So, we didn’t really do any “Black Friday” shopping today, but we did need to get some “paper goods” (euphamism there for toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc…) and that’s why we have a Sam’s Club card, so we can buy paper goods by the ton.

But because we were there we couldn’t help but notice that they sell more than paper goods at Sam’s Club.

Now, I don’t shop much, and so every time I go to a store like Sam’s club, it’s a sort of culture shock for me. Especially for electronic goods.

Today I saw wide flat-screen TVs in the 40 – 60″ range, some at prices close to $1,000. It seems just yesterday that such a wondrous device cost ten times that amount. Up until now we had always considered such things to be the living room equivalent of a Lear Jet. Now suddenly they are low enough to tempt us.

Meade had a computerized go-to telescope there for $200, a 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain model. If these are anywhere near the quality of their previous 90mm Maks, then this is an incredible buy. In fact, if you have ever thought about buying a telescope, this may be the one to buy. I’ve paid $200 for eyepieces in the past. And this comes with two eyepieces as well. Five years ago something like this would have cost several thousand dollars.

MP3 players ranged from $50 to a couple hundred dollars, but the expensive ones were miniature movie players, compared to the black-and-white screen 3rd generation iPod I have, for the same or less cost.

Laptop computers were as low as $500.

Digital cameras in the multi-megapixel range were basically children’s toys. In fact I think you can probably buy a 3 megapixel camera for less than you can buy the Star Wars DVDs.

We were good though, we didn’t buy any of the tempting electronic doodads. We went there for paper towels and other paper goods, and that’s what we bought.

At the rate things are going, the price of a 42″ LCD HDTV and our budget are likely to cross somewhere in 2008. So I guess I should start building that entertainment center to hold it.