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Confessions of a Material Guy

I have a confession to make:  I like to spend money.  I like to buy myself cool new toys.  I'm not always good at spending -- I agonize over purchases and need some time to convince myself to buy a big ticket item.  I'll do a ton of research to make certain I'm getting the right brand or model or whatever, and I'll look around for weeks looking for the best combination of good price and trustworthy vendor.  And even when all that groundwork is done, I sometimes have trouble pulling the trigger.

Sometimes I wonder if it's more fun to want something than it is to get it.  You know what I mean by that?  Sometimes that research stage is fun, even as I obsess over the item in question.  Anticipating the purchase, exploring all the possibilities, searching for that perfect deal -- there's something really enjoyable about that part of the process.

But then there's also the fun in finally plunking down that wad of cash and getting the new toy.  

Yeah, I like to buy stuff. 

Not all stuff.  Some guys are into cars or sporting equipment or expensive clothes.  Cars don't really do much for me, and I don't usually need to look much beyond the L. L. Bean catalog for my next shirt.  And though I have been known to spend a bit of money on a bicycle or a new golf club (back when I played golf regularly), that's not the stuff that makes me salivate.

So what are we talking about then?  Well, I love to buy new music, and books, and I've been known to get excited about stereo equipment.  But none of those is my current focus.  As most of you know at this point, I'm a pretty avid photographer.  Over the last several months as I've sold some of my pictures, I've squirreled away a bit of cash.  Enough, at this point, that I'm looking at buying myself a new digital SLR.  Yup.  I've been looking online, and in magazines, and even in mall photography stores, though I'd never actually buy the thing at a mall store.  Too much money; not enough service.  At this point I know which camera I'm going to get and about how much I'll be spending.  It's just about time to pull that trigger.

What about you?  What do you like to buy?  What are your favorite types of toys?  Electronics?  Clothes?  Sports gear?  Jewelry?  C'mon and share!  I won't tell a soul.

Meanwhile, I'll be looking at a few more camera sites.  And then I think I need a new computer.....

Today's music:  Larry Carlton


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Being a completist collector, I wouldn't know where to start. These days, it's DVDs. Before that, CCG's, Comics, SF paperbacks, Gaming miniatures, coins, stamps, and now I'm looking at small press SF. Just bought the first 8 issues of Black Gate on their current back issue sale.

Outside of my collections, it's electronics. I'm currently looking at a flat screen 46"+ LCD HDTV and a second monitor for my desktop, as well as a Canon EOS or Rebel setup.

ah the things I plan for when I get the cash in hand!
Jun. 12th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Cool! Thanks for sharing. Actually I have a story in issue 4 (Summer '02) of Blackgate. Hope you like it.
Jun. 12th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
I'll be looking for it!

I'm watching for when they re-open for submissions. There are too few markets open for true heroic S&S these days -- it'd be good to have a place to send some.
Jun. 11th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
I love love love to buy books. Forget clothes or shoes or makeup - I love the feel of a brand new book (or pile of books :D), love the weight of them in a paper shopping bag.

I also have a terrible habit of buying horses and horse related stuff. :D
Jun. 12th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Well, as an author it always warms my heart to hear someone waxing rhapsodic about buying books.

I bet horse stuff (not to mention horses) gets expensive in a hurry.
Jun. 12th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
A bit addictive eh? And you have the store sitting right in front of you. So, so, so hard to resist..I can..I can...ah, never mind...*hits order button!*

So, which camera are you looking at? And, not sure women get this concept. Bought my wife the Canon Digital Rebel XT for Christmas. She said it was too much camera for her and we exchanged it for the point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot.

The main things I guy online are from Amazon - books, toys for the kid, and electronics, always electronics.

Of course you know, by the time the camera/computer/big screen TV arrives it will already be obsolete right? :) Just gives you something to look forward to the next time you go online. And, I find the research the most interesting/fun part of it, the challenge of finding the perfect product at the best price with the best service...sweet!
Jun. 12th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
The built-in-obsolescence thing is a bit of a drag, but I've been shooting with a Canon 10D for several years now and have been ready for a new camaera for a while. I'm looking at getting the 40D. But as you say, the search itself is fun, and who knows where it will take me.

Jun. 12th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder if it's more fun to want something than it is to get it. You know what I mean by that?


I'm the complete opposite when it comes to "research." When I want something, I want it now. This is why my husband is in charge of researching cars :) I would walk into a dealership, look at a few cars and probably buy the "coolest looking" car in my budget. Not good when it comes to big ticket items, definately not good with cars. So he handles the research on big items and I handle the actual finances. It's a good checks and balance system actually.

On the smaller side, books are at the top for me. I have a pile next to my bed that Im trying to get through. Going to a bookstore or an online book site can get expensive, especially at payday. I will admit makeup, shoes and handbags make the list although I've curbed it a bit lately to put more into savings.

Good luck with your camera purchase!
Jun. 12th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Lots of books lovers here! Read on....

And thanks. Hopefully the camera I get -- whichever one that is -- will serve me well for a long time.
Jun. 12th, 2008 11:24 am (UTC)
Because I'm a librarian by day, I have access one way or another to a lot of books. If you throw in interlibrary loan, there's a vanishingly small number of books I can't get for free. That's why buying books is a luxury, something I do when I really want to have something in the long run, or I'm supporting the author, or I just randomly decide to buy a book.

Video games are another "toy" pleasure. There's basically no way I can argue that these are useful for anything, so when I buy one, it means "fun, ho!" Since I largely stopped playing computer games, barring the occasional bout of solitaire, they don't tend to conflict with writing or other online chores, so there's not really even any guilt about them for me anymore, unless we're low on money, in which case I don't buy many/often.

Enjoy the camera! I checked a digital SLR out from my library a while back and was stunned at the pictures that even a relative photography idiot like myself could manage with it.
Jun. 12th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Using an SLR makes a huge difference. It gives you enormous control over every aspect of the shot, and the good ones use very fine glass -- much better than that on your average point-and-shoot.

Video games! Cool money pit that I hadn't considered. Thanks, JT.
Jun. 12th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
Hm. Very good question. I don't think there's anything in particular I like to buy, or want to buy, or think about buying. I went through a deeply religious golf period, too, but even then I did my homework and never bought anything on the spur of the moment.

Sometimes I pick up a comic book I know I don't need, but piques my interest. That's about it. I'm kinda dull.
Jun. 12th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
I rarely buy on the spur of the moment. But buy I do. You're not at all dull, Mark. You're just smarter than I am....
Jun. 12th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
Books. Preferably OLD books. Like those from the Victorian Era. I did just buy a new low budget digital camera here in London. The old one I had (a Nikon Coolpix from '99) had a nasty habit of jettisoning its batteries all over the ground whenever the whim struck. The only way to keep them in place was tape. Preferably duct tape. I found a sweet little Kodak for a bit over $100 and popped for it. Very nice. Someday I'll get a nifty digital SLR, but not right now. I'll let you be the guinea pig and then you can tell me the best one to buy.

Jun. 12th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
Old books are very cool. Antiques in general, in fact. But then there are those sleek new electronics.

Think I'll browse some more.
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
I go through phases, but books and computer stuff are pretty constant. I went through a phase where it was fine china. I went through a phase where it was any sparkly jewelry. There was also the exercise equipment phase. I'm currently lusting for new lighting for the house. *sigh*

But yeah. Books and computers.
Jun. 14th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Books and computers. Hard to go wrong with that. Thanks for the comment!
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
I'm an absolute music whore. I've been known to spend more on CD's in a month than on food, clothing _and_ shelter.

Sadly for my collection there has been little to play its siren song for my wallet lately as i haven't fallen in love with a new band/artist in years. Most of what i've gotten in the last two or three years is music from the 70's and 80's filling in stuff i lost or never got around to buying and some classical stuff.
Jun. 14th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Music is another one that I could spend a ton of money on in a hurry. I'll usually start developing a wish list and then when it reaches some sort of saturation point, where I just need to get it all, I'll splurge. Those splurge days are FUN.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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