Posted by: Hannah | 11/24/2011

try it now…

According to Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This happened yesterday with our godforsaken snowblower.

A word about our snowblower:

I was against the idea of getting one at all. So expensive. So noisy. So big. We have shovels! Our driveway is both level and paved! We don’t need no stinkin’ snowblower. Plus we have all these boys. Someday they will be big enough to shovel the driveway while I’m inside with a glass of wine.

Then last winter happened, and we had a lot of snow. Plus we had people dropping kids off at 7AM, and in order to have the driveway cleared by hand after nighttime storms we had to be shoveling until 10PM and then up again at 5AM to finish things off. Not fun. Plus my mother was very sensibly reminding me that no one ever got a medal for shoveling. I gave in and we spent money we didn’t really have getting a snowblower.

Which did make things easier. Snow in Halifax is almost always wet and heavy; the bulk of our snowstorms happen when the temperature is right around the freezing mark, and we usually get delightful fluffy snow, followed by a few hours of rain as the temp rises, then freezing rain as it falls again after dark. By morning – just like today – there is a slippery, hard, icy mess that is damn near impossible to shovel. The snowblower though chews through that shit beautifully. It’s awesome. I was loving the snowblower. I was doing the “where have you been all my life” dance about the snowblower.

Then yesterday, it wouldn’t start.

First Hubs thought he flooded it by over-priming. An honest mistake, one I’ve often done with the lawnmower. So he waited a few minutes and tried again. And again. And again. Checked the key, the choke, the throttle. And again. Still it wouldn’t catch. I went out to the garage to help offer suggestions stare blankly and then proclaim myself fresh out of ideas.

Although I did locate the cord for the electric starter! YAY! Let’s start the FUCK out of this bad boy. (By now it’s getting dark, and for some reason our garage has no light in it. I dunno. Please don’t ask me why.) Plug in the electric starter. Push that button. Snowblower makes incredibly loud noise but doesn’t start. Hubs tries it again. And again. And again.

I use the flashlight to try and find the instruction manual. I find it. JOY! It is in French. *sad panda* Hubs speaks French very well and reads it reasonably well too, but funny thing, his thirteen years of French immersion schooling did not include an extensive review of snowblower-related vocabulary.

I use the internet to search for the correct owner’s manual. Every link I follow and every rabbit hole I travel down tells me to call Sears but will not provide the manual. Several sites tell me that the model number I’m searching for doesn’t exist.

Meanwhile Hubs tries pull-starting the snowblower a few more times. I invoke Einstein’s wisdom. Hubs sighs and admits defeat.

He calls Sears. The phone-monkey suggests that we search the internet to find the manual. Eventually he suggests a service call because hey! it’s still under warranty! for two more years! SEARS IS AWESOME.

Oh, wait. They will only schedule service calls in our area on Wednesdays. It’s Wednesday as we are talking to him. This is momentarily awesome, until he tells us that December 14th is also a Wednesday, and the first Wednesday they have someone available.

We schedule the service call. Normally, this would cause the snowblower to immediately start right up just so we’d have to call back and cancel the call. This time the snowblower calls our bluff and sits there, not starting, as the snow begins to turn to freezing rain.

Hubs retrieves a shovel. Darling Harry sees the predicament and without being asked (I mean, he’s six – we wouldn’t have asked him anyway) gets into his snow gear and shovels off the front steps all by himself. Hubs manages to get a walking path shoveled from the steps to the road before the goddamn snow shovel breaks. Hubs throws his hands in the air, curses god much like Scarlett O’Hara, and comes in the house for tea.

Everyone needs to cross their fingers that there are no more snowstorms before December 14th. OK?



  1. *sad panda* — HAHAHAHA!

    Last week I had a really frustrating customer service call with Sears. I think they’ve done some bulk hiring in anticipation of the Christmas rush and the new people can not handle it if you go off script. I know this is not exactly on topic for you post, but I just wanted to vent. STUPID SEARS!

    Good luck with the snow blower. Do you have a snow scoop? They make clearing off the driveway a lot easier.

    • Sears call centre employees can’t handle going off-script any time of the year. In fact, the guy last night was reading out a website to check for the manual – which I’d already found because a) Google and b) not an idiot – and once we told him the manual wasn’t on there he panicked and ordered a service call. *sigh* That snow scoop looks like something I need. I do find it aggravating that one needs so many different types of shovels – the small one for the steps, the scoop for the driveway, the heavy-duty small scoop for clearing out the plow bank at the end of the driveway, the metal one for when it all freezes solid…

  2. WE have no snow here yet. I live in NORTHERN ONTARIO. No snow. I feel like I should be able to sue someone about this.

    • In typical Halifax fashion, the forecast for tomorrow is 12C and sunny. So the irony is, this mess will all be melted away in another 24 hours. But in the meantime – HOT MESS. You can have our snow.

  3. […] starter which is supposed to work always unless you’ve really screwed something up. You may remember that Sears agreed to honour the warranty… kind of… by making us wait three weeks and then picking it up and taking it away to be […]

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