Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Washing Up

Today's sinkhole search brought up an ABC news report that hadn't shown up before.  It listed stories about sinkholes and the latest story is a sinkhole being discovered on top of a US nuclear site where a tunnel collapsed exposing railroad cars full of waste.

The site has day-by-day stories of sinkholes in the news feed. For example, earlier in the week a water main break in New Jersey created a sinkhole that swallowed a SUV.   You can watch the video of them pulling it out.  There are other videos - one from Jan 17, 2017 with a 55,000 pound excavation truck partially swallowed by a sinkhole in Georgia. 

My initial interest today is the invention of the dishwasher. I was listening to its gentle swooshing and wondered how it came about. Invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1887, it was intended to do the dishes faster than her servants, without any breakage.  Daughter of steamboat inventor John Fitch, she was wealthy and entertained often.  Like her father, she was 'inventive' - she registered her patent and trademarks and showed her dishwasher at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.  She founded a company to manufacture her dishwashers, which eventually became KitchenAid.  The UK Independent has a picture of her here along with the story of the invention.

If you would like to see pictures of dishwashers from the 1940's and 1950's, then the website is the site for you. It covers topics relating to vintage, classic and antique automatic washers and dryers.  

With the 1960's economic growth, all manner of appliances became common and affordable, relegating dishwashers to the invisible cupboards of the kitchen.

Today's picture is of a Grimsby Beach cottage.  On a house tour last year, I found out that many of these homes' interiors are kept close to their origins and are missing this modern appliance. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Bright Side of Mother's Day

We're on the Bright Side of Mother's Day.  It is ok to go to the Dollar Store to buy a greeting card...what about all the other things you find there.

I had no idea that Dollarama originated in Montreal in 1910.  It started as S. Rossy Inc. and then progressed to a store similar to Woolworth's.  Generations of Rossys have run the store - the most famous is Lawrence Rossy.  In 1992, the first Dollarama store opened in Matane, Quebec, with all items offered for $1.  There are over 1,000 Dollarama stores in Canada by 2015.  Its value has risen 600% since 2009.

One can find out how well people like their jobs at Dollarama - go to and see the more than 1,000 reviews by workers.

I am fascinated by their  ability to sell cheap versions of well-known products.  

"The difference between a classic Dixon yellow pencil and one made by Dollarama is a matter of fine print. They both have green bands near the eraser; they both read “HB” and “#2,” and they both come in translucent packages, sharpened."

Their success is attributed to dealing directly with suppliers, no advertising, cash or debit card only.  And basically there are no returns, unless one can prove beyond doubt something was faulty.

One article identified them as "occupying a crumple zone between frugality and anti-consumerism...The frugalist in me would suggest to look for decorations that are cheap at dollar stores if you were looking for decorations, but the anti-consumerist looks at these as ephemeral items, just months away from occupying a landfill or at best some remote corner of the house, gathering dust."

Didn't I have a lucky day with the gorgeous clouds in the sky above the orchards.  This is at Mountain Street, Grimsby.  I've taken pictures of this barn and pear orchard during the autumn.  And what a view of Toronto from up here.