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This & That

April 7th, 2010 at 06:07 pm

**We were bummed that LM's Leapster (game system for little kids) seemed to break. We fretted a bit. Dh wondered if we should replace it. I said, "hell no." Maybe one of the only "new" game systems we have - not sure if we bought it or was a gift - bought many moons ago. LM is so close to outgrowing it - I don't think it's worth a dime to get a new one. I told dh just to get him a DS. (He always can snatch them used, without touching the budget).

If it's dead, we do have a TON of games to sell. Don't ask me where they all came from - I bought just a couple from my paycheck. I noticed we have a ton because every time I See the pile I have to wonder how much they would all cost brand new (4 figures?). I wonder who pays full price for any of these things. I am sure plenty of people wonder how we can afford so many games and systems, too.

Well, in the end, my dad saved the day. Not only was it a problem with the touch panel (his forte) but he has got a ton of contacts at Leap Frog, anyway. He said he basically pushed in the screen and it worked. Will get us through - will probably recycle rather than sell it, once it runs its course. Phew.

I don't think LM is really ready for a DS, but I do think he can survive a few months without a portable game system. None of the males in my house probably agree with this sentiment.

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**I decided exactly what to do with BM's science camp refund. We are definitely going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in May. It's usually more of a treat, because the Aquarium is a bit pricey. Most any other zoo, museum, etc., we can get reciprocity or good discounts, if we just have membership to one. But the Aquarium is certainly in a league of its own. We had the most awesome time last year, and LM just LOVED it. So, we decided it was worth a trip back. How to pay for it? Solved.

I'd also love to go back to the beach to look at wildlfowers and such. Not sure we can fit it all in one weekend. I don't think it was really worth the hotel last time. Will just have to drive down 2 days, or spread it out over a couple of weekends. We've got family to stay with just an hour out from Monterey. Will work it out.

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**We had quite an ebay run this week. Ugh!

Video games seem to attract flakes and difficult buyers. I'd say our dispute rate is about 20%. Maybe half of those people will pay the second we file an "unpaid dispute," the other half are a PITA. For the most part, you figure one person won't pay for a long time, if ever, out of every 5 or 10 auctions. It is what it is.

SO, I briefly mentioned the psycho guy who was really harrassing dh. It's actually my ebay account so I got copies of all the e-mails. Lovely. Long story short, he freaked out because dh was not around to cancel his bid during the last hour of auction. He sent about 4 or 5 e-mails in that hour, each getting more aggressive and harrassing. So dh is like, "Dude. I wasn't at my computer." To which the guy gets more annoyed and more e-mails to follow. I swear I have 20 e-mails form this idiot. The reasons why he wants to cancel his bid change every 5 minutes.

If he had just asked nicely, even after the fact, my dh might have worked with him. But clearly the guy is insane. So dh, decided to be a PITA and report him for not paying. It's been kind of quiet, but today I got a pile of more e-mails. I love how he is like, "I reported you to ebay. You are a difficult seller." Look dude, you are the DIFFICULT one.

But that's not all. One guy never paid or responded. This was out of 6 auctions. 2 of 6 is a new record. THEN, we got our first negative feedback! Ever. Dh has sold hundreds of video games probably. Some chick didn't know that you need Gamecube controllers and GC memory card to play a Gamecube game on the Wii. My dh was trying to be nice and work it out with her, when she leaves this negative feedback. Thankfully, we can at least respond. Any regular video game user would know this. (I don't, but I don't buy games!). I told dh that maybe he should specify as much with the games - most other sellers do. He told me he doesn't want to cater to the idiots of the world. Okay, then. Then he has to deal with the consequences. In this world, you just have to spell it out for people. Honestly, I am surprised this is the first time that this has happened.

We will survive, but if every round of auctions ended like that, I wouldn't bother. Oy vey. I feel like the universe was really against dh last week, for some reason! Ebay was the least of it.

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**March was spendy and work was crazy. I may get around to looking at my monthly totals, some day. I at least know all my bills were paid - even mailed off my property taxes a few days ahead of time. My head has been other places of late - so remembered to pay everything on time, yes.

In the end my HOA never penalized me for my late payment. I lucked out!

By some miracle we also earned another 20% rebate on our winter heating costs. I think this year we cheated with dh's out of town surgery. 20% of not much, is not much. But did get $20 credited. That said, my budget billing for gas (hot water and heat) went from $14/month to $30/month. Bummer! I've used less gas than ever, rates are down, but billing is up. I will never understand their balanced billing. Wish they would just divide our annual bill by 12. We are pretty predictable. (I am really only bummed that I can't brag about $14/month bills. That was probably too low).

Someone at Easter did ask about how we afforded heat and air in our home. I giggled since our balanced billing had been $14/month for the last 6 months, for heat. Big Grin Somehow, we survive. But seriously, though the weather is mild here, people can be pretty wasteful and have inefficient homes. Came up because a relative sells windows and sees a lot of $600/month winter gas bills. Oy vey! I just told him our utilities were lower than they were in the condo we owned before. That I wouldn't worry about us. Wink

Which also reminds me, some relatives are trying to buy investment property in the Bay Area. Could make an interesting option for our kids, for college. Hell, I am kind of tempted. Trying to get a condo the size of like a closet for $100k. If dh were working, I would so be there. IT was a condo owned by some family members before. Originally bought got $90k. Sold a few years later for $200k. Right now it is hovering around $120k. Crazy! So yeah, someone in the family wants to buy it back. Rent is still so crazy expensive, I'll take a closet for $100k! Big Grin We definitely spend enough time there. & there are so many affordable/great colleges around. (If that sounds insane, we owned a 3-bedroom condo for $260k, and there isn't a HOUSE to be had worth living in for under about $600k. NOt when we lived there, anyway. So $100k sounds like a steal, to me).

I never thought I'd see the day where I may buy Bay Area real estate (again). But it is something to consider for the long run. It sounds absurd. But, for a college pad or an occassional home, I wouldn't care about the size. Definitely low maintenance. We have already decided we didn't want to LIVE like that. But, let's face it, our parents won't be around forever either. Then again, if we aren't visiting our parents... I don't know. Something to chew on when we have a nice down payment and a bigger income. We do spend a lot of time there for other reasons. For now, we just stay with the parents. It's just something I never thought about before, but may make sense in the long run. Don't worry, we'd probably put 50% down or pay cash or something. Thinking to the distant future...

1 Responses to “This & That”

  1. ambitioussaver Says:

    I'm right there with you on the game systems. It seems as soon as we catch up to the amount of games for the Leapster, they outgrow it, then another system comes up. We had gotten them a VSmile, then a Leapster, then a Didj. DD #1 wants a DS but I'm holding out for another few years. I do like the Didj for being able to put her spelling & math stuff on there, but in comparison to how long a DS will last her - it doesn't match up. The DS could be with her well into her teens.

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