It’s 9:43am on a summer Wednesday. First I wrote “Tuesday” before realizing that wasn’t right. Dana is out and about doing work related stuff. Maddux is curled up on the bed next to my right knee. I’ve got an appointment at 1pm today.
Yesterday Dana and I ran around to take care of a bunch of stuff: turning in her Kia, insurance quotes due to recent changes, and a stop at Time Warner to talk to someone about the sporadic minute long lapses in service we’ve been experiencing in Kenosha for the past couple of years.
I’m feeling quite blissful at the moment, not because I’m relishing a life of leisure, but because I’ve got stuff on my to-do list, yet I am just chilling in bed for a bit because I’m able to. And, for once, I feel neither guilty nor pressured.
None of the errands yesterday went quite like I expected (er… hoped for). Turning in the Kia cost twice than I realized it would. I’m irked about it. Not because of the amount, but because of the new awareness I have about financial matters.
Years ago, I had a friend that scoffed at me for spending $30 on a pack of six razor blades instead of $10 on a pack that had two razor blades AND the razor. I explained the math behind the difference since the razor itself is reusable, but his response was, “I’m still spending less money than you are.”
The disconnect wasn’t so much a sign of ignorance as it was a willful choice of perception given the availability of money. In other words, I wouldn’t have balked at the additional costs related to turning in the leased Kia if our situation was as it was three years ago. Leasing would have perceptually remained a wise decision for our availability of money.
Thanks to Internet memes, the idea that things cost less for the wealthy is by no means a great shock, but to recognize the tricks we play on ourselves is scary. You know… but, leasing comes with free oil changes, and you can keep driving a newer vehicle.
The math behind leasing vs. purchasing a car isn’t as readily apparent to me as the razor blades. I don’t know, maybe it is a better deal depending on the circumstances. And, that is what irks me… I don’t know. Costs aren’t obvious.
And that brings me to the insurance stops. I was hoping to walk out of the office knowing what our new costs for insurance would be. Nope. I was also surprised (but I’m not sure why) to find out that the premium for my Racine house would be higher now that I’m renting it out.
Oh… it makes sense… in a way. The risk to the insurer is greater because someone without a stake in the investment is occupying that investment. Yet, the renter is also paying insurance. Ultimately, the insurance companies are collecting more money, but who pays the cost? Duh.
In most situations, I, as the landlord would tack on the additional premium cost to the rent of the house. And, I’m sure that the common perception would be that I’d be foolish not to. Again, the math isn’t obvious.
What is obvious is the web of costs associated with living are so complex that it’s no wonder there are ideological conflicts about how to achieve a blissful life.
The last stop to Time Warner didn’t go as expected because the problem was solved within four hours. Seriously, we’ve called a few times to get a resolution, but were told nothing could be done because there wasn’t a problem when we called. Of course not… the Internet would shut off and come back on a minute later. Sometimes it would continue that pattern many times in the course of a couple of hours. Sometimes we’d be good for a few days. There was simply no way for us to call and be sure the problem would occur while we were on the phone with a service representative.
I downloaded a piece of software that logs Internet outages. I figured we’d get the run around at Time Warner for awhile, but ultimately get them to send out a technician sometime a few weeks from now.
Nope. Log in hand showing over 160 outages over the past four days, the representative barely glanced at it before asking if we’d be home between 1pm and 2pm. It was around 10:30am when we got there.
Some one was at the house at 1:12pm. After fiddling with cable line where it connects to the modem for a few minutes and observing the downstairs guts, we walked outside where he pointed at a squirrel sitting on one of the lines. After creating a plan of attack for maneuvering around a tree to get to the cable lines, he removed the chew toy of a wire and replaced it. It’s going to run underground now, but they still have to come out and bury it.
Nevertheless, he was gone by 2pm, and we’ve had glitch free Internet service since (I think – I haven’t gotten out of bed yet to check the log – but we didn’t have an issue last night).
Dana has returned from her morning tasks, so I guess I’ll scrape myself out of bed and possibly scratch something off that still lengthy, but deadline free to-do list.