I walked over to Timekeepers at Belmont and Racine yesterday and they brought it up to the front for me. Opening it up, they showed me how not only did they have to replace both the springs, but they'd also had to file down each of the teeth on the gears by hand. They're big gears with about a hundred teeth a piece, so OMG. They also cleaned it, re-adjusted everything, and did something to the general something-or-another (regulator?). Despite putting in a lot more time and effort than they had estimated, but they still only charged me the original quote, thank GOD. I put it in a plastic bag and carefully walked home with it.
They told me that the spring had snapped because it was really old and was going to break anyway, but I'm still freaked out about winding it up now. Hopefully I'll get used to it over time.
Yesterday, as I was coming home from Evanston, I got off at the Wilson L stop and walked over to the Aldi grocery store nearby. Back when I was broke I used to go to the Aldi store on Milwaukee Avenue all the time, but it's been years since I stopped in.
It was like taking a walk through my past, seeing all the non-brand items that I used to cherish, the prices all printed out in big numbers on large yellow cards overhead, the way everything is plopped down on pallets and still in the shipping boxes. The beauty of Aldi is in how everything is about 50% cheaper than you'd ever find it elsewhere. You have to endure the bare-bones environment of the Aldi store, but in exchange you get insanely awesome deals. I got a sack of flour and a sack of sugar, some salt and a slew of household stuff like sponges, trash bags and freezer bags. Got some shampoo and conditioner, too.
Walking home with all that stuff on my back wasn't fun, but putting it away in my cupboards was, knowing that I'd only spent $20! I will have to embrace the Wilson Aldi in the future.