Things that last for years [NOT 12/4/21]

bonus points if you know this character

Hi, friends! Sorry this is so late, my wonderful dinosaur of a laptop had to do an update and the old buddy did it! I was a little worried it wouldn’t make it because sometimes big updates take a long time and things struggle after, but so far so good.

How did your Monday go? Are there any things you use regularly that are so old that people are surprised they still work? I also have a set of mixing bowls that my parents got as a wedding gift in 1976, and I’ve had friends ask me where I got them and I’m like hahahahhahahhahha who the fuck knows!



  1. I’m going to guess Jafar as a genie.

    Today was fine.  We were able to find a very nice canoe on Craigslist (yeah, I know) and picked it up today.  It was quite a find.

    As far as things that are so old people are surprised they still work, I don’t even know where to begin.  There’s the 15-year old car which I hope lasts another five years so we’ll have saved enough of a down payment to just up and buy the next vehicle with cash.  There’s the refurbished Kitchen Aid mixer that I got in the late 90’s (seriously, if you want a Kitchen Aid mixer, but are put off by the cost, go with the factory refurbs which cost half as much as a new one but work perfectly).  There’s…my clothes. 

    • I have a Kitchenaid that’s about 20 years old. Thing is awesome. 

    • I’m jealous of the canoe — I’m lucky to have a stream behind my house, but it’s much too little to be navigable. Having a place to paddle at home is great.
      They (whoever “they”are) say that having water within walking distance of your house strongly correlates with a good life (whatever “good” may be) so I count myself lucky at least that something small is there. 
      Yesterday about a mile downstream I saw Barred Owls hooting back and forth and flying in a commotion, so I really can’t complain about my local water source.

      • Living where we do now was a solid case of dumb luck. When we bought the place half the neighborhood was blighted. Between the foreclosures/abandoned/burned homes the area was in bad shape and we got the house for a song. 

        In the five years since we moved here most of the houses in the area have been rehabbed and/or sold. Now houses are routinely going for more than double what we paid for ours. 

      • The only close-by water feature I have is where my sump pump discharges in the back yard. 

  2. …hmmm…it could be I’m way off…but is there any chance that somewhere in all that smile is the skinny kinda-pint-size dragon from the disney animated version of mulan?

    …as for old things…pretty sure there are at least three pieces of furniture in my place that may have started out with my parents’ parents…& I don’t know for sure they were new at that point…& I’ve definitely got at least some tools that are older than I am…that do indeed still work?

    • …all that smoke…damn it…why can’t autocorrect accept that I meant to type the word I actually typed?

      • …not sure if I feel smug or if the fact I seem to have known that qualifies as some sort of confession of nerd-fu in my part?

  3. You mean aside from me? I’m old and still work.

  4. I have a fleece jacket that my dad bought me as a Christmas gift in 1990. And it is not a brand name — Performance Cycling, back when they were a mail-order catalog. (God that sentence makes me ancient.) Anyway, still have the jacket. Have not been able to kill it, despite my best attempts.

  5. Grudges. 
    Also Subarus. And clothing made prior to 1990.

  6. Car, clothes, and a waffle iron that’s 30 years old.  I need to replace the waffle iron. 

  7. I have a beloved rice cooker that’s over 30yrs old. It recently stopped turning off… I haven’t thrown it out because of sentimental reasons and also I’m a bit of a hoarder (logical reasoning: what if my kids like tinkering when they get older? This would be the perfect project!).

  8. my oldest “regular use” things are probably my kitchen canister set, and what is apparently a Descoware Dutch Oven (juuuuust learned that the D.O. is Descoware, after a google😉)
    I got the canister set at an antique store over in Hopkins, about 16 years ago, for $20-25. Bought it because it was cute, VERY fun & MidMo/retro, AND because it’s really nice & airtight.
    It STILL works great, the flour doesn’t get clumpy, and the sugar stays nice & un-clumped, too–no matter HOW bad our humidity gets😉
    The D.O. looks a LOT like this blue one;
    Mine has a lime-ish/apple-green exterior on the base, with a sunny-yellow exterior on the lid (white inside). Apparently it was made *sometime* between the 1940’s-60’s, so it’s at least 50 years old, possibly 70…
    Still works GREAT, and I still use it regularly… at *minimum,* every holiday, typically more often, too😉
    Those are probably the two oldest things in regular use.
    I have some vintage shoes from the 1920’s, and a navy, velvet, flapper dress from the 20’s, too… but those aren’t regular-use items😉

    • My Dutch Oven and other cast iron finally got too grungy for even me and I’ve been dissolving the crud in a lye bath and reseasoning them. I think some had 1/8 inch of buildup that is now gone and they’re looking much better with new seasoning.

    • Ooh your Descoware Dutch oven is lovely!

      I’m glad you commented, I was watching some live coverage in Brooklyn Park and wondering if you were doing okay where you live in Minneapolis. 

      • So far, it’s a quiet night in Uptown.
        We’re literally miles away from the stuff up in BC (the Northside is MUCH closer–North Mpls & BC run for miles, border-wise),….
        I spoke too soon.🙃
        We ARE miles away from the Mpls/BC border, and miles from all the protesting… but opportunist punks are going to try ANYTHING they can… and I just encountered an entire gaggle of them, as I was taking Lily out to go potty.🙃
        I can’t take her down to out building’s interior courtyard, because too many folks have their dogs off-leash in there, so we snuck outside along the side of our building… 
        Because another guy and his pup came out after Lil started to poop, I couldn’t go back the way we came out, and because of the bag o poo, didn’t want to bring that in, so we headed for the front door, around the corner… just to see s gaggle of at least 10 young folks–some with hammers in hand, headed toward the Target windows😖🙃
        Booked it for the door, although still at a walk, some of them saw us, but didn’t seem to care, since my head was down & I was talking to Lil.
        She BOLTED the last few steps, as they began to smash windows, and we hustled in.
        Of course, I called the cops, as soon as I hit the elevator….
        They’re down there no–looks like some cars are starting to leave. But a van showed up–if it’s like last year, they’ll get hauled in for curfew violations (it was a  Somali hand, that I happened to call in THAT time😖, these guys seemed younger & less organized, at least–and these kids likely ARE local, because they were on foot)…
        Looks like it’s gonna be another night of lights & sirens–starting early–all night long.😕

        • Sorry, glad you’re safe – that whole situation is just horrifying – the cause and effect. 

          • Thanks Lymond💖
            It’s looking like we may be pretty lucky around here tonight, and that may end up being all we see at this particular end of town…
            I still don’t quite get how it happened l, tho, because there WERE National Guard & cops ALL OVER around here, before the curfew… and we saw convoys drive through a few times… 
            Apparently they *aren’t* stationing folks at various points,like they did last summer? (Or maybe they’ve got them placed more out in Northern Hennepin & Anoka county?)
            The State Patrol helicopter has been around a few times tonight…
            But with the curfew, there are a bunch less folks “just out and about” compared to last night.
            I know that LOTS of folks are mad about the curfews. And I DEFINITELY worry about the homeless folks around here (‘cuz it’s still COLD out at night!), but I’m not gonna lie, and say that I’m *not* glad for them.
            It was scary a.f., being on fire-watch ALL night, every night until sunrise last summer. It was exhausting, and frankly, traumatizing… worrying about whether the liquor store across the alley was gonna get torched, when SO MANY other buildings in our area burned was legit SCARY. 
            And YES, seeing so many folks have to suffer at worst, or make-do, if they could, DOES piss me off, and make me have ZERO patience for the BS of so much of the looting…
            I GET that folks see looting, and think of Dr. King’s speech, about how riot is the language of the unheard.  But if you saw van after car, after minivan full of primarily white kids with out of state plates coming in & loading up on “scores!” after the police murder of a Black man, you’d be pretty damn pissed off, too!
            I don’t begrudge AT ALL those first looters we saw last summer. They took necessities. I started getting frustrated when it was the organized crime groups out stealing high-end/high-dollar stuff to resell, and then ESPECIALLY when it was the damn suburban kids out for a night of “fun”
            Because those SAME kids’ parents were the ones blaming US for “burning your city down!” (They still DO blame us!)…
            But the main reason it grinds my gears so much, is that–contrary to so many folks’ beliefs–it’s NOT “protest” in any form. It’s just shitty little people, who want free stuff–at least around here, when the looting happens. 
            They hurt so many people, who can’t access basic NEEDS, then go back to their parents’ house in the ‘burbs, leaving us to deal with the aftermath.
            I don’t CARE if they wanna burn down the precints–go the fuck AHEAD. There IS legit & reasonable anger there. 
            But all the small mom & pop places, who were underinsured… the pharmacies where folks got meds they need for survival, so many places which gave locals jobs…. the wanton destruction is just hard to see, without getting ANGRY, because in some cases, this WILL be impact on *lives* and housing, and mental health, and survival.
            And it makes me SO angry that WE get blamed, when –tonight’s exception to the contrary, SO often it’s been from folks NOT from here, causing the damage & harm.

    • lol…dutch oven…made in belgium
      we just call them pans here… be precise

  9. I’ve got a handful.  Although, some things recently died after a long hard life.
    Got a good 6+ years of daily use out of a pair of Redwing Boots that just died last year – I think I got them in ’10 or ’11, wore them pretty much daily till ~’16 when I got a second pair, and then switched them off.  Several re solings and re heelings, and last year a couple seams finally gave out.  I know that’s not terribly long by some standards, but I’m pretty hard on footwear…
    I have an old Swiss? military surplus rucksack I picked up in the 90s or so.  Took it on all kinds of field trips, road trips, vacations, errands, etc.  It’s hauled camping gear, groceries, beer, rocks, scrap metal, dirt and sand, and all kinds of other stuff.  It’s accumulated a lot of damage, and I replaced the straps once, and it’s currently in need of repair (one of my back-burner projects…).  I got it for like ~$30, and I think it dates from the 60s.
    Recently dug out my old Apple iPod shuffle (first gen), and it still works.  I think the last time I had a mac (and thus iTunes, and likely the last time I used it…) was back in 2010ish.
    I also have an old-ass USB flash drive, that I picked up when USB was pretty new.  2001/2?  it only holds like 256MB or so, but it still works.
    My old Silva Ranger compass – I got it back in the late 80s/early 90s, and used it as a teen in orienteering, used it in college for geology, used it in the military for land nav (when the NCOs weren’t looking…), and after for backpacking and biology fieldwork.  It’s beaten all to hell, pretty much all the markings on the acrylic base have worn off,  the mirror is cracked, and the fluid probably leaked out, but it still works just fine.

  10. I still have my 1996 Jeep Cherokee – has no heat or air and needs a paint job – but at least it feels like you’re driving a real car. 

  11. this fucking lockdown?
    *twitches* when the gyms open up again im going to be absolutely destroying some equipment just to work out some of the pent up frustration…
    also my nokia brick..3310…now those things are built to last..mine still works just fine and still has a battery life measured in weeks not hours…not bad for a 20 year old phone
    only reason i had to get a smartphone is coz i needed it to sign temp contracts…somewhere in the last 10 years or so the act of physically signing a contract became useless …all digital now… mostly coz the useless asshats running the show cant be fucking arsed to do a little paperwork 
    so now ive got a nokia 7plus….which is a bigly phone…lol..but so far seems like it has many of the bricklike qualities ive come to expect from nokia

    • The digital contracts is also a liability thing. Companies store those for years and then when someone is disgruntled they can’t be like “well I never signed anything!” since the company can pull the digital record. 

      • i dont really see how thats different from the old paper contracts i used to have to sign in double or triplicate?
        but whatever…i have the smartphone now…took me about a year to get over sulking about being forced into that…but now im used to it….its pretty useful as a social interaction killer….cant talk now…busy doing phone stuff
        shoo! no talking to the phone guy..busy posting memes

  12. Any one of the 5 Singer sewing machines I own, the newest is from 1965-ish, the oldest is my grandmother’s treadle. You can buy a new computerized sewing machine with a million functions but the gears are plastic and will wear out. Older Singers are heavy as hell but keep on sewing. Did I mention they are really good looking and addictive? The best part of the pandemic is not going to thrift shops because if there is an old Singer there it is coming home with me.

    • I dream of someday owning a 221/222, aka the Featherweight.
      They are the cutest little machines, PERFECT for travel, AND they’re allllll metal on the inside😍

      • My dream machine now is a rocketeer [slantomatic] and I would love to get a hand crank. I have a mint green Featherweight that I bought for quilting classes only to find out I have performance anxiety when it comes to sewing in public. lol, still a great machine though.

  13. I have a couple pairs of jeans older than 10 yrs, plus more than a few tshirts older than that. Wash everything in cold and for shirts only tumble dry for about 15 min then hang dry. Though clothes today are not made to last as long so I do a lot of thrifting rather than buying new. 
    My car is a 2007 Saturn. And I am NOT a car person. I just make sure to change the oil on a fairly regular basis and take it in when something makes a noise or doesn’t feel right. 

    • I’ve seen alot of articles lately that say we wash our clothes too often. Curious to know other peoples laundry habits. Like underwear, 1 wearing and that is in the wash. Shirts, depends on if there was a t-shirt underneath. t-shirt – 1 wearing. Jeans – well might be due for a wash since I can’t remember the last time I washed them!

      • most things 1 wearing is a wash for me…my work jeans depends…summer..2 days tops..winter they might go a whole week…if the weather plays nice
        sweaters if i wear them like a normal person..1-2 days… but mostly i use them as indoor coats when i get cold..soo they dont exactly get worn for hours on end…unless its freezing

      • I wear work clothes a LOT between washes. Shirts typically have to be ironed and starched, so I wear them 3-4 times before I start that process. Slacks may go longer. Before anybody jumps in, it’s work, so I’m wearing an undershirt (which gets washed after a single use) and I’m sitting inside in air conditioning that’s usually freezing, so perspiration is generally not a factor. 
        Casual clothing gets used typically twice between washing. But that’s subject to environmental conditions (heat, humidity, exposure to pollen or smoke), activities (did I spill salsa or beer on it), and other factors that may be beyond my control. Socks get washed every use. 

      • Former wardrobe crew & fabric geek (used to work in sewn goods, and I was the one who became the go-to, when there were garment laundering/cleaning issues)…
        Essay ahead, and feel FREE to TL/DR!😉
        We DO tend to overwash/over launder our clothes!…
        That said, I DO wash my clothes to death, as much as I “wear” them until they die.😉
        Any of the detergents (ESPECIALLY Tide!) that claim they’ll “Keep your clothes looking like new!” and pill/slub free are basically washing away bits of fiber, as you wash your clothes. This is a part of the reason why we have the “microplastics in the water” problem we do, too.
        Regarding clothes:
        Underwear SHOULD be washed after every wear–as should anything that goes *directly* on your skin, in a sweaty/bacteria-growing area of your body (groin, armpits, feet, waist for some folks), where broken skin or skin folds** can create a space for bacteria & moisture. 
        Shirts? Honestly it depends on how messy you are, and whether/what/if you wear something under them.
        For *me,* because I work with preschoolers who are as like as not to be walking around with their fingers up their noses, I wash them after EVERY wear*** 
        Same with my jeans.
        Most folks, especially “neat”/non-messy folks can wear things more than once, if they want.
        I also wash in Warm to Cold (hot *isn’t* necessary for my stuff, and hot kills any spandex/elastic fibers much faster), and tend to dry until things are Dry (because I don’thave the time with 2 jobs and school, to do “proper” garment care–which means the spandex fibers in EVERYTHING get killed/ broken MUCH faster than they would if I did things the “right” way…
        For anyone who DOES have the time, and wants air-dryed stuff, but w/o the “crunchiness:” 
        Tumble your clothes in a moderately warm (not HOT-hot!) dryer for 5-15 minutes, then stretch them into shape and hang/lay flat to dry. 
        If you have wool/silk stuff, keep it at the 5-min. end, cottons can go longer, because they’re more forgiving & typically longer smoother fibers, which will not felt or shrink up.
        We used to do the “5 minutes of heat” thing ALL the time in theater, with things like custom-dyed tights. That meant that we got the sweat & bacteria out of the garments, but that they were also soft & comfortable for the actors to wear, once they were dry.
        Another tip: ANYTHING made out of polyester fibers, and worn in those bacteria-growing areas of your body WILL start to stink, with “normal” laundering. Poly fibers bond with “stink.” Because of the fiber shape, and other properties of the plastic they’re made from.
        Nylon fibers are smoother/slipperier, and do NOT hold on to the stench–they give the scent molecules up, when washed in soap & water, and allow them to float away in the wash water.
        To get the stank OUT of a poly fabric, use a washing soda, like Borax, when you wash… the Purple-box “Scent Removing Oxyclean will also work, but Borax is typically half or less the price of Oxyclean, and will give the same (sometimes better!) results.
        To use the Borax powder, you can follow the directions on the box, or, if you’re lazy like me, just throw the clothes in your washer, toss in your liquid soap, throw a generous scoop of borax on top where the water will run, then fill the washer with HOT water. Let it agitate for about *one* minute, then stop the cycle (open the lid, if you have a top-loader!)… 
        Set a timer for 15-20 minutes, and just walk away & let the load SIT for that time. When the timer goes off, shut the lid, and let the cycle run itself as usual.
        When it’s done, dry using your normal method, and the stank *should* be gone… if it was REALLY bad, you might need 2 runs through the washing machine this way–but typically one will be enough😉
        Even though I said what I did, ’bout “stuff that touches one’s skin,” i DON’T typically wash bras after one (or even two!) wears… I allow them a minimum of 2-3 days to air out/dry out between wears (which is why a stable of 4-7+ “everyday” bras is the *minimum* i try to keep!), but I WILL wear them at least 3-7 times, before washing… 
        I do that, because 1. mine are typically $35-50 *each,* (once in a GREAT while, I can find them on a BOGO sale for what ends up being about $25 each🙃), and 2. because of the cost, and the fact that I NEED underwires & side-boning, I don’t want the wires to snap quickly. 
        I don’t handwash, and am too lazy to wash them all in a separate load in garment bags. But I DO always wash them with the hooks closed, and *try* not to wash them with jeans/big towels/ heavy stuff. 
        As soon as they’re washed?
        They get re-shaped, and they air-dry–(i only ever dry in a dryer if I NEED it that day, and messed up!), either laying flat, or by folding the front gusset over the bottom bar of a plastic hangar (i unhook the back, and half of the bra hangs down on each side of the bar–usually 3-4 bras will fit per hanger😉)
        I learned that☝ method through trial & error over the years, but it WORKS, and keeps my bras from breaking wires/ stretching elastic/ losing support, and they typically end up lasting WELL beyond the recommended “6-8 months” modern bras are expected to last (I’ve usually gotten 3-5 years out of them, wearing them at least weekly, some 2 or more times a week–the reason for having that minimum of 4-7 in rotation😉)
        My go-to chemicals are:
        All Free & Clear for detergent, the occasional Borax or Oxy-clean powder added in, then allowed to soak in an open washer at the start of the cycle, if things are REALLY dirty/stinky.
        Oxy-Clean gel stick for “organic” stains like grass/blood/etc, and straight dish soap rubbed in & allowed to “set” a bit for grease/oil stains.
        White Vinegar will remove the yellowing from deodorant on white/other light shirts, if you use solid-type deodorants. You can just soak them in a bucket with some warm water & a generous glug or two of vinegar (a cup or so)
        I NEVER use fabric softener/dryer sheets/”scent boosters” on towels–they make the fabric hydrophobic, rather than hydrophilic–meaning THAT is why your towels won’t suck up water, and leave you feeling cold & clammy after a shower…
        If you DO accidentally wash/dry them with softener, a good, hot, cycle with soap, some baking soda as your “powder” additive, and some vinegar (1/4c to 1c) in the “bleach” part of the cycle or during the rinse cycle *should* break the fabric softener’s bond with the fibers. 
        As for bleaches–hydrogen peroxide bleaches, like Clorox 2 are FINE, they’re basically the powder/liquid form of Oxyclean. I just use the gel stick, because it’s more precise & easier to manage.
        Chlorine bleach WILL eventually eat away at your fabrics, unless the chlorine (a basic solution–that’s why it feels slippery, if you ever accidentally get it on your hands!), is neutralized by an acid…
        That’s why folks who do dyeing/ bleaching always treat bleached fabrics with a vinegar-wash or soak, after the bleach is rinsed/washed away really well (dyers usually do this OUTDOORS!). That neutralizes the chlorine & stops it from eating its way through the fibers, eventually destroying them.
        The yellowing that occurs from bleaching whites can be counteracted by a wash with some liquid Blueing,
        Out’s White Bright also works well, on things that are straight-white (it WILL remove/change other colors!), and which are made of synthetics like poly/nylon–a former roommate who used to wear white compression shirts a lot used that, and it worked really well for him–the water at his house was hard, and would leave whites dingy after a few months of washing. He eventually used a combo of the White Bright, AND a small scoop of oxyclean (regular) to keep his towels & shirts a crisp white.
        **even things like the spaces where your toes flex, or between one’s toes!

        • This is awesome, thanks! I will definitely try that method for washing bras, I rotate but throw them in the dryer when I wash them. I never really thought about it, I do use the lowest heat setting so maybe haven’t done too much damage. There is nothing like a good bra.

        • Dang. This should’ve been a whole post. 

        • *fist pump* this is why I have 10 yr old bras and jeans! I’ve been doing everything right, haha!!

        • Borax also has a bunch of uses around the house!

      • Yeah jeans are not as bad as bras but they’re definitely not washed frequently. Unless I get something on them. Since working from home, I’ve definitely started wearing tops 2-3x before they go in the hamper. Some of my nicer sweaters also get 2 wears, when they get worn to the office.

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