Don’t believe the lyes! A few important questions about liquid hand soaps

Like many people, I enjoy washing my hands.

Although to be clear, I don’t believe that most other people like washing my hands, they generally prefer to wash their own.

And in 2020, I have been washing my hands even more than usual. All of this hand washing, though, has caused plenty of hand wringing due to the handful of important issues involving liquid hand soap in the world today. 

So, allow me to get onto my soapbox and whip my crowd of readers into a lather by exploring the sticky issues that seem to be bubbling up around liquid hand soap.

Why are they so hard to open? This is honestly my biggest problem with liquid hand soaps. Why are they complicated to open? Are they supposed to be child proof?

Other people must have this same problem, because the Softsoap company gives these directions on their website:

”Just make sure you tighten the collar on the bottle by turning it clockwise, then twist the pump counter-clockwise and you’re ready to go!”

That does work sometimes, but about half of the time you just spin and spin the top and nothing happens and you are definitely not ready to go.

And about a quarter of the time, the top just breaks so you have to pour the soap out or find a top that fits from a different bottle. Why can’t Congress do something to fix these soap bottles? (I should note that since I am mentioning Softsoap and Dial Soap in this column, I have had good luck opening their liquid hand soaps. The problem is usually with other liquid hand soap brands).

Isn’t the top of the bottle really dirty? Do you ever think about how you touch the top when your hands are at their dirtiest? I guess it’s ok, because you then clean your hands, but I wonder about the germs on the bottles.

Do you have a favorite hand to use on a soap bottle? I can only do the pump with my right hand. The left hand would feel too awkward.

What is the deal with the foaming hand soaps? Are these better because they have more bubbles? Or is the foam actually worse, like foam on beer or pop?

You can’t use the soap in the bottom of the bottle. It won’t go into the pump thing, so you have to try to pour it out, combine it with water (which often just makes a mess) or accept that you are wasting perfectly good soap.

I have no idea what scent/style to choose in the store.  Here are actual soaps from the Softsoap and Dial Soap websites.

  • Refreshing Citrus –What does that mean? Like getting grapefruit juice in my face?
  • Kitchen Fresh Hands – Again, I have no idea what this means. It is saying my kitchen is fresh?
  • Fresh breeze – My hands will smell like a breeze? Or is the soap chilly?
  • Juniper – I don’t know what a juniper is. I don’t want to buy soap that is smarter than me.
  • Wild basil and lime – I think I am too old to smell like wild basil and lime. People will think I am going through a midlife crisis.
  • Pearl essence – That just seems gross. I don’t want to wash my hands in that!
  • Ocean splash – Wouldn’t this just be water? I already have water. I just need soap.

How can I get a job writing descriptions for liquid hand soaps? They are amazing! I am serious about this; I started reading the descriptions online and could not stop. It cannot be an easy job to writing exciting and poetic prose about soap, but some talented writers out there are pulling it off. Here are a few examples.

  • Bring a moment of joy to your day with Softsoap Foaming Hand Soap, Coconut and Warm Ginger. Rich foam gently cleanses skin for a delightful hand wash experience.”  I would like to bring more moments of joy to my day so I may try this, even though I am quite confused about this scent.
  • Here is one from Dial Soap –  “Give your hands a refreshing cleanse with the pure, pink salt from the depths of the Himalayas – and leave it smelling like fresh water lily. “  Wait a minute! They get salt all of the way from the Himalayas just to make the hand soap in my bathroom? I definitely can’t waste any soap now! And what does a water lily smell like?
  • And finally, Dial Soap offers special seasonal soaps, and here is part of the description for one of their summer soaps. “Your family will love this refreshingly tropical aroma that’s perfect for summer. You don’t even have to pack up the car for this citrusy-scented vacation in your hands.”  It’s a vacation in your hands!!!!!! I love that so much. I can’t wait to try that style and wash my hands in it, as long as I can get the stupid thing open. 

The price of progress

Innovation can be awfully expensive.

Now, I realize there are a few good things about progress, but do you ever stop and think about how much we pay for items that used to be much less expensive or didn’t even exist at all?

I was pondering progress while studying the regress in my checking account today and came up with a few items to complain about, I mean to discuss with you:

Phones – I love my cell phone and am on it constantly, but I often think about how much less we paid when we only had phones on the wall. It was more expensive if we called long distance, but we didn’t pay extra for data and it was the same price no matter how many phones you had in the house.  It was actually somewhat of an event when the phone rang.  Today, we rarely use our phones for actual phone calls, and we don’t even answer the calls half of the time.

Television – I think about this one way too much. Growing up in flat northwest Ohio, we could get a bunch of television stations over the air, and it didn’t cost a dime. All you had to pay for was a television and an antenna for your house, and you were good to go. Sometimes, the antenna on the television set would just do the trick. Today, I have to pay for cable or internet, and then I pay for streaming services, too. It is great to have more channels and much nicer televisions, but it was also great to have it be free (or at least much less expensive) and it was much simpler to change the channels.

Computers – I love my computer and use it for work and for relaxing, but it is much more expensive than computers simply not existing. 

Cars – Cars have always been expensive, but with all of the new conveniences of cars, I hate how they can be so expensive to fix at times. Every time I have had an electric window break in a car I have owned, I wished I could just crank the windows up ad down with my hands like I did when I was younger.

Thinking about the price of progress also get me wondering about what items that we take for granted today will be very different and more expensive in the future, or what new items we might pay monthly bills for.

New items added to our electricity or gas bills– I don’t know what they could change with this, but I never would have expected everything that they changed with the phone and cable bills. Will electricity just be sent through the air? Could it include hologram data? (That sounds weird, but think how weird it would have sounded 40 years ago to say the internet would come through phone lines or television cables).

3-D printers – They can build anything! Surely we will all have 3-D printers in the future. You can also be confident that they will be expensive and we won’t know how we lived without them.

Trash – I don’t now how trash pickup could be more expensive, but surely something will be added to it to make it cost more.  Could they also deliver packages? (It’s not a bad idea you know). Will they remove our costly 3-D printer waste?

Robot chefs – It’s cheaper to cook our own food now, but think how much we will love our robot chefs!

Holograms – Will we pay a hologram bill each month or will our employers pay for that?

Jet pack insurance – You can’t fly a jet pack without jet pack insurance.  It’s worth it, though. It’s quicker than walking and the traffic is much easier to navigate.

Musical clothes – I am not sure how this would work, but I currently have music that plays through the light/fan in my bathroom. If that is possible, surely I can have music in my shirts, or possibly movies that play in my shoes in the future. I will happily pay the monthly charge.

Face mask phones – I think they could sell these right now. Everyone buys masks now and everyone has phones. Why not combine them?

Virtual reality cleaning services – Stick with me on this one for a moment. If we all have virtual reality devices in the future and can have virtual reality vacations or adventures, maybe someone will need to clean up the virtual reality vacation homes or other places.

Phones – I don’t know what they will add in the next 5-10 years, but you can be sure that phones will be more advanced, more amazing and more expensive as we move forward. I just hope I get good service for my phone on my jet pack.

When life is getting you down, look up

Some days, you just need to look ahead and look up.

I have been trying to remember that lately, as life seems pretty challenging at times.

  • The whole COVID-19 situation has changed life as we know it, at least for now, and it continues to go on and on.
  • The political situation in the country is insane.
  • And work seems to be busier and busier all of the time, which doesn’t leave as much time for writing.

But here I am today anyway, trying to make sense out of a few things that have been on my mind:

Yellow Jackets  – I am firmly anti-yellow jacket.  I would like to turn my back on them completely, but one stung me again yesterday on my back and it is still sore and itchy. Why are they so mean? Why have they moved into the siding of our house? How can they wear jackets in this hot weather?

Seriously, isn’t “yellow jacket” kind of a dumb name? It doesn’t look like they are wearing jackets. If anything, it should be yellow and black jackets. I have a yellow jacket in my closet, and I wear it when it rains. The yellow jackets in my siding hate the rain. Maybe they hate their names, too, and that’s why they are such jerks.

Leaky pipes – We had a small leak in a pipe in our house this summer. First, we knew there was a leak, but couldn’t find where it was. We had a plumber stop by twice, and he couldn’t find it either. Finally, we tore up some of the flooring upstairs and found the leaky pipe. It was a relief to finally find it, and then we got the plumber to fix the leak. Now, the only problem is putting it all back together again. Which boards fit over this hole and that hole? Where are all of the screws and nails? Do we really need to cover up the holes in the floor upstairs? Can’t we just walk around them? What happens if the pipe leaks again?

I am currently trying to answer the age-old question of “What hurts more, hitting my thumb with the hammer or getting stung by the yellow jackets?” So far, I would choose hammer with the immediate pain, but then yellow jackets for the long-term annoyance. You know what you don’t see very often? A yellow hammer. I think it would be good because it would make them easier to find, since I am constantly losing my hammer and every tool in the middle of whatever I am doing! How do they get behind me every time? How is it under a floorboard?

Election Day is still several week away – I can’t stand the lead up to big elections, and this is going to be the worst year ever.  The political ads are nasty, they are everywhere and they make me miss the days of watching commercials for things like soap, lawyers who can get you cash fast, and toilet paper. Also, why is it still hard to find toilet paper and paper towels sometimes at the store? I don’t get why there are still shortages of items like that.  We can spend millions and millions of dollars on political ads, but we can’t make enough toilet paper. Life is crazy.

At least Christmas isn’t too far away– I don’t want to start shopping yet, but it is nice to think about Christmas now being just a few months away. Who knows what the world will be like when the holidays arrive, but hopefully the COVID-19 situation will be much better, the political climate will be a little calmer and we will be able to gather with family and friends again. It will be nice to think about presents, snow, Christmas movies and to mainly just worry about items like sending cards and figuring out how to wrap a basketball. I hope there isn’t a shortage of wrapping paper.

Hopefully, in a few months, we can think more about spreading joy and happiness, instead of  worrying about spreading disease or anger, and we can welcome friends and family for fun times together.

Now, no one really knows what the situation will be like at Christmas, but I am going to look forward to it with hope, knowing in my heart that things will be better, life will be a little more joyful, and the scenic and serene snowy days of early winter should kill off all of those #*&%# yellow jackets.

What foods do you eat just so that you can eat the foods that comes with them?

I went to the grocery store yesterday only because I discovered we had whipped cream in the house and I wanted something to eat with it.

As I was shopping for one dessert item and somehow ended up with more than $100 of other groceries (how did that happen?) I started thinking about how much I love whipped cream. I honestly don’t like pumpkin pie very much, for example, but if I can put whipped cream on it, I will have three pieces.

I was also thinking about other foods that I really only eat because they come with another food. I am going to share a few here, and we’ll see if you agree with any of these or have any others to add to my list. Continue reading “What foods do you eat just so that you can eat the foods that comes with them?”

Happy New Fiscal Year!

Happy New Fiscal Year!

I’m so thankful that 2020 is finally over and that we can now move on to 2021. What a year it has been! I am ready to be done with that!

Now, just as with the calendar years, I realize that not everyone celebrates the new fiscal year at the same time. This date seems to be the most prevalent, though, so I thought it was appropriate to party like its 2021 today.

In order to get 2021 off to a great start, I put together some information on the New Fiscal Year here for you, along with some additional thoughts and New Fiscal Year’s Resolutions. Continue reading “Happy New Fiscal Year!”

Why don’t washing machines dry clothes? How did we get so many lids? And other important thoughts

Why can’t a clothes washer and a dryer be combined into the same device? Dishwashers clean and dry the dishes. Why can’t we do this with clothes, too?

While working from home recently, I’ve had extra time to focus on important questions and thoughts such as these, so I thought I should share a few of them here with you today. You are welcome. Continue reading “Why don’t washing machines dry clothes? How did we get so many lids? And other important thoughts”

I like how I look in a mask, and several other benefits of wearing masks in public

After a few months of wearing masks to the grocery store and other places, I have realized there are several positive benefits to them, in addition to the public health aspects.

So, along with it being an extremely simple and easy gesture to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to try put others at ease in public, here several other great things about wearing a mask in public. Continue reading “I like how I look in a mask, and several other benefits of wearing masks in public”

Top 5 Tables

I appreciate a good table.

Tables are reliable, useful and, in most instances, stable. They are also incredibly underrated.

While, chairs, beds and even bars receive most of the attention, tables come to work every day and are always there for you if you want to sit down, eat a meal, play a game, do your homework or just set down the junk mail.

Tables are amazing! Plus, there are so many of them that you use every day! I’m happy just thinking about it! At the same time, I can’t tell you how often I hear someone say, “But, Nick, what is the best type of table?” Continue reading “Top 5 Tables”