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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 05.04.06

RICKY BLUE

The advantages of not keeping up with the Joneses

There are a lot of break-ins on the West Island of Montreal. Perhaps they're due to the fact that many houses are not easily seen from the street; perhaps because many people leave their house empty for weeks at a time; but most probably because thieves know that a West Island house is a bonanza for state of the art technology.

And that kind of booty is crook candy.

Thieves love electronic equipment. It is easy to sell. Everybody wants it. But there are exceptions. Apparently if a thief breaks into your house he will leave the VCR behind. Yes, you know a technology is obsolete when even the thieves won't take it.

This information was music to my ears because I still use a VCR recorder; years after DVD players have taken over.

Why? There are so many benefits. Not only are VCR machines becoming theft proof but last summer I realized that I can pick up VHS tapes that once cost $20 to $30 at garage sales for a mere dollar each.

Is being cheap a character flaw?

A couple of years ago I finally decided to upgrade from my old black and white Zenith TV. I hung around Future Shops and Sony stores for over a year trying to figure out the best thing to do.

There were big screen projection TVs, Plasma TVs, and old-fashioned tube TVs. During that year prices for 32-inch tube TVs fell from $2000 to $1500. So, I finally purchased a Sony 32 inch flat screen TV. The price was $1,250.

I was happy - for about a year. Then I saw that the same model was being advertised for $900. Now the darn thing is down to $600. And this is happening to all electronic items.

There is no good time to buy. It's like Nortel stock. Whenever you buy it can be guaranteed that it will be cheaper next year. In fact, the cathode ray tube TV that I acquired is now obsolete. Although it has a nice clear and bright picture soon because of high definition broadcasting I will soon have two black bands along the top and bottom of my picture.

But I can live with that. Because I know that no one will ever steal my Sony 32-inch. It is heavier than my refrigerator!

Because of my character flaw I don't own an iPod. They are expensive and always being stolen. But no one will steal my Walkman. There is nothing as un-cool as a Walkman. But an iPod will cost over $300. A Walkman goes for $20. And with a Walkman I can listen to all my favourite music.

I don't have to download. I already own all the music I like on cassette tapes. Remember them? And I still have a cassette machine in my old minivan. That means I can listen to my favourite old tapes there as well. I mean, it's not like any better music has come out since then.

I can see the thieves trying to unload the technology they have taken from my house. "We'll take 50 bucks for the lot." They say. The fence replies: "Tell you what, you give me 50 bucks and I'll take it all to the dump for you."

When someone asks, who is behind the cutting edge? I answer: me. I'm far behind the cutting edge -- and proud of it.

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