Friday, November 28, 2003

So, what have I been up to since last Saturday? Work, school. This upcoming week is the last week of school. I'm done with finals and everything the Wednesday after. I'm basically caught up, except I still need to read about half of the Annie Dillard book for my nature-writing class, and finish a novel we're supposed to debate in class on Monday. This quarter has not gone that great, but I think I'll at least get through it sucessfully, which beats failing miserably. Then I have a few weeks to regroup, and next quarter will be the quarter where I turn everything around! Huzzah!

I bought a Gameboy. I bought it in anticipation of buying a GameCube, which can connect to a Gameboy, and then neat things happen, or so I'm told. I like it. I got it at CostCo bundled with Donkey Kong Country, which it turns out is a pretty fun game. I just like the idea of playing old-school Nintendo video games like Super Mario Bros. 3. In fact, one of the neat combos available by owning both a Gameboy and GameCube is, if you finish the GameBoy Metroid game, and hook up to the GameCube Metroid game, you can unlock the original Metroid. So I was playing around with Donkey Kong over Thanksgiving, and today I bought Wario Ware: Mega Microgames, which involves some 200 mini-games which you can play in less than 5 seconds. Weird game, but playing it over my lunch break, it looks addictive.

So, having gotten my Gameboy, it was time to get a GameCube. I was waiting for the Friday after Thanksgiving (today), to see what the deals were. Wal-Mart was $80, Circuit City was $99 with a free memory card, and Best Buy was $99 with a free Nascar video game and free portable CD player. I decided to go with Best Buy. I arrived around 5:40, and the line stretched almost to Parkway Plaza's parking garage (that's a long line). The place was pretty packed by the time I finally got inside, but with much manuvering, I was able to get a GameCube with the Zelda bonus disc (why do they still sell the ones without the Zelda disc, who's going to buy it?). I grabbed the CD player, but couldn't find the game. Eventually, I did confirm that they were sold out of the game, which didn't really make sense, that they would run out of 1/3 of a three-part package. But given the crowd, I was just glad I got a system. I picked up Crazy Taxi for $9.99, and some cheap DVDs. Then I went to get in line, which was no easy feat. Eventually, I'd followed the serpentine line through the entire store to find its end near the entrance. I got in line and settled in for a long wait.

I was somewhat annoyed about not getting the game, wishing I'd gone to Circuit City instead (I don't need a CD player; a memory card I could use), and feeling the pangs of anger one experiences when facing a bait-and-switch (granted, they fully acknowledged that supplies were limited, but it stil struck me odd that they would have portions of the set in stock). But I was understanding, given the magnitute of the crowd, that I wasn't going to get everything I wanted, and was getting a good enough deal on Crazy Taxi and the DVDs to make a two-hour wait reasonable, and I didn't get too worked up by the situation. About thirty minutes later, my mood began to change, when salespeople began wandering the line offering to let people cut ahead if they bought a magazine subscription or Netflix subscription. I thought that was a bit odd, but after another fifteen minutes or so, didn't seem like too bad an idea. So I asked about the Entertainment Weekly subscription, but suddenly, no, you can't cut the line with that offer, you have to sign up for a free trial of MSN. Just cancel when you get home (you always know you're dealing with a top-drawer, fully ethical outfit when they actively encourage you to abuse their promotions). Knowing it was going to be a pain in the ass, I agreed to accept the offer and get out faster. They made a point of calling people's attention to me, the smart guy getting out faster, showing a mastery of timeshare sales techniques (at least if I'd gone to a timeshare presentation, I probably would've gotten a free GameCube). So I got in a line of about five people waiting to sign up for MSN. For ten minutes, the line doesn't move. Then they say the computer is down, but it will only be five minutes or so. Deeply disapproving of their boiler room sales techniques, I got upset about the relatively poor value of the GameCube deal, and also considered whether I really needed the DVDs. Sure, $5 for Young Frankenstein is a great deal, on a movie I'd love to own, but would I really be buying Say Anything and Spaceballs if I wasn't filling my quota for their five for $25 offer? So, long story short, I left my merchendise sitting where I stood, and ended up buying a GameCube, for the full retail price, with no bonuses besides the Zelda disc, at Target. And Best Buy can suck my balls.

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