Begging for your Fat-ass Dirty Dollar
In which I describe three recent purchases. This is one of those "slice of life" posts you sometimes accidentally find when searching for legit product reviews.
Saturday, 2012-09-15 | Journal, Lists, Videogames
We have one sap and one root
It occurred to me this morning that I am on something of a spending spree.
Why? Well, for starters, there's been some upheaval recently at the office--positions eliminated, org-chart reshuffled and all of that--so I wouldn't argue that some of the recent acquisitions have been stress purchases1 and that others clearly represent panic stockpiling.
Also, since I recently moved and am currently between permanent living situations, I have taken a number of opportunities to file a lot of non-essential junk in the old circular file. A weird thing that happens when re-structuring your domestic situation so that you can live out of a suitcase is that you end up trashing a bunch of stuff only to realize that you have even more junk that needs to be replaced. Which is to say that some of the recent purchases have been replacements and updates to essential items.
That vague preamble having been made, here goes:
I. Chrome Vat-job Gillette
- Chrome is famous for making bike messenger bags (and other accessories).
- Chrome bags make all other bags look like worthless pieces of shit.
- Chrome bags are, in my experience, indestructible. They are very nearly invulnerable, to boot. Elemental forces such as combustion, dissolution and friction are as meaningless to these bags as the concept of "moral hazard" to modern investment bankers.
Here is a picture of the two side by side:
(Those with a keen eye will notice that I have removed the branding from the Bravo. It's nothing personal, but I remove non-integral branding wherever I can. Not coincidentally, I picked up my preference for Chrome bags and my habit of removing branding both from Artie Jordan.)
So far, the Bravo is an excellent replacement. One of the "reviews" on the Chrome site indicates, users can expect to "fill it to the brim with groceries and ride home happy and comfortable" and enjoy the fact that it "looks Ninja".
So far, that is approximately my experience of the thing.
II. My Name is Reggie: I'm About Kickin' Ass
Just this morning, just preordered a Wii U (32gb) from Toys R Us.
Why Toys R Us? Well, including Toys R Us, there are only three retailers, as far as I know, who are taking preorders for the new console, and of the three, Toys R Us is the least odious.
GameStop, who is also taking preorders, is a retailer with whom I have an on-again, off-again relationship. For the last year or so we've been in an "off-again" cycle. I could go on at length about the things about the chain that dissatisfy and disgust me, but I kind of feel like I want to save that for a unique post and really give them the full-blast, 30 minutes at 350 degrees per-pound, per-side roasting that I feel like they deserve.2
Best Buy is the third retailer accepting preorders. In addition to being a Fox News sponsor, Best Buy is a dying firm whose record of holiday preorders and backorders is famously shitty.3
Which leaves Toys R Us.
I admit it: I am kind of rolling the dice here. I have never ordered (let alone) preordered anything from them, so I have no reason to expect that this will turn out to be anything other than a famous disaster.
On the other hand, the latest thinking is that Bayonetta 2 (the real system-seller/must-have for me) won't be out until March 2013 anyway, so even if Toys R Us makes a true hash of things and completely misses the holiday, it is extremely unlikely that things will become so cocked up that I don't have the device by March.
III. These Shoes Rule! These Shoes Suck!
I also recently picked up a new pair of Rockports at the Alamo on Clark.
Truth be known, I am not sure exactly which model-- it didn't say on the box and three minutes of cursory Google-based research turned up nothing--and that's kind of the point: my main requirements in a shoe are these:
- Unremarkableness. My feeling has always been that a man's shoe should not stand out or draw attention to itself; in fact, it should appear to be a given. If an observer's eye accidentally falls upon the shoe, the eye should not stick. The brain should accept the shoe as an aesthetic inevitability.
- Waterproofness. Unless we're talking about super-fancy dress-up shoes, my feeling is that all shoes should be waterproof. The technology is simple and having we feet sucks the sweat off a dead donkey's balls.
- Durability. Some people have been habituated to quarterly or semi-annual shoe purchases. In high-stress shoes, e.g. my running shoes, I expect at least a year. In a casual shoe, if I have to replace the fucker after anything less than two years of regular use, I'm never buying that brand of shoe again.
(Again, those with an eye for detail will notice the lime green insole: it is an insert called a Superfeet Green. I also have a set of Superfeet Greens in my running shoes. If you're not going to go prescription-strength but you still want to use an orthotic for arch support, you really can't beat these little fuckers: outstanding product.)
- "Stress buying" is basically the same thing as "stress eating", except for people who don't stress-eat. Terrorists winning? Rough week at the office? Relationship on the rocks? Impulsively buy some shit to remind the world that your potency (at least as far as Madison Avenue is concerned) is nevertheless undiminished!
- There are some institutions whose flaws deserve only a quick gloss. There are others whose loathsomeness warrants the full-service treatment, including ordered lists, lots of hyperlinks, footnotes and the whole deal. There are still other institutions whose despicableness demands book-length study. I would say that GameStop, for my money, falls right in the middle: right there in the "more than flawed, not quite despicable, but definitely loathsome" group.
- If you haven't read the Forbes piece, you really should: it is really outstanding and provides some great insights into why and how serious retailers are eating Best Buy's lunch while Best Buy basically stands around with its finger up its ass.