When Less Could Be Better

When I stumbled upon this video, I was reminded of an incident 9 years ago when me and my wife rented a pretty and cozy little cabin by the lake at a resort at beautiful Lake Tahoe. The “little house on the prairie” πŸ˜‰ was almost perfect but the bed was nowhere to be found. My wife went bonkers and was about to make a scene at the front office when I discovered that the bed was cleverly embedded at the wall close to the fireplace area. It was a Murphy bed – a space saver to the max. All we needed to do was pull it down when we wanted to use it. An ugly confrontation averted. I bet the wife didn’t relish the thought of having our 2nd honeymoon on a sofa bed πŸ™‚

Less could be better. Paradoxical maybe but how true. I’m not a die hard environmentalist and I’m not about to argue about footprint and carbon emission. It would be another blog topic. But I do agree on the smart and productive use of space. My point is more on the stress of managing the extraneous, unnecessary stuff that lie around our home. Anytime you increment the number of your possessions, the stress of managing them increases. It could be costly too. Changing batteries of 8 wrist watches could cost you money let alone the drag of taking each them to the watch store. Remember the days you were a student and your only possessions were a handful of clothes and books ? That was mighty stress liberating wasn’t it?Β Less could be better isn’t gospel but practical wisdom especially during this holiday season when our penchant for acquisitiveness lurks like an evil shadow tempting us to break our wallets. Β Once again, it is the season not only to be merry, but to scrounge around for bargains on anything and amass them at our castles. The say we effectively only use 20% of our wardrobe. 80% of this 20% we consider our favorite, wearing them more often. This translates to the reality that 80% of our clothes are no more than closet junk.

What are we going to do with our old CDs, DVDs and the old VHS tapes gathering dust in the basement? I have stopped buying DVDs and CDs since I bought my Apple TV unit last year. I now only stream movies directly from Netflix, Itunes or my cable provider to my HDTV. My Apple TV unit helps to make this happen. I’ve had enough with downloading movies. I like the idea of watching a movie on demand for free, if possible but I really don’t mind paying. I buy my music from Itunes and load them on my Ipod, tablet or smartphone. I can stream music from my PC directly ( via wifi) to my Apple TV unit for playback onto my entertainment system. Oh yes – and what about those pictures that rot in our stacks of photo albums ? Some of them are priceless memorabilia. Thanks to digital cameras. All we need to do nowadays is find storage for our jpeg files. Here’s one neat solution – the wireless memory eye-fi card that transmits a snapshot instantaneously to a laptop, smartphone or your virtual cloud computing provider Β ( you need access to a wifi access point). The cloud option ( some are free depending on storage size) isΒ really neat because once data is uploaded you can download it to any device – smartphone, laptop, tablet anytime, anywhere as long as you have internet connectivity. Digitizing and virtualizing is the name of the game these days. The cloud is one heck of a resource where you can drop a file and access it from any device, anywhere through the internet. But of course there are trade offs. Security is a paramount concern. What if your cloud provider gains unauthorized access to your files ? Sure you can encrypt your files to secure them but what if the cloud provider goes bankrupt and disappears from the face of the earth? IMO we should only place files that we can afford to lose. Naturally these would be the type of files that won’t break our hearts or our piggy banks in case we lose them.


Economic times are tough and consumer goods manufacturers are willing to slash prices close to the bone to boost sales and reduce inventory before the year ends. The celebrated Black Friday event in the US made me prepare to cross the border to scout for an Android tablet. I was hoping to find a blockbuster deal on a Samsung Galaxy or Asus Transformer model. But days before the event, RIM, the makers of Blackberry, announced a whopping discount of $300 on all the Playbook tablet models in Canada. The short end of the story is I took the bait and ended up with a 32G Playbook. I cancelled my planned trip. The Playbooks were all wiped out in the city on the first day of the sale. I had to order mine online. I was fortunate enough to find one on a Sunday night, the day after the sale.

The real question is – do I really need the tablet ? Not absolutely. It is something I wanted and if I find a real good deal on a professional grade tablet – not the wishy-washy no name ones – and if the price is right, I would part with my dough. And I did. Most consumers think this way methinks. We’re all scouting for good deals, even stuff we don’t absolutely need but it the price plummets to the bottom of the cliff, we would take the plunge.

Taking about price tag – here’s a familiar song from Jessie J most of you already heard by now. It’s also called PRICE TAG. Here’s a version from a future competition to Jessie J. She’s only 3 years old but give her a bit more time and she could give Jessie J a run for her money πŸ™‚

16 Responses

  1. Buy IKEA!
    If you want “brain & pinky” to take over the world – go Cloud computing! >: D
    Not crazy with tablets. Can’t create programs in it. : (
    I love that kid! She reminds me of my daughter when she was 3. : )

    • IKEA designs are very functional and reasonably priced too. It’s probably the only place in town here where you can buy 75 cents hotdogs and 1 dollar real breakfasts. Gives patrons the feeling that they’ve come for real deals πŸ™‚

      Agree. Tablets are consuming devices and not designed for data creation therefore it makes it very logical to work with cloud computing. The only exception would be the Asus Transformer that comes with an optional docking station. It can do everything that a laptop does and will probably the only laptop with a true Android operating system today. This month they will release the quad core model. It is for this reason that it was on my list – tablet cum laptop.

      Isn’t she a darling ? What’s with the earphones eh ? She’s on tempo too ! πŸ™‚

  2. Fortunately I don’t have to rent a storage room for my stuff yet but I do want to get rid of personal junk before the year ends.

    Consumer items are overpriced in the first place. I also think the cost of tables are still high. It his high time that they drop down. I have my sights on a 50 in. HDTV this holiday.

    • I was planning to rent a storage room for my stuff a few months ago but changed my mind 😐

      True. I think prices will still drop in view of the tough economic times. Hey, good luck on your search. Get ready for Boxing Day πŸ˜‰

      • the Apple TV is in danger from the new wave on smart TVs that invaded the market this year. So are the other media players like Ruku.

        • agree.. the smart TV integrates almost everything a media player does like Apple TV and Ruku. Watch Apple itself making HDTV sets soon to compete with the consumer smart TV led by Samsung, LG and Panasonic

  3. I got a ton of CD music gathering dust 😦 I also have my own little junkyard. I’m not a tablet fan coz I can do my facebook on my smartphone. I also have a laptop. But the real issue is I have no money to buy a tablet lol πŸ™‚

    that little girl is so adorable ! so cute.

    • same here. I have a ton of bootleg DVD’s too, some of them I haven’t even watched. A smartphone could suffice for a lot of people, esp if you’re doing mainly social networking. Now that I have a tablet, it’s actually great. I can now browse the net while watching TV from my couch. It’s just so handy.

      She is sin’t she ? No wonder why she got 6 million hits πŸ™‚

  4. we all should really take stock of what we have gathering dust in our houses before we even attempt to buy another item.

    i recently just gathered a huge suitcase full of clothes i never wear, or haven’t worn in years. the clothes along with the suitcase are going to salvation army.

    i never get tempted by the black friday ads. for one, nothing can make me wake up early to go to the store, elbow people along the way to get to the item i wanted “so much”

    happy holidays in case you don’t post anything before christmas. may the season bring you and your family peace and love.

    • clothes and shoes are probably the stuff that create most of our junk, some of them spilling to the garage. Good idea to donate. We did donate lots of them too. My daughter had amassed a ton of stuffed toys. We also donated them.

      I know, the rush could be deadly. Remember the stampede that happened last year ? It was awful.

      Merry Xmas to you in advance too but not to worry I will still have a post or two before the year ends πŸ™‚

  5. i think those kinds of beds are cool. i want one if i will put up my own house haha me thinks space savers are cool. i’m a minimalist. i really try to avoid clutter or at least i try not to bring it with me πŸ˜† speaking of price tags, i bought a very expensive doll over the weekend. it was for my friend’s daughter and i love her to bits. i was looking at the price tag and i was like, “why the hell did she have to want you?” πŸ˜†

    • If you like a king bed ( which I prefer) then it would be difficult to put it down from the wall. A king is a much better playground methinks πŸ˜‰

      Good for you…Ninang. I bet the little girl would have a ball getting her dandy gift πŸ™‚

  6. less has always been better. ang hirap mag manage ng clutter.

    • I will never buy CD’s any longer… although my wife has just bought a Michael Buble Xmas CD πŸ˜‰ As for DVD’s I am only buying collectibles – like the HBO war series PACIFIC which would go on sale after Xmas. I hesitate to add any more inventory to my already dusty list.

  7. Since I’l be turning 60 in a couple of years, I promised myself that I will now try to reduce my belongings to a couple of luggages; close, I’m down to 4 and had given away a lot of stuff.

    But then reading your post about the new gadgets, and since I’m planning on getting a new dslr as well as new accessories, I doubt it if I could actually manifest my goal to 2 pieces if luggages.

    • man, now you’re having an all year round vacation ! I’m jealous.

      As for new DSLR. now is the time to buy them here in NA. The prices are incredibly attractive ! Again, you got to be wary about technology. They tend to be rapidly improving and you’ll end up upgrading all the time !

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