Re: Discover the target audience

1

Must be Americans. I think British people say "partner" instead of "wife" nowadays.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:22 PM
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My neighbor still gets his dry cleaning old fashioned way, they leave it hanging inside the storm door.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:26 PM
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3

Also:

How much does my laundry weigh?
Our average order is 15 to 20 pounds. That is about two weeks worth of dirty laundry. A full hamper is about 20 pounds. If it is overflowing, it's about 30 pounds. If you have a scale at home, you can weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your laundry and the difference is the approximate weight.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:29 PM
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3: That's how I got a weight for the baby after he got too big for the produce scale at Whole Foods.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:32 PM
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5

2 His doorman doesn't take it?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:36 PM
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I wonder what tiny percentage of living situations endowed with doormen also feature storm doors. And then I wonder what percentage of those have their storm doors facing the street.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:40 PM
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Folks living in those big fifties sixties developments that have since gone coop?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:45 PM
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8

Doesn't everybody have a washer/dryer anyway?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:53 PM
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9

Given that there seems to be a laundromat every few hundred meters, presumably not, though I refuse to rent a place without one in the building. And actually, in Europe, while washer are pretty ubiquitous, driers aren't.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:58 PM
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10

I don't even own laundry.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 9:58 PM
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9: What about storm doors? Do they put those on apartments?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:02 PM
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12

I don't see laundry.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:03 PM
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13

That's what I used to tell my ex.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:05 PM
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14

13: Like Superman, you see right through.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:13 PM
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15

This service is a sign we've reached peak laundry.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:20 PM
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16

I have a running list of things that are possible to obtain only in New York, because of certain unique (in the U.S.) economies of scale and density. Cheap laundry service is on that list.

The existence of this service does not change that calculus, although I grant that San Francisco has enough rich-ish people and enough cheap-ish labor to make a service like this at least hypothetically profitable. I bet they make most of their money on dry cleaning and the "extras" like non-standard shirts that get charged as blouses, though.

(14: I remember being puzzled why if Superman had X-ray vision, he was able to see what color underwear Lois Lane had on. How would the X-ray know to stop after one layer of clothing?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:23 PM
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Once upon a time that included obscure art films from video stores delivered to door, then came Netflix.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:26 PM
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18

This is borderline disturbing, actually.

All clothes are separated into white and colored loads and washed separately from everyone else's. We operate brand new, high efficiency machines and our expert attendants ensure that your clothes come back neatly folded, nice and clean and smelling fresh. You can even go on to our website and customize exactly how you want your laundry done.

Emphasis in original. And "customize" apparently includes picking the type of detergent to be used.

I don't want to romanticize the Victorian era, but it seems even easier to dehumanize the people who are cleaning up your mess if you never have to actually see or acknowledge them. People? Or laundry elves? Maybe robots! Who cares!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:27 PM
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19

X-rays don't see color are post-color.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:32 PM
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20

And "customize" apparently includes picking the type of detergent to be used.

Once you are at the point of using a laundry service at all, this does not seem specially bizarre to me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:39 PM
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21

I'd also way way rather do other people's ordinary laundry than work in the back of a dry cleaner (that is, the part where the dry cleaning happens).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:41 PM
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22

I'm still puzzled about the part I quoted in 3. Seriously, wtf? They can't just put the laundry on the scale? And who's asking them this, anyway?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:42 PM
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23

I remember hearing or reading or somehow ingesting that back in the 19th Century sometime, probably around the gold rush, San Francisco was made up almost entirely of men. So obviously, laundry was a problem. It was common practice to ship dirty laundry to Hawai'i, where there were real live actual women, by steamer. Then Chinese (male) immigrants said "hey, we'll do your laundry, big noses, think of the time savings!", and the Chinese Laundry arche/stereotype was born.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:46 PM
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20: Oh, from a customer's standpoint, it seems entirely logical, at least for we swipple types who hesitate at the thought of reeking of Tide. I was more reacting to the endless customization of a menial task. Not ONLY am I going to hire you to deal with my intimate bodily fluids, but I am going to tell you what liquids you may use to to do so!

And to 21: I suspect I would too, at least from a long-term health perspective. But on occasion I've done strangers' lanundry (and teenage cousins' laundry, which was even less pleasant), and if given a choice, I would rather not have to make my living cleaning up after other people, regardless of the medium.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:46 PM
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22: It looks like customers pay by weight and that's for people to estimate what price will be before dropping off their laundry. It's unlikely that the service would charge by weight and then not weigh it themselves.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:50 PM
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I'm still puzzled about the part I quoted in 3. Seriously, wtf? They can't just put the laundry on the scale?

I haven't owned a scale in at least ten years, and I'm sure I'm not that unusual.

And who's asking them this, anyway?

My experience as a receptionist (and thus dealing all the time with UPS, FedEx and USPS shipments) was that many people working in offices are extremely, extremely bad at calculating the weight of anything. They are even bad when you give them easy comparisons, like, "Do you think this weighs more than a pound of butter? A five-pound bag of flour?"

People who are good at eyeing something and estimating weights are: 1) serious cooks, 2) engineers, 3) manual laborers (and some, but not all, tradespeople), and 4) former or current delivery people.

I can well believe that there are a lot of people who off the top of their head have no idea whether their weekly laundry output would weigh 10 pounds or 150.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:51 PM
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21 Doing laundry isn't a problem, it's picking up the (invisible) dirty clothes that I mind.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:52 PM
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28

This seems to jibe with my memory:

After the discovery of gold in the West, labor was always scarce because every laborer mistakenly believed that work in the gold fields was more remunerative than any other kind of employment. At the very least, the gold rushes drained off large numbers of workers who otherwise would have been filling jobs and building communities. There was also a resulting imbalance between the number of males and females, with females in decidedly shorter supply. The larger society greatly felt the lack of lower-class women who could serve as domestics. At one point, San Francisco bachelors even shipped their dirty laundry to Hawaii to be washed. . . . . On laundry to Hawaii, see Bancroft, Hubert Howe. History of California. San Francisco, History Company, 1888. v.6, p. 236.)


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 10:58 PM
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My experience with weighing things like luggage on a bathroom-type scale is that things have to weigh a certain amount before the scale will register them at all, and a laundry basket probably won't be heavy enough by itself. Also, if the object doesn't have a side that approximates the weight distribution you get on human feet, the scale is probably not going to register properly. That method of weighing stuff at home is pretty standard.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 11:02 PM
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Okay, I guess Witt and eb have basically addressed all my concerns about the weighing thing. Still seems odd that they would be telling people who own scales how to use them, but then I don't own a scale myself so I'm hardly one to talk.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 11:17 PM
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Not ONLY am I going to hire you to deal with my intimate bodily fluids,

Weird clothes you got. & I admit it seems odd to me to think of hiring someone to do laundry as hiring someone to deal with fluids, though (I guess) it does happen.

Nor do I see what's so significant about your load being washed separately from others'? I mean, it would make it easier to ensure that you get your clothes back, right? Or is the point that it's a strange thing to emphasize (no need to worry about contamination!)?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 11:45 PM
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32

I have a running list of things that are possible to obtain only in New York, because of certain unique (in the U.S.) economies of scale and density. Cheap laundry service is on that list.

Posh Deep Blue Suburb has that. I wouldn't call it cheap, exactly, but the pick up and delivery service (pick up from inside the storm door!) is priced the same as taking the stuff to the dry cleaners yourself. Which makes sense, because the real estate in PDBS is expensive enough that it's presumably cheaper for the provider to pay for round trip transportation to a cheaper location than to maintain a facility in PDBS.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-14-09 11:45 PM
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33

Finally an answer for this riddle:
I asked to have my shirts laundered, why was I charged the price for a blouse ?


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 3:02 AM
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34

||ATM: Should you figure out before kissing someone whether or not you actually want to pursue something?

Theory 1: Yes, yes you should.

Theory 2: The kiss may be used to test whether pursuit of something is desired, but should yield at least a tentative conclusion in short order.

Theory 3: Claimed indecision following a kiss indicates a conclusion that nothing more is to be pursued but the kisser is afraid to say so having initiated said kiss. |>


Posted by: Monica Lewinsky | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 3:32 AM
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No, but it doesn't tell you much useful either.

those theories don't look like a complete map of the theoretical space.

are you trying to decide what you should think about someone based on their use of a kiss to communicate? if thats not it, its more on the neurosis end of things, i would suggest at least looking out your windshield, even if you don't want to steer.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 4:06 AM
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Well, of course, it's a neurotic question -- that's why I posed it here. I know where I'd steer the car, but Bill has the keys. I'm wondering whether I should just get out and hail a cab while Bill ponders what to do, but mostly I'm trying to decide how irritated I am about having left my course to walk with him to his car only to learn he's not sure he can give me a ride.


Posted by: Monica Lewinsky | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 4:45 AM
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37

If I'm understanding correctly, Bill kissed you, you were pleased with the prospect of going further, and now he's being indecisive about whether he wants to? Sounds irritating, but also underspecified -- if you're just grousing, you have my sympathies, but if you're looking for advice (because really, is the Mineshaft ever wrong?) I think you need to come up with more details that might illuminate what he's thinking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 5:37 AM
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38

My Dad used to get his shirts done at a chinese laundry service, but he had to drop them off.


I did know a rich-ish woman who had her laundry picked up at her house. She had a washer and dryer and did most of it herself, but she sent out some of her linens. It seemed like the height of luxury to me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 5:40 AM
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37: If I knew what he was thinking, it would be much less frustrating. We've been friends forever and he generally dislikes change, so maybe that (but, uh, a little late for that now). There's also a significant age difference which regularly freaks him out.


Posted by: ML | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 5:56 AM
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40

Well, if you want speculation about what he's thinking, what did happen? He kissed you and then said "I'm not sure we should have sex" explicitly? He kissed you good night, you invited him in, he said not tonight and hasn't made another move? He kissed you, you kissed him back, he screamed and ran?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 6:12 AM
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The last is pretty close. He kissed me, which I don't think he expected to have done. I kissed him back. He said, "I gotta go" and did. I texted him, "Change of heart? Is this something we can pursue?" He replied, "Haven't figured that out yet."

I'm mostly grousing and should just go to bed.


Posted by: Monica | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 6:21 AM
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Monica: If things like an age difference are freaking him out, maybe simple reassurance that this is ok, decent, and healthy are in order. You know, like emphasize that this would make the two of you happy, and who cares about anything else.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 6:37 AM
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43

And that you don't even own a blue dress.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 6:38 AM
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44

I remember being puzzled why if Superman had X-ray vision, he was able to see what color underwear Lois Lane had on. How would the X-ray know to stop after one layer of clothing?

I always thought he could control how deep he looked. So if he wanted to look at her boobs, he could. If he wanted to look at her skeleton, he could. He could even peel off one layer of skin, and look at her musculature. He only looks at her underwear, because he is so very chivalrous.

At the very least, that's the kind of x-ray vision I'd like to have.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 6:43 AM
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He only looks at her underwear, because he is so very chivalrous.

Except when he's scanning her lungs to see if her smoking has resulted in cancer yet.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 6:47 AM
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How would the X-ray know to stop after one layer of clothing?

When I was growing up, no other scientific question was pondered as deeply by preteen boys as this one*. RHC's answer is a good representative example of the results of this pondering.

*The correct placement of firecrackers and cherry bombs for maximum visual and aural effect came a close second.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 7:02 AM
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He only looks at her underwear, because he is so very chivalrous.

I'd say he's more an altruist. Chivalry implies a sexism to which Superman does not apparently subscribe, given his respect for the many strong women in his life: Lois, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Big Barda, etc., etc.

You know, Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman is really great.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 7:24 AM
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48

He only looks at her underwear, because he is so very chivalrous.

Plus being in a bra makes her boobs look all weird when the bra is rendered invisible!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 7:24 AM
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48: Actually, I think that is the unrealistic ideal boob shape that the patriarchy has been pushing for the last few decades.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 7:32 AM
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I prefer droopy boobs, because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 7:39 AM
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51

My experience as a receptionist (and thus dealing all the time with UPS, FedEx and USPS shipments) was that many people working in offices are extremely, extremely bad at calculating the weight of anything. They are even bad when you give them easy comparisons, like, "Do you think this weighs more than a pound of butter? A five-pound bag of flour?"

Aren't such questions predicated on the respondents cooking regularly?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 9:12 AM
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51: With recipes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 9:16 AM
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53

The only way I can ever estimate how much things weigh is to compare them to cats. I think a small adult cat weighs about 8 pounds, and an overweight cat that I'm familiar with weighs about 16 pounds. Although this depends on the distribution of the weight just like anything else.

I don't know what a pound of butter is. Is that four sticks of butter?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 9:24 AM
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54

53.last: Yes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 9:27 AM
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55

I rarely hold that much butter at a time.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 9:28 AM
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55: Same here. Only when I do the thing with the cup.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 9:49 AM
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The only way I can ever estimate how much things weigh is to compare them to cats.

I love this so much. "Hey, honey, can you go to the store and pick up a half-cat of flour?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 10:38 AM
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58

Perhaps blind people are just people who have trouble controlling their x-ray vision.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 10:53 AM
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I read a hilarious book once by an American who'd gone out to New Zealand in the early fifties on a Fulbright, and was repeatedly amazed by the primitive customs he encountered. One of my favourites was along the lines of: "New Zealanders are so backward they still use washing machines! Don't they know that all advanced people use laundries?"


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 11-15-09 2:19 PM
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I know how much weight feels like, from lifting weights. they have numbers on them. except, somehow real things always feel heavier, not having convenient handles.

entire pounds of butter? that just seems so absurd to me. i've used a few 1cm slices of butter in the last year i'd guess.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 4:29 AM
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23: I thought the Chinese laundry stereotype was because Chinese labourers originally came to the US to do general labouring work - i.e. men's work - building railways and so on; but this made the locals think they were stealing the jobs of real Americans. Race riots, etc, and thus they tended to do laundry and run restaurants because cooking and cleaning were only women's work.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 10:10 AM
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If you have a scale at home, you can weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your laundry and the difference is the approximate weight.

Or, if you're Ned, you weigh your cat, then dress the cat up in all your dirty clothes, weigh him again, and subtract one from the other.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 10:11 AM
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63

I'm just about to head down to do laundry, so I decided to weigh my clothes first, using the Laundry Locker-approved method. The result? 22 lbs. I don't even live in the cool part of SF where this service is on offer, so it's a moot point, but at $1.39/lb that would be $30.58 every couple weeks. By contrast, I usually pay $6.50 down at the laundromat. Not worth it, for someone of my income.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 11:52 AM
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63: If you had mesh t-shirts, the savings on laundry would add-up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 12:00 PM
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65

The real dealbreaker for a by-weight laundry service is probably my having to wash my suit of iron plate armor (which I wear to protect my bruised and battered heart).


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 12:29 PM
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If your iron plate armor is properly seasoned you can just wipe it off with a paper towel.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-16-09 12:33 PM
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