Update: Life Shutdown

When last we left the Lstr family, pandemic had cast its long shadows upon the land; Grg had been part of a mass lay-off; and blogging had resumed.

Hmmmm…about that. Looking for work is work, and so I haven’t blogged as much as I hoped. I needed to step away from the computer. Since my readership is zilch from a peak of zilch+N ten years ago, I feel like setting this down for posterity.

  1. I’ve been fairly fortunate. We live frugally in a small house with an expensive zip code. Jenkintown is a good place to be. We will leave it if we must, but our first instinct is for either my wife or I to find work locally. Our plan has always been for one of us to work full time, while the other will start their own business, etc., which has been a good arrangement for the last 14 years.
  2. The kids have been remarkably resilient. My daughter, in particular, has shown great flexibility. My son, however, is now suffering. His three best friends are moving town (one has already gone), and he’s been inconsolable. What has become apparent is that my daughter (now 15), has adapted to online learning. The son (now 12), seems disconnected. By all accounts, he’s getting the work done, but he always did. School isn’t the challenge for him that it is his sister, which means more free time and lobbying for X-Box.
  3. Again, looking for work is work, and I am coming to terms with the idea that I was a little burnt out before the lay-off. I have had a couple of good interviews and I’ve been the subject of a number of mass headhunter attacks for temporary positions for which I’m algorithmically qualified. I’m expecting good things as the economy reopens. For the moment, I’m looking to get around to things that have been on my list, speaking of which…

A Terrible Work of…Carpentry?

I almost hate to call it carpentry, but I did technically use a variety of tools and techniques (and possibly too much wood putty) to build a little wall display case for the Star Wars landspeeder I’ve had since I was five. I had gotten it for my birthday while hospitalized with osteomyletis. I didn’t walk for a month, but when I finally could get on the floor, I had this landspeeder to zoom around the hospital.

I had grown weary of not dusting it, so hopefully this will show it off. I can’t be too critical of things I’m trying for the first time.

You get one ill-framed photo for one ill-framed display box.

Grg Lstr, Dishwasher Installer

Last week, the Bosch dishwasher we bought because it had actual buttons, stopped working in a specific way that led to us having to make a mathematical decision–fix the impeller, which may not have been the actual cause–or buy a new machine.

We have an appliance guy. Great guy. I won’t tell you his name. He’s good enough to warrant a certain amount of selfishness. Also, he’s semi-retired and retains enough knowledge of ancient appliances to keep our 40 year-old washer/dryer set running. However, he wouldn’t touch Bosch dishwashers and said few of his colleagues would for anything less than two thirds the price of a new machine.

As my own perfunctory explorations confirmed, Bosch dishwashers are built with the same convoluted over-engineering as German cars (or so I’ve been told). The part we might need to fix was buried deep in the recesses of the machine and involved stripping it down to the bear bones just to find it. My YouTube consultant confirmed just that.

My wife, who is master of all things customer service, called Bosch to see if we could get any relief, but they only expressed shock and surprise that our model lasted seven years.

So, we bought a new mid-range Whirlpool, and I installed it myself because I’m newly broke. Shockingly, it doesn’t leak or…you know…shock (because it is hardwired). However, I did jank up the front legs a bit with some over-enthusiastic adjusting. I compensated it by rolling shims under the back wheels, which took some contortionary aplomb I didn’t know I could manifest. (It also made me really nervous about turning the water on–I had to shut off the entire house, since the valve to the dishwasher was apparently just decorative).

It is currently running a second time–the first real run with dishes. All dishwashers make weird noises. This Whirlpool makes an entirely different set of weird noises (although, all in the same noise Phylum) than the Bosch. I should have not mentioned this to my wife, as there is no way I can pull this sucker back out to fix anything.

Returning to Space

Should the weather hold, today will be an incredibly historic occasion and I couldn’t be more nervous about it.