Note to self for Christmas day – don’t go all stress-balls, okay?

Fried chicken done in baking-soda puffed batter, a home-grown basil pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and Spanish olives, thyme and rosemary infused BBQ baby octopus, apple cabbage carrot and creme-fesh coleslaw, a marshmallow strawberry mousse, pickled cucumbers, and delightfully bitter-sweet Campari cocktails…

That’s what I’m whipping up for Christmas lunch this year, my contribution to the yearly feast that’s replaced the focus on gifting – although we will have a tree (plastic and over 10 years old) and some inexpensive pressies, less than 10 dollars from the op shop I reckon.

It’s at my place too so I’ll have to clean the loo…plus sweep the floors and get rid of the cobwebs, plus put all my clothes away and sort through the papers on the table, oh, and clean all the glasses and find enough bowls and keep the benches clear and synchronise dishes, and greet family guests and get them a drink and arrange all the chairs and light up the BBQ and refill the ice-cubes and keep an eye on the chicken and most of all…

…I’ll try to remember to not go all stress-balls.


Design, built-in failure & the case of the annoying bandaid

When you’ve got able, fully-functioning hands you don’t spend all that much time getting angry at packaging. But, for whatever reason your hands don’t grasp objects easily, a simple task like getting a bandaid out of its protective wrapping can be a complicated undertaking, and far more complicated than it need be.

Because of bad design. Because of the teeny, tiny flap so ungenerously provided to open the inner covering (not the outer covering covering the covering otherwise known as the box). There’s no way in hell my fingers are nimble enough to get a strong hold on that miserly 2mm strip, so, I employ a mouth-based maneuver I’ve developed lately – I grip the flapette with my teeth and pull oh-so-very-smoothly with the tips of my two index fingers (taking care to exert even pressure without veering off to the side) until the ubiquitous bandage is open for consumption.

But my studied technique doesn’t always reap rewards, and the high degree of difficulty makes me suspicious – makes me wonder if the teeny, tiny flap was designed to be close to useless – and not just for people with differently-abled hands but for the population in general, after all, bad design makes good business sense.

I keep my failed attempts in their own special box, a rag-tag collection of unused strips trapped beneath jagged half-opened covers, patiently awaiting liberation via a pair of scissors. But can I really be bothered with all the edge-snipping I’ll have to perform in order to release them? Wouldn’t it be easier to say…just chuck’em in the bin and buy another pack?

It’s ironic that a product supposedly designed to soothe and provide peace of mind has such a glaring and annoying fault. I’m giving this one a big thumbs down.