Jason and the Argonauts

Hmm... I haven't posted in quite some time, so I think I should. Unfortunately, there is little to report. Acutally, that's an inaccurate statement. There is nothing to report. That's right. There is absolutely nothing cool, crappy or stressful going on in my life right now. Nada. And to tell you the truth, I'm kind of enjoying it.
Christmas was fun. Of note, besides my pink cube of power, I recieved a sewing machine. This thing has so many features, I have serious doubts about my ability to ever use them all. Most of the features the manual talks about are things that I have no idea what they even are, let alone how or when or why to use them. (That last sentence was a grammar nightmare, and I'm sorry.) Fortunately, the sewing machine has a 25-year warranty on it, so I've got some time to figure it all out.
For New Year, I flew up to El Paso to stay with Max's family. As usual, I had a great time. For someone like me, who was born in a swamp at or perhaps even below sea level, the mountainous desert of El Paso is a challenging environment. Nosebleeds and feeling like I'm being freeze-dried are constant problems. Yet I always manage to have a fun visit, despite these complaints. I guess that means I really like his family!
Back at home, the most exciting event does not directly involve me. No, I am merely a spectator in "The Quest for the Perfect Game/DVD Holder". I should stress to you that this quest is epic. In the past week, I have personally been to Ikea twice in the pursuit of this elusive goal. In fact, at this point, it may be accurate to refer to the game/dvd holder as "the golden fleece". It is that kind of epic.
In my estimation, there are two types of people in this world, consumers and engineers. Say you have all of your games and dvds stacked in neatish-but-still-rather-disorganized piles. A consumer identifies the need for some type of containment system. Usually, that's about as far ahead as they get before hopping in the car to visit "the buying places". Perhaps, if they're especially clever, the consumer may take some measurements of the space where they hope their new possession will reside. But most consumers take a more fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants approach; "I need _______. I can spend about $____. Let's see what they've got." Everything else is negotiable. This flexibility offers the consumer a wide variety of options, but may lead to difficulties in making a final decision. Since so many items would "work", no single piece jumps up and screams "Buy me!" At this point, the consumer usually buys whatever seems to appeal to them most at the time, takes it home, and is generally satisfied with the purchase, even if it requires the reorganization of furniture or is in some other way slightly inconvenient.
The engineer, on the other hand, envisions not only the function, but also the form of the new item. While a consumer identifies the need for "some type of containment system", an engineer decides approximately (or perhaps even exactly!) how many games and dvds the new item must have the capacity to hold, the structural integrity required of the item, the exact future placement of the item, precise specifications of the item's width, height, depth, number of shelves, color, materials, etc. In short, before even thinking about getting in the car, an engineer has a rather concrete, exacting vision of the item they wish to purchase. The trouble here is that the engineer's vision may be so refined, so narrow, so novel even, that the desired product is not commercially available. Nothing is quite right, and nothing short of quite right will do. At this point, the engineer will either go home in disgust without purchasing anything, or will embark on a campaign of design - purchasing items, modifying them to suit their evil needs, bending reality to their will, and creating for themselves that which they desire.
I, for the most part, am a consumer, and I find this engineering process facsinating to observe. I just hope that at the end of it all, the engineers of the world experience about 100 times more contentment with their solutions than we consumers generally find with ours. It seems like they put in at least that much more effort!