Monday, January 31, 2011

Snowmageddon Part IV

Another blast of snow headed our way. I don't even need to mention how this was supposed to be a dry winter, do I?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More of the white stuff...

Well, so much for a dry winter. It was forecast to be a really dry winter but we have seen at least as much snow as last year and that was quite a bit. Now we have 6-8 inches on the ground and 2-3 on the way later tonight.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leaving AT&T

Our family has been a loyal customer with AT&T for many years. We were customers before the iPhone craze and we have been loyal through at least 5 iPhone upgrades. We now have a total of 4 lines with AT&T. But now the times may be a changing. And they don't seem to care one bit.

Verizon recently announced they will be offering the iPhone as we all know. It just so happens that my wife is eligible for an iPhone "upgrade" (it still costs a nice chunk of change) just a few weeks after the iPhone hits Verizon. It also just so happens that she recently broke the glass on her 3GS. Now, after a rather disheartening visit to the AT&T store (they can't do anything thing to help us out) we are faced with a stunning array of options. We can...

  1. Have the 3GS repaired for ~$100.00
  2. Get a whole new 3GS with AT&T for $49.00
  3. Upgrade now for the sweet low price of $600.00 
  4. Borrow a phone and wait 4 weeks for the "upgrade". Then pay out $200.00 for the iPhone 4
  5. Borrow a phone and wait a couple weeks until Verizon offers the iPhone and see what kind of family plans they can offer and eventually dump AT&T all together

There is no way they can just allow us to upgrade now and ignore the 4 weeks. We have been customers for years and have gone through numerous upgrades on their schedule. Now we just need a little help and they can't seem to budge even a little bit. They almost seem to not care at all about losing loyal customers. You would think with the competition breathing down their necks that they would be eager to hold on to customers they have especially since the idea of gaining new customers seems even more unlikely at this point.

I guess from their point of view we will have to pay for our contract one way or another with the  outrageous early termination fees (if we leave for Verizon). And at this point they are ready to face a certain amount of loses. It's just a shame that customer loyalty means so little anymore. I guess it's just to hard to judge and trust individuals personalities for the bottom line so we are given unbelievable early termination fees to balance it out. Way to stick it to the consumer! Maybe we will just get rid of all of our phones and just have a land line from now on :^P

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Diet Rules to Follow

Men's Health has a nice bit on the "Rules of the Ripped". I have condensed them here for easy reference but you should read the article for in depth explanations.

I'm proud to say that I've actually been doing most of this on my own for the past few months and it has been working. It mentions very interesting research about diet soda. I've recently started drinking more diet Coke. Perhaps I'll look for a replacement (unsweetened tea).

  • Rule 1 "I Will Eat Protein with Every Meal and Every Snack"
  • Rule 2  "I Will Never Eat the World's Worst Breakfast" (no breakfast)
  • Rule 3 "I Will Eat Before and After Exercise"
  • Rule 4  "I Will Eat It If It Grows on a Tree"
  • Rule 5 "I Will Eat the Salad Even If It Makes Me Feel Girly"
  • Rule 6  "I Will Not Drink Sugar Water"
  • Rule 7 "I Will Follow the Rules of the Ripped 80 Percent of the Time" 

A Caveat: You'd think the easiest way to cut out sugar water calories would be to switch to diet sodas and teas. And yes, that will cut calories. But for reasons we don't fully grasp, diet sodas actually increase your risk of weight gain. Research shows that people who drink one to two cans of regular soda per day increase their risk of becoming overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. But replace those regular sodas with diet sodas and the risk rises: diet drinkers are 65 percent are more likely to become overweight, and 41 percent more likely to become obese. Several studies have hinted at why this is. In 2009, researchers found that artificial sweeteners may interfere with your brain's satisfaction signals, essentially making you crave more food than you need. And even more recent research by scientists in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University suggests that artificial sweeteners may slow metabolism—meaning the more diet soda you drink, the fewer calories you burn during the day.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip:

Zannie is my sister.

Well, she’s not really my sister. But she’s the mother of my two sweet nephews—we had our first babies at the same time—and she’ll always be a sister to me. When I was big and enormous and pregnant with my second child, we spent a summer together and she’d bring me cokes on ice because I couldn’t get off the couch.

I love you forever, Zannie.

This is a scrumptious recipe Zannie shared with me once—a delicious black-eyed pea dip that’s warm, not cold, which ushers in all sorts of interesting texture and flavor. Try it for your New Year’s gathering today or tomorrow. It really is yummy.

  • 1 can (14-ounce) Can Black-eyed Peas
  • ¼ whole Onion, Chopped Fine
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jarred Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Salsa
  • Hot Sauce, to taste
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain black-eyed peas and partially mash, leaving some whole.

Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips!

*Note: if you have them available, you can use the canned black-eyed peas and jalapenos (they’re canned together.) If you do this, you can omit the extra jalapenos.