Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Own It.

The Lexus, that is.

Paid it off a year early, too.

Which turned out to be all for the best, all things considered. I wasn't going to--I had a killer loan rate (3.75 percent, can you imagine that?), very cheap money, and I was further ahead investing anything I wasn't putting toward the car.

But something told me to go ahead and make some extra payments toward principal anyway... and now I am very glad I did. Why? Because the end of the car payments coincided perfectly with the end of my being paid off for the 6 months' worth of accrued vacation I had never had the time to take, and thus my pay cut has now kicked in. Just in time for the no-more-car-payments phase of my life.

Interesting how things work out sometimes, isn't it?


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Geico's Gone Psycho

After a year of living with me, the original gecko, the one I always said was so tame he's practically comatose, has decided he is a psychotic killer.

I have two sets of teeth marks on my left index finger to prove it.

For no reason whatsoever that I could discern, he has gone after me twice, and we're not talking little love bites either. We're talking biting hard enough to draw blood, latching on and shaking his head violently like a shark trying to tear off a chunk of meat. This evening he even tried to chomp on me through the mesh cage walls.

Next time I clean his cage, I'm going to wear heavy gloves for the catch-him stage of the process.

The only thing I can figure is he must think he's a tokay gecko.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oy. What A Job.

What with the power outages we had with the big storms a couple of weeks ago, and the promise of more nasty weather to come, I decided it was past time to invest in a battery backup box for the home computer system. At least I'll be able to shut down the system in a somewhat controlled fashion next time the power goes out. And if it's just a quick blip, I won't lose the setting on the electric clock.

Until today, I had an unbelievable amount of equipment plugged into three daisy-chained 6-outlet power strips, with the first one plugged into a surge protector that was plugged into the wall.

Now there are two daisy-chained strips plugged into the UPS, and the entire configuration had to be switched from one end of the room to the other because of distance from the phone jack, not to mention room to park the thing which is as big as a shoe box. That meant crawling under desks with flashlight and screwdriver to unscrew the three-prong adapter from one outlet and screw it into the other.

There are some mighty scary dust bunnies in the nether regions of my under-the-desk corners. But I digress.

While I was at it, I unplugged the modem line from the now-disconnected second phone line jack (seemed a bit of a waste to keep a second phone line when I send maybe one fax a month and I've long since abandoned dial-up internet) and reroute it to the remaining land line, via the new UPS/surge protector that includes telephone line protection. And I finally labeled all of the power cables, including the one with the big chunky boxes on the ends. The only one I did not label was the laser printer's power cable--because it is the sole GRAY cable. All the others are black.

Let's see. At last count, I have plugged in a desktop computer, laptop computer, monitor, laser printer, tape transcription machine, clock-radio, two external USB hard drives, two 4-port mini hubs, a DSL modem, a wireless router, and a lamp. I think that covers everything. The only thing plugged into a wall outlet all by itself is the shredder.

As soon as I plugged in the UPS, the "your building has faulty wiring" light came on.

I figured I've had all the same things (except the battery backup box) plugged into that same wiring all this time, so the building probably is not going to blow up any time soon. Besides, probably every tenant in the place has at least this much stuff plugged in. And let's not even get started on what's daisy-chained together in the living room (TV, VCRs, DVD players, audio equipment, lizard lights, lizard fountains and God only knows what else). These old buildings are extremely outlet-deficient. What do they expect us twenty-first century types to do?

The next project, since I freed up the "squid" surge protector box, will be to transfer some of the mess in the living room over to that critter, another job I am not looking forward to.

Ah, the joys of modern life.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bum, This One's For You.



Remember that spot?

Finally got over there yesterday to shoot some pics. For the rest of the day's photos, see here.

Oh, and V, if you are reading this, you need to click over there too. Your hatchling was along for the ride and posed for a couple of pictures.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"I hate grocery shopping! How did I ever get fat?"

--Chooses to remain anonymous


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Now That's Service.

Got a telephone call at 8:15 this morning from the fraud unit of my bank's business credit card division. Apparently, they monitor activity in the accounts 24/7, and they were calling to check on possible fraudulent activity on my account.

Did I really make an online purchase of Moody Blues concert tickets?

Yes, I most certainly did. They're playing in Santa Rosa on March 9, and I'm going. So there.

I saw them live 13 or 14 years ago at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, and have always wanted to see them again.

The fraud investigator on the phone got all excited because he's about my age and has been a fan of the Moody Blues as long as I have--ever since Days of Future Passed was released (gulp) 40 years ago.

So I am going off to see the Moody Blues in a couple of months. Shiny, eh?


 
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