I scrubbed two Idaho spuds, last night, patted them dry and poked holes in them so the steam could escape. A few minutes later Dan fired up the grill, which was my cue to start cooking the potatoes in the microwave. They were fairly large, so I figured they would be done at about the same time as the little steaks.
After the grill was hot, Dan put the steaks on and sat outside, in a lawn chair, to tend them. Eight minutes passed, and I thought I should just check on the potatoes to see how they were doing. I opened the microwave and, to my shock, there were no potatoes inside! There on the counter, beside the sink, sat the two scrubbed spuds.
I have always heard that you can ruin your microwave by running it with nothing inside, so I hoped for the best and popped the potatoes in. Then I went outside and sat down with Dan and confessed what I had done. We were both hopeful that I hadn't ruined the oven.
When the steaks came off the grill, I went to see if the potatoes, which had had such a late start, were even close to being ready to eat. OH NO! They were stone cold. It turns out that that warning about not running the microwave empty is one to be heeded. We tried unplugging it and letting it cool off, and then plugging it in and trying it again - rebooting, so to speak. Though the fan came on, and it sounded as if it were cooking, it wouldn't even warm a cup of water. I felt terrible. The microwave wasn't quite two years old!
This evening we went to Lowe's, bought another one, and then spent a couple hours installing it. Although the oven is the same brand and looks identical, the template for installing it was different, so Dan had to drill new holes and all that jazz.
It's up and running now. And I know I'll be somewhat paranoid about never running it empty again.