A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

By WR Jones


    I expect most of you ladies will know this box is not a symbol for saving.  We once took our daughter to New York for Christmas so she could shop at Tiffany’s and Saks.  Luckily she found H&M filled with young ladies of her age.  It seems many New Yorkers are not in to pissing away their money on little blue boxes or overpriced threads.

    Our TV went black this weekend.  I fixed it once in the past and it was such a hassle getting the part and installing it I vowed to never do it again.  I called a TV repairman; he quoted me $300 to $600 – if it was the simple problem, the other problem – sky is the limit.  I decided to buy another TV.  He called again to see if I would give him the TV so I wouldn’t have to pay to have it hauled away.  Very considerate of him, don’t you think?

    Yesterday I looked at TVs in Best Buy and Costco.  What a bewildering process.  TV after TV,  side by side,  all looking pretty much the same but at way different prices.   It is so easy to get sucked into the notion that more expensive is better.  It probably is, in some technical manner, but can you tell.  Even side by side with the same size screens, can you tell the difference between a $1500 and $2500 unit?  I can’t.   I wandered in to the dark area with the even more expensive TV’s.  Again I could not see any noticeable difference.   However, I kept feeling that tug – more money is better – I should spend it. 

    Now there is a new improvement with 120Hz LCD.  This is supposed to make fast action less blurry.  I don’t recall watching a program and thinking anything about blur.  Damn, that clubhead was a blur, I’ve got to get a better TV or I won’t get any enjoyment out of this golf channel.  Guess what, it costs more.

    At the end of the day I could not decide.  There were too many choices for too much money and I was fighting the urge to spend more because it had to be “better”.

    I went home to find the cable company truck driven by my wife’s cousin in our driveway.  He replaced the cables from the converter box to the TV.  Now it works again.  Savings – $2000 to $4000.  

    Here is where the stores went wrong – too many choices.  A study has shown too many choices between similar products can cause buying paralysis.  There should be no more that 6 different selections.

    Today I’m shopping for a new handgun with all my savings.  I hope they don’t have too many to choose from.

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28 Responses to A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

  1. kevmoore says:

    In my cash-strapped 20’s, i owned a rather shabby “teak effect” TV. The phrase “teak effect” clearly means -“brown, with darker brown streaky grainy lines,not resembling teak in any way. It had rounded edges, and the trend at the time was all sharp and angular. sO, i bought some black plastic angled edging, and I sprayed the TV Matte black (carefully masking off the screen as i thought a black screen may impede my viewing pleasure – I was young, but not entirely dim) I watched that beautiful creation for a full 2 weeks, smirking a knowing smirk when my more well-off friends called round to see my stylish-TV-on-a-shoestring. Until one night, in the middle of a favourite knockabout comedy where things got broken and regularly caught fire, it caught fire. I’m talking backdraft here. Imagine my surprise as I watched, enraptured at the weird and wonderful shapes my black plastic angular edging twisted and curled into with the intense heat. I bought a new TV. I figured it was cheaper than a new apartment.

  2. Rats, Bill… I thought you were going to tell us that you decided to give up tv and do something more profitable with your time.

    Lovely painting, by the way.

  3. wrjones says:

    Kev – I like the UK marketing. I’m driving a car with a “rust effect”. Really, it sounds like you were dangerously close to “entirely dim”. Glad you survived. Did that smirk fall off as you were blown through the front door into the yard across the street? I bet you held it until after the nightly news camera crew left the area.

    Diana – I went 5 years with no TV or radio. I could live without one again but my wife must see her novelas. Even without the distractions I still didn’t get all that much done. I am a very accomplished slacker; don’t need any aids.

  4. Yea, I love the anti blur feature. That comes under the category of “gee whiz and so what”. Guns, on the other hand are simple…pull trigger and bullet comes out or pull trigger and many bullets come out. I’m still trying to track down an F-18. Now an F-18 costs a little more than one of them fancy dancy flat screens but its function is direct and simple…drop bombs and fire missiles. Your Mexican orphanage idea will save us a lot of money, and remember a penny saved is a penny earned. Women don’t understand this concept.

  5. Nava says:

    So, you have submitted yourself to life with a “blur effect”? I find the same too-many-choices paralysis when it comes to painting – so many colors to choose from – limited palettes rock!

    David – “Women don’t understand this concept”?




    Ahhh – you’ve gotten yourself into so much trouble now!

  6. Nava says:

    And why of why don’t we, the unwashed masses from the blogspot underworld, do not get to have our photos shown when we leave comments on the esteemed WordPress sites? We are people too, y’know. we’ve got faces and all. This hurts. Excruciatingly.

  7. carolking says:

    Bill, As soon as your site opened I recognized that box. It is an unmistakable color and with the white ribbon you nailed it! Great painting. And now I will tell you a secret that real new yorkers know. If you like something in the Tiffany catalog or in the store, you get a picture of it and have a jeweler on 47th Street (or somewhere else) make it. You get want you want and you save boatloads of money for your gun purchase. It just doesn’t come in that nice blue box.

    Glad the cable guy was able to save the day. I, too, would be overwhelmed if I had to get a new TV. I still don’t have a flat screen nor do I have HDTV. My brother insists I have to go Hi Def, but really, who wants to see ANYONE in Hi Def?

    Oh, and once you get past a certain age and your eyesight starts going, pretty much everything is blurry. So why waste money on a “blur reduction” feature when pretty much one’s whole life is a blur.

  8. Hey Nava: I knew my last comment would elicit some reactions from the female gender so here is my way of saying sorry… at my proposed all- male- bomb- the- Mexican orphanage art workshop, you will be the designated F-18 pilot! The beautiful thing about O painting is that you can be ridiculously outrageous, and we have W. R (Dr. W. R.) and Lisa to thank for this!
    Carolking hit the nail on the head!

    Oh, and Nava: I learned awhile back that us blogspoters are second class people when visiting these bigoted wordpress thingys.

  9. Nava says:

    Ahhh, I’m not worthy! Sure, I’ll fly the plane. Now I need to go shopping for a nice pilot scarf in a nice blue box with a white silky ribbon. Only question is will they allow a BlogSpot riffraff in the cockpit?

  10. wrjones says:

    On the F18 idea, David, I’ve always maintained that if you did not believe in life after death (heaven/hell), serial killing was just another hobby. However, I was talking with a woman at the gym last night and she convinced me it was just not right to bomb orphanages. And, it was not sound business practice either. If word were to leak out by some loose lipped blogger, it could further degrade my already lagging sales. She told me I couldn’t throw my plastic 6 pack holders into the duck pond anymore either.

    Nava – you can still fly the plane. You will be stunning in a white silk scarf.

    Carol – now don’t get me started crying again. The damn TV went black again this morning. It wasn’t the cables after all, but an intermittant failure of some type. Sheeeee-it! If you get a TV, you do want HD and you should get LCD. With the LCD’s you can freeze the picture as long as you want to draw/paint from. Plasma screens will burn an image if left too long with a single frame.

  11. kevmoore says:

    I have a theory….perhaps, after consuming copious amounts of alcohol the previous night, it may be entirely feasible to “fine-tune” one’s delirium tremens so that you shake in sympathy with the vibrations in the TV picture that cause the blur effect, thereby cancelling it out. You save a fortune on new technology, and are never thirsty…

  12. wrjones says:

    I’m dubious, Kev, but willing to give it a good hard try.

  13. Onpainting: If you have a little time to squander, you might want to take a peek at my latest post. I’m in desperate need of erudite feedback.

    Desperate and clueless

    PS- Nava is the ONLY woman I know that knows the worth of a penny saved.

  14. wrjones says:

    Ok, David – I went to your post and trashed the painting – nah, I like it.

    Nava is an engineer – one of the chosen of this world, er – where she lives, maybe one of many thousands of chosens.

  15. bonnieluria says:

    Too many choices and once you make one, you’re already outdated.
    Seems just as I get familiar with a wing-ding, and it’s operation, it dies, and the new, improved more expensive wing-ding comes with a 400 page owners’ manual.

    The painting is great and the comments on this post are pretty darn snappy and funny.
    Your fan club is growing and a sitcom is calling.

  16. wrjones says:

    There is that cute little foot. I was going to ask Carol (King) to be in my sitcom but she truly looks like a dog. If she were to have an avatar of the opposite foot you ladies could leave tracks across the blogosphere.

    Did I tell you I’m a podiatrist? I should probably have a closer look; think I see some inflammation there.

    Oh man, I’m so depressed about my TV dying. Do you know anyone interested in buying this painting for say $2600 + tax + $100 delivery?

    It just struck me as I scrolled up past the painting again that this is not the most manly subject. I’m going to paint a pair of bull balls to get back on track.

  17. Carol King says:

    Whaddya mean I look like a dog! Would you rather have a cute dog or the bottom of a foot in your sitcom? (Sorry Bonnie)

    Bite the bullet (the one for the gun you were going to buy with your savings) and go buy a damn TV. Your wife’s novellas need to be viewed on LDC Hi-Def. And we all know if your wife isn’t happy, you’re not going to be happy.

  18. bonnieluria says:

    What he meant, is that your AVATAR looks like a dog, and sho nuff, it IS!
    It’s the voice behind the face ( think of the Wizard of Oz ) that is the driving comic force.

    And has Carol has mentioned, that Tiffany box painting, could be reproduced while you sleep in some small province in China for 25 yen which would still not buy you a new TV.

    Besides and furthermore, I’m in a fright, having taken my new camera out of its’ box today, and downing two Excedrin just to accomplish the attaching of the neck strap!
    I’m quaking at the thought of the next 296 pages….

  19. wrjones says:

    Carol, I do want you in the cast. I’m sure makeup can do something with that fur. We can have a routine where you bring me things. Carol, fetch me a beer. Carol, fetch me the remote. You know, pretty much your daily routine being married to iron hips.

    I have every faith in you Bonnie. You will figure out the camera. With my last new camera I had to have the manual to turn it on. The first time I went without the book it took me 10 minutes of pushing every button twice to get it on.

  20. bonnieluria says:

    Carol doesn’t fetch, although in the gerund sense, she IS fetching. And Officer Iron Hips is generally packing. ( whatever Carol wants him to. )

    As for the camera-the neck strap? A two Excedrin moment.
    I’m working on the features now and hope I don’t push every button three times until I become the first user to wear out a warrantee before it’s mailed in.

    No matter- what matters is that this could be your highest # of comments post to date !

  21. gypsy-heart says:

    Buying a tv these days is way too complicated..almost as bad as buying a car!! :)

    Good painting..I really like the composition!

  22. wrjones says:

    Bonnie – I expect our Carol is a beauty and I was really only projecting the lifestyle I (as a man) would LIKE to have when I said she waited on Iron Hips. The conversation probably starts more like this – “No, you are not going to use that hip as an excuse, and I don’t care about any attacks in the financial district, get those dishes done after you finish up the ironing. I would help you but I’m waiting for my nails to dry.”

    I don’t think the record number of comments can count if half of them are mine. I could change my name (avatar) each time I comment; that should be legal.

    It is, Gypsy-heart, and now my TV and car are broken, and my body is not doing all that well either.

  23. Susan says:

    This story warms my heart – except for the handgun part. My pet peave is the speed with which we must “retire” electronics into the trash pile because there is no longer affordable repair. My family has to have the high definition stuff, which I think is grotesque and unnatural.

  24. wrjones says:

    Susan – what part warms your heart, my daughter’s shopping or my TV troubles? Are you into suffering? Because, I’ve got some; plenty to spare.

    Glad to hear from you even if you are enjoying my pain.

  25. I think we’ve been sold a ‘bill of goods’ (dating myself here) because we have that new expensive TV (after the bewildering trip through the showroom with the 100 tvs all side by side) and quite frankly, the picture is stretched in an unatural way so everyone looks short and squat.
    If you change the picture display so they look normal, you can’t see the captions on the outer edges of the screen, such as the baseball score.
    All for a lot more money. Oh yeah and my cable channels (basic cable, mind you) are disappearing one at a time and when I called they said I had to put boxes on all the TV’s if I want all the channels.
    I see, pay more, get less…..hmmmmmmm

  26. wrjones says:

    That stretching can be fixed if everything is setup correctly. Get the cable box – get a HD DVR box. That way you can record the programs you like, watch them when convenient, and skip all the commercials. You can record Animal Planet and then pause it to draw cows, etc from the TV. NOTE- don’t do this if you have a Plasma TV, it can burn an image onto the screen, but for LCD and DLP type TV’s this is an entertaining passtime.

  27. grfxho says:

    The whole plasma burn-in isn’t as much an issue as it used to be. I have a plasma and while there can be times when a ghost of an image remains for a minute or so after a long pause on the same screen, it goes away.

    There are also built-in tools on the TV menu to go through that blast the screen with a few seconds of bright white and other colors to clear any lingering image.

    My point is, it doesn’t RUIN the TV like it might have in early plasma models.

  28. wrjones says:

    Thanks for the technical update, grfxho. I’m getting close to buying a new TV. Our old big screen is dying but in stages. We are staying by the bedside until it needs cremation.

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