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Small Things I Appreciate

May 24, 2013

Lately, I’ve been aware of how much I appreciate certain small things.  These are not major influences in my life, but in their way they have made it more enjoyable and convenient.  I’m sure that other people have noticed this too, although their list of small things they appreciate will certainly be different from mine.

I use an electric kettle several times every day, for making tea and coffee.  I like the new design, with a carafe that lifts off the base for filling or pouring hot water.  I no longer have to unplug it and deal with a dangling cord when I’m doing that.  I also like the way the new ones shut off when the water has boiled.  This is a great improvement over the old ones that would continue to boil until they went dry.  Now I can go do something else while the kettle is heating without worrying that it will fill the kitchen with steam.

I have a new toaster in my kitchen too.  The controller design is nicely improved.  I only need to touch a button to make it stop its cycle and release the toast.  Never again will I fight with the toaster to make it stop burning my toast.  My new one also has a bagel setting, also a button, for toasting something only one one side.  I use that regularly too, for bagels and iced buns.  Breakfast is more pleasant now.

I have a new clock radio in my bedroom.  It does what my old one did, but in a more convenient way.  The time setting goes forwards and backwards.  The old one only went forwards, so that I had to advance it almost all the way around to go back a few minutes.  If I overshot, I had to do it all again.  That annoyance is all gone with the new one.  I also like the automatic daylight saving time change feature of the new clock radio.  I was quite impressed last fall when I woke up and found that it had made the change all by itself.  That was a welcome improvement.

I’ve been a subscriber to Netflix for a couple of years.  This service gave me the opportunity to watch movies at any time that I wanted, with no commercials.  I hate commercials!  In fact, I hate them so much that I don’t watch TV.  I also watch TV series on Netflix, again without commercials, and again at my convenience.  I’m quite happy to pay them their monthly fee for this service.

Ah, teflon tape for plumbing joints!  I’ve done a fair amount of house repairs over the years, including changes to hot and cold water plumbing.  With one recent exception, I’ve never had a leak in a soldered copper connection.  I’ve had the opposite experience with threaded joints.  Back when I used pipe joint cement, they always leaked.  It was usually only a dribble, but it was always there.  I had to take the joint apart and do it again.  Teflon tape has ended all that annoyance.  I can’t say enough about the wonder of teflon tape.

I’ve been reading books on an electronic reader lately, starting with the free books.  Two books I greatly enjoyed were Sherlock Holmes short stories.  Each chapter is a complete story.  Each one built up a complicated series of facts but the mystery was solved by the end of the story.  I could read the whole story in one day, so that I only had to remember all those facts, and enjoy the story, over the course of the day.  I already have enough real facts cluttering up my mind that I didn’t need invented ones in addition.  Sherlock Holmes solved that problem for me.

These days, any time I have a question, I do a web search to find the answer.  I still have a dictionary on my bookshelf.  I still have books and manuals and directories.  I also have all kinds of information that I’ve accumulated in files on my computer.  I don’t use any of these as much anymore because a web search is quicker and usually gives me what I want.  I know I’m late to this game.  Web searches are indeed another small thing that I have grown to appreciate.

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