Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Baby Testing Technology

Most of the time technology these days fails to impress me. It is built cheaply and with a disposable attitude. Little Abbey's illness demonstrated this for me and yet also surprised me. Let me explain.

On Monday, she threw up all over the bed while resting there with my wife so my wife gathered up the sheets and threw them in the washer. Of course she had to do this while also tending to a sick baby who also needed changing and thus she did it hurriedly. Later when I got home and while the clothes were being washed, she asked me if I had seen the remote for the television in the bedroom. I hadn't but I looked high and low for it and came up empty. So on a hunch, I checked the washing machine which was by this time filling up for the final rinse but didn't see it floating about. I figured it would show up sometime and went back upstairs.

Upstairs, Little Abbey threw up again all over her baby piano and one of her favorite toys. It has lots of big keys and one tiny blue button which when pressed, plays music on one of five different instruments for about a minute. She never bothers with the keys and just repeatedly presses the little blue button much to our amusement. After we had cleaned up the piano and Little Abbey, she started playing again with her piano but this time it wasn't the same. The music "jams" up playing the same second long sound byte over and over without end until frazzled parents start punching other buttons. I would think that the makers of the baby piano would have thought of a little baby saliva leaking in-between the keys but evidently not.

When the load of laundry finished the spin cycle, I went downstairs and started throwing them into the dryer. At the very bottom of the washer tub laid the remote control for the bedroom television. It had gone through a rinse, a wash, and a couple rinse cycles along with agitation and a spin cycle. It looked intact and incidentally clean, but I had no hope that it would ever change another channel. I showed it to my wife to let her know that I had found it and took it upstairs to throw on the nightstand. On a whim, I pointed it towards the television and hit the on button. The television came to life. I changed through a few channels and then hit the power button again. The television obeyed every command. I still think the life of the remote will be dramatically shortened and everything will start molding inside at any minute but for now it has given me new hope in technology. A remote control some fifteen years old and now sparkling clean and spun dry is still going strong.

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