Yesterday I got some terrific news. One of the departments dealing with
the student loans I took out in college has decided to stop taking out
the large chunk of my disability check they had been taking out since
the beginning of the year to put on the loans. This is the result of my
petition for a Disability Deferment being approved last February — but
of course it took one hand of the U.S. government all this time to
realize what the other hand is doing. And it will take even more months
until the U.S. Treasury is contacted and actually stop taking the
deduction each month. Nevertheless there is some light at the end of
the tunnel. I live off of very little money. And the loan deductions
were a real hardship. Having all my check again makes the difference
between being broke all the time and actually being able to do some
extra things every once in a while. So to Uncle Sam I say: Get a move
on it, dude!
As I mentioned in an earlier post it's tough (nay impossible) to save
back money if you don't have any. But now I can realistically think
about putting a little money back. There are three main options for
using the extra money. Each of these has been brewing in my head for
a couple of months now — though before, of course, they were just a
daydream. Besides getting my full check back, I also will be able to
get about $300 by selling my old Nikon F100 and kit, which I've been
planning to do for some time now anyway.
I almost hate to mention any of these. It's been my experience that
talking about what you may call "future contingents" usually just
results in writing that you go back to later and shake your head and
say, "Ah, I never did do that." But I've decided that since I am pretty
much out of ideas for a post today anyway that I would talk about my
Big Plans For the Future, though it is probably of no interest to
anyone except myself.
Here's the list:
- Get a new flat-screen TV.
My current one is now 13 years old. It still works, but it has been
impossible to see the box scores on sports — it kinda looks like San
Diego bleah and Seattle bleah at the top of the bleah inning. And
though the old RCA was a fine TV in its day, the picture can't match
today's technology, which is significantly more clear and sharp. It
would be nice to get this as a Christmas thing. And it sure would be
nice for the Olympics coming up next February.
- Buy a new laptop.
There are some big current problems with my current laptop. First, I'm
down to 1 Gig on the limited 9 Gig drive. It would of course be possible
to use an add-on drive. But that brings us to the second problem — the
box only has one USB port. So if I were to plug the add-on drive in that
would mean having to unplug it if I wanted to upload pictures from my
camera. And it gets worse. Last month the PS/2 port on the computer
stopped working. I opened up the box and tried to fix it, but it was just
too fubared. So I've been having to plug my mouse into the USB drive also.
The bottom line is that it's tough in this day and age to work off a single
USB drive. Add to that the fact that the computer is old and slow and has
way too little RAM memory, and the conclusion is that I really need a new
There are some interesting deals out there — it is certainly a buyer's
market. I found a Hewlett-Packard at Tiger Direct that made my mouth
water a bit. It's reconditioned, but by doing that I would save $200
over a new model. And it's loaded. Huge drive, massive quantity of RAM,
full keyboard with numeric, a Memory Stick slot for my camera, and —
best of all — 3 USB ports. Oh yeah. Incidentally, it's identical to the HP
model they use at my doctor's office.
- Take a frigging vacation.
Except for my monthly trips over to Idaho with Renee, I haven't been
out of Spokane on any type of real vacation since November 2006. It's
definitely time to get the hell out of Dodge. Trips cost a good deal of
money, and I certainly can't go anywhere I want because of that, but I
did find an interesting event in Portland next February. It's a segment
of the Portland International Piano festival with a recital by Anton
Kuerti. He will be doing Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, one of the
first pieces of classical piano music I ever listened to way back in
high-school. And not only that, but I guess Kuerti is considered to be
the leading interpreter of that work these days. Plane fare to Portland
is cheap. The big expense is the hotel, but I think that I should be
able to afford a nice room near the concert hall, such as the Hotel Lucia,
located where there would be plenty to see on foot. The Hotel Lucia
is also right next door to a Thai restaurant, and has 24-hour room
service serving Thai. Ohhhhhhhhh yesssssssssss. You know, except for
the recital, I might not even leave the hotel.
Well, knock on wood. I do know that unless some sort of miracle occurs
that I will only be able to do 2 of the 3 things on the list. I just hope that
I in fact do 1 of them.
Beethoven, Sonata in C major Op. 2, Adagio.
Anton Kuerti, pianist.