Saturday, January 17, 2009

Short Blip

Ahh, the rewards of taking giant dogs for a long walk.
I decided the canal was boring and went to the mountains instead.
Took the Javelina Trail up into South Mountain Preserve (that's what the sign says, anyway), went along a narrow trail for quite a ways and then found a good, steep hill with a cool looking pathway going up it. We headed up there. Danes weren't struggling, Leopard Dog was climbing it with ease. Got to the top and all 4 of us were breathing heavily.

Went up yet another one and then started back down again.

It was a couple mile long walk in total. It's so beautiful up in those mountains. Yes, it's all desert type terrain, but it's a step out of the city simply by walking 3 blocks. Really - the difference is amazing. Plus, you get back in there and the sounds and sights of the city disappear. Only when you climb to the top of a hill or mountain do you see the city - which usually isn't anything spectacular because the first thing that glares out at you is the brown layer of smog covering the inner-city.

I don't know if that's hitting the place where I live or not. I'm up off the desert floor since I'm so close to the base of the mountain. The brown cloud only goes so high - but impossible to tell if my house is in the midst of it or not. I would like to hope not.

Anyways, I'm off to Fry's - they are having some good sales on certain things. Hamburger Helper is on sale for a buck a box. It's usually at least 2 bucks per box. I am not an AVID fan of it, but when I add my own ingredients, it makes it taste better. The thing I like about it is that the kids love it, it's easy to throw together. It's one of those things I cook when I don't really feel like cooking. I'm going to get at least 25 boxes of it - I'm still doing my food store thing that I haven't really been talking about. In that department, I could easily live a month off of what I have in my house now in terms of food, working towards 2 months.

But I don't want to get into that now. I just don't believe we are anywhere NEAR the end of this economic collapse. From the beginning of this nonsense, at least some of the financial guru's have speculated that the end of this thing will be sometime in 2010, when the final ARM's come due and that will be the last of it. From what I have been reading on certain forums, 2009 could be far WORSE than 2008. That's bad if that's true. I don't live in fear, but I do want to live realistically. Realistically for me, food is not something you can live without - and if it gets really bad, I want something to be able to fall back on.

As for right NOW, I'm going to take my little trip to Fry's : )

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!

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...