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Junk

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By John Reynolds/CNBNews

Junk mail,  junk food,  junk mortgages –  they're clogging our mailboxes, arteries, and courts. They're selling us crap we don't need or want, they're killing us and our neighborhoods. And if you're still around and turn on the TV, the junk shows will finish you off.

I'm the only guy on my block that changes his car oil in the driveway and inflates his tires with a bicycle pump. I'm old school - actually I'm too cheap to pay Jiffylube and I figure I could use the exercise.

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My  pump must have been 20 or 30 years old, I can't remember when I bought it. It had a cast metal base and a steel Schrader valve housing. I used to clean the tube and lube the leather plunger seal to keep it pumping efficiently.  I never had a problem,  it was one of my better investments.

A couple of weeks ago I was pumping up a tire and it started leaking at the valve. The seal wore out and couldn't hold any pressure. After 20+ years and hundreds of pumped tires,, the pump was shot. Time to upgrade to a new model that utilizes the latest advances in pneumatic technology.

I stopped at Wallmart and looked at some pumps. My first thought was, "these look cheap, they're all plastic." A couple were "name" brands, Bell and Schwinn, that sold for $25. The other "cheaper" pumps with exotic names that I never heard of went for $10-$15.  I spent at least 10 minutes looking at them, inspecting the base, tube, and the valve fitting: first the name brand pumps, then the cheap ones, then back to the name brands –  I couldn't see any Buckle_up difference between them – they all had plastic molded fittings that didn't inspire much confidence. I finally went with the $12 "Genesis Raptor" model with the purple paint job and built in gauge.

It worked OK for a month, until I tried pumping up my tenth tire and the fitting broke. I cursed out,  "I should have kept my old F'n pump and put on a new Schrader fitting."

After settling down, I couldn't bring myself to trash the new pump – it was only a month old –  so I cut the fitting off and will hose-clamp on a metal replacement when I find one. The Raptor should be good for another month before something else breaks and it's ready for the junk heap along with the billions of dollars of other disposable Chinese made junk that American consumers throw out every year.

I went to Gloucester Catholic in '72 and currently live in Gloucester Township. If I offended anyone, feel free to unload on me at my blog


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