Back in the day… [day 18 & 19]

On my recent road trip, I found so many interesting things to photograph.  Most of the interesting things were vintage or antique.  What’s the difference?  My boss asked that question on Facebook a few months ago.  Vintage is 7+ years old and antique is 50+ years old.  Just for the record, I’m still vintage.

Life has changed radically over the past few decades.  Here’s a few photos I found interesting.

vw bug slugbugSlug bug!  I just had to stop and take a photo of this VW Bug, sitting in front of an auto salvage yard.  It’s probably out front because people still love these little beauties.  Some turn them into art projects, some restore them and some use them for parts.

This car, brand new, back in 1969 cost about $1,800.  The same car now (44 years later, for those of you who hate math), brand new, costs $19,995 for the basic model.  A restored 1969 model in decent shape is in the $4,000 range.  Cars have gone up in price, even more than the inflation rate.  The inflation rate from 1969 until now is 4.33%.  $1.00 in 1969 had the same buying power as $6.47 in 2013.  If you work the numbers, car prices have increased twice as much as inflation.  Ouch.  Let’s face it, cars are disposable.  Not by the one use and throw it away standard, but you’re not going to have it forever.

1997 infiniti qx4 value in 2013I’ve been car shopping.  I have a 1997 Infiniti QX4 with 195,000 miles on it.  I love this car.  Before I dumped some more money into it, I needed to check the value.  It’s a good thing I was sitting down!  The vehicle I bought in 2000 for $19,500 is worth less than $1,000.  Ouch.  Just for the record, I don’t have any intention of getting rid of this car.  It needs a little work, but still runs great.  My kids were traumatized when I even mentioned a new car.  They thought that meant getting rid of our beloved Infiniti Sleigh.  Nope.  She will be ours until she dies.  We love her.  Yes, I love a car.  We will not dispose of her.  Her Blue Book value might be low, but she’s paid for and dependable.  I’m sure Dave Ramsey would agree with me, her value is much higher to our family than any car market report.

pay phoneRemember these?  Pay phones.  I can clearly remember bellyaching about spending a quarter to make a phone call.  Now?  I don’t even blink at paying $180 a month for 3 smart phones.  I decided to count the cell phones I’ve had over the years.

  1. Suitcase phone.  Yes, I was the coolest person on the beach.  1991 I think?
  2. Car phone.  Again, I was so cool in my Lebarron convertible talking on my car phone.  Yes the one that was $3.47 a minute and nobody in their right mind would talk more than 2 minutes to anyone.  If the president had called, I would have maybe given him one extra minute.
  3. Nokia cell phone.  Yes, I skipped the brick phone.  I got this in 1999.
  4. Flip phone.  Samsung?
  5. Black Razr.  Met its fate in the washing machine.
  6. Pink Razr.  Met its fate in the toilet.  Note to self: if you’re going to yell at your boys for leaving the toilet seat up, take your phone out of your pocket first.  Back to the old flip phone until I’m eligible for an upgrade.
  7. 1st generation iPhone.  Yep, that’s me.  the early adopter that overpaid.
  8. iPhone 3gs.  I still have this phone.  We use it for an iPod.
  9. iPhone 4.  My son traded in the broken one and now uses this phone.
  10. iPhone 5.  The 4 broke and I upgraded.

Phones are disposable.  My collection of rotary dial phones don’t even work any longer.  They’re fun to have sitting around the house though.

glass vintage bottles

$9.95 for one of these little babies!  Vintage and/or antique soda bottles.  I don’t even remember 76.  These are made to be reused.  In some states, they still do this.  You bring in your bottles and get money back.  Why are only a few states doing this?  We send them off to the recycling center, which is good.  These are disposable.

Can you think of many things that are not disposable on some level?  I guess I’ve been watching too many Life After People episodes.  Just about everything is disposable.  When I shop, I try to think this way:

  • Do I need this?  It’s okay to buy some wants, but I have to answer this first.
  • Is this an impulse buy?  We go back the next day and get things if we see something in a store that we didn’t plan to buy.
  • Where will this be in a week?
  • Is this replacing something?  We have a one for one model.  Buy one, get rid of one.
  • Where will this be in 6 months?
  • Where will this be in a year?

I usually never get any farther than that question, unless it’s a major purchase, like a car or a house.  If I do get rid of things, I try to find ways to bless other with them.  Sometimes, I like new things.  We all do.  But sometimes we just need to take the time to appreciate what we have.