The joy of a working washing machine

Last weekend was uneventful, but that is probably the most relaxing way it could have been.  Both Mike and I have had a couple of busy weeks at work.

Traffic was supposed to be crazy Tuesday thru Thursday of this week because the Chinese president was in Seattle.  I’m not entirely sure about all of the political things he’s doing while he’s here… I was more interested in what this was going to mean for my bus commute.  The metro website warned that riders should ‘expect very long delays’.  What is a very long delay?  I can deal with an hour… but could it be two?  Even more?  I rode the bus into work Tuesday morning with my running shoes on and the expectation that if I had any bus issues on the way back I would be running back instead of taking the bus.  I only work about five miles from home, and I knew that commute would be totally doable via running in under an hour regardless of what was happening with the roads.  My bus commute to work was extremely uneventful.  However, there were people who showed up at work who had had a pretty bad time.  Lots of bus re-routing and half hour commutes turning into hour and a half commutes.  It made me nervous about my trip home.  I had hoped to leave a little early but as it turned out I had meetings right up until the end of the day.  I headed out to the bus stop and was surprised to see that there were already a lot of buses coming.  That was good news and meant that apparently the buses were at least moving.  I hopped on one bus and realized there was almost no one on it.  Usually the buses coming home are packed!  The entire trip home actually took almost 10 minutes less than usual, and the bus and the roads continued to be fine.  I suspect that everyone heard how bad the delays were going to be and stayed home!  I thought Wednesday might be bad also and again brought my running shoes with me to work, but again, there were no issues and the bus seemed no slower or faster than usual.  Seattle clearly took all of the traffic warnings to heart and stayed well out of the traffic, thus ensuring that there was no traffic.

There is a definite chill to the air these days!  Last night after dinner Mike and I took a walk around the neighborhood and stopped in at a cozy brewery.  We are loving the fall weather!  On Sunday Mike and I participated in a 5k in our neighborhood, and it was a lot of fun!  A lot of people dressed up for the race (because in Seattle, really, why would you pass up any opportunity to put on a costume?), and it was just a fun community event.

Mike spent a lot of this weekend wiring things.  Lots of things, but mostly ethernet-related things.  This meant lots of trips to Home Depot.  On Saturday, we actually went to the Home Depot closest to us but they didn’t have the crimpers Mike was looking for, so we drove to a Lowe’s farther north, and they didn’t have what we were looking for.  Finally we went to a Home Depot even further north and found what Mike wanted.  Three home improvement stores in one day isn’t necessarily my idea of a fun, eventful Saturday, but Mike took me out for pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup) on the way, and I’ll suffer through most things in the hope of getting pho…. it’s so steamy and warming… definitely one of my favorites!

On a very sad note, one day this week, Mike and I were in our home with the windows open, and we saw a fire truck go by with its siren on.  That’s not unusual since we live right around the corner from a fire station, but it was followed by two ambulances.  And then another fire truck.  And then yet another fire truck.  We counted five fire trucks go by!  “Are they doing a drill where it’s just one truck driving around the block?” Mike wondered.  We wandered out in the direction the fire trucks were heading… and there were helicopters in the sky overhead!  And the big highway right by our house, I-99 was blocked off!  Very soon, the news broke, and we found out exactly what had happened.  So tragic!  And it made national news… and happened literally a quarter mile from our house.  They diverted all of the traffic off of the bridge (which was pretty intense since that’s one of two north/south commuter highways), and diverted everyone to the street our home is on.  So all day the street in front of our house was a giant tangled mass of cars and honking horns.  I’m not sure if the bridge will re-open tomorrow morning, but Mike and I have planned alternate routes to work just in case.  So, so tragic!!  😦  My thoughts and prayers are with those involved in the crash and with the families of the victims.

I hate to end a blog post on such a somber note, so I’ll detail one more event from Mike’s and my life lately.

One interesting thing that happened over the weekend is that our washing machine stopped working.  For the couple of days leading up to the demise of the washing machine I noticed bits of foam in the clothes that came out of the washer.  I thought that was pretty weird, but Mike has some pretty weird stuff in his pockets at times, so I chalked it up to something like that.  And then on Sunday afternoon, the washing machine had a couple of glitches where we had to reset it to get it to work again.  And then, on Sunday night, it happened.  The washing machine died.  Right after the rinse cycle and before the spin cycle.  For those of you familiar with the inner workings of washing machines, what this meant was that the washing machine died still full of water.  And because this is the way life works, I had been washing two new pairs of jeans which apparently still had some color bleeding to do.  So our washer died full of a load of blue jeans and blue water.  I thought Mike might get stressed about it, because that was yet one more thing we had to figure out (no landlord this time to go running to!), but he took it all in stride.  We both looked at each other and shrugged.  First world problems, right?  I joked that we could just leave it broken and wash all our clothes in the sink.  After all, people lived for thousands of years without washing machines, right?  Right??  Yeah, I probably couldn’t do that.  I think my ancestors were tougher people than me.  And no running water and no indoor plumbing?  Count me out.  Clearly I’m not a pioneering type of person!  So Mike and I spent half an hour bailing water out of the washing machine with a soup ladle.  No, I’m really not joking.  I couldn’t make these things up if I tried.

Both Mike and I worked from home on Thursday so that we could be there when the guy came to fix the washing machine.  He examined the motor, and that was fine.  And the water pump, and that was fine.  And then, the interesting part started to happen.  A clog was discovered in the drain pipe for the washing machine.  Oooookay.  After an hour of working, he and Mike got the pipe unclogged and somehow also got water all over the bathroom floor (meaning that some heavy duty cleanup work would be in order when everything was said and done).  And there was a bunch of shredded foam in the pipe.  What in the world, right?  Apparently that’s where the little pieces of foam in the laundry were coming from.  But where was the foam originating?  The washing machine guy shook his head.  “I have no idea what that is,” he said.

Well, eventually part of the foam was pulled from the pipe intact.  And, my friends, it was the foam bra cup insert for a sports bra.  And there were a couple other foam inserts in there that were completely shredded and unrecognizable.  “Ah,” the washing machine guy said.  “I do know what that is.”  Yes, he did.  And, yes Mike did.  And, yes I did.

Well.  As far as embarrassing moments, this should have ranked pretty high on my scale.  We call out a washing machine repair man to dig through our clogged pipe and find five shredded sports bra inserts.  I resolutely pushed back any embarrassment though.  I mean, I do work out, don’t I?  And I should be able to wash my workout clothes in my own washer, right?  Apparently the bra pads were thin enough that they got out of the main enclosure and into the draining area.  The washing machine guy said finding those in the drain pipe was a first for him.  Yes, of course it was.  I’m pretty sure Murphy’s Law would demand that.  I wonder how many people he told about that after work.  That’s clearly an interesting on-the-job story!  Suffice it to say I’ll be hand-washing those foam inserts in the future!  So be fore-warned!  If you buy workout shirts with foam inserts, they do not play nice with front-loader washing machines!

And I think that’s the only useful piece of information I have to share today.  And now off to do laundry, since we have accumulated quite a bit in the past five days!  🙂



Filed under Laundry, Life in Seattle, Seattle

2 responses to “The joy of a working washing machine

  1. Jim Armantrout

    When our washer broke and was full of water, I got a piece of hose and put one end in the tub and the other end in a 5 gallon bucket and sucked. Great siphon. I bet it takes a long time to empty with a ladle. 😉 Love Dad

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