Designed Obsolescence

Do you remember the days when things were built to last? Yeah, me neither. It seems business has taken a tip from nature and deliberately designed merchandise to stop working after a certain period of time. Of course, unlike nature, most items don’t biodegrade in the user’s lifetime but that’s a post for another day. 

For now, we focused on knowing that our phones will need to be upgraded in 2 years, home appliances will last 5 years, mattresses designed for 20 years need to be replaced in 8 years. Ad nauseum. Yes, it does make me sick.

When my grandfather passed away, I inherited his hair clippers. Clippers that I use to this day. 
 I don’t know when it was purchased, could be the ’50s or even ’40s. I do know it was before the invention of the zip code and had an extension for the phone not numbers.

I keep them oiled, and they keep cutting my husband’s hair. Who knows, my son may inherit them one day.

All of which got me thinking. Soon we’ll be in the age of robots.

Robots to clean our houses.

Robots to cook our food.

Robots to drive us around.

Robots designed to malfunction in a few years.

And there in lies the nugget of a great story. Maybe one I’ll write. 

So now you know a secret. Like many writers, I can find story ideas in the everything. It’s finding the time to write that is the problem.

Until next time.

Posted in Life Observations, Science | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What in the DIY

This weekend the hubbinator and I decided to replace the sink and toilet in my son’s bathroom. We wanted to redo the whole thing, but don’t have the 2 grand for the tile work required. But the sink and toilet were both leaking water so we decided to update the sink and toilet, knowing we could reuse them when we had money to redo the bathroom properly.

Now I’m not certain what it is like in your house, but whenever we start a DIY project we like to bet how many trips to HoDe’s will it take to complete the tasks.

Hubby names a number, usually 2 or three and I double it.

I usually am closer than he is. This time, was one for the record books. You see we purchased a sink that is quite beautiful and included a lovely faucett. 

It only took us an hour to remove the old nasty wooden box and the shut off valve, then the first trip to the DIY store to get the correct sizes for the new valves. Hubbinator installed the two for the sink and one for the toilet without any leaks on the first try. Yay, hubby!

Then it went down hill. You see the instructions to install the sink were a single sheet of paper directing us to a website with a picture of a sink, some links that weren’t related to installing the pedestal base (or measurements) and many things that said refer to the installation directions that came with your sink.

WTF? How can they reference crap t hat they don’t include? HOw? And who it the Eff wrote the dang things because words were missing.  We did manage to install it, but that required 2 more trips to HoDe’s, then we started on the mirror. Being a Kohler product, I expected great things.

It did come with instructions! But then it said if you can’t attach the 9 inch plate (that carries the weight of the mirrored, surface mounted medicine cabinet, use anchors (not included and the screws that come with the anchore, not the screws provided). Um, what? Seriously, how cheap are businesses that they can’t includ 4 lousy anchors with a $140 mirrored medicine cabinet?

I woud really like to find the jerk face who crunched those numbers because, you guessed it, we made another trip just for that so the company can make an extra 2 cents per unit. 

We didn’t get to installing the toilet or shelf (sitting near the pedestal in the first picture), but will save that fun for next week. Now I just have to scrub the walls. There’s always more to do when you own a home.

Until next time.

Posted in Hobbies, Home Improvement Projects, Life Observations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cats on the Keyboard

Both my mouse and keyboard for my Mac are wireless. Given that the hubinator and I share the Mac and both set up the area differently, the cordless feature has saved us untold time untangling cords.

Alas, there is a downside to such convenience.

You see, with the cooler weather, the hubby’s cat has taken to snuggling next to the computer. Which means lying on the keyboard. Here’s the culprit.


So the computer never goes to sleep.

And because the keyboard is constantly being pressed, we get low battery warnings every couple of weeks.

Which would be fine as the batteries are rechargeable, but there is another guilty party who lies by the computer. Unfortunately,  he tends to chew on the cords that we plug in to recharge our phones and iPads.img_0484

Don’t get me wrong. I love our pets. I just wish they didn’t love our computer.

Until next time.

Posted in Life Observations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


The other day, the hubbinator and I watched Trainwreck. If you haven’t seen the movie, the leading man loves the Billy Joel song Uptown Girl. It is played several times through the story and I too have a soft spot for Billy’s music, but it wasn’t until the end when they played one of my favorites: A Matter of Trust.

Now, like most fans, I knew I had acquired several of his records (which I had since gotten rid of) but I had thought I’d purchased the CDs. I made a mental note to search for them but in the meantime, I added the songs I’d liked to my MP3 cart on amazon. But why should I pay for something I already own?

So finally I remembered to look. Turns out I only had his greatest hits album volume 3. But the songs were on there. So I t hen had to go to my PC and rip the music, transfer it to a thumb drive, then plug it into my Mac and open an app that would convert the songs from the windows player file to an MP3 format before moving them to my music files and transferring them to my iPad.

Le sigh.

But I have them now at my fingertips. As well as my John Cougar Mellencamp’s greatest hits album. Of course, the hubbinator was disappointed that neither of us had more Billy Joel albums, especially the one with his favorite song: The Ballad of Billy the Kid.

My question for you: Have you ever watched a movie and been reminded of a favorite song that you’ve forgotten?

Until next time.

Posted in Life Observations, Movies, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Doing the Right Thing

You know when something weird happens to you and it takes a minute or two of Huh? What just  happened? before you begin to process it? Most of the times, I shake it off. Humans are nothing if not exceptions to the rule.

But when something happens twice, the old gray cells start to cogitate and weird things start formulating. (Proving I’m a writer because I can make a story out of anything.)

I will now present the two situations for you to judge.

Odd thing #1: I received a text alert on my phone that someone had posted a payment of $200 on my cell phone bill. At first I thought it was phishing so it took me a day to check my account. Sure enough. $200 had been applied to my bill and when my invoice came it reflected a smaller payment due. So, I called my cell phone service provider. The guy on the phone was stumped: why was I complaining about a payment on my bill? Because it isn’t my money. Because someone paid their bill but the money wasn’t applied correctly. What if they lost service during that time? Weren’t they living to paycheck to paycheck like most of us? Didn’t $200 mean a lot to them? The  company was able to trace the payment, find who did it and refund their money, It would take several days. The rep on the phone thanked me about 6 times and told me I was a good person multiple times.

To me, it was the right thing to do, and I didn’t think to much about it until last Friday.

Odd thing #2: I am a smart, intelligent person, and usually am ahead of the curve when it comes to problem solving, but I have epic Homer Simpson moments. About a month or so ago, the hubinator and I came home and noticed something in the street. Literally, we both stared at it a moment in disbelief. It was a saw, a huge metal/concrete cutting thing (hubbinator looked up what it did because it was huge). At first we set it on the half wall in front of our house hoping the construction worker would see it and reclaim it. Then we spread the word in the neighborhood, asking if anyone had/did the type of work that would use that tool. No one came forward.

So we stowed it in the garage and waited for inspiration to strike.

Until we bought a crockpot (the hubinator broke the old one) and had to register it.

Lightbulb moment.

That saw was worth 2 grand, someone had to register it. So I found a sticker of the sales company and called them. At first, the guy couldn’t believe what I was saying. I found something and was trying to find the owners to return it? He transferred me to someone else and we tried for about an hour, but I wasn’t reading the right serial number and she couldn’t trace it, but if it was okay with me they could have someone pick it up and hopefully find the owner that way. I got the same thank you and you’re a good person. It’s not my property. This is someone else’s livelihood. Why wouldn’t I try to return it? Oddly enough the guy who picked it up didn’t think I’d just ‘found’ it in the street. I live on a corner house, there’s a dip turning onto the street. Given that 2 people have plowed into my fence in the last 5 years on a straight road, I believe weird stuff happens all the time.

Anyway, the saw has been taken to back to the store it was bought from and, hopefully, returned it to its owner.

My question isn’t if I did the right thing. I know I did. The question is: why do people think this is shocking behavior?

Until next time.


Posted in Life Observations | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Halloween Decorations are Up!

Oooh, I’m so excited. We have our decorations up, but this year, we decided to put lights up on the house, too! I’m trying to convince the hubbinator that we can leave them up until Thanksgiving as they are fall colors.

img_0473 img_0474 img_0475 img_0476

Until next time.

Posted in Life Observations | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Friday Funny on Wednesday

My sister sent this to  me and I thought I’d pass it along. Not everyone will think this is funny.

A woman goes back to work after 30 years.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment