Home » Archive

August 2006

Written By: Gary on August 30, 2006 One Comment

So on my quest to save money today I stopped by two insurance agencies to check on my auto and home insurance. I currently have State Farm and they’ve always been good to me, but it was time to check. I was heading over to All State (Allstate?) which a few people have given me recommendations lately but I passed a MEEMIC (supposedly Michigan Educator’s discount insurance) so I popped in, a bit less for the home but a bit more for the car, not worth switching and loosing the multi item discount. So went to Allstate and they wanted a huge amount more for the home (two-and-a-half times more) and a bit more for the car (less than MEEMIC). Allstate said it was my zip code, a portion of it is in Detroit (some of it is a not so great area).

Now the waitress at the bar just told me to try AIG…

Written By: Gary on August 30, 2006 One Comment
If you could, would you be a taxi driver for a day? In what city?
Las Vegas seems like it’d be an interesting choice. Mostly short fares. People partying, gambling, at a conference or vacationing. Mostly having fun of some kind. That’s probably be a good choice.

From Question of the Day

Written By: Gary on August 30, 2006 No Comment

This is the story of how I saved $11.95 a month on my cable. I also mention how to get cable for about $12 a month (depeding on your company) and how I only pay $28.85 for cable internet. It’s kind of a long story, but you could save some bucks on your cable or internet so it’s worth the read if you want to try to save some money. If not, just be happy that I saved money :)

So while I like watching TV, movies and music in home theater style (105 inches baby!) I also try not to blow too much money doing it. It’s those recurring bills that kill your budget, that’s the stuf that people don’t notice (that and interest) but really adds up. I generally have econo-basic cable, it’s $12.00 a month it gets me the first 23(?) channels on my cable system and doesn’t require a cable box (which makes the integration with TiVo seamless). Generally when you get internet through your cable you end up getting a few extra channels since the filter that stops you from getting the other channels also stops the internet so they loosen it up a little.

So last year they were doing some promos and I saw I could try digital cable pretty cheap, well it turns out digital cable just gets me more stations (in the 100-199 range) but doesn’t make my other stations better so I returned that box. But while I was there I found out I could get a HD digital box for $5 plus $5.95 a month (and I know they promised this price for 2 years). This got me my normal networks, the above digital range, pbs, 2 espn channels, 2 inHD channels (which was a plus older movies, some documentaries and some IMAX movies in HD) and a science channel (maybe TNT too) in HD (my TV isn’t HD so this was more like DVD quality for these channels). The downside is the TiVo reacts a little slower when connected via a cable box.

Well, the two year promotion just ended (after 1 year) and now they want the $5 plus $11.95. So I call and give her the quiz (and I’m ruthless but not an ass) I finally determine the $11.95 is really for the 100-199 digital range (the only channel I even know was there was a weather station) and a few of the HD channels so I dumped it. It really amazes my how they can’t give you a definitive list of the channels that will go away (or are included). I just checked and I lost the 100-199 range, maybe one of the HD ESPN channels, the inHD channels, the science channel and that’s about it (mostly stuff I don’t watch). So it really turns out that I lost $75 last year since I didn’t need that part of the cable, but at least I now know I’m not missing out.

This goes with my money motto of “It never hurts to ask!”

My mother just told me a similar story when they raised her bill last month (I’ve been teaching her my motto) she found out she wasn’t watching some of the blocks of programming she was paying for. She dumped those and also got them to add a promo for her package for a year. I couldn’t get them to add me a promo but since I’ve got such a limited package it’s kinda hard (how do you promote your cheapest package).

Forgetting all of the above, I also get a $15 discount for the Internet for having the $12 cable package (since I’m a customer) so keep that in mind if you want satellite but still want internet cable, it’s cheaper to have the TV with the internet than not. Many cable companies are this way, they just don’t advertise the econo-limited-basic option (sometimes you really have to quiz and twist their arm for this limited option). Plus every so often I’ll call them and tell them I’ll leave if I don’t get a better price on the internet since I can get DSL cheaper, I know that cable internet is generally faster, but I can live without the speed. Right now I’m getting an extra $15 a month off my internet (usually I only get $10, I got lucky with that one) so I really only pay $28.95 for my high speed internet (which is really a lot when you look at all the $14-$20 DSL promotions out there).

It might sound cheap, but I like to think of it as frugal. We’re not talking about saving $10-$30 one time, we’re talking about saving this much money a month for the rest of your life! You can do similar bargaining with your phone and cell phone bills. If you can save $10-$15 a bill just by changing or updating your plan that’s $360-$540 a year (that’s an round trip-airline flight!).

Here’s more info from my other Comcast dealings from the past.

Written By: Gary on August 29, 2006 No Comment

That’s pretty good price for gasoline isn’t it? I didn’t need much gas (maybe 1/4 tank) but I couldn’t pass it up!!!

Written By: Gary on August 29, 2006 No Comment

I’ve been so so so busy with the start of school this year (our students started the 23rd!) which is normally busy, but we put in 1,000 new computers this summer and a few new labs and all sorts of stuff. So I’ve got tomorrow off. It’ll be my first day off that I get to sleep in and not have to rush about in weeks (the day I was sick last week doesn’t count).

Sleep, shop, eat and catch up on reading some blogs (I’m way behind). Maybe some basic things like bills and stuff like that. Maybe a matinee? (I’m not sure what’s out that I want to see)

Tags: []
Written By: Gary on August 27, 2006 One Comment

So as we all know, metric is going to take the word by storm one of these days). HA!

The funny thing is I always thought of it as something that came over here from overseas, but the amount of signage in England that is in miles (and not kilometers) makes me laugh. I always chuckle when I see teachers teaching metric (I work for a school district) since it seems they are telling them the same thing they told me as a kid (and I’m still waiting).

Actually it’s bottled water that’s the cause of this post. One of my 101 in 1001 things items is to drink a 1/2 gallon of water a day for three weeks and see if it makes me feel healthier. So I bought water today (it’s on sale at Target) and the bottles are a 1/2 liter so I needed to figure out how many I needed to drink. Here’s the thing they don’t list it in ounces, they listed it as “1 pint 0.9 ounces” so I had to think if a pint was 16 ounces or not. Why wouldn’t they just list it as 16.9 ounces?!?

The real question is why are the bottling companies going along with this? Most people will pretty much pay the same for 16 ounces or 16.9 ounces, right? So it seems like they’re just giving away stuff (water, coke, whatever it might be).

Although I just looked at the Mike’s Lemonade that I’m drinking and it’s 11.2 ounces. See and I thought I paid for 12 ounces :)

Written By: Gary on August 26, 2006 3 Comments

So Apple has a battery recall going on right now for some of the 12 & 15 inch Powerbooks and iBooks. I qualify for two and it’s a relatively easy process. I’ll tell you the four problems with it:

  • The font size on the battery is about 3 pt, you need a magnifying glass or take a digital picture and zoom in.
  • When it asks for your county it’s county, not country.
  • The confimation e-mail I got didn’t mention two batteries, I’d have been happier if there was a good web or e-mail confirmation that listed my name, address and all the serial numbers.
  • I’m surprised that I didn’t get a warning to stop using the batteries immediately as part of the process.

    I’ve got an older third battery at work that I don’t think I ever disposed of, I’m hoping that might qualify too :)

  • Written By: Gary on August 23, 2006 No Comment

    Just some stuff I found:

  • Free Schick Quattro Titanium Razor (supplies limited and also enters you into a contest).
  • Free song from Weird Al called Don’t download this song.
  • Free Bryce 5.0 3-D Software for Windows (until Sept. 6).

    Via SlickDeals.net

  • Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on August 21, 2006 One Comment

    I was tagged by RW to do this meme :)

    Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
    Web Programmer
    Computer Trainer
    Camp Counselor

    Four movies you could watch over and over:

    The Flight of the Navigator
    The American President

    The Cutting Edge
    A Christmas Story

    Four places you’ve lived:
    Berkley, MI
    East Lansing, MI
    Haslett, MI
    Dearborn, MI

    Four TV shows you love to watch:
    Gray’s Anatomy
    Dead Zone
    Kyle XY

    Four websites you visit daily:
    The Daily Meme

    Four of your favorite foods:
    Hot Wings
    Chicken With Pineapple (Chinese)
    Beef With Brocolli (Chinese)

    Four places you’d rather be:
    The Beach
    Costa Rica
    The Moon

    Four albums you can’t live without (for the moment):

    Avril Lavign
    Under My Skin
    Anna Nalick
    Wreck of the Day

    Tori Amos
    Little Earthquakes
    Indigo Girls
    Strange Fire

    I’m stopping at four (2 new & 2 old) but I really couldn’t stick to four…

    Written By: Gary on August 20, 2006 2 Comments

    So it’s not a huge change but I was tired of the washed out summer theme that was too bright, I thought I might get used to it, but…

    It’s a bit of the same colors, I just got rid of a lot of the bright ones. It’s too soon for a fall theme…

    Background image from

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on August 19, 2006 One Comment

    Here’s an interesting post from over at GirlSpoke. Turns out while looking at the vistor log Meme found a link visitor from “house.gov” (which would be a machine under the House of Reps domain). The question in her mind was what link did they follow to get there? The answer was they got there from a Google search:

    The Google search terms were:

    “How do I find a chick to f-ck if I am married?”

    She’s got more details in her original post.

    Written By: Gary on August 19, 2006 No Comment

    Whats Your Google PageRank?I know we’ve talked about Google Page Rank before but I saw a new widget on Omni’s page and I thought I’d throw it over here. The nice thing about this one is that it’s supposed to show the main site’s rank even if you have it on a different page (say when it moves to the archives).

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on August 17, 2006 No Comment

    Creditreport2006BRW was talking about interest and credit recently and it reminded me it’s been a while since I checked my credit report. I’m generally pretty happy with my report, nothing I had to change (usually there’s a canceled that hadn’t been listed as canceled). Saving (and not wasting) money is a skill taught to me by my mother (mostly because we didn’t have lots) but it’s a skill I’ve managed to keep.

    You can get a FREE credit report 3 times a year (once from each of the three companies). I’ve mentioned this before so I’m not going to spend too much time on the details.

    On a side note (but related to credit), I’ve been helping my buddy with his budget since the beginning of the year. It’s been a struggle (mostly to keep from strangling him) but things are mostly under control. And as a result – six months ago we couldn’t get him a secured vehicle loan at a high interest rate (due to bad credit) and we just got him an unsecured loan (for more money than the previous request) at a pretty good rate!!!! Very cool! We used that loan to pay off other higher rate “stuff” and a few other bills.

    Written By: Gary on August 17, 2006 No Comment

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned Woot before, they offer a great deal once a day (starting at 1 AM EST) that generally sells out pretty quick. Every so often they have a Woot Off, which means once an item sells out, they offer another one over and over (and repeat for about for 24-48 hours). So if you haven’t Woot-ed yet, now’s the time! It’s $5 for shipping no matter how many items you buy). Sometimes items are refurbished so if you’re fussy (I’m not) be sure to pay attention.

    The Bag ‘o Crap is supposedly the best, I’ve never gotten one since they sell out so fast, it’s generally odd lots they need to get rid of. Remember to buy 3 (the limit) since it’s still only $5 no matter how many you get.

    Written By: Gary on August 17, 2006 No Comment

    So I get the newspaper on the weekend. Not ’cause I want the news, but because I want the ads on the weekend (and maybe for the entertainment). They’re always trying to get me to get the rest of the week too. It’s always tempting, why you ask? Because they offer me the rest of the week for FREE! This offer appears to be for the Detroit News or Detroit Free Press. The last time them mailed me a letter for an offer my buddy dropped from weekly to weekends and called in and they switched him back to weeks for the same price (so I guess you can too). This time they sent me a web sitehttp://newspaperupgrade.com/ (contest code CW) that appears to let you upgrade your weekend account to 7 day for the same price (they say it’s just for a year, but I know they’ve been offering it to me for years). They must really make money from the advertisers to just give it away….

    YMMV depending on where you live in the state….

    Written By: Gary on August 15, 2006 One Comment

    So I’ve mentioned Kyle XY before and I really like Kyle XY (the character) and “Kyle XY” the show. As I was watching this week’s episode I was afraid I was wrong and there were only 8 episodes and not ten, but I checked and there are still two more (Overheard and Endgame). I’m afraid they’ll rush it because they just introduced a new story arc. Some spoilers follow…

    In case you haven’t been watching, Kyle is super smart and he has no belly button. So there’s something odd about him on multiple levels. We found a picture of someone he looks like so I’m assuming he’s a clone, but that yet may not be the case.

    I’m really enjoying the series. It’s strange that it’s a Monday ABC Family show but it’s being carried (rerunning the previous Monday) on Friday’s on regular ABC in widescreen HD (high definition).

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on August 12, 2006 3 Comments

    Hopefully you’re not getting too tired of the Egypt photos, here’s just under 100 from day 6.

    On the Nile
    Scenery, pollution and a big-ass bridge.
    Riding to the Temple of Edfu
    A quick view of the town during out carriage ride.
    At the temple of Edfu
    Some huge walls of hieroglyphics. Some interesting shots with light.
    The ride back (and the visit to the StarGate)
    Goats and a Stargate.
    On the Nile and around the Ship
    The view, the pool, some sailboats (falugah?), a traditional evening and more scenery.

    Oops, here’s the link to the photos

    Hopefully if you’ve just recently starting reading the blog you’ve read the older Egypt entries. Those were posted while I was in Egypt and that’s where the longer stories are…

    You may have seen these, I had posted them a bit back but not written a post to go with them yet nor added descriptions (maybe 20 of them). They were at the bottom of the egypt photos page so if you were looking around.

    Written By: Gary on August 11, 2006 5 Comments

    Kyra asked these questions on her blog. She actually asked them two different ways: If you had six months and what if everyone had 6 months.

    If you knew you only had six months to live, and the world was guaranteed to end for you – how would you live?

    What would you do?
    Take it easy, relax, travel and lots more.
    Would you spend your money, or save it?
    Spend it. I’d clear out my 403b, 401k and IRAs! Heck, I’d stop probably stop paying my bills.
    Would you eat healthy/diet, or would you be into the ice cream and chips every day?
    Not healthy (not any less healthy than now either). Maybe more desserts :)
    Exer-what? Actually, I’d be running around so much I probably wouldn’t need any.
    Would you stay in your current job, or find something else to do?
    Six months? I’d quit! (I like my job but at that point what’s the point).

    Would you keep your current friends, or cut the ones who only waste your time?
    I’d keep them all.
    Would you talk to every single person that you consciously make time for? Or cut your loses?
    Status quo.
    Would you stay where you live, or move?
    I’d stay there but also travel.
    What things would you stop caring about, that you do now?
    Bills, upgrading the house (painting, furniture, etc.), stop saving for car, retirement, etc.
    Anything else?
    I’d throw more than a few parties and give away a lot of my stuff, I don’t need lots of it and and why make someone else decide who gets what later. I’d have to rush and finish lots of my 101 in 1001 list, just the fun ones, not the chores, those are the ones I really want to do anyways so why not… Since I’m dying in 6 months it probably wouldn’t do any good to tell some people about my secret feelings for them but you never know. It might get me more kisses or (goodbye) sex…

    I’m single and have no dependents so that really makes the options easier for me than some people. Sure I’d hook Mom up with some of my savings but she’s probably fine without it so that makes this a lot more fun list for me than it might be for some others.

    I’m not going to go the route if it was six months for everyone, I’d have to assume it’d be a bad place to be (chaos and all). But the new series 3 Moons Over Milford (free at iTunes at this point in time) is kind of a end of the world scenario (the moon breaks into three pieces in a degrading orbit) where it’s not chaos, I’d like to think it’d go that way.

    Tags: [, , ]
    Written By: Gary on August 10, 2006 No Comment
    1. Do you think you’re a good driver? Do you drive defensively or offensively? Why?
    I’m a pretty good driver. I kinda just get into “driving mode” and move along. (My mom always gets nervous).
    2. How fast do you normally drive? Do you always go the speed limit, or do you like to speed? Do you believe in the ‘flow of traffic’ method for speeding?
    I probably go a little over, nothing significant.
    3. What do you think of those people who drive while talking on the fone? Do you think it impairs their driving? Why/why not? Do you do it?
    They’re generally idiots with a phone in one hand and a soda or smoke in the other. Get a headset!!!! It’s the holding onto their head that’s part of the impairment/problem. You see someone swerving weird or blocking an intersection or not turning and 90% of the time they’re holding a phone (generally they aren’t on a headset). If you don’t believe me just walk around the grocery store; the ones pushing a cart and holding the phone are a menace, the ones with a headset just seem schizophrenic since thy’re taking to themselves…
    Bonus Question for Comments: What’s one thing that just drives you absolutely bonkers that people do when their driving (or how their driving)?
    Not using their blinker!!!! It should be a $500 fine IMHO.

    From 3x Thursday

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on August 8, 2006 2 Comments

    57422 Pe163006 S3So I’ve replaced my old tables at my place. They were old ones when I moved in 8 years ago. It was about time and it was an item on my 101 in 1001 list. Here’s the smaller one, the other one is just longer. The glass top is interchangeable with the wood, which I’ll never do, but I like the feature :)

    Plus I put in this looonnngg cabinet along the front of the room, it’s pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for DVDs and CDs and “stuff”. It’s 77 inches long so it’s got room for a lots of items.

    Also, I finally put some curtains up in the living room (this is also on my 101 in 1001 list)

    It’s resulted in some movement and rearranging around the house. It’s never exactly what I want so I’m still thinking about the layout.

    I’ll need to get some photos on-line.

    Oh, and I got a hutch for the dining room. I’m trying to keep the laptop in there when I come home and I’m keeping the chargers for all my gadgets in there so that I’m not always digging them up and having them on the dining room table and then misplacing them :)

    I need to add an item to my list: No more shopping at Ikea!!!

    Written By: Gary on August 3, 2006 2 Comments
    Heroes – Normal people start to gain extra abilities all over the world.
    The 4400 meets the X-Files (maybe?). If you’ve ever read a super-hero comic or wanted to be different then this show is for you. We’ve got a lot of Lost-like coincidental meeting in this one. A great concept. We’ll see how it lasts. (What the heck is the girl in the mirror’s power?)
    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – The director flips out on the air. They need new people in charge.
    Sports Night meets Saturday Night Live (with a little bit of Network thrown in). A great cast in this one, a lot of your favorites from Aaron Sorkin shows.
    Jerico – A little town in the southwest named Jerico. A mushroom cloud in the distance.
    The Day After meets Invasion. This one might get a little old. But the first episode was great. Be sure to listen to the answering machine; the first time and the last time gives the most chills. The post disaster stuff is already reminding me of the city in Invasion being cut off from civilization.
    The Nine – A bank robbery. Nine strangers. It’s 52 two hours later.
    They’ve bonded, they’ve lost one and they still aren’t sure what happened. A lot of familiar faces in this one. Lots of Lost-type flashbacks and they’re trying to piece it all together. Intense.
    Secrets of a Small Town – A murder in a small town. A reporter returns home after 5 years. A lot of other stuff/secrets I’m still clueless about.
    Twin Peaks meets (I’m not sure what yet). A cast of thousands. Lots of people with secrets. This one is definitely worth watching the first few ’cause if you miss them I don’t know if you can catch up later.
    Traveler – Two friends get blamed for a museum bombing. Their friend Will Traveler is missing. A coincidence?
    9/11 meets the One Armed Man. This might get old as they track down clues to clear their name. (There has got to be a GPS tracker in the watch).
      Copyright ©2003-2013 Gary Said…, All rights reserved.| Powered by WordPress| Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates

    http://GarySaid.com/2006/08/ generated Sunday, March 7th 2021 at 1:15:31 pm EST (in 158 queries in 0.667 seconds).