Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mutt and Jeff Install a Dishwasher

Now this is Mutt's fourth dishwasher installation.  He did the first two totally on his own and the third with my assistance.  For the most part, other than accompanying him to Home Depot for hoses and hose clamps, I handed him screwdrivers and wrenches on demand, much like a scrub nurse for appliances.

This story wasn't funny earlier in the month, but now that the dishwasher is installed and functional and we have both had a couple of good night's sleep it is mildly amusing.  In a year it will be hilarious.

It all started when we bought our new house.  At the inspection we listened as the dishwasher ran, we looked inside to see if there was water, we checked to be sure that the water drained out.  It was after we moved in and put dishes into the racks that we noticed that several (many) of the "retainers" (that is what the little spikes that hold the dishes upright are apparently called) were GONE.  We checked the "new home owners insurance policy" - dishwasher racks were "not covered" and then we checked the manufacturer cost (about $350 not including tax and shipping).  We were bummed.  We decided to 'just live with it'.

As we lived with it more "retainers" were lost to rust.  There were places where the floor of the rack rusted through.  The Bearded One protected us from jagged rusty edges with shrink tube.  We continued to live with it.

Finally last month when yet another retainer bit the dust ("NO, don't pull it out of there, it still kind of works!") I decided that enough was enough and we were going dishwasher shopping.  The Bearded One very astutely suggested that new dishwashers make wonderful Christmas presents and that then we would be all done shopping for each other.

When we got to "major national appliance store" and began looking we were attracted by the "clearance models" which looked just fine and were half price.  We found one with a teeny tiny dent in the top edge that wouldn't even show when it was installed.  It looked fine there on the floor and so we bought it and took it home.

The next night the installation began.  The old unit came out easily enough and we leveled and adjusted the new unit and slid it into the cabinet.  I just looked crooked.  After much time adjusting legs and realigning  and removing and replacing and realigning yet again, it became apparent that the "little dent" in the dishwasher had actually been a possible forklift accident in the warehouse.  The entire unit had a bent frame that wasn't apparent until installation.

Back to "major national appliance store" we went and were very, very pleased with the service that we received.   The salesman who had sold us the clearance unit was quite upset that it had been placed for sale as "slightly damaged but workable" when it was actually unusable.  We could get a refund if we returned the dishwasher - except by now the old dishwasher was long gone.

We purchased a new dishwasher of the same model and color of the half price clearance unit and were given a discount to make up for our trouble which was very nice of them.

But now we have spent twice the money that we had intended.  And The Bearded One (I mean Mutt) has spent a total of three evenings "installing" a dishwasher.  The total number of installations for the defective unit (counting each time it was removed and replaced in the cabinet) is now up to a grand total of 6.

On the other hand, the new dishwasher is super quiet, does a great job on the dishes, and doesn't have any missing "retainers".

And now Mutt has completed his eleventh dishwasher installation.  It could be a second career when he retires so he won't have to be a "national big box store" greeter!

About That "Cell Phone Insurance"

Ms. Flippers loses cell phones.  She forgets to charge them regularly (ie each night), she sets them down somewhere, they lose charge and now they are "lost".  The are always found again at some point at which time MY cell phone gets upgraded.  The last time when her "lost" cell phone was replaced, The Bearded One bought cell phone insurance.  The policy that is supposed to replace your cell phone if it is lost or damaged in any way.  Well, of course it happened again.

Ms Flippers had to pay the $50 deductible herself which she did, spending 5 hours in the weekend heat trimming shrubbery.  But it wasn't just shrubbery that had to be quickly shortened.  It had to be shaped also.  She earned every penny of that deductible and so she and The Bearded One exercised the policy and ordered a replacement phone.

What arrived was not exactly what "we" expected.  It was a reconditioned phone.  And the back of the phone would not stay on.  Which caused the battery to fall out.  Stubble resourcefully taped the back of the cell phone in place with gaffer tape.  A new back to the phone was ordered.  And when it FINALLY arrived - we had been charged $4.00 for a back of a cell phone that actually stayed on the phone.

Buyer Beware!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting It Right (in spite of ourselves)

It came as a real surprise to me last night at dinner when Stubble announced, "I don't know anybody out there with 'good parents'.  At least not two good parents."

Ms. Flippers agreed and they proceded to run down a list of their friend's and aquaintance's parents:
  • A_____ his Mom is great, but his Dad?  Ick!
  • B_____ both his Mom and his Dad are awful.  That's why he lives with  his grandma.
  • C_____ Dad is such a loser.
  • D______ Dad is such a loser.
  • E______ Dad is such a loser.
The list went on and on for what seemed like forever.  Moms basically OK, Dads not so much.

I was stunned.  I know some of these people.  Of course, I've never stayed over night with any of them, or gone on camping trips with them, but I have worked with them at school functions, chatted while dropping off or picking up a much younger Stubble...

They all seemed like such normal, involved, invested parents...except for the one or two who were just plain absent.

I know that the young have a reputation for making harsh judgements, but they can't be ALL wrong.  There must be a lot of young people out there who are becoming upstanding, contributing members of society without the benefit of "two good parents".

What I hope for those young people is that they become the parents that they wish they'd had.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


just once.  Just once!  I would like to sit through a training session that doesn't involve somebody's administrative assistant reading the PowerPoint slides aloud to the room.  While trainees look on with photocopies.