do they carpet bathrooms in the North? Is it a culture thing? I’ve seen several houses here with carpet in the bathroom.

  33. @ PBMom – Please go to the Biltmore House and visit the library, and just take it all in for me. If only I had such a room in my dinky little house! Happy travels!


  34. My agenda: House hunting still This is not fun anymore. How did you do it Joe?
    I think what makes this difficult is being in one location for 15 years… we have a lot of crap. I just want to find a place and land. But home is where you hang your Stargate.

  35. @cat4444 gets the reading comprehension award for realizing we shouldn’t know what an Amish rifle is.

    I get a reading comprehension award for knowing why a lady hung up on you: “Who do you like in the flex position this weekend?”

  36. My 22 year old dishwasher just started leaking the past couple of washes. Considering it’s age, I won’t be getting it repaired. Time for a new one. But with my luck, the 22 year old space it is in will be too small for all the fancy new dishwashers they’ve got out now. My 22 year old stove now has an issue. One of the big burners only knows red hot! or off. Also, my 22 year old back door cracked, I believe during the very cold winter we had. I noticed it in the spring but by then the record breaking hot summer had begun and it was too late to replace it. I didn’t want them to take off my back door when it’s 100+ degrees outside. My 22 year old carpet still needs replacing too. Hmmm. My house is 22 years old now. I see a trend developing here…an expensive one.

  37. Will the dishwasher fit under the back deck,, prop it up and recycle the appliance…….

  38. Hey Joe

    I’m making a pumpkin pie this weekend. It’s all my daughter wants for Thanksgiving.


  39. @Kabra I’m trying to sell a place. Wanna buy it? 😉

    @Ponytail Normally I’d be interested in a bunch of 22-year-olds. But none of yours sounds very appealing

  40. Joe,
    I alway’s thought that the puppets were in your office on your self next to your Villions at the Bridge…….

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