One of the problems with owning a 20 year old house is that it comes full of 20 year old appliances, and most appliances are designed for a 15 year lifespan. When we bought this house almost 5 years ago, our inspector told us not to expect the appliances to last much longer, and to be happy with whatever life we got out of them.

Since then, we’ve lost the dishwasher, hot water heater, garbage disposal (who knew they could die?), and we’ve had to replace a couple faucets, a bunch of toilet parts, one complete toilet, and an outside water faucet.

Sometime tomorrow, we’ll add a new refrigerator to the list. Our current one is an old side-by-side Whirlpool with lots of fun features–the shelves don’t go all the way back, so things are prone to falling off the back of the shelves and ending up wedged behind the drawers at the bottom, where we don’t find them until we pull everything out for a big cleaning. The drawers fall off their rails all the time. The door shelves fall off sometimes. The glass shelves in the fridge pop out of their holders at a whim. The kick-plate the covers the coils doesn’t stay on right anymore; Gabe has a big gash in his foot right now from stepping on it after it fell off. And, on top of that, for the past few weeks, neither the fridge or freezer door closes properly. We’ve pulled everything out, cleaned the seals, checked alignment, and it looks like something’s bent somewhere. Even when everything’s closed as well as possible, the fridge barely makes it to 42˚ F overnight, so food’s been spoiling. Even if the seal problem is causing the lack-of-cold problem, and they’re both fixable, when all is said and done, we’d still be stuck with an old fridge that doesn’t work right.

In short, we need a new fridge. Fortunately, we’ve known this day was coming, and we’ve done way too much research. So, we had a decent idea of what we wanted, what models were available, and what they cost. After an afternoon of fighting pre-pre-Christmas shopping traffic, we’re the proud owners of one of LG’s new “french door” models. Most of the reviews online seem positive, and we get got a decent price on it. It’s supposed to be delivered on Monday, which is better then I’d expected; when we replaced our dishwasher, it took over a month for it to show up.

Of course, there’s a downside to the story. While I was waiting for them to arrange delivery details, I spotted a pile of open-box InFocus DLP projectors for sale. I’ve been lusting after one for a while, and $735 seems like a decent price. So, I’m the proud owner of not only a new fridge, but a new projector as well. For the moment, it’s sitting in our bedroom, projecting an 8’ TiVo image on the wall, but we’ve been planning on turning our basement into a media room. It’ll be a few months before we’re ready to move it, but this gives us a nice incentive to keep after things.

I’m also trying to set up a MythTV box to go with it, but that’s a whole other story that I’ll get to later.