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Stoveless In Tacoma

Digital alarums and excursions.

It was like when you've left the caps lock on in Word, only it was streaming across the touchscreen on my kitchen range.  Err  loctUrnoff sUrfacebUrneRs  accompanied by frantic beeping.  I expected a dAanger wIll rObinson any moment.

My stove had decided to turn on its kiddie lockout function and could not be convinced to change its mind.  Totally freaked by the commotion I turned off the power at the breaker, called the repair shop and sat down to wait.

For a week.

Nancy Leson had a bad experience with her previous range, a BlueStar.  But in the triumph of hope over experience, she bought another and couldn't be happier with it. After listing all the virtues of her second BS she gloated, "And best of all -- so low-tech.  There's no buttons, no gizmos, no nothin'."

Nancy's BlueStar range. Note absence of anything digital.

Sure, I'd had qualms about the digital controls on the GE Cafe gas range when I bought it. But the salesman assured me they were as reliable as mechanical controls if not more so.  And I've been very happy with everything about this range, had zero trouble with it for the two years I've owned it.  Right up to last week when it suffered a mid-meatloaf nervous breakdown.  I called for help and...

A Week Later The Repairman Cometh

And "lo," sayeth the Repairman, "Truly thou hast banjaxed thy control board and must wait again,  even unto the week to come, for its replacement's arrival."  Seeking the comfort of the familiar I cradled my  Toastmaster waffle iron in my arms. Already 10 years old when we bought it a garage sale for $5, it's the simplest appliance imaginable and still going strong 20 years later.  

Credit Stein / KNKX
Doesn't even have an on/off switch. Just plug it in.


                  "Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability."    – Edsger Dijkstra

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.