The Endarkenment gets physical

Our dishwasher gave out a fairly long time ago, and we put off the service call, as Rusty was keeping up with the dishes. But then it started leaking backed-up wastewater on the floor (which turned out to have been a result of Rusty mucking with the hoses under the sink) so we felt we had to. We got a terminal diagnosis. I contemplated a replacement, looked on line, finally went into Sears to see what they had, and for how much. And I decided to forget about it. Now, my parents always had a dishwasher. I’ve had one when I could.It seemed like one of the essential accessories of middle-class life. But I have an issue with spending $400 or so on something that will last only 6 years. The salesman at Sears told me they’re only getting 7-10 out of them, because they’re made more cheaply now. And the new green dishwasher detergent doesn’t work worth crap. So why should I eat $7/mo. plus operating costs, for something that doesn’t operate? This is, I think, the first time I’ve abandoned a technology because politics and politically-distorted market forces have made it useless to me. It’s not an issue of scale, like avoiding a haybine in favor of a scythe, or a bulk milk tank in favor of gallon jugs and mason jars. We dirty enough dishes to make it worthwhile and desirable…if it worked and would last.

And there’s Japan. Practically the first thing I said to Rusty about it was, “Watch the electronic supply chain get screwed.”  It wasn’t quite that, but the Tee Vee this morning was all about Japanese cars and their availability or lack thereof. Most of the plants are here, and as long as they can get parts, they’re OK. But the Prius is made over there, and over there is shut down. Now I’m not going to cry about some liberal douche in Madison WI not being able to get the car he wants. But it’s clear evidence of the fragility of our most advanced technologies. Rusty said she heard that American auto companies were helping their Japanese counterparts, and she said, “Screw that; they should overtake them.” That’s what American companies used to do, you know; somebody would stumble, maybe through no fault of their own, and they’d grab their market share.

Regardless of how the nuclear issue turns out, when the techno-monks of 2100 write the history of the collapse of civilization, the market crash of 2008 and the earthquake of 2011 will be the defining moments. You haven’t seen the last of this disaster, boys and girls, not by a long shot.

PS: This guy gets it.

4 Responses to The Endarkenment gets physical

  1. kishnevi says:

    Umm, is Sears seriously the cheapest place for appliances up that way?
    This place is local, and I assume shipping costs would eat up any price differential, but there must be a place around Cleveland that’s comparable–www.brandsmart.com

    Click on “appliances”, and then you can get to dishwashers that way. Of course, I have no idea of how long those things will last, but you needn’t spend four hundred on them.

    As for the enviro friendly soaps–first off, there’s plenty of old fashioned still available here. And in our family, the dishwasher is really the sterilizer–everything gets rinsed off and washed in the sink before it goes in the dishwasher, so even going soap free would do as good a job for me, in all likelihood.

  2. jeffreyquick says:

    I’m used to Sears, and I like their service, and supposedly I was going to get the whole repair bill rebated, which would have made quite a difference. There’s Lowe’s/Home Despot in Warren (no HH Gregg that I can remember) but nothing like this place. There’s not that much difference in price. I had been looking at the stainless tub which was recommended for our crappy well water, but they really didn’t have much in the way of cheaper models anyway. I’d considered regarding it as a throwaway purchase and getting the cheapest thing out there, which really chaps my ass, but there you are.

    As for “plenty of old fashioned”, you probably wouldn’t know. People have been changing formulations and not letting the public know. the issue seems to be spotting. Actually, our present unit would still work as a sterilizer if we wanted.

  3. kishnevi says:

    not letting the public know.
    Are you kidding? Going “green” is apparently a good marketing tool. Next time you’re in the grocery store, go down the laundry detergent/dishwasher cleaner aisle and notice all the products that proudly proclaim their increase of green-ness.

    Although as I understand it, the issue is not spotting (and with our water, we’ve always had spotting no matter what we use) but the fact that the “green” products don’t get all the dirt off. Which makes them pretty useless….

  4. Jim Quick says:

    Check for estate sales. Find old people that have just cashed out or moved to assisted living. Should be able to find a reasonable priced one that hasn’t been over used. We have only had two DW over the past 25 years, but then we do get our water out of Lake Huron and it is nice and soft.
    e have never had trouble with using ascade or even Aldies powder, We also use jet dry to remove water spots. You should also look into some type of filter for your well water. Jimbo

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