Home appliances and master service agreements

Called Sears today to see about getting a “master service agreement” for the stove because, despite being only 3 years old, it’s not keeping temp correctly. Repairing this, according to our trusted appliance guy, could be as much as $300 for the control board that is the likely culprit.

Meanwhile Mom’s stove of the same vintage is having same issue. Hmmm…

My first beef with this is a general “WTF?!” which goes back to the days when we were growing up and a stove lasted pretty much my entire childhood. I think we may have bought one new stove in the 16 years we lived in my house.

You’re telling me that with all this improved technology we have somehow gotten worse at making technological products??


Sears gives me these options for a warranty agreement:

  1. $370 for the service agreement which will last for 1 year and cover up to $500 in parts during that time.
  2. $49 per month ($600 per year) to cover all the house appliances

Stepping back from it a bit, I just get this feeling like the planned obsolescence game has been just about perfected by these folks.

Maybe the disappointment of not having a simple solution is still too fresh for me to think straight, but it feels like they’ve got this scheme working just right so that the stuff breaks right on schedule and you feel like the best thing is to get on a service agreement that has you paying them a nice recurring revenue.

This is probably perfect for a public which seems to have a harder and harder time managing their finances (why self-insure by setting aside the proper funds when you can just pay someone like Sears for coverage?).

Me? I’m going to disagree with the whole thing and set up a set-aside of $50 per month toward this (since that’s apparently the right number according to Sears actuaries).

If we do this right, we’ll have a tidy Appliance Fund which we can use for whatever issue presents itself.

And should we ever become wealthy, maybe I’ll hatch a scheme to make an appliance manufacturing firm that can once again craft quality products that don’t break on a schedule.

Just on principle.



The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think


Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks.

Source: The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

This kind of blows my mind on the one hand. On the other, it complete explains almost every day of my technological life.




My political views

My politics can be summed up pretty nicely by simply adhering to the Non-Aggression Principle.

The “Non Aggression Principle” (or NAP) is an ethical doctrine that states that aggression is wrong, aggression being defined as the initiation of physical force or fraud against persons or property, or the threat of the same. …

In a letter to Francis Gilmer in 1816, Thomas Jefferson stated it like this: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” He went on to say, “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”  (from Libertarian Party website)

Government’s role should be restricted to enforcing this, not engaging in the myriad number of interventions (domestically or abroad) which it embarks upon using money it has extracted from its people by force (taxes).


Learning about computers using trial and error

It seems as if a lot of people are hanging by a thread when it comes to understanding their various computing devices and what they are capable of.

Don’t be afraid of breaking these things. They’re practically indestructible short of getting out a hammer and actually bashing on them.

My first computer mentor, Mark Siegel, made this abundantly clear to me and it has been one of the most important lessons I ever learned about computers. It holds true today. Just try stuff. Are you wondering how to connect your phone to your TV and some way? Try it. You won’t break anything. In other words it won’t be irreversible in some way.

But don’t be afraid to try things. It’s this trial and error that gets you so much further in understanding your computer or any other device than any other action you could probably take.

Of course there YouTube now which speeds things along, but just get in there and do it , whatever you are wanting to do.


Political Correctness

The social justice warrior, Progressive thing called “political correctness” is really just a mockery of the much higher idea known as etiquette or manners. We see it being displayed post election by for-hire thugs or sore losers who somehow can’t seem to practice what they preach.



Get Facebook to speak like a pirate for you

Add a little fun to your Facebook and change to your display language to Pirate (only you can see it).It’s kind of like wearing silly socks. When you get a look at them throughout the day it makes you smile (well it does me any). Same here. Instead of Like, you see “Arrrr”. Here’s how.



Huawei Customer Service and Nexus 6P Repairs

My Nexus 6P Android phone suddenly stopped charging except in certain situations (very odd-I could use my wife’s 5X charger or my car charger, but not the 6P charger and the 6P charger worked fine on my wife’s 5X).

First disappointment in the process of getting all this fixed, was finding out that Huawei (pron “wah-way”) would require 2 weeks to fix it. I’d have to pack it up and send it in for repairs. No replacement phone. Fortunately I was able to work my own replacement since we have 4 phones in our household.

Second came when I finally got the phone back and, while it charges, it doesn’t “charge rapidly”, which is one of the great features it had out of the box. I could get several hours of charge in about 15 mins with this new rapid charging technology.

I’m so bummed about how long it takes to get through their repair/replace cycle. Hopefully they aren’t going to drag me through another two weeks (although it’s taking them 48 hours to get back to me after my call to them when I saw I still had a problem–so that doesn’t bode well).

Speed of service is the order of the day and a competitive advantage in this era we are in right now. At least that’s true in the USA for the most part.

Really hoping Huawei kicks their speed up a notch (and a “notch” = about 12 days in this case) and sorts this slow process out. They make a good phone–maybe even a great one. I’ve come to really love the 6P. But I can’t go two weeks (and now maybe over a month??) without a device upon which I rely so heavily to do my work.

We’ll see how they respond, when they do.


Hey HP, your “rewards” aren’t…

This is my so-called reward for using official HP ink in my printer.

Why bother? Is anyone actually buying into this?

I’d  expect more from a company like HP (but I’m starting to re-evaluate that opinion).

If you’re going to give someone a reward, make sure it’s a reward to them.  Otherwise, it’s probably better not to risk insulting their intelligence.

Offer when you use official HP ink.

Offer when you use official HP ink.




“Cashless Society” is a bad idea

The non-producing banking elite want us to get rid of cash.  Let’s not go down this road.  It’s the last bit of control we possess over what those sneaky bankers foist upon us.

If the banks violate their duties or our government goes even more nuts than it already is we can still, at this time, remove our cash from their vaults and put it under a mattress or in a hole in the ground.

If we agree to let them take away cash, we lose that point of control and are now completely at their whim.

Even assuming just 15% of the total amount of cash on the accounts would be withdrawn, this would result in a total cash outflow of $45B, and it’s unlikely the banking system would be able to handle this without having to deal with severe consequences. And we don’t even dare to imagine what would happen if 25% would be withdrawn. Or 40%. The snowball-effect would be huge and devastating, resulting in a deteriorating capital position of almost any bank in the Eurozone as they are all intertwined anyway.What does this have to do with the recent ‘test balloons’ to bring up the subject of a cashless society? From the (central) banks’ perspective it would be very smart to first push forward to realize a cashless society to close that escape route for the Europeans. If you can’t withdraw any cash, then everybody will be trapped in the system of a negative interest rate and there will be no way to escape it.

via Why The ‘Cashless Society’ Has Become The New Wet Dream Of Governments And Central Bankers | Zero Hedge.