Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Weekend 2010

We finally gave up on our TV today. The problems started off with spontaneous dimming and then shutting down of the screen. Then certain pixles burned out. And finally, some kind of static-y looking pixles were going around like little fireworks on the bottom right hand corner of the screen. We stuck it out as long as we could and finally today, when it was shutting down 4 or 5 times an episode, we gave in.

Off to Costco we went for a replacement. While we're pretty picky about how we consume and where we purchase these days, when it comes to electronic purchases, you just can't beat Costco in terms of Quality, Price, or Return Policy. Electronic products come with a 90 day return policy and two year extended warranty at no additional fee. Plus, unlike Walmart and other Corporate Mongrals, I've heard that they at least treat their employees well with reasonable wages and good benefits. (Although I haven't done the research myself, this seems to be the prevailing opinion among people I trust.)

So we arrived and browsed the selection. They had televisions ranging from a few hundred bucks on up to a couple grand. We decided pretty quickly that we wanted LCD, not Plasma, as Don declared the plasmas would burn out quicker. Then it came down to size, brand, and price. We narrowed the selection down to a 42" Sharp LCD HDTV and a 47" Phillips LCD HDTV. The quality of the picture was about the same but the difference in price was about $200. I was leaning toward the Sharp given that it was the same size as the one we were replacing which seemed plenty sufficient to me. Don was leaning towards the Phillips due to the larger size and he had stronger affinity toward the brand name. We decided to think on it while we dined on a Costco Hot Dog. I'd like to say that we chose the 42" Sharp because we were being responsible consumers and making a responsible economic choice, however, the deciding factor came down to the fact that we realized whatever we bought, we had to fit it in the Mini on the way home. So we are the proud new owners of a 42" TV.

Don just hooked up the television a few minutes ago but a few things I like about it already are better resolution and less glare than our prior model. With the LCD screen I also love that you can get a great image from several different angles in the room whereas before you had to sit directly in front of the screen to get the best picture quality. But I think my favorite thing is that we now have easy computer hookups so we can watch Hulu right from our huge beautiful television. Score!

I think we will enjoy our new toy quite a bit but we really were not wanting to drop a bunch of money on a television at the moment with our current financial arrangement. At least we got a good price at only $600. Still, we've decided to make a few sacrifices this month to help cool down our smoking wallet. For starters, no more eating out the rest of April. Period. That includes restaurants, fast food, bars and coffee stands. We've also decided to cut back on beverages such as alcohol and soda. And finally, I've decided to give up potato chips eternally. They're bad for me and have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. There's no reason to waste the money or the calories and when it comes to me and potato chips it has to be all or nothing. There just is no in between.

As we were standing in line at Costco considering the restrictions we were about to impose on our diets and budgets, it really was a phenomenal sight to look around at the huge lines of people with shopping carts overflowing with items. Every where we looked we were confronted with the pervasive image of CONSUMPTION. It was a pretty good wake up call. The image is burned in my brain and has more of an impact than the words I could try to use to describe it. But it reminded me that I'm happy about the decisions that we're making. I'm happy we eat real food, fresh food. That we know where it comes from and and in many cases these days have met the people that raised it. And more than anything, we cook and prepare it ourselves.

And there is one final thing I want to mention, because it amuses me, about our trip to Bellingham Costco. While we were waiting in line at the pump to fill up our car with Costco gas, we happened to notice that 9 out of 10 cars in line at the pump were Canadian! I guess gas must be real expensive up there. Well, gotta run. Time to play our new TV!

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