17th April 2008 – 8.06 am

I heard a rumour that because Weyland-Yutani has been profitable in the last year we employees are due to receive a bonus this month. The bonus is nothing particularly extravagant but it's something, and after so many years of no bonuses at all this new culture, and I hope it's now a part of The Company's culture, is welcome indeed.

I'm a believer in buying something I otherwise wouldn't, or would normally have to save for, when I get a small windfall like this. I don't like the idea of getting a nice bonus and then having it disappear slowly through normal expenses, because then it doesn't seem like a perq. I would rather encounter a series of peaks and troughs than to have nothing changing.

I have a few thoughts about what I could get with the bonus, but I am still undecided and wonder if there are options I haven't considered yet.

  • A new guitar.
  • I have recently considered getting a new guitar to revive my interest in playing, and with my bonus I could get the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Plus, or Standard Plus-Top, and not regret spending the money if it just sits on a stand looking pretty. I've been trying to practice some of the finger exercises in the book I bought and I may well enjoy it better if I had some spanky new hardware to practice on, temporarily at least.

  • An exercise machine.
  • I would like to get a bit more exercise, just to keep myself in trim, and my bicycle doesn't get used in the Winter months partly because of the weather but mostly because the day gets dark too early. It's possible that an exercise machine I could use at home would allow me to schedule some regular exercise that would boost my fitness and improve my general well-being. Of course, that depends on actually using the machine regularly, and without trying one out I don't know if I will be able to, or want to, maintain a routine. There is a wide variety of machines both in particular machine type and within types, and I know nothing about any of them. Choosing a machine could be difficult, and making the wrong choice could deflate my enthusiasm.

  • An Eee PC.
  • Since my Powerbook's logic board started malfunctioning a little while back I have been without a portable machine on which I can handily and quickly keep up with any writing or correspondence, or have a low-power device for keeping in touch with people with instant messaging. I can do all of this on my desktop computer but unsurprisingly not whilst sitting in my armchair, and after a session of World of Warcraft I would rather get away from my computer desk and relax in a different chair to perform other computer tasks. I obviously haven't missed having a laptop enough to have replaced it so far and am managing quite well with the desktop as my only machine, but the Eee PC seems ideally suited to the use I would put it towards. Sure, it doesn't run Mac OS but I could probably run a browser, e-mail client and IRC session on a different OS comfortably enough. The question is more if I would want to, even if anything more involved would still be done on my desktop.

Between the exercise machine and guitar I think I would prefer a guitar to be sitting in my home gathering dust, and I greatly enjoy being able to play the guitar, however badly. The exercise machine is a nice idea but a lack of space both to use and store one is a concern, and I may either find another way to exercise. The Eee PC sounds like a good idea, but I would be taking a risk on the applications working the way I want them to, however slight it may be. Maybe I should find one to play on for a bit. It's also possible that I would soon want it to be capable of more functionality than I am initially considering, either leading it to be unsuitable because of it's specifications or my getting frustrated with the OS.

It's looking like a choice between the guitar and Eee PC. I have some time to deliberate before I get the bonus and see what it's like.

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