I Never Win Anything

You hear lots of people say “I never win anything” – but in my case it’s actually the truth.

Well, OK. Even in my case there have been two exceptions. In 1984 I won a cake at a cakewalk at the Fourth of July celebration in Gauley Bridge, WV. Since the kind individual who baked that cake is almost certainly dead by now (cakewalk cakes being baked, almost invariably by sweet little old ladies) I can finally reveal the fact that the cake I won was quite nasty and almost entirely inedible.

Once you know, you NewEgg.

The second exception was just after I got out of the Army in 1990. I had a part-time job at a convenient store (also in Gauley Bridge) and I was working one night when they installed the new machines for the brand new WV Lottery. I bought a scratch-off ticket and won $10, and to this day I’ve never bought another lottery ticket of any type. That’s not because I hate lotteries or anything, but because I’m an asshole and I like being able to tell people that I have a 100% success rate with lottery tickets.

But that was pretty much it until today. Today I actually won something that doesn’t suck. So now three exceptions.

I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts that NewEgg is the only place where I buy tech stuff, right? Desktops, components, laptops, routers, cameras, gadgets, whatever. Just about everything in this house that has a microchip in it was originally purchased from NewEgg. I’ve been using them exclusively since 2003. And it’s not just me. Every serious geek I know (we have a secret club – you’re not invited) uses NewEgg.

Why? Well, they’re cheap, for one thing. How cheap? My oldest son works at Best Buy, and gets a nice employee discount on the things they carry, but I still buy everything from NewEgg. Does that answer the question? Plus, they’re lightning-fast, and offer great customer service – which I’ve rarely had to use but it’s nice to know it’s there. But perhaps most importantly, their website is well organized, easy to sift through, has lots of product info, and great pictures. That’s a pretty big deal when you’re thinking about dropping a few hundred bucks on something. You want to be able to see enough to know for sure it’s the right something.

The thing I won.

But any of you who’ve known me for any length of time have heard me recommend NewEgg, so I probably shouldn’t beat that to death here. No, the point of this post is that they had a contest at NewEgg and I won something. Yeah, no shit. Me. And it doesn’t suck.

Specifically, I won a Garmin nüvi 1370t. UPS dropped it off today. Nice little unit. It’s got bluetooth and traffic radio and all sorts of other things going on, but what I care about is that I won’t have to use my Android phone to navigate anymore. Yes, having turn-by-turn navigation on your phone is very cool, but when you’re driving down the road in busy traffic, trying to find the right exit, with your phone playing a podcast, telling you where to go, and showing you an e-mail all at the same time, then somebody calls you? Shit gets a little hairy. Having the nüvi to handle 2 of those 3 tasks (podcast playing and giving me directions) is going to make that small part of my life a lot easier.

At least it will if Vicki doesn’t take it away from me first.

- Ken

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3 comments to I Never Win Anything

  • Mike Higgins

    I’ve had a Garmin for about three years. Use it every time I travel, both the get me where I need to to and to play audiobooks. Little handheld unit is great for “touristy” traveling as well–got us everywhere we needed to go in the UK on foot, by bus or subway or by car.

    So now you are the King of the Lucky Hillbillies. Or maybe, “Lucky, King of the Hillbillies”.

    But at least you will know where you are.

  • That’s pretty cool. It would be about as unexpected for me to win.

    I played the lottery a bunch for a short period of time and it it stopped when I won $50 and added up that it I’d spent $300 to win $50. The winning actually cured me from ever playing again. The guy cashing it in couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t excited.

    I learned to get along well without a GPS for so long that it was nice to have, but I still look at the map. If you do that to compensate for the inaccuracies of the GPS, it’s great. What I like most is the psychic ability it gives you for figuring out what lane to be in and how far away the exit is. In a big truck, that is priceless information. I used to hate to hear the crunching and screaming noises before I had this. When you’re in Pittsburgh or NYC and lost, it’s great when the GPS finally gets a signal and lets you know just how lost you are. It’s like a message from God himself.

  • Congrats on the score! Looks like a sweet little unit.

    “I’ve had a Garmin for about three years. Use it every time I travel, both the get me where I need to to and to play audiobooks. ”

    But you do remember the time your Garmin tried to make us ford a river in rural Missouri, right, Mike?