Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Paeans of Praise for Appliances and Appliance-Related Services

Cousin Lucy's Spoon's sitemeter shows an amazing spike this week, probably thanks to links from adloyada and moleskiners. Welcome, newbies! For you, I've been more energetic than usual in linking to (barely) related previous posts.

Sixteen years ago, at the end of January 1990, I moved into my present home and received my shipping container of furniture and appliances. (If you want to know why I moved to Israel in the first place, my series on that subject is here, here, here, and here.)

Now it seems to be Awards Season in the blogosphere, so I would like to give a few awards of my own. By writing this I suppose I am tempting the Fates, but given that the items mentioned are still in working order (tfu, tfu, tfu) I would like to publicly thank the following:

Aryeh at ABC Trading Company on Canal Street in Manhattan, who calmly advised me for several hours, even as his dragon-mother snarled in the background. Aryeh had previously performed a stand-up comedy routine about Israeli electricity, water systems and the wonders of transformers to a group of us wanna-be immigrants that convinced me he had been born too late: the Catskills in the 1940's should have been his pathway to Hollywood. Only one surprise: why did the portable radio turn out to be red?

Amana for making a boring and dependable refrigerator/freezer that stolidly keeps everything cold and makes hefty American-size ice cubes, even though its rear end was too fat for the trapezoidal space in my kitchen that I naively thought was a rectangle (silly me for assuming right angles on any wall in my apartment.) After chipping away some beautiful tiles to free up about 1/8 inch of wall space, we were able to squeeze the fridge into place. I wonder what the floor behind it looks like after 16 years?

AEG for my workhorse front-loading washing machine that takes 2-3 HOURS to plod its way through a rather small load. The lethargic pace is because, as Aryeh explained with eye-rolling, it heats its own water, and that takes time, depending upon how hot you want your washing water to be. This machine was designed to give a full-time laundress something to do now that her scrubbing chores have been automated: manual control switches must be operated in real time or the rinse cycle won't happen, the draining of rinse water won't happen, and the child-safety door lock won't open. But the clothes get really clean. They have to.

Philips for my stackable workhorse clothes dryer, which unlike its AEG washing machine-cum-pedestal has exactly ONE control: a timer. When you close this dryer's front door and set its timer for anything other than zero minutes, it starts to dry! The Philips people obviously wanted to give some dignity back to the children humiliated by being locked out of the AEG described above but installed below.

Grundig for my multi-system sort-of color TV that accompanied me to my first home: the immigrant dormitory/hostel I arrived at long before I found my apartment. My few remaining TV-loving friends enjoy laughing the size of its screen, which is only slightly smaller than my (standard) desktop computer screen. As it ages, the picture tube has developed a cataract-friendly fuzziness, accelerating its imminent demise. Ever since I jettisoned cable service, it has served as a DVD/VCR monitor. I am hoping Internet Video improves before the Grundig becomes terminal (ha, ha…that's kind of a pun).

Kenwood for my all-purpose kitchen motor: it's a mixer, a kneader, an egg-white whipper, a blender, a food processor, and a juice-squeezer. It also has a meat-grinding attachment that I confess I've never used, but if the day comes that I want to make my own stuffed derma I am sure the grinder would help. And the whole thing fits into the magic disappearing elevator drawer built by my predecessor.

Note: During these years I have replaced my original computer three times.


OldHorsetailSnake said...

Good service from the troops, I'd say.

(Lucy, 3 of the 4 "here, here, here and here" links don't work. Can you fix? I'd like to read same. The only one that worked was the second "here". Thanks.)

Savtadotty said...

Hoss, I fixed those links. Thanks for letting me know.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I haven't read the links yet, but will.

I'm impressed with the quality of the things you took with you. Except for the computer of course. And where was it made?

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I read all the "moving to Israel" links. Glad I did.

Savtadotty said...

TLP - At the time I moved, there was an enormous luxury tax on appliances, but it was waived for new immigrants. So it made sense for us immigrants to buy the best we could afford, thinking that the cost of replacements would be astronomical. Even though the taxes have come way down, I don't regret these "loyal troops," as Hoss calls them.

In fairness, the computers use much newer electronic technology and they are much more complicated, so even when they didn't exactly break, they became obsolete even as they continued to perform their original functions. For example, the first one was a Compaq dual-floppy with no hard drive. Definitely not suitable for Internet stuff. Washing clothes and refrigerating food are old functions.

WMUD962P said...

Wow, Fantastic article, it’s so helpful to me, and your blog is very good,