Showing posts with label Life (such as it is). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life (such as it is). Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2023

Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care: Recommended (published 11-13-2023; article #441)


Hello, dear reader, and thanks for dropping by, to read a while! I trust, in the Lord, that you are well. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are okay. The conclusion will explain why the car window hand crank, in the above image, is used in this article.

Welcome to the 99th article, under the “life (such as it is)” topic section! This article -- of special interest to local Knox County, Tennessee, readers -- recommends highly Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care. The business is listed, as “Auto Service,” under the section “Business Recommendations: northeast Knox County, TN.” If you scroll about all the way down, on the right of the screen, you'll find that section. Nine businesses are recommended.

Local readers may have heard the Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care radio commercials. Phil Williams, on Newstalk 98.7, has been recommending these good folks. That's how I heard about them. I hope that they were able to fix up Phil's old truck!

The Left Window Trouble

Previously this year, our 2012 Nissan Sentra had three outpatient visits, at Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care. Our Sentra received new tires and a couple of important repairs -- which our previously recommended auto service had missed. They showed me the problems. I'm glad that they found them. I don't know how that our previous auto service or I had missed them. Our 2006 Nissan Frontier had only visited, until his left window trouble started.

The article of 10/26/2023 is about my 182nd hike on House Mountain, on the day before. Driving, I'd rolled down both windows a little, to let in fresh air. The left window went down and up, as usual, but I'd noticed an abnormal sound.

That Friday, while hauling trash and recycling and buying groceries, I'd tried those newfangled electric window buttons, to crack the windows a little, as usual. The right side worked, but my side didn't. At least the window was up, and it was not raining or cold!

Left Window Fixed & Right Window Trouble

It was time for my 2006 Nissan Frontier to have an outpatient visit. Last Wednesday, the good folks, at Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care, replaced the left window motor and regulator assembly. The left window rolls down and up quickly and smoothly now! My ol' truck also got an oil change.

By the way, I'd searched online, to find instructions, to do the job myself. For example, I watched “How to Diagnose and replace a 2004 - 2009 Nissan Frontier Power Window Motor.” On Poorboys' Little HomeStead / Papaw's Place (YouTube), 3/22/2021. It's about 22 minutes in length. The feller -- who looks about my age, wearing overalls and a cowboy hat -- got the job done. I'd say that it took him longer than 22 minutes! I decided that I'd rather pay the labor cost, to let someone else have all the “fun.”

The owner of Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care has a Bigfoot crossing sign, at the door to his office! I stopped by, to comment on the sign. He invited me in, to see his Bigfoot collection. He shared his story, of years ago, when some guys and he had gone camping. Local readers will have to stop by, to see if he will share “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say. I shared my Bigfoot story. It's written, in the 10/18/2023 article, and spoken, in the podcast of the same date.

Driving to the appointment, the right window rolled down and up, as always. It was a bit slow, but it's been that way, ever since I got my new ol' truck, the day after Thanksgiving, in 2016.

Before fixing the left side, Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care has suggested that I also replace the right window motor, since it was slow. I'd declined, reasoning that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” The technician had even checked the right window, after he'd replaced the left motor. It had rolled down and up slowly for him.

After I'd cranked my truck, to leave, why did the right window motor decide to stop working? It's Murphy's Law and the luck of this Appalachian Irishman! Who says that God doesn't have a sarcastic sense of humor? Before walking out to my truck to leave, I'd told the folks, at Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care, that I'd be back -- hopefully in several months -- to have them fix the right window motor, if and when it quits. A man can always live in hope.

Well, moments -- not several months -- later, I walked back into the business, to share my luck of the Irish! The joke was that the right side decided to quit working, once it knew that I was ready to leave. The next appointment was two days later.

Right Window Fixed

Well, last Friday, my ol' truck and I returned to Knox Horizon Compete Auto Care. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove our Sentra, since our car was needing an oil change.

Have you even taken your wife on a date, to Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care? That's what my wife and I might just call it. We waited, in the spacious waiting area. I even changed the TV channel, to an old western movie! The free snacks and bottled water eased our hunger and thirst. The popcorn popper, enclosed in glass, reminds me of a movie theatre. A coffee maker is handy. They could add a soft drink machine, for those who want a Coke with their popcorn.

The wait time wasn't too long. We watched the misting rain fall, as we glanced out the large windows. I enjoyed conversing with the employees. Several of them and I share the same sense of humor. I even joked about getting a discount, for setting the time on one of their clocks!

Leaving, our Sentra felt better, after the oil change. Our Frontier was glad that the right window rolled up and down. It's as fast as the left window now, not slow as it had been. That right window motor must have been about to go out, for a long time.


This articles does recommend highly Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care. Vehicle maintenance and repair costs are not what they used to be. Everything is higher. Given that reality, their costs are reasonable, in this “new normal” economic reality. They do quality work. These are honest and trustworthy folks. They want to serve customers, as they would want to be served. That's a good Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).

So, why is the image of a car window hand crank in this article? I'm glad that you asked. Is it that much harder to hand crank a window up or down? It's not my truck's fault that he has those newfangled electric window buttons! That's how most all vehicles are being made.

Give me an old-timey truck window hand crank any day! Well, I do like the air conditioning. I'll keep that. I'd rather drive a straight shift, but I'm used to the automatic transmission. Why do vehicles have tire pressure sensors? I can check the tire pressure with a gauge!

Thanks, Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care. We'll be seeing y'all again, hopefully for only regular oil changes, every 3,000 miles. (Yes, I know that this new oil can last 5,000 miles, but I'm old school!)

Y'all take it easy. Thanks for stopping by to read a while. This is the Appalachian Irishman, signing off for now!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Trip to Sevierville, on 8-24-2023: Epic Failures, but a Good Day (published 8-25-2023; article #428)

8/24/2023, Thursday, photograph, by M. Fearghail.


Greetings, dear reader, and welcome to the 98th article, under the Topic Section “Life (such as it is)!” I'm glad that you could join me. I hope that you stay around, to read and listen awhile. The embedded podcast is in the conclusion.

The rather lengthy short story of 8/5/2023 -- about our Charleston, Missouri, Family Reunion and our Mission Moscow Reunion -- sets the stage for this article. In that article, under the subsection “7/11/2023, Tuesday,” I referenced my phone conversation with Travis. His wife, Kelly, and he were able to attend the recent Polishing the Pulpit event, in nearby Sevierville, Tennessee.

Well, as someone once said, “The best laid plans of mice and men . . . .” I'm sure that you can finish the quote. Apparently, the phrase is an adaptation from a line in To a Mouse, by Robert Burns. To make a long story short, the plans that the other couple and we attempted to make, to get together, never did work out. The four of us were frustrated, since we were within about 30 miles of each other, but we couldn't arrange our get together.

Meeting Attempt -- Epic Failure

Attempting to “take the bull by the horns,” I thought that I'd make an impromptu visit, on the final day of the Polishing the Pulpit event. That was yesterday. My 2006 Frontier was ready for a good stretch of his legs. I arrived at the Sevierville Convention Center, where the event was being held, just as it was ending. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was aware of my plan. I thought that I'd surprise Travis and Kelly.

The convention center was crowded. Cell phone communication with the other couple informed me that they'd had to leave early that morning. I'd missed them. Travis and Kelly, the four of us tried, but fate forestalled our plans -- this time. Perhaps we can arrange another time and location, to get together.

Well, that meeting attempt was an epic failure. Walking around the convention center, however, was enjoyable. The weather was sunny, humid, and warm. I conversed briefly with a few folks.

Dinner Date Attempt - Epic Failure

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman works about three miles from the convention center. So as dinner time (or lunch, as Yankees call it) was approaching, I figured that I'd take my “long-suffering” wife out on a dinner date.

My wife met me at the entrance door. Inside, we conversed with some of her coworkers. I saw her office area and one classroom. I didn't have to walk through the security metal detector, since I was a known guest.

I wish that I'd asked to step through that metal detector! I wonder how loudly it would have beeped, as it found the 25 metal items, surgically implanted in my left shoulder, right knee, and right foot! (The article of 3/21/2021 includes X-ray images of each joint.) If I have another visit, to where my wife works, then I'll plan to walk through that metal detector -- just for fun!

Well, the dinner date attempt was an epic failure. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman wasn't hungry, and she didn't want to have a dinner date, just to watch me eat. That's okay, dear. We saw each other, at your work location, for the first time, since I became a “bionic” man. Thanks for the jaw kiss, as I was leaving!


You ask, “Where's the podcast?” It's on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube), as “Trip to Sevierville, on 8-24-2023: Epic Failures, but a Good Day (published 8-25-2023; episode 17).” Yes, the podcast title is the same as the title of this article.

I hope that you've enjoyed this virtual trip to Sevierville, of yesterday, with me, dear reader. It's life, such as it was. The trip included two epic failures, but I enjoyed the day. My truck had wanted a good stretch of his legs. I did too.

On the way home, I stopped at a grocery store, to eat dinner and to buy some potatoes (for me primarily) and peanut butter (for my wife). The robot checked me out, at the deli. A live human being checked me out at the register. The cashier and I exchanged humorous comments. The robot didn't talk back to me, when I argued with it. The folks around me enjoyed a good laugh.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

My Valentine's Day “Roto-Rooter” is Finally in My Rear View Mirror! (published 8-15-2023; article #426)

12/25/2016 photo by Nathalia Segato on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


I apologize, dear reader, for the pun in the title! I couldn't resist it! I call a colonoscopy a “roto-rooter,” as a expression of my style of humor.

Colonoscopies, however, are no laughing matter. Colon cancer is a serious disease. A colonoscopy can detect and remove early forms of colon cancer, before the cancer becomes fatal. An annual stool sample can also detect early forms of cancer.

Improper eisegesis should not read into this article what this article does not say. This article is not opposed to colonoscopies, as preventative measures. In fact, it affirms them, in wise and informed consultation with your doctor. The physical torture of the preparation is far worse than the actual procedure. An annual stool sample, sent off for laboratory analysis, is my preferred option.

The purpose of this article -- the 97th under the topic “Life (such as it is)” and the 66th under "Poly-Tics (Greek 'poly,' many, plus 'ticks,' blood suckers) -- is to publish my critique, from experience, on the high cost of the overly bureaucratic and socialistic healthcare system, in this once great nation.

This Article, in Historical Context

First, however, the historical context of this article must be set. On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II. Yesterday marked the 77th anniversary of that surrender.

On August 15, 2021, this once great nation lowered its flag at the Kabul, Afghanistan, embassy, ending the “War on Terror.” The article of 8/16/2021 remains my public statement.

Anesthetist's Bill, for 22 Minutes of Work

Moving to the purpose of this commentary, the article of 2/15/2023 mentioned my Valentine's Day “roto-rooter.” Also, one of the four sidenotes, in the article of 7/5/2023, noted the anesthetist's first bill, sent on 6/27/2023 and received on 7/3/2023, for $1,440.00. The procedure was on 2/14/2023 (Valentine's Day). Why did it take so long for the anesthetist's bills to start arriving? He sent me three additional bills, on 7/4/2023 (Independence Day), 7/21/2023, and 8/7/2023 (received yesterday). Apparently, once his bills start, they just keep coming. Common business practice is to send a bill, with the due date 30 days after the bill is sent. If the bill isn't paid by the due date, then another bill is sent, after the missed due date.

The log that I have been keeping is now ten pages. In it, I've been recording the mind-numbing and overly bureaucratic details, related to my colonoscopy. The log contains records of Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) received, bills received and paid, letters, and phone conversations. I won the appeal, to my insurance provider, in that I verified that one small polyp, discovered on 2/14/2023, could not have been, logically, a pre-existing condition!

Having received the anesthetist's fourth bill (dated 8/7/2023 and received yesterday), I sent my $467.50 payment, to him, by postal mail, today -- with my pithy letter included. (I saw the mailman take it from the mailbox. Yes, he is a man.) An email, which I had received on 8/9/2023, verified that the anesthetist worked 22 minutes, during my colonoscopy. My letter included the following analysis.

By my calculations, the anesthetist's initial charge of $1,440, for 22 minutes of work, is $65.45 per minute, or $3,927.27 per hour. Thankfully, the insurance adjustment decreased his charge by 67.743% (or $975.50). Thus, my $467.50 payment, for 22 minutes of work, calculates to $21.25 per minute, or $1,275 per hour. Even with the adjustment, that's not a bad pay rate! Wouldn't $21.25 per hour, not per minute, be a good pay rate? For 22 minutes of work, the anesthetist would earn $7.79. I'm sure that's not enough. So, let's try $100 per hour! If so, he would earn $36.67, for 22 minutes of work. That's better -- and reasonable!

Dear reader, how would you like to earn $467.50, for 22 minutes of work? Just earn the proper degree and get a job as an anesthetist! Apparently, it's easy money!

Total Costs, for Colonoscopy

Focusing now on the total costs, for my Valentine's Day colonoscopy, my records indicate the following charges, the approved amounts, and what I paid actually. The information is from EOBs, my bill payment records, and my 10-page document record.

Total charges, for the Cologuard kit, all laboratory, and all services, was $6,120.91, which includes the 1/27/2023 consultation. (The total does not include the $50 that I paid for the 24 pills, mentioned in the 2/15/2023 article.) Total insurance adjustments (decreases) were $3,461.47. Subtracting the insurance adjustments from the total charges results in approved total charges of $2,659.44. As of today, I have paid, for all laboratory and services, a total of $2,446.03 (not included the $50 paid for the 24 pills). Subtracting my total payments from the approved total charges leaves $213.41.

So, dear reader, my 2/14/2023, Valentine's Day, “roto-rooter” may not yet be in my rear view mirror completely! Will some provider send me a bill for $213.41? We will see. If I get another bill, I will write about it, and I will reference this article! Well, that is according to the Lord's will, of course.


As to life, “such as it is,” I hope that my Valentine's Day “roto-rooter” is finally in my rear view mirror! I hope that the EOB mailings, which I have been collecting, have stopped. I hope that the bills, which I have collected, challenged, and paid, have stopped. This sad saga has occupied enough of my time, over the last six months!

As to “poly-tics,” my experience is only one sad example of many. I have major medical health insurance coverage, through a well-known and reputable insurance provider. The policy is in place, to cover major medical care expenses, if, God forbid, they were to occur. The monthly premium is fairly reasonable. I chose the policy, since I'm healthy, can pay the deductible and maximum out-of-pocket costs, if needed, and want a lower monthly premium. I did not select a plan, with a much higher monthly premium, with lower out-of-pocket expenses.

The sadness of my example illustrates the high cost of the overly bureaucratic and socialistic healthcare system, in this once great nation. Months ago, I wrote, in the 10-page document, which I've mentioned previously, that the total cost should have been no more than about $500.00 to $750.00 – for the Cologuard kit, laboratory, the 24 pills, and the about 30 minute colonoscopy (including anesthesia). The “consultation,” before the procedure, was not necessary. Instead, total charges, as I've stated earlier, were $6,120.91 not including the $50 for the 24 pills. If one pill costs about $2.08, why should I not have expected the higher costs, for the procedure?

The healthcare industry needs to be like, for example, the automotive repair industry. Any vehicle repair shop will provide, up front, an estimate on the cost of parts, labor, supplies, fees, and taxes. You decide to do business or not. Competitors are out there!

Healthcare providers, in non-emergency situations, should provide up front estimates, on the cost of equipment, laboratories, medications, supplies, labor, and fees. Then, you consult with your health insurance provider. By that means, you determine your out-of-pocket costs, up front.

Lord willing, I plan to require up front estimates, on total costs, before any future non-emergency medical care. I grow tired of being surprised, for example, by an anesthetist's bill, for 22 minutes of work, that charged me $1,440.00. The healthcare industry needs more competition and less socialism.

Also, let's stop the constant barrage of prescription drug commercials, in the media, such as the walking roll of toilet paper commercial! We can do it! On 4/1/1970, President Richard Nixon signed legislation that banned cigarette advertisements on radio and television. In 1997, while my wife and I were doing mission work in Russia, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers, on radio and television. If cigarette advertisements are banned, then pharmaceutical commercials can be banned!

What say you?

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW Replacement Saga: Part 2 (published 7-5-2023; article #421)


Greetings, dear reader. Yesterday was Independence Day. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I enjoyed the day, with her family.

Borrowing Paul Harvey's words, do you, dear reader, want to know “the rest of the story,” about our refrigerator replacement saga? I thought so. “You know the news. Now, it's time for the rest of the story!”

The article of 6/26/2023 was part one of the story. As that article mentions, I'd even created a podcast, “6-26-2023: Defective Whirlpool model WTR311FZDW,” on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube). This article -- the 96th under the “Life (such as it is)” topic section -- is part two and, hopefully, the final “rest of the story!”

Sidenotes that, One Day, will be Funny

For your further entertainment, however, dear reader, I'll toss in four brief sidenotes, before continuing part two of “the rest of the story.” Eventually, these sidenotes will become funny.

First, the yellow jacket war is behind us. The addendum of 7/1/2023, to the 6/29/2023 article, mentions that war. We won, with professional help!

Second, also on Saturday, 7/1/2023, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's bathroom sink was clogged. My lovely bride has long, curly hair, which is attractive. [Last sentence added, by Mrs. Appalachian Irishman!] I see your editing, dear! I agree with it. How does my wife clog up the drain trap with all that hair? It remains a mystery. I shut off the water and removed the trap. She cleaned out the volumes of hair. I replaced the trap and turned the water back on. That was easy enough. I still wonder, however, how does that much hair go down the drain, to clog the trap?

Third, my wife had her six-month “annual” physical, on 6/19/2023 (the Nineteenth of June). She's still quite well. Most primary care physicians (PCPs) want patients to have a sixth month check up, before their next annual physical. On Monday, 7/3/2023, my wife received the bill for that check up. Her PCP needed an extra $8.47. (The bill showed: $426.00 total charged. $25.00 copay paid, on 6/19/2023. $169.76 that insurance paid. $222.77 that insurance adjusted.) Yes, another $8.47 was due. This morning, I flagged up, in our mailbox, a pithy letter, with two five dollar bills enclosed, to pay the bill. You ask, “What happens with the extra $1.53?” My letter told them to buy a Snickers candy bar, because I was snickering as I wrote the letter!

Fourth and lastly, this is a sad continuation of the 2/15/2023 article, about my Valentine's Dayroto-rooter.” I've been logging the details, the “Explanation of Benefits” (EOBs), and the bills, for that 30-minute “roto-rooter” procedure. The log is seven pages. I know how much I've paid out-of-pocket. Also, on Monday, 7/3/2023, I received the first bill, from the anesthetist, who worked no more than 30 minutes. He billed me $1,440.00! My health insurance company had denied the claim, due to a “pre-existing condition.” So, this morning, I also flagged up, in our mailbox, a two-page letter, to my health insurance company. Quoting their own policy statement, I challenged the claim denial, and I asked, “how, pray tell, was that polyp a known “pre-existing condition” -- when the polyp was not known to have been in my colon, until 2/14/2023?” Don't worry. I will win. I won't pay that bill!

Now, Back to the Rest of the Story

The log, for the refrigerator replacement story, is also seven pages, including all the details from 6/15/2023 to 7/3/2023. The log includes notes on my two phone conversations with Whirlpool and four with Home Depot.

To shorten this story, on Monday, 7/3/2023, our second new Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW arrived. The two delivery drivers reversed the doors, in the driveway. Afterward, the new and defective model -- which had arrived on 6/24/2023 and had been aggravating us since -- left the premises! The new and not defective model came into the kitchen to stay a couple of decades or so, hopefully.

Earlier today, I took the photograph, above, after having placed the magnets, papers, and business cards that we'd decided to keep, on our new and not defective refrigerator. The doors are reversed! It is in alignment! It runs more quietly! My wife and I are sufficiently satisfied, but the memory of the defective model lingers.

I'll modify the public service announcement, from part one. This “rest of the story” suggests that the Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW is acceptable -- if you can test it yourself, at the store, before buying!


Well, Monday was “fun.” Two medical bills arrived. The second refrigerator arrived. As a by the way, also on Monday, the early morning rain storm knocked out the landline phone, TV, and Internet -- for about three hours. It must have been “the luck of the Irish.”

Life, dear reader, goes on, such as it is. At least we have a new and not defective refrigerator. As Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know -- the rest of the story.”

Good day!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW Replacement Saga: Part 1 (published 6-26-2023; article #419)


Greetings, to each local, regional, national, and international viewer! In the last seven days, website analytics show the following top three nations and their number of views: Singapore 1,940; United States 310; and China 35. I wonder if Singapore is using “bots,” to nibble at this website.

Welcome to the 95th article, under the “Life (such as it is)” topic section. This public service announcement article does not recommend the Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW. Stay away from it! Stay very far away!

The 2003 Sears Kenmore

Photograph by M. Fearghail, 5/23/2023, 5:04 PM

The above photograph is of our original refrigerator. It was a Sears Kenmore, made by Whirlpool. I took the photograph, of all the business cards, papers, and magnets, just before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I removed them. They will return to the new, new refrigerator, once we get it. (I didn't stutter. “New, new” is used for a reason, as this article will explain.)

That refrigerator had been working well, since 6/7/2003, when we moved into our newly constructed home. We did have to replace the thermostat last year and in 2021. Over the last several weeks, however, it was cooling too much. Even on the warmest setting, items on the lower shelves were freezing. We had to make room for those items on the upper shelves.

On 6/15/2023, I conversed with the good folks at Appliance Repair Service, Inc. (865-947-4100). They had replaced the thermostats. I highly recommend them, to any local readers. Even if it meant a loss of income from a service call, the good gentleman suggested that we acquire a new refrigerator. They had been lucky to find replacement thermostats. Parts for our old refrigerator would be impossible to find now.

It was time to “trade cars,” so to speak. I started searching online, for a new refrigerator. I kept the dimensions that we need and the color that we wanted in mind. Later, on 6/15/2023, at Home Depot, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I saw the Whirlpool model that would fit what we need, but it was only in that stainless steel color. We preferred “biscuit” (as it's called), which is a light tan, or white.

Did you know that the cost, for the same model of refrigerator, varies by color? It's the same as with cars! A new, silver Nissan Frontier, for example, may cost more than a new, green Nissan Frontier. It's the same for refrigerators. “Biscuit” colored refrigerators cost more than white, which costs more, or maybe the same, as stainless steel. This ol' educated country boy learned something new!

The Defective Whirlpool Refrigerator Model WRT311FZDW

6/26/2023 Snapshot from video “6-26-2023: Defective Whirlpool model WTR311FZDW,” on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube).

I searched online, at various businesses, and spoke to a few of those folks by phone. Any higher dollar “biscuit” colored refrigerator that we wanted would back-order until late August! We settled on a white color, instead.

On Monday, 6/19/2023, “the Nineteenth of June,” we purchased online a “Whirlpool: 20 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator in White,” at Home Depot. The model number is WRT311FZDW. It's the same as the “33-inch Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator - 20 cu. ft.,” on Whirlpool.

Last Saturday morning, two good gentlemen delivered the new refrigerator. It was easy enough, to move the old one out and the new one in. The first defect, of the new one, became obvious, when the two guys tried to reverse the doors. (The doors need to swing open from the left, not the right.) The refrigerator is out of alignment. The screws, to hold the door hinges, will not fit the slots on the refrigerator's left side. The guys tried.

The other defect occurs, when the motor runs, to maintain the proper cooling and freezing settings. The motor, apparently, makes a too loud and high pitched sound. (It's not the quiet hum that our original refrigerator made.) Sometimes, we hear a grinding sound also. It only happens when the refrigerator is maintaining the settings, after a door has been opened.


To make a long story short, last Saturday and again today, I “jumped through the robot,” to reach a live person at Home Depot (800-455-3869). The Saturday call required follow up today. This morning, Home Depot placed me in a three-way call with Whirlpool. I was on the phone, mostly on hold, for an hour and a “lucky” thirteen minutes!

This is only Part 1 of the refrigerator replacement saga. Part 2, Lord willing, will conclude this sad saga. We are now waiting, 24 to 48 hours, until Whirlpool calls, to set up the date and approximate time that our new, new refrigerator will be delivered. (Yes, the defective new refrigerator must be replaced by a, hopefully not defective, new, new refrigerator -- of the exact same model and color.) Part 2 will let y'all know how that goes.

After the lengthy call this morning, I entered the following review on the Whirlpool website, for the model number:

This note is on 6/26/2023, Monday. The 6/19/2023 Home Depot purchase of this model WTR311FZDW arrived on Saturday, 6/24/2023. The refrigerator is defective. The doors won't reverse, from right to left open, since the holes won't line up! The refrigerator is visibly out of alignment. Further, after the refrigerator reached the “recommended” settings for freezing and cooling, it started making a high pitched and loud sound, when it tries to maintain those settings. (My audio-video recording, today, is included in this comment.) Earlier today, in a three-way call, with Home Depot and Whirlpool, I understand that Whirlpool will replace the defective refrigerator. The replacement refrigerator MUST have the doors set to open on the left, and it MUST be tested first, to ensure that it doesn't make that high pitched and loud sound!

The audio-video recording, mentioned in my review, is “6-26-2023: Defective Whirlpool model WTR311FZDW.” It's the latest episode, on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube).

I remember when a man could walk into a local appliance store, pick the appliance that he wanted (which was in stock), test and check it out himself, buy it (at a reasonable price), and take it home or have it delivered. That's not the “new normal,” sadly.

Please wait for Part 2. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are waiting 24 to 48 hours, for Whirlpool to call. After that, we'll wait a few days or weeks, until Whirlpool delivers our new, new refrigerator. It had better not be defective!

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Windows 11, version 22H2 – My Public Complaint to Microsoft (published 2-2-2023; article #388)

12/11/2020 photograph by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


Groundhog Day greetings, to my local, regional, national, and international readers – especially to you, dear reader. The groundhog didn't see his shadow around these parts, if it matters.

On this cloudy, damp, and cool winter day, I will regale you with my public complaint to “Microcrap” (as I call them). This is my 94th article, by “Life (such as it is)” topic.

My desire had been to finish the sixth article, in my Christian Evidences series. The article will be, Lord willing, on the inspiration of the Bible, as verified by its accuracy. I have been working on the article, on and off, since 12/18/2022.

On Friday, 1/27/2023, however, “Microcrap” had other plans! I will vent my temporal and technical frustrations, in this public complaint to “Microcrap.” I wonder if “Microcrap” will stumble across my complaint and, if so, will even care. That monopoly needs to be partitioned.

Don't be concerned! This Appalachian Irishman found a solution.

Winders” 11, Version 22H2

Ever since 9/22/2022, “Microcrap” has been wanting me to install the optional Windows 11, version 22H2 (otherwise known as the “dreaded 22H2”). In brief, I had to rollback that optional install of 9/22/2022. The dreaded 22H2 did not allow my Windows Live Mail 2012 (email software) to work properly – as it had been doing for years.

Yes, I know that, since 1/10/2017, Windows Essentials 2012, which includes Windows Live Mail, has not been “supported” by “Microcrap.” The email software, however, had been working fine – before the dreaded 22H2.

Early on the morning of Friday, 1/27/2023, I had awakened my desktop computer, as usual. I went to the kitchen, to start coffee brewing and to make my bowl of cereal. I wasn't gone long. When I returned to my home office, I was shocked! The “Winders” 11 software had already started a forced install of the dreaded 22H2! (The install had been optional, which I had been ignoring, for four months.)

In expected fashion, once completed, the dreaded 22H2 did not allow Windows Live Mail 2012 (email software) to work correctly.

My public complaint to “Microcrap,” specifically, is that updates should always work with older “Microcrap” software, such as Windows Live Mail 2012. Six full days, off and on, of my life, from 1/27/2023 to 2/1/2023 were wasted, in frustrated efforts – until Thunderbird worked!

New Thunderbird

With the need to use other email software, I began to seek options. I require software that will store emails on my desktop computer. (Emails are backed up on an external drive and on a secure website storage platform.)

Initially, I selected eM Client software. Unfortunately, after five days (1/28/2023 – 2/1/2023) of various attempts, that software refused to cooperate completely with my one “Comcrap” (another monopoly that needs to be segmented) and my two Juno email accounts. On 2/1/2023, the kind gentleman, whom I had allowed access to my computer, indicated that not even he could get eM Client to work properly. eM Client lost the chance to make $59.95 off me, after my 30-day trial period.

Thunderbird had been my second option. It became my option, late yesterday afternoon. The appearance is not as pleasant as eM Client, but Thunderbird cooperates with my “Comcrap” and Juno email systems. Thunderbird is a product of Mozilla, which is also the owner of the Firefox web browser that I prefer. The software is free.


As of 4:12 PM today, analytics informs me that, in the last seven days, this website had 586 total views. The total views, by nation, were as follows:

United States 180, Russia 126, Belgium 74, Germany 71, United Kingdom 32, Iran 23, Poland 15, Netherlands 13, France 8, Sweden 7, Belarus 6, Spain 3, Japan 3, Nepal 3, Ukraine 3, Argentina 2, Canada 2, Iceland 2, Guernsey (an island in the English Channel, off the Normandy coast) 1, Other (unknown) 12

For the last six days, “Microcrap” frustrated me, due to their forced install of the dreaded 22H2. Thankfully, Mozilla's Thunderbird email software came to the rescue.

God created the universe in six days (Genesis 1:1 – 2:3). Could “Microcrap” make another update that would allow even their outdated software, such as Windows Live Mail 2012, to work as it had been doing? I doubt it. “Microcrap” is not that competent.

My readers are welcome to share the content of this email, in effort to educate “Microcrap.” They need to be educated.

This 388th article reminds me of my third article: “Give Me a Horse and a Dirt Road (published 3-9-2006; article #3).” I think that I'll go read that article now.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

APPALACHIAN IRISHMAN: 2022 RECORDS (published 1-1-2023; article #384)


New Year's Day greetings, to my local, regional, national, and international readers – especially to you, dear reader. Has it been a year, since my last article – of two days ago? My, how time flies! I hope that everyone -- even if not a legal resident in Tennessee – voted early and often, as I did, for “No More, Mr. Ice Guy!”

Last evening, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was in bed, about 9 PM as usual. I joined her, about 10:30 PM, at my usual time. We enjoyed “sleeping in the New Year!” I'd seen enough of the #1 Georgia versus #4 Ohio State college football playoff semi-final game. The game should have started before 8 PM. Early in the third quarter, Georgia was behind by eleven points (24 to 35). This morning, I was amazed to learn that Georgia won (42 to 41)! The championship game, on 1/9/2022, between Georgia and TCU starts at 7:30 PM. Go Dawgs!

My 12/31/2021 article focused on this website's records in 2021 and since 3/6/2006 (my first article). I record my website analytics on the first of each month, to track total views the previous month. On this cloudy to partly sunny spring (in winter) day, I might as well write about my 2022 records.

You, as a reader, are appreciated. May God's richest blessings bestow to you in 2023, as you serve Him.

2022 Statistics and Total Viewers by Nation

In 2022, I published 96 total articles, which are 25 fewer than in 2021. (“Website Archive” shows the articles by month.) Total views in 2022 were 26,360. I started publishing more articles in 2019. Since my retirement, on Friday, 5/13/2022, I have had more time to write better articles on topics (under “Topic Sections”) of interest. Some articles are very serious. Some are on “life, such as it is.” Some are humorous. Some are a mixture of topics. I will always affirm the biblical worldview and the good in Appalachian-Irish heritage!

As of this morning (1/1/2023), at 8:22 AM, my website had 163,058 all time total views, since 3/6/2006. Since I've been publishing more articles, my viewership has increased. Last month, I published nine articles, and my website had 2,646 views. In 2022, this website received 45 comments. Since 3/6/2006, my first article, this website has drawn 212 comments. (Some comments are mine, either as replies to comments by others or as additional notes to an article.)

In the last twelve months (January - December, 2022), annual viewer totals, by nation, were: United States 11.9K, Russia 3.34K, Germany 2.09K, Netherlands 1.1K, China 503, United Kingdom 497, Belgium 462, France 451, Canada 437, Sweden 400, Turkey 374, Ukraine 191, India 190, Estonia 159, Poland 110, Hong Kong 85, Norway 77, Romania 73, Japan 72, Other 3.86K. (I hope that Ireland is included in “other!”)

My public journal and commentary continues to draw local, regional, national, and international viewers. Analytics show me these data only. Your identity is secure on this website. I see only numbers, not names. If you are a subscriber to this website, then I don't know anything about you. I do not know the number of subscribers, their names, or their email addresses.

While I'm pleased that my website maintains viewers, I wish that more folks would comment every now and then. Of course, I too read websites, often without leaving comments. I comment on certain websites often, since I enjoy the articles. The “Folks, to Whom I Subscribe” section lists five websites. I comment on at least three of them often.

2022 Top Ten Most Viewed Articles

I thought that I'd share my list of top ten most viewed articles in 2022. Analytics give me some idea as to why articles are being viewed, often based on the title. The following is my top ten list in 2022, in order from number one to number ten.

Four articles are from 2022. Three are from 2021. One is from 2014. Another is from 2009. My inaugural article, of 3/6/2006, was the eighth most viewed in 2022. That article, in which I was just having a little sarcastic fun, remains my most viewed article of all time.


IF I WERE THE DEVIL” – Inspired by Paul Harvey (published 7-22-2022; article #340)


HOW TO PRONOUNCE "APPALACHIAN" - REVISITED (published 12-12-2009; updated 11-20-2022)

DENOMINATIONALISM: 2012 Discussion Continued (published 10-12-2022; updated 10-26-2022; article #364)

Devil's Nose, 11-29-2013 Hike (published 1-1-2014)

BIBLE and FAITH DISCUSSIONS - CHRISTIAN VIEWPOINT (published 1-31-2021; updated 9-17-2022)

HOW TO PRONOUNCE "APPALACHIAN" (published 3/6/2006; inaugural article)

9-17-2022 Football Review: Georgia Bulldogs compared to TN Vols (published 9-18-2022; article #358)

BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW - BOOK RECOMMENDATION by BARNA: “American Worldview Inventory 2021-22: The Annual Report on the State of Worldview in the United States” (published 6-7-2022; article #332)

I'll keep writing, as folks keep reading. Thank you for stopping by every now and then, to drink a cup of coffee with me!

My public journal and commentary is a means, by which I attempt to serve the Good Lord, record family history and heritage, uphold the good in Appalachian culture, affirm the biblical worldview, critique “poly-tics” (as I call it), record some of my hikes, and enjoy a bit of sarcastic humor. I am a conversationalist, public speaker, and writer. This forum is a way that I express myself.


The evening is approaching, as the sun sets. Supper will be within the hour. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I pray that 2023 will be a good year. We could all use one.

Please remember to seek first God's kingdom and righteousness. Do not worry. God provides what we need when we need it, until we meet Him. See Matthew 6:25-33.

Good New Year's Day evening, y'all. Thanks for reading. Don't be too shy to comment!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

TVA Rolling Blackouts - 12/23-24/2022 - Christmas Eve Commentary (published 12-24-2022; article #381)

 Unplugged black cord” (1/7/2021), by Kelly Sikkema, on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


Northeast Tennessee can have a little bit of winter. Sometimes, it falls on a weekend.” I have said that, during a cool snap, ever since Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I returned from Russia (10/1/1994 - 9/30/1999).

Welcome to a northeast Tennessee winter weekend! It started yesterday (Friday, 12/23/2022). December had been mild, with lows in the 20s to 40s Fahrenheit (F) and highs in the 40s and 50sF. Yesterday, in our neck of the woods, the low was 5F (-15 Celsius) and the high was 10F (-12 Celsius). This morning, the low was 3F (-16 Celsius). It looks like the high will be in the low 20sF (-5 or -6 Celsius).

Tomorrow, Christmas day, the weather prognosticators predict the low to be in the mid-teens (about -9 Celsius) and the high to be about 30F (-1 Celsius). They claim that the warming trend will continue, until lows reach the 30s to 50sF and the highs reach the 40s to 60sF. Our winter weekend may stretch into five days – but not a full week.

Our “Brave” Excursions into the “Frigid” Weather

Yesterday, about 1 PM, I walked to the mailbox, to flag up our annual homeowners insurance payment. The temperature was 6F (-14 Celsius). The sun was shining brightly. A cold breeze was blowing. I had on blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a sweatshirt, with socks and shoes. I stayed out in the front yard a while, enjoying the crisp air and sunshine. If I'd been out longer, I would have needed a coat. About 5 PM, I walked to the mailbox, to get Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's Kohl's bill (for a Christmas gift). The temperature was still 6F (-14 Celsius), but the sun had gone behind the ridge to our north, and the wind was stronger. Molly, bravely, ventured out with me. We didn't waste any time, getting back indoors! The lack of sun and the stronger wind were the differences. In the afternoon, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had driven, bravely, to visit her folks. She also had gone last minute Christmas shopping, bravely, with her youngest sister, who had come in on Thursday.

Today, about noon, I walked to the mailbox, to get the junk mail. The temperature was about 10F (-12 Celsius). The sun shined brightly. There was no wind. I had on the same type of clothes as yesterday. It felt great! Molly, however, chose not to enjoy the balmy temperature with me. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was backing out the garage to go visit her folks. Please, dear, don't come back to tell me that you also shopped for that final, last second Christmas present that you didn't buy yesterday!

How does this involve TVA rolling blackouts? I'll explain and comment. I will conclude by transitioning to the 12/23/2022 family gathering and to final thoughts on Christmas Eve.

Rolling Blackouts, 12/23-24/2022

Yesterday morning, while cleaning up, I heard the WQUT-FM (Tri-Cities classic rock) disc jockey mention that the rolling blackouts had taken the station off air for 15 minutes. Later, at 12:01 PM, we had a rolling blackout that lasted 15 minutes. No notice was given. We had to take our “collectively equal share” of the “collective suffering.” Thankfully, we had no more blackouts.

Today, we have had two rolling blackouts so far – 8:10-30 AM (five minutes longer than the dictated 15 minutes) and 11:00-15 AM. My youngest brother called, after our second blackout, to say that they had endured three already today. We had no notice, before the blackouts. My computer has had three KUB reboots so far (one yesterday and two today).

Yesterday and today, around the blackouts, I did some internet searching. I'll cite a couple of sources.

“TVA resumes rolling blackouts across East Tennessee,” on WATE-TV, by Hope McAlee, posted 12/23/2022, 11:55 AM EST; updated 12/24/2022, 9:53 AM EST and 12:21 PM EST. Notice that I included the two updates today. What I'd seen, just after our 11:00-15 AM blackout, when I started this draft article, was:


9:50 a.m. Update – The Knoxville Utility Board tweeted that it was informed by TVA that their system is stabilizing and they expect the mandatory electric outages to no longer be necessary after 10 a.m. Saturday.

I'd thought, “Liars! We had a blackout at 11 AM, which is after 10 AM!” In the early afternoon, while writing this article, I saw the 12:21 PM update:


12:15 p.m. Update – TVA said rolling blackouts have ended and thanked everyone for doing their part to help conserve energy and maintain the power grid for 10 million people in the seven states that TVA services.

Noon Update – The Knoxville Utility Board announced that TVA has ended the mandatory outages for KUB’s service area. The City of Oak Ridge also said that rolling blackouts for their area had been terminated.

11:30 a.m. Update – The Knoxville Utility Board issued a statement that TVA has extended the requirement for them to reduce their power load, meaning that rolling blackouts will continue.

So far, so good, at the time of this typing! I hope that the folks at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) do not change their minds – again!

“TVA, Local Power Companies Manage Record-Setting Power Demand,” on, 12/24/2022 states, in part:

On Saturday morning, December 24, TVA directed local power companies to implement planned, short duration, intermittent power interruptions to maintain system reliably. This action is similar to steps that TVA and local power companies took on Friday, December 23, to help ensure power system reliability. This measure is expected to be temporary until the highest peak power demands have been met.

During the 24-hours of December 23, TVA supplied more energy than at any other time in its history – 740 gigawatt-hours, or 740 million kilowatt-hours. The cold also produced a winter record for peak power demand of 33,425 megawatts at 7 p.m. CT when the regionwide average temperature was 9 degrees.

We have had stretches of either very cold or very hot weather before, when the electricity demand was high. Storms, snow, and ice have damaged power lines, which caused power outages. Yesterday and today, however, are the first times that TVA has mandated rolling blackouts. My commentary on this follows.

Commentary on Rolling Blackouts

I had wondered: “what is the reason for these new, never before done, rolling blackouts, with no notice, by TVA dictate?”

“Our Power System,” on states, in part (with my emboldening added for emphasis):

TVA’s power portfolio is dynamic and adaptable in the face of changing demands and regulations. Our emphasis has moved away from traditional coal-based production and toward cleaner forms of power generation, and today the power we deliver is nearly 60 percent carbon-free.

Meanwhile, we’re decommissioning some of our oldest coal-fired units to make way for these new, more efficient forms of power production. It’s a natural evolution—one that fits with our historic mission of providing reliable, low-cost energy that makes life better for the people we serve.

Who is the “our” in the title? TVA is a government entity. We the people manage the government – or we are supposed to do so. The government works for us – or it's supposed to do so. I hope that “our” means “we the people,” not “TVA.”

I tried various searches, but I could not find annual TVA electric output totals by year. If anyone reading this article can find valid sources, please comment!

I speculate, however, that TVA's electric output has declined, since they have mothballed coal-fired steam plants, such as the John Sevier steam plant, in Hawkins County, Tennessee. (The plant was demolished, from April 2015 to May 2017.)

TVA, of course, has been under various federal, socialistic government dictates to produce more “clean energy” and to reduce its “carbon footprint.” These dictates advanced under President Obama. President Biden continues to advance the dictates. I'm sure that many Democrats and several Republicans have been and are in favor of these dictates.

Don't read into my remarks what I'm not saying! I am a conservationist, not an environmentalist. The difference is in the worldviews. I will define my terms and explain. (This section is included as my seventh entry, in “Worldviews in Conflict” topic.)

A conservationist has the biblical worldview, which values environmental stewardship. As good stewards, conservationists take care of what God has entrusted to us in nature. The ethical use of natural resources, to better mankind, cares for and manages the environment, for future generations. Humans use, manage, and improve the ecosystem. We are not intruders. I paint with a broad brush, but my definition aligns with other reputable website sources that I have viewed.

An environmentalist, however, has a pantheistic worldview. The creation is worshiped above the Creator. The needs of humans are lower than the needs of the environment (climate, air, land, water, animals, and plants). Humans are separate from the creation and act “immorally,” by disrupting it. Again, I paint with a broad brush, but ask any “tree hugger” if my concept is not correct.

Christmas Eve Commentary

That's about enough on that mundane topic! I'm done. Let's move on, shall we? After all, this is Christmas Eve!

Can Christmas Eve fall on the 22nd, not the 24th? Yes, it can, and it did for the Fearghail clan! On Thursday, December 22, 2022, my youngest brother and his family came down to visit, have Christmas dinner (or lunch, as the Yankees call it) with us, and open gifts! The decision to visit early this year was motivated by the current bit of winter that started yesterday and by Christmas falling on Sunday this year.

We enjoyed about four hours of great family time! Our nieces regaled us with stories about their current basketball season. My brother and I talked about mischievous things that we had done in our teenage years. We shared some family memories. Molly was also happy to see everyone. Thanks, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, for preparing a fine meal, on the unexpected date!


My paternal grandparents didn't connect to electricity (for lights only) until Dad was already several years old. They used coal oil lamps and candles for light. In winter, firewood heated the home well enough, if family wore enough layers of clothes and had enough blankets on the beds. A rolling blackout may have occurred – if the fire went out, before more wood could be brought in to stoke the coals.

If mankind must serve the creation, instead of the Creator, then those environmentalists should give up all modern electrical conveniences. That would be consistent. They should all return to living like Dad was raised – until Granny and Papaw connected to electric lights.

If mankind serves the Creator, then those conservationists should use the environment to improve mankind, replenish the environment, and leave it better, for the next generation.

Hey! What do you know? KUB has not done a third rolling blackout – yet.

Merry Christmas, to all my readers – especially to you, dear reader. The eternal Word was born of a virgin, lived as a man, ministered and showed us God in the flesh, was crucified for our sins (yours and mine), was resurrected, and ascended back to heaven. Christmas is the traditional commemoration of Jesus' birth.

I don't care at all for the commercialization of Christmas. I do not need any Christmas presents. I have the gift of God. That is enough.