bunt sign

Thursday, July 1, 2004

The banks make it way too easy for me to spend money I don't have. Last week Discover phoned and nearly begged me to use my card more often. They offered me bonus rewards and special rates, and I think they also said they had a secret plan to end the war (although I might have heard that one somewhere else).

It's no great imposition on me to spend money. I love to do it, whether I have any or not. Most of the time I can keep myself under control. I've made bargains with myself over this challenge. I've even made new year's resolutions, and kept them. Seriously, it takes more than incentive-based marketing to make me spend money when I don't have it. (Which is most of the time lately.)

However, sometimes there's just no way out. I can live with a refrigerator that's too small. I know, because I've done it for years. I can't take a stereo system that fails to bring in da noise, though. For three whole days, my right side speakers have been silent. I checked various connections between the TV, DVR, VCR and DVD, and it turned out that my receiver was the culprit. My A/V receiver, that is.

Thus, I needed a new receiver. Some things become necessities by filling needs you wouldn't have if those things didn't exist. A functioning sound system sustains me in a way that even a larger (and better stocked) refrigerator could never do.

It's amazing that I waited three days to sneak off to the Big Electronics Store, but I wanted to do some research first. I found the best receiver I couldn't afford, then downgraded a notch to one that would do the job. Today I went and bought it, without having to deal with a salesperson at all.

This thing has so many features, so many inputs and outputs and settings, that it will be months before I learn to use them all. To be honest, that's part of the charm. That helps me get my money's worth.

1 July 2004

I can't give you the recipe, because I made it up as I went along. Some kind of chicken (with pimientos, garlic, onions and golden raisins) on a bed of buttery saffron rice. It's a variation on Rachael's Chicken for Almodovar.

I'm satisfied I made the right choice for the simple reason that it works! I've been through so many heartaches with defective equipment lately that I would have settled for "it works" and left it at that. But it works better than the old one did, even when it was new. The sound of tonight's Giants-Dodgers game was bright and lively. Not quite like being there, but in this case I wouldn't have wanted to be there anyway.

The commercials were still too loud, though.

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It's not supposed to be easy. That's why the baseball season is six months and 162 games long. To be a winner, you have to survive daily ups and downs, somewhat like real life. I don't begrudge the Dodgers their 5-4 win over the Giants tonight, the way I did Tuesday night. The Giants let this one slip away, through bad base running (and, frankly, two bad umpire calls). They were in a position to win, leading 4-2 in the seventh inning, but couldn't hold on. That's baseball, and tomorrow is another day and another game.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Letting Go
"There will always be cobwebs in the corners, weeds in the yard, and mountains of clutter as far as the eye can see. So what? It's mine, and I'm happy enough with it just the way it is."

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