Convenience or the Curse of Dishwashers

Long standing commenters here will remember when I had a zombie dishwasher.  We thought it was dead, it thought it was dead, and then suddenly it would lurch to life, work for a week and give us the impression that it would work.  And then it would die again.

I’m not sure if this is a disguised state of the writer post, or a regular post disguised as state of the writer.

First the state of the writer: I am a little past my nostrils in work (I’m drowning, I’m drowning) which of course home appliances sense, and that’s when they strike.  But not just appliances, of course.  The whole house is alive with the sound of stupid stuff to distract me. First the past my nostrils: I’m now writing Guardian, though every time I do two pages another something happens in the house and yet I need to send Larry 20k words by tonight, because this has dragged on long enough; I’m trying to finish the fourth Dyce book (A Well Inlaid Death, title supplied by Cedar Sanderson); and I’ve accepted a gig with PJmedia again (yeah, I know, but do you know the state of my wallet?) to whom I owe a couple of posts I was supposed to write by yesterday.  They’re in my head.  It’s just a matter of time.

Older son is on the last week of studying for his boards (prayers appreciated.  With exams this massive, there’s always the question of what material will be on the test.  It won’t be ALL of it, so it could be the one he’s most prepared on or not.  And for those who took the test more than a decade ago… you have NO idea.  They now have to memorize crazy stuff like genetic pathways for obscure diseases. I don’t think it’s possible to read let alone memorize the whole thing in two months, and son is a speed reader.)  This means he’s touchy like a beaver with toothache.  He tries not to be, but it means after about 10 pm we try to stay quiet so he can go to sleep.  He lives in a basement apartment, but the insulation is not as great as you’d expect.



Except for a brief period when Dan was making a ton of money (he gave up that job because it was a traveling job and it was adversely affecting our kids) our normal modus operandi for appliances is “appliance broke.  Run off and buy the cheapest possible.”  We did this with my writing computer which is dying by inches.  There was a memorial day sale, we ran out and we acquired the cheapest that will do what I want it to.  Because time.  Now we need to find time to ACTUALLY move the files over.

But… dishwashers.  That time when Dan had a great job and we were very short on time, (the kids were toddlers.  I was just starting to break in.  He was traveling five days a week) we ran out and said “Show us your most expensive diswasher”.  We then bought that.  And it washes with NO problems for six years.  And it washed really well, not our current machine’s version of distributing the dirt.  Then we sold the house and moved, and got a “give us your cheapest dishwasher” and a year later, after multiple breaks we got another, and then two years later another, and then–

So now we’re similarly very busy.  Technically we each have three jobs, and Dan keeps not doing his third job (writing) because no time.  We’re not making the kind of money he was, or rather it will be close if I can keep all the gigs going (we’ll see) but you know, it’s 18 years later, so it’s not worth the same.  Enough for our needs and to start making repairs to the house (not a ton, but we bought it as a short sale, so there was neglected maintenance) and changes we need (like rip all the frigging carpet out, because I’m not living another winter like that.)

That’s fine.  We need the money, see.  But to get the money, we must spend time.  And then time becomes at a premium.  I’m putting as much wood flooring down as I can this month and beginning of next (while keeping my schedule going, yes) which is going to hurt physically and time wise.  BUT it must be done, to purchase me convenience later.  I.e. I’m putting down unfinished hardwood and giving it five fricking coats of polyurethane, so I can MOP the floor if needed.  Our oldest cat is 17, our youngest is 9, and at end of life all cats forget where the box is.  So, wood floors, besides keeping my asthma down, are going to mean I don’t spend my life cleaning carpet (which is ratty and end of life, anyway.)  I’m investing time to save time later, you could say.

Sort of the same with the dishwasher.  We’re probably going a little higher than I like (no, not the most expensive, because we don’t have THAT kind of money while we’re helping the kids through school) because I want one with a disposer and a filter.  Because I don’t want to have to rewash washed dishes, because there’s grit all over them.  Also, I want one with heated dry, which a lot of brands (I’m looking at you Samsung) are discontinuing, in favor of popping the dishwasher open and air drying.  If I wanted cat hair on my dishes, I’d physically open it and put Havey in.  Thank you.

It’s a balance when you’re actually making money from way too much work (eh.  I’ll live.  Grandma said no one ever died from work.  Not true.  But certainly not from sit-down desk-work in the warm) you have to learn which one you’re going to sacrifice for convenience.

You always have to sacrifice one.  It’s the old “buy good boots up front so you save money (and time) by not having to rebuy them every year.”  Unfortunately that means you have to invest up front.

Oh, and btw, I was telling Dan I wish I’d had all these jobs/been selling my work both fic and non fic like this twenty years ago.  Heck, even ten years ago.

But the truth — he didn’t say it, but I said it — is that even ten years ago I couldn’t have kept up with all this work and done it to professional standards.  I’m reaping the dividends of thirty some novels and keeping a blog every day for years.  None of those paid a heck of a lot, but they were investments, so now I’m better paid (somewhat) I can keep up with the massive load of work.

It’s all investments, and long distance planning, and sometimes eating a lot of toads on the way to where you can start reaping benefits.  If you’re lucky and you planned well, and your health holds up.

Let’s just say I’m very grateful for human ingenuity and human progress that allow me to be relatively healthy and strong in my 50s and to work this hard, so I can reap benefits.  I’m also thankful we have domestic conveniences, which have freed people — though mostly women, since we tend to do the boring jobs indoors — to achieve more in other fields by taking the boring drudgery of housework off their hands.

People who complain about “machinery stealing human work” didn’t grow up with two hours carved out of the day for hand-washing dishes and clothes, and the clothes outside, on a stone water tank, summer and winter, with your fingers hurting in winter like they were going to freeze and break off.  I enjoy physical work, actually, but now I have the OPTION of doing it.  I can decide to wash something by hand and hang it in the fresh air to dry.  Or I can get machines to do it for me, while I reap the benefits of my experience and expertise by doing writing for pay.

My mom whose work had much the same trajectory didn’t have that option.  By forty she still had to keep up with deadlines, while doing all the drudge work by hand.  (Dad had a more than full time job, and anyway, in Portuguese culture, his generation, men just didn’t DO that.)  She had cleaning ladies when she could get them, but there as here that’s not a reliable thing.  So she ended up having a cluster of heart attacks and being medically retired and never reaping the fruits of her artistry and experience.

I’m glad I’m sitting here while the dishwasher (yes, crappy and leaking.  We put a plastic underneath, until we can get a new one) does its thing, and the washer washes a massive load of clothes.  Later on I have to dust and vacuum because we have company this weekend, but even that beats SWEEPING the carpets, and hand cleaning.

So I’m glad I live today and hopefully will have time to reap the benefits of my youthful learning and work.

People who mock others for first world problems have never lived elsewhere.  Sure there are first world problems, like broken dishwashers, and stupid ratty carpets.  Identify them and change them.

Embracing convenience and not feeling guilty for that which frees us to do what we’re best at is what MAKES us a first world nation.  And I intend to take advantage of it.  All the way.

UPDATE: I’ll post this again tomorrow, but as a heads up — two Hoyts (Dan and I) and possibly our house guest (?) will be at Pete’s Kitchen on Colfax in Denver, in the Annex on Saturday between 4:30 and 8 pm or so, unless no one shows up before six and we get bored.  Look for us in the Annex.



209 responses to “Convenience or the Curse of Dishwashers

  1. “First world problems” are still problems. They might be a far better class/grade of problems to have, but still. “My toothbrush needs fresh cells” beats “I need new teeth” beats “must only have mush.” etc.

    • paladin3001

      I will take first world problems over second or third world problems any day. no matter how annoying they can be.

      • A fellow I knew said of the dream of winning a/the lottery (not sure he ever bought any lottery tickets) “Sure, money can’t buy happiness. But I think I could at least try a better grade of misery.”

        • A certain amount of money does solve many problems.
          But it often creates a number of its own self.
          Truly fortunate people have learned the value of enough.
          For many hell is defined by must have just a bit more.

          • I mostly miss the “must have just a bit more” by realizing that I can never have ENOUGH money*, so I try to do the best I can with what I’ve got.

            * Well, Ok, I suppose I would be hard pressed to use up more than a hundred trillion dollars, but only because it would take too long to spend it. I mean, even space programs have some practical limits.

            • Pausing to consider it a moment, I realized that if you had a hundred trillion dollars it would probably mean inflation had totally voided the value of the buck. Even if you had all the dollars in the world, that is still a lot of dollars, so buying power probably negligible, on a par with Confederate money.

          • The amount of money is largely irrelevant. It’s money management that’s the issue. It’s amazing how many money issues just evaporate when you learn to budget your money, and learn to avoid debt.

            On the flip side, it’s amazing how many people who are Communists, are people who are either very bad with money, or come from households that are bad with money — Karl Marx being the very first, to be sure!

            I have a guest post to send to Sarah that I *really* need to get around to writing down that addresses this very topic…

            • So..

              Successful accountant… libertarian/conservative.
              Getting by… unaffiliated, slight libertarian/conservative leaning
              Struggling… nominal Democrat
              On (prolonged) assistance… Socialist
              Hopelessly lost… Full blown Communist (even if not by name)

              Not “Sure Things” but “the way to bet” as it were?

              This of course leaves out the utter nutters, dingleberries, and dingbats, which are scattered all over, but do seem to have a leaning towards “I exist, therefore I am owed…” malphilosophies.

        • Mostly I want to win the lottery when I see friends with extreme money issues. Yeah, I’d spend money on myself. But it would be a lot MORE fun to pay off other people’s debts.

    • I’ve always seen calling something a “first world problem” as acknowledging the blessing at the same time as it accepts the problem. Yes, it’s annoying that my clothes dryer’s sensor is broken, so the auto-dry doesn’t work, but it’s great that I have the option of washing and drying clothes simply by going into the mud room and pressing a few buttons (and with an infant in the house, that’s even more of a blessing). The TV may not work if I can’t find the remote, but hey, I’ve got a device capable of beaming all kinds of entertainment from around the world into my basement.

      “First world problems” are an acknowledgement that I’m lucky to have such problems as well as a statement that I’d never want to live in a place where I couldn’t.

      • Indeed. “First world problems” come from first world solutions. The latter is what enables us to even have “first world problems.”

      • First world problems are almost always irritations. Third world problems are almost always fatal. Second world problems are kind of a mix…

        • Can I ask how you define Second World? In school, in the ’70s and ’80s, I was taught that the 1st world consisted of NATO countries and associated allies (e.g. Israel, even though it’s not a NATO signatory), while 2nd world included Warsaw Pact countries and associated allies (China, Cuba, etc.), and 3rd world was everyone else.

          With the fall of the USSR, Second World had fallen out of usage, and common parlance these days seems to have defined First World as ‘rich’ and Third World as ‘poor’. But I’m seeing Second World used here on ATH with some frequency, but I can’t pick up the meaning in context, and it doesn’t match what I was taught as a child.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            First World in theory is capitalist economy with representative government, but in practice includes socialist governments effectively controlled by an oligarchy. USA and France.

            Second World is communist tyrannies. PRC, North Korea, Cuba, etc…

            Third World is culturally $%&@ed up economies with kleptocratic familial amoralist governments. If you don’t count Zimbabwe as Second World, it is Third World.

            • By that metric we could just look at the annual Index of Economic Freedom and assign the top third to the First World, the middle third would be Second World and the bottom third would be the Short Bus nations.

              Annnnd a quick perusal reveals the US is 17 out of 180, so still First World … for the moment. Look out, Lithuania, we’re challenging for your spot on the list!

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I’m not sure thirds would be the correct cutoff, and that ranking lists closer together some countries I would expect to be dissimilar as far as first/second/third world status goes. But what do I know?

                Maybe I’m doing it more by feel, and probably outdated data, than any criteria that I can defend.

              • Hong Kong, the place you can be disappeared by the police… not very economically free, no matter what policies they declare!

              • Nevermind that several of their ‘economically free’ countries are propped up by artificial flexion of the value of their money, and (see Foxfier’s comment, but applies to more than just Hong Kong)

          • Well… Not going to dig through my old sociopolitical type texts for the “official” definitions (not that they ever agreed anyway).

            My rule of thumb is as I said elsewhere here, somewhere:

            First Worlders have problems that are (mostly) irritating when they surface in your back yard.

            Third Worlders have problems that are (mostly) fatal when they surface in your back yard.

            Second Worlders have some of each kind of problem.

            Note, “usually fatal problems” are the usual – major war (major for the nation involved, a relative thing), crop failure, drought, disease, etc.

            Apparently what you were taught was the purely political definition, which is not sociopolitical, really – it divided nations up by “Democracies,” “Communisms,” and “Nonaligned.”

            Forex, Sweden was (and is) among the “Nonaligned” nations – but socially and economically, definitely a “First World” (or “First Rank,” if you prefer) country.

            In any case, I think it is obvious that what we have here is a definitional problem… Sarah and I appear to have reasonably close definitions (maybe), while you and C taylor are using a different one.

            Sigh… One major reason I hate the voodoo “sciences” – their definitions depend on which “scientist” you talk to, and on what day…

            • “First Worlders have problems that are (mostly) irritating when they surface in your back yard. Third Worlders have problems that are (mostly) fatal when they surface in your back yard. Second Worlders have some of each kind of problem.”

              And my brain immediately went to Australia, where the things that surface in your back yard can kill you whether you’re First or Third World…

              • Joe in PNG

                Of course, in Oz, if the average bloke get bitten by one of the many poisonous snakes/spiders/drop bears/feral sheep, he can get a medevac flight to a decent hospital for treatment, plus a few tinnies of VB.

                In the Third World, one may have to drag themselves over bush trails to the nearest hausik, only to find that they don’t have any medicines, or medical staff. Because the new MP has cut the funding to build a new hausik in his village.

                • or because the local warlord/tribal leader has been preaching that modern medicines are something that The West is using to keep them down and docile and the local gangs err militia have decided to not allow any in…

          • Rich Rostrom

            Back in the 50s/60s, there was the Free World (US and its allies), the Communist Bloc (or World, but no one ever said that, IIRC), and then the “Third World” of countries not in either of the first two groups, e.g. India, the Middle Eastern countries, Africa.

            More recently, “Third World” has come to mean the truly poor countries in Africa and Asia, also with an implication of non-white/formerly colonized.

            This led to the formation of “First World” and “Second World” as concepts after the fall of Communism, and the rise of some formerly poor non-European countries to relative prosperity.

            The “First World” was Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan: the fully industrialized countries. To this now is added Korea, Singapore, Israel, and a few others.

            The “Second World” is all the countries which are substantially industrialized and somewhat prosperous: Eastern Europe, most of Latin America, various parts of Asia. The Middle East is peculiar – having gobs of oil money doesn’t make a country First World, but several non-oil countries are doing fairly well, economically. The ex-Soviet bloc, mostly.

            The Third World is all the countries that are really poor, corrupt, and chaotic. Nearly all of Africa, parts of Asia, bits of South America.

          • Oddly we had this discussion in the last post’s comments. I still use it as 1. US and allies. 2. Commies and allies 3. Contested nations (even wealthy ones like Finland). But then I also insist that decimate means to reduce by a tenth (and possibly all the officers) regardless of what the idiots talking on the news shows use it to mean.

        • Example of #SecondWorldProblem: The NKVD (KGB/FSB/Tsar Putin’s Imperial Shock Cossack Police Bureau) shows up at your door at 3am and drags you away to the woods or the basement of the Lubianka, where after some while they shoot you in the back of the head.

          • #ThirdWorldProblem: You come home to find your entire village slaughtered. Not because you, or anyone there, offended a Commissar. Simply because you are the wrong tribe, and they got around to doing yours before you got around to doing theirs.

          • kenashimame

            In Putin’s Russia they don’t bother with the abduction; “street crime” is the normal means of dealing with loud dissent.

            On the other hand Russia is a prime example of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

      • See, I’m used to hearing used to just dismiss an issue someone else is having that the person using the phrase doesn’t want to hear about.

        • I mostly see the term on Twitter, where it is generally either self-deprecation, laughing with a friend who complained about one (My Internet was out for 2.5 hours and I got the shakes,) or a #HumbleBrag disguised as a #FirstWorldProblem (What good is it to have two TVs in your hotel room if one of them isn’t by the sunken tub?)

          The usage you know does exist on Twitter but is mostly aimed back and forth between ideological opponents. (Or at least that’s what it looks like from my timeline.)

    • There’s a group of folks– I think it’s the same one that uses “feelz” in only the negative sense– that will dang near attack you for anything they thing is too much of a “first world problem.”

      It can be replaced by “shut up, you whiny pathetic ____.”

      If you identify those people, avoid them. 😀

    • Not all. Being ticked off by other people’s “first world problems” is a first-world problem without being an actual problem.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “Dish Washers”? The manual type work best. 😉

    Now Clothes Washers & Dryers are another matter. 😀

    Seriously, hope you get another Dish Washing Machine and everything else goes OK. 😀

    • Jeff Gauch

      The performance of automatic dishwashers is greatly improved by the addition of trisodium phospate to the detergent. Plus, it annoys Watermelons.

      • But where does one get it if you can’t steal it from the ELTs?

        • Jeff Gauch

          Like everything else in the known universe, Amazon.

          • Really? I know the gov’t had driven it out of dishwasher detergent but didn’t know I could buy it other than via chemical supply.


            • Jeff Gauch

              It wasn’t the government, it was one government. Washington state’s. The Watermelons incited a panic about phosphate levels in the Columbia, so they banned it. The detergent companies didn’t feel like making a special formulation for one state, so they took phosphates out of their formulation.

              You can also get it places like Lowes and Home Depot, it’s in the paint section. Just read the labels carefully, some of the stuff is phosphate-free “TSP”.

              • Government is government and yeah, I’ve read the whole lurid tale…and actually it is as much about one city government not wanting to clean up its own act than even Washington State.

                • The real sin against mankind is the failure of the detergent manufacturers to simply say “Fuggem — if the people of Washington don’t want our formulation let ’em wash by hand.”

                  In lless than a year there would probably be three niche “Washington” detergent blends in their stores and the rest of us would be able to continue undisturbed.

                  • Big companies are reliant on government protection from competition so they would never risk it.

                  • snelson134

                    No, there would have been an EPA regulation mandating it countrywide. They didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

              • You forgot the kicker:
                After they banned it, someone actually tested the theory, and it’s the wrong kind of phosphate.

                It wasn’t causing the algae blooms they were worried about….

                • That study has been revoked because of procedural error. It turns out there was some old guy in a bathrobe in the lab, telling the researchers “These are not the algae blooms you were worried about.”

                • Jeff Gauch

                  Thus showing the difference between science and Science!.

              • I do recall hearing of issues/concerns about phosphates in the Great Lakes states as well. Such might have been prompted by what happened in Washington. I wasn’t paying a whole of attention at the time, though I do recall grandmother making a point of buying out-of-state detergent when travelling far enough, for a time.

                • Jeff Gauch

                  There was a phosphate panic around 25ish years ago that resulted in manufacturers removing phosphates from laundry detergent, but it hung around in dishwashing detergent until pretty recently.

              • I think most of the “TSP” sold at retail is labeled “TSP Substitute”. Just get it through Amazon. You won’t be buying it that often.

                • Jeff Gauch

                  When I bought my box, about 4 years ago, there was actual TSP in the orange box and phosphate-free “TSP” in the green box.

            • snelson134

              You can buy commercial packs of TSP at Amazon or Sam’s

            • You can get it at Lowes-Home Despot as well, I think. And the local HEB sells boxes of Borax, which we use as a laundry additive.

        • Professor Badness

          Home Depot.

        • In gallon jugs at Home Depot, labeled as “concrete cleaner.”

          Every time I go in I pick up an extra bottle of “stump killer.” The cheap brands are usually 99% potassium nitrate, useful for making black powder.

        • Joe Wooten

          We get it at the local Ace Hardware store

      • And sodium tripolyphosphate, also available at Amazon. 1 TSP each per load. Also same quantity in clothes washing machine.

    • But we are dinosaurs (or ancient dragons, as the case may be).

      I had a dishwasher once, in an apartment. The wife wants one again, and not happening – why should I wash them once, put them through an expensive machine, and then still towel dry them to avoid mineral buildup?

      The only advantage of a dishwasher is that they are “out of sight, out of mind” – at least that’s my take on it. I may end up just installing a “dirty dish cabinet” to end the debate.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Many many years ago, my parents had a “movable” dish-washing machine that attached to the kitchen water faucet.

        It kept breaking down and it was decided that there were enough people to wash dishes that they didn’t need the machine. 😀

        Of course, my apartment doesn’t have a dish washing machine and I don’t think there’s room for a “movable” one. 😉

        • Well I have five movable dishwashers in the house. Multi-tools, even…

          • kenashimame

            My father was of a similar mind, didn’t by a mechanical dishwasher until I’d left for college.

            He also thought it was fine for me to use an old gas push mower to mow our 1/2 acre property, then one time when I’d been away at Scout Camp (and he had to mow the yard himself) I came home to find a riding mower in the garage.

            • If there had been a half acre, I probably would have been allowed a gas mower. As it was, there was no gas in the mower for my parents. Unless I’d had too much of my grandmother’s buttered cabbage. (Yum!)

            • A push mower for a half acre would depend on the lay of the land. I mowed a half acre of flat for a while when I moved to the country, but mowing half an acre on the hillside I currently live on would be a non-starter. It makes me tired just shifting my butt from one side to the other as I change directions on the riding mower.

            • *chuckle* Have any of y’all ever had to mow a yard with a scythe? Or a manual “push” mower? I did, for a little while. We’re not *that* backwards out here. Mostly.

              In all truth, the scythe is quicker than most anything else except a tractor drawn chain drive, and cleaner than that when the lawn gets a bit higher and thicker than a gas mower can cut easily. Darn good exercise too. Gotta keep that blade nice and shapr, though. Dull blade is a pain in the arse.

              • I bought and used a heavy duty sling blade for weeds, but that’s about all. Had thought about a scythe, but didn’t think it would help lower back issues. Have seen a lot of discussion about European vs American scythe. Have also seen the stones worn on the side in a small container of water for periodic sharpening as you go.

                • There’s not so much bending as twisting motion, but aye, back problems and that kind of manual labor don’t be going together too well. Step, twist, step, twist is how it goes. You move everything from your hips up in the same motion, it’s not too bad. Afterwards, if you aren’t in shape (and I wasn’t at the time), you discover whole muscle groups unknown (or at least mostly forgotten), all clamoring for attention… *chuckle*

            • Our “yard” was too big. Remember my father cutting it with the tractor and the PTO driven rotary mower. We had a push mower for the front section. It was maybe 1/2 acre. Riding mower later for a little over 2 acres.

              We had a dishwasher, too, one of the “portable” ones that hooked to the sink faucet. It would give you quite a tingle if you touched the metal and a ground. Decades later discovered the hot and the neutral was reversed.

              My father didn’t get a chain saw until I went to college. Before then it was axes and crosscut saw. Remember a huge oak on a fence that look me a looong time to cut off with an axe. OTOH, I learned a sharper axe made for easier work.

              My father once taught me how to split fence rails Just Because. Don’t know where those “keys” we called them are now. Last used them splitting wood for my father’s barbecue pit.

      • Jeff Gauch

        Dishwashers really have gotten a lot better, at least if you keep phosphates in your detergent. There’s no need to wash them before you put them in, a quick rinse to get the worst of the chunks off is sufficient. The mineral issue has more to do with your water than a machine, and if your water is that hard more than just your dishwasher will benefit from a water softener.

  3. And when we moved in to the current place we got almost all new appliances. The central air conditioner was a replaced a bit later and the ancient dishwasher chugged along for far long than it perhaps had any right to. Alas, “when it rains, it pours” and when the dishwasher failed, the clothes washer followed along shortly. Doing dishes by hand is irksome, but not too big a deal for a small household if done regularly. Clothes? Uh uh. And a ‘coin laundry’ is a place to avoid. That got replaced as fast as we could manage. Fortunately everything else seems to be working or mostly so, so.. getting by.

    • Two appliances that will be replaced on failure are the refrigerator and the clothes washer, even if I have to (shudder) use credit. Everything else waits until I have cash in hand.

      (Now, for people in colder and/or rainier climates, or without a yard, the clothes dryer and stove/oven are also essentials, admittedly.)

      • Driers are fairly easy to repair and can truck on for decades. Now, fairly easy is not the same as fairly cheap – paid through the nose for a timer motor/switch assembly, but it was still cheaper than a new drier. Discovered a hole in the plastic duct and lint everywhere. Not good. Cleaned it thoroughly, fixed it where the critters couldn’t come in, and replaced it with a flexible metal duct the next day.

        Have gotten fair to middling on repairing the refrigerator. If the coils or the compressor goes out, that’s it, but other than that, it’s surprisingly straight forward. Same for the stove.

        • When our house was built some blankety-blank genius vented the 2nd-story drier’s exhaust into the (20-ft high) ceiling of the garage.

          I suppose they could have picked a worse routing. They could have vented it into the kitchen.

          I keep thinking that a loft in that garage would really increase storage.

        • I’m pretty much at the level (and available time) to futz only with the “maintenance” repairs. Ducts, hoses, stove/oven heating elements, and so on. (I’m more of a carpentry and outside work type.) So lots of finger crossing these days…

    • Well when my basement flooded I lost Washing Machine, Dryer, Hot Water Heater, and my Furnace. So it’t be a while before I need new ones of them.

  4. People who complain about machines doing work people can do have never read Piper’s Space Viking and don’t realize that people doing work that machines can do is a sign of a weak economy and an ailing society.

    • I have been recommending that one a lot lately, although for different reasons. I think I need to add that reason when I do.

    • “They have beautiful ancient buildings and hand paved roads!”

      “So, Vir, what you’re saying is that the city is old and crumbling and they don’t spend enough on infrastructure.”

      (something like that)

      • That as soon as I read “So, Vir” Peter Jurasik’s voice completed the rest is a testament to the actor and to the writers who gave us that character.

        • Thing is, Londo’s voice is so different from the actor’s, that I only recognize him in other roles if he covers his forehead.

          • Another testament to Mr Jurasik’s skills.

            • Terry Sanders

              I was weird as a kid. When I dreamed of being an actor, I wanted to be Albert Finney. Play the part, walk out to the car, and nobody knows who you are…

              • Well, not if there are bad guys with flashguns erasing chunks of people’s memories…

                It’s funny, I thought Looker *rocked*, and was way better than Jurassic Park or The Andromeda Strain… but it came and went, and nobody seemed to notice.

                • Guess it got erased…

                • Terry Sanders

                  Several problems:

                  –It wasn’t all that big-budget. So nobody took it seriously.

                  –The plot device(s) looked (to the average audience) more like thriller fodder than SF. “A mid-budget thriller,” the audience yawned.

                  –The sexy blonde was *THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY.* And the Hot Male Lead was a middle-aged guy they’d never heard of. (They’d been watching him most of their lives, but they’d never seen his face before.) “A mid-budget thriller, with midlisters for stars,” the audience mumbled in their sleep.

                  Which tells you more about audiences than movies, but hey.

                  It doesn’t help that I still can’t decide whether Finney’s performance was proof of his lock of “star quality” or yet another brilliant piece of character acting. He was *supposed* to be an ordinary guy in a ridiculous, over-the-top situation. I kept expecting him to mutter “I’m a doctor, not an action hero!”…

          • Patrick Chester

            Yeah. Supposedly he’d get into character by going “Ah, Mr. Gari-BALDi!” or similar. Like saying Shazam and *poof* he was Londo. 🙂

        • I think it’s time to haul the Babylon 5 DVD set back out…

          • I’m about to get busy on correcting my deficiency – I never saw but a few episodes here and there. (Fortunately, somebody elsewhere on the net told me about a site called “go90” – all of the episodes are free over there.)

            • Do you know of It’s a fan site with not just episode guides, but commentary from Mike Straczynski as well.

              When my wife and I watched the DVDs back… ten years or so ago, I guess… she commented “this would be really hard to follow if you missed many episodes.” Given how some broadcasters didn’t always air every episode, or aired them out of order, or trimmed bits out to make room for more commercials, or all of the above, the original broadcast viewers probably had their WTF?! moments..

              • I vaguely recall hearing about it at some point. Never looked it up (I think you have to be a fan before you hunt down a fan site – and I never became one, with all of the “WTF? moments.”)

                Manfully resisting seeing whether they have Stargate on that site. Another time sink I do not need right now…

  5. As you note, what you get when you buy “conveniences” is time. Whether or not that time is used “productively” or playing video games or watching trashy soap operas is a matter for personal consideration, not the judgement of others. Time is finite for each of us and (so far as I know) nobody wished on their death bed to have spent more time washing the dishes (well, okay, there was that one gal who succored to food poisoning due to an inadequately washed plate.)

    I wonder when the word “sanitized” entered our vocabularies.

    • Not sure of that, but I recall when traveling at times seeing a place advertising itself as a “sanitary restaurant” and wondering how bad things must have been for such places that they now had to make that claim explicitly. And, so help me, I have seen a milk crate (a real one, not a flimsy knockoff) with the name on it: SANI-DAIRY. As if that was a unique thing.

      • But did said restaurant give everyone a sanitary napkin?

      • My mom grew up with folks who remembered losing kids to bad milk, plus at least one polio survivor. (She was lucky and just had braces/canes, IIRC.)

        Doesn’t have to even be THAT old of a dairy for it to be noteworthy, no.

        • We had one polio survivor in my high school graduating class in 72. No bad milk deaths that I know of, though.

          The really scary thing was listening to my mother talk with her mother and sister about one summer when they were kids when polio swept through Baltimore decades before there was a vaccine. There were lots of home remedies used to try to prevent polio. Mom and my aunt wore little bags with stinky herbs in them around their necks all summer.

    • There is also that guy who about 15 years ago was publishing a professional journal for restaurant dishwashers…not the big machines but the operators.

    • Jeff Gauch

      Per the internet, “sanitize” was first used in 1836.

    • but time is infinite…

      Draven is finite.

      you are finite.

      this… is wrong thread.

  6. Mike Houst

    Never buy the cheapest or the most expensive. The most expensive is always horribly overpriced, and when you buy the cheapest, you don’t even get what you paid for. I find appliances, automobiles, and computers all have the most favorable prices per value ratio when you buy just behind the bleeding edge; usually a year or two after the model has come out.

    • Always buy behind the bleeding edge for more reasons than just cost. Let someone else be the beta tester for the latest and greatest thing; get the thing that has been out a few years and has all its bugs worked out.

      When we were buying a car recently, we made sure that no major changes had been made to the model in several years before we went ahead and got it.

      • Yeah. We bought a “bleeding edge” car and it was fantastic. Just what we needed. But then they stopped making it… and the transmission that was particular to that model. So when that started getting dodgy (on the freeway, that was scary), it had to go—a month shy of us owning it for ten years. (So maybe not all that bad in the long run; CarMax was astonished at the nice condition of the car for everything but that little orange light on the dashboard. And a dent in the hatch we’d never bothered to fix.)

        Oh well. It took a year and a half, but we finally have a second car again… the (literal) heir to almost all of the features on the previous car that we adored. And a common style of transmission. Here’s to hoping this one lasts longer than a decade.

        (Ford Freestyle and Flex, respectively. The only sadness about the latter is that its MPG isn’t over 22 in-city. But, oh, the ergonomics for us taller drivers…)

        • I’m only of average height, but headroom is a big issue for me in most cars. Probably because I insist on sitting upright instead of laying reclined back peering over the dashboard, which seems to be the modern norm.

          I’ve maintained for years that most of the people who buy pickup trucks don’t necessarily want a “truck”, they just want something with a decent seating position that they don’t have to do a one-legged deep knee bend in and out of.

          • Mike Houst


          • snelson134

            That’s precisely why I bought my 2001 Nissan Frontier right after getting married. Em couldn’t manage my Nissan Sentra.

          • Oh, bleedin’ h-e-double-toothpicks! WP didn’t email this to me but did email Mike Houst’s comment responding to it. I’ve spotted another comment that WP failed to send, as well.

            WP Delenda Est.

            • A quick check reveals that WP only sent me 5 of the 8 comments posted in the seven o’clock hour, none of the 8 posted in the eight o’clock block, and missed one the ten o’clock block (thus far.)

              Oh well, they’ll probably come through sometime this afternoon.

              Ye gods.

            • Michael Houst

              You had me going there for a minute. I was wondering when the devil I posted anything on the Washington Post.

    • When in need of major appliances one of the first things I did was research what brands were being installed in several major successful apartment complexes. Shoestring operations would often go for the cheap, but the smart ones went with basic function, durable, with few maintenance issues.
      Been fifteen years since I had to equip the entire house, but at that time Roper for washer and dryer, and GE for refrigerator. Oven, cooktop, and dishwasher were built in and functional, though am in process of replacing the wall oven with an Ancona as I could get it through Costco and they made a model that would fit the hole the old one came out of.

      • I have to note that my GE fridge has been reliable. It is just half-assed in its design…

      • There’s also asking the neighbors. We should see about replacing our 37-year-old water heater at some point. They have mentioned several brands to avoid. (We’re seeing about maybe bundling the replacement with house insulation so as to kick in energy credits.)

        • Ours was at least that old when it started leaking at the pressure valve. We decided to replace it. It was one of the old Sears “glass lined” jobs. It might have lasted forever, except its problem was that it was almost full of silt, which is why the hot water supply had been so short for a few years…

          The new house has filters before the water heater.

  7. I just took a look at Home Depot, and they have appliances on a great discount. The $599 (list) Frigidaire Gallery (Model FGID2466QF) is on sale for $397 until the 7th. We have this model (or it’s twin from September 2014), and it’s really good. We got ours from a local vendor; Depot wasn’t selling it in ’14.

    Because of our funky water content (volcanic and ancient sea bottom residues), we found trading between Cascade and Finish gel keeps the crud from building up in the drain hose. Cascade powder didn’t work. #SPOUSE cooks in batches, so we don’t have pots and pans in the washer. For the two of us, we run it every other day.

    It has heated dry, but we use it in “Energy Saver mode”. Most items are dry overnight, barring the coffee cups in the stemware side (that stuff is removable, but I just dry it. The flatware can have a few drops of water on the handles, so I’ll wipe them down a bit. Our power bill is high enough, so I’ll use a towel.

    No disposer (we wouldn’t use one because septic system), but the two stage filter works well. Easy to clean, too. Installation was a mild pain, but that leaves the plumbing connection at the front, where you can get at it if necessary. (Of course, my screwup was at the other end of the feed line.)

    I’m hoping for an affordable yardwork robot to pick up the pine tree droppings. That would save a lot of time…

    Hope this helps. FWIW, I just picked up the Darkship books; I’ve been remiss. The tales of the USAians hooked me.

  8. “First world problems” is a phrase second only to “right side of history” in terms of drawing my ire. It is a way to dismiss the issues of others because you think they have it so good.

    Human suffering does not form a mathematical chain or even set of chains. If it did so we could identify the single more suffering person and argue only they can complain because everyone is better off.

    Including all those assh*les who use “First world problems” to be dismissive of others’ struggles.

    *rant off*

    • I agree! Which actually caused problems early in my relationship. See, oy took months to realize he meant “diseases of affluence” more or less) when he said it–real problems, just what kind. @_@

      Glad we worked it out, I got super-offended once or twice and he was confused.

    • Mike Houst

      It’s only a problem if it affects me, and I have the means to alleviate it; otherwise, it’s just an environmental condition that I, or someone else, has to adapt to. It’s not that I’m indifferent to the suffering of billions of people around the world; it’s just that I can only help one person at a time.

  9. Since we moved in October, I have a dishwasher for the first time in about 20 years. I’ve been yearning for one. Now I’d just rather hand wash them. This dishwasher is about the same age and dying with no funds right now to replace it. We have a disposer (which is a must have for me) but can’t use it because, septic tank. If we spent money on anything it’d either be a new cooktop or a double wall oven instead of one. I can take care of the other stuff on my own. Then again, I don’t work. I just spend my time arguing on Facebook 😉

    • I actually don’t mind handwashing. It’s plotting time. BUT right now I’m short on time.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Read a story where a young wizard is being severely criticized by an older wizard for starting a thunderstorm to solve a problem.

        The other wizard (and his peers) had to work hard to correct the weather patterns changed by the young wizard’s “little” thunderstorm.

        The older wizard tells the young wizard that he has put more effort into his studies on wizardry so he won’t make that mistake again or make a worse mistake.

        The young wizard grumbles about all the stuff he already has to do (he’s also a king) but says something about “making time”.

        The older wizard says “don’t even think of that”. IE Literally creating time. 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

  10. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Fake news about Kratman being a Russian spy.

    • Feather Blade

      I enjoyed the variety of sources from which the author of the article got information. ^_^

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Careful, don’t show that to the commenters at Vile . . .

      On second thought, maybe you should. 😀

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Poe’s Law News

        • Feather Blade

          It is a sad (and hilarious) comment on today’s culture that such a site can exist.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            JBM, if you check the archives, has quite a lot of serious commentary, rants, and pictures of women. That writer in particular tends to make absurd claims. Previously has published claims that Trump was going to appoint Shinseki as Ambassador to Canada, that Kratman should be Speaker of the House, and that Kratman wrote a book titled Cannot Be Refined, nominated for best book of 2015 in the 2016 Hugos. As of yet, there is no Poe’s Law News website to the best of my knowledge.

            Duffelblog is pretty good.

    • Mike Houst

      LOL. Need more coffee this morning. I thought you were talking about Colonel Samuel “Sam” Trautman from the Rambo movies.

    • Joe Wooten

  11. Professor Badness

    (Reads through comments. Squints for a moment.)
    I’ll admit, I don’t wander the internet much.
    But, I had ‘thought’ that the phrase “first world problems” was a derogatory way of referring to stupid problems that a person treated as difficult.
    i.e., “I’m so hungry…nothing in the house is paleo.” or “I’m so cold…this stylish miniskirt doesn’t block the wind.”
    Apparently, I have not encountered the phrase under the same context as the rest of the Huns.

    • I have heard it used that way. I have also heard things along the lines of “I’m having trouble paying for my diabetes meds” being first world problems because, hey, at least you can get them.

      • Professor Badness

        Wow…just, wow.
        That’s cold. Being so dismissive of such a life or death situation really proves they are out of touch with reality in general and other people specifically.
        I sometimes wonder if such people equate everyone else as NPC’s, and not actually real.
        “Oh, they’ll just respawn later. I don’t need to worry about it.”

        • I think you’re last idea is very, very true of a lot of people. There used to be a blog called “The Last Psychiatrist” (still there but dormant for a year at least) where the proprietor argued narcissism is the disease of our age. She/he (Alone’s gender was a topic of great speculation) saw that very thing in too many people.

        • Hmm. Elsewhere is my definition – note that I acknowledge this is one of those “First World problems” that is not in the “usual” category. It is fatal if not corrected.

          But… In the First World, you have multiple options to correct the problem – and all of them are legal (i.e., won’t have the side-effect of giving you a worse problem). In the Second World, you have limited legal options, although you can get hold of what you need if you are willing to “bend” your morality more or less, and are cautious. In the Third World, fuggedaboudit. Die, already; more peasants where you came from. (Note, majority here. The top rung of the Third World, however narrow that is, are First Worlders. They will get the best available drugs from the First World for their life or death problem.)

        • Mike Houst

          NPCs ARE real. They’re projections of sentient beings from other worlds through the multiverse walls that manifest themselves in our games and imaginations. And I really want to have a talk with whomever is running me in the next world over.

      • Well, that might be an appropriate response if they’re texting you that on their brand-newest version of their iPhone, while snarfing down a couple of boxes of Ho-Hos they got delivered by Amazon (Prime account) and watching Netflix on their big screen.

    • Some folks use it that way– it’s like “feelz” and “adulting,” you feed them through the “ironic means being a nasty jerk” subculture and a decent sized group has never heard them used normally.

    • I run into that with a lot of phrase and word usages here. “Genius” and “Talent” are two where I had to work really hard to understand what the problem was, because of thinking of them in such a radically different fashion.

      Can’t think of any others at the moment, but I remember having the same confusion several times.

  12. freddiemacblog

    Including all those assh*les who use “First world problems” to be dismissive of others’ struggles.

    I tend to use the phrase when referring to snowflakes and/or clueless progs. For example …
    — the nutjobs at universities who are screaming *for* segregation because they’ve been triggered
    — crazy feminist progs (but I repeat myself) who rail against the patriarchy and oppression of women/gays etc. in the West but utterly ignore how women/gays are actually treated in the non-Western world

    Actual struggles, yeah — I’m probably going to be sympathetic. But the loons we’ve got running around who are *inventing* struggles — not so much.

  13. One could, I think, make an interesting sociological study based on how persons perceive the use of the phrase “First World Problems,” based on the variety of responses here.

  14. Yes, it’s a problem when you can’t beat the boss of the first world and get to the next world.

  15. I have recently thought about collating a list of “First World Problems” that show just *why* the First World is the way it is, and why the Third World is the way *it* is…

    The one example I’ve come up with so far was “I offered a bribe to the police officer who pulled me over, and he refused it and wrote me a ticket anyway.”

    I think this example came to mind because I heard that orientations for people from other cultures (particularly illegal aliens) coming to the United States will teach people things like “bribery won’t work here” because otherwise they’ll attempt to do what works in their original countries….

    • Unless they’re in NYC or Chicago.

      • That’s one of the reasons why NYC or Chicago isn’t as “First World” as the rest of the country…

    • I think one of the reasons why I have trouble with coming up with good examples of First vs Third World problems is that a lot of the ideas, when I express them, don’t sound like problems.

      Things like “It took me a couple of weeks to get the permits I need to work on my house” wouldn’t highlight how it can take months for someone in a Third World country to get the necessary permits for their house…and I would probably add it isn’t clear that part of my gripe is having to get permits in the first place, this supposedly being a free country and all…

      And, as snelson134 pointed out about bribing cops, the amount of permitting required, and the amount of ease it takes to get said permits, varies from region to region. (NYC and Chicago, of course, probably being among the top offenders in this particular complaint again! Gee, what’s wrong with those places?!? It’s as though they’re trying *hard* to become Third World!)

      • Someone tweeted about city requiring a business license for ANY lawn mowing service (including “the kid next door”)… and I recall hearing of immigrants (East Bloc?) being *astonished* upon trying to apply for a business license that such a thing that such a thing was simply not needed or even did not exist, save in special cases (dangerous materials, e.g. explosives).

        I like this country sure, but I’d like it even more if it matched the one people told me it was, back when.

  16. thephantom182

    I once had a malfunctioning dishwasher fill the basement of the house I was renting 3 feet deep with water, overnight. Finding the basement drain was fun. The IDIOT who installed it used a plastic intake line, which blew off the fitting. Didn’t have the right thing in his toolbox one supposes, substituted “it’ll do” instead.

    So be careful when the guy installs the new one, make sure he’s using the right fittings and lines. Idiots are legion.

    First World Problem, I have to sharpen my lawnmower blades. First world, because awesome that I don’t have to cut it with a reel mower. Problem, because there’s three acres to cut, and if I don’t get the ten blades sharpened up the place will look like a hay-field, and the TICKS will have a party. (Whoever heard of ticks in Canada?!!! I’d never seen a tick in my life before I was 40 years old, now the damn things are in my lawn.)

    • Third World Problem: I don’t have a lawnmower because, unlike a sickle or a scythe it is not dual use equipment.

      • …or you don’t have a lawn because you keep goats for the milk…

        • thephantom182

          Sheep are really good lawnmowers. Goats rip it out by the roots.

          • I went past a whole flock of sheep and goats* along a creekside trail this morning. Guess they’re using them to lower the danger of fire along the creek.

            *More than fifty. LOTS of ovines.

          • Feather Blade

            My Grandparents always had the most neatly trimmed shrubs in the little pasture where they kept the bum lambs…. no branches, twigs, or stray leaves on the plants at any point between the ground and 3 feet up…

      • thephantom182

        Every minute I’m -not- cutting the lawn leaves me free to do something useful, gainful or fun. Lawn cutting is just to keep the ticks down.

    • Mike Houst

      *ahem* climate change aka a series of warm winters *cough*

      • paladin3001

        Stuff like that irks me. People scream and panic about “climate change” when we have a couple of mild winters. Conveniently forgetting the few previous winters where it was abnormally cold or snowy. I swear to god peoples weather memory is busted. I can talk about winters/summers going back 20+ years and get these dumbfounded looks on some people’s faces.

        • “We’ve NEVER had a $SEASON like this before!”
          “You were born after the 1970’s, weren’t you?”
          “How can you tell?”
          “Been through this very thing. At least twice.”
          “This is the WORST things have EVER been!!!!”
          “Tell, do you recall a _river_ *catching fire*?”
          “I do.”

          • In August was the Jackal born;
            The Rains fell in September;
            ‘Now such a fearful flood as this,’
            Says he, ‘I can’t remember!’

            Rudyard Kipling

      • thephantom182

        Warm winter, plus defacto hunting ban. The woods are lousy with deer and coyotes. And field mice, and wild turkeys, and every other thing that used to not live around here.

        Walt Disney and his personification of animals. Unintended consequence, ticks invading my yard.

    • 3 feet? Ooooh. Ours was only a foot of water – but in the first floor (on a slab). Our failure (here’s that saga I mentioned below) was two-fold: the drain had plugged (completely) and the sensor for hey-the-water’s-too-damn-high-stop-sending-it was broken. And we were running the dishwasher at night because it was so danged loud.
      So, it flowed out of the dishwasher ALL NIGHT LONG.

  17. I need to replace my dishwasher. I have two, actually. One is the cheapest I could get from the HomeDespot when I lived in the first rental in Texas, and I pulled it when I moved to Alvarado, but that had the exact same model, so it has not been used since . . . 2011? 12?
    The house came with one as well, and I considered adding mine to the other side of the sink cabinet to use with the upper shelf removed for pots and wide pans, cutting board, cookie sheets etc. I thought I had a hard water problem (well, I do, a bit) and it turns out that the washer home came with barely throws the water about in there, so adding TSP and Bleach will do little to make the water, you know, actually hit the dishes, let alone wash things. I considered getting one today, in fact. But I instead bought $500 worth of flooring and decking to use as wainscoting and trim, and figured it can wait ’till another day.

    • Have you tried running it with CLR (Calcium / Lime / Rust) remover?

      • I have, but it needs to move water to have CLR go through it. I think, while it sat for a long time, the impeller in the pump rotted and has come apart. sitting and listening, the pump barely moves any water, and a dose of CLR, then other cleanings, to clear out the cheap powder soaps the previous residents used have only slightly sped up the flow. The thing is a cheapo, and very old. Not really worth spending much more trying to fix it

        • You can search for a new pump and just replace that. It turned out to be a lot easier (though tedious, keeping track of the order of the pieces) than I thought it would be. (Though, understanding which direction you have to push/pull the pump to get it out is fun. It will go one way, it will not go the other AT ALL.)

  18. Embracing convenience and not feeling guilty for that which frees us to do what we’re best at is what MAKES us a first world nation. And I intend to take advantage of it. All the way.

    I’m with you! All the way. 😉

  19. On Sarah’s recommendation for Bubble Bandit, it says if you live in New York you shouldn’t buy it for residential or commercial use. Doesn’t say you can’t buy it or that they won’t ship it, says you shouldn’t buy it if you’re going to use it in a dishwasher…

  20. And another thing on dishwashers. Something I learned while selling them. Almost every recall for fire or leaks or any other big problem with dishwashers has been on ones with a plastic interior. Spend the extra money and get one with a stainless steel interior. Despite any other claims you might hear, the SS interior ones are also quieter. One of the problems I had with my current GE Profile is leaking that wasn’t really leaking. It runs so quietly the kids would open the door to put dishes in while it was running. I had to teach them to look at the indicator light.

    Oh, the problem with overtightening the dishwasher inlet causing cracking of the pipe fitting and subsequent leaks is why most, if not all, dishwasher now come with a 3/4″ male hose connection rather then a 3/8″ female IPS connection. D___ things are usually plastic though, and I hate screwing metal fittings on to plastic. Far too easy to cross thread. I now hook the fitting up with the dishwasher on it’s side BEFORE I put it in the cabinet. Much easier to get it right when you can reach it with both hands without being on your belly on the floor. Whirlpool/Maytag was the first company to switch, GE a year later, and I think everyone has it now.

    • New dishwasher is SS interior and astonishingly quiet. More than once I had wondered if it had even started.

    • Mike Houst

      I find the trick to preventing cross threading on most connections (nuts & bolts, hoses, etc. to be to turn the connector in the opposite direction until it reaches the end of the thread and drops down to the previous turn. Then you can tighten it up with fair assurance the threads are properly aligned.

  21. Thinking it over, I think I would prefer to deal with Zeroth World Problems. No idea what those are, but the smaller the number of the World, the less damaging/dangerous its problems are.

  22. let’s see… Saturday… if i start driving now i will just make it.

  23. “sometimes eating a lot of toads”
    “your health holds up”
    Just gonna say those would seem at first glance to be mutually exclusive……. 😉

    I understand about dishwashers. I can tell sagas (well, at least one, anyway). But they’re cheap compared to refrigerators. And easy to install (for me, anyway). And, if you don’t want to get a whole new one (depending on the problem), you can find parts online and do the fixing yourself.
    (Though, as an aside, it helps if you plan your new flooring in such a way that getting an old dishwasher out from under the counter and the new one in is easily done. Also, have a plan for some dishwashers being taller than others – I had an inch of extra clearance from dishwasher #2 to dishwasher #3 that I had to find a way to nicely solve so I could screw in the fasteners.)