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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ode to a Samsung Classic Collection II Model MW3100T

Well, this week, I have no requests for the All-Request Wednesday, and admittedly, I'm a little bit sad about that. But then again, I haven't really had the time to properly promote the feature. August has been one of those months in which I haven't had a whole lot of free time to myself, and I'm trying to do a million things at once. I still take time to write in this space each day though, so take it from me, that's always a good thing.

Anyway, since I have no request for this week, I thought that I would try something new. I thought that I would let the computer decide my topic for me.

I know what you're probably thinking. How can a computer EVER decide what topic I should talk about? Well, here's the answer.

Have you ever heard of the website known as “Flickr”? Well, before sites like Instagram and Pinterest took over in popularity, Flickr was one of the best sites to find pictures. You could literally find a photo on almost any subject imaginable.

And, so I decided to make Flickr the site that inspired this request!

What I did was I clicked on the section of the site that prompted a random picture to pop up. And what I decided to do was make the very first picture that popped up the theme for today's blog.

Would you believe that the first photo that popped up on my screen was a shot of a microwave oven? I had no idea that people just randomly took pictures of microwave ovens and other kitchen appliances and posted them on picture hosting sites, but apparently a lot more people do it than you'd think.

Nevertheless, I came up with a fantastic idea for a blog entry just based on this picture...and unfortunately it begins on a rather sad note.

My microwave oven that I have used recently bit the big one. I mean, it still turns on all right, but the timer recently quit working on it, making it absolutely impossible to determine how long food has been cooking inside of it without having to set off a second alarm. And considering that microwave ovens are meant to cook food conveniently, setting up a second timer to be able to use it isn't very practical. So, I've come to the sad conclusion that my microwave oven is completely toast, and that I will have to get rid of it.

In Loving Memory
Samsung Classic Collection II Model MW3100T

And are reading that correctly. My family owned that microwave oven since the late 1980s! And for twenty-four years, it provided our family with reheated frozen dinners, microwave popcorn, and cup-a-soups faithfully. It started off as an anniversary present from one of my sisters for my parents, who used it at least twice a week for about ten or fifteen years. Then I staked my claim on the microwave and it lasted another nine years after that.

Seriously, how many microwave ovens do you know that have lasted almost a quarter of a century? Not many, I bet? In fact, I often talked about my microwave with almost a strange sense of pride. I mean, that microwave has been in my family since “The Simpsons” have been on the air! I don't even think I've had a television, VCR, DVD Player, computer printer, or refrigerator last that long!

Though, when it comes to microwaves, I'll be the first one to admit that every single member of my family who used that microwave over the years were very careful about how they used it. We didn't set any bags of popcorn on fire, we didn't nuke a cup of hot cocoa in there so long it cracked the cup inside. And we certainly didn't do this...

HELPFUL HINT: Don't ever put metal in a microwave. Ever. And, don't let your Gremlins throw things in there either. It will never end well.

Of course, all good things come to an end, and I've come to the conclusion that my microwave has outlived its usefulness after twenty-four years.

And on that note, I now have to face the inevitable. I have to now buy a brand new microwave oven. And to be honest with you, I'm a little bit nervous about doing so.

If you haven't noticed from the picture up above, the microwave that I used appears quite primitive in comparison to more recent models. I mean, let's look at it a little closer. You have a little button on the right hand corner of the microwave that allows the door to pop open. Most of the new microwaves do not have this feature. All you really have to do is pull on the door of most modern microwave ovens and it will open up without any problem.

And then there are the two dials that are on the right hand side. Dials on a microwave this day and age are kind of like the telephones with the rotary phone dials. Absolutely impossible to find now. I mean, let's face it. We now live in an age in which button pushing is the key to happiness. That's why we have keyboards for computers, remote controls for televisions, and push button technology on almost all microwaves manufactured over the last twenty years.

Now granted, I'm not completely clueless when it comes to using the newer model microwaves. We have modern style microwaves in my workplace employee lounge and they're simple enough to use. They've been a welcome addition to the lounge, especially when you have only an hour for lunch.

Of course, this leads into my next point. Do you know how many microwaves that we have gone through at my workplace since I began working there eight and a half years ago? I lost count after five.

Now, initially, I was thinking that the reason why we went through so many microwaves was due to the fact that they weren't built as durable and reliable as they were back in 1989. I mean, when a microwave only gets two years of use, some may see that as a great shelf life for a microwave. But when you consider that is only a twelfth of the shelf life that my beloved microwave had, it does kind of make you wonder about how good appliances are being built these days.

I know that many people are frustrated with the whole “made in China” debacle about how ever since we started outsourcing manufacturing jobs to other countries the products have simply just not been as good as they were some decades ago. But just looking at my own experiences with appliances, it's hard for me not to take that argument into account.

But it's recently dawned on me that this might only be a part of the issue here. You see, my workplace has two microwave ovens inside of the employee lounge. And, on any given day at my workplace, there can be as many as one hundred and fifty people using a microwave at any given time. That's essentially seventy-five people to a microwave. And when you have that many people using a microwave that frequently, things have a tendency to wear out a lot faster than they are meant to.

Not to mention the fact that not everyone that I have worked with in the past have not been as respectful to their kitchen appliances as my family was with our Samsung Classic Collection II Model MW3100T. I seem to recall one incident in which someone who is no longer with the company decided to make a cup of Ramen noodles inside of the microwave not realizing that they forgot to add the water inside of the cup.

Needless to say, it was a smoky mess, and that pretty much killed one of the microwaves right there. Mind you, that was just an isolated incident. However, the fact that my workplace has essentially gone through a microwave for every year that I've worked there kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies about purchasing another microwave. I highly doubt that I will get a microwave that will take me through the next twenty-four years of my life, and it makes me kind of sad in a way because it seems as though appliances just don't have the same shelf life that they used to.

I guess I have this mentality that if something isn't broken, don't fix it or replace it. I'm definitely not the kind of person who wants to have the latest model of anything in order to maintain the so-called “status quo”. I don't really care about my social class in comparison to other people. I'd rather have appliances that work for a really long time rather than appliances which are only guaranteed to work for a year. I guess that's why I won't upgrade to a new iPod until my old one dies out. That's why I still have one of those big and bulky televisions instead of the sleek LCD/LED models. It still works perfectly fine, so why get rid of it? And, that's why I haven't bought a microwave in twenty-four years. To me, a good appliance means one that does its job and then some. I don't care if it sticks out like a sore thumb. Interior decorating is not my main concern when it comes to choosing electronics and appliances. It's how much I can get out of them

Mind you, the only exception to this rule is when I upgraded my Nintendo DS with a Nintendo 3DS. But that's only because I wanted to play the newer video games. I still have my old Nintendo DS as a back-up in case I need it, and I even still have the Super Nintendo that I used to play twenty-one years ago. It's yellowed with age and a lot more sensitive than it used to be, but still works like a charm.

I just don't understand the mindset of people who line up outside a store to pick up a new iPhone or the newest model of a cell phone, when the iPhone or cell phone that they have in their hands is just as good. I mean, when you consider that an iPhone/cell phone retails at $399 and up depending on the model you purchase, trying to keep up with the Joneses can put one into bankruptcy if one isn't careful. I just don't really understand the disposable nature that people have when it comes to appliances. It's really sad to see.

I mean, has anyone not seen “The Brave Little Toaster”? The appliances in that film were old-fashioned and ancient, but yet they still found a way to be useful to their owner.

Just like my old microwave served my family for years and years.

And so, I bid farewell to an old friend...a friend who made sure I had buttered popcorn to eat during movies and reheated meals from the day before.

You served me well, Samsung Classic Collection II Model MW3100T.  

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