Today after breakfast I attempted to unstick the disposal flywheel with a broomstick, as recommended on the Internet. It beats putting your hand in the unit... (It's like Nathan Lane's / Zero Mostel's rule from "The Producers" - "Never put your own money in the show!!")
It had been humming when we flip the switch, with no other action, which research indicated was likely due to a stuck flywheel. Moving the flywheel took some force, and did not seem to be leading to free motion, which did not give me a good feeling.
Well the whole thing popped off the bottom of the sink. After I got over the shocking view of daylight shining up through the drain, I actually chuckled. I had figured I would end up replacing the unit, and with it already partially disconnected, I decided to finish the job this evening. I got a new, significantly better model on my lunch hour, after checking reviews and the amperage, and installed it this evening in about an hour with no real mishaps. It's quieter, and the flywheel is stainless steel, instead of the alloy which had rusted out on our old one. (My sons and I have a hard time understanding why any task which mixes metal and water leads an engineer to choose ordinary steel - like AC condensate pans, or garbage disposal flywheels. The three of us look at each other, raise our eyebrows, and tip our heads to the side in that facial expression our family uses to signal an encounter with a form of insanity.)
But the person I most wanted to call and compare notes with, the person I wanted to boast to about my little plumbing and electrical job, the person who would have gotten the biggest kick out of the story of the unit popping off under the pressure of my broomstick, was my Dad. I'll have to hope he's watching and listening somehow, but I sure do miss getting to tell him and hearing his laugh.