I'm posting mostly to get the mass of head shots spaced out a bit.
Last year on this day Alexe and I woke up in the dark of the early Virginia morning to drive to the nearest Walmart to get in on a sale item we wanted to purchase for our little sisters.
At 6 am the laptops were long sold out, even in po-dunk VA, so we wandered bleary eyed around walmart marveling at the insanity that supports the capitalistic social theory, found a crock pot for 4.88, bought it, (participating, I know), and were snoozing in bed again by 7.
This year I watched from the perch of my enlightened state as the flyers and ads sailed around the internet. We are actually in the market for a television; our laptops have become a bit eye-straining as our sole method of watching movies. Last night we went to Walmart, (a surprisingly clean a pleasant walmart, in this southern town where cheap can be acceptable as long as it's done appropriately) to shop for a tv/dvd combo. There was one on sale, $129, 20", dvd and vhs built in.
We had a gentle clash of aesthetics and fiscal responsibility. The tv on sale is a standard tv size, with that monstrous butt end sticking out the back. Which means it would be a piece of furniture.
It would harm our self image to have a television that looked like a piece of furniture. That's giving it too much position in our lives and home. We are both morally oppossed to tvs, but not so much that we don't indulge, frequently, in dvds.
So we started looking at the flat tvs, the 4 inch plasma things, that cost upwards of 6 times the bulky on sale version.
And we started negotiating, balancing funds in our heads, talking about the investment, the years of service, the internal dvd that would not have any wires, but would up the investment substantially. Then the 20" version, to 26", or a compromise of 23". Then make, and 16:9 vs 4:3 aspect ratios, and hdtv ready vs actual hdtv. We left the electronics section and chatted about it over a friendly session of tossing a football a few departments over. We went back, got comfortable with the idea of spending that much money, quickly became uncomfortable again. Wandered over to check if the hams were on their post-Thanksgiving sale, and then we went home.
We might revisit the issue after Christmas.