Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Just as I got back from Walmart and was getting out of the car, the Salvation Army truck showed up, backing into our driveway. It gave me quite a start because I didnít notice it coming my way when I came home, and the garage door was wide open. They took the love seat and ottoman, and I rearranged all the furniture into the old pattern again. Now there is plenty of room to walk between the recliner and couch, and we didnít even have to move The BWís antique writing desk to another room Ė just to the left a little bit. If we had spent about $50 more for a couch when we bought the original furniture we would have saved $800 this time.
Everything looks fine, the BW is happy, and it seemed creepy to have so much open floor space again. It was about the same feeling we had when we bought the third trailer with the 13 foot long super slide. The open floor is habit-forming.
After lunch I went to Sears and Apsco to look for a dryer. The BW was having a relapse, and told me to just go get a drier that works, so I looked first for the Kenmore ďbest buyĒ recommended by Consumer Reports. Most of the time the recommended model has been replaced by something else, and this was no exception. The Buying Guide had just come in the mail so I hoped for good luck (which we did have with the stove) but Kenmore just discontinued that line. There was a Whirlpool electric dryer that I liked the look of, but Sears charges you to deliver it and they you have to send in paperwork for a rebate. Before I rushed in I decided to check Apsco to see what they had on the floor.
They also had a Whirlpool of the same series as Sears for $460, and a Frigidaire for $399, and they delivered free, no rebate of anything. The Whirlpool had a 7 cubic foot drum and five drying temperatures, and the Frigidaire a 4.7 cubic foot drum and four drying temperatures. The Whirlpool had a five per cent failure rate in four years and the Frigidaire a six per cent failure rate in four years. When I had a hard time, the salesman said he could sell the Whirlpool for $430. I donít know if they have a sale coming or if just asking did the trick, but I took the $430. With a new cord and tax it came to $472.89, which I figure is a bargain compared to having the house burn down. Also, the washer we bought at Apsco is an Estate, which is made by Whirlpool, so they will look pretty much alike, unlike the old avocado Kenmore with the white Estate.
The new dryer will be here Thursday morning Ė we get a call before 8 telling us the estimated time. Iíll put one of the cars on the tree lawn before they get here so they have plenty of room to bring it in without scratching either the cars or the dryer.
Monday, November 15, 2010
About a week ago, when I did my laundry, I waited a very long time for the dryer to finish my first load. I normally run it with the humidity sensor on the low heat setting, and I get a lot less lint than the BW does. Finally, I realized that it had been going for about two hours, the clothes were hot and dry, and it had not advanced. I put the second load in on timed dry and set the stove timer for the same time as the timed dry. When the timer went off, I went out and found the dryer running at the end of the cool down period and the clothes cool and dry.
As a result of my experience I told the BW that the dryer was broken and we needed a new one. We bought this house seven years ago on the second or third of February next year, and it came with a new dishwasher, OK stove, and old washer, dryer, and refrigerator. Within the first year the refrigerator failed, and it was going to cost a fortune to get it fixed, so we had a new refrigerator. Then, the second year the dryer quit working, and we had it repaired. Then the washer quit, and we bought a new washing machine. Then, last year the stove quit and a repair would cost half as much as a new stove, so we got a new stove. Then the dryer quit again, and the repair man said he got luck to find the bad component, and recommended that, if it fails, we not repair it again.
I told her about the dead humidity functions and that she had to use the timed drying if we didnít want to get a new dryer. She said fine.
Then, a couple of days later I realized that the dryer had been running for at least three hours on the humidity sensing setting, on high heat (her favorite). I reminded her again that it doesnít work that way.
The night before last I woke up at 4:00 for a potty break, and heard something running through the wall to the garage, where the laundry stuff happens. As near as I could figure out, it had been running for 5 Ĺ hours, so yesterday morning I told her again we were going to buy a new dryer. She put me off, and put a sign on the dryer to use the timed dry only.
Today I went out into the garage, and the dryer was running, and the clothes were cool, so I opened the door to stop the action. Then she told me that the automatic shut-off doesnít work Ė that the timer went down into the air-only mode. When I checked it out, I found out that the timer stops the drum if you turn it until you hear a relay click. You hear one click when it moves from heat to cool-down and another click when the drum stops. However, if I start it with a few minutes of cool-down left, the timer stops rotating before the second click, so the drum runs indefinitely. Now I told her that she has to set the dryer to run and the stove timer for the same number of minutes. Iím pretty sure that isnít going to work very well, but she still doesnít want to buy a new dryer. We have the money (just about) and the only way I know to fix the problem is to spend it on a dryer.
Tomorrow, after the Salvation Army leaves with the love seat and ottoman, Iím going to try to get her to shop.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I couldnít take it, so I put the footstool together last night. Getting the cover on the lid was a trip Ė the whole reason for a new one is to store ďstuffĒ inside it. Iím not sure what stuff that will be, because the lid is fairly heavy and just lifts off.
Today I cut up all the cardboard (corrugated board for those of you in the industry) that packed the couch, couch cover, and footstool. I used a box cutter and changed the blade to finish the job. The squares were small enough to fit inside the 95 gallon garbage can that the trash company provides, and it filled the thing a little more than half way, with all of the slabs lying even, just stacked on top of each other. I would have taken it down to Dunedin for recycling, but Iím sure I would have burned more gas than the material would save. If Pinellas county gets a single collection service with recycling it will make me feel a lot getter Ė we mostly recycle just paper because there is a collections station just 1.4 miles away.
I walked the dogs down to the post office and collected a notice that the Kiwanis need to apply for a new solicitation license from Florida by January 13th or the fines start, so I spent about four hours transferring the information from our Profit and Loss statement to their format, and making that everything balanced correctly. I printed out two copies of the Administrative sheet and another two copies of the Service sheet. I was able to do the whole job with one copy of each last year, but I forgot to cross out a couple of things in both areas and had to do the job twice to get everything once and nothing twice. Hurrying always slows me up.
Now itís supper time and I donít know what we are going to have. Maybe the BW will want to go out. Wish me luck.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Danny wants to know if Yakima is a real place - he thought it was something made up. Yes Danny, there is a Yakima. There is a Yakima Valley, Yakima River, Yakima city (zip 98901) Yakima Nation, and Yakima Reservation. They deal in lumber and I don't know what else, but there are a lot of Yakima living in Washington State, and it's probably a bad place to joke about the name. I don't know, but I assume there are still Huron and Erie living somewhere, which would be closer to you. As I understood it, Ohio was used mostly as a battleground, where different tribes would get together to fight. I know there is a big reservation in Wisconsin, but I'm not really up on where all the native people are. We have the Seminoles over in Tampa, and their main claim to fame is a giant casino. They don't have much territory, but what they have pays big.
I walked the dogs a couple of miles this morning, and they were perfectly happy. The thermometer read 46 this morning at 7:00, and it was only up into the 70's by 1:30. I'm not sure it will get to 80 by 4:00 - I'll have to check. I think I might be living in a microclimate that's cooler that the Tampa Airport.
The Salvation Army is supposed to pick up the love seat and ottoman Tuesday morning, so we'll be crowded until then. I'm not sure but I think the right way would be to get rid of the excess furniture before you get more the next time we do anything like this. We're short of walking around room in the living area right now.
Actually, the parade where I saw the Chihuahuas was in Union Gap, which is a suburb of Yakima. It's where the river flows through a cut in the ridges that surround the valley. The "ridges" are more than 2,000 feet high, and the valley is where the rivers (three run through it) have flattened the hills into a river bottom. The difference from the east is that if you try to shove a shovel in the soil, you hit rock about an inch below the surface. The soil is dust that blew down from the ridges and filled the cracks between the rocks. That's why they grow hops and trees in the Yakima valley - I don't think you can plow it. When I wanted to replace a fence post for Annie, I learned the hard way - you dig a hole with a post hole digger and a crow bar. First you loosen the stones, they you pull them out, and you hope you don't hit any as big as your head. Then, when you put the dirt back, there is a big pile of leftover stones. It's a great desert valley, furnished with snowmelt from Mt. Rainier and other Cascades through three rivers.
Friday, November 12, 2010
I walked myself and the dogs this morning, then hung around until the couch and footstool were delivered. Then the BW was cleaning out the cupboards to make room for all the stuff she bought at Ikea yesterday, and I got roped into climbing a step stool and cleaning the cabinet over the refrigerator and the top of the refrigerator itself. That expanded, and eventually I was cleaning shelves in the garage.
I decided it was time to collect all of the hazardous waste and just drive down to the county disposal site, which is near the incinerator. We took jars of dead batteries, compact florescent light bulbs, a nice cannon camera that was dropped on a concrete floor and never worked right again (I could buy a better new one for less that it would cost to fix it), an old multimeter, etc. Besides a couple of big jars I had a heavy trash bag full of stuff. On the way back the BW decided it would be nice to eat lunch at Bob Evans in memoriam of Frank, my next younger brother. We found a shady spot for the car and left the windows open for the dogs, and had a nice late lunch. She even asked for real maple syrup and got something Ė Frank always brought his own.
Then I spent two hours getting the couch kit out of the box, putting it together, and putting the covers on the frame and all the pillows. One thing about Ikea furniture, any grade school kid can figure out how to put it together. I had moved the love seat and footstool, vacuumed, and rearranged the furniture so there was a big open spot in the living room, so there was plenty of space to work. Since the BW canít lift anything I did the parts that require two people by myself, but she provided emotional support.
Unfortunately, she decided that the kid next door might want the love seat and footstool, so we now have a great big couch sitting in the middle of the living room, and furniture all around it. Iím leaving the new footstool in the box until the old stuff goes away, because itís too crowded already.
Ralphie is fine at the moment Ė Harry was another 14 pound dog that we had for 14 years, and he would get cold in the winter too. We keep the temperature at 68 degrees inside in the winter, and having fur wasnít enough. He liked having a sweater on, and didnít give us any argument when we brought one out, but he was a very mellow dog anyhow. Ralphie hates the sweater, but he comes to me to fix it when he gets cold.
I have seen Chihuahuas shaking they were shivering so hard in Yakima, when the sun was shining and the temperature was about 90. I think they were in the shade where we were watching a fourth of July parade. The problem with little dogs is the surface to volume ratio gets too high, and they donít have enough fur to compensate. (Thatís just my guess.) Our Shepherds were big and had a woolly undercoat that let them survive almost anywhere, but they also shed a few bushels of fur in the spring. One German Shepherd fills a travel trailer too. Harry would disappear, even in our first trailer.
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