Saturday, April 12, 2014

J is for junk.

This will probably raise ire.

I think that a lot of things today are wasteful.  When I was small, I recall Dad saying, take care of your (tools), and they'll take care of you.  Mom said that if you took care of something, you would have it later...

So, when I was... first or second grade?  Somewhere around there, my parents bought me a record player.  They showed me how to use it.  And I took care of it... Ok, once I put a kitten on it, to see what it would do, but other than a really dizzy kitten, no harm done. (Note: it doesn't really take that many spins to dizzy up a kitten.) But, I made an effort to not mess up my 'player.  And I still have it.  It might need some lube and care, having been stored in the attic, but when it was retired, it still worked.

In high school, they surprised me with a stereo system.  Played records, cassettes, 8 tracks, and had AM/FM.  I still have it, and it still works, and this one has remained kitten free...  But how many cassettes and 8 tracks are coming out now?

I picked up a CD player with my computer, I don't recall having that as a separate unit, and later an MP3 player.  I have gone through about 3 or 4 computers, and I didn't rough house them.  I didn't abuse them.  They just ran out of memory, or, in one case, a part burnt out, that after about 4 years of owning the computer, would have cost more than the computer to replace!  And now, with tablets, and 'stuff' online, CD's seem to be going out of fashion, too.

Now, the MP3 player.  I had one for about 6 years? Maybe a little more.  Um, well, it was not treated as well as I could have, played the heck out of it, while I was gardening, or exercising, so it was bounced and bopped a bit.  So I suppose that I can say I didn't care for it as well as I could have.

Still, it seems odd that something like that is built to last about 2 years.  At least that was the shocked statement from the clerk where I bought it.  I had thought about replacing parts.  She had to go into records to find what it was, they'd stopped selling it about 4 years ago, and the parts, again, were more than the player was worth.  So, I sighed, and now have a new one.

I guess I am sort of confused.  If we were so wasteful, and didn't save the resources, etc., that we needed to improve and make things work better on less...

Why do we have to throw things away after such a short time?


  1. Move over on that soapbox, Cat! We have become a 'disposable' nation, a land where we can always get more, better, shinier. Not as many things are even made in our own country because it is so much cheaper if it is manufactured elsewhere, put together by people who can hardly make a living wage, and then shipped here to us. "They" tell us to recycle and keep peddling items for us to recycle sooner and sooner. You have to pay for a warranty on most things now. The companies are counting on very few people keeping their receipts and if they do, the slips of paper are white because they fade. Everything is made to fall apart, so we have to replace it.

    There is only so much you can re-purpose and recycle. It's disgusting!

  2. The company doesn't make any money of you don't buy a new one. That's true with anything. Many years ago, companies did build things to last, but they've now seen how they can drive up profits with planned obsolescence. As for "using resources wisely" and "being green," most of it is lip service from these same companies.

  3. UGH! I hate being told that I can expect an 8-12 year life out of a refrigerator when the one I am upgrading from works fine after 19 years. Why are lifetimes on things getting shorter? Is it the fancier parts?

  4. When I recently had my computer fixed I was told it was ancient (six years old) and woudn't be fixable in a year or two. The new version looks just like it and I don't want a new one.

  5. I have to say I couldn't agree more. Whenever I clean out my old "junk," I find that most of it is still totally fine. People need to stop and think about getting "the next new thing." -mikaylinrocks@ a to z challenge


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