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Archive for August, 2009

Car Update

August 30th, 2009 at 06:53 pm

It's fixed!

I went to the mechanics house this morning. As soon as he put in the other computer, it started shifting perfectly. Big Grin

So he must have been right - that the computer D found for me was for a stickshift instead of an automatic.

He took the old computer as partial trade for the new one, and just asked for $100.

So, when all was said and done the idjit who decided they needed my car's computer more than I did, ended up costing me $140 in actual cash, 4 hours lost work time, and an extra 60 miles of driving time.

Please, please, please Murphy stay away from me! You've spent enough time messing with me and my car!

Received an offer I'm not sure I want to resist

August 29th, 2009 at 05:56 pm

My brother recently purchased an Iphone. Last week he spent some time at our Aunts house in San Jose, while our grandma also happened to be there. He espoused the wonders of it (iphone) to our aunt and grandma, and even got our uncle majorly intrigued.

Our Aunt was considering switching everybody from Sprint to AT&T and getting iphones (1 for her and uncle, and 1 for my dad and grandma.) In the end she decided not to because the company she works for gives an 18% discount for using Sprint.

But ... my grandma really thought the iphone was really neat. Especially the gps function and the internet browser function.

She knows how I am majorly directionally challenged, as well as how I am without internet at work.

So ... she and my dad have made me the following offer:

1. They'd buy me an iphone
2. They'd pay for any charges over the $50/month ($39.99 + taxes/fees) I currently pay for my plan.

At first I told them I really appreciated the offer, but I'm really okay with my cheapy phone that just makes and takes calls. They kept pushing for me to think it about it more.

I *am* really, really interested in the GPS turn by turn directions capability, because I do have a great tendency to get royally lost quite easily.

Also, the internet capability at work - even if it was just enough to be able to find the articles I have to read for my classes, would be a huge time saver.

Looking at At&T's site, it looks like these are the basic costs (above the voice plan):
$30/mo - data plan
$10/mo - GPS service
$5/mo - 200 text/picture messages

With a bit of trepidation, I mentioned this to my mom. She thinks I should take advantage of their offer.

Oh, I don't think I've mentioned this before, but they also have offered to pay up to $300/mo towards a new to me car payment. (Which so far I have politely declined.)

I guess I'm feeling really torn about this - making roughly $850/month, and then going around carrying a phone that costs %12+ of monthly gross income?

Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth? Being ungrateful?

It would be really hard to give up the iphone once I got used to it -- I know how much I love technology and gadgets. And I do think it would be a really beneficial tool for me. I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around a $200+ phone with a $100/mo price tag.

If you were single, looking at two years of school, probably continuing to make under $900/mo for those two years, and had an offer like this, what would you do? Oh yeah, also think of this as though you are someone who has gotten majorly lost, more than once, coming home from the mom's house - a route you've done a million times. Smile

ETA - Oh yeah. I'm also really interested in some of the apps you can use with it -- like the Kindle app -- and it looks like there is an app that you can use to track your distance walked/ran ...

Seriously, Murphy? Leave Me Alone!!

August 27th, 2009 at 12:03 am

I haven't had a chance to catch up on everyone's blogs yet. Although I was supposed to have Wi Fi at my hotel during the web institute, my computer never managed a connection. So, I had very limited internet time.

The 4 day institute was pretty good - the best part was meeting other people who are wanting to be librarians, or are already librarians and just need the degree.

So, I got home on Tuesday afternoon around 2 p.m. Today (Wednesday) I went out to my car to head to the library and then to the gym where I was to work an extra shift.

My car wouldn't start. Again.

I noticed that the passenger side under glove box cover was laying on top of my passenger seat. I thought that was strange. Then I noticed several bundles of wires hanging loosely.

After consulting with several of my complexes maintenance men who were nearby, my fear was confirmed. Someone had broken into my car and stolen my ECM.

Yes - THAT ECM. The one which had just been replaced a week ago.

I called E and told him that I didn't think I'd be able to make it into work today. Maybe I could've taken a cab, but I needed to figure out how to deal with this, and couldn't very well do that while at work.

While the maintenance men were looking at my car, they called over one of the apartment complex residents - D. D is a little person with a big heart.

D offered to take me to a junk yard to get another ECM. I first told him I needed to make a couple phone calls. I called my stepdad who suggested that I call the mechanic I used last week and see if he'd come out and replace my ECM.

So I called that mechanic. He didn't sound too enthused about the idea - so my other option was to have my car towed out to his place, and he'd replace the part tomorrow. That would set me back roughly another $400 (longer towing distance + $300 for part and labor.)

I went back outside to find D, but he'd left. So I went to the apartment office to see if I could find out where D lived. R, the maintenance man who let me in to my apartment last week and made me the extra key was there and remembered me. They told me where D lived.

So, I went and found D. We took off in his car (the gas pedal and the brake were modified to be almost to the seat cushion. Very neat.) I realized I didn't have any cash, and was worried the junk yard would only take cash. D didn't think that would be a problem.

We got to the junk yard and D talked to someone he knew there and went out to locate the part. I sat out in the lobby and called my dad.

Not too long later D and his friend came out with the ECM! D jokingly said to the guy at the counter, "$25, right?" I think the guy at the counter must have overheard my story, because he let it go for $20!!!

On the way back, D stopped at a gas station where I could get some cash from an ATM. I planned on getting out $100. The ATM only gave me $40. It had run out of money!!!

So, we get back to my car. D and another maintenance man who stopped by managed to get it all hooked up and set back up. The car started - the air ran - the radio played.

I gave D the $40 and apologized - he told me that it was no problem.

He left. I went back up to my apartment to cool off a bit. Then I still needed to get to the library, and thought it would be a good idea to give my car a test run.

So, I got in my car. Everything started perfectly. Then I tried to back up. The gearshift was locked.

I tried everything I could think of and that my dad could think of (I called him) and could not get it unstuck. I went back to D's apartment. He finally figured out that if I put my extra car key in the shift lock release slot and hold it down while shifting, that it would work.

So ... the car drives ... but just barely. I don't think I'll be able to make it much over 40 miles an hour.

Plus, the dashboard lights are not working again.

So, tomorrow after work, I'm going to go back to the mechanic I was at last week and hope that he can figure out what is going on with my gear shift and get my dashboard lights to work again!

*The maintenance men think that someone that had a Honda Civic needed an ECM and rather than bothering with going to a junk yard and buying one, they saw my car and decided to just take what they wanted for free.

Car's fixed and Home! $$$$

August 19th, 2009 at 09:54 pm

This morning around 10:30 I got a call from Sam (car mechanic) that my car would be ready by 3 p.m. He told me it needed an oil change (yep, knew that) an air filter (yep!) and a transmission tune up (yep, not surprised at all.) I gave him the go ahead to do all that.

Total cost when I picked it up today was $750. That includes the EMC, a fuse box, oil change, air filter, tune up, labor and something else I'm forgetting.

All of that would have run a LOT more at Firestone!

Before heading over to pick up my Honda, I went to drop off the rental car (sweet car - Mazda 3 -- loved it except it had a weird blind spot.) That was a bit of a frustrating experience because I was dropping it off at the airport. On the way there I wanted to stop and get gas, but didn't want to get it *too* soon. Unfortunately after passing up a couple stations near the beginning of my trip, there were not any more easily visible before entering the airport.

So, as I was driving to the rental car place, I saw a sign - Gas on the right. So, I went to the right .... and ended up exiting the airport! But ... as I was getting turned around, I found a gas station. Whew.

Then I turned in the car. And looked at the price tag. :big eyes:

$345.xx!!!

Whoa! I thought it would be a lot less because I was turning it in several days early. But apparently there is something called a "minimum charge." No matter if you have it out one day or five days, you will be charged at least $249.xx plus a bunch of taxes and fees represented by acronyms which are not explained.

I'm not sure if this is just for airport rental cars, or rental cars across the board. But one way or the other -- it stinks!

--
So total cost for my car adventures of the past few days:

1. New battery + diagnostics at Firestone: $155.xx

2. Towing from Firestone to Sams: $45

3. Rental Car (3 days 21 hours): $345.xx

4. Actual work on car: $750

5. Leaving work 1 1/2 hrs early (Monday): $10.xx

Total: $1,306

Having my car back? Priceless!

-----

I finally connected with one of the people who wanted my converter box and sold it for $10. There were at least a dozen people wanting it - the lady who actually bought it was one of the last ones who responded. I'd given the first three people several days to finalize a meeting time, so basically told her that if she wants it, and called me to set up a meeting time before 6 pm yesterday, and no one else had jumped in ahead, it was hers.

I think I am going to attempt to sell my entertainment center still via Craigslist, but other than that, I think I have decided that I'm just going to donate everything to the Family Place and be done with it.

The Family Place is a resale shop who sells the items at an 80% discount to women who are having to start over due to domestic violence, etc. They'll send someone to pick up everything - all I have to do is have it ready.

----
I arranged for the same people who moved my mom and stepdad a year ago March to move me on September 20. It is $75 an hour for two men, with a two hour minimum charge. They don't charge extra for stairs, packing equipment, using a dolly, how much space the stuff takes up, setting up or taking down. (I've been reading some articles on how these moving companies scam people out of more money than agreed on. So, I asked a lot of questions.) Smile

I found someone who wants my bed, and they'll pick it up on Sept 13. Then I'll get to sleep on my air mattress again for a week. Smile That will remind me of the time I first moved to McAllen, TX. I lived with the Kindergarten teacher and her husband for about three weeks until I got my first paycheck and had found a place to rent. Then, about two weeks later my furniture arrived. 5 weeks sleeping on an air mattress. Smile One week will be no problem, whatsoever (even with a body that's 9 years older!)

One of the Blessings may have paid off ... +Craigslist

August 17th, 2009 at 01:58 am

I gave my dad the name of the Firestone Guy from yesterday's fiasco. He called him and got the story from him about what all was going on.

Then he called the mechanic that was recommended to me by the car rental guy. He talked to him a good while and felt he knew what he was talking about. This guy says he can get the EMC from a junkyard for $150, and then labor would be around $100-150 more. So ... roughly $300 versus $1k+. Hmm...

My dad asked him what quality the ones from the junkyard would be. The guy said that pretty much they either work, or don't work.

So, tomorrow I'm going to call this guy and find out how late his garage is open. (His shop focuses soley on Hondas and Toyotas.) Then I'll call the tow guy the car rental guy suggested, and meet him at the Firestone. Pay my bill there (battery and diagnostics) and head over to the mechanics place.

Then hopefully it won't take him too long to get a brain from the junkyard, replace my car's, and then see if the alternator needs work. (as well as if anything else needs work.)

If this guy turns out to truly be good at what he does, then I might just have a good place to take my car to in the future - even though it is a bit of a drive.

---
I got some more responses from Craigslist. One lady was interested in my video rocking chair -- but then her son decided he wanted a black one, not a blue one. :roll eyes:

I had several more people express interest in the VHS/DVD player. Have yet to make an actual meeting time though.

Had a second response on my Tivo. No meeting time set up yet.

Had three responses within 15 minutes of posting my digital convertor box. I guess I priced it just right? $10 No meeting set up yet.

ETA - Had two more people interested in the time I was writing this! Definitely underpriced it! Oh well..

I hadn't gotten any responses to my listing of VHS tapes and DVD's. So I went ahead and took them all to Half Price Bookstore today, along with a couple sacks of books. Made off with $23.50 Smile

Sorted through papers/assorted stuff today for a couple hours. Found owner's manuals for converter box and vcr/dvd player. Also found the driver disk and owner's manual for my scanner/printer.

Threw away a bunch of junk mail type stuff - still have several bags that I need to sort through more carefully and decide what needs to be shredded, kept or just thrown away.

I still need to list my dining room table/chairs, lazy boy recliner, king bed and entertainment center. Those are the things that will have to be picked up from my apartment -- and except for the Lazy boy, will need two men to get them out and down my stairs.

If I don't get any takers on Craigslist, I think I'll check with Goodwill and Salvation Army and see if they'd come pick them up.

---
What I got done today is really what I need to be getting done every day this week. Tomorrow I'll be able to get my boxes, and then hopefully be able to start packing.

I think I also need to arrange for that domestic abuse shelter place to come pick up my clothing/etc. in two or three weeks. Hmm.. I could also check with them if they could use any of my furniture.

Who wins? Murphy or Blessings?

August 16th, 2009 at 01:15 am

Today Murphy decided it was time to pay me a visit. It wasn't all bad, there were some small miracles and blessings, but Murphy sure let his presence be known.

It really all started yesterday afternoon. I left to go over to my mom's house around 5:30 p.m. Traffic was pretty bad, and I ended up getting to her place close to 7 with minimal gas. It was enough gas to get me to a station in the morning, so I wasn't worried.

I watered the trees, ate supper and did laundry. I thought about heading back home before the morning, but by that time it was 9:30. So, I decided to stay the night.

That was blessing #1.

I got up about 8am this morning, ate breakfast and put on my grungy clothes (clothes I wear when doing laundry.) My plan was to drive straight from my mom's house to my place, take a shower and get dressed, then head to church.

I decided to eat a slightly larger breakfast than usual today.

Blessing #2.

About 9am I loaded my car up, turned on the house alarm, and got in my car.

Murphy #1 - The car wouldn't start. The engine wouldn't even turn over.

Hoping that the problem was just that there wasn't enough gas to get the engine to go, I called AT&T's Roadside Service.
About 9:30 the auto rescue guy shows up with a couple gallons of gas.

After he puts it in, I asked him to stay another minute so I could be sure my car would start.

Blessing #3.

The car didn't start. So, I realized then that it had to be that my battery was dead. I asked AR guy if he could jumpstart my car. He told me it would be a separate invoice, and I would need to call Roadside again so they could give him the invoice number. Which I did. He then jumped my car, and told me not to turn it off for at least 20 minutes.

My roadside assistance plan gives me 4 free service calls a year. I had not used ANY of the calls this year. (My new year begins Sept 23.)

Blessing #4.

So I started driving down the road. I passed the first gas station because I'd only been driving for a few minutes. I kept going for about 8 more minutes. My fuel light started flashing. I knew that there was only one more gas station in the next 10 miles. So, I pulled into the 2nd gas station. And turned my car off.

I tried to start it. It was dead.

Murphy #2.

So I went into the gas station while my car was filing up to see if anyone had jumper cables and would jump my car. No one had jumper cables, but they did have them on sale.

Murphy #3, and Blessing #5.

So, I bought the jumper cables. One of the clerks knew how to jump a car.

Blessing #6.

Unfortunately, the first start didn't take. So he had to jump start it a third time.

Murphy #4.

Finally I'm on my way. At first I had my air conditioning on, but then about 10 miles down the road I decide to turn it off to conserve battery power.

Two seconds after turning my ac off, lights on my dashboard start going crazy, and a terrible rackety noise fills the car. I pull off quickly onto a large shoulder and come to a stop. I don't turn my car off, but it dies. Completely.

Murphy #5. Blessing #7 (wide shoulder.)

I call roadside for the third time. I am told that it'll be about an hour before a tow truck can come get me. It is roughly 95+ degrees. My windows won't roll down because the electricity wasn't working.

Murphy #6.

The tow truck arrives in about 50 minutes.

Blessing #8.

I have a full bottle of water in my car and my cell phone fully charged.

Blessing #9.

There isn't a Honda dealership within the free 9 mile towing distance, but there is a Firestone. So, that's where I have him tow me. His truck is very nice and cool.

Blessing #10.

Firestone Guy(FG) tells me my battery is shot and they can't figure out what's wrong without battery power. He tells me the battery will cost $99 + tax and labor. I tell him that my battery has a 5 year warranty. He comes out 5 minutes later and tells me it is now only $69.

Blessing #11.

Even with the new battery, they can't get it to turn over. So they have to run a diagnostic test. $79.95

Murphy #7

The diagnostic test can't run because two circuits keep shorting out. Finally, they unplug the EMC??(brain/computer of car) and they can get it to work without the two cirucits shorting.

FG comes out and tells me that the EMC is basically fried. A remanufactured one with labor and taxes will cost $1,049.

(FG said he thinks that the EMC fried due to the multiple jump starts.)

Murphy #8.

I call my dad and he tells me how much he thinks Firestone stinks. That I should not authorize the work, and take time to figure out the best plan of action. So, I tell that to FG (except about what my dad thinks of Firestone :grinSmile. He understands and gives me his business card so my dad can call him to get better specifics.

Blessing #12. (My dad is great!)

FG calls local car rental place (Enterprise). They are closed. (about 3:45 p.m. at this point.)

Murphy #9.

I call my friend T and get her voicemail. Then I call another friend B, and get his answering machine. I was going to see if they could pick me up and take me home, then I could take my time finding a rental car.

Murphy #10

I called the airport Enterprise (about 10 minutes away.) They said that the airport one did not pick people up from outside the airport.

Murphy #11.

A lady was sitting near me and overheard much of my dilemma. She spoke up and told me that her son was there getting his car inspected, and that if it passed inspection, she'd be willing to take me to the airport's car rental.

Blessing #13.

The kind lady took me and my laundry over to the airport and dropped me off. I managed to figure out how to get to the level where the car rental places were located.

Budget was the first one I saw. I decided to stop there. At this point, I was very sweaty, exhausted, frustrated, and plumb worn out. (Wearing ratty shorts, a shirt that clashed with the shorts, legs that needed shaving BAD, and hair that needed washing. At least I had fresh breath, right?)

I told him my story. He first quoted me a price of $400 for a one week rental. I asked him with beseeching eyes if there was *anything* cheaper. He found a discount which made the price $375. We talked for a good bit. He was really sweet.

When he found out I had a Honda Civic, and that my car was at Firestone where they were quoting $1k, he was like, "Oh No! Don't do that!" Then he told me that HE has a Honda Civic (95) and that he'd had to have it's EMC replaced. The guy that did it, did it for about $300! He gave me the guys name and number, as well as the name of a guy who would tow it for less.

Blessings #14 (discount), #15 (Name and Numbers).

I drag all my stuff out to the garage and find my car. It's one of those behemoth ugly looking SUV type cars. Uh uh. No way, no how.

Murphy #12

So, I drag all my stuff back to the rental counter and after waiting for him to finish with a lady, I tell him I can't drive that car. (due to its size.)

He tells me another car that is more the size of my Honda. He tells me that the lady at the booth will take care of switching out the info.

I take off dragging my stuff. Shortly I realize that I should have asked him what he meant by "lady at the booth." Because the only booth I saw was unmanned.

So, I drag my stuff back to the counter. In front of me is this family that was taking *forever.* Finally I get up there, and he tells me he meant the lady at the EXIT booth. Okay, cool. So he goes ahead and calls her to let her know I'm coming and what was happening.

My new car is at the *VERY END* of a lane of cars. Finally I make it into it. I drive to the exit booth and the lady there switches out the info.

(It's a little red Mazda. Not sure of the model. Kind of cute.)

I somehow manage to find my way out of the airport and head on my way home. I'm just pulling in to my apartment complex when I realize three things:

1. My apartment key and mailbox key are on my key ring that is with my car at Firestone.

2. I don't have a parking tag for the rental car, so will have to park it in the visitors parking area until I can get a temporary tag. (Or, it WILL get towed.)

and 3. My toll tag is in my Honda, and my toll tag is associated with that license plate. (This though I think I can fix pretty easily by calling the toll tag place tomorrow and having them switch the license plate temporarily to my rental car.)

Murphy #13, 14, 15.

As soon as I pulled to a stop, I called my apartment office and left a message on the emergency line (for lockouts.) Not too long after wards, a maintenance guy came and let me in my apartment. He also went and made a copy of it so I'd have one.

Blessing 16 and 17.

I got all my stuff out of the car and into my apartment. Then went back out to my car and moved it into an available visitor's spot. The very fact that there was an available spot on a Saturday evening (around 6:30 p.m.) -- Blessing 18.

I got into my apartment and headed towards my bedroom (after stopping in the kitchen.) My computer was dark. I couldn't get it to turn on.

Murphy #16.

The idea came to me that maybe unplugging the power source in the back and then replugging it might work. I tried it. It worked!

Blessing #19

So, now I am here at home finally, sitting at my working computer, and eating some much belated food in a very cool apartment (temp wise at least.)

Blessing #20

Throughout this day I spent a lot of time on the phone with both my mom and my dad. My dad is going to make some calls to find out the best way to deal with this.

He also has told me that he is going to help me out financially with this whole thing. I told him I appreciated it very much, but really didn't feel comfortable to keep on taking money from him. He told me to accept it as a gift from his heart. What could I say?

I'm glad I wrote this out like this, because as exhausting and frustrating as this day was, I can see just how richly blessed I was throughout the whole ordeal.

God is good. And Blessings had a clear victory!

Sad News, Coupon News, and Craigslist

August 14th, 2009 at 12:25 am

Last night I got a phone call from my brother. He married J Oct, 2006. For a little over a year now, they had been having some major problems. About 3 months ago, they officially separated. Yesterday they went to the courthouse and paid the fee, and are now officially divorced. Frown (No lawyers involved thankfully.)

My brother is really torn up about it. We talked for about an hour, and he was pretty choked up the whole time. I wish I could have been there to give him a hug. He told me that I've been a rock for him this past year, just because I've let him talk and not judged.

He is such a good kid. My heart hurts so much for him. So many of his adult dreams are now tarnished - marriage, owning a house ...

He'd been talking about maybe training to be a ski patrol person, but now that it is officially over, he might just head out to start nursing school. I really hope he can stop in Texas on his way there.

----
If you haven't heard yet, the Kroger stores in the Southwest are having Double Coupon Day on August 15. They usually only double up to 39 cents, but on the 15th, they're doubling up to $1. Only the first coupon for any multiple items will be doubled.

---

I listed my VHS/DVD player on craigslist. I've now had two people respond as being interested - but both want me to prove that it works. I understand why, but ... the only way I can think of is to have them come to my apartment. I really would rather not do that.

Does anyone have any ideas?

The Trainee Cook & An Inside Job?

August 12th, 2009 at 07:59 pm

My mom and stepdad are out of town on vacation right now. They asked if I would go over to their place a few times to check on things and water their trees.

So yesterday was the first day I was to go to their place. I got off work at 3, but I hadn't eaten lunch because I wasn't really hungry. I very rarely go out to eat, (of my own volition at least.) I really had a hankering for IHOP - Garden Stuffed Crepes.

Well, there was an IHOP on the way to my mom's. So, a little after 3 I stopped there and placed my order. The crepes comes with sauce on it, and I prefer to put it on myself. So, I asked for it on the side.

Therein ensued hilarity.

The cook on duty was a trainee. (And from overheard conversations, I don't think he spoke much English.) He didn't understand the abbreviation SOS (sauce on side.)

The first attempt, he made it correctly, except he used Nacho Cheese sauce and slathered it on. The second attempt, he made the crepes, but put the eggs on the side.

Finally, nearly 40 minutes after I placed my order, and with having one of the other employees standing guard over the cook, I received my meal.

My waitress was very apologetic. I let her know I wasn't annoyed and not in a big hurry, although was getting pretty hungry.

After I finished, she gave me my check. I was kind of expecting to be given a discount of some kind for my trouble. But there was none. It wasn't the waitresses fault, so I paid and left my normal tip, and left.

I suppose I could have kicked up a fuss and demanded a discount of some kind. But, I was just happy to have food in my stomach and be able to be on my way.

---
One of the places my mom and stepdad stayed at so far during their vacation is a cabin outside of Gatlinburg, TN. The second day they were there, some people came and changed out their tv. The first tv was not working.

The night of the third day they went out to eat and to do some shopping. When they came back, they found out that their cabin had been robbed! There was no sign of forced entry, so they think it might have been the people who put the new tv in, or acquaintances.

The police told them that usually the theives just take the tv and leave the inhabitants belongings alone. But, I guess my mom's 6 year old *just* functioning laptop, along with a beautiful leather bag from a high-end store (Cachet) filled with various clothes, a number of pieces of her really good jewelery, and of course all their medications ... was just too good to pass up.

Luckily no one was hurt, and my mom and stepdad had all their identification and credit cards, etc. with them. My mom says that she should be able to come up with receipts for everything - which is good, because from my prior experience in dealing with theft loss, if you don't have a receipt, they don't believe you actually owned the item.

The one good thing of all this is that my mom has been wanting to upgrade her computer for a long time. So, even though she has lost 6 years worth of documents and other information that was stored on her laptop, she'll be able to start over with a new one.

What a thing to happen while on vacation. Ugh.

Before dropping off a prescription ... & Help!$$$

August 8th, 2009 at 08:14 pm

ASK how much the place charges!

In the local Kroger sales paper this week they had a coupon for a $25 gift card with the transfer of a prescription. I also had the same deal for CVS. The Kroger one expired on the 11th, and the CVS one on the 28th.

I decided that I'd go with the Kroger one because $25 at Kroger would get me more useful groceries than at CVS.

The last time I had my scrip filled it cost me $31 at Walgreens. I *assumed* it would be a similar price at Kroger, so I dropped off my bottle to transfer the prescription without asking how much it would be.

Well, today after church I stopped by to pick it up. It was $43!!!!! My jaw was hanging open. There wasn't anything I could do at that point since they'd already filled it .. so I paid for it.

Something interesting that they're doing now. Instead of giving you a gift card with the money loaded on it, they load the credit onto your Kroger savings card.
That is a very sensible cost saving and environmental measure. Too bad that I will probably only visit Kroger one more time to use my credit, thanks to the WAY overpriced meds.

----
I have a potentially sticky situation. My dad has been very generous to me, especially since I was laid off in February. Every so often I'll find a letter from him with a check in it. I have never asked for it, and have even told him that as much as I appreciate it, I'm really okay without it.

Well, as I've mentioned before, I will be having a hotel stay near the end of August for school. On Friday I received a letter from my dad with a $300 check in it. That more than covers the hotel expense plus a good bit more.

I called to tell him thank you and for our usual weekly chat. He told me that 200 of it was from my grandma.

Later, he put me on with my grandma. I expressed to her my appreciation and we chit chatted a bit. Then she told me that she'd had some big ideas lately for me. I asked her what those were.

She told me that she thought I should trade my car in under the Cash for Clunkers program. I tried to tell her that I doubted my car would qualify for it, nor that I'd be able to afford a car which would get better gas mileage.

(I have a 97 Honda Civic which gets between 28 and 32 mpg.)

She insisted that even though my experience told me that I get at least 28 or 29 mpg, that I should check out the program. So .. I told her that I would check it out. Then she told me that even if it doesn't qualify, that she really thinks I should start thinking about replacing my car.

I tried to be as polite as possible and told her I appreciated her thinking about me. (She also mentioned that she'd help me out in getting another car.)

Help! My car runs just fine! The last major repair was rebuilding the starter (2 years or so ago). It probably needs new tires and brakes soon, but other than that, it's in great shape. It's paid for, and I know everything that's happened to it since 97.

I know I need to be prepared that I'll have to let go of this car someday ... but it makes no sense whatsoever to me to let go of it now. And I absolutely refuse to make car payments ever again - nor do I want to be beholden to someone else for "helping" me purchase a different car (unless my current car starts going bonkers on me or it gets totaled and I can't find a car for 3 or 4 thousand to replace it). Money for school is a whole different ballgame - but for a car, when I have a good one already?

So, I've already looked into the cash for clunkers program. As expected, my car doesn't qualify. Other than telling her that I looked into it, what would be a good response? Her heart is in the right place ... but I don't like the feeling I'm getting that she thinks she can make me do what she thinks is best because she's giving me money (which I didn't ask for in the first place.)

Should I not cash this check?

Got my grade and put down a deposit!

August 5th, 2009 at 05:36 pm

Yesterday after work I stopped by the home I'll be moving into in September to give her my deposit (basicly needed to hold the room till I can move in.) I'd taken measurements of my computer desk/chair and dresser so I could see if they'd fit in the room or not.

After emptying the room out, and moving the bed into a different position, I figured out that they both will fit in, plus possibly my nightstand.

I played tug of war with the chihuahua while talking to CC - that was fun. Smile

After I was done, I went over to my mom and stepdad's. They're going on a vacation and have asked me to stop by several times while they're gone - to check on the house and to water the trees. I took advantage of being there, and got my laundry done. Smile

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When I got back home this morning, I checked to see if my final grade was posted yet or not for my graphic novels class. Big Grin I got an A! Now I just have to get 12 more A's to finish out my degree. Big Grin

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For some reason I thought you had a 10 day grace period for vehicle registration renewals. Luckily I got on the ball and double checked *today* because it actually is only 5 days! Whew! I got my registration renewed online - now just have to wait for the sticker.

(I prefer doing it online because you can use a credit card and you don't have to drive all the way to a tax office. It's worth the extra $2 for me.)

Looks like I'll be Moving ..

August 1st, 2009 at 09:21 pm

Well, it looks like things have worked out for me to move into the room I checked out last week.

Yes, the room itself is small, but really, for the price ... I don't know that I could find a much better situation. And it'll only be until I finish school.

Tomorrow is my last day of my summer class, and I'll be spending a good 5 - 6 hours finishing up a project for it. After that, I have until August 22 before Fall semester classes begin.

So, that means I'll have about three weeks to sell, give away, pack and clean as much as I possibly can. Then about the middle of September, I'll move into my new home. Smile

Advantages:
Free cable and internet

Lots of animal lovin' (2 dogs/2 cats)

Weekly access to washer/dryer

Be able to put money in savings again!

Closer to my mom and stepdad's house

5 minutes from an SDA church/school

Only ONE toll between it and the gym

Area where room is, is pretty much out of the main traffic areas in the house.

Good amount of storage space in garage.

Good sized living room right off room which I'd basically have to myself.

Disadvantages

Small room

Will have to change churches, because will be too far from regular church (same denomination)(our pastor's last day was today - so this may be as good a time to go to a new place as any.)

Will be a lot further away from my good friend T (but don't see her all that much anyway ...)

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These are the items I'm planning on selling/giving away:

small wooden rolling table (about the size of a large dinner tray) -- maybe $10

20+ year old beat up working Lazy-boy recliner - probably a give away, but will try $5 first

beautiful real wood entertainment center - going to start at (new was around $1000) $200, if no bites, will go to $150

rolling desk chair - $10

beanbag - $5 or giveaway

round one-piece solid wood dining table in great shape - $50 (5 chairs will be included for free, if they want them - pretty much falling apart)

King size bed- mattress/frame/sheets/comforter - about 12 years old - $25/$10 or giveaway

So, the big thing I'm wondering about, is what would be the best way to list these things on CL? Pictures of course, but should I list them separately, or in one or two "moving sale" posts?

Do my prices seem reasonable?