Monday, March 31, 2014

Laundry appliances explained

there has been a gradual change for the past ten years or so in the efficiency of washer and dryers. the machines have gotten so smart, but we will start with the basics.

widths can vary from 27 to 29.5 in width, same with dryers.
depth is important too. as machines get bigger in capacity they get bigger in depth. measure what you have now, paying attention to doorway openings and such. if you have it in a closet, you will be severely limited in what you can put in there. with the depth of the dryer add 3 inches because of the lint duct.

water efficiency

some people still have a basic washer with a large center agitator to move the clothes around. most people will overfill the water setting and use to much soap. why? because that is how they have always done it. most older people do not want to change, will quickly say that and I do not try to change their mind because they will complain and return their purchase. never mind the fact that that they waste a tremendous water and their water bill is way to high, capacity is between 3.2 cubic feet and 3.9 cubic feet.

the government mandated that the manufacturers make the washing machines more energy efficient. so they did!

he soap
use the high efficiency soap for todays new machines.
they are low sudsing, and you use less soap to do the job. the warmer the water, the better job the soap can do.
all machines use cold water for rinsing.

front loaders
the tub has a tilt to it so that the water, soap and clothes come together. there are paddles that move the clothes around. the design mostly eliminates off balance loads. hundreds of small holes allow for the spin cycle to eliminate the water. the more cycles to choose from the better the clothes will clean and last longer too. most people will still pick "normal" and hope for the best. front loaders use about 12-14 gallons of water. because they can't see how much water is used, most people will not complain about the lack of water.
capacity up to 5.0 cubic feet.

top loaders
people are amazed that 4 inches of water and that "little agitator" will clean the clothes, but it does. top loaders use about 16 gallons of water. many have clear tops and many people will watch the loads wash because of that.
most machines will show a picture of how much water an old machine used and how much is used now.

just about all dryers have sensors that measure the moisture inside the drum, when there is no more moisture, the machine will go to cool down and then shut off. unless you have something real thick, this works real well.

some machines offer a removable rack that sits inside the dryer. great for drying out sneakers or delicate clothes. the drum and air moves around but the rack does not move. eliminates the shoe banging noise.

steam features
many machines now have a steam option in the washer and dryer. steam in the washer helps breakdown heavy dirt. in the dryer it can refreshen an item worn previously or take out most wrinkles in something hanging in the closet or drawer.

pedestals lift up front load washer and dryers to a more comfortable working height. eliminates moving heavy loads while bending. most run about 200 dollars a piece. expensive yes, but you will be thankful you bought them. the height adds about 15 inches to the overall height of the machine.
top load washers don't need them.

front load washer and dryers can be stacked, dryer on top of the washer. mostly to save width space. a stacking kit is needed (Velcro and clips are used) or else the dryer will fall off. there are a few exceptions to the machines that can be stacked.

one piece stack units. you have all seen them, washer with the dryer attached to the top. sometimes you don't have a choice and have to use one, better then nothing. slowly getting better.

dryers for tight spaces
if space is tight, you will need to use what is called a flat back dryer, capacity at 6 cubic feet. most dryers have a bulge at the back to give a machine additional size. sometimes that is all you can use, deal with it.

direct drive machines
if you have a choice get one with this feature. ball bearings spin the washer drum, much quieter and last much longer. go with it if you can.

someone asked me is there a top loading dryer to go along with a top loading washer, there is, it is made by Fisher and Pakel, not available everywhere, they are out of New Zealand.

some machines now come equipped with smart phone apps that allow a diagnosis with your phone. you can also operate it from a distance.

washer as a dryer
some machines now have a drying fan built into the washer to dry the clothes if you forget to take them out, takes about 16 hours, featured on whirlpool and maytag

this is all off the top of my head.

my job is to take features and show you the benefits, making it as easy as possible for you to use.
i have one more post on appliance to go.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

backyard view

I decided to share the view that I don't always have time to see or enjoy

the tree that you see is being gown over by a second tree, the lighter shade bark. 
eventually the old dead tree will be engulfed by the new one.

this view shows more of the man made lake, one more house over, past the palm tree on the right would give us a great lake view, but oh well, this will have to do!

a back of the house view!

thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

morning sunrise

your welcome

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wish You Were Here (Full Album - Vinyl Rip) - Pink Floyd

haven't done this for awhile.
for my own enjoyment
and hopefully yours too!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

appliances ...part two...dishwashers

I know dishwashers are not popular everywhere, but here they are in every kitchen.

first the good news

The size of the opening is 24 inches. there is a smaller 18 inch but it is rarely used.
the height of the dishwasher can vary by 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch

keep in mine that if you put a thick tile such as mexican tile or marble in, you will have to remove three tiles every time to replace or repair the dishwasher. the installer or repairman will not do it.

the type of countertop that you have is important.
if you are getting a new countertop such as granite, quartz or a solid surface, make sure a piece of wood is put into place so that the mounting screws can be attached. your countertop guy will know what you mean.
if not you will need a dishwasher that allows you to screw sideways into the cabinet. there wil be a little cap that has to be removed to set the screw and then put back on.

again, most popular is stainless, black and white in that order.

it is measured in decibels.  the lower the number the better.  ranges from 64 down to 40.
once you get in the low fifties the machine will be hard to hear, that is a good thing. stainless steel is the preferred interior, easier to keep clean and adds to the quietness. as you go up in price you will get more spray leading to a better cleaning. a higher price will give you more cleaning options leading to better cleaning.
Samsung, LG, and Bosch to name a few do not have a heated dry option. they use the stainless insides to help in the drying process.

some come with handles with controls on top, some have control settings on the front panel, personal choice.

price can run from 200-1500 dollars, style, features , quietness and cleaning will determine price.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Why so serious?...son

he told me it was a challenge to get the makeup right, looks like the challenge was met!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Appliance buying tips from your friendly sales specialist!

You may come into the store and breathlessly say you need ...and list all the kitchen appliances. It is a big deal to you and to me but we hear it all day long and it is nothing new, to us anyway. But let us get down to some basics. Luckily there are some standards in appliances.
color popularity in this order, mostly stainless, some black, very little white, and biscuit is in the last stages of its death rattle as a color.

If you have a range hood now and want to put in an over the range microwave, you may not be able to do that.

standard widths apply 30 inches.

range hoods- 6 to 8 inches in height-hard wired to two lines coming out of the wall. Many times the cabinet above is too big for a microwave to be installed. (two wires come out of the wall for power)

microwaves-16.5 to 17.5 in height
it needs a cabinet to attach to. (microwaves are held in place with a back plate and two bolts through the cabinet above) An outlet for the microwave only(110) must be in place, power for the microwave only. a hole is also cut out for the cord to go through. a dedicated outlet is needed.
From the cooktop to underneath the cabinet you will need 33-35 inches for the install. 35 inches is preferred.
Too low will violate code,cause safety issues, and possible damage to the microwave.
please note if you have tile on the backsplash as that could limit what size you can put in there.


standard widths apply 30 inches

gas stoves are either natural gas or propane. different fitting are needed for propane, most ranges give you both. a new supply line is recommended, inexpensive in cost. you will need to change it out.

electric stoves are either coil or smooth top.
coil has been around for ever, are a pain to keep clean, spill overs mean taking the burner apart for clean up. positive point, when parts go bad, and they will, you can replace them your self. in most cases. parts are not cheap.
smooth tops look good and afford easy clean up. there are many configurations to chose from, choose the best for you, think of how you cook.

some ovens have convection.
it is not a mystery thing. there is a fan on the back wall that draws the air past an element heating the air an blowing it back into the oven, creating even temperatures and a better cooking experience and cutting down the cooking time.  it is an option, please use it.

manual clean ovens
are a pain in the butt. Chemical sprays are a pain and not healthy.

self clean ovens are easy to use. there are two types. the normal self clean, gets up to 700 degrees and burns all the crud off.  if cleaning, take everything out including the racks. it will take up to 3 hours. do not use oven cleaning products with a self cleaning oven, it will void the warranty.

new steam clean! uses water only. the oven element is hidden underneath. you pour a cup or two of water on the bottom, it will heat up and steam clean everything, taking about 20 minutes and another 20 minutes to cool down, then just wipe everything clean. easy peasy!
note: do not put foil on the bottom to catch drips, it will melt to the bottom of the oven. it will not clean off.

now for the refrigerators.

there is not a standard size, not a one size fits all. the bigger ones, 25 cft. and more, need at least 36 inches in width and 70 inches in height, a few are larger than that. many are now much deeper to all for more cubic feet. measure the opening wall to wall and from the floor to underneath the cabinet above. do not bother with measuring just the refrigerator, though additional information couldn't hurt.
the french door style is the most popular because of the flexibility and ease of use, especially with the freezer. you will enjoy it!

I will go into dishwashers at a later time.

there is much more I can go into so if anyone has questions I will address it for you,  happy to help.

I will do a post on laundry products in the future. trust me, there is much more to talk about.

yes, I know CAPITAL LETTERS are mostly missing, not in the mood today lol


Saturday, March 15, 2014

The little man inside my head must be an absentee landlord

It must be. How would you explain the fact I have enjoyed the same music, more or less all these years and still don't know every title and the words to every song that I hear? Or that for some songs I join in singing at the same point each and every time?

Or I can pick up a book that I have read many times before and still have it feel like it is a brand new and enjoy it once again?

Or that I can watch a movie or TV show again and again and still enjoy it all over again? Or use again too many times in this post? ;-)

I guess it takes something special, whatever the genre to find a special place in my mind. It checks in but never checks out. The little man is laughing right now, I have discovered his secret.

But what about those fantasies? Thought for another column.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

A gift to a birthday girl...son

an invite to a birthday party resulted in a request for a portrait drawing present of the birthday girl done by my son.
it pays to have skills!

she liked her present!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Green Eyes...son

I wonder who caught his eye?

****found out she was on the voice!****

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why the NFL and the NBA are the smartest of the professional leagues

Because they use colleges as their minor leagues and farm teams for free. Free!!!
Baseball and hockey have to train and nurture future players that aren't quite ready for the bigs. That cost a tremendous amount of money and there is no way around it. Even though the expenses of day to day operations are much smaller it is a major expense never the less.

Colleges however foot the bill for the NFL and the NBA. Football is the main revenue producer with basketball second best. Baseball and hockey are funded by football money for the most part.

Sad to say, higher education is not about learning and future income producing jobs, it's about who is number one!
Yes, I followed that logic for many years.
But we often wondered when the student athletes had time to study, sadly many did not. The dream of the big time money paycheck was missed by most of the players. It was only an illusion.

TV money supplies the rest. The networks fight tooth and nail for the rights to broadcast sports. Everyone makes money on the deal except the players.

Someday it will end. Football is facing its biggest scare with head injuries, parents are not letting their kids play. Hockey and baseball are finding it harder to find good players. Basketball and soccer will continue to thrive because all you need are two nets and a ball.

It won't all change in my lifetime, but change it will.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why the big monster salaries in baseball, simple, supply and demand

To be able to play baseball at a professional level takes an unbelievable skill set including, eyesight, reflexes, strength, speed, endurance, power and lack of fear of a baseball hurtling at you at close to 100 miles an hour while being thrown or hit at.

Remember the little league games with hundreds of little people in their uniforms scampering around trying to act like their heroes? Most of them are not good enough, never will be.

At the beginning, there are three or four per team that seem to have a future. Those hopes are soon dashed.
If you are not the best player on your team, you are not good enough. Simple. Parents soon realize that little johnny can't play and lose interest and so do they. It is rare to see parents attend a high school game.

The funnel gets smaller and smaller as the kids get older. Then something funny happens.

They stop playing. Forever.
Organized leagues take the fun out of the game.

The ones that play high school, college or the minor leagues try to keep that dream alive. But there are not enough good ones which is why baseball, desperate for players searches the world for someone to get on their team.

The World Series actually is a world series now a days. It has no other choice.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sometimes he amazes me...son

My son, Nicholas, woke up at 2:00 am, decided to do something. He told me who this was, I forgot immediately. This drawing I was told, took 4 hours. As always, blame the poor photo quality on me and my cheap camera!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sometimes I am to tired too be the voice of reason

It was Sunday night at work, it had been a long day, and I was waiting for the shift to end. I was tired, I hurt, and I didn't have much energy left.

And then it happened.

Some of the guys started talking about Russia and the Ukraine and the Vietnam and getting louder and agreeing with one another and nuke this and nuke that and we are the super power and screw them all.

I apologize.

I was too tired to point out that we had not been on the winning side of a war since WWII. That it was the last time congress had declared war, ( only congress has the power to declare war), we were no longer a super power, that Vietnam was a police action, that Korea was never officially ended as a conflict, that we have bases in over 150 countries, we never leave, that we may be respected as a country but no longer feared, that our military budget exceeds the next 10 countries combined, that we can't tell Russia not to invade another country because it is not right, ( because we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan ) , that congress is useless as a governing body, that there is no longer a major difference between republicans or democrats, that there was a huge uproar when social security was introduced ( much like the healthcare plan in play now ) that retires count on to survive.

They do get quiet when I start talking, like I know (pretend to know) something

Yea, I was tired.



Monday, March 3, 2014

classroom homework time...son

not all fun and games or is it?

still life

a blanket tossed


call waiting

lady in hat

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Has it really been six years of posting already?

My how time has flown is the common refrain. A lot of ideas have come and gone. It is true that I always have something to say. Last year though, there was a huge drop off in writing as I struggled with financial and physical pain, both striving to be resolved as we speak. It did cause some mental weariness. As anyone who writes on a regular basis knows you have to be motivated to put words to the screen.

But I am feeling motivated by my kids, all in their twenties now, they all seem to be in a good personal phase right now and that is making me happy.

So i will continue to write my little silly stuff and hope someone continues to read it.

thank you


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