Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I Like Apple and Bathroom Cleanliness Scales

So, several months ago (around the beginning of the school year) I bought an iPod nano because I had lost the one before (if you're counting, that's one lost, two stolen, one washed, one broken under my thigh when I dived during a youth group volleyball game). Well, anyway, this was the new iPod nano, and it looked pretty great. It was small and had a built in clip great for running. Here's a looksie:

However, I soon found a couple flaws:
1. It's a touch screen, so when you want to switch to the next song, you have to press a button and then touch the screen at a certain small place where the next arrow is. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to do while you are running or engaged in any physical activity. It becomes almost some type of advanced physical training to be able press the button, find that specific small spot on the iPod, keep running at a similar pace, all while avoiding running into anything in front of you.
2. When you listen to the latest podcast on a list, it stops rather than going to the next one. If you're listening to something shorter like "The Writer's Almanac," you want to listen to a bunch in a row; this design made it difficult.

However, one day I plugged in my iPod and found a manufacturer's update waiting to be downloaded. Upon downloading, I found that they had fixed both of these problems! I try not to get sucked into all the Apple hysteria, but they are pretty great sometimes.

I want to create some type of website, kind of like Angie's List or yelp, where germaphobes can go and rate public bathrooms in stores/restaurants on a cleanliness scale. It would be rated on a five soap bar scale. You would gain points for:
-no-touch faucets, flushers, and hand dryers...bonus points for no touch soap dispenser.
-doorless entry/exit. These are most often seen in airports and make for easy access without having to touch nasty handles. I mean, obvious points are lost if there is no 90 degree hallway turn that hides the bathroom from the general public outside.
-if you must have a door, at least put a garbage by the door so I can use the paper towel to open the door. If you have no-touch hand dryers and a door, you're really hanging people out to dry (you better believe that pun was intended!).
-cleaning schedule posted on the door. It makes one feel good to know this bathroom was cleaned a half-hour ago.

You would lose said points for:
-anything besides tile on the floor.
-overflowing garbage cans.
-those nasty pull-down cloth towels that loop back up into the dispenser. No amount of money can convince me that it doesn't just circle back around to the next guy.
-faucets that must be held to keep the water running. How is one supposed to wash their hands when they are holding on to the faucet at the same time?
-Obviously, many other extraneous circumstances could cause you to lose significant points.

I was going to put a picture of a dirty public restroom on here, but I couldn't look at the pictures on google images without feeling the gag reflex making its presence known.

I'm on my first day of Spring Break and feeling pretty good about getting a good start on my fourth chapter and the bulletin for Sunday. I'm trying to get as much done as I can before I head on a mini-senior retreat with Jen McDonald and Kelly Johnston to Paw Paw, MI, made famous by This American Life's "Road Trip" episode in which a hitchhiker puts her head out of the window and shouts, "Paw Paw for Jesus!" I'm very excited to get out of the city for a few days and relax. We'll see how that goes.

Anway, just living the dream in the meantime: watching Fellowship of the Rings, making tea, blogging, and working on the church bulletin all at the same time. Later.


  1. I worked at a place once that installed no-touch soap dispensers but left the regular faucets. I mean, really, what's the point of having a no-touch soap dispenser if you still have to touch the faucet?

  2. You described my ideal bathroom, and so may bathroom pet peeves. There is a bathroom at work (in a HOSPITAL!) where you need to push the faucet handle and then wash your hands quickly while it is still running, or else put your clean hands BACK on the DIRTY faucet handle in order to wash the rest of the soap off. Drives me nuts!

    And I totally agree with Amy (or Andrew?).

    I also can't stand it when there are the air hand dryers and no paper towel dispensers, and the faucet is not no-touch. Gross.

    Who designs these bathrooms anyway? I think we could all be bathroom design consultants.