Bonus choice

22nd April 2008 – 7.53 am

I made the choice on what to spend my small bonus. I decided that even though I would be able to use the Eee PC easily enough I didn't really want to make a move away from Mac OS because it is precisely the OS that makes me enjoy using a computer. I'll wait and either buy a new Apple laptop or do without a laptop. I also decided that despite a desire to exercise a bit more I simply don't really have room to use or store an exercise machine.

I had considered the possibility of buying one of the options and both getting full use out of it and not getting any use out of it. If used, the Eee PC would let me write posts and e-mails, and browse the internet, from the comfort of my armchair, but this isn't a great leap over using my desktop machine. If unused, the Eee PC would be entirely unexciting and undecorative, even less so than the Powerbook hidden on my desk by CDs and paperwork. For the exercise machine, if I got a routine going I would get fitter and feel better, although I could achieve the same result without needing a machine. Maybe Wii Fitness could help whilst taking up less space. If unused, an exercise machine would just gather dust and be little more than a middle-class statue, an item I would want to dispose of. As for the guitar, if I get full use out of it I would become a better and more accomplished player, even if far from a rock star, and get some good sense of achievement from it as well as being able to entertain myself. And if it went unused a Les Paul guitar looks pretty cool. Even if it stood as a silent monument of underachievement it could just as easily spur me to pick it up again in the future.

There was also an option of getting a new DVD player, as my current machine has developed an intermittent fault that can delay its time to power-on significantly. With Blu-ray effectively becoming the default HD content media it makes sense to upgrade to a Blu-ray player, even without and HD TV, but the players are still far too expensive to upgrade merely to replace a system. I'd only buy a Blu-ray player now if I was wanting to adopt the new format. But because Blu-ray could possibly become widely adopted within a year it is also not a good time to buy a replacement DVD player that isn't Blu-ray, at least not a mid-range player.

This leaves buying a guitar as the only considered option to spend my bonus on. There may be other options but I can't think of anything in particular and my interest in playing has been renewed recently. There is the possibility of waiting for a little while to see if another option appears, but as I am taking my bike in for a service and MOT at the end of the week, and a bike service can always be fairly expensive, I knew that I ought to spend the bonus money before the service just in case that expense makes me reluctant to spend a chunk of money on something potentially trivial.

I decided to buy an Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I went for the Custom above the Standard for the extra styling afforded to the Custom. I was ready to buy a Custom Plus in vintage sunburst, liking the looks of the finish, but I had a little trouble finding one on-line that was in stock. I wanted the sunburst-finished Plus model because I find the plain black of the Custom to be exceedingly drab and it hides the shape of the guitar too much. However, the plain white version of the Custom was available in most places. Whilst I hadn't considered the white version before I found it growing on me for some reason. Even though it didn't have the wood grain finish or colour gradiant of the vintage sunburst it seemed to have a certain style about it.

It was over the weekend that I thought I'd seen a white Les Paul hanging off James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers. I did a quick search for some images and confirmed this, and I realised that this is why I was attributing a certain style to the white Les Paul. On the one hand, it could be seen to be a little lacking in independent thought or uninspired to buy a guitar based on which rock star is playing it rather than basing the decision solely on opinion. On the other hand, no one lives in a vacuum and it is difficult to separate opinion from external determining factors, and at least I am not convincing myself that buying this guitar will make me look or play like Bradfield. I also doubt many people would be critical of someone who bought the Slash edition Les Paul, and I can have my own people to look up to.

I ordered the Epiphone Les Paul Custom in Antique White. It cost a little more than the Standard model, and a little more than I thought I would be spending, but I am treating myself with this guitar. I'm quite looking forward to its arrival now. So that's my bonus gone, plus a bit more. Had I known I would be buying the guitar I may not have bought on impulse a lovely and simple painting of a parisian socialite that I noticed whilst walking past a local art shop on Friday. But now I have a new guitar and a new painting to enjoy.

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