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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sometimes Simple Can Be Hard...

I had a thought run across my brain a few days ago, and I really hope that thought is wrong.  You see, I  was thinking in the sort of daze I usually do on a daily basis and wondered if a person's interesting attributes have anything to do with the content on their iPhone (Android too, whatever).  Then I picked mine up and saw this:

Yes, that is it.  You are seeing everything I have on my iPhone and if you will notice, there are no more pages to swipe to.  At that moment, I was really hoping I was incorrect in my idea, because if your iPhone content has anything to do with how interesting you are, I must be the most boring twenty-seven year old on earth.  The only thing you can tell about me from this screenshot is that I play guitar (who doesn't?) and that I prefer the 24-hour clock, because I am THAT cool...I even picked up my mom's phone when I saw her later that day and she had folders, upon apps, upon other apps, missed calls, unopened emails, etc.  Yay...

The more I began thinking about this, the more I CONTINUED to think about it and started on a path of how much I have changed over the past two years.  There was a moment in time where I was pretty big into the idea of keeping current with everything I owned and living in the world of the disposable.  Then, something happened inside of me and my outlook changed quite a bit.  
Take this, for example:

The picture above is the tail-end of a 1976 Ford Bronco that is owned by my uncle.  He bought it brand new off the lot in 1976.  And by "he bought" I mean he saw it on the lot while coming home from work one day, gave my dad the cash and told asked him to go buy it for him.  This is a testament to proper maintenance on a vehicle, because, if you cannot tell, this thing is in nearly mint condition.  In the current day, we like to buy a brand new car and keep it for a few years, trade it in (get ripped off) and make payments on a new car for the rest of our lives.  I almost lived in the world of a car payment a few years ago, but decided against taking the plunge.  Thinking back to the example of the Bronco, I am happy everything worked out that way.  I am much more content with keeping something in good shape and using it until it falls apart than still having to pay for it while it is falling apart.  I also have no intentions of ever owning another vehicle built after 1980 for this very reason.

We throw away too many things for my liking now a days.  For instance, what the heck is this?
Or this?

I cannot tell if the first picture is racist or just weird, but for the sake of my own clarity, I will claim the latter.  We treat cars, clothing, computers, phones, even tools and lawn mowers just like the two products above;  things we can use as simple entertainment for a time and throw away.  We do not build or distribute anything that has a lasting intention of more than a short while anymore.  Planned Obsolescence is taking over in many ways and we are buying products with an increasingly shorter usable life.  Now, I am not preaching, but some things are getting fairly off-key here, you must admit.  This generation has nothing to pass onto the next as far as originality is concerned and I am not a huge fan of that.  Our parent's generation is currently fixing up antique Coca-Cola machines, restoring old cars, and bringing new life to furniture from the generation before them.  The generation that follows our's will not be able to restore Ikea furniture, cars with hundreds of sensors, or Zack Morris' cell phone.  Speaking of old things, I was given this to restore just the other day:

The picture above is a Silvertone mandolin.  This was from the hand-made era of sometime between 1920 and 1950, but the craftsmen did not use serial numbers back then for this brand, so I really have no clue.  This mandolin sat in the back of a closet, wrapped in a bedsheet for decades and guess what?  After I finish humidifying it and put a little elbow-grease into it, I bet this little thing will sound and play better than a new one that is mass-produced overseas and sold for a premium price here.  This old instrument has belt buckle scars all over the back of it, chips, cracks, finish-checking, and loads of memories in it's DNA. I love it.

There are limitations to stepping back in time for practicality, however.  Do I think we should go back to boiling up some good-old fashioned horse glue over using the stuff off the shelf in a bottle?
  No, I cannot say that I would go that far, but apparently some people do.  You can even buy the cauldron to...do whatever it is you do to turn it from animal chunks into glue...
I took these pictures at a specialty woodworking tool shop, by the way.  I never use stock or image-searched pictures on my blog.

What I am saying is that I have become increasingly simple as compared to who I was a few years ago. Does this mean I value-shop clothes at cheap retailers?  No.  Does this mean I refuse to eat at nice restaurants?  No, but I have cut back on how often I do.  At the end of the day, I have just realized that I have a deeper desire to invest myself into the old way of thinking as well as doing.  Why buy something new if you can restore or re-purpose it?  Why finance a Prius that will last you a few years when you can buy a classic car and make it factory-new for less than half the money?  Why not hold a piece of musical history in your hands and breathe new life into it so that it can once again breathe new life through you?  

I know this idea does not work for everyone and I know some people do not have the personal abilities to restore bits of the past or re-purpose certain items to save money and curb the manufacturing of new things, but you never know unless you give it a try.  I would be happy to teach you the little bit I know in any of this if it will help you in some way.  I just get a certain amount of enjoyment and pride out of knowing I created or fixed something instead of buying it new now, which is the opposite of who I was a few years back; you know, back when I had more apps on my iPhone and was a much more interesting person.  

Hey, look!  A grassy yard to play in!

Grace and Peace,

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/drew.silvers
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/drewcoustic
Email:  drewcoustic@gmail.com


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