Budget Marti vs. Amazon

Three days after I ordered our TV, Amazon dropped the price by $20.  Normal Marti would have thought “eh” but Budget Marti thought “Maybe they do price adjustments!”  I used their “Call Me” service (which is genius) and the conversation went like this:

M: Do you offer price adjustments?

A: No, I’m sorry, the price you paid was the price Amazon offered at that time.  There is really no way for us to credit or refund the difference because the purchase has already been processed and you have received the item.  Amazon cannot adjust closed orders.

M: Yeah, but maybe?

A: OK.

Twenty bucks for two minutes work.  I’ll take it.

oh man oh man oh man

Oh man oh man oh man: I bought this today!  The low price and the free shipping and the “Only 1 left in stock – order soon” was too much for me to resist!  Plus, it was 4:30 and I was really bored at work.

We used this sander in my woodworking class and I have wanted it ever since.  Two years is a long time to want something!  I don’t know why I didn’t buy it earlier.

I have a Black & Decker Mouse that I will continue to use for detail sanding, but its surface area isn’t great enough for larger jobs, it requires special-made (and expensive) sanding sheets and it vibrates big instead of fast, which leads to visible marks on the sanded surface and totally numb hands after five minutes of use.  Oh, and now I see that it’s been discontinued, which means I better stock up on those special-made (and expensive) sanding sheets.

I will put the Porter-Cable 330 Speed-Bloc to work on my new dresser. It’s not in great shape – I will need to:

#1: Fill in the crack in the top drawer front with wood filler.

#2. Sand everything, especially the top.

#3. Attach a simple guide thing to the bottom drawer so that it stays on the runner.

#4: Paint and stain!

I think the curves and squatness of this dresser will add something new and much-needed to our next apartment.  It’s been getting pretty boxy & leggy.  I can count 24 brown legs in this photo alone!

Hardware Bidness

Guys, I want to talk about hardware stores for a bit. Because it’s something I like to think about.

The way I see it, Lowe’s is for the casual DIYer, the “weekend warrior,” as they might like to imagine themselves.  Home Depot is for men who do real work.  Lowe’s is clean, brightly lit and red, white & blue.  Home Depot is also clean, but it’s orange and concrete and populated with employees who wear aprons on which they’ve scrawled their name with a Sharpie.  Lowe’s is in the suburbs; Home Depot is in Chicago.  I prefer Home Depot because I like to associate myself with manly men who do labor, but I know that demographically I belong with the Lowe’s crowd.

As for Ace Hardware: Ace used to be my go-to place because there was one within easy walking distance of our apartment, and one across the street from the Sears Tower (I say “Sears” because that’s what it was when there was an Ace across from it).  Both of those stores closed.  Now, the Ace that I can walk to over my lunch break — about a mile away — is visibly on the verge of going out of business.  Its claims of being “Chicago’s Largest Ace!” seem sad once you’ve viewed their dwindling inventory.  So, I don’t really consider Ace a contender.

Anyway, my dad gave me a $50 gift card for Lowe’s for Christmas.  I am going to try make it cover the supplies needed for my two major pre-move projects: the cat tree and the dresser-turned-TV-stand.

(Prices are approximate and based on my lunch break trip to Ace.)

  • $8 – cement mix
  • $5 – wood trim
  • $10 – wood post
  • $2 – wood screws
  • $4 – hinges
  • $4 – wood glue
  • $10 – rope
  • $25 – metal screen

Total: $58

Gah!  That metal screen really destroys my budget, especially considering that I know I’ll think of other things I need.