A Simpler Time?

We sold a set of something to a guy on Craigslist the other day. He left carrying one cardboard box and one plastic bag with all the items in the set. He texted later and said he was missing something and he had checked the entire box. We reminded him there was a bag as well- he insisted there wasn’t- so we ended up texting him a picture from our Ring doorbell of him leaving our house carrying both box and bag. He subsequently found the bag in the trunk of his car.

Before Ring doorbells, Nest thermostats and automated assistants like Alexa and Google things were simpler weren’t they? There was a sense of community and oneness we seem to be missing today. People had to look out for one another a little more.

Case in point, the Honeywell Winter Watchman, which I found amongst our parent’s old relics. At first glance, I had no idea what this thing did. It plugs into a wall and has an analog dial with the numbers 30, 40, 50 , and 60 on the face.

The instructions on the back were too small for the naked eye, so I took a picture with my cellphone and zoomed in. Here’s what it says:

  1. Plug the Winter Watchman into an electrical outlet located on an inside wall
  2. Plug lamp cord into Winter Watchman (leave lamp switch on)
  3. Set temperature dial 10 degrees below setting of your thermostat
  4. Test the system by depressing the red button to light the lamp

And here’s the best part!

5. When the room temperature drops below the Winter Watchman setpoint, the lamp will light to warn your watchful neighbors to investigate

So, basically if you’re in a cold climate and going out of town, this thing lights a lamp in your house when the inside temperature drops 10 degrees below what you set your thermostat to. Additionally, you have to coordinate with a “watchful neighbor”, hoping they aren’t out of town too, when and if this happens, assuring they have a key and haven’t lost it, and they remember when a lamp lights up in the window of your house to take action. What kind of action it doesn’t say on the Honeywell Winter Watchman. 

These days I can just rely on my virtual community: Nest, Google, Ring, Alexa, Apple Home. If I can just figure out which one to communicate with which one…. Ah, hell, maybe I’ll just go get to know my neighbor instead.

7 thoughts on “A Simpler Time?

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