I didn't report here that a Sears technician finally did show up on Saturday the 17th, within the stated appointment window (which was 8-5, this being a Saturday--they don't do half-day windows then), and spent a couple of hours replacing the inside condenser coils on my mini-freezer. It was a bigger operation than I anticipated. When the acetylene torch came in, I began to get a clue. And he went away, and the freezer worked beautifully, if a little noisily. The extra noise went away overnight, and all was good.
I left for Moultrie on Monday. Got home tonight, after the 3 days doing the office exhibit at Sunbelt, and a couple of days working on sorting and such in my father's house. That included removing most of the contents of the freezer down there and bringing some usable stuff up here, so one of my first actions was opening my freezer to put things away.
You can see this coming, right? Everything was warm, though the little compressor (or something mechanical) was whirring away. The smell hadn't gotten too bad because the door had stayed shut--sister-in-law had noticed a smell during her cat-feeding trips, but (not being a cat person) thought it was just the litter box and had made extra trips to clean it more. Once I opened the door, the smell permeated the house.
I have disposed of all the spoiled food, cleaned the freezer, applied disinfectant/deodorant spray and stuck in a pan of baking soda, and called Sears for another appointment. The phone person did apologize for my difficulties, and informed me if I'd inventory the spoiled food and value it I did have insurance under my extended warranty. However, most of it was home-cooked stuff, with just enough raw meat to provide for the nasty smell when it spoiled. I refuse to dig back into the garbage (double-bagged and outside) to do the inventory for the probable reimbursement.