Thursday, December 22, 2011

iPhone 4S

I have been using Android phones for the past 2 years.  I wanted the iPhone when it first came out, but it was only on AT&T.  When I got my HTC Incredible, that was just before the iPhone was going to be officially on Verizon.

On December 5th, 2011, I walked into the closest corperate run Verizon Wireless store and purchased the iPhone 4S after much wavering between getting a 4G LTE Android phone and the iPhone. So that was December 5th and at that time, my expected ship date was December 16th. On December 14th, I received an email saying that they were unable to fill the request by that date and would let me know when they have a new projected ship date.

On December 21st, I contacted Verizon Wireless to figure out when I might see the phone. I got my answer and a email verifying that answer arrived soon afterward.  The iPhone 4S should ship the week of December 26th.  Really???

Today I check my preorder status and found the status had updated to "Your order has been sent for processing." and the projected ship by date was now blank.  I was hoping for some good news. I knew that good news would not be delivered until evening, at the earliest. 

At 20:04 (8:04 pm for you 24-hour clock challenged people) on December 22, 2011, I received an email that my iPhone 4S had shipped from Ontario, California. I checked the FedEx tracking and it is being sent overnight....Excellent!

I will soon have an iPhone, only 4 1/2 years after the original iPhone was released.  I guess it is about time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shopping with coupons

In the spirit of getting a good deal, I went shopping at Harris Teeter during day 1 of their triple coupon event. Harris Teeter will triple coupons with a face value of $0.99 or less up to 20 coupons per VIC card, per household, per day. The only Harris Teeter in town is normally fairly busy, but today it was a nearly full parking lot.

Today I armed myself with a plan of what I wanted, sort of.  I prepped a list of sale items and coupons for those items and good deal coupons, which took me about 30 minutes.  I showed up with 14 coupons prepped for shopping. Of those 14, 2 were for items I discovered that Harris Teeter doesn't carry them in this particular store.

I shopped and noticed all the isles filled with coupon-ers that were using large binders full of coupons. I use the low-key approach, small, collapsible container that fits in my pocket and can hold 1,000 coupons. I used an envelope with the planned use coupons with a list the planned purchases which doubles as a separator to keep the claimed coupons away from the unclaimed coupons. When I went to the checkout, I counted that I used 19 of the possible 20 coupons per day.

-----My Savings Breakdown-----
Sales and VIC discounts: $27.82
Manufactures Coupons: $10.30
Triple Coupon Bonus: $20.60

Catalinas received:
$1.00 off 1 Coffee-Mate natural bliss
$1.00 off 3 General Mills Big G cereals
$1.50 off your next purchase at Harris Teeter compliments of Hamburger Helper.

My shopping doesn't focus on getting getting a bunch of free items and Harris Teeter does not allow coupon overage. I focus and using coupons for items that we will use in a short time span. Translation: I don't do stockpiles or clear the shelf shopping.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Herb Stories: Beef Sticks and Police Chases

My wife's cousin has a great blog. He writes about music and memories attributed to certain pieces of music. If you want to check it out, read Erik Apland's iPodobiography. I understand a lot of Erik's blog because I have meet some of the people and have been to some of the places he blogs about.

With that set up, I am working an a series of stories told by my late brother Herb. He had so many stories that sounded close to believable, but usually had some truth to them. They were intriguing stories and Herb told them well.

All details are as I recall them. Any additional information about this story would be appreciated.

Without any more ado, Here is the first story...

Beef Sticks and Police Chases

In the late 1980s, Herb moved to Virgina and worked for Tony's Pizza. He drove a Tony's Pizza Truck making frozen food deliveries to various supermarkets in the greater Richmond and Newport News area.

One night, there was a special delivery of some sort. Herb took off in his car with a load of ???, which included several boxes of frozen Beef Sticks. It was late and a long trip. Those two factors apparently got to him and he fell asleep while driving.

Herb woke up to find flashing lights in his rear view mirror. Herb pulled over and got out his license. The officer asked him "Do you know how long I have been following you?" Herb wasn't sure how long, actually he don't remember the last several miles at all.

The officer continues, "I have been following you for quite a while. You have been passing people, changing lanes, and using your blinker...all at time I was following you with my [emergency] lights on. You didn't appear to be running from me, so I just followed you."

Herb says, "I don't remember any of that. Honestly, I am pretty tired and I may have dozed off." Herb reaches in the car and grabs some semi-frozen beef sticks and starts eating some of them.

The officer asks him what he is eating. Herb says they are beef sticks. He explains that he is making a special delivery and had a few extra boxes of beef sticks, if he (the officer) would like any.

Herb continues to explain that he is from South Dakota and he moved there recently, which explains his license plates (which were still from South Dakota, almost a year after he moved there).

Herb said the had a little chat with each other, ate a few beef sticks, and he was on his way again. The only thing he was out was a couple of boxes of beef sticks.

From My Picasa Account

The other part of the story I remember is not something he told during this story, but something that happened when he called home. He asked us to pick up new tags for his car, because his were expired. It was October or November, and this was when everyone's plates expired at the end of March. So this event may have happened when his tags were actually expired. I don't think Herb ever got Virginia plates while he lived there.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sticking with a South Dakota University

I made a big choice to move 1,300 miles from where I spent most of my life. I was still working on my B.A.T.S Degree at South Dakota State University and the classes that I still needed were not available on-line. I had been doing traditional classroom education at the University Center in Sioux Falls and some Internet classes through my SDSU.

I looked at schools with on-line classes and completely on-line programs. There are so many schools and most make it so hard to see what your actual tuition rate is. All schools give the basic tuition rate and then they list as many as 30 different fees. Searching for on-line only programs was not as easy as you may expect. Most of the information are found on targeted sites, fully funded and supported by Internet School with degrees that employers do not take seriously. The interesting thing is that one of the most advertised on-line schools has a tuition rate of $530/credit hour + $85/class.

I searched local universities near my new home, which included some big names (UNC-Charlotte). I looked for programs, on-line degree choices, and cost. UNC–Charlotte Internet tuition cost for new residents and out-of-state residents $460.65/credit hour. Winthrop University, the closest Public University in South Carolina (where I am now a resident) was $400/credit hour for residents and $900/credit hour for new and out-of-state residents. Winthrop also did not have any advertised on-line only programs.

I search everywhere, looking for a school that had a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems or Business Information Systems. The amazing thing was the best school for the least amount of money was still in South Dakota, and it only cost $253.95/credit hour with no other fees. With a rate like that, who would want to go to a campus for classes. Example: If I were as South Dakota Resident attending this school it would cost $205.50/credit hour (tuition + standard fees)+ 353.40/semester computer fee + parking fees + food + dorms.

The school I chose was Dakota State University (DSU) in Madison, SD. They have a Computer Information Systems program that is entirely online. DSU is not the only school that you could choose for $253.95 per credit hour. That tuition rate is set by the South Dakota Board of Regents school. This means the rate is good at any South Dakota Public University. You can get this rate for on-line classes at South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, Northern State University, Black Hill State Universityand South Dakota School of Minds and Technology.

Once you are enrolled at any of the State Public Universities, you can take on-line classes at any other of South Dakotas Public Universities. This is especially helpful when filling in those general education classes. DSU may have the Computer Classes, but Northern State will have the Accounting class that you also need. An important note: Most of your Senior Year (last 32 credits) classes must be taken at your home university.

Just because you can register for classes at other campuses, does not mean that is how the fully on-line degrees expect you to find classes work. All classes for a Degree at DSU will be offered by DSU at some point during a 4 year span.

Read my full article on Dakota State University and other South Dakota Public Universities here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On The Road

On Friday we (Carena, Simon, and I) loaded up in the Jeep and headed to Charlotte. Carena zoned out watching mostly Dora the Explorer on DVD (thanks to Art).

Simon stood for the first one hundred miles.

Then he finally laid down to sleep.

Tennessee was in full Foliage and was very nice. This picture is on I-40 near the North Carolina border. About a day later, a rock slide closed this portion of the road and will remained closed for about a month (at least). Good think I left when I did.

The ABF U-Pack ReloCubes Arrived.

The ABF U-Pack ReloCubes arrived and we filled them.

Actually, we could have almost filled a third cube. You can fit a lot of stuff in them.

Here is a picture of the ABF U-Pack ReloCubes as they were being delivered.

It Snowed!

As you can see I didn't make it out of South Dakota before some snow hit us. It wasn't much and was gone before you know it. I am glad to get out of the bitter cold this year. I think it will be a bad winter in South Dakota.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

It's a good time to head to Charlotte.

The time to leave is fast approaching and I only have another week of work left in South Dakota. Today was a reminder of why I decided that it would be OK to venture into the great unknown. I have been thinking about life after EROS for a long time, but today was a validation that I am making a good choice. Today, I watched the parade of staff leave and return from a fate deciding meeting. In the meeting, they learned if they will stay or if they will be laid-off. The result of the meeting; Three of the Five employees will continue to work there next month. It is hard to watch co-workers, who I have worked with for a long time, take the bad news. At least I can take some comfort in that I saved one person's job by my departure.

The weather is getting colder and snow is already threatening us. I really am looking forward to the better climate of Charlotte. According to Wikipedia, Charlotte receives "6 inches of snow and more frequent ice-storms." I am accustom to 6 inches of snow after ice-storms here in Sioux Falls. I hope the better winter offsets the hotter/humid-er summers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's So Cold in the D

28 degrees below zero
Picture taken January 15, 2009.
I arrived at work and it was cold. It was one of those days that my little Diesel engine really turned over hard. Trust me, I have stuck to Leaving Diesel #1 in when I know the cold days are a coming.

On a related note, the Jeep Liberty CRD hit 50,000 miles on October 29, 2008.
50,000 mile driven