A short while ago, the wife saw me working feverishly on yet another project, this one involving clothes, and came to investigate.   Why?   Well, she's pretty agreeable about work done outside or in the garage and mostly tolerant about things I do in my den - unlike most men, for example, she lets me watch all the sports I want, as long she is in Asia on business and I keep it on mute.

But she turns into a Wizard Of Oz-style tornado of rage if I get near our kitchen granite countertops with a drill bit and maintains an irrational skepticism about other internal projects regardless of how many times I have paid people to fix things I have messed up.

Yet I was working in the master bedroom bathroom - neutral ground, to my mind - and she was not angry, just curious as I toiled away.

"What is that contraption?" she asked.   "It is vaguely familiar but I am not sure where I have seen it.   Is it some new Steampunk thing you are working on?    I liked the pneumatic Aeolian you made from an old Samsonite suitcase but that vacuum tube vector network analyzer is taking up a lot of space - plus, it only goes up to 800Hz.   No one works at DC any more."

I let that go.

"It's better than all of those," I said.  "You know how I am always taking clothes to the dry cleaners?   This contraption eliminates all that.  It's going to be huge.   Think of the accolades I will get from environmental advocates because I am not driving for nice clothes."

"Wait, I think my grandparents had one of these," she said.  "But I have never used one.  Can I try it?"

"It's brilliant," I said.   "You plug it in to a wall outlet and a few minutes later you are done.   It doesn't even need bluetooth or a login.  But you'd better watch me a few times before you take control."

"No login?   Aren't you worried about hackers?    Some kid will be controlling it from Russia."

But before I go any further ... can you identify the mystery contraption that stumped her in the picture below?

steampunk iron