Sunday, January 21, 2007

Scooter's Materialism Meme - His Own Answers

She Says is very fast. She finished my meme before midnight. I think that answers a future blogging meme question "blogging or sex?" It sounds as though I have to consider beer a materialistic item. I'm not entirely convinced. After all, it's just bread in a bottle. Water, hops, yeast, sugar. Some of the basic building blocks of life. There are monks (alt. at About) who lived on nothing but for long periods of time. But I guess materialism can be defined as a serious desire for something you could live without, and I drink less when I'm biking a lot, therefore it logically follows...fine. I'll factor alcohol into the equation.

Scooter's Materialism meme

1.) What's your most cherished item, the one item you would save if you couldn't save anything else (and not a cat or dog, a thing)?
Wow is that a tough one. I'd save the computer - it has pictures of Eryn on it. However, if things were appropriately backed up, and copies shipped to concerned grandparents, I'd save my kangaroo skin-covered koala bear. He's as old as I am and my Dad brought him back from Australia on one of his sub trips when he was in the Navy.

2.) Only for cat and dog owners - save the item in #1, or save the cat/dog?
I have problems with my dog. But I'd save her - she's too dumb to get out of the house on her own. She'd just run around in circles and bark and barf. As for the cat, I'd have to go open her door in the basement too, now that we shut her in the basement sometimes during the evening as she's taken up howling at the bedroom doors at 3 a.m. If I didn't let her out, Pooteewheet would be feaking out about the kitty kabob for the next decade, and I'm pretty sure that would be equivalent to letting my sex life burn in the fire.

3.) Can I buy #1 for $10? $100? $1000? $10,000? $100,000? $1,000,000? What's your lowest price? Does it have a price?
It's worth at least $100 to me. But I'd consider for $1000, and I'd cave at $10,000. I bought Eryn her own bear when I was in Australia for my sister's wedding, and my sister and brother-in-law (and niece) bought her a tiny one, so the only person missing the bear would be me, and I'd miss it a lot less if I had money for a new bike and tickets to ride it around Costa Rica or New Zealand (it'd be like "Koalie" was buying me a gift).

4.) If it doesn't have a price, have you sought therapy about your sentimental attachment to materialistic goods? And on a related note, do you hold your own garage sales?
I obviously have a price. You'd have to tackle issues like "poor job satisfaction" to find things that had extremely high prices for me (you'd have to pay me an unreasonable amount of money to be unhappy in my job, and that includes long commutes). I do not hold my own garage sales. The idea is revolting, nauseating, and makes my head hurt, and not just because I'd have to do an even better job of cleaning the garage. Instead of selling my things, I donate them to charity - the thrift store, the library, friends. When I lived in the apartment in St. Louis Park, Pooteewheet and I just left things on the table in the laundry room. Everything disappeared, including a coffee pot with a note that said "broke" and a Star Wars the Next Generation action figure in a glass jar.

5.) Favorite precious substance?
Coffee was a good call on She Says' part. I wouldn't have thought of that, but it's expensive, and I buy a lot. Which means beer is also a possibility, but I drink less beer than coffee (I hope). I was pondering agates, as I think they qualify as gemstones and I used to collect them when I visited Montana, but I don't really have many floating around anymore. So I'll answer diamonds. I like the bling. Not so much on myself - I own almost none - as on others.

6.) Every had an item blessed that really shouldn't have been blessed?
Nope. I see those car and pet blessings in the paper now and then, but I'm not convinced they'd make my dog behave the way I expect her to.

7.) What personal item has surprised you with its durability?
My Cyclosimulator bike trainer. I bought it in college and it's probably got at least seven thousand miles on it. I rarely do maintenance on it, and yet it's lasted all this time - the mechanical parts (windfan, wheel mount), the lcd computer, and the metal bits I sweat all over. It's only aging that I can see is that the white plastic is actually turning a bit yellow.

8.) What's the most expensive thing you've ever purchased (other than primary residence and vehicle)?
A secondary residence, for renters. But if you assume they're paying for that (most of the time, when we're not evicting someone), then probably the first computer Pooteewheet and I bought. I remember when computers were more than $2000 for something that was fairly "standard". I remember my inlaws were a little shocked that we were buying a computer instead of finding a house, but in the long run, considering my job history, it was a wise investment. I do have a bike that was very expensive when I bought it. Not $10,000, Lance Armstrong expensive, but with the clipless pedals and special shoes, it set me back about $1500, and that was on a previous year, on-sale model.

9.) What do you feel is the appropriate % of your income to give to charity? Do you donate something other than money (and what)?
I don't have a %, but I do try to give until it hurts a little. The community clinic my sister used to work for gets a fairly large chunk of change because I like to make at least one dontation that would make a big difference. It's still probably a drop in the bucket compared to their operating budget, but with company matching, it's not pocket change either. We do donate all sorts of other things, like books to the library, our old cars, and anything in good shape that we think someone else could use (keeping in mind that many of our own stuff is hand me downs). I don't donate a lot of personal time since I quit working with the Boy Scouts (we have a difference of philosophy), but I get in time to help my bike group (non-profit, educational) do registration for their largest ride, and I read to school kids some years, and participate in mock trials for local law schools in others (my company will match two days of donated time each year).

10.) Do you shop at garage sales? How often (and how much do you buy)?
Yes, but not as often as I'd like to as I'm usually not off work at the right time. I love to shop for books, particularly kids books. No one ever wants to keep them, and it's cheaper than buying them at Half Price. I don't ever buy clothes, but I always keep my eyes open for tools and toys and things that friends might like.

11.) If you said yes in #10, what's the best thing you ever bought at a garage sale?
Just books, mostly. When I was at the Now Then Threshing Show last year, I bought some hose nozzles for cheap, and they were copper, not crappy plastic. I took my friend Dan'l to a garage sale in my neighborhood and he bought a standalone disco ball for his computer room. That was a good purchase.

12.) What item do you constantly find yourself upgrading?
Computer. I'd say it's finally been quite a while since an upgrade, but we got a laptop, and that probably counts. I do upgrade my bike now and then, although "supplement with an extra" is probably more accurate.

13.) Day to yourself. Shopping or chores?
I was going to say chores, but then I thought "beer and games are shopping", and I'd always rather do that.

14.) Day to yourself. Shopping or reading?
Reading. Plopped down in the coffee shop for up to six hours, reading. Hey...I usually buy my coffee at Dunn Brothers, however. A paradox! If that's shopping, then still reading, I'll just do it at home.

15.) Day to yourself. Shopping or some sort of event (movie, play, sports event).
Event. No question.

16.) Let's press the issue. Shopping or sex?
Is it with Pooteewheet or someone else? I mean the shopping. Sex.

17.) Your boss gives you an award. Do you want the public acknowledgement, or a private $25 gift certificate.
Public acknowledgement. I usually feel I'm just doing my job. Extra money is weird and feels like a commission.

18.) If you could only carry an armload (let's say one to five) things out of your burning abode, not including the cherished item in #1, what would they be?
Let's say #1 was the computer. So my kangaroo skin-covered bear, the laptop, at least one bike, Eryn's Build-a-Bear giraffe she got for potty training, and Pooteewheet's jewelry (not worth a lot as those things go, but there are things she got from me for anniversaries/etc).

19.) What does another friend have that you want?
A flat screen t.v. or a king-sized bed. These are things I can't bring myself to buy, yet feel would make my life materialistically much better.

20.) Ever get nicked (arrested, detained) or confronted for taking something you wanted?
I was going to say never, but my mother did find a bunch of plastic sign letters - like you'd see on a DQ sign - in my closet one time and sent me off to therapy.

21.) Do you get a magazine that's primarily devoted to acquisition or reviews of material goods? Which one?
Wired is about technology, but they do send me a buyer's guide. I have purchased (or had purchased for me) the odd GQ, hoping to determine if such a guide would help me to be a little less unhip.

22.) Ever take a job just so you could get a discount on something?
Group legal? Naw...that's just a side benefit I can use. No discounts as the goal, although my bed is the result of another friend taking a job so she could get discounts at a furniture store.

23.) Where do you buy most of your stuff? And why there?
Liquor store. Because I like beer. Specifically, lately, Blue Max Liquor. My family gets most of our stuff from Target, because it's just down the street. If there were a Costco within ten miles, I'd be shopping there instead.

24.) Where would you buy most of your stuff, if you could? Why there?
Online if I could, because I don't have to deal with people unless there's a customer service issue. But, per #23, Costco would be an alternative. I like their politics.

25.) What do you consistently buy for yourself that you really (really) don't need?
Beer and board games. I have enough board games in a closet in the basement that it might be considered a collection.

26.) Did you meet any of your friends through a shared appreciation of certain materialistic goods? Did the friendship last?
If you consider the acquisition of a computer, then almost all of them that I didn't know in high school, and they've lasted longer than whatever computing job I was at. I haven't met many beer-only friends, at least none that have lasted, and I don't really have any biking friends either, and my gaming friends...well, I've met a few of them through blogging, not specifically gaming, so I'm not sure if that counts.

She Says' Add Ons:
27.) What do you collect?
Board games. Cast iron banks. Marvin the Martian memorabilia. Biking things (some art). A few castles and, specifically, history-related items (old books about Tudor/Stuart history, although not so much as I don't live near any good antique book stores).

28.) What one thing do you have that will most likely make it on some future version of Antiques Roadshow because it's rare, unusual, collectible, etc.?
I had a board game that went out of print that was up to $200-$250 on e-bay for a while, then they re-released it. And I had some Magic the Gathering cards that, for a while, were worth quite a bit of money. I'd guess I have a cast iron bank or two (one of the non reproductions) that would eventually be Antiques Roadshow worthy.

I tag LissyJo, because question #20 was added just for her.

1 comment:

She says said...

Indeed, I do stay up late at night; it's true. However, I'm impressed with how quickly you did this this morning.

So maybe we can get you to post a picture of your koala bear? Sounds like an "Awwwww" moment in the making.