Gambling with the Laundry

Ok, I admit it I am a complete technology geek. I am always looking for some excuse to trick out my life with the latest gadget. In most cases my quest for the ultimate device only impacts me and I can therefore justify being on the bleeding edge of technology. Sometimes my desire to add technology to my life affects others and that is usually when I get into trouble.

The person who seems to be impacted the most for my quest for technology nirvana is my poor wife Trina. I cannot tell you how many times she has come home to find out that I have technologize another part of her life that she was completely content with before my added gadgetry.

There was the time that she went to visit family only to come home and find out that I had somehow attached all of the electrical outlets in the house to my computer so that I could turn the lights on and off from my desk.

196687633mede500vwThat sounds like a cool idea or at least it did when I started but as usual I took the idea just a tad too far and soon you could only control the outlets from the computer and even then the user interface was not done so she had to memorize strings of code to enter into the computer in order to dry her hair. It was shortly thereafter that I had to remove the technology and send us back into the stone age of managing electricity.

When our washer and dryer failed earlier this summer I saw it as a perfect time to add additional technology to our house. I could envision starting the washer or checking the status of the dryer via the Internet and have a new page on my personal web site that would show up-to-the-second how the laundry was doing.

Trina just cringed when I showed her my purchasing criteria for a new washer and dryer. All she wanted was something that was easy to use that would get our clothes clean and tell her when they were ready to be hung up.

I couldn’t understand how she could settle for something so archaic. I mean I may as well get her two rocks that she can smack the dirt out down at the stream. We were obviously far apart on what we thought we needed to clean our clothes.

As we went shopping I had my list and at each store I would begin questioning the salesman as to whether the dryer had wireless capability or if I could do packet analysis on the data that the washer was using to process our clothes.

Strangely there is not a washer or dryer on the market that has built-in Ethernet. Further the salesmen I spoke with eluded that I was the only person ever to ask whether their laundry could be network aware.

We settled upon the Maytag brand. Trina liked the features and I figured any washer and dryer I could drive a monster truck over the top of should last. I was disappointed when they told me they would not be delivering the washer and dryer in a monster truck but I got over it when they showed me the refrigerator with the flat panel display and internet connectivity. No, Trina would not let me get it.

The washer and dryer were delivered and set up and Trina has been happy with them. I have been happy because she hasn’t let me touch the appliances meaning I have somehow been excused from laundry duty.

This weekend though Trina had to be away and left me in charge of the laundry; a situation she would later regret. Trina had left instructions that I was just to move the laundry that had finished their wash cycle to the dryer and turn it on.

I could see too problems with her instructions. First I wasn’t exactly sure which one was the washer and which one was the dryer. Second, there are more buttons and dials on these appliances than on the lunar lander of an Apollo moon mission.

I figured I had a 50/50 chance of picking the right one. If I opened the door and there were clothes that were wet that was probably the washer. It only took me two tries to figure out which one was the washer.

I removed the wet clothes from the washer and put them into the dryer. I also took this opportunity to mark each device with post-it notes so that I would not have to make an appliance guess again.

I pressed the on button on the dryer and it came to life. It began flashing lights and making all kinds of electronic noises. I wasn’t quite sure whether I had started the dryer or somehow put the device in slot machine mode.

Although there was no handle on the side of the appliance there were flashing lights. I pushed what I think was the “bet all coins” mode and pressed the biggest button I could find on the faceplate.

Like any good slot machine it began spinning. I stood there watching it when one of the kids wandered through and asked what I was doing. I explained that I had just put the quarters I found in the washer into the dryer and was now waiting to see if I won anything.

The kids started laughing and left. They might not be laughing if I end up hitting a jackpot and cash starts flowing out of the dryer vent. After about 30 minutes of this game I was out of change and all I had was a bunch of half-dried clothing full of change.

The good news is that Trina came home and after I explained my dilemma she assured me that I would never have to do laundry again.

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