Friday, August 19, 2011

Electric Razors and the Disposable Society

Admittedly I am an odd character.

This society has moved so firmly away from "Mend and Make Do" as the British were told during the Second World War and the Austerity years thereafter, that here it is a rare person who knows how to fix something.

Getting my start as a toddler repairing my father's 8-track player (remember those?), broken things became my playground.  If it was broken, a repair would be attempted since, after all, it's already broken isn't it?

Years of fixing radios, TVs and oddball household appliances earned me the curiosity that eventually worked its way into Computer Programming and Project Management.  If there was a piece of software, it could be fixed as well as enhanced.

Sitting here in the living room on a Poang Chair that had it's upholstery replaced, listening to SiriusXM radio on an iPhone 3 that had a broken screen and worn out battery that were replaced, next to the dog who was a rescue from a no-kill shelter, there really is no reason to stop fixing things.

It is probably more accurate to say that the dog rescued me.  After all, she was fine, we were the ones who have benefitted from having her.

This morning, going through the ritual of clicking on and rejecting inappropriate job interview requests in strange places far from home, it was found.  A new electric razor.  The market price for this particular model is $35 in the South Florida Area so it was a good price at $25.

The curious thing was that instead of being able to get the blades themselves at a price cheaper than the whole razor, the razor is cheaper.   Coming with a new blade, the economic choice was to pull out the credit card, go deeper in debt by $25 and change, and get a new razor.   Never mind that the NiCd batteries in these razors will last for the life of three blades before getting annoyingly short.  Never mind that you can shock a NiCD battery back to life with "high current at a high voltage".   The blades cost more than the entire item.

Replacement blades are around the same quality as the razor itself, so why buy those when the whole unit costs as much.

Basically it goes against my "mend and make do" mindset and there was a pang of Green Guilt as the Checkout button was clicked on that razor.  Shouldn't be that way, but it is.  One more step further into the Disposable Society. 

There's a nice collection of these razors in the bathroom vanity.  They have become surplus and diseconomic.  At some point, a visit will be paid to the local flea market with the number for the blades in the back of the mind.   Hopefully there will be someone with a cache of those blades at a more reasonable price. 

In the mean time, the radio in the kitchen still works.  That was repaired after someone tossed it out, batteries still in its compartment and the batteries are still good.  It sits next to the Glider Rocker and the matching Ottoman that were recently cleaned to make them acceptable for someone since they were replaced by a perfectly good second Poang chair and matching Ottoman.

Need one?  What do you have to trade?  We're so very wasteful these days...

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