linklings, if it’s not one thing, it’s another edition
In case it hasn’t been obvious, I fell slightly behind on both the Wednesday link roundups (“the linklings”) and the blog in general. No one particular event caused it, but over the past week or so in the Blap household we:
- …lost our high-speed internet connection for four days, unbearable in this day and age. Love ya, Comcast. Three separate long calls with customer service, in which they profusely promised that my system would come back on (1) “within 30 minutes” (2) “within an hour” and (3) “within a couple of hours” – all in succession – were are revealed to be lies. Even the advice that my Comcast-provided cable box was dead was false, and made me spend a couple of hours running around to buy a new one for $75 (which I will keep, to avoid paying the $5 per month “rent” on the Comcast cable modem). When the service tech guy came out to our house he said that each time I had called the customer service person simply noted “problem solved” in the case. They just put me off each time by telling me it was a bad modem. It wasn’t.
- …watched my laptop lock up – for good. Thanks, Vista. After I did some research, it turns out Vista gets confused trying to launch an infrared driver and locks up the system. Funny thing is, I don’t have any infrared on my PC. Why that driver is there, and trying to launch, I don’t know. Fortunately frequent backups of all of the files on my laptop to my standalone hard drive made this more of an annoyance than a tragedy. But spending what little free time I have reinstalling Vista and then reinstalling everything – wireless drivers, software, hardware drivers, etc. – would have been bad enough, but I didn’t have access to the internet at home to get all of that stuff.
- …kept unpacking, like Sisyphus. I believe (not joking) that we’ll still have unpacking to do for the rest of 2010. In a new house you have, at any given time, 50 things to do.
- …got Roku. I had wanted one of these for a while and finally decided to splurge and see if it takes us one step closer to freedom from our cable provider (see item 1, above). It does. I hate to go all fanboy here, but the Roku is fantastic – simple to operate, minimal in controls and tiny. I had it up and running in less than 5 minutes. And it’s not just movies – we’ve enjoyed having Pandora stream through our TV and I even have Mediafly (my non-Apple iTunes equivalent) linked up so I can scan through my synched-up podcast list at any time. All that having been said, wasted some time on that. Did I say some? Netflix increases the quality of TV viewing (you watch what you WANT to watch) but if you aren’t careful it can increase the quantity, too. And trust me, I appreciate the irony of buying a Roku after my last post…
Throw in starting back to work at my client, clearing up our rental house to turn it back over to our landlords and making a ton of calls for this service/that service and voila…no posting.
And yes, I WOULD like some cheese with my whine.
But I am grateful, as I often try to remind myself to be, that these are what pass for “problems” in Chez Blap. Many people, including people I know, have infinitely greater burdens to bear. I’m grateful that the most painful problem I have to deal with is a connectivity issue.
- Revive the Personal Boycott: Oh, I wish I had the fortitude to do this more often. I’d like to buy responsibly, but the following chain usually triumphs: buy good things, buy frugally, THEN buy socially conscious things. I still weigh cost and health before the environment or corporate governance, and I worry much more than is healthy that I shouldn’t.
- The Value of an Elite College: I’ve said it before – the cost/benefit ratio is skewing worse every year. You can get more for your dollar at a state school. Private education is pointless unless you aspire to “mega-money careers.”
- Access The Wall Street Journal for Free?: Nice workaround, if you don’t have a WSJ subscription.
- Do You Have a Financial Problem? You Could Receive Professional Help and Become a Reality TV Star in the Process: Give it a shot. Look what reality TV’s done for Balloon Boy! And Jon Gosselin!
- Workplace Culture Shock: Adjusting to a New Company Culture: This has never, ever bothered me – which is one of the reasons I’m well-suited to consulting. I can adjust within hours to a new company. I’m a chameleon, workplace-wise.
- Get A Financial Education In Your Twenties: I wish I had done a better job. I did well, don’t get me wrong – but I could’ve socked away HUGE amounts of money that got frittered away (although, in all fairness, I was maxing out my 401(k) and putting as much as I could into IRAs while I was eligible to do so).
- Maximize Strengths or Minimize Weaknesses? Maximize strengths, in my opinion – you can only minimize a weakness so much, but the potential to maximize strengths is limitless.
- 35 Best Personal Finance Books: Didn’t see Rich Dad, Poor Dad here, but otherwise a solid list.
- Your Spouse: Financial Teammate or Financial Enemy?: I couldn’t imagine remaining married to someone who didn’t share my goals. Doesn’t mean that the goals have to be 100% aligned, but an enemy? No thanks.
- Get a New Job or Get a Promotion?: Get a new job. Easy question here in the 20-teens.
- Handling Two Financial Houses: Glad I don’t have to deal with this.
- You can be happier by reading this post: Not really, but an interesting take.
- Review: The Slow Down Diet By Marc David: I have lost this altogether – with small kids, the act of eating often becomes “shovel it in and get back to feeding/cleaning/chasing them.” I have to recover this mentality at some point.
- Best of Cash Money Life 2009 Edition: Patrick writes one of my (short list of) favorite blogs – if you haven’t kept up with his blog, this is a great place to start.
photo by fuzzcat