Of Suds and Citizenship

This may not be culture threatening, but I couldn’t find my
notebook this morning. Despite increasing reliance on my computer, I am still
partial to the college-ruled notebooks that are available for about ten cents
apiece during August back-to-school sales. Having started a new one yesterday
it was particularly irksome that it wasn’t in its appropriate place.

After running through possible scenarios and settling on the
idea of an intruder breaking in during the night and spiriting away my
notebook, I retraced my steps and there it was, exactly where I had looked ten
minutes earlier. Obviously, a repentant thief was making amends.

Finding the book allowed me to continue my quest for a new
dishwasher. After years of dependable hard labor while our house was full of
growing children, the machine gave up under the gentle regime of empty nesters.
While I don’t mind doing dishes by hand, something is awry with the water
connection so that I need to bail out the useless dishwasher twice a day to
avoid kitchen flooding. Finding a replacement seems to be the simplest

I have read of immigrants from the old Soviet Union being
overwhelmed when facing American supermarket shelves. They are almost paralyzed
by the multiple choices and varieties of each type of item. That’s about where
I am in looking for a dishwasher. Not only are there numerous brands, each with
dozens of model numbers, but, unless you are talking way above my price range,
most reviews are negative. That isn’t surprising. If you are happy with your
dishwasher, you spend your time washing dishes. If you are unhappy, you seek
revenge, posting scathing reviews while on hold with appliance repair.

Hence, my need for the notebook, which already had a page
filled with model numbers crossed out. I certainly didn’t want to start from scratch
today. What I most likely will end up doing will be to chuck all the research,
go to a local appliance store and rely on the advice of a salesman (and yes, I
know that the salesman might be female and trust your intelligence to read the
“man” part in the broadest sense of the word).

However, all of this leaves little time for ruminating on
the state of the world or even for being appalled at the day’s headlines. It precludes
attending my local city council hearing or writing letters to my senators and
representatives. Having no dictatorial powers, I don’t think that I am
imitating Nero’s (mythical?) fiddling while Rome burned. Nevertheless, it
certainly is true that cherishing a marriage, nurturing a family, running a
business and taking care of the daily ins and outs of life, make finding a
missing notebook easier than putting in the effort required to be an informed
and  involved citizen activist. One of
the threats facing our culture is that those citizens who are not doing much of
the above have more time at their disposal than those who do.  




7 thoughts on “Of Suds and Citizenship”

  1. All of us love the dishwasher of a friend and hers is a Kenmore Elite Model 665 with stainless steel on the back of the door.
    Another friend had friends looking for a dishwasher and they were very happy with a Amana for under $300.

  2. My father had a similar problem with his dishwasher that he had bought from a chain. They sent a repair person up and he diagnosed the problem as an elbow joint needing replacement and was replaceable for minimal cost. The problem is my father has real wooden floors in the kitchen and the repair person said that he couldn’t pull the dishwasher out because of possible damage to the floor. So he left. My father called his handyman who pulled the dishwasher out with the help of my brother, saw the rubber elbow joint, took it to an appliance parts place, bought the replacement part, put it on, and slid the dishwasher back into place. That was fine for a few weeks until the flooding happened again. It was a mouse both times. The mouse had chewed through the rubber. This time the handyman barricaded the opening from the outdoors to the dishwasher, then repeated the same steps. So far there has not been further problems. Therefore my father has the same dishwasher and replaced the elbow joint twice. The piece probably costs $10.00 plus the labor and the solving of the problem. I have told my father that he can use the services of a cat.

  3. Susan,
    What a delightful post! My wife Joanne also thinks it’s a national crisis if she can’t find her hand-written notebooks for her musings and appointments.
    I agree that it’s probably best to just go to a trusted store and talk to the sales”person” to select a dishwasher. We did so recently – at Best Buy – and got a Bosch as well.

  4. Dear Susan,
    A few years ago I did exactly as you are doing when I was looking for a refrigerator. Good luck on the hunt; if you know how to use Excel, it makes the comparisons a lot easier.

  5. Good morning Susan:
    I was extremely impressed with the dishwasher in the relatively new home that we rented at the coast last summer. As Lori has commented, it was SO QUIET that it was difficult to tell whether it was running or not. The brand was GE and the model name had the word “quiet” in it. Is sounds like quiet may be part of the new “standard equipment” since Bosch is the name that Siemens uses for U.S. marketing of its products. Siemens and GE compete head to head internationally in a great many markets including some consumer appliances.
    All of that said, you may be interested to hear of my “activist” work so far this week. The newly elected N.C. State House Representative from the county adjacent to mine is being sworn in at noon today in Raleigh. Having had the opportunity to meet and have some quality chatting time with him on several occasions, I had taken the opportunity to inquire if he might be interested in reading what I deem to be an outstanding book about the ethics of capitalism that includes ancient wisdom regarding the principles of wealth creation. He said “By all means, and I will read it!” There is now a brand new copy of the second edition of Thou Shall Prosper waiting for him in his PO box when he returns home from Raleigh. I hope he does read it! (after all – as much as I like him, he is a politician) 😉

  6. We have been pleased with our Bosch (Model #SHU33A06UC /14) dishwasher. While it was a bit more expensive than some other brands, we were happy to pay more if it would actually do its job without my having to rewash the dishes and pick off food remnants after it had completed the wash cycle. An added benefit is that it is very quiet while it’s working.

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