Guilty Pleasure

Since about Saturday night I have been feeling a little guilty, here’s the story…

I don’t remember what year it was, but when I went back to school to finally get my undergraduate degree, I got a laptop computer, an HP to be specific. I had a desktop, but the laptop seemed a more useful tool to use for writing papers and doing research and what have you. I carried that sucker everywhere and if I could find a table on which to work, I would stake my claim and get to work. It processed more than its fair share of papers and presentations, and downloaded a lot more than its fair share of research articles. It was a beast.

Sadly, after I graduated, my technological companion only made it about a year and a half before the motherboard crapped out on it. It was going to cost more to repair the motherboard than was originally paid for the computer. It was a sad, sad, sad day. I still have it. It still works…sort of. I can plug a monitor into it, but its laptoppiness is gone. Its portability is no more. I should probably get rid of it, but we are friends and I don’t like casting friends aside.

At the time I was working a job that paid peanuts, so the funds were not readily available to purchase a new techno-friend. I began doing some thinking and research on the next computer I would buy. After a lot of looking around, I settled on an ipad. This is one of the best purchases I have ever made. Like all purchases, there are some things that I wish were different, but my ipad and I have been together since 2011 and neither of us have looked back. It is super duper portable and it does not get much more user friendly, especially when it comes to the technologically inept, like me.

I type on it quite a bit even though the virtual keyboard and I are mortal enemies. I surf the web, check email, read articles, blog posts, and columns on it. I write blog posts and emails on it. I watch videos, listen to music, play games, and look at pictures on it. It is a useful machine, and has been a faithful friend for going on three years now.

However, the decision has been made by my wife and I that it is time for me to get it in gear and go back to school for even higher education. Now, even though I have my faithful friend of three years, I have used my trusty ipad to do more research on a new, more powerful friend.

Actually, I have known since before I bought my ipad what computer I wanted to buy next, but the expense was just too much so I felt it necessary to just wait and the time would eventually come when I could afford it. Patience. There was a lot of reading and a lot of thinking done during that time. I don’t do any gaming, so I don’t need a super fast PC. I read and write and take pictures and look at pictures. I watch videos. I do like storage space because I prefer to save everything. I wanted something that was going to be user friendly and would not crap out, because I am horrible with technology and not afraid to admit it.

After three long, arduous, computerless years, the time finally arrived. My wife sent me a text on Friday telling me that we would go after we got off of work and buy my computer. I knew exactly what I wanted, so we went into the store and went straight to a salesperson and I told him why I was there.  He went and got someone that would be better at helping me out, so I told her what I wanted. She  did not try to talk me into a different machine. She did try and upsell some coverage plans…warranties and what have you. One of which I bought. She also saved me $200, because, yes, I still carry my student ID in my wallet.

After swiping the magic debit card and signing for the charges, I received my computer, and went straight away to get it set up which was a breeze. I mean…a breeze. We got home and I played with it some, checking out some of the ins and outs…did a little typing on the keyboard, and it was heaven.

That was Friday.

The next day, Saturday, went along much like a well needed lazy day does. I had my delicious weekend coffee. I piddled with my new friend for a while off and on all day. Did a little housework and piddled some more. Then I laid down in the bed.

That is when it hit me. As I laid in the bed looking up at the ceiling in the dark, the thought crossed my mind that my new friend cost more than what was paid for my first car. It cost more than what some people pay for a car. It may not be a great car, but it’s a CAR.

So, the guilt hit me a little…not enough to take my new friend back, but a little, and it’s still there…not enough for me to take it back, but a little.

It is a wonderful machine and I hope that my Macbook Pro and I enjoy many years of typing, processing, researching, and net searching ahead.

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Impulse

“Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know…” ~Jerry Mac

Though based on a quote by Will Rodgers, I’ll give Jerry the credit…

Just browsing my facebook status feed and came across this gem posted by a friend of mine, and thought about how it relates to something else I have been working on.  I’m doing some soul searching of sorts; attempting to discern what is needed versus what is wanted. What makes it so hard is the fact that, with a little ingenuity, one can justify pretty much anything they want as a necessity.  I do it often…not necessarily to impress anyone, but to add a little “pop” to my life or to make my life easier or to make it possible to do the things I want to do.

I can be an impulse shopper.  I try not to be, but it happens. Usually the way it goes is I see something I want and I say, “I’ve got to have that,” or, “I’ve got to try that.”  Usually, or maybe sometimes, my brain kicks in and searches out the necessity of what it is I’m seeking to purchase. It will find a reason most of the time. I may not be able to buy it right away, but it goes into the bookmark file of my computer or in the back of my mind as something that will be purchased at some point in time.

I’m going to leave it at that for now because I don’t want to get into a thought that I haven’t fully worked through just yet. 

Need vs. Want is complicated!