Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stupid Comcast

The ads for our mammoth cable carrier, Comcast, always feature cheezy compaigns like, "everyone loves to save money" and "That's Comcastic!" Yeah. Idiot proof ads.

Here in the States, analogue TV went digital on June 12th. Last week, while relaxing after 14hrs of taking care of my child, I realized that half our channels were snowy. I figured, "some sort of upgrade... give it a few days." As of yesterday, the channels were still snowy. I know you might be thinking, "who watches TV during the summer, anyway??" Well, we do. We are suckers for movies and documentaries. And it's not like we can just take a walk around the block while our child sleeps alone at home.

I called Comcast and told them our problem. So much for help... they said our basic package now only went up to a certain channel, and we'd have to pay $12 more (plus taxes) to get back our other original channels. Not Comcastic. I asked why we should stay with them and if they had any insentive deals. "Not for existing customers," she said. I declined their offer.

The problem is, we are stuck with Comcast (for high-speed internet) and I hate spotty TV reception. Those years are behind me. AT&T doesn't serve internet in our area (near a population center of a few million) because we are out of the 5-mile radius of their internet servers. Grrr.

I don't mind paying the companies their prices when I know there is a contract of what we'll receive. What I don't like is getting stiffed in the deal when the companies decide to change their mind, cut service and add fees. Two years ago when our cell phone contract ended, we decided to get a pay-per-minute plan. Until then, 25% of our bill was fees and 'government' charges.

We may be one of the few backwards people in this high-tech area but that's okay. We're not stuck with $140/month iPhone bills, $150/month Comcast package 'deals,' and certainly not any other tech deal.

And life is still worth living!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

63% done already!

Yes, 25 weeks today! I love every kick and sometimes Little Girl wakes me up. Guess I'd better get used to it;-)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Decluttering 1000 sq. ft.

Our place is just over 1000 sq. ft. If you were to discount the two bathrooms and little laundry room, you might be down to 850 sq. ft. So, my question: where does all this clutter come from???

Both the bedrooms have floor to ceiling closets, and there is plenty of built-in bookshelves in the living room- yet, when I look around, I still feel like stuff is seeping out of every crack and cranny. I usually do a donation run every 6-8 weeks to the local thrift store and I've been trying to curtail random Target purchases in an effort to save money and space.

My official mantras, "would I put this is in a moving truck, or not?" and, "if I haven't used it in the last year, get rid of it," work most of the time, but there are a few items that escape this reasoning... 1) camping equipment/sleeping bags, and 2) my fine china.

We used to camp a lot when we lived in San Diego (read: pre-children days). The items are of nice quality so I don't want to get rid of them because we'd like to camp again in the future (maybe another year or more). In regards to my fine china, I collected a few pieces in my teen years and was gifted some when Dan and I married. Most of the pieces were given to me when a great-uncle died and the estate was divided up. I still hope to have a china cabinet one day in the future.

In the mean time, I'll keep stacking items on top of the camping equipment and around the boxes of china. There are always other items that can be given away to make space for newly stored items:-)

Monday, July 06, 2009

My 'Old Fashioned' Side

I love names that have endured time but aren't 'old lady-ish', so in my pursuit for our little girl's name, I decided to read my 25 much loved L.M. Montgomery books again. My Anne books are the most read, so I wanted to start over with the not-so-famililar books, like Pat of Silver Bush and Mistress Pat. These are the only two books in this story line but if the author had decided to do so, I'm sure she could have written many more books about Pat.

Over the past two weeks, I've stayed up too many late nights- but it has been worth it when I enjoy the novels so much and my time doesn't feel wasted like it does when I read modern literature. In between the pages, I get a good cry when Bets dies and I feel the anxiety when Hilary Gordon supposedly gets engaged, and relief when Pat realizes it's not Silver Bush she loves but Hilary.

I'll wait a few more days to start the next novel. I want to ponder the story line a little longer before I slip the books back onto the shelf for another year or more:-)