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Monday, December 28, 2009

Protect your Purchase

When we buy things, especially electronics, we always get the extended service plan. Chances are you'll never need them, but just like life, health, and auto insurance, it sure is good to know it is there. They do work, too. Just a few months ago we have a massive electrical problem here. It was not the electric company's fault, it was on our end. A problem with the line that came into the house. We got it fixed but the original problem blew up several items in the house. An old TV (the plan was far outdated on that one), and a 1 1/2 year old XBox 360. Well, the extended plan was still in effect on that for two months so we called on it. The company sent us a shipping slip so it didn't even cost us anything to send back. They fixed it and sent it back. The whole process took about 2 weeks. Yeah, it takes some time but considering the couple hundred dollars we saved from buying a new one it was well worth the time. Most important of all, it didn't cost us a thing.

Social Rudeness

You know, if you ask someone to be your 'friend' on a social network, even if it is just to fill quotas, it is just rude to all of a sudden kick them off. It doesn't happen often and sometimes you have to wonder what causes it. One person did that to me today but I went and perused their listing of friends and noticed a similarity between myself and a few others that got knocked off. I won't go into it further but I wasn't surprised any longer. It's still rude, and by the way, just wrong for the apparent reason.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Health and Life on the Right Track

I'm sure hoping that my quitting smoking will help a lot with my life insurance rates this year. I have to contact my insurance company and let them know I don't smoke anymore. I think you have to have quit for 6 months. I will check on the exact length of time, but I have to redo my policy this year anyway, so I should be able to claim 'non-smoking' status. It feels good to say that. I was in a store today and a guy in front of me bought a pack of cigarettes. It was all he got. Seven dollars! I'm very glad I don't smoke for a number of reason, but I have to admit, that's seven of them right there.

Having Fun Doing Nothing

Spent the day running around doing errands with my husband today. Was a cold, dreary winter day but none of that matter because we were together just enjoying even doing mundane things. He got new glasses. Mine came in last week. For both of us it is a new experience of dealing with bi-focals. They take some serious getting used to. Once you get past the first week you're pretty much home free. I've found that out. He is on his first day and it is a real challenge. I just smile because I know what he's going through. I was there last week. Now I can't even make myself experience the problems I was having with the glasses then. I like them a lot now that I'm used to them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of Both Worlds

I was talking the other day about wanting to explore all of the Great Lakes next year. Not just Lake Michigan, which is an obvious choice because it is only a few miles from me, but Ontario, Superior, and Erie too. I guess we're going to have to check out Toronto hotels because I think Lake Ontario would be a great place to spend our next honeymoon. Right on the border of Toronto and New York, we could have the best of both worlds and spend time on each side while enjoying the 'middle' ground on the boat the rest of the time. Of course, we would have to explore as much of the area, including Niagra Falls. What better place to spend an anniversary? Too bad you can't use your own boat close to the falls, but I've always wanted to take a "Maid of the Mist" tour to the base of the falls.

Fire Sale

I bought all new fire extinguishers and co2 monitors two years ago. It was a very expensive system. I kind of fell for the sales spiel. It would have probably cost over $1500 less if I'd just bought them all from a reputable home supply store and put them up myself. I'm not usually talked into things so easily. It was kind of a vulnerable time in my life. Oh well. Suffice it to say that as of today not a single one of them works. Of course, they started failing a few weeks ago, right after the warranty expired. Isn't that always the way it goes? For the record: I'm heading to the local hardware store to get replacements.

No Work, No Worries, Great Living

One of the things we've looked for when considering places to move are various apartments for rent, both in the area and out of state. The idea of an apartment is alluring. We no longer own animals that make apartment living difficult even when they are allowed. We wouldn't have to be responsible for fixing major items like roofing, plumbing, flooring, etc. There are so many reasons renting is a great idea for retirement age people. Neither of us have any desire any longer to do heavy duty yard work. Some wouldn't be bad. In fact, it would be kind of nice, but it would not be sorely missed either. The nicest thing about living in an apartment is if you decide you'd like to move to another area, state, or even across the street, you can do it easily once the lease is up. No worrying about selling before you can move. No fears over not getting enough out of the current property to afford the new one. No juggling moving dates. Just move. The idea is looking more and more appealing.

Think Warm Thoughts

Keep your thoughts warm for me. The building company is scheduled to come here next Thursday/Friday to install the 'boat house' building. Of course, that is WEATHER PERMITTING. Considering the weather we just came out of the last three days it is a real worrisome prospect. Today is nice though, and luckily where I'm at we had all the wind, freezing temperatures and all, but no snow that actually stuck. I need to get that boat under shelter before the real weather comes. It's covered, and I plan on covering it more (a tarp over the mooring cover) this weekend, but that isn't good enough for extreme snow or rain. I'd need to build a framework under the tarp to slant it enough to let snow and water run off if it needed to stay outside longer, so keep your thoughts warm in our direction, please.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Technology Leader Vivek Kundra

With a public more skeptical than ever before, transparency is vital to the success of any technological project. Even before his political appointment, Vivek Kundra fully embraced that belief. He spearheaded projects to increase transparency in business and government at all levels. Using the incredible knowledge he has at his disposal from a list of upper level management positions at such impressive companies as Evincible Software, Creostar and SAIC and years of government service as well, Vivek Kundra envisioned and is helping to build a stronger government structure that also creates a valuable services for the public. Vivek Kundra created a site called to build helpful public information systems that can use interconnected knowledge from each other as well as imput from the outside to create even stronger databases.

FlyOnTime.US is one of the amazing programs that lets the public view flight information, and it is just one of dozens of initial programs that have grown to include over a hundred. Vivek Kundra has more than enough experience to pull off the massive improvements envisioned by the administration. He completely overhauled the old technology in use and replaced with a system that uses real time information making it more accessible and more informative.

Mr. Kundra has been the IT Executive of the Year in 2008, listed on the Government Technology magazine's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers and has a degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Management Information. His list of accomplishments is long and beyond admirable, but none are as admirable as his work toward taking the U.S. into the future of technology in a brave and visible way.

Warm Weather Thoughts

Well, we're not quite at the blizzard stage yet, although the wind last night sounded like a freight train attempting to rip up the house. There has been blowing snow, but so far, down here at least, nothing has stuck. However, there's no question that winter has struck hard, fast, and with a vengence.

I'm in my hibernate mode. I don't like going outside much in the winter. (I so hope we can retire in the south.) It's even hard now with that big boat out in the driveway. I have boating supplies piled up in various spots of the house, and spring can't get here soon enough. All I have is an image to hold me over until next spring:

Everything is Better Online

Online educations are fast becoming the most popular method of obtaining college degrees. Western Governors University is a premium online university. When looking at educational possibilities consider the modern qualities you should look for in an online education like connection: WGU is active on social networks such as Twitter and YouTube. WGU also offers its students plenty of social networking within and a sense of a real campus online.

WGU is fully accredited and offers excellent financing for its students. Whether you are looking to get your bachelors degree online or simply further your current education you can do it at Western Governors University. Studying online saves you money, time, and the difficulties of living away from home. It also allows you to learn without disrupting your life. Keep your job, and continue with family responsibilities while doing everything you can for yourself as well.

5 Months and Counting

I can't believe it, but I've made it over 5 months not smoking. I didn't think it was possible even when I knew I wanted to quit. I've tried before and fallen off the wagon, usually at about 2 weeks. To make it this far is a real milestone for me. My current stats are:

I have been quit for 5 Months, 1 Week, 3 Days, 14 hours, 4 minutes and 59 seconds (163 days). I have saved $1,288.23 by not smoking 4,907 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Weeks, 3 Days and 55 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 6/28/2009 10:28 PM

5 months = $1,288.23 at the current prices for a regular pack of cigarettes... wow. That's about $3,000 a year! That will about pay for my new boating hobby (gas).

Monday, December 07, 2009

Bahama Mama

I have already told Bob we need to find some orlando vacations and hotels that include boat docks, or are close to boat docks so we can enjoy traveling with our boat and going down to the areas we love to vacation in with it. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, I want to visit there, and Miami as well. In fact my name (Tami) is taken from the "Tamiami Trail" that runs between Tampa and Miami so I have to spend time down in those two areas. We want to make the Bahama (Bimini Island) jump from Miami too with the boat. That would be amazing. Going to the Bahamas on our own boat!

Locking the Locks

I'm a little disappointed. We just got our new boat and haven't even had a chance to experience the Chicago "Triangle" river cruises and now they're talking about closing the locks. That will effectively put an end to the ability to make a big triangle loop comprising of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, and the Chicago ship and Sanitary Canal, along with making connections to the Illinois River, and the Mississippi River from Lake Michigan impossible. Bummer. I know it's important to keep the dreaded Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes, but I sure hope they figure out some other way to do it other than closing off the lakes.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Indoor Projects

I had to buy a new tub face plate for the overfill. It was one of those "I wish all home improvement projects were this easy" things. If everything that needed to be done simply needed to be unscrewed, removed, and a new one screwed in place life would be good. So few things are like that. I am looking at Toto sinks for both bathroom and kitchen replacements. I bought the new faucet for the kitchen and then decided just replacing the faucet without replacing the sink would be a half-done effort. That is going to be a fairly big job. I'll have to enlist help for that one. At least I have all winter to do the indoor projects.