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Archive for November, 2013

Freebees at just the right time - priceless

November 19th, 2013 at 12:21 am

Previously I had XM radio in my car, at their lowest rate for 6 months, usually to coincide with long trips (FL & relatives). This year, since we were using my girlfriend's car for the FL trip, I skipped on the XM radio. I can get decent channels near where I live.

Last Friday I received a letter from them saying they were setting me up for 2 weeks free starting this Wednesday. Just so happens I am travelling all next week to relatives, so this is perrrrrrrfect Smile. About the only time I would want to have it all year, and they're giving it to me for free right then.

I love it when things work like that. Big Grin

Back from the yearly road trip

November 15th, 2013 at 09:46 pm

Well the trip to FL ended this past Monday (literally, I finished driving at 3:00 AM Monday) and we survived (physically and mentally). The total for me and the SG girlfriend was probably $1,800 ($730 for the timeshare, $490 for 3 day disney tickets, ~$300 for gas, and well... a little here and a little there). We survived some near misses (people trying to play dodge'em with our car, a gated community's gate that swung towards our car, not to the sides {yikes, put it in reverse now!}, the 3 egrets that tried walking in through the open door in our time share, almost getting lost in Tampa). My girlfriend showed her new found courage to go on some "scary" rides. OK, not so scary to me, but I know she was considering turning back more than once. Her fortitude was really appreciated - it helped to make a great time in Florida.

We also did our (or mine anyway) first timeshare presentation (at the location we were staying). I think our presentation was the shortest of any in our group (maybe 20 groups). We didn't lie to the guys (there was first guy, and then the "closer"), but I think they thought we were a little nuts. OK, that may be true, but hey, if it works, go with it. Right? That got us about $65 off our tickets for a little over an hour of time (plus we got some nice OJ and coffee). Not sure if we could have done better elsewhere (probably), but this is supposed to be low pressure, so it was probably just as well we went there. I forget the exact numbers (they wouldn't let us take the numbers with us), but I think they started at $30,000, then $12,000, and finally a reduced value package for $5,000. Since its not a real "time share" any more, but some convoluted point system, they can offer all levels of packages. Basically looks like pre-paying your vacations, though more flexible (in some ways!) than with old style time share systems. And I think I realized what is going on. Using a point system, they can over-sell facilities, knowing that not everyone will use their points, or will only buy when prices are high. Its like planes where they over book. An easy way to make even more money. Gawd, if that ain't easy money for them, I don't know what is.

On the trip I used my gas gift card, along with a Subway gift card she had. That helped with the expenses. And today I get my two-week paycheck, more than enough for the whole trip plus more. Yep, it was a good trip.

On the road again...

November 1st, 2013 at 02:39 pm

... can't wait to get back on the road again... Yes, it has arrived, the last day before I head off on a week long vacation. And its a good day in other ways. I got my super-sized paycheck today (instead of a raise, we are getting a 1% bonus, all of it paid today), I sent off two ebay sales this morning, and I have four more to get sent out. Thankfully they aren't big, I can easily take them with me if they don't pay tonight. I probably made $100 on this week's sales (the best is a lot of toy cars I paid $2 for and I am getting $40 for Smile).

The gas gift card arrived yesterday. Perfect timing. It's only good for one brand of gas, but still... we'll just check prices each time we stop, and if the prices are the same we'll use the gift card. Otherwise we'll go to the cheaper gas and put the purchase on my new credit card so I buy enough to get my latest CC reward ($200) Big Grin.

I also have another $5 gift card ready to give my girl friend. So that's good.

I'm leaving with my fridge stocked up with apples and pears. They both seem to last a long time, so a week away shouldn't make a difference to them. The yard is a mess with leaves, but that can't be helped at this time of year.

And finally everything from work is working smoothly today. No stress, just some boredom until I leave. Yep, can't wait to get back on the road again.