Tues. May 15, 2018 – in a handbasket

70F and saturated. Gonna be hot today too.

Spent most of yesterday driving, and the rest picking thru the detritus of one of the richest civilizations in the history of the world. Maybe. Anyway, as Sarah Hoyt pointed out a long time ago, only in a rich society do you have ‘thrift stores’ as they exist in America. People give away their excess stuff, to others who then SELL it. A good percentage of it was never used and still has the tags on, a larger percentage was used once and put away, some was well used, some is worn out, stained or broken. Maybe it’s a bell curve, I don’t know, but suspect it is. The top and bottom might not be the right size as the best stuff gets skimmed and the worst gets binned.

Still, an amazing amount of ‘stuff’ gets donated to thrift stores buy people who just need to get rid of ‘stuff’, often so they can buy new ‘stuff’.

I suspect this can’t go on forever, and I fear that at some point, we’ll be back to a place where you wear your one or two sets of clothes until they fall off your body, and then sell the scraps. Hope not, but history says otherwise.

Today, I get to do my part as a reseller- catalog, photograph, measure, weigh, and describe the ‘stuff’ I picked up and move it along to the next owner. The efficiency in the system is increasing every day, and it makes it possible to replace the small part, cable, or device you want, without buying new. Or replace your childhood ‘stuff’. Or keep your aging business system running for one more budget cycle…. but some days I feel like I’m picking thru the carcass of a once mighty giant.

n

This entry was posted in Random Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Tues. May 15, 2018 – in a handbasket

  1. Harold says:

    74f and 86% humidity in Memphis this morning heading into the 90s.
    We had about a week of spring and have gone directly into Summer mode.
    It feels far too much like Hong Kong this early in the year. I loved living in HK, big city, lots to see and do, but the weather was miserable. HOT & humid ten months out of the year. And the air pollution from southern China gave my wife athsma. But, aside from that, it was great fun. Living in the Memphis area isn’t great fun by any stretch of the imagination. Only a year or two left and I will retire and get out of here.

  2. nick flandrey says:

    Nothing like a little slant and outright lies……

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5729881/Bike-sharing-art-installation-goes-Chicago-AR-15s.html

    ” Chicago, which has suffered more than most from the plague of gun violence.’ ”

    Ah, no. GANG violence, yes.
    AR-15s? No. Stolen pistols? Yes.
    Easily obtained by the law abiding? No. Used by legally barred ‘bangers? Yes.

    n

  3. nick flandrey says:

    Provocateurs

  4. JimL says:

    63º and cloudy now. We had two sets of showers today. First swept in as I was driving to the first polling location – and boy was it fast. Early morning “cloudy” light to very thunderstorm-dark in under 1 minute. Then it rained a little & cleared up. Then another rainstorm around 11, and we’re clearing again. Should be clear for the rest of the day.

    I expect a low turnout for today’s primaries. Nothing exciting to get people worked up about. I took the time to find out about the candidates & went over to vote mid-morning. I was on the first page (first 40) of voters. There are over 1000 registered in my precinct.

    I took a day off from work. Doesn’t stop people from trying to get in touch with me. I redirect them to the helpdesk. That’s what he’s there for.

  5. nick flandrey says:

    CNN – not an objective source.

    How many generations is 70 years?

    Gotta love Hamas, incite the attack, then when the israelis respond, declare week of mourning for the victims. Rinse and repeat. SO, who got those invaders and rioters killed?

    Love the astonishment and admonition against “live ammunition.”

    Love the obfuscating words.

    Very interesting when comparing CNN, Al jizrag, and al Reuters… with alReuters being the most balanced!

    “The Israeli military said at least 24 of those killed on Monday were “terrorists with documented terror background” and most of them were active operatives of Hamas. ”

    “Israel has said it is acting in self-defence to defend its borders and communities. Its main ally the United States has backed that stance, with both saying that Hamas, which rules Gaza, instigated the violence”

    “The number of protesters that gathered at the frontier on Tuesday was significantly lower than on Monday. ” — achievement unlocked!

    n

  6. Chad says:

    Humidity is crazy in my flyover state, but temps are mild. Woke up to condensation on the outside of all of the windows.

    Still, an amazing amount of ‘stuff’ gets donated to thrift stores buy people who just need to get rid of ‘stuff’, often so they can buy new ‘stuff’.

    I think the trend for younger people these days is just less stuff in general. I see a lot of people “purging.” Those shelves and display cases crammed along every inch of wall and filled with bric-à-brac are a thing of the past. I read an article long ago about the amount of fine china for sale for cheap because the newer generation has no desire to own grandma’s fine china. These seniors citizens with houses full of keepsakes will be saddened to hear that 99% of it will be in a dumpster or at Goodwill after they pass. Minimalism is big right now. That’s not to say they don’t waste money in other aspects of their lives, but their goal at home is as little furniture and wall hangings as possible while still making it feel like home.

  7. brad says:

    What Nick said. After closing my wife’s business, we have piles of stuff. Dishes, glasses, cookware, silverware, vases, decoration material. All in very good condition. No one wants it, not even for free. Not even the thrift shops – because people want new dishes, new silverware, etc..

    In German, we refer to the “Wegwerfgesellschaft” – the society where everything is disposable, everything is thrown away rather than repaired or re-used. Is that wealth? Or simple wastefulness?

  8. Chad says:

    In German, we refer to the “Wegwerfgesellschaft” – the society where everything is disposable, everything is thrown away rather than repaired or re-used. Is that wealth? Or simple wastefulness?

    That’s what you get when the toaster costs $20 new, but a replacement electric cord for it is $15 plus S&H plus $50-$75 for min labor if you”re not comfortable making electrical repairs. Unless replacement parts and service come way down in price you’re always going to think, “Well, shit, for that much I might as well buy a new one.”

  9. brad says:

    Palestine – clearly provoked. Send crowds of people at a defended border, act surprised when they are thrown back with force. Frankly, I don’t believe the deaths either. 8-month old baby, dead? No responsible parents are going to storm the border with their infant. The child was already dead from other causes, and they brought the corpse to the protest to raise outrage.

    The world press needs to stop giving the Palestinians a free pass on this crap.

  10. Greg Norton says:

    Still, an amazing amount of ‘stuff’ gets donated to thrift stores buy people who just need to get rid of ‘stuff’, often so they can buy new ‘stuff’.

    I’ve moved cross-country twice as part of a corporate relo, and while the typical package covers the truck cost, it does not take care of the packing.

    After eating $8000 to pack mostly toys moving from FL to WA, I cut the packing costs on the last move to $2000 by making liberal use of the recycling center and Goodwill donations. My kids are scarred for life, but they’ll deal.

    Keep in mind that Austin has a developed a large transient population in recent years thanks to the University, H1B/OTP labor, and tech startups. The Goodwill Outlet in particular is out near Pflugerville, where the big movie theater runs Bollywood on half the screens on weekends.

  11. lynn says:

    After eating $8000 to pack mostly toys moving from FL to WA, I cut the packing costs on the last move to $2000 by making liberal use of the recycling center and Goodwill donations. My kids are scarred for life, but they’ll deal.

    As my friend OFD says, BE RUTHLESS !

    Man, it is hard to practice that preaching.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    As my friend OFD says, BE RUTHLESS !

    Everything about the Vantucky adventure was a clusterf*ck which cost me $100k and a big chunk of my 40s. When we escaped, I applied what I learned to the Texas move.

    Austin is a compromise. We will move again, but not for about seven years. In the mean time, I keep my accumulations to the minimum.

  13. CowboySlim says:

    We need to get Gov. Moonbeam, Obamanous and AlGore down to the Gaza Strip to stop the tire burning.

  14. paul says:

    I tend to hang onto and repair stuff. The water fill valve in two washing machines. Same valve in a KitchenAid (by Hobart) dishwasher and the blower/heater unit. Plus the rubbery tube for the spray bar on the top rack. At most $70 for parts for a machine that gave 25 years with at least three loads a week. The defrost timer in a fridge that I bought in 1985. The defrost thermostat a couple of years ago for the fridge I bought because of the defrost timer in the first fridge. Two fridges are handy. The cycling thermostat for the dryer…. the end of cycle buzzer is out, ain’t happening either.

    Pretty much all $15 to $30 parts and a bit of time.

    I think that is why Sears seemed so eager to take my old fridge when they delivered the new fridge. They know it’s a $15 part and they can sell the unit to a repair shop that will turn around and sell it to someone that can’t or won’t buy new.

  15. paul says:

    We need to get Gov. Moonbeam, Obamanous and AlGore down to the Gaza Strip to stop the tire burning.

    Or to South Africa for a tire necklace.

  16. mediumwave says:

    Frankly, I don’t believe the deaths either. 8-month old baby, dead? No responsible parents are going to storm the border with their infant. The child was already dead from other causes, and they brought the corpse to the protest to raise outrage.

    It does seem to have been a hoax. The title of the page linked to in my previous comment has been changed to “Palestinians bury their dead as Israel defends bloody Gaza crackdown.”

  17. paul says:

    Austin is a compromise. We will move again, but not for about seven years.

    Where? Just wondering.

    I’ve lived in California, Oregon, Hawaii, California, Alabama, and Texas. Dad was a Marine and we moved a lot.

    I’ve been back to all of those places since I “got all growed up” and other than Maui, I didn’t care much for any. Maui and Texas… get off the airplane and it feels like home.

  18. lynn says:

    I’ve been back to all of those places since I “got all growed up” and other than Maui, I didn’t care much for any. Maui and Texas… get off the airplane and it feels like home.

    We got off the plane from Helena, MT via Minneapolis yesterday at Houston Intercontinental about 230pm. The jetway did not quite match to the plane and we got a big puff of hot humid 94 F air at the door. My son said, “Yup, we are back in Texas”. It was 45 F when we got on the plane in Helena at 515am.

    You know, I could stand to spend the summer in Montana. Starting May 1 through Oct 15 or so.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    “Austin is a compromise. We will move again, but not for about seven years.”

    Where? Just wondering.

    Haven’t figured it out beyond south and east of Salt Lake City.

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Haven’t figured it out beyond south and east of Salt Lake City.

    Definitely someplace with less tech employment. I’ve already been on the receiving end of varying degrees of age discrimination in my 40s, even at my current employer. In ten years? Fuggedaboudit.

    The upside of an area with less tech employment is fewer entitled pinheads and the culture of dishonesty that comes with high concentrations of H1B/OTP workers.

  21. SteveF says:

    Who brings an eight-month-old to a riot?

    It wasn’t their baby. There’s a good chance it was already dead from whatever cause typically afflicts the babies of tribal savages living in a shithole.

    Unless replacement parts and service come way down in price

    Yah, I’ve disposed of a number of things because a $0.50 part broke but it would have cost $20 for the part plus $20 shipping plus an hour of my time to replace it. A couple times I’ve obtained (usually scrounged, or else purchased for a dollar at a thrift store) another unit of the same model … and found that it had the same broken part. Makes one suspicious, it does.

  22. nick flandrey says:

    I’m big on repair, but it does take time, and a certain amount of tools and sense. Some things are not economical, but most are.

    All the times we fixed that front loading washing machine were cheaper than new, but I hated that machine. Could have fixed it again, but wife had come to hate it too.

    Same with fridge.

    I fixed my ‘good’ monitors a couple of times, recap the power board, and new backlight inverter. Those are about all that fails on a modern flat panel. The second time around for caps and I was done. Did an inverter in a lappy too.

    Replaced USB sockets and batteries in tablets.

    Lots of fixes to small engines.

    Portacool is my latest project. NO WAY could I see spending the $1500 for new, or I’d have one! But <$300 to rebuild and have just slightly less than new? Yes sir.

    Same for my whole house gennie, although I paid to have it rebuilt. IIRC it ended up at about a tenth of a comparable new model (18kva, water cooled).

    Usually uneconomical fixing the kids toys but I do it anyway. It’s great fun, and good for the kids to think of me as a hero for putting feet back on the dolls.

    The biggest problem is time. It’s very easy to get stacked up with projects and fall behind. Having a house full of stuff that doesn’t quite work right isn’t much fun.

    n

  23. nick flandrey says:

    and off to bed, I’m beat.

    n

  24. Jenny says:

    Repairing things. I grew up in a family that had a culture of repair over replace. Dad was a magnificent mechanic and I think saw all objects through an abstract lens that let him see new ways of using and repairing them. I recall my moms hatchback busting its clutch cable in San Francisco. Dad drove it sans clutch to a parking lot, then repaired it with a length of baling wire that happened to be in the back seat (I had a pony, and used to transport hay in the hatchback).

    When I visited mom briefly I undertook some more modest, yet still satisfying, repairs. A sliding screen door dad had built had blown off its track in a fierce storm. Mom had been told by three different men it was warped, the track was warped, couldn’t be fixed. It had a cracked 1 x 2 vertical structural member which I lacked the tools to repair, and a whonky wheel. I replaced the wheel (one screw) and grunted it back onto the track with a judicious amount of swearing, large heavy flat head screw driver as a lever, and some pinched fingers. It’s fine even with the cracked piece as long as she doesn’t abuse it. Don’t know why they said it couldn’t be repaired other than they lacked imagination or will. Or assumed she wouldn’t be careful. Replacing the cracked wood piece should be simple with right tools (hah! Famous last words).

    Added some RAM to her 5 year old desktop. The local computer dude claimed the 2 GB stick of DDR PC2-6400 was ‘rare’ and merited $100. Um, no. Bought it in next town for $20.

    Added a metal section of screen to the lower half of her front door screen. Replaced a faulty valve on her bathroom sink. Couple other niggly simple repairs. It was disproportionately satisfying.

    I think people are unwilling to experience failure. Nothing I did was hard. It required a little thought and flexibility of thinking. And a willingness to get it wrong. No big deal. Get it wrong the first time, you step back, ponder, then try again. Plan A? Nope. Plan B? Nope. Keep going. That alphabet has lots of letters for plans. You just keep at it (applying thinking between steps) until it’s sorted. But if you aren’t willing to experience failure, that approach isn’t an option. And that’s a sad thing indeed.

    Sort of related, in terms of making mistakes and trying again.

    While I was traveling hither and yon I was trying to keep up with my online studies. Made a rookie mistake that messed up my grades.
    Java grumples.

    TextIO.getWord()
    gives you a different count when you are calculating the percentage of strawberry cones in icecream.dat than
    TextIO.getlnWord()

    Because Butter Pecan. Notice that space? Yeah.

    That missing ‘ln’ and lack of careful reading or critical thinking means 54/90 instead of 90/90 on an assignment.

    Whoops. Got cocky when it ran the first time without throwing errors.
    Lesson learned.

  25. JimL says:

    I think that is why Sears seemed so eager to take my old fridge when they delivered the new fridge. They know it’s a $15 part and they can sell the unit to a repair shop that will turn around and sell it to someone that can’t or won’t buy new.

    I think I bought that fridge. I NEVER buy new appliances. I also don’t have water in the door or anything else that requires complex repairs. Compressor, coils, electric, light. The appliance parts store always has the part I need and advice on installation. Can’t be beaten. I’ve replaced one such stove – I made the mistake of buying one with the electric ignition. For energy savings, disable the pilots & light with lighter or matches. (I just leave the pilots running – no problems in 20+ years).

  26. SVJeff says:

    The efficiency in the system is increasing every day, and it makes it possible to … keep your aging business system running for one more budget cycle

    That’s what keeps me selling Win98 & 2000 systems. Just shipped a pair of 98 towers to Amsterdam last week and am readying four 98 towers w/ multiple ISA slots for a place in California.

    And that ‘rare’ PC2-6400 RAM is too new for me 🙂 I went through dozens of sticks of PC-133 last week to find RAM acceptable to the two finicky Netherlands Dells…

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Added some RAM to her 5 year old desktop. The local computer dude claimed the 2 GB stick of DDR PC2-6400 was ‘rare’ and merited $100. Um, no. Bought it in next town for $20.

    DDR2 probably is rare/pricey if purchased new. I put 16 GB of Crucial DDR2 into my main Dekstop PC before I started grad school, and that upgrade was $350 six years ago.

    With Kingston and Crucial part of the cost is the lifetime guarantee.

  28. Jenny says:

    @Greg
    Maybe. Online it was $8 – $20 shipped. It was a Lenovo M58 small form factor – not a particularly glamorous or unusual system.

    I’ve _never_ heard anyone call RAM rare. He lost some credibility when he needed to see the RAM in person to know what to look for – so he could line up the slots. I thought it was odd but ok. Then when I declined his offer and he declined my generous counter offer, and I reclaimed the RAM, he had swapped it for a lesser brand. I called him on it, he denied the swap, then said ‘Oh’ when I showed him a pic of the Hynix (not that Hynix is great but what he returned was worse) I’d given him. I don’t think he identified me as geek and have a niggling suspicion he was out for a fast buck from a novice. I hope I am wrong.

    It was an odd exchange.

  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    he was out for a fast buck from a novice female… FIFY

    n

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    I was very surprised by how much older ram costs. I expected it to drop significantly, but my recent upgrade to the wife’s all in one has taught me otherwise.

    Even used ram isn’t what I’d call “cheap”.

    n

    (ended up with used Hynix that matched the original installed stick.)

  31. Jenny says:

    @nick
    I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. The thought had crossed my mind that mammary glands played into the unexpectedly high price.

    However – I’ve never been discriminated against for being female in the tech industry that I’ve noticed. Perhaps that’s because I can be oblivious and tend to forge on straight ahead. I just want to get the job done. I figure if I didn’t notice it didn’t happen.

    Dear Abby or one of her ilk said you had to lie down to be a doormat. That resonates.

  32. nick flandrey says:

    You can get thru a lot of stuff by just not seeing it.

    I’ve gotten thru some male dominance BS and some potentially dangerous gangbanger stuff by just not seeing it. I recognized it, but just didn’t react. It’s a useful tactic.

    n

Comments are closed.