Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conspicuous consuming

Greetings, one and all, from the frontiers of semi-big-ticket shopping.  Busy few days for my wife and me.  Let me explain....

Have I mentioned that I have a bad back?  Damaged by years of unloading trucks and stocking shelves at a long-defunct grocery in my boyhood town of Paris, Kentucky.  I experience stiffness and pain periodically, and a lot of golf (a tear rolls down most everyone's cheek, I know) or yard work can really cause problems.

My problems are nothing compared to my wife, who has some disc issues.  Bottom line, we need a good bed.  And we've been thinking about upgrading with our next replacement.  Turns out, that time is here.

Our existing bed is a Stearns and Foster, which was one of those old ironclad American brandnames like Florsheim shoes and Caterpillar.  But, like those other brands, it just isn't what it used to be.

We bought this bedding (king mattress and box springs) in 2001, so we're overdue for replacement.  We prolonged the life of this with a memory foam pad that lasted for a couple of years, but that finally gave up the ghost and we went bed shopping.  Actually, my wife went while I was on a business trip last week and did some research.

We ultimately decided that we needed one of those full-memory-foam mattresses, with the moving platform that adjusts twenty five ways, and provides massage, etc.  So we ordered that bad boy, and should receive it in the next ten days.

That wasn't enough.  We also began discussing a television for our bedroom and the conversation led, naturally, to the seven-year-old LCD set in our living room, and how it was taking longer to start up, etc.  So we bought a TV last night.

While we were doing that, my wife asked me about our sound system, and would we need to replace it.  "Nah," I responded, "there's not a thing wrong with that."  So we didn't buy one, but then found out that the sound output on the TV wasn't compatible with our years-old sound system.  Off I went in search of adapters, and found the missing piece at lunchtime today.  Functionality restored.  Nice picture, too.  And we thought our old TV had a good picture.  Always the case, you don't know what's not doing so well until you see the replacement right next to it.

In case you were wondering if I won the lottery or had a rich unknown relative leave me a pile of cash, neither happened.  It's the miracle of ___ months, 0% interest.  Using someone else's money to finance intrinsic improvements in one's circumstances is a beautiful thing.

We may not be finished, either.  I received a call from a mortgage loan officer with our bank.  Turns out that they supposedly sent us a letter (they didn't, if it matters) informing us that we are eligible for the federal government's homeowner assistance program.  The loan officer said that we could shorten our term by four or five years and pay only a little more per month than we are now.  I then asked about a couple of wrinkles and it looks like they might be possible, too.

Hope so.  After all, I have to find a way to finance this bed and TV.


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