Installation of Windows has Stalled

I was told Windows installation should take less than 20 minutes, but these ones have been sitting outside my house all day while the builders sit on the roof and listen to the radio. Do I need a faster processor? #TechSupport

A pile of window frames, factory-fresh and covered with tape. propped against the side of a white house, on a gravel driveway.


[Bloganuary] Toilet Paper

This post is part of my attempt at Bloganuary 2024. Today’s prompt is:

What do you complain about the most?

I’m British. So I complain about very little. Instead, I tut loudly to myself.

But the thing that makes me tut the loudest, perhaps, is when I discover that somebody has put a roll of toilet paper on its holder the wrong way.

Annotated composite photograph showing two toilet rolls on their holster. One hangs in front of the roll, as is correct and proper, and it labelled "right". The other hangs behind the roll, in the terrible forbidden way acceptable only to imbeciles, and is labelled "wrong".
Of all the hills a person could choose to die on, I seem to have chosen the most absorbent.

I’m aware that there are some people who do not hold a strong opinion on the correct orientation of a horizontally-mounted roll of toilet paper. That’s fine; not everybody has to care about these things. Maybe you’ll be persuaded that there’s a “right” way by this post (and there is), but if not, no problem.

But for the anybody who deliberately and consciously hangs toilet paper the wrong way… here’s why you’re mistaken:

  • Hanging it the right way puts the loose end closer to the user, which means they’ve got less-far to reach.
  • Hanging it the right way means the loose end is easier to find, which is especially useful if you didn’t turn the light on yet because you’re not ready to fully wake up.
  • Hanging it the wrong way increases the amount of time the paper spends cleaning the wall, which isn’t something I want or need it to be used to clean.
  • Hanging it the wrong way increases the risk that the loose end is in a place where it is inaccessible, sandwiched directly behind the roll and against the wall, requiring the user to manually turn the roll to expose it. When the same thing happens on a roll hung the right way (which is rarer on account of gravity) a pinched end self-corrects as soon as you pull the roll slightly away from the wall.
  • It’s been argued that your way is “tidier” because unused toilet paper sits closer to the wall which which it’s approximately parallel. Sure (although I disagree that it’s tidier, but that’s clearly subjective): but I counter that I don’t need it to be tidy, I need it to function.
A hanging toilet roll being shredded by a black cat.
I’m willing to concede that for some pet owners and parents, hanging the “wrong” way might discourage curious animals and toddlers from playing with the exposed end. But even that’s not a guarantee, as wrong-way-hanger Dan4th Nicholas discovered. Photo used under a CC-BY license.

I share a home with a wrong-way hanger, but about 13 years ago we came to a household agreement: I’d quietly “correct” any incorrectly-installed toilet rolls in shared bathrooms1, and nobody would deliberately switch them back2, and in exchange I’d refrain from trying to educate people about why they were wrong.3

Composite screengrab from Taskmaster Season 11 Episode 4 (Premature Conker) showing Mike Wozniak talking about an empty toilet roll tube perched on top of a closed pedal bin (rather than having been put inside it).
Like Mike Wozniak, I also have a pet hate for people leaving the cardboard tube from toilet paper rolls in suboptimal places, like on top of a closed pedal bin. But I don’t see so much of that.

(While researching this article, I was pleased to discover that no major emoji font depicts a toilet roll in the wrong orientation. 🧻🎉)


1 A man can do whatever the hell he likes in the comfort of his own en suite.

2 This clause was added after it became apparent that our then-housemate Paul decided it’d be a fun prank to go around the house reversing my corrections (not because he preferred the wrong way, but just to troll me!). Which I can admit was a fun prank… until I challenged him on it and he denied it, at which point it became gaslighting.

3 This doesn’t count as forcing an education on my household. My blog isn’t in your face: you can skip it any time you want. You can even lie and say you read it when you don’t; I won’t know, especially this month when I’ve been writing so prolifically – now on my longest-ever daily streak! – that I probably won’t even remember what I wrote about.

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