21 June 2007

Oh, No, The Microwave Broke!

My microwave, which I treasured because it's also a convection oven, had a sticky switch that was getting worse and worse. On Tuesday it finally failed completely and I was forced to rely on non-microwave techniques to make dinner. I was worried that we were going to starve to death if we didn't replace it soon.

Although, you know, microwave ovens aren't that new; they were in routine use in 1966 in the food vending areas at UCLA and I got my first one in about 1973. The one that broke is only my second, in fact.[1] About all that they've added in the last twenty or so years is the popcorn button, as nearly as I can tell. Not that the popcorn button isn't important, but it doesn't seem like much of an advance.

I did a lot of e-shopping and ended up at Amazon. I started out looking for another microwave convection oven combo but discovered that they were expensive ($550-650), lower powered than microwave-only ovens, and there wasn't much choice of models. Well, I thought long and hard about it and realized that I hadn't used the convection feature more than once or twice a year. Maybe it isn't really a necessity, after all.

So I looked at non-convection microwaves. What a difference! Zillions to pick from, much less expensive (less than $200), and lots with high power. I settled on a 1.6 cu ft 1250 watt model in stainless steel. With a popcorn button. It was about $180 (the stainless steel pushed it up, I think) and Amazon is sending it next-day for only $4.[2]

It's going to be here tomorrow. I've started clearing the microwave cart and will move the old oven tomorrow morning. The new one should be here in place, ready to heat, by dinnertime and life will be back to normal. Amazing how we settle into routines and find it's a bit of a shock to have them disrupted.

[1] That's for this house. I had a little one at work that I gave away when I retired, the first Palm Desert house had an over-the-stove one that doubled as a vent, and I bought a countertop model for the current PD house because I don't like the over-the-stove kind.

[2] We signed up for the Amazon Prime service and get second-day air free. I think Amazon must have cut a great deal with UPS, because I don't think they pay list price.

1 comment:

Boron Elgar said...

I've had a couple of micro- convections over the years...

My first lasted 15 years (Sharp), the second one was a dud from the get-go (another Sharp), but I really needed that additional oven, so I replaced my last one with a Panasonic.

I did get it through Amazon and it wasn't cheap, but it has been going strong for over 2 years of heavy use. It better last a lot more years, too.