Saturday, November 13, 2010

To Infinity, and Beyond!

My biggest hobby as a kid growing up was Lego's. My brother and I have over 200 Lego sets combined. I have really creative instincts, so Lego's were the perfect thing for me. I would build giant cities and ships and devote every inch of my bedroom floor to building new sets. I took a break from buying Lego sets for 3 or 4 years, until I was notified that Lego came out with a new theme for their sets: Toy Story. I immediately went to and previewed all of their new Toy Story sets. I started drooling. The Toy Story trilogy are my favorite animated movies of all time. It was impossible for me to resist these new sets.

Every year for Christmas from about age 6 to 16, I asked for anywhere from 3 to 6 Lego sets. My mom asked for a few Christmas ideas for me, and I couldn't help but to put a Toy Story Lego set on my list. Lego made sets from each of the three movies. It was impossible for me to decide on just one set, so I ended up putting four sets on my Christmas list. The decision was rather high effort because of several aspects. First, I narrowed down the sets to put on my list through noncompensatory decision making. I eliminated all sets that I figured to be overpriced for their value, then I eliminated the remaining sets that were unappealing to me.

The remaining Lego sets went through a compensatory decision making process. I read consumer reviews on all the sets, and analyzed the cost-to-benefit ratio of each set. I had very high motivation, ability, and opportunity for the decision. Finally, after much thought, I narrowed it down to four quality Toy Story Lego sets to put on my list. I was very satisfied with my decision, and I can't wait to see which, if not all, of the sets I get for Christmas. Hopefully I was a good boy this year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Choosing the Right Horn

In writing these blogs, I have noticed that I tend to more High-Effort purchases than other Low-Effort purchases. I am not entirely sure why this is, but in examining my behavior as a consumer I tend to make expensive purchases after saving money for some time; just an interesting side note. Anyways, almost a year ago I bought a new trumpet…cost was $1,100, which was really a steal. It was originally purchased for $1,800 and was really in mint condition. It had been in a case for most of its life. When I began looking for a new horn, I had a few factors influencing my exposure. My mother, for one, because she is a professional trumpet player – she plays with the Lafayette Symphony and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestras and also with the Indianapolis Brass Choir. She is well known and respected in numerous circles in the trumpet field. She has only played on one type of trumpet her entire life, and sort of pushed me in the direction of Bach Stradivarius’, originally. Another thing affecting my exposure to different brands was time restraints and location. I don’t have time to drive up to Chicago trumpet manufacturing plants and stores in Bloomington, Indianapolis, etc. Not with 23 credit hours, a fiancé, a dog, and now 3 jobs. It was just was not possible. I managed to try a few horns in Muncie, Indiana but ended up buying a horn that another trumpet player here in Anderson was trying to sell. Not that it matters to many people, but it a Schilke S22 large bore B-flat horn. I actually have an exact copy of it in C, as well, which is ultimately the reason I purchased the B-flat that I did. I don’t think I can call it brand loyalty, or even habituation, but I know that it was a good quality instrument from manufacturers that I trusted.

The "Big Question"

Recently I bought an engagement ring for my now fiancé. It was another High-Effort purchase on my part because of the cost involved and the limited funds that I had to work with. Because it was High-Effort, I shopped around quite a bit to try to find the best value for my price range. While I was looking at different styles of rings and diamonds, I did a lot of perceiving through vision. Size obviously attracts attention, but color and quality are really what makes the difference. I looked at the Shane Company downtown, various mall jewelers (don’t ever do that), and finally found one at the Helzberg Diamond store in Plainfield, IN. The diamond was not quite as large as I had wanted it to be, however it was not too small, either. The clarity and quality of the diamond is what made the difference, along with the customer service and protection plan that was included from the store. As a side note, we were on the beach at sunset in Siesta Keys, Florida on New Years Eve, all dressed to go out to dinner with her parents, aunt and uncle, and grandparents when got on one knee and asked the question. After a few seconds of silence and a small tear only one word was audible: “Yes.”

Who Let the Dogs Out??

Two summers ago my then girlfriend, now fiancé, and I bought a puppy. Her name is Bella and she is a half Yorkie, half Shitzu mix…we think. Belle was found on’s web site. People post pets wanted for adoption from numerous pet adoption agencies. We searched many different breeds – how hyper they were, how much they shed, life expectancy, size, you name it. It was very High-Effort on our part because she is a part of our lives now (Kata, my fiancé, calls her our baby if that tells you anything). We almost bought a different one; a rat terrior named Toby. At the last minute the adoption agency gave Toby to a different family, and Kata was devastated until we found Bella. I don’t think we could have found a better dog to add to our family.