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March 17, 2002: Yearn

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The problem with having gadgets is that they keep coming out with new and improved versions of those gadgets. And then your current gadget starts looking woefully primitive and out of place. You start listing all the reasons why you need to upgrade, even though your existing gadget is still in perfect working order. You alternate between guilt for wanting to spend money needlessly, and having gadget urges that make your fingers twitch every time you see the newest release, and your dreams become colored by visions of the gadget du jour, floating before your eyes on fluffy clouds while choruses of angels sing in the background in four part harmony, promising you eternal happiness if only you could possess the object of your desire.

I'll admit to having twinges of gadget envy when faced with newer versions of the Palm Pilot. I sometimes drool over features in other people's cars that don't exist in mine, and that new Swiss army knife that has all the little pieces that were meant specifically for working with computers can induce a wistful sigh. But those are merely passing fancies. Right now I crave something a bit more common. My gadget-induced desires are centered on a kitchen appliance. I am smack dab in the middle of a full-blown case of bread machine lust.

When I got my bread machine, the emphasis was on size of the loaf and whether the machine could handle 100% whole wheat. I ought to point out right now that I have never once made 100% whole wheat bread in my machine, so cannot vouch for its ability in that respect. But I did at least love the fact that I could throw everything into one little metal container, set the timer the night before, and wake up to the delicious smell of fresh bread permeating every corner of the house. The problem is, however, that everyone I know who has a bread machine these days has a much cooler one than mine. They make bigger loaves. They can also be set to make jams and jellies, bake cakes, or even scrub the grout in your bathroom shower. And the best part of all - the thing that makes me positively green with envy - is the fact that they make loaves of bread that look like an actual loaf. Mine makes something that ranges from rectangular to square, depending on the density of the bread. The bread may taste divine, but the shape is a deterrent to most uses, including trying to smash a whole slice in the toaster. They just don't fit. Toasters were not made for bread from my machine. They were built to handle loaf-shaped slices. And since I can't find any legitimate reason to replace the toaster even if there were really toasters that could handle my bread (because really, who in their right mind has *toaster* envy?), I instead resort to coveting other bread machines.

I'm doing my best to ignore the cravings for now. After all, there really is no logical reason why I need to upgrade my bread machine. I've even tried to turn my gadget lust toward something more...well...expected, like a flat-screen monitor. But it's not working. Right now it's a bread machine I'm wanting. The good news is, at least, that in this world of gadget-overload, eventually I'll find something I want better.

Like maybe a new toaster.

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