Saturday, January 17, 2009

Went to bed early last night - so I woke up early this morning.
I'm still a little tired - woke up in the middle of the night and it took a while to get back to sleep.
I think the NFL games are tomorrow so I want to go putz around the yard today, dig out a few more holes, etc etc.
Some of the barren plants I planted a while back are now putting the most beautiful flowers. They have a very pleasant smell to them as well. I had thought those plants might just be plain ole' plants and not really look that good, but I am pleasantly surprised at the beauty and abundance of the flowers each one is putting out.
Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Middle of winter and I have plants blooming, lol. Probably go through and do whatever weeding needs done, rake up the area and it should be good. My fencing is holding against the dogs. I don't have to worry about Prince dragging his tail through that other fencing that was up and slicing it open. His tail is STILL healing - it's been a long time. But it is getting better - it's just taking forever because he wags that big long thing - it's almost 3 feet long - and it smashes up against walls, chairs, whatever. The antibiotics ran out last weekend - fortunately there is no swelling in the areas and it isn't looking infected.

The newer tenant - needs a lesson in budgeting. I WISH I lived so close to work as he does. He's only 3 miles away. If I were that close to work, I could walk, roller-blade, ride a bike to work. Great exercise and helps clear the head. He takes a taxi, every single day he goes to work. Yes, he works for the cab company and gets a discount, but it's still costing him a chunk of change that comes right out of his check to get to and from work. The point is that his financial situation isn't all that great - he could be doing much better if he would save the money on taxi's and take a bus if nothing else. A bus pass is like $30 for adults per month. Compare that to taxi fees for average 23 working days per month - huge savings.

So - because Mary didn't pay her rent, satellite went out yesterday. Didn't bother me at all, I can take or leave TV, but the newer tenant came out immediately after it went off. I got paid yesterday, yes, but my check didn't clear the bank until after midnight. Well, I figured since I had the money in the bank, maybe I could go ahead and pay the past due amount and it would go through on my debit card, anyway. Sure enough, it did.

However, the TV did not come back on. Oh. I called DirectTV. Took forever to talk to anyone - their system wasn't working right and it would dump me back to the main menu after I gave it the info it wanted. On the - fifth try, I think - I finally got through to an actual AMERICAN named Beverly. I'm estimating that 90 plus percent of the time I call Direct TV I get hooked up with a person in India, or Pakistan - somewhere over there considering the accent which sometimes is so thick you can't understant their English.

Their policy: if the TV shuts off, you can pay the past-due amount, but it won't get the TV turned back on unless you pay the balance down to zero. I asked to speak to a manager. Took another 15 minutes. Manager gets on and politely refuses my request to turn it back on. My argument? I've been a DirectTV customer for almost 9 years. Obviously, I've paid them some money in that period of time. I was polite back, but I didn't let up. He finally - politely - hung up on me, lol. Sorry Mr. BenB, but I just can't do that for you. I wasn't particularly happy, but oh well. One night without TV isn't the end of the world. Sitting here right now? I don't even have the TV on.

But, a magical thing happened. The guy turned the satellite back on even though he said he wouldn't! JUST after I got off the phone, ta-daaaaaahh! I guess he broke their policy. Another magical thing happened: HBO and Max are on as well. But I doubt he did that, it's probably a free weekend for that stuff as they do it once in a while. BUT, I'll have to say that if he did that, too, wow!!!

Also, I have been having email exchanges with what turns out to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors (so he claims) about this product of theirs. OH, I just did a search on the net, the guy is one of 2 investors that are funding MagicJack - at least on an article I found, but it's an old article and that might have changed by now. Basically, for the MagicJack to work on my computer without all the problems, I would have to have only one user account. Can't do that, but there are several cheap computers for sale on Craigslist - when I say cheap, I'm talking $40. If the thing has a USB port, it's good enough. The device I have isn't working properly, either - but they are sending me a new one for free. MagicJack is a good product for the money, it really is. The calls are crystal clear. You buy the thing for $40 and that also pays for 1 year of service. After that, it's $19.99 per YEAR. That includes unlimited long distance calling, btw. Something for anyone wanting to save some coins to take a look at.

I have no Mary report this morning because nothing more has happened since last night.

The dogs are restless, I think I'm going to take them for a medium-length walk. Meaning I don't really want to, but it's not even 8:00am yet meaning not too many people will be out right now and it's a good time to get them out there and get that energy released.

C'ya later, and have a great day!


  1. Happy 'putzing' today!!

    I agree, the newer tenant should bike to work! 2 birds with one stone. Keeps him fit and saves him money.

    But Ben, it's not fair to Ken if the satellite goes out because Mary hasn't paid her rent. I'm impressed you hung on the line for so long with them. I get quickly irritated trying to converse with anyone from Directv.

    I hope the Danes get pleasantly worn out this morning and have a grand adventure on their walk.

  2. Shannon:
    I know it's not fair, that's why I stuck through with it to get it turned back on. My last resort was going to be to try making another payment on my debit card and see if it would go through, anyway. I was just afraid that I might get dinged with overdraft fees even though I deposited my paycheck - I've read and heard banks are playing all kinds of games now in trying to collect more revenues.

    I also get very irritated with Direct TV because their version of customer service basically is non-existent. The newer tenant is quite overweight and a daily walk, ride, whatever to work would probably make all of that disappear in a couple of months or so.

    Thank you - and yes the Danes got a good workout. I took them up into the moutains that are 3 blocks from here and made them climb some pretty steep hills. They are passed out on the floor now : )

    Happy Saturday!

  3. It's actually possible to live without DirecTV. I had mine disconnected by choice several months ago. Got an antenna and digital box. Now I get 20 channels free, and many are already broadcast in HD for a sharp picture! I don't really miss the DirecTV like I thought I would! Plenty of sports on here, movies, local and national news programs, etc. The money I save goes for things I enjoy more than TV.

  4. Benita:
    I could live without it as well. I live right next to South Mountain - where all the TV antenna arrays are - reception is crystal clear. I guess you have to buy a converter box to be able to receive the digital signal. But - I couldn't possibly lure tenants into living here without satellite TV unless I charged a lot less per month for rent. Doing that wouldn't cover things around here - so - I bite the bullet and pay the bill every month. I was thinking of reducing the number of channels and having "less" Direct TV - but that wouldn't be fair either, since some of the channels that would disappear area channels that my tenant, Ken, watches. I could go back to dial-up internet, but I'm spoiled by broadband and again, it's another lure to get tenants in here in having high-speed internet service that you can send to any room in the house via router.


Auto pay done.  On the Expedition.  I have far too many bills to keep up with all of this. 3 houses worth of utilities, satellite and intern...