Tuesday, January 11, 2011

eBay, Space Bags and Bad TV

This is coming to you via a newly upgraded computer, now with eight times the memory! The old routine of starting the computer, taking a shower, eating lunch, then coming back to see if it has finished booting up is no more. The upgrade came courtesy of an eBay dealer my brother (an eBay veteran) says is reputable. Naturally, I let my brother do the purchasing; I just installed the memory, which itself was something of a novelty for me. I hadn't opened up a PC with serious intent in a long time, so I printed off instructions, which showed me how much easier making such modifications has become. It took longer to clean out the dust than to install the memory.

Speaking of eBay, its mention always reminds me of an old friend, now deceased, who loved it. He also liked to drink, which occasionally resulted in some purchases later regretted. However his frugality always overcame the booze, so the amount spent was never large. But I bet his relatives were astounded when they cleaned out his house after his death.

Whenever I see the TV ad for Space Bags, with the opening line about having too much stuff and not enough space, I always think (and sadly sometimes say out loud), "get rid of some of the stuff!" This is not a knock on the product. My second wife bought some, and although - like most products - the process isn't as smooth or easy as advertised, they do basically work. I just think the thought process involved could be put to better use. If the item in question has sunk in usefulness to the point that you are considering putting it into vacuum storage, perhaps you should sell or give it to someone else.

As I clicked past a reality show (I couldn't tell you which one) the other day, I thought of something I saw on the TCM series Moguls and Movie Stars. In the early days of movies the scripts were rudimentary, only setting up a general story line, with sections often saying no more than, "Keaton (or whoever) improvises for five minutes". This is basically what reality show producers do now, provide a basic framework and tell the participants to just go to it. The big difference is instead of seasoned performers like Buster Keaton with proven ability to entertain, we get people off the street, resulting in... well, you've seen it.

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