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Archive for October, 2019

Happy dishwasher update

October 29th, 2019 at 07:01 am

The 2nd attempt at getting our dishwasher installed was yesterday afternoon. A different crew from a different company came out and they were amazing! They were friendly and understanding and professional and skilled. They were shocked that the other crew hadn't even made any attempt.

They pulled out the old dishwasher easily (the other guy said he might not be able to get it out) and proceeded to install the new one like it was nothing. They appreciated that we were educated and knew what we were talking about as I'm sure they encounter plenty of customers who think they know everything and don't really have a clue.

Once it was installed, they showed us the basic features and gave us some tips. They even answered a couple of questions we had about some other appliance issues. Of course, we now have their contact info and would happily use them again for future needs.

So we now have a shiny new installed and functioning dishwasher. We'll probably run the first load tonight.

Sent extra 6K to Ally

October 26th, 2019 at 07:01 pm

My base plan is to send at least $1,500 to Ally and $1,500 to Vanguard every month. Occasionally when excess accumulates in our checking account, I move that to Ally too. Yesterday I was able to transfer an extra $6,000 as I had gotten paid on Thursday and everything else was covered.

Our CC bills will be higher than usual the next 2 cycles because we bought a dishwasher last week and we’re going out of town for a few days next week but I think I’ll still have enough in checking to cover all of that. If not I can always transfer some back. At least this way it’s earning interest.

Nothing is ever simple - appliance issue

October 23rd, 2019 at 10:33 am

We bought a new dishwasher last week. They came yesterday to install it. The guy took half a step into the kitchen and said, "I can tell you right now it won't fit." We have a ceramic tile floor and there is a drop off at the end of the tiles to the floor where the dishwasher sits. It's been like that since we bought the house 25 years ago. This will be the 3rd dishwasher going into the exact same space. Previous installers thought the same thing and then proceeded to install it just fine.

Nope. This guy was convinced it wouldn't work and wasn't even willing to try. Back I went to the store today to complain. They said I had to contact the installation service directly as it's a third party.

I called them and the guy I spoke to actually seemed pretty good. He understood the issue and seemed surprised that the installer didn't even attempt to do the work. He said he'd seek out another installer and get back to me, which he did a short time later. He gave me his direct line if we need him and gave me the name of the new guy. We're just waiting for that guy to call and schedule to come out. Hopefully he can do it with no further issue. Otherwise I'm going to have to go to Lowe's again and have them refund what we paid for installation. I have a friend who has already said he'd be happy to install it if it comes to that. So still on hold at the moment to see what the final outcome will be.

Small DIY success

October 22nd, 2019 at 04:02 pm

Okay, this one may sound lame but I still count it as a success.

We were in Lowe's last week buying a new dishwasher. As we were walking through the store, we passed the aisle with the 4-foot long workshop light fixtures like many people have in unfinished basements or garages. We have 3 in our basement. One barely works and one hasn't worked at all for ages. I just never bothered to do anything about it.

Ours have 48" fluorescent tubes. Now they are all LED which is nice. I took pictures of the 3 options and a couple days ago searched on Amazon. Of course, I was able to find similar fixtures that are even brighter and cheaper than Lowe's so I ordered two of them.

They arrived today and I installed them both easily since they were going exactly where the old ones were, even hanging on the very same hardware that was already there.

We now have 2 super bright fixtures. The laundry room has only had a single regular bulb since that fixture died and the other half of the basement was pretty much in the dark except for the rare occasion when that fixture actually decided to work. It looks great down there. DW is happy because she is in charge of laundry and I'm happy because I do a lot of stuff on the other side. Plus the extra pantry is down there so now we can find things without pulling out our cell phone flashlight. And all for just $60 (and I'll get 5% cashback from our Discover card).

Change in asset allocation

October 18th, 2019 at 06:37 pm

I updated our portfolio spreadsheet and our asset allocation has drifted some from 12/31/18. I'm not surprised by that as I know we've been accumulating more cash. And of course market performance affects the numbers too.

12/31/18
69% stock
23.4% bond
7.6% cash

10/16/19
61.16% stock
26.67% bond
12.17% cash

I don't really have anything particular to say about these numbers. I'm fine with where they are. I do want to keep track as I don't really want the stock allocation to drop below 60%. I'm currently splitting at least $3,000/month between our savings account and our taxable Vanguard account so if I need to pump up the stock allocation, I can just direct more toward that instead of savings for a couple of months.

Bought a dishwasher

October 16th, 2019 at 02:13 pm

We headed over to Lowe's today. We've bought several other appliances there. They seem to have a good combination of reasonable prices, nice selection, and helpful staff that isn't overly pushy. Today was no exception. A couple of people asked if we needed help while we were browsing and walked away when we said not yet. Once we had it narrowed down to 2 models, we went over and asked the one woman for help. She was very nice and answered a few questions we had.

Of course, we ended up with the more expensive of the 2 we were looking at but it did have a couple of features that we preferred. It has a recessed handle so we won't be constantly banging into it like we would have been with the other one. And the racks and gliders were clearly of better quality. It was also rated a few decibels lower on sound level.

We just have to wait for the installer to call and schedule installation. Hopefully that will happen within a few days. It will be nice to have a working dishwasher again.

Time for a new dishwasher

October 13th, 2019 at 05:45 pm

Another chapter in "The Joys of Home Ownership". My wife informed me that the dishwasher has been making an awful noise lately and the other day was the worst it's been. We could: a) call out a repair person or b) buy a new one. Yes, I realize there is choice c) try to troubleshoot it ourselves to see if we can fix it. However, I'm opting for choice b.

We got our first dishwasher in 1995. We remember because we bought it when DW was pregnant and started having trouble reaching the sink to do dishes Smile. That one lasted almost 10 years and was replaced in late 2004. So the current one is actually 15 years old which is not so bad as appliances go.

I don't think it's worth paying for a service call plus any repair costs for a 15-year-old dishwasher. Plus, I've been self-managing gradual rusting of the one rack for the past few years, sanding it down and coating the edges. I even cut out a small section of the rack that was too badly damaged to save, so the whole thing is kind of ghetto at this point.

I've been browsing online and we'll probably hit a couple of stores on Wednesday and get a new one. It's not a huge expense as home repairs go and I can't complain about this one lasting as long as it did.