Friday, June 24, 2011

Buyer's Remorse

'Tis a term we learnt only a couple of months back but something which we are familiar with.

And so it happened that when the iPad 2 was finally launched here we sort of found ourself arriving at MidValley at 9am to queue up together with NaanBleu.

Now, there are some things in life that we think we should experience at least once before we find ourself unable to do so. Bungee jumping is still someone on that list, we think that we'll only be able to experience such when our wallet is as elastic as the bungee rope.

Queueing up to get a hyped-up item is another. But we do draw the line at queueing up for over a day (we were tempted to start queueing up at 11pm the day before, though, as we were driving past MidValley around the time...) but we don't see how we can actually stay in a non-moving line for over half a day, really. What if you need to answer the call of nature? Will others in the queue be good-natured enough to let you keep your spot? What about meals?

Anyways we opted to try arriving at 9am - thankfully parking was still plentiful and the queue, well, the queue was only halfway around the corridor.

Joining the queue, we realized we made one mistake: while we pretty much reminded ourself to bring along a fan, we ended up leaving it in the car. And central air-conditioning in MidValley doesn't start till after 10am. Thankfully we arrived before NaanBleu so we texted her to bring a fan for us, else we'd be sweating like mad the entire morning.

Before the store opened, staff from Machines were walking down the queue, asking everyone in line how many iPad 2s were they looking to buy (a maximum of two) and for which model and colour. Overall, we think they did this quite well, it was well organized. They had cards corresponding to the number of iPads of each model and colour, so once they'd run out of cards for a particular type it meant that said type was sold out.

Well we admit throughout the entire time we were queueing and before the fellows from Machines got to us, we were still in two minds as to whether we wanted to get an iPad 2 or not. We could pretty much justify our purchase one way or another (the Chief had, in a moment of exasperation after trying to disassuade us from getting one during the days prior to the launch, accurately observed, "If you really want it you will find all sorts of reasons to get it.". Mind you, the Chief was probably using reverse psychology but it wouldn't have affected us, we were still undecided about it till launch day...)

Even when it was finally our turn to decide on a model (which was easy: white 16GB wifi-only), during the entire time queueing up till we reached the cashier we were already facing buyer's remorse.

It's interesting. Feeling buyer's remorse when we haven't even paid for the iPad 2 and could have asked anyone else in the line if they were interested in having ours.

But be damned if we would give away the iPad 2 after queueing up for it! So buyer's remorse it was.

The queue progressed fairly slowly, even once when we were at the entrance of Machines. It's a good thing we came with NaanBleu for this, we kept each other company and occasionally chatted with others in the queue, asking others if they were going to get casings as well, or data plans, etc. We even bumped into Caipifruta's Awesomeville Aaron who was there with his dad, the lucky bugger - his dad was getting him a white 64GB (can't recall if it was the 3G or wifi model)!

Once at the entrance they had staff acting as bouncers, slowly letting the line trickle through, and when we got in we realized why...

...there was another queue once inside Machines! By this time it was nearly 1pm and our feet and legs were letting us know that they've been holding our weight for some 4 hours now.

And soon it was all over. We paid up, got the iPad 2 in a big Machines plastic bag, made our way out and started window shopping for casings while NaanBleu bought screen protectors and had the staff fix it on for her. We had ours activated within the store, and after that we headed off to McDonalds for brunch and to get off our feet.

Now this, we found the experience to be slightly tiring but it wasn't all that bad. Machines had it pretty well organized, even though with 4 cashiers payment was still terriby slow but we'd say that there weren't any bad moments to the entire experience. Would we do it again? Probably not, haha, but you can never tell so far with Apple and their magical revolutionary marketing.

Now, the Bon Odori, the idea of having to head out to get all sweaty isn't putting smiles on our face (even though it was a fun experience) but the Chief has not been to the Bon Odori before, and, well, it's almost 5 years since our last Bon Odori...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spring Cleaning 2011

Perhaps more like Summer Cleaning by the time we write about this. Basically this was what got us thinking about how much of a hoarder we are.

And it all started with just one drawer.

From the beginning we had designated a drawer for electronics - old music players, chargers, cables. And in the beginning, the drawer managed to fit everything in with no problem. This was, of course, some 7 years ago. We could dump in everything and still have plenty of room.

Fast forward to the now, and that drawer is full to the brim. If we only kept cables and electronics that we rarely use in there, then we wouldn't bother about it so much. But as we keep our chargers in there too, we dip into the drawer almost every night (given just how often we Whatsapp and check our Facebook/email/feeds, we actually need to charge our iPhone 3GS twice a day).

So sometimes, things get tangled up in there. And there are cables that we're not too sure of their origins, whether they are mini-USB cables that came with our Canon iXus or with our Sony Minidisc player, that kind of thing.

So, we thought, it's time we tried to organize things.

We admit that we sometimes get rather lofty ambitions sometimes (like trying to get our bathroom to look like one of those rather posh hotel bathrooms, not possible but is something we kinda like to dream could be achieved without any sort of renovation...). We blame iKea for this.

But with just one single drawer we pretty much had a practical idea what to do about it: go get some plastic baggies to organize the stuff nicely.

Now this goal is rather straightforward and ought to take not more than an hour, really...
Step 1: Get a fair number of bags from Daiso.
Step 2: Empty out content of drawer.
Step 3: Organize stuff into bags.
Step 4: Neatly pack bags back into drawer.

Except in our case, we also had a few other stuff in said electronics drawer. Some of it, we are well aware of like our collection of playing cards, but we then came across a traveller's pouch that had some old stuff like a confirmation letter and receipt from a B&B that we stayed at in the Lake Gardens District, not to mention a receipt from the old Malaysian Embassy in London, and oddly enough, Sporeland coins. Also, we find a wee envelope of old passport photos.

So we basically emptied out almost everything from the drawer, and started sorting it all out...

And quite likely because of that traveller's pouch we started looking for where some of the contents of said pouch should go. Starting with the coins.

That got us looking in our wardrobe for a couple of camera film containers we know were somewhere in there, because we thought we kept some coins in them. We couldn't remember what currency, though.

And the search for that began our spring cleaning essentially - as certain things were left untouched for a long while now and have not only built up a layer of dust, but have also herded in a bunch of dust bunnies as pets too.

Generally most our spring cleaning tends to happen in the middle of the night - and at a time when we don't really expect to be doing spring cleaning. We'll pick up an object, note the heavy layer of dust, get a tissue and make it wet, wipe said object clean and trash the now-dirty tissue.

Then, we find that said object (in this case the film containers) we just cleaned isn't really what we were looking for, and now we try another object (this time, a large plastic container with more assorted coins in it).

Repeat cleaning process with a couple more tissues.

And find out now that we have souvenir pressed-penny coins from the US and UK in those containers, mixed together with coins from all over, and it should all be more organized.

Sigh. Now remove all Sporeland coins from both film and plastic containers, and try the coin pouch. Dump all Sporeland coins into coin pouch, and when that is full, the overflow to go into the Sporeland wallet as quick accessible change.

Once this is done, we notice that certain stuff we've not touched in ages have dust all over, hey, that Swatch iRony should go back into its box since we're not wearing it, rather than collecting dust...

More cleaning, more dusting, more taking out old stuff and rearranging things within the wardrobe.

Hey, we've sort of abandoned our organizing of the electronics drawer now.

OK, there's still those receipts et cetera from UK, those should go into the box of UK Memorabilia, bring that out, and then we're reminded of birthday cards over the last couple of years that we wanted to file away in the bigger box of General Memorabilia. Start on that, now...

And it's probably some 4 hours later when we've finally organizing the electronics drawer. Some things made it into the trash can all right but most would have survived for another day...

We didn't make more space, but then again the aim for the baggies was to make it easier to pull out the bag containing all our Apple cables and power adapters!