Really?

big box
The big, big box delivered by OnTrac. Each edge is 1 foot, making it a cubic foot.
open big box
The big reveal

| I'm a fan of online ordering since the early days of Amazon.com when they sold mostly books and packed a free travel mug in each box as a thank you gift.

You can shop all you want from the comfort of your easy chair and don't have to get cleaned up and dressed up to go to a store.

I have a problem with kitchen timers: most of the ones you find in the store sit on the counter, and that's the problem. I'm not one to bide patiently in the kitchen waiting for the timer to ring, so I usually go off to do something. Therefore, I seldom hear the timer when it goes off. The solution to my problem, I decided, was to have a timer that I could hang on a cord around my neck, putting me in close proximity to the timer when it went off, no matter where in the house I happened to be.

The first two such timers were a great disappointment. The buttons on one were so tiny that it was impossible to operate. The other had nice big buttons, and only three of them, but it also had an on/off switch that was more like a hangnail than a switch. In any case, it went crazy last week and the digital display looked like an etch-a-sketch in the hands of a blind crab.

So, I went searching for a new digital timer that I could hang around my neck. Eventually I found one at Webstaurant.com, from which I have ordered other things, and clicked Buy.

Imagine my surprise when the timer was delivered by OnTrac in a 1-foot cube. When I opened the box, it was filled with those pillows of air now used to cushion fragile things. Damn, that timer must be bigger than I thought!

Timer in the bottom of the box
After removing the pillows, there was the timer — and nothing else!
timer has a strong magnet to stick to refrigerator
Timer hanging on refrigerator door, awaiting use

I'm sure the shipping carton and delivery cost far more than the actual timer did. Alternatives are obvious: one of those small bubble-pack envelopes; a much smaller box. And delivery by OnTrac was completely unnecessary; waiting a couple of days for it to arrive by USPS would have been completely acceptable. It's not like I was in the middle of baking a cake and needed it to know when to take the cake out of the oven!

It's actually quite a nice timer. It can be set for up to 99 minutes, and count down and/or up. The magnet on the back is very strong and it gloms onto the refrigerator nicely when not in use. The only thing that surprises me a bit is that there is no on/off switch to conserve battery power.

Last updated on Mar 21, 2017

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