Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Once again I have failed to get out any Christmas cards, which, based on my Facebook memories, is more often the case than not. I have also managed to not bake anything this year, other than the traditional lemon meringue and coconut cream pies for my family. While preheating the oven to prepare the pie crusts, the oven suddenly emitted a frantic beeping noise and displayed an F code - F25, I think. A second attempt had a similar result, this time with an F11 code. Messing with the controls by trying to change the clock display produced more beeps. Finally I had the idea to let the timer run through a cycle - perhaps letting a normal function run to completion would get things back on track. I set the timer for two minutes. At the end of its countdown it set off its alarm tone. That seemed to clear any errors, and I was able to use the oven normally.

We are having the coldest December in many years, and much of the country is experiencing its coldest Christmas in decades. The weather pattern - and "Arctic Blast," different from the "Polar Vortex" of years past - produced a strange and dangerous pattern across many of the northern states: snow midweek, followed by rain and rapid warming into the 50s (Fahrenheit), followed by a sudden temperature drop accompanied by high winds, producing flash freezing on surfaces - including icing-up of cars.

My sister traveled to the area for the holidays and warned of the icy conditions. I had last driven our car on Thursday, making a final pre-Christmas run to the bank and the grocery store and to fill up the gas tank. Friday the car sat idle in the frigid temperatures, wet from Thursday's rains.

This afternoon, while getting ready to drive out to my brother's for the traditional Vigil Supper, I was able to get the car started with some difficulty. I spun the car around so I was facing the wrong way on the street, facing my sister's car. After a few minutes of warmup and waiting for my mom and my sister to come out of the house - we were going to take two cars - I noticed that the radio playing the local Christmas station was starting to cut out. Then the ABS light came on and stayed on. Then the battery light. I reparked the car facing the right way and we decided to only take my sister's car instead. Unfortunately, I had parked too far from the curb. When I tried to restart the car it would not turn over. Possibly an alternator failure, maybe something related to the alternator - a belt, the charging wires to the battery, something. Whatever happened I apparently drained the battery and will need a tow to our nearby service station. Fortunately I do not have to drive in to work until January 9 (we are closed the next two Mondays, which is my day to be in the office), so I have some time to deal with this.

Anyway. Merry Christmas!