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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Passes for Excitement Around Here

had an old college friend up for the weekend.  there are some days that have a million things planned, and some that don't.  this was one of them, stacked three deep, and then he plans a stop-and-fish trip.

well, some things count more than others.  away, political convention!  scat, overtime possibilities!  forget about it, basement!  Bob's on the way, and we haven't seen each other in 7 years.  and that goes for the annual ham club banquet, too.  got to have priorities in life.

start laundry at 9 am that morning, and the washing machine craps out.  nothing but water fill and motor buzz.  it's been iffy spinning for a year, and now the lovely water-saver from 78 has had enough.  could be any combination of the big three... motor lockup, transmission failure, or timer collapse.  or a wild card, the motor capacitor.  that is easy to deal with.  and of course, tested OK.  I had something that would buy time, about the size of a large frozen juice can and had no chance of fitting in the washer, but if the cap was fine, forget it.  if you could get a timer, in a couple weeks, it would be over $300.  transmissions, probably about that.  motor, $100-120.  cap, another $15.

that's the cost of a new washer, a good one.

so after we had our lunch, and browsed about a fishing shop that was a damn sight more than I thought it was (Thorne "The Fly Angler" in Blaine, that place is rad), we came home to schmooze.  and one thing led to another, and we loaded up in our car and Bob's pickup, and shot out to Sears an hour before closing.

three good choices, close to the CR best buys list, and one was in stock.  the rain is coming down now, we got the Kenmore slid into the truck, and off into the storm.  got home, many interesting episodes getting the old washer out and the new one in, and start it up.  had to use, as Tolkein wrote, Words Of Command at times.  interesting episodes.

if you haven't bought a washing machine since you started the gas motor on the Maytag, and stepped on the pedal to stop the agitator and start the rollers, they burp and click and clank and hiccup and occasionally spin a minute, stop, fill THAT'S ENOUGH! and start it over again.  so the wife thought it was dying already.  I went for pizzas, and all became clear.

oh, if you think you can slide an old washer in the truck, you got another think coming.  Whirlpool made models from almost the dawn of time to the start of the HE era have an unsealed transmission with vents on the top.  you do NOT tip that thing more than maybe 20 degrees off vertical, ever.  the tranny oil is squeezed from unicorn steaks, nobody stocks it, perhaps because it's $50 a pint.  don't tip your old washer.  It won't work again.

and then we slept, and Bob was the tester for DeBasement's bedroom, and it was fine.  and he left to avoid rain and snow Up Nord, Yah.  got home in 8 odd hours.

the smelt run started Sunday, and they were thick enough to walk on Tuesday on Superior's shores.

the night Bob left, got a call from Son #2.  we've been saying for years, when you are working 10,12,overnight hours in the cities, don't drive another 80 miles, bunk here.  never, ever did.

well, we're going to have him for two weeks, now that DeBasement is not a festering hot spot for the CDC.


oh, another fine mess.  got a call Friday, payday, one of the club buddies who pushed me over the edge and into testing for my license.  he's got a little issue, needs cash fast, and at one point offered to sell his 897 radio for $200.

last time I had a deal like that in 76, I got a Sondek Export turntable, all audiophile all the time, for $175 that I couldn't afford.  bought it anyway.  still plays like a million bucks, which is good, because the current production is over 7,000 Euro in price.  some folks couldn't tell the difference between the Berlin Philharmonic and two kazoos in the shower.  I can hear the difference, and like it.

so until he gets his bonus, he's using the 897, and then I get a little hundred-watter that is a superb portable/mobile as well as a great performing base station, for the daily use radio around here.  for that, heck, I can surely let him keep his schedules while I do the last hard licks on DeBasement.

so it's not all toil and trouble here at Chez Swschrad.

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