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I’m “working” on two rentals that my Mother manages to get them ready to rent, so my time near a computer has been limited.

I’ve noticed a major reduction in inventory at the big box “home improvement” stores, with things I have used for years no longer available, and a lot of cheap substitutes for things that are not inexpensive, just obviously cheaply made.

There is something wrong with the world when you have to wait for them to “mix” off white interior paint and you can’t to buy anything smaller than a gallon.

Why would anyone sell a 3½-inch door hinge with a non-removable pin?

Before this is over I just know I will be yelling at people. This does not help my anger management routine.


1 ellroon { 11.19.10 at 9:22 am }

We’ve noticed the cheapness in the Chinese made steel, the metal is softer and thinner, the nails bend too easily…. but the prices continue to climb. Being a veteran garage-saler and pack rat, I buy old hardware of much better quality for cheap.

I’m still looking for a good toilet handle and chain… the stuff the ‘big box’ guys are trying to sell me is plastic with a thin coating of fake chrome.

2 Badtux { 11.19.10 at 10:25 am }

I’ve actually noticed the quality of the Chinese stuff improving slightly over the last few years, I think because Wal-Mart decided to upgrade the quality of their merchandise from “completely abysmal” to “merely cheap”. But yes, I’ve noticed that some things just don’t seem available anymore. I went looking for a traditional chicken coop electric heater. Not available. A traditional window fan for mounting in your window (the kind with the flanges). Crap, even a traditional box fan rather than these flimsy skinny little things they sell now. Not available. Etc. The manufacturers sold out to big conglomerates, the bean counters at big conglomerates didn’t even bother outsourcing what they made to China, they just closed all the factories and fired all the engineers and went to a Chinese trading web site and ordered whatever the Chinese had for sale and slapped the congomerate’s name on it. China doesn’t have chicken coop heaters and window fans, apparently…

Welcome to 3rd World America, folks. Now I must go finish adapting the recipes for rabbit bisque, rabbit jambalaya, etc., for the next food craze in America now that the Rethugs are cutting off unemployment benefits for close to 5 million people. Rat. It’s the other white meat. 😈

– Badtux the Serfin’ USA Penguin

3 Kryten42 { 11.19.10 at 11:10 am }

Best of luck Bryan m8! I feel your pain. 🙁

Agree with ellroon… most new stuff is garbage.

LOL @ Budtux. Yeah, really! 😀 😉

4 Bryan { 11.19.10 at 11:31 am }

You had to bring up the nails, Ellroon. These places have 50+ year-old heart pine in them from local trees, milled locally. The stuff is as hard as oak, and you occasionally have to pre-drill to get a nail through it, The nails just bend if you don’t. Trying to use a nail gun only invites a trip to the emergency room.

Badtux, that stuff is “regionalized” by “computer models”. The marketing wizards have decided that you don’t need it, so they aren’t going to sell it at local stores. You can probably find both during one of your desert treks. I have to head north of I-10 to find that sort of thing “because no one uses them on the coast”. When you add in the “seasonal” decisions made on what is available, the ‘Net or catalogs are your only sources.

Kryten, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard – “No one has bought one of those in years” To which I respond: “That’s because they last years instead of months, like the crap you’re selling.”

5 paintedjaguar { 11.19.10 at 1:15 pm }

Fans, Badtux? We don’t need no stinkin’ fans. Or antique heaters either. If you were a Real American, you’d be using Air Conditioning 24/7. Think you’re too good to be a regular consumer like the rest of us, huh Mr. Fancypants?

Same goes for you, ellroon. So you bent some nails, cry me a river. Just go buy some more, cheapskate. And yes, you have to buy the whole box. It’s called the free market. Are you some kind of liberal elitist, maybe?

6 Steve Bates { 11.20.10 at 10:50 am }

So it’s really true: President Obama is as hard as nails…

7 Bryan { 11.20.10 at 11:13 am }

Now that is really cruel, Steve. True, but really nasty.

I noticed that Bill Nelson is complaining that Obama has done injury to Florida Democrats. Sorry, but Bill should realize that he had already accomplished that with his wishy-washy lack of leadership as the party’s senior official. Obama is just another coat of paint on the model of wimpyness that Bill Nelson and the other Blue Dogs have saddled the Florida Democratic Party with.

8 paintedjaguar { 11.20.10 at 5:53 pm }

Watching Bill Nelson trying to cope with the TeaParty loons makes me think there might be something to this karma business after all…

I recently had to do some repairs to the railings on the front steps. The existing set used some standard 4 x 4 posts (really 3 1/2 x 3 1/2). I considered using some pre-cut railing parts from Home Depot/Lowes until I realized that they were using even more shaved down dimensions — about 3 1/4 x 3 1/4. I do wish they’d quit trying to hide the actual price of things by shrinking the portions. Recipes are bad enough, but house repairs can be a real pain in the ass, especially in a house that’s old enough to have real 2 x 4’s in it.

9 Bryan { 11.20.10 at 7:33 pm }

Yeah, like using #9 screws for things. Everyone uses #8 or #10, but I’ve been running into #9s and no one stocks them.

Oh, yeah, I remember having to rip 2X6s to make a couple of fixes in the first place I lived because all of the wood was dimensional, not nominal, like today. It gets really old, really quickly when you have to do that, and the benefits of “price” go away with the first cut you have to make on something to get the size you need.

The key to understand the Tea Party is to accept they aren’t for anything, they are just against things, so you can’t really communicate with them in any meaningful way.

10 Kryten42 { 11.20.10 at 11:47 pm }

😆 @ Steve! 😈 Nice one! 😉 😀

The key to understand the Tea Party is to accept they aren’t for anything, they are just against things, so you can’t really communicate with them in any meaningful way.

dat’s true too dat is! 😉 😀