Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Loving Quaint BUT

On one of my subscribed RSS feeds I came across an article about the possible demise of the VW Beetle.

To most car nuts, and that includes Marcus,  the VW Beetle has been a childhood icon.  From the car is the star performances like /The Love Bug/, to the earliest air cooled classic cars and related Motorhomes.  To the newer redesigned but still aesthetically Beetle like front Engined designs.   Yes, still beetle.

But many people just admire the cars, and nobody thinks they need to continue to buy them, believing that VW will just make these quaint icons for time immemorial.

Here is the article

This prose brought into mind a pet peeve which is those who like something in their society but make no attempt to support it even when they can.

They are sort of quaint freeloaders.   I think of some more homely examples

01 Family Butcher
Chailly butcher

Marcus and Agata don't eat meat these days, so here we have a justification not to visit. (But there is the Epicerie)  But to the rest of you, if you enjoy high quality local farm produce, perhaps check in first with the local butcher and not the supermarket.

And by extension Farmers markets.

02 Local Post Office
Our local Post office was recently closed and a small counter opened in the local pharmacy.  It is a poor substitute indeed.  We were almost daily customers of the now closed Post Office, and despite writing letters to oppose this action, it closed anyway.  Over 18 months later,  the building is still empty, so now there are just expenses and no revenue.  We lost a valuable local service  (well to us!) and now picking up undelivered parcels is non trivial again.  Hmmm.

03 High Street or Corner Shop
The small shop, that if you live in a town, offers a terrible selection, often at steep prices.  But they are open it seems all day long, and even at the evening, well in the UK.  In Switzerland, the law, based on Religious special pleading, does not allow it!  So excluding Switzerland then, the High Street corner shop.  Worth re-visiting.

04 Local Petrol Station
Yes, it is local and perhaps a little more expensive than the supermarket for fuel or nic-nacs.  But the local station, like the local corner shop supports a whole infrastructure of impromptu shopping.  Think about using it for Petrol at least, well more rather than less.

05 Vintage Car Community
Porkers at Montreux

It's a wonderful thing for Marcus to see old and unusual cars on local roads.  Specialist cars are normally enthusiastically owned by caring and particular owners.  They don't need to be rich, but they do appreciate your custom, and comments, at local rallies or events.  It is a sort of thank you for keeping alive the cars of my youth and keeping those special sights on our streets.  Long may it continue here in our usual home of Vaud, Switzerland.

06 Vintage Computer Community

Apple floppy disk

Well this concerns me, because it is me to a large part.  I do keep alive and running a number of said computers, maintain, stock, run one of the very largest sites of information.  And keep the website and other services running, all for free.  Thousands of hours of work in the setup and scan, and still a tolerably high workload for watering and feeding.  My chance to do some give back and free education to youngsters, back to the days when  MegaByte was 1048576 bytes i.e. 1024 squared.  Today of course that is formally 1000 squared bytes and the IEC monstrosity MiB Mebibyte has apparently taken over.

07 Your Local Church
Although I am not a fan, (to put it mildly), I would still argue that Religious complacency kills.  So if you are Religious then you should be supporting your local Infrastructure.  Right now, Marcus is beginning the month of Ramendan  (please note the spelling, and don't confuse this with any imitation).  Agata is preparing for me to just a little bit grumpy and occasionally angry at the expected weight gain from extra mandated Pasta consumption.  She continues to have the patience of a Saint, or something like that.

The above list is drawn at random.   My point is, if you value the services provided by your local community, often at higher cost, with less choice, than competing chain stores then support them. Equally when dealing with enthusiasts let them know you care and appreciate their work.   Else, don't be surprised when these quaint sections of your society disappear.