Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Did You Know There Is One Lady at Comcast Who Has Helped Us?

Did you know there is one lady at Comcast who has helped us?

I do just want to state for the record that one of the supervisors at Comcast has been responsive to us. Her name is Tanesha and she has returned calls and done what she can to help resolve our situation. I just wanted to be fair to her for her efforts.

There was actually one other customer support staff who really tried to help my husband a few weeks ago, but you know they can't do much. And one of the techs who has been here more than once, Anthony, hates coming back here. He said it makes him look bad and he doesn't like that. (Getting it fixed would really help him to look good!) So for what it's worth, out of four aggravating, frustrating, maddening months of problems, there are a couple of folks who are at least trying to do what they can...

Did You Know We Are Still Having Connection Problems?

Did you know we are still having connection problems?

At the moment, our internet connection is working. The time it works is about equivalent to or less than the amount of time it is out. We have been using Comcast since they took over for Roadrunner. We have not been really happy with their service at all. You can read back through my old posts to get some background as to why.

We continue to have problems. No one knows what the problem is and we continue to have "band aid efforts" applied until the next outage! For example, yesterday there were three line techs at our left side neighbor's house. They are scheduled for our right side neighbor's house today. And our house on Friday. Uh, this seems foolish to me. Why not take care of it all at once???!!! I know there are some there who have tried, and some who don't care, and one co-supervisor who even said that the customer support tech lied to me!

Needless to say, the loss of connection has indeed been an interruption to lifestyle. Yes, we love to play on the computer, but we also have necessary things to do online as well. For example, my son's AP History course has a mandatory website student's must access regularly. This is difficult when our internet is out. He has gone to friend's and neighbor's houses to get his homework done. We try to utilize the library when possible, but that is hard to do. My son also writes articles for a community newsletter. He writes them and then emails them in. This is also impossible with no connection. This last time he was scrambling around for some sort of memory card or flash drive so he could take his saved article somewhere to email it in!

My husband has been prodding me again and again to continue to blog about Comcast's poor quality and inept service. So, this is the latest vent!

Did You Know You Can Keep Spices Up to Two Years?

Did you know you can keep spices up to two years?

I was watching the Early Show yesterday and they were talking about how long you can keep spices in the pantry. She said most would keep well for a couple of years, but after that, it is time to throw them out. They lose their flavor and you can apparently tell a difference just by smelling the old one and a new one. I went through my spices and only have a few I need to replace and only one that I rarely use and won't replace.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did You Know My Son Gets His License Next Month?

Did you know my son gets his license next month?

My son will be sixteen in just a few weeks. He is anxious to get his driver's license. We are anxious for many reasons! One of these reasons (though not really the biggest) is the amount our insurance will rise. But in getting the auto insurance quote for him as driver, we were surprised that it would be a little over half of what we expected. That is with him listed as a secondary driver and not a primary driver. We also are looking at all the discounts possible: the savings for the driver's ed. course, the savings for the drug and alcohol awareness certification and the good grades discount. Every little bit helps!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Did You Know About The Day the Earth Stood Still?

Did you know about The Day The Earth Stood Still?

We went to see this movie for my birthday this week. We did take both our kids. The movie was pretty good. We all enjoyed it though my 12 year old daughter thought it was a little scary and pretty weird. There were some weird parts but it was pretty good. My cousin said that he has asked several folks about it. In his "surveying" he has found that everyone who has seen the original movie did not like this one and that those who had not seen the original (like us) like the new movie.

I would say that it is a pretty clean movie. The violence was not over the top but the theme of the end of the world is pretty intense for some kids. I think the PG 13 rating is appropriate. My daughter found it more weird than scary, though during the movie was a little unsure.

Did You Know We Have Lived Most of Our Married Life Without Insurance?

Did you know we have lived most of our married life without insurance?

I am not bragging when I say that. I know that we have tempted fate quite often. We have been very blessed not to have any major catastrophes strike our family. We had insurance when I was pregnant with my son. I was very sick during that pregnancy and had to be hospitalized. The insurance did not cover any of it. So as soon as our son was born and we saw that he was healthy and everything was as it should be, we dropped our insurance.

We also have not had wind storm and hail insurance since we have lived in this house. When Ike blew over this summer, we knew that we were blessed with no damage. Too many around us had damage of some sort.

We know that we are living on the edge this way. It is just nearly impossible for us to see how we can afford these things every month. But for 2009 we are looking at resolving some of these things. Getting hail and wind, health and term life insurance quotes are very important steps for us to look into in the new year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Did You Know I Ran Thirteen Miles Today?

Did you know I ran thirteen miles today!

I am so excited that I actually completed thirteen today! I was going to do 11 but when I decided to go ahead and do 12, I thought, well, I ought to go ahead and do 13! I did use the five minute run/one minute walk method and it worked out really well. I got pretty tired mile 11-12, but overall I am very happy with the way today's run went. Now I get to cut back on the mileage until race day!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Did You Know You Have to Unscrew the Stem to Air Up Bike Tires?

Did you know you have to unscrew the stem to air up bike tires?

My husband said it was about time to air up my bike tires today. I told him that every time I try to, it never does any good. It doesn't seem as if any air is going into the tires. So he came out with me to look. I unscrewed the plastic cap and was trying to pump in some air. He told me to wait and showed me that the stem itself also has to be unscrewed! (I'd never heard of that before!) And, I had the pump applied wrong as well. So I really wasn't getting any air into the tires! He also reminded me to look at the imprint on the tire to see how much air to put in (the recommended PSI is printed on the tire.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Did You Know I am Still Trying to Figure Out My Running Pattern?

Did you know I am still trying to figure out my running pattern?

Because I don't have a lot of time before my half marathon, I am still trying to figure out my running pattern. Some of my running friends told me to go with a five minute run/one minute walk plan. When I began to implement this on my six, seven and eight mile runs, I felt like it was too much starting and stopping. I tried a ten minute run/one minute walk and it was ok. But when I did that on my eight mile run, my legs got tight. So on my 9.5 mile runs this week I have tried both the 5:1 plan and today tried something new. I ran for three to 3.5 miles then walked for one minute. My legs were pretty tired and it really wasn't any less time than doing the 5:1 run/walk. So I guess I might as well stick with that and not be as tired. All I know is that for now, with all this running, I won't be taking a diet pill even though I am eating a lot more!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Did You Know About Bamboo Socks?

Did you know about bamboo socks?

I went to look for some new athletic socks last night. I went to the running store where I won a gift card. They did not have a large supply of socks, but the ones that caught my eye were bamboo and wool! They are made for "breathing", wicking away moisture and eliminating odor causing bacteria. That all sounds pretty good for sweaty feet! They also sport a Lycra band across the arch for extra support. And, there is no toe seam. They come in black/charcoal and tan/natural colors.

Did You Know How to Choose a Blog Host Site?

Did you know how to choose a blog host site?

My sister and a blogging friend of mine both recently started new blogs! They are both great bloggers already, maintaining quality blogs which many folks enjoy visiting regularly. Branching out in the blog world is quite popular, and when bloggers with good blogs want to expand what they already do, it’s always a good thing!

There are still many people out there who don’t have a blog, but are potential bloggers in waiting! And there are some who are using free blog space, but would love to host their own domain. For many of these people, they just don’t know where to start. It is important to do some homework when searching for website hosting. You have to find the support that will meet your particular needs. There are many things to consider. You have to find out just what your goal is with your self-hosted blog and then see which host you can afford and which will meet these objectives you are setting out to accomplish.

In doing your homework, be sure to check out the top ten best web hosts of this year M to do a comparison. Check out the free domain names, get tips, and read reviews of other users. Doing all this up front will help you choose the best web host site for your new blog!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Did You Know It Snowed Here Last Week?

Did you know it snowed here last week?

I know this is old news by now, but it's the first time I've had an internet connection since the big event!

And yes, this is a big event for us! According to the news, it was the seventh time it has snowed in December in Houston in the last 115 years! The kids were all thrilled, of course, but even our adult neighbors were out playing in the snow! When we got home from church, there was a big snow ball fight! And all the kids were out late at night enjoying the snow. There were snow fights, snow men and tracks to leave in the snow. We all enjoyed seeing the flurries come down, playing outside, taking pictures and the hot chocolate when we came in. I was also glad that it melted off by mid-morning!

It has been interesting to note that for many of the last years we have had major hurricanes, there has also been snow that winter. There were one or two exceptions, but generally speaking, folks around here are looking to see if there is a connection.

Did You Know Something Different for the Holidays?

Did you know something different for the holidays?

Do you ever get tired of doing the same things every year at the holidays? One year when our son was small, we traveled to Colorado during Christmas week. We spent the week relaxing and vacationing there. My husband even went and skied for a day. It was an enjoyable time.

I think many folks dream about doing something different at least some time during the holidays. Many hotels run specials and package deals. There are many places which have special events, decor and treats throughout the holiday season. So if you are dreaming of a Broadway play, las vegas suites, or a winter cruise, there are lots of ways you can spend your holidays doing something different.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Did You Know What We Saw in the Sky Yesterday?

Did you know what we saw in the sky yesterday?

No, not a bird, and not superman. Yes, it was a plane but it was a special plane!

We were on the way home from my daughter's play yesterday. She said "What is that supposed to be?" then "OH MY GOODNESS!" I glanced over and at first could not make it out either. Then I looked again and was so surprised to see the space shuttle being carried piggy back by the plane!!

We immediately pulled over and turned around to try to get pictures but we could not. We even headed out towards Johnson Space Center to get another look, but we could no longer see the shuttle and plane, so knew we would be too late by the time we got there.

I knew the shuttle was being carried back to Florida from El Paso that day but it was so cool to see it as it made a courtesy fly by at Johnson Space Center!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Did You Know Why We Haven't Dropped Comcast?

Did you know why we haven't dropped Comcast?

We have actually tried! If you read the last post, you will see why we are so frustrated and want to drop the Comcast service. We cannot keep an internet connection. This has been going on since the beginning of September!

I guess it was in October when I told my husband I wanted to try AT&T. He talked to them, since that is who our cell phones are with. He was told that their internet service is not available everywhere. And in the town we live, there has been a deal made with Verizon, so AT&T won't be coming in here!

So we kept waiting, being assured time and again that Comcast had us "fixed up for good". Yesterday my husband talked to Verizon. He was told that the speed for the regular package was "1" and the upgrade was "3". Comcast is "4", so not too different. But when my husband looked at the info online, he found that that the speed on the upgrade was only 1.5. That's a big difference so he called back to confirm. Well, the "3" is "in general" but the speed really depends on how far away you live. He told them that is false advertisement and we are not interested.

So, we are still waiting on Comcast to resolve the issue. They have been responsive, it's just that they don't know what's wrong and cannot get it fixed. At least they have not charged us in all this time...

Did You Know We are Unlucky With Computers?

Did you know we are unlucky with computers?

I don't what the deal is, but we have had really bad luck with our computers this year. It all started when Comcast took over RoadRunner. We had trouble with Comcast starting in Feb. By Sept. we had put in eight calls to them for trouble. Maybe not a huge deal, but it's at least once a month that there was trouble. Then, since just before the hurricane, we have had unstable internet connections. We have not paid Comcast since September and will not be paying for this last week either. They have no idea what the problem is (it's going on with our neighbors too, so it's not on our end.) Anyway, so right now I've got a connection for the first time in two days.

And, in the miidst of all that, my daughter's laptop gave out. We had even gone so far as to get their old school desks (ok, they are really office furniture computer desks) out of the attic for her to have someplace to set it up in the living room. And then, it fried. The internal circuit board shorted out. The guy said it would cost too much to fix it. So, we are just biding our time with our computer with intermittent internet service...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Did You Know I Signed Up for a Half Marathon?

Did you know I signed up for a half marathon?

In the past I was never too interested in running that much. My husband had wanted to do a marathon. It's just that most are on Sundays and we won't miss church to go do it. He has been a "bandit" in the Houston marathon by going up early and running as much as he could alongside the crowd, then dropped out and made it back in time for church! He even signed up for a marathon after that, but got injured and couldn't run it. This time, I found one on New Year's Day. I love the idea that it is on Jan. 1 (which is not a Sunday this year.) Also, it is a run/walk on a flat course with no time limit (other than having to be done by dark.) So I figured I'd give it a try. My friend Marathon Bird is going to run it with me. My other friend is on the waiting list (yes, registration is already full!) I have begun my training which is really compressed into a short time frame. But I am looking forward to it. I hope I can do the majority of it jogging, but know that if all else fails, I can walk it.

Did You Know There Are Different Types of Pearls?

Did You Know There Are Different Types of Pearls?

When I was in school, we read the book The Pearl. I have to say I did not appreciate it like I should have. And I had no idea that pearls were so beautiful, nor that there were a variety of types of Pearls .

I have since learned that pearls are valued based on their type. They even come in a variety of shapes and colors. To start with there are the freshwater pearls found mostly in lakes and rivers in China. These pearls do come in a range of colors, sizes and shapeswith the most common being oval or rice shaped. There can be ten to fourteen pearls found inside one mussel.

There is also the Japanese Akoya pearl found in saltwater oysters. These are known for their luster and brilliance and are known as the diamond of the sea. These are the most popular kind of pearls.

Next is the Tahitian black pearl. I had no idea that pearls came in any color besides the opaque whitish-pink color. These elegant pearls are one of the rarest and most valuable pearls. Their colors range from peacock green to silver and purple and the only naturally black pearl. These are some of the largest pearls available.
You can also find the South Sea pearls. These are among the most rare and valuable pearls because of their size and satiny luster.

The conch pearls come from the Queen conch of Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. These are known for their “flame structure” and give the appearance of a fire burning on the surface.

I'd have to say that a pearl necklace made out of any of these exquisite stones would be a gorgeous gift!

Did You Know Dr. Seuss was a WW II Political Cartoonist?

Did you know Dr. Seuss was a WWII political cartoonist?

I don't remember ever hearing this before. I got an email about some current exhibits at the Holocaust Museum Houston. One is the work of Dr. Seuss during the war years and the political cartoons he drew for the New York newspaper PM. He focused on the issues America needed to address at the time and how individuals could become aware and involved. He worked to inspire people to care about the fate of human beings. Theodor Seuss Geisel's exhibit runs through July 5, 2009. The exhibit is based on the book "Dr. Seuss Goes to War" by historian Richard H. Minear.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Did You Know We Are Stupid Parents?

Did you know we are stupid parents?

I actually got a book for my kids for Christmas with the title Stupid Parents. I like the premise of the book. It is written to teens and tells them basically how to get their parents off their back. Things like honesty, talking, and building trust are big issues the book approaches. It does eventually tell the kids that their parents really aren't stupid, but love them and want the best for them and don't always know how to do that. The end of the book does actually deal with parents who are being stupid-using drugs or have alcohol problems-and tells the kids how to find help for that situation. All in all I think the book does a good job of helping kids and parents both to keep the relationship moving in a linear motion. Moving the parent/child relationship forward into adulthood is a tough job for us all!