Yes, in addition to random thoughts, I am now passing along random advice: Do not allow a plastic spoon, bowl, cup, etc. to fall onto the heating element of your dishwasher when it's running. You're welcome.
And yep, you guessed it, this happened last night... there were a few panicky moments when I was trying to uncover the source of the strange smell I was noticing (Is there something wrong with my heater? Is this condo building on fire???), but I eventually realized it was coming from the dishwasher. And once I realized where the smell was originating, it was a small leap of logic to figure out what was going on. (DARN IT! What did I put in there that was made of plastic and is now melting at the bottom of the dishwasher?) Once I canceled the drying cycle and allowed the half steam/half smoke mixture to escape the confines of the washer, I carefully pulled out the bottom tray and saw the culprit -- a plastic slotted spoon, now melted completely in half. I re-ran the washer this morning, because all the dishes (though clean) smelled like burned plastic... but apparently there are STILL bits of melted plastic on the heating element, because the drying cycle STILL introduced an acrid, unpleasant scent into the air. Looks like I'll have to try to scrape off more plastic from the bottom of the washer and run it AGAIN... eventually it'll have to smell like clean dishes... right??
Or I could just go old school and wash everything by hand...
I COULD. But I probably won't. :)