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Thursday, March 4, 2004

Things were a lot less hectic around here today than yesterday. I didn't get as frantic when I couldn't get an Internet connection all morning, because (a) I knew it would be back eventually, and (2) I was involved in other things and wouldn't have had time to do much on line anyway. Mostly, I refused to get swallowed up by the vortex of frustration that kept me up until the wee hours last night.

So I decided to try once per hour and leave it at that. If I could connect, fine. If not, big deal. That's easy to say now, after the DSL was up for almost five straight hours this afternoon. It was a little harder to put into practice, but I did it. It came on a little after noon and stayed on for 45 minutes. Then it was off for about an hour before it came back for good. Then it went off again, which was not so good.

The Boss had warned me that he'd have some typing for me to do today, so I didn't dive headfirst into any spreadsheets that I knew I wouldn't be able to swim my way out of. I stuck to the simple tasks. That was probably a good idea, since I was up so late last night. I even paid as many of my own bills as I could squeeze out of this week's paycheck.

When I opened the bank statement and saw a charge to Circle K back in January for $15.88, I picked up the phone. I was going to call the bank and tell them it was a bogus charge. First of all, it was a charge against my ATM card, which I never use for purchases. One reason I don't use it is that there's an activation fee during the months you have charges against it. A whole dollar. Typical bank extortion money.

In fact, I had to look up in the phone book to see where the Circle K store was. It turns out there are three in town, and one is at the same address as the gas station I use. Just to be sure, and before I started spouting off to the nameless, faceless person at the end of the bank's customer "service" menu, I went through my gas receipts.

Oh, my. My face was red (or would have been). Apparently on one of my trips to the "service" station I'd pulled out my ATM card instead of my gas card. Yes, I had a receipt, and it matched the amount and the card number on my bank statement. I guess I paid an extra dollar "service" charge for my gas. It's a good thing it wasn't an amount big enough to overdraw my account. I'm thankful for a small tankful, I guess.

I still have a stack of bills, but they'll have to wait until next payday. I got hit hard by the sudden end of February, with bills coming due sooner than in normal months. I'm all for revising the calendar and evening out the lengths of the months. So we have a few days left over once in a while. Let's just call it a Very Special Holiday, or Extra Credit Days, or some such. Hallmark and Wal-Mart would go wild for something like that.

4 March 2004

Overgrown pathway.

So I guess I just have to get over the idea that I have an Internet connection any time I want it. It went out just before I left for Tammy and David's house, and I couldn't get back on line when I got home at 9:30 pm. I won't be trying every two minutes, the way I did last night. Once or twice an hour is about as often as I want to have to pound my head on the desk. Sooner or later I'll get it back.

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The worst part of being off line (tonight, anyway) was that after I got home from watching Survivor, I couldn't check the CBS site to see if there were any updates on the Hawk-Hatch situation. And if you don't know what that means, you're probably better off.

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One year ago: Skating
"Until then, let's just pretend we've done something really, really smart and keep patting ourselves on the back."

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But folks lined up
Just to dog my day;
Now if I stay quiet
They stay out of my way.