Cutting Back

Today I’m making a list and checking it twice. On what am I trying to cut back? Well, just like everyone else I’m looking to cut back on expenses, food consumption, and exercise alcohol intake.

I Want An iPhone, I Just Can’t Justify The Cost
My two-year contract with AT&T for my BlackJack ends this month. My mouth has been watering for an iPhone for ages. However, after perusing AT&T’s website I realize that my monthly bill would go from $76 (already way too high for my tastes) to well over $90(!); and that’s after buying the phone for $200 and committing to another two-year contract. Holy crap people, we are getting fleeced!

I think that I am going to look into shifting gears and going backward with cellphone technology by trying to find a phone that is a phone and has text messaging capability, but no internet or camera capability. Does anyone have suggestions? Does anyone think I’m being foolish about this?

Digital TV Converter Coupons Are Here
My coupons are here!
My coupons are here!

And guess what? I’m probably going to try and boost one of the companies whose stock I possess, namely Dish Network. Dish has a digital-to-analog converter called the TR-40 CRA (don’t ask me, I’ve never liked our/their model names) that just so happens to cost $40 (the value of each coupon), I’d just have to pay shipping costs. You’d think I’d have a way to get it shipped to the office for free, but you’d be wrong. I don’t feel badly pimping the TR-40 because it’s been getting really good reviews from the tech blogs.

Of course I’ll critique the D-to-A converter once I have it hooked up to one of my televisions. Stay tuned.

And yes, I still think that if you have at least one television that gets its signal over-the-air that you should sign up for the Government’s Free Coupon Plan. Consider it your tax dollars at work. Remember that the Digital Television Transition will occur in mid-February, it will take about a month for the coupons to be delivered, and that the coupons are only good for ninety days once they’ve been issued to you.

ITP Flickr Pic
You want to know what I find odd about hashers?
Only One Thing Is Better Than A Thrashers Game
They somehow manage to produce cute children.


Digital Download Of The Week
Times are tough. Our own Government has admitted that we’ve officially entered a recession. So rather than suggest you go out and purchase a digital download, I’m going to give you a pointer to a free, and legal, download.

Recently Matt Pond PA has started offering up a free download of what they are calling The Free EP.

I’ve downloaded it. I like it. If you download it and don’t like it, just remember how much you had to pay for it.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – okay
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing Interpol — “Evil”
Website Of The Day – Have you ever owned a piece of Apple hardware that you’ve wanted to fix yourself? Learn how to do so at iFixIt.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing

Foot Mileage – 0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 2 (2)
Vegetarian Days – 1
Carnivorous Days – 0
Marta Rides – 0

Books To Read To Earn Kindle – 4

December Goals
1) Lose no fewer than two pounds
2) Drink no soda
3) Run no fewer than 50 miles
4) Completely read no fewer than one book
5) Write at least one program using Ruby on Rails

Paulie [eatl/ga]

This entry was posted in My Daily Life. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Cutting Back

  1. Gentri says:

    good link Paulie, was on my “I’ll get around to it when I have only sound” list, so good to knock it out… once you get a coupon, what are the options for the converters? We just order them or go into a store or what?

    I went to brandsmart last week, and almost didn’t NEED the converter anymore, except I didn’t have $700 burning a hole in my pocket… well, at least not till this Friday I won’t… it is a quandary: washer/dryer or plasma screen HDTV….. choices, choices…

  2. A list of converters which can be purchased using a coupon is provided with the coupons. The coupons are really gift cards. As I understand it you can either use the coupon to knock off $40 from the price or use the number imprinted on the card/coupon to order online. Obviously ordering from Dish Network will have to be done online.

  3. Barb says:

    Paulie without a camera in his phone? I don’t think so……
    But almost all phones have cameras now, some are just better than others.
    As for the internet, with your addiction, could you really go without it at your fingertips and not go crazy?
    I’m in the market for a new phone as well, but I haven’t had the internet connection in my phone, so I won’t miss it. My big decision is, do I get a qwerty keyboard?

  4. bob says:

    I agree with the cute kid statement, nice photo.

    Along the lines of cutting back how about some cheap entertainment? A friend of mine from the dirt biking crowd works for the Gwinnett Gladiators doing group ticket sales. He has arranged a deal for the off-road folks and told me to extend the invitation to my friends.
    The game is on December 21st at 4PM (it’s a Sunday), and we can get premium seats for $13.
    If anybody is interested in joining Laura and I at the game just let me know and I can get you the information for the cheap seats.

  5. I don’t know if I could go without. I’m just afraid of my financial future and am reconsidering the sensibility of turning over $90 a month for the benefit of having a cell phone.

    When I got my first cell phone in 1999 I was paying $20 a month. Granted there was no text messaging, internet, or camera. How have we let the phone companies drill us for so much money? And don’t get me started on the $36 “activation fee” that AT&T mentions on their website too.

  6. The 21st is a Black Sheep Sunday so I’ll have to bail on hockey that day. We’ll see and I’ll let you know ASAP.

  7. B-Bob says:

    We were out in San Francisco this weekend and hung out with a friend who has an i-phone. It’s sick. Get one. Life’s short; live it while you’re here.

  8. Gentri says:

    We are willing to pay the $90 ’cause we are afraid we might miss that important call from the telemarketers offering us a 2 for 1 deal on turnip twaddlers… or that important call from a rich politico wanting more $$$ for not raising our taxes… reality is we don’t want to miss anything at all anymore, as it punchs our “I am somebody” card whenever it happens…. just ask Navin R. Johnson how important THAT can be…you know, being a person!

  9. Martha says:

    Good luck finding a phone without a camera. I just replaced my old phone with about the most basic phone (Nokia 6555) I could find and it still has a camera, 3G, email, internet, music…compared to my last phone the battery life is really short and I don’t use it for much else but talking. It doesn’t have the qwerty keyboard but now that I’m not dating the mad texter I don’t really need it.

    My service (AT&T) runs about $45/month and the upgrade activation was $18.

  10. Okay, perhaps I went overboard with the mention of no camera. It’s not like I don’t want the camera, I was just exaggerating the point that I don’t want to pay for all of the fancy options in a cell phone.

    The qwerty keboard is good for me since I find myself doing more text messaging then I have ever done before.

    B*tt Bob, you are very right about that! I’m weighing the options between “living for the moment” and “being financial responsible for my future.” Most often “living for the moment” wins. 😉

  11. Andrew says:

    When I was a kid, we paid $100 a month for a cell phone and liked it!

    I have the first gen iphone and love it. First and foremost it integrates with the rest of my electronic life (which is all mac based), and I can’t imagine going without mobile email, web, google maps, and facebook (ugh). That said, I think the AT&T has screwed up the pricing for the iphone 3G. I’m an extremely light phone user so I’m basically paying $60 a month for a mobile computing platform. That would increase if I were to “upgrade”. I would recommend an iphone to a friend, but I wouldn’t recommend them sign up for service. That’s a decision they would need to make on their own. You may wish to wait until next May and see what happens with the android phones. While the G1 isn’t really a compelling phone, maybe something will be released that’s sexy with the ability to run for longer than 15 minutes on a single charge.

  12. HAHAHA Andrew, very nice.

    My lust for an iPhone is that everything else in my life, save the Chumby, has happily gone Apple/Mac (even though I’m fighting with my AppleTV right now).

    Are you using the WiFi more than EDGE when surfing? Could I get away with buying a “dirt cheap” phone and an iPod touch for surfing/syncing?

  13. Steve says:

    Gentri- you kill me, “turnip twadlers…”

    Paulie, I’ve been really pleased with my phone, Motorola i335- it has great reception, which is why I had to replace my previous phone when we moved to the country, great battery, no camera, it has the ability to internet, but I’m cheap. And it has the “push to talk”, but I don’t know anyone else who has that that I want to talk to.

    As for hockey, I think Debbie and I would be interested…


  14. Gentri says:

    turnip twaddlers FTW!

    Showing my age, and I should have given props to Berkeley Breathed and Opus!

  15. bob says:

    A qwerty keyboard is a must if you text a lot. I’m old and don’t abbreviate very well. I’m thinking of killing my cell phone account and point everything at my work blackberry.
    If I were to get a new personal phone I would get one that opens up with a full keyboard.
    I would love to get an iphone but just cannot justify the cost.

  16. Barb says:

    Allan & I are most likely in for the Gladiators on 12/21. When do we have to commit, and how would we pay?

  17. bob says:

    Barb I’ll shoot you an email with the URL.

    Steve, email me at and I’ll get you the URL too.

  18. Andrew says:

    >> Are you using the WiFi more than EDGE when surfing? Could I get away with buying a “dirt cheap” phone and an iPod touch for surfing/syncing?

    I do use wifi more than edge as I have wifi in the office, at home, and in my seat at philips arena. I use edge on marta and when i want to check traffic (google maps) while on the road. I use the camera to upload photos to facebook and that’s almost always on edge and I do check email while on edge quite often.

    There’s something to be said for carrying a small, inexpensive phone but I don’t care to have multiple devices. I think apple has a list of isync compatible phones on their web site. If you choose to pick up an inexpensive phone, I’d check that it’s isync compatible at the very least.

  19. RanLiCoop says:

    I don’t think I’ll weigh in on the phone debate as I generally only use mine as an actual phone – and as infrequently as possible. Besides, nobody except Paulie is going to read this late post.

    Glad to see that turnip twaddlers was picked up on, and the Navin R. Johnson reference was awesome. Definitely made me smile.

    OK, I’ll be going now. All I need is this lamp and this paddle-ball game and this…

  20. Well, I am reading it at 21:27 and glad to see that you all made it home safely.

  21. romanlily says:

    Although the cost of buying and using an iPhone is annoyingly high, I justify it by writing off some of the costs as a business expense.

    Also, the Google Maps feature on the iPhone has COMPLETELY saved my bacon a few times when I’ve been stuck in the middle of nowhere and totally disoriented. (It happens more often than you’d think.) That feature alone was worth the price of admission for me.

    (Suddenly I’m remembering that you’ve already got a GPS, so this feature would not give you an advantage. Oh, well.)

  22. But it would be a GPS in my pocket, something Jill (the GPS) doesn’t provide.

    Business expense…. eh? I wonder if I should incorporate? 🙂

  23. Smoove D says:

    Buy the 3G, it’s worth it. Edge is slower than molasses in Buffalo during January. Also, the 3G has real* GPS – the bogus GPS on the original Iphone is more frustrating than useful. Maybe someday I’ll write a full review, but I like the 3G far better than the original Iphone. It also helps that I had a shitty Blackberry Bold for a week to put things in perspective.

    * It’s not as good as Jill, for example it doesn’t do turn by turn directions or 3D. However, I find it invaluable for re-locating my car or the nearest MARTA station when I’m done wandering and photographing.

Comments are closed.