Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Bit of A Pretzel: What To Do When You Must Go To The Mall In December
What can you do? Sometimes stuff just breaks no matter how diligent and careful you were in selecting it and using it. Even no matter how hard you looked to find something that wasn't made in China. H. and I really like to buy stuff that lasts so we're willing to pay a little more for something whenever possible and budget permits. So we were sad this past week when Mr. Humidifier just stopped working. Okay, true, he had a good run for 7-8 winters (we're not sure exactly). Unlike our previous Britta humidifier which last exactly one winter, H. never once kicked Mr. H. and stubbed his toe it on the way to bed. Some toe stubbing law of physics that I have yet to understand caused H. to stub his toe on the Britta on a regular business. There is nothing quite like waking up to the big "thump" and your S.O. swearing like a sailor. Overtime, the Britta developed several cracks and it cracked so many times that it was a patchwork of superglue (we really truly tried to work it out with Britta but it just wasn't meant to be). And then there was the disaster of the one we purchased for our office last winter..sounded like a jet plane engine and stopped working after just one week. My point: it's very hard to find a good humidifier nowadays because well, everything is pretty much crapola with a few exceptions.

So we tried "fixin" Mr. H first. After searching Amazon for information (their customer comments are a great place to look to find out problems with specific products), I thought that maybe Mr. Humidifier's water sensor contacts were bad. Not being incredibly mechanical (I have trouble even getting screw tops on and off!), I called in H. who, lucky for me, is very talented in that area. He flipped Mr. H over on his backside, unscrewed his underbelly, popped off his feet, and looked inside the patient. Not good. Not good at all. Seriously, H. wondered that it was a miracle that I wasn't already electrocuted! Rusty badness all over. Oh, brother. Mr. H. could not be saved. The patient was dead. And the internal mechanics were such that the transformer was placed on the very bottom of the humidifier and with a small vent that could easily take in water, this, H., showed me, was very, very dangerous in a "shocking" sort of way. H. stressed that he did not recommend replacing Mr. H with the same brand.

So we looked at each other with horror because we knew what that meant. Research would need to be and would would have to go the Mall. Not the mall during December with all the crazed holiday shoppers! We could order online for sure but we really wanted to look/touch/feel our new machine before buying it. Maybe that makes us machinery perverts, I hope not, but I suppose we just want a tactile confirmation that it won't be a piece of junk. After all, Mr. H's plastic casing never once cracked. The only downside I can think of in regards to living right in metro Boston is that there just aren't any good places to buy something like Mr. H..sure you can find some things but the selection is crap. You gotta go to the ' the malls, to really find a good selection.

So off we went: to Sears, off to Target, off to, well, whatever else we find. It turned out that there was a run on humidifiers so the shelves were almost empty but we did find a decent machine at Target. Somehow this particular Bionaire humidifier is not listed on the Target web site at all so that justified our visit we thought. Satisfied with our purchase, we then turned to the grumblies in our tummies. Luckily past research had been done.

What's a vegetarian/vegan to do if you are in an unfortunate situation aka at the mall and feeling a little hungry? Well, thanks to this great link, you do have options (and there are some horrible tidbits this author shares too..restaurants cooking in lard? Ugh...):

Our latest fav is Pretzel Time. H. actually jumps at the thought of going to the mall if it includes a stop at Pretzel Time. They have many different flavors but vegans can choose the "plain" and be sure to request w/o butter. Sign up for their pretzel club and you'll get a coupon for a "2-fer" (buy one get one free) and that trip to the mall might be a little less painful! As for Mr. H, well, he's being recycled as we speak.

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