A Roller Coaster Day

Have you ever had one of those days that was a roller coaster from the moment it started? Today was one of those days.

It started with the high also known as ‘Friday’. Friday’s are good days. Most of the people I know look forward to Friday all week long. Some people thank God for Friday’s. Like most Friday’s before it, today started out great!

I had an appointment at 10 with someone who could help solve a lot of the monetary issues around here. Being un-employed/under-employed for 18 months really takes a toll on a person and his family. Hopefully this meeting will be the beginning of the end where the money crunch is concerned.

After my appointment, and several phone calls to and from bill collectors and other “interested parties”, I had to run to Carrollton for a couple of errands. Although I think that first meeting today went well, the rest of my morning and afternoon just tanked. It all sucked.

I found out that one source of income is being held up due to the economic idiocy of our current administration, and another source is “under review” because of the client’s financial situation. If the economy doesn’t pick up soon, things could get real ugly, real quick, for a lot of people.

Before I continue, I need to point out something that is otherwise unrelated to the items mentioned thus far. The case I use on my iPhone cracked the other day. I was bummed because I don’t want to spend the extra money on a new case right now, but the crack made it impossible to use the case at all. Now back to today…

In one of my calls this morning, I found out that my phone case is still under warranty. It turns out that I had a one-year warranty on manufacturing defects, and well, the crack was definitely caused by a defect because it otherwise wouldn’t have (and couldn’t have) cracked otherwise. The warranty expires sometime next month.

Since I was having an otherwise “off” day, I decided to stop by the AT&T store to get the case replaced. I figured I could drool over the new iPhone 4 and look at other iPhone accessories, while I was waiting. I walked in, told them my problem, and they asked to see my phone. As they were taking the phone out of the case, they dropped it. Well… They didn’t just drop it, they propelled it across the counter, into the wall, back onto the counter and then eventually (after a rather slow slide on the counter) onto the floor.

The guy picked up my phone and checked it. There was a nice long crack on the back of my phone. Truth be told, there was a crack on the back before they threw it across the room. I told them so. Of course, the crack was nowhere as long as it is now, but it was cracked previous to it’s flight through the store.

They checked the front of the phone and there were three definite scratches on the front too, which sucked, but I figured I could live with them… (If you know me and my OCD about everything computer related you know that wasn’t going to be possible). But before I could even say “It will be alright”, they told me they were replacing my phone.

They insisted on replacing it right there and then. They insisted because the flight through the air onto the counter which resulted in the fall and caused the crack on the back to expand as well as the scratches on the front, was their fault. They also said there was no way to know if they damaged something inside the phone, so they would not take no for an answer. They didn’t want me walking out the door only to find out my phone was more damaged than I thought it was.

My old phone was an iPhone 3G and I was happy with it. My new phone is an iPhone 3Gs and I am in heaven. My day was going to hell in a hand basket, but tonight I have a brand new phone that makes me wonder how I survived with the old one. The old one wasn’t bad at all until I used the new one. Holy cow!

I told them, again, that they didn’t have to do that, but they wanted to make sure they did right by me, and I appreciated it. After a day filled with people who could care less about me or the situation I could soon be in, it was nice to see complete strangers step up and do something like this.

Hebrews 13:2 states, “Don’t forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.” I memorized that verse while attending college in Hilo, Hawaii back in the fall of 1982. I think of it often, usually after I have had to deal with someone who wasn’t pleasant, or was a bit too rude for no reason. It was refreshing to think of that verse as I walked out of the store.

I was still in shock as I walked across the parking lot to my truck, but I was quickly brought back to reality as lightning flashed, thunder clapped, and it began to pour rain. If there’s one thing I have learned in life, it’s to always expect the unexpected.

As I climbed into the truck, soaking wet, I paused for a moment and closed my eyes. No matter how much rain falls, no matter how many storms we face ahead, the roller coaster day was almost over and it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have.

Thank God it’s Friday!

Time For A Quiz

I was going to try and take the night off tonight to catch up on some much needed rest. I’ve been working on a project, the house is a mess, I need to get a load of firewood (which involves a lot of lifting and stacking), my sister will be arriving in town tomorrow afternoon, and I’ve had these headaches off and on for two weeks. Instead, what do I do?

I spent hours watching the Winter Olympics. Curling (my favorite), women’s downhill skiing, speed skating, the half-pipe, all of it. Then what did I do? I sat here and watched more curling online, worked a bit on my project, and took the Pew Research Quiz.

I did pretty darned good.

Now that I have reassured myself that I know what the heck is going on, I can relax and go to sleep. That is, if curling isn’t being broadcast at this very moment.

So, how did you do on the quiz?

— Posted with Stuffr! —

Have I Got A Deal For You!

Before I begin tonight’s post, I think you’ll like this “commercial”.


I spent most of today working on a couple projects, and trying to keep the house warm. It’s so cold outside the heaters (with the help of the fireplace) only got the house up to 72 today, which of course means it going to be much colder tonight than it was last night.

I found a post today at Free Republic that shed some light on 401k / IRA investments that if true really doesn’t surprise me.

The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.

I am horrible when it comes to investment matters, but after reading that post it seems to me that the goverment is going to try and force all 401k / IRA contributions into Treasuries. I know enough about the industry to know that will kill the stock market. When I had my 401k, I had a choice which areas to invest my money in. It sounds to me like people will no longer have a choice, and the government will be forcing us, the American public, to purchase all that bad debt they’ve been piling up.

How do you monetize debt? Can they really do that? If so, I have a couple credit card debts you may want to invest in.

That’s all I really had to write about tonight. I need to make sure I have enough firewood in the house for tonight so I don’t have to open the front door later on.

Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.
Author Unknown

Friday Night Thoughts

I was sitting here relaxing tonight, when I heard that Nancy Pelosi will be putting HR 3962 up for a vote sometime this weekend. Wonderful, it’s not like I had planned a busy weekend bird watching, stopping by the Instant Tea tomorrow, or celebrating my wife’s birthday either. Sheesh. Thanks Nancy.

Thought #1

There was a “house call” in Washington yesterday and thousands of protestors showed up again to protest the current health care reform bill. It seems some of the protestors that showed up in Washington couldn’t control themselves and got themselves arrested.

The health care debate got ugly in Washington this morning. Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was the target of protesters today — some of whom were arrested.

The protests took place in the waiting area of Lieberman’s office inside the Hart Office Building.

About 20 protesters, carrying signs, took over the waiting room, many sitting on the floor. They told police they were not taking over the office, but rather waiting to see the senator.

Before I go any further, let me make something clear. It was not these protestors,

or these protestors.

In fact, the only protestors who got arrested were those who showed up to protest the fact that Rep. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said he would take part in a Republican filibuster of any health care bill he does not agree with. These protestors were not part of the ‘House Call’.

Thought #2

This is President Obama’s economy now.

Thought #3

Have you pondered the actual costs of the health care proposals in the House?

Thought #4

When has Nancy Pelosi actualy kept a promise she made?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the speaker will not allow the final language of the health care to be posted online for 72 hours before bringing the bill to a vote on the House floor, despite her September 24 statement that she was “absolutely” committed to doing so.

Thought #5

Some stories do have a happy ending.

A 1965 Volkswagen van stolen 35 years ago in Spokane, Washington, was found by customs agents in a shipping container in the Los Angeles port last month, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said.

The original owner should get the vehicle back, if you ask me.