Archive for the ‘fee’ Tag

05-26-2016 Journal–Miscellaneous Updates!   Leave a comment

As summer looms in my future I’ve been attempting to close out some existing projects to make room for what’s to come.  My infusion of hot peppers in tequila has finally ended with the hot peppers almost bleached white as you can see. I took a small sample and gave it a taste test and was very very hot.  I can’t wait to give it a try in a my first attempt at a Hot Pepper Margarita. I think it will be fine for me and my better-half but I doubt if most people will be able to handle the heat. We’ll see very soon.

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‘The Tequila sucks the color and heat from them.’

My second project has been the Sake that’s almost ready for bottling. Within the next few days I’ll begin the bottling process and finally be done with it. It’s taken a little longer than usual due to it’s refusal to clear.  It’s looking good now and it also has passed my first taste test.

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‘Nice and clear.’

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Today I’ll be making my second visit to the Saco Police Department. I’m trying to renew my permit allowing me to carry a concealed weapon for another four years.  I’ve held permits in multiple states in the past but I have to say the state of Maine isn’t quite as difficult as some others.  My reapplication was only ten pages long and in comparison to some states it’s rather short. I’ve finished the forms, obtained a new and handsome picture of myself, and a check to the city, of course, for $20.00. By far the cheapest fee I’ve ever paid for this constitutional privilege.

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CAN’T LET THE BUREAUCRATIC MINUTIA GET ME DOWN

04-26-2013   2 comments

It appears that I’m finally on the mend from this damn virus that’s been kicking my ass for the last week. I still sound like someone’s gravely voiced uncle but I can live with that for a few more days. Being sick is a triple curse for me.  First your sick as a dog, second your stuck in the house usually in bed, and thirdly you can’t stop coughing.  You can only read so much before you’re forced to watch television and there’s the rub. It’s like being shot and then hung.

These last few days have convinced me to consider canceling our TV service when the current contract expires.  I can’t take the endless commercials and the low caliber of programming that has slowly been turning my mind and everyone else’s to mush. I’ve had it with all of the “redneck” programs that make all of us look like effing hicks to the rest of the world.  It’s ironic that the program that supplied me with the information needed to cancel my subscription,  I saw on TV. 

I remember back in the day when cable TV was a new novelty.  The way it was initially sold was an ad campaign that was total and absolute BS.  It was called "Pay TV" then and we were all assured for a small monthly fee we would be commercial free forever.  Then slowly but surely the fees began to grow, the commercials returned in a big way, and all of a sudden it’s costing me upwards of one hundred and fifty dollars a month for viewing programming that is almost fifty percent commercials.

When I began approaching retirement I decided to simplify by life.  I got rid of my old land-line telephone, all of my premium channels, and returned to just a basic cable package.  The cable company then added surcharges and taxes which brought my monthly figure almost back where it started before I cancelled the premium channels.

Then I moved in with my better-half who was burdened with an almost $200.00 a month bill of her own.  We immediately took steps to reduce our combined bill but Time Warner is a devious enemy.  We reduced everything back to basic cable but with our Internet charges we were still paying over a hundred dollars a month.  The cable companies claim it’s impossible to offer a menu type system where you order the channels you really want and aren’t forced to pay for thirty or forty you never watch.  How convenient.

We cancelled a large portion of our package but since it changed our "bundling" (the newest word used to screw all of us) they couldn’t lower our costs all that much.  After it was all said and done we were still paying $110.00 a month after the surcharges and BS fees were added.  We were both unhappy with the results of our efforts so we cancelled all of our Time Warner’s services except for the broadband Internet.  We then subscribed to the Dish network for two years and were initially charged an introductory price of $38.00 a month for one year.  They told me that after the first year the monthly price would be increased somewhat.  The first year passed and the price increased with fees and surcharges to $68.00 per month.  I’d call that more than substantial.

Arguing with cable companies is useless.  They have their own agenda which is to get as much money from us as they possibly can and believe me, nothing else matters.  I think a reasonable price for Internet and basic cable should be no more than $85.00 a month with fees and surcharges.  Any more than that is just highway robbery.

We’ve reached the point where desperate times call for desperate measures.  At the end of our current contract with Dish we’ll be canceling the satellite cable package and retaining only the Internet service from Time Warner.  We’ve decided to then subscribe to Netflix ($9.99 a month) for an endless selection of movies and Hulu Plus ($7.99 a month) for almost any TV programming we’d like to see.  Our total cost at that point will be approximately $57.97 a month, well within what we consider a reasonable cost.  Another added plus is that almost all commercials programming will disappear from our life.

This is a trend that seems to be happening everywhere by many of us.  It gives the old saying “vote with your feet” new meaning.  If enough people walk away from these cable monopolies then changes will occur and prices will begin dropping.