Archive for December, 2007

The Resolution Will Not Be Televised

Posted by Arlo on Dec 20, 2007 under Life of Arlo, Thought Objects

Oksana in front of the new HDTV

Right around the holiday season last year, I noticed that HDTVs on the market were finally starting to combine all of the best features. Full 1080p resolution, low-latency/burn-in free LCD panels, built-in HDTV tuners, 1920×1200 RGB support; it looked like it was almost time for me to enter the market. Oksana always said I could get an HDTV when the price dropped to $1500…

I decided that 2007 would be the year we upgraded, but we had to wait until August 20th before we found the model with the right price/performance ratio.

Months before, Costco had sent out a mailer with upcoming coupons. There it was, finally! $200 off a 52-inch Vizio with all the features above and more. Waiting three months was torture.

I researched everything I could about the Vizio and its competitors. There were few other 52″ models on the market and the only other two I entertained buying were from Sony and Sharp. Both were probably better than the Vizio, but they both cost at least $1500 more, too.

As the magical date neared, I began seeing reviews of the Vizio appear online. Apparently some Costco warehouses were selling the TVs before the coupon went active. On Friday, August 17th, I went to my own Costco for a look-see. Sure enough, on the top shelf, four giant boxes sat wrapped in cellophane – they had the 52″ in stock three days before I could use the coupon.

I decided to see if I could pull a fast one. I talked to one of the floor managers, asked him if I could buy one that day and then “price match” it the following Monday with my coupon. In effect, I would pay $200 more, but get that $200 refunded after the weekend. Unfortunately, not only wouldn’t he do the price matching, not only wouldn’t he even sell me the TV, he wouldn’t even let me reserve one! “I’m sorry, we only have 4 of them in stock and if they’re already sold out when the coupon drops, my customers will kill me.” His suggestion? “Just be there when the doors open at 10am and you’ll be sure to get one.”

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Thoughts on Australia

Posted by Arlo on Dec 11, 2007 under Postcard Valet, Thoughts On..., Travel

The Sydney Opera House

We’ve been back from Down Under for about a week and a half now, but I’ve been consistently busy catching up with work and friends.  I plan to write a lot about our experiences in the Southern hemisphere once I sort through the 2500 photos and six-and-a-half hours of video we took.  I’ve got a month off from work beginning next week, and I suspect I’ll devote some my time to that (as well as belatedly writing down any thoughts on the unnoted items in my 2007 timeline above.)  In the meantime, I’ve jotted down a few observations on our experiences in Australia:

New Words
Australia has a great collection of new words for familiar things.  Dangerous jellyfish are ‘stingers;’ the Portuguese Man-o-War is a ‘Blue Bottle.’  Saltwater crocodiles are ‘Salties,’ which I think is a dangerously precocious name (like calling a grisly bear ‘Teddy.’)  I could probably sit down and think of a dozen more I picked up, but the only ones that come to mind right now are the decidedly British ‘rubbish bins,’ ‘fish and chips,’ and ‘lifts.’

How Ya Goin’, Mate?
“G’day, mate.  How ya goin’?”

He’s a mate, she’s a mate, everyone can be a mate!  I knew that Aussies said ‘mate’ a lot.  What I didn’t realize was that mate is gender agnostic. Which makes sense, really.  My mate is a girl.

I got used to mate, but “How ya goin’?” always sounded like someone couldn’t decide between “How ya doin’?” and “How’s it goin’?”

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