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What is wrong with people?

Home Forums SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE LIVING Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle What is wrong with people?

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    Each day I loose a little bit more faith in humanity’s ability to survive. Apart from the fact that somewhere on the planet someone is blowing someone else up over money, land, energy or religious fanaticism; it’s the simple local things that make me shake my head the most.

    Today I was driving through my neighbourhood when I spotted something interesting in a pile of “rubbish” left on the verge for council cleanup. Almost resisting the wife’s disembodied voice in the back of my head telling me to keep driving, I pull over and spot what caught my attention…a set of body-building weights. In fact it’s almost identical to a set I already own; a ezy-curl bar with 2x6kg and 2x5kg weights and locking nuts. It’s all a little bit rusty, but weights are weights right? I figure I could get at least $30 on ebay for the set, so I start lifting other stuff off them so I can put them in the back of the car.

    Thats when I lift up what looks like a small suitcase. It catches my attention because its way heavier than what it should be. I release the funny latch on it and lift the lid to find a pristine condition Jamome model 611 electric sewing machine with foot pedal, instruction manual and about 20 rolls of cotton, pins, needles, scissors and other assorted sewing stuff.

    In the foot of the machine is a test strip of cloth with multiple stitches sewn into it, and the needle and bobbin are still threaded.

    I took it home, but I’ve only just now had the chance to open the case and have a good look at it. First things first…check the bobbin and shuttle. It looks like there are about 4 threads coming from the shuttle…something wrong there. The needle thread looks ok so I open the instruction manual and read up on how to release and thread the shuttle. A few attempts later and I successfully have two threads waiting lined up at the back of the needle waiting to sew.

    I plug in the pedal and power cable and the light from the machine suddenly startles me. I didn’t expect that to work without having to press a switch. In fact I really didn’t expect the bulb to work at all.

    I place the test strip of cloth under the foot and lower it. Gingerly, I nervously press the pedal by hand and get that characteristic sewing machine growl in return. I press a bit harder and the needle comes to life, dancing a simple straight stitch down the cloth. I gun the pedal a bit harder and I’m at the end of the cloth before I know it. I turn it around and start again, this time pressing the pedal to the floor, giving it full power. The needle is a blur as I race to the end of the cloth and come to a dead stop. I hit the reverse button and back up a few stitches, stop, raise the foot, cut the thread, inspect the cloth, and I have a perfect double line of straight stitching front and back.

    So what has a sewing machine and a few body-building weights got to do with humanity’s ability to survive the future? I’m glad you asked.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this stuff, so why’s it being thrown out? The weights might be a bit rusty but that doesn’t effect their function in any way. A bit of paint would even fix that.

    The sewing machine may be a bit old, but from what I can tell it is in perfect functional condition. The shuttle just wasn’t threaded right.

    So the people who owned them may not have needed them anymore, though I can’t fathom why. The simple answer to that is sell them. They certainly aren’t rubbish, and even rich people don’t just throw good things out without seeing if they can’t get something in return for them first. That’s why they are rich.

    Get a few bucks by having a garage sale or selling them on ebay. It’s what I’m going to do with the weights, and only because I already have a set the same.

    The sewing machine though is an absolute polished gemstone. It was made back in the days when things were built to last generations, but even then it doesn’t look like it has seen much use. So what if it doesn’t have an LCD display, USB input or wireless pedal? And why throw out the cotton and all the other stuff?

    The clues are there and I think I’ve pieced them together.

    This isn’t a situation where the family has just bought a shinny new sewing machine and thrown their old one out. They don’t sew. At all. Ever. If they did they wouldn’t have thrown out all the cotton and other useful stuff. Which means when their clothes get tattered, as clothes these days do way too quickly, they don’t fix them. They throw them out and buy new ones. Holes in your socks? Throw them out. Holes in the knees of your jeans? Throw them out. Need to sew on a button that’s come off your shirt? Don’t bother wearing it any more until its unfashionable then throw that out too.

    These people are the definition of the disposable society. A society that expects oil to be cheap and last forever. A society that has no thought for the landfill required to dispose of all their useful, unwanted items. A society that has an attention span so limited that it can’t read a set of instructions and thread a bobbin and shuttle on a sewing machine correctly.

    And the scary thing is these people are the norm. They are the majority. They are the supreme rulers of the planet right now simply because they are the biggest consumers with all the latest gadgets and designer clothes.

    I guess I shouldn’t be too harsh though. They are probably single handedly keeping the economy ticking along at the moment.

    Can you tell I’m angry? Angry and happy at the same time. Happy that I was lucky enough to spot this stuff before a big storm come through and ruined the sewing machine forever. It’s mine now. I’ll use it to repair stuff that breaks, and when it breaks I’ll repair it too so I can keep using it. Then I’ll teach my children how to use it, and when I break and turn back into stardust, one of them will get to keep it.

    This is how life is meant to be, but its how the majority of life isn’t.



    I would’ve been over the moon finding the cottons, never mind the rest


    Yes, they could’ve sold it on E-bay. But if that might’ve seem too difficult, there is also Freecycle. Though some people may just be way too lazy to get out of their way to do the right thing. It is much easier to simply chuck it out. Out off sight, out off mind!


    What a find RW! My mum has a sewing machine very similar which she has had since high school. She has it serviced every so often (10 years or so!) when it’s getting a bit tired, but other than that it works a treat! When I bought my first sewing machine a year or 2 ago, they all had digital screens etc and I just wanted something like mum’s! What a find!


    Fantastic find, RW. I totally agree with you. And I do so love the way you tell a story.


    Fantastic find! I’d be rapt if I found that.

    What is sad is that they were too lazy to donate it to the local op shop even.


    I agree with you rw the mindset of some folk is very, very scary. And these are mostly the ones who will be running wild when the shtf. They don’t seem to understand ‘waste’ and they don’t seem to have the ability to think laterally.

    My motto is if you can’t use something yourself, give it to someone else who can.



    Op shops can’t take electrical items any more though. If it were me, I’d have at least put it out with a sign on it saying ‘sewing machine, probably fixable, please take’. Actually if it were me, this wouldn’t have happened at all! This disposable society is depressing.


    Fantastic find.

    I’m with Calliecat I would have been happy with just the cottons and scissors.

    sue esue e

    Speaking from recent experience ,I wonder if there was a death in the family and they were just desperate to get rid of stuff. Hard to imagine somebody who has an older machine like that who also uses weights though. Hang on- that’s me! I know when my mum recently passed we had to get her stuff out of her rented home quickly so it was a case of a lot of stuff going to the op shop which was just behind her place or bringing it home- which is why my spare room is full of stuff that I need to find a home for.It is really unbelievable that it could be just dumped though.I have my mum’s new machine here now but my machine is almost identical to the one you picked up and I am more inclined to hang on to mine as, like you, I reckon things built in those days last longer.Unfortunately the youngies have no experience of things that were built to last.Having said that my daughter and her partner have furnished their house with stuff from ebay, good old solid timber(no chipboard) stuff that saved them literally thousands. Its just that the box of threads looked like it belonged to an older person.

    its good that you gave this lovely machine a new appreciative home :tup:

    Judi BJudi B

    :jawdrop: a sewing machine …. I had a hard time thowing mine out it couldn’t be fixed but I loved that machine so much DH bought it for me when the kids were little … so instead of dumping it I gave it to a sewing machine repairer at least it had a chance to help another.

    Some people have more money than sense, when we go to Brisbane I look at all the stuff and think “how would I get that home?” such things as solid timber doors, old fidges/freezers, sheets of old tin, tables and chairs the list just goes on and on.


    Sue e I was thinking the same thing. When my mother died, my brother wanted everything gone in a hurry so he disposed of everything before the rest of us had time to think about what to do with it. People these days are decluttering, a strange concept to some, so find these unnecessary items as a pain in the neck. But I do agree with you RW but why get angry over something you can’t stop. Just use the goodies and consider yourself a winner for saving it.



    Our op shops are full of electrical items 🙂


    good find RW

    Im one of those declutters at the moment, I want to come home from work and have everything in its place, Its doing my head in.

    Last day of work today, for 6 weeeks and Im gonna rip into getting rid of everything that doesnt have a spot for it.

    I know that sometimes its just easier to dump stuff on the verge pickup

    I know that when I have done that, I figured someone would be along to pick through what Ive popped out the front

    In fact when I moved states and had a skip bin out the front, I had people going through the skip bin


    Guess where I got my sewing machine from RW? Same as you, hard rubbish. I stopped because I thought it might have a spare foot pedal that I could use on my grandmas machine. When I opened it at home, it was in mint condition. It was threaded, had an instruction manual and had an old lady smell. It was a little dusty on the outside, the inside was perfect. It looked brand new. Its the most basic of basic machines, but I too could not understand why it was in hard rubbish at all. :S

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