What, doesn't your microwave talk to you?
Meet my microwave, vintage 1982 or '3. I love it! It works like a charm, it's powerful, it's reliable, it's roomy, it makes a pretty sound when it's working. It has a dial, not a touch pad. I've tried, but I cannot get down and funky with the touch pads. Someday I suppose I'll be forced to, if this girl dies, or maybe by then I'll have moved into my cave in the woods with no electricity except for what's needed for the computer. Yes, I am a paradox. Thank you for asking.
I also hate the little cramped spaces in the newer microwaves, although I can give no good reason why, since I really don't put anything that large in mine. But it's what I'm used to. I must admit, one reason I bought it was for the convection feature, but I think I can count on two hands the number of times in the 26 years I've owned this thing that I've used that. It's always on holidays when I have a large crowd of people and need an extra oven. To be honest, I don't think the convection part works that well. I've baked a few things in it, back in the day when I used to bake all my own bread, but mostly I just use it for keeping the mashed potatoes warm or warming up the rolls, or something along those lines.
Anyway, I bought this Panasonic model on the recommendation of Consumer Reports way back in the day (it was hailed a "Best Buy," I think), and man, the old cliche is a cliche for good reason: They just don't make things like they used to. I'm pretty sure we paid $800 for this sucker, though. (And we walked barefoot uphill -- both ways -- in order to pick it up! And ate hot gravel for breakfast.)
We could buy FOUR (or more?) microwaves today for that price, and have the added bonus of having more crap to put in the landfill at the end of a year or two, or whenever it conked out.
On a recent trip to the gym, (stay with me here) I forgot my iPod, so I had no choice but to watch and listen to the TV channel that was playing when I got there. There was some real estate investment (sort of) show on where people bought properties, fixed them up, and resold them at (they hoped) a profit. One woman bought a house of about my house's vintage, and it seemed to need minimal fixup, somewhat like I would deem mine would. She did the cosmetic enhancements, then had the show's real estate expert come in and evaluate what she had done. She did not change the microwave, as it worked well and fit in the place. The real estate guy gave her demerits because it HAD A DIAL, not a touchpad. They put a big red X up on the screen: "Obsolete microwave," minus so many points and minus so many dollars in the increase in the value of her investment. "What?!" I thought.
I'm such a dismal failure at being a 2008 American.
The reason I'm bringing this up is there was (surprisingly to me) quite a lot of interest in the topic of old microwaves in my post the other day. So if you think you have an older microwave than mine, or your parents do, or one of similar vintage, post a photo to your blog and link me to it in the comments here. Or if you don't have a blog, send me a photo of your old faithful microwave. I'll choose a winner on Friday from the random number generator, aka shouting at the nearest person, or writing an email or an IM to the nearest person online, something to the effect of, "Pick a number between 1 and ____!"
I won't give you a $500 gift certificate to an electronics store or a new Wii, like a certain blogger I've been noticing do such outlandish things lately (holy crap! Can you freakin' IMAGINE?!) but I'll try to give you some nice little fiber-related trinket and some chocolate and some homemade jam or sumpin'. I repeat: No $500 gift certificates or Wii's or Guitar Heroes. Are you NUTS?!