Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Next month marks the sixteenth anniversary of the Family Robbo’s setting up shop here at Port Swiller Manor.  With each passing year, as is inevitable, major appliances and fixtures have come to the end of their useful lives and have had to be replaced – the furnace, the water heater, the InSinkErator, the oven (well, that was more of an upgrade than a needed replacement), all of the potties, and so on.  In fact, the only three such items which I can recall being part of the original equipment we bought with the place are the Kenmore washer/dryer combination, the garage door opener, and the Maytag dishwasher.**

The first two items are still going strong, but the dishwasher is beginning to show its age.  One sign of this is that, recently, the lower dish rack has started rusting in spots.  (When that rust gets on the rims of the plates during a wash cycle, it’s a major pain to get the stains off again.)  So ol’ Robbo began to noodle around in his braims about what he could do short of replacing the whole thing (which seems absurd since it still runs perfectly well).

My first idea was to look for a replacement part.  As I say, it’s an old Maytag but I can’t seem to find any model number or other identification on it.  Nonetheless, at first I figured I could do a little measuring and a little eye-balling and a little detail comparison, and come up with something that would fit.  I found such parts readily available on-line, but also found that they’re a lot more expensive than I had imagined – a couple hundred bucks in some places.  That’s a bit too steep a gamble for me.

But as I hunted around, I also noticed another option in the form of some goop that you can put on the rust spots to seal them over.  Six bucks a bottle.  It has the consistency of liquid paper and you apply it by slapping on multiple layers every half hour or so and then letting the patches dry overnight.  (It also has some right powerful fumes that take me back to the hours and hours I spent in my misspent yoot putting together and painting model airplanes.  Duuuuuude...)

Anyhoo, that’s what I’m amusing myself with this afternoon and I must say that it’s giving me no end of enjoyment.  I guess it says something about ol’ Robbo’s station in life that such a homeowner’s short-cut can give so much satisfaction.  Unless, of course, it’s just the fumes.  (Duuuuuuude….)

By the bye, I’ve no doubt that there are many friends of the decanter saying to yourselves “Self, I wonder how ol’ Robbo’s Eldest Gel is taking to college life?”  Well, the short answer is that, despite the predictable bounces and shakes, overall tolerable well, tolerable well.  I put together a post this week listing all the activities and whatnot she’s got herself involved in, but it wound up reading like one of those awful family “news letters” that go out with the Christmas cards, so I chucked it.  Instead, I’m reviewing my more general thoughts about the overall shift in family dynamics caused by her absence and may have something to say about that.  Also, she’s coming home for the weekend in a couple weeks and it will be interesting to see what, if any, changes the first six weeks of school have made in her.

** Mrs. Robbo says that we put the dishwasher in our first year here, but I have no recollection of that.

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