Feb. 8th, 2009

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I am Gadget Man, yet at the same time I keep on rebelling against modern technology. I guess that while I admire modern digital and non-digital tech, I don't like the look and feel of it. I don't like some of its wastefulness. I don't like how the electronic gadgets devolve into some box with a digital display and an array of little pushbuttons whose differing (and often multiple) functions are only indicated in tiny gray text on a slightly darker gray background- would have been hell to read even before my eyes got old.

And heaven help you trying to remember how to use the ones you only need to touch about twice per year.

I've already ranted about matches. Technological Rebellions Nos. 2, 3, and 4 are a little more mundane, I think.

I wear a watch-- that itself is a technological rebellion of a sort, since so many people just use cell phones for timekeeping any more. Speaking of cell phones, my home phone is a Magic Jack device plugged into my computer, and plugged into the Magic Jack is... a 1974 Model 500 telephone. Black. With a dial. I guess that would be Technological Rebellion No. 5. I do actually know how to operate a dial telephone, but in case you were wondering the dial doesn't work with the Magic Jack. I dial by punching the number pad on the computer keyboard. It works just fine.

There is actually enough juice involved to ring the Model 500's mechanical bell. Just barely.

Anyway, back to the watch. It is one of these fake Rolex watches, the diver style. Only it's actually a Casio Waveceptor, controlled by the National Bureau of Standards atomic clock radio signal. Accurate to an ohgodosecond per day. I think it's amusing to have an atomic radio-controlled watch and then do my best to make sure it looks like anything but. I guess I'm easily amused.

Technological Rebellion No. 3 is my fountain pen collection. These fill from bottles of ink. I'm not sure whether this means I waste less resources than using disposable pens but it feels that way.

Of course I also have some ball pens for travel and the like. I tend to use ballpoints that use Parker gel refills, and I know this isn't saving anything since the refill is about as much stuff, and costs more, than a disposable pen.

Technological rebellion No. 4 is a Schick Injector razor.

I can remember when a five-bladed wet razor was a parody on Saturday Night Live. Now they're up to four blades, and I think there's a five out there. Want to make some money, go file a patent on blades five through about thirty; I'm sure disposable razors with that many blades are coming.

What they should really do is make a belt sander set with little razor blades all along its length. New Gilette Beltmax, the first 15,000 blade razor! A cleaner, more comfortable shave than your 10,000-blade or your money back! Belt sander and paramedics not included!

I found my old Schick single-blade and found that it shaves as well as anything else out there. Of course it only has one blade, and of course the blades come anything between seven to 20 in a little tiny blade injector-dispenser gadget, and they've also been around since the 1920s or so. The patent is expired, anybody could make them, the razor companies can't make a bundle selling them-- the real reason they've gone out of production.

You can get blades from them. I bought some new old stock. You can also buy them newly manufactured, cheap, high quality, and 20 to the package-- or 100 to the package, in bulk, without the blade injector gadget that actually makes it possible to get your blade into the razor. You get them from a medical supply company. They still use this style of blade for use in devices that slice medical samples in making microscope slides.

The next step in the rebellion will probably be abandoning shaving cream in favor of old scraps of soap in my mug, whipped to a froth with my shaving brush. I bet that will work just fine. But again, it's very unpatriotic and un-American, since nobody can make huge profits on it.

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