I celebrated Veterans Day in the traditional American fashion: I went shopping. That wasn't my original plan, but it was forced upon me by Jeff, or, if not Jeff, someone acting on Jeff's behalf. Jeff is the owner of Jeff's TV-Stereo-VCR, and he's the guy who told me my broken DVD player was not worth repairing. I don't necessarily agree, since the DVD player in question is a region-free model, and I think there's some value in owning a region-free DVD player, especially if amazon.co.uk ever sends me the Blake's 7 DVDs I ordered last March. But I concede that it may not be worth having Jeff repair it for me. It's probably just a bad power supply, and I think I can probably replace that by myself. How different can it be from replacing a power supply in a PC?
Anyway, once Jeff told me he didn't think my broken DVD player was worth repairing, I decided I may as well, buy a new one. So, off I went to Circuit City. I found a nice Panasonic 5 disc changer at a decent price, so I grabbed one off the shelf and took it to the register. Just as I got there, I heard the cashier say, "I can help you with that." Unfortunately, he wasn't talking to me; he was talking to someone on the phone. To me, he said he'd be right with me. This turned out to be untrue. I waited for a minute or two, but then got bored and left, leaving the DVD played on the counter. Then I drove over to Best Buy, found the same model at the same price, and bought it. Easy peasy.
Let me interrupt this story for a minute to say that I'm not one of those people who thinks that the customer in the store should always take precedence over customers on the phone. But I do think that if you're going to have an employee whose job it is to run the cash register, that employee should be kept free to, you know, run the cash register. I blame the store management for telling the guy on the register that he should answer the phone when there's no one waiting to check out. This may be inefficient allocation of resources, but it does make it less likely that your customers will get fed up and take their business to your competition.
Anyway, back to Best Buy. In addition to the new DVD player, I bought a couple new DVDs: the Double Secret Probation Edition of Animal House, and The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. When I first heard about the new Animal House DVD, I wasn't planning to buy it, since I already had a copy and didn't see the need to but a new edition. Then I realized that my copy was on VHS. As for the Simpsons DVD, it was cheap -- possibly because it's eleven days after Halloween -- and it features some of my favorite Treehouse of Horror sequences, including "Time and Punishment," in which Homer creates a time-traveling toaster, and "Citizen Kang," in which Kang and Kodos kidnap Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and take their place on the campaign trail. (Oddly, the latter is listed on the DVD case as "Mr. Kang Goes to Washington.") Those two stories alone would have justified the purchase, but one balance the disc has more gems than dogs.
I also bought two new CDs: the Kill Bill, Volume One soundtrack album and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale. I haven't listened to either one yet, but when I saw Kill Bill a few weeks, I really enjoyed the soundtrack, and I remember hearing many of the songs on the Buffy CD when that show was still on the air. I'll take them both to the office tomorrow and listen to them there.
Oh, and I bought Christmas cards! They're wicked cool. Can't wait to send them out!