The Mr. and I are on a family plan for our cell phones, and our contract will be up in the middle of March. We usually re-up our contract because we enjoy getting new phones and we don't plan on switching carriers anytime soon. A few weeks ago we headed to the store to see what sort of phones they had out. We're both pretty sure we want the iPhone, but it's worth a look, right?
When we got in there, the sales people were great- very informative and helpful. Unfortunately the iPhone isn't available to us until our contract is up, but they could offer any other phone in the store at the contract price. After talking to them for a while, they finally suggested we try out the Samsung Eternity since it's a touch screen phone, with music player and internet. We figured "why not?" and agreed to give it a shot. (They offer a 30 day free trial, so it wasn't set in stone if we didn't like it.)
At first it was a great phone- good volume during calls, great battery life and all the gadgets you could want- but after about a week I started having problems. A lot of problems. My screen kept freezing when I was trying to access items, the screen wouldn't respond to touches, I couldn't check missed calls and more. I had to pop my battery out no less than five times in a ten days. Not acceptable.
In addition to the constant freezing, there were other aspects of the phone that just didn't impress me. One- I wasn't a big fan of the internet setup. I am used to my iPod touch and how you access and surf the web, and this was completely different (and not intuitive in my mind). Two- the music player is MP3 instead of MP4, so I would have to convert all my music in order to listen to them. Which brings me to three- you have to buy extra memory to hold the songs. The iPhone comes with 8GB or 16GB of storage... much better.
There were other smaller things that I could get used to- weird menu setup, no visible notification of a missed call, small ring tone capacity- but when it all added up I was not impressed. I am happier with my two year old Nokia flip phone than I was with that one.
Oh well, I tried!
After much debating, I have decided to really challenge myself for Lent this year. Last year I gave up buying anything that wasn't 100% necessary, and while it was really hard, it was a fun challenge for me. And we all know I love a challenge. BUT! Another great challenge would be adding to the 9ish pounds I've already lost, and giving up fast food would really help that cause.
So... I've decided to give up BOTH! Doing that will allow me to help out my bank account and health at the same time (and indirectly the Mr.'s health, because he won't be eating fast food either), so that makes me feel really good. It'll be tough since it's so easy to just swing by McDonald's when we're too tired to cook... but now we'll have to think twice!
I do have a few exceptions, though. (And while normally I hate exceptions for things like this, I don't feel too bad about them.)
1. Since I'll be giving up all unnecessary spending, this sorta kinda maybe includes fast food and other eating out anyway. If we make sure to go grocery shopping every 7-10 days, we should have plenty to eat in the house. But since one of my coworkers and best friends is planning on popping out a kid soon, I want to reserve one lunch out before she goes on 3+ months of maternity leave. But that should be less than $10 and decently healthy (I'm thinking Potbelly's).
2. I will be buying three $8 shelves from IKEA to put up in our bathroom. My plan was to buy them before Lent started, but sickness and other plans got in the way. But after those, no more! (For what it's worth, this will be coming out of what little tax refund allowance I have left.)
3. I expect to buy a couple souvenirs in Israel, but I don't anticipate them costing a fortune. We've been planning this trip for almost a year and I don't intend on limiting what memories I can bring home!
So there you have it- my incredibly difficult challenge for the next 46 days. Hopefully this year will be a bit different than last year in that I won't go on a spending spree April 12th. :)
Last week I got word that my oldest brother would be coming home from Iraq soon. He'd been there for over a year- away from his wife, son, and the rest of his family. And even though he wasn't necessarily deep in the thick of things, that type of environment will really wear down on someone. Even someone as loving and friendly as Dave.
I posted back in September when he came back for a short R&R, but it's nowhere near as exciting as him returning for good. Yesterday I received a call from him, letting me know he was back home in Georgia. It was so good to hear his voice, even if it did sound exhausted and overworked. I know I couldn't be happier to have him home... safe and sound.
Hello? Am I still welcome here? I planned on posting yesterday, but extreme busyness got the better of me. And not even the 'good' busy.
First of all, the Mr. is sick and I am 95% sure it's the flu (fever of 100 and rising, aches and pains, headache, chills etc.). So I am doing all that I can to make him feel better and make sure I don't get sick. I keep reading reports on how bad Virginia has the flu right now, so I am scared to think about what it could mean for him/me/us.
We picked Macintosh and Aspen up from the behaviorist and got a decent review. She's not sure Aspen will ever be a 'dog park candidate', but if we stay on top of her and correct in a positive and level headed way, we should be able to improve her in house growling/barking. She also gave us a British Slip Lead that works wonders with correcting her on a walk. A rope 3/8" thick will whip her into shape like it's nothing! I ended up purchasing two of them in the 1/2" thickness, since it will be easier on the hands and still get the desired response. So hopefully her walking manners will improve.
I amazingly got around to filling all the screw holes and gauges in the wood with wood filler, sanding them and painting on all the supports, so that is done. When we went to put up the shelf last night, we realized that the brackets we bought were made by an idiot.
Let me back up... I posted a few days ago about sanding the shelf down so we can paint it white to match the rest of the shelves in our closet. This is what the shelf looked like before:
Obviously the color is the only thing that changed. Instead of doing a floating shelf, we decided to purchase a pair of brackets for $10 from Lowe's. They were simple looking, but decorative enough that it didn't look cheap. Similar to these:
Well, whoever designed the brackets didn't think it all the way through and installation is downright impossible. I won't go into details, but there is no feasible way to connect it to the wall and shelf without ruining the brackets a little. The Mr. came up with an idea on how to fix it as he was trying to fall asleep last night, so we're hoping to try that out today. If that works, then I'll post the final product. If it doesn't, we're returning that shelf for a non-moron-designed option.
In other news, Lent begins this week and I haven't decided what I will be giving up/taking up. Last year I gave up all non-essential spending, and that was a big boost to our bank account. Other ideas floating around in my head are fast food, chocolate, and working out (obviously more of that). I guess I still have a couple days to decide...