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Laundry the Way Granny Did It

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An Emergency Preparedness Handbook
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Review of
Laundry...The Way Granny Did It: An Emergency Preparedness Handbook,
by Kylie Jordan


This is an incredibly useful book. And it will pay for itself whether you have an emergency or not. But, let's look at the emergency part, first.

Governments have been using tax dollars for "re-elect me" programs rather than infrastructure. And they will continue to do so, due to the political climate. The New Zealand blackout some years ago didn't teach anyone any lessons. The USA underwent an enormous blackout in 2003. The underlying problems aren't even in the beginning stages of being addressed as of early 2004.

Water mains throughout the United States (and many other countries) are very  old, due to the same forces that caused inattention to the causes of the blackouts. These mains are leaking. Municipalities are reporting record numbers of repairs, each year.

As if all this weren't bad enough, the solar cycle is off. Consequently, we are having very unusual weather on earth. 2003 was supposed to be a "down year" in the 11-year solar cycle. But in July, the sun hit us with energy from a solar flare that was 50 earth diameters! We saw record temperatures immediately following that. And it happened again in August. Coronal holes have also been unusually active. This means more storms and more droughts. Throughout the midwest, drought conditions have reached so far down into the soil that watermains are being moved or crushed as the earth contracts around them.

If you don't think you need to be prepared for a loss of power or water, you are in serious trouble.

This book provides you with information to prepare you for one of your most critical needs--how to clean your socks, towels, underwear, bedding, and other washable items when you are without power or central water. Many people now in their retirement years remember the pre-washing machine days. Not so fondly, but they remember. People who grew up with washing machines might wrongly  assume those devices will always be available. They won't. And with this book, you can be prepared.

What about the non-emergency aspect to this book? Here's something to consider. Did you take a class on how to do laundry? If so, you are one rare individual! How do you really know how much detergent to use? Most of us use way too much. Do you know the difference between soap and detergent and which to use?

Do you know why you must wash some things in warm water? Do you know the chemical reasons for this? Do you know why you must wash some things in cold water? Did you know that getting this wrong can mean permanent stains?

You'll learn all this and more from this book. You'll also learn the how and why of sorting by color and separating loads by fabric. None of this information is rocket science--you just have to know it. All of it applies to machine-washing as well as hand-washing. So, it's useful right now--emergency or not.

And, of course, the book holds true to its emergency-preparedness theme by providing you with information on the various kinds of manually-powered laundry equipment, where to get it, and how to use it.

Don't order one copy. Get several and give them as gifts. The people you care about will be glad you did.

Ms. Jordan, we should all thank you for this wonderful little book. Well done!





About these reviews

You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?

I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?

And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.

This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.

My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.

A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.

About your reviewer

  • Books are a passion of mine. I read dozens of them each year, plus I listen to audio books.
  • Most of my "reading diet" consists of nonfiction. I think life is too short to use your limited reading time on material that has little or no substance. That leads into my next point...
  • In 1990, I stopped watching television. I have not missed it. At all.
  • I was first published as a preteen. I wrote an essay, and my teacher submitted it to the local paper.
  • For six years, I worked as an editor for a trade publication. I left that job in 2002, and still do freelance editing and authoring for that publication (and for other publications).
  • No book has emerged from my mind onto the best-seller list. So maybe I'm presumptuous in judging the work of others. Then again, I do more describing than judging in my reviews. And I have so many articles now published that I stopped counting them at 6,000. When did I stop? Probably 20,000 articles ago! (It's been a while).
  • I have an engineering degree and an MBA, among other "quant" degrees. That helps explain my methodical approach toward reviews.
  • You probably don't know anybody who has made a perfect or near perfect score on a test of Standard Written English. I have. So, a credential for whatever it's worth.

About reading style

No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.

Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.

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