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Thread: Guilty pleasures antithetical to sound planning and sustainable living

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    Guilty pleasures antithetical to sound planning and sustainable living

    I am feeling guilty and conflicted so I wanted to start a thread mentioning some “guilty pleasures,” or things one knows one shouldn’t like. Here are some of mine. (Please don’t judge me too negatively!)

    1. Large American muscle cars from the late sixties and especially the seventies. I am essentially a car-free transit bus rider (my wife has a car which I sometimes use), and I am anti-car and particularly anti-SUV and anti-truck, but if I had money I would be very tempted to purchase an older inefficient car to take the occasional joy ride, though I’d still prefer commuting by transit.

    2. Fast food and soda, particularly Roy Rogers and RC Cola. At least these are not the foremost mega-businesses in their respective fields. I enjoy some other awful, mass-produced, over-packaged American foods as well. I try to watch myself as I am moving slowly toward becoming an archetypal obese American.

    3. Monumental architecture that often began by leveling neighborhoods (the “to make an omelet, you need to crack some eggs” approach). I don’t advocate this approach but I do like some of its past products.

    4. This is maybe the worst… though I know everything that is wrong with them, I actually don’t mind some older low-density suburbs with large houses on medium-sized plots and no sidewalks (such as in the Northeastern New Jersey bedroom communities of NYC…which at least are on NJ Transit lines). I grew up in one of these places and I guess I will always have a fondness for them in my heart. From time to time, I still long to live far enough away from my neighbors that I don’t hear barking dogs all night long, every rap song my neighbor plays, etc., etc.

    Does anyone want to follow?… Or castigate me??

    Rob

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Starbuck's!
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Yeah, I've got a few guilty pleasures. Like shopping at big box stores occasionally, coveting a nice big V8 Holden, supporting multinationals by eating McD's or KFC once in a while and drinking Coke...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    1. I LOVE Hardee's. Luckily, I'm staying fit, and lost 20 lbs this year.. (180 down to 160 lbs)

    2. I'm desire to rebuild and save my original wood windows in my house, like a true preservationalist. But, sometimes I dream of new energy efficent models. (like Anderson Renewels)

    3. Although I lived less than 3/4 of a mile from my last job, my constant slacking caused me to drive to work over 75% of the time. (hangs head in shame)

    4. I currenty work part-time for the largest electronics big-box retailer as a computer tech.

    5. I do nearly all my grocery shopping at chain stores (not that I have much of an option for local grocery stores around here)

    I make strong efforts to live as I preach. I hate being hypocritical.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Wow... the more I think about this, the better I feel...

    I am a car guy... I love custom cars.

    I live in an apartment complex that feels kind of like a gated resort hotel with tennis courts, volley ball courts, a pool, and a private lake, but the sidewalk stops at the first public road.

    I work for a community that goes against most traditional planning values.

    I work out at a gym that I have to take 2 different highways to get to, instead of the YMCA that is a ½ mile from my apartment.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RSW
    Does anyone want to follow?… Or castigate me??
    I'm here to take your request for a final meal while the firing squad is loading their weapons.

    Sometimes, I like to drive my car, for no reason other than the sheer joy of driving.

    I shop at Home Depot occasionally, even though there's a locally owned hardware store within walking distance of home.

    I hit the Starbucks by my office at least once a day.

    I get lazy and don't recycle sometimes.

    Maybe I should be facing that firing squad myself?
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  8. #8
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    Thanks - I should have guessed this has been visited before. However, a quick scan of these threads seems to indicate they focus very broadly on "guilty pleasures," with an emphasis on garbage mass culture and secondarily on consumerism and fast food...while this is great, and strongly related to / overlapping with what I listed as some of my guilty pleasures, I was hoping that the thread might develop along the lines of mainly those pleasures which directly contradict what we know as good planning practice. Wal-mart shopping and such things from those previous threads definitely apply, of course - but what about anything else? Not just bad movies, etc., but more like boiker mentioned: driving to work even though it is only 3/4 mile away... That's the good stuff!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    1. My apartment complex is owned by a corporation and is too tall for the surrounding neighborhood.

    2. I really like neighborhoods constructed of simplistic architecture during the late 60s.

    3. I shop at Wal-Mart sometimes and have a Sam's Club membership.

    4. I drive for the sake of driving.

    5. I like Home Depot, but try to go to the local Ace Hardware.

    more as I think of them....
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  10. #10
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Road trips!!!!

    Although I try to be ecologically minded, I do have some cleaners that have little nasty things in them, which I just can't part with. Simple Green just doesn't work on *everything*. Also, I probably use paper towels more than I should.

    I also take the fast food route from time to time, but I have been much better lately.

  11. #11
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Well, I bought a guilty pleasure. My RX-8 gets about 22 mpg because of hills, etc. Even best case scenario I'm only looking at about 25-26 mpg.

    I also enjoy doing antique/classic car restoration. The couple my dad & I have done have been little British roadsters, so it's not like we're doing the V8 thirsty beasts (though I think the next project maybe a Cobra kit when my Dad retires).

    I drive 20 miles to work everyday, mostly because I am mooching off my folks until the big day. Even then, the city I work for does not have the services or housing choice that I want, nor can I afford to live here anyway.

    I enjoy road trips, even if it is just to watch the scenery go by.

    I don't recycle accept for newspapers because we don't have roadside recycling.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    I live in a neighborhood that requires driving almost everywhere.....
    We eat processed and chain food two or three times a week....
    I use nasty toxic radiator fluid and windshield wiper fluid (haven't found any alternatives yet)
    Our house leaks heat around the old aluminum window frames
    I throw away Baggies
    The nearest yummy fancy organic grocer is about 25 miles away, so I drive there
    We use things that encourage throwing away, like post-it's and disposable pens.
    and worst of all.....
    I let my Sierra Club membership lapse because I was broke
    Ok, on re-reading this, the only thing that's really a guilty pleasure is driving to the organic grocery store. While I like a clean office, it's not exactly a guilty pleasure throwing out post-it's--more of a guilty annoyance. (note to self--read header more thoroughly!! )
    I don't dream. I plan.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I live just a bit over a mile from the office and drive to work almsot every day. Worst part is that I am really involved with the cycling community.

    I'll also drive the 5 miles to go mountain biking.

    Things I do that are good though

    1) Buy meat from the local butcher who uses only local beef.
    2) Buy local cheese from a local cheese haus.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  14. #14
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I work for a community that goes against most traditional planning values.
    ..I think most of us do. Many communities like to talk the talk, but are afraid to walk the walk.

    I love cars and recently got into motorcycling.

    I sometimes think that it would be nice to live in a big house with a big yard

    I refuse to ride mass transit unless I know that the traffic or parking at my destination will be a major hassle.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  15. #15
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Repo Man
    I sometimes think that it would be nice to live in a big house with a big yard
    I want one of those too!
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I work out at a gym that I have to take 2 different highways to get to, instead of the YMCA that is a ½ mile from my apartment.
    I also drive to a pool on the other side of town because I like the facilities better.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Wow... the more I think about this, the better I feel...

    I work for a community that goes against most traditional planning values.
    I have used Mski's city as an example in Planning Commission meetings of what we DON'T want to happen to our town!
    (evil overgrown township designed by traffic engineers vampiring off of an old city)

    heheh

    I kind of like 4WD old trucks with V8 motors and no mufflers, but I only check them out and drool, I don't own one. I also like drive through fast food. Usually I walk or bicycle to work but when it gets down to 15F or so, I fire up the old wagon.

    urp

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Well the only thing I could say that doesn't respond to the regular sound planning and sustainable living that I do is shop at a big box supermarket here in Valdivia.... mainly because there's not much choice for other small neighborhood supermarkets (sure, there are a few, but they're more expensive and don't have much things; although I do buy small things there) But for an example, I buy vegetables and fruit at the farmer's market here in Valdivia, and I'm gonna be right next to one in Santiago; so I plan to keep supporting local and small farmers.
    I use the Subway and mass transit in Santiago and walk for the closest things; here in Valdivia I walk when possible (unless it's raining; if so I use mass transit), I'm just lucky to live in a walking distance from dowtown....

  18. #18

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    Constant road tripping to the Bay Area on weekends such that my average car mileage per year is higher than many of the long range commuters I sneer at
    I do these drives because I want to spend time in places with street life that feel comfortable and interesting for pedestrians.

    I don't drive a 50 mpg VW Golf either. My Subaru WRX, driven in a semi-lead-footed manner, gets very low 20 mpg

    I prefer the yuppie grocery store four miles from my house to the boring Albertson's within moderate walking distance (partly because Monte Vista Avenue is a bleak four lane traffic sewer, but...)

    My furnace is old, and I don't really feel like spending money that could be used for my art collection instead, so I am polluting and wasting natural gas

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally posted by RSW
    I am feeling guilty and conflicted so I wanted to start a thread mentioning some “guilty pleasures,” or things one knows one shouldn’t like. Here are some of mine. (Please don’t judge me too negatively!)

    3. Monumental architecture that often began by leveling neighborhoods (the “to make an omelet, you need to crack some eggs” approach). I don’t advocate this approach but I do like some of its past products.


    Rob
    No. Don't tell me that you have secretly joined the Borg collective and actually LIKE the Soviet Starship Rockefeller*?



  20. #20
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I live by myself in a 2300 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath house with a 2 car garage, pool and hot tub on half in acre in the suburbs (10 minute drive from work).
    I golf...but not as much as I would like.
    I have a Sam's Club card.
    I drive a 4wd 1999 Ford F150 pickup.

    I work hard for my simple pleasures.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    I live by myself in a 2300 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath house with a 2 car garage, pool and hot tub on half in acre in the suburbs (10 minute drive from work).
    Uhhh... So, you live by yourself in a bigger house than my entire family(1300 sq ft)... and next year I'll be living by myself in a 445 sq ft apartment, 20 mins by subway to my campus, right next to a commercial area...

    Just out of curiosity.. what do you do with the other 2 bedrooms? and 1 1/2 bathrooms? And I bet you must have one heck of a back yard!
    If I didn't know that you live in Florida I'd ask if you're insane to live alone in such a big house because of the heating bills... But it's Florida

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Getting well. I figure that the amount of resources I have gone through to try to get well, in spite of Official Pronouncements that I should not aim for ridiculous things like that, obligates me to spend the rest of my life working for the good of society in order to pay my debt to the environment. Otherwise the world be better off if I had quietly died. But, damn, it's good to breathe without pain most of the time.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Gas.....

    Both my vehicles get about 18 miles per gallon
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    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=BKM]No. Don't tell me that you have secretly joined the Borg collective and actually LIKE the Soviet Starship Rockefeller*?

    Has anyone used the Albany Mall as a location for a sci-fi flick? Seems like it would work good. Or maybe even a campy sci-fi flick like Men in Black....Albany Mall as the MIB World Heaqquarters.

    As for guilty pleasures that have been posted...heck, I dont feel guilty about any of this stuff.

    I guess my guilty pleasure is industrial slumming in old rustbelt factory towns looking at the abandoned factorys and deteriorated neighborhoods and ooh-and ahhing at the grit & blight...the frisson of de-industrialization.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    I love cars too. I want a 69 Chevelle SS....

    I drive a 96 Firebird...but its a V6. I get almost 20mpg in the city and about 27 highway.

    I leave my computer running 24/7.

    I buy clothes/shoes made in 3rd world countries (anyone know if puma has sweatshops?)

    I sometimes shop @ Target and Best Buy and all the time at Barnes and Noble...but where else can you find such selection?

    I live a mile from my pt time job...but when it started getting colder (I work there at night, so like below 65*) I started driving instead of biking.

    I use bleach cakes in my toilet.

    Sonic (no more than once every 2 weeks though)

    I buy books, but never sell them back...I collect them I guess.

    I play guitar and am planning on buying a new acoustic made out of Canadian Maple, Indian Rosewood, Sitka Spruce, and African Ebony. No Abalone though, and the Ivory is synthetic.

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