Modest missives from The Genteel Recessionista

Modest missives from The Genteel Recessionista

Two members of our MAKE family, our indexer and blog contributor Patti Schiendelman, and Eccentric Cubicle author Kaden Harris, have launched a new blog The Genteel Recessionista: Practical Lore for Modest Times. Congrats, guys! Looking forward to seeing what your victory garden grows.

Here’s the first post, from Kaden, to give you some idea of the informed zaniness in store.



Oh, shush, we are not. Things changed, is all. From our immediate perspective they are Big Scary Changes to be sure, but rest assured, historians will deem these ‘interesting times’ at best. Or worst. Avoiding an ignominious fate at the hands of social evolution depends on your ability to adapt. You are smart, attractive humans: You can do this in your sleep. The question is, can you enjoy the process? Can Plan B be fun?

That’s why we’re here.

We know a lotta good quality Plan Bs, most of which lead directly to fun.

Here’s one of ’em:

You need supplies to be a genteel recessionista. Every dollar counts, and the urge to cut corners is irresistable. Do so intelligently.

Case in point: Fixin’ stuff.

This is a subject that’s gonna come up a lot, because fixing your own stuff is significantly preferable to paying someone else to do it, and infinitely preferable to buying a new replacement. Sooner rather than later you will be faced with a repair job which calls for 2 part epoxy. This stuff comes in a million different flavours. There is only 1 that matters. JB Weld. The inferior products you and your friends have used in the past will not be held against you, provided you immediately stock up on this stuff. It is the very best, and in times like this, only the very best is good enough.

Deal with it.

JB Weld is the stuff of legend, capable of amazing feats of adhesive legerdemain. Google up some testimonials and be amazed. You need the traditional J-B Weld 8265-S Cold Weld, and the J-B Weld 8267-S STIK stick compound.

Now, you could buy these miracle products from the comfort of your own home via the intrawebs. If you were to use the links we’ve thoughtfully provided over there on the right, we’d even get a bit of money out of the deal, but here’s a plan B for you to consider: Go buy this stuff brick and mortar. Maybe at a traditional hardware store, where during the transaction you will exchange a small but meaningful nod with the salesclerk, acknowledging your status as ‘Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing’.

Your heart will swell with pride, just a tad. Do not mistake the feeling for gas; it’s important for you to be ‘Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing’. That’s gonna come up a lot too. Accept the fact.

Here’s what this little exercise accomplished:

1) You have new state of the art tools in your Fixin’ Stuff arsenal. So go fix your stuff.
2) You can also fix stuff for other people who don’t have tools as good as yours. What will they swap?
3) You have nascent credentials as Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing.
4) Efficient!! It didn’t take long at all, so you can do something else now. Like cocktails. Also: Fun.

The Genteel Recessionista

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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