One of those things, again

mostly about money

If you have ever had something go wrong, you might have put a neutral spin on it and said to yourself, “Well, it’s one of those things.” I’ve been saying it a few times recently.

ITEM: I have been feeling off with a head cold for much of the month. Since I’m not “sick” – no temperature, two negative COVID tests – I’ve taken various anti-allergy meds. Could I be having seasonal allergies? It WAS 60F (15.6C) on 10 February,  breaking the record for the date in Albany by 7F. Absurd. I was looking forward to a big snowstorm forecast for 13  Feb, but it was a bust as the weather pattern shifted to the south.

ITEM: I was supposed to pay our city taxes by the end of January. To avoid writing a check because checks are expensive, I arranged for our credit union to send them a bank draft, which cost us nothing. But I could not find the bill, so I went to the city’s website and got an amount.

We got a letter from the city in early February with the bank draft returned. I must have picked up the amount from the PREVIOUS year’s taxes. Now we need to pay a couple hundred dollars more, about half of it being interest, by 29 February. So I must either resend the bank draft and write a check for the difference or go to City Hall with the bank draft and cash. This process was supposed to make the process easier and cheaper. I muffed it, though, and it is neither.

ITEM: Likewise, my wife missed the payment date to pay the Spring tuition for our daughter’s college tuition. This involves two-step authorization, which is too boring to detail. But it was more money out of pocket.

Less money

ITEM: At the beginning of the month, I pay specific bills just after my Social Security check hits my bank account, notably my Discover card. But this fiscal dance was getting a bit treacherous. I had less money than I counted on and had to go to our credit union to take out money to put in my checking account.

As it turns out, I had authorized payment for my MasterCard, which I seldom use, but I needed to do so after losing my wallet. On 9 January, the amount due was paid in full. Twice. I didn’t notice this until I got the next MasterCard bill, which showed a CREDIT. I don’t know how that happened, but I’m using that card for everything until the credit is gone. 

ITEM:   I saw that I got a letter in the mail from the Albany Police Department. Maybe they had a breakthrough in discovering who took possession of my wallet’s contents.

No such luck. I received the contents of a letter from someone surnamed Rogers, who had mailed to the Albany police chief, disputing a traffic ticket in precise detail of alleged misconduct by the APD. “I require proof that I did what you are accusing me of. You have until Friday 12/22/23 @ 5:00 pm to get it to me. If nothing is received… this ticket will be null and void.”

I note that the street number is the same as mine, but the street name, while starting with the same letter as mine, is not mine. The ZIP Code is different.  I took it to my local police station.

ITEM: In good news, I’m getting a free week of the Boston Globe online due to some class action suit I probably signed onto. Even better, my payment in Ambrose v. Boston Globe Media Partners LLC, Case No. 1:22-cv-10195-RGS, was approved, and I received a payment of $158.03. 

Running hot and cold

avoiding the sun

hot and coldKelly wrote about hot and cold. Specifically: “Every couple I’ve ever known, of every combination of people, has a hot one and a cold one.

“This isn’t about looks, but about reactions to temperature. Every couple has one person who always thinks it’s on the cool side, while the other always thinks it’s on the warm side.” And for the most part, I think he’s correct. But he’s NOT right about my wife and me.

It’s because my wife has a far greater tolerance for the extremes than I do. I’m the temperate one. In the house, I need it warmer in the winter AND cooler in the summer than she does, by about three degrees Fahrenheit. So I HATE it when she bakes in the summer, but LOVE when she does so in the winter.

The first floor has, thank Allah, air conditioning. When I climb the stairs, it feels like another climate. Why doesn’t she have the fan on in our bedroom? The fact that we aren’t currently IN our bedroom is not a reason.

The GREAT outdoors?

It is even more true outdoors. She is NOT a sun worshipper, but I actively avoid direct sunlight if possible. Partially, it’s the vitiligo, but I also fear heat stroke. I almost ALWAYS have a cap on, preferably white or a light color. Long sleeve shirts may seem counterintuitive, but I can’t afford to burn. And, if I can find them, sunglasses.

I LOVE sunglasses. And that applies to the winter as well, with the glare of the snow. Because I got frostbite when I was about 15, my feet are particularly susceptible to the cold. If my head, ears, hands, or feet are cold – and this is true, indoors or out – I’m pretty miserable.

My wife can tolerate about 20 to 85 F, but I’m more of a 25 to 80 F guy. Or maybe 28 to 77. My tolerance for the cold outdoors has definitely lessened. I remember riding my bicycle when it was 20F; now it has to be 35F.

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