Monday, July 12, 2010

Decisions Decisions

My upcoming move represents more than a change of address. It's a change in lifestyle. I haven't lived alone since I was working at MNR and going to university whilst in Sault Ste. Marie. My position at work was by no means permanent, so for financial purposes I had to live like a student. Living like a student means living inexpensively. It means taking furniture because it's cheap or free, not because it looks nice or matches.

This time I have a government job which is a little more long-term. This means I can get furniture based on my tastes. When I move into my new apartment I want to set it up the way I want to set it up. What I'm finding out now is that this means a whole bunch of decisions to be made over the next little while.

How To Move
I could rent a truck or van from a regular car rental place, a big truck from a bigger truck rental place (like Penske), I could get a U-Haul truck, get a friend with a truck, use PODS, or use a moving company.
Cable/Satellite/Rabbit Ears
This one is easy. For a while I've wanted to know if I could go for a whole year without TV. This year I'll find out. When I tell people about this, they usually say "Oh of course, you can download everything from the Internet anyway. I guess you don't really need TV." That's not the point. The point is that I 'm convinced there's a life to be lived that doesn't involve TV. I want to experience more of life! I want to get out and do things!  I don't know what things. I'll think of that later. I want to be a better musician. I want to learn French. Maybe work on another Mr. Falcon game.

There are some caveats with this goal. This goal won't prevent me from watching the occasional YouTube clip, DVD, movie (especially at the theatre), TV at other people's homes, etc. The point is to not become addicted to TV.  It's a question of habit.

I may re-neg on this goal under a few circumstances. If I suffer a health issue that forces me to have to lie down for long periods, then I might just order a TV, and digital cable. I also might re-neg if I'm wrong and there is no life to be lived out there. Feel free to ask me how this goal is going throughout the year.
Internet and home-phone
This one is getting me dizzy right now. My first inclination was to go cable. The building has a deal with Rogers for cable, Internet, and home-phone. But, after dealing with them for a short time, I didn't like how they do business, so I explained my reasons and told them I was going with Bell.

Other high-speed ISPs are: National Capital Freenet (NCF), Primus, Teksavvy, and Bell.  Teksavvy claims they don't offer service in my area, which is false.  But I had visions of having to go through a whole hassle every time I called them for something.

Me: "I need help with my bill."
Teksavvy: "I'm sorry. I see your address, and we don't seem to support that area."
Me: "Yes you do.  I've been using your Internet, and paying you for months now."
Teksavvy: "That's impossible.  Please hold while I check with my supervisor."

No thank you.  So I consider the remaining three.  When contemplating these, I go in the following circle: I think I should go with the Freenet because it's cheap. Except, they'll charge me extra for not having a home-phone. They don't have tech support staff sitting around to take my call, should I ever need it. For just a few more dollars I can get home-phone and Internet with Bell. I save with Bell because it's a bundle, and I already have my cell phone with them. But, I hate Bell's system when you call them. I hear good things about Primus' customer service. And they have a good Internet + home-phone deal. By this point in my cycle I'm already at $30/month more than I would be if I had just gone with the Freenet. So I should go back to the Freenet. But if I go Freenet, I should go Bell. If I go Bell, I should go Primus.
No. I should go with the Freenet. But if I go Freenet, I should go Bell. If I go Bell, I should go Primus.
No. I should go with the Freenet. But if I go Freenet, I should go Bell. If I go Bell, I should go Primus.
No. I should go with the Freenet. But if I go Freenet, I should go Bell. If I go Bell, I should go Primus.
No. I should go with the Freenet. But if I go Freenet, I should go Bell. If I go Bell, I should go Primus.
Ad nausium, ad infinitum. I don't know what I should do!
Furniture, dishes, cookware, etc.
I was all excited about getting stuff that suits my tastes until I realized I have no taste. That's not to say I have bad taste. I have no taste. I have no opinion. When I look at furniture right now, I'm not thinking about style and comfort.  I'm thinking about how easy it will be to get to my apartment, then move if I move out in a year or two.

The last time I had to get dishes I got them from Canadian Tire.  I was happy with them.

I also happened to get a 10 piece set of Cuisinart cookware for half price at Canadian Tire at that time.

I'm going to hold off on these decisions until I'm in the apartment.  My philosophy is "never pay full price for cookware."  Cookware is always on a huge sale somewhere.  30% off is a small sale.  50% off is common.
Cell Phone
My cell phone is starting to die. People complain I sound really far away and quiet, that is, if they can hear me at all. I could just go out and get a new phone. If I sign a three year contract, I could probably get the phone for free. But, my plan doesn't include any data plan. So I'm wondering if it's time to get with the times and get a smart phone with a data plan. That decision became a little easier today. I read that Apple was going to release the iPhone unlocked in Canada. I had been leaning towards the iPhone, but was also contemplating an Android based phone. That announcement clinched it. If I get a smart phone it will be an iPhone.

My main question about the iPhone is convenience of carrying it. My current phone is pretty small. It fits nicely into my pocket. The iPhone looks a little big to fit nicely in my pocket. I'd also be paranoid about it being stolen or broken. If I don't get a smart phone then I'll likely get a regular cell phone and an iPod Touch. Since I can get an unlocked iPhone I could get it, and not even use it as a phone. If it turns out I don't mind carrying it around all the time, I can take it to Bell and start using it as a phone.

What does this decision have to do with moving out? My cost of living is about to increase in mostly unpredictable ways. I don't know if I'll be able to afford a data plan. Only time will tell. It's going to take a little whole for the financial dust to settle. So I'm hoping my phone holds out for a while yet.
UPDATE: Here is what I've decided so far:
How To Move
I rented a cargo van from Enterprise. With the help of Pastor Jack, I loaded the van up at home. Then at night, the Jack, Wendy, and Robin, and two other friends helped me move into the apartment. The unloading of the van took 40 minutes.
Cable/Satellite/Rabbit Ears
So far, so good. I don't have cable. I don't have rabbit ears. Before I left the McQueen's house, I recorded some shows on my computer. I have finally watched them.
Internet and home-phone
I ended up going with National Capital Freenet for Internet. I don't have a home phone.
Furniture, dishes, cookware, etc.
I bought some Paderno cookware on sale. So far, so good.

I bought one set of dishes only to open the box to find out the plates were missing. So I returned them, got another set from the same company. These ones came with extra bowls.

The only furniture I bought was a bed. So far so good. I went to Sleep Country Canada. They had me try a few different mattresses too see which one I felt most comfortable on. He said, by the mattress I picked, I was a native back-sleeper. I thought I was a side-sleeper.
Cell Phone
I'm waiting to decide further on this. My current phone still works.


Grey said...

Odd that Teksavvy is confused about your area, but we moved to them a few months ago from bell and haven't looked back, They're quite awesome.

Andrew said...

Oddly enough, last night, as I was having my first Skype conversation with my parents, telling them how we won't need phones anymore, my internet gave out. It turns out that National Capital Freenet uses Taksavvy's equipment, and Teksavvy had some hardware failure, so a bunch of us were without Interwebs.