Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday 5 for June 24: Consumer Reports

Friday 5 for June 24: Consumer reports

The questions as usual come from the Friday 5 website.

1. When did you last eat or drink something purchased from a truck or other wheeled vehicle?

I used to go to a variety of lunch trucks in the past. The last time I went to one was probably in 2019, months before the COVID-19 attack happened. Since then I have not returned. Also prices for plate lunches spiked A LOT higher since the start of that darn pandemic.

2. When did you last purchase something previously owned?

A couple of $1 record albums that I bought from the Thrift Shop. New vinyl records are now WAY TOO EXPENSIVE! Thanks millennials for spiking the prices higher. Ugh! You folks should have just stayed with digital.

3. When did a purchase most recently exceed your expectations?

For any purchase to exceed my expectations, it has to 1. last longer than 10 years and 2. be affordable. That said, many of the cameras I use are older than 10 years. Some of my audio gear is old and analog. Love em. We need more devices that do not connect to the internet.

My Toyota Corolla is way older than 10 years. I certainly got my money's worth on that car, which I bought used many, many years ago. Things that cost more than $100 should last a long time. I use a 10 year time frame to gauge the quality of expensive consumer items. Long ago when you spent serious money, you expected things to last a very long time.

4. When did you last overpay for something because you needed it right away?

Gasoline! Damn that Biden. The Keystone Pipeline should be re-opened and our national policy should go to making our nation oil independent free of expensive foreign crude from the Middle East, Indonesia and Russia! Trump had that right.

Like everyone else that drives, we are severely impacted by the price of gas at the pump. Per gallon, while we are not the highest in the nation, $5.50+ cents per gallon truly bites, even if I only drive a Corolla!

5. Among recent purchases, what was the best bargain?

I got two FREE (with coupon discounts, etc.) Paul McCartney CDs from Amazon this week.... Egypt Station from 2018 and McCartney III from 2020 (see photo at top). Happy belated birthday Paul... 80 years strong and thanks for the decades of great music! Yeah!

Overall, CDs are now a way better bargain than new vinyl LPs. They cost way less, and like it or not, are more durable than record albums (which I still love, thank God I already have a big collection of many classic titles) and sound great even when bought used. Can't say that about vinyl record albums, especially when you take a chance on used titles (though I have been lucky with most).

Record albums should be $8 to $9 for a standard black vinyl issue as new. Clearly less than $15. I was cringing when reissues of LPs that I bought brand new for $8 or even less back in the day, are now selling for over $20 a pop and more recently with an industry price hike, selling for more than $30. I mean is a $30 copy of The Beatles Abbey Road worth it when a perfectly fine CD can be had for half the price? Duh! Good thing I have both the CD and a vinyl record copy of this classic album in my collection.

As for new music released this century I am more than happy with a digital download or a regular CD. Musicians of the current generation are not worthy for issuance on vinyl and the high prices that go with that.

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