#290–In praise of that which actually works . . .

You get sucked in by the advertising. You buy it. Then it doesn’t live up to your expectations. It does exactly what the ad says it won’t do (like the kinkless hose). Or it works for awhile before it breaks (like trigger-spray mops). Or is a flimsy replica of what you expected. Or you replace parts, and the product no longer works as well. But, sometimes, products or services actually live up to their advertising and work! Here are some that I am happy with, plus one disappointment and some wishful thinking.


This is exactly what I wanted.

Seiko Wall Clock—I love this clock that I bought online after much research. It is the right size for the location and fits snug against the wall. It does not stick out too far and be in the way of anyone walking up the stairs. I love the Westminster Chimes, which I can regulate as to loudness during the day and have off at night. And the pendulum works just fine.

I had a Howard Miller clock much more expensive in that location for about 15 years. It was a bit too big for the location, but I overlooked that because I loved the look of it. It also stuck out too far and folks would bump into it. I also had to put shims behind it to make it possible for the pendulum to move, which created even more of a problem with folks bumping it. The chimes worked just fine, until I had to replace the clockworks after about eight years. Then the pendulum and the chimes didn’t work. But I stilI kept it for several years because it kept good time. Though, I was not happy with it. So, I really appreciate my Seiko wall clock.

LED Bulbs in Picture lights. I bought a painting years ago for a reasonable price and love it, but it is darkish and difficult to see detail. It needed a picture light either attached to the frame or the wall above. I went over to Eugene and finally found one that cost more than the painting. I got the salesman to reduce it by half. But the light never worked for more than a few hours before needing recharging with a cord. And the whole point was to not have a cord showing. It was not what I wanted, but I put up with it for years. This past year, I bought another painting which I placed in a darkish spot. Otherwise, it was the perfect location. It too needed a picture light.

This is my newer painting located in a darkish spot. The Concept Lighting picture light actually lights it better than it shows here. I am very pleased with it.

A few weeks ago, I went online and researched picture lights with LED bulbs. Most worked with batteries that ran anywhere from 40 to 80 hours. Much to my surprise, they now come with dimmers, timers, and remotes. I bought two Concept Lighting picture lights that go 80 hours on the brightest setting and have dimmers and remotes. And each one didn’t cost as much as the “half price” of the one that I had. I removed the old one, installed the two new ones to the wall above each painting, and they work. I’ve been using them for two weeks at one of the dimmer settings. One is on all day and the other from about 4 p.m. Each needs three C batteries, and I just replaced them yesterday.

Thermawrap advertises to take away the pain. Yeah, sure! It’s the kind of advertising you take with a grain of salt. But with Thermawrap, it actually works. I’ve reached the age where I get pains here and there with no warning. So, when I have a pain in my neck, at the arch or heel of my foot, my knee, or wrist or any other part of my body, I wrap with Thermawrap and wear it for the allotted hours (either 8 or 16) and the pain goes away. It’s a miracle! I make sure I always have a few on hand.


Zoom, which makes meetings possible or birthday get-togethers possible on your computer or smart phone or tablet, is wonderful, in my opinion. I am not one who has to be on Zoom for hours and hours at a time day after day. There are the little glitches when words are garbled for a few seconds, but for the most part, it works just fine. This is so much better than a conference call, because you can actually hear and see the other folks present and know who is talking. Backstreet Gallery uses it, and as secretary, I can watch and listen to the entire meeting on a recording afterwards if I need to, just to make sure I’ve got everything accurate when it’s an especially important meeting. Also, when members are out of town, they can participate. And I love seeing family on birthday get-togethers.

WordPress I’ve used for a decade and it works. Every once in a while there will be updates that confuse me briefly. Working with the text is easy, but It also makes working with photos easy. I can access my photos and place them where I want––left, right, or center. And I can edit the post after it has posted. I need an outlet for writing and this provides it. I‘m very glad to have it. Also, for a minimal annual amount, I can eliminate all ads above, beside, below, or within my posts. Since I don’t want the ads, it’s worth it to me.


TofuKitty cat litter worked exactly as advertised and I, and Sir Groucho, loved it, but as of Wednesday’s notice, they are going out of business. I must have tried 20 different cat litters before hitting on this one just about a year ago. So, I am VERY disappointed

The color was a little off-putting, and the new one will be a more brownish/beige color. But I loved everything else about TofuKitty cat litter.

TofuKitty advertised to be earth friendly because the pellets are made from soy and not clay that comes from unsightly mining. And the pee balls dissolve in water for easy disposal. Since it’s soy, the left over each month easily decomposes in my debris pile outside. And there’s no odor. All of this, I appreciate. But my favorite feature is that there is very little tracking. My long-haired Groucho, whose feet are like a snowshoe rabbit, can mess up the house in no time. With most other litter, 20 to 30 particles per furry foot gets tracked all over the house after each trip to the litter box.

The only down side was that TofuKitty was expensive. But, for me, it was worth it. The recommended company, Natural Paw Tofu Cat Litter, sounds wonderful according to their advertising––with all the good features of TofuKitty––and costs less. So, I ordered some Wednesday night. They will have a hard act to follow. We shall see.


I’m still looking for a hose that actually, really truly does not kink, a trigger operated squirting mop that actually lasts beyond a few moppings, and a lacquer finish that doesn’t sag when applied vertically––like on a door.

It’s absolutely wonderful when a product actually works as advertised!!!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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