(I know the picture doesn’t go with the post headline, but it kind of makes sense later. I just like the picture and wanted people to see it.)
So… I’m still pretty angry at myself for not changing that little payment box. The little radio button that cost me $45. First of all, I should not have the 5/3 account still open. I should have closed it long ago. Secondly, I should have removed the 5/3 account from my paypal. It’s my fault for not being responsible. But that’s sort of a steep penalty for being careless. I suppose there are worse punishments… like losing an arm or something like that. Well, maybe not.
Something else I did today concerned carelessness and money. I forgot to pay my electric bill. It was due on the 12th, but I remembered at 6 PM. I sat for a while thinking how big of an idiot I was. Then I did something about it. I called up xcel and asked to pay by phone. So… xcel’s phone system is idiotic. If you enter something wrong it hangs up on you. Great customer service, if you ask me. Finally I got to an operator. She let me pay using my checking account, whose number I have memorized. Then I asked if I’d be fined a late fee. She said it was all right, and I wouldn’t be hit with a fee. Phew. That’s one piece of good news today. Thanks God for someone with a little compassion.
Cingular and “Forced Migration”
Recently, I have learned that Cingular may “force migration” to a Cingular billing system and rate plan. This means they may offer us a plan that they feel is comparable, and if we accept the offer, we sign on for another couple years, but if we don’t, we get off without the “early termination fee” (ETF for the nerds). Which also means that the cushy plan my family has now will be worthless. As of now, we have 4 lines of service, with 1250 minutes shared between us, and unlimited early nights and weekends that start at 7 instead of 9. We also get free unlimited incoming text messages and free mobile to mobile. We pay $110/mo after all fees and taxes. I’ve done some arithmetic and we use around 1000 early night and weekend minutes per month. Some of these may be mobile-mobile calls, but they got chalked up onto the early night and weekend minutes. We also use about 800 minutes of our 1250. The comparable current cingular plan only gives 700 minutes/month, with $.10/text message, unlimited night and weekend, and free mobile to mobile. What about early nights and weekends? Nope, it’s $14 a month. So, if they migrate us, we will have to switch to the next highest plan, which would be $140 a month. Sounds like a steal. Why then won’t we switch to verizon or sprint/nextel? Because verizon uses a completely different network (CDMA vs. GSM), and the cost is about the same. Verizon’s phones suck too. Bluetooth data transfer is locked on all phones, unless a data package is purchased. Woo. I have a great technology that I can’t use. Because I have to pay for that too. Even though I already bought the phone. And I’m not even using their network for the data. Wonderful. Sprint’s all right. Their plans seem good, and would probably amount to ~$100/month. They use Verizon for roaming, so the network is solid. But they don’t have bar phones, except for one that is the size of a small paperback. Well, not that big, but it’s star-tac large. Oh well. And no one gives free incoming text messages. T-Mobile has the same technology as Cingular, so we don’t need to buy new phones. I’m a bit attached to mine. Mandy just got a new one: the infamous motorola l6. But the plans are the same price as Cingular’s. So, I suppose we just have to bite the bullet and pay more per month.As to why I care about free incoming text messages, I actually use it to receive my email when I’m away from my computer. I just have gmail forward everything that meets a certain criteria to my phone. It works pretty well, and it has helped me stay on top of time-critical important information, that I probably would’ve otherwise missed.
I’ve been overtaken in Over the Rhineness!
In other news, Alex Chu has outpaced me in number of Over the Rhine CDs. He has bought 7 CDs today, at a cost of $67.89 shipped. Although he has more CDs than I do, I am still a bigger fan. I have recently purchased Michael Wilson’s “First Kind Sight” which Linford’s solo album “I Don’t Think There’s No Need to Bring Nothin'” accompanied. I also am receiving the limited-run poster from the Taft show that we went to see. Silkscreened, numbered and signed by the printer. I will probably file this away with my other two Over the Rhine posters.
Just kidding. This one will be proudly displayed, like the others. As an aside, why are all the Over the Rhine fans that I know so insanely in love with them? I think it’s either an all or nothing kind of fanship, to coin a word. I have way too much Over the Rhine paraphanalia. Most of their CDs, a few ticket stubs, their only LP, “OHIO,” all of Detweiler’s solo stuff, Jack Henderson’s solo CD (Henderson was a member of the band when they made “Films for Radio” and has a song, “Jack’s Valentine,” named after him) and a couple posters, soon to be a few. I’m obsessed. But that’s the kind of fan that I am. I border on stalker sometimes. Well, not really. But, it’s certainly not the healthiest kind of fanship. (I’m going to try to justify my adoration, so watch your bullshit meter…) They’re really talented musicians who are seriously underappreciated. They kick the pants off of any mainstream band. They’re very appreciative of their fans. I’ve met them a couple times, and they have never refused a signature, even if it means signing on five large posters (gifts, people, not all for me). They’ll talk to you about most anything. They allow taping of their concerts. They make beautiful music, and they aren’t afraid to have real emotions. Wow. I’m gushing. Time to end this… In conclusion, I think you should listen to some of their stuff. Find it at www.overtherhine.com. Plus, you can look at the pretty pictures.