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Commodities that have no first rate
I was delighted with the news, in a recent posting of Snousle's, that high-class toaster ovens exist.  They are expensive, but toaster ovens are not the kind of thing I would need a mortgage on.  I will probably look them up when my current Black & Decker expires.  It has given me good service for 11 years, but I dare say its days are numbered.  I had thought of toaster ovens as belonging to a class of commodities that have no high end, and am glad to find I was mistaken, or at least am mistaken by now.

Similarly, it used to be that there was no such thing as a first-rate T-shirt.  In particular, none of them were long enough to allow for shrinkage; they wouldn't stay tucked in after they had been washed a few times.  In recent years, however, some of the manufacturers have cottoned to the situation, and some vendors actually offer a choice of lengths for the variety of torso shapes.

It still appears that there are no luxury electric frying pans (or grills, or whatever).  A properly designed one would have a finely distributed heating element (not just one loop) to provide spatially uniform heating, and the control would not be a thermostat, but a variable transformer so that I could set a uniform current at any level.  That would be expensive, and I suppose the idea is, if you are in the market for an electric frying pan, you don't have much money.  (Stovetop cookware, of course, comes in many degrees of fanciness.  I once heard of someone who owned a sterling silver omelet pan.)

Having no car, I give my shopping--laundry cart heavy use, and I would be willing to pay a premium for a good one.  I managed to extract from the Web one that is much tougher than anything I could find in a store, but I have already had to replace one of the wheels (I saved the wheels from previous carts), and I suppose the welds will come loose in due time.  Also, it has no swivels.  (I once bought one that had swivels, but it turned out to be too small & to take all my strength to steer it.)

For a while (1964--1972) I did have a car, and I used to wonder why you couldn't buy a muffler & exhaust pipe that were lined with some refractory material & wouldn't rust out.  What you got by paying extra for a car was mainly showoff stuff.  Perhaps by now there is sufficient prevalence of sense among car buyers to make a market for such a thing; I haven't kept up with the business.


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