Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I have a couple of new favorite places, both of which floated, cream-like, to the top of the milk glass of my life this past week.

Disclaimer: Madison, Wisconsin, still holds large pieces of my heart. There's still no place like Woodman's. There's still no place like Dotty Dumpling's Dowry. Or Brennan's. But thinking about that from this far away -- well, it just doesn't do any good. So I'm trying to move on and do the best I can with the cards I've been dealt.

Anyway, the new Winco opened a while ago in Orem and it's really, by local standards, a pretty nice store. Prices, selection, ambiance, all above average. Also, Smashburger, a Denver-based hamburger franchise, also recently opened in Orem and, by golly, their burgers are pretty good. Gives In-n-Out reason to fear.

But what sealed the deal for both of these establishments was what I found in the restrooms: the world's most nearly perfect hand dryer, the Xlerator. I thought perhaps I had left these wonderful machines far behind in Wisconsin, as the only other one I knew about was in Woodman's in Madison.

Why all this bother about a hand dryer? For one thing, because it actually works. It dries your hands completely. Honest. But for another thing, they're just cool.

You know how the Mythbusters always examine a myth like, "mixing gasoline and alcohol by your water heater can blow your roof clean off" and when they find out that no, it doesn't blow your roof off, it just picks it up and moves it over a few feet, they then ask the fateful questions, "Well, what would it take to blow the roof clean off?" And then the fun starts?

The Xlerator is what would happen if the Mythbusters took on the question, "Do lavatory hand dryers ever really get your hands dry? And if so, would they have to deform your hands permanently to do it? Could it actually remove the tissue from the bones?"

Yeah. I like 'em. I like 'em a lot.