Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Decisions, Decisions…

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Ooo, shiny...,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So, my television died yesterday.

I’ve had this old Panasonic 27-inch tv for somewhere over ten years and it’s finally died.  Saturday night, when I shut off the cable box, the tv, which I usually leave on, went to a blue, video-feed-like screen instead of just going dark.  So, naturally, I shut it off.  The next morning when I went to turn it on, all I got was a weird, high-pitched buzzing sound, but no picture.  I tried unplugging it and letting it “rest”, but that didn’t seem to make a difference, so I have no choice but to assume that it’s dead.

Now, I suppose, I could try to get it repaired, but, frankly, it’s so old that I doubt it’s worth the effort.  And, it’s not like I don’t have a smaller television in the bedroom that I don’t normally use which could replace the old one.  But, still, it’s not the big tv that I’ve gotten used to watching.
And, with the recent increases in Comcast’s pricing, I have been thinking about scaling back my cable bill.  I mean, what’s up with them reducing the number of channels then increasing the price, anyway?  Besides, I’ve been watching too much television anyway.  That damn glowing box lures me in and sucks all my productivity right out.  So, it costs me in two ways.

But, here’s my dilemma…  I’ve been saving the revenue from the ads on my websites toward a nice digital camera.  Now, I’m not talking a simple “point-and-click” here, but an actual digital SLR.  The kind that you can change lenses on and adjust all kinds of settings and so on.  I used to take regular film pictures with an old, old Nikon F3.  But, I never took a class on how to develop film, never taught myself, and got tired of taking my film to an expensive, busy camera shop to get the film developed.  I especially got tired of them always telling me that I’d over, or under, exposed the film.  I mean, I knew I wasn’t doing it right, which was the whole point of the experimentation.  I was trying to figure it all out, as usual, on my own using my own methods.  In fact, even though I gave up on that, I still have the camera.
In any case, I’ve been doing well on revenues and I’m getting close to the purchase price of either a decent Cannon or an even better Nikon.  I’ve been reading up and pricing them and have settled on either the Cannon Xti or the Nikon D80.  They’re fairly close in features, and not too far apart in price.  The kicker is, though, they’re both about the same cost as a replacement television.

So, do I make do with less so I can get the camera sooner?  Or, do I put off the camera again for months, so I can suckle at the glass teat now?  Or, do I get the camera now, cut back my cable bill and save that and the money from the web advertising toward a better television a little later?

Well, the one thing I do know, is that I shouldn’t make a decision when I’m agitated about it, so I’ll be sitting on that for a bit.  But, I should probably make a decision soon so I can cancel services on my cable account before they start charging me for a bunch of stuff I don’t use.


  1. I’d go with the camera, but that might just be because I’ve wanted one for so long and am still no closer to getting one. In a few years, the new digital tvs will be coming down in price and you will be able to get a much better tv for a much smaller price. I went out looking this summer and decided to wait. (I’m glad I did, because I got things working again)

    Cable? I don’t have cable. I watch the free stuff floating around out there, and it still takes too much of my time. To be fair, though, I do miss the discovery and sci fi channels.

    Comment by Cheri — 10/29/2007 @ 11:24 am

  2. Go with the camera…cancel all cable and get a netflix subsciption.

    I have no cable and no antenna at all so all I watch is dvds. I get more done and when I want to see something I watch something of quality that I choose instead of surfing and getting sucked into whatever dreck is out there 🙂

    Comment by Pete — 10/29/2007 @ 12:20 pm

  3. Yeah, I have to admit that I’m leaning toward the camera as a priority for a number of reasons. The way I waste time has really started to bother me and having so many channels has become just another excuse, I think. Besides, I’d been toying with the idea of cutting back my cable subscription and using the savings to buy more DVDs anyway. It would mean starting that portion of the plan a little later, rather than sooner, but it makes sense for me in a lot of ways.

    I’m still a little too agitated by the whole thing to make a clear decision right now, though, so I’m going to let it brew for a bit first. As a very good friend told me when I was dealing with agitation and decisions during my divorce, “when agitated, pause”. It’s from a book we’ve both read and damn good advice for me to keep in mind.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 10/29/2007 @ 1:18 pm

  4. Oh, and the reason this is all such a big deal to me and causing such angst? Well, the Little Critic keeps telling me that I should spend this money on my medical bills instead of something nice, good or fun for me. In fact, the Little Critic would have me believe that I should never, ever spend any money on myself or have any fun and to do so is somehow shirking my responsibilities as a grown-up.

    The funny thing is, while this in part sounds like my grandmother, who survived raising a family during the Depression and helped raise me years later, it also sounds like my ex-wife doing her “poor-mouth” routine and throwing a money-related temper tantrum. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Comment by the Network Geek — 10/30/2007 @ 7:12 am

  5. I would hope that one thing you have learned while facing down death is that life is about living. The medical bills will get paid. In the mean time, you need to live, so buy the darned camera. (or tv if that is what you decide.)

    ps people who lived through the depression know how to survive, but things are different now – you have a roof over your head and food in your belly. I’m not saying don’t pay your bills, I’m just saying don’t let it be what your life is about.

    Comment by Cheri — 10/31/2007 @ 11:58 am

  6. Yeah, I do know, intellectually, all that. Turns out the “Little Critic” isn’t always so little.

    In a nutshell, I’ve pretty well decided to keep saving and get the camera, get rid of all the movie channels until after NaNoWriMo, then get some level of Netflicks subscription. In the meantime, I’ll start saving toward a new/better television and a buffer. And, I think I’ve found a way to make the camera pay back a little, too. 😉 God bless the Internet!

    Thanks, Cheri, for your continued support.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 10/31/2007 @ 2:32 pm

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