God help me, I can’t believe I’m linking two days running to something Prospero dropped into comments, but here goes:
Rand Paul, senator of Kentucky, says he can’t find a toilet that works. Anywhere!
“You flush them 10 times and they don’t work,” he mourned — ranted, really — during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing recently. None of the toilets in his house work. For years, he’s been waiting for the right platform to tell the world that you use the powder room at the Pauls’ old Kentucky home at your own risk of embarrassment.
We’ve discussed this before, haven’t we? As I recall, Alex has lousy low-flows, and Peter and I have good ones. Ours went in last year, and I have yet to see it defeated by anything I asked it to handle. If I had my druthers and lived in a dry climate, I’d replace the other two, as well. They’re quiet and refill quickly, without the endlessly singing pipes of the others.
But conservatives, to a (wo)man, can never get theirs to work. I think we need to draw some conclusions here.
1) Conservatives are so full of shit they can’t dispose of it quickly enough via the usual means; and
2) Conservatives can’t find competent plumbers. Well, we all met Joe the P., didn’t we? I’m not surprised.
Seriously, though. The Wall Street Journal last week was complaining about the newer energy-efficient washing machines, too. They don’t get clothes clean! They’re wussy and green and well, damn it all, anyway.
It so happens I’m in partial agreement with them on front-loading washers, although I wouldn’t give mine up. More on that in a minute.
And finally, we have Mona Charen — still rockin’ the 1982-era headshot, I see — bitching about her dishwasher not working. Oh, woe is her:
Bits of spaghetti, stiff and stubborn, stuck like stalactites to bowls. The walls and doors of the machine emerged waxy and coated from each wash, in contrast to the gleaming surfaces of the past. Between the tines of forks, ugly bits of hardened remains resembled something you’d see on “NCIS” — if not quite repellent, then certainly unwelcome from what should have been a disinfected, pristine dishwasher!
(I tell my students: Save your exclamation points for 900-foot-tall Jesus sightings. I also think it’s amusing that Mona watches “NCIS.”)
The problem, once again, is “environmentalists” who have stripped phosphates out of dishwasher soap, making them less efficient. I’ve noticed this, too, although not on my dishes — Mona, it’s called rinsing, try it — but on the insides of the washer itself. Let me tell you how I have harnessed that old conservative value — pulling up my socks and figuring it out for myself — to cope with these modern, liberal-imposed inconveniences.
The washer took some getting used to, once our old top-loader died. The new ones are all front-loaders and use less water than the old ones — I’d estimate at least two-thirds less, maybe more. You also use far less soap. Which means you can wash in as much hot water as you like, as you’re only using a couple gallons. This fixes the doesn’t-wash-well problem. My ninja skills in advanced laundry technologies — oxy cleaners, bleach pens and the like — take care of the rest.
(My complaint is that the 90-degree rotation of the tub means heavy items are a big pain in the ass. I’ve stopped trying to wash things like bathroom rugs or pillows. I just deal.)
The dishwasher? I discovered a product called Dishwasher Magic at Lowe’s. Once or twice a year, I run it through the ol’ Whirlpool. Strips away all residue and leaves everything sparkling, like the way it used to be when we poured heaps of fully-phosphated Cascade through the thing and let the chips fall where they may.
So, three modern convenience machines ruined by liberals, accommodated through incremental adjustment in habit and behavior. How. Easy. Meanwhile, consider that some conservatives believe all law-abiding citizens should be packing heat at all times, and buying a couple bottles of Dishwasher Magic seems like pretty easy stuff.
Anyway, back to Prospero’s link, the very first one, from Grist.com. That led me to this page, which explained everything:
The first low flow toilet designs simply changed the tank size, thereby reducing the amount of water used without making any other modifications. These early models had many problems and often became clogged or required two flushes to adequately remove waste. These issues frustrated homeowners, making them reluctant to purchase the new toilets. They repaired their old ones or purchased used models instead. These complications prompted manufacturers to make modifications and improve their low flow toilet models. Most currently available models work in a comparable fashion to older pre-1994 designs.
In other words, a government policy pushed innovation. I thought that never happened.
I can’t believe I’ve just spend 803 words talking about housework. Well, one of my many jobs is that of homemaker. I have room in my brain for laundry, too.
But now the hour is growing late, and I must get to work. Some bloggage? Sure:
You’ll never guess how one Washington D.C. miracle school achieved that sharp increase in test scores:
A USA TODAY investigation, based on documents and data secured under D.C.’s Freedom of Information Act, found that for the past three school years most of Noyes’ classrooms had extraordinarily high numbers of erasures on standardized tests. The consistent pattern was that wrong answers were erased and changed to right ones.
It’s still freezing here, just miserable, but the icebreakers are at work on our part of the Great Lakes. Skip the story, watch the video and photo galleries.
And another video from the other Detroit paper — the people who love the Packard Plant and why they go there. It’s pretty much what you expect, but some arresting images.
So, see ya, then. And let’s hope for a warmer week ahead, eh?