Dear Cousin Punxsutawney Phil,Cordial thanks for your response to my letter of last year to our Aunt Climate. I think you were right on target and our great aunt has listened to our gripes. Of course, she’s not alone; as you know the U.S. President, in his speech on the State of the Union, a couple of nights ago, did not even mention “climate change” once. Presumably, he had read the letter too and him and aunty agreed to finally boost the production of that formerly claimed “evil-extraordinaire,” the trace gas carbon dioxide, also known as CO2 in the atmosphere.
As mentioned, everyone needs a just climate, with the customary four seasons as they come. Who would really want to live in a climate that does not vary, day-in and day-out? As I think, we all would find it quite boring; what would we have to talk about with strangers if not about the weather? Enough of that climate nonsense though.
Dear cousin, as you will know, with the minus degrees we recently experienced, mid-winter cannot come soon enough and the usually most severe part of the winter season is yet to follow. At this time of the year, some of us are suffering from “mid-winter blues” AKA “cabin fever.” I’m sure you have similar experiences.
However, I’d really like to report about the latest great developments in the groundhog country of Ontario.
As of late, my Dearest, Wilhelmina, was getting a bit antsy. Our (dare I say) 35-year old high-end model dishwasher had developed some problems. It failed to release the detergent stuff from one or the other compartments, some dishes got rust stains on the rim, and my attempts getting it to behave properly were all in vain.
Dutifully (as modern grandparents ought to be), we searched the net, just to figure out what the new models had to offer. Well, even gramps and grannies are now connected too, and we proceeded to acquaint us with the current offerings on the web, of which there are there are plenty.
After doing some “research” for current offerings on the internet-of-things, we concluded that it was a kind of hopeless exercise. For sure, there were more models advertised by more companies than we had ever heard of before. All with photos of sparkling clean stemware, dishes, and cutlery.
However, trying to find the specs with such novelties proved to be more difficult. There was no problem with the requirements for space (width, counter top height, and general connectivity to the water supply and drainage), but what they actually could do was less obvious. In fact, most models (the machines, not the young ladies) were hardly any different from the old one, except for now also claiming internet connectivity.
Indeed, the model we finally decided on, after visiting a real store, where you could actually touch some of the new wonders of the time, we quickly decided on our replacement choice and it was delivered to our place, as promised, a few days later (not by ladies from the Amazon tribe).
As with the old machine, I like to install such things myself, wanting to make sure that all is “on the level.” After managing that, we were ready for a test run. Low and behold, it seems to require an internet connection to download and/or run certain “download cycles.”
Connectivity – it’s critical
These days, internet-connectivity seems to be what really counts, even for dishwashers. Indeed, our new machine flashed a light in excitement about finding a signal from our router. It must have been really happy!
Now, I’m not sure why anyone would want or need to have the ability to activate the dishwasher from a few thousand miles away. Unless, of course, one is an astronaut on the way to the Moon or other stellar object and suddenly realizes to have forgotten to turn it on before leaving home. Really, does everyone need an “escape mechanism” of that sort?
Clearly, the connectivity may be useful to some folks, and it may be a great advance to them. However, I doubt that many folks will make use of that and, furthermore, I have some gripes too.
Wishful thinking aside, after reading for years about all kinds of household robots, equipped with artificial intelligence and soft voices, we (especially yours truly) had hoped for additional abilities to have come with the new model. For example, to optimize the loading of the dishes to be cleaned and, after all that hard work, unloading the machine, collating the implements according to size and material, and stacking them in the appropriate order in the cupboards. There appears to be a disconnect between all the robotic hype and actual progress.
However, one of our (naturally) fully internet-connected IT-offspring had some good advice; he wrote:
To fully integrate your phone with your new dishwasher, you have to put the phone in the dishwasher and set it to “power scrub.” Once that’s complete, everything should work correctly for you.
Now, Wilhelmina is ecstatic …
With Jour de la Marmotte, known to you as Groundhog Day, approaching rapidly, please accept our best wishes, have a wonderful year, good health, and prosperity to you all!
Your cousin Wiarton Willie and family
Editor’s Note. Well done W2,