Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22 - Where I finally get some good news!

Today's learning is going to be centered around Visual Basic and .NET, if I can ever get Visual Studio installed on my machine. I have several YouTube videos and a few other tutorials lined up, just so I can figure out how to do the homework from last Friday's .NET class at work.

In addition to all the fun this weekend, I woke this morning to a complete and utter lack of internet. After a half hour or so on the phone with AT&T, they determined there was an outage in my area.

After dealing with the internet issue, I attempted to ignite my water heater again. Nothing. I didn't see a spark. I didn't hear any gas flow. Everything I read (including the label on the water heater) said it should be replaced if flooded. So I spent another half hour calling Home Depot and Lowes, trying to get pricing on an installation.

I have to tell you, the Lowes call took all of 5 minutes. The Home Depot call involved getting hung up on twice, then not being able to get a price because they were unable to do that in store - scheduling installations apparently involves an 800 number that isn't manned until 9am or some such. At that point I just wanted to know how much it would cost, but she couldn't give me that info. Add this experience to a simply pricing search on my phone for Lowes, then getting lost in the water heater parts on the Home Depot site, and I'm becoming a Lowes fan even though there are 2 Home Depots right around the corner from me.

Lowes told me I'd have to come in to the store to order the hot water tank, and I needed to be there before 10:30am if I wanted it installed today. I certainly did want it installed today, so I emailed my boss I wouldn't make it in. Luckily the class I missed was one I'd already taken while in Support, which makes it a little easier to figure out the homework. Having it be in SQL helps, as well.

I then toddled right off to Lowes. $620 and an hour or so later, I was on the list to have a new hot water tank installed today. I went home and walked around the neighborhood, taking care of a couple things like checking Savings Bond balances at my local bank. I forgot they are 20 year bonds, and have not matured yet. I figured I would cash them in if I needed them, and if not they could continue to mature.

By the time I got home again the internet was back up and running. I spent some time studying up on the current Savings Bond situation, which changed in 2012. You can no longer purchase them in banks, though you can cash them in at a bank still. Purchases have to be done on-line through the Treasury. I may set up an automatic withdrawal to purchase one with each paycheck, just to have them for retirement. They don't earn a lot of money, but they don't lose money either. Something to think about, though I'm not in a position to set that up just yet.

I also received an email from the loan guy I was talking to about refinancing my mortgage. He's thinking he can save me about $100/month, AND take 3 years off the life of my loan. I'm still not 100% convinced this will go through, but we're in the preliminary stages where he wants all my financial data. I spent some time gathering everything he wanted, then sent it off to him. Since I was in paperwork mode, I also scanned in my lease documents and called Progressive about the 2010 Sentra I'd insured for the last 6 months, that I did not actually have.

Progressive told me Nissan had called and was told I did not have insurance on the 2013 Sentra. I don't understand how no one thought to call me, but no one did. I thought the insurance was taken care of when I left the dealership, especially since I had a piece of paper saying the 2013 Sentra was covered. I realize now I was supposed to call the insurance company to switch the coverage, but I obviously did not understand that at the time.

I asked Progressive what they could do about the fact I'd paid for insurance and not actually gotten any insurance, seeing as how I didn't have the car they insured. The person I'd talked with Saturday suggested I ask for a refund, but it turns out refunding that money would mean cancelling the policy, which would leave me in situation where I didn't have insurance for those 6 months. Not having insurance for any length of time has an astronomical cost associated with it, so that option was out. Ultimately we decided they could change the coverage to a policy that states I didn't have a car. Yes, insurance companies want your money whether you have anything to insure or not! It will take the better part of the week to get all the paperwork in order, but I should get a small refund on the difference between the two policies. I also verified the 2013 Sentra is currently covered. It is.

It wasn't long after I got off the phone with Progressive when the water heater installer called saying he was on his way. I explained what I believe happened, that the water couldn't have risen more than an inch or two in that corner of the basement. He told me I'd have a better chance being hit by lightening than experiencing the issue causing the water heater company to say the heater should be replaced if flooded. They have to say that for liability purposes, but a certified plumber (he was one) could take the bits apart and clean them. He also explained I wasn't liable to accept delivery of the water tank until he actually began the installation, even though I'd waived my right to cancel the order.

When he arrived, he wanted to take a look before starting the install. A wise move. He tried the starter once, and WHOOSH! The pilot was lit! Apparently it just needed to dry out a bit more, even after my attempts to light it this morning. I'd left the dehumidifier pointed at it, and I guess that was all it needed.

He left, saying Lowes would refund my money and all I'd have to pay would be the $40 service call. I'll take that over a $620 new water heater any day!

With hot water and still several hours in the afternoon, I decided it was the perfect time to get my long run in, so that's what I did. For some reason it took about 4 miles to get warmed up and find my stride, but once I did I was flying! It probably helped that the rain picked up about that time, too. My lower back was still somewhat tight, but I didn't have any pain. I do blame that tightness for the cramping in my feet by the end of the run, but they are much better now. I'll take some ibuprofen tonight, and expect to feel as good as new tomorrow (except I might need a shake out run to loosen up again).

Once I got home from the run I took a much anticipated hot shower, did some dishes and laundry, and have been puttering around on the computer. Ninja is on his way over to celebrate his birthday today. I'm not certain what his plan is, but the birthday dinner will have to wait until tomorrow. I didn't think I'd be able to afford it, but considering the way today went I'm feeling just a little more flush than I was this morning.

Now if I can just get my car back... The detailing place called while I was out running, but didn't leave a message. I should have more info on that tomorrow. <fingers crossed>

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