Monday, June 21, 2010

cars and computers

Last Wednesday was the date of the move.  Still hard to believe we moved all the couches, TVs, washer and dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, store, microwave, a couple entertainment centers and so much more in just one day.  All the major stuff in only twelve hours.

It took us half an hour to get that fridge in here.  I had Taco Bell with real, sugary Dr. Pepper for lunch.  I needed the sugar to get me through that move, and I’m sure I worked off all that sugar and fat in no time.  You know you’re desperate for food when Taco Bell tastes like a gourmet meal.  For water, we didn’t bring any, so we just munched on the ice from the freezer tray.  Working out helped a lot with my recovery.  I remember when we moved like that in Tennessee I could barely stand up.  This time I was sore, but still fully functional.  I feel no guilt skipping my workout this week.

I moved furniture around my room today.  Got some things in their place at last, got all my crap out of the suitcases.  I think I have it set up the way I want it.  Or at least in a way I can live with for the near future.

It’s raining again.  Might be why I’m so tired.  Internet won’t be hooked up until Saturday I’m told.  I the meantime I’m still hijacking the neighbor’s internet for basic email, but only in a couple spots of the house.  Yeah, I have to look for internet hotspots in my own house.  That’ll change once we get our own internet working again.

You never realize how boring computers are until you have to go without always-on internet for a while.  Yes, there was a time when computers were standalone.  To do anything on them, we used to have to go to a store and BUY software!  Signing onto the net used to be something we had to consciously do.  Yes, we used to have to decide when we were going to sign on to the net.  Without the net, computers don’t seem to do very much anymore.

Sometimes I miss those days of computers, when everything was new and unexplored and our lives didn’t depend on them.  Kinda like with cars.  The automobile was once a luxury, and when it was, it was a fascinating new device that made transportation easier.  But now our whole nation is built around the automobile, so it’s become a requirement.  Instead of a luxury to make our lives easier, computers and cars have become overhead.  No pleasure in them anymore.  Now it’s all necessity, something that makes our lives more complicated.  I miss the days when computers were a novelty—something that gave you an edge over your classmates, made assignments easier, made research a little easier.  Now, who cares; everyone has them and they’re required.

The floors in this house are not completely level.  I feel like I’m sitting uphill as I type.  Ah, old houses.  It doesn’t feel like it right now, but this will be worth it.  A house that WE own.  Bank doesn’t own it.  We own it!  Soon it will only cost utilities and taxes to live here, and won’t that be paradise?  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fine print

I received an offer for an American Express Blue Sky card.  It boasts travel free with any airline, hotel, cruise, car rental and travel package, no annual fee, no expiration date on points, no limit on the points you can earn and no restrictions.  Its only reward program is sky miles, there is no monthly maintenance fee or annual fee.  But look at the fine print:

“You will accrue one point for each US dollar of net purchases charged on your Blue Sky Card account.  Points can only be redeemed in the form of a statement credit on eligible travel purchases (airlines, hotels, car rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, and online travel sites billed to your account and submitted by the merchant using the proper industry merchant or product/service code). … Points may only be redeemed in increments of 7,500.  Each 7,500 point increment is equal to a statement credit of up to $100, up to the amount of the eligible travel purchase.”

Now isn’t that blatant robbery?  You earn one point for every dollar you spend, but 7,500 points are only worth $100 when redeeming them.  Rule of thumb: no company is going to give you a deal that benefits you.  A company will only do whatever benefits itself.  But they sure are good at making it seem like they’re out for your benefit, don’t they?