How to Choose the Best Futon for Your Gaming Room

Welcome to your gaming room; your private oasis from the organic, real-time world. Here, you can kick back, close the door and the curtains, and immerse yourself in thousands of virtual worlds that are all way better than the one outside that door. So how do you make the most out of your gaming room? Furnishings, that’s how. You don’t need a lot of furnishings in your little Fortress of Solitude, but arguably, one of the most important pieces you need is the place where you’re going to plant your bottom while you’re playing.

Seating is an incredibly personal choice. Your butt is going to be in that seat for potentially hours on end, so whatever makes your rump happy is the best choice for you. But, I humbly suggest that you consider multi-function furniture, especially if your gaming room may be pulling double duty as a guest room.

To this end, I present the futon. It’s a couch. With low to moderate effort, it’s also a true, lay-flat bed. What’s not to like? This rec room staple has been a hit since the 1970s, and with good reason. Let’s say that, for whatever reason, you decided to have a friend come over for some beers and multi-player time instead of playing online like normal people. Hey, whatever. You do you. After many bouts and many beers, your field sobriety test tells your friend that driving himself home at this hour is probably not a good idea. So, where’s your friend sleeping? All spooned up with you in your bed? Heck no! After a few artful twists, turns, and curse words, you and your inebriated friend have turned the couch you were sitting on all night into a reasonably comfortable bed! Sleep tight, buddy.

But how do you choose the right futon for your gaming room? Good question. In most cases, the futon chooses you. Think about it. Has anyone ever actually bought a futon for themselves? Or were they all just gifted whenever someone moved out of a dorm room? It’s like the fruitcake of furniture.

If you do somehow find yourself in the position of wanting to buy a futon, there are a few things to look out for.

First, obviously, is the price. This is going to be a piece that you’re going to spend a lot of time on. Whether you’re sitting on it or sleeping on it, you’re going to want to invest in a piece that will hold up to extended use. While the most expensive futon you can buy isn’t necessarily going to be the best futon, it’s probably a safe bet that it’ll be better than the bargain basement option. Your time is as valuable as your money, so wasting it on looking at cheap futons you’re going to hate isn’t going to help anyone. Start at the mid-range for your budget and work your way up from there. Your butt will thank you.

The second most important thing to look for is comfort. Futon mattresses are notoriously thin, lumpy and generally uncomfortable. This is less of an issue if you’re younger, but with the Nintendo Generation getting uncomfortably close to middle age, finding a futon with a nice, thick, supple mattress is going to make that last hour you have left in your day after the kids go to sleep that much more pleasant. You also want to watch out for metal frames. Many a colorful turn of phrase has been uttered when an already aching head has suddenly and violently met with the unyielding metal arm of a futon.

Third, ease of operation. Though it’s convenient to have a piece of furniture that is both couch and bed, in most cases, it’s a little bit of a chore to make the darn thing change from one state to the other and back. The couch to bed conversion also gets exponentially more difficult as the number of beers in the case decreases over the course of the evening. Flipping, folding, pressing little buttons that always pinch your fingers. Who needs that? What’s true for cars is also true for futons – fewer bells and whistles means less hassle in the long run. When shopping, look for the simplest mechanism to convert your sofa to a bed that you can find. Drunk you will greatly appreciate it. For the truly lazy, there are even motorized futons on the market these days that convert with the touch of a button.

Other than that, it’s a matter of personal preference, taste and style. Surprisingly, there are a lot of options available to fit many different types of décor. If you haven’t inherited one, there’s a futon out there for you. Good luck on your quest.

How to Find an Electric Guitar for Your Favorite Guitar Nerd

The late Les Paul, who is often regarded as the single greatest contributor to the development of the electric guitar, was fond of saying that he was impelled toward his choice of instrument by his mother, because it was both easier to perform while seated, and that “it avoided the embarrassment of always having something in your mouth”.

Be that as it may, the choice of any instrument for a prospective musician should draw upon Alexander Pope’s famous observation that “all our knowledge is ourselves to know”. Of all the possible choices within the broad spectrum of the “tools of the trade”, probably only the piano offers wider exposure to the general public, and the developing guitarist also has the advantages of both a relatively-small initial investment, and the adaptability to a wide range of musical venues.

So if you’re favored with a prospective Chet Atkins or Joni Mitchell among your family, it’s in everyone’s interest to balance the potential of an emerging artist with the considerable commitment and expense of finding a quality electric guitar best suited to the task. It can be very difficult to project the image of a competent and well-educated shopper when the term “fret” is only linked to concern over possibility of a low return on a substantial investment.

If we’ve reached a stage where a budding musician has advanced beyond the “bare bones” and low potential for damage common to most loaned or “starter” instruments, the odds are that that student has also familiarized him/herself with much of the jargon common to those within his/her circle of fiends who share a common interest, but this probably is not the case for parents or other family members who may be called upon to finance the endeavor.

It is at this point that the expertise of an educator, or a person with greater exposure to both the basics of the instrument chosen, and finer points of the arts scene itself, can prove most useful. Once considered a secondary subject within the broad spectrum of education, the teaching of the basics of music, and its appreciation, has become recognized as so central so central that it is regarded as one of the cornerstones of a well-rounded general education. The recognition of this trend, and the availability of more-comprehensive methods to address it, has fueled the growth of new music programs and alternatives — not all of them linked to the traditional school-district-based programs of an earlier day.

And it might also be noted at this point that if our aspiring musician’s dedication has advanced to a point where a lifelong interest — possibly even the pursuit of a career in music — materializes, a quality musical instrument will retain its value, and a market of experienced dealers and resellers has likely emerged, and can be consulted.