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  • It was cold enough to freeze my recoil this morning. After thawing the pull-start, I put a new thirty-nine dollar chain on the saw. This felt a bit extravagant since the old one could be filed yet again, but I was cold and feeling tender.

    I did not saw my foot or get a hernia; nor was I sweaty and late for work. In fact, the job went twice as fast and the effort was halved. Nothing cuts like a new chain.

    A surprising thought drifted in: why do Vermonters wear pathological frugality like a badge of honor? How far should we take "using it up?" What if buying newer, sharper tools sooner is actually better? Could this also apply to households, families, towns, governments, nations?!

    Normally this kind of unfrugal, borderline indecent thinking would send me running in the other direction but, as I say, my recoil was frozen.
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