Monday, September 24, 2007

Decisions AHOY!

Like most guys in their mid-thirties with a mortgage and family, 98.2% of my income is allocated for things that have the purchased: mortgage, food, utilities, home repair supplies, payments to the mob, and caulk. I'm not complaining, just stating a well documented fact.

But a few times a year I get the luxury of making a NON-REQUIRED PURCHASE! Now is one of those times. Normally my selection is a non-required piece of music gear. Earlier this year I bought two drum machines from a co-worker: an Alesis SR-16 and a Roland R8. Sure, I still had my trusty Casio RZ-1 and the ten drum banks on my jammin' Yamaha consumer keyboard, but he only wanted $100 for the both of 'em and I could sell one on eBay make nearly $100 so it's like it was free, right? Well, all three drum machines are now enshrined in my music area, chomping at the bit to be the one used for the two or three songs I record each year. Despite that I have yet to fully learn how to program the incredible sounding R8 (used by seven out of ten 80s new wave bands) I have no regrets on this transaction.

When I'm not buying superfluous drum machines I usually have a piece of gear that I pin my hopes and dreams upon. For the last year it's been the Behringer DSP2024P effects processor. Sure, I already have reverb and echo and chorus and flange and LFO oscillators and... Well, this thing also has spring reverb and aural exciters and expanders and a few other tricks up it's sleeve... and again at the magic price of $100! I even went so far as the buy the bolts and nuts to install it in my effects rack. But it's difficult to justify such an extravagant, frivolous purchase when the car needs brakes or the co-pay of a monthly medicine is $35 or the property taxes/car insurance are going up again.

However I am currently at an important junction... I have the necessity to purchase an item that also falls into the "fun loud guy toy" category: the table saw. I've been using a Sears bench top version for about fourteen years. Seven years ago the motor burned out and the replacement motor was almost as much as buying a whole new saw. Seven years seems to be the magic number because when I turn my table saw on these I smell ozone. I did a bit of work yesterday and two hours later I walked into the garage and the ozone was still thick and palpable. The writing is on the wall that the motor is not long for this world.

The conundrum is that I could buy another $100 motor. Or another $120 saw. Or I could even upgrade to a $200 saw with a larger table and more accuracy. But there would still be the seven-year time bomb ticking away under the hood. No, the question is do I spend a little now and get the same mediocre quality along with the knowledge that I'm only renting the tool or do I invest my money instead of just spending it, taking the plunge to finally buy a beefier saw that comes with a beefier price tag but will last until my beefcake body is speckled with liver spots.

This decision, along with which saw will eventually entice my bank account, will require much rumination, consideration, and self-discovering therapy. The effects processor will have to wait...

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