Going “manual”?

0642/16th February 2022

Let’s start again.

Why was I bemoaning the simple life, two days ago?

It will be no surprise that it involved technology.


It was all Hal’s fault.

Hal is my washing machine. Grant named him thus because of his irritating beeps.

It’s a little shocking to remember the 1968 film “2001 Space Odyssey”. And how people perceived the 21st century would be!

Hal was the beeping (literally) computer, of course.

But let me not get side-tracked again.

Hal, my washing machine, had begun to get on our nerves. Load him up, program a 45-minute cycle and progress to some other function…

The moment you sat down: Beep. “I’m done!”

“No, no, no you’re not!!!” Bastard.

Assuming that the laundry was at least wet, I’d reprogram for an additional 30 minutes.

Sit back down: Beep!

After repeating this a few times, I’d figure the laundry was probably clean enough, after all we don’t exactly roll around in mud. But….

Hal would now be sulking and refusing to spin.

So then: add the 9-minute spin and dry.

To avoid hearing yet another beep, I would loiter nearby and Hal would do his imitation of a “time-out”.

Remember I said I hated the Super Bowl? It’s those time-outs that drag on for half an hour…

“One minute to go” Hal would post and 5 minutes later, I’d still be waiting.

Now whereas Ralph, the Roomba, defers to Grant, Hal was treating us both with equal contempt.

And that’s just the washing machine. His other half, the dryer is equally trying.

To get a simple load of laundry done was taking an entire day.

We read the manual. We cleaned the damn thing. We hurled abuse. We fiddled with the settings. To no avail.

“Right!” I said on Tuesday. “We’re going shopping”.

We walked up and down at Lowe’s, viewing modern washer/dryer combinations which was a little daunting. Who wants a wireless washer? Seriously. I should turn it on and off using an app on my phone? You have to be kidding.

So forget those. Even the simplest machine required so many choices…what’s wrong with “small, medium, heavy, on, off”?

Oh alright. Embrace change. It’s called progress.

Really? Washing clothes should be so challenging?

We began to consider “going manual”. My mother was in her sixties before she got her first machine and that was only because it came with the house.

But we’ve been irredeemably spoiled. So:

We selected a washer-dryer combo.

But what we had not accounted for was that modern washer-dryers have different plugs. Seriously heavy-duty plugs that need proper fixtures.

Which my sad laundry room does not have.

And our wonderful electrician who was so helpful and so efficient has bogged off, gone away. With no forwarding address.

After crawling around in my roof on a sunny, 90-degree day to fix my other problems, I can hardly blame him.

What we had to decide was whether to chance the possibilities of getting re-wired for a new washer.

Surely this should not be a problem?

That’s what we thought when we decided to get a new fireplace and when we tried to get the generator repaired. And when we got a new water heater.

And in the meantime….

Maybe Hal overheard our conversation about replacing him. Maybe he didn’t fancy getting dumped.

One day after I had sworn at him recently and programed that 9-minute spin, he suddenly took off like a 747 engine, shaking the floor with his enthusiasm.

So now we hesitated. Maybe a different approach was all we needed. We gave him another go and yesterday, what do you know….how very typical and cussed.

Well yes, we did cuss him. Maybe it’s like oh so many devices I used to kick. It always got them going.

If we can get through a wash without being terminally beeped, we are prepared to settle.

Hal’s other half, the dryer….perhaps we’ll erect a washing line once the ice melts.

Right now we are surrounded by a skating rink.

This morning when I went outside with a light jersey on, I had to remind myself that it is only February. There is a lot of ice around and by Saturday it will freeze again, but we are fortunate.

My sympathies to those of you who are suffering from the effects of serious storms.

6 thoughts on “Going “manual”?

  1. Technology …? Seriously, like you said: What about on/off? While we were camping these couple of days, I washed some light clothes with my hands … so much easier without trying to press different buttons, but hard on my hands! It’s a difficult world out there …
    But on a lighter note – WOW, your pictures in this post are amazing!

  2. Remember when washing mahines had clockwork timers, and just did what they were supposed to do? I do.
    Our latest one has a digital screen, and it is as complex as triggernometry. But I found one programme (yes that is how it is spelt and I know you remember real English spelling) called, ‘Eco’. And that does the job, every time. 59 minutes, and everything is done.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. That’s funny…I wrote programme and was prompted to correct it. I never know anymore what is which or if I am becoming illiterate! And yes, I do remember timers and coin operated machines…ah me…

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