New things you know are an improvement but you still lament the old way(s).

My main one is the euro.
I think it’s great I can go to a whole load of other countries and use the currency and that I immediately understand what price things are without having to convert currencies in my head. You can also tell more readily when someone is trying to rip you off as a tourist :slight_smile: . However, I lament the sense of difference national currencies gave countries. The franc, the deutschmark, their differing designs and different national heroes etc. on the notes. Now we have a little bit of difference still on coinage (and these coins circulate throughout the Eurozone) but the notes all look the same from Athens to Dublin. I know there are still plenty of countries that have their national currencies intact but the euro, as useful, as sensible as it is just seems like another nail in the coffin of regional variation. Ironically enough on this small island we still have two currencies and will do for the foreseeable future.

What’s your new things that you know are an improvement but you still lament the old way(s).?
An Gadaí.

It took years of convincing for me to finally submit and buy a mechanical pencil. I understand that they’re better in pretty much every way, but I still like to use regular old wooden pencils. It’s been difficult; the other day it took me 10 minutes to find a pencil sharpener, no one keeps one in their office anymore.

My digital camera sure has some advantages, but when I’m doing “real” photography (instead of “snapshots”) I still use 35mm. I’ll get a *serious *digital camera when I can get 30 megapixels for 1000 bucks.

??You don’t carry a pocket knife for such things??

Wine corks… I know that screw-caps are infinitely superior, and that there’s really no need to use tree bark to seal a bottle any more, but there’s something beautifully ritualistic about pulling a cork from a wine bottle.

Vinyl albums.

Yeah, CDs are so much easier to handle, carry and they last so much longer, but nothing sounds better than the old vinyl. A CD doesn’t even come close.

Not to mention the tragedy of how we process our music, which leaves contemporary music lifeless and heavily clipped.

We’ve been taking backward steps people.


I miss LDs. I know that LDs failed, in part because of the association that most people had with them being linked, because of their size, to LPs - which was an “obsolete” technology. I like the room that a DVD has for all the extras like director commentary. But I like how durable LDs are compared to DVDs, and how scratch resistant. And relatively toddler proof - if the toddler can’t pick it up, it’s not going to be chewing on the LD. I like that I’ve never had artifacts on the screen from an LD, and am annoyed everytime it happens with a DVD.

Plus LDs used less compression on the soundtracks, so they sounded better as well.

Cell phones. I know they’re convenient and all, but I hate being expected to be reachable 24/7. I hate remembering to charge the damn thing and constantly running it out of battery life. I hat the fact that no one will make a plan with me ahead of time anymore–it’s always, “Take the subway to stop X and just call me when you get off. I’ll tell you where to go from there. Then you can call me again when you get there!”

And yet, it comes in so handy and saves the day every now and then. So I can’t get rid of it.

I agree about the cell phones. What I hate most is that nobody seems to know how to turn it off or ignore the ringing. I’m here talking to you, a real person trying to take care of real work. But you have to answer your cell phone from someone who wants to know if you can met up for dinner and where do you want to go and can Janie come and let’s go someplace else I don’t like their french fries. All the whle I sit waiting, feeling invisible.

And people who use them when any type of a crowd is gathered for a single purpose should be shot on site.

Microwaves. Indispensably useful, but I still long for the kitchen smells that only a range top and oven can produce. Packaged foods all suck. I don’t care how prettily they’re packaged or how much they boast about their recipes coming from Grandma Moses. The best cook in the world was my mother. Nothing else begins to compare.

:confused: But microwaves are for a completely different purpose, surely? Nobody actually cooks in microwave ovens (or do they?!) - they’re purely for reheating, defrosting, and maybe making hot drinks. At least in my experience.

I miss (or will miss when it disappears) analogue TV. Digital TV signals are way over-compressed and the picture quality is awful. So in that respect I guess it doesn’t fit the OP stipulation of “things you know are an improvement”.

I also miss writing and receiving letters. I still have a whole boxful of letters from my old schoolfriends that I received in my first year of university - 1994, just before the internet and e-mail really went mainstream. After about the end of my second term, most people were on email and any further communications would have been read, forgotten and deleted in a trice :frowning: I actually looked through a few of the letters the other day… in one, my friend writes “Hey, have you got an email number [sic] yet? Mine is meant to be (*******) if you want to try it out only I haven’t figured it out yet.” That’s the changing world preserved in history, right there…

Actually, there are a number of items that are prefectly fine when cooked in a microwave over. Shrimp scampi, for example, can be easily and quickly made in a microwave, with no loss of flavor or texture IMNSHO. And microwave “baked” potatos are good. Water-heavy dishes are also suitable for nuking - I’ve got a couple of recipes for chilis in the microwave. They’re not as good as a day long simmered chili, but for a relatively quick ground beef based chili, it’s quite good.

Where I object to microwave cooking (instead of re-heating) are those old microwave cookbooks that claim you can use the microwave to cook roasts or the like - which always seemed to result in dried out shoe leather, not a roast.

Third about the cellphones. I remember being with someone, chatting with them, when my cellphone began to ring. I had forgotten to turn it off. I checked to see who it was, saw the person wasn’t urgent, and continued talking with the person. They were baffled. “Aren’t you going to answer it?” I said, “No, I’m here, talking to you, that means I’m busy, they can wait. I’ll call them back.” They were completely stunned that I could ignore a ringing phone.

I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of them right now. Generally I am all about moving with the times, but there’s been a few things that bother even me.

E-mail is convenient and cheap, but I kind of miss receiving handwritten letters from friends, something you could hold in your hands.

You’d be amazed. You can buy these little boxes and buckets with ice that vaguely resembles recognizable food. You nuke them for 4 to 8 minutes and out comes a steaming hot pile of barely edible shit. The only good thing about them is that the portions are so small.

Like I said, “nobody actually cooks in microwave ovens”. :slight_smile:

Reheating frozen ready meals, perhaps - ok and baking potatoes, if that counts as cooking - but I can’t see microwaves ever displacing real ovens.

Question is, do you ever send them first? Or do you also work exclusively by e-mail?

I’ve pretty much accepted I won’t be getting many letters from people in the Western world. But you know, there are still people looking for penpals in other places. And besides, often enough if you send one you may get one back…I do get a handful of handwritten letters a year.

I like being able to wear pretty much whatever I want no matter where I go, but I get a little nostalgic when I see pictures of people on airplanes or at baseball games in the 1940s-50s, with the men all in suits with hats, and the women all in nice dresses. All in all, people dressed better back then.

And I know today’s little cars are better for the environment and more fuel effcient, but those stately automobiles of yesteryear are the stuff dreams are made of.