Thursday, December 26, 2013

Helping the economy big time...

In Canada the day after Christmas is called Boxing day. It's a holiday and its the day that all the stores have post Christmas deals. Lots of good deals.

Our plan was to go and get a big screen TV and Dishwasher. What seemed like it would take about an hour or two turned into a full blown day.

It was a good thing we had a good breakfast at a local breakfast joint. Best Buy was pretty crazy. Through social media advice I narrowed the TV down and bought a 70" non Smart TV and made it smart with Apple TV.

It was a zoo in Best Buy and it took forever to get through the line up and to the cashier and then wait for them to take the TV to your car. I also got suckered into the 4 year protection plan. The guys scared the crap out of me on a 70" model. I normally NEVER fall for that stuff, but on this purchase it made sense. It seems nothing lasts in my basement. Not sure if it's the humidity or what.

The guy was about 34 years old. When we were checking out they asked who helped me. I said Dave. One of the young guys asked the other, "was it young Dave or old Dave?". They said "old Dave". I was like WTF???? He looked young to me. I wasn't kidding. I thought they all looked around the same age. I didn't know there was an old one in the bunch.

Man I'm struggling with this age thing. Big Time. But that's a different story. I'm getting used to being called "Sir" now.

Turns out Best Buy was the easy part of the journey.

We spend the entire afternoon then going to Goeman's appliances, IKEA, Sears and Future Shop looking for a TV stand and dishwasher.

If I never have to go into IKEA again I'd die with a smile on my face. I hate that store. We found something we liked. Then had to walk the entire store, following the floor arrows to the self service warehouse, only to find they were out of stock and then we had to walk all the way back to see if they had anything else we liked. Nope. Now we had to walk the entire store again just to get to the exits.

Turns out that all the driving was for not. Had we just shopped right near our house everything we eventually bought was right there.

Buying the dishwater was a funny experience. Since my 30 days in Arizona training and having to load the dishwasher myself I now have more of an interest and consider myself somewhat of an expert, even though for the prior 25 years I didn't know how to turn a dishwasher on. I'd was getting into the different models and really wanting to know which was the BEST at cleaning grimy dishes. It was quite a site. I NEVER thought I'd be so much into dishwashers. It was like I was asking questions at a bike store.

I did find out that you should never prewash your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. That was new to me. Apparently these things are high tech enough that when they start not having lots of crap in the flush lines it means they are new done and don't have to work as hard. Interesting.

Alice had the final say but I was definitely engaged. It was a sight to see.

Overall, for the day, we did save a lot of money though. I'm not going to focus on what we spent. That's the glass is a glass half empty approach. I'm going to focus on savings. On three items we saved $1300. Only the Apple TV was full price.

Getting the TV out of the truck was a bit of work. I was hoping Reid would help me but he wasn't home so Alice did and I was worried, she has a bad shoulder. I'm so paranoid moving a big TV. If it falls and the screen breaks it's no good. It all worked out.

This is where my diet went off the rails. It was between the moving of the TV and stand to downstairs to assembly. There was a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake in the fridge and I decided to have one piece which turned into about 5 or 6 pieces. No joke. That stuff is like crack cocaine. I could stop. Until most of it was done. The last three pieces were my proverbial last pieces.

I wasn't looking forward to assembling the TV stand and TV. I'm not the most patient builder. To my pleasant surprise the TV stand was easier than most to put together and possibly the best ever instructions I've ever gotten before.

The TV also went pretty easy. Other than connecting all the wires. I still can't get the surround sound working. I need to call my stereo guy to come and fix it.

I was able to get U.S. HBO, HULU and NETFLIX working. I paid a service to get a U.S. DNS and after about 2 hours of messing around because I don't know what I'm doing I got them all to work. Winning. I can now watch great programming. In Canada the government doesn't allow a lot of the U.S. programming to come over the border unless it's through Canadian licensing arrangements. We get ripped off. But not for me anymore.

The worst part was getting rid of all the cardboard and packaging. The local garbage guys won't pick it up and we have a restriction on the amount of garbage bags you can put out. So I did what I do best. I loaded it all up in the truck and took off at 11:30 pm looking for an empty big commercial trash can or in Canada we like to call them BFI bins.

It didn't take long for me to find the new LOWES. It's around the corner from my place and not yet opened.

I was a little paranoid I'd get caught and these trash cans were huge. The walls were about 10 feet high and it was hard to throw the cardboard and Styrofoam up that high and over the wall. Especially with the wind going and the time pressures. It was like a game. Rush to get the stuff in the bin before someone comes and busts you.

It's not looked on favourably to use a commercial bin for private use. I once got caught at shoppers drug mart and they wanted me to remove the cardboard and put it back in my truck. No joke. My name was on one of the boxes and they tracked me down and called me to come pick it up. I said no way, I shop at your store, consider it a customer service. But they did call and were quite upset by it all.

So here I was rushing to get the stuff into the bin so i didn't get caught and it would take me two or three throws to get it over the walls and into the bin. In the wind cardboard and Styrofoam isn't the easiest stuff to throw.

When I got home I just sat in front of the new big screen TV all proud. It was close to 1 am and I didn't want to go to bed. I just wanted to watch the TV. Movies on it look amazing!!! It's the perfect size. Reid saw it and let it be known that he will now be spending more time in the basement. I figure if he can figure out which remote to use for what all the power to him.

I want to use the TV for the Insanity workout series I got Alyssa for Christmas. In fact buying that was the main reason I was motivated to buy the TV. To do the insanity workouts. The other reason was it's my new office and I can put it on in the background.

There is no doubt it makes it look like a whole new basement. It took it from the 90's with the rear projection TV to the 2014's with the flat screen. The sad part was the flat screen cost me less than the 65" rear projection.

Finally I did have one major baby step win today. I didn't check any of my work emails. I'm on Christmas break until January 6th and I've made it a goal not to check emails. That's something I've never done before and I think it will be as tough if not tougher than doing an Ironman.

This Christmas I'm trying to make it more family oriented. It's part of the new me.

Don't ask me to take a break from social media. That would be way to much way to soon. My head would explode I'm sure. Alice would love it I'm sure, the getting off social media stuff, not the head exploding.

No Training - Just eating.

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