Monday, June 23, 2008


RIP George Carlin.

[we'll see how long that video lasts on YouTube.]

Thanks, man.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"We're number one, so you can just suck it"

Sorry folks. I'm only back to rant about Verizon.

I was already annoyed that their voicemail system seems to have gotten flakey recently (have you received a message indicator for a voicemail a week after the original message was left?) but the events over the last few days have me pretty ticked at this point

Ironically, I just upgraded our home service mere hours before this, and even during that process, I was getting myself incremental frustrated and angry.

We have FiOS internet. We've been pretty happy with it. We have a 20/5 plan, or 20Meg download, 5Meg upload plan for about $50.

Rather than burn minutes on her work cell to call clients, the SOOTTAD has been using our home phone which has an unlimited minutes plan with Vonage. (Whoo VONAGE! We <3 Vonage.) This was a reasonable solution until the clients started calling the house because they had the number from their caller ID. Clients calling the home number is unacceptable so we've started looking into picking up a second phone line. Enter Verizon FiOS that has been aggressively pushing their service bundles. (generally with somebody calling or stopping by the house at least once a week for as long as we've been living in this house.)

Anyway, Verizon suffers from the same problems as all the other providers (read Comcast and RCN) in that it is virtually impossible to find out how much the services cost short of signing up for the service or dealing with a customer service rep on the phone. So I ended up digging around online looking for prices through our Verizon account, only to discover that they had raised the price of our internet connection to $57.99.

Um, hey. That's not cool.

I eventually found an email (sent to an account I never wanted, and that I never check because it's been full of spam since day 1) that notified me of the change of price.


Seeing as I still hadn't found the fee structure for the bundled services, I called them up, so I could then ask them how SOL I was about the new price. Only to discover that I was actually going to be $65.99 because I hadn't signed a new contract.

Proof that we're a captive audience is reflected in the fact that 2 days later, I've actually signed up for a 1-year contract for Internet, Phone and Cable. Yes Cable. We're getting Cable TV, god help us, complete with HD DVR. We are so screwed. And not just by Verizon. It works out to a decent deal as a bundle, especially since we're getting an extra $5/month discount, effectively $50 for internet, $25 for phone and $50 for cable. We'll see how the year goes, and decided whether or not we want to ditch it. (especially if they decide to raise rates again.)

So fine, done is done.

Except that I just looked through my most recent Verizon Wireless bill, and was struck by the $14 charge for text messaging, which seemed like I lot since I only pay $0.10 a message.

Except that I don't. Apparently I missed it when they raised it to $0.20.

Except that I really missed the boat, because apparently they raised it to $0.15 over a year ago. I guess we were a little busy.

I can't help but feel like there's something illegal about raising your rates when you're under contract, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.

I'm going to have to figure something out. Hopefully things won't be too busy that it'll drop under the radar again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Well, it's clearly summer, even if it isn't official for another week or two. And I'm not talking about the mini heat wave we had last weekend, I'm talking about the density of our calendars.

The SOOTTAD and I are off to All-Bal weekend this afternoon. We've been talking about going ever since she went a couple of years ago, but we haven't had the chance because, well, it's summer and y'know, there always seems to be too much stuff going on.

This morning was actually the first time I'd gone for a run in over a week -- a little over 6 miles, decent pace for most of it.

I've pretty much fallen off the wagon since a had to go on a business trip in California almost a month ago. Hopefully, I'll finally get back into the swing of things, seeing as we've hit the 16-week mark before that marathon I'm supposed to be running in October, even though I still haven't actually figured out which one it's going to be*. I've even packed my running gear and a map of the area around the hotel in the hopes that I'll be able to run while we're in Ohio.

So yeah, off the wagon. We played this game a few weeks ago, returning from a wedding in NYC where we'd had WAAAAAYYYYYYY too much to drink and had painfully paid the price for it that morning and on the drive back home. It went something like this:

TALLASIANDUDE: The problem was, I didn't get any sleep the night before. If I'd actually gotten some sleep last night, I would have been fine.
SOOTTAD: No, the problem was, you kept drinking the bourbon out of my glass.
T: No, I think the problem was, when you stopped letting me drink out of your glass, I went and got another glass of my own...
T: And actually, maybe the problem was every time I ordered a bourbon and a glass of water, I kept getting the bourbon and not noticing that they weren't giving me the water. If I'd just had that water...
T: Well no. The problem was I shouldn't have had that cigar. That thing was totally giving me a false second wind so I didn't notice I was out of gas...
Stupid open bar**. The problem was that I drank too damn much and I totally didn't get enough rest, so my body basically shut down. Except that it couldn't because I'd been spending the evening poisoning it until 3 in the morning.


The game, as applied to my running (and by extension, blogging).

Precede each with "I would have run if I hadn't been (at/on/with) [a/the]..."

5/17-18 - Wedding in New Hampshire (got a run in before the ceremony)
5/19-21 - 3-day business trip in California, stuck at the airport hotel with no car and no time because of the meeting schedule.
5/22 - return flight to Boston, just in time for a frisbee game (ADDED BONUS: body clock reset to Pacific time)
5/23-26 - Boston Independence Exchange -- full dance weekend with friends visiting and late-night dancing running until 4AM. (I did get a run in on Memorial Day...)
5/23-26 - 4 clients (3 new). This is good (Yay, clients! Yay, covering rent!) but still time consuming.
(5/26 - Run 4.5mi)
5/27 - frisbee game
(5/29 - Run 6.3mi)
5/30 - client
5/30 - All-nighter finishing document for work. (1-1/2 hours of horizontal time) before...
5/31 - client, before...
5/31 - drive down to NYC for (previously described) wedding
6/1 - return to Boston hungover
(6/2 - Run 5.25mi) (OMG!)
6/3 - frisbee game
6/4 - 2 clients
6/6-8 - fly to Buffalo, drive to Fergus, Ontario for frisbee tournament, drive back to Buffalo, fly back to Boston
6/8 - install of the A/C unit in SOOTTAD's office
6/9 - install of the A/C unit in bedroom
6/10 - frisbee game
6/11 - client (2 clients canceled)

So yeah, a little busy. Gonna try to resync to the morning run schedule, especially after sweating out the tail end of the heat this past weekend. Which means I'll need to be careful this weekend and not stay up too late at the evening dances. Which is tricky, since that's where I'll probably get the most practice for the material I'll be learning in the workshops.

Oy, it never ends.

* I feel a bit like Goldilocks right now. Marine Corp is too big (described as a "clusterf*ck" by more than one friend. Cape Cod is too small. That probably rules out Mohawk-Hudson. So maybe Breakers in Rhode Island? Or maybe Steamtown, although both may be too much on the small side. *sigh*

** Awesome wedding/reception, though. Even if I was semi-zombified and had to nap under a table for part of it.