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So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,277
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    “Mid-century mod” is hotter now than it was 50 and 60 years ago. It has been for a decade or more. Maybe it has cooled a bit, but just a bit. And maybe it hasn’t. The major overseas manufacturers and stateside retailers are still moving mid-century “inspired” stuff by the mega-freighterful, to coin a term.

    We’ve discussed this matter at some length already. “Real” antiques, the centuries-old stuff, what these days is called “brown furniture” in the trade, has been in the doldrums for at least 10 years. But “vintage” items — furniture, dinnerware, etc. — dating from the 1950s through the mid-70s or so, is fetching prices that would have my grandfather shaking his head.

    We have also thoroughly chewed over the reasons for this phenomenon. But it remains an interesting one, and always worth another look.

    A few years back at a vintage car show I chatted with a fellow 20 years my senior, more or less. The oldtimer was displaying his Ford Model A convertible, which he had built to resemble the type of hotrod seen in the early 1950s, when Model A Fords were themselves only 20-some years old. Had he not told me, I wouldn’t have known that all the body sheet metal was of recent manufacture. The FoMoCo flathead V8 was out of an early ‘50s Mercury, he told me. Stamped steel wheels were painted red and had true hubcaps (as contrasted with wheel covers), as was the fashion back when he was a young man.

    I mention that man and his car to illustrate what typically motivates the acquisition of retro and vintage stuff of most all description. We fetishize stuff, we imbue it with meanings entirely in our own heads. In the case of the fellow with the Model A hotrod, it’s to hold onto a piece of the world he knew when that world was still new. And that’s fine by me. There is magic in the stuff I surround myself with. And yes, I know the thinking itself is magical. But I can’t imagine life without such magic.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Edward likes this.
  2. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    I don't see where either your or my post crosses any line, but of course I am not really in any position to judge, and my opinion on the matter is of no import.

    The matter of anit-trust was a hotly debated point at some times in one history, and settled opinion. Early on, the Sherman Law, while intended for use a
     
  3. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Let's not forget that lower weights aren't the only way these cookie companies are short-changing their customers. Most of them now include vacuformed plastic trays in their packaging to "prevent the cookies from getting broken", and those trays take up space that was formerly occupied by more cookies. If there's a new way to rip us off they'll find it, and the Boys From Marketing will figure out a way to sell it to us.
     
  4. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Illinois
    In what may be a small victory, I have not seen the 22 slice package of cheese since I originally posted this.
    I hope the negative feedback was sufficiently fiery that whoever signed off on this idea still has blisters on their backside.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Kraft was once a decent company with decent products, but it has, over the last forty years since it engulfed and digested General Foods, become the epitome of a bean-counting anti-consumer crass and vicious corporate behemoth. I try my best to avoid supporting them in any way, even though they did and still do make good cheese. But so does Cabot -- a farmer-owned cooperative -- and without the sleazy overtones.
     
    vitanola and Trenchfriend like this.
  6. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Illinois
    ^^^ I was not aware until a few days ago that Oscar Mayer was now owned by the conglomerate of Kraft Heinz. Sorry Oscar, our ham and cheese loaf relationship is over. I have not been happy with Kraft for some while for multiple reasons, but was also unaware that Heinz, who I despise, was also in that mix. The list of multinationals that I am avoiding keeps growing, but it is benefiting the store brands and smaller companies that I am replacing them with.
     
    LizzieMaine likes this.
  7. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,838
    Location:
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    Many store brand goods are in fact made by the big multinationals. Smoke & mirrors.
     
    vitanola likes this.
  8. Bushman

    Bushman Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,853
    Location:
    Chicago
    This conversation reminds me of this graphic I first came across a long time ago called "The Illusion of Choice":
    [​IMG]
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Boy, don't that just sum it up. Edward Bernays prophesied about this in the '20s as being the ideal future of capitalism -- a world where all "choices" lead to the same pre-determined, corporate-controlled result. He knew whereof he spoke.
     
    MissMittens, vitanola and Zombie_61 like this.
  10. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Illinois
    True. However I live in an agricultural area in the middle of nowhere. We have no huge chain markets and we know people who work in all of the stores. They can tell you what comes from where with the exception of Walmart. As far as lunch meats and cheese, etc. go I can drive to the places where most of them come from in a couple of hours or less. I realize that this is not the case for most people.
     
    vitanola likes this.
  11. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne My Mail is Forwarded Here

    It is very similar here in the states with grocery store food items where the tag on the shelf lists the overall price & then below it a price-per-unit, be it ounce, pound, or what have you.
     
    vitanola likes this.
  12. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,838
    Location:
    Cloud-cuckoo-land
    Price per kilo is so much more civilized.
     
  13. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,227
    Location:
    New York City
    It's the law, but it is not aggressively enforced in NYC as many stores only make a half-hearted effort at it as many of those listing are old/out of date or rubbed off or, in some cases, not even posted. It's frustrating as it's a great tool to quickly cut through all the packaging and pricing shenanigans (which is why stores/brands hate it).

    Instead, too many times, I'm standing in a store trying to do the math in my head to figure out if the $3.22 14.2 OZ bag of this is cheaper per ounce than the $2.99 12.4 OZ bag of a competitor, etc. With all the decimal places and bag sizes - and when it gets up to four or five different options - it can be a bit much.

    This libertarian-leaning guy is fine with labelling laws (like having to list the per-ounce, etc., requirement), but of course, despite living in an acknowledged high-tax city (inside a high-tax state) that has a very, very big city government, it can't seem to enforce the laws it passes.
     
  14. KILO NOVEMBER

    KILO NOVEMBER Practically Family

    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Cheapeake Bay Drainage Basin
    Metric system, feh! It's so, French. Decimals are fine with arithmetic, but get yourself a pile of some commodity and divide it into ten equal parts. I'll wait....

    Now instead, divide it in two. Now that wasn't hard, was it? Now divide one of those halves in two, again, again. What you now have is 1/16th of the original pile (let's call that a "pound") and we'll call the 16th part an "ounce".

    As for "civilized", the earliest civilizations (Sumerian, Babylonian) used a sexagesimal number system.
     
    ChrisB likes this.
  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Not just pounds, let's have shillings and pence too. Especially those nifty thick twelve-sided brass thrupenny bits you could stand on edge.

    We have those price-per-pound labeling requirements here too, and it's exactly as Fading notes -- the little stickers are all smudgy or blurred or rubbed off or torn. And even if they weren't, the typeface used is so smal that nobody over the age of forty could possibly read them without a jeweler's loupe.

    In the '30s, Consumers Union pushed hard for standardized packaging in standard units for all processed goods, ensuring that everyone is on a level playing field, and ensuring lower manufacturing, distribution, and retail costs for all. But the Boys would have none of it.
     
  16. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Illinois
    In the USA the only thing commonly traded in kilos would be cocaine.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  17. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,438
    Location:
    Illinois
    I may have vented my spleen on this before, but if so I'm going to do it again because my gears were ground about it again this morning.
    Bank tellers who bark like auctioneers selling pie in a high school gymnasium.
    It's not like I am doing million dollar deals at the teller window, but this is highly unprofessional. I don't care if the customer is cashing a ten dollar check, or depositing $250,000 the people at the other side of the bank don't need to hear the cash being counted back or the amount of the deposit. I have spoken to people about it before and they agree that it is undesirable, but it continues. My grandfather was a banker and at that time this was teller training 101. What has happened to make this so common?
    I don't live in Facebook world where every detail of life is splashed across the internet, so use your inside voice please.
     
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  18. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,524
    Location:
    New Forest
    Surely imperial measurements were the first metric. The Romans created the mile, short for millennia, meaning a thousand. The Roman pace was two steps, at every thousand paces of their road constructions they would place a millennia stone, or mile stone.

    Although the shilling was not minted until the sixteenth century, it had been used for accounting purposes since the Anglo-Saxon period. Originally, a shilling was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent. The value of one shilling equalling 12d was set by the Normans following the conquest; prior to this various Anglo-Saxon coins equalling 4, 5, and 12 pence had all been known as shillings.


    My missus and I have an imperial only house. A fahrenheit central heating dial, imperial bathroom and kitchen scales and a myriad of old cookbooks in imperial measurements only. Why, even my old MG has a ten gallon fuel tank.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2019
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    When it gets me is when they yell across the floor "I need a override!" when all I'm trying to do is deposit one of my freelance writing checks. It's not my fault they sometimes bounce.
     
  20. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,227
    Location:
    New York City
    Having spent many years on the "Wall Street" side of large banks (basically, as banks bought up most Wall Street firms, Wall Street guys like me ended up working for large banks), I saw the entire culture or "narrative" or "meme" around banking change from being one about a solemn trust built on conservative management and respectful relationships (not saying that those were true values, but they were the narratives - surface values - both sides expected) to one where bank branches became "stores" and "banking" just another way to "touch" the client and increase "cross-selling."

    And this change was accepted by both sides as, in particular, younger customers (especially those comfortable doing their banking on the web) didn't care about the old surface values of trust, relationships, etc., and only cared about getting the "best deal" out of the bank. Hence, banking became more of a commodity - something bought and sold by offering the best price (highest CD rate, most ATMs, cheapest mortgage, free checking, etc.) and both sides responded accordingly.

    Many things, like the aforementioned internet contributed to this, but two big ones, IMHO, are the passing away of the Depression Era generation who had lived through bank failures and cared about believing in the integrity of their bank and the passing of (and, then, increasing the amount of) gov't deposit insurance which, in a way, made the quality of the bank irrelevant since, as long as you have less than the insured amount in the bank, it doesn't matter if the bank is trustworthy or not - so just get the best deal, since your money was protected by Uncle Sam anyway.

    There's more, but that's my somewhat inside view of it.
     

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