Of all things… Devil had an odd misfire issue. When I was replacing the spark plugs and the plug wires, I came about something odd… One of the metal firing contacts had corroded. Now, I need to figure why the service light is still on… I hope it’s not ’cause the misfire issue has killed my catalytic converter and possibly O2 sensors…
The school also will need $244 from me cause my student loans suck. I get the loan injection on 1/12 but I will have to scrounge up money somehow. Hopefully with a tolerable GPA, I will get more cash next school year.
My apologies for lacking a nice solid update as I have had some personal struggles come up I know I am highly overdue for my Men Science review. I have also decided to go ahead and work on an early Valentines special article too. I thank my closest friends and my loving girlfriend Ice for being so supportive in shouldering my personal problems.
As far as work… Let’s just say the ramparts are giving way and either leaders will fall or there will be mutiny among the crew. I have done my best and the sanity of the battleground will not hold.
(Updated from my Blackberry Curve)
On perusing my Lifehacker RSS stream, I found two great little things that could save returning students some cash…
With the cost of books rising, there’s no denying that students have to buy them as they are the lifeblood of their studies. Lifehacker linked a great article by Smart Money with their 4 tips to save money on books as well as a mention that Congress is stepping in to intervene with the skyrocketing cost of texts. The eBooks that some publishers are offering is pretty new as eReader devices such as Sony’s eInk book or Amazon’s Kindle have been wildly popular lately or even just reading via PDF on laptops. Caveat emptor, some of these publishers do have DRM (digital rights management) on their eBooks which may prove difficult should you have a mishap with your computer involving your digital copy. Price shopping and textbook rentals are still stable techniques that are “old world” but still work for today’s masses, while effective, it does rely on the live market especially with regard to used texts. Their last tip was rather interesting… Subsidized or open source textbooks. Freeload Press offers their texts at free or low cost while allowing authors to advertise their works on their site as ad banners or ads on the footer/header of the eBook pages in addition to allowing users to buy printed editions at a very low price. I will say that their mention of Project Gutenberg was a very worthy one as I know in my early years I easily spend $100+ in extra texts I had to buy from Barnes & Noble, Half Price Books, et al before the project became what it is now. If you’re still on the fence about buying your books, check the article out.
Lastly… I remember about this time last year that my buddy Tyler had said that he was in a business computer class and that they made it a “requirement” to have Microsoft Office 2007 which had him in a bit of a rut as he was hard up for cash. Lucky for him though, he had a friend who did work for Microsoft and got him hooked up with a copy for free. Most students, however, are not quite this lucky. Some schools, like Texas A&M Commerce will deny any rendering of aid should your machine be found with any counterfeit/pirated software so “keeping legal” is terribly vital for some students. Microsoft has devised a solution to keep students within the legal standing of the law rather than to be an agent of software piracy with their deal called “The Ultimate Steal“. Right now, Microsoft only has Office Professional 2007 for about $60 which is “91% off ERP” for a digital download with the option to also by a physical disc. They do have some other deals that will be coming around September, like their upgrade copy of Windows Vista Ultimate for $65 (which can be used as a full install disc) for those that do need a legit copy of an operating system. I typically would say use Linux or Open Office, but sometimes when a school imposes on your freedoms with little recourse, it’s a tad frustrating to pay the price…
Financial aid is quite the “clusterfuck” as my former boss mentioned the quoted term.
A while back, I had a personal set-back and a medical condition that ended up being the one-two punch that basically had me dropping out of college while on a federal Pell grant. Let’s just say the Feds were awful quick to scream “ZERO!!!!! WE WANT OUR MONEY YOU ASSHOLE!!!!!” in a proverbial sense and they were aggressive as hell (like calling the day the semester ended). Once I paid them back… They conveniently kept a record on their files saying “Zero has paid his dues in full” however, the forgot to put it on my FAFSA file saying the same apparently all summer… I had contacted them about this flag since February, with various agents going “It takes time for the computer to flag an account as paid.”
Chain reaction: My school basically found that same flag and said “Zero, we can’t offer you any financial assistance cause your file is flagged as you have not paid the Feds their due cash.”
Cue this morning: I call the Feds up this morning and met with a amicable agent on the phone. Got hit with the standard gauntlet of questions to verify my identity of Zero, so after that I fire off my query of “Is there a way I could get my status immediately send over to my school for verification purposes and have my file cleared?” Sadly, I got the standard “It takes up to 2 business days for us to fax that to your educational establishment…” line from them.
That’s actually a bit ironic as when you ever owe the feds cash, they will hunt you down like a pack of bloodthirsty rottweilers. On the converse, when you pay them off… They just silently clear your file and set you free, while not updating anything else vital. That is almost a tactic that the nefarious credit companies would pull to try playing the game of “Oh… you still haven’t paid up” and conveniently putting off to the side you’ve paid in full.
Ugh… I hope the document updating my status shoots over sooner than “two business days”. We live in an era where electronic facsimilies are possible, it should not be that hard to pull up my file, drop in my financial aid office’s fax number, and then say “Send to this number.” I think I am going to be feverishly worried for a good while until my school goes “You’ve been verified and here is your financial assistance eligibility…”
If you have read some of my recent posts or spoken to me personally… You will know that I am going through some hard financial times. This has caused me to start looking into pawning two of my most cherished items… my Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. I have loved the great times I have had when friends or my ex bailed on me that I burned on it, but with working, fighting with my family, and having to finance my own automotive repairs… I have little alternative but to try this.
I’ll leave this post up for a while before I update again and possibly take it to Craigslist and/or Facebook Marketplace. Anyone who wants to prop me or spread the word would be greatly appreciated.
I do not wish to break the packages apart, it’s so that I don’t have a game or system laying around. Please just humor a poor guy and don’t inquire if I am selling a game or system alone. These are great for someone who wants one or the other but doesn’t want to wonder which games are good versus which games just flat out suck.
Pictures can be furnished on request, but bear in mind… I just have my phone as a camera so they may not be the best looking images.
Package 1: Sony PSP
- System: Piano black Sony PSP Slim with Firmware 3.71
- System has no dead pixels and screen has had a protector since day 1.
- Premium zipper case with strap and bag clip
- 512mb Memory Stick Pro Duo
- Official Sony PSP HD TV Output Cables
- Game: Final Fantasy VII – Crisis Core
- Game: Patapon
- Game: Castlevania – Dracula X Chronicles
- Game: Metal Slug Anthology
- Game: Guilty Gear Judgment
- Game: Need for Speed – Carbon – “Own the City”
- Price – $300 or best offer
Package 2: Nintendo DS
- System: Black Nintendo DS
- System has minor cosmetic scratches, screens have a little bit of scratches, fully functional.
- Official Nintendo premium black leather zip-up case
- Game: Big Brain Academy
- Game: Cooking Mama
- Game: Tetris DS
- Game: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
- Game: The Legend of Zelda – Phantom Hourglass
- Price: $220 or best offer