Saturday, December 23, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Is Capitalism Supposed to Feel So Dirty?

For the few of you who have been keeping track of my Nintendo Wii purchase/reselling plans, a.k.a. Diego's Slow Descent into Capitalism Guilt Hell, I can finally say that it has reached its evil conclusion. After a few days of listing (and relisting) it on Craigslist, someone offered to buy it for $400. We met at a CompUSA, in the rain, and he drove up and called me on my mobile. I told him the merchandise was in the car, and he checked it out, snorted a little sample, gave me 400 bucks out of an envelope, and we parted ways.

So, the first Wii sold on Ebay for about 415 for the Wii and Zelda, and after the evil ebay and listing fees, it was actually only about 80 bucks ahead. This sale was about 150 ahead, minus taxes, which means that though I didn't completely pay off my own Wii system, it certainly took a big chunk of my own expenses.

Was it all worth it? Yes and no. I mean, sure, it took about 230 bucks off my final purchase, and all that was just a little more determination in waking up earlier, waiting in line, and fronting the money. There is a certain rush when you finally get a buyer who will match your price, and it's nice when you feel like the work you've done is paying off.

Then again, there is the anxiety, the guilt, and the feeling like you're doing something that's morally iffy. For the record, no, it's not illegal. It's merchandise scalping of some sort. And really, this is an gaming entertainment console - it's not a necessity, and it's not really something that'll deprive any humankind of any basic needs. It's a luxury item with a promise of fun, and that's about it. It doesn't dispense water, nor can you slaughter it for meat. You could attempt to mate with it, though the risk of electrocution may discourage that. All and all, this is something people can go without. So if someone wanted to pay for it, I shouldn't feel bad for them. After all, I did stand in line, stay informed, and fronted the money for it. I also spent the time researching and listing it, and held on to it for 2 whole months till the peak of Christmas shopping. And if someone wanted to buy it, who the hell am I to stop them? If they have the resources and they willingly reallocate their funds to purchase it, it's their free will.

That said, second guy I didn't feel too bad. He seemed younger than me, and he was driving a pretty nice Mercedes Benz. So, hardware lust has its price. The ebay customer was a little tougher for me, because it was a grandmother with no bidding history, and she wanted to get it for her grandkids. Yeah, you tend to feel a little idiotic and selfish because this grandmother just wanted to make her grandkids happy for Christmas. I can't help but feel like the smoking dealer on the street corner, looking to profit off the opportunity of a shortage. But again, she put the bid in, and won it. I didn't knock on her door.

Yeah, so I'm a lousy profiteer. I can't not feel bad about the whole thing. But the money's going back into my credit card bill (Whee!) because that's where I fronted the money from after all. Whatever extra money from the other sale was gone because our cat decided to get all old on us.

But at least this whole thing is behind me now. I'll probably never be selling anyone drugs or guns in my lifetime, because I'd be way too worried about the people I sell it to, and what they could be doing with the money. Notice I didn't say no about selling sex, due to the fact that it concerns the act of making someone feel good, you know, aside from the slavery/low self-esteem/disrespectful to the body God gave me/whoring overtones.

Of course, if you know me or better yet, if you've seen me, you'd know that I wouldn't/couldn't do that anyway.

Would I ever do anything like this again, you ponder? Ask me when Playstation 4 comes out.

DSC 1882

He looks a bit like Harry Potter in this one. It's either determination in his eyes or he's peeing.

This was at the Children's Museum in Seattle. They had a dressup box.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's a Wonderful Life

So my wife gets the credit for actually sitting me down and making me watch this Holiday Classic. It's not that I don't want to watch it - I knew it was good for two reasons - Frank Carpa, and Jimmy Stewart. But it's just one of those things that you know that you can put off indefinitely, because you know it's always going to be there, like Gone with the Wind, or some of the other classics.

But anyway, yes, I do like it, and yes, I was crying at the end, even though I actually know how it ends. But it was still a good movie, like these old classics tend to be, when they were written by screenwriters rather than clowns. Less on spectacle and more on story.

We've had a pretty good Christmas season so far, and one of the funner things we did was to give my wife's older daughter a used iMac, along with a digital camera that sucked a little. We're getting the camera thing taken care of, but they really like their computer. It's a notch better than the old iMac I used to have, but it's just right for them right now. It can do photos and music, and though it won't be current enough to run online goodies like trailers and whatnot, it'll do fine for what they need. It was nice to see that they were grateful and happy about their gift, and the grandkids loved their toy as well.

We went to Zoolights at the Point Defiance yesterday, and I forgot the most intregal part of night photography - my tripod. So I don't have many photos of it, just some. The trip was fine, even though the car trips were too long because of Christmas traffic, but I think the best part was the trip home, when the kids were in the back just having a ball with their grandma. I think the kids certainly enjoy my mom, and it was really nice to hear them playing back there.

Well, back to work for me. Lots to do, really behind.