Is it paranoia if your appliances really are out to get you?

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our detergent.”
– Epictetus, Greek philosopher (AD 55 – 135) – disputed, alternate translation from the original text

Cheryl really wanted me to write this post.

“John, you’ve got to blog about this.”

See, I told you.

“Why don’t you write about it?” I replied.

“It’s not my blog.”

“So, I could set you up as another author. It could be our blog.”

“But I’m not funny.”

“Wait. You think my posts are funny?”

“Well, not all of them. Some of them are kinda depressing, but others are a little funny.”

“But they’re not supposed to be funny… any of them. These things are straight up.”

“Do you have a doctor’s appointment coming up?”

I do, as it happens, but enough of this banter. This post isn’t about me, my grand tour of medical specialties, or my beloved.

You see that. I lied. I’m really very sorry.

No I’m not.

This post is about Maytag and their sinister plot to drive Cheryl crazy.

When I think of time – specifically keeping it – I think of the Swiss. I don’t know why. I’m not an expert when it comes to clocks, watches, timers, or the Swiss. Somehow, at some point, the Swiss and reliable time keeping got stuck together in my brain.

It’s been stuck ever since.

When I think of Maytag I think of the man. Mind you, I’m not talking about The Man. I know Maytag isn’t keeping me down – not in the grand scheme of things anyway. No, I think of that lumpy sap from the commercials, waiting for the call that never comes. One thing that definitely doesn’t come to mind is keeping time, and our new(ish) washing machine only reinforces this disassociation.

In many ways I’m really pleased with our new(ish) washing machine. It’s one of those nifty front loaders that uses a lot less water, and it was reasonably priced. However, it has one feature that drives Cheryl nuts: it counts down the time remaining until it’s done. By itself this wouldn’t drive Cheryl crazy, or I don’t think it would. What’s maddening is it’s last minute that isn’t a minute. You see, it taunts you. The last minute is ALWAYS much more than a minute. I know. Cheryl’s timed it. What’s particularly insidious is it’s variable schedule. Sometimes the last minute is five. Other times ten. It might go ten cycles doing eight minutes just to suck you in – then go twenty.

There’s no other way to explain it.

It’s evil.


Big Bother is watching

Cheryl was complaining this morning. Before you rush to judgement – of me – for telling on Cheryl, let me say up front that I complain just as much as she does. Only, my complaining tends to be more whiney, grating, and down right irritating.

But let us not talk about me, and instead focus on Cheryl – my intended target. (We’ll get to me shortly.)

Cheryl was complaining about her ratio of recreation to responsibilities this morning, but I was having none of it. “I saw you on the computer this morning,” I pointed out. “Yeah,” she replied, “but you saw me when I’d just sat down. I was only on it for ten minutes.”

“You want me to check?”

“What do you mean?”

“I can check the console logs to see what the computer was doing and when. Do you still want to stand by your ten minutes?”

“Show me.”

“Go to Applications, Utilities, double click Console, make sure Console logs is selected and click kernel.log.”

“I don’t know what all this means.”

“Neither do I, but see this… that’s when the Mac woke from sleep. And see this… that’s when you put it to sleep.”

“Well, it didn’t seem like I was on for half an hour.”

Now, some of you may be patting me on my virtual back for my cleverness. Some of you may be sneering at Cheryl’s smug prick of a husband. Some of you, if you’re really smart (or at least smarter than me), will see the trap laid by my clever wife.

Now she knows how to check the MacBook’s logs, to see how long I spend not doing the things she’s asked me to do.

Anyone out there know if it will do any harm if I start deleting my system logs?

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Ass Mac

Ass Mac sm.jpgWhat would you do if your wife told you there were too many computers in the house? Could you bring yourself to get rid of a few? What if they were more than just computers… but Macs? So what if they’re just taking up space, or the bedroom is beginning to look like a storage shed. These little guys are members of the family. You don’t kick family out of the house when they stop being useful, do you?

O.K., maybe you shouldn’t answer that one.

Besides, the Ruby fella has some life left. He’s faster than the lime in Adam’s room. I’m just waiting for the right time to do a transfer. I won’t mind taking the lime in for recycling – he’s more of a boarder than family (he grew up somewhere else).

My bondi-blue baby isn’t going anywhere though. That’s where I draw the line. Think of all the good times we had together. We made the first version of this web site together. He hosted another version on his own hard drive. Giving him up would be like bringing a puppy back to the pound. I can’t do it.

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Breakthrough on the Cheryl front

A few months ago Cheryl called the Honda dealership asking if they’d be willing to make a deal on a Civic Hybrid.

“Nope,” they said, “those babies are selling themselves. We’re not making any deals on hybrids.”

This weekend Cheryl got an email from the sales manager, telling her they’d knock $4k off the price. It’s actually tempting. Cheryl told us yesterday the doctor gave her the ok physically, and in some ways more importantly: mentally she thinks she’s ready to get behind the wheel again.

Note: Cheryl sent him a reply, reminding him they have a new hybrid coming out… one that we’re a little more interested in. But if they’d be willing to take $6k off the price, they might have a deal.

A failure of logic

Cheryl: “Are we going to get wet from that sprinkler.”

Me: “Nah, just look at the sidewalk. It’s dry.”

Who knew the guy had just turned it on?


She’s 38

I have a much longer post written (in my head) tentatively titled “state of the Kauffmans,” but it will have to wait until a time when it’s not past my bedtime.

Until then, know that Cheryl’s recovery is going as planned, and she enjoyed a little get together with our parents to celebrate her birthday. (She was a little nervous about me wearing my Obama campaign shirt with her parents coming over, but I was itching for a little political dust-up… low key of course).

A couple pics from this evening:
Cheryl's Birthday
from left to right: my dad, Cheryl, Beth, Adam, and me.

She's gonna blow!
incision promently on display (you’re welcome!), Cheryl gets read to blow. By the way, the cupcakes were her idea.

More to follow soon. It’s been an eventful couple of weeks.