Maytag Front-Loading Washer/Dryer, Addition/Old House, Another Watertown WIFI Spot, Some Free Blog (or Website) Graphics, Cat Pics

Maytag Front-Loading Washer/Dryer, Old Section of House, New Section of House

We bought our old conventional washer and drier (Frigidaire) about ten years ago. For most of that period we had to use them in the cellar as there was no room in any other part of the original stone house for them. Heck, there wasn’t much room for anything in the original stone section of the house. Consequently they got a small amount of rust, dust, and crap in them. Also, the washer would sometimes freeze in the winter, only once or maybe twice during the cold months, due to the location they had to be (where the hook-ups were). But I don’t imagine this was too good for it, even though we’d immediately shut it off and defrost it.

When we put the addition on the house, doubling the space we had, we then had a nice laundry slash pet room (with all the custom hook-ups just where we wanted them for the washer/dryer).

We brought the washer and dryer up and have been using them there for the last three years. They weren’t and aren’t in too bad of shape, but lately the dryer has been making a loud terribly bad squeaking noise and the efficiency of the heat itself has dropped.

So we’ve been playing around with the idea of getting one of the new front-loading super-energy/water efficient models.

We’ve looked at them, studied them, talked to people and salespeople about them, and went back and forth on when to get them. They’re expensive after all, and our existing units were working okay.

With the tax rebate and such, and some great rebates from Lowes; we decided to go for it.

We got a lot of money back in multiple rebates, plus our delivery (and set up) for free after the rebate. And we could still sell our old ones as they were still working okay. The guys who came out and delivered them did a good job of bringing them in fairly carefully and setting them up for us (a slight confusion came up but it was quickly worked out – I’d prepared for it).

We went with Maytag, apparently bought out by GE (the guys who delivered them came out in a GE truck). They had good reviews and such, as well as the company.

Good quality, lots of features. The washer has its own water heater for the sanitizing cycle (which we have yet to use) and many other options. Tones, timers, custom cycles, etc. Same with the dryer.

These things use MUCH less water and electricity. I guess despite all the stats I was still a bit skeptical. THAT MUCH LESS WATER? We’re on a well and while we’ve never ran out of water (the well was even re-drilled a short time after we bought the house) I’m always concerned with these extremely dry summers we’ve had in the last few years. And with the weather being intermittent and the overwhelming number of droughts due to our weather being unpredictable in the whole Global Warming condition – well, we’re looking toward the future.

Watching the washer just once convinced me. It showed how much “smarter” it is, both in the washing itself as well as the use of water. It squirts some in, moves the clothes slowly around in one direction, then in the other, then spins it, lets it soak, does the whole thing over again. At the end it spins it incredibly fast, enough to give a subtle vibration to the floor of the whole new section of the house. Wow, it spins fast.

The dryer does a much quicker job also.

The clothes smell slightly different. You know that “freshly washed” smell of clothes? These don’t really have that. It seems that “freshly washed” smell is actually particles of your clothing which have been stripped out when it’s washed and dried, and which floats around in the air. These are much more gentle and use more gentle but efficient methods. Clothes are supposed to last longer too.

Sure, these things are expensive. But we needed a new set anyway, and we might as well do our part for both our own resources as well as in general. Plus they do a better job than conventional ones. And they’re pretty cool.

We even bought the stacking kit (not much money) even though we really didn’t need the room.

Despite it being pretty convenient to have the dryer right on top without having to bend over, it also gave us some space to move around some of our pet stuff.

Like I said – we didn’t really need to the room but it’s nice to have it.

It’s pretty amazing, in fact, to be able to say we “don’t need the room”. Expanding our house by a hundred percent sure helped but can you ever have TOO much space (at least when you’re relatively young and can expend the energy to clean that extra space)?

For so long we’d been stuffed into small spaces.

My wife lived in a relatively medium-sized house growing up. And though I lived in a large house growing up; most of the house wasn’t used (especially in the winter) and in fact my room wasn’t heated (I used it only to sleep in so my only real space was my computer station downstairs, a cramped little space that everyone would stick their nose into since it was in the kitchen – bla).

When we got this house it was just a small stone building with an even smaller wooden part. It had been remodeled a few times, but long ago and it hadn’t been kept up. The two bedrooms are barely large enough to stand up in (and only in the middle where the peak of the house is). The rest of the rooms were relatively good-size but there wasn’t enough of them.

So when we built the large addition it was like a sigh of relief.

We could stretch – our stuff, ourselves, and our minds; we could afford to have some empty spaces and empty wall space and bigger nicer things and just room in general.

Our decorating style DEFINITELY does not lean toward the “Granny” category of overwhelming crap and nick-knacks on every wall – we like just a few tasteful things here and there, except in our computer room. Our computer room, which used to be our living room. Now it’s a computer room/library/entry area. Works good for my business, but it’s got a lot of stuff in it. We could use a larger computer room/library/entry area. My books cover one entire wall in fact.

I often think though – that sometimes we would have been better off just building a new house. Or, if it was possible and/or practical just razing the stone section. Lot of people in the family would have hated that, but I think in the long run we would have been happily. I don’t think it would be very practical though – the stones that make it up are gigantic. Anyway…

The old part of the house is a constant source of work for me – upkeep, maintenance, and worry. The roof on that section needs to be completely ripped off and replaced with a roof, right down to the beams. Every room in the old section has a sagging ceiling and sagging floors and unsquare walls. I of course have replaced beams, added beams and braces, buttressed everything in the cellar so nothing can get worse than it is. But as to fixing the sags – a lot of work in most cases. In some aspects it would take jacking up the whole wooden interior of the house to make it work – which likely would break more beams or take a long time. We’ve of course remodeled every room in the old section now (and one needs to be done again, after I had to rip it up to get into the ceiling – long story) but the sagging ceilings are still a bit of an embarrassment to me.

But we enjoy our new addition, and make the best of the old section.

P.S. Already sold our old washer and dryer set for $100. Not bad.

Another Watertown Free WIFI Spot

Here’s another one. The former car wash-turned-carwash/laundromat on Coleman Avenue (near the Burger King and the plaza with Tractor Supply and the furniture place) has free WIFI. I haven’t tried it yet, either inside or from outside.
Some Free Blog (or Website) Graphics

Check out this site – PicApp. You can directly embed their images, free of charge, into your blog; or use their graphics on your own website and such. Make sure you check out the advanced search too. Great for fill-ins and incidental graphics and other generic needs for your blog entries.

I’ve been using various free clipart sites or royalty-free ones for years now. This is another pretty good one, and you’ll find many more sites like out there.

And Some Cat Pics

Why not some cat pics? Above is Crusher, our oldest cat. He’s the one I found as a tiny kitten, in a box beside the road. I’d love to get my hands on the ass who threw him away like that, it makes me sick that a person could do that to any living thing.

He’s been a great cat, and loves us so much. He sleeps curled up under the covers with me every night, his forehead touching my chin. When he gets too warm he crawls up on top of the pillow above my head and curls up there. He’s a beautiful cat.

This is Hoshi. She’s probably the least affectionate of our cats and a bit flaky. But still a good cat in general. I think I surprised her a bit with this pic.

This is Miles. One of our “kittens”. I guess I probably haven’t posted any pics of them in a while. He and his brother are bigger then most of our other cats. Not sure why he was curled up like this, and no in the patch of sun right beside him. Another beautiful cat, and he is unusual. Even though he looks very similar to his brother his tail is much fluffier, almost amusingly so sometimes. And sometimes he holds it directly over his back, the tip touching the top of his head. Never seen a cat do quite that sort of thing before.

His sister, who is small, is still larger than Hoshi and Ezri.

Marc M

I am a web developer and fitness geek, but I have a heck of a lot of differing interests.  Biking, the Internet, technology, movies, fitness, running and walking and hiking, science fiction, photography, graphics, WordPress, flying and aircrafts, pets and animals, history, and much more.  I like to stay very fit but I don’t mind sitting at my computer for work and play either.  I live in upstate New York (that’s far from New York City) in a rural area, yet close to a small city, with my beautiful awesome wife, a bunch of beloved cats and dogs and chickens in a very old multi-century house.

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