The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Apple iPad

ipad So now that everyone has had a few days to mull over the Apple iPad, it seems that most people agree that the only ones who will buy this thing are total Apple fanboyz. After all, what seems to be the purpose? If you want a phone, then the iPhone is the product for you. If you don’t need the phone component, then why not just get a touch? I’m not sure what this bigger tablet is supposed to accomplish — especially when it doesn’t even come with a physical keyboard. Seriously, if you wanted to sit there and tap out 500-word blog posts on the virtual keyboard, the iPhone or iPod Touch would work just as well, right?

And the price. The iPad starts at $499, then moves up to $599 and $699 depending on the storage size. Data packages will cost extra. For worldwide users waiting on the 3G model, those will cost $629, $729, and $829. Wow, for those prices I can pay off a whole year’s worth of low cost term life insurance premiums or something, ya know? That’s pretty insane!

Look, I like iPods as much as the next person and have a bunch of them. But I’m getting tired of people falling all over anything and everything Apple releases just because it’s from Apple. In other words, no iPad for me!

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Bathroom Remodel

kohler I’m getting pretty tired of our upstairs bathroom and wish we could remodel soon. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be a big remodeling job or anything like that. Just swapping out a new plumbing fixture or two would make a world of difference. Like if we had new sink faucets or maybe some new hardware on the cabinets… The place might look as old and depressing as it does now. Maybe we can look into this in greater detail over the summer.

Samsung DVD Player

samsung dvd player I’m not really in the market for a DVD player right now because my DVR handles discs as well. But I couldn’t help but be wowed by this nifty little number from Samsung while I was browsing around online today. I absolutely love the shape and color, and think the design simply blows other models away. I’m telling you, if I was going to buy a DVD player right now, it would be this one! It’s sooo sweet!!!

Perfect Flush

perfect flush Have you heard of this thing called Perfect Flush? It’s a little contraption that you install on your toilet that subsequently allows you to control the volume of the flush — in 10 different increments. This is supposed to save you money on your water bill and keeps the green folks happy as well. I’m not quite sure how it works or how hard it is to install, but at $79, it might be worth trying if you have a big family.

Incidentally, I’d venture to say that 99% of toilets in Japan have controlled flushes as a default. They come with two settings, not 10, but that seems to work well enough for them. And those types of toilets have been around for a long, long time (more than a decade, that’s for sure). Oh, well… better late than never, I guess!

Jersey Shore Tees

team dj pauly I was browsing around an online store this morning and saw a bunch of t-shirts that said things like “Team DJ Pauly”, “Girls Love The Situation”, and “Team Sammi Sweetheart”. I had no idea what those were for until I did some research and figured out the merchandise was related to the MTV series Jersey Shore.

I’ve never watched the show, but have heard about some of the controversy it has generated, especially in terms of perpetrating negative Italian-American stereotypes. Also, there have apparently been quite a few punches thrown during filming, including an infamous shot where a female gets slugged in the face by a bar patron. Nice. I mean, aside from increasing online searches for Orange NJ dental implants and giving Zazzle entrepreneurs something to peddle, what does this show actually contribute to society? I’m sick of how MTV “reality shows” thrust all these wannabe celebs on us. Now we’re going to be hearing about Ronnie, Nicole, Vinny, and all the rest for the next 10 years. Thanks much, MTV — not.

McDonald’s 4Q Profit Up

mcdonalds-logo McDonald’s posted a 23% gain in fourth quarter profits, which was higher than Wall St. analysts expected. This came as a relief to investors and franchisees alike — especially because same-store sales rose 1% during that time frame as well. Could this be a signal that McDonald’s is at least somewhat immune to concerns that unemployment and “competitive discounting” would derail profits yet again? Let’s hope so!

New, Improved Domino’s Pizza

dominos pizza When I was in junior high school, I absolutely loved Domino’s Pizza. Back then (the late 1980’s) a small pizza only cost a little more than $5 and was delivered right to my door in 30 minutes or less. Toss in a couple cans of Coke, and my brother and I had an awesome lunch for about $6 plus whatever we could scrounge up as a tip for the driver. That was even cheaper than getting value meals at McDonald’s!!

My pizza habit persists to this day — probably the main reason I’m always checking out diets for quick weight loss — but I haven’t had Domino’s since college. Recently, however, I’ve been intrigued by those commercials in which they basically admit that their pizza has sucked and that they redid the recipe from the ground up. It takes guts to admit that your product was faulty, so kudos to Domino’s for that. I haven’t tried the “new & improved” version yet, but I definitely intend to. I’m actually not very discriminating in terms what kind of pizza I eat, so I’m sure I’ll like it!

Eddie Bauer

eddie-bauer I have to say that I miss Eddie Bauer! This used to be one of my favorite stores, as I absolutely loved their outdoor gear. Ever since high school, all of my winter jackets and boots came from there. I also liked their sweaters and a few of their gadgets. All in all, it was a fun place to shop. It’s too bad they filed for bankruptcy last year. Couldn’t they have brought in an army of business plan consultants to try to fix things up first? Bummer.

There used to be an Eddie Bauer at the mall near my house, but now the site is empty because no other retailers are expanding these days. In fact, I have a feeling the whole mall might be doomed soon, as there are more vacancies in there now than I can remember from any time before. I hate seeing businesses struggle like this and hope that the economy turns around very soon.