If it Ain’t Broke …

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Today, it is time for something a little different. I’ve been writing about ballroom dancing since I started this things so many years ago. Sometimes, it feels like I’m just plowing the same ground over and over again. Not going to give up on it but the whole “what I did at my dance lesson today” sometimes doesn’t feel very interesting.

And the COVID numbers continue to shrink and life continues to get closer and closer to what it was like pre-pandemic. (I no longer work so the work from home isn’t a thing for me). If it flares back to life, then it will need to be tracked. It is probably worth talking about it from time to time because there is still the whole “scary variant” thing and knowing what the actual numbers are seems useful.

We were at the turtle pond the other day. For some reason, the turtles are making themselves scarce. I know we’ve had some really hot days where it is probably more comfortable for them to be in the water but we just don’t see them in the numbers we did back in the spring. We did have two female mallards cross the path with 11 babies between them – going from the pond to the little creek that runs through the park. Not sure where the males were because waterfowl seem to bond in pairs but these two were I guess left in charge of the ducklings.

Anyway, on to the topic of the day. My wife’s view of the above quote would be “If it ain’t broke, then we don’t need to buy a new one”. For the most part, I agree with this. Most of the stuff we have is well aged. But there are times when something still sort of works but it really needs to be replaced and we have this sort of argument about buying something new.

For example, she’s got a little mini blender to make smoothies. I’m pretty sure it has surpassed the expected lifetime of the motor. It always sounds like it is about to break into a billion pieces when she fires it up and there was a time she needed a little screwdriver to hold it down. When I suggest replacing it, I always get the same response “It still works”.

The topic for today is the toaster oven. I suspect this one has been with us for 10-15 years. Long enough that the all the writing on the dials has worn off meaning you are guessing about the setting and the time and temperature. Yes, it is still functional because you could make reasonable guesses about temperature and just hope for the best.

The problem has always been the timer. My wife has this thing about toasting nuts and we tend to add nuts to a lot of the salads we eat. Her thing is that unless a nut is toasted, it doesn’t belong on a salad. Unfortunately, she has this tendency to set it and forget it. Well, she does sometimes start a timer but that can easily be ignored. And nuts go from nicely toasted to charcoal in the blink of an eye. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to discard a try of blackened nuts.

So we’re out shopping this weekend. Now that the mask requirement is over, shopping becomes an option again. We were at this sort of department store that tends to claim everything is on sale. They also hand out coupons every so often to entice you to come in and save even more. We had one for 30% off the entire purchase and there were a few items she actually needed so we went to said store.

I’ve been trying to replace the toaster over without success for a few months. They had a nicer one with a digital display and we had the 30% off coupon, so it should be an easy call. Except that it wasn’t. I got the same “the old one still works” line. I did manage to break her down by pointing to the nice new display which would actually allow us to select a temperature and a time rather than just turning the dials and hoping for the best.

Now, we are the proud owners of a brand new toaster oven. When she warmed up some leftover pizza the other day (she doesn’t eat cold pizza – don’t get me started on that), it hit her that you could actually set a time and the oven would actually shut off when the time was up. This greatly reduces the risk of turning something into charcoal – or “nicely toasted” as we like to call it. So, yes, the right call was to replace the thing.

Sometimes, you need to just cut ties with a thing – even if it ain’t broke.

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