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  • Robert Bruce Adams

Keeping It Simple

MY FIRST EXPOSURE TO BLENDERS came in the early 1960s when I would watch my dad and uncle make whiskey sours during our holiday family get togethers in the suburbs of Detroit. I used to smile at the sticky mess they made as they combined frozen lemonade, Windsor Canadian whiskey and tons of ice from our freezer trays (aluminum trays with a hand-lever?). Sneaking a few sips of their concoction was literally my introduction to the world of frozen slushy drinks. Hey, you’ve got to start somewhere, why not with family? I noticed a few sips of this sweet delight seemed to help improve my ping-pong skills – a game I thoroughly enjoyed during these festive holiday parties.

The thing I remember most about the electric blender was its ON / OFF toggle switch that delivered a super high-speed rotation to perform all the blending mankind needed at the time. Anticipation reigned as the switch was activated instantly moving the blender into a high-pitched racket as the stainless blades hit the ice cubes and then in seconds a pleasant whirring arrived indicating the drink was ready. That was brilliant engineering.

But something began to happen in the early 70s, engineers were let loose in product development and consumers were introduced to new and improved features. Blenders began arriving in several colors with dozens of buttons allowing every imaginable speed under the sun. What does frape mean anyway? And, did anyone in engineering ever try to clean the buttons on the control panels? Yikes, what a mess.

My plea today is directed to the newer generation of global engineers.

It is time to stop this nonsense of so many attributes and begin simplifying.

Please start with my TV. I have at least sixty buttons on two handheld controllers and all I really want are a couple buttons to turn on the TV and control the sound. Hell, I don’t even need a handheld remote as I keep misplacing the damn thing.

Wouldn’t that be nice.

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