Finding Portland

Shopping Paradigm Shift Complete

          I like to think of myself as someone who isn't a consumer, but—of course—that's me lying to myself.

          What I am, is someone who doesn't shop.  Which is (relatively) true in that I don't enjoy entering a commercial business establishment to just look at products on shelves; I despise being approached by commission/quota salespeople; and I believe customers should be actively encouraged to physically assault clerks who refuse to walk away after they learn that assistance is unwanted.

           After five years of being twistangled and unbended the power cord on my laptop's adapter began to short out.  I could only get it to work if I propped the transformer-brick against the spine of Harlan Ellison's Watching at exactly 23.5° off vertical with the three inches after the lump in the wire bent back on itself.  An imperfect fix, but it was the kind of cheap I like.  Free-cheap.

          Recently, I found myself driving past what is now commonly referred to as a big box store and decided to just pop in to research a replacement (I even have anathema to using shop as a verb when referencing my own actions).  Since I had my laptop with me (and the adapter with the short) I carried them in...

          Twelve year old Greeter Clerk stationed two feet inside Best Buy:   How can we help you today?
          Me (channeling R. Lee Ermy reasonably well—if I do say so myself—considering he ain't dead):  Computer -brief pause for the child to focus and comprehend the big word- Adapters.
          GC:  Oh.  Let me get a sticker on that so we'll know you brought it in.  Isle 8.
          After less than one minute inside isle 7 (Isle 8 had computers), where I discovered no less than five different brands of multiple-plug adapters but none specifically for my computer, I am set upon by a nineteen year old Jedi.
          Jedi:  Afternoon, what's it you're looking for today?
          Me (with an $40 adapter in one hand, a $100 adapter in the other, and probably-definitely a howstupidareyou look on my face):  A replacement adapter.
          At which point I nudged my old computer adapter with my right toe.
          Jedi:  Well looks like you found what you're looking for.  Both of those'll work.  Is there anything else I can help you with today?
          Me:  How do I know these will work?  Nowhere on the packaging are there any applicable part numbers.
          Jedi (beginning to allow a bit of exasperation to enter into his voice):  See here?  Where it says, works with the following brands?  And then it says...yup...Gateway.  Yours is a Gateway.  It'll work.
          Me (wishing my initial reply had been, 'I don't need any help'):  Great.  Thanks.
          As Jedi walked away with the standard parting salvo, I concentrated on the different products and tried to determine why there was such a vast range of prices and if maybe there was a list of model numbers somewhere...up walks another Jedi-clone.  This one was drunk on corporate Best Buy dingleberry flavored Kool Aid.
          Dingleberry:  What can I help you with today?
          Me:  Nothing.
          Dingleberry:   This* brand (indicating the $60 one) is our best seller.
          Me:  Yea.  The last guy said something equally as useless.
          Dingleberry (refusing to back down and putting on his best 65W smile):  Oh?  Well this one has the most adapter plugs so if you wanted to use it to charge your ...bla de blah, wank a wank, gobbledy gook... I stopped listening as he rambled on about how I would be able to dispense with my iPod charger and my cell phone charger and the power adapter on my inflatable butt plug with the scintillating-vibrating core.  When he finally wound down enough for me to wedge in a word, I said...
          Me:  Where is the list of applicable model numbers?  And, why is this one more expensive?
          Dingleberry:  The prices fluctuate.  Both will work.  Let's find an outlet and plug it in.  I'll show you that it'll work.
          At this, he took the cheaper one around to the computer area and proceeded to cut it out of it's packaging while I watched.  After trying all of the plug-ends to no avail (one fit, but it wouldn't power my computer) his 65W smile dimmed and flattened into a definite frumpy-frown.
          Me:  Good thing I didn't take you at your word that all of em would work.
          Dingleberry:  Well, you've got one of those odd ones that won't fit.  Weird.
          Me:  So when it says on the side of the package fits Gateway's they don't mean all Gateway's, right?
          Dingleberry:  No they're all supposed to.  Maybe your motherboard is at fault and it's not the power cord.  Let's look at...
          Me (cutting him off with an increase in volume and tone before he gained velocity):  NO.  It's the power cord.  It has a short in it.  It works sometimes and not others.  You have been a great help.  You have reaffirmed any doubts I had about shopping at Amazon for the rest of my life ( lean forward and choke yourself...).

          I came home.  Tapped in my model number and paid Amazon $2.89 (plus $6.99 in shipping/handling) for an exact replacement.

          Obviously I'm reluctant to completely make the plaza-amazon paradigm shift.  Seven months ago I bumped the corner of my automobile into a post and cracked the exterior of the driver-side headlight.  A chunk of plastic fell out.  The light still worked fine, so I did what I do in cases like this: nothing.  Four months later the light bulb burned out.  I called around to a few auto repair shops in the area; the cheapest estimate was $425.00.  I called some auto parts stores; the cheapest price was $230.00.  I searched SQUIRE for junkyards and used parts stores; the cheapest used-quote was $135.00.  I tapped in my vehicle model number and paid Amazon $105.00 (with free shipping) and a new one arrived in three days.  It took me about 90 minutes to replace it.

         So, now I'm a convert.  I've got an Amazon Visa and all my future purchases earn a small amount of cash back.  Obviously I'll still need to reaffirm my faith in the almighty yellow arrow from time to time, but I suspect that now I'm lying much less when I say I don't shop.

     *  After I'm elected King-o-the-Whole-Wide, this is the point where it would be acceptable to pile-drive Jedi's diaphragm into his spine and then punt whichever kidney presents itself with sufficient force to remind him (every time he took a red piss over the next week) that 'no' means 'no'.

The Cabin in the Woods - Review (☆☆☆☆)

          Recommending a new film is incresadingly rare—not quite as rare as having an enjoyable conversation with a stranger; but definitely rarer than having an enjoyable conversation with a stranger younger than the minimum legal age to become president.

          The Cabin in the Woods is a wonderful blend of scares and humor, orchestrated for people who have already seen at least fifty frightful films in their life.  This is not to say it's a comedy; it definitely will be found in the horror section wedged between Identity and Devil.  And, I'm not saying (yes I am) that if you have only seen a small dozen scary movies in your life that you're mentally unprepared to see this film (woefully so) and, if that were the case, that you wouldn't be affected by the make-you-jump-parts (of course you'll still be a-scared) or wouldn't enjoy the lighter moments (you'll giggle) but unless you have already attended Camp Crystal Lake near Haddonfield, Illinois, watched videos with Masami and Tomoko, and perused the Naturan will be unable to savor the miasma of ingredients that were expertly combined  in order to fabricate the broth and bones of the soup. 

          The last funny horror film I recommended, Rubber, was a foreign film in every way except dialogue (which may be confusing, but no more than the film—in its entirety—is intentionally confusing).  Before that, I recommended the Korean monster film, Gwoemul, as containing just the right amount of humor and fear.  If I were asked to say only one thing about exceptional American horror films, it would be: they have very few peers.  The Cabin in the Woods has now joined those ranks.

Another Corpse

Fabric of Space - To Point Out - pending - the curb appeal
muggy | SkyWookiee | odefinierad | veach

For my fiancée (she's bona fide)

          I learned, just recently, of my love's pterodactyl preference.

          Due to profanity this is NSFW or when children are within earshot.