Dear Readers,

              In an effort to post something on the lighter side, but still with underlying meaning, I decided to share another message that I recently sent to a young man who lives in Liverpool. England that is… In an area that has ‘benefited’ by incessant (or so it seems) rain in the past few months as the southern part of the country looks to the skies for relief.

               I have heard, from a recent visitor who I was honored to meet and spend a short time with, that recently the trend has broken, and even the drought conditions in the South are now waning. I defer to his take and local knowledge on that, and hope that the recent rain continues until the reservoirs are full and everyone is less anxious.

              At any rate, I’ll share the message whilst maintaining the privacy of its original recipient, since I have no permission to identify him or, for that matter, no reason to do so…

             I should also say that I am glad that Richard is ‘back in circulation’, as it were, and wish him well in re-establishing the friendships he seems to have missed and happiness in his personal life. I believe he deserves that as much as any of us, and hope that those that do reach out to him, do so in a loving and responsible way. There is no cost associated with kindness. Quite the opposite, in fact. It nurtures and makes us all better for the effort.

              Anyways, here’s the message I sent, in response to a lovely and light- hearted  message I received about the constraints of poverty and the allure of Ebay. lol  Read what you will into that. I tend to believe that at some point in our lives, we have all been ‘there’. Desire vs. ‘Need’. ‘Fulfillment’ vs. Discipline. There’s a message for all of us, somewhere in this… at least, in my opinion. tman

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oh dear 😛 lol I guess you have your reasons for wanting those things… I suppose that’s the reason I don’t hang out at a place like Coastal Tool, where every imaginable and cool- looking piece of equipment is on display. I could easily spend tens of thousands of dollars in a short time if I could rationalize it. I love to shop there, but have mixed emotions after a while, when the yearning sets in and that new tile saw that I’ve wanted has me returning to where it sits, fiddling, admiring and lusting after the features that my simple wet saw doesn’t have. That’s when it hits me. ‘Gotta get outta here!’ or thoughts of that nature.:P That’s my ‘governor’. I allow myself one big purchase per year, and I may well end up buying that $1200 saw before long, but once I do, that’ll be it until next year, at least on those kinds of things!

            In fact, I had a similar experience just yesterday as I was out and about. I went to the Apple Store about 8 miles from here to get the new Magsafe adapter. Well, it’s located in the Westfarms Mall along with every conceivable store for every conceivable impulse purchase.

            Of course, one has to walk past a certain number of stores just to get to the destination, and that gets the juices flowing unless you’ve blindfold yourself or something. 😛 I’m generally pretty disciplined about such things, but this time, I found myself rationalizing a few purchases that were small and actually ‘necessary’. Well, more or less… lol I HAVE wanted a decently sharp utility knife for my kitchen for quite some time. I  never really owned a quality knife because of the cost, opting instead to buy low cost, inferior versions that inevitably become dull and maddeningly obstructive to efficient cooking, something I like to do. But, I’ve looked at real chef’s knives before and a nice one can cost more than $100! Now, I understand why that is, of course. I buy quality tools for my business and 95% of them are quite expensive, but I use them for decades, so I can justify the cost. That tile saw I have is 15 years old already, and works fine still, but it is really difficult to cut large tiles or odd shapes accurately, because it’s a smaller saw than I might have bought if tile setting was the only thing I did for a living. I bought it, not compromising quality, but I did compromise on the size, realizing that someday I might outgrow it if I ended up doing more and more tile work. Well, that day has come. Actually, quite a while ago, tbh…

             But, back to the knife, and other ‘necessities’. lol I was in the Apple Store, having already spent $84 (with tax)on the internet store site, on a new Magsafe adapter. (I went to the store to pick it up)  What could I do? I needed it, so I really had no choice, but I wasn’t about to leave there w/o airing my dissatisfaction with the poor engineering of the one that self- destructed. lol Hey, I like quality! Not junk. That’s why I spent so much money on the Macbook! So, I wouldn’t HAVE to replace it unless I just wanted to.

             It was interesting, because as I talked to three different guys there, all of them seemed to agree with the overlying problem that I posited- Apple had put its logo on an inferior design and in the end, the dissatisfaction it was creating (just read the blogs about Magsafe problems!) had the potential to undermine its business in ways that were avoidable, and silly, tbh. Now, that’s something that Apple isn’t- silly. The company prides itself on being ‘cutting edge’ and has groomed that image for the past decade very successfully. So, while I was pleasantly surprised to win the argument and get those guys to see the light, I wasn’t stunned that they refunded my online purchase and gave me the free replacement instead 😛

             But, that left me with $84 or so that I had already written off, so to speak! 😛 Can you see where this is heading? lol Well, I proceeded out of the store and looked around for a kitchen supply store that I thought was in the vicinity. Not the ‘Williams Sonoma’ version that was just a few stores away… They have outrageous prices! No, I was looking for a different store that I swear I browsed thru in the past, but alas, it didn’t appear to be in business anymore… {sigh} So much for the knife, eh? lol Well, I left the mall and as I got to my truck and opened the door, it struck me that somewhere on the periphery of the mall complex, there was a large outfit that sold those types of things. A ‘Bed, Bath and Beyond’ store. So, I got into my truck, determined to make my trip into that area, profitable and efficient. I hate to waste gas. lol Well, that became the rationale, anyways! 🙂

              I soon found it- almost across the street from the mall in fact. Right next to a ‘Sleepy’s’, a place that sells mattresses and bedding stuff. Hmmm… That gave me an idea… lol You see, for many years now, I’ve wanted to buy a ‘Tempurpedic’ mattress. I’ve had back problems over the years that were supposed to be ‘cured’ by the purchase of my current mattress, a $1300 king- sized monster that could pass for a giant slab of oak! That’s how ‘firm’ it seems at times! Lately, I awaken with sore shoulders and a bad neck. I’ve grown to hate the damned thing, but the alternative is quite expensive- in the range of $2000.

            It might seem off topic, but I mention this for a reason, because as I pulled up to the Bed, Bath and Beyond store, those were the thoughts spinning through my head… I was trying to suppress them, but they were gnawing at me! After all, that ‘slab of oak’ was now nearly 11 years old! Hadn’t I suffered enough? {sigh} I had very mixed emotions at this point… Perhaps I should just get back into my truck and head back home ‘the victor’, with the free Magsafe and a full wallet, but I WAS there, after all…

          What good is money, if you don’t spend it? Rhetorical question. lol That was the thought that I had as I put my hand on the door handle to get back into the truck. I paused, stuck in place, and released the handle. 😛

           The knife I bought was a compromise of sorts, altho not much of one- my nephew suggested that I try some of the new ceramic knives that had recently become popular… So, I checked them out and selected one that cost me $30 vs. the $118 traditional steel knife I was studying and lusting over. It’s sharp as heck! Like a razor! Just ask the first finger on my left hand that got a tiny taste this morning as I took the chance to dice a whole tomato while hovering over a pan of sizzling peppers and ham. (I was making a ‘Red Rooster’ scrambled egg dish and wanted the tomatoes included quickly!) 😛 Well, that backfired a bit, altho my hand is fine. It was but a scratch! 🙂 I am after all, a cautious person around sharp blades, even if I taunted fate this one time!

             But, the knife is NOT the real story here! lol No, I started to tell you this for a very different reason… To kind of explain how a cascade of thoughts can lead from one thing to another.

            You see, the knife, the Old Spice body wash,:P and the two, ‘must have’ official, New York Yankee’s cold drink decanters that I bought (one for me, one for my Godson James as a house- warming present :P), were just the beginning. Kind of the little snowball at the top of the hill. Well, actually, maybe that was the Magsafe. lol IDK. But, I left that store and walked right into the next store and put a deposit on a ‘Tempurpedic’ something or t’other… lol I feel so ashamed right now! 😛

            A total lack of discipline! All of my spending principles thrown out the window in a span of about 20 minutes! lol

          OY!

          So, I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that you’re not alone, *****! That we’re all human, and prone to moments of weakness. That we all must fight those ‘demons’ of desire and make our choices carefully.

          You have your Victorian collectible cards, I have my ‘Tempurpedic’ mattress  that started out as a Magsafe adapter, became a knife, body wash, glasses and… {sigh} Well, you get the point.

Lord help us all! Tony<3

It’s a beauty, tho! Isn’t it???????   lmao…

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