Saturday, November 25, 2006

Anyone in the market for a Nikon D70?

I picked up a Nikon D80 to replace my trusty D70. I have very few complaints about the D70, except the viewfinder was a little more cramped than the D80. Ken Rockwell seems to think they're pretty much the same. That being said, I saw a great deal on one that took a little work, but ended up getting me the upgrade for very little money. I need to pick up a couple SD cards now, but now they're paying people to take them, so I'm not worried.

The D70 is now on Craigslist. We'll see who bites. It would be a pretty solid deal for someone needing a camera.

Black Friday, postgame notes

Hillary bailed out on me, and I ended up waiting outside MicroCenter by myself. The good news is that I stood next to a bunch of ex-Circuit City employees, so we had plenty to talk about. It actually didn't matter, because one of the guys I was talking to in line grabbed an extra 32" LCD voucher for me. Once I had my vouchers, I went home, and was asleep by the time the doors opened. Hillary and I went back around 12:30, and picked up our new TVs. After Rebate, they came to $769, but I qualified for $100 cash back by doing a credit app as well.

Bottom line, I got 32" and 37" LCD HDTVs for $669 for both. I also picked up a decent computer case for $5, some AA and AAA battery 4 packs for 99 cents, a brand name external 250 GB Hard Drive for $80, and a free power supply. I think I did alright.

I was extremely impressed by MicroCenter's ability to pull off the best BF deal of the year. They had the four best deals anywhere all in one place. They even had a $199 laptop, after a mere $50 rebate. There was a no-name 32" LCD at Home Depot for over $100 more, and that was the best price elsewhere. Best buy had about 5-10 similar TVs for an extra $130, or $230 if you count the credit app.

On Black Friday, most places have a few token items, which all go to either the people who've been camping out since Halloween, or the jackasses who rush the front of the line when the employees come out with the vouchers. Microcenter had HUNDREDS of these TVs, which is unbelievable compared to everyone else historically. They were supposed to get an extra 150 of the 37" TVs, but didn't due to a shipping delay. They even had 50 laptops. That is unprecedented in retail electronics. The line was also very well managed, and the checkout process was quicker and smoother than it normally is at CompUSA.

I had traditionally ignored MicroCenter, because there wasn't one where I grew up, and also because I get a pretty decent discount at CompUSA. I'll have to pay more attention from now on. I was very impressed.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chiefs v. Raiders

Here are a few more pics. Unfortunately the one of Hillary and I is out of focus. The guy I handed the camera to nailed the composition, but didn't realize how to focus the camera.
It was my first time at an NFL game, and it was a good one. The Jayhawks won, and we got to watch the Wichita State Shockers beat George Mason at home in a televised game. The KU football team even won. Hillary was pretty disappointed that Michigan lost to Ohio State, but other than that, it was a pretty solid weekend for sports.

I needed it after Oral Roberts.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I just hope the Chiefs don't lose on Sunday.

I watched them lose last week. I watched the Jayhawks lose tonight. But I was in my living room when those things happened. If I'm paying $165, for my first NFL game, they'd better not lose. Especially against the Raiders.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So here's the TV

In real life. I'm planning on setting it up on the TV stand to the right of the pictures eventually, but I need to move my 300 lb. CRT off of it first, and I'll need some help. It's the Sony BRAVIA KDL-40S2000. It's a 40" LCD, and it's a hair over 4" thick. I picked it up at CompUSA for $1499.99. It retails for $1799, but can be had for as little as $1520 delivered online, with no tax. Sony makes great televisions, but they're terribly overpriced. I normally wouldn't have bought a Sony for that very reason, but this one came with a free wall mount, and more importantly, a reservation for a Playstation 3.

Yup. Whenever CompUSA gets them in, I'm supposedly 5th in line to get one. If the eBay market is as good as I'm anticipating, I'll end up getting the TV for free, or close to it. If the PS3 doesn't pan out, I can return the TV, and have a free loaner to watch the Chiefs and Jayhawks on until Christmas.

It's a deal with a lot of upside, and very little risk, just like I like them.

EDIT: It looks like I'll be getting a PS3 after all. If the rumors are true, Sony's going to supply CompUSA with as many PS3's as TV's that they sell, and do it at or soon after launch. This makes a lot more sense than the other rumors I've heard, for various reasons I won't go into here. I'll update you on Friday if it happens.

This and this are getting me excited. They're two of the highest, but they're only pre-orders. The average is probably about $2000, as I expected.

Got a new toy

I'll post the details later. It's complicated, and it's late.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

So I've setup a Google AdWords account. We'll see how it goes. That's my ad above. I'm trying to get out of the eBay/PayPal stranglehold. I just sent eBay a $1200 payment, and I'm less than halfway through my lenses. PayPal would have been a similar amount, but they take their chunk before I'm even paid.

It might motivate me to setup an AdSense campaign again.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

New eBay Format

I messed with my listing format, because I was unhappy with my current auction layout. It was too cluttered, and rambling. When my current listing expires, the next one will look much better. I also changed my user id to "olatheauctions" instead of "bradraple". I figure it sounds a bit more professional.

I even have a new logo. I created it in Pages, exported it to PDF, and then converted it to JPG with Preview. I cleaned it up and resized it in iPhoto, and that was that.

My favorite Jayhawk is Julian Wright

Who's yours?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Drive + Play

I'm pretty pleased with my Harman Kardon Drive + Play. I'm not pleased with Best Buy, where I had it installed. The installation was free, but it took 4 trips before they had it working properly.

But on the bright side, it works WAY better than any of the FM tuners out there, because it's hardwired directly into the head unit's auxiliary input. I think it will finally let me get some mileage out of my iPod. I typically only listen to music in my car, and I'm in it for an hour and a half a day.

MacBook Problems

Well, my battery stopped working yesterday. I called Apple's tech support, who answered the phone quickly. They were easy to deal with, except for the fact that my 90 days of complimentary tech support had run. I was still covered under the warranty, but they wouldn't troubleshoot it over the phone without me putting down a deposit, or buying AppleCare. That really irks me. Their support is generally pretty good, but I should get telephone coverage for the entire length of the manufacturer's warranty. Anything less is chintzy. I ended up just taking it in to the Apple Store on the Plaza in KC.

No surprise, the guy behind the counter told me the battery was dead. The good news is that he replaced it on the spot. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the process. I got a brand new battery the next business day, and got to kill some time in the Apple Store looking at the goodies.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Although I tend to get more of my information online than anywhere else, it is nice to be able to get some hard copy magazines from time to time. Here's a place where you can get subscriptions to a wide variety of magazines for under $6. I've used them several times in the past, and it works really well. I just signed up for two more tonight.

They make great gifts, and Christmas is getting closer.

Friday, November 03, 2006


This movie looks pretty awesome, at least in the trailer. Then again, if you can't make a movie look good in the trailer, it must really suck. It's a heavily stylized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, one of my favorite stories from all of history.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I don't need one....

...but I'd like one anyway. Much better design than my old Shuffle, which was pretty solid in its own right.

Here's the scoop, courtesy of engadget.