Saturday, February 20, 2016

Major Appliance, reporting for duty.

A couple of years ago we traded in our old dumb washer and dryer for new smart washer and dryer.

Well, no, ours weren't that dumb.
I am wondering if I was better off with the old dryer. The old, dumb dryer.

Dumb analog way: Pick one of four temperatures, turn the dial to the time you wanted, look at your watch. Go work, play baseball, commit homicide, perform spleen surgery, whatever; when your watch said the time you had programmed was past, it had passed. Check dryer. Clothes not dry? Give them some more time.

Smart computerized way: Pick one of eight kinds of cycles and six different temperatures. Press buttons that all beep loudly and annoy the dog. Press Play. Realize you hit Pause instead by holding the button a nanosecond too long. Eventually get Play going. Screen shows time remaining; easy peasy. Go do any of the things mentioned above. Check dryer. Two hours have passed on your 90-minute load, and the clock still says 26 minutes to go because the amazing computer sensors detect dampness somewhere. Wait. Fifty minutes later the clock still says 26 minutes. Is this thing broken? No, the cycle decides it is done nine minutes later. Laundry is all completely dry! Except for weird, inexplicable damp spots on a couple of items. Hang them on the treadmill (not like you were using that for, you know, exercise) and go get coffee.

Now, I don't expect that the computer on board to be some NASA-level device capable of sending a probe to Pluto. However, it's like saying that a little kid is smarter than a sack of flour. That's totally true, but a sack of flour is never going to disappoint you. You know what it will do. Not so the kid.

However, the analogy falls apart entirely when the kid becomes a teen. Because the dryer gets the job 99% done. The teen, 0-25%.

Another thing to note is that your encounter with the washing machine will leave you cleaner, but with the kid you can wind up coated with chocolate or worse. As Fran Lebowitz wrote decades ago, "Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky."

And I think I've lost my direction with this entry, like a dryer that can't figure out if the clothes are dry or how long it will take to get them there. Peace out, and keep your powder dry.

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