Saturday, December 13, 2008

It Just Works

I spend all week reading blogs. I keep thinking in the mornings that I'll blog about the day that evening, and at night I think I'll wait until I am thinking clearly the next morning. When reading blogs I find that a few of them have patterns, or types of posts that they do on certain days of the week. Thinks like favorite tidbits, or posting a recipe on a specific day of the week, or a craft project. I am not so organized to have recipes or crafts going to do that on a regular basis.

Thinking about posting on a specific topic clicked while I was making muffins last weekend, though. I was thinking about how much I really like the silicon muffin cups I got, especially the ones that have clown feet attached to the bottom so they stand up. I was thinking how much I like it when something Just Works. As the week went on I thought about things more when they Just Worked. So, I'll see how many of those things I can remember.

First, the above mentioned silicon muffin cups. I got a set of 4 with the feet (Silly Feet? I forget) because they were mentioned in sarbar's posts of making muffins while hiking. Cooking on a backpacking stove requires that there is space below the muffin cup for boiling water. The feet do this automatically. Bring an inch of water to boil in the pot, put batter in muffin cup, set feet in water, add lid and cook. Fresh bread, something that is difficult to come by on the trail. I also picked up a set of 6 regular silicone muffin cups (minus feet). I put them on a baking sheet, using only as many as I need. No worries about the muffin pan having too many cups for the amount of batter or too few, no need to grease. Works well. No more than I cook I still like to have equipment that does it job well.

Another thing that Just Works is the 4WD on the Jeep. I put the Jeep into 4WD as I pull into my driveway. I plow through the permanent mud puddle with ease and I can stop and get started again if I want on the rutted out climb up the hill. No one has ever been able to get going again up the hill if the stopped with 2WD. I requires backing down the hill and starting again. So, I drive my driveway with confidence. Of course, the housemate, the neighbors who share the flat part of the driveway, my Mom, and friends all still have 2WD cars, so fixing the driveway is still on the list. It is just nice to have the 4WD available to me with just the shift of the gears. I also didn't realize how I tense up when it spits snow in the morning as I head (north) to work 40 miles up the interstate. Knowing I have the 4WD made me feel so much better.

There are more, and hopefully I'll blog about them as I come across them from now on. It's good to talk about things that go right. Something that could go in the list, but I'm waiting to give full approval till its in full use, is the new litter box. Since I got the two cats, litter cleaning is a daily chore. Ok, maybe it should have been before. I always used standard kitty litter before. When Nancye brought these guys to me she also gave me a container of clumping cat litter. For some reason I just never wanted to use it with Bazil. However, the clumping litter does go in the Just Works category. The down fall is that with these two cats the litter box is totally full in one day. When I travel the housemate isn't here every day. There are parts of the time he is gone for 3 days at a time. This would not work with the current setup.

I looked around for a self-cleaning litter box. Yes, there are a couple of styles. At least 3. One is really fancey, with special litter granules and you hook it to a water supply and a drain and it 'flushes' the granules with special cleaner a couple of times a day. I considered it, but the reviews said that it takes a half hour to flush and dry and can smell to high heaven while it is blow dried. Hmmmm.

I ended up buying a Litter Robot. It is a large tumbler. You put litter in the bottom of the round tumbler that is on its side on a pedestal and 7 minutes after the cat leaves a deposit and exits the litter box it rotates and screens the litter and dumps the deposits into a drawer in the pedestal. The contraption actually works as advertised. (Oh, I paid over $300 for it, that's how desperate I am for a working solution) Getting the cats to use it was my worry. The good news is that it is being used now. I still have the original open litter box sitting there, but I don't clean it as often. I also have the Robot turned off and start the cleaning cycle when the cats aren't around. I want them used to it before they see it rotate and freak out. So far, though, there is progress and if it does work for these guys it will be worth the price tag to me.

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