Posted by on October 22, 2021

         In my filing cabinet is a drawer packed with manila folders labeled for various owners’ manuals about a plethora of products that inhabit my home.  The folders are broken down into categories ranging from specific types of products to the rooms in our home (“Manuals – Small Appliances;” Manuals – Shed Contents;” Manuals – Master Bathroom;” etc.). 

         Our indoor/outdoor thermometer has stopped working.  It’s been showing us a consistent 72-degrees for almost the past week.  So I finally had a chance the other day to change the batteries.  Unfortunately, that’s apparently not why it was stuck on one temperature, because it still reads 72 degrees (and I can assure you, this morning it was much chillier than 72)! 

         So, on the chance that I might have actually saved the owner’s manual, I started wading through the “Manuals – Miscellaneous” folder.  I found owner’s manuals for some things we don’t even own anymore (a walkie-talkie; an hp printer that I tossed in the trash at least a year ago; even a small pamphlet for “The Clapper,” the thingy that lets you turn your lights on and off by merely clapping your hands, and on which we gave up after it proved to be a nuisance in illuminating our Christmas tree).  Imagine my glee when I found the manual for the indoor/outdoor thermometer!

         Or, more accurately, AN indoor/outdoor thermometer.  After eagerly reading the instructions for trouble shooting, I realized that certain buttons the instructions said to push didn’t even exist on my thermometer.  It was the same brand, yes.  But when I took another look at the picture of the thermometer on the front of the pamphlet, I could see that it was quite different from the one I now had.

         So, it raised a question for me: just how valuable is it to hang on to owners’ manuals when the information is obsolete – because you don’t even have the product anymore?  In the case of my thermometer, it was a “so near, yet so far” situation.  Sure, I found a manual about an indoor/outdoor thermometer with the brand name of the one I needed to fix, but because it was a different model, the information was about as helpful as the cooking instructions on a box of cream of wheat.

         Not sure what to do now.  Maybe I’ll check out YouTube to see if there are any hints as to what to do to get the thermometer I actually own to work again.  Or maybe I’ll just check the “Small Appliances” manual next.

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