Monday, 31 March 2008

Oh boy. What have I done?

Well, I've gone and done it.

I've joined in Crunchy Chicken's latest challenge: Buy Nothing in April. I've wondered before about how many Buy Nothing Day[s] I could string together, but now I've committed to a whole month of buying nothing other than necessities. Well, almost nothing. Crunchy has kindly allowed me one possible exception (and it's a big one), because it was pre-planned. Barely.

We have been putting off getting a new TV because there just wasn't anything wrong with it. It is just small-ish (27") and old-ish (~10 years). We also try not to watch that much TV - I just can't stand the commercials anymore, and a lot of the shows are just plain crappy. And last year we even disconnected the cable/satellite for the Summer, which was very nice, not to mention saving us over $200 in satellite bills.

But last month (or was it the month before?), the speakers on the TV would only work intermittently. And now they barely work at all. And the NHL playoffs are coming. And the Edmonton Oilers just might make it into the playoffs this year. So last night, Gord and I were talking and we decided that if the Oilers made it into the playoffs, we would go ahead and get a new TV. Then this morning I see this new challenge of Crunchy's! She had given virtually no warning so that people couldn't pre-buy stuff. She is so very crafty and wise, that Crunchy.

I whined a little about this. I asked Crunchy for a special Canadian Hockey Fan exemption. And, a few other people over on her site had also commented about things they had planned to buy in April, and wondered if they could still join the overall challenge. I left it up to Crunchy to decide, and she did. She's letting me (and the others) participate, even if the Oilers do make the playoffs and we do buy a TV, because we had pre-planned the purchase. But, she has now listed me on her participant list as "Theresa at Pondering a New TV. I guess that's only fair!

Now I'm not sure if I want the Oilers to make the playoffs or not!

On another Crunchy-related note, and with somewhat ironic timing, I received in the mail today the book I won in Crunchy's anniversary draw, Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle. I can't wait to delve into this book! And when I'm done, as promised, I will hold a random draw of my own to send this book out into the blogosphere once more. I figure it will take me about a week or two to read this book, so sometime in mid-April I will hold the draw. OK....time to make a cup of tea and start reading!


DC said...

My Dad gave us a fancy new lcd tv for Christmas. We didn't really want a new one, but since it was a gift and it would have hurt his feelings to return it, we kept it. I'm sort of glad we did because I recently discovered that we can get digital tv for free in our area since the tv has a build in dtv tuner. Before, we had to pay a satellite or cable company to get even local channels with decent reception, but now we get over 20 clear digital channels for free over the air. Seven of those channels are public television, which is mostly what we watch. The reason there are so many more channels available on the digital spectrum is that a single network can simultaneously broadcast multiple streams. So, for example, there are 2-3 programs available on each NBC affiliate at any given time.

The only tricky part was that we live a ways from the broadcast towers, so we had to install an outside antenna to pick up the signals. Fortunately, the antennas available today are smaller and lower profile. Ours is a gray circular model that's less than 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter and looks like a small satellite dish.

So, we're not big tv people, but a little bit every once in a while is nice. I enjoy it a lot more now that we're not paying money each month to a giant media conglomerate.

Over-the-air digital broadcasts are available both Canada and the U.S.

The new lcd televisions use a fraction of the electricity of the old crt models, so when you do get around to replacing your set, be sure to look for an lcd model.

Theresa said...

We will definitely be going with the lcd technology, not plasma. Thanks for the info about the digital broadcasting - we will have to check into that. We would likely need an antenna as well, since we live in the 'country.' I am also all for not paying money to a large media conglomerate!

An important game for the Oilers tonight - if they lose, they will be out of the playoffs and our tv purchase will be delayed indefinitely once again....

lauren said...

I found your blog from Crunchy's and I noticed this post about buying a new TV. I've also joined the challenge and I'm under the impression that the emphasis is on not buying "new" things. So you could buy a used TV from Craigslist or find one on Freecycle. Maybe that isn't in the spirit of the challenge, but Ms. Crunchy did write this:

"If you must absolutely acquire something non-edible or not essential to growing your own food or for your survival, then you must borrow, barter, or buy it used."

Hope that assuages your guilt. If you go that route you will be saving us from more eco-waste in the landfill. :)


Theresa said...

Hi Lauren, thanks for stopping by! Crunchy has given those who had pre-planned their purchases a little slack, but you're right, it would be better not to buy one at all. I don't think buying used would do us much good in this case, since it is an older, less than fully functional tv is what we have now. We won't be throwing this tv away though. It will go in the basement and probably be hooked up to external speakers (that we already have) to compensate for its sound problems.

To be completely frank, we will be buying a new tv eventually. It's just a matter of when. It could well be the last tv we ever buy.

Theresa said...

Well, the Oilers lost their game tonight, so I believe it is now statistically impossible for them to make the playoffs, even if they win their one remaining game.

So, the tv purchase will be delayed indefinitely, once again. Just as well, really.

lauren said...

Sorry about the Oilers!

No need to buy new or used, I guess :)

I hope my suggestion to buy used didn't seem like a guilt trip! I try not to beat myself, or anyone else, up when the need to buy arises, especially when it's long overdue.

I am a recovering shopaholic myself, so this month I will have to resist serious temptation!

Theresa said...

Oh no, not at all Lauren! I'm glad you pointed out the alternatives, because sometimes if I just want something really badly, I think it's a 'need' when it's really not. We don't really need a new TV. We can made do with this one, and we could make do without one too.

I'm not a huge sports fan, but I do like to watch hockey even though there are lots of things about sports/entertainment that bug me (glorification of fighting/violence, fostering the ideal of winning at any cost, normalization of the expectation of huge salaries, and setting up those involved in such things as role models for kids/everyone). So I wonder why I keep watching it.

Lately I think it is because sometimes I just want to forget about world events/problems and do something uncomplicated and mindless, like cheering for my local team and enjoying it when they win the game. It's an escape (or at least a distraction) from all the other stressful and complicated things going on in the world.