Tag: bills

Presidents Day

We headed back home today.  We had such a great time visiting with strausmouse  and rmstraus –too short, really.  We left their house around 10:30 AM and we were in our door three hours later, which is just how it should be.  I’m so glad we decided to fly and not drive.  We would have lost another 12-14 hours.  The convenience of Reagan/National cannot be overlooked!

After we got home, Kelly napped for a while and a little later in the afternoon, we headed to the grocery store to do our shopping for the week.  (It felt like a Sunday all day long.)  Kelly headed to the gym and when she got home, I started cooking dinner.   I made shrimp primavera, which marks the first time I’ve ever cooked shrimp.  I had to cut out some of the ingredients for Kelly (onion and garlic) but I added some mushrooms and it turned out pretty good.  Actually, I probably didn’t make enough, but we made due with what I made, plus some dessert.

A couple of bills in the mail, including the cable bill which appeared to be wrong.  I called and in fact, the bill was wrong (it didn’t reflect the recent payment).  I tried to get access to my account on-line, but needed PIN and was directed to call Comcast to get it.  So I called back.  I was told that the PIN would be sent to my Comcast email address–which I never use and which probably requires the PIN to access it.  I tried to point this out to the fellow, but he was boxed in by his script.  About the best he could do was mail it to me through the Postal Service.  Ah well, I don’t need it anymore…

Late in the evening, we caught up on Battlestar Galactica and Big Love.  Kelly headed off to bed and I read more of Adrift before heading to bed myself.  Heading to the gym first thing in the morning.

Another good reason for moving to Virginia

I had a goal of getting a bunch of move-related stuff done this afternoon and I did pretty good. I got new policies for my auto and renters insurance–ones that are designed for Virginia. I found out what I needed to do to obtain a marriage license. I setup utilities such as electric and cable at our new place. I felt productive and good about it all.

Turns out, I discovered another good reason for moving to Virginia: better car insurance rates. I’ve used the same insurance company for the last 6 years. I keep more the minimum insurance required by law, and I prefer low deductibles. This year, for my 1997 Saturn, my insurance premium was $828. When I had my policy updated for Virginia, same coverage, my premium dropped to $570/year. When Kelly and I are married in October and we add her car to the policy it will go down even more.

So anyone looking to lower their insurance premiums, forget Geico, just move to Virginia.

Softball practice after work today. Three people showed up, including me. It made for an interesting practice. I’m doing some laundry (no money in my pockets!) and then heading off to bed. I’m pretty tired this evening.

Friday morning

…or lack thereof. I haven’t done anything in the last week, which has put me somewhat behind in NaNoWriMo. But I intend to get some writing done today and to try and get back on track. It’s quite a hill to climb, but I’m trying to put that out of my mind, and instead, just writing every day. (Plus, next week, I’ve got 10 hours to kill on airplanes, and 10 hours of writing could easily get me back on track.)

I’m still (unofficially) making my way through the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. I say unofficially because I haven’t added it to my reading list. I’m almost through the A’s (in fact, I read the entry for “Astounding Science Fiction” on the train in this morning). That’s about 66 pages into the more than 1,200 page book. But I have to say that I am still enjoying every moment of it.

Payday today, which is always nice. Paid a few bills and transferred the rest to savings.

Looks like 6 or 7 episodes of Smallville left before they run out. Last night’s episode of The Office was the last one that they had. And Heroes (which I still haven’t been keeping up with) is down to it’s last 3 episodes. Maybe I’ll finally be forced to give up TV through sheer circumstance.

We’re going to Jess’s tonight to sit around the fire pit. Hanging out with AJ and Denisse tomorrow.

It was cold out this morning.

Short week!

Because Monday was a holiday, I have a short work this week. Next week too, come to think of it. And that suits me just fine. I was pretty busy today at work, but it felt good. I had planned to get up and go to the gym, but I slept in until 5:30 AM, lazy bum that I am.

After work, I was craving Mexican food, so I walked across the street and went to Chevy’s. I sat there eating while reading more of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (I’m up to the entries on “Anthologies”.) It was very relaxing. I was so absorbed by the book that the train ride home flew by. I was back home this evening around 5:45 PM, although with the time change and overcast skies, it seems much later.

A couple of mail items. A renewal offer from F&SF. Like ASIMOV’S and ANALOG, I’m re-upping for the maximum they offer, which in the case of F&SF is 2 years. Also a hospital bill for $131 from my visit to the emergency room back on October 11. And I got something from Boskone 45 for which I am already a member.

No writing yet today and I’m pretty tired right now (even though I got a good night’s sleep last night) but I expect to get some done before I go to bed.

Pads, paws and claws

One thing you can do when home from work, medicated, with a rib injury is pay bills. I paid the American Express bill (a whopping $200 for the car rental in L.A. last month), the electric bill, my Mileage Plus Visa bill, and I renewed my AAA membership.

I keep meaning to automate the payment of all of these bills, but for some reason, I keep putting it off. I hate the process of paying bills, but I’m not yet 100% keen on having a computer pay them automatically for me every month.

I finished watching Season 1 of The Shield this afternoon (thanks again, strausmouse). Of course, now I want to see Season 2, but that will have to wait. It really is a good show, well written, well acted, and good story lines. There is definitely an edge that non-network TV shows have over the networks.

Zeke caught a mouse today. He managed not to kill it, however, and I before I could get to it, is dashed back into a wall, so I now have to keep an eye on Zeke. I don’t mind him stalking the mouse, but I do mind that a mouse is there in the first place.

I took my pain medication as recommended by the doctor. I took 1 pill at 4:20 PM and by 4:50, I could feel it working. 2-1/2 hours later, it’s still working pretty good.

“First of all, it was October…”

“…a rare month for boys.”

It’s one of my favorite opening lines to a book, ever and I can only use that line once a year or so. If I’m being repetitive, well, what’s new really?

Some bills paid today, rent, phone bill, and a few others. Had a letter from Trevor and thepopeswife over the weekend, as well as a thank you note from amo2761 (which explains why he emailed me asking for my address earlier in the week).

Today is the first day of Fiscal Year 2008 at work, but it still seems as though there is some focus on FY2007. It’s silly if you ask me.

The leaves are just beginning to change color around here, just barely and in patches but I imagine it will pick up over the next couple of weeks. It may have already started up where strausmouse and rmstraus live; possibly where vickyandnorm live too.

I had an amusing message from AJ and Denisse yesterday but haven’t had a chance to call them back yet. Maybe later this evening.

October is certainly not a rare month for birthdays: Andy, Carmen, Jim, Kelly, and Norm all celebrate birthdays this month. Possibly more people, but I haven’t checked the calendar yet.

And as I was writing this entry, the mail was delivered and I received the December 2007 issues of both Asimov’s and Analog.

Giving up on The Reagan Diaries

My general rule for bailing out of a book is if I don’t make much progress after 2-3 days. It usually means I’ve lost interest, because when I am interested in a book, I make time for it. Because I’m biased against Reagan, I gave him a week, but while I made it more than halfway through the book, I’m afraid I’ve lost interest and am bailing on the book. This is tough because if I don’t finish a book, it doesn’t go on my reading list, and so I’ve given up on 2+ weeks of reading. So be it.

This morning, on the train into work, I started Alan Alda’s Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself and at the pace I’m getting through it (and enjoying it), I’ll have it finished tomorrow.

Incidentally, I was up at about 4:50 this morning and couldn’t sleep any more for some reason. So I got ready for work and came into the office early. I got here around 6:15 AM.

Spoke to strausmouse on the phone last night. When I woke up this morning, I had a photo of Hannah from Lisa kruppenheimer, as well as some pictures that Andy had sent. Oh, and I got my first AT&T bill in the mail yesterday.

Happy hour tonight in celebration of Jesseca’s 30th birthday. And the last Yankees/Red Sox series of the regular season starts tonight as well.

Updated my wireless phone plan

After having my iPhone for a month, I realized that I needed to upgrade my plan with AT&T. I changed to the $59/month package which gives me 900 anytime rollover minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile. That will take effect on my next billing cycle (October 5). I also changed my data packaged to the iPhone unlimited data (which I already had) plus unlimited text messaging. That plan is $40, so it’s $20 more than what I was paying. All told, my bill will be in the neighborhood of $100/month, which is fine considering what I am getting. The unlimited texting takes effect immediately, so I no longer have to worry if I am going over my 200 message limit (which I did break in the first month).


Long day with lots of meetings today. As far as the cold goes, I’m feeling better but still not 100%. I can tell because I ate very little today and my head is still stuffed. Hopefully that will be gone tomorrow.

Nothing but junk in the mail. I spent an hour or so after I got home reading more of The Reagan Diaries. Then a video chat with strausmouse and a video chat with he11o_sunshine and now I’m getting into bed and relaxing before going to sleep by watching an episode or two of The Office.

I paid my last (massive) T-Mobile bill today. It included all of the text-messaging and phone calls I made while in Europe, in addition to the early cancellation fee. Still felt too lazy to go out and cut the grass after work but I still have about a week before the town decides to fine me. (I’ll probably do it tomorrow.)

And the Yankees just took the lead over Seattle 3-2 in the 7th with three straight walks. There’s still one out, bases loaded.

Errands and meetups

Today turned out to be busier than I expected. I was up at 8:00 AM and headed to IHOP for breakfast. I stopped to get some food for Zeke and then ran a number of other errands. I paid a few bills, mailed a out a copy of my new lease to my landlord, and compiled and sent my travel itinerary info to Norm and Vicky so that someone on the East Coast knows where I will be when I am away next month. I also picked up some new shorts and a hat from Old Navy.

Kent mentioned that they were going to be at Smithsonian today, but I didn’t have his phone number. Working through Pam, however, I managed to get it and found out they were at the Air & Space museum. I headed down there and met them in the cafeteria and spent a couple of hours with then as they roamed through a few exhibits that they hadn’t already seen, and then walked to the Washington Monument.

Afterward, I headed over to Austin Grill to meet up with A.J. and we spent perhaps 2 hours eating and catching up. It was good to see him.

In the evening, I went for a walk and did the loop twice instead of once because it was so nice out.

I got a copy of a letter from Barry to a the tree-trimming people letting them know what he wanted done in the yard. I don’t know when they will be coming, but I’m looking forward to it because they bamboo is really getting overgrown and I haven’t had the time to keep up with it.

I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance…

…by doing absolutely nothing! I got home from work and had the auto insurance bill in the mail. I’d been expecting it since the bill is due August 1st and I pay the whole thing up front each year so that I don’t pay any service fees. For the last couple of years, my insurance has been $1,145/year. It sounds high because I carry more than the minimum required coverage. Anyway, $1,145 is what I budgeted for August 2007 – July 2008. But when I opened the bill today, I was surprised, and rather pleased to discover that this year, the rate had been reduced to $862 for the year. That’s a savings of over 30%! Kind of cool when you are not expecting it.

And no, I don’t use Geico. I use AAA’s Traveler’s insurance.

Boarding arrangements

I called the vet today and made boarding arrangements for Zeke while I am in L.A. next week. At the same time, I made boarding arrangements for him while I am in Europe this summer. He will be boarded from July 2 through July 23 (22 days) while I’m out of the country.

I also finally got around to phoning in my water meter-reading, which I’ve been putting off for a few days because I keep forgetting about it.

And I got a good chunk of work done this morning in preparation for some big meetings that I am running tomorrow and Thursday.