Known Johnson

December 31, 2007


Filed under: General — Tom @ 12:17 am

I don’t know what’s going on. The upgrade went well yesterday, or so it seemed, but now I’ve noticed some really weird things – like my whole blogroll over there (->) is a mess. And I don’t mean out of the order I normally have it in, which it is. I mean, there are links to pages that don’t even exist anymore! I’ve just updated a few that I had some time to handle right now, but I’ll need to go through those with the proverbial fine-tooth comb at some point. How that happened, I can’t imagine. Adding a new theme should not dredge up long-changed/deleted links.

Not only that, but twice now I’ve had to re-upload images and/or the theme’s stylesheet, both of which I made changes to in order to reflect the look you currently see. I’m more than a little concerned with this. What exactly is going on in the backend of this site to allow things that have been added to get written over with old content?

I know, I know, not exactly riveting reading, sorry. I’ll move on . . .

Sunday’s big adventure was a trip to Ikea, a giant blue building filled with funny furniture, which had Amanda practically shaking with excitement, I kid not. This was an event on the level of our trip to San Diego, somehow. So momentous was this that she couldn’t even fall asleep during her allotted afternoon nap. The entire ride down there . . . a very long ride since we live on the complete opposite side of the county from the place . . . was filled with “Mommy!” and some tidbit of information that she had just discovered or felt needed to be reiterated. This was exactly how the 5 hours of the drive to San Diego went, too.

Oh, and the reason for this trip? Looking for A) new storage for the flood of toys that Amanda has gotten, and B) a DVD rack of some kind for, obviously, our DVDs, which, at the moment, are stored, pathetically, on a large plastic storage shelf that belongs in a garage. They need a real, fitting home, not something that should be holding yard equipment and bug spray. The real problem here is that we have WAY more DVDs than either of us thought. I should say I because most of these are music-DVDs, not movies or TVs – but that contingent has been growing, too. But it feels better to spread the blame. Anyway, I guestimated that we have somewhere around 150, maybe more, which blows my mind considering we never really watch these things.

While checking out our DVD situation, I got realistic with a handful and threw them up on Amazon and I came home and found that I’d sold 4 of 6 that I had to offer. Not bad – I didn’t lose much money on these, either. The way I look at is like this: there’s an opportunity cost, like going to see a movie in a theater. Figure even at its cheapest a movie is going to cost around $10 in its regular run, and that’s being extremely generous. So one viewing of a DVD is equivalent of seeing a movie one time in a theater, right? And if you watch it again, well, you can do the math – the value gets better and better. So selling something on Amazon for 2/3 what I bought it for is technically making money back, in a way, and, in the case of two of these, I sold them for 9/10 what I paid for them originally! I can’t complain.

But back to Ikea. Probably the best part of Ikea is their product names. I really get a kick out of being able to call something a “Flärke” in public without it sounding like I’m swearing at somebody. The second best part is their shopping cart, which has four turnable wheels. Should I call it a “Kärt”? I think I probably should. Anyway, since all four wheels turn, it makes for some interesting experiences trying to get it to go around corners. You point it the way you want it to go, but the wheels just keep going the way they had originally been going. So even an empty Kärt will require the same exertion to turn as a heavily burdened one. But we made the most of it, taking advantage of the unique four-wheel steering capabilities – making sure the parking lot aisle was clear, I would give the handle a good push to one side and let go, allowing Amanda to have an impromptu teacup-like spin in the Kärt.

This, of course, prompted many “Spin, daddy, spin!” calls from her, and I provided a few more safe spins on the way out of the store . . . empty-handed, empty-Kärted. We found nothing that suited our needs in particular. Not that Ikea doesn’t have tons of cool, clever, space-saving ideas. That’s the problem. They have too many. I’m not a good planner. I am not organized. I am not a decorator, either. And this store is designed for those types of people. People who can walk in and grab four Glüphas and two Kläknas and know that together they’ll make a great wall-mounted storage system that is both stylish and simple. I walk in there and I’m simply overwhelmed. Too many options. They’re everywhere. Boxes and shelves and bins and drawers and things to clips things together and then there’s all the funny names that sound like bodily functions, not to mention that they keep pushing the Swedish meatballs they sell in their little restaurant at every turn – the ones that I can’t help but hear in my head as “Svay-dush maytballs.” For someone like me, Ikea starts out promising, becomes overwhelming, and ultimately winds up simply unintentionally comic. Which, to be honest, is really not a bad way for things to turn out.

And then we went for pizza at the best pizza place pretty much ever, the one we only get to about every two years now that we live where we live and now that we have Amanda to consider – Vito’s Pizza. It was basically a decision that boiled down to this: “We’re already this far, why not go a bit farther?” And so we did – instead of south, we headed east, and got this simply awesome pizza.

Once in a while it’s worth it to make a 120 mile round-trip drive to walk around a big blue building and spend absolutely nothing and then go eat pizza. I’m not sure why, but it just is.



  1. Did I ever tell you I worked at Vito’s Pizza Place in Mesa for 7 years? 🙂 I’m happy to hear you enjoy it as much as I do. My parents live out there, so we get to have it quite a bit when I visit them.

    Comment by Lisa harris — January 1, 2008 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  2. I think you did, actually, and I’m jealous you get to enjoy it as often as you do. Just please don’t tell me there are deep, dark secrets about what goes on in the kitchen. I don’t think I could bear it.

    Comment by Tom — January 1, 2008 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

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