About Stewie

Not much to say. I work, I watch movies, I write reviews and I love to go to a kick ass coffee shop every Saturday and Sunday.

Well that almost sucked.

After spending a great weekend with my family, I came home the night of Christmas, eager to do a whole bunch of nothing other than making a list of some things I want to knock out this week (something I want to try more of in the coming year, using lists to stay organized). But that entire plan fell to the wayside when I heard a loud buzzing sound when the heat kicked in that I at first thought was coming from my vent.

I slammed the vent cover around, thinking it was vibrating on something, but to no avail. So I went down to the basement and I immediately knew that it wasn’t coming from the vent, but the furnace itself. This immediately stressed me out for a variety of reasons. 1.) It was Christmas, so it was going to be a long night because I was not having someone come out on Christmas. I have an electric fan and an electric blanket; I’d survive. 2.) This furnace is 6 months old. I still owe thousands on it. What the fuck.

So flipped it on and off and it didn’t come back on. Fuck. But wait, it did kick back on about 15 minutes later, but it was still making that sound, so I just turned it off for the night.

I called the folks who I got the furnace from (who is a REALLY great company), and to my surprise, someone answered. I fully expected to leave a message. He said he’d send someone out between 10 and 12 the next day. I was cool with that.

Today I got a call at like 8:50, saying he’d be there by 9:10. No complaint there.

Dude shows up, heads downstairs, I turn the furnace back on, and leave him to his work. I don’t hover.

10 – 15 minutes later, the furnace kicked in, but no buzz. I walk downstairs and ask if he fixed it already, and he said no. Fuck. Oh, no, no fuck, because the noise kicked in. Good.

A few hours later, the tech (and shit if I forgot his name, but he’s a really nice guy — he either owns the company or is one of the managers) came back upstairs and said it was all fixed. I asked what happened and he said a bunch of words I didn’t understand (now I know what users think when I tell them how I fixed their computer) and said it’s all good now. I asked how much I owed, and he gave me the best possible answer, “Nothing. This is under warranty still.”

Merry Christmas to me!

Kind of related, but this HD version of Do They Know it’s Christmas looks great:

My job takes care of its employees.

Note, this was written back in June but never published.

I love a lot of things about my job, especially the travel aspect of it. Not only do I get to some pretty cool cities on occasion, the hotels we get put up in are generally 5-star.

This weekend I worked in DC for an event for our firm. Since I was doing a long shift on Saturday, followed by an early shift on Sunday, I was given the option to crash locally instead of driving home then coming back so soon. Fortunately for me, the hotel I was put up in, the Park Hyatt, upgraded me to a suite due to the fact that there was construction on one side of the building and they wanted to keep their guests happy.



This is in the top 5 hotels I’ve been in. It had a sizable living (?) room, nice bed, and a glorious bathroom. Not to mention the restaurant it uses for room service is a Michelin Rated one. I’m not sure what that means, but I understand it’s fancy.

God I love my job.


Ugh. So that happened.

So I lost a few months of posts (which probably totals to TWO OR THREE) because my site was hacked. Literally hacked. Not hacked like some dipshit calls their Facebook or Twitter account hacked because they didn’t log out and their friends or kids came in behind them and posted as them, but hacked as in some fucking cunts put a redirect on my page to a casino site. (Side note, I’m so please my other site doesn’t support these shit casino sites, although we could make plenty of money doing so.)

Anyway, I’m hopefully all set up. I have to hunt for a new theme now because I’m thinking that was part of the way they got in. The theme I was using was so damn old it hadn’t been updated in forever. Lucky for me, I only lost a few posts because I have autobackup setup.

Thank god for backups.

This is how my day went.

I love a lot of things about my job, but one of the things that stands out is the ability to work from home on occasion. I don’t do it a lot, but when there are times I have an appointment that can’t be made over the weekend, I have the ability to do it during the week without using any of my personal time. Like yesterday.

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. I was originally working from home for two reasons. The first is my HOA meeting was that night and I’m on the board (if I’m going to hate something tremendously, I might as well be part of it). The second was I planned on taking my truck in to get the AC fixed. The AC has not worked since it was about 200 miles out of warranty (Fuck me, right?), and they’ve “fixed” it a few times, but the problem has been it’s been so cool as of late, it did feel like the AC was working…until a hot day came. So, finally, the guy at Ford did a solid and said, “Look, wait until a week when it’s hot, bring it in, and I’ll give you a loaner car for the day.” This was that week.

I called him on Wednesday, told him I’d be bringing it in on Thursday and he said fine, ask for Bob. Things were in place.

Oh, and side note, Tuesday night my AC in my house went out. So I added a third appointment to Thursday. I bet you can see where this is going.

So, I get up early on Thursday, head to the dealership and talk to Bob. I explain the problem and I tell him I was getting a loaner. Bob goes off somewhere, comes back, fiddles on the computer, moves some papers around; I’m getting a bad feeling. “Sir, we don’t have a rental car for you.”

“What do you mean? I called yesterday.”

“I’m sorry, no one set it up.”

I’m pissed. But I don’t erupt on Bob, I just say fuck it, I’ll come back next week. This should have been handled. Now I have yet another week without AC in my car.

Since it was still early, I decided to get my hair cut but driving by, the place didn’t open for another hour. Fuck. Then I figured I’d go grab a cup of coffee from my favorite coffee store. The line was literally from the counter to the door. FUCK.

At least the beginning of this shit day (somewhat) prepared me for the worst news of all. Yeah, the home AC is toast as well. I kinda expected that anyway, the unit is about 20 years old, but it was the shit icing on a shit cake. The shit cherry on top was the fact that the guy told me it would be a couple weeks before they could get it replaced because they are booked up. (It only turns out to be a week and a half, so I’ll live).

Fuck that Thursday.

Money money money money…MMMMMONNNEYYY!

Recently I got a raise. Not just a raise, but a RAISE. Without a doubt the biggest raise I ever got in my life; and that includes when you switch jobs for more money. I’m not going to say I don’t deserve it, I do. But it’s nice when the people or company you work for recognize your value. Oddly enough, the week before my review, my boss asked me what I thought I was worth. I told him the truth (and it was a substantial amount than what I was making). Sure enough, the next week, that’s what I got. I’m still reeling. (And I made him repeat it a few times to make sure I heard him right.)

This is pretty feel good since other things are going on where I work that I’m not particularly a fan of. I won’t go into details, naturally, but I have a feeling people I’m close to I won’t be seeing on a daily basis at some point in the future and that stings a little. I’m not the type of person to say “If he goes, I GO!” because no one is really like that, yet one of the things I truly love about my job is the people I work with. I’m thinking that circle is going to get smaller before the year is out. Shit.

That said, more about me. In addition to the raise, in the past two months I’ve made huge cuts into two bills, which will end up saving me about $120 a month. That’s nothing to sneeze at. The first was Verizon. I was paying $90 a month for my phone and I saw that they had unlimited data now for like $80, so I went to the store to get in on it. But when the sales guy pulled up my account, he said, “Unlimited data is a waste of money for you. As a matter of fact, you should lower your plan all around.”

“Oh yeah? How much would the new bill be?”

“$55 a month.”

“No shit?” I replied.

“Yeah, and that’s with the taxes.”

So, BOOM! $35 saved. Since there are wireless access points in so many places now and Verizon finally got into the 21st century with rollover data, it’s been working out extremely well.

The next big savings came from switching car insurance. I have been with Allstate for almost three decades. I was paying my bill online and my buddy Romka happened to look at my screen. “Dude!” he said. “You are paying way too much for car insurance.” I was paying $125 a month.

“Really? How much do you pay?” He told me. “But you have a nicer car than me.” He has a BMW. He said I should at least price it out. He’s with Geico. I went to Geico’s page to build an estimate. Holy shit.

I called my agent, who’s a GREAT guy, and asked him if Allstate could come close to that estimate. He said I should call Geico first to see if I could actually get that price and then call him back. I thought that was a good idea, so I called Geico, they told me yes, in fact, I did qualify for that price. I called back my agent and he said there was nothing he could do. It was too much of a difference and he wouldn’t blame me if I left. I felt bad because I’ve dealt with him for almost 10 years or so, and he’s always been on his game. But the difference was so big, I’d a been a fool if I didn’t.

Allstate – $125 a month.

Geico – $53 a month. (I got another discount on top for putting my home insurance in it.)


That’s insane. And the thing is, I would have stayed with Allstate if they had come reasonably close. Even at $75 a month because I’ve always received quality service from them. But, sadly, it was time to move on.

(And of course I did some research. Most comparison reviews I said stated the same thing; Geico is cheaper but you don’t get the same personal service. Allstate is more because of that added touch. But, all things being equal, they provide the same coverage.)

I know what I’m going to do first with the extra money; pay off bills, naturally, and get my house painted. But after that I’m gonna start plowing the money in the bank so I can have a nice(r) down payment on a new vehicle when I pay off mine next year. I’d like to keep the one I’m driving now just for work once it’s paid off, and maybe get a Kia or Hyundai SUV.

We’ll see.