The things we do for our spouses.
I imagine that Thomas Edison just got tired of of having to run to the General Store to buy more candles for his wife. People called him crazy, and he went and invented the lightbulb. (Not a major problem-and-solution, true, but it was, like, the late-1500s or something so I’ll cut him some slack…)
My wife sometimes leaves things plugged in and turned on. Dangerous things. Like her curling iron. It’s not unheard-of for her to be a couple miles down the road, heading out to run some errands with the boys in the back seat all buckled in, and suddenly — “Did I leave the curling iron on?” she wonders.
The Belkin WeMo Switch was created for moments just like this one. Plug in the WeMo, plug the curling iron into the Belkin, and download the free app to your iPhone that can toggle the WeMo power on and off and thus control the 5,238 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit — multiply by 3 for Celsius, silly Americans) put out by said curling iron. Easy, right? Nope… too complicated. “Too techy… I’ll just call you and you can turn it off.”
Sure, I have the WeMo app installed on my iPhone, and I can open the app and tell if power is flowing to the Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron and turn it off if necessary. But what if I’m on the other line? What if I’m just not available?? What if my iPhone’s battery is DEAD!???
This problem called for a drastic solution. A solution that would justify four years of engineering school and push the limits of what we currently understand about String Theory, Dark Matter, and the beginnings of The Universe. A problem that so many of us geek spouses wait 20, 30, or even 40 years of marriage to encounter… and then take down with extreme prejudice. You’re welcome, sweetheart. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be out back cutting down a tree and hunting down that wild coyote that’s been terrorizing the cul-de-sac.
The solution I’m about to share with you didn’t come easy. Many Bothans died to bring us this information. It took well over 1/168th of a week to test and fine-tune this procedure. Those NASA engineers who dumped all that junk on the table to build a CO2 scrubber to save Tom Hanks in that cool sci-fi movie, Apollo 13? Yeah, they were pretty bad-ass, and I’m certain they’d agree that the following steps probably could have been used in their situation as well. Read with care. Store in a safe, dry place. Do Not Panic.
—– BEGIN USER GUIDE —–
Turning Off The Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron Via Email
(Draft Version 0.8)
1. Insert the Belkin WeMo Switch into power outlet. See Figure 1.
[Figure 1 — The Belkin Wemo Switch]
2. Download the Belkin WeMo app (available for Android and iOS) and follow instructions for connecting to Belkin WeMo Switch. (Consult Step 1 for information on the WeMo Switch.)
NOTE: You may choose to configure the WeMo Switch on the WeMo app with a more descriptive name to assist with ensuring the proper WeMo Switch has been selected for power control. For purposes of this document, the WeMo Switch has been renamed to Curling Iron as shown in Figure 2.
[Figure 2 — WeMo app with “Curling Iron” label applied to WeMo Switch]
3. Plug the Conair CD108 Curling Iron into the Belkin WeMo Switch. See Figure 3. (Consult Step 1 for information on proper insertion of the WeMo Switch.)
[Figure 3 — The Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron]
4. Test Belkin WeMo app for successful ON/OFF activation of the Conair CD108 Curling Iron. (Consult Step 2 for instructions related to the WeMo app.)
5. Open your Gmail account and configure the following:
(A) One Gmail Label – set label color, set name of Label to “Curling Iron”
(B) One Gmail Filter – set From: field to spouse email address, set Subject: field to “curling iron”, set Label: to “Curling Iron”
Consult Figure 4 for example of Gmail Filter Settings.
[Figure 4 — Gmail Filter Settings]
NOTE: If you do not have a Gmail account with a matching Gmail address, stop here. Do not proceed further until you have obtained a Gmail account with a matching Gmail address. Return to Step 5 once you have obtained a Gmail account with matching Gmail address.
6. Open web browser to www.ifttt.com and login with proper username and password.
NOTE: If you do not have an IFTTT account, stop here. Do not proceed further until you have obtained an IFTTT account. Return to Step 6 once you have obtained an IFTTT account.
7. Click on Create to create new Recipe. Recipe will include the following Trigger Channel and Action Channel:
(A) Trigger Channel – select Gmail Channel, select “New Email Labeled” Trigger, set Trigger label to “curling iron”
(B) Action Channel – select WeMo Switch Channel, select “Turn Off” Action, select “Curling Iron” WeMo Switch from drop-down menu
Consult Figure 5 for IFTTT Recipe Summary.
[Figure 5 — IFTTT Recipe Summary]
8. Verify the following:
(A) WeMo Switch plugged into power outlet and turned ON — see Step 1
(B) Conair CD108 Curling Iron plugged into the WeMo Switch (labeled “Curling Iron” in WeMo app) and turned to ON position — See Step 3
(C) Gmail Filter enabled — See Step 5
(D) IFTTT Recipe enabled — See Step 7
9. Request email be sent from spouse’s email account with “curling iron” in Subject: field.
10. Confirm WeMo Switch is no longer providing power to Conair CD108 Curling Iron.
DISCLAIMER: GeekDad.com does not guarantee proper function of WeMo Switch, WeMo app, Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron, or the sanity of its writers. GeekDad.com does not condone any activities that would endanger your well-being, your home(s), your spouse’s well-being, your vehicle(s), or your Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron. Do not taunt the unpowered Conair CD108 Infiniti Curling Iron. Do not use IFTTT Recipe while driving. Some users of the WeMo Switch have reported incidents of rash and persistent sweating. Please consult your physician if you experience loss of time and/or discover any metallic objects embedded in skin after using an IFTTT Recipe. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
—– END USER GUIDE —–
Does it work? Like a Swiss Army Digital Clock. Cue “Also sprach Zarathustra.” (Seriously — click here and listen for just a moment. You’ve earned it.)
You have the power now. The power to change the world. Well, okay… really your spouse has it because you’re probably just using the WeMo App to turn off the power to the stupid curling iron, right? Let’s start again.
Your spouse has the power now. The power to change the world. Well, okay… the power to kill the power. I mean, come on — “Look, honey… all you have to do is is shoot me an email and put ‘curling iron’ in the subject line. So easy!”
I wonder if Edison had days like this…