Teenage Mutant Ninja Idiots

Years ago, when I blogged more regularly at Classical Values than here, the blog had a post on the current war on things that work.

What things? Well….. everything: from pirex apparently no longer being made with the stuff that made it actually more or less high-temp impervious, hard to break, etc; to dishwashers that take forever to wash, where dishes must be put into already washed and which, even so, often manage a great redistribution of grease and grit all over the dishes;to toilets that are “low flush” and thus use more water than ever because you have to flush them about five times, and still they won’t work; to cars–

Never mind. it would be easier to describe the things the left has left alone, instead of going after them like Don Quixote tilting against the last functioning windmill in the land, the one needed to grind wheat for his bread. To my knowledge they have yet to interfere with– wait, wait, let me think about it…. Um…. Okay, they haven’t yet dictated that every morning I must get dressed by first putting my pants on, and then putting on my underwear. However, rest assured this is probably around the corner, and just a matter of them getting a bee in their bonnect about some virtue signaling they can do relating to “the order in which humans get dressed.”

Look, it took me a while to figure out things were going to h*ll. Mostly because …. well. I was raised in the 19th century, and some parts of it were not quite that advanced. Take toilet flushing: you take the full bucket in with you. Well, that’s how I first learned. I don’t know when grandma’s toilet had a flush installed if before or after we moved to my parents’ newly-built house which, d*mn skippy had a flush installed.

Except that even there, you know, it was an European flush. I honestly can’t tell if Europe is just more advanced than us on the war on things that work — my best friend growing up lived in a Victorian that had perfectly functional elevated flush tanks, with no problems — or if — since friend’s house was built by an English consul — most of Europe (and the world) just cosplays modernity without any clue how it should work. I do know that my parents’ flush was low water before low water was fashionable (in a region of the world that has problems rather with too much water and back then when our water came from a well and was therefore “free”.) So, you know, you still had a bucket standing by just in case.

Also, the dishwasher was high water (but low hot water, because that cost money) and got done as soon as I was done scrubbing and rinsing the last pan. Ditto for the washer. We had a tank outside. I actually love hand-washing clothes. At least in summer. In winter, when your hands become painful from going in the water and you find out what “instant arthritis” means, it’s not so fun.

So, anyway, you see, in the states any level of “this is easier” was an improvement. I remember a day in the late eighties, when I sat down and went “The dishwasher is going. The washer is going. And I have time to write.” It was like…. trumpets sounded, I swear.

My first exposure to the war was when we replaced a toilet in the house in Manitou Springs. At the time air assist wasn’t a thing, and it was almost impossible to find a toilet with a tank that took more than three espresso cups of water. I had read about this obsession to “save water” and I’d scratched my head and gone “okay then.” While it might (maybe) make some sense in Colorado, in most of the US “saving water” is a ridiculous idea. But I knew the greenies were very upset with the idea of water just being flushed down, without being used for anything else, and had been putting bricks in their toilet tanks forever.

Which was fine by me. If they wanted to have to take a bucket in, just in case, it was entirely their problem. But now they were bringing their problem into my life. I remember a day when it took six flushes to deal with the issue on the new toilet and I complained to my husband that I really didn’t need my new hobby of flushing the toilet.

That house, btw, had the best dishwasher ever. We bought it on day one in the house. The dishwasher was completely silent, and you didn’t need to pre-wash dishes. It had a grinder in the bottom, kind of like a food disposer, for any debris left in. So, with two toddlers, I’d just stick the dishes in — dried egg yolk, left over dough from baking, whatever — and they came out beautifully clean. I didn’t know that pinacle was brief-lived. In the next house, over 13 years, we bought and installed THREE dishwashers. Yes, three. They never worked very well. If I didn’t want grit on the dishes, I had to at least rinse them, but even that didn’t help a lot. We assumed it was something to do with the pipes or the water supply, because that house was so weird. And then we moved here. And, as usual, got a new dishwasher (someday I’ll buy a house with working appliances) because the other one was stealth leaking.

First of all, shopping for the dishwasher was a treat. Guys, do you know it’s difficult to find a dishwasher that actually heat-dries your dishes? Apparently the new hotness is it pops the door open to let the dishes air dry. Considering you’re washing the dishes yourself, before putting them in the dishwasher already, I guess the new dishwashers are machines for swooshing water (and old grit) over clean dishes, and then let them air dry. I think dish wracks are cheaper.

This is kind of the same evolution we had with our washers. We didn’t know any better, so when we moved to house before this on, we bought a top of the line front loader, low water usage. Well, we’re in Colorado, so water is expensive. Fine.

Several things started happening. First, the clothes weren’t, in any sense of the term, clean when they came out. And I knew it wasn’t just my problem, because the grocery stores shelves exploded in various “stink removal” products. Second, my eczema went nuts. Third, a load of laundry took forever.

When we moved to that house I had two pre-teen boys. Washing clothes also became a new hobby, taking up vast amounts of my time. The washer was always running and I was always behind on laundry. Loads were kind of small (well, you know, low water) and I had two teen boys.

At one point, my husband got upset at the lack of…. socks? underwear? and asked me why I never did laundry. I might or might not have started crying and Donald Ducked at him (You know, when your voice gets very high and you make no sense whatsoever?) In the aftermath, I explained that I did laundry from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed.

He was sure I was doing something wrong. He remembered loads used to take 20 minutes. So he went and checked. I’ll never forget his expression. “A quick load is three hours? THREE hours?”

Oh, and the machines broke down. continuously. In those thirteen years we had three sets of washer and dryer. They broke in weird ways, too. One of them — I swear I’m not making this up — the metal or whatever it was made of, in the frame, just disintegrated, bottom-up.

The last one died while we were between houses and paying mortgage-and-rent at the same time. Because we were beyond broke, we just got the circular for the next upcoming sale (President’s day, I think) and went “We’re going to buy the cheapest until we move to the new house, and then…
When we got to the store, we found that there was one even cheaper. So cheap it wasn’t advertised. It wasn’t on sale, but its regular price was under $300. Being that we were so broke we needed superglue, and that we didn’t know how long it would be till that house sold, we decided on it. Particularly when the lady told us “You don’t want to buy that. It’s very wasteful. It uses lots and lots of water.”

I don’t know if it uses lots of water, honest. It’s a very basic model and doesn’t have a selector for extra rinse, so I have to run two cycles, one with soap and one without, so I don’t get eczema all over worse than I already have it. But even with that extra cycle, it washes my clothe sin 45 minutes, which means I do laundry for a day, not 7 days a week. I’ll take it. I hope it lasts forever. Because I’m sure next time I go shopping for one, the top of the line will be a model where you put your clothes into, after washing them in the bathtub. It pours water over them, so that any leftover dirt can get on them. And then, it pops its lid, to let the clothes air dry. Or mildew. Whichever comes first.

I can see precisely where this is going. I’ll end as I began, doing everything by hand, and sweeping the carpets, because the very expensive vaccuums available for sale don’t suck up dirt, just spread it in an even layer….

But the fascinating thing is that the left has no idea it is actually in a war against things that work.

You see, it has to do with how their brains work. People here aren’t very group-oriented. You could say, of course, that those that frequent my blog are at an extreme point in that and you’d be right.

But those to the right-of-lenin in general aren’t very collective-opinion-and-fad oriented. And if you just said “duh” no. Yes, communism PRESENTS as being “other oriented” but I have yet to meet a single communist who wasn’t in it for all he could get. Over several countries, various movements that called themselves various things, etc, you’ll find the communists doing all the things they accuse others of doing: exploiting others, stuffing their pockets without regard to ethics, and generally being all red in tooth and claw, while talking about community and the greater good of their fellow man.

It’s another of those things, like creativity and being anti-establishment where the left is the exact opposite of what they claim to be.

So, how come that the right is full of goats who refuse to be good sheep and do as they’re told, and who are — increasingly — fed up with virtue signaling from the other side?

Well, because the left IS the establishment. So we came to our opinions alone. And often, frankly, convinced we must be crazy. I mean everyone else believed that other stuff, right? And yet, here we were, believing our lying eyes. This might change, with the internet and alternative means of being in contact with people like us, and the clear revelation that the International Socialist media just makes up shit. BUT for now, we’re the people who don’t fully understand why you would want to virtue or anything else signal. Society will take us as we are, or not at all.

So it’s hard for us to understand. But it’s a perfect storm of horrible factors. To begin with, the left is, generally speaking, more prone to want to pose as great geniuses, and incredibly brilliant. They need the adulation of the “the whole of society.” Even if, or perhaps particularly if, they’re mediocre non-entities.

And our modern society is built on science and technology.

Now I’m not going to tell you that no leftist has a talent for science. I know there are some, and there were more when teaching was better. What I’m going to tell you is that their personality type is more for social activity, for…. the management side of science. And that, thanks to the schools being infested with leftism, most of them don’t actually learn science. Now, in this they are most like the rest of the human race. I think the interest and talent in real science, in finding out, in getting the measurements really right is a minority trait. Might even be a recent mutation. Most humans — and particularly women for various evolutionary reasons — are most interested in…. humans. Not cold logic and facts.

But the way to be admired as “brilliant” is science.

Look, I understand the left in this. For various reasons, despite being space-struck from at least the age of three, when mom got me to pull through small pox by giving me a discarded clockworks and convincing me it was a piece of Sputnik, I didn’t take that branch on the road. It was partly mom — who thought I’d be pregnant in three months, if I went into engineering (instead of having sixty “brothers” each one convinced no man was good enough for me and determined to chase away any prospects, which is what would actually have happened), partly the fact that I was digit dyslexic and didn’t know it (if I had known it, there are work arounds) and partly the fact they made you choose your degree when you went into 10th grade. But the fact is that I’m woefully non-prepared in science.

I’m still space struck. And I read a ton on it. But I’ll never be at the center of anything having to do with colonization.

The left is like that with all science. But they want to contribute. Since they are unable to contribute on the science, they convince themselves that they must contribute by making science more “humane” or more “ecologically sound” or something.

So they will try to find something arguably wrong with machine or technology everyone uses. Say, washers. And they’ll go “Ah, it uses too much water.” And then, not having any clue how it works, how clothes get clean, or any of that, they make regulations demanding the machines use less water. And it works. Machines suddenly use less water. And they pat themselves on the back over their caring insight that is saving the world. And move on to break something else, completely oblivious to the fact that the “use less water” just means the machines have to “wash” for a lot longer, the rinse is never complete, and in general the machines don’t wash.

At some point in the future, they become convinced that machines should use even less water, and amazingly, it works! Until you know, the machines take four hours to “wash” a load, and none of it smells clean. But for the leftist, his unique insight has saved “the environment.”

This is made worse when they read “Studies.” First, because most studies are reproducibility. Second because the read the first paragraph where the hypothesis is stated and think that’s the conclusion. (Because you know, it is in humanities essays.) Which is why our detergents don’t work, either, to prevent algie bloom or something, which apparently has bloody nothing to do with the component the left banned.

Then there is a component of “the grass is greener” because the left is always convinced other countries or the past did it better. I can’t be the only one who (back when I had lefty friends) was forever flabbergasted by common, garden variety lefties refusal to use any or all of the following: dishwashers, washers, microwaves. (The other day, mind fried, looking at pictures of pretty tree houses (Adult tree houses, that people live in) I was between amused and horrified at one signaling that they lived a better life. The house had no shower, microwave, dishwasher or STOVE. I found myself blinking at this, since you know, showers are not any more wasteful than baths (which the house did have) and the house had heating but no stove. Go figure it.)

Then there is Europe-envy as so much of their stupidity is. Take the “we’ll put bricks in our toilet tank to reduce the water per flush. I assume they had vacationed in Europe and that they too wanted to have faucets that dribbled and toilets that trickled like a diuretic gerbil, and they didn’t know Europe had those because Europe is retarded in a special way, so they assumed Europeans lived like that because they wanted to, in pursuit of some higher ethical purpose.

Part of the problem is that for most of the later half of the 20th century and the first twenty years of this one, we let them get away with it. They said “the dishwasher must now wash with only a cup of water” and no one said “Sod off, Swampy.” Instead they buckled down and came up with a way to do it, even if it took forever and the dishes were more dirty than when you put them in. And so on with everything.

Time after time, we’ve been subjected to left wing solutions: in their ideal form, they make the problem worse while not doing — at all — what the previous imperfect solution achieved.

The covidiocy with masks, lockdowns and the wrecking of the economy of the world is perhaps the pinnacle of their achievement. They panicked at science they don’t have the knowledge to understand, and careened from arbitrary mandate to arbitrary mandate, preening at their caring and how much they loved everyone, while causing deaths and destroying everything without actually doing a single solitary thing to mitigate disease and death.

And I hope to Him who looks after children, fools and the United States of America that in the aftermath — and the aftermath will be a doozy — of this, the left’s gambit is exposed for what it is, and we send the others so inclined to play in theater and literature (note not storytelling, which needs some competence) and decor, and other things where their insanity will hurt no one. And we let scientists be scientists and engineers be engineers, and stop the war on things that work.

Because otherwise, we’re going to be living in caves, wiping our behind with leaves, and wearing a dozen masks before they’re done with us.

While most of them are older than that, they are in fact, in spirit Teenage Mutant Ninja Idiots, and if we let them continue to guide us by what they don’t know we’ll all end up living in sewers.

373 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Idiots

  1. every morning I must get dressed by first putting my pants on, and then putting on my underwear

    It is a fashion among girls (some in their 30s and maybe 40s) to wear a bra over their top of late.

    So, yep, already there.

      1. Years ago I dated a woman that sorta did that. She HATED wearing a bra so much she refused to wear one at home, but because of… certain features… she couldn’t go out without one. She had the whole “add a bra under whatever shirt/blouse she was wearing” down to a science.

      1. Very few of these girls look as good as Madonna before her shave and makeup, much less after Madonna has them.

      1. How will they know you are wearing underwear in that case.

        I mean, I could just play my favorite Tom Petty song.

      2. I knew a gal back in ’03 I think. She tended to wear the kind of underwear with buttons.

        She did, in fact, put it on after the almost painted on denim a time or two. Or off. But then, this was a rather unique kind of gal anyway. Her take on irksome humanity was to treat them like recalcitrant sheep.

        Her family raised sheep among other things when she was growing. So I’d guess she’d know whereof she spoke.

      3. And just a few days ago I read about a woman who wouldn’t be served by someone because she “wasn’t wearing a mask”, so she reached under her long skirt and put her thong over her face.

  2. The real bitch about low-flow toilets is I learned about how to save water much better from a book published the year I was born and I read at least a decade and a half before the low-flow things became an issue. I know some modern houses implement this idea and had I ever been in the position to build my own home I planned on doing it.

    Of course, it was written by a fasciss, raciss, sexiss, so the ideas had to be wrong.

    The name of the book? Left as an exercise for the Huns, as it should jump right out at them as water was the whole reason for the plot to happen.

    1. The larger issue with low flow and really low flow toilets is that the underground waste pipe connections installed back in various distant past days, installed with great courage while the plumbers dodged grazing triceratops, were sloped downhill at a given angle with the expectation of a certain sized slug of dihydrogen monoxide being used to carry that which was flushed all the way down to the main sewer or septic tank.

      Thus when a low-flow or even-lower-flow toilet is installed, the much smaller dihydrogen monoxide slug is not necessarily sufficient to move said waste all the way to where it should end up, which generates visits by friendly-rooter trucks or contractors with backhoes to dig up and replace said waste pipes.

      1. Required locally (in the *Willamette Valley of all places), might be Oregon, heck might be US, require “Low Water Toilets”, and have for almost 30 years. Can’t build new, or replace, without getting one. Both sisters homes (built within last 30 years) have them. I swear if we sell and build, I’m taking our current high water use toilets out and putting in new ones in the old house, and taking the old ones with us. Ditto when we sell mom’s house (need spare old ones). Should recommend to BIL that he does the same from his mom’s house. They won’t … we won’t … but I am sooooo tempted.

        Hmmmm. How to work low volume toilets when not just liquid being flushed … Oh! I know. Flush multiple times, at least twice, usually 3 times, and sometimes 4 times, holding down handle so water continues to flow while flushing. Good thing low flush toilets save money by golly.

        * That area that TPTB in CA think it is a shame that all that water in the Columbia reaches the ocean … okay, guess they’ve conceded that there is a port at Portland … But why does the water out of the Willamette have to reach Portland? After all Columbia gets water from the Snake, and other water basins. Willamette isn’t navigable (bit of a problem with the falls south of Portland). Oh, yea. That area where the water table is something like 6′ down, if that.

        1. The ancient high-tank models worked a lot better than the “compact” modern style, but I guess the decorator types didn’t care for the look.

          They go for impressive money when you can find old ones for sale.

        2. After a few toilet changes (largely due to flapper issues, though the OEM toilets in a decent manufactured home can make one nostalgic for a clean outhouse), i’ve had success with both the 1.6 and 1.28 gallon American Std Champions. One trick; get the ADA or “comfort height” versions. The extra siphon action clears a lot of crap away. (One flush FTW!)

          A guy at our church was a retired plumber. In his opinion, the 3.5 gallon toiles were the best. I had both 1936 and 1955 vintage toilets, and they were pretty bad. OTOH, the Kohler lowboys suck rocks.

      2. This was one of the biggest problems in SF when they REQUIRED low-flow toilets in all new construction and replacement and such. Problem #1-not enough water, so pipes were backing up and stuff wasn’t getting ejected as far…but they had a solution to that!

        Which lead to problem #2, which was using high-pressure water to flush stuff down. In buildings and sewer pipes that are 50+ years old unless you were in places of SF that had been recently and massively rebuilt or completely new. Can you say “water hammer”? Thank you. Cracked and burst pipes full of shit in walls and requiring serious repair work, or tearing up the streets to get to pipes that might have been installed in the 1930s if you were lucky…

        The current solution is a lot of tricky engineering and a good “vortex” effect at the toilet level, but you sometimes have to flush twice or three times if you’ve had a really big load, so….

        1. Also, the low flush rely on seals to keep the water in the tank, and seals always leak, eventually, leak a lot.

          Whereas the older high flush toilets relied on siphon mechanisms, which can’t leak. They either flow, or the don’t.

          Up shot becomes that the siphon flush toilet ended up using less water in practice, because they weren’t reliant on seals that constantly leaked, all day long…

          1. I’ve seen older toilet tanks, and they do have seals…but, they mechanisms seems to be must more failure-tolerant than the newer systems in one form or another.

            1. I’ll have to go track down the original article. I know just enough to be closing on the peak of mount stupid. I’m thinking it may be referring to the trap way part rather than the tank part? I do recall it was also on Australian toilets.

          2. And because the stupid seals on low flush hardware leaks they’ve added doodad upon doodad (we’d call them kludges in the software world) to the siphons that run the whole thing. The thing is getting one of the new valves installed and balanced so it will flush and will not just shut down because its hardware detects a potential leak is a pain. Its not worth the 2 hours of fiddling and physical contortions to install the siphon/ball/valve hardware. My time and back won’t put up with that any more.

            1. Has anyone thought about putting out 3D printed designs to upgrade toilets to a higher flow?

              Kinda like the Liberator, but for plumbing.

              1. I have wondered for years why they cannot design household toilets along the same tank-free lines as toilets in offices and commercial establishments. Sure, there may be water pressure differences but those seem as if they could be surmounted.

                OTOH, I retrofitted one of the household toilets for dual-flush capacity and it mostly* works just peachy — and I’ve o training as plumber, merely a modicum of practical experience replacing flush valve.

                *As with any other flush tank, sometimes you’ve got to jiggle the handle.

                1. You need the right flow rate (high volume of water, reasonable pressure) out of the pipe to support tankless toilets.
                  Most household supply-side plumbing can’t provide the flow rate.

            2. Don’t call ’em Kludges. A Kludge works for all the wrong reasons- this crap mosty doesn’t work.

      3. Well, we know they hated the environment because they used dangerous chemicals in large amounts…do you know how little dihydrogen monoxide it takes to kill someone?

        1. One inch will do, if you are face down in it! Slightly faster than CO; mentioned only because the shorthand looks similar to CO2. The Left uses CO2 as an excuse to force the spending of $trillions, because warming.

        2. When I saw a report that the dihydrogen monoxide hoax had been going the rounds at a conference of delegates to a global warming convention, it gave me a (further) negative impression of their scientific literacy.

      4. The Project House had new-ish 3″ plastic waste pipes under the floor, coupled (with rags and what looked like pine pitch) to a 2-1/2″ tarred-paper “Orangeburg” pipe out to the street, which would have dated to the late 1940s. It was full of crack vials. As in, actual glass vials, about an inch long and half an inch in diameter. Hundreds of them.

        When I replaced everything a few years ago, the city said 4″ pipe was required by the new building code.

        The guys who designed and installed systems with 2-1/2″ pipes weren’t idiots; it takes a certain amount of water/solids ratio to move the “solids” out to the sewer main. Modern low-flow appliances, bigger pipe – oh, and the new recommendation is 1/8″ per foot for slope, not 1/4″ – means “solids” don’t always make it that far. And then it’s $495 for the Rooter place again…

        1. The solution, according to our local septic guy, is once a week fill the tub full, then let it go all at once to flush out the effluvia accumulata.

          My pipe is something like 125 feet long and just barely sloped, and backs up easily. This routine has kept it going for 6 years now without a return visit from the guys with extra long snakes.

  3. just a matter of them getting a bee in their bonnect about some virtue signaling they can do relating to “the order in which humans get dressed.”


    1. An ordering is a hierarchy. Double plus bad.

    2. Some sort of ranting about sex and oppressing women by making them cover up.

  4. Pyrex is no longer reliable, but you can search out “borosilicate cookware” and get un-branded real old-Pyrex-style baking dishes for reasonable prices online. As for the various devices, our clothing washer has a “water plus” option and our dishwasher has a “heat dry” option (which we don’t usually use, since we get fewer streaks with air dry.) (Also note that we clean the filters regularly, which is something they ought to tell people that dishwashers need.)

    The real key is that all of these things require more knowledge or more money than you’d expect, so your general person goes a-shopping and ends up with something unsatisfying, because they didn’t know that things are designed poorly at the lower ends. (And yes, the higher ends—if you don’t know what you’re looking for.)

    1. Some years back Costco had a shipment of Pyrex sets that was apparently new old stock. Old enough to have the original flat rims, which I greatly prefer. I grabbed one, and by the time I came by again they were all gone. Have picked up a few more at yard sales and thrifts, and now have a lifetime supply. I cook with ’em in the microwave all the time, so presumably they’re up to the task.

      Anchor Hocking disagrees on whether borosilicate glass is better, tho:
      “Significantly, Anchor Hocking experienced a greater than 90% reduction in its replacement rate due to breakage during the first 10 years of tempered soda-lime-silicate production.”

      I have had one ~1975 Pyrex bowl break in the most alarming fashion — picked it up by the rim and everything below the rim spontaneously exploded into curved glass needles (leaving the rim entirely intact). This was probably the most dangerous glass breakage I’ve ever witnessed. Fortunately it was mostly contained by the dish below it.

      Anyway for glassware, I look for Made In USA, and otherwise don’t worry too much about it. Figure their liability exposure suffices to ensure a decent product.

      1. I’ve had the ‘pyrex’ (soda lime) shatter in the oven. I bought the European borosilicate to replace it when I could, and if I see ‘PYREX’ (borosilicate) I’ll snap it up. Though it does amuse me to see the note that the butter dish is oven-safe. Microwave (for quick softening) I can see… and I suppose the no rangetop or broiler warning is lawyerbane.

      2. Yeah, the “explosive” breakage of Pyrex is probably the most common complaint about dishware with nearly no complaints. One would assume there is some kind of stored energy in Pyrex; but I’ve never heard of it being tensioned during formation (like pre-stressed concrete for example.)

        1. Thermal history matters for anything that is made by turning a liquid into a solid.

          Density may change slightly with temperature. Then, if cooling is wrong/uneven, you can get residual stresses stored in the solid state.

            1. In fairness, with recent developments in computer science, electrical engineering, the number of relevant ‘how the world really works’ facts worth teaching may have increased.

              But speaking critically, the stuff that has displaced useful information isn’t the valuable recent developments.

              Though, what I said is slightly incorrect. Stuff that solidifies with chemical reaction, instead of cooling, may not need an understanding of thermal history.

              1. >> “the number of relevant ‘how the world really works’ facts worth teaching may have increased.”

                Hmm… Any good compilations of such facts around? I’m sure there are plenty of gaps in my knowledge that could use filling in. Might even be worth rounding up some good sources and sticking them in the interesting links post, if our hostess has no objections.

                1. How to Lie with Statistics, for one.

                  There’s basically a spectrum of answers.

                  At one in you have the fairly simple introduction to a subject at a basic level, which there aren’t as many of as might be desired. Like How to Lie with Statistics.

                  At the other hand you have more specialist primers that aren’t necessary for people who don’t have the interest, but which /seem/ essential for someone if they compile the list.

                  Encyclopedia of Military History is probably an example of the latter where I am concerned. I didn’t really absorb and internalize everything when I read it, but it helped me develop enough some of the foundation I’ve needed for what I do. I haven’t really taken the time to be really educated in military history, but I can hum a few bars well enough for what I use in my own life.

                  There are topics that everyone needs at a basic level, but nailing down what the basic level is gets mighty hard.

                  The consensus of the education majors is not correct. It isn’t a simple of these dozen subjects at this grade level, plus some more grade levels in one subject for economic reasons. Economically, you want at least one skillset to offer for exchanges, but robust survival says several skillsets. If skillsets alone where the thing, it would make sense to just let people drift where-ever, and have very different skill sets. One of the folks here put me on to Corbett’s Principles of Maritime Strategy, which I only got part way into, but found an important general insight from; Common educational background provides vocabulary for effective communication.

                  The left thinks removing the vocabulary and background that leads one right forces the overall consensus to only support the left. What it actually does is remove means for communication, making the size of possible negotiated consensus smaller. American society has historically been peaceful only because of a broad, deep, subconscious unwritten consensus. We tried to put as much of the consensus into formal words deliberately agreed to, because we are much too different for ‘just agreeing’ to work out well. The left’s dreams can only be realized by exploiting behaviors that are a result of large chunks of consensus agreement. Hence the certainty of their own-goals.

                  Mathematics is relatively easy to talk about necessary studies for. Just about everyone needs several years of training that increasingly builds upon itself, such that if you learn ‘a year’ badly you need someone who knows what they are doing to go back to the basics with you, and work your way forward. Joker in that deck, you can have all the grade levels down cold, and still basically be innumerate if you take the math as having more authority/truth than it really does. That last insight is really hard to teach, the most reliable way may be exposure to topics so advanced that not everyone needs them. Example of such math, STEM graduate students often need training in tensors, but it is quite possible to live a happy and fulfilling life without knowing a thing about tensors.

                  One of the key problems with consensus right now is that a bunch of people are very badly educated in math, and as a result assume that mathematical models represent a Truth to club other people with.

                  Calculus is an extraordinarily powerful mathematical tool, and not everyone needs to be able to use it properly. But everyone does have a need not to trust in calculus so much that they trust idiots merely for being able to carry out the operations of calculus. But the best way to obtain that confidence is to have calculus down cold. Anti-intellectualism is a distant second, third, or fourth place. Problem, people who have calculus and stuff that builds on calculus down cold are going to tell you that their favorite post-Calculus mathematics are essential for everyone, and exceptions to that can be readily found.

                  The basic result of this is that consensus can not give us a recipe that is valid for everyone. There isn’t a single big important consensus. You have a bunch of smaller consensuses that are important, and the relationships between them them are not so simple as russian nesting dolls or patchs on a quilt. There are large broad ones important to many people, and smaller narrower ones important for a few. Most people start with a need for a broad education to allow the communication for the broader consensuses. Where to go from there is individually specific, based on personal interest, and the groups that one wants to be able to communicate with.

                2. tl;dr I don’t have a good general list. Right now, I am emotionally convinced that Rith’s Memories of the Fall, over on Royal Road, is essential for everyone, and this opinion is objectively untrue.

          1. Yup look up videos of Prince Rupert’s Drop. Very exciting and quite cool. Glass workers run into this all the time, touch a piece that you’re working on that hasn’t been annealed yet with a tool that’s just a bit too cool and boom it’s bye bye to whatever you were trying to do.

        2. I don’t know about borosilicate glass in particular, but ordinary silica glass builds considerable internal stress when it cools, and has to be annealed (heated, then cooled very slowly) to keep it from cracking.

        3. It sounds like the soda-lime pyrex may be using a tempered glass. When those break they do tend to explode, but generally aren’t as pointy as non-tempered glass.

          Corelware does something similar, and that’s why their dishes last forever, until they don’t. I’ve had a set of those since 2000, and they’ve did great up until a few years ago they started failing.

          If I had to guess, the new pyrex is doing enough tempering to give it some strength, but not going whole hog to give it the higher levels of strength that some forms of tempered glass can reach.

          1. I have Corelle dishes too, since I went away to college I think, which would make it… well, more than 45 years anyway. Have to keep replacing or adding to them, of course, and learned long ago not to buy the patterns because those come and go. They do get chips on the edges and if you drop them wrong they shatter into lots of lovely little shards. Very unlike a friend of mine who owns 12 sets of china. Heh.

            1. I have both Corelle and Pyrex glass dishes that I’ve had for 42+ years (wedding gifts). Mom has stuff that is older than this. Knock on wood, no problems yet.

            2. I have (mostly plain white – why bother with ever-changing patterns? And plain white goes with *everything*) Corelle that is 20-25 year old. I’ve had *ONE* break/shatter incident. Yeah, it was narsty, but ONE… and replacement was trivial. I consider ‘patterns’ to be nothing nothing more than the evil of Planned Obsolescence. Either commit to it for DECADES – so I can replace the *piece* that broke, or give me plain white. Or, well, if you really want, you can go to Hell (out of business – No, I do NOT hate you. I want to to succeed, by being GOOD, NOT by find new suckers when you piss off your old customers. If that’s a problem you DESERVE to fail and be replaced by better!).

              1. Other option, have mis-matched dishes from the start.

                ….half because most of our dishes were from Goodwill, and half because buying dishes when you start with eight people is very expensive!

                1. Who has matched dishes?


                  If one can’t tell. I don’t have matching dishes, either cookware, or eating off of. Used to. Eight piece set 42+ years ago were my family wedding gift. Have most the accessory dishes, but only 2 plates have survived.

        4. The “knives” style glass shatter is a property of untempered glass, which AFAIK borosilicate glass is not typically tempered. When the glass shatters into lots of gravel sized pieces, like a car windshield, that is tempered.

          If you want to do something fun, hit a slab of tempered glass on the thin side after removing the frame. It can shatter in a most delightful fashion. This is why tempered glass always has a frame – to stop some random strike from shattering it into a bunch of glass gravel. This is also why glass tables are thick and untempered if they are frameless and free-standing.

          I did determine that an office table glass top was tempered, and had no frame, in a dramatic fashion. Tap. Boom. Uh-oh…

        5. Think in terms of a Prince Rupert’s Drop… It doesn’t even need to be “pre-stressed” if it’s made in silly ways like that one…

    2. Part of the problem with Pyrex was that Corning Glass didn’t want to make it anymore. I don’t know just why, but since they were making it in New York, I assume regulatory issues had a major role. Not only the Pyrex in cookware, but also the stuff used by amateur telescope makers–helped cause some issues for a lot of people. (The astro stuff seems to behave poorly in a mold compared to soda lime glass, so “money” is also an answer.)

      I have an 8″ Pyrex blank started a quarter century ago, along with enough pieces to do more telescopes when I can get some usable shop time… Ohara (Japan) does a nice borosilicate glass that’s close to the old Pyrex formulation.

      We’ve had luck with Frigidaire and Electrolux appliances, though when the 15 year old Whirlpool dryer went, we went old school and got a Speed Queen. Built like a tank.

      We have to clean the dishwasher filter regularly (every run is best), since our water and a lot of products don’t play well together. The water isn’t quite crunchy, but between the iron, carbonates and sulfates, it’s interesting. We ensure we have bottled water for out-of=town guests. Captain Jack’s Revenge for the unwary.

      1. We bought a set of new Anchor-Hocking square glass baking dishes. Spouse put room temp meat in the room temp dish, set it on the middle rack in the un-heated gas oven. Set temp to 350º F and closed the door. Twenty minutes later we heard “Boom tinkle tinkle tinkle”. Opened the oven to see little chunks of glass all over the bottom, and much of it had gone down the holes into the very bottom where the burners were. No way could this be blamed on thermal shock to the dish. We took the second one back to the store, with pictures, and got a full refund. Will never buy A-H cookware again.

        Three years later when we had the stove replaced, the glass was still in the bottom. 😉

        1. Damn. I had a helluva time getting all the ‘pyrex’ shitshards out of the oven, but they ARE out. (And I was sorely annoyed my lunch was ruined thus..). The ‘pyrex’ seems alright for lasagna or cakes, but anything NOT fully filling the space? Go with Czech (or French) proper borosilicate or go to metal pans – parchment paper if need be.

          I will NOT be buying any more soda-lime stuff aside from maybe mixing bowls and measuring cups. Alright, maybe a telescope mirror blank… MAYBE. If it’s not some tempered disaster waiting to screw things up. I do NOT want to have to build a kiln just to de-stupid simple glass!

          1. Mirror glass should be available. A long time ago (1995ish), I got a piece of Ohara borosilicate glass, from their US branch. (From their current blurb, it was probably coarse or maybe fine annealed. They offer more properly set up blanks, too, up to 1.5 meters if the mortgage banker can swing it.)

            Willman-Bell used to offer mirror kits when Corning still made Pyrex blanks. FWIW, the classic John Dobson telescopes used 1″ thick porthole glass for blanks. He’d mail them by sticking stamps on the glass. Surprisingly low breakage rate, too. VBEG

  5. AKchually, wearing the underwear over your clothes is a GOOD idea. How else wouks you know the complete strangers around you MIGHT NOT BE. They could be wearing FILTHY DIRTY UNDERWEAR. Or worse, you could be reduced to ordering people to put their masks back on in Texas…

      1. I figured out why Superman wears the shorts over his bodysuit. It’s so he can go to the bathroom. The blue bodysuit is crotchless. The red shorts cover that.

  6. Geez, Sarah, both my Whirlpool front load washer and my whirlpool dishwasher have quick wash with extra rinse (allergies) for.clothes and a 1 hour cycle for dishes that works great 98.percent of the time. sometimes with gross pans I do need to use the heavy duty cycle that takes forever. I will.say.my friends with Bosch and Miele appliances have the same complaints you do.

      1. Betting it’s because of CO laws restricting what is sold there. Bro-in-law said the biggest issue he had building a cabin there was the water rights, and what saving appliances he had to have for inspection (was renting it out like a timeshare). I know that the toilet “broke” soon after it passed final inspection and the replacement was a “commercial grade” that came from Texas.
        I wish I had the old Dishwasher my Aunt and Uncle had back in the 90’s. It’d lift gumbo pots in the rack with the water jets and rattle the silverware, but it got everything clean. Uncle pulled it from a house that was being remodeled.
        I still have water issues though. Filters have helped a bit, but not enough. Cheap town gov’t: “Just throw some more chlorine at it”

        1. “I know that the toilet “broke” soon after it passed final inspection and the replacement was a “commercial grade” that came from Texas.”

          How… tragic.

      2. Whirlpool fridge (2001) and Whirlpool washer (2002) both Costco-branded. Best Ever. The washer has settings from Nuclear to Poodle, water from Damp to Flood, extra rinse, warm rinse (another commonly-missing option), and is 100% mechanical (no electronics to corrode in the inevitable condensation, the leading cause of death in modern appliances).

        I’d hit up the used-and-repair outfits… they will tell you straight which makes and models are durable or not, cuz they fix ’em all the time, and sell the survivors. And frankly there’s no point in paying new price when durability is questionable.

        1. Whirlpool upright deep freeze; total piece of shit. The door warped if the house’s heating vent threw a tiny bit of warmth on it, and the ice built up in the door. Had a major puddle start when we had to take it from the usual place to redo the floor. I got 5 pounds(!) of ice out of that damned door; the SJW designer didn’t leave any opportunity for the door to vent properly. Circa 2012? Frigidaire freezer replaced it in ’16, going strong.

          No more whirlpool anything in our house/

          1. There are places that repair and restore 1940s-50s-60s appliances. I saw a Philco refrigerator that was bright red with chrome accents; looked like a cross between an early ’60s Chrysler Imperial and a Wurlitzer.

            I would have totally put that in my kitchen if I could have afforded it. Mrs. TRX still asks, “Why can’t we have appliances like that?”

          2. No line of anything seems to be long-term reliable. 😦 I went with Whirlpool because my extremely busy appliance repair guy said those were the only ones he’d found worth repairing; everything else was junk. But that was back a couple decades, and things change, especially when a company isn’t entirely vertical, or exports their manufacturing. I’m happy as hell with mine, but have heard, as you note, some report that they’re not so good now.

            This house came with a Kenmore Coldspot (2004) that has its issues; apparently some of these with icemakers have a problem with condensation freezing in the wrong spot, then they “stop working” and build up a lot of ice in the freezer. Repair guy said the cure is to thoroughly thaw the unit whenever it starts acting up; there’s nothing to repair, it’s a design flaw.

            In the back porch I have a small no-name freezer (not frost-free) that I got for $50 delivered — probably 50 years old and works fine. Out in the shotgun shack there’s a 1949 Frigidaire fridge in nice shape… looks like it had been in use, but someone pulled the power to that building so haven’t got round to testing it.

            In metro areas, Freecycle commonly has offers for perfectly good appliances, often with nothing wrong with ’em except they didn’t match the new decor. Have got a very good fridge and freezer that way myself, and see offers for washers and dryers all the time.

            1. I got a scratch-n-dent Kenmore fridge in ’77. The same problem with the icemaker/freezer, too.

        2. There’s a Scratch and Dent appliance store in San Antonio, where we’ve shopped for appliances; they also have used and repaired trade-ins on the sales floor, and I’d bet just about anything that they know very well which models are durable, and which ones aren’t. (Washer, dryer, dishwasher, and refrigerator came from there in the last decade, and so far are lasting very nicely, although the refrigerator is turning out to be a bit disappointing…)
          The deep freeze unit came from the BX in the early 1990s and still is holding up like a champ.

          1. My mom replaced her appliances via a scratch and dent dealer… paid about 25 cents on the dollar for top of the line, delivered. No visible damage, but the odd scrape or ding to the side or rear.

        3. We have an old Kenmore washer and dryer. The washer was bought in late ’93, and the dryer we got with it was replaced about 15 years ago with a used one of the same model from within a year or two of the original.

          I am not looking forward to having to buy new ones.

          1. Washer/Dryers
            ’79 Kenmore Set (17 years)
            ’96 Kenmore Set (12.5 years)
            ’08 Kenmore Set (12.5 years)
            ’20 GE set … (we’ll see)

            ’90 Kenmore Oven (28 years)
            ’18 Samsung Oven … (we’ll see)

      3. It doesn’t help that the eco freaks also caused MAJOR reformulation of dishwasher soaps to eliminate phosphates. And yes the insane euro dishwashers have default cycles of like 3 hours. Your solution in the case of the washer was the correct one. Don’t buy the trendy Modern Euro stuff find a cheap model. Although even those are geting water limited and will probably will be more so with FICUS in the white house.

        1. I have read that you can get the phosphate stuff at your local hardware store, and I think the recommendation is 1/4 teaspoon in with the regular dish washing soap. We have a 2010 GE dishwasher which came with the house which has a nice ‘pot’ cycle and that and the fancy new Finish pods seem to get stuff clean without prewashing.

      4. Not looking forward to replacing our dishwaher. Given our history with appliances, we’re about due.


        1) Refrigerator, scratch/dent sale, lasted > 27 years. (Truth. I stood in front of it stating “Die, dang it. Die.”) I swear our electricity dropped when we replaced it. Current one is 15 years old and doing great. Not looking forward to finding a replacement because we are limited in size. Not fancy. Does have ice maker, but not hooked up. Freezer on bottom.

        2) Freezer. First one was huge. We sold it rather than have it moved south. Replacement 20 cuft one lasted 37 years. We talked about replacing it because we didn’t need one that big, but never did. Then it broke (wouldn’t shutdown, which is wrong too). Talk about a drop in power usage! Replacement lasted 14 months (warranty payout process through CC is a PIA, but they paid). Current one from Costco (7 CUFT GE) is doing great (we are right at the 14 month mark, so we’ll see), keeping it full; it also has a 3 year warranty, plus another 3 from the CC …

        3) Dish Washers. We’ve had 3 in 42 years, as stated above, current one is about due.

        4) Cloths Washer/Dryers. First set lasted 17 years. Subsequent sets have lasted 12 to 13 years. We tend to replace the set when one or the other goes. Once one goes, the other one isn’t far behind (we told mom that, she didn’t listen). Buying in sets, one can a break on cost on the pair. Current set is our first non-Kenmore set. Not bottom line, but not top line either. About the only “modern” feature, besides “smart water level”, is no central agitator (top loader); which I love. No tangling of cloths, a lot less likely to imbalance. As for the “smart water level”, there is a high level water switches, one for wash, one for rinse, that some settings can use. I use those settings, use the high water. GE from Costco.

        Getting Appliances from Costco doesn’t save money on the item, usually; maybe a couple of dollars, max. But … delivery, installation, old appliance removal and haul off, are free. Only down side is no ability to finance purchase. Same units from local appliance or big box store for same cost, will deliver for free, won’t install for free, won’t remove and haul off old appliances for free. But you can finance generally for 6 months interest free. Haven’t gotten dishwasher, which is more complicated installation, through Costco, yet. So we’ll see. Current one is a Kenmore.

        1. Fridge in Ma’s place never did die. Quite. Over thirty-some-odd years old. One repair to the compressor over that whole time. Seals started getting iffy somewhere in the mid twenties of age. No problem, replace the seals. Old thing kept right on trucking.

          Only replaced last year because of metal fatigue. Doors wouldn’t fit shut quite right. Still worked, though. Smaller than most modern fridges, but it worked. I should have grabbed it, but it went to a used appliance shop when they bought new. I replaced mine with a Whirlpool, one of the ones actually made in the US. Ain’t had a problem with it yet. Thing is built like a tank.

        2. Dunno about now, but when I got my washer from Costco, it was $400, and next cheapest I found for almost the same model (lacked the warm rinse feature) was $700. I’d been shopping for a while, as I had very specific requirements and didn’t like any of ’em. But the old Maytag (3rd owner, probably 40 years old) had gone from not being housebroken to just plain wore out… the matching dryer had seized up the year before, and was not replaced.

          1. To be fair. The pair was on sale … everywhere, and everyone was offering free delivery. We saved about $120 with the remove old, hookup new, take old away, costs. Actually not 100% true, because we wouldn’t have paid for those extra costs. But did save us the hassle of doing those steps ourselves. That to me was worth any cost. While not difficult, how our washer/dryer sits in laundry room is a PIA to setup.

            1. The Maytag went next door and was an outdoor washer for a while (the leak had become egregious; it still washed better’n none, for a while), then got hauled to the scrap metal yard and I got about 20 bucks for it, since they failed to notice that about half its mass was the glob of concrete used as ballast. That machine could all but waltz (tho wasn’t near as bad as one we had from ca.1960 that could outright gallop across the floor, and had to be moved back every time it was used).

              There’s something the Whirlpool NEVER does — it doesn’t so much as wobble, even when totally out of balance. Which takes something like “whole soggy blanket on one side” to achieve, and it rarely does that much (it’s very good at keeping stuff distributed, but the agitator does a couple different motions). I think I’ve had to adjust the load about twice in all the time I’ve had it.

        3. I do like the agitator-less top loaders. So much easier to fit a comforter in.

          1. Yes. ^^ This^^.

            I’ve dealt with one imbalance over the last year (sheets). One! OTOH it isn’t just a matter of lifting the lid to balance the load. Have to “Pause” and let it quit spinning so it will “Unlock” to open the lid so load can be balanced. WTH?

      5. We got a good dishwasher a few years back, but it definitely slower and smaller than the ones I grew up with.

        One thing that apparently helps is running the hot water in the sink until it is hot right before starting it, and having detergent in the pre-rinse cup, even if you’re using dish tabs.

        Apparently one of the tricks dishwashers use to save power is they draw from the hot water for the first rinse, and just assume that the water is actually hot.

  7. “To begin with, the left is, generally speaking, more prone to want to pose as great geniuses, and incredibly brilliant. They need the adulation of the “the whole of society.” Even if, or perhaps particularly if, they’re mediocre non-entities.”

    So…they’re all a bunch of Wile E. Coyotes?

                    1. My uncledrove a wagon to and from High school and tech college in the late ’70s and ’80s and his sons have restored one, and have one in need of work at Gran and Gramp’s old place.

                    2. alos, if you go into the old garage, the oil, air filter ,spark plug numbers and what oil and how much, is written on the wall in Grampa Tony’s hand. Uncle and I were reminiscing over that with my Dad this past summer. I should also note said Uncle is only 4 years older than I, and his wife and I attended High School together (she’s 2 years older than I)
                      Cars listed: the Ramblers, the Ford F150, Gran’s Hornet (Ramblers might have been too hard to find so …), and also the old John Deere Model B that is still running and Uncle uses to plow the drive

                    3. That seems to call for a song …

                      … I got an ol’ used car and it runs just like a top
                      I get the feelin’ it ain’t ever gonna stop

                      Stuff that works, stuff that holds up
                      The kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall
                      Stuff that’s real, stuff you feel
                      The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall

  8. Besides virtue signalling – all these companies have staff whose job is to ‘improve’ products. Their continued employment depends and finding SOMETHING to change. If the product is optimized and perfection personified they have to find something to change to retain their job and pay. Nobody is going to pay somebody to tell them to LEAVE THE DAMN THING ALONE!

    1. Yep. This applies to things like shoes too. I’ve been buying my shoes on Amazon for years, but almost every time I find some pair of shoes I like, it’s been replaced by some other model when I go to buy a replacement. And sometimes the replacement doesn’t work at all. I guess they have to keep them churning for those seeking after novelty.

      1. It’s socks for me. Big and Tall used to have a line of big dark socks. I could actually get them up my calves, and have them stay without throttling them. Then they replaced them with diabetic socks.

        Seriously, it’s not water retention when you can flex it.

        I’ve taken to wearing socks with the tops folded down right around where the muscle mass starts. As long as the top is hidden by the pants leg, it looks neater than having the sock top slacked to where its not trying to strangle me throughy ankles…

        1. Hotter shoes – discontinued the boots that I like (I need laces!). SmartWool got rid of the plain black or brown women’s socks that I like.

          1. I’ll admit, I appreciate only needing to have basic oxfords, steel toes, and sneakers. It simplifies the shoe hunt.

            Though it could be worse. When my youngest brother needed to get a pair of steel toes, the company actually had to reconfigure one of their shoe machines to be able to build them. I think it must have caught the eye of one of their engineers.

            “He needs them in what size? Is that even possible?”
            “I don’t know. Let’s find out!”

            1. Redwing does/did Steel toed boots in the US. I have a set that haven’t been put in place because the last set of Carolina (not ST, but Good Enough, usually) outlasted the previous pair by several years. I think their QA-team had a serious back alley design review with the adhesives manufacturer; the old set died in the sun room(!), but not the current. With a 14E or EE, they better last. (Yeah, the last set of Carolinas were a better design, with stitches where it made sense and leather expanse similarly.)

      2. I have short, wide feet. Buying shoes is a tedious chore.

        Some years ago I found some that fit perfectly. After considering my finances for a while, I bought 10 more pair. I’ve worn them all out, and of course the manufacturer doesn’t make that model any more.

        Local shoe stores stock Regular, Narrow, Extra Narrow, and “ET feet.” I wear a 4E or 5E.

        1. I need wide shoes too, which is why I resorted to Amazon in the first place. But some of the things they call wide really really aren’t.

        2. I have long, skinny feet. Same problem, maybe a little worse. All I have to do is walk into a shoe store, state my size, and 95 times out of a hundred (maybe more) turn around and walk out.

        3. One misses the days when the local cobbler, er, shoe shop could actually custom-repair those oddball shoes…

          Shoe sizes have changed, tho, which is not helpful.

    2. I recall an old column (duh) from Popular Electronics or such where the columnist noted that one stereo manufacturer he had dealt with had a plan of what “new features” they’d be pushing each year, for several years out.

    3. My favorite “improvement” is electronic circuit boards which a) provide hundreds of options for nothing you want to do, b) do not offer an option for the simple task you do want done, and c) are such expensive points of failure that they’re the first parts of the device to break and are so expensive that it makes more sense to just replace the whole device for the slightly higher charge.

      1. Oooo look at all the pretty lights in your computer. What do they do? Does it run faster? Better graphics? Virtual reality?

        Makes pretty lights.

        1. The mechanical gamer keyboard with rainbow backlight makes it so the kids actually started working on their typing again. And my rainbow-cycle-gamer-mouse can be found in the dark (where I prefer to type) AND its’ cheap, AN it’s PURTY!

          1. I like lighted keyboards, but prefer them to be constant (color, intensity, across space and time – once I’ve set them to my liking, that is). Then, I’d like email to be text, too, so…

            1. All my email is text, though Thunderbird keeps trying to reset it to HTML when it upgrades. No colors, no fonts, no pictures, no links.

              1. My SENT email is text. What I get… reveals a list of people who need some remedial education. Yes, that means EVERYONE with ‘Marketing’ their title shouid be horsewhipped, for starters.

            2. Most of them have a key-combo you can hit to turn it off, cycle it, or pause it on a color.

              If you’d told me 20 years ago that I’d be programming my keyboard like I did the VCR…..

              (Ditto on emails being text.)

        2. I *want* a blinkenlights panel for my desktop.

          [pause] I can *have* blinkenlights. I can run a script to collect I/O data and send it to a Pi Zero with one of those 3×4″ displays, running another script to make colored blocks in text mode.

          Heh. I think I have enough stuff laying around to do that…

          1. Go here and look at PiDP-10, PiDP-11 and PiDP-8. You to can have a vintage DEC computer front panel. for 10x the cost of the Pi and 8-10 hrs labor. Hey a Pi 4 runs 12x as gfast as the original PDP-11/70 🙂 .

              1. Yeah, I did a web search after I posted, and that cropped up. I’m thinking about “TV prop computer panel” though.

                1. Less fun if it doesn’t actually work :-). One of the fun things would be getting RSTS-E running on the PiDP-11. The Idle Process on RSTS-E played with it’s data and address values so the blinkenlights did a infinity pattern set of chase lights through the data and address lights. It was helpful as if things were idle you could tell if you could see the panel. If the system was dead the lights didn’t change…

                  1. Oh for the days of the front panel. I wrote my first machine language program from the front panel switches of an IMSAI 8080, on my break. (programmer had left an instruction set cheat card in front of it) What fun that was!

                    not many left who know them from the silicon (transistor theory) to the human interface (graphical). When the chip houses shut down, it will be the end of an era. What a time to be alive.

                    1. Right friend of mines dad had an Altair 8800 (with the 8080 NOT the later z80) that had a switch panel and blinking lights. That was a crazy machine, close cousin to the IMSAI you messed with.
                      I always feel lucky to have come into computer science when I did in the late 70’s stating work in the 80’s. I figure the changes I’ve seen are like what an aeronautical engineer who started in the 30’s and worked to the 70’s saw. As for computers I always wanted a Sol20 or later a Commodore PET
                      The Sol was ~$2000 which was beyond my earning power as a teen. The PET almost became reality but a downturn in the late 70’s meant the money I’d saved up for it got earmarked for college.
                      Did build my own Heath H19 terminal senior year in college. That and a 300 baud modem and I could work from my apartment instead of having to go to the computer center :-).

                  2. I have a Sol! My brother built from kit. And an actual Teletype! And his first Hard DIsk Drive! 18″ and the platters were belt driven from an AC motor… 20MB! So huge it had to be mapped as 16 drives (a-p) for CP/M to address it all. (sometimes I misremember it as 20MB, what’s a few orders of magnatude these days) .. and a DataGeneral/1 laptop, which I hacked to clock at 8MHz! (took logic to drop back to the native 3+MHz during a DMA, the one chip that couldn’t handle 8) What a loon I was… I even disassembled the firmware in my answering machine once, just out of curiosity.

  9. “Society will take us as we are, or not at all.”

    The loud Lefties seen to be trying the later, and I swear, if there was any place to go, there’s a good chance they’d get it.

    1. That includes the lefties who are part of the Democratic Party leadership. Representative Bang Bang Fang Fang made yet another declaration that conservatives are domestic terrorists and that questioning election integrity and believing it can be more secure is proof of a desire to engage in an armed overthrow of the government.


      These of course are the same people who touted and themselves openly questioned election integrity prior to the election so that if they lost they could claim Trump stole the election. Save all those BBC and NY Times articles questioning Dominion’s voting machines and highlighting the inherent susceptibility to fraud of vote by mail, because they will quickly be vanished if it hasn’t been done already.

      1. So, we’re not supposed to “Resist!” any more? Shucky darn, you can’t just turn it off after you’ve created an entire culture of “Resistance chic”.

      2. Byron York, providing some perspective on that “insurrection”:

        Byron York’s Daily Memo: Developing some perspective on the Capitol riot
        DEVELOPING SOME PERSPECTIVE ON THE CAPITOL RIOT. In the last few days we’ve seen a series of hearings in the House and Senate on the January 6 riot at the Capitol. After all the talk, we still don’t know some of the basic facts of the riot, especially the circumstances surrounding the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, the only law enforcement officer and only non-rioter to die in the violence. But in spite of the gaps in our knowledge, a sense of perspective on the riot — Who was involved? What did they think they were doing? — has begun to emerge.

        First, the riot is often referred to as an “armed insurrection.” A search of the Nexis database of newspapers, websites, and cable news transcripts finds 2,339 times since January 6 in which the riot was described as an “armed insurrection.” On many other occasions, the rioters were described simply as “armed.” But the description requires an asterisk that is rarely, if ever, applied. A small number of the rioters did indeed have baseball bats or bear spray, and a few used flagsticks or even, in one case, a crutch as weapons to assault Capitol police. But the armed insurrectionists did not use any firearms. Before January 6, if anyone heard the phrase “armed insurrection,” he or she might have assumed guns were involved. At the Capitol riot, they weren’t.


        Earlier this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray, who frustrated the Senate with his refusal to answer some key questions about the riot, nevertheless helped senators with a broad taxonomy of the rioters. Appearing before the Judiciary Committee, Wray was asked by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, “What do we know about the planning and coordination that occurred surrounding the January 6 attack?”

        Wray said it was useful to “step back” and take a wider look at the people involved on January 6. He divided them into three categories. “The first group — the largest group, the group that we need to spend the least time talking about — is peaceful, maybe rowdy, protesters, but who weren’t violating the law,” Wray said. And then:

        Then there’s the second group — think of a reverse pyramid — a second group that is people who may have come intending to just be part of a peaceful protest, but either got swept up in — in the motive, or emotion, or whatever, engaged in kind of low-level criminal behavior. Trespass, say, on the Capitol grounds, but not breaching the building. [It’s] still criminal conduct, still needs to be addressed, but more on the fly, in the moment, opportunistic.

        The third group — the smallest group numerically, but by far and away the most serious group — are those who breached the Capitol grounds and engaged in violence against law enforcement, who attempted to disrupt the members of Congress and the conduct of their constitutional responsibilities. And of those, some of those people clearly came to Washington, we now know, with plans and intentions to engage in the worst kind of violence we would consider domestic terrorism. And so, some of that coordination appears to have been coordinated travel, coordinated meeting up, coordinated in terms of what kind of gear they might be wearing or bringing with them, that kind of thing.

        Wray did not attach any numbers to the groups, except to say that the most criminally culpable group was also the smallest. But taken together, Wray’s and Sanborn’s testimony provided some needed perspective as officials, and all Americans, try to understand the Capitol riot.

  10. Over several countries, various movements that called themselves various things, etc, you’ll find the communists doing all the things they accuse others of doing: exploiting others, stuffing their pockets without regard to ethics, and generally being all red in tooth and claw, while talking about community and the greater good of their fellow man.

    Little wonder that some people got the idea that “community” and anything even faintly connected with it was the root of all evil.

  11. Not to argue against your point, but as a maintainer of All The Things, ingenuity usually catches up to the war and eventually we make things work.

    CAFE and emissions regs destroyed the auto industry for 20 years, and most everything from that industry was underpowered, kludgy, unreliable crap.
    By the late 90’s we’d figured out most of it and the cars of the last 20 years surely kick the everloving hell out of the late 70’s to early 90’s junk.

    There are low flow 1.6gpf toilets today that will flush damn near anything that can fit in the outlet, often better than our old 5gpf toilets did. My brand new washer and dryer are fantastic, the pro tip here being to buy commercial units without any of the fancy features you’ll never use anyway (Speed Queen). For the new low flow showerheads, it takes 2 minutes to remove the flow restrictor and fix it. When R-12 refrigerant was pulled from vehicles and replaced with R-134a, all car AC sucked and broke constantly. It took some time, but we made R-134a work. The food disposals have been removed from dishwashers, so you have to rinse off solid food, but they work pretty well if you remember to clean out the filter occasionally and run a cleaner throughit monthly to clear out the mineral deposits from hard water and such.

    Point being, in spite of the left’s war against everything that works, ingenuity (largely American) keeps overcoming the obstacles put in our way.

    COMMENTERS: Before any of you jump up my ass, I’m not claiming that everything is better than it was, but that we pretty consistently get around and through the left’s crap. I also don’t want to hear any of your “I don’t know how to work on my car because stupid computers, blah blah blah.” That’s your own fault for not learning, the information is out there, if you’re willing to learn it and are capable of using a multimeter and reading an occasional circuit diagram.

    1. My biggest problem is the continuous drive for “now work without gas” honestly.
      I mean, I love the fuel economy, but….. it’s not possible to go on.

    2. > For the new low flow showerheads, it takes 2 minutes to remove the flow restrictor and fix it.

      That’s pretty much over with. The newer hardware is restricted all the way through – the wall fitting, the hose internal diameter, the handpiece, everything. Not like the old days where the manufacturer just stuck a washer in the handpiece.

      > 1.6 toilets

      I’m willing to postulate there are some 1.6 gallon toilets that, through good engineering, can perform as well as an ordinary 5 gallon toilets. But unless you have a better plan than “keep buying toilets until you find one that works”, I’m going to lump them all together as undesirable.

      1. Most of the 1.6 gallon toilets on the market these days are pretty good (thank good computer modeling of fluid dynamics). So of course various state regulators are now pushing 1.2 gallon toilets. For my current house I had to ship the 1.6 gallon toilets from out of state to my contractor. Interestingly, the local building inspector didn’t bat an eye at them.

        1. See my comments on Champion ADA toilets. Had to deal with a heavy load (yet another reason I hate opiate painkillers) tonight and the 1.28 took it right well.

          Frigidaire Gallery dishwasher. Had some trouble with a sensor; bought the fix kit, then used a veterinary 90 degree syringe to flush the sensor, and it’s been solid. We have to clean the filter every run and watch the gel we use, but that’s our water chemistry.

          1. FWIW, I never installed the gunk fix kit. And the Cascade that Costco sells (dark green bottle) is the first we found that goes with our water.

    3. The 1980’s Maytag washers were the most reliable and best performing clothes washers I’ve ever seen. They would last 20+ years. Speed Queen has a similar design and build quality. They copied the best. When Maytag went to Whirlpool the average quality of US built appliances dropped significantly.
      With only the two of us at home a dishwasher is more trouble than it’s worth. Pre-rinsing, loading & unloading would take us as long as just doing them by hand and we know they’re actually clean. YMMV.

      1. >> “The 1980’s Maytag washers were the most reliable and best performing clothes washers I’ve ever seen. They would last 20+ years.”

        Anybody else remember those old Maytag commercials about how lonely the Maytag repairman was because the machines never broke down?

    4. The problem is that the left seems to think that you can continue doing this ad infinitum. They legislated in the past, and the manufacturers adjusted eventually. So if they keep legislating…

      I’ve actually heard them make these exact sorts of arguments. In fact, that’s pretty much what’s driving things like the California power source requirements over the coming decades that require California to get *all* of its power from renewable sources by a certain year (2050? I don’t remember off the top of my head). Sure, that’s impossible now. But if California *requires* it, then the industry will figure it out. Or so they believe.

    5. The worst part about the insane mandates that the People’s Republic of New Jersey is imposing is that the people deciding what can and can’t be sold in NJ are not only not elected officials, they are not even NEW JERSEY unelected officals. The state legislation expressly references parts of the CALIFORNIA administrative codes and standards imposed by unelected officials in Cali. So basically, every looney insane thing that Cali officials do becomes New Jersey law that is imposed on people from NJ, with no say in even deciding what elected officials appoint the unelected bureaucrats making the decisions.

      If you point this out, you are considered an extremist who wants to despoil the Earth and are essentially a mass murderer.

  12. Teen-age mutant ninja morons
    Teen-age mutant ninja morons
    Teen-age mutant ninja morons
    Fools on a power trip, idjit power!

    1. Now I ponder some strange circumstance where “Full idjit power” is used, kinda like”Full military power.” I do NOT want to live there. Pretty sure I do not wish to visit, even. Witness… but only at 10x Minimum Safe Distance. Maybe.

      1. The problem with this statement is that idjit power is without limit. Eventually, someone will make a better idjit. And now there’s a new power limit. If it was actually ‘power’ then we could actually shutter all the coal and nat gas, dismantle wind turbines, and solar panels and go *truly* “green” for our power needs.

  13. Okay, they haven’t yet dictated that every morning I must get dressed by first putting my pants on, and then putting on my underwear. However, rest assured this is probably around the corner

    That is just plain silly. What will be required is that you wear two sets of underwear, one set over your clothing to ensure it provides a tight seal against virus transmission.

    It will also have the significant secondary benefit of signaling your sexual identity of the day. No longer will perplexed schoolchildren have to enquire, “Boxers or briefs?” Man and Woman will become obsolete as people’s sexual identifications will become tidy, lacy, frilly, thong, boxer, commando, etc.

      1. And here I am, really needing a new fridge since the current one is limping along with bottles from the freezer to keep it fridge cold. I just purchased a mid-base GE, today. Please don’t say it’s all crap! I don’t see a point in going up the price scale, what is added is features, not reliability…. And of all brands’ appliances, GE had a better reliability rating.

        1. As I recall GE (allcaps) is alright, but if it’s ‘ge’ (lower case) beware. But, that was a few years back and things might have change. In either direction.

      1. I recall an old (1970’s.. earlier?) M.A.D. magazine bit styled as an ad. “Our Mayjag is a workin’ still” with a couple “hillbillies” recommending the product for conversion to function for alcohol concentration.

        1. The perforated drum makes a real nice firepit. Here’s a fancy one:

          Everyone I know who’s so recycled the drum just sits it on the ground, or maybe atop a couple of bricks, and lets it be as ugly as it likes. But I can imagine all sorts of firepit cleverness, especially if you’ve got a big one and a little one.

  14. This explains the sudden pushing of products that will supposedly make your clothes smell fresher, be “cleaner,” and so on. They’re trying to compensate for lousy washers.

    1. Things taken out of detergent, too.

      The guy who actually checked if algae grows from soap-phosphorus got canceled about a decade ago for being able to show the “Wrong” answer was accurate……

        1. At a guess? It’s a secondary effect of various “improvements,” such as removing other things that were at least in theory harmful.

          There may be enough to find it from this mention:
          In 2011, a study determined that phosphorous runoff from detergents, even when discharged directly into the Spokane River, never worked as an algae fertilizer, stating that phosphates are not “bioavailable,” and that algae lack the enzymes necessary to break them down.

      1. You can get a box of Trisodium Phosphate for about $8.00 at Home Despot, and add a little scoop. Stuff seems to come out less dingy that way.

        I really don’t ‘get’ those ‘water saver’ washing machines. I saw a demonstration. It dribbled in about a pint of water, and something that looked like a 3-sided nub in the bottom of the tub sort of nudged the laundry around. Is that what it was supposed to do? That ain’t cleanin’ nuttin!
        Every once in a while you should stop and look around you, and say, “What the fuck, over?”

        1. Out LG top loader was like that. When it set up the squeak from hell (per the border collie) and the parts cost was a third of the replacement, we went Electrolux front loader. Actually get things clean, now.

        2. Sadly, no. You can get a box of “TSP” brand cleaning product . . . which doesn’t actually contain trisodium phosphate. I spent an afternoon visiting all my local hardware stores trying to find some. It’s not available anywhere. We have to protect the vulnerable dry watersheds in NEW ENGLAND.

    2. When I had a maintenance visit on the new hot water heater last year, I asked that the maintenance tech please set the water temperature to the highest it would go; set at the current “environmentally sensitive” and “safe” setting of 120 degrees, meant that the water in the sink nearest the hot water heater and in the washing machine came out barely tepid. He said that legally, he couldn’t do that – but would be OK, if I did it. So he told me how to do it, held the flashlight for me, let me use his screwdriver, and noted on the report that I as homeowner had done it. It was wonderful – the water came out hot — really hot! in all the taps and in the showers for the first time in years. The Daughter Unit and I could actually take a hot shower at the same time and not have the hot water run out! The water in the washing machine in the “hot” setting actually came out hot!

      1. Our water heaters all have controls on them.

        When we were at SeaWorld and one of the propaganda videos told kids to turn down the temperature at the house, I did my best loud-because-deaf comment that I wondered how their legal department was going to deal with it, when some kid did what the video said to– but turned it the wrong way.

        That clip was gone the next year….

      2. meant that the water in the sink nearest the hot water heater and in the washing machine came out barely tepid

        Oh. Fantasitic. (sarcasm jic). Our hot water heater is old enough that this isn’t a problem. But we’re about due for that to go out next. It is older than 10 years old, trust me, we’re due. In-laws added hot water booster to their kitchen that the sink and the dishwasher uses. Come to think about it our dishwasher has “boost hot,water temp” setting.

      3. Dunno what we did wrong, other than buy the cheapest gas water heater in sight, but even at “Low” it comes out OUCH and I expect I could boil eggs in “High”. Of course just has a dial right there for anyone to turn, no fancy settings.

        Lived with one that could not do above tepid (had ON and OFF, no settings at all) and yeah, no fun. I like my giant boiler a lot better. As a bonus, it keeps the pipes in the basement from freezing.

        1. I would like to know how the previous owner of this house — alas, no longer available for consultation — maintained the water heater, because according to the plumber it’s older than they normally get and shows none of certain expected types of wear.

      4. My plumber gave the the url for a YouTube video that showed how to bypass the 120 deg set point on my hot water heaters. That was as close as he would come to it.

    3. And for regional changes in the clothes washing detergent to remove ‘phosphates’ that actually attack grease and oils.

      Subtle hint: Try a quarter cup of Dawn or a quarter cup of Liquid Dial in addition to your normal detergents.

      Or, if you are like Sarah and have reactions to detergents, or are just allergic to everything, just use a 1/2 cup of Dawn or Dial (start with a quarter cup and increase slowly so you get max cleaning with minimum foaming.

      1. Tide used to have an industrial version also listed as Dishwashing soap. We sold it at the auto supply place I worked at and one of my deliveries was a place with a small deli that used it in an industrial dishwasher. Wonder if it is still the same.

        1. Being allergic to garlic, if it happened all of a sudden, would probably kill me. I like enough garlic in my pasta to inoculate an entire village against vampires.

          1. I love garlic. I don’t think I’ve become allergic to it, but it’s now one of the many-many food products that my stomach won’t tolerate any more.

            Still smells good, though.

    4. One of the things is a tablet to take care of mildew etc. in the washing machine, which happens if you leave the door closed. Decided it was cheaper and easier to leave it open and let it dry out after use. Front-loader, fwiw. House is NOT set up for anything else.

  15. Don’t forget the quasi-religous aspect. Humans are at fault for everything that goes wrong with Earth. Therefore, we must make sacrifices of health and convenience, both to show our virtue as good stewards and because you just never know what bit of self-indulgence will provide the push that leads to total ecological collapse.

  16. Sometimes I think that the only thing that has saved the Republicans (i.e. the stupid party) is that the Dems are so incompetent at actually governing that things almost always get worse under them, causing a swing back to the Republicans.

    Take all of those stupid Obama executive orders that the potted plant has signed — not a single one is a good idea. So they’ve front-loaded the bad policies. Unfortunately there might be an economic improvement as people throw off the totalitarian lockdowns policies, so we might not see the pernicious effects quite as soon. But they always always overreach, so there’s bound to be something.

    Don’t I remember that Trump undid some of those stupid policies on washing machines and lightbulbs? Maybe they’ll double down on that again. Seems like something they’d do. We had one of those front-loading washing machines. Water never totally drained — you were actually supposed to leave the door open or dry it by hand — and it had permanent mold stains when we left it behind.

    1. only sometimes? Cynical me had been convinced of that long ago, but then, I lived in NOLA Metro at that time (^_~)
      Trump had a “For every new regulation, 2 others must be removed” rule, which didn’t get rid of many regs, but did put the brakes on many that would have come down because the regulators decided to just not add anything if they had to get rid of anything. Can’t have that!

      1. One of the EOs our great and glorious new leader signed was one doing away with the requirement for a cost-benefit analysis of new regulations. That one alone will make every other one that much harder to get rid of.

    2. IIRC, President Trump decided that it would take too long to undo the dishwasher regulations. So he ordered the relevant agencies to get started on that… and then also created an entirely new classification of dishwasher that didn’t have all of the restrictions about water use.

      At the time, I mentioned that to my Mom. She responded that it didn’t really matter to her… which is true, because she and my Dad are the only people living in their house, and it’s sometimes hard to put enough dishes in the washer to justify running it at night. But then I pointed out that things were completely different when she had kids in the house, and the dishwasher that she had back then ran its loads much more quickly. After a moment’s thought, she had to agree with my observation.

  17. “Over several countries, various movements that called themselves various things, etc, you’ll find the communists doing all the things they accuse others of doing: exploiting others, stuffing their pockets without regard to ethics, and generally being all red in tooth and claw, while talking about community and the greater good of their fellow man.”

    That looks like the problem China’s trying to fix with their social credit system and now their “sharp eyes” system. I’d expect that to accelerate societal collapse.

    1. Those who actually control the system – not necessarily the people who think they do – will “weight” the scores to favor or disfavor their Narrative.

      Any system not probably fair and unhackable can be considered malevolent. (yes, I know almost nothing can meet that standard)

  18. One good thing about the left screwing up the world of things is if you want good things you make your own.

    For example I like the Mr. Coffee style coffee maker but when they improved it to death, 3 in series thermal fuses, automatic timer turn off, etc., I cobbled together my own.

    1. Does there exist one suitable for making tea? I just want it to brew, then sit there hot all day long. Most of ’em now (and ALL of the dedicated tea units) have a timebound shutoff, which defeats the purpose. I don’t need features, just base function.

        1. When my Melita 46892 10-cup thermal brewer died, I was dismayed to find that it had been discontinued, but with a bit of sleuthing I discovered that the exact same design had been reincarnated as the Hamilton Beach 46899A. It is identical save for the color and brightness of the LED that illuminates the LCD time readout.

          I am not sure what intricate and arcane corporate machinations yielded this result, but I am quite happy that I could buy an identical replacement.

          1. Probably Melita was just rebadged Hamilton Beach, and the contract ran out. When I look it up on Amazon, I see HB has a whole line obviously from the same design camp. A little out of range of what I wanted to pay for experimental tea brewing, but they do look like very nice units.

        2. Of those at the Handy Walmart, the only one that looked like it might do stay-on was the cheapest Black & Decker. Which appears to be the same unit as your pic, plus some fancier controls. Well, for $20 I’ll give it a try….

      1. I just use the Mr Coffee for my tea.

        One tea bag in the hopper (make sure it’s properly positioned under the hot water spout), no filter (the teabag does that part).

        I find that makes 12 cups of tea at a strength appropriate to my taste. If you want it stronger, you can just throw in a second bag.

        My Mr Coffee is a no-frills version that just has an on/of switch on the front, however.

      2. I think the automatic shutoffs are an EU “energy saving” requirement. I remember some Brits were *really* upset over Common Market electric teapots doing that.

        1. Or those large containers that you serve coffee and tea out of at events. When older son lived in the house, and before adderal, we went through two of those a day. I just filled them in the morning. They’re thermos.

          1. I should elaborate a bit on the electric samovars (available even from Amazon, some less than 200 bucks.); they’re great if you do your tea Russian style, super strong in the tea pot atop the samovar chimney, pour a wee bit in your cup and cut with hot water from the samovar proper. The tea pot gets low, throw in another ton of tea leaves and a bit of water.

            BTW: the local trains in the Russian wild wild east, have (-or had, when I was there 20 years ago.) built in coal fired samovars at the end of each car.

      1. In summer I toss a teabag in a half-gallon mayo jar and fridge it overnight, and that’s the next day’s tea. But it doesn’t heat so gracefully (refreshing cold, not strong enough hot).

        I don’t know why a mayo jar makes it taste better than a dedicated glass fridge-tea brewing thingee, but it does.

      2. Totally different flavor, and horribly dangerous stuff.

        I’m not allowed to cold brew anymore.

        Poisoned myself with decaff….. (but it tasted soooooooo good!)

        1. How’d that happen? Does it pull too much caffeine even with decaf? Or does it pull other things out of the bean that are a problem?

          1. The former. It can get very, wonderfully, nicely strong– and it goes down so smoothly, without having to be put over ice to dilute it or needing as much sweetened milk to make it tasty, that it easy to to drink more of it than you thought.

            1. The coffee I cold brewed with still seemed acidic. I like it, but was still coffee enough that I didn’t want more than my standard intake. Perhaps a smoother bean to start with would be different? I find it pretty easy to forget that kombucha is caffeinated though, and have to limit intake. It hits that nice spot between sweet and tangy. Not that I’m drinking any right now.

      3. I tried that or similar, and it tasted like the filter. I got a special cold brew thingie and can’t taste the plastic filter (reusable!) it uses. For hot, if I have the time, French press is wonderful – but a bit fiddly, admittedly. For “Coffee. NOW!” the Keurig does well enough. Gourmet? Oh, no. But not so bad I have to add anything to make it tolerable, either.

    2. I’ve been a Chemex devotee ever since my undergrad days in the 60’s. Pretty much coffee in a filter paper in a combo funnel .Erlenmeyer flask; pour hot water in, coffee eventuates.. Broke the flask yesterday, and bought a (not cheap) replacement. At last! Something that’s improved with an honest-to-goodness improvement. The Chemex gurus added a curved, solid glass handle at the neck. It’s easier to pour, and the handle doesn’t get hot. So we do have an existence proof that progress CAN result in improvment, despite all the bathroom counterexamples.

    3. I see that as the most likely “past as future”. To do this, you to have to know how things work, and why they work. You have to have the skills, and the tools, and the raw material and resources, including energy. No small investment in time and effort.

      I see the future of tech as the small rural fixit shop (actually a redesign/re-engineer it shop). The main difference this time is that it’s an illegal speakeasy, and you have to know a guy, who knows a guy. (unless you *are* the guy)

      1. And one might need to go appliance shopping, just to show that you have been, around town, lest ‘Karen’ note that you never do and anyone with something so reliable must be up to something. No need to buy – “Oh, I decided I wanted a model I had to haul from $OtherTown.”

      2. I think you’re right. To a great extent the skill, resources, tools are out there, we do need to develop communication links though, to let other folks know we know the guy that can, without letting the folks that will shut/shout him down know.

        1. I think most of the folks with the means and ability to re-engineer and manufacture (even one off prototyping) concluded about a year ago that we are now past the educate/advertise phase. If they don’t already know who you are, you don’t want them to. Payment will be barter or specie, or more likely, you will sell your broke stuff to intermediaries, and buy re-engineered stuff the same way.

          It won’t be pretty, underground economies never are. Doing business with criminals sux, but it beats not doing business. When the above ground shuts down, the below ground runs the economy. Like during prohibition, whatever emerges as the new “mafia” will have more political and military power than the “official” government.

          We have already lost the rule of law. The sooner we can get *through* this stage, and back to the rule of law, the better. When you’re going through hell, keep moving.

  19. most of Europe (and the world) just cosplays modernity

    To be fair, most of what they’ve seen of modernity leaves somewhat to be desired.

  20. I wonder how long before there arises Do-It-Yourself versions of things. After all, if the commercial versions are bad enough, going to “crude early 1900’s” versions (with microcontrollers…) might have some appeal. Or knowing someone who can (quietly) make such, yes.

    1. Yes! More 1900’s tech enforced by the left. My Wife complains….about my complaining about the low water flow products.

      It will get worse. The Texas blackouts during Recent cold snap were caused by overbuilding wind and solar. Texas’s was fine over last60+ years during similar cold weather. Biden will make this worse.

      1. And exacerbated by rolling blackouts to the natural gas pumps feeding some of the on-demand gas generators. Oops – that was counterproductive!

    2. with better 3D printing and little controllers so cheap (Arduino and Raspberry Pi things) a lot of old “broken” stuff is getting easier to repair. I saw Leno talking that it’s gone from 3D printing a pattern for castings, to 3D printing the PART in some cases for old cars, engines, and motors that have been unfixable for 50 years.

      1. True. I’ve been kicking around an idea of using stuff like that to cobble together a Gamecube adapter for an Xbox wireless gamepad.

        It’s crazy, but I think it may actually be doable 🙂

      2. Arduino and Raspberri Pi have been quietly doing things that would shock lefties if they but knew. Well. Making such things *possible* would be a better way to put it.

      1. IMHO, CAD does better than Dan’s drafting machine, but I could use a Flexible Frank or ten right now.

          1. Either way; not sure we’d use a Hired Girl to clean up the late winter load of pine cones. 🙂

  21. the left has no idea it is actually in a war against things that work.

    First, leave us eschew discussion of things the Left has no idea of – this blog ain’t big enough for that.

    We should also eschew discussion of things about which the Left has an idea and that idea is w.r.o.n.g. – for much the same reason.

    The reason the Left is in a war against things that work is that such things represent … ominous drum roll) … Privilege! Having indoor plumbing is Privilege, so its effectiveness must be minimized. Dish and clothes washers also represent Western Privilege and functionality must therefore be reduced.

    Government that protects our rights and our liberty is also a form of privilege which MUST be compromised.

    That’s Equity!

  22. Also saving water is a religious imperative. So the water must be sacred everywhere in the US!

    Having the green religion enforced by the new administration will lead to major backward steps.

  23. One upon a time, I wanted to be a chemical engineer, This was in the early 1970s, when problems with air and pollution was a big thing. In my engineering classes, one of my professors discussed that removing the first 50% of what could be termed pollution was comparatively easy; but every increment after that got more expensive. There was also a concept that chemical pollution was a chemical problem and required a chemical solution. Then I looked at the environmentalists and noticed their preferred solutions involved :lawsuits. Then I read about a particular class of chemicals, some varieties of which were innocuous, some were mildly toxic, and some very toxic, and were the subject of numerous lawsuits. By the time the dust settled, the law was clear, but had very little to do with the chemistry. What the hey?
    As something of an intellectual magpie, (Ooh! Shiny! I want!) I have acquired bits of physics about the thermodynamics and efficiency of converting one form of energy to another, bits of chemistry about nuclear waste and the composition of fossil fuels. and bits of information about the variance in “natural” energy sources. This has given me the unfortunate impression that that most of the advocates of environmentalism and green energy don’t know beans about the subject. Furthermore, the less they know about the various complexities involved…and that’s just the technical complexities, never mind what happens when the human element of economics and politics gets into the mix… the more passionate they are about it.

    1. Confutus said

      This has given me the unfortunate impression that that most of the advocates of environmentalism and green energy don’t know beans about the subject.

      Yup because like all good Tranzis/Lefties they deny the existence of truth. So why bother learning anything its the FEELS that matter. And chemicals are icky and nasty. And Radioactivity is akin to black magic. Heck they think the scene with comparing the witch to a duck in monty python is valid scientific process and not the parody it was meant to be.

    2. I looked at the environmentalists and noticed their preferred solutions involved :lawsuits.

      I looked at the environmentalists and noticed their preferred solutions involved lawsuits enriching lawyers and providing stipends for activists.

      Fixed it for you.

    3. Take a gander at the whole Climate change/Glueball Warmening arguments and your impression will become a firm certainty. Actually, the whole “consensus, not science” crowd. The replicability problem in *general* science is, to my eyes, seriously alarming.

      1. When I saw the claim that skeptics of anthropogenic global warming were in the pay of the oil companies, I said “that’s not a *scientific* argument” and walked away in disgust,

        1. That’s because another personality trait of many progressives is to automatically assign the worst motivation they can imagine. It can’t be an honest difference of opinion, it MUST be evil motives.

    4. Automotive emission controls work by turning regulated pollutants into other pollutants that aren’t regulated.


  24. I met my wife at a dungeons and dragons game in Dover, NH the same year the TMNT guys (who are also from Dover, NH) came up with their idea. Every so often she complains that she was at the wrong game that night.

    1. In a similar vein I was at a Comic shop in Nashua and put in an order for a #1 when it was coming out. I was number 11 in the list, the vendor got 10…They’re worth somewhere from 7K to 75K depending on condition.

      1. My oldest son’s a manager and event organizer for Double Midnight Comics in Manchester. I seem to recall him saying the place down in Nashua has had considerable security problems. On the other hand, DMC is right across the street from the Manchester Police Department, so the only robberies they have to deal with are the mentally incompetent ones.

        1. Mike I don’t think the place you’re thinking of was the one I went to in 1984 (when TMNT #1 came out). Haven’t really been to Greater Nashua much since ~2005 when I was laid off from HP and having children in the 90’s (as well as the massive decline of comics writing) meant my habit was done by ’92-93.

          I could see theft being a big issue. Many older comics are VERY valuable compared to size/weight, A Giant X-men #1 in even meh condition is probably more valuable than gold weight for weight (nope, at ~ 2.5 Oz for a comic it would need to be grade 8.5 ($3900 or so) so fine to very fine condition). And as most places have the high end stuff with certified grading disposing of them on the internet after a couple months would be no sweat unless you steal something really unusual that collectors would be able to trace back to the store. You could easily stuff 50-60K in a backpack in a smash and grab, probably needs better security than a middling jewelry store.

  25. Off topic rant:



    That was a neat little gui toolkit. But with no way to contact the maintainer or report a bug it isn’t all that useful.

    1. …or the contact information is a college account that was closed long ago, or a business account that no longer exists.

  26. So far, and not wanting to jinx myself, I have been able to find parts, view repair vids online, and repair any issues with my old-school fills-up-the-tub-and-agitates top-load clothes washer. I intend to keep it running as long as humanly possible because it actually fulfills its function of cleaning clothing, and I am apparently not alone in this given the view counts on those videos.

  27. The People’s Republic of New Jersey is basically legislating modern technology out of existence, by banning modern refrigeration (they mandate standards and design that are not yet feasibly marketable), energy standards that will make modern appliances useless, “clean water” defined in such a way that it requires PURE water which cannot be found in nature and can only be achieved by distillation (yes, they are using that definition instead of potable water, i.,e. water safe to drink and use), they have banned not only plastic bags but paper bags (and the law didn’t even cite any reason to do so, it just listed all the “offenses” of plastic bags), even though paper bags are generally made from recycled paper and are one of the ultimate “renewable” resources.

    Even worse, with the Communazis in charge, this nonsense is going to be mandated Federally in short order.

    Embrace the power of AND-these people are both utter idiots and evil.

    1. What, you mean the state that basically poison-pilled any serious work on creating a so-called “smart gun” is off the rails on appliances?

      NJ law from 2002, paraphrased: “New Jersey passed a smart gun law in 2002 which stated that once smart guns were certified as viable, only handguns incorporating this technology could be sold in New Jersey.”

      Leave aside all the arguments against such technology, that right there keeps all the big manufacturers from digging into trying to make such guns, so all you get are various and sundry university blue-sky projects that would be about as commercially viable as selling sand in the Sahara…

      1. I don’t see NJ “law enforcement” working up their purchase orders…

        The main question of “smart gun” comes down to, “what happens when the battery dies?”

        Statists always seem to assume that the gun will be “safe” if that happens, because their ultimate goal is for the gun *not* to fire.

        “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”

        1. Safe cars won’t start. Safe garden tools have the handles detach. Safe public schools remain closed. Safe government abolishes itself.

        2. Heck yes law enforcement would be exempt from having to use them!

          When the fingerprint scanner on your phone doesn’t work, it’s a nuisance.
          When the “smart” part of a “smart” gun doesn’t work, someone potentially dies.

          “But, but but but what about the children?!?”
          Teach ’em properly about firearms from the earliest age you feel confident they’ll understand and be mature enough, and you don’t have to worry about the kids. Teach ’em as young as possible that Mom & Dad’s firearms are NOT toys, keep them in a secured gun cabinet / safe and be aware of how said item could be defeated (some can be beaten with a paperclip,) do everything you can to teach them right and remove as many ways for them to easily access them as possible.

          And be aware and look for the ways you missed.
          Because you WILL overlook something.

          1. If they really wanted to keep kids safe, they’d have to look at the “dead children” and recognize that a 17 year old shot while trying to kill the other guy is not a 6 year old that found mom’s boyfriend’s illegal gun is not my kids who know, respect and understand guns.

            1. Teach ’em properly about firearms from the earliest age you feel confident they’ll understand and be mature enough, and you don’t have to worry about the kids.

              Heck yes. We always knew where the guns were as kids. Available. Heck yes. Bottom drawer of dad’s dresser. It was worth our very tanned hides if we even touched that drawer … we’d wish we were dead. Spoil the rod, especially where firearm safety was involved was not in my parent’s vocabulary.

              When each of us girls took Hunter’s Safety, at least when I did, (sisters would have take it 3 and 5 years behind me), there was an initial test, to see what you knew. The 6 hour class over 3 days. Including on properly carrying a rifle into the class the 2nd or 3rd sessions (depending on when assigned); auto fail if brought in incorrectly. I brought in dad’s 30-30. Had to prove it was empty, which meant resetting the safety properly and safely. Not easy with a trigger safety.

              First class covered proper firearm handling and carrying, with a lot of examples of what could happen when rules were broken. I remember some of the examples 52 years later. They weren’t gentle.

              Parents didn’t bring in firearms, but they were encouraged to stay for the class and take the tests before and after. It was noted that parents often did worse on the after test. I thought it unfair that I got 100% on the pre-test and still had to stay for the class 🙂 I mean, really. OTOH got a 110% (extra not required questions) on the final test. So did dad. OTOH He’s the one who made sure the pre-test was 100%.

              You can tell that the class wasn’t anytime “recent”. It was held in one of local HS Gymnasium, by the County Sheriff Department.

          2. And give them experience *with* the guns, even if they are only old enough to handle it unloaded at home in a safe direction.

            Demystification is key.

            1. Agreed
              The mindset of little kids isn’t that much different from a cat: “Don’t touch this, it’s Mommies / Daddies only”
              Little kid: “I wanna touch it, it must be special I’m gonna touch it!”

              1. Sigh – if only there were some program that taught young kids basic rules of gun safety, offered by some national group. Maybe with a cuddly mascot, perhaps an eagle – they could name it “Eddie.”

                Too much common sense, I guess.

    2. Local store (regional chain) has some chest freezers… with a BIG warning on the side about the cyclopentane refrigerant. I checked… ‘Made in China’. No. Just no.

      1. Asked local repair guy about these Chinese and Korean freezers. He said lifespan is about 3 years, and you can’t get parts, so regard ’em as disposable.

      2. It compresses cyclopentane and runs it through a thermal cycle, over and over? Does the ATF know about that? Sounds like KABOOM!! just waiting to happen, right in your kitchen.

        Now if there was some way to get all the Leftroids to use acetylene as a refrigerant… 😀

        1. I do have a ‘wine fridge’ that uses “C5H10” withOUT all the big nasty warnings (I suspect they got added for Good Reason), but it was made in Canada. And I trust the Canadians a HELLUVALOT more than I trust the Chinese.

      3. Before I bought last (and still current, if beat-to-hell) vehicle I asked the mechanic I knew (who managed to keep an Old School fully British Jaguar running….) if he saw such. When he replied, “Only for oil changes. Oh, and one is coming in later today for something else, but it was in a crash.” I knew I was done looking. Drove it home the weekend before Thanksgiving (USA) in 1998 and still have it. It’s a bit just under 1,000 miles from one light-second on the odometer now. Perfect? No. But it’s done everything I ever asked of it (a few things I should NOT have asked, I admit) and sure, it looks like it wasn’t an easy ~22-23 years… but like the old bumper sticker read, ‘DON’T LAUGH – IT’S PAID FOR.’

  28. For washing machines and dryers, see if there’s a Speed Queen dealer within range. Or if there’s one within pickup truck range.

    The ‘civilian’ models are basically what you find in the coin-laundry, except without the coin machine. Tough, strong, not visually ‘sexy.’ You can still buy analog dial versions. Metal gears. Stainless tubs.

    And, like I said above, try using Dawn or Dial liquid as a detergent, rather than the underpowered detergents now available on many markets, like in Colorado.

    1. How much? The time I tried that, because we were out of cloths soap … I mean, soap is soap, right? Results were, um, … okay, entertaining NOW, some 42 years later. Luckily washing machine was in the garage. Garage was very, very, clean.

      1. I was wondering about that myself.
        I recall a workplace where a bottle of clothing detergent (or was it bleach) broke open on the ‘back room’ concrete… and for a few weeks it was cleaner in that area than it had been in… well, likely since it was poured.

    2. I get my work clothes extremely dirty, and can’t be arsed to wash them until they’re about equal weight of cloth and dirt (cuz if I cared, I’d do nothing but wash ’em). And it’s greasy dirt, layered on.

      Cheer or Tide (with Biz if you can find it) works wonders. P&G told me they’re actually identical except for certain enzymes.

      Especially good with the Nuclear setting on the Whirlpool washer.

      Cheer is also a marvelous spot and stain remover (tho will take out some dyes if left on very long).

      (Oxyclean is worthless for this. Costco’s laundry detergent appears to be rebadged Gain which isn’t much good either.)

      I use Cheer or Tide (regular, not extra-strong) instead of shampoo, too (35 years now). No more itchy scalp.

      1. Didn’t someone a while back say that Tide was hard on the clothes or machines themselves, here?

        I want clean, yes, but not excessive wear. And as plain as plain can be. Perfumes need not apply, when it comes to detergents. Bath soap, maybe, if $HOUSEMATE and I can agree on acceptable aromas. I don’t mind floral, or even licorice, but I draw the line at more than homeopathic traces of patchouli (we agree on that last one).

        1. I don’t know. Definitely not my experience. Also leaves no smell to speak of.

          Cheap Chinese or Indian cotton is real prone to fall apart, tho… it soaks up the acids from your sweat, which weaken the fabric, and when you wash it, holes magically appear and get blamed on the soap.

  29. I met my first low flush toilet in the Navy. After three flushes for one poop, I declared my hatred of them. I know that my late hubby used to get a flush mechanism from Home Depot that took care of that low flush problem if you had a large tank. As for a washing machine– my brother helped me find a Samsung front loader after I had a bedbug problem. I had to wash all my clothes in “HOT” or steam. TG it has a sanitize function which takes 3 hours to do. Sanitize on this machine is steam. Anyway, I got it for a good price because it was dented. In my last apartment complex, they had a low quality washer dryer combo that never put more water than a third of the machine. IF you put in less clothes, it had a sensor to put in less water. I tried a bucket, but the water would drain out– I was unimpressed with that washer/dryer. The dryer was gas.

    1. best flushing toilet I used was a wall hanging tank antique with the bottom of the tank at about 5 ½ feet with a pull chain. It got updated in a remodel and my uncle then took it home and used it in a additional bath on their house. They decided they didn’t want the tank up near the ceiling so he cut it down (it was a 14 foot ceiling house it had been in) but it was still better than anything new and modern, and really wasn’t that much more water than a standard. But even cut down it was a tall thing so gravity still had quite the assist.

      1. When younger, the high tank things (in old films, etc.) amused me as they seemed impactical – what a pain to get at if/when need be! But now… it’s… hang on, that such obvious benefits, what happened? And I know the answer: Stylist and decorator over-rode the engineers and we get sub-optimal function to make some damned ‘artiste’ happy. I want the A-10 of toilets. It can be ‘ugly’ but if it gets the damn job done, that ugly is beautiful.

        1. Bet my place used to have one, the pipe is quite far from the wall for the one it has (also not an “efficient” version but tank on base in the finest ugly sorta yellow/beige/ brownish)

        2. Back when the designers wo there was no pressure to reduce water usage, so the engineers had little cause for fighting them. Frankly, it could still be tastefully done today, using space between a raised tanh and the seat for an etagere shelving unit, with a comfy seat back, shelves for storing reading matter, extra TP, cleaning devices — all topped off with a decorative tank.

    2. I know gas dryers are suppose to be safe … but … anything that produces what makes superb fire starter, using flame to work, is a sorry, no thank you, (“Oh. Heck NO!”) from me.

      1. Or why I haven’t bothered hooking up the gas to the dryer that came with this house. If it runs long enough on just air, it still works. Or I can use the little one-towel electric, which only knows HOT but works fine.

        1. I like my electric dryer. I like my electric oven. But I also like the gas furnace and water heater. I still wish the place was set up for a gas rangetop. When I *really* feel up to it, I’ll break out the camp stove and cook on butane – or propane if it comes to that.

          1. I’ve lived the last four years in senior housing. Gas and seniors (most of them with varying degrees of dementia) do not mix. haha. Can tell you stories

          2. Love our gas furnace. But then it replaced electric ceiling heat supplemented with wood stove heat.

            We discussed replacing electric stove with gas stove when we had to replace stove. Meant $60/8-feet cost to run the gas line; not quite another $1k. We got electric. Can’t have gas water heater without moving it (venting) which means not only another gas line, but major plumbing changes too.

    3. Plan A for the project house is to find an old washer and dryer with good mechanicals, but with hosed controller circuitry. Much of that stuff is “no longer stocked”, meaning when the electronic frammis goes out, you have the appliance hauled away.

      My washing and drying requirements are basic, and I think an Arduino and a relay board would take care of what I need.

    1. CRT ‘civics’ curriculum are not different in kind from Unilateral Purification of the American Republic’s “See a Democrat, Shoot a Democrat” ‘civics’ curriculum. Possibly a difference in degree, but definitely not in kind.

      Defund and abolish the public schools.

  30. Oh, but wait… there’s more!!!

    The latest idiocy in Dishwashers is the placement of the controls on top of the door. Not AT the top, ON THE TOP EDGE.

    …Which somehow means they get wet constantly (probably that air-drying) and then they rust, corrode, fritz out, whatever, after about 6-9 months of use.

    …At which point you probably find that the 1y warranty is voided by getting the controls wet… or it’s fixed, once, under the warranty, after three weeks of unavailability due to service latency, and then, in another 6-9 months, it goes bad again, and the warranty is no longer in effect.

    Yeah, that’s not the lefties, I think, that’s just flat out stupidity on the manufacturer’s part.

    Now, as to the washer problem… look into commercial units. You know, the kind they put in laundromats. They likely cost more, but almost certainly work, unlike the home units. No, they lack the styling, and the extra special super duper soap free powder wash for shoes feature, but… were you ever gonna use that? No, you just wanted a decent wash cycle, with no frills.

    As to dryers, well, I’m still trying to figure how it is I can buy an ink jet printer, which has to be built with micrometer-fine accuracy, for fifty bucks, but a dryer — which is, face it: A perforated metal drum, a motor, a metal box, a heating element, and a fan — along with a couple control switches — in summary not a single piece of technology needed which did not exist in **1910** — for less than 300 bucks…. W-h-a-t–t-h-e–f-*-*-*????

    1. > that’s just flat out stupidity on the manufacturer’s part.

      In the ’50s they called it “planned obsolescence.”

      Your grandparents could reasonably expect a major appliance to last twenty years. Nowadays, the manufacturers brag about five years like it’s something to be proud of.

      1. Nowadays, the manufacturers brag about five years like it’s something to be proud of.

        “Our new appliance is guaranteed to outlive the regulations which determined its operation!”

    2. You’ve convinced me. I’m confiscating the electric dryer from the rental house. Newish, but all mechanical.

    3. On the TOP of the DOOR… so you CANNOT access them when in use for any override? Alright, not apt to happen very oft, but that is still pure DUMBASS design in that matter alone.

  31. If I had to make a guess…my family has had over forty-something years about eight or nine dishwashers. And, four of THOSE in the last 15-20 years. They don’t wash as hard, which means you have to either pre-wash or scrape hard on your plates (and since we have “organic scraps” recycling, there’s that…). They don’t dry as hard, so you have to dry any dishes that have any kind of curved surface that can trap water. It has to be cleaned every week or so to remove bits of any debris that get caught in the washing arms. And, before we set the dishwasher to run at the hottest water setting and cranked up the water heater to the one-below-scalding level, we’d have at least one run of some kind of stomach issue every couple of months.

    Front-load washers? First one we had to get washed things so badly that Dad was looking at getting a “commercial” top-load washer from a guy he knew. Only reason he couldn’t was that city ordinances wouldn’t allow you to get one without a business license or something. The newer soaps helped, but I still think the loads take longer in general. And sometimes, especially for things like towels and jeans, we might have to do the load a second time if they’re really dirty.

    Don’t get me wrong-there’s places where things could be improved. And, we should be motivated to improve them. But, a lot of these “improvements” feel cosmetic or designed to signal virtues of the various people that are in charge-because they don’t have to deal with the consequences. For a middle-class family, how many extra steps in washing dishes eats into their time and keeps them from doing other things? The minutes do add up.

    It steals time and good health and sometimes even sanity in the process. And, I even suspect that it takes MORE energy to use these “low-energy” devices because you have to wash twice, or do special steps that are less efficient in general. Or the overall cost of these “efficient” systems are-if you looked at the entire cost from production to disposal-are higher than older systems, but the costs can be hidden on the back end where nobody really sees it.

    A pox on all of their houses.

  32. Luckily our house was built just before most of the idiocy. Our toilets are fine. Unfortunately because of the excessively hard water here we’ve gone through three water heaters and three washing machines. I use the “deep water” function most of the time. Our dishwasher we replaced a couple of months after we moved in. Luckily it’s been working like a champ. If I could find new racks for it that would be great, but it actually washes most of the dishes just fine.

  33. > The house had no shower, microwave, dishwasher or STOVE.

    Bathing disturbs the natural skin biome, and is bad.

    Microwaves broadcast radiation that will eat your brain.

    Dishwashers are wasteful of energy and environmental resources.

    Stoves are racist.

    1. Cell phones can cause cancer. The internet will destroy your soul. Remove these things from your lives, lefties! Also toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap harm mother Gaia. Modern medicine is a tool of the patriarchy. And wanting a roof over your head is just patriarchal interracial whiteness with a side of transphobia.

      Best leave all that stuff to those backwards conservatives and live in harmony with our Prog ancestresses that had no such thing as war, clean water, or dentistry.

      1. live in harmony with our Prog ancestresses that had no such thing as war, clean water, or dentistry.

        Additional bonus? Most won’t live very long.

  34. I was looking for a chest freezer, wanted a 20cf. Looked at the prices and looked on line and saw just what I thought I would. Expense, electronic control boards, lasted a few years and needed a control board, depending on time either expensive of not available. My family had one when I was young. Had been around for ever. When we moved sold it for a good price. Didn’t have room in our next house.
    So I said good, I will just buy an OLD ONE without an electronic control board. I was looking for a Unicorn. People just don’t sell them. Had to settle for an Old Upright.

    The thing is that the electronic control board in a freezer dose a certain number of things. Needs a certain number of inputs and outputs. The form, fit and function has NO REASON to change. Any company making Freezers should have a electronic control board designed so that internally the board can change but the form, fit and function is the same. So any new board will work with any old Freezer. A newer Freezer might have more inputs or outputs but it would still work with the Old. But NO Company does that. They apparently also place the board where it is VERY hard to get to.
    In other words they are designed to FAIL.

    I will take old, repairable, WORKS every time. I will always buy old.

  35. Living without modern conveniences, like electricity, AC, running water, flush toilets, etc.? BTDT, got the t-shirt. Don’t want to go back. If the left wants it, more power to them. But don’t make those of us who know what it’s like do it.

        1. Washed clothes in a ditch. Had a generator for special occasions, used candles instead. Also had to haul in gas, propane, and drinking water. Not gonna do it again. (oh outhouses)

    1. Living without modern conveniences, like electricity, AC, running water, flush toilets, etc.? BTDT, got the t-shirt. Don’t want to go back. If the left wants it, more power to them. But don’t make those of us who know what it’s like do it.

      One summer, *10 weeks … No. Thank you.

      * Well okay. Between sneaking in to stay in the old “seasonal dorm” that was technically condemned, really only was about a week before someone on another crew offered a room for rent. That is as close as I ever want to come to homelessness. Just nothing to rent in the small community.

      You left out convenience of having own washer/dryer. It’s bad enough dealing with commercial venues on trips, whether camping with RV or using hotels. Washer/Dryer of our own was the first thing on our list after we started our first jobs. Have you heard me scream when ours have gone out? Trust me. You should have. Although this last time we skipped commercial and went to moms. She was surprised how much laundry we three have. Cloths, generally only 3x’s (one load for each of us). Towels OTOH, a load every two to 3 days. At start we just needed washing machine, took wet cloths home to dryer, until dryer died. Took about 3 weeks to get a new set delivered regardless of where we purchased it.

  36. Another recent one is the banning of plastic shopping bags.
    In days past, those bags served multiple uses. First, they got your groceries home, and kept that inconvenient leaky thing from staining your upholstery. They, they served multiple uses- small garbage bag, impromptu gloves, pooper scooper, improvised organizer, and so on.
    Now, one is supposed to bring “reusable” bags along (and you often didn’t bring enough), or St. Greta of the Green Junket will scowl upon you.

      1. For a while. Here, it quietly resumed, complete with $0.05/bag discount and the store(s) selling new. But there’s no silly bag-ban, just… encouragement to minimizes using such.

        1. During unpleasantness. Encouraged no using reusable bags (mine are more boxy sturdy totes). But you could use them. Just the clerks weren’t allowed to touch or fill them. OTOH they couldn’t charge ($.10/bag) for plastic bags which they had to bring back because they couldn’t get paper bags (banned state wide). Today is the first day I didn’t see the plastic bags available. I miss the days where I got a credit for bringing my own bags. I called it a $.20 cost swing. Got $.10/bag credit, didn’t pay for $.10/bag.

          I never stopped taking my reusable totes. Reality check. Freds I use the self checkout, thus self bagging. Costco either get boxes or just have them pack back in cart, then I’ll put in totes when I get back to the vehicle. Petsmart – setup tote in cart. Take item as they’ve scanned, drop in tote (actually they usually did the dropping, with a wink or shrug).

      1. Florida still has them, but Queensland Australia & PNG have had them for a while now, and it is annoying.

  37. I like the idea of putting all the do-gooders and other leftists on the first colony ships to Mars or Titan or Alpha Centauri and telling them they get to organize it the right way…

    And once they’re gone, not sending any more and changing our phone number.

    1. That’s one area where Adams goofed. The B Ark really should have been the pseudo-intellectuals, mid-level bureaucrats, academics in various “studies”, activist, politician spawn, influencers, and others more honestly useless, if not actively malignant to society.
      Telephone steralizers are actually useful.

      1. Just so long as they cram in the telemarketers. That includes people calling me to offer special one-time opportunities for lower credit card interest rates, renewal of my vehicle’s extended warranty, or lower health insurance rates.

        1. renewal of my vehicle’s extended warranty

          On vehicles we don’t own anymore!!!!

          Get the others too. But dang …

      1. Just wait three years before following – they’ll all be gone or far wiser. Either way they’ll be much easier to live with.

  38. Starship just worked, and then kinda worked, and then went blowy-uppy after it had landed and been down for a while. But that’s how it goes with rocket testing….

    Also, I have now discovered the ultimate Western Lent food. Korean mozzarella poppers/fish sausage panko corndogs. Onna stick.

    No, really, they’re good. 50 seconds in the microwave. But probably you want to feed them to your friends before you tell them about the fish sausage part.

    1. Oooh, is the middle/fishdog part made of the same stuff they use to make fake crab meat or fish patties in Japanese cooking?

    2. Haven’t had them with fish. But I did visit a place up (Korean – pretty sure it was part of a chain) in Silicon Valley last year that had what were essentially corndogs with various ratios of mozarella and hot dog. The one I had was delicious.

      1. Yup, that is the stuff. Apparently there was a fad for them in South Korea, but they are good. In your Korean grocery’s freezer case! Or there are videos about how to make them at home.

        Fish sausage (in South Korea) is basically a surimi and milk mixture in a casing, with salt and sugar. I gather that German-heritage folks also make a European or Cajun fish sausage up in Northern Michigan by the lake. It makes sense, but I have never had fish sausage before.

  39. BMW, I think around 2006, quietly decided to eliminate the engine oil dipstick! They thought it would be more convenient and cleaner for drivers to twist a dial and push a button as they were driving down the road. A little bar comes up (like the engine warning lights) that shows about how much oil you have. Progress?

    Maybe I’m stuck in my ways, and maybe it’s a guy thing, but I’d much rather lift the hood and see the oil on the dipstick instead of trusting a sensor and dashboard display light. Even if I have to wipe the stick and my hand with a paper towel. How about having both the stick and the dashboard display? Rocket science?
    Late rumors are that BMW “may” bring back the dipstick.

    It’s not only washers, dryers, fridges, and toilets that are going down the toilet.

      1. Plus, sensors fail. And checking your oil is important enough that you never want to have to worry about the reliability of the sensor. Sure, offer it as the primary method of checking. But the dipstick needs to stay in there anyway as a back-up.

  40. Toasters are another appliance they made to no longer work. They used to have those big fat nichrome coils that would char the bread if you put it in at the maximum setting, but would brown it nicely at the middle one. Today they have these thin ribbons that glow orange, and require two cycles to lightly tan the bread, at which point it’s dried out all the way through.

    1. Someone who said something to me the other day might be evidence of heavy spending of credibility by the media disinformation complex.

      The thing about all this malice and lies, if they are winning, they probably should not need it.

      They are messing around with making the school curriculum more murderously racist. There would be no point doing that if they had their troops sitting in the barracks waiting to be sent out.

      Whether they are gambling big, or gambling small, the action pattern does not reflect a real plan for success.

      I dunno, my thinking at the moment is pretty disordered.

      1. The thing about all this malice and lies, if they are winning, they probably should not need it.

        Sadly, whether they need it doesn’t seem to matter. They want to do it, whether necessary or not.

    2. Sadly no.. But the sun did rise without incident, which is a good thing.
      Plus if you are a dog lover, there is always something to smile about… 🙂
      I miss ours every single day…

    3. I have a (sort of) hopeful perspective: I know a lot of people who claim that any hope of resistance against the government is entirely vain, because they have such overwhelming technological dominance that they could murder any millions of us with robots from the sky. That they have magitech that can read our minds and pick us off before we even think of disobeying because they’ve got AI analyzing our cell-phone use and the way our eyeballs track webpages. The age of free men being worth accounting for is over, and it’s back to the neo-feudal age.

      The State is omniscient, the State is omnipotent …

      From everything I’ve seen, this is *entirely* bullshit, FUD and fantasy. Our new tyrants are masters of illusion, but that is about *all* they are masters of. Our large engineering firms are actually hollow shells of what they once were: They are so tied in knots and weighed down with bureaucracy that they can’t get *anything* done. Every gleaming dog-and-pony-show was hastily assembled under ludicrous time pressure and miserly-cheapness with the sole purpose of looking good to the mandarins wandering by for inspection. As soon as the cameras stop recording, the baling wire begins to unwind and it all falls apart. Wonder-weapons like the F-35 cost like the space shuttle (another thing we can’t manage anymore), and take about as much frenetic exacting care to keep them able to fly. The magazine of “magic” is awkward and shallow. Paranoid political officers, earnest cultists, and demoralized serfs cannot build the intricate, practical, and playful machinery that free men can.

      1. It is bullshit. I’ve been screaming it for a while now. They are buffoons. The tech doesn’t do as well as most people think. Etc.
        BTW, we allow ONE comment as anonymous. After that, choose a moniker. As you can probably tell looking around, most people don’t use their legal name. I do, for moral reasons, but people do what they do in their circumstances.
        Anyway, choose a name.

        1. … most people don’t use their legal name.

          hey! I use my legal name … just not here, where I use my legal initials – initials I have used ase legal sigil in every job I’ve had that involved signing my name.

          In fact, I am no longer sure I can sign my name, but my initials are quite as illegible, so they pass muster.

  41. Reading all of the complaints about dishwashers makes me chuckle. I actually enjoy washing dishes by hand in the sink. Three days of rinsed, stacked dishes for son and myself takes about twenty minutes, including pots and pans. I don’t worry about water usage, and I can FEEL that they are clean when I set them in the rack to air-dry. For me, it is a comfort chore. And my hands benefit from exercising in hot water. 😉

    1. Yeah. But keep in mind I have eczema sores on my hands, and both dish soap and my sweat confined by gloves make them hurt.
      Also I have more than two people, and I do competitive cooking. It’s more like an hour a day.

      1. I use Dawn and no gloves, but also no allergy issues. Although I did learn the hard way not to use BarKeeper’s Friend barehanded with green scrubbing pad to scour tea stains out of the old enamel sink, tho.

        We do have an odd household, as spouse cooks for himself and uses the dishwasher. Since we rent, if it breaks it is SEP. Hand-washing is just my personal choice. 😉

    2. And for me I am well rid of hand washing dishes. Through much of my youth I was the dishwasher. My first apartment of my own in ~1984 had a dishwasher, and I’ve never been without except .when one broke :-).

    3. I’m on that edge between not short but not tall (5’6”), which means hand washing is an awkward almost bent but not really back-ache creating chore for me. If the sink were a bit higher, or I were a bit shorter, it might not be as much of an issue, but nothing starts my lower back aching like hand washing the dishes. Which I still have to do with a lot of things because the dishwasher sucks.

  42. Wow you are living my life, too bad, we used to have it so much better. Even my family back in Eastern Europe has washing machines that work (sounds like a jet engine in the kitchen) and toilets that flush, with much sound and fury. I enjoy you commentary and view points. Please keep it up, you give me hope that all is not lost yet.

  43. Gas nozzles. Freaking gas nozzles. There’s no way spilling gasoline everywhere “releases less fumes” then having a seperate air hole and easy pouring. It’s just sadism to torture people for needing to use gas.

    Fortunately, I’ve found these:

    (Yes, amazon, I know. Still, it seems the Chinese are perfectly happy making and selling the workarounds to the things our dumbass large companies ask them to make and sell us.)

  44. TSP, for dishwasher detergent can, I think, be bought at hardware stores. (For a different purpose)

  45. PS, as I’m typing this, I noticed that the rusting *anodized (poorly) steel* lid to my sugar shaker is labeled “stainless steel” as if labeling it makes it so! As if none of us can tell the difference! If they had spent the extra 0.000043 cents to make it stainless, it wouldn’t be rusting and stuck all the time.

      1. We’ve been trying Sarah…it’s just that there seems to be so damned many damnfools and idiots out there. Entirely too many to the left of the Median and several deviations to the right that’re just dumber than a box o’ rocks

  46. I found the perfect use for my dishwasher that doesn’t wash dishes. The bottom rack makes a nice large dish drainer rack, with wheels no less, for the, old bath towel covered, counter top above the dishwasher, next to the sink where I do dishes by hand which means I fully comply with the COVID policy of washing my hands frequently.

    1. When I first started using this one assembly house about 20 years ago, they were using an old dishwasher to clean water-soluble flux off of assembled printed circuit boards. And I’ve heard of using one (with plenty of degreaser) to clean milsurp stocks coated in cosmoline.

      Our dishwasher is a 20-year-old Bosch which we bought because it’s very quiet, and does a pretty good job of cleaning. It replaced a builder-grade GE that sounded like a turbine and sort of played at cleaning dishes while really aggravating my wife’s tinnitus…plus you couldn’t even use the phone downstairs while it was running.

  47. We built a house starting 4 years ago, moved in a year ago last December. Whirlpool Dish Washer.
    Works great. Heated drying. Takes about 3 hours.

  48. Then there is a component of “the grass is greener” because the left is always convinced other countries or the past did it better.

    “The idiot who praises with enthusiastic tone,
    All centuries but this and every country but his own”
    — Sir William Gilbert

    Apparently it’s not a new phenomenon

    1. No, it’s not a new thing. The thing is? We’re giving them soapboxes instead of shouting the idiots DOWN like we used to.

  49. We have a Whirlpool washer and dryer set that we bought 35 years ago when we bought our house, and they’re still both going strong. Oh, the paint on top of the dryer is flaking off and there’s an occasional rattle coming from the drum, and aside from some minor hose replacements, the washer still works fine. I refuse to get rid of them, and will repair them until they can’t be repaired any more. They both work wonderfully. I don’t care that they’re not “energy star” rated or that the washer probably uses more water than the Left deems acceptable. All that says to me is that any new replacement is going to suck and will break within three years.

  50. I, too, was the dishwasher when I was a kid. That was my chore to contribute to the household upkeep. I despised it, especially in the summers, as the kitchen window looked out on the back yard and the beautiful day waiting for me outside. We eventually got a dishwasher on casters when I was in high school, which was great, but was a logistical problem to use in our tiny galley kitchen. Wheeling it over to connect to the sink meant that we had to stand to the right near the door and refrigerator. Being stuck on the left near the stove meant that we would have to wait until the wash cycle was finished because there was no way to pass around it.

    Now we have a 90s era Maytag dishwasher which we installed when we remodeled the kitchen. As with our other appliances, it would have to be pried out of my cold, dead hands before I would consider getting another one. The only minor problem I have with it is buying the soap powder for it. It doesn’t use the so-called trendy pods, which I’m sure is yet another Leftist “improvement” for the newfangled dishwashers that also don’t work as well as the older models. Some stores still carry the boxes of powder so I make it a point to stock up when I see it.

  51. I’m not going to read all 380+ replies so someone may have said this already and I don’t know if you’ll actually get through all 380+ replies to get to this one, but just in case:

    You may not be able to fix the “machine doesn’t work” part but you can alleviate it somewhat by fixing the “detergent doesn’t work” issue.

    The way they broke detergents was by mandating that they go “phosphate free” (to prevent the algae bloom thing). It just so happens that the phosphates in laundry detergent are the exact ingredient that breaks down grease and oils (you know, like the human sweat that causes the stink that never seems to go away using modern washers and detergents).

    Luckily, there’s a workaround. At your local hardware store, in the pain section, you should be able to find cardboard boxes of TSP (Trisodium Phosphate). It’s used by painters to clean and degrease things before painting them.

    It can be used for various other things as well…I use it dissolved in hot water to degrease disassembled gun parts after sandblasting or stripping before applying new finishing coatings like Ceracoat or parkerizing.

    I add a a couple tablespoons of TSP to my laundry detergent. If you use powdered detergent you can mix it in with the powder. We use liquid detergent so I just dump it right into the tub before closing the door. Even with one of those new fangled “low water” front loader washing machines, our clothes tend to need to be washed only once to come clean.

    Hope that helps.

    I”ve never tried it in the dishwasher, but my dishwasher is 25 years old…is still of the era when they thought the purpose of a dishwasher was to wash dishes…and still works like a champ. I’ll keep it going as long as I can. When it dies, I may just replace it with cabinets and do the dishes by hand. At any rate, if you’ve got one of the new dishwetters, you might try a little TSP in the detergent to see if that helps get things any cleaner.

    1. No. Well, at least where most of daily life went somewhere between the 16th and the 19th is a better guess.
      I mean, they did cover the room in red fabric (and the light also in red fabric) when I had small pox. That’s medicine from Elizabethan days, that is.

      1. Ah, I understand. For a moment, I had hoped for a really good history of the Peninsula War (in English!). Thanks!

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