So I bought a new 32" HDTV.
And I managed to bring it home under the $500 limit that my dad's gambling largess would allow. I did let the salesperson move me off of the model I had picked out to another brand that was $50 more, with the promise of a higher contrast ratio. I have no actual idea if this is really that important, nor if it was verifiably true. But I repeatedly refused his multiple offers to sign me up for "insurance", and while I found it amusing, had he asked me again or tried a harder sell I would have crossed over in to annoyed.
What was annoying was when he repeatedly tried to sell me an HDMI cable. Now to tell the truth, I had no idea what kind of cable connections it would take to hook up my system, although I was aware I might have to buy something to make the system work. But I've done enough research and bought enough new tech to know not to buy the extra "junk" the salesman is trying to push on you because you may not need it, and you can probably get it cheaper elsewhere. HDMI cable runs in price at the store I was at from $40 to $200. Do you want to bet he wouldn't have shown me the $40 package?
When I got home and hooked the TV up, it became clear that my digital cable box would need to be switched for an HD DVR, as the picture was just a standard square display and nothing special. The next morning I had an hour to run out to Time-Warner and get the new box. Whereupon they handed me the FREE HDMI cable that the salesperson at the TV store tried to get me to buy. And considering he knew that I was a Time-Warner customer I would have to say he was trying to sell me crap I didn't need.
In any case, after I hooked up the Hi-Def cable the screen displayed at the full 31.5" and HUZZAH!, angels began to sing as glorious big-screen (for me) TV began to air throughout the land. Or my living room. I wept a little as I had leave for work when all I wanted to do was fiddle with the color settings and watch a movie.
But here's the thing about this whole TV upgrade. I am excited about the new TV and very thankful that mom and dad were generous with their windfall to make it happen. But I also took the opportunity, as long as I was running cables and moving furniture, to re-arrange the living room and run all the cables from my desktop in the bedroom, along the baseboards and behind all the furniture in the living room. Then I clipped them up with cord clasps, and wired them all together with Velcro twist ties. And as much as I am enjoying my new TV and my HD DVR, the highlight of the whole operation was the fact that all my cords are now running out of sight, all together along the baseboards, and I managed to reclaim about 2 feet of living room space in the process. I also swept up about a pound of dog hair.
And that's probably all you need to know about the real me.