Interesting word. I'm not really a curmudgeon, but someone who is an advocate for historical or traditional things and habits. It's not from being old or being anti-technology, it's just a personal statement of what's important to me and my life. I value the human side of things and things that keep that connection which requires you to be involved. How you ask?
First, with a few exceptions, I've always only owned Volkswagons, from a 1964 sedan, 1971 bug, a 1985 GTI, and now a 1991 Vanagon Syncro. They require you engage yourself in the vehicle and driving. It's almost all manual, you have to pay attention and drive. They have fairly simple controls for things, like heating, fresh air (ok, some have AC), radio and so on. And they don't have navigation system, you have to read and use a map.
Second, I use 35mm film cameras, with a collection of Minolta cameras from a 1969 SRT-101 which I bought new (my first camera) to several 1980's X-700's. They have an excellent light metering system, and are easy to use for what you want to do, from full manual to full program mode, which I don't use anymore. Most models have aperture priority and one model has shutter priority modes. And I have near 30 lenses, most collectable or esoteric one, all excellent quality and fun to use.
Third, I have a Layton L-45A 4x5 camera. It is a tradional 4x5 field camera with many monorail features (bellows range, front/rear controls, etc.). It also a state-of-art design and uses the latest materials. But it requires you to be a photographer like they've been doing for over a hundred years. It's just you. The on/off switch is your brain. It won't do anything unless you want and it won't make mistakes by itself, those are yours too.
Fourth, I exercise with free weights and run outdoors. I like running outdoors, I don't wear a ipod or anything to listen to music while running. I listen to the world. It's about being involved in the present, the world around you. It's about feeling the weather, the road, and the world. It's about watching what's going on as you go. It's about the daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal changes, of you and the world.
Fifth, I have an 1880's bedroom set. Not "1980's", but one from before electricity and bathrooms. The room has a tall double bed, with a tall head/foot boards. The room has a large dresser with a large thick glass and silvered back mirror, and a washstand, the type with the wash bowl and pitcher and a towel rack. All the original dark stain with the wear and tear of time and my grandparents life. It has a rocking chair with an old wool blanket for cold nights. And it has a small light for seeing around, the small change from then. It's a bedroom for sleeping and dressing, that's all.
I'm not really a curmudgeon, but it's nice to be thought of one when I think about my life and the way I live. I'll fight it to the end. It's the choices we make and I choose these to keep feeling alive and a human being.
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