6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"

I consider myself a frugal sort, not given to buying binges. "Retail therapy" would appear absent from my dictionary.

But in the last few months, I've found myself unabashedly buying several things.

Surprisingly, all three items in this materialistic surge start with "W." I wrote earlier about my purchase of a retro, 1930s-ish wristwatch that gives only hour and minutes of the day.

The second "W" item I bought was a wallet. I've no idea when I bought the nylon "Sundog" Velcro wallet for about $10. An incredibly durable and simple design: Five card slots and a two-sleeve bill pocket, zippered for "hidden" funds and the like. 

[sundog wallet]

Alas, over the years, the plastic zipper gave up: I tossed the sliding pull. At some point post-zipper, I got on the Internet and contacted the fellow who owns "Sundog". He seemed thrilled to hear from a wallet customer. I asked where I could get another. He replied they were no longer available, but did I want to be notified when and if he were to bring them back? I let it go.

When the wallet's sewn edges began unravelling, I thought about repair, But in a moment of lucidity, I decided: Maybe it's time.

The new wallet's a gem. All of $38 for a sharkskin wallet with free shipping from Thailand. Simply holding it makes me feel richer, more substantial than could ever be said for the "Sundog." Eight sleeves for cards, a flap license holder with clear windows, two silk-lined bill pockets. First class all the way.

Some might object to a wallet once the skin of a wild animal, but I'm assured the shark met its demise sustainably. Besides, in our post-petroleum world, no nylon, no plastic, no Velcro matters.

My third "W" buy, though, edges closer to "retail therapy." A Sony Walkman (tm).

I was walking by the corporate headquarters of Ziba Design here in Portland the other day. A window slogan there speaks to a new Ziba-designed boombox for TDK: "An analog icon in a digital age." Ziba has a point.

Of late, I've been listening to a handful of cassette tapes I've kept over the years. Okay, rewind and fast-forward are cumbersome, but I also get satisfaction from stick-shift transmissions in cars.

For my money, the Walkman approaches the The Perfect Thing author Steven Levy ascribes to the iPod in his eponymous book. The Walkman revolutionized how we took our stereo mobile and made it personal (DIY mix tapes!).

In a few days, I get a blister-pack NOS (new old stock) Walkman. Nostalgia, yes, but for a deserved analog icon.

Read more ...
(click to enlarge image)

The Cat at Light's End

Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection, The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:

.mobi (Kindle)
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)

more posts

7:25:13 Le Havre by Kaurismaki
7:20:13 This Ain't California
6:27:13 The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, a book review
5.29.13 My Linux (Mis)Adventures
5.25.13 Southern Cross the Dog, a book review
5.5.13 Russian Tumbleweed
4:16:13 "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster
3.26.13 Camera-rama
3.25.13 Moore's Law
3:13:13 Grocery Shopping 
2:28:13 Razor Blade in Moonlight
1:27:13 Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, a book review
1:6:13 Alleys
12:9:12 White Bread, a book review
12:4:12 Update on Old-School Shaving
11:12:12 Ten Great Buys at Dollar Tree
11:6:12 My New Russian Camera
10:29:12 Leaf Day
10:2:12 The Russian Navy in New York?
9:21:12 The Righteous Mind, a book review
9:14:12 Revolution, 1989, a book review
8:23:12 Train Whistles in the Night
8:2:12 Why I've Stockpiled Light Bulbs
7:22:12 Old-School Shaving
7:16:12 Злектроника МК-52, computer de minimus
7:4:12 Ivan's Childhood by Tarkovsky
6:21:12 The Unabomber, a modern Thoreau?
6:12:12 Do the gods exist?
6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"
5:28:12 On Taxes, We Should Go Green
5:17:12 Portland's Trash
5:6:12 The Toaster Project, a book review
4:24:12 No Seconds
4:12:12 Portland's Runaway Utility Bill
4:8:12 The Repossession, a book review
3:30:12 How I Got Published in Mississippi Review
3:18:12 Rothko
3:9:12 The End of Money, a book review
3:1:12 gutenberg.org
2:18:12 Beauty Plus Pity, a book review
2:5:12 Kirk's Castile Soap
1:29:12 Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer, a book review
1:22:12 Thirst, a book review
1:17:12 My IBM ThinkPad 1999-2012
1:11:12 String Beans
12:22:11 Spiritual TMJ
12:16:11 1Q84, a book review
12:11:11 How Portland Became Portlandia
12:1:11 The Fixie
11:20:11 Camus' Insight
11:13:11 Old & Worthy
11:7:11 Life Is Tragic
10:31:11 A Matter of Death and Life, a book review
10:25:11 Dead Letter, Email Fatigue
10:18:11 Reinventing Collapse, a book review
10:11:11 Rereading Pirsig
10:1:11 The Sisters Brothers, a book review
9:26:11 The Great Stagnation, a book review
9:16:11 Coffee, The Affordable Luxury
9:12:11 The Genius of Value
9:5:11 Death and the Penguin, a book review