Bosch Dishwasher Long Term Review

Back in 2009 we replaced our old dishwasher with a Bosch dishwasher. Though I loved it at first, I wouldn’t buy another.

The Good

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You’ll just have to trust me when I say this black rectangle is a Bosch dishwasher.

I bought a Bosch because it was the quietest dishwasher on the market. It really is amazingly quiet. Every so often I’ll open the door to put something in the dishwasher and only then realize it was running. It’s that quiet.

Bosch dishwashers don’t use a heated drying cycle. If they did, they’d have the same door vent as other dishwashers, and that vent is a big hole in the soundproofing. Eliminating the heated dry cycle makes the Bosch quiet and energy efficient. The downside is that things don’t dry exactly like they do in a conventional dishwasher. After making a few adjustments, we found the secrets for getting a Bosch to dry dishes and I don’t consider that a problem.

Now I’m doing saying nice things.

The Bad

Because this was a $700 dishwasher in 2009 dollars, Bosch has to provide extra features to justify the sticker price. For example, normal $350 dishwashers have racks with a bunch of tines sticking up to hold glasses and plates. “Pshaw!” said Bosch.

Instead, to design their racks Bosch hired an engineer who played with too many Transformers toys as a child. Tines flip up and down. Most of the bottom rack has no tines or slots at all, except for some clip-on tines that flip up and down. The clip-ons fall off all the time. And when they’re not falling off they’re flipping down. After a couple of years we quit putting them back in, so there’s never enough things to keep dishes from falling over. Advantage – $350 dishwasher.

Speaking of things which fall off all the time, the wheels on the bottom rack fall off all the time. Even when they’re all in place the rack doesn’t slide smoothly into the dishwasher, so you have to wiggle or shove it into place. Round two goes to the $350 dishwasher.

Then there’s the button. On those horrible cheap dishwashers you press the button and the dishwasher starts. On this finely crafted European dishwashing appliance you press the button. Which just turns it off. You have to press the button again to actually start the dishwasher. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pressed the button once and opened the door the next day to find a load of dirty dishes. And why you’d ever want to turn off a dishwasher I can’t even … You win again, $350 dishwasher.

Most dishwashers have a little latch under the handle that you have to press to open the door. The incredible strain of pressing the little latch has caused millions of Americans to develop calloused, arthritic fingers, excruciating shoulder pain and – in extreme cases – diabetes, asthma, scoliosis, impotence, and death.

Bosch to the rescue! There’s no little latch to press. You just gently pull the handle and the door opens. Or you can pull a little bit harder and the entire damned front panel and circuit board will rip loose, requiring a $170 repair. Two repairs like that and a fella could buy hisself one of them fancypants $350 dishwashers with all the tines and the non-falloff wheels. On the plus side, as a Bosch dishwasher owner I can smugly look back with heartwarming satisfaction on the four carefree years of my life when I didn’t have to press a little latch.

My wife has been annoyed with the Bosch’s quirks for years. I’ve put up with it because of how quiet it is, but that repair bill was the final straw for me.

Still Alive and I Have a Job No Less

No posts lately because I’ve been busy at a new full time gig, which I like a bunch. I needed a job and they needed me badly. ‘Nuff said.

Meanwhile, I’m putting out the videos I’ve been working on for a while. Here’s one.

Hootchie Cootchie Man

“Kids and dogs: If you’re having a baby, do not get a puppy.”

The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids – Don’t get a dog. People in comments are raking her over the coals for dissin’ the dog.

I don’t think her problems were caused by the dog. Read between the lines and you discover that at the time she got fed up with the dog she had three kids under the age of five. That’s a lot of butts to wipe.

We had two kids under the age of three, plus a dog and three cats. We were in our mid-thirties and couldn’t put off kids too much longer, my wife was in school which actually worked out great with kids, and so we decided to go ahead and have a second. It wasn’t easy, though I can’t imagine having three that young. A year or two later my mom couldn’t live alone any more due to failing health and being mostly blind, so she moved in with us, and after she developed Alzheimer’s things got much more difficult for a few years. Thus endeth my tale of woe.

So I don’t think the lesson is don’t get a puppy. The lesson is that if you can it’s nice to put a little space between the kids’ birthdays.

Double Edged Safety Razors – The Blades

Double Edged Safety Razor Cartridges

For various reasons, I’ve decided to try shaving with an old-fashioned, double-edged safety razor. One part of the appeal is price. Most plastic cartridges razors cost around $2/cartridge, or $1 at the Dollar Shave Club.

At local grocery stores, plain old razor blades were 10 for $15, which is nuts. I bought a 120 pack of blades on Amazon for $19, so about 16 cents per blade. Can’t beat that.

Breda asked if I also bought Band-Aids in bulk. I didn’t (smartypants), but after shaving with one of these blades I walked straight to the kitchen and wrote styptic pencils on the grocery list.

But what a close shave. Here’s hoping that over time I’ll either get much better at shaving with a DE, or slowly, bloodily carve my face into a shape that’s better for DE shaving.

Happy 8th Birthday, Katie

Another big year for my oldest daughter.

Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga

Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga

Playing Bells at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga

Lane Car Museum in Nashville

Lane Car Museum in Nashville

Your 2nd Grade Teacher, Miss Cheek

Your 2nd Grade Teacher, Miss Cheek

First Day of 3rd Grade

First Day of 3rd Grade with sister Natalie

Katie Singing Songs from “Annie”

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Laurel Falls in the Smokies, during the camping trip to Elkmon to see the synchronized fireflies

At sibling class getting ready for little brother Charlie

At sibling class getting ready for little brother Charlie

This year you got a baby brother. At first you were too cool about it. Before he was born you called him eBaby and said you were going to sell him on eBay.

It took about four hours with a real live baby brother in the house for you to to change your tune and fall in love with him. Now you’re crazy about Charlie. You and your sister fight over who gets to play with him and you give him a kiss before you leave for school every morning. You act tough, kid, but you’re a big softy.

The Blue Car

Here’s a story I told you that you liked about the blue car. We were talking about how I’m going to buy another car next year and you asked how old the blue car is. I told you I’ve had the blue car since right before you were born and you’re the reason I have it.

Before the blue car I had another car, a black Toyota Camry. It had lots of problems for some reason, even though it was only three years old when I bought it. It had brake problems and radiator problems and windshield wiper problems. And then the biggie -  it had engine problems. I paid the dealership $900 to get those problems fixed. Then a little while later – a month, I think – on Halloween night the engine blew up. It threw a rod into the block. The car was worth more running than not, so I paid $2,000 to get the engine replaced.

Then the next spring I realized the air conditioner had quit working. I drove it for another year with no air conditioning, because it’s expensive to replace a car’s air conditioner and I didn’t want to spend any more money on that car.

Your mother and I wanted to start a family and we were very happy when she got pregnant with you. She was going to be pregnant all summer long and have you in late September. Pregnant women get hot easily. We had to have a car with air conditioning for your mother, so I sold the black car and bought the blue car from your grandmother Dorothy. She had stopped driving a year or so before because she couldn’t see very well anymore.

The blue car is what we used to bring you home from the hospital when you were born. Then we used it to bring your sister Natalie home from the hospital. After she was born we decided we needed something bigger. In fact, on the way home from the hospital we drove through the parking lot of the Honda dealership near our house in Louisville to glance at the Honda Odyssey minivans.

Two weeks later we bought a brand new Honda Odyssey minivan for your mom to drive so I put her Honda Civic for sale on the classifieds. That Odyssey was Vanny. Six years later we used Vanny II to bring your brother Charlie home from the hospital. I kept the blue car to drive back and forth to work.

This is us bringing you home from Fort Sanders hospital. You and your mom are in the back seat. Flowers, a laptop computer, and a videocamera are in the front seat. The yellow house in the background is on Clinch Street in front of Fort Sanders Hospital, and may still be there when you read this decades from now.

You liked that story when I told it to you, so I wanted to write it down for you. Your birthday post was late this year, but I got it done because I want you to have these when you grow up.

Your mom and dad love you, kiddo.

Happy 7th Birthday, Natalie

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Happy big 7, Na Na. The thing that made me most proud this year was what a good big sister you were to baby Charlie.

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You got to know my stepmother Neda when she stayed with us in the fall.

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Your first grade teacher was Mrs. Garner.

First Day of 3rd Grade

First Day of 1st Grade with sister Katie

Your soccer coach was Charles West. Your team was undefeated in the spring.

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Lane Car Museum in Nashville

Lane Car Museum in Nashville

Your mom and dad love you, kiddo.

Conversation while searching for a leather couch on Craigslist.

MELISSA: Go to Craigslist and I’ll show you that couch I found in Maryville.
ME: OK, I’ll do a search for “leather couch.”
MELISSA: The search I did was for “couch leather.”
ME: We don’t want couch leather. We want a leather couch. Couch leather is what we’d want if we were going to make our own leather couch from scratch.

Photos – Red Tomato Stakes

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Camera
NIKON D7000
Focal Length
98mm
Aperture
f/4
Exposure
1/125s
ISO
500
Camera
NIKON D7000
Focal Length
98mm
Aperture
f/4
Exposure
1/125s
ISO
500

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Cord Cutting: VLC Remote Control for Your Smartphone

More and more we’re connecting a laptop to the TV to watch video with VLC Media Player. The lack of a remote control was a nuisance. There are some USB-based remote controls with trackballs and keyboards for 30 or 40 bucks, but I found a remote control app called VLC Remote.

To use the app, run the setup software on any computer you want to be able to control. VLC Remote autodetects computers on the network running VLC and the helper program.

The app runs on Android, iOS and WebOS. I’m using the iOS version and it works great. I’m using the free version, which has volume control and basic controls for start, stop, pause, fast forward and rewind. The only small hassle is having to use the laptop to open the video file. Since I connect the laptop every time I want to watch video it’s no big deal. If I had a dedicated computer connected to the entertainment center I’d buy the the paid version, which has file browsing and some other geegaws like a graphic equalizer.

Happy 1st Birthday, Charlie

Happy 1st, little guy. It’s been a big year.

Minutes after you were born

Your great grandmother Geneva

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Covered in sister kisses.

Conked Out

Big Man Sitting Up

First Easter

First Easter

First Halloween

First Halloween

Holding a bottle for the first time

Holding a bottle for the first time

First Christmas

First Christmas

Your mom and dad love you, kiddo.

Conversation Filled with Bad Words

KATIE: Daddy, Natalie used a bad word.
NATALIE: No I didn’t.
KATIE: Yes you did you said the B word.
ME: Natalie, don’t use that word.
NATALIE: Well, Katie used the H word.
ME: Katie, don’t say that.
KATIE: Natalie said the A word.
NATALIE: Katie, I heard you say the S word.
KATIE: You say the D word.
ME: Which one?
KATIE: Dumbass.
ME: At least no one used the F word.

The DON’T GET SICK! Health Insurance Plan

Unc’s post reminded me to tell my story. So with unemployment comes a new healthcare insurance plan. It’s called “DON’T GET SICK!”. The idea is that if you don’t get sick, you won’t need healthcare. What could go wrong?

My wife and I agreed that with three kids we needed supplemental DON’T GET SICK! insurance. We found a Blue Cross/Blue Shield short-term plan for $350 a month, no physicals required. It isn’t great insurance. The copays and deductibles are high. It doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. If I had another grand mal seizure and spent three days in the hospital it would cost many times more than the $3,000 I had to pay with great insurance. So as part of the DGS plan I’m extra careful about taking the medicine prescribed after the last seizure.

Still, it’s an improvement on the previous DON’T GET SICK plan. If nothing else it will keep us from being financially ruined in case we can’t avoid DON’T GET CANCER, DON’T HAVE A HEART ATTACK, and DON’T GET IN A DEBILITATING ACCIDENT.

Or DON’T BREAK YOUR WRIST. Right after we applied for the short-term policy the girls had a roller skating night with their school. I’m watching kids fall down left and right and thinking what a damned dangerous sport roller skating is. I counted off five people I knew who had broken arms on rollerskates.

Sure enough, Katie fell and sprained her wrist. My wife wanted to rush her to the emergency room – a $250 deductible on our good insurance, and who knows how much on DON’T GET SICK! supplemental insurance. When Katie wasn’t complaining about her wrist she could run around and dance, so I didn’t think it was serious enough for the ER. I Googled and found out that for minor sprains the treatment is ice, ibuprofen, and a wrist brace. We did all of that and she was fine in a couple of days. We’re definitely more discriminating users of healthcare than before.

My wife landed a job right after that, and we start on her insurance first of April. It’s much better insurance and doesn’t cost that much more than the DON’T GET SICK! supplemental insurance – about $600 per month for a family of five – because her company pays part of it. It eats up a big portion of her paycheck, though, and is going to rise $250 per month in October due to Obamacare. We’re hoping I’ll get a job soon to bring in more income and with any luck lower insurance premiums.

Conversation While Cooking Potatoes

ME: You know what The Incredible Hulk says when he’s making whipped potatoes?
MELISSA: What?
ME: HULK MASH!
MELISSA: That isn’t even a joke.

Got the Laid Off Blues

My company shut down the division I was in, so I’m out there looking for a job. This is the first time I’ve searched for a job and done interviews in 13 years, so it’s an experience. My resume was rusty enough that I had it rewritten by a resume service and I gotta say it’s a big improvement.

We’re doing OK here on the homefront. I’ve got some good leads with some good companies that I hope will pan out. I got a generous severance package and my wife just landed a job. But the sooner I get a job the better, natch.

If you know anyone who’s looking for someone with e-commerce, online marketing, and social media experience give me a shout.

If you feel comfortable endorsing me for any of these skills I’d appreciate it. Here’s my profile/resume.

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Bleg: Help me fix my weird PC audio problem

I’m having an oddball audio problem on my Windows XP tower.

My kids were using a pair of cheap headphones plugged into the headphone jack on the front of the PC. The tip of the plug broke off inside the headphone jack. The only way to listen to music is to plug in the broken headphones. Other headphones won’t work, because the broken plug tip is blocking the way.

Likewise, the rear sound jack won’t work. When you plug headphones in front, the computer assumes you don’t want to use the speakers, so it bypasses the rear sound jack. With the broken plug tip inside, the computer thinks headphones are plugged into the front.

I tried getting the broken plug out using a semi-straightened dental pick, but no dice. Any other ideas?

Is there a way to disable the front headphone jack in software? I’m thinking that if the computer didn’t know the front headphone jack existed it would stop bypassing the rear sound jack.

Any ideas appreciated.