I made two big purchases last night. Now I'm not sure I want to keep either one.
I keep making fun of everyone who complains about the oppressive heat and humidity we had the past three days. I mockingly call them "Northerners" and scoff at their disdain for such lovely tropical weather.
But I didn't sleep well on Thursday night. I don't get enough sleep as it is, so when I sleep I need it to be quality sleep. I caved in and bought a small, energy-efficient AC unit for my bedroom.
When I moved in with Tubby, I brought my satellite dish and two receivers with me. However, the access card on my original receiver was expired, and DirecTV wouldn't send me a new one because the receiver was such an ancient model, no longer compatible with their newest technologies.
For the most part, we've gotten along splendidly with just the receiver in the living room, since neither of us watches that much t.v.. The set in my bedroom just sits there unused. However, it has been my intent for the past 11 months to buy a new receiver. Every once in a while, we'll have a viewing conflict: he'll want to watch the NBA Finals or I'll want to watch the Padres, or he'll want to watch Boston Public during Monday Night Football, for example. Sometimes I'll want to watch something after he's gone to bed, which is the case with Padres games. This can be a problem in the summer, when he likes to sleep with his bedroom door open so that the living room AC cools his room.
Also, I will be away for a few weekends in the fall going to Chargers games, but I will want to record them as well. It's always instructive to go back and watch games you've seen in person to see a different perspective. Tubby knows that, if I'm home, the Chargers will be on t.v. during football season and there's nothing anyone can do about that. But, if I'm not home, I can't very well ask him to leave the t.v. and VCR devoted to Chargers' football when he may very well want to watch something more interesting.
Thus, after I put the AC in my truck last night, I walked over to Best Buy and bought a DirecTV receiver equipped with a Digital Satellite Recorder and TIVO.
The receiver I bought is made by Hughes, and it is the only receiver/recorder combo Best Buy sells. It also happened to be the only receiver or recorder in the store that didn't have a mail-in rebate. When I got home, I decided to do some on-line research.
It seems there aren't many combo units made. Hughes makes the unit I bought, but apparently it can be noisy. Philips apparently makes a unit, but users occasionally experience weird system crashes. Samsung will be making a unit in the near future, but I couldn't find out when, and who knows if it will suffer the same problems as the Hughes or Philips units.
Do I keep it or take it back?
I unpacked the AC unit and read the installation instructions. Printed in bold type in several places was the warning, "Do not use an extension cord." Unfortunately, I don't have an outlet anywhere near either of my windows.
I have tried calling Sears. I spent a couple of hours last night being connected to various different numbers, invariably to end up either talking to a fax machine, disconnected, or sitting there as the phone rings endlessly. I just want to talk to someone to figure out what my options are.
I've tried calling local electricians. I usually get an answering service. I finally reached a real, live electrician about forty minutes ago. I was considering having a wall outlet installed closer to the windows. The electrician says I don't need to, though. My AC is only 6000 BTU, so as long as I get a heavy-duty extension cord I'll be fine.
But do I really need the AC? Today is a lovely day. I could get by splendidly in weather like this with just a fan. And Sears obviously doesn't want my business. But I suspect that there will be more days like Thursday as the summer wears on, especially in August.
Do I keep it or take it back?