In other less vague news, I'm seriously debating the pros and cons of ditching my land line. For the past few weeks I've been noticing that 80% of my important calls come in on my cell and the 20% that don't, could easily be routed to it. By contrast on average the landline gets 5-6 phone calls everyday from tele-marketers. Seriously, I'm keeping track of this with ye olde caller id box. I've been waffling about this for a while now. I'm old fashioned enough to feel like I should have a land line, but there's really no particularly compelling reason to keep my land line.
I could easily re-activate my cell phone's voicemail feature (which I turned off because I have an answering machine). It has all the basic stuff I would want to use (caller ID, call waiting, call waiting ID, etc...) and it's what I use to make long distance calls anyways. It has a long enough battery life that I can generally count on it for long conversations. If it did become an issue all I would need to do would be aquire a new charger that isn't cradle-based. If I got one that plugged into the bottom of the phone I could use it while it's charging (that's the way the my Motorola Timeport was setup). Unlike in the duplex (which was all of 1/2 a mile from the U.S./Mexico border and therefor had crappy reception) my house has very good reception and I don't think the phone has dropped a single call in the 4 months I've been living here.
On a slightly geekier note, if I wanted to, I could scale the line back to the most basic line (something on the order of $7.00 with no features) and add ADSL to it for only $20-$30 bucks more than I currently pay for this line anyways. If I did that, I could probably just plug in my answering machine and a generic phone with the ringer turned off and generally assume that I wouldn't be answering it. I had originally thought that I could totally ditch my land line and then get ADSL but after a minute or so I realized that ADSL probably needs a landline prsent in order to work (although I should verify this just to be sure about it).
Well I just got around to paying my mortgage online. That was kind of nifty and amazingly painless. I think I'm down to 2 or 3 bills a month that I can't deal with from the comfort of my desk chair (assuming I have the money to pay them ;).
Random discovery: The customer service for SBC is only available until 7:30pm central standard time. Am I the only person who finds it a wee bit odd that the telephone company can't be bothered to have their customer service people available 24/7? I mean why can I order any of 1,001 items from late night informercials 24 hours a day, but talking to a real live person at the telephone company isn't possible after 7:30?
I think I'm going to seriously explore the possibility of getting rid of my landline in favor of having ADSL and failing that stripping the landline down to the cheapest no frills option with ADSL. The third option would be ditching the landline altogether and continuing to explore where I can find good high speed access that will allow me to have a web server. My cable service is quite fast enough for general use, but it would cost a prohibitive amount to change it so that I could run a webserver (and I'd have to deal with lower speeds to do it).
Who knows, if the ADSL works as well as some people claim that it does, I might ditch RoadRunner. One nice thing about ADSL is that at least one of my sisters and brothers might be interested in having webspace on my webserver and they might be willing to help me out with a small amount of $$ for it. If I did this with a few people I could possibly break even.
Heh, I'm seeing a trend here. Strip away the non-vital stuff (as defined by yours truly) in order to ease up on my poor abused budget. I really am getting old, I'm budgeting and making decisions about purchases and stuff like that. Yeesh. Must go play video games now!