Okay, now you know I'm feeling better, cuz I'm pissed off.
I had a switch on a lamp break. The lamp's 60 years old and I expect to hang onto it for another 30, so I went out to find a replacement part. I live in an older blue-collar neighborhood, where we try to fix things, rather than throw them away and buy newer inferior goods. My neighborhood hardware store, which was famous for having everything - including spare vacuum cleaner parts - got bought out by a major chain after the owner developed Alzheimer's, so I went to the nearest big box store (you know the one) and dug through a bin of lamp sockets. All but one of them were broken; they were so cheap, they didn't even survive the trip to the store. In order to have the lowest-priced goods, they stock goods that are just barely held together; my old one was brass, the ones being sold were electroplated cardboard with plastic moving parts - it would take a molecular sieve to put any less metal on them.
I went to another place. Same story. I briefly considered going through junkyards to find what I want (My neighborhood junkyard was recently bought by the St. Paul Port Authority as part of a gentrification program, by the way).
Because I live in a metropolitan area of 2000000 people, there is a place that specializes in lamp repair; those of you who live in remoter areas - good luck with your tickytack lamps. I had to wait until they were open (lamp repair not being a major business) and then drive the 20 miles to get the part I wanted. They exist to restore $20000 Tiffany lamps to $30000, so their idea of profit margin is somewhat skewed, but they had what I wanted.
So I bought the part and made the repair and it only cost me a two day wait, 50 miles of driving and twice the cost of a new lamp.
There is a world between those who change residence every 5 years and don't bother moving their lamps, but buy new ones to suit the new decor and those who buy lamps as investments and status symbols to decorate the mansions they serve rather than inhabit. We tend to think that the people who hate America because it's destroying their way of life live in quaint villages in remote areas, but I'm thinking I'm becoming one of them.
And it's not even a lamp I like.
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
12 hours ago