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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

Gone Mobile

This month, I added unlimited web usage for my phone. I wasn't sure if it was going to be something that I would actually use or not, but I figured that I could try it and if I didn't like it I could just as easily remove it from my bill. Well, it's been better than I thought that it would. I've been able to catch up on reading blogs that I like, get and respond to my e-mails instantaneously, check facebook, watch YouTube videos, Google Map destinations, and more. I'll probably keep it.

One thing that I was disappointed with was the inability to view my blog from my phone without the use of a special application. I found an application for the LG VU (my phone) that grabs all the text from a blog and allows you to read it on my phone, but it also grabs some of the html code with it. It's not too bothersome for me, but I could see where some people would think so. Also, the layout is sort of bad and there isn't any photo support.

I searched Blogger for a solution, but they apparently don't support blog templates specifically for mobile phones. So, I searched the Internet and found a solution. I found a simple template format that allows the reader to read my blog and see any photos that are posted with it. It doesn't, however, support either the reading of or posting of comments, which is a bummer. I managed to add this ability to the page, however, it took forever (or a full minute, whichever came first) for the page to load. Then, even fully loaded, the comments could be read well and a new comment could be typed, but the "Post Comment" button was non-functional. So, it did no good to type a comment that wouldn't post.

I'll take what I can get, I guess. So, 'the words' is officially set up for mobile devices and can be reached at

My View of the Outside World

It's finally melting!!! I see green!

Multimedia message

There's a strange glow tonight. It's so bright that you don't need any help seeing anywhere. It's as if there are no shadows at all. Pretty neat, really. It's 1:00 in the morning and I'm taking advantage of mobile blogging. Good night.


I realize that with all the talk about insurance in politics lately no one probably wants to read a blog about the subject. I promise that this blog will have nothing to do with a political stance on health insurance. No, I don't want to type about it any more that you want to read about it.

In the year 2001, I got my first cell phone. It was a big fat navy blue and black Nokia that I was seriously proud of. It did nothing more than store phone numbers and make phone calls, but that was about all cell phones did back then. One of the things that really surprised me was that I was able to get the phone for "free" for signing up for two years. You all know the very typical story so I won't carry it on at length, but I had entered into a realm of technology that I had never dreamed I'd be part of.

One thing that I thought was imperative upon starting up my two-year contract was setting up the insurance plan. I was assured by the sales representative that accidents can and do, in fact, happen all the time to phones that are carried around everywhere you go. I imagined an accident occurring to my beautiful blue Nokia and being stuck with a contract without being able to afford a new phone while having to pay for a service that I couldn't use. So, $5 per month to assure me that this imagined scenario wouldn't take place felt like a great deal at the time.

Little did I know that this particular phone could also be used as a hammer without any consequence of functionality. Two years went by and I found out that I was eligible for a "free" phone upgrade. So grateful was I that I got another Nokia, but this time it was silver and black and only weighed a mere pound which happened to be roughly half the weight of my previous phone. It was also half the thickness so that I could stuff it in my pocket without quite the prominent bulge of its predecessor. I continued my insurance plan without a thought at all to whether I needed it or not.

More years passed by and I had my first problem with a cell phone. One day the little colorless LCD screen messed up. A third of the screen froze while the remaining two-thirds flipped like a mirror image. The phone still worked but was obviously difficult to maneuver through the numbers. I was available for an upgrade again so I took it. But, this time I wanted something cool. Cell phones had come a long way in the last couple of years and I wanted something cutting edge. Even with the upgrade discount I still shelled out about fifty clams for a sleek, stylish, black Motorola RAZR. I loved it. It took photos. It shot some of the worst video I've ever seen, but it actually shot video! I was feeling pretty cool. I was a little perturbed by the fact that RAZRs started being given away for free with two-year contract renewals just weeks after my purchase, but I got over it because at least with the phone I was cool.

Very cool, in fact, until it happened. Another problem arose with my cell phone. This time it wasn't the screen, it was a speaker. The tiny speaker that you put up to your ear during a phone conversation just quit working. I would answer the phone and people could hear me just fine but all I heard was silence. I quickly discovered that the speaker phone option still worked. Apparently, it used a separate speaker for that function.

Now, when someone receives a phone call while in a crowded store, and they whip out their cell phone and put it on speaker for everyone to hear, what do you think of that person? PRECISELY! You think that they're trying to show off their phone, but you immediately find them arrogant and rather annoying. And, there's no explaining the situation to everyone who passes you by either. You just learn not to use your phone in fear of people's scorn.

So, after months of dealing with the huge inconvenience, I remember that I've been paying for an insurance plan for years. It's time to cash that puppy in and get this problem solved. So, I call the 1-800 number and I quickly get the process started with a customer representative and find out that I have to pay a $50 deductible. WHAT?! I guess I never noticed. Oh well. I pay it. I get my new RAZR pretty quickly and have to ship my old one in. Problem solved, you think?

No. I finally drop my insurance plan after paying $5 a month for about 6 years. I paid about $360 in premiums over this time and when I finally went to use it I was out another $50. So, in essence, I paid $410 for a replacement RAZR that I could have purchased used for about $50 on Craigslist. You live, you learn.

A couple years ago, Jodi broke her phone. Well, Lyric broke her phone, actually. And it only cost me $27 on Ebay for a replacement. Moral of story: don't buy cell phone insurance.

The sad part about all this is that it also corresponds to our own health insurance premiums and usage. I've paid more in than I'll ever get back. Because of never needing health care beyond the amount of our deductibles, it's as if we don't have insurance at all. We pay full amount out of pocket even though all year we're paying high premiums. Moral of story: you decide.

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