Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Well, you certainly haven't been shopping. The only thing I found in the fridge was a dead dove in a bag." - Michael, Arrested Development

You can get a dogsled ride in Fairbanks in summer at Alaskaland Pioneer Park, but the sled has wheels. I’m thinking of replacing my car with this idea.

Normally when it’s time to make a major appliance purchase, the major appliance in question has to be, well, dead beyond belief. I broke with precedent and replaced one that was working.

Okay, it really wasn’t working. The dishwasher was only a dishwasher in the sense that it had the temerity to call itself a dishwasher on the label on the front. In reality, it did the following things:
  • got dishes wet,
  • made loud, grinding noises,
  • spread the residual food-water paste around the dishes,
  • used enough electricity that the lights dimmed, and
  • finished with a load of dishes that were technically washed, but were not clean.

That’s an exaggeration. It cleaned some dishes a bit, but about 70% would need a second or third ride to get clean. Clear glasses? Forget it. They had a nice opaque feel to them.

I did a little research and found that our dishwasher was actually a Soviet-made dishwasher, and consisted mainly of used parts from T-72 Soviet tanks, assorted MiG parts and required the equivalent of a small nuclear power plant to run efficiently. The instruction manual said, “Please to depress manual start to clean yankee imperialist running-dog dishes.”

Over time, the poor washing performance gradually started to drive me nuts. The Mrs., as usual, was way ahead of me. She had wanted the dishwasher to be replaced about a week after we had moved in. I was fairly certain that it would get better. After nearly two years I became convinced that maybe it was beyond self-repair, and snapped.

Actually, what got to me was a tinge of guilt. I had been thinking of purchasing a pistol for myself. This pistol was just for plinking – it’s a .22 for Heaven’s sake, and wouldn’t bring down an Alaskan rabbit. The pistol costs about the same as the dishwasher.

I did the math, and decided that it would be better for the family if we had clean dishes (without so much effort) and it became my goal, too. I’m pretty sure that The Mrs. was planning all along to get this to be “my idea.”

We went to Home Despot and immediately The Boy eyed the GE models. “This one is the best, Dad, it’s GE.” Did I mention that The Boy loves GE?

As much as I normally attempt to avoid having a five-year-old have any part in major home appliance purchases, The Mrs. and I agreed that the GE looked okay. We ended up loading it in the back of the Wildermobile and heading home.

We had argued about white versus stainless steel. Our existing appliances were almond-bisque-torte (okay, I’ll admit I can’t fathom how color names come from – I would have called this color “milky mud”). We bought a white one. It matched a white refrigerator that we already owned, but had stored in the garage for two years.

I started first with the fridge replacement. We pulled out the old one and transferred the food to the one from the garage (after a good scrub) and I turned the temperature controller from “Off” to Off. The little temperature control dial twisted right off in my hands.

After attempting to fix the temperature controller for about an hour twenty minutes (and discovering that you can get a great electric flash and kick the breakers off if you touch the power cord to ground) I looked and saw that we had the old fridge just sitting there. I had been thinking of just putting it in the garage as a spare in case our fridge went out. Plans change.

I ripped into the guts of the fridge and found that the temperature controller from the old fridge would fit right into the new fridge. I heard the compressor kick on. Victory! I even (through twisting a bit of metal) got the old temperature controller to look like it belonged in the new fridge.

I looked at The Mrs., who had been watching my efforts.

“Surprise you that I fixed that?”

“No. I expected that you would. You always do.”

I guess that implies that I get myself in these situations a lot. Hmmm. She’s right.

But right now the beer is cold and the dishes are clean.

Oh, and there’s a new movie coming out on DVD, “The Tooth Fairy.” I haven’t seen it yet, but the last one (The Garden) was okay, unless you got caught in Lance Henriksen’s wrinkles. Here’s a link.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

When you wrote that you got a new dishwasher, someone else might have thought that you got a new Mrs, but never would I think anything dumb like that.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

It says a lot when she knew you would fix it. I'm known for breaking a lot of things. Not fixing them.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for GE...And I would not buy anything with the GE meatball. Get that extended warranty. If you don't you will have good blogging topics regarding your dishwasher.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Liang Boy said...

haha... it's funny that the Pioneer Park has something like that but I definitely won't do it. I have done the real one, with siberian huskies pulling the sled in the real northern part of the world. hey, when does winter hit Alaska?

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Sarcastic Idiocy Forum advocates the responsible use of cheddar cheese at all times,
and fully endorses Gary Glitter as the next ruler of a free and democratic Cuba!


6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We seem to lose a major appliance with every house we purchase, for our new home in CA it was the dishwasher as well. I installed it 4 times before I finally got it level enough to bolt it, I hope you had better luck than I did. Of course we always lose appliances in multiples, so we are waiting for the next one (hopefully cheap like a toaster, and not expensive like a fridge).

7:06 AM  
Blogger John said...

Lucky for us she laughed when she read that. Don't cross The Mrs.

I'm telling you, I shocked myself on that one. Really. I never unplugged the fridge.

It's been great so far (knock on wood-colored plastic). Sqeeeeeky clean.

In about . . . six minutes. Actually, in September the average low goes below freezing.

Level it? Oh, that noise.

10:02 PM  
Blogger shawnkielty said...

I want movie ads too -- I am jealous.

Nice post anyway.

What you guys are calling summer up there -- we usually call that winter.

10:10 PM  

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