Hazy Shade of Winter

Snowed in
Groundhog Day, 2011.
We got hammered

We feed a lot of wild critters in our backyard, and judging by the way they’ve recently been packing away the food, we’re in for a hard winter.

I bought our first snow blower last week – an attempt to stave off the brutal winter I see coming. (Like washing your car guarantees rain…reverse psychology.)

We’ll see what happens, but the threat of a hard winter made me think of 2011, when – on Groundhog’s Day – we got dumped on.

Look at that picture: Were it not for the antenna and wipers, it just looks like a weirdly-shaped snow drift. It was a powdery snow (thankfully), but it still took some time and effort to dig out of it all. (Why I never posted this pic but on da Facebook escapes me…fun pic)

Here’s to hoping this year does not bring a repeat of this snowpocalypse.

A tale of three stoves


Newer – 2005:

GE Stove – 2014:

Back in 2005, we finally replaced the old, flesh-toned Caloric stove that came with the house with a fairly expensive stainless steel KitchenAid stove.

Should be the last stove we’ll even buy, right?

Not so much.

After nine years with the $1500 KitchenAid range – and $700+ in attempted repairs – it was time to cut our losses and get a new stove.

Bottom picture – a GE range that, so far, works.

We ditched the Caloric (top pic) for the simple reason that the oven wasn’t “as advertised” – Pizza in 12 minutes? Make it 15 and so on. Don’t know if was the age of the stove or design flaw, but the “having to guess oven cook times” was an issue. It came with the house, and since it was probably 20-30 years old, there were other issues, as well.

So we got a kick-ass, shiny KitchenAid stove.

Much good about it, but its basic flaw was simple: The oven (very) often would not start. Click click of the electronic starter and …. nothing. A week ago Saturday, I put a tray of enchiladas in the stove, fired it up, and all was good.

That’s the last time the stove started. We’ve tried literally dozens of times over the past week, and nothing. And this is, unfortunately, not unusual.

I mean, at the very base level, a stove should have burners and an oven that turn on (and then, unlike the Caloric, pass the other silly issues…). But. Burners start. Oven start. Base level.

The KitchenAid – after multiple “repairs” – never met this base level. (Burners: Good. Oven: Crapshoot.)

Hence new stove.

I don’t want to be writing about this stove in a few years/few repair visits….

2014 Mid-Term Elections

I followed the run-up to the 2014 mid-term elections fairly closely (mainly on a national level), and – after last night’s election returns – I have two main take-aways from the whole process:

  • Neither side really ran on what they would do in the future – ya know, if you elect me I’ll do this/that. Republicans ran – pretty successfully – on a “we’re not Obama” platform; Democrats – much less successfully – ran on “war on women” and so on. Both sides rooted in the past; what’cha going to do for me after I vote for you? __silence__
  • The craploads of money – usually outside money poured into this election is: awesome, obscene, WTF? Take your pick. Just seems …. wrong …