Cory, Jessica and Luthor… We’ll Miss You.

The word started leaking out several months ago that Tiny C, Jessica, and wee Luthor were planning on moving. This aint no moving to Austin either. They’re shipping out to New Hampshire. Wow he must really HATE us! heh heh..
Anyway, suddenly the time is upon us. We went to their farewell party at Kelly and Scott’s. Hanky came too! He just had to pass out in his pack-n-play in the bedroom.

The real farewell was really his last performance with Seamus Stout at the Tipperary Inn. What a serious bummer. And what a last hurrah. I’m pretty sure the Tipperary was the first place I ever saw them play. I met Cory as a piper in the North Texas Caledonian Pipes and Drums. We didn’t exactly hang out loads, on account of he lives way over in Ft. Worth. But he’s still a great friend, and Halloween on his back porch has become a tradition. And just when I actually realize that, he leaves and it’s over. Jerk.
Sarah and I have been following his shows with his Rockabilly bands for years now. Big D Three with Tiny C Orchestra, Fadeaways, etc. Playing at various bars, mostly right around where we live. But most of all, we’ve been their groupies for his Celtic band, Seamus Stout. At least monthly playing at Trinity Hall or the Tipperary.
Billy K is going to be his replacement in the band and he had his intro Saturday night playing with them. We raised a glass, and people were choking up. I think the reality is sinking in. I get sentimental myself. It made me especially nostalgic and bummed out when I realized not only what great friends they’ve been, but the fact that every person I consider a friend since we moved to Texas was made through knowing Cory! (with about 2 exceptions)
It’s a bummer. You’d think I’d get used to change cause there’s always so much of it in life. Especially mine. But I never do. Oh well. We’ll just have to use their living in New Hampshire as an excuse to visit a new place!

Gogol Bordello

Went to another sweet concert Wednesday night. I love any sound with some actual originality and creativity, especially if genuine ‘underdog’ old-school punk attitude is fused with folk ethnicity. Thus I quickly loved the sound of Gogol Bordello when I first heard it. Amped up gypsy punk. When I found they were putting on a show at the Granada, I jumped on buying the tickets. I reminded Damon to get his. Sarah and I scored a babysitter for the evening. We met up there, and found Travis had discovered this band as well. And what a great time it was. High-energy carnie gypsie punk, and a lead singer with an ‘Ian Anderson’-style penchant for amusing attire, and a think eastern-block accent just a couple notches tamer than that of our fictional friend, Borat. I especially like the two matching hot, amusingly clad women who come out to play the marching bass drum, cymbals, and occasionally wail. The crowd was great and friendly. Great show.

TV Joys

After a few more adventures and woes with TV’s magically disappearing or going way up in price as soon as they’re in my grasp; I was pretty much given up. I would wait like a year before I would care about it again. Sarah and I stopped at Target for some groceries after a Sunday of bowling with Damon and Jenny. I was in electronics, so I thought I would ask. Unsurprisingly, they were out.

But the guy said he’d give me a list of availability at other stores. Most of them said there was 1. (I’ve seen it a dozen times in my adventures. They really don’t have one. I think the computer counts the floor model that they refuse to sell) But strangely, one location had 2. It was one I checked last week, but when I got home and called, he said they actually had one left (!) I rushed down there and they even pulled it for me. A little customer service goes such a long way.

So I had come full-circle. It was back to Target and the TV I originally saw the ad for when I first decided to get a TV. luckily I still had my raincheck to get that good price.

I came home joyfully but couldn’t carry it in for the longest time because I needed help and Henry was being extra fussy at his bedtime. Sarah suggested I call Damon over to share the joys of the new TV with me. It was a good call. He helped me carry it in. Made me feel less guilty about the money I spent because he liked it so much too. (Sarah, being female and all, isn’t so impressed by electronics)
42 inches looked pretty big in the store. But so much bigger at home. I was worried Sarah would say it’s too much and tell me to take it back. I think she was thinking about it. Luckily it’s grown on her. I was amazed as soon as I powered it on. It automatically detected and listed all the analog, digital, sd and hd channels. There’s some channels I never knew existed. Like WFAA-3 which shows security camera at DFW airport all day. Sometimes you get to hear traffic control. I have no idea why the station exists but it’s awesome.

100_1686.JPG

I had a newly-arrived ‘Justice League: New Frontier’. It was on standard non-upconverted DVD but still looked surprisingly good. Especially on a big, theater-like screen. (Great movie. Maybe more on that later.)

TV woes

I’ve been dreaming of having a real entertainment center for about a decade. I’ve been diligently saving my monies. Then I noticed an awesome price break in LCD tvs recently. I decided to go out and buy when I saw a week long sale at Target. A 42″ 1080p lcd for $897.

Only a couple days after the ad ran, every target everywhere was out. Seems they had a great deal on an item they only had a handful of in all of the Dallas-Ft Worth area. It was a good deal, but I really don’t think the mobs were breaking down the doors at opening time either.

I’ve learned a little about corporate infrastructure. Like how nobody who actually works at any actual Target store actually knows, or has access to the knowledge, of when new shipments of anything arrive. I guess there is only one guy with the security clearance who works in an underground bunker somewhere actually turns the key to the dispatch computer that tracks when new items are going to what Target stores.

I found out Sears is pretty good about price matching. And they carry the same TV. I called ahead. They have them in stock, and they confirm they will price match. Yay. I drive across town. The salesman didn’t want to work that day and told me to my face that they don’t price match Target. It was apparently on their list of two places they don’t price match. I walked away, deflated.

I checked out another Target up the street. (Just in case) after spending 20 minutes trying to get anybody’s help, I got more frustrated about Sears and called back. They service rep said there is no reason he should have said that. They will INDEED price match Target. So I leave the no-service target, suck up and march back to my car where I’m going to go back to Sears and call him on it. I drive back, go to the electronics department and…. wait. They are helping people. I wait some more. Really really slow people. I wait some more.. my determination begins sapping out. I decide to leave. Just not happening today.

The next couple days, I try calling more Targets. I admittedly began to show some frustration, but I’m far from rude. Then I begin to literally get hung up on several times. I got a rain-check on the TV, but nobody can say when, if ever, more TVs are coming. In my excitement and inability to wait, I go ahead and buy all the other stuff I planned on getting (which took several stops). I use that %10 off I get for using a new Target card for the first time. I lose the savings it will get me with the TV, but I cant wait anymore. So I get the playstation and guitar hero and tv stand and a blu-ray.

I go back to sears after re-double-confirming that they’ll price match that item after telling them my story over the phone. I drive across town. They guy at sears who was helping me but NOT an electronics salesman looked at my raincheck and said, ‘looks like it’s all in order’ takes me to the electronics salesman (different guy from the first time) who then tells me they won’t price match the item because their competitor doesn’t have it actually on-hand in stock. (I wouldn’t F*ing be here if they had it!)

meanwhile my unopened Playstation and guitar hero taunts me in my living room for a week. I get too annoyed looking at it, so I take it back. I decide to wash my hands of all things Target and Sears. I try to start with a clean slate and check the internet for ANYTHING TV-wise with a comparable price.

I discovered last Tuesday that the LG 42″1080p is going for just shy of a grand at several places. It’s a bit more than I was planning with that Target sale, but it will do. Also LG’s had much stronger reviews. It was NOT on sale and going for $997 at Fry’s and Best buy. I finally get time to get in the car and go by this last Saturday. Lo and behold… the TV has MAGICALLY gone up $400(!!!). I went home and checked both places on line. Sure enough, they were now $1399 everywhere. They WERE NOT on sale to begin with, mind you… This was on Saturday. I checked again on line today… Fry’s is now running a “SALE” where it is $1199. (whoopie… $200 HIGHER than it’s regular price less than a week ago). Meanwhile, Best Buy raised it ANOTHER $200. So the TV that was $997 last week regular price… is now $1599! I thought electronics always went DOWN. FTW!!!

Trying to keep from going absolutely postal, I then decide that I’ll do all my shopping on line and I’ll deal with waiting for shipping. God knows I’ve waited enough already with everything else. Amazon offered several different prices on that same LG TV, but one of the sub-stores had it for $1099. I’m now suckered upwards another hundred bucks, but I decide to throw it in the shopping cart. I had to wait a day to deposit some cash in the bank so I can hit the ‘buy’ button.  The next day, it’s now $1199. WHY DOES THE PRICE ON ANY TV I GET INTERESTED IN MAGICALLY CREEP UP?! (Actually SHOOT up)
Needless to say, I’m frustrated.. but I WON’T get milked for hundreds more than I set out to pay, just because I’m frustrated and get continually jerked around by retailers! That about brings us to date in the saga of my TRYING TO GIVE MY MONEY TO SOMEBODY FOR A FRIGGIN’ TV. I’m once again at a loss. I can’t even find regular prices on line like I was finding a couple weeks ago. I just needed to vent. It’s been so stupid, I couldn’t have made up a more annoying scenario. It just shows that customer service is truly dead, buyer beware, etc etc.

North Texas Irish Festival

We went to see Seamus Stout play in the morning. Great time! I LOVE something to do when we can pack up baby gear and take Henry T. with us. He and Luthor played between the front row and the stage. Then the band finished and we hung out. Sarah ran into her friend Amanda. We showed henry the greyhounds and Irish wolfhounds they had. He liked the dogs. We ran into Tipperary folks running their booth. Found out two of them are engaged (to each other heh heh). And chatted with Joe about his not getting any sleep from his hectic schedule. We found Henry a sweet little hat and bought it. The weather was perfect. Threatening to rain all day, but not actually raining. It’s nice to get out for something besides just goin’ to a pub or the store! And it was nice being there without having to actually play anything. Being there just to hang and check it out for a change. Breath of fresh air. Literally and figuratively.