Sunday, December 29, 2013

For the Love of Free Shipping

Some days, I literally have to tell Mr. Dude to stop talking.

No, I'm not being the mean wife who hates hearing what her husband has to say.

And yes, I listen to my husband talk a LOT. Because my husband can literally talk a LOT.

Sometimes, I just have to tell him to stop talking because otherwise he'd never stop. Especially when you get him talking about tech stuff. Or when he gets himself talking about tech stuff.

Tonight, for example, I asked him a simple question:
"Do you need anything from Target?"

Purpose: I have a pair of slippers I was planning on getting from there - my old ones are kaput after 5 or 6 years and it's cold here in Seattle's winter, by golly.

The nearest Target is a half hour away with traffic [darn city living] and that's just not a good life choice most days with a munchkin in tow. I also don't need enough stuff from there to justify spending that much on gas, anyways.

But Amazon [oh, Amazon - how we love thee] has taught me to despise the thought of paying for shipping.

So we play Target's game - spending enough money to trip the "free shipping" discount. I can't think of anything we need at the moment [isn't that a lovely feeling?], so I ask my dearest husband if he can think of anything.

After I throw out his first few suggestions [one of which was an Ouya console, which is another story entirely], I suggest we go for a baby monitor since we've been considering it. We live in a small apartment, so we can either hear Little Guy from anywhere we stand, or we use a baby monitor app on our phones that calls whatever number we set up when the decibel level in his room reaches a certain level [officially called the "he's awake" decibel level ... about 74, if you're counting]. But with trips and other events, we've decided it's finally time to shell out the less-than-fifty-dollars for a decent audio monitor system that's portable and doesn't require one of us to sacrifice a phone during naptime. [First world problems, I know.]

Being the good wife of a techie, I know a few questions I should ask - do I need to make sure that the device works on multiple channels so that it doesn't interfere with our wifi and other wireless devices?
[This is important, mind you, because Mr. Dude informed me that there are over 30 wireless access points within range of our apartment, and they had caused so much interference as to make his Xbox controllers disconnect the other day. While he was using one. In the middle of a game. Oh the horror! But I digress ...]
[Oh, and our Xbox friend of Gears of War 3 fame would like me to correct "XBox" in that post to "Xbox". Apparently the appropriate capitalization thereof is vitally important. I told him to get over it. And now I'm digressing again.]
You know, my father-in-law has a saying:
"If you don't want to know the answer, don't ask the question." 

I'm beginning to think it would be wise to start listening to some of his advice.

Know how Mr. Dude answered my very simple question?

I got a very loooong and drawn out discussion about how 2.4MHz is the standard on consumer devices ... but that some devices used 5.1MHz to mitigate the interference factors ... Unfortunately that frequency isn't as good at sending signals through walls, so it's almost useless anyways ... But the router has the ability to "auto-hop" between channels on the 2.4MHz frequency, so it will automatically skip over whatever channel the baby monitor is using and it won't be an issue ... Some devices will solve the issue by sending smaller packets of information that can wedge themselves into the same stream that other devices are using on that channel ... And what if he were to just replace the bad RAM in the server he's got, put a microphone on it, and have it send an email or text or something when Little Guy's noises reach the "I'm awake" decibel level? ... Ooh! That could be a fun Christmas vacation project ...

Dude. Mr. Dude. Just stop.

My feet are cold.

I want to go order my slippers.

And I'm going to order a baby monitor, too, since we need one and that makes free shipping possible.

And all that you just told me boils down to simply "Stephanie, the frequency and channels on the baby monitor don't matter because I can tweak our other devices to work around it. So just order one that has a decent range, good reviews and isn't more than $50."

Done and done.

Ten minutes later, I have an order confirmation number and the satisfaction in knowing that I found a baby monitor for under $50 with a 1000 foot range and 120 channels.


Now to go find a pair of socks to fill in for the slippers that haven't arrived yet. Darn instant gratification addiction.

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