Sunday, February 26, 2012

Do you need the best of the best?

I get so tired of everyone wanting/needing the best of everything. Who do they think they are, anyway? I do realize that having the best of something is a good feeling, but is having the absolute best always necessary? Not a bit. Not one damned bit. Let me try and pony up some examples for you.


All one has to do is peek at the ingredients list on both generic and name-brand medications to see that they are identical, folks. I cannot for the life of me understand why Tylenol would be any better than Walgreen's acetaminophen. Whether you pay big money or small money, the headache disappears. You don’t have to be an economics major to see that.

BMX Bikes

This one really gets to me. I never raced on the pro-circuit when I was a kid, but I know a few who did. Those kids needed better bikes than a Huffy, and I understood that. But my immediate circle of friends rode through the hills on dirt trails and did a lot of wheelies and low-level jumps. My Huffy survived over ten years of abuse, and I never once cracked anything. Why a seven-year-old kid would need a $300 BMX bike is beyond me. What does a kid like that weight, anyhow? Fifty pounds? Sixty-five pounds for the oddly big ones? Trust me, that kind of weight isn’t going to break any department store BMX bike. It just won’t.

Vehicle upgrades

Oh, this one is a biggie. I’m in a Jeep club, and trust me when I say that if you aren’t buying a lift from Rubicon Express, you are wasting your money according to 90% of the members in the club. That information is just simply 100% false. I don’t baby my Jeep Cherokee when I hit the trail. I’m rough on stuff, and I run my Jeep hard. The “cheap” Rusty’s 4.5” lift I put on in 2007 is still going strong today, and flexes like a sumbitch. In fact, I’ve pulled many an RE owner out of a good stuck. It’s all how ya drive, not what ya spend. That’s a fact.

The newest thing

It’s like an epidemic, people wanting something just because it’s the latest edition. I’m a chess-engine fan, but I’m a fan for the right reasons. The engine that I mainly use to analyze games is rated at about 3,100 Elo (for you non-chess lovers, that’s extremely high. The best human plays at the 2800 level). Yet, engines are coming out that play at the 3,300 level, and folks go wild over them. Why? For what we need, 3,100 is just fine, friends. Unless you are looking to have a competitive engine (they do hold tournaments), there is no reason to spend your money on the latest and greatest.

The same goes for phones. I realize that iPhone 4 is newer than iPhone 3, but if iPhone 3 is working for you, why do you feel you *must* upgrade? It’s the same with computers, too; unless you are a hard-core gamer who really and truly needs the power, or maybe you somehow rely on your computer for a living, why do you need the newest, fastest thing on the market? The second you leave the computer store with your new laptop, it’s already outdated. Why worry about it? Enjoy it, use it, be impressed with it for what it is. Don’t let it eat at you that someone has something better; someone is always going to have something better. Live with it.

Items in general

If I tell a friend I got a nice new pocket knife, he’ll ask why it isn’t a Benchmade, Spyderco, or a Kershaw. Umm, how about because I actually use my knives and sometimes lose them? A good Gerber or Buck is fine with me; I don’t have to spend over $100 to get a quality knife.

If I show off a nice flashlight I recently purchased, I’ll be asked why I didn’t go with SureFire or some other tactical brand. Dude, relax. The one I got has five LED lights in it and has gotten me out of *plenty* of jams. I don’t need something that will light up the dark side of the moon, I need something that’ll help me see at night, and my $10 Eveready never, ever lets me down.

Or, maybe I show them my new Casio watch, and I get asked why I didn’t get a watch like theirs which weighs five pounds, is shock-resistant and can be submerged for ten miles before the face cracks. Also, it cost more than my grandparents’ first car.

Umm, do any scuba diving lately, Mr. Indestructible Timepiece? Taken any bullets you need to block with your wristwatch? C’mon, friends, it’s a watch. I got mine for $20 at the Walgreen's and it’s literally one of the best watches I’ve ever owned.

Well, you get the point. I could go on and on, here, but I guess I’ll stop because my keyboard is smoking. Folks, please, while the best is nice to have and sometimes even necessary, I’d be willing to bet you could get away with second or even third best and never know the damned difference in most cases.

Shop wisely. :)


kat said...

Derek, I agree. Maybe you need some new friends. These are free...well sometimes. lol

kat said...

Derek, I agree. Maybe you need some new friends. These are free...well sometimes. lol

URWelcome said...

Most of the time the cheaper option will do. Usually people bag on what you've got because they have no self worth, and they believe that having better things than other people will fill the hole inside them.

Like you said though, sometimes the "best" is warranted. For instance, over my lifetime I have had countless TVs last for about a year and then take a crap on me. I finally looked up one of the best TVs, and talked to my friends that have owned that brand for over 5 years and never had a problem, then quickly threw the cash at the best buy employee's forehead and said "I'll take it".

It also depends on what the person happens to be "into". If a person for some reason just loves nice watches, then I can see him paying a ton of money for nice watches, because its not about knowing what time it is.. its about liking nice watches. I personally like to go to nice places to eat. I understand that getting a $1 burger from jack in the box will technically give me the calories I need to survive, but thats not what I'M into. The problem comes in when some dolt thinks that he is into "everything that is expensive".. Thats just a waste.

What you have to be careful of though, is trying to decide for someone else, what THEY should be into.. Its none of your business. I have many tech friends that love nice watches.. I don't understand it at all.. they all have cell phones with the time on them. But the fact is, its not my business to tell them what they should like, or not like.