Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mr. Wizard Died

Mr. Wizard died. That’s kind of sad. I hadn’t thought about Mr. Wizard in a long, long time, but I used to watch him all the time as a kid. I recreated many of his experiments in our kitchen growing up.

In other sad news, the last two white rhinos in Zambia were shot by poachers yesterday. One died and her horn had been removed, but the male lived. The greed and lack of conservation that would motivate someone to shoot the last two animals of any species amazes me. I guess some people will do anything for money, and in third-world countries where options are limited it’s easy for me to judge and hard to actually put myself in the shoes of someone who would do this. There are other white rhinos in South Africa, so at least the species is not extinct, but still, this is terrible. Rhinos don’t do well when their mates die. I remember when one of the rhinos at the Houston Zoo died a couple years a go. The remaining rhino was so depressed and just kept roaming the pen looking for her. Of course, the Houston Zoo rhinos were kind of like big dogs. I don’t know if wild zoological park rhinos would behave the same – although I’d be sad if my mate died no matter where I was living.

My DSL service is continuing to drive me crazy. It’s been intermittently on and off for almost two months now. Some days are better than others, but the pattern seems to be that the DSL will connect in the evenings between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., but after 10 p.m. it starts kicking on and off, and at some point during the night it kicks off altogether and stays off. Then it’s never on in the mornings. I’m on my third help ticket and my second DSL modem. Another repairman was supposed to come to the house this morning, but, just like the first time, the guy was supposed to be there between 8 a.m. and noon and didn’t show until after 2 p.m. All he could figure is that because the line splits to three different outlets in the house there are echoes and fluctuations down the various lines causing errors. His solution is that I run a separate single line straight from the outside box into the house for just the DSL modem. I’m not real thrilled about that solution because it means I have to go buy a roll of telephone line and crawl up in the attic to rewire everything. In the meantime, his bill for telling me that he THINKS this is the problem was $60. That $60 is now on top of the $60 the first tech charged when he guessed that my old DSL modem was bad and replaced it – which obviously wasn’t the issue. I’m also not really sure why have three lines is suddenly an issue either because I’ve had the phones and DSL set up that way for two years, and there was never a problem until two months ago. AT&T billing finally credited me for a month of service because of the problem, but then they tried to sell me satellite TV. And while I actually think I do want to order satellite from them because it’s about half the price of cable, there’s no way I’m placing an order until all this DSL crap is cleared up and it works correctly. I’ve decided if it’s not completely fixed by next week, I’m just cancelling everything and ordering Roadrunner. Roadrunner is a lot more expensive, but if it works all the time, then it’s obviously worth it. So if you need me tonight, I’ll be in the attic.

I went home for lunch today because of the DSL situation, and when I get there what do I find? While waiting at the house for the technician, which was a thoughtful act in itself, Emily had cleaned both my bedroom and the kitchen. How did I ever find such a wonderful girl and what does she possibly see in me? Tuesday will be 5 months that we’ve been together, and while there have been a couple bumps in the road along the way, I have never been so in love or so happy.

By the way, 5 months is no small accomplishment for me. The longest relationship I’ve ever had was 3 years. Other than that there was an 11-month stint in high school. Other than that there’s … well, there’s 5 months! Obviously I still have a lot to learn about relationships, but Sunday is my grandparents’ 58th wedding anniversary, so I hope to make it that far someday.

Of course, the most exciting news is that I finally booked vacation in August. Since I joined the working world seven years ago I’ve only taken 1 trip that could even be considered a vacation. I’ve had to burn vacation time, but I just piddled around the house or went to visit my parents. Not this year. This year we’re going to Playa Del Carmen in Mexico and staying along the Mayan Riviera. I cannot wait. August can’t get here fast enough. I’ve never been to a resort like this or been on this kind of vacation, so I don’t know what all to expect, but I do know that it’s right on the ocean, it looks like paradise, and I’m going with my favorite person in the world, so I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful.

I got this flyer in the mail from Tomball Ford yesterday. It said they were paying original MSRP on 1999 – 2005 Ford trade-ins if you bought a 2007 Ford. Then in smaller print it said that there was a mileage deduction of 10 cents – 55 cents depending on model. Well, MSRP on my Escape was around $23k I think, I’m not sure since I bought it used, but there’s 75k miles on it. So if it’s 10 cents a mile, that’s $7500 under MSRP. I thought, hell, that definitely beats current Kelly Blue Book value, why not go trade up. So I call the place to ask them about it. They were like, oh, well your model would have a 30 cent deduction per mile. Well, .30 x 75,000 = $22,500. Original MSRP of $23,000 - $22,500 = $500. What a freaking scam?!!! So of course the salesman is like, oh, yeah, that doesn’t work out in your favor, but bring the car in and we’ll see how close we can get to paying it off and getting you into a new vehicle. I was like, no thanks assholes.

Well, it’s off to Home Depot to buy phone wire. Hopefully I won’t fall through the ceiling.
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