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The wonders of Japanese engineering

Before we get started, this post has nothing to do with Toyota braking issue recalls.  My last three personal vehicles have been Toyota.  I don't think any one company or country has a monopoly on automobiles that are deathtraps, especially now in the age of outsourcing and globalization.  It isn't that long ago that people were burning to death with exploding gas tanks in Ford Pintos, rolling over in Suzuki Samurais, or having their Ford vehicles with Firestone tires blow out and causing massive accidents.  Anyways...

(Photo Courtesy of Giovanni Spina on Flickr)

Last weekend we made the trip to Costco to purchase some groceries and pick up a new cordless phone for the house.  The last unit we had was purchased sometime in the 2003/2004 time frame after then-puppy Hazel had brutally destroyed one of the handsets from our VTech cordless and Duke had chewed most of the plastic off another handset.  The last phone was another Costco purchase and was chosen because it was inexpensive and the model that they had in the store that week.  That Panasonic phone set endured countless handling atrocities such as having the handsets dropped hundreds of times on concrete, tile and laminate flooring.  While the handsets avoided the dog chew toy treatment that the last phone endured, they had been carried or munched on to some extent.  The final nail in the coffin for this fine example of Panasonic engineering happened to come from our cat Oprah.  As a cat with diabetes, she sometimes communicates her displeasure through the fine art of urination.  So we ended up buying a similar Panasonic model at Costco for $60 USD.  Note to Panasonic test engineers: Make sure your phone circuitry passes the cat urine test.  (Yahoo! Babel Fish tells me that it is this in Japanese: あなたの電話回路部品のパスを猫の尿検査確かめなさい ).  We are more than happy to provide Oprah as a "consultant" for a small fee.

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