Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Online shopping sprees

I need to quit the online shopping. Last month I ordered a bicycle handlebar cell phone mount, which I installed on the binnacle guard of the boat. It was $18. That was a good purchase. I can put my iPhone (and Ben can put his Droid) in it and use the Navionics app to navigate back to the channel in the dark. I don't know if the $10 Navionics app counts as online shopping or not. I mean, I did buy it online, so I guess it does. Either way, that was also a very good purchase. It's not too accurate with the boat's exact speed, but it does a great job of tracking our course and it helped me blindly find the tiny channel into our marina twice at night. I highly recommend it.

However, this month I've started going a little crazy. I decided I needed a crappy guitar to leave on the boat for the Saturday night guitar jams, but I hate playing crappy guitars, and I couldn't justify paying $200 for another crappy guitar, so I turned to eBay. I found a cosmetically challenged Epiphone Dove, which is a marginally crappy $300 guitar for $26. After shipping it was $61. Did I really NEED it? No. Was this a wise online purchase? We'll see. Who knows? Maybe it will play great, and I'll be the awesome guy with the awesome guitar on his boat. I guess even if it sucks I can still use it to paddle the dinghy. I'm regretting that purchase a little bit.

Then I visited the bike accessory store again. There are tons of bike accessories that bolt onto the handlebars -- handlebars which happen to be about the same diameter as the various rails and guards on a boat. Yesterday's purchase was a camera mount. It was only $3.95 with free shipping. However, I'm regretting this purchase a little today. Do I really trust any of my cameras to a $4 mount? I had imagined putting my video camera on the rear rail and getting some great sailing footage. Now all I can think about is a $1,000 HD camera either being overswept with a wave and rendered junk or falling off and being lost at sea. However, I do have a dive case for my little Fuji. It won't be 1080p, but I'll get some kind of video.

Now I find myself looking a binoculars online? Did you know that 7x is the preferred magnification for marine binoculars because it's too hard to get a steady image on a moving boat at magnifications higher than that? Yeah, I just learned that. So there's tons of rubberized waterproof, fogproof compass-laden binocs on ebay for $99. Then there's the ever-so-classic out-of-production Leica binocs that start around $150. Yeah, they're old, but they're Leica. I've lusted after that brand for a decade now, but I still can't afford one of their damn cameras. I mean, how do you justify $7000 for a camera body, and then another $3000 for a fixed lens? I mean a $900 Nikon DSLR is still going to give you a cleaner digital photo AND the ability to zoom. I like zooming. But geez, the Leica design is so amazing! So no, I'll never get to own a Leica camera, but I could have Leica binoculars on my boat. They won't be waterproof or fogproof, but they'll be Leica! Then if I just move up to the $200 category, bhphotovideo.com has some seriously heavy-duty looking ATN Omega binoculars with a compass. I don't know that they're any better than the $99 binocs on ebay, BUT they come with a free ATN 8x Golden Eye Monocular. I was hoping it would look sort of like an old-school spyglass, but it is actually a little waterproof, rubberized, pinky-sized monocular -- and it has a James Bond name. Yeah, I'm a sucker for spy stuff. Would I ever use it? Probably not.

So after perusing all this binocular stuff I'm checking my bank account and slapping myself. Spending a misappropriated $4 is one thing, but getting all hyped up on online sales and blowing $200 is another thing altogether. I need net nanny on my computers that will allow free porn but block all shopping. I've already got to buy another can of urethane varnish and about $20 in assorted bolts just to put the boat walls and shelves back in. Maybe I should get that all finished before I start worrying about binoculars.
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