Texas, The Damage Report.

Besides all the listed food, we had a blast in Texas. Watching the game in the parking lot of a bar with big screens and a ton of screaming intoxicated people. I both missed Austin and UT on one hand, but felt like I had moved on. I miss that school experience, that curiosity where people have 24 hours a day.

And how can you go wrong beating OU 45-35?

Friday Night:
Arrival in Dallas, met friends out at a bar in the West End(?).

Saturday (Dallas):
Chef Salad for lunch at bar, wings, shrimp, beer.
Football Win. UT 45, OU 35.

Satuday Night (Austin):
Dinner at Trulucks, Lobster, Mojitos, watch the Red Sox.

Breakfast at Juan in a Million. Migas are awesome
Lunch at Central Market, double awesome
BBQ dinner at Salt Lick with a local red wine. Nothing is better.

Breakfast Kirby Lane on Guadalupe.

‘Hook Em

In Austin, catching up on life.

Finally taken my first vacation in a while with M. We came back to where I did my undergrad degree, the Univ of Texas-Austin in Austin, TX. I must say, it’s that odd feeling of knowing I don’t live here, but knowing my way around without thinking twice (okay, maybe a couple U-turns needed). It just so happens that it was ‘OU Weekend’, where UT plays OU in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. Hung out with old UT friends in Dallas, then got on the road and headed down to Austin. M and I have been non-stop running around, from the old haunts, great eating/drinking, and just general catching up on what has happened here the past four years. Holy cow have things changed in West Campus, there are now huge apartment buildings everywhere!

Tonight we’re off to Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, which is an institution, actually where I had my graduation dinner. BYOB with a bottle of local red from Central Market, and we’re off.

I want to blog more these days. With the market taking huge swings and reading personal finance blogs on the web, it makes sense to offer some of my tips that I’ve been doing since graduating to others who might be in my situation of thinking “How can I actually put money away?”

For now, off to stuff ourselves full of BBQ.

I wasn’t convinced.

I admit, I’m a Democrat. I find that my social beliefs match up with being a Democrat a lot more. But I watched the Republican National Convention with an open mind, wanting to hear how Sarah Palin wanted to improve our country and how John McCain was a better leader than Barack Obama.

The first time I turned it on, Mike Huckabee was railing against the liberal media, how it was one sided for Obama, and how it had never given the Repub’s a fair shake. Then I listened to MItt Romney, past Governor of the state I now reside in, rail against Barack and his policies and how he has no experience. Then Sarah Palin got up, and went off on the media and Democrats and never really gave me a good idea of what she wanted to do. She wants to drill in Alaska for more oil. Call me crazy, but if we want to be more energy independent, why don’t we fund more money into research and development of technologies OTHER than oil? Do we need to go in and drill in areas so remote and full of wild life (someone please send me there one day, I’d love to visit)? We have people around the country trying to improve the mileage on a fully-electric vehicle, or coming up with new power sources that don’t involve drilling into our planet. Save your drilling money, and spend it on research.

Then last night John McCain got up there. I was interested to hear him speak, I wanted to hear his ideas and maybe give me a different viewpoint on who might be the next president of the country. Early reports were that he wasn’t going to go negative and pick apart Obama’s policies and lack of experience. But then again, not going negative won’t convince me, you need to show me ideas that you have in mind. His speech was preceeded by a memorial to his service to this country. Okay, he was a war hero, P.O.W, I respect that. But don’t wipe it in my face, and dont try to sell me on your service being the prime reason I should vote for you. You may have served years for this country, but how do you propose to fix the economy, help people find jobs, and make education a bit more of a level playing field? He waved his hands around and was pretty vague, but like previouus nights, I got no red meat. I got a bunch of “look at me, I’m an old war hero, I was a POW in North Vietnam, vote for me, I want to bring change.” How? What change? What specific things do you propose to do?

$diety help us all.

I drank the Kool-Aid

Over the weekend my father was upgrading his 2G iPhone to the 3G model. I had himmed and hawwed about getting the iPhone or waiting for the Blackberry Bold. Screw it, I got the new 3G iPhone, the 8GB model. Now I’m basically loading up on the needed accessories, a case, extra sync/power cable, apps from the app store. The one thing that I’ve come to rely on is the calendar. Before with my Windows Treo 750, I was syncing my calendar on the device to Google Calendar. Now I know that there are a bunch of Third-Party apps that filter my entries via another service, that scares the shit out of me. I’d rather just have a direct link between my calendar on the iPhone and gCalendar. Even if it’s only one-way, I’d take that.

Any help?

Customer service done right

I got an email from my landlord yesterday saying that he lost my rent check, and would like me to cancel it and have my bank reissue a new check. For people who write checks this would be easy, just void the transaction in your checkbook and write another one. Problem is, I do all of my bills via Bank of America’s Bill-Pay feature on their website. I set an automated transaction on the 27th of every month to send the check to my landlord’s home address, money is automatically debited from my account, no manual intervention needed. Since the money is automatically and already debited from my account, by just cutting him another check I’m out twice a rent’s payment instead of just one.

Now I have to deal with customer service, and the joys that that brings to most peoples’ hearts. I jump on the BoA website, send an email to customer service explaining my situation and cross my fingers. They’ve been helpful before, and I am hoping this does not require a phone call or visit to my local branch.

I got a response this morning, saying that the transaction has been cancelled, and that funds should be reimbursed to my account within one to three banking days. I was blown away, even after in previous emails they give 24-48 hours of leeway to respond, and this had only been about seven.

Now I wait until the money shows up in my account again before issuing another rent check. Here’s hoping to more great customer service from Bank of America.

Hello, World!

I’ve given the blog another incarnation, this time on a real bonafide website, Webfaction. After reviewing a ton of other hosts, reading even more blog and forum entries, Webfaction had the best balance of cost, features, and location on the Internet (In ThePlanet datacenter in Dallas) that seemed to suit my needs.

Here’s to another go at this whole blog thing.