Katy Perry Sells Catalog

“Katy Perry Sells Catalog Rights to Litmus Music for $225 Million”: https://tinyurl.com/n55a6vhw

The banks are going to end up owning the rights to the greatest songs of all time. How could the artists be so stupid? So shortsighted? So contrary to what they’ve been saying forever?

Which is the man has screwed me.

It won’t be long before you find out that some of these legendary acts who sold their rights are out of cash. How can that be, you ask? Well, in truth you can blow millions in a day, never mind a year, and never forget that Iron Mike Tyson ended up broke.

A good musical artist is a bad business person. Oh, there are exceptions, but the skill set is very different. One runs on inspiration, the other on cold hard cash.

So let’s see how this plays out…

Artist who generates cash is sitting at home when the phone rings from their lawyer or manager and they’re told some newfangled publishing company is going to pay millions for their rights.

Now imagine this. You’re sitting at home, getting stoned, watching television, and out of the blue someone calls to say they’re going to give you tens of millions of dollars. Sounds great, right?

Well, it’s especially great for your lawyer and manager, because if you make the deal they’re going to get paid. And very few managers are going to say no. Because as much as artists are screwed by labels, managers are screwed by artists even more. They don’t always have paper contracts, and that doesn’t mean they’ll get paid anyway. And the lawyer is on a percentage, or even if not, will have a huge payday. So are they going to tell you not to sell? Of course not!

Under the best of circumstances they’ll be neutral. And the artist is too ignorant to say no. It’s free money. The tax rate may go up…we’ve been hearing that canard for years now and it hasn’t happened, they can’t even get rid of carried interest, do you think they’re going to screw artists? D.C. is afraid of raising any tax, especially on vocal artists who can spread their hurt via their words and music.

Or you hear someone else has sold and you want that money too.

So it’s an incredible payday.

But it’s more like the marshmallow test.

This is what I don’t understand… If the artist has financial issues, why are these outfits paying them so handsomely? Money is not stupid. Money is smart. You may decry Wall Street, but when it comes to numbers, when it comes to spreadsheets, that’s their expertise.

So, Katy Perry is selling to Litmus, only that’s backed by the Carlyle Group. And if a bank puts up the money, it wants its money back. So the asset,  i.e. the company, i.e. the publishing rights, your rights, are going to be sold again so the bank can get its money back. Or if you sell to Hipgnosis, your rights are going to end up being controlled by Blackstone.

This is math folks, and the investors in Hipgnosis are in an uproar. You see publishing rights were a hedge, a regular return, when interest rates were low, but now they’re sky high, so it’s a bad investment, never mind the raw issue of asset value. Merck might be your best friend, Merck might be looking out for your catalog, but if you think Merck can stand up to money, if you think Merck is going to be in control forever, you were probably dumb enough to sell your rights in the first place.

And it’s not only Hipgnosis. Round Hill just sold, albeit to Concord, but Concord is majority-owned by Michigan Retirement Systems, a pension fund. And a pension fund only puts up a billion dollars if it believes it’s a safe bet, it has a fiduciary duty to all those workers.

And do you think when the bank owns your music it’s going to say no to using it…absolutely anywhere? Try getting all those rights of approval in your deal, you won’t, because the buyer doesn’t want to be hamstrung.

So, kiss your rights goodbye, all you’re going to end up with is a pile of money, which will be sliced and diced, taxed, and then what are you going to do with it? Invest it? Well, you had an incredible investment, a regular rate of return, which was recession-proof, that’s why all these investors lined up to buy these rights to begin with! The market may go up and down, but songs provide a regular return. May not be sky high, but you won’t get wiped out in a day.

Yeah, go and invest that money, if you’re smart enough to do that, if you don’t blow a chunk right out the box, which you will do, because that’s what people do when they get a windfall, they buy cars, they go on trips, they fly private… Investments go up and down. Music returns…seemingly forever, the copyright in America never seems to run out, credit Disney and Mickey Mouse. Your kids and their kids can live off your music, but you chose to blow it all.

And even worse, as referenced above, you’ve got no control. Your babies, your creations. Who knows when the muse will hit again, who knows if you’ll ever be inspired.

Even Bruce Springsteen… Don’t talk to me about inheritance taxes, if you do well with the money it’s going to be taxed too, but it won’t have this guaranteed rate of return.

As for value… Look at it this way, these companies are paying for decades-old songs. And the value keeps going up. Everybody who sold early is regretting it.

And income is only going up. The streaming outlet raises consumer prices a dollar, from ten to eleven bucks…and that’s a 10% increase on return to the rightsholders, it’s a gift! But you don’t get that gift, because you sold. And the gift is only going to grow. Streaming prices are never going down, they’re only going to go up, and new avenues of exploitation are coming down the pike on a regular basis. No one foresaw TikTok… But you won’t benefit, because you sold out.

Ah, but you’re broke. Well, if your catalog is worth so much, your income stream, you can borrow from the bank, or against your house, and pay that off over time, and you won’t be paying forever. And god forbid you’ve been living far beyond your means…maybe you can learn to live within a budget, cut back a little, it’s amazing what you can live without.

But when it all comes down, when the dust has settled, you’ll see your song in a suppository commercial. Synched to some crappy movie or TV show, something you would never approve, but it’s too late.

Money doesn’t have feelings, the bank doesn’t care about you. Nor do the successors in ownership, your songs will be tossed from company to company and all your cries about artistic freedom will be laughed at, the joke’s on you.

But you got 18x! Well, what happens after 18? Never mind 18 becomes 16 when the streaming rates go up by a buck. What looks like a good deal gets worse every day.

And there’s nothing you can do.

But life is short, you say.

But it’s also long. You could live to 90. And Katy Perry is only 38. And believe me, you won’t be writing hit songs and performing on stage in your nineties. But if you still own your songs, you will keep getting paid. After all, if you’re alive, so are your fans, who need to hear your music, which therefore never becomes worthless.

Money for control? I thought control was everything. That was the essence of being an artist, you didn’t want anybody to tell you what to do.

Well ain’t you a sucka…


If Costco or Trader Joe’s doesn’t have it, I don’t need it.

Jim McKeon


I once ‘Costco outed’ a partner from a renowned entertainment law firm when I saw him going through the stacks of cashmere sweaters.

On another occasion I ran into another partner from the same firm enjoying a hot dog.

J. Scott Wirtz


I live 100 yards from the Costco in East Harlem. Writing that sentence was such a pleasure.

– Jesse Kornbluth


Yeah, that Van Nuys Costco is my Costco. Agree that the customers are friendly. A smile when you‘re rounding a corner and there’s a traffic jam of shopping carts. Unlike the crabby scowling customers at Gelson’s. It’s just hubby and me, so we have to take a pass on much that we can’t eat or don’t have room for. I love seeing what people have in their carts. I bought a pair of joggers, a rip off of a $94 Vuori pant, for $9.99! C’mon! It’s fantastic.

Lynn Crosswaite


When you’re in Canada next week, try to make it out to a Costco. As a transplanted Canuck now living in the US, I can unequivocally say that Canadian Costco food courts are VASTLY superior to

those in the US. In Canadian Costco’s:

1. You have the choice of a hot dog or sausage for your $1.50. And they still STEAM THE BUNS and not just pull them out of a plastic bag. This is huge to the quality of the dog.

2. You can get fries. And gravy. The fries are always fresh and hot and crispy.

3. You can get poutine. With real cheese curds. And it’s AWESOME.


Marcus Thunich



I’m sure you’ve gotten loads of comments about Costco – I can share the view from Chicagoland, where everybody shops there, rich and poor, black and white. The meat and seafood is incredible, the Kirkland (their house brand) wine is known to be excellent for the price, same with the spirits. And the $4.99 whole roasted chicken? That’s not poor person food, that’s busy person food – those suburban moms who spend all their time carpooling the kids from one activity to the next know what’s good.

As for the crowds, yeah, avoid it on the weekend. I hit it on a weekday evening on the way home from work, gas up, get a big slab of salmon to toss on the grill, TP and PT, ground Kirkland coffee, a bottle of Jack ($6 cheaper than the cheapest liquor store), maybe even a pair of pants. And yes, a few free samples.

(BTW, I think all their electronics and appliances get double the warranty of the manufacturer. That’s why you buy your TV there.)


Chris Beytes


Bob, if you get the Costco Executive membership and the Costco Citi bank Visa card, you get rebates on both for purchases. You come out ahead. And gas is 20 cents per gallon cheaper at Costco.
And for clothes, my mantra is
If Costco doesn’t have it, I don’t need it.

Yes, selection is limited, but I think of it as focused. I hate clothes shopping and Costco makes the selection streamlined.

And as you discovered, you can’t beat the $1.50 hotdog and soda. (Did you see Baskets with Louie Anderson playing Zach’s mother marveling over the hot dog deal?)

And their meat is always way better than supermarkets—even better than Stater Brothers, who are better than most grocery stores.

Paul Cimusz


We love Costco. Love it! But not on weekends—and yet we will be at the Eden Prairie location with our 6 year old in his power wheelchair later today. Sometimes you suck it up and just hang with the crowds.

I suspect Costco in CA isn’t too different than Costco in MN. You’re 100% correct: It’s a fabulous melting pot. As much as we love the pricing (on meds, on most grocery items…apples are over-priced for some reason) we love the diverse humanity more. And you’re right, the hot dogs have not improved. But for $1.50 we won’t complain!

We have the Exec membership. It pays for itself in about six months of shopping for two teenagers, two adults and the 6 year old. I can see why you might not need it. But we do! And mostly for the chance to mix it up with our fellow humans.

Tim Brunelle


I’ve been going to Costco for years-  It’s a great place to go if you want volume- say, for parties. Everything is institutional sized- like for restaurants and schools, so unless you want a large amount- you have to be careful or the whole point of saving money goes out the window and you get stuck with things you don’t need.

I will tell you something interesting though – when I  was vacationing in Bordeaux a few weeks ago, touring wineries with my bike tour…I found out that some of the very high end wineries there exclusively sell their wines in the U.S. through Costco ! They happen to have an excellent wine selection there, which I never knew about. Learn something new every day!

Holly Knight


Costco used to take Amex exclusively for a very long time.  A few years back they wanted to negotiate a better deal with Amex. Amex said no, so they went to Visa who now has the exclusive rights.

At first, I was upset because I use AMEX as my only charge card for everything (no Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom’s, etc).

I have Visa with my checking account as a debit card. But once I realized when I go into Costco I avoid any impulse buys (and they are masters of that) because it’s Visa and not my AMEX card with points, I really only get what I need.

In the stores that carry liquor, Costco sells their Kirkland brand of rosé champagne. It is one of the best champagnes I’ve ever tasted… So good that when it was no longer available, I called the wine and spirits buyer in Washington state to find out why.

She told me it’s seasonal, and that they, Costco, have their own vineyards in France.

Jane Hoffman


Wow, great article!  My Costco membership is up this month but even though it’s just me and I don’t need huge amounts of anything, I’ll still renew. If not, I’ll know I’m missing out on something.

Lisa Alexander


Just listened to your Aaron Neville interview while shopping at Costco.

Erik Siebert


I’m waiting for my hot dog to come in Costco while I read this! Ha. I assume it’s the same in the States, 1.50 for hot dog and a pop. No other deal like it.


Todd Devonshire


As someone who is in Costco every week you made my day! I joke with the checkout associate asking them to forgive me if my tab is less than $300.00 I promise to make it up next time 🙂 .  A couple weeks ago on a fishing trip to Alaska I found my self in Anchorage for a couple days and learned there was a Costco nearby (Anchorage has two) and drove over to visit. Same general layout with a few tweaks. The place was packed with a melting pot of humanity all sampling whatever was being offered and carting away big screen TVs and paper towels (their biggest seller is paper towels fyi).

Costco is a fascinating place for sure and I heard they actually pay their people good wages.

Bill Powell


Another terrific one, Bob. My Chinese in-laws are becoming citizens on Tuesday and I thought, what better way of celebrating their US citizenship than taking them to Costco, letting them look around and be amazed at what America really is and buying hotdogs. Sky Bishop


Very interesting article. You opened my eyes to the disconnected. I didn’t know and never thought about it. I love Costco primarily for the beef, chicken, pork and seafood. And, the liquor, wine and beer selection. Oh, let’s not forget the paper goods which I share with family members and friends which are sold in bulk. Did I mention the fresh cut flowers and gas for my car?

Shamelessly living among the masses,

Andrew Paciocco



I loved your COSTCO “review. There is a new book coming out, The Joy of Costco and it is filled with incredible factoids about Costco ( for example 75% of the entire population of Iceland are Costco members…6 million homemade pumpkin pies are sold for Thanksgiving, and on and on.  Beautifully designed as well.

The authors, ahusband and wife went to Costcos all around the world.

best  Joan Levine


Of course you should buy a Costco membership. You’ll make the $60 back easily if you know how to take advantage.

Yes, you have to know your prices. But once you do, there are incomparable deals on staples at Costco.

You’re right about the food being quality. Costco won’t even sell GMO salmon, etc. Kirkland Brand is great on so many things.

COSTCO Gas….almost always the cheapest deal in town, the visually long lines never as long as you think they would.

In-Store, try to use the Self-Checkout. It never takes me more than a few minutes max to get to the front of the line and use one of the scanners.

Greg Debonne


I love CostCo. And being from Seattle originally the word “Kirkland” has some cachet. I walk down the aisles and marvel at all the things one can imagine with 900 batteries. Or some step ladders. New knives. And the food is always top quality. Does anyone not need 5 gallons of pickles?

And every trip for my extended family comes down to the hot dog at the end though. It’s a rite. A ritual. My nephew in New York. My niece in… well Kirkland. Sister in Santa Cruz. Us in Colorado. That hot dog. I love the line from the founder “if you ever raise the price from $1.50 I’ll kill you”.

Thanks Bob. Sorry about the dental work and angels for the best.

Paul Steckler


I was just at Costco yesterday so your note rang a bell. We buy everything we can through Costco (including tires) but especially appliances and TV’s. The prices are almost always as cheap or cheaper than the other big box stores, they carry good brands (albeit not top of the line like Bosch), they provide two years of warranty coverage through their Concierge service at no extra cost so you don’t have to work through the manufacturer if you have any issues, and our experience with their delivery service has been much better than through other appliance stores. Delivery is an important consideration if you buy one of those 77” TVs and don’t have one of the monster vehicles you mentioned to get it home. For a nominal fee they’ll deliver and set it up for much less than the competition.


Caleb Keen


Family of four, two dogs and we own a house where the neighborhood kids all know there’s popsicles and pizza if they need it when they’re playing.

Costco is a must for a crew like mine. 1 meal outside the house a week as a rule so we cook and snack almost entirely at home. You can’t get everything you need but pretty close.

Exec membership kicks you a 2% rebate at the end of the year – double dip with the Citi card and get additional cash back (5% at costco including at the pump) as a cashable voucher. Last year we decided to take the entire rebate + voucher and hit their P&G brand sale in late winter and stocked up on any and every cleaner/soap/wipe/towel or paper we ever use. Still rocking the backstock and haven’t had to buy anything but TP. I’ll calculate better next year.

Last point I’ll make, we’ve been at least monthly visitors to our NE Indy Costco since 2015 and I still see many of the same employees to this day. Still doing their thing and smiling – I’ve asked them and they all like their work and the vibe. I feel better about my Kirkboi status knowing the employees enjoy their store and fellow shoppers. A new store is opening a mile from my house so I’m looking forward to making some new friends.

It’s all probably more planning (and thought) than it’s worth for a store but it feels like a game and I have fun with it. You will too.

Eli Chastain


Here are two other interesting things I have observed or learned about Costco:

1. Observed- our local Costco has been open close to 20 years.  Up until COVID, I have seen many of the same employees from its first few years.  After COVID, there are still a core, just not the census from before COVID. They’re doing something to retain these folks.

2. Learned – one time pre-COVID, I noticed a cashier working in the clothing department, and I struck up a conversation with her.  She told me that she hurt her wrist and they temporarily Re-assigned her. She told me they have a doctor that comes in once a week and the doctor assessed her condition and modified her role so that her wrist could heal.  She still works there as a cashier.  She’s one of the original core employees mentioned above.  I found that very interesting.

Thought I’d share

Sam Scozzari
Suffield CT

PS – our Costco layout is opposite most that I visit, so I have to relearn where products are whenever shopping in the others.  Kind of like driving on the left side except I think our Costco layout is more of the exception than the norm lol


1. My first time at Costco, I had just visited Best Buy and Circuit City in search of a large screen TV to look at their models and dropped by to see what they had. During my visit, I asked the person working the TV department how much commission he made. He laughed and laughed, and laughed some more, and said “We’re not on commission; commissions are for kids. They pay us well and we’re not paid to sell. We have no customers, only members.” He then went on to say that he’s on our side, and consults with us on selecting the best TV to buy for our needs and budget rather than push a brand offering bigger incentives. Guess where I got my TV.

2. Regarding warranties, Costco doubles the manufacturer’s warranty. My TV had a one year LG that was doubled. When I bought my laptop, their credit card underwriter was doubling even that. My laptop hinge froze and broke the screen in the 4th year of this warrantee and replacement was covered by this remarkable “2 Plus 2” warrantee from Costco. Don’t rush to the warehouse for it though; it was discontinued in January 2023.

Now that you know two reasons WHY it’s different, please think of these 2 points next time you visit Costco. Let us know if it looks any different to you though that lens!

Ken Shain


The other day my wife got an email to join costco for a year and get a $30 coupon back! So we joined for $30 dollars! I went and picked up my card and had my picture taken! I think I had the worst picture taken in the world! I asked the cashier when I was Checking out if I had the worst picture and she told me I looked Chinese in the picture! We bought stuff we didn’t know we needed! I love it no matter how much or little money I have! Vhat a country! What a great store! How exciting all the finds and you get the samples! It’s always exciting to go and such good merchandise! Happy and healthy new years and all the best! I hope you live to 100 as long as you’re healthy and don’t run out of money! The one thing that is constant is change! Everyday is an adventure! Regards,
Jac Berman


Bob, you were at an interesting Costco, Hispanic and Valley Village ( Kosher Jews). Go to the Westlake Costco and it is very different. FYI, next to the cemetery where Ron Goldman is buried.
I am a Kaiser member from my days at Star restaurant supply. I got a new prescription and Kaiser was $490 for transition, progressive and coating to put in my Tom Fords. We were at Costco Woodland Hills $190 for the same lenses. They will not use your frames, paid $160 for the frames. Also, the gas is always lower and supposedly top-ter.
Take care and Happy and Healthy New Year, Gary Einhorn


Try the Chicken of the Sea canned chicken breast.

A little mayo, dash of salt and some pepper and Bob’s your uncle. 6 pack of large cans won’t last nearly as long as you think it might.



Hey Bob,

Long-time listener… second-time caller.

I get your fascination with Costco, aka the American melting pot. But if you lived in rural America, Walmart has always been where you go to see the whole of your village/town/city. The whole economic spectrum of America is there in one place, kinda like public school used to be back when you and I were growing up. But yeah, Costco is the same, major airport hubs too for that matter.


Nebraska Mike Browne



Everyone loves a deal, or wants to feel like they have experienced one.

3 Reasons Costco Is a Great Company (investopedia.com): https://tinyurl.com/cc3mbckf

Sal Dickinson


Costco ROCKS!

Steve Gerardi


My Wife and I have been Costco members for a long time.
Once you know what products are good deals it saves you a lot of time.
We love it. We’ve always thought the employees are very helpful and friendly.
I say go for it.
Bill live from MN.


I enjoyed this Bob
I thought I was the only mingled left!

Peter Noone


I’ve had Costco memberships, off and on, over the years. A visit to Costco is always a hellish experience. I go to the one in Waltham, MA, just outside of Boston and close to the tony suburbs of Weston, Lincoln and Lexington.

First, you have to avoid getting killed in the parking lot. Remember – membership has it’s privileges. And the Lexington soccer moms in their Range Rovers will let nothing stop them from getting primo parking.

Once inside, it’s every man for himself. Everyone is self-absorbed, on a mission. There’s total disregard for your fellow shopper.

Then there’s the product. The warehouse (or wholesale) club paradigm has been discussed and dissected over the years. You buy a box of Cheerios the size of a dorm refrigerator and more than half of it goes stale before you get a chance to eat it. Where is the savings?

Then there’s the “Keto” aisle. A total ripoff. My wife likes to read the nutritional facts. “Oh, here’s one with protein, and very few carbs.” It’s $16.99 a bag. Well first of all, the portion is tiny. Second, the ingredients are 90% nuts. You can buy a bag of mixed nuts for half the price that will last a lot longer than that $16.99 bag.

Time to checkout. Long lines. They do move pretty quickly, though. But wait! You think you’re in the clear? No! There’s the line to actually leave the building. They check everyone’s receipt against a visual check of the shopping carriage.

I could go on, but you have emails to read.

Cheers – Thomas Quinn


Bob Everyone I work with all they talk about is shopping at Costco. Even when I had my car still didn’t shop there much, it was just too much of a hassle. I do like their hot dogs though. Once I sold my car, just too expensive, Amazon has been my best friend order from them all the time. Buy almost all my vinyl from them, delivered to my door with little or no problems.

Always enjoy your stories, have a good day Bob.

Doug Gillis


I’ve been a Costco members for 25 years, or maybe more.  I often order from them online, and the stuff comes FAST and it’s easy.  I also go to their stores occasionally – we have allegedly the biggest one in the world down in SLC (big Mormon families).  They’re products are good, they carry name brands and their Kirkland house brand is reliable.  As you said, the food section is impressive.  But I’m single and can’t buy in bulk things that don’t last (I don’t like to freeze food).  Their supplements, absolutely.  Their glasses, definitely.  TV’s too, their tech support after the fact has been there when I’ve needed it, even after warranty expiration.  The hot dogs are pretty good, and, with a drink, an excellent value at $1.49.  A lot of people love their pizza, which is generously sized for the price.  I believe they sell more pizza than any other business in the USA.  It’s a well-run business.  They pay their employees fairly and treat them well.  Also, as for rich people – I see PLENTY of Range Rovers, Mercedes, Audis, etc there every time I go.  Did you check THEIR tire prices?

Toby Mamis


Great piece on Costco. But you left out one important element: Costco is unionized!

Larry Sapadin


I don’t know about “billionaires,” but I know plenty of double-digit millionaires who LOVE going to Costco and do it all the time!

Mark B. Spiegel


I usually agree with a lot of what you say, but I have to disagree with you here. I love that you found the positive side to Costco, but as a member and frequent shopper….I HATE it.

The food is quality, the prices are usually pretty great, but for me….it’s the people!!!! I have never seen a more horrific side of humanity than in the Marina Costco. It’s like those black Friday videos of people rushing the stores, but on a daily basis  – the gas station lines are like the Fast & Furious starting lines with people trying to inch their car in front of you to get ahead; shoppers are willing to crush you with their 10 pound block of butter in order to get their item first; they try to jump you in the register lines that are longer than TSA on Christmas Eve. I once watched a gym bro move a grandma’s cart out of the way who was struggling to lift a case of water. After he pushed her cart out of the way he reached over her to get his own case of water and walked away. I helped the poor lady with her cases and said something to the guy who simply pointed at his earbuds to indicate he was on a call and walked away with his cart full of 50 gallon drums of protein powder. And the parking lot!!!!! That parking lot on a Saturday is like Mad Max meets Death Race – it truly is the 7th level of hell.

You say that we’re all in it together there, but in my experience, it’s like the true America – every person for themself! The fact that you had 2 people apologize to you on your visit brought a tear to my eye. I’ve never witnessed that kind of human spirit at Costco – just consumer carnage. Perhaps the Van Nuys Costco is what America should aspire to while the Marina Costco should float far away into the ocean, like Florida.

I love the sentiment of your note, but Costco????

Wayne Watson


Funny thing about Costco, as you recommended to visit one of the inner city ones not the fancier suburban ones. Well up here in Canada, at least in Ontario, pretty much every Costco location is in the suburbs. And people like my mother will drive in from the inner city to shop there.

Actually, I live not than a mile from one. Plus they have a Costco gas station which carry Top Tier fuels(think Shell level rating)which is always cheaper than all the surrounding name brand gas stations. I crunched the math and got the executive membership which gets you cash back at the end of year based on what you spend and the Costco branded MasterCard to pay for gas which also collects Costco cash back separately at a higher rate when purchasing gas, plus cash back earned on any purchase made anywhere on their MasterCard(guess which credit card I bill my Amazon purchases to!)

I calculated the most conservative savings I get on gassing up my two vehicles annually, and it pays for my membership($130 a year) more than twice over! And that’s without even setting foot in the store to shop. It’s things I need to buy anyway on a regular basis like gas, groceries, etc., so I might as well get something back for it! Last year I received just over $700 cash back! Plus when our dryer died last year, after shopping around local appliance stores for a new laundry set, the sticker shock was crazy. Costco had a similar set from the same manufacturer for nearly $1000 less, including free delivery, set up and old appliance removal which local stores wanted $350 on top of the purchase! Plus they DOUBLED the manufacturer warranty to 2 years!

With three kids, Costco is a lifesaver and massive money saver for all the stuff you go through on a daily basis. And in these crazy inflationary times, wherever I can save a buck and earn one back on things I have to buy anyway, why the hell wouldn’t I!

Michael Moniz


Love Costco, that’s my favorite place. You could go to 3 different Costco’s (Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Westlake) and find different items in each store. I always see my future 80 inch OLED when I walk in the door…..

Blake Einhorn


Costco gives one the sense that he or she is purchasing strategically – and there is an innate feeling of well-being in doing so.

David Thomson


My friends call me the “Costco Queen.” I’m at my local store at least once a week, and love the prepared foods so I just have to heat something up and voila…dinner is served! We got our floors done through Costco, and when I complained about the planking having dents, they gave me a 10% Costco card off the entire order, which was substantial. I’ve joked with my husband that if we ever move, we have to be within 15 minutes of a Costco, but I’m serious. I don’t think I can live without one nearby. I’m spoiled, and I know it.
Laura Faeth, Superior, Colorado


Fyi if you have an account you can scan items and pay directly with your phone and not have to wait in line

Johnny Lloyd Rollins


Not sure about the Costco app, but on the Sam’s Club app, there is a “scan and go” feature..

You click it on, point your phone at the desired bar codes, and it adds each item to your invoice..Upon completion, you swipe , and the total goes onto your pre- input credit card..You show the door person, and you’re good to go..

I got my Sam’s Club membership for $20/year, thanks to Ticketmaster..I’d renew at that price.

Those clubs are a good way to get the cheapest gas..You’ll wait for a while, though..

Rich folks suck..Nuevo, old money, broke people over borrowing, influencers/poseurs, tech bros., golddiggers, etc..The hoi polloi is where it’s at!..I even heard Frazier use that word in the new trailer (to the reboot)..

James Spencer


Don’t forget Sam’s.  Costco’s predecessor.  Even less highbrow and of the people.

Al Staehely


Costco membership is well worth the cost. The cheapest one, $60 per year, should suffice. Costco typically has the cheapest gas in LA. Much of the food they sell is organic and high quality, and priced much cheaper per serving than what you’d get at a grocery store. Their OTC drugs and nutritional supplements are typically far cheaper than you’ll get anywhere else, particularly their Kirkland brand generic label. I get my contact lenses from them, and they’re typically far cheaper than I can get them anywhere else. I get 3 huge bottles of contact lens solution for only $11, which is at least 50% cheaper than anywhere else. Liquor/wine prices are incredibly low there, and even their generic brand liquor is high quality. They also sell Napa, Paso and European wines for excellent prices. If you buy a computer there, they typically come with a year of free tech support and an extended warranty. Same with TVs and appliances. Also, they typically have sales on food and other items every 2-3 months, so you can stock up on your favorites during the sale and wait for the next one before buying it again. And they have price protection if something you buy goes on sale within 30 days of your purchase. They also have huge sales on high quality clothing and shoes, many from name brand companies. I probably recoup the $60 membership fee in one or two Costco trips. And, you also get access to great deals on car rentals, vacation packages, solar and other home improvement services, etc.

Anthony Ferrara


I’ve been a Costco member for over 30 years.  I preferred when it was called Price Club (merged with Costco perhaps 20 years ago), as I could tell folks, “I was going to the Club.”

And as you noted the folks are all polite there.  This is not a Walmart. If feels like a club.  And you can also buy gas discounted.   And you’ll get two rebate checks a year, one for your Costco credit card and another for for Costco purchases.

And their return policy is even better than Amazon.   They’ll take back a used 4 year old pillow or mattress for whatever reason.

I think of Costco as Consumer Reports meets Nordstrom.  And there are smoking deals in the warehouse often just at a few of their stores while supplies last.  I bought a set of awesome Carver speakers (5) for pennies on the dollar some 25years ago and still have them.  And if an item you purchased goes on sale within 30days they will provide you a credit.   It just keeps getting better.

Yes billionaires may not shop there but plenty of multi millionaires do, as does the smart working class.

Join and become an executive member.   You’ll love it.

Ed Kelly


Sitting in Encino, just finished Zabar’s I had sent via UPS earlier this week, and loving this.


Josh Feingold


One of my favorites by you so far. I bought a house and moved to Van Nuys from Madison, WI in 2017 with my two kids, 11 and 16. I thought I was “saving” my son, wanting him and his large freak flag to fit in since kooky musicians are de rigeur in LA.  I LOVED it there. But I was scared half the time, as a single mom from WI. First day a helicopter hovered overed our house, I didn’t know what to do – should I put my kids in a closet?! What I loved the most was exactly described by you: at any time of the day Ralph’s was filled with all kinds of people, cultures, languages and dress. Going to the park by my house was amazing, quincinera photos happening at one end, Armenian folk dancing at the other. I met so many interesting, creative people. I’m back on my little farmette outside Madison, WI and it is a perfect (white) bubble. I love it so much, the peace, the verdancy, the clean air. But boy do I miss the humanity of Van Nuys. The real deal. Thank you for bringing me back. PS My musician son is thriving (success!) and living in Koreatown.

Thank you for writing! Grateful.

Marit Sathrum


Not all Costco’s are the same. Some have longer checkout lines than others. I was once in a checkout line that went halfway back into the store. But they all offer that hot dog / drink combo for $1.50 – their CEO promised that will never change.

Why didn’t you purchase your tires at Costco, especially with their lifetime rotation included? And the price of gas at my local Costco is 30 to 40 cents cheaper than the national brands.

And happy new year, boychick.

Stuart Taubel

(Note: I do not purchase my tires at Costco because Costco does not provide alignment in Los Angeles.)


Hi Bob, next try Wallmart, ideally somewhere in flyover country. Talk to the people who work there, in Kentucky some of them will have been advised how to get food assistance from the government when they were hired for the job. Wallmart could be such a force for good if the owners spent a little time with the folks they *acquired* billion$ from.

The class thing is important, but any discussion about it usually leads to the “s” word – socialism. On Labor Day I spoke at the union sponsored picnic in Owensboro at English Park. I suggested we try out one simple idea – that as often as we examine problems in horizontal terms of left / right / blue / red / liberal / conservative / D / R, we spend time talking about up and down, the vertical: rich / poor / powerful / weak / owners / workers / healthy / sick. And instead of thinking about socialism, try to think about shared prosperity. Think about a world with higher wages, safer places to work, a schedule that lets you raise a family, healthcare that won’t bankrupt you if someone you love gets sick.

For all the liberal whinging about Trump, he could not have existed without the D party’s abandoning working people (wherever they live) and rural people (whether they work or not). As Thomas Frank says, Rs get away with their bs because Ds won’t offer a credible alternative.

Hank Linderman


I shop at Costco all the time. I have been a member since 1981, when I was in college. In fact, my membership started with Price Club. At the first store, down in Pacific Beach in San Diego.

And the guy who started Price Club was named Sol Price! And his right hand guy was Jim Sinegal, who got lured away by the investors up in Seattle, who started Costco in 1983! And who is still running the company (you can thank him for the $1.50 hot dogs).

They pay great wages, take care of their employees, and seems to be a great place to work.

I have bought all my TV’s at Costco. I buy all my clothes at Costco now. Toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, household products, tires (free rotations) and great prices on wine. And they have a great return policy…no questions asked.

I have an Executive Membership, which costs $120 a year, but I get 2 percent back each year, and guess what? It pays for my yearly membership fee!

And the big bonus….I get my car insurance through Costco (must have that executive card). I save around $1,000 a year here in SoCal, compared to any other insurance company. Plus a ton of other perks you get by holding that executive card (travel, business checks, ect.).

I try to get gas at Costco….but the lines are always to long!

Kent Black


You are spot on about the melting pot of customers. But at the one I shop which is the closet one to very expensive beach real estate in La Jolla, and Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe, and Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, the melting pot is skewed to the top 5% at least from judging by the parking lot which is filled with Porsches, Mercedes, Audis, expensive SUVs, and lots of Teslas and even Bentlys, Aston Martin, Lambo and Ferraris, mostly driven by women, I presume are housewives of the rich but not famous.  I see the women getting in and out of their cars, and the give away besides their cars are their purses, some of which cost as much as a car.  I love shopping there for the people watching, the free samples, and the values. But I stopped eating the hot dogs when they switched to their own from Hebrew National.   best, alan segal

Costco… Rich, poor, it doesn’t matter… It’s a no brainer – it just makes sense!

Member since 2001.

Mike Dion


This is funny to me.  Not a week has gone by for me, in at least 8 years, without a visit to Costco. And (at least in Silicon Valley) I never thought that only ‘working-class’ people went there…

Kent Libbey


Nailed it. CC member since the 90’s in fact no longer have to pay to be a member, they send me a check every year that is more than renewal amount so I keep coming back. Can’t say enough good things about this company. Thanks for highlighting.

Richie D.


Aloha Bob

Thinking I’m not the first to send you this. The spiritual journey of going to Costco.

Barry Finkenberg


I don’t belong to Costco, but BJs. It’s pretty much the same thing. Are there BJs out West?

The trick I’ve found to do any type of shopping whether it’s the supermarket or stores like BJs is to get there early when they open. I’m an early riser anyway, so I get to these stores and I’m in and out quickly with  no lines to wait in.

Russ Turk

(Note: No BJs in L.A.)


Hi Bob — Costco is great — we’ve been members since before they were even Costco. It started out as Price Club.  Sometimes I think our member number is “1.”

You find stuff there that no one else has.  Kind of like Trader Joe’s but Costco casts a wider net.

For example, some Costcos, not all, sell a great whitefish salad.  From the Acme Smoked Fish Company in Brooklyn.

I recommend it.

At the food counter, the pepperoni pizza is also great — chewy, cheesy, just greasy enough.  NY-style.

Happy New Year to you.

Jim Charne


Sadly most of the bowling alleys have closed in Seattle. Now a bit of a drive is involved but you find a great cross section of folks, and the places are usually busy. I was at a church rummage sale, and there was a ball and an old green bag for $5. I put my three fingers in and incredibly they fit, a minor lottery winning feeling. Bought it and finding as with most things, it’s hard to be good. In the only time I quote Dennis Miller: bowling is not that bad, kinda fun. I’d like to see Costco incorporate some lanes into the vast spaces they have.

Steve Winter


The car wash is amazing.  $7.99. I do 10 to every one real wash and share videos w my friends who do the same.

Jim Guerinot


Hi Bob,
some of “us” do go to Costco.  Recently, Ken Ehrlich and I were in line together.
I haven’t seen Irving there just yet.



The Standings

I don’t know if the Dodgers are in first place.

Actually, I’m more of an American League fan, I’d like to know where the Yankees and Red Sox stand, but I don’t know that either.

And I know the NFL season just began, and I no longer watch because of CTE, but I do want to see how my team, the Broncos, are doing, but I don’t know that either.

You see they removed the standings from the newspaper.

Yes, the physical newspaper. I get three, the “New York Times,” the “Los Angeles Times” and the “Wall Street Journal.” The “Journal” never had sports standings but the other two did.

You’re reading the physical paper? That’s nice, grandpa. But the truth is you see articles you don’t online. Not that I’m not checking the news all day online, at the sites of the three aforementioned outlets as well as the “Guardian,” “Bloomberg” and everything on Apple News+ and even more. But nowhere are the sports standings up front and center like they used to be in the physical newspaper.

That’s one of the reasons I get the physical newspaper. For the quick glance at the standings, I want to know what is happening, what is the score. But those days are through. The papers have excised them for space reasons. Now this is kind of ironic when it comes to the L.A. “Times,” because the paper is so thin already it’s astounding that it doesn’t just fly into the sky. But why even get the physical newspaper if you can’t get the basics, like the standings.

So I went online.

A cursory search on the “New York Times” site did not reveal the standings. For that I had to go to its sister publication, the “Athletic.” I thought I’d find the standings right there on the homepage. That was not true. I had to click multiple times to find the standings.

In other words, if you’re a sports fan, you have to be dedicated to find out where your team stands, and if you’re not a sports fan…you’re clueless, and probably happy being out of the know.


You may not care about sports. But the prevailing opinion, the mainstream story, is that sports are number one in this country of ours. That everybody is salivating over the results of their team. That sports get the highest television ratings. But in truth, you can now ignore sports easily. They don’t even hit you in the face. You’ve got to be an active sports fan to know how your team is doing, what is going on. And if you’re not an active sports fan, you’re out in the wilderness, you’re clueless. As for the casual sports fan, it’s too much work to keep up, too many clicks in a harried world.

But this isn’t about sports. It’s about music. If I don’t know where the Dodgers are in the standings, what are the odds I’ve even heard of your act, never mind heard the music.

Great swaths of the public have never heard a single song on the Spotify Top 50, not a single one. Can’t sing two songs by Taylor Swift, the Weeknd, Morgan Wallen, Beyonce…if they can even name one at all.

This is a radical change from the pre-internet culture. We all listened to the radio, every one of us. Sure, some news only, but most listened to music, and there were few outlets, and we were all aware of the hits.

And then came MTV. A national, then an international rage, if you were on MTV you were famous around the world, the acts from the eighties are still selling prodigious numbers of tickets based on that exposure. Today’s acts, other than the few superstars, will have a very hard time selling that number of tickets forty years later.

Forget misinformation, most people have no idea what is going on in sports, music, politics… They’re not hit in the face with it anymore, it’s not around every corner, every turn. There are those dyed-in-the-wool in a vertical, but that does not mean they know anything about another vertical. They may know sports and be clueless as to music, and vice versa.

Think about it. You may not even have Spotify, so you don’t know what’s in the Top Fifty. And even if you do, you’ve got to click to find this information/playlist. You’ve got to care, and so many do not.

All the information is there if you pull it, but it used to be pushed to you, you could be fairly passive and have a pretty accurate grip on what is going on in America. No longer, to keep up to speed you’ve got to take action, you’ve got to click, you’ve got to research. And that takes a lot of time and effort, and chances are you’re deeply interested in something else, without time for that which used to be in the periphery of your vision but has now fallen off.

We live in a Tower of Babel society, people are more informed, in some cases disinformed, than ever before. But broad knowledge? That’s a thing of the past.

As for education… They’re eliminating liberal arts courses in universities. Because everybody sees college as a training school, where you go to get a job, who needs to have their life enriched?

So so many know so little about what they used to know so much.

The World Series? Used to be a fall rite, played in the fading autumn sunlight, a golden paradise. Now you can’t even remember who played, never mind who won, never mind the endless playoffs in the name of ratings, i.e. money.

Everything has become longer and deeper, which makes it even easier to avoid it. You can’t be a casual fan, there is too much information, never mind you’ve got to gather so much information to gain context.

This is the world we live in.

But everybody keeps telling us we do not. That we still live in a pre-internet world with a center, where we all are aware of certain facts, where we are all in it together, in a cohesive society.

We are not. 

iPhone Update

Do not buy an iPhone 15.

But you might want to buy an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max.

The war is over. Apple won. It vanquished Android.

HUH? That can’t be right, wasn’t Android supposed to kill the iPhone, wasn’t it only a matter of years before the overpriced Apple product was marginalized, a niche, only for the elite? Yes, that’s what you’d think, but it turned out all the prognosticators, all the bloviators, were wrong.

It’s in the data.

Five years ago, the iPhone had 18% of the U.S. market. Today it has 55%. There are two reasons, iMessage and longevity of functionality/resale value.

You don’t want to be the owner of a green bubble. Oh, oldsters may not care, but if you’re a youngster it’s a cultural faux pas that will immediately have you losing status at the high school. You must have a blue bubble, your life depends upon it.

And then there’s the resale value. iPhones hold it, Androids do not. An iPhone typically has three owners, an Android leaves the store and loses a ton of value and goes down to near zero nearly overnight. Apple supports old iPhones, good look with your couple of year old Android.

And it’s not only the U.S. In South Korea, 52% of those 18-29 use an iPhone.

We don’t need to debate functionality, we don’t need to talk about the Apple haters. It’s an incredible story, unforeseen. A premium-priced product dominates, Apple is about to eclipse the sales of the number one Android provider, Samsung.

So which one should you buy?

Well, you don’t want the iPhone 15 because it’s essentially the iPhone 14 Pro. It has last year’s chip, the A16 Bionic, and it only has two camera lenses instead of three. If you’re worried about status, this is important (but in truth, phones are fungible and nearly indistinguishable when it comes to cosmetics today).

No, you want an iPhone 15 Pro. It’s got the new chip, the A17 Bionic, and better cameras and a titanium case, which you don’t care about in theory, but in truth it means the phone is lighter, and that’s important, the iPhone has gotten far too heavy in its recent iterations.

But Bob, I can save $200 by buying the iPhone 15 instead of the 15 Pro, money means something to me!

But that is shortsighted.

First and foremost, it’s not really $200, it’s $100, because the cheapest iPhone 15 has 128GB of storage and the Pro has 256GB, and with everybody shooting so many photos, you don’t want to run out of space.

But the truth is these phones have a lifespan, and by buying last year’s model, which the iPhone 15 essentially is, you’re losing a year of functionality, you’re going to have to replace it a year earlier, so why not lay out the extra money to live large now, knowing that it will be a wash when it comes to trade-in time?

As for whether you should get a new iPhone…

If you have an 8 or a X, definitely. iOS17 will not work on these devices. Apple says it will continue to support them with security updates, which is crucial, but that won’t be forever, and then you’ll need a new phone in a year or two, which might be even more expensive, why not live large now, why not live in the present now? Sans iOS17 you’re going to lose functionality. You think your phone is good enough, but then you’ll want to do something and you won’t be able to, because of compatibility issues. You do not live in a vacuum, in the pre-internet era, we are all connected, and you want to be able to connect fully. Upgrade.

Do you need an iPhone 15 Pro if you have a 14 or 13? No, unless you want one. Used to be you got a new iPhone and were wowed by the speed, the new chip made a huge difference. Those days are gone, the improvements are incremental. Stay with what you’ve got, wait another year or two.

But what if your old iPhone is running out of juice too fast?

These batteries start to fade. Within a year even. If your iPhone is fine, but there’s an issue with battery life, just buy a new battery and it will be like new, you can get out the door for under a hundred bucks, either at the Apple Store or at a third-party provider. Your phone won’t run any faster, but it will continue to run.

So which Pro model should you buy?

First and foremost, the Pro Max has a longer battery life, and that might be significant to you.

However, the Pro Max is much larger, it doesn’t fit in your hand as easily. I like the larger phone, I love the extra screen real estate. But if it’s uncomfortable in your hand, you might want to go for the smaller option. Don’t make the decision to go small on a whim, go to the Apple Store and hold both devices, you’ll know.

Now it used to be the Pro and Pro Max iterations had different cameras. But then they had the same cameras, but now they have different cameras again. The Pro Max has a better telephoto… If you’re a casual shooter, ultimately it’s not that important, nice, but not necessary. Bottom line, if you need a Pro Max for the camera you already know. As for the photos themselves, for the last few years the Pro versions of the iPhone have created spectacular images. Throw away your point and shoot, the iPhone takes a much better picture.

Also, keep in mind the modern phones squeeze more pixels, more screen real estate, into the glass, borders are smaller. So a small phone, the iPhone 15 Pro, might be enough, but if you’re spending that much, why not go for the best?

Buy a bumper, a case. And I’m going to be a heretic and say buy an Apple case. They’re much more expensive, but far superior. Every year I get the silicone case for fifty bucks and not once have I ever damaged my phone, not once! And believe me, I’ve dropped it on pavement… Lay down, your phone won’t break. As for screen protectors, what a joke. The glass is incredibly sturdy, adding a screen protector just decreases functionality.

As for where you should buy your new iPhone…

If you are switching carriers, you’re in luck, the offers are stupendous the market is saturated and it’s hard for the three major providers, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, to get new customers. And as a result of this, they want to entice you to stay. But beware! The devil is in the details. They might say the phone is free, but really it’s not, those days of free phones are in the deep past. You’ll have to commit for 30 months to a plan that might be more expensive than the one you’ve got now. The iPhone might look free, but the cost is just baked-in to the aforementioned 30 payments.

However, having said that, the three major providers give you a few more bucks in trade than Apple. But don’t be wowed by the huge numbers, $800 for your old iPhone. In truth, that’s for last year’s top of the line, maxed out. Chances are your phone will be worth less than a hundred bucks, but it’s worth something, and money is money.

But Apple is such a better buying experience. If you need to talk with someone they are knowledgeable, and there are no tricks and the company is not out to screw you. (If you want to cancel AppleTV+, you just slide a button in the settings of your phone. If only the rest of the streamers were so easy.)

I could talk about locked and unlocked, but really you don’t need to know, it’s irrelevant to almost everybody, and if it’s important to you you’re already fully-versed in the details.

As for USB-C… Never has so much ink been spread about something so trivial. Macs have been USB-C since 2016. Sure, you’ll have to toss your Lightning cables, but a new USB-C cable comes in the box anyway. As for the brick…

Apple stopped providing them in the box years ago. Furthermore, you probably have one of those old tiny square charging bricks anyway, you want the newer, more powerful rectangular one. You might even have one from your last iPhone purchase, I certainly do. And the important thing here is… The connector is already USB-C! So you don’t need a new brick. But if you’re starting from scratch, time to upgrade your brick anyway.

As for the cable… DON’T CHEAP OUT! Don’t buy the gas station cheapie, don’t save bucks here. You don’t have to buy an overpriced Apple cable, but if you go for something cheaper, choose an Anker, or another established brand. You see all USB-C cords might look the same, but they are not, there are chips in the Apple cord, making sure you get just the right amount of juice to your iPhone, so it doesn’t burn up.

And one more thing, warranty…

The Amex Platinum card will cover you, but only up to $800. That’s gonna hurt if you lose your iPhone 15 Pro Max. Even worse, you might be getting a discount from your provider for going paperless. Usually if you use your Amex Platinum card, you lose the discount.

If you’re worried about loss and theft, buy AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss. Oh, it makes no sense financially, but it gives you complete peace of mind, if that means anything to you. I’ve never lost a phone, never even broken one, but with this coverage I don’t worry about it. I’ll shoot in the rain, take my phone out on a cliff, while in a boat, knowing I’m covered. And Apple will get you a new phone almost instantly, without having to jump through too many hoops. You can buy coverage from your provider, and it’s usually cheaper, but not as comprehensive, and more difficult to collect. You can choose.

As for phone support… Most people won’t need it, and Google can answer most of your questions, but it is good to know you can call, frequently about integration with your other Apple devices, and get an answer, that’s what AppleCare provides.

As to your other devices… Really, if you have an iPhone, you should go Mac. Now if you’ve got to use a PC for business, I understand it. If you’re used to a PC and loath to switch, it’s really not difficult, and the Apple Store will walk you through the process, teach you for free.

And it used to be that Macs were overpriced. But if money is your issue, you can now buy a MacBook Air for a grand. As for the extra money, your Mac will last longer in utility, and the difference will be a wash.

As for which MacBook Air to buy…

Well, let’s start by saying only buy a MacBook Air if you’re going to transport it, move it around, because it’s inherently hobbled, otherwise go for a MacBook Pro, the 13″ starts at $1299 and is more powerful and will last longer than the Air.

But if totability is key… You can get an Air… I’m always into the most screen real estate possible. So that would augur for a MacBook Air 15″, but if you’re buying an Air for portability, do you really want a bigger device?

As for chips and speed and storage… As long as it’s an M chip, they’re all good, they’re all fast, but the newer and more powerful the better. And the devices now come with enough RAM, which was not the case previously. Well, except for the 13″ Air, which like I said above, is inherently hobbled. It comes with 8GB of RAM, I’d bump it to 16, and only 256 GB of storage, and you need at least 512… As for storage, it’s not like the old days, with so much living in the cloud, the only thing that eats up a lot of storage space is photos, but they can eat up a lot of space. And if you’re making movies…buy more storage, and you might even need an external device too.

All the MacBooks are of recent vintage, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy any of them now.

As for the iMac… Absolutely do not buy one now. They’re going to introduce a new, updated model imminently. Wait.

As for a 27″ iMac… There have been some rumors that it will reappear, but don’t hold your breath, if you want 27″ of screen real estate, and believe me, it makes a difference, opt for a Mac Studio. You do not need the M2 Ultra…or let me say if you do, you know. The M2 Ultra doesn’t even make a difference with most everyday tasks. It only adds speed with a few high-tech applications, mostly video. So save $2000.

So you’re in for $1999. You can buy the basic Mac Studio, although I’d bump up storage, probably even the M2 Max chip and I’d go for 64GB of RAM, but it’s not necessary.

But then comes the problem, the screen. The Apple Studio Display, for $1599, is long in the tooth and was behind the times when it was launched eighteen months ago. Don’t buy it, it’s a rip-off. Apple needs a new Studio Display, when will it come? No one is sure, everybody hopes soon, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. However, Samsung just introduced a new 5k screen for the same price that is thoroughly up-to-date. Sure, you’ll lose a little bit of functionality, integration with the Mac Studio, but you’ll get a much better display. As for the speakers in the Apple Studio Display… I mean if you’re listening to audio via your display, why are you buying a Mac Studio to begin with? A waste of money.

Now what Apple is selling is an ecosystem, everything works together, seamlessly, with added productivity. And if there is a problem, you can get answers, you won’t hear that someone else made the device and there’s nothing they can do.

But it all starts with the iPhone. The iPhone is the most important device you own. Period. Ignore all the screeds about being on the phone too long, the phone is your right hand, you can’t live without it, you need to call up an Uber, order food, connect with friends, research, it’s an amazing piece of kit. You want a great phone, don’t chintz. Furthermore, a great phone will give you more functionality. There is so much power in the iPhone, more than you can ever use. Your friends will give you some tips, like with AirDrop, but the better the phone the more you can do with it and the faster you can do it.

You need a new iPhone, it’s just a matter of when.

And don’t get emotional about it, don’t talk about planned obsolescence, don’t talk about the Apple premium, don’t go on an anti-tech rant, because then you’ll just look ignorant, the joke will be on you.

You’ll want a new iPhone, it’s just a matter of when.

And when you get one, be sure to go for the Pro, otherwise you’re being blind to the math and losing functionality in the process. And believe me, you want that functionality, don’t hobble yourself. Think about all that power in the palm of your hand for so little money, it’s incredible. Oh, the places you will go, and what you will see… A great smartphone enriches your life, and you want an iPhone. Period.