The knife is one of the things in my life that “works.” Many years ago, NPR had a brief series in which they invited listeners to send in an appreciation for something that worked in a satisfying way –- that delivered as promised (especially in a world where so many shoddy things are so frustratingly unsatisfying). It could be anything. I didn’t participate in that series, but today I would submit my little knife.
Or, I might send in a paean to my lawn mower. Twenty years ago I bought a bright orange Ariens lawn mower from a local dealer. When I see him, I sing the praises of my Ariens and I tell him that I’ve considered changing the oil, but I don’t want to jinx it. He responds with a sigh like the Maytag repairman. I love my Ariens. It works. (I’ve heard that if I buy an Ariens today from a big-box store I will discover a diminished quality. I hope that’s not true.)
But my appreciation is not limited to the tool shed. I’m happy to report that my iPod Touch works. Superbly. Not counting the books I’ve downloaded with my iPod Kindle app, I calculate that the ¼” depth of the Touch replaces at least eighteen inches of tomes and gadgets I would otherwise have to carry around: Dictionary, Bible, date book, memo pad, newspaper, laptop, CD player, etc. And in every application the Apple gods have delivered as promised. (I am intrigued by the question of what we lose when we gain such wonders – another issue for another time.) I’ve now read a number of books on iPod, and I agree with author Nicholson Baker who, in a review article in the New Yorker, didn’t like the Kindle very much but loved the iPod Kindle app. If you wrap the pod into a leather wallet or case, the feel in the hand even becomes quite book-like. It works.
Alas, if only I had a reader for this blog, I could ask for your submissions of what works for you. We could have a little exchange of ideas.