Our old washer and dryer, dependable monsters that have served us well for almost 10 years, have started to make us feel guilty with their churning and water guzzling and energy usage, especially after we watched An Inconvenient Truth.
Also, maybe it's just my imagination, but the machines seem to have gotten louder over the years and sometimes, I have the distinct impression that they move ever so slightly from start to finish of a wash/dry cycle.
We went straight to Sears, which is a place I'd never buy a TV from, where I feel perfectly comfortable laying down scratch for a fridge or coffeemaker. In New Braunfels, they have an "Appliance Center," which forgoes all the froofy stuff you see in a mall-based Sears, like clothes and toys, and has only beefy hardware.
They had on-hand a great catalog that compared all the Kenmore models, right down to the efficiency, differences in features and photos. Even though we loved the big, lovely, red washer/dryer set that was the top-of-the-line, we settled for older models that were about $500 cheaper, but had almost all the same features.
We came back a week later on the last day of the sale only to find that the sale had gotten even better and now the pretty red washer/dryer were almost as cheap as what we were going to pay for the lower-end models.
So, we have a blue washer/dryer set on the way to the house later this month. (The red model, for some reason, lacks a porcelain top, which is probably not a big deal, but for the same price, Kenmore can go fuck itself with their non-porcelain-top red washer/dryer set.)
The front-loading set is more energy efficient, but they also have features like, "Senso-dry" and "Chem rinse" which apparently dry clothes in a way that was not previous possible and remove all the harsh chemicals from the laundry soap that I didn't even know was a problem. Have I been walking around with moist, soap-filled clothes all these years? While wasting water and energy? What the fuck was wrong with me?
The new washer also uses "HE (high efficiency)" soap that costs about the same as regular soap, but makes you feel a little too yuppie when you buy it.
I'll let you know how the washer/dryer thing goes. Right now I'm just afraid the old set will get mad and come after me in the night, growling and churning.
Rejected joke from the Almost Late Show w/ Bobby Bones:
The price of corn has gone up, which has created a corn tortilla crisis south of the border. Tortillas are so expensive in Mexico now that the Virgin Mary will only appear on tortillas that are mounted on 20-inch rims.
No? All right.
Here's a little video thing I did, just playing around with the Web cam.
Insane In The Kent-Brain -- Clark finds himself institutionalized, and learns that everything that's happened in his life since freshman year was one big, fat lie. Lex is in a wheelchair, Lana lives in the barn, and cats and dogs are living together in harmony. It's craziness! Luckily, it's all just a hallucination, as Clark finds out with the help of Martian Manhunter, who helps him to bust out of an alien brain invasion. If it all sounds confusing, don't worry. It didn't make any more sense if you actually watched the episode.
I wrote an article about a Spanish-language station emerging as the top-rated station locally.
I'm not an expert on radio ratings, so I did the best I could on the article, and as far as I can tell, the two days I spent working on it yielded a story that, while not the end-all-be-all of storytelling on the subject, at least got the facts right and presented them fairly.
Of course, you can't do a story in the newspaper that deals with anything Spanish-language without opening the floodgate of readers who decide you are the person they must e-mail about the subject of illegal immigration.
I try to be very polite in my responses, but given that I just spent two and a half years editing a Spanish-language newspaper largely targeted at new arrivals who are immigrants from Mexico, I'm probably not the most neutral person in the newsroom on the subject. And I try to say so in my responses, directing them to please write a letter to the editor or to address their concerns about our language use to one of our senior editors or to the reporter who covers the subject.
Still, for a few days at least, I get to be the official sounding board for people railing against the "Influx" of illegal hispanics. Of course, they're illegal in many of these e-mailers' eyes, even if some of them have gained citizenship. And the people writing in are absolutely convinced they are correct on the issue, and that even arguing semantics on the term "illegal aliens" yields a curt response that if what they're doing is illegal, it's fine to call them "illegals" because that's what they are. Because it's so clearly such a black-and-white issue.
I also got an e-mail from someone (a Mexican-American) upset that these new Spanish formats are destroying Tejano music and culture.
And I even got a mail from someone I know in the radio industry about how the ratings system is all screwy to begin with and now weighted toward Spanish stations.
This is why I cover technology and not radio ratings or immigration. At least when writing about tech, I feel like I'm on pretty firm ground.
A new Space Monkeys! joint is up this morning. It's part one of a two-parter, but we haven't even told our comics readers that yet, so let's just keep it a secret, shall we?
The next one should be up Wednesday.
My weekend was spend running around quite a lot, being stressed about stuff that turned out just fine, and knocking out some recap and joke writing. This was a weekend where we committed not to make any plans and try to relax and organize the house a bit, and instead a series of mini-crises and unplanned commitments kept that from happening.
Also, Road Runner decided to shut down my modem on Friday, the day I was supposed to work from home, because they detected a virus on my home network. The rest of the day involved tech-support Hell (it's even worse when, while transferring you, they disconnect you and you have to start over. Twice.) and then trying to isolate a problem that Time Warner was less than willing to help me narrow down and fix. They threatened me with a permanent shut-down of my Internet service if I didn't resolve the issue in 24 hours, giving me a cable modem reprieve I was expected to be grateful for.
So the rest of the day was spent stressfully running adware and virus checks and locking down my wireless network instead of doing actual work. By Sunday, we still had Internet access, so I'm assuming that I somehow fixed the problem, but living in a world where they can shut down my Internet service with no warning (no call, no e-mail, nuthin') at a moment's notice for reasons they won't be able to specify when I might have important work deadlines to consider certainly sours the happy relationship I thought I had with Road Runner.
The tech guy I spoke to (after about four hours of trying to reach someone who could help and a trip to Burger King to use their WiFi) helpfully suggested I get a Mac, since they don't seem to have these problems. Thanks, buddy! I'll admit, I do think a wiser use of our money would have been to get an iMac instead of upgrading our Windows XP machine in preparation for a new operating system that I doubt I'll switch to at this point.
Road Runner: making you face harsh truths and regret past decisions.