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    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2007
    So a coworker's birthday prompted a happy hour last night. We have a set of standard places that we go, usually in West Chester (it's like a miniature city, complete with confusing traffic patterns, one way streets, and bad parking. Oh, and fun places to go out.) Typical stuff: an Irish Pub, a Brewhouse (Iron Hill), and of course my favorite sushi place. There are a bunch of other bars we go to as well. But I get this email that says we're going to some ridiculous place called Doc Magrogan's Oyster House. Huh? I was amused by the name, but I couldn't remember what it was so I just made up a bunch of names for the place, combining an Irish name with some Oyster venue.

    So we go to this place, and it takes me 15 minutes to find a parking space(!), but I finally get to Rev Finneran's Castle of Giblets and Oysters. It's actually kinda nice. Decent crowd of normal looking people, and so it went for a while. I was beginning to like Prof Mcgonnagal's Oyster Abbey. Then this band shows up and starts playing this jazzy blues type stuff, and they're awesome. We had some food (no Oysters though. I actually don't mind them, but I don't know that I'd ever go out of my way to eat them. Very slimy and chewey, which I apparently don't mind), and a good time was had by all. So if you're ever in the area, PJ McScruffy's Oyster Palace is pretty good.

    Anyway, I get home last night and am goofing around on the internet. I've been in the market for a new TV for a while now. My old TV died, and while I have a really nice 32" LCD TV, I wanted something bigger and better (plus, I want to keep the LCD in my room upstairs). After much research (Paradox of Choice in full effect with TVs - there are so many tradeoffs between the three major types of TV that I'm almost guaranteed to experience some of the effects of the Paradox), I settled on a 50" Samsung DLP (it's the mirrors!), with 1080p resolution (highest available, so I hopefully won't need to buy a new TV in a few years). I also found a nice stand that I liked (DLP isn't a flat panel, so it can't be mounted to the wall - which is something I didn't want to do anyway). But, of course, all this stuff is expensive. We're talking $2,300 here. That would not do. So I've been checking the big places like Crutchfield (expensive, but good internet service), Best Buy, Circuit City, etc... Last weekend, I got the price down to around $2000, but when I tried to order, the store was out of the TV I wanted. D'oh.

    Anyway, last night I take a look at CircuitCity.com. It seems they are having a sale. Score! It's actually not as good as last week's, but I figured I'd give a check to see if it's in the store I want to buy it at (incidentally, the store is in Delaware, home of tax-free shopping - saving me an additional $120 or so). It appeared to be there. I get to the payment page, and there's a field for coupons and gift cards. On a lark, I google "circuit city coupons" and get a page that says they're running a promotion from 2/20 to 2/24 (which is today) where you can take an additional 7% off orders over a certain amount. I wondered if that would work, given that both the TV and the stand were heavily discounted. But it did, and bam, another $150 or so knocked off the price. Score! I try to complete the order and... Circuit City shoots me down. I get some error about the store not prepared to take orders. This was around 1 in the morning, so I figure I'll get up in the morning to get it. I do, and when I try to order again, they say my credit card info is screwed up! I enter the same card and same information, and finally, the order goes through. About 5 minutes later, I get an automated call from my credit card's fraud department. These calls are hilarious, because of the way automated calls work. "We would like to confirm that you have made a major purchase at ... an electronics company... press 1 to confirm" Of course they say the price too, and in that disjointed automated way, where they emphasize the wrong number, etc... It's funny.

    So anyway, I can now take a leisurely drive down to delaware and pick up my TV whenever I feel like it. Score. I am looking forward to my new TV.

    So what's everyone else up to?

    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2007
    So you got the TV for like $10? You should have picked one up for me too. I'd have to put it on the balcony, but who doesn't want to watch TV outside?

    I was on the prowl for a good vacuum cleaner last weekend. I had a Bissell Cleanview Bagless, which I believe I bought for $70 four years ago. It's an okay vacuum if you only have dirt on the surface, but too much dust escapes the container, and it doesn't get up anything entwined in the carpet - like my hair and cat fur. Oh, and I would have to stop every ten minutes to pull the hair and fur out of the brush. For my needs, it sucked...or didn't. All was not good.

    So of course I did lots of searching on the internet for vacuum cleaner reviews. The Dyson vacuums consistently got the highest ratings, but I didn't want to spend $500 on that big-ass ugly thing. There were other vacuums with very high ratings but not a lot of ratings. Do ten five-stars reviews of vacuum A compare to 300 five-star reviews of the Dyson?

    I'll take risks on some things. I'll spring for the $50 shoes instead of the $20. When it comes to furniture we'll spend more to get real wood instead of particle board. But I was torn on the vacuum cleaners. With three cats and my long hair, if $500 was what it would take to suck all of that up, then I was ready to take that risk.

    And yet I had such good feelings about a particular $100 vacuum that received 10 five-star ratings. I could only buy it online. But the shipping was free - from a warehouse in Austin! It was smaller and less heavy than a Dyson. It used a bag instead of a cup, and I had read that bags contained the dust better. It looked minimal. And was much cheaper.

    So I bought the Hoover U5018-900 Bagged upright vacuum. This thing is AWESOME. It has great suction and filtration. The suction lifts the carpet fibers up; I could feel soft carpet even while wearing socks. The brush leaves tracks because it's actually digging into the carpet and bringing the fur up. I vacuumed the whole apartment, but there was nothing to clean off the brush when I was done. The bag is only half full. All of the tool attachments for the hose work well. The hose is too short, but I can buy an extension.

    From all of the Dyson reviews, I don't doubt it's a good vacuum. But I doubt that it's any better than this Hoover. I think the Dyson's $500 price tag is all about marketing. Unfortunately, it's worked on people.

    I must get my tail in high gear and study for the GRE. I'll also need to get three recommendations and write a Statement of Purpose. If I want to go to grad school next January (and I really REALLY do), then I must submit my application by September 1st.
    I don't need an exceptionally high score on the GRE. UT's School of Information says the average is 1250. My SAT score wasn't far off that mark. But that's the thing. I know I could have done so much better on the SAT, but I just didn't care - I didn't really try. I had already been accepted at the university of my choice so my score didn't matter. But now it bothers me.
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2007
    Just so you know, I have made note of all of these oyster bars you mention and shall be visiting each and every one.
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2007
    Don't forget to visit Asshole McDouchbagenstein's Rocky Mountain Oyster Emporium and Cucumber Distillery On The Lake if you're even in the area.

    Best damned apple pie you'll ever have.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2007
    Holy crap that's hilarious. But then, I'm going to have to commit that entire thing to memory for the next happy hour. Thanks:P