Defending The Weather

Weather forecasters on radio and television are always apologizing about the weather, when most of the time the weather’s just doing what comes naturally.  

Specific weather patterns occur during certain times of the year.  And sometimes each of these patterns lasts a big longer, or doesn’t last as long as usual.  It’s not a surprise. 

In a region famous for its fog, our forecasters say, sadly, ”No sun tomorrow morning.  Maybe later in the day.”  Some of us aren’t sad about the fog.  Some of us look forward to it slipping onshore and staying around for as long as it wants to. We live in a fog belt.  We don’t expect sunshine every morning.

Take the weather in a region that enjoys a full range of winter-related behavior – sleet and hail and cold and wind and rain.  When I’m visiting and watching/listening I always wonder why weather people feel the need to complain when they predict more of the same over a period of months.  Winters have been cold and wet for as long as anyone can remember. 


In southern California, where some of my friends are in charge of reading the forecasts – and where I once handed out my share of same to audiences – whenever much-needed rain appears (and it’s not that many days out of a year) someone invariably expresses eagerness for the sun to return.  Southern California is a desert.  The sun will be back soon. 


The only people regularly expressing surprise at these regular occurrences are weather forecasters. 



Ó Anita Garner 2008


Extended Warranties – A Troubling Concept

I’m suffering from a recurring condition:  Extended Warranty Resentment.  I’m offended at the notion of buying insurance that seems to bet on a brand new item dying too quickly. 

I don’t expect a plastic item that costs $1.00 to last forever, though some do, but extended warranties remind me of the planned obsolescence theory, and that’s not a pleasant thought.

Remember when we first learned about engineered extinction? When we went to buy our first new car, older and wiser friends gathered ’round to tell us that no matter what we paid for the thing, it was programmed to be obsolete at a certain point.  They said that no matter how well we maintained this shiny new car, it wasn’t going to last nearly as long as we thought.

So – we began to buy the extended coverage against all manner of mechanical ills that, it seems to me, we shouldn’t have to expect so soon.

Then the extended warranty sales pitch attached itself to our new appliances. No more do we pass down a refrigerator to the next generation. (Not that they’d want our old one, but it used to be an option.)  Today we buy a brand new one with bells and whistles, and at the same time, we buy an insurance policy. It’s a reminder that this beautiful new kitchen companion is likely to begin breaking down soon.  I take that very personally. 

I object to the notion that the manufacturer doesn’t warrant every product.  I expect when I buy something with movable parts that costs $50 or more that the manufacturer will have tested it under all kinds of conditions and barring some freak occurrence the manufacturer should give us a realistic estimate, based on their tests, of how long the movable parts will function.

I’d rather see pricing that reflects the realistic life of the product.  Adjust prices if we must, but do away with buying insurance on something that’s brand new.  

I can barely afford the insurance that pays somebody else when I expire.  I need to take better care of my own movable parts in order to get every possible premium discount.  

When we give in to sales pressure and purchase the extended warranty at the same time we buy the product, aren’t we taking on the maker’s responsibility?  No religious reference intended.

Ó Anita Garner 2008