Let Inga Tell You

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Is it just my imagination, or do I spend an inordinate amount of time getting stuff fixed? Something is always broken, whether it’s a computer problem, a funny noise the car is making, a cracked sprinkler head, or an ice-maker that isn’t making ice. Even our security cameras decided to fog up for no known reason. Of course, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the stuff I’m getting fixed wouldn’t have needed fixing in my youth because it didn’t yet exist (like computers). Or didn’t exist at my house (like ice-makers, sprinkler heads and security cameras). There was a lot to be said for the era of manual typewriters, hand-washed dishes, ice cube trays, and a climate where it actually rains.
I am lucky enough to have the legacy of parents who were truly kind people and never missed an opportunity to jump in where needed. So when Olof and I realized that a disabled friend with no local family desperately required assistance, we volunteered to help. And thus began the saga I call will Refrigerator Wars. It could easily be five columns but here’s the abridged version.
A few days ago I went to buy my Christmas tree and couldn’t help but reflect on the ghosts of Christmas trees past. My first husband always insisted we get a small live tree, which we would then plant in the yard in what he considered a charming post-Christmas tradition. Folks: Do NOT try this at home! Little did we realize how much those suckers would grow — one to 40 feet! By the time my husband and I divorced, 10 years (and Christmas trees) later, anyone driving by would think our place was a tree farm with a driveway. (I knew I should have had a Christmas tree removal reimbursement clause in the divorce decree!)
On May 21, 2015 a La Jolla Light article queried why 87 percent of people who live within a mile of public transit still drive to work. The answer: They need to actually get to work. A letter to the editor in The San Diego Union-Tribune made a related inquiry: Do supporters of mass transit use it? The answer: We’re trying. My husband and I are two of the biggest supporters of public transit but have concluded that San Diego just isn’t set up for it to be a successful mode of daily transport, unless you have endless time on your hands and don’t have to get to work by a specific time. If you have kids or are elderly, it isn’t for you either.
One true upside to writing Let Inga Tell You for the last 10 years is the opportunity to learn from readers. We’ll get to my recent column about toilet paper in a moment, but first, I’d like to revisit my column from earlier in the year about my brand-new washing machine. It seems I am not the only person who is exasperated by the “smart” features installed in most new washers. “Balance” seems to be a particular problem across many brands (probably not all that surprising since one repair guy maintained they’re all made in the same factory in China).
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LET INGA TELL YOU: Well, after last week’s column, I haven’t heard from my high school classmate Dave Barry’s lawyer asking me to cease and desist writing about him, so I’m going to continue taking advantage of our extremely distant association to reminisce about the Pleasantville High School Class of 1965’s 40th and 50th reunions.
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