After we unloaded our haul (Roho picked up some industrial-strength Drano, and some detergent for the dish washer so we can continue to be lazy and let machines do our cleaning tasks for us) I sat down at my PC and fired up Quicken. It took me over forty-five minutes, but I brought all my registers current. I continue to thank the genius who decided that putting bank information should be made available online, because it helped save my ass since I no longer receive paper statements from my creditors (I think it's a sin when I have e-mail that I look at far more often than I do snail-mail). When all was said and done I got my balances to agree online with what was recorded in Quicken, and I'm smug as hell. According to Quicken I currently have $5,000 on the dot spread across my Citi, AmEx, MBNA and Discover cards. My checking account is sitting quite pretty at the moment, as is my savings account, and I get paid again on the 22nd. Ah, this will be nice, I'll be completely out of debt before December at this rate.
I also got good news with regards to my American Express. You see, I had tucked all the expenses for the trip to NJ onto the AmEx because of the power it gives me over the airlines and car rental agencies -- most of them fall down and worship you if you have an AmEx because they know you have practically no credit limit and thus are to be pampered. The downside of this feature is that the terms of the card are "net 30," meaning when they send me the statement at the end of the month whatever is on the total line is what they're expecting me to pay them. There's no "minimum payment," it's all due in full by the day they specify or they get medieval on your ass. So since the plane tickets were $241 and the car rental was $281 and my other expenses went onto the card I was expecting a rather nasty figure to appear when my statement was e-mailed to me. Fortunately for me my billing period ended right after I purchased the tickets and made the car reservation, so essentially my costs are split, with half being due this month (already paid) and the other half due at the end of August. This was an unexpected surprise and certainly is a most welcome one.
After I got Quicken squared out and my account information safely backed up I retreated from my bedroom, sprawled out on the futon and dropped in my second Netflix rental for watching. Since Kestral had to work today I decided this afternoon would be best spent watching the 70's classic "The Exorcist." All I have to say about that movie is this: holy crispy crap is this film creepy! Apparently I got the uncut version, with the hyper-unsettling parts that the general audience just weren't ready for. I don't know if I was ready for it, and I believe Roho's exact phrase was "I can do without ever seeing that again, 'kay thanks." All in all it was an utterly amazing film and I'm going to have to go acquire it for my own collection.
After we'd finished the movie and had a few minutes to sort ourselves out (I think we were both stunned by the acting and special effects, something neither of us predicted for a film from 1973) I went out and got the mail from the mailbox. Today was a good day for me: I got a Crutchfield catalog, which is always tons of fun to sift through to see what the latest electronic toys are. I also received my letter from Greatbank, confirming the completion and subsequent satisfactory closure of my auto loan with them. Score one for the good guy, because this is the receipt I'll need to have in case the credit unions are still reporting erroneous information in January (I really hope they will be current at that point). You can believe I tucked that little letter into my safe for, er, safekeeping.
With luck when Kestral gets home we'll be off to The Onion, the new pub that James is working at. We attempted to go there yesterday evening but the parking lot was absolutely overflowing with cars that had personalized plates and brand names like BMW and Lexus. The sheer number of SUVs was staggering. I think we found the yuppy watering hole of choice in Barrington, and I really hope that it'll be slightly more sane tonight because I would like to see James again, shake his hand and buy him a round without getting jostled from all sides by twenty-somethings with $2,500 wardrobes who want their Long Islands right now. Yes, I know I fall firmly into that category because of my taste in clothing, my income and my soon-to-be-arriving SUV, but at least I'm not as pretentious as some of these jerkwads.
Currently I'm battling Sendmail and DNS in an attempt to make the two services agree that I am, in fact, only acting as a relay for masem's domain, and that it should in fact attempt to deliver to his server the mail that's in the queue right now since his server is up again. Man, I'm getting tired of this. We live in the year 2003, and SMTP went to RFC in 1982 (as RFC #821, if you actually care). It's 21 years later, can we have something better now plz k thx.
Sometimes I think the devil has got me by the sleeve