My Kindle was locking up and not working properly. It would freeze and I would have to force restart it, like pulling the plug on a computer and beginning again. These cold reboots are always time consuming. And they are also always irritating.

We want our stuff to work. All our stuff is supposed to work at least for a time. We constantly say to ourselves things aren’t made like they used to be and tolerate shoddy workmanship. I think my mother had the same toaster throughout my entire childhood. I have to buy a new toaster every few years. This is tolerated, but I’m not sure why.


My Kindle wasn’t working and I wasn’t tolerating it very well. Last Wednesday was the worst day with the dumb thing. I had to cold boot it three times. Once, all I did was set it down to blow my nose after I sneezed. By the time I picked it back up, it was frozen. I gave up and let it just stay that way.

Thursday morning, I got to work and had nothing waiting for me. I restarted the Kindle  and instead of reading, I called the Kindle help line.

I talked to someone in India. Or else I talked to someone who had moved to the US recently – from India. Makes more sense that I was talking to someone in India. We had a language problem. He needed my e-mail address. The one Amazon uses at least once a day and up to 15 times per week to send me important information about what I could buy if I chose. It is also the one they use to tell me my items have been shipped or to confirm purchases.

But my e-mail address isn’t something like just a word or my name. Even though few people can spell my name, it seems less problematic. They can at least spell Patricia. But the combination of letters isn’t really easy to transmit half way around the globe to someone who has a totally different accent than mine. I had to “a as in apple” all the way through to the dotcom part.

Finally, success! There I was. The nice man in India could see that I had purchased the Amazon Kindle leather cover and there was a “known issue” with the cover causing issues with the Kindle. I asked why they continued to sell the cover if it was knowingly causing issues with the Kindle and he said that while it did happen frequently, it didn’t happen all the time.

Amazon refunded the price of my faulty cover. They also gave me $25 toward the purchase of a new cover for my Kindle. I bought the new cover on Friday. It is a different type. I was happy with the way Amazon treated me after we got past the language barrier.

While I was buying my new Kindle cover, Dick was getting an oil change in the HHR. He likes Jiffy Lube and has used them since we moved down here. He is a faithful oil changer person, getting the cars maintained with nauseating regularity. I am sure it is good for the car. But it is never money that I think of as being “well spent.” It is really no fun to say, “I bought an oil change today.” No one ever asks anything about it. It’s just money that’s gone.

Jiffy Lube

We took the HHR to Hilton Head Island this weekend. The plan was to help Craig and Dayna move some boxes to their new house. The Mazda would have been useless. So we took the HHR, ready to help.

We were supposed to go to Joe’s house first and watch Joe’s kids while Craig and Joe went to Home Depot and picked up the refrigerator Craig and Dayna bought for their new house. As we were pulling off 95 and onto 278, I smelled something burning, but figured it was the car next to us at the light. I hadn’t smelled it before.

At the next light, I still smelled it, which was to my way of thinking, a bad sign. I mentioned it to the driver, but was ignored. By the toll booth, I could smell it even as we slowed down and when Dick opened the window to pay, it was stronger. I asked if he smelled anything and he got a bit huffy. When we stopped at Joe’s it was quite strong and the driver got huffier when I said something again.

However, when he exited the car, it was unmistakable. He checked the engine and notice oil all over the place. He claimed the oil was “leaking like a sieve” but I’ve actually seen that in Arizona and while this was an oil leak, it wasn’t sieve-like – yet. Father and son were pondering what to do. But since I’ve seen the sieve leak on a Sunday away from home, I knew exactly what to do. Go to Wal-Mart.

Dick went to Wal-Mart, they fixed the problem. It was an improperly seated gasket in the oil filter and we were 2.5 quarts low on oil. All was fixed and we made it home.

Dick went to Jiffy Lube yesterday. The guy at the store couldn’t actually help him, but did take a report. He is to wait to hear back from the district manager today. He wants the cost of the Wal-Mart trip covered by Jiffy Lube. He wants his next oil change to be free of charge. He is willing to clean up the car himself.

He wants Jiffy Lube to give him the same treatment Amazon gave me. It is already impossible. I talked to some flunky over in India and got my rebate and gift certificate in less than ten minutes. Jiffy Lube is escalating the issue and taking longer. I hope they come up with the same ending.