Retail therapy

Just a quick few points while I work on a more complicated post that’s (inevitably) transport related

Shopping bags

Many major retailers are phasing out single-use plastic bags. Or to be precise, they’re phasing-out free bags.

This is not the first time Target has tried this. They stopped issuing free plastic bags in 2009, but brought them back in 2013. Part of the problem seemed to be that the bags they sold were the same as the previously free ones they’d given away. Other retailers sell higher quality bags.

An outright ban has been in place for all retailers in NT, Tas, SA and ACT, plus Qld and WA joined them on 1st July, which no doubt is why the retailers have pushed ahead. Victoria is set to follow at some stage. Unclear what NSW will do.

I’m happy to see this change. Yet there’s been some unbelievably ridiculous hand-wringing from some quarters:

C’mon. If you still want a bag, it’s typically just 15 cents to buy one. FIFTEEN CENTS! That’s just one percent of a $15 shop.

For me, the only behaviour change is I now stuff a green bag into my work bag, so I have it for my detours to the supermarket on the way home.

We’ll all adapt. In fact, at this IGA at Nagambie (snapped on 30th June, before Coles switched) the locals seemed to be coping without any fuss whatsoever.

Nagambie IGA: Bring your own bags

Update 2/8/2018: Coles backflipped on 1st of August and made the reusable bags free for an indefinite period.

Then the next day they backflipped again, and said the free bags will end on 29th August.

Dish washer

The Fisher and Paykel dishwasher, which had been in my house since I moved here in 2005, broke down again.

I’d previously thought that, given it was a pretty old model (circa 2000), I’d replace it the next time it failed, so that’s what I did, and found a good price on a Bosch.

Why Bosch? The Bosch washing machine I bought nine years ago hasn’t skipped a beat, and they also rate very well on the Choice web site (which is well worth joining if you’re grumpy that The Checkout hasn’t been renewed).

I paid the installation fee. While it didn’t take long, it was satisfyingly complex enough that I’m glad I did.

Dishwashers aren’t for everybody, but I hate washing dishes, so for me, this is money well spent.

The new car: 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

The new car arrived

I picked up the new car last night. That’s it above.

I suspect the web has changed the shopping experience. I no longer go and look around car dealerships unless I already know what I want.

The car dealers I’ve dealt with during this saga seem less slimy than the ones I encountered the first time I bought a car.

When scouring Carsales, I had pondered that if I saw the perfect deal somewhere out in the country, I’d be willing to go to grab it. In the end I bought from a local dealership, which will make servicing it with them to maintain the warranty much easier.

In fact as part of the handover, they showed me where the service area is, and how the after hours drop-off/pick-up works. Clever. The chief service guy there recognised me from when he used to work on my old Magna years ago. Heh.

The dealer bloke showed me the basics of the car, then sent me on my way.

Amusingly/horrifyingly I scraped the bottom of the steep driveway just exiting the dealership. Can’t see any visible marks. Also amusingly, I thought the engine was revving loudly on the drive home, until I realised it was in Sports mode, not Drive. Oops.

Today I’ve sat in the car for a while with the manual and figured out all the controls. Or at least, the important ones.

The psychology of buying a new car and wanting to drive places is powerful.

Anyway, I like it so far, though I could do without the spoiler, which I don’t think helps visibility out of the back window. Perhaps I should have asked if the car was available without it.

The broken dishwasher

Oh great.

The other day while opening the dishwasher, a “sproing” sound was heard, and now the door’s springy thing doesn’t work — that is, once open, it just drops down to horizontal with gravity, rather than a gentle drop or springing back towards closed like it was before. And it triggered an F1 alarm, which according to the manual is the Flood switch being triggered.

But does that affect the actual washing? Perhaps yes. On the first go, the F1 error triggered again, about halfway through. It used to do that with a U1 alarm. Then, as now, I’ve been able to run a couple of rinse cycles to get things finished, but it’s not as good, of course.

This is a Fisher and Paykel Nautilus DW920. It’s not clear to me how old it is, as I inherited it with the house in 2005. The manual says it’s from 2004, but it’s not clear if the unit is that old, or if that’s just when the manual was last revised — comments on the ProductReview site suggest this model goes back to around 2000.

It does appear that new springs (non-genuine) are available on eBay for about $15. Thanks to the interwebs, others have managed to replace the springs themselves. No doubt I’ll pay through the nose if I get a repairman out to do it.

Given recent experience with the fridge and the washing machine (and even the old car) — paying a bunch to find out something wasn’t worth repairing — I wonder if instead I should be thinking about replacing it altogether.

In the meantime, I hope this doesn’t mean I need to do the dishes myself.

Update lunchtime. Rae and Roger left comments about fixing it myself, which I’d agree with, but I just don’t have the time. I rang F+P this morning; someone will be out today (handy as I’m at home unwell, with two sick kids too). It’ll cost me $121 plus parts, which is expensive, sure, but it’ll be done quickly with no mucking about.

Update 2pm. The repairman came and went. $154.10 for his presence and expertise, 3 x washer spray arm bearings, 1 x door spring. Ah well.

I’m confused

Toothpaste.

Toothpaste varieties at Safeway

There’s a bewildering number of varieties in just the Colgate brand. This is what the Safeway Homeshop site lists, excluding things like Pump packs and size variations:

Colgate Toothpaste 2in1 Gel Whitening
Colgate Toothpaste 2in1 Liquid Gel Icy Blast
Colgate Toothpaste 2in1 Max Fresh Cool Mint
Colgate Toothpaste Advanced Whitening
Colgate Toothpaste Baking Soda & Peroxide
Colgate Toothpaste Blue Minty Gel
Colgate Toothpaste Coolmint
Colgate Toothpaste Fluroide Great
Colgate Toothpaste Fresh Stripe Sensitive
Colgate Toothpaste Great Regular Flavour
Colgate Toothpaste Max Fresh Coolmint
Colgate Toothpaste Max White
Colgate Toothpaste Professional Clean
Colgate Toothpaste Sensitive Multi Protection
Colgate Toothpaste Sensitive Whitening
Colgate Toothpaste Simply White Sparking Mint
Colgate Toothpaste Total + Whitening
Colgate Toothpaste Total
Colgate Toothpaste Total Advance Fresh
Colgate Toothpaste Total Long Lasting
Colgate Toothpaste Total Mint Stripe
Colgate Toothpaste Total Whitening
Colgate Toothpaste Triple Action
Colgate Toothpaste Whitening Plus Tartar Control

Beyond perhaps a preference for a particular mint flavour etc, how can you possibly know which is the best?

I suspect the one they’d most like you to buy is the most expensive version, which also has the most shiny bits on the packet to attract your attention. (“Ooh — shiny!”)

Perhaps in reality they are all virtually the same, and they’re just hoping to dominate the market by providing every possible feature and package colour anybody could want?

Likewise dish washing tablets… I usually buy Finish brand. 4-in-one… 5-in-one… all-in-one… MAX-in-one?! What’s the difference?