Friday, December 19, 2003

Almost midnight, just half past Return of the King

After a year or more of trying to decide which computer to buy, I bought two MACs today, a 20" iMAC and a 12' powerbook laptop. Wireless cards and Bluetooth (for syncing my Palm) on both of them. Wireless keyboard and mouse. Adobe Creative Suite. Microsoft Office Professional. What a splurge.

Liberty is disappointed I didn't by the sale priced Dell 4600 he pointed me to. I tried to, but when I got to the end of hours on the phone configuring a Dell desktop and a laptop to my requirements with the Dell sales guy, and it turned out the desktop he was building for me didn't have the DVD burner option after all, I started thinking, why not buy the Mac I've always wanted. The Dells were getting expensive as I added bluetooth and CD and DVD burners. And because I wanted a big screen for graphics, the screen was going to blow the price off the charts.

If anyone ever deserved to make a sale, that salesman did. (In case you ever read this, I am very sorry Michael Wesley in Nashville for wasting so much of your time.) I had started by spending an hour at the end of his work day yesterday configuring a computer to buy for my sister (don't tell Liberty). We held the order until today for him to try to get me a discount for something. Then while I was finalizing that first order today, I decided to go ahead and order the office equipment I've been planning to use to set up my home business, one desktop with a big screen and all the extras like both a DVD and CD burner and lots of processing power and hard drive space, and the lightest laptop I could get for lugging to places like India.

After I found out that the desktop wasn't going to meet my needs, how expensive it was getting to be, and how the monitor wasn't going to have SXGA+ resolution, I started remembering how much I didn't want to have another deskside tower under my desk with a bunch of cords. So when while the sales guy was crunching numbers, I idly looked at the Apple web site, and there it was brand new and alluring, the 20" iMAC. I told the salesman to send me bids on the two systems I was configuring for myself and went ahead with the order for my sister. Then I called an Apple Store salesman . . ..

What I splurged today is about one mortgage payment. I have some savings. If worse comes to worse, I'd lose the house one month sooner and still own a better computing option that fits on my desk without a tower to get in the way and a bunch of ugly cords. What I splurged today is about one mortgage payment. I have some savings. If worse comes to worse, I'd lose the house one month sooner and still own a better computing option that fits on my desk without a Dell tower to get in the way and a bunch of ugly cords. I hate the cords especially since the accident a few weeks ago where my feet got tangled up in the mouse cord the way Liberty had it set up. I landed on a tin wastebasket and hit my head on the oak file cabinet. Ludicrous, I have to admit. Liberty's friend Piers got absolutely too much of a kick out of the image of me flattening the wastebasked. But still. It was a hazard to my health.

My sister, Martha, broke her wrist by falling like that the week before I fell.

I did the same kind of splurge when I made my last car buying decision. For years I bought the cheapest thing I could afford that I needed. My first new car in 1985 or so after I got my first professional job was a Chevette that was so low-end that it didn't have a glove compartment door. When I got a little extra money, I went to a junkyard and bought the door and had it sprayed to match. Then when that car died in 1990, I bought a Toyota. Then after I crashed the Toyota in 2001 (after 135,000 trouble-free miles), I bought a car that I loved, a brand new 2001 and 1/2 VW Passat, "fresco" green, which is a kind of distinctive silver green. They had changed the model half way through the year by adding a cup holder but more importantly a lot of beautifully designed chrome on the grill and side panels. I glimpsed the new model when I was test driving a regular 2001 Passat through the dealer's back parking lot, and I fell in love, with the chrome and the color and the style. It has wheels instead of hub caps, which repeatedly came off on the Toyota from the first week I bought it. And I got a 6 CD changer, a sun roof. It cost a good deal more than the cheapest thing I could by, but I had enough money in the bank, and so I got what I wanted.

Now I realize it is more car than I need. I should have a two seater that uses less gas. Hope I don't feel the same way about my beautiful Macs in a while.

When I started this, I was only going to write about going to the Return of the King tonight with Liberty. After all the hours I've spent watching the extended DVDs and the commentaries on the first two movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I am attached to the actors. Probably too much so. A comic strip I saw today had a young girl character hoping that Orlando Bloom (who plays Legolas the Elf) was going to be in every scene in the movie. As we drove over to the theatre, I personally was eager to see Frodo again . . .. Trying not to get a crush on Aragorn. What a movie, impressive in many ways. I laughed, I cried, I was amazed, and I was uplifted, I loved the city of Minas Tirith. We kept exclaiming at the gorgeous shots of the city. And I loved it when Eowyn cut off the winged beast's head and then slayed the Nazgul Lord who was riding it.

Just found out from googling Eowyn Nazgul King that Tolkein had Eowyn kill the beast and had Merry kill the Nazgul Lord from behind.

Spent about 30 minutes working on that marriage paper today. I was on the phone so long with the sales guys that the turkey soup I labored over for an hour picking meat off the bones and chopping carrots boiled down twice.
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