Recognizing the impermanent nature of possessions, I breathe out.
1) Bell has stealthily bumped its call recording fees up to over $10 a month. Searching for answering machines I found only cordless telephones. Well, good. The cord of the kitchen phone is so twisted that it's a health hazard, and it'd be nice not to have to heave myself off the sofa and limp to the kitchen whenever I'm downstairs.
'How does this work?' I asked the nice salesclerk. 'It's all in the manual,' he said nicely. Bad move. Seven weeks later I get over my manual phobia, open the box, take out the components, and tremble moan open the manual to find how to assemble and use the thing, including answering machine function.
The manual is in Spanish. The box is in English but the manual is in Spanish. I can take it back and ask for an English manual, I suppose, but the sales receipt is long since gone if I want to return the whole thing. Never throw out receipts, but then-- where do you keep them?
2) I like toast. I have to like toast-- I live alone and a loaf goes stale before I can eat it all. Which is fine. I like my bread hot or at least warm. Brings out the caraway taste of the caraway rye I eat.
But I've never had a toaster. Some puritan part of me thinks of them as luxuries, so toasted bread (and jam and butter and peanut butter) are treats I only get when I sit kids who have such amenities, which at once demonstrates why I *dare* not have toasters and butter and peanut butter and jam in my house. Fat and carbs OM NOM NOM.
In Japan I had a toaster oven, someone's gaijin sale artifact that was in fact pushed on me. It was an excellent toaster oven and I conceived an admiration for the breed. Still I'd been back ten years before I bought one for myself. Thought I'd have not only toast but Cheese Dreams. (You don't want to know what those are but I'll tell you anyway. White bread, sliced processed cheese, two strips fried bacon, and a tomato slice, all stuck under the broiler until cheese browns and bubbles and then collapses and goes wrinkly when you take it out. Do not argue with childhood comfort food.)
That oven was useless. Slow. Soooo slow. I gave it up and went back to my toasting habit of decades, developed when I first twigged that toast used to be made over actual fires in the nursery fireplace or whatever. In my case, I just threw a piece of bread on the gas burner and let it char. I like it. Gives a certain je ne sais quoi to the taste.
But that was before fire alarms became mandatory on each floor of our houses. You can imagine what happened when I charred bread with a fire alarm in the same room. Even the fan didn't stop it. And I'd press the button on the alarm to shut it up, and it would shut, but then it BEEEPed every thirty seconds thereafter. Or I'd take the batteries out, but when I put them back they'd BEEEP every thirty seconds. So shou ga nai, I bought a Brave Little Toaster. A basic BLT, because I don't trust computers in my bread cookers.
But you can't abort the toasting process, even in the old way-- the lever won't go back up once it's pushed down. You have to unplug the toaster. Which is what they want you to do anyway when not in use, when any fule *kno* that toasters stay plugged in all the time.
3) Last year I had something appalling like six flats on the bike in four weeks. Guy at Bateman's finally recommended heavy duty tires that discourage flats, at $50 each. Of course one wheel was flat the next day-- probably an already existing slow leak-- which true to promise he replaced at no charge. It's been happy sailing since. Except now I have a slow leak, on a holiday weekend, in the middle of 'everyone wants their bike seen to' season.
Slow leaks can be dealt with by almost anyone. Worse is the suddenly misaligned back tire that rubs the brakes, or possibly the fender, and squeals and makes for heavy peddling which certainly does the tire no good. That will take time to fix, just when walking is a painful and ill advised proceeding all round.
Seeing my desire for perfection, I breathe in.
Recognizing the impossible nature of perfection, I breathe out.