Saturday, May 18, 2019


I think it is important that people share experience with consumer products.   You get a lot of spin when you do a web search for products, and it is often difficult to make an informed purchase.

I have posted about my Total Gym and highly recommend it – provided you make a self-commitment to use it.   I have had mine for a number of years and use it almost every morning for fifteen minutes.   I honestly feel that my physical conditioning, here in my eighth decade, is due largely to the exercises I do, year- round, on my Total Gym.  The product is well built and models can be had for around two-hundred dollars.   If anyone is interested in the exact routine, I do on the TG, let me know and I will share.


 I do most of the cooking, my wife does most of the cleaning.   Cooking is a creative experience for me, and I like to eat.    I have three Cuisinart products.  A pressure cooker that I bought over thirty years ago.  It is heavy stainless steal and still serves me well.  I have had to replace the rubber gasket one time.  I do not think they make this model any more, and doubt if Cuisinart’s current models are as well built as this old one.


I had a Walmart thirty-dollar toaster for years and it worked OK.   It was a light weight, cheap, colored plastic model made in China.   I complained about the flimsy workmanship for years, but it toasted toast.   When it gave up the ghost, I broke down an purchased a Cuisinart, about a year ago.   It is supposed to be stainless steel, but it is very light weight.   The toast tends to come out dark in the center and light around the perimeter.   It is made in china and I have a feeling it probably has the same heating elements that the cheep Walmart brands have.   I am not really pleased with this toaster and will probably replace it with another Walmart toaster sometimes in the future. 

REMINESS:  My grandmother had the same toaster my entire childhood.  It was heavy steel; you could probably drop it from a second story building and not damage it.   Back then (1940’s and 50’s) they had appliance repair men.  If your radio, or stove, or lamp, or refrigerator, or toaster…  didn’t work you would get it repair.  I seem to remember we had new heating elements put in that toaster at some time.

Two years ago, I bought a Cuisinart three-in-one slow cooker.  I love it.   I can sauté onions, celery and garlic (the trinity) in the slow cooker; then brown my meat with the trinity; finally add any liquid and vegetables, all in the same unit.   However, there is one big negative: The aluminum, removable pot with the non-stick coating is pitted in the bottom.  I have never used anything other than wooden spoons in the unit and I clean it with a sponge and soapy water, yet it looks like someone stippled the bottom of the pot.   Tiny holes in the non-stick: I suppose we have eaten it.  I am going to order a new pot and stay with the unit as I do love its convenience – being able to cook all phases of a slow cooked meal without dirtying other pots and pans.

That's all for now.  The weather here in western Maine in mid-May is still cold and damp.  The high today will be in the forties and overcast.  We have had heavy rains at least two days a week all month - actually we had snow one day last week.  I hate to say I am looking forward to warmer weather, which also means bug season, but I have so many outdoor projects waiting for the weather to dry, I feel antsy to get them started.  

the Ol'Buzzard   


  1. A cheap walmart toaster generally does the job for me, they are (like you pointed out) not built to last anymore.

  2. It's amazing how when we really think of it, we have small appliances that we bought for pennies and they are the work horses in the home. We have a toaster and a rice cooker that I bought when we first got married back in 2002. They are still going strong. But now that I have talked about them, they will most likely break down. But it's nice to know that when you buy something that is well made that it lasts and does the job way past when you expect it to die out.

  3. I had such bad luck with a couple of modern pressure cookers that I absolutely gave up on pressure cookers altogether. My advice would be to hold onto that 30-year-old one as long as you can. I remember appliance repairmen. They still exist, but when they come they tell you the part is no longer in stock, you'll need a whole new unit.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."