Tag: bills

Early night

I can sleep in until 5:30 AM tomorrow because I don’t have my workout until tomorrow afternoon. But rather than waste my evening away watching TV, I decided to get to bed early, and read while I finish up some laundry.

I got a rare email from Rich today. He was congratulating me on selling a story to INTERGALACTIC MEDICINE SHOW. He sounds like he and Tricia and the kids are doing well. He reports to officer’s training in the Air Force at about the same time I head off on my summer vacation. I’ve got to call him soon so that we can catch up.

Lots of mail today, T-Mobile bill, stuff from the Oriole’s reminding me that Fan Fest is on April 1 (April Fool’s day), and a “thank you” from Comcast for being a customer. It came suspiciously on the heels of a notice that they would be raising their rates soon. According to the note, they know I have a choice in providers and they thanked me for choosing Comcast. Okay.

Another busy day tomorrow. I’m doing what I can to avoid having to work this weekend. Don’t know whether I’ve been successful along those lines yet.


I think I’ll be going into work tomorrow. I participated in two meetings from home today and my alarm is set for 4:30 AM. It will also be the first time since Tuesday that I will get to the gym.

I got a call from Trevor tonight. I hadn’t talked to him in a while and I was really glad he called and we had a little time to catch up. I could hear thepopeswife say hello in the background and it was nice to hear from her as well.

I’m a little more than halfway through The Winds of Change and Other Stories. I’m anxious to finish up the story that I started writing earlier today, “4005 B.C” and if I am lucky, I will finish it up in time to get it in the mail next week.

I watched Smallville this evening (another good episode). And for the first time, I used the DVR in my bedroom to record The Office (which is on at the same time as Smallville) and I just finished watching that too.

I received my last issue of THE NEW YORKER in the mail today. I didn’t renew my subscription because I already have more than I can possibly read and that magazine was one that was going completely unread, except by Dad who would read the cartoons when he came out for ball games during the summer. I also received a refund check from Verizon in the amount of $36. I have to mail that into the bank at some point.

Wrap up

I spent about 6-7 hours today working on interfaces for my book collection/reading list databases. It’s possible that by tomorrow I will have enough in place to make some of this more public so that people who are curious can take a look.

I’m quitting for the night on this, and I’m just going to relax for the rest of the evening.

The driver side door on my car has a problem. When I opened it the other morning, I heard a pop. The cable that attaches from the car to the door to help the door open slowly and keep it in place snapped. I vaguely recall this happened to me once before many years ago (or maybe it was Tawnya’s car?). It’s not a problem, I just have to be careful when I open the door that it doesn’t fly open. But at some point, I should get it fixed.

I got my T-Mobile bill today and sure enough, I completely forgot to pay it last month; the new bill was exactly twice as much as usual. Oops.

A few minutes ago, I received email from Norm (of vickyandnorm fame). He emailed me from his flight from London to New York asking if it was unusual that the outside temperature at 38,000 feet was -75 C. For some reason, I found that amusing.

In the course of the last 3 hours that I have been writing code, I have listened to 46 songs in iTunes “party shuffle” mode. That’s an average of just under 4 minutes per song. I don’t know what made me think of checking that, but I think it means it’s time to go.

Free day tomorrow!

Mail call!

Lots of mail today when I got home from work. First, the March issue of ANALOG, which had a great essay by Stanley Schmidt on “New Writers”. (Also mentioned in the “In Times to Come” section is a new story by mabfan in the April 2007 issue.) Then there were holiday cards. From Brittany, Meagan and Lesa. From Jon, Hollie and William. From Bonnie and Tom. From my financial adviser and his assistants. And one from vickyandnorm who signed their names “Norman and Victoria” which sounded incredibly formal to me. If I didn’t know any better, every one of these folks conspired to send their cards on the same day in an attempt to flood me with holiday cheer. (I should mention that I also received a card from strausmouse and Ryane last week, lest they feel left out.) I am always touched that people take the time to send out holiday cards. I also feel properly guilty about not sending cards out myself, but the fact is that I don’t. I’m too lazy.

There was a bill from T-Mobile. A newsletter from my alumni association, and another letter asking for money from said association. Finally, there were a few pieces of junk.

No package yet from Mom and Dad. I had a curious message from Mom over the weekend telling me that she’d sent a package, and I was not to open it until we could do a video iChat and then could watch me open it. How’s that for making one curious? And the pressure!

Getting back on the wagon

I think my nadir of laziness has passed this weekend, as I suspected it might. I am turning things around. While Sunday’s are my day to just veg, I have spent this morning planning how to get back on the exercise wagon and stay there. I have set a personal goal for myself, and I’ve started to plan out my daily routine in great detail. This is something that helped me turn things around back in college, where my first 2 years I performed mediocre, and my last 2 years, I got nearly straight A’s while working almost full-time. I haven’t gone back to this detailed type of planning in 12 years, but maybe it’s time now. I will post the details in a future post, as soon as I have them more or less finalized. My goal is to be in the best possible physical condition I could be in (and the best condition I’ve been in in my life) by July 1, 2007. This gives me roughly 7 months. I have an idea of how I want to look and how I want to feel. So I’ll go from there.

I have a lot of errands to run today. I want to get some new gym shoes so I don’t always have to lug an extra bag of stuff to the gym with me–I can leave the spare shoes at work. I need a new gym bag as well, since mine is starting to fall apart. I need new shoe laces for my regular shoes. I’ve got grocery shopping to do. For the gym shoes I’m going to DSW and that’s in Silver Spring, so I figured that while I am there, I might as well catch Deja Vu. I got a ticket for the 12:30 showing, and I can take care of just about all of the rest of my errands on the way back home.

In other news, I finally canceled my subscription to THE NEW YORKER yesterday. My last issue will be in late January. It was tough to do, as I have been receiving the magazine for several years, but in these last months, they have been piling up unread and although I tell myself I’ll get to them, I never do. There are other magazines that are higher priority for me and I am having trouble keeping up with those.

I noticed on my most recent Visa bill that the APR went up once again. I called VIsa and asked what they could do about lowering it so that it was more competitive with everyone else. They lowered it back into a competitive range right there on the phone. I guess if you don’t stay on top of these things and pay attention, you get nailed.

I’m probably one of the only people out there actually looking forward to Rocky Balboa, which comes out later this month. Yesterday, I went out to buy season 4 of Lois & Clark and also picked up the Rocky anthology. I watched the first two movies last night.

I went to cancel my Verizon phone and DSL service, now that my cable and internet service is working well. Turns out Verizon is closed on the weekends and I have to wait until tomorrow to do this.

And if all of that isn’t exciting enough, tonight is trash night, here in Riverdale, Maryland!

Final chapter in the DirecTV saga

This morning, I decided to cancel DirecTV without having them try to fix the problem. There were two reasons for this. First, I’m not convinced they would be able to figure it out in one visit. Second, was a matter of cost. Third, was how the problem has dragged on all summer.

I mentioned how Comcast had an offer for current satellite customers. The offer was: cable, internet and phone service for $99/month, plus HBO and Starz service for a year, plus a DVR and DVR service for one year. This morning, I called Comcast and asked some more questions. I don’t need home phone service so I asked them how much the offer would be, per month without the phone service but with the cable, internet and the rest of the package. My monthly bill would be $83. Now my DirecTV monthly bill is $72 and so at first glance, this doesn’t seem like a great deal. However…

I am also paying $57/month for Verizon. About $30 of that is for DSL and the remaining amount are the minimum fees required to maintain a phone line for the DSL. But if I get internet through Comcast, I no longer need these services. Looking at it this way, I currently pay $130/month for cable/internet services. Switching to Comcast, that will drop to $83/month, a savings of $47/month or $564/year!

Since I already have Tivo, I can put the DVR they are giving me on the TV in the bedroom and that means I can record shows on different station, if I so choose. I also asked about what my bill will look like after one year has passed and the offer has ended, assuming I keep the same services I have with DirecTV right now. I was told that the bill will be around $100/month, which is still a savings of $360/year from what I am currently paying. Finally, I checked to make sure that I could still get the MLB package so I could watch baseball games. That’s no problem.

So I made the switch. The Comcast people are coming to my house tomorrow morning between 8 – 11 AM to get everything set up. I canceled my DirecTV service call for tomorrow and I also called to cancel my DirecTV service, which now ends on December 8. They were very nice on the phone and offered me discounts on my service to stay as a customer. But discounts won’t solve my technical problems so I thanked them for the offer, but declined. I have to call Verizon and cancel my phone and DSL service, and I will do that as soon as I am certain that I have Internet access through my cable modem.

I am hopeful that this concludes the months-long saga of my reception problems and I’m looking forward to not having to worry about this problem anymore.

Rescheduled service call

I had to reschedule my DirecTV service call tomorrow because it turns out I have to be in the office for the interview that I am supposed to do. As luck would have it, however, the next available slot that I got was Saturday between 1-5 PM, which works for me.

When I called to reschedule, I had to look up the phone number on the DirecTV website and they had my account information posted. I noted that my bill due in December was just about twice what it normally is. I asked about that and it turns out I was charged $70 for the service call I had back on Halloween when my dish was knocked over. I pointed out that I pay a monthly fee for service protection insurance and that I should not have been charged. The very helpful service girl agreed and corrected the error immediately. Now when I look online, the amount due is correct.

I’ve been a little stressed out about what DirecTV will do to get my problem fixed, but I’ve decided I’m not going to worry about it any more. They are the experts, and they’ve seen these problems countless times, so I’m sure they will know what to do; I won’t have to troubleshoot things for them.

Tired afternoon

I got home from work around 4:50 PM and sat down to read for a while. I quickly felt myself growing sleepy, so I decided to read in the bedroom. The last time I looked at the clock it read 5:50 PM. There was still daylight outside. And then I dozed off and woke up a few minutes ago, at 8 PM, completely disoriented (although slightly rested). Weird!

So I got up, packed my lunch for tomorrow, got things ready (just cardio tomorrow afternoon so I don’t have to lug my gym bag), paid some bills, and now, at 8:20 PM, I’m back in bed. I’m going to try reading for a while longer (I’m currently 240 pages through Lunar Prospector) but I’m still groggy and I have a feeling I won’t last long. That’s fine, though, because I can use more than 7 hours of sleep every now and then. Still, I forget that days like today start early for me, at 4:30 AM and that’s probably why I was so tired this afternoon.

Et cetera

First, the Gray’s Anatomy obession continues, with 5 more episodes down the hatch this evening when I could have been doing a dozen other things. Well, not all of it was bad. There were some funny parts.

I finished The Demon-Haunted World on the train this morning, and I will have more to say about the themes in that book (science, pseudoscience, and religion), but I am still formulating my thoughts (plus, I want to catch another episode before going to bed). Sticking with the science theme, I’m going back to some of Asimov’s science essays, which I do from time-to-time. I read all of his F&SF essays years ago (I have all 40 or so of the collections) but every now and then I’ll read one again hoping the information will stick better.

I left a message for the roofer this afternoon but haven’t heard back yet. I’ve kept my landlord posted. Maybe I’ll get a call tomorrow?

I have an important meeting at 1:30 PM tomorrow to demonstrate the prototype application I’ve been developing for one of our groups. One of the Big Vice Presidents of the company will be attending the meeting because the idea behind this whole project was his, so this is his baby. It will also be the first time he’s seen what I’ve done. Fortunately, I’ve done a pretty darn good job and I’m not too concerned.

I’m more concerned about having to get up at 4:30 AM. I’ve got a 6 AM session with Bernard in the morning. Because of that, I’m not going to watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Good writing or not, 10 PM is just too late for me.

I got my T-Mobile bill, which is nothing unusual, except for the fact that it was exactly twice the usual amount. Exactly! I fumed. I hemmed and hawed. I ran through sarcastic conversations I’d have with customer service people about the shoddy quality of their billing system. Then I cooled down and took a closer look at the bill. Seems I forgot to pay the bill last month. It’s one of two bills that I get that are not paid automatically. See, I knew this automatic payment thing was going to cause problems!

[This is me, in humble retreat…]


Some miscellaneous items from today, before I head off to bed:

  • I finally got around to looking through the Rome and Florance pictures from vickyandnorm‘s trip to Italy. Some of that art looked awfully familiar. I felt as though I was having flashbacks to 11th grade art history. “The Rape of the Sabine Women”…? And as usual, some entertaining captions.
  • Received and paid my enormous $20 gas bill this month.
  • Did my afternoon workout with Bernard, but I’m too tired to record it now, so I’ll get it posted tomorrow.

I’m 38 pages through Brainiac and loving it! I think strausmouse would like it too. Just as I feel like a mental midget when standing next to Norm, I also feel like a trivia toad beside the likes of Eric, who conjures up from his memory more obscurely random facts than I could ever dream to. And that’s saying something!

Auto insurance woes

I realized yesterday that I had not yet received a bill for my auto insurance for this year. Normally, the bill comes in early July and is due August 1. It’s already July 13 and nothing. So I called and they told me the bill was mailed on the 6th and takes about 10 days. I hate cutting things that close. I went online and found that I can pay the bill online. (I pay the entire bill for the whole year upfront, rather than drag out the payments.) So I’ll give it a few more days and see what happens.

Such are the exciting events that make up my life.