Don't feel bad John, I almost lost the fire in the AA last Thursday,, similar problem,, a piece of concrete from the blocks the coal bin is made of got shoveled into a bucket and into the AA's hopper.. it was just big enough to start to feed up the auger, then stopped, blocking the flow.. I discovered it when the fire was WAY down in the firepot.. It took about 35# of coal [almost a whole 5-gallon pail] of coal to fill up the firepot..
I used a 10' long piece of steel tubing to slide down the center of the auger [AA has a hollow flight auger] and knocked the piece of concrete around enough that it started to feed up the auger..
Soon the auger was making 'music' again, and the AA has been doing fine since.
I guess I need to put a piece of chicken wire over my 5 gallon buckets when I'm filling them..