An afternoon

Okay, so. It looks like Iain is just going to pass twenty thousand words this month, so I suppose I have a this post and a day to make up six thousand words. You know, to beat him again on word count.

I suppose if we count the three thousand plus words in my “Vintage” posts, I’m almost there anyway. But I’ll do it this way, W:PS v. FYTH.

So, here we go.

Heath and I tried to go see The Passion of the Christ today at the theatre in Payson, but it was sold out. So we’ll try again on a weekday after Heath gets out of school. Instead of watching the movie, we went down to the WalMart and hung out for a couple of hours. See, Heath, there’s more to do in the Rim Country than go bowling, do drugs, and have sex. You can … hang out at the WalMart.

I spent far too much money, actually. Hopefully I can get my dad to reimburse me for some of it; I bought a water filtration system for the bathroom up here and four compressed-flourescent bulbs to replace the incandescent bulbs he have up here right now. He’s been talking about getting the bulbs for a long time, but hasn’t done it, and they were there, so I bought them. 100-watt equivalent, they say. And since the only water filtration I have up here right now is my PUR filter, which was full when I took it off the faucet at my last house and needed replacing, I stopped to look at replacement filters.

Here’s what I found:

One basic filter for the PUR filter is ~$15. One premium filter for the PUR filter is ~$25. A three-pack of premium filters for the PUR filter is ~$40, which is less per-filter than the basic filters. Now, I don’t particularly care about filtering out tetramethalides or whatever from my water, as long as sediment, rust &c., and awful tastes (like the flux from the recent work on the system) don’t make it through. And while I was looking over the costs on the various filtration pitchers and systems, I noticed some PUR-branded filters for “OMNI” Household Water Filtration Systems.

The filters for the at-the-tap and in-the-pitcher systems I was looking at filtered a maximum of about 100 gallons, and cost between $12 and $25 per filter. These “OMNI” filters were bigger, filter up to 15,000 gallons, and cost between $3.72 and $5.58 per filter (the low price is for a 4-pack of the premium OMNI filters)… suddenly the OMNI system seems like a better deal. But … wait. I don’t see any OMNI systems. My brother and I look all around for one and we seem to find any OMNI systems. There are a couple of brands of filters for OMNI systems, but no mention on any of the packages of how or where to get an OMNI system. Heath and I figure that maybe it’s something that needs to be professionally installed. And then, on the top shelf, above the air filters, a bit over from the water filters, we see two OMNI systems.

One, a smaller one, takes filters that I haven’t seen anywhere, but that supposedly filter 1,000 gallons each. That’s a far cry from 100 gallons, but wait. The other one is the one we’re looking for, the system that takes the full-size filters that filter up to 15,000 gallons each and cost very little compared to the filters I was using before. So we grab one of each and find a price-check-scanning station and find out that the smaller one is $25 and the larger one is $30.

Thirty dollars?!? And it comes with a filter? And (looking inside the box, reading the instructions) it’s easy to install and will work for what I want? I was about to spend $40 on a three-pack of filters to filter 300 gallons, and I can spend $30 on a filtration system and filter that will filter up to 15,000 gallons? That’s an easy decision.

The OMNI Household Filtration System goes into the cart.

Soon we come to the aisle with the light bulbs. I look at the Reveal bulbs, on sale, and my preference for light bulbs. Four bulbs for about $2.35, on the Reveal bulbs. If you haven’t tried them, they provide a very nice white light. They appear to be tinted a little bit blue, so perhaps it is extra blue, but I have stood in the doorway between one room lit with Reveal bulbs and one lit with standard incandescant bulbs, and the difference is like pleasant lighting and unfortunate, inadequate lighting. Seriously, if you’re going to be using incandescent bulbs anyway, use Reveal. You’ll thank me. They’re great.

Around here, though, my father and grandfather’s preference is for those twisty-looking condensed flourescent bulbs that fit into standard sockets and us a lot less energy to produce the same amount of light. My father had some 13-watt (which is like a 60-watt equivalent in light, they say) bulbs on hand when we put the ceiling lights in my room a month or two back, so we used a mix of them and incandescent bulbs to light the room. He’s been saying since then that he’ll buy a bunch of the 100-watt equivalent bulbs, to fill in up here and replace downstairs, but based on my experience, it could be a year or more before the bulbs materialize.

So, I decided to look at the flourescent bulbs. I ended up buying four 26-watt (100-watt equivalent) bulbs for about $18 total.

Interestingly, I’ve just re-arranged the light-bulbs around here so that almost all the ceiling-lights are the flourescent, and while the 26-watt bulbs are definitely brighter (and use less energy, apparently), I still don’t seem to have enough bulbs. It looks like I need either one more 13-watt and two 26-watt or just four 26-watt bulbs to get this place lighted appropriately and thoroughly. Maybe when I’ve made more money.

That reminds me; did I mention that I finished one of the lamps today? And would have finished them both had I got out of bed before 2PM. But I’ll try to get up in the morning and get the nipple chopped off to the right length and get the second lamp assembled before dad and Heath get home from church. Then I’ll see about getting some photos of them taken and online before I get them priced and out for sale. Heath doesn’t think the lampshades I’ve selected “go” with the lamps I’ve built, but under questioning he admits that he can neither describe nor even imagine a better-quited lampshade. So, we’ll see what the buying public thinks.

Anyway, before long we arrived at the entertainment and electronics section of the WalMart, and after a quick look over their $10 DVDs and a quicker look over their “new” DVDs section (all $20 and higher), we arrived at the bin of $5.50 DVDs. Ah, $5.50 DVDs. Hundreds of them. Mostly duplicates, but a few different titles mixed in. I spent quite a long while looking through every single title in that bin. I came out with four DVDs, plus two other things that, while still $5.50, had two discs and four movies each. “Cult Classics” collections 1 and 2. Here are all 12 titles:

The Atomic Brain
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
Carnival of Souls
Night Tide
Dementia 13
Frozen Alive
The Screaming Skull
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter
Strange Days
“a life less ordinary”
The Contender
America’s Sweethearts

That seems like a good mix, right? A little political thriller, a little romantic comedy, a little brain that wouldn’t die, Francis Ford Coppola’s directorial debut, Danny Boyle’s forgotten film, a little … uhh.. cowboy… horror… oh my word, what have I got myself into now?

Anyway, we ran The Atomic Brain and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, and I have … a special feature from Strange Days … though depending on when Heath goes to bed and how I feel I think I’ll switch to The Contender when this special feature is over.

So, yeah. Bought 12 movies for about $33. Which is, as you may realize, a good deal.

More shopping. The Easter aisle. A thousand pounds of candy, all wishing I would take it home with me. Heath and I spent probably twenty minutes on that aisle, doing calculations to determine which candy was most cost-effective and delicious at the same time. Through various perturbations of our decisions we ended up with some good stuff. A couple of big rabbits, a bag of M&M’s, some little crunchy rabbits, a bag of standard marshmallows (much cheaper than peeps, and just as delicious, if not as much fun), all for about $9.

Cookies, a third attempt at getting worthwhile spray-on-butter, some kool-aid, and two bottles of cheap booze (both already drunk, thank you very much and Happy New Year) and a bottle of Sam’s Mountain Dew rip-off, Mountain Thunder (2-litres for 50cents) and then … some ice cream and we were out of there.

I was thinking about getting a half-gallon of cheapass chocolate ice cream. But then I was thinking about getting ice cream sandwiches. And then Heath and I were discussing it and looking at different ice cream treats available, the nut-rolled cones, the ice cream bars on sticks, everything, and we’re calculating per-gram costs on each treat, treat-for treat and comparing them to how long we think it’ll take us to eat straight ice cream versus treats, and then … we decide to get the mixed-box good humor 30-pack of three kinds of treats, ice cream bars, nut-rolled cones and ice cream sandwiches. (The sandwiches, while a little small, seem quite nice. Delicious, really.)

And then checkout and then driving home in the snow, and then … home. Yep. And then dad’s upset with me for buying the filter, because apparently he has several filters sitting around somewhere that he hasn’t installed because of … something. One-time-use, no replaceable filters, out-of-line setup, but they’re “free” because we already have them. After some discussion that didn’t help me try to feel good (which was my main goal for the evening), I decided to go with the filtration system I’d just purchased, since I will certainly want filtered water wherever I move to after this, and even at my father’s recommendation, the system I bought is the one he would buy if he was going to buy one. We need a couple of adapters for it, and my father will buy them tomorrow while he’s in town, and we’ll install it tomorrow afternoon.

On a bright note, my father got the finished piping installed for the shower today and we turned the hot water heater on tonight. It looks like it works, hot water comes out, and hooray, I’ll soon be able to shower up here. I did manage to forget for two months to buy the little rings that hold the shower-curtain up. So, I can’t actually take a shower tonight. But soon. Again, special thanks to my father for getting it together.

Okay, so that’s most of today recounted and I didn’t even reach two thousand words. That’s not so good. How am I going to find another over three thousand words? How can I be silly and beat Iain’s number from way behind again if I don’t find those words?

I think I’ll take a break for a bit and see what I come up with.

Be back later.

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.