Posts Tagged With: Sears

Smart Washing

That Maytag repairman from the old TV ads who never saw anyone because the machines so seldom needed repairs? If he were still around, he’d probably be lonelier than ever.

Not because washers are even more reliable than they used to be (though having just bought a new one, I certainly hope that’s the case). But because repairing today’s washers means knowing as much about electronics and computers as about plumbing and pipe wrenches. And, let’s face it, while the lonely repairman seemed like a really nice guy, he didn’t exactly appear to be a tech wizard.

Our new washer, only one step above the low-end model, is about as basic as washers get these days. Even so, I’m sure it has more computing technology than NASA did when it was sending men to the moon. It’s a very smart washer. And that’s not all. It has opinions. It is strongly committed to preserving the environment, and it is very safety-conscious.

It’s so smart that it doesn’t need me to tell it how big a given load is. In fact, it won’t even allow me to choose “small” or “normal” or “large.” Nope. The machine senses the size of the load and fills itself to the appropriate level and not one teaspoon more, thereby conserving water much more effectively than I, a mere human, could be trusted to do. Presumably, if I put in a load consisting of one washcloth and a pair of socks, the washer would go ahead and run a cycle, using about two and a half cups of water. It would, however, save energy by rinsing them with cold water. Like all new environmentally aware washers, it is not allowed to use warm or hot water in its rinse cycles.

It’s so safety-conscious that it automatically locks the lid as soon as it starts its cycle. According to the salesman at Sears, all washers now are required to do this. Presumably this is to protect me just in case I should start a load of clothes and suddenly realize I left my cell phone in the pocket of my jeans. The washer is afraid I might dash down the stairs, yank open the lid, and plunge both hands into the water before the agitator has stopped spinning, thereby breaking both my arms and leaving myself unable to use my cell phone for six weeks. Which wouldn’t matter all that much, since the phone would have been ruined by then anyway.

While all this is impressive, even intimidating, what I’d really like is a washer so smart it did everything. I would dump all the dirty clothes in a big pile in the middle of the laundry room. The washer would sort them, load them, wash them, put them in the dryer, take them out, and fold them. It would even remember that I fold towels the long way and that I fold my jeans in thirds rather than fourths so they fit in the dresser.

Wouldn’t it be great to have the machine do all that work? This one, unfortunately, doesn’t.

Come to think of it, maybe this washer is even smarter than I thought.

Categories: Just For Fun | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

“Got Milk in That Silk?”

Milk silk. It's an idea, according to NPR, whose time has come.

A report that aired October 7, 2011, on "Morning Edition" featured the upcoming line of clothing from a German designer. The silk-like fabric is made from the protein casein in cow's milk. Apparently, people have been experimenting with milk fabrics since the 1930's—who knew?—but this may be the first time anyone is trying to sell clothes made from it. The process is supposedly chemical-free, and it takes less than two gallons of milk to make a dress.

I don't know whether milk silk garments will ever join nylon, rayon, and polyester as common fare on the racks at Sears or Wal-Mart. It's not likely to happen unless maintaining a dairy full of cows is more cost-effective than raising silk worms. But I do hope this new fabric catches on, if only for the marketing possibilities.

By way of example, here are just a few possible products that Milk Made Clothiers might include in its Udder Undies line:

The Cow Slips, featuring embroidered flowers in delicate shades of primrose.

The Jersey jersey lightweight sports bras.

The Cal-See-Um novelty sheer teddies.

The Cud-dler line of warm winter undergarments.

The Open Range line of men's boxer shorts.

The Milk Shake bras, designed especially for fuller figures.

The Bum Steer line of panties for the British market.

The Bossy bras—firm support for the executive woman on her way up.

The Moo-La-La combo, our sheerest teddy with matching Latte Lace thong.

The Cow Patty panties—just a touch of Spandex to give you those tempting, touchable curves.

The Dairy-Air bikini panties—so light and comfortable you'll forget you have them on.

And these are only a few of the possibilities. I'm sure a really good marketing expert could milk this idea for all it was worth.

Categories: Words for Nerds | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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