To Your Unwashed Clothes Go

So, recently I had to buy a washer. Okay, didn’t have to, but while we’re between houses, it is a great convenience. We decided to make this our difficult move, so that hopefully after the house sells and we buy another we can have an easy move, in which someone packs us and unpacks us at the other end. That means this is the move where we go through the accumulation of stuff we’ve been dragging with us for years and get rid of most of it.

It also means having a washer at the house we’re moving to and the one we’re moving out of is helpful. At the first because it’s now the basis of operation. At the other because we’re cleaning stuff to donate, stuff to pack, stuff to use for staging (curtains, bedspreads and such.) Also because one of the boys will be staying there till it sells, of course.

So, we needed to buy a cheap washer. I tried buying a used one, but it gave up the ghost after four washes.

So we’ve been going through adds and trying to find something on sale, the point being “as cheap as possible” or “on a no interest for x years, no payment for x months payment plan” in the hopes that once we sell the house we can just pay it.

A little over a week ago we went to the store for paint and while there strayed over to the washers. They had one that was ridiculously, almost painfully cheap. So cheap it hadn’t been on any of their brochures or on their website. Beyond simplistic, it has three wash settings and a few buttons. You can’t even choose extra rinse, though you can dial to that point and run it again.

This was a concern, because I have eczema, which means the slightest bit of detergent left on clothes and I’ll react by opening sores all over. Those who’ve seen me in the middle of an outbreak know why I put three to four extra rinses on my clothes.

So we ambled over to look at an almost double the cost washer which had the ability to program extra rinses.

The saleswoman joined us at that point and we explained our dilemma.

She looked at the cheap washer and said, “Well, this one has no water saving measures, so it will use lots and lots of water.”

At which point I said, “Sold. When can you deliver it?”

She looked shocked and said, “Maybe you didn’t understand. This washer will cost you lots of money in water.”

“I understood you perfectly. This washer will save me time and money. When we first got married we were more broke than anyone, and we needed a washer, a dryer and a fridge. We got them at a scratch and dent sale [I thought it was Sears, but husband says it’s GE.) A tent sale which defrayed payment for a year before installments started. We saved for a year and made exactly one payment, in full, no interest needed.] It was a basic washer, no frills, and it was before water saving measures. It washed everything for 14 years, including the days of three loads of diapers a day. Neither I nor the kids ever had a contact rash from detergent OR softener, which I used. For the last sixteen years we’ve had expensive , top of the line, water saving washers. I’ve also had to discard clothes that have permanent can’t remove stains. And I have to rinse each load three to six times, or I get eczema.”

Saleswoman, smug, “You’re using too much detergent.”

Me, “Listen, we were down to two teaspoons for a large load, then we started using the pellets which at least clean the clothes, though they still take all this rinsing.”

“Oh, I don’t like the pellets and you’re still using too much detergent.”

Son, who is a chemist, “Ma’am, with all due respect, soap is the agent that cleans the clothes. If you eliminate it completely, unless you wash in boiling water, you’re going to have wet but dirty clothes.”

“But the cheap washer will cost you lots of water,” the woman says, looking as if she’s going to cry. “Think of the environment.”

“I am. My environment is improved by clean clothes and water and time savings.”

“But the water.”

“What do you think I rinse the clothes in when I program extra rinses? Plus each load takes a good two hours.”

“But that washer is bad for the environment.”

Which is when I realized I was in the presence of a true believer whose mind would not be dented by facts. I let Dan lead her to the computer and make up the order, and older son has nicknamed me “She who makes washer saleswomen cry.”

So, what is the point of this? If it were just a funny story about buying a washer, I might still tell it, but it’s not.

Look, the problem is that we are being ruled (and yep, ruled, not governed) by a group of people who, like the saleswoman, think the intention is the thing.

We’ll leave aside for a moment the need or wisdom for water/electricity/etc. saving. First, in Colorado water is expensive so saving it is always a good idea. Second, that is not what their measures are achieving.

Take our first exposure to water saving toilets, twenty some years ago. We built a new bathroom and needed a toilet and the only ones for sale were “water saving.” What this meant in practical fact was that I acquired a new hobby: flushing the toilet.

The toilet worked (supposedly) with half the water, but it took four flushes to get anything, even a little bit of toilet paper, down. Do the math. I was expending twice as much water, and a lot of time and frustration. (We quickly switched to air assist. After the experience.)

In the same way, our current dishwasher complies with water and electricity saving measures. This means to achieve the same temperature, it has a thick coat of insulation ALL around. Which means it takes half the dishes at a time. Again, do the math. I have to run it for twice as long, which means no savings.

It has an additional unamusing quirk. Every time you wash, you have to select hot wash and sanitizing. Otherwise it just sloshes some water at the dishes and calls it done. We didn’t figure this out for five years which means for five years we conducted a study in epidemiology. I mean, guys, even in the village, when we were poor as Job, grandma boiled water for the final dish rinse to be as hot as possible. Otherwise you not only get not really clean dishes, you get to share the germs of everyone whose dishes go in the same water.

Then there’s the washer. The first we bought was the Neptune, years and years ago, which was so water saving it developed mold and mildew.

The current one recycles the water, so it washes better, but the rinses must happen, and the rinses, again, make it use the same water as anything else. All the low-water washers need a lot of rinses.

“But Sarah, you have a condition that makes you sensitive to detergent. Other people don’t.”

Granted. Which is why there hasn’t been an uprising with pitchforks, or at least washing mangles, yet. Because for the last five years I’ve been a slave to that washer and I’ve always been behind in the wash to the point that we ended up buying four times the clothes we needed, because the wash was bound to be backed up. When each load takes a minimum of two hours (the boys also react to detergent) and you have 14 or so loads a week (not counting cats peeing on Robert’s bed – yes, always his bed. Don’t know why) things slow to a crawl.

And the answer “Oh, you need to use less detergent.” BUT the cleaning went down in proportion to the detergent going down.

I’m not going to talk to other “eco friendly” measures or not extensively. I don’t have the personal experience to.

I do, however, know that the curly lightbulbs were a fiasco. I know that attempts to wish into existence energy by means other than fossil fuels are either failures or scams (Solyndra) and I know that the “enhanced” with “fillers” gas destroys cars, so that they have to be replaced sooner. Now, I’m not an expert, but I’d guess the manufacturing process causes more pollution than just burning regular gas.

So why do they keep passing ever more and more restrictive laws, demanding the thing we use for everyday living meet THEIR standards which as far as I can tell they pull from air?

I think it’s the arrogant certainty that if they keep whipping the dead horse it will get up and pull the load. Or in other words, they’re sure that the only reason they’re not getting what they want is that some mean person is holding it back from them, and if they demand it loud enough and now with more laws, it will eventually be given.

Think of them as the kid throwing himself to the floor in the candy isle and screaming for candy, refusing to hear his mother’s answer that she has no money. That’s about what they are: tyrannical, demanding, infantile and blind to reality.

And of course, when reality fails to comply with their dreams, they just scream louder. Or in this case, they pass laws which distort the simplest facts of daily living for the rest of us.

How long are we going to be hostage to brats who are unable to realize laws don’t cause reality to happen and words have no force to change facts of life?

How long till we get tired of being forced to do household chores inefficiently and paying for it in both time and money, without any appreciable benefit to anyone.

Eric Scheie over at Classical values, when I blogged there, had a post about there being a war on things that work.

He was right, though the intent is “creating a world where things work the way bureaucrats want them to” – which mostly means in defiance of scientific fact.

It is time to take back science, and common sense too.

And in the meantime, we can make washer saleswomen cry!


436 thoughts on “To Your Unwashed Clothes Go

    1. I’m going to try the hot/sanitizer setting thing. Our dishwasher seems to think being told to actually wash the silverware is “more of a guideline, really.”

      But that poor salesdrone may have been under orders to push and upsell the more expensive washers, too, and the water-saving argument was the only one she had to make.

            1. My cousins, one uncle, and two aunts by marriage send their apologies. Tenessee always gets horrible politicians, and Igor- I mean AlGore- was one of the worse ones.

              They blame Memphis-Nashville-‘Nooga in descending order of nuttery (Memphis really is the worst).

              1. Worked for a while in the Midwest. Had a coworker who said she was from Chattanooga – where women are women, and men are nervous.

  1. A war on things that work… I think that’s pretty darn close. It can’t work unless they put their imprimatur upon it. Or maybe it can’t be allowed, to work without that.

    Closely related was a sobriquet I heard from Jonah Goldberg last week: “nothing pisses off the left more than a conservative who’s enjoying himself.”

  2. “…THEIR standards which as far as I can tell they pull from air?:

    Are you absolutely sure that’s from where they’re pulling them?

  3. Go you! I made a physician’s assistant almost cry last year when I refused a blood test I didn’t need, they hadn’t told me about ahead of time, and the results of which I would’ve ignored anyway. (Maybe she did cry – she left the room and never came back, leaving an intern to finish my checkup.) She no longer works at my doctor’s office. Too many people pushing unnecessary crap that just gums up the works and puts more money in their pockets without added benefit to the customer. Good for you for standing against it.

  4. “Water conservation” is something that only makes sense in regions where people haven’t built enough water-collecting infrastructure. (Or in the case of California, destroyed their water collecting/distributing infrastructure. Don’t they understand that their idyllic climate is in large part an *artifact*?) My parents were arguing with a salesman in Ohio, *Ohio*!, who believed that if we didn’t conserve it, we would *run out of water*. Where did he think it was going, globally speaking? Did he ever take freshman chemistry?

    The other one that torques me off is the refrigerant cycles. Every five or ten years (just about when the patent on the last one is expiring) we are frog-marched into using *less efficient*, less capable, more cumbersome refrigerants. The supposed rationale is that our refrigerants (yes, the chemicals which are *not emitted into the atmosphere* and recirculate in closed cooling loops) are responsible for the periodic holes in the ozone layer *over the north and south poles*! Environmentalists hold that the closing of the ozone hole is one of their greatest “victories”, and every time it opens up it’s a sign that we’re not doing enough to limit the use of refrigerant gasses. Do CFCs destroy ozone? Yes. *Everything* destroys ozone. Inert surfaces destroy ozone. O3 is a very unhappy molecule! The problem is the hole in the ozone layer isn’t over a Los Angeles landfill – it’s over the north and south pole, which should tell you something.

    The real explanation has to do with the kinetics of ozone production being slow when the temperature is cold, and electron/ion bombardment due to the fact that the magnetic field lines close over the poles.

    1. I remember when they banned R-12, the ozone hole over Antarctica was as much a panic point as AGW is today. After the Montreal agreement in the late 1970’s that banned it, an interesting factoid emerged in the early 1980’s that the source of almost 95% of the Freon-12 emissions to the atmosphere were the circuit board baths at military aircraft assembly plants, with the biggest culprit being the General Dynamics plant in Ft. Worth TX. These baths were open vats that circuit boards were dipped in to clean them before installing into the planes.

      1. Maybe you can answer the burning question. How is it that freon-12, a molecule heavier than air, is supposed to make it to the ozone layer in the first place?

        1. It magically wafts upward on air currents in high concentrations where on R-12 molecule magically destroys several thousand ozone molecules.

            1. UV breaks apart O2 molecules, and the free O atoms will sometimes bond with other O2 molecules to make O3.

              However, apparently, Chlorine and Fluorine atoms/molecules, will cause that rather unstable bond to break. I didn’t look up the actual reaction, but in some fashion, it’s a catalytic reaction, so that the Chlorine or Fluorine can then go on to break up another ozone molecule.

        2. Helpful gnomes built an underground railway (with wide seats to accommodate heavy molecules) leading to both poles (why, yes, they can tunnel under oceans) and a dedicated corps of fairies flitter up and down to deliver those heavy molecules to their ozone spas.

          The spas are believed to assist in weight loss.

          Need I point out, the gnomes and fairies are making mad bank on this enterprise?

          1. What happens if I build a molecular tether to a weather balloon and tiny little carts to carry the molecules up to their spa? Do the faeries come after me for putting them out of work?

            1. Ooo. *wince* Um — two words, my friend:

              Fairy Union.

              They’re actually largely responsible for the Teamsters reputation…

              1. They’re actually largely responsible for the Teamsters reputation

                Okay, now I’m picturing Brando in drag as a Fairy Godmother…

            2. You know the tooth faerie, right? There’s not just one of ’em and they don’t always wait to collect.

                  1. It’s not the taking ’em you should be worried about.

                    It’s where she’ll decide to put them when she has them.

        3. Our atmosphere doesn’t segregate into layers of heavy-to-light gases. Gas molecules bounce around too much to make it feasible, even disallowing winds.

        4. actually it does breakdown into the item that eats ozone. It is still heavier than air, but is not as heavy so air currents waft some up there. Still is not the issue they claim, being way overblown.
          It isn’t just R12, R22, and the Freon used for cleaning (not R12, but a close relative) but all fluorocarbon chains they are going after. 3M used to have one of the more effective fire fighting foam formulations, but it was VERY high in fluorine and is no longer made. Soon the fluorochemical chains will be limited to a C6 and under. They do not work nearly as well.
          When we were forced to go majority C6 with some 8,10, and very little 12, our stuff got harder to make, works less well, and is more sensitive to outside the ideal parameters while being used.
          This affects lots of things, not just cooling (in the case of Freon) or Fire Fighting Foam, but inks, paints, epoxies, soldering flux, paper, and many more.

          BTW, DuPont did push the bill and miraculously they were the designated replacement (shocking, no?) and the fact that 134a is a greater greenhouse agent, more poisonous, and requires more resources to make and use is politely ignored, especially by AlGore who had money in DuPont (no conflict of interest here, move along)

          1. I am also reminded of Space Shuttle main tank insulating foam. The EPA even gave NASA a waiver, but NASA insisted on using the ‘environmental friendly’ foam insulation without considering the environmental impact of a shuttle burning on reentry.

            1. Question: Would the less environmentally friendly foam be more impact resistant? Or less likely to debond?

              1. IIRC, the failure of the reentry tiles was ultimately blamed on a piece of tank insulation falling off and damaging them during liftoff.

                  1. The use of the newer foam, which did not require Freon, was excluded as a cause during the investigation. The particular tank used on that launch had a mix of both types of insulation, and the area which shed the foam debris (the “bipod ramps”) did not use the newer formula. Shedding of the foam insulation was a “known” issue which had occurred on previous flights, all using the original insulation formula.

                    The ceramic thermal tiles, which covered most of the shuttle, were probably not damaged. The main impact of the debris struck the leading edge of the wing, which was protected by RCC (reinforced carbon-carbon) panels.

                    Insulation from the external fuel tank detached approximately 80 seconds into launch (airspeed above Mach 2.4), rapidly decelerated, and was struck by the leading edge of the shuttle’s left wing at high velocity. The most likely impact location was to RCC panel 8. Later tests proved that such an impact would punch a hole through the panel. During re-entry this allowed air molecules, superheated by the friction, to enter the interior of the wing. The intense heat of would have weakened the wing structure, but despite shedding material during re-entry the shuttle was largely intact up until it lost hydraulic pressure. This was 5 seconds after the last communication was interrupted. Shortly after losing hydraulics, a little over 15 minutes from reaching the top of the atmosphere, the shuttle broke up.

                    1. RE: tile damage

                      Please excuse the poor wording above, There was a long history of tiles sustaining damage from impacts during launch, also loss of tiles (detachment) during a mission. I should have said that tile damage was not the primary cause of the disaster. Each launch typically produced dozens and, on a few launches, hundreds of impacts to the tiles. As I said, this was a known issue. There was an increase in the typical number of impacts in late 1997 after the foam formula was changed.

                      Impacts almost always were to the underside of the shuttle, the side facing the tank. Such impacts would be at a shallow angle relative to the surface, glancing blows that would absorb only a small fraction of the potential impact energy. The impact that doomed Columbia was near the leading edge of the wing by a large piece of foam, at an angle that absorbed more energy. And the impact was to an RCC panel, which was in a far more critical location than the tiles. The tiles were attached to the skin of the shuttle. The RCC panel covered open space inside the wing where hot gas could accumulate.

                      Pictures of Columbia debris would show additional damage caused during breakup and subsequent re-entry of the pieces. I’m not sure if a visual inspection would reveal the difference between launch and re-entry damage.

            2. also so hide bound they refused to “go Off Profile” to hide that overheating section and that refusal cause one fellow I know to quit the agency. He maintains it would have med it to FL if they had just put a bit of yaw still within the envelope, but outside the SOP. So this crap caused the hole then caused the preventing of compensating for the issue.

        5. Freon diffuses upward, sideways, and all over. It breaks down under ultraviolet light and releases chlorine, which apparent acts as some super-catalyst for destroying ozone.

          Personally, I don’t seem to notice a lack in efficiency from the new freons. I thought they were just more expensive.

    2. The real explanation has to do with the kinetics of ozone production being slow when the temperature is cold, and electron/ion bombardment due to the fact that the magnetic field lines close over the poles.

      Ow! Ow! Ow!

      Science! Somebody’s using science!! All scientifically and everything!

      Call somebody! Do something! Logic and rationality! I heard Gaia cry!

      Sarcasm spill: Watch your step, clean your boots, don’t breathe the fumes.

                1. Reminds me of a time when I was at a nuke plant during initial startup testing for the fire protection system on the main transformer and it was set off before the transformer was de-energized…….

                  1. You’d think people playing around a nuke plant would get the “socks then shoes” sort of ordering.

    3. And BTW….the ozone hole is still there, almost 40 years after R-12 was banned. Somehow it has shrunk with lower solar activity…….

            1. scrubbing out 99% of it was. The last 1% is gonna be more expensive than taking out the rest was.

              1. That is always the problem with the EPA,no cost benefit analysis. By the ’90s the canals no longer burned, the Great Lakes didn’t have dead fish and L.A.’s air was practically breathable. EPA’s motto: If we can measure it, we can regulate it. All EPA employees need to spend 3 months/year in China, so they understand what pollution really looks like.

                1. The problem is the Clean Air Act, which requires pollution to be as low a practicable. In the real world practicable depends on how much you’re willing to spend, and nothing spends like someone else’s money.

                  1. Someone pointed out that per the EPA standards for regulating CO2 humans would have to breathe 1/3 less not to be classified as a regulatable emission source.

                    1. Actually, I believe someone tried that and the response was that they didn’t have the resources to enforce it on everyone.

            2. Unfortunately they took a lot of it out of my diesel fuel, which had the double effect of lower the lubricosity and the cetaine rating.

    4. I understand that, in several areas, we are drawing down aquifers and can’t just go on as before. What I don’t understand is, why is it impossible, or impractical, to take water from a water treatment plant and pump it back down?

      What an I missing.

        1. No kidding. Every so often, someone, usually a bureaucrat, comes up with the bright idea of pumping water from the great lakes or Mississippi River west. When they commission and engineering firm to study, their head explode with all the power plants that will have to be built to supply the electricity to run the pumps necessary to pump all the water uphill , in many places to over a mile high above sea level.

          1. I remember a few (20ish) years back talk about California wanting us to build a water pipeline from SE Alaska. No one seemed to want to pay for it though.

        2. Granted that pumps aren’t free. Are they really more expensive than a lot of “water saving” technologies that don’t work? I mean, aren’t those pretty much infinitely expensive? For that matter is it more expensive than water treatment, when you then dump the water into a river or stream and it flows into the (salt) ocean?

          Mr. Wooten (below) references a group of people who are essentially doing what I suggested, on their own. So it apparently can be done. I know to won’t be free, and I expect it is far more complicated than I think it is, but I just wonder why all the “We’re running out of potable water” people are so fixated on choking down use.

          Actually, I suppose I don’t wonder all that much. They like telling people how to live, drat them. But I wonder why I’ve never run into any discussion of my – idea is too exalted – flash of the obvious.

          1. Probably a great deal cheaper to run pumps. Does lack the side benefit of making everyone suffer for the cause of the moment.

            1. This would actually be a reasonable use for windmills. Since you’re not doing the mechanical->electrical conversion with the wind, it’s a bit more efficient, and with holding tanks you can pump when the wind blows and store when it doesn’t.

              1. You’re going need a rather hellaceous gear ratio if you want a direct mechanical linkage between your windmill and your injection pump.

          2. There are injection wells that pump waste water down into the ground. Purification tech isn’t yet good enough to handle it economically at those volumes.

      1. In West Texas, several ranchers are recharging the shallower aquifers by building a dam on a prime spot on many of the runoff only dry creeks. In the lakebed, they drill 10-20 wells into the local aquifer, and then pack the wells with sand and gravel. When the yearly monsoons dump enough water to fill the lake, most of the water gets filtered into the aquifer, where it can then be pumped out as needed using electric pumps or windmills to water the stock or irrigate a small hayfield.

      2. CPschofield, one of the difficulties is that the aquifer (Ogallala, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas version) is sand as well as gravel, and it compacts as water is removed. Compaction means it is much harder to pump anything back in. And 98% of the water is used for agriculture, mostly irrigation, so much of it is transpired by plants or evaporates. We’ve gotten a lot, lot better about reducing water usage in irrigation, but it’s still the #1 consumer of the Ogallala. Recharge wells, water return, and other recycling efforts help, but locally. Also, municipal users are not always permitted to use recharge wells because of water quality and in-stream transfer regulations. For example, Amarillo gets some of it’s drinking water from Roberts County, 100 miles away. There’s not enough money to send the treated and filtered water back from whence it came.

        Er, this is going to get waaaaay long if I don’t stop right here. You might look at the books “Ogallala Blue” and “Land of Underground Rain” for more info. And other aquifers are different. The Edwards does recharge with rain and snow, unlike the Ogallala, forex.

        1. A related problem, at least everywhere I’ve seen it, is that “reducing waste” in irrigation means preventing the water from filtering back down. Like putting aluminum beds under the ditches and stuff.

          Inside of three years of that “upgrade,” even the wells that had never had any issue and hadn’t had new ones put in nearby were going dry.

          The risk of the EPA declaring your overflow pond something they’ve got authority over is scary, too, especially if you were managing it with an eye to preventing mosquitoes and had fish to eat the eggs and nymphs.

          1. “The risk of the EPA declaring your overflow pond something they’ve got authority over is scary”

            Sometimes you’re dam(mn)ed if you do, dam(mn)ed if you don’t.

            Some years ago there was a case where a city’s sewage treatment pond had been leaking over a period of years, forming a swamp (excuse me, “wetland”), which had attracted ducks and similar critters.

            The EPA ordered that they fix the leak, or they’d get hit with a gigantic fine. The Fish and Wildlife Service prohibited them from fixing the leak, or they’d get hit with a gigantic fine.

            I don’t recall how the case came out.

          2. No one irrigates with ditches any more. Everyone uses at least aluminum pipe, and most have gone to drip systems. Damn shame in some ways, because a great joy as a kid was skinny dipping in an irrigation ditch…..

            1. Irrigation ditches aren’t what you use to irrigate with, it’s what gets the water to the pump that fills the irrigation pipe which fills the sprinklers. I have no idea where you are that “most” people are using drip systems– southern California orchards? The expense of upkeep is just too high, unless water is insanely scarce.

              1. I grew up in West Texas where the water is from wells. In the old days the farmers would dig a ditch at the perimeters of the field after planting and run the water from the pump down the ditch using siphon tubes to put water from the ditch to the rows. That was a really wasteful way of irrigating and as soon as they could afford it most went to using aluminum pipe, usually a thin wall 4-5″ diameter tube about 40-50 feet long. The irrigators were the same pipe with little butterfly valves on a spigot pointed towards a row. As the Ogalalla levels declined, most went to the even more efficient drip irrigators.

                1. Channel irrigation– there’s a few kinds of crops that need that, but not many. Irrigation ditches are much different, and it looks like the issue there is that all the water where you’re familiar with is from wells. That’s actually really rare.

        2. Big Spring, Midland and Odessa are now recycling treated sewage water into drinking water. Using mostly reverse Osmosis after filtering.

          1. Yup. It makes the most sense, unless you use a surface source and have to prove to the state that you are continuing beneficial use in order to protect a senior water right. And getting people to move past the “eeeww” factor. Mostly getting the reporters past that.

            1. The pee recycling plants were partly financed by the CRMWD, which supplies most of the water for the three cities……

  5. So, does the new washer *in fact* get the clothes washed and rinsed sufficiently to avoid rashes?

              1. There’s a McShep fanfic with them as a dryer and washer. There’s another one about them as girl scout cookies.

            1. Asimov had that in one of his robot stories. A dissatisfied housewife has a “household robot” and “nor through inaction allow a human to come to harm” combined with “emotional harm” and…

              The story “talks around” it but it was pretty clear on re-reading the story as an adult what was going on.

              1. One of the sidequests in the first Knights of the Old Republic game involved finding a missing droid for some lady. Seems she was using the droid as a replacement for her dead husband.

                PC: Errr, all the time?
                Droid: You Do Not Want To Know.
                PC: No, I probably don’t.

          1. Which (in a roundabout way) makes me wonder if Kibo still greps the internet for his name.

        1. I know for a fact my very own father voted in elections in November of 1998 and November of 2000… After passing away in May of 1998. You do the math. No word on who he voted for.

          (And for those wondering, all of the names registered voters are kept in a book at the polls. They cross people off after they vote. My father was James Ricky McCoy. I am James Ricky McCoy Jr. His name had already crossed out. Both times. It was confirmed for me by the woman working the polls that it would not have been crossed out if he had not voted. True story.)

          1. Heh, as the joke goes, ‘My grandmother was a Republican until the day she died, since then she’s been voting Democrat.’

  6. One suggestion, which you may or may not be able to do with your eczema, is to add the phosphates back into your detergent that have been removed to help ensure that your clothing and dishes are never really clean. If you take TSP, you can add half a teaspoon or so to a laundry load or a dishwasher load, and it really helps the rinsing. Plus, it makes Gaia-worshipping science-phobes cry, so there is that benefit as well.

          1. Some hardware stores currently sell something labeled “TSP” that has no trisodium phosphate in it.

            I consider this to be a sign that the Anti-Christ has already arrived on Earth.

            1. Oh, he arrived on Earth years ago. But first he had to change fights in Frankfurt and Chicago, which left his exhausted for weeks. Then he got into an immigration and importation tangle that still hasn’t been cleared up (come thing about chocolate eggs, I never did get the straight of it). With Fred Phelps and the Westboro Bab-tist Chush(sic) still going, there really isn’t room for him in the senseless nitwit bigot market, so he’s on welfare. Last time I checked he was having a little trouble with a Meth habit, and had dropped about 70 lbs. And one of his girlfriends is into him for child support, which is weird because the kid looks nothing like him. But then the kid looks nothing like anything human, so maybe it IS his.

              Anyway, I don’t think we have to worry about him. Not this cycle, anyway.

          1. That looks like the stuff that ate a hole in my dishwasher. Notice that it is for outdoor use. I stick with the commercial versions of regular dishwasher detergent. … GAH! the stuff I used to buy is no longer at Amazon! or Restockit! It was the restaurant version of Cascade. Time to look for another source.

              1. I’ve used the Cascade Pro for a few years now and it’s kept the glasses clean and hasn’t destroyed the dishwasher yet.

      1. When tri-sodium phosphate was banned, in my store we save a lot people from buying new dishwashers by telling them point-blank it wasn’t that they’re dishwasher stopped working, it was that the government regulated the TSP out of it. Phosphate had been banned in laundry detergent many years earlier.

    1. There are also some “commercial” formulations of detergents that haven’t had the phosphates removed. One such is Bubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent

      I can only guess that the reason they are still allowed is that elites eat out, and don’t want any nasty water spots…..

    2. Phosphates are builders for dealing with hard water. They avoid the formation of soap scum by softening the water. Typically you can get around that with strongly alkaline detergent. Commercial washers use separate Breaks/Builders that are basically caustic soda solution. They actually need to add acid afterward to neutralize.

      Now, I have no idea what exactly sets Ms. Hoyt’s skin off, but TSP is not a cure-all for improving rinses. Borax or washing soda will give the same effect, and washing soda is CHEAP.

  7. I do not think that this movement is as innocently foolish as it seems:
    I have had to listen to people telling me how noble poverty and the undeveloped world is. I usually manage to listen without rolling my eyes when I hear about how virtuous that people need to use bicycles to commute, or about how close to nature they are. (groan). Lest year, I got to listen to a bureaucrat boast about the new energy savings laws and how: “people need to get used to being hot in the summer and cold in the winter.” Somehow, I do not think that that bureaucrat will be experiencing either.
    I expect that poverty is the real goal of this. Not the goal of the parrots who simply repeat whatever consensus is around them, but of the people who put this into place. If wealth cannot be taxed away or seized then it can be regulated out of existence. If there is still money left, prohibit the modern things which make wealth different than poverty. The grueling per-industrial poverty of much of the world I think is the end result in mind for us.
    Modern technology has allowed the everyday man to have wonders and a standard of living undreamed of by the ancient kings. This is, of course, intolerable to those who would be the new kings….

    1. Lest year, I got to listen to a bureaucrat boast about the new energy savings laws and how: “people need to get used to being hot in the summer and cold in the winter.”

      First question: “Have you given up YOUR Air Conditioning? And if not, WHY NOT???”

    2. “”We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times,” Obama

      Then he cranks up the heat on the Oval Office.

      1. Kind of like Nixon, founder of the EPA: if he wanted a fire in the fireplace, he lit one. Then ran the A/C as needed.

    3. The core problem is that these idiots think that in a pre-industrial world, THEY will be in the upper class.

      They aren’t smart, tough, mean, or strong enough to be in the upper class in a pre-industrial world. So if (gods forbid!) they succeed, we will get to watch them get liquidated, just like the nitwit intellectual revolutionaries in Russia, China, Cambodia, …….

      It won’t be MUCH satisfaction, mind.

        1. The useful idiots are always the first ones against the wall.
          And they’re always terribly surprised by this.

    4. If only we could make those bureaucrats live the close to nature lifestyle they think is so awesome.
      A modest proposal- how about a housing swap for our progressivly minded government employees. They get to move into the various public housing projects as a condition of public employment, and the project denizens get to move into the vacated houses of the public employees.
      Next, let’s re-introduce the malarial mosquito to DC.
      Finally, because of the earth and all that, let’s also ban AC, heaters, dishwashers, and refrigerators from DC.

      1. I’ve always been in favor of using empty military barracks in the DC area to house congressmen. Preferably ones as old as possible.

        1. Summary of my husband and my solution to the Congress Problem:
          Make them E5s, effectively.

          E5 housing, and pay, and medical benefits from military doctors.

          Ditto for their staff.

          Capped at 10 years, though.

    5. The movement is definitely not innocent and poverty for just about everybody is indeed their goal. The problem they have is that every time they think they have their program locked down, some damn American ruins it all with a new disruptive that changes everything.

          1. Very scary. they couldn’t see what’s right there on the page in front of them. They are absolutely cluelessly blind.

            When the blood begins to run in the street they will be dumbstruck.

    6. I have had to listen to people telling me how noble poverty and the undeveloped world is.

      The only reasonable answer to this is “You’re out of your fucking mind, nothing you say can be considered accurate without a level of fact checking that makes it useless, please stop voting and have your self fixed so you cannot procreate”.

  8. There is no anthropomorphic deity required for it to be a religion, and that’s precisely what it is: It’s a religion to them. They have faith. And when you persist in defying their Holy Church, you will be subjected to their unholy punishments. The longer we let it go on, the more more barbaric it will be. If allowed to seize power, it will be every bit as barbaric as anything Moslems or Medieval Christians did.

  9. Back in 2002 I bought a house and needed appliances. I wanted simple stuff that did the job required and held up under fairly light use. I checked several apartment complexes to see what they installed, and the results of my survey came to GE for stoves and refrigerators and Roper for washers and dryers.
    Bought the fridge, washer, and dryer for well under a grand at the time and all three are still running strong 13 years later. The dryer started to not do well a while back until I thought to check the outside vent. After pulling out wads of dryer boogers from the pipe it again runs like new.

    1. I dream of hunting down the person who vented the dryer at SchlossRed into the garage, in a place where it is almost impossible to reach in order to clean. At least it is solid metal and less fire prone.

      1. Well, in the case of my parents’ old home, the dryer vent was there before they added the garage. [Smile]

      2. Redoing the floor in the utility room of the house I’m moving from, we found that the dryer is vented down into the area under the floor. It would be vented into the crawlspace, but there’s insulation in the way, so it’s just straight down to the insulation.

        1. Not without adding a right angle bend, routing it past a door, and then to the wall, probably 15 feet plus the diversions. It is right in the middle of the wall. Routing it through the utility room/cold room in the garage is not an option because of the length of run and code. I suspect that a considerable amount of the initial build cost on this place went to the code enforcement inspector’s retirement and benevolence fund.

          1. Our current dryer vent is short but vents literally right next to the A/C unit. We installed a new one when we got the house (because thirty years is not kind to major appliances) and when its efficiency decreased sharply, the tech who came out showed us how there was, essentially, felt on the side of the machine.

            Between that and the case of the condenser pipe being blocked by SLUGS (designers ran it hallway into the concrete; impossible to put mesh over the end), we’ve decided the builders were a mild grade of idiot. (Not major, since the place is at leaf structurally sound and up to the code of the day. Just minor.)

    2. Our current washer and dryer were purchased from a friend of mine for $100 when she moved and bought a stack; she’d bought them at a scratch & dent price and “they don’t match” (um, they’re the same size, and they’re both white, WHO CARES). We’ve had them for almost a decade, only one break—which my husband brilliantly figured out was the switch through use of a voltmeter, fixed for under $10 after part shipping. I don’t know how old they actually are. I have a friend who is a costumer who has been making her own laundry soap (theater makes for NASTY stains) and I need to borrow a bit to see if it can fix a couple of things that have saturated stains. And by “saturated” I mean that during the last rain storm my boy was soaking in a mud hole like it was a spa. Wouldn’t be an issue except the shirt was yellow…

        1. Have to get some for that and for a couple of other things, including a shirt I have that is older than college students and looks like new after a few Oxyclean washes.

          1. Fels-Naptha is your friend, even if you don’t know it yet.
            Even with crappy modern washers, it’ll get most stains out. Wet the bar, rub it in, and wash as normal.

            Borax is also well worth the price as a detergent enhancer.

            1. Try this for detergent: Mix 1 box (4 lbs) of baking soda, one box (55 oz) of Super Washing Soda, one container (3-4 lbs) of Oxyclean, 4 bars of Fels Naptha bar soap (grind to a coarse powder in the blender, or at least use a fine grater to shred it), one box (4 lbs) of 20 Mule Team Borax. Use about 1 rounded tablespoon for front loaders, 1.5-2.0 for top loaders, a coffee scoop works well (use 2 tbsp if clothes are really dirty; for “really dirty” I add one scoop of Trisodium Phosphate). At Walmart prices you get about 17 lbs of detergent for about $20-22. I mix double batches to get 4 years’ worth – a double batch is a little over 4 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket. If you want it scented, the detergent aisle at WM has various flavors of Crystal-something-or-other that will add scents. Otherwise, it pretty much has no odor. Or useless fillers to drive the price up.

              Pro tip: Mix it in batches of 1/3 of each component. Trying to stir/mix 17 lbs of powder is a PITA. Cut the Fels Naptha in 1/8s to make the blender’s life easier.

              1. I tried using the blender… once.

                Grating the Fels Naphtha and then pulsing the shreds in a food processor. works much better.

  10. “The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

    “He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.”
    ― Adam Smith

  11. When my mom ended up having to buy a new dishwasher after 25-30 years, she wasn’t satisfied with most of the brands and prices, so she bought this crazy German dishwasher that is SUPER HOT. (I’ll post the name when Mom gets home and can tell me, because I find the name hard to remember. It’s pretty common at US appliance stores.)

    It’s not perfect. I mean, don’t try to wash plastic in it unless you stop it halfway through, and the cycles take a little longer because it’s German. And there’s a complicated German manual, albeit the English is well translated, and a lot of different cycle choices.

    But everything that comes out is SUPER CLEAN. And boiling boiling hot. It soothes my mom’s hygienic German side.

      1. Probably is. I have a Bosch. When I select ‘sanitize’ as an option, during the wash cycle it turns on the dryer element until the water reaches the acceptable temperature. They are amazingly quiet. The only sound I can hear is the water running down the drain.

        1. It is definitely Bosch, per my mom.

          She also lists as a problem that “It is so quiet I have to look at the front to see if it’s on.” But she doesn’t really mind that part. 🙂

      1. not replying to this specifically, but: we got one of the water saving type on purpose. I have forbidden the door to rest closed when not in use, to prevent the mold. I have switched to the liquid “hi-efficiency” type cleaner and only use 1/4 cap per load, plus *1/4 cap of Calgon* for my hard water. My sweetie says the clothes seem cleaner with the Calgon. (Fair warning, the stuff is great but they do add perfume to it.) I have been known to use the extra rinse button some of the time, but not often and never more than once. I do buy the “free” detergent and don’t use fabric softener at all. Maybe a slosh of vinegar in the rinse cup once in a while. Vinegar is one of God’s gifts to mankind. And if there is someone who gets their panties in a twist about saying that, tough noogies.

        1. We have the same problem with mold and mildew in our front-loading washing machine. On nights when we’ve used it we point a fan into it. Then we can close the door the next day.

        2. Vinegar is great stuff, it just doesn’t work well on everything. It’s certainly contraindicated when I’m trying to make the washing solution more alkaline.
          But nothing else is nearly as effective at getting out the smell of urine. (Still trying to potty train a 10 year old autistic child. But finally having some success!)

          1. “Simple Solution” from pet stores. Removes the smell of urine and feces from almost anything, including concrete (stupid renters let the dogs use the garage floor. Nothing else worked. Spent weeks trying other cleaners.)

  12. After the first round of “With the ‘efficient’ washers, I have to run it X times, which is Y more water than the old ‘inefficient’ version,” I would have stopped and said, “I am buying this washer; shut up and take my money.”

    Question: How does your skin react to vinegar? We use vinegar in the fabric softener slot and it does a good job of stripping out the detergent remains. (My husband also has contact allergies, though not to your level.) The volatiles evaporate off, so there’s no vinegar smell on the clothes, either.

    1. We use both the TSP *and* the vinegar option. I’m allergic to most perfumes, as well as fabric softener. Matt is allergic to laundry soap in the grand tradition of our Evil Space Princess. My towels are soft again, and Matt is having fewer skin issues. He didn’t break out like he normally does this summer, as heat makes the reaction worse, and encourages opportunistic infections. (don’t ask)

      Ours is supposed to be a super high efficiency washer, but it does pretty well. We only have to rinse twice, and that’s before we got our TSP and vinegar combo.

  13. On the legal/government side, I blame the proliferation of lawyers in the legislature and senior bureaucracy. Consider: for a lawyer, reality is whatever you can talk a judge and jury into believing. Something tells me they don’t shed that mindset when writing/passing laws.

  14. Wow, you have pressed so *many* of my buttons, this reply may be incoherent by the end.

    The only ‘environmental’ decision that ever benefited me was the removal of phosphate from detergent. I was allergic to it. Fortunately, I built my house in 1988, the last year you could purchase normal toilets. I live in a rural area of Virginia with a well. Water usage is somewhat moot; however, water pressure from a well based system is lower than most municipal water feeds. Any new faucet or shower head, of course, is set to California water standards of reduced flow. Imagine how long it takes to get the shampoo off your head with that!

    CFLs (a.k.a. Curly Fry Lights) are an incredible disaster. The only purpose in banning incandescent lights was so GE could close their old American factories and get more profit from the more expensive CFLs made in China. Look at The simple 12 step process for dealing with a broken bulb. I am relieved that they have changed the policy for broken bulb on carpet (old process, remove approximately 2 sq ft of carpet where the bulb landed: new process, plan on vacuuming the carpet with HVAC off and windows open for next 4-5 times, requiring a new vacuum bag after each cleaning.) How many low-information residents does the EPA think actually recycle and how many send them to the landfill? I do like LED bulbs, but even they have a greater environmental impact than incandescent (which are silica (glass), a little tin/brass base metals and the tungsten filament. – all LANDFILL ready). I have anecdotally noticed that I have had far more CFLs break than incandescent bulbs. My disposal process: sweep mess up with broom, throw into trash.

    Neptune washer; you have my deepest sympathy. I recommend the basic units. My washer has two wash cycles (I only use one), three load sizes (I only use one) and three temperatures (I only use one. I actually have the hot water feed turned off in case the hose breaks). Mostly what you pay for in the pricier models is the electronic digital controls. Now, I suppose if you want to monitor your washer over the ‘Internet of Things’, you will need this, but is it really that hard to go downstairs to see if the wash is done?

    My one year old Bosch dishwasher has 5 possible wash settings and 32 possible cleaning options. I use Heavy cycle with sanitize and extra shine for every load. I didn’t follow my own advice on this one, I simply told my Sister-in-Law to go to her Lowes store, find the dishwasher she liked (only requirement was black front), get me the model number.

    1. Regarding low-flow shower heads. Usually the restrictor is a separate part put in after manufacture, and can be removed without too much trouble. I’m sure this feature will be legislated away ASAP.

      1. The newer ones are cast as part of the flow head now. A 1/4″ or 3/16″ drill bit solves the problem.

        1. I use a dremel tool. Unfortunately, when they were like Jerry mentioned a center hole in a metal washer, they were easy to eliminate. My most recent kitchen faucet unfortunately uses tiny holes in the aerator (water with lots of bubbles makes you think you are getting more).

          Incidentally, as my well occasionally pumps iron grit with the water, these tiny holes all become clogged.

          1. Likewise the little screen where the hose connects to the washing machine. Have to pull and clean it about every six weeks.

          2. Why not just pull the aerator and either replace it with a less fine mesh or just punch holes in it?

            1. And lose all that quality Dremel time, enlarging the holes with a larger bit? What DO you do for entertainment?

              1. Actually, after thinking about it, all the aerators are plastic. I have been desperately looking for an application as an excuse to buy a 3D printer, so this may be it!

      2. The maintenance guy in one of our apartments in CA showed us how to pop out the little rubber restrictors. Still using that trick to this day. No such trick for toilets, sadly.

          1. Down here people sneak over and get commercial commodes. Those don’t have to be low-flow (yet). Not the prettiest, but they do what they are supposed to, and on the first try.

            1. I’ll be buying one of those soon. Lowe’s has one that’s 5-star rated, and under $400.

              The current toilet in my dad’s old house won’t flush properly, largely because it puts the water into the bowl at too shallow an angle, and it rotates too bloody fast to go down the drain effectively. Stupid design.

              1. We got a Kohler at Home Despot that seems to work fairly well — so long as the supply lines don’t freeze. But the fact that it sits atop a 15-foot drop to the horizontal run to the street might help that.


      3. I use mine with a restrictor because it was crazy hard if I took it out. I found that a pair of scissors and a middle finger (optional) were the key to making the restrictor big enough to raise the water pressure to where I needed it to be.

    2. I do like LED bulbs, but even they have a greater environmental impact than incandescent

      Kind of pointless to worry about that, though. They’re manufactured the same as any other integrated circuit, and those are everywhere.

      As far as CFLs go, however, I don’t think I’ve ever had one break, and, despite the tales I hear from other people, with the exception of one set I bought several years ago, I have not had any trouble with them. I understand the problems with the cleanup (overly exaggerated by the EPA, of course – newer CFLs have so little Mercury you could break several cases of bulbs before it really reached a significantly dangerous level), but a lot of people have told me that they are worthless in general, and I have simply not seen it.

      1. Vibration in ceiling fan service seems to shorten their lifespan appreciably. (Perhaps you are better at balancing your fans) In a trouble light, they seem to be significantly more fragile than a conventional bulb, particularly one rated for harsh service.

        1. Hear hear. I have had those curlicue bulbs break on more than one occasion. Then again, even conventional bulbs just fail and shatter in a shorter time span than other bulbs in the house. Moisture, maybe?

      2. “…I don’t think I’ve ever had one break…”

        But what happens to them after you’re done with them? Do you toss them into the trash or take them to an approved hazardous waste disposal site?

        Because I guarantee you they’re getting broken when the giant earth movers at the landfill roll over your trash.

        Me? I can’t be bothered with having to segment my garbage into a half dozen different varieties of hazardous waste and recycling products. Everything goes into the same bag and out to the highway for the private trash pickup I pay for.

        1. I wasn’t addressing the post-disposal condition of them, only the time they spend in the home/garage/etc. I’ve dropped them from heights that will normally break an incandescent (though I found, when working in a light bulb warehouse, that occasionally an incandescent will bounce up to three times on concrete before breaking – surprised the hell out of me), and not had them break.

      3. I’ve replaced all the easy-to-reach-for-mom lights in each house we’ve moved into with curlies, because small children aren’t big on remembering switches. I replace them about once a year, have for at least five years. (When we moved to the Damp Side, I started this program– was “whatever is cheapest” before.)

        I’ve had to replace a total of three of the others, and two of those were the bathroom heat lights. The other was probably death by toddler shaking the lamp, but I can’t be sure.

        It’s about 75% curlies, but the burn-out rate is ridiculous…especially since it’s “cheap to cheap” comparison. Possibly the less cheap CFLs manage to last more than a quarter of the minimum calculated life, but I don’t know.

        1. I have a CFL in the utility room that is never turned off, and it generally lasts about two years. The others last anywhere from two to four.

          But I’m switching to LEDs when I can, now, because they should last for more like 10, and even in the cold, they don’t have a ramp-up period for the light output.

      4. I’ve never had one break, either. Some people screw them in by the glass and not the base, which may be a problem. I have seen them char the base and smoke on failure. The industry line was this was a feature, which should have been nominated for a Hugo, except SF is supposed to be based on plausible science.

        Supposedly they don’t do this as much now. I don’t know. So far I haven’t had a more recent bulb go out. I still won’t put one in a fixture over, say, a bed spread.

    3. The stupidest part of the lightbulb ban was that a) people will move to energy efficient versions on their own, and b) sometimes the heat wastage is a feature, not a bug. (See terrariums and citrus “heat lights.”) As for CFLs, they’re bad for those prone to migraines, they’re intolerant of toddlers and their switch-flicking ways, and they’re obnoxious in many other ways. We are not pleased at their performance.

      We do like LEDs, in no small part because they’re cool-touch and the ones we have are built like bricks. Unfortunately, we can’t use them in the garage, because the converter in the base interferes with the door signaler. When the light is on, the clicker doesn’t work. PITA because the fixture is low-volt, so having a bright bulb was really nice for the week it was in…

      1. As for the heat being a feature, now it is necessary to flush the bug out of the fixture and kill it by hand, instead of letting the heat take care of business and clean up after.

        1. How many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb?

          Only one, but he burns his hand while doing it, because he does it before the bulb is cool.

      2. I bought a couple of the Christmas LED light nets, intended for draping over shrubberies, and stapled them to the ceiling of my garage on a motion-detector switch to solve the “I will trip on all this junk and die in the dark” problem. For work lighting I have multiple 4-foot double flourescent tube fixtures, but I really like the new monster-bright LED garage fixtures, or at least I will as soon as I can talk my Scottish heritage into the price.

        1. Attached garage, or do you get a better grade of florescent fixture? The ones I had were useless except in summer, because the ballasts wouldn’t function in the cold.

        2. I’ve been thinking about getting this 30-ft LED rope light the local store to run around my kitchen, to replace the 4-foot fluorescents that are currently there, but I can’t find any information on total lumens output.

          1. I’ve replaced under-counter fluorescents with LED strips (they’re sort of like a mini-fluorescent bar, but have a white LED every couple of inches). They work great. If you look around you can get contractor models that don’t come with a built-in cord. Somewhat cheaper, and easy to daisy-chain if you’re installing a bunch of them.

        3. We got a crud ton at the “four for the price of one” sale after Christmas, to light the kids’ room and the hallway to the bathroom without keeping Mr. The Light Is Awake So I Am Awake from triggering.

      3. I have a vintage ’70s lava lamp. They require 40 watt appliance bulbs. I stocked up on a half-dozen. I don’t know what to do with the easy-bake oven.

        My understanding of CFLs is that their life is greatly reduced when put in the overhead position. OK for lamps where the base is below the curly fry, but anywhere overhead, not so great.

      4. My favorite wrinkle in the light bulb ban hysteria was what happened in Europe; a company in Germany (as I recall) is still making 100 watt incandescents and selling them as “Small heating units” for about the same money.

        And the Eurobureaucrats let it go because they were getting a groundswell of “dangle them all from trees, we’ll sort them later”.

        To my mind the great advantage of LEDs is that you can put a seriously bright one on one of those damned “Do not use with a bulb over 60 watts” “reading” lamps. When the f@ck was it decided that all lighting fixtures would be made to melt if you put a bulb bright enough o actually light the room in them?

        1. I was doing that…until the local place stopped selling the 120watt equiv curlies. Now I’m having trouble finding the 90watt equiv.

          1. The Philips 100w equivalent LEDs have come way down in price. You can get ’em for $20 or so. Much better light quality for reading than CFL, in my opinion.

            1. Home Despot in our area sells the Instapundit-favored Cree bulbs with a subsidy from Puget Sound Energy for VERY reasonable prices. I have been installing them as needed and the light is indistinguishable from Incandescent. (Well, the floodlight form in my recessed kitchen lights will cause a slightly purple reflection on aluminum foil, but it’s much better than the off-brand one I got at Wal-Mart).

              Now I have to figure out what to do with the three dozen 100 Watt Incandescents I stocked up on.

  15. My favored unintended consequences story of enviro logic run wild:

    The mad push to eliminate (or at least shrink) all those road boat sedans! Huge! Gas guzzling! Monstrosities! I’m a twenty-something singleton and I get by just fine on with this tiny two-seater and my bicycle so everybody can!!

    So now we have a glut of SUVs. 😐

    Not because we’re enamored of the ability to go tooling around in the wilds with our big tires and high clearances. Nope. It turns out families still need to stack a fair number of people and a passel of things in the vehicle and go about the day. Shrunken sedans inhibit the process.

    Now there’s preachiness about “plan your day so you can visit multiple locations in one trip, thus saving fuel…” Yeah, tough to do in your tiny two-seater, huh?

    Nonetheless, I read with grim amusement a fellow I respect in his field (photography) bemoan all the lumbering SUVs he saw when dropping his sprout off at one sports practice or another. He (divorced) was able to make do with his Miata and really there was no need for one mom to cart half the team around in her tank. If every parent would take the responsibility to drop their child off for themselves, and do it in a Miata-like car…

      1. My wife’s tales of her dad’s Rambler carrying Mom, Dad,two aunts and seven kids would give the safety nuts fits nowadays.

      2. The “fun” part about airbags was that the auto makers *knew* about the problem and tried to tell the regulators about the problem.

        Of course, the regulators “knew best” and the auto makers didn’t think they’d win the fight in the News Media or in Congress. On the other hand, the auto makers’ lawyers told them that the auto makers couldn’t be sued for “following the law”.

        What’s really “fun” is that the regulators wanted the airbags to protect people who didn’t seat belts and the auto insurance companies told everybody that listened to use seat belts even with the airbags.

        Final note, the airbags controversy died really quickly partially IMO because the News Media weren’t able to make it an “evil auto makers” thing. IE the auto makers knew the danger but the regulators didn’t listen. The News Media didn’t want to tell an “evil regulators” story.

      3. Some vehicles—mine included—have a weight sensor in the front seat, which turns off the airbag if it’s below a certain weight. What’s interesting is that there’s an odd bar on the dash that I did not understand; it turns out to be an anchor point for a rear-facing car seat strap, which means they’re serious about that being an option. If I need to, I can transport five children in my car and still get 22mpg. I love my car (“crossover” from when they were still figuring out what that meant.)

          1. It’s a Ford Freestyle, which they started calling a Taurus X and then discontinued entirely. Pity; it’s able to seat six adults if the back two are shorter than six feet tall (I’ve sat in the back row with no problem and I’m 5’8″), has the aforementioned 22MPG even after 125,000 miles, and has a tight turning radius. I’ve heard that the Flex has a similar feature set but the mileage isn’t great.

        1. I had my book-bag in the front seat of Dad’s car one day (long story) and was driving on brick streets. The weight, plus vibration, tripped the weight sensor and the car began shrieking about an unsecured front-seat passenger. The alarm didn’t stop until I pulled over and belted the d-mn bag in.

    1. Now there’s preachiness about “plan your day so you can visit multiple locations in one trip, thus saving fuel…” Yeah, tough to do in your tiny two-seater, huh?

      Once had a “conversation” with a guy who wanted to brag about how he’d “reduced his footprint.” (Y’all know the type I mean– the one where you’re being preached at, and are expected to shut up and admire them.)

      He stopped driving a half-hour out for dinner every night, and packed a lunch at least once a week. Didn’t change his weekend entertainment trips at all.
      Dropped his trips by a third.

      Somehow our entire household was somehow worse, though, because we have a minivan, my husband goes out to lunch maybe once a month, and about twice a week I’ll drive to the grocery store when he’s back. We could add my parents’ household into our system (they go to the store once every two weeks, now that no milk drinkers live in the house, and they live at their work) and not get as many trips as that guy does on a “reduced” load, but he was Morally Superior because he wasn’t as wasteful as before.

      1. Well, see, he’s smug. And doing it for the environment!

        You’re just rational and practical, doing things because of efficiency and cost savings. Without proselytizing.

        So, clearly he’s the superior specimen (of what, I leave to the audience).

      2. PM/G. That’s the term to use. My Express gets 162 PM/G. That would be People Miles per Gallon. If a person’s driving a two seater they have to get 81 M/G to beat the 12 passenger van.
        (Actually, I generally have two empty seats, so I run at 135 PM/G. It’s still pretty good.)
        If they’re honest greenies, they’ll admit that PM/G is the important number. Don’t laugh, I’ve met a few.

      3. No one has ever approached me to boast about how they have reduced their “footprint”. Probably because I am large, bearded, and have my Father’s peaked eyebrows, and in consequence look like my reaction would be to plant a footprint in their behind.

        Which is a substantially correct impression.

          1. The alternate version of the Ultimate Murder Plot: The Ultimate Get Off My Back Plot. You trade annoying people with your Internet friends, and you all go and tell off each other’s annoying people.

          2. And you a good Catholic! You’re not envious, you’re covetous.
            Also, I imagine you’ll be getting a pretty good Mom glare–you might already have one, don’t know. Use it on such…specimens.

      4. Does your insurance ask you about your yearly mileage? Mine does—and my yearly use is below the averages they have. Even with the trips to visit Grandma, 500 miles away. It’s amazing what not doing a daily drive will take off the total.

        (If they don’t ask, do some research—because driving below the average can reduce your insurance load, since every mile is another mile exposed to the risks of driving.)

          1. This is a variant of that, since we have one vehicle for work and occasional hauling, and the other one is for kid wrangling.

    2. SM all? Miata’s are huge I tells you! I ride a bike 90+% of the time (25,000 miles last year, 13,00 in my truck) and can get a weeks groceries in the bags and top box.

      1. I’ve gone shopping at Costco on my bike…

        Bulk packages balance nicely. Though people do stare.

    3. The SUVs are the natural consequence of the CAFE fuel efficiency restrictions. Now that the CAFE rules apply to small trucks, I expect the next move will be to PPTs (Personal Panel Trucks).

      We really, really need to bring back the custom of horsewhipping public nuisances.

      1. Yup. I was told that I shouldn’t complain about the price of gas (when it was pushing $4 a gallon) but instead should get rid of my explorer for a more fuel efficient vehicle. I pointed out that I got the Explorer for its third row seating to use specifically when my wife’s family was visiting but also so I could act as one of the “bus driver’s” for my daughter’s girl scout troop hauling stuff, and occasional offroad forays when I get involved in “outdoorsy” activities (which get me off antidepressants–I haven’t needed them since getting involved in hunting and fishing).

        For my pains I was mocked at “how fat was my daughter if I needed a big SUV to haul her around”. No, says I, I need it for carrying her girl scout _troop_, as in a half dozen girls–lots more fuel efficient than two economy sedans, plus tying up two adults instead of one–and that adding a more fuel efficient car instead of replacing (so I could keep the hauling capacity when I needed it) would end up costing even more. Oh, and that I needed the extra capacity often enough that renting at need was also a non-starter.

        The result was more mockery followed by my being blocked by the SJW (although this was before I’d heard that term) writer mocking me.

          1. And it’s not like the Girl Scouts wouldn’t be PC anyway. After all, it’s not like they let boys in.

          1. Of course. The whole point of being an SJW is to gain moral ego-boo at no expenditure of money or effort.

  16. I grew up in a lower-class Southern environment of the kind that makes MSNBC comedians and commentators do their nastiest jokes, I’ve rented some cheap apartments, and I’ve never seen a bedbug. I wouldn’t know what one looked like if there weren’t pictures of the horrid things in all the stories about how 3 Star hotels are infested with them. Because they long ago stopped using the almost-boiling setting on washers that kills bedbugs.

    1. Ew. On that note, you’ll almost never hear of bedbugs in the dry West & Southwest, because it turns out that the most efficient way to kill bedbugs is heat, as in that which you get in summer in a moving vehicle.

      1. Not true. Bedbugs are practically an epidemic here (desert southwest). One of the fastest growing busineses here over the last several years have been mattress stores.
        Combating them is such a problem due to the loss of effective pesticides due to .gov regulations.

        1. Bedbugs have moved up from Mexico into Arizona, I’ve been an unwilling victim in hotels. They don’t get into my house – I put my suitcase and clothes (after removing the toiletries ziplock bag) into a large black plastic garbage bag, tie it up and leave it in the sun for a few days. Wash clothes normally, no bedbugs!

          It works for mattresses as well, at least in the summer, I sealed up a mattress in plastic and let the sun toast it for two days. That adult daughter was very happy not to have to buy another mattress.

          1. More to the point, that also works for wood furniture, which they can also infest. If you’re ever doing secondhand, it’s best to “forget” to bring the items inside until they’ve had a day or two of baking in full sun under plastic.

  17. I haven’t even finished reading the blog post (over in email) but it brings something to mind.

    My daughter, Athena, gets a lot of “dry skin dermatitis” (It Says Here). Now I’m wondering if it might be residual detergent in the laundry.

    1. I got a reaction because the softener (that I no longer use) built up in the dispenser and was not getting rinsed out. I ended up chipping the gizmo loose by hand, cleaning it in boiling water to loosen all the gunk, then running the washer. Problem solved. I also use a fragrance free, no dyes, minimal suds wash once a month.

      1. We had that problem until I looked at how Em was washing clothes and realized she wasn’t adding water in with the softener like the machine (Kenmore) wanted. Once I cleaned out the dispenser, that solved the problem for the last 2 years or so.

      1. I get eczema specifically from Sodium Lauryth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Which my skin doc told me was impossible. (I also get canker sores from the stuff.)
        If you suspect it, it’s in everything, and a lot of that everything isn’t required to list ingredients–baby wipes, for example. Any personal hygiene products–shampoo, lotion, detanglers, body wash, toothpaste, etc. And my favorite: boxed cake mix. Now I know why potlucks give me canker sores.
        Eliminated it from my life and I’m eczema free. Except for when I shake hands with someone.

  18. One of my boys required a homemade laundry detergent consisting of grated Fels Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda for the first several years of his life to avoid rashes. Plus a double rinse. One friend whose kid is even more allergic makes her own soap and grates that instead of Fels Naptha.
    Fortunately, by the time that washing machine had given up the ghost and the saleswoman talked my husband into a stupid digital machine (no, seriously, it’s stupid–unbalances the load all the time and whines for help) that can’t use homemade detergent because you can’t start the load on hot and dissolve the detergent before adding clothes, the allergies had subsided enough he was able to use Arm and Hammer Free and Clear with a double rinse.

    1. Fels Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda

      I love this laundry soap recipe. You use so much less of it, it doesn’t trigger skin sensitivities, and it still gets the clothes clean, even in an “efficient” washer.

      It’s the only reason that I have a food processor (simply grating the Fels Naptha doesn’t get it into small enough particles for my tastes).

    2. LG? Without agitator? Yep. That’s my stupid machine in the other house. The mechanism to “balance” it actually throws it off after you carefully distributed the cltohes.

      1. I think it agitates. It has the post up the middle anyway. It doesn’t like men’s jeans. It also doesn’t like king size bedding, which is ironic since we got that model because it was big enough to wash king size bedding in. (Yes, I’m anthropomorphizing, but it has chips, so really I’m accusing it of being a mildly malevolent AI. It occurs to me that this is not an unlikely manifestation of intelligence in appliances: “Son, empty the dishwasher! Washing machine, wash the clothes!” Is it bad that the pre-teen and the washing machine are behaving the same way? So’s the dishwasher, for that matter . . . okay, I have a premise. Anyone got a spare plot to run it on?)

        1. I do believe Mark Van Name may have beaten you to the punch.

          On the other hand, his washing machines are actually competent (if a bit gossipy), so maybe not?

  19. Sam Kinison had a hilarious routine about African famine victims and the endless cycle of aid: “You live in the DESERT! There’s no FOOD there! Go where the FOOD is!”

    I always think of that and laugh when I run into water-saving Nazis. In places like California and the other southwestern states (where they LIVE IN THE DESERT), water saving is a big deal. But because people go to Herculean lengths to get water to California coastal cities (often leaving places that can do useful stuff like, you know, grow food, without water), the people that live their don’t really have to deal with the utter foolishness of their situation. Also, I’m not inclined to take people seriously who decamp to Palm Springs for vacations, where they use millions of gallons of water to keep golf courses green IN THE DESERT.

    Listen, you people in arid environments: GO WHERE THE WATER IS. If “saving” water is a big issue, it’s because too many of you are living in the wrong place.

    Where I live, we have so much water. It’s everywhere. It bubbles out of the ground. It pools in hollows. It turns my cattle pastures into a fine, churned mush around the hay rings. Go where the water is.

    1. When I lived in the Denver area (which does have water problems), there was talk about the idiots who wanted “green lawns” which required grass that required more water than the native grasses which “turned brown” (and survived) when there wasn’t enough water.

      1. Grass can be nice to lie on (if there are no biting insects) and to run on barefoot, but so is fine sand (well, at least if you use a towel or something under you when you lie down) and fine sand doesn’t need to be cut. If I lived somewhere dry I might consider turning the yard into a big sandbox with a few cute rocks around, and a few boxes for flowering plants. Then just rake the sand sometimes. Would probably be a lot easier than a lawn.

        1. Nope, many of the municipalities here say we’ve got to have lawns. The raked rock yard apparently remind them we’re living in a semi-arid zone.

    2. AH! NO! Whats the matter with you! Don’t give Californian’s any good ideas. We prefer to keep all the crazies locked up in one place thank you very much.

        1. That does seem to be the case. I don’t understand why they haven’t built two or three salt-water reclamation facilities on their massive coastline and completely solved the issue. I know it would be expensive, but water reclamation facilities pay for themselves quickly.

          1. they are also expensive to run. I saw a story a few months ago about a city (I think Santa Barbara) that did build a plant, but then as the drout eased, they ended up mothballing the plant, and it takes a long time (months to years) to restart it.

            in other words, a combination of typical politics, regulatory overload, and short-sighted thinking.

            1. Having previously lived in California for a few years, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Sadly. I can imagine the pseudo-logic already.

              “Well, since we built the water reclamation facility we haven’t needed to cut back on water use at all. Obviously we no longer need the facility since we have so much water.”

              *Head, Desk*

    3. Northern California is very big on the water-savings measures, and since it’s also the source of most of the state’s water, tends to get INCENSED at Southern California and its water-wasting ways. You can look at a county breakdown and see that, last year, almost every county went down—except for LA, which brought the state’s average usage UP. Part of the problem is the townships, which are fining people for letting their lawns die (because green lawns MUST HAPPEN), and part of the problem is the attitude of people who don’t want to conserve lest their savings become their new baseline, and they get even more restrictions. (arrgh)

      And then they’re bottling the water at below-market rates to sell, and pushing fracking*, and it’s like they’re trying to make the state as unlivable as quickly as possible.

      *I don’t have a problem with the process in general, but taking a water-intensive process in a state so highly dependent on water and then putting contaminated water back in a ground in earthquake country (which is riddled with fissures, and means that you can’t really segregate waste from aquifers) seems like the DUMBEST idea ever. Environmentalist conservation my ass.

      1. There is apparently some reason to think one should not be running an injection well too close to an active or stressed fault anyway.

        1. It’s why they decided not to build the Auburn Dam. Weight of a new lake around a previously unknown fault would be perilous for a gravity dam. So now we have Foresthill Bridge, which is absurdly tall, because it was designed over a lake that never happened.

    4. Go where the water is, or at least have the decency to become Fremen. Some of those new-model stillsuits are stylish.

    5. “Listen, you people in arid environments: GO WHERE THE WATER IS.”

      So we left California for Minnesota.

      And what do we get? A dryer than normal winter here. I hope it wasn’t following us.

    6. Sam Kinison had a hilarious routine about African famine victims and the endless cycle of aid: “You live in the DESERT! There’s no FOOD there! Go where the FOOD is!”

      *looks sadly at what happens when folks turn the desert into a place that blooms, and aren’t defended from those-who-raid*

      Probably funnier if your dad doesn’t have a win-the-lottery type dream complete with an understanding that “teach the women and kids to shoot” is a vital part of sustainable agriculture…..

      1. Avista did something similar with electricity a few years back, offered rebates to people for reducing their consumption, and lost so much money that they had to discontinue the program much earlier than they’d expected.

  20. The bottom line here, washers aside, is that it is simply not possible to legislate a solution to all of society’s problems and it never will be. Water saving is all good, at least in theory, but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. Passing a law that says it works is just nutty.

    The solution to this is the clue bat applied liberally to the base of the skull. The problem with THAT solution is that most of the Leftists in this country are incapable of understanding even that blunt of a method. Facts just don’t penetrate. I guess we’ll all just keep doing what we were talking about above and violate the regs in a non-detectable way. It’s not like they’re smart enough to figure out we’re doing it, is it?

    1. The base of the skull is delicate. Apply the clue bat firmly enough and it will solve the problem. Just make sure that you dispose of the body appropriatly.

  21. Greenies in government. They’re not stupid. They’re criminals. They are stealing the money. Once you accept that, everything they do makes perfect sense.

    Sarah. About the laundry. Buy two washers. Used ones. They are throw away appliances. I have only ever bought one new washer in my life. A Neptune. Never again.
    If you can fix up a house, you can fix one of those crappy washers. Plug and play.

    1. I’ve got a dryer that I’ve repaired several times. My wife, who usually believes in replace, not repair, won’t give this one up because it has a drying cabinet on top (the best thing done in the Neptune line). What I have learned is that washers and dryers are both amazingly simple machines, and not too hard to work on. I think the controls could be replaced by an Arduino.

        1. Dryer not drying? FIRST THING TO DO: check the exhaust hose. By which I mean take the hose entirely off, and ram something down the entire length of it to make -sure- its clear.

          I discovered the sparrows had not only clogged my vent outlet, they had TWO FEET of grass and sticks jammed in the middle of the hose where I couldn’t see it. I stuck a rake handle in there and this huge blob of crap popped out onto the lawn. Mystery solved!

          Be it noted that this is the accordion hose that is -inside- the house behind the dryer. They were not in the least deterred by the flapper on the outside, nor the darkness, nor the noise, nor the blasting hot air.

          Two feet of blockage my friends. You have been warned.

          Also, go check your chimney. They did it to me there too. I have mesh on everything now, oh yes.

  22. Usually I make the Greenpeace volunteers on the 16th Street Mall cry.

    Hardware store washing machine salespersons …. a new challenge for me.

        1. Care to give some hints as to how? I do tend to feel a bit sorry for them, I assume lots of them fit into the useful idiots category, starry eyed brainwashees taken advantage of, but there are times…

  23. Over the summer, when they remodeled at work, they put in a new ‘green’ water fountain downstairs. The pressure on the spigot is so low you can’t drink out of it. It also has a second spigot to fill water bottles, activated by a motion sensor, with a digital readout of how much plastic you’ve saved by not buying a bottle of water instead. This spigot gets stuck on for three or four minutes at a time a few times per day, while the readout gleefully tells you how conservationist you’re being. Sales at the vending machine a few feet away went up a lot after that.

    1. The building where I work has “green” motion sensor faucets *and* soap dispensers in the bathrooms. This means a) you cannot get hot water when you want it, b) brushing your teeth is a comedy act and c) the soap dispenser has fits where it either won’t give you any soap, or tries to make up for past failings by squirting soap for an entire minute. I can’t figure out what sets the damn thing off, but it sure isn’t saving any soap.

  24. The bar is pretty low for salespeople – which is how I ended up selling major appliances for about a year. They used to set up sales meetings where you learned the latest and greatest and how to sell it. We used to have all sorts of fun from our store – the repairman caused havoc with a remote at a TV presentation, and I pestered them about a buzzword for the type of wood used in their console TVs until they broke down and admitted it was particleboard. But the whole point of those meetings was to learn the spiel to sell the stuff, and some salespeople stick to the script and some actually believe it.

    Most of the time you don’t get challenged on the spiel. But if the only thing you know about the product is the spiel, then it’s easy to be at a loss if you have to step outside of it, particularly if for some reason you don’t want to say “I don’t know, but let’s ask someone who does.” Or – and keep in mind the par is pretty low – they can’t think beyond the spiel.

    Imagine this salesperson at one of those meetings, and how the illustrious potentate from Brand X gushes on how this top-of-the-line washer will save water. That’s the big selling point; that’s basically what they know about it. Likely they were told how “environmentally friendly” it is, because green sells right now, or they think it does. So when they encounter someone who not only steps outside the spiel, but rips it to shreds, that’s disconcerting, to say the least.

    Odds are if they are true believers of the spiel, they are true believers of the other stuff as well, as you point out, or just generally of the pay-ten-dollars-to-save-one school of thought, which is close to the same level. Which says something about politicians who have not ditched the toilet tank mandates, which says something about what they don’t know, or the CF bulb business, for while CF are good for what they do, they don’t work well in every application. The way some have failed I wouldn’t install them in a fixture above something flammable. Nor in a location where it’s going to get really cold. Not to mention the problem with mercury in landfills.

    FWIW, a salesperson that challenges how you wash clothes is way out of line. it’s common sense not to argue with the customer, though it’s permissible to dispel their fears if they think a microwave will make their food radioactive. To really make a salesperson boo-hoo, calmly get the manager involved. Managers hate losing sales.

    BTW, for a time there was a problem with dinged appliances. This came after I found other work, but I heard and saw dinged appliances come out of undamaged boxes. I think it’s better now.

    1. The spiel – at a computer shop a salesman was derailed while listing the computer’s specs. The customer asked if it was LRF equipped. After hemming & hawing, said salesman finally asked what that was.
      Little Rubber Feet.
      I’ve used that a couple of times when someone was trying to be impressive 🙂

      1. In doing a presentation once, I was asked what the buzzword was. I looked him in the eye and said “I don’t know, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?”

  25. Hate to say it, but front load washers are the way to go. One of my kids is allergic to soap. Most, not all, front loads have the two following options: extra water, extra rinse. Ours has both. I made sure. We use both options on every load. And it still saves water over the dirt cheap (and they really are dirt cheap) top load with agitator without using extra rinse. And cleans better with larger loads.

    Some people like the high efficiency top loaders. I don’t. Every manufactures rep, and every third party study says the same thing. Front loaders clean better then any top loader, agitator or not.

      1. With you, Sarah. Told the wife that when we have to replace this one, we’re getting a top loader again. To quote: “We’ll get a washer that does the flamenco – not a slow waltz.”

          1. Not so much. OTOH, it is a lot easier for me to dry it out than for a lot of people. The normal humidity here just sucks it right out.

  26. “Or in other words, they’re sure that the only reason they’re not getting what they want is that some mean person is holding it back from them, and if they demand it loud enough and now with more laws, it will eventually be given.”

    This reminds me of a point from Bill Whittle about soviet trains, whereby the failure of the trains to be on time and not break down must be because of “wreckers” (read saboteurs). The answer is of course to “dispose” of the engineers and get new ones, which leads to more late trains, derailments, breakdowns, etc. Rinse, repeat.

    This type of thinking becomes a positive feedback loop for murder.

  27. I have a similar sensitivity (not nearly as bad, but i start itching)

    take a look at the washit gadget ( it basically turns a small percentage of the water going through it into hydrogen peroxide (at least that’s what my understanding is, from them it’s “secret”)

    I’ve had one for a year and don’t use any detergent and have not had any problems with it failing to clean anything.

    I used to use the double rinse cycle and run it 2-3 times. I’m much happier with this gadget and one cycle (I still use the double-rinse cycle, which this turns into a double wash cycle)

    1. Following your link, it isn’t H2O2 but O3 (ozone) that the washit produces. You do get peroxide from the ozone enriched water. The science (but no math!) seems to be more settled than AGW. Ozone is made from air and lightening (why it smells so fresh and clean after a lightening storm).
      My question is why does it have three pipes on the unit? Seems that water-in and enriched-water-out would be all that is needed.

      1. cold in, cold out, hot out so that if someone selects warm/hot the machine still gets the conditioned water.

        I have the hot out capped so that I can still use hot if I want to.

        1. for what it’s worth, they claim that the colder water is kinder to the fabric as well. not something I’m qualified to evaluate.

          1. I’ve been using it since I moved somewhere that didn’t need the cleaning power. Basically wash the kids’ heavy soiled stuff by hand, and cold/cold my husband’s shirts– haven’t had a shrink or fade yet, and makes it easier to get the ink stains out when a gel pen is forgotten.

            Would not work if he wasn’t an office guy, or if I did ranch work these days.

  28. It really comes down to an economic calculation problem. People who propose this law see only that it will reduce algal blooms (compared to what and how they know is a separate issue) without seeing the hidden costs. Maybe removing phosphates requires additional cycles or increases detergent manufacturer’s use of more harmful chemicals. Phosphorous bans may be a straight give-away to manufacturers to sell twice as much detergent!
    I don’t know, but what I can say is that removing the ability of land/water owners to sue for damages (thanks EPA-Cronyism) is what allows externalities like phosphorous algal blooms (if detergents are actually the cause) to persist. There are no solutions, only trade-offs.

    1. Super low water use washer = higher electricity use from running longer + more wear and tear on clothes from being agitated longer. As you say, economic calculations.

    2. Well, the “knew” it would reduce the blooms.

      Then somebody in Spokane went and actually tested it– wrong kind of phosphorus.

      1. Well, color me surprised… I’m curious if you’ve got any links, I tried googling the scientific studies behind the phosphate/phosphorous to algal bloom causal link but couldn’t find anything (in my 10 minute lazy search).

        1. Hit the news when I lived over there, six months to a year after the ban, but the only stuff that I can find is the official line about how much it is helping… because the amount measured at the output of the water treatment plant dropped by 75% percent, or something. Not “having the desired effect” in reducing the algae blooms.

          And lots of news stories about how”hey, we’ve had lots of sun recently, look out for algae.”

  29. I went to replace a curly-light a few months ago. I knew it was a curly light, even though it was behind a ceiling fixture, besides the odd color tone of the light it produced, because it took about three seconds to come on after flipping the switch, and finally it stopped coming on at all.

    No problem, I thought. I’ve been buying up LEDs at Ikea. I love LEDs, they don’t heat up the house and here in Texas that’s a big deal. Then, I pulled off the fixture glass, and had no idea what I was looking at. Apparently, California colluded with the light bulb manufacturers to create a new connector only for use with fluorescents. Bulbs cost $20 or more for that connector.

    So I ordered an adaptor from China and I now have a light in the hallway that, if anyone ever puts an incandescent in it, it will probably start a fire.

    1. they created a new connector because they wanted to make it impossible for people to instal incandecents in the fixture.

      I think they use that connector for all the ‘high efficiency’ can lights (halogen, LED and CF)

    2. Sounds like one of the GU-xx series of sockets, which California didn’t “collude with the lightbulb manufacturer”, although the end result is pretty much the same.

      The GU-x series is an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard that came up a couple of years before California decided (2008) that you shouldn’t be able to use standard incandescent bulbs in new lighting fixtures. CA just picked a socket that didn’t fit existing bulbs. Not in their wildest imagination thinking that someone might be able to work up a dead-simple adapter…

      Sort of like early US gubmint requiring auto makers to use catalytic converters to meet emission goals, instead of say to the car makers “here’s the pollution limit, meet it however you want”.

      Comes of hiring lawyers instead of engineers to deal with engineering issues I suspect.

      1. I’ve been told that a lot of those specifications on HOW to do things in regulations are intended to help out companies who make the things that are required, rather than being something they think is necessary, too.

        1. Bingo.

          With catalytic converters: Toyota and Honda knew how to make an engine that could meet the emission standards without a catalytic converter. Ford, GM, and Chrysler didn’t. So they lobbied the EPA to mandate converters just to make Japanese cars more expensive.

      2. Well, looking at the adapter, I guess part of the appeal is that the bulb now has two male connectors, where the standard empty light socket is a great place for young children to learn about electricity by sticking their fingers into it.
        The children that learn are the little tyke’s friends.

        1. Yes, I actually like the look of it. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to sell incandescents that use the GU-24 connector in California, though. I think if the GU-24 had been allowed for incandescents as well as the more expensive lights, it might have become popular enough to bring prices down on the more expensive lights.

    3. As an evil user of the dreaded CFL, I’d hate to have to buy special bulbs that only work in one socket. Seriously, that’s a ripoff, and utterly stupid. At least around here all the CFLs use a standard base.

      I use CFLs because I buy the good quality ones that last a long time and come on almost instantly. I’ve also worked with mercury enough to know that they are safe unless you snort the damn bulb like cocaine. They make up for having computers on all day. I’ve given an LED bulb a shot as well, but they are still pretty expensive.

      I used CFLs before the incandescents became prohibited, and I never saw it as an area where government needed to get involved. CFLs will save money, or we move on to another technology. No need to ban incandescents.

  30. First, a tip on that darn cat. What you need to do (that has worked for me) depends on whether you have a plastic cover on Robert’s mattress. Whether you do or not – wash all of his sheets, blankets, etc. in the hottest setting you can get – but instead of detergent, put about a cup of baking soda in each load. Rinse that out, then do them as you regularly do. If it has also soaked the mattress at any time, that is far more painful to do (and you want to wait until it warms up). Essentially the same thing, but get the mattress well soaked in a baking soda solution (about 1 cup to 10 gallons water), let dry, get it all rinsed out (garden sprayer hose set on “jet”), and let dry yet again. (Find somewhere to put the son in the meantime – this took me a week the last time I did it, and that was a Tucson summer.)

    Essentially, the cat is doing the same thing as if he/she had a “favorite” carpet spot to do business. The only thing that will get them to stop is to to remove *all* of the chemical signals. In extreme cases, you have to use one of the “cat be gone” sprays – which can irritate human skin. In that case, it’s either a new mattress, or spray the mattress, leave it for about two weeks to dis-habituate the cat, then rinse hell out of it. (Yep, another week even here…)

    Had a dishwasher several years ago, before we moved out of apartments into our house. When we moved, I refused to get one – why did we need one when we had to wash them in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher (no, the spouse still doesn’t get that one, sigh). And that was before you had to start adding your own phosphates. I just point to the three children nowadays when I’m asked what model I have…

    We do, unfortunately, have one of those “green” clothing washers. OK, maybe that saves a little bit of money, since I’m the only one who freaks out with anything left in them (psoriasis, not eczema, but they’re essentially the same thing so far as sensitivities go). I do all of my laundry separately – always punch the extra rinse button, always put it on heavy soil level, always put it on high spin.

    I will NOT have a fluorescent bulb in this house. Period. LEDs I do have in the most used fixtures – especially the ones that people just don’t seem to be able to turn off behind them.

    I won’t mention my toilets. Or showerheads, for that matter, although if you get one of the more expensive ones, you can disassemble it and remove the restrictor.

  31. Re toilets … when we needed to remodel our master bath due to handicaps, I decided to replace the so-so toilet at the same time and did a ton of research to try to get one that would work … bought a Toto Drake model and it has been great for us, not cheap, but I’m happy with it. A few years later, got another of the same model to replace the boys’ bathroom toilet that clogged at least weekly … it has only clogged once in 2 years (and older kid claimed responsibility for that one, exonerated the toilet). My impression is that Toto as a general brand is really reliable and they have both air-assisted and non-a-a models… FWIW, YMMV, IANAL, ETC ….

    1. Our toilets do clog every so often, but for some reason did *not* the time my son flushed his SHORTS down the toilet… I’m still surprised we didn’t end up with a plumbing call from that one.

      1. Nearly killed younger son after taking the toilet COMPLETELY out to find out what was clogging it (could NOT plunger it away, and didn’t have a toilet snake), only to find half a plastic easter egg.

  32. If anyone here is willing to spend an hour a week lobbying the Colorado legislature via email against this kind of cr*p, please let me know at daitken *at* I’m running 4 teams that do just that and would love to have your help. You can ask for a sample before signing up.

  33. I’ve had the experience of living with an older washer and dryer. No dishwasher. And I could use the wood stove that was the heater for the place to cook or make hot water should the water pipe ghost get cranky.

    Compared to living in LA …. I want that cabin back. 😦

          1. Exactly. There’s confusion on what types of stoves have been grandfathered in, what areas they’ll focus in, etc.
            Just another government group that needs defunded in my book.

  34. After the second smug, “You’re using too much detergent” I would have said, “LOOK, do you want to sell this washer or not, because I will leave in five seconds if you do not.”

    You are much kinder than I.

  35. Sarah, love your blog (and your books). Try Charlie’s Soap. 1 tablespoon or less per load. They also sell a “water softner) less than 1 tablespoon per load. Clothes have never looked better, felt softer, NO fragrance. No skin irritations at all. I do double-rinse almost all loads. Figured out cost about equals using Tide Pods. (We have a top loader no agitator machine, too much computerization; every time there’s a thunderstorm and I’m washing clothes, wind up having to unplug and “re-start”. Going to look into an Amish one when this one dies.)

  36. When I bought my first house, back in 1996 (Man, I loved that house, even if I was only there a year and a half), my parents gave me money to by a Washer, Dryer, and Fridge. I went to Sears, and got the big “80 Series” Kenmore models. I’m still using them. (Of course, as a bachelor, they don’t run a LOT of loads. And I’m the kind of guy who bought 3 dozen identical black t-shirts to wear to work….)

    My only problem with the washer is lately it’s starting to small really bad. The clothes come out smelling fine, but the machine smells awful, even if I run a load with bleach. I have no idea where something accumulated, but I really could use a suggestion.

    1. If you have already cleaned the inside of the washer and all the nooks and crannies where you put stuff, it may be in the hose, or somewhere inside the washer wall where the lint trap is, or even down in the coin trap.

      You can try washing with vinegar and baking soda or special detergents for cleaning washers, but it sounds like there is goo in some hidden place or a moldy hose leak.

      Search around for your model number and see if other people have this and have a solution.

    2. Gallon or two of vinegar and let it set for a few hours. Then rinse and see if it’s any better. Read somewhere on the internet the suggestion to mix vinegar and bleach or vinegar then bleach, etc. But just let the vinegar set in there for a couple of hours. Did that at my parents’ house and they said it was like the washer was brand new again.

  37. Very minor nitpick;

    If the title was meant to resonate with “To your scattered bodies go”, wouldn’t it have worked better as “To your unwashed clothing go” or “To your unwashed garments go”?

  38. Anybody looking for an standard style washer without the bells and whistles the brand “Speed Queen” mostly manufactures commercial washers in the US but still makes a regular washer with a non-electronic control option. I was about to buy one a few months ago when my old washer quit however I found the problem and fixed it. The model I was looking at was a AWN432SP113TW01 however it’s not exactly cheap.

  39. As a fellow skin sufferer I will point out that my ex, a psychotic borderline personality disorder b#1tch would add extra fabric softener to my washes while claiming to do an extra rinse until I caught on and did my own laundry thereafter. This was so traumatic to me that even now 9 years after divorce I still won’t let anyone else wash my clothes. (Mrs Epador does not complain about this for some reason or other). We use a commercial brand from Whirlpool that sounds a lot like the the one you’ve ultimately bought. Plain, boxy, white and pure mechanical controls. Now if we could only translate that to politics (wait a minute, that sounds racist…) BRAVO!

  40. To remove grease spots from clothes:
    Use Goop. it’s hand cleaner for mechanics. WalMart or auto parts stores. One pound tubs, and bigger, like a gallon or so. White, sort of translucent gel. No grit. I use the back of a soup spoon to squish it into the material, and let it set for 10-20 minutes. Then toss into laundry. It has a bit of smell residue, so it you are using a lot of it, run a second regular soap wash to get rid of that. I’ve had jeans with spots that had been washed dozens of times, and this would take it right out. Works on the ring around your shirt collar, too. Only thing it won’t totally clean is diesel crankcase oil stains. Leaves some dark speckles scattered around in the stain area.

    I’ve got the sensitive to soap skin problem, so I added a switch to the washer control panel to override the cold only rinse cycle. Connects the hot and cold solenoids so they both switch on when it tries to open the cold water only. I do a second rinse.
    Only bath soap I have been able to use is Ivory (original).

    Recently developed an allergy to methylisothiazolinone, which is a very common ingredient in skin and hair care products. Sigh…
    Also allergic to Aspartame. That reaction shows up on hands and feet. Heavy duty eczema! I can leave bloody fingerprints if I consume too much, like a diet soda once or twice a day. No skin left in spots.

    1. They are starting to make diet drinks with Splenda (sucralose) instead because it stores better.

  41. I have often wanted a bumper sticker that read,

    “Every time I flush my toilet twice, I think of my congressman ”

    So be it.

  42. Didn’t take time to read through 425 comments, BUT I also have a problem with detergents in my skin. Heck, _everything_ I own is cotton because synthetics = bad juju for me. Anyhow I would suggest you shift to Arm & Hammer perfume-free detergent. Then run a second complete cycle with a non-perfumed fabric softener in the wash cycle and just water in the rinse cycle.
    If the clothes(and dishes) aren’t getting clean, hie thee to Home Depot and pick up a box of their TSP in the paint department(OH NO!!!!!11! – PHOSPHATES!!1!!). Not the green box – the other one. Start with about a teaspoon added to the wash and use a little more if necessary. It puts the stuff back into the detergent that cleans the clothes.


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