Eight More Laws

A strange tweet and a mini-rant to start the work week.

I don’t know why Twitter decided to “notify” me that someone favorited a tweet of mine over 500 days ago but of course I had to look. I was writing about behaviors that should be banned. I had eight of them in 2013, I wonder if I have eight more today. Yeah, you know the answer, don’t you?

Let’s start with the thing I tweeted about today just after I arrived at work. It was Monday. A dark and stormy Monday (I know, but it was raining and it was dark) and the coffee machine was in pieces on the kitchen counter. Someone cleaned it. Nice, thank you, but you could have put it back together. I would much rather have a dirty but working coffee maker than a bunch of clean plastic and metal parts on the counter.

I soon discovered why the person I just yelled at didn’t put the coffee maker back together, I also discovered my second new law: things should be easy to take apart and clean. I’m guessing that the person who cleaned this contraption simply wasn’t able to get it back together. The pieces were easy enough to assemble into the tray/shelf/drain thingie, but it was pretty hard to get that assembly back into the coffee maker. It was like trying to add those generic lego-like blocks to your Lego™ project. Let’s just say it required a healthy “wunk” and leave it at that.

My semi-annual pet peeve in this category are fans and space heaters. When you share your house with two cats and a dog, those things have to be cleaned, because:

There is nothing worse than the first few seconds of a space heater warming up and burning off last season’s accumulated pet hair along with six months of dust.

Taking them apart, though, is a challenge. It seems that in addition to screws that are buried six inches into a slot and screws of a hitherto unknown head configuration (first time using hitherto), there’s always some section that “snaps” together about as well as those lego-like blocks. Hmm 348 words, I guess I should move on to item three.

Packaging – People should pack the stuff that I buy so I can enjoy it when it arrives. I don’t care if it’s a tool that’s being shipped halfway across the country or a donut that’s going back to my office. There is a right way and a wrong way to pack things. Regarding the Oreo Cheesecake Donut Square, the right way is with the frosting and the Oreo crumbles facing up.

Details included – In this day of buying and selling mainly on-line, it’s important to include all the relevant details in your product description. If you‘ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that my wife tends the fire in the wood stove. Sorry, “her wood stove.” For Christmas, I bought her a manual wood splitter. The promotional video showed a woman dressed all pretty and wearing jewelry, slipping a log into this thing and peeling off strips of kindling like slices of cheese. It seemed like a great idea. I bought it. My wife liked the concept. I mounted it.

It. Did. Not. Work.

I checked the instructions. I had done everything correctly, but this thing didn’t work. Then I noticed something at the bottom of the box. Under the packing material was an “Addendum to the Instructions” which explained that the maximum length log is 14”. 14”? Firewood is never 14”. Firewood is 18-20” and maybe, if you’re lucky and get “stove length” logs, 16” but never 14”.

Let people think – My dentist has been trying to get a replacement crown approved by my insurance for several months. It’s actually a much longer story, but this isn’t a rant against insurance – yet. Anyway, they won’t give you a new crown if the old one is less than five years old. I got my old one in 1978. The insurance company wanted to know “exactly when in 1978?” What? Why? Are there some days in 1978 that are within five years of any day in 2014? We had to make up a date because “the system requires an exact date.”

Wait on hold without music – Actually, one of the companies my wife deals with offers the option to remain on hold without music. Every company on Earth should offer that option.

News now – TV news should not be allowed to flash a couple of graphic pictures or say things like “there’s a big storm coming” and then end with “full story at eleven.” No, Give us the full story now, or shut up. Don’t make me go to the Internet.

My first eight new laws included one from the common kitchen at work, so it seems fair that I should include one here. That’s easy. I could probably find eight new laws in that little room. Today, I’m going to focus on the paper towels. If you use the last sheet, replace the roll. It’s really easy. The new rolls are in the cabinet above the sink.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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48 Responses to Eight More Laws

  1. C.E.Robinson says:

    Dan, such practical laws should be “upheld,” “enforced,” with two-three word message post-it notes, or 3X5 cards. I’m laughing at the possible messages, you’d come up with! Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Christine. I did have a field day with the folks that I bought the wood splitter from. They took it back and agreed that I shouldn’t have to pay the “restocking” charge. But they haven’t changed the description on their website.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul says:

    Funny you should post today, Dan, because I got something along these same lines this morning: a reply to a tweet that’s 1,480 days old. I kid you not. I tweeted it on April 2, 2011, when my Twilight Zone page was only about six months old.

    And this kind of thing has happened before! I always wonder if people find these tweets through an Internet search, or if they actually scroll back and find it. Which would really flatter me to no end, of course, but wow — I’m not sure *I* would scroll back through all my tweets. Not that they aren’t all golden, of course!

    And I’m right with you on the paper-towel roll issue. One time I posted a sign in my office behind the roll that said, “Replacement paper towel rolls are located under the sink — and are surprisingly easy to load.” Those who leave an empty tube up around me can forget about getting any cheesecake squares, lemme tell you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Dan, I have to say that I can sympathize wholeheartedly with the paper towel rule. At work, no one…and I mean no one can seem to replace the paper towel roll. I used the bathroom for the first time at 10 am and I know that the roll ran out before the end of day yesterday. So tell me what did people do between 5 pm yesterday and 10 am today…my guess they didn’t wash their hands. I replaced the roll at 10 am this morning while mumbling under my breath. Like I said, great post and keep fighting the good fight. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would be guilty for the coffee maker. I clean appliances but sometimes cannot put things back the way they were. But I always put paper towel, toilet paper and printer paper for the next person in line.
    As always you are funny and I wonder how you come up with these things.
    Oh today it’s probably thanks to the 550 days-old tweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Evelyne. Sometimes I plan these for a long time. other times, people just set me up for a rant by leaving that empty tube there. I posted a picture of it on Twitter with the caption “who does this?” and a friend wrote back “everyone in my house” Thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. marianallen says:

    I like your laws. Why aren’t you king?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. tommotzel says:

    This is the best rant I have seen in a long time. I simply love it and that’s all I have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your laws and want to move to your country.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. loisajay says:

    Too funny, Dan! In the Ladies Room (of course) at work, someone had taped an empty TP roll right over the new roll and scribbled “Shame on whoever left this instead or reaching right behind you to put on a new roll.” Hitherto…..and so it goes…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Sometimes, I wish I had carried a pen and some paper into the Men’s Room because there’s about a thousand rules being broken in there. The sign I’m tempted to write is “this isn’t a gas station” because I’ve seen cleaner gas station restrooms. Thanks for the comment Lois.

      Like

  9. No Kidding!
    My top tweet is 498 days old and I think someone RT’s it every day!
    We’ve only had a space heater since January, and as I put it away last week, I ran the vacuum over the front of it, and thought there should be a better way…I’ll mention that to The Mister come fall.
    Too bad about the wood splitter. That strikes me as a rude rip-off. Like, intentional. :(

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      My wife commented that I’m not supposed to take the space heaters apart. Something about a warning on the box or something. She usually bags them during the summer, but when you fire that thing up next fall, you will know. I called the people about the wood splitter and told them that their description and video seem to be intentionally misleading, especially the fact that NOWHERE do they mention that limitation, except in the “addendum to the instructions” – I sent it back because it cost almost $200. The thing that bothered me was that I thought I had picked a nice Christmas gift for my wife and wham, no dice kid.

      Like

  10. Years ago, I bought one of the first VHS-to-DVD recorders, thinking I could transfer all our VHS tapes to DVD and save tons of money. We futzed around with that machine forever, until finally one of my kids read the instructions which stated that only a certain type of recordable DVD could be used – and we then discovered that that type was not available anywhere in this country nor on-line. So the enticing new toy became just another VHS and DVD player, without the ability to record anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Taking a coffee maker apart and not putting it back together should result in banishment from the coffee room. This is serious stuff we’re talking about here. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cardamone5 says:

    If you couldn’t reassemble the coffee maker (you did, but you said you had to whack it), then I do not know who could. Same goes with the wood splitter. I like these laws and will vote for you in the coming election. This is your platform right? OK, good. Vote for Dan, he’s our man!

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I did get it back together but it didn’t work well. The little flip tray was hard to move. My daughter saw this post and texted me the instructions for proper reassembly. I came in today, took it all apart again and now it fits and functions perfectly.

      I would like to htink that this is the “common sense” platform. Too bad nobody will run on in :(

      Thanks Elizabeth,

      Like

  13. Glynis Jolly says:

    Waiting on hold — I don’t mind the music. It let’s me know that I’m still connected to the company. However, I don’t understand why it has the blast out the eardrums.

    Putting things together is not my forte, not by a long shot. I am good at cleaning parts though. Maybe the person who cleaned the coffee maker is like me. Of course, if that’s true, he/she shouldn’t do things like that without everyone else know the dilemma it may cause. Because of my short coming, I usually make deals with others. You know — “If you’ll put it back together, I’m willing to clean it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I do have sympathy for the person who made the attempt Glynis. It was hard to get back together and I ended up taking it apart again and doing it correctly after my daughter responded to this post. I think the timing was particularly bad. Monday morning, I need a working coffee machine.

      As for the hold process, yeah, a gentle reminder that I’m still in the queue would be nice but stop the music or turn it down. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Like

  14. Sammy D. says:

    Not for nothing ‘cuz these are all much needed laws, but you’ve barely scratched the surface (the surface that can’t be cleaned until someone replaces the paper towels).

    Don’t make me wait till 2016 for eight more; I might be forced to scrounge up a post of my own. You know how I hate that.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Here in India the packing style is different. The donut is packed in a box, like a burger box. Paper bags are not really popular in India.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dan Hennessy says:

    Clearly and firmly ranted ! Bravo !
    My older brother was a great one for taking things apart but never being able to put them together again —- the Humpty Dumpty syndrome .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy Brydge says:

    Dan, I was really enjoying this post… until I got to the log lengths. Then I read “Firewood is never 14”. Firewood is 18-20”…” and I swear I heard angels singing. And sorry, but the rest of the post was just a blur because I was crying tears of joy that somewhere in the world I had a kindred firewood spirit. (Okay, I wasn’t really crying, but you understand the sentiment!)

    Wood is my only source of heat, and I also cut/split/burn it all myself. 18″ pieces are perfect for my stove. My chainsaw also happens to have an 18″ blade. Makes for a good measuring stick when the actual measuring stick gets left behind. Now, I’ve never paid for someone else to bring me already cut firewood, but up here, firewood is big business and I see it advertised in the paper quite often. If you buy firewood in Northern Ontario, it’s 14″. (Possibly 13″, 13 1/4″, maybe even a few sticks of 12 3/4″ thrown in. Apparently “measuring” is too much trouble.) And honestly, I think that’s just stupid. There was one year when I ended up with some blocks that someone else had cut… all 14″. I cursed and swore until every last stick of that junk was gone. But praise God that some people have the sense to know that firewood should never be 14″ long! So thanks for that, Dan. I needed that validation.

    This was a great post. And YES to music-less phone-waiting. Yes, please.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I am glad I wrote something that resonated with you Wendy. I have to add though, that my wife might like some of those smaller chunks. Our stove has kind of a weird shape and the 18-20″ logs don’t fit well. They fit at the bottom, if you’re stacking wood to build a fire, but they can be a problem to add to a raging fire. My wife has a stick, and if the logs are longer than that stick, she sets them aside for me to whack with the chainsaw. I am impressed that you are out there wielding the chainsaw (although it makes you a little scary) just kidding. I guess if we were closer, we could swat the misfits and we’d all be happy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • bryantduhon says:

      OK, I’ve gotta know — why is 18″ a good length for firewood? Keep in mind, I’m from Louisiana so most of my fire-burning has been of the “driftwood/beach” variety.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        For most wood stoves Bryant, that’s the length that fits well. Ideally, you want to fill those puppies up and let it burn for a good long time. If the wood is short, it’s not like you can fill in the spaces so you have open space. Our stove has a funy shape, and 18″ works at the bottom, but once there’s a bed of half burnt logs, it’s hard to add 18″ logs to the top of the pile (the pile that is on fire).

        The other place length matters is when stacking the wood. 1) the shorter the length, the higher the pile has to be and 2) we use commercially made racks, which are 12″ wide. You need some long logs at the bottom or else they fall through the supports and that is not good.

        Like

  18. I wish every company DID offer to let you wait without hold music! It’s the worst on a cell phone – it cuts out and sounds off-key.

    Great post. I can appreciate all your pet peeves!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Peter Nena says:

    Fine laws. I like the one about details. I am a sucker for those. We bought a printer once for the office but the instructions were in Chinese. And once my classmate bought a very powerful calculator but the instructions were in Chinese. He had to learn how to use it by trial and error. I kept telling him it wasn’t so bad because the “trial and error” method was improving his other faculties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Ha – nice touch Peter. Instructions these days seem to be in one of two camps. 1) Really basic and almost useless and 2) Detailed bordering on theoretical. I think they are either written by marketing or engineering but it seems companies laid off their technical writers.

      Like

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