We’ve been spending my work bonus lately on some nice-to-haves that hadn’t managed to make it to must-haves. Here’s a quick run down with a little story about each:
- Bigger Backups: As I’ve discussed previously, I’ve got a whole automatic backup system running. We protect our documents and important files, but the biggest hog is the tens of thousands of digital images. Anyhow, between K’s PC and mine, we finally exhausted the 250GB drives we had been using. We’re running at 750GB now (which I got at the bargain price of $99).
- Liquidation of Late Models: With the help of File Shredder, I was able to quickly and effectively clean the drives and sell them to coworkers for $50 each. I also sold an old graphics card for $50… so that one piece of closet junk went away and I got something for it.
- Dishwashing Delight: A new, quieter and -even better- EFFECTIVE dishwasher now resides in our kitchen. This was a mostly painless install except for the mysterious hole in the wall discovered behind the old dishwasher. It was as if somebody needed to open up the wall to access something…. except there wasn’t anything there. Actually, there was a drain pipe from upstairs, but there were no seams or other inputs that would explain the hole in the wall. It did explain why the cats were always starting at the bottom of the dishwasher. So, a chunk of drywall and some spackle later, another major rodent access point is removed. I must give a shout-out to the Kenmore dishwasher engineer who put the hex heads on the top of the threaded leveling feet so a socket wrench could be used to drive them up and down. Unfortunately, I must critique the access to the water inlet. The water line (copper tubing with compression fittings in our case) comes from behind the dishwasher and meets the inlet under the front left corner of the dishwasher. As the appliance is backed into the cabinet alcove, the tubing fits nicely around the pump/motor assembly to meet the inlet. Great so far. THe problem is the elbow on the inlet is now facing away from the installer (me). So I manage to thread the compression nut onto the fitting and start to tighten it… but I have to apply a wrench. The amount of clearance between the floor and the bottom of the dishwasher is such that I can get 1/12 of a turn from each stroke. Yes, 1/12 of a 6-sided nut. I have to turn the nut, remove the wrench, flip the wrench over, turn the nut, flip the wrench over and repeat. Good thing the crescent wrenches have an offset angle, huh (kudos to whichever engineer figured that out!!).
- Finally, a Phone: Yes, I have finally submitted to the wireless communication revolution. K & I did some math and showed that the increase to her cel plan to add another line was less than our average long distance bill. Now we will use the cellphones exclusively to make long distance calls. In addition, most of our long distance calls are at night when the minutes are free. We have NOT shut off the land-line, but are considering the trade-offs for the future. For now, we get our broadband via DSL, so that would require a double utility switch. If you want to add me to your phone, add 1385 to K’s cell number to get mine. I will not promise that it will be active at all times.