i'm pretty sure i've mentioned on here in the past about looking into getting a new tv. i spent some amount of time several different times over the last year or two looking at plasma and lcd tvs. i'd decided a long time ago i was planning to get an lcd, most likely a sony bravia xbr model or a samsung ln. both higher end, more expensive lcds. probably a 46 inch. but i kept balking because of the price. then suddenly a couple of weeks ago i decided i should get a plasma instead. plasmas have always been better than lcd as far as picture quality, but lcd technology has come a long way. plasma is still better for contrast and motion though. in the end, i decided overall picture quality was more important for me. then i saw on july 4th that best buy had the samsung pn50b650 on sale for $1399. that was about as good as i could find online, but i figured the extra price in taxes would be worth getting it local and being able to deal with a local store if there were problems with the tv. i went to the best buy at richmond and 610, and they also were offering free delivery -- but they were out. he also said delivery was running days to weeks. he asked if i wanted to order one, but i said i'd wait. i figured i'd just go get it at another best buy. i went home and looked it up on their website -- the closest store that had them closed at 6pm (on saturday?) and it was 6:10pm. so i decided i'd get it the next day (sunday). sunday i got up and went online to check availability before driving there. but evidently the sale was over, as the price was at $1799. so i gave up on getting the tv.
as a comparison, the absolute cheapest places online were around $1350. but some of them seemed like they would be horrible to deal with if the set came in busted. (ask my co-worker chris about dealing with that.) amazon had it at $1525, but given i could have had it for that price locally (with taxes) i decided i'd just wait for labor day or something.
then a few days went by and i was checking prices again. cnet's shopper showed things like usual, but when i checked google shopping it showed the tv at amazon for $1344. i checked to make sure it wasn't a refurb or warehouse deal (return), but it was the price for new. there were a few good things: lowest price i'd seen, no tax, tv over 27" so i could pick my delivery date/time, and tv over 40" so they would do delivery where they bring it into your house, unbox it, set it up, plug it in, and make sure it works before they leave. sounded like a good deal to me! and since i was originally planning on spending $1541 on the tv, i went ahead and picked up a 3-year extended warranty that kept me right at that price point total. i set the delivery for friday morning (17th) since i wouldn't be going into work until in the afternoon.
friday morning they called and eventually came by. they brought it in, moved my old tv, unboxed the new one, put it in place, plugged in the power and hdmi cable (i'd already rewired my amp and blu-ray player to use hdmi cables earlier in the morning), turned it on and went through the setting and made sure i was getting a feed. everything was fine. i signed for it and they were gone. interestingly, the tv is about the same height as my 36" rca tube, so it doesn't necessarily seem more huge to me...just wider. but it's nice that i can set everything to use 16:9. (now stuff doesn't go off the edge of my tv sometimes, since several of my devices weren't designed to work with 4:3 screens.) the inaugural run of the tv was bottle rocket on blu-ray. i followed that up later with clockwork orange.
also on friday morning my mom called and said she and my dad wanted to come down saturday and see me. i didn't have plans so i said that was okay, although driving 6 hours two days in a row for a visit doesn't seem fun to me. they did it anyway, arriving saturday around lunch. we got something from hot bagel shop, found them a hotel, then dropped by a couple of half price books. then we went and ate supper at sylvia's enchilada (the original one out on westheimer). sue and her daughters met us there and ate with us. then we went to the half price books out that way. what with all the half price books visits, i was bound to end up with some stuff. here it is:
- volta - bjork (atlantic / elektra / warner)
- about a burning fire - blindside (elektra / warner)
- if i could only fly - merle haggard (anti-)
- celebrity skin - hole (universal / geffen)
- everybody stomp - hoosier hot shots (proper)
- this island - le tigre (le tigre / universal)
- keep moving - madness (universal / geffen)
- twelve inch singles 1981-1984 - ministry (wax trax)
- psalm 69: the way to succeed and the way to suck eggs - ministry (sire / warner)
- everything is wrong - moby (elektra / warner)
- play - moby (rave new world / v2 / bmg)
- the shape of punk to come - refused (burning heart / epitaph)
- linger ficken' good - revolting cocks (sire / reprise / warner)
- specials - the specials (2 tone / chrysalis)
- family music - ymck (records of the damned)
since one of the half price books stores is in rice village, i printed out my coupon for signing up on the yankee candle email list and dropped by there. i used the coupon to pick up a large blueberry scone candle.
oddly, the bjork cd -- although appearing by packaging, labeling, etc. to be bjork's volta cd -- is actually a michael buble cd. i'll be seeing if i can return/exchange that. unfortunately, it was purchased at the half price books furthest from me (of course).
it was cool to come across some older industrial and 2nd wave ska cds, but one of the most intriguing finds is the ymck cd. they're a japanese band that does chip music, sort of chip music jazz or something. i was pretty surprised to see one of their cds in the bins.
the next morning we went to crescent city beignets and had a late breakfast of beignets. my parents had never had them before i guess. i drove my parents around and showed them river oaks, where i work, the medical center, etc. we went and ate a late lunch at tacos-a-go-go. then they left.
not too long after they left, jack and sue called me to see if i wanted to eat with them at chuy's. i was pretty mexicaned out, but i hadn't seen jack and jackson and dietrich in some time, so i said i could get something to drink and hang out.