Frank Di Vincenzo (lordsnotrag) wrote,
Frank Di Vincenzo

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I Swear, I Only Had Small Plans, and Other Fumbles...

So, I got my escrow refund Tuesday. Considering the combination of increased homestead exemption and severely decreased market value, the refund was significant. At least there is a little silver lining on that huge black cloud of negative equity.

In any case... A while back, when I recognized the impending arrival of my fortune/misfortune, I decided I'd take that moment to do what I wanted to do with my income tax return: replace my failing TV with something from this century. I wasn't looking for anything huge though. [Well, in relation to the insane TV sizes you see these days.] So, I'm thinking I'll spend $800-1100 for a halfway decent 40-42" TV and get a PS3 for a Blu-ray player/console. And still have money left over for bills and what-not.

Yeah, like I can maintain that kind of fiscal control...

I had to go to West Palm to cash the escrow check anyway. So we headed down to the BrandsMart in the area and found out that they had some really nice deals on several TVs that appeared to be really good quality. And bigger then I was planning to get. So, of course, the rampant consumer in me goes mad...

I ended up with, after some research, what appears to be a really good deal on a nice 50" plasma LG. I got it for several hundred less then what I'm seeing them go for. However, it was still a couple hundred more then I planned to spend. But I looked at it as no big deal. I had some cushion. I could still get the PS3 and have money for other things. We'll come back to that later.

The size increase created a bit of an immediate logistics issue: getting it into my PT Cruiser. When I was looking at 40" TVs I didn't worry about getting them in. At 50", though, this became a concern. I mentioned it to the salesperson who assured me the size shouldn't be a problem. [I know, never listen to a salesperson when they're about to close a deal.] Worse comes to worse, they take it out of the box.

Which, of course, they would have to do to get it into my car. The part that wasn't quite explained was the need to still take the box and all the packing stuff in it with me. So, two guys at the loading dock basically wedge the TV into my back seat so they could use the back to shove the folded up box and big chunks of Styrofoam. Not a big deal. I took it easy driving home.

Getting the TV out of the car was a bit rough. Getting it into the house had a scary [not to mention] painful moment. We had to set the TV down so I could shoo Dante back in the house. When we went to pick it back up I noticed my grip was in a bad place. I tried to tell Marie to stop lifting. But she didn't hear me in time. I couldn't shift fast enough to compensate for the way the TV was tilting at me and I fell forward. I ended up slamming the TV into the concrete pillar by my front door as I landed hard on my right knee. If I wasn't in so much pain I'd be freaked out by possibly wrecking the brand new TV I bought. Fortunately, neither issue caused any serious damage. Although the knee is still tender and the TV has a dent in the back.

Time to hook up the DirectTV box. That's when I notice that it has no HD output. [Which confused me a bit since I could've sworn the guy that installed it had a HD cable for me, in case I ever upgraded the TV, but I refused it. Hmmmph.] So I figure it probably just needs a box swap out. Hopefully I could drive somewhere and do that today.

Yeah, right. No, they need to replace both box and dish. No, there was no place to drive to and do that. [Not that I want to touch the dish anyway.] And to get the HD DVR there was a one-time charge of $199. Crap. I can't justify the increased TV price, the cost of that box *and* a PS3. Good-bye console.

Fortunately, later on in Wal-Mart I saw a less expensive Blu-Ray player, something manageable in cost after all the other stuff. So, at least I can watch Blu-ray movies now. And if I really want to play GTA4 I'll get it on PC.

I look at this monster in my living room and wonder to myself, "What the ever-loving Fook was I thinking?!?" But you know, I can get used to this. At least, once the new HD cable box gets here. :)
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