Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Retail Therapy Weekend

We really hadn’t intended this weekend to be a shopping weekend. It just turned out that way…

Friday night after work, we wandered over to The Loafing Leprechaun to have dinner with Garrett Fitzgerald (sarekofvulcan), who had, until now, had the distinction of being the person who I had known online the longest without ever actually meeting in person. We first became friends back in 1989 on BITNET, CSNews/UMNews, and later on Relay. After we each left college, we lost track of each other for several years, until we both resurfaced briefly on the same mailing list, possibly the lois-bujold list, though I don’t immediately recall now, a few years ago.

And now, eighteen years after making each others acquaintance, we sat at a table, enjoyed some good food and drink, listened to an unremarkable live singer do random covers, and then wandered back over to our place to swap some music files back and forth. Great to finally meet you, Garrett!

Saturday, we wandered down into Atlanta to make three stops. First up, Oxford Comics, where I planned to get some books for my AD&D campaign. They didn’t have the DM screen I really needed, but I was able to get a couple of source books that I really need now that I’m running the game rather than just being a player. Of course I never manage to get out of Oxford with my wallet intact, so I also ended up replacing the first to volumes of Sandman, which had gone missing some while ago, plus I found that a collection of by Howard Chaykin and Mike Mignola’s comic book adaptation of Fritz Lieber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series, and Foglio’s Girl Genius #2. And a collection of monster ecology articles from Dragon magazine. (I called cadhla to try and find out what it was she’d been recommending to me last weekend, but we couldn’t at that moment remember. I later recalled it was Nextwave. Ah well, next time…).

Having loaded up on comics and gaming, we then headed around the corner to Lenox Square Mall to investigate Atlanta’s very own LUSH store! kitanzi and I have been devotees of the Lush ever since telynor first introduced them to us, and we’ve had to rely on mail order to actually get the products we need. No longer. We restocked on our staples (Daddy-O, Veganese, and Flying Fox), plus some bath bombs since they were on sale (Buy 2, get 3), and we finally have a bathtub big enough to actually make some use of them.

We grabbed a quick lunch from the food court, then popped into the nearby Borders to look for the one item I couldn’t find at Oxford. They didn’t have it either, but we did find the first four of andpuff‘s blood books reissued in two volumes, and so picked them up, since we haven’t read them but have become huge fans of the characters thanks to the tv show. A quick detour by Guitar Center to pick up a new capo, as mine has mysteriously vanished in the move, and then to Trader Joe's for some foodie goodness. Deciding that this was more than enough for one day, we headed home, made dinner, and watched a couple of episodes of QI.

Sunday, we ventured out again to take advantage of Casual Male XL's 3 day sale, where everything in the store was 20% off. One of the problems of being my size is that it’s nearly impossible for me to buy anything in a normal department store. They simply don’t run the sizes up big enough for me. (Shirts are typically a 4XLT, for instance. And bless fannish outfitters like Instant Attitudes for carrying my sizes, so I have interesting things to wear to cons. *grin*) I took advantage of the discount by stocking up on work clothes for the next year, including a new pair of shoes, as my old trainers were just about worn out. It’s funny, but you don’t realize how badly your old shoes are supporting you until you get a nice new pair. I really should replace them more often. I’m hard on shoes.

After I got outfitted, we dropped into Best Buy to pick up a copy of Hot Fuzz, which I’d seen on the airplane the previous weekend and wanted to grab a copy of to show kitanzi. I then wandered over to the computer section to check out the prices on the low-end of laptops. My current laptop, a Frankenstein unit cobbled together from three previously non-working systems, is really just too slow for even the minimal tasks I use it for, and was being more frustrating than helpful much of the time, so I wanted to see what was available in the sub-$500 market, with an eye towards buying one towards the end of the year. The sales guy who asked if he could help me drew my attention to the Toshiba A135-S4527, which was on sale this week for just $549. After a bit of half-hearted “No, I really shouldn’t”, we went ahead and snapped it up, because that really is a good price for that system. It’s not a powerhouse machine, but honestly, it’s as much as I need for a laptop, and should keep me happy for quite a few years. And it gives me a chance to get some hands-on with Vista to see what the fuss is about. (If I decide it really is awful, I can always replace it with something else later.)

So, we did our bit to boost the economy this weekend. I think that’s going to be about it for us on the major purchases front between now and OVFF. But I’m happy with what we got for what we spent, and that’s what really matters.

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13 Comments

  1. I indulged in the bath bomb sales as well. 🙂

    And good job spending like a sailor! ;D

  2. I did some retail therapy as well this weekend. I drove down to Micro Center in Sharonville (north of Cincinnati) to pick up a 2 Gb SD card and some lanyards for some flash drives I have. I came out of there with those and more — a combo USB hub/memory card reader, a 1 Gb flash drive (one of the gray ones I’ve been coveting for months), and a few other assorted computer items. Total: $71.

    Then I hit the local Big Lots and dropped $25 there. I passed on the $35 HP inkjet printer, but I may pick it up another time since I may need it for some field work I’ll be doing in the near future.

    I’m still waiting for Best Buy to call me and let me know that seasons 2 and 3 of Babylon 5 are in stock, so I can redeem my raincheck from the blowout sale a few weeks ago.

  3. How bad is that old laptop, and how heavy is it? One is curious…

    • It’s that Inspiron 4000 I’ve had for a while. It’s honestly not a great machine. I may have found a home for it, though…some coworkers of a friend recently had a housefire. If I can locate my Win98 disk, I may reformat it and give it to them.

      • *chuckle* turns out, that’s *exactly* the same machine I’ve got. It runs Ubuntu Dapper Drake just fine, but I’m looking for something that’s not such a boatanchor…

        Sounds like a real good use for the box. And, yeah, Win98 or maybe 2k if it’s heavy on memory…

        *sigh* remember the days when 32mb RAM was a LOT?

        • Not only do I remember, I remember paying through the nose for it. In 1996, I spent $750 to upgrade my PC from 8mb to 32mb, becuase ram had fallen to the bargain price of $31/mb and popular wisdom in the PC press was that it wouldn’t possibly fall any lower than that. (I had not much earlier been as high as $50/mb). Of course, prices continued to fall, but we didn’t know that at the time.

          It only has 128mb of RAM, so 98 is probably the best choice for it. If it had more RAM it might run xubuntu better, but as it is it’s sluggish and can’t handle more than a couple of apps at once without bogging down completely.

          • 128mb RAM is fine for Xubuntu, supposedly (I haven’t messed with it that much), but one has to choose one’s apps carefully, preferring Dillo or Opera over Firefox and … the name of the app that Puppy uses for a word processor, which is considerably lighter than OpenOffice…

            I got lucky; my I4000 (which was gifted me by a friend) already had 384mb in it, so it can run Firefox all day without wheezing…

            (I do wish they’d fix Firefox’ memory leak, though. It’s getting annoying. Fortunately, Session Manager makes it not *so* annoying; I can simply winnow down my session to a manageable level, save it, then restart the app and *presto* hundreds of meg of free RAM magically appear.)

            Moore’s Law strikes again, eh?

          • It’s fine for xubuntu in the sense of “the bare minimum to realistically run it.” But as you say, you can’t easily use Firefox, and I *want* to use Firefox. 🙂

            The new laptop rocks, though. I’m happy with the purchase.

  4. FWIW, shoes last a lot longer if you give them a day or two of rest after wearing them for a day. Actually, that’s true for most clothing.

  5. *turns green with envy*
    No retail therapy for us for the next 4 years (unless mother dies *g*)but we do have birthdays coming up which is almost as good.

    Glad you found lots of things you wanted.

  6. It was great to meet you, too. 🙂 Now, all I have to do it track down the Rev. Mom in person, and I’m all set. 🙂

  7. Good call on the new shoes! Hobbit philosophy for the day: “If you take care of your feet, they’ll take care of you.” [and also, “It’s all about the dinner”, but it sounds like you’ve got that taken care of too.]

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