Friday, December 21, 2012

1112 How to Tell When the Laundry's Done

1112 How to Tell When the Laundry’s Done

In olden days, you’d walk to the back yard or reach out the apartment window and feel the clothes on the line.  Not any more.  We either have washers and dryers at home or we have access to them nearby.

And in today’s era of high technology, you don’t have to have a sense of touch to know when the wash is dry.  The dryer will tell you.  Sort of.

The first dryer made a loud buzz.  A really loud buzz.

The cat would jump up on the thing and sleep because it was warm.  The buzzer would sound, rattling windows for half a block.  You couldn’t miss it from three back yards away.  The cat would jump to the ceiling and scoot off, fur standing up on end.  It was funny when she was a kitten.  But by the time she turned 16, there was little jump left in her, so watching the clock and gently removing her from her perch before the buzz became routine.  (You’d think an otherwise cat of normal intelligence and who lived to a ripe old age would have learned to avoid that particular warm spot, but she didn’t.)

The “new” dryer gave off a relatively faint beep at the end of the cycle.  If you were in the basement at that time, you didn’t need to hear it because the machine motor stopped rumbling. If you were in the kitchen upstairs, and the basement door was open you could hear it. Barely.  It had a three position volume control:  “loud” was soft, “soft” was “barely audible” and “off” was off.

The “new new” dryer plays a tune.  A Korean “Shun Yun,” which is so light and delicate that no one who weighs more than 85 pounds is permitted to dance to it.

And you can’t hear it from across the room, let alone upstairs.

So now, what to do?  Watch the clock?  That doesn’t work because (a) no two clocks in the house tell exactly the same time and (b) the “time remaining” read-out is an estimate, not a promise.

Okay, here’s the solution.  Get one of those old fashioned mechanical kitchen timers, set it for maybe five minutes longer than the time estimate.  That you can hear.  It’s not loud enough to make a sleeping cat jump, but it’s loud enough.  

Have you tried to find one of those timers recently?  Oh, they’re out there, alright.  But they’re not easy to find.

Shrapnel:

--Among other things you can’t find on a store shelf anymore is a simple stovetop coffee percolator.  Not much profit in a plain old tin pot with a basket and a small clear glass (or plastic!) thingy on top to show you how dark the coffee is.  Why sell those when you can sell the more fashionable “French Press” (sounds like a wrestling move) or the espresso maker, the latte maker, the Keurig or even the lowly “Mr. Coffee?”

--What’s with all the endorsements at Linkedin?  This one and that one endorses you because of your skills in weaving baskets, avoiding occupational therapy class, leading the other blind.  Is there a way to counter-endorse everyone on your list with one click and be done with the whole thing?

--Can’t wait for February.  By then all of the merchants will have stopped sending you hourly updates on their latest super sale.  Has “unsubscribe” become totally meaningless?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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