My Second Post of the Year comes at the start of the third month of 2023. I have wanted to do better, and my list of topics continues to grow, but my time to devote on the writing has been short. Many topics beyond the normal ramblings of a madman currently populate my list. I notice that when the weekend comes, I find myself preoccupied with a great many things. And so, by Sunday, I just want to ignore everybody and everything. This leaves me to either read a book, vegetate on a movie or documentary, or even just sleep.
This weekend was no exception. Unfortunately, I returned from a week of travel and had much to catch up on. Saturday, I slept because I really don’t sleep well on travel. I ended up sleeping most of the day, after sleeping in. Needed to go to the grocery store as the house was out of food. Yet I slept and will defer that shopping, paying the bills, doing the laundry and general cleaning, until today.
This morning was quite productive. Bills paid. Taxes finished, but not yet sent. Sadly, this year I will be paying instead of getting a refund. Not surprised given Biden’s desire to tax everybody to pay for his progressive (socialist) agenda of illegals, climate change, criminal justice, reparations, student loans. Inflation is up, income is down, and I have certainly reduced my spending on things that I do not need or want.
Side note. Noticed a sign about highway construction upon my travel return, touting that the road construction was paid by his “Build Back Better” act. Odd since the construction started a year before his build back better bill was passed. Our governor was spending millions that she did not have upcoming to this past election, starting road projects that are still setting idle, years after the signs were put up, the orange cones were placed, lanes were reduced, and the occasional bulldozer was parked near the construction.
As I said, bills are paid. I still pay most of my bills the old-fashioned way. I get a statement, I write a check, I mail the bill. I do not like paying bills online. Every month it seems that I get a notice about this or that account having been “hacked”. They set you up with a service to view whether your information is being used, diverted, sold. They never pay you for your time to check your information, replace your credit cards, update changes, the sudden increases in unwanted e-mails. I want my privacy. That comes at a cost to me. One that I am willing to pay for.
Yes, I still balance my checkbook. Every few months, I order new checks. I go to the post office and get stamps. I have a supply of envelopes. I don’t save any money by not paying bills this way. I don’t save any money by paying bills electronically, either. The companies claim that it saves money.
Does it save them money? I am not sure. They just nickel and dime you. Every month it is something different. If not them directly, well then, they just past on the costs to you. My Verizon bill was two cents more this month than last month. Why? Because the State of New Mexico increased the state rural universal service fund monthly surcharge per communication connection. What is the state rural universal fund? Well, it is a broadband program that offers digital equity and digital inclusion in rural areas of the state of New Mexico. Not sure if my service gets any better. On a daily basis, I think about half of my cellphone calls do not connect. Over at Comcast, NBCUniversal will no longer include Peacock Premium with my Xfinity service at no additional charge. In other words, my HD Preferred Plus package will be going up in price with less service or an option unavailable. With everything going to streaming services, I am afraid that what I want to watch will cost me more what it’s all over. Stop watching altogether will become the end state.
Corporate America just continues to nickel and dime you. Amazon increases the cost for Prime, yet very few movies are available at no cost, and when did they last send a package with next day delivery? The credit card companies are the worst. The prime interest rate is less than 5%, yet your credit card interest is almost 17%. I pay my bills on time. And damn, I even paid my student loans! Should I not get a discount as a preferred customer? Of late, the balance is paid in full each and every month. OK, so you don’t want to pay electronically, well, we will send you the statement, but no envelope to pay the bill. But do you have to send a bill when the balance is zero dollars?
What I would like is one company to do all of my business. My banking and pay a decent interest rate on my savings. Instead of 0.1% interest, how is it that other places can pay 3%? 4%? Offer a credit card that pays what I actually cost them for interest because my credit is good. How about insurance? My auto insurance, my homeowner’s insurance, my other insurance has all seen increases this past year. Yet I have never filed a claim. Healthcare, the list goes on and on.
I have started to plan a vacation for later this year, thinking that I will spend more time locally, with weekend getaways. And I want to get out and do some camping this year! Concerts will probably be few and far between, but I am working on that list.
The world around us isn’t that much better. As I get older, I see that it is getting worse. I see that the world that I am leaving for my children is in decline. The war in Ukraine continues. America continues its increasing debt drive into becoming a third world country. In short, our leaders fail to hold themselves, and the people, accountable for the problems. The crash is coming, and I hope that people are preparing.
Of late, I have also found myself using Sunday as a day to cook meals for the week. As the cold and snow continues into March in Northern New Mexico, I see myself thinking about a making some chili for the week. Not the New Mexico kind with Hatch Green Chile but rather the Texas kind, with beans and veggies.
And so, on that note, it’s time for laundry and off to the store. May these words find you safe and healthy. Until next time.