Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get Smart

Do I want to see this? Yes. Yes I do. Very much.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Parking ticket fun with PennDOT

I think most of you have heard about the year I spent fighting with the City of Philadelphia over a series of parking tickets that were put in my name but that weren't my fault. For those of you not familiar, here's a recap:

Back in September 2004, not too long after I moved to Philadelphia, I had my PA license plate stolen off my Accord at the train station while I was at work. I went to AAA, since I worked there, and they told me what to do -- that I could get my new plates through them, and they would report it as stolen.

Fast forward ahead to June 2006. I started getting letters from the City of Philadelphia about way overdue parking tickets -- $1500 worth of tickets. At first, I thought they were from after I traded in my Accord for the xB. Then I realized -- they were from the stolen plate, which I had completely forgotten about.

Soon thereafter, I started receiving notices from a collection agency. I faxed in an explanation; they never got it. I mailed in an explanation; they never got it. (It was amazing how many times they didn't receive whatever I sent.) I spent countless hours on the phone, and sent in letter after letter after letter. (The file I kept on this matter eventually became larger than the file I kept on my car, which I had for six years.)

In November, they acknowledged that they had all the proof they needed (including a letter from AAA saying, yes, we reported the plate as stolen), but didn't make a ruling until May, just before we moved -- almost a year from the time it all started. As best I can figure it out, AAA reported the plate as stolen, but PennDOT never got it in the system and/or the City of Philadelphia never got the message. It took 11 months, 8 letters/faxes, and 21 phone calls, by my count, to get it all straightened out.

Looks like we were actually the lucky ones; check out this CNN article where a guy was hasselled by PennDOT for 17 YEARS over tickets in his name that weren't actually his.

Wow. At least, in the end, they got his deal straightened out too. The morals of these stories? Don't give your twin boys similar names, and make sure you report your stolen plates directly to the police.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Get E-mail Updates

As you might notice to the right, we've added a new feature to Jeffany! If you're not into those fancy RSS feeds but you want to know whenever the site is updated, now you can sign up to have new Jeffany posts delivered to you via e-mail (use the box in the right column).

Simple, but effective (I hope). We'll give it a run and see how this works!

Edited to add: Here's an example of what the e-mail will look like.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I finally got it

Tuesday morning, I was browsing the headlines when I saw that (with no rumors or other advance notice), Apple had announced the product I had been waiting months for -- a 16 gb iPhone. Not only was it announced, but it was already in stores!! (Which is nice, because I've had money from my last birthday and Christmas gifts in the bank for a long time now.)

I was able to make myself wait a few days before rushing right out, since 1) it was a busy week, 2) I wanted to let others find any major bugs, and 3) my mom was coming this weekend. But, 1) the week is over, 2) no major bugs have been reported, and 3) my mom left after lunch today. So, I now have my long-awaited iPhone.

(Bethany took this pic on her cell phone of me just after leaving the AT&T Store -- no Apple stores in Waco.)

It's going to take me awhile to get it all set up -- contacts, Internet bookmarks, etc. But so far, it's just as cool as I had hoped. The next thing is figuring out what sort of case to get for it, so if you've got any suggestions, let me know.

Thanks to everyone whose gifts went towards this new toy -- they are much appreciated!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Great Card!

I recently received a birthday card that totally cracked me up...Orbit can drive!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Another Man's Poison: 2/8/08

Really? It's been a month since the last random links post?? Let's get to it!

IBBWJ -- Check out the first product on this page. IBBWJ stands for "Intentional Walk With Jesus." It's not often that you can advertise your love for Jesus and your love for baseball scorekeeping in one article of clothing.

Expelled: The Movie -- This intrigues me.

Check this kid out -- Impressive for any age, much less 11.

Baylor men's basketball -- Big spread on BU in Sports Illustrated last week. All kinds of good buzz around Baylor basketball right now, like this, this, this and this. How about that 5-OT win on the road against a ranked team?! Sic 'em, Bears!

Baylor's spring sports -- Just so you know it's not all basketball.

SuperFriends meets Friends -- I just can't quite bring myself to buy SuperFriends on DVD. When it comes to shows I watched growing up, I'd rather have The Monkees.

Clemens on steroids -- I can't believe it admitted to all this!

World Mandate -- Just a taste of our church's missions conference last month (also here). I can't wait for the CD.

1994 version of 24 -- I don't even watch the show, but this is good.

Flight of the Hamsters -- This is addictive.

New Boy Scout merit badge -- I might have actually had a chance at getting this one. I was the worst Boy Scout ever.

That's probably enough. Until next time!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Disaster Movie of the Week: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake

This week's disaster movie was "The Great Los Angeles Earthquake," which I have to admit was a lot better than I expected for a made-for-TV movie. First off, it was three hours long, and the special effects were decent for having been a 1990 made-for-tv movie. The acting wasn't THAT bad and the characters were fairly believable.

One aspect in particular I did appreciate was that the aftermath looked very much like I would imagine it looking like. There were no sparkling clean, white lampshades or other debris in a pile of rubble (anyone who saw the Hurricane Andrew made-for-TV movie, would remember that). It all looked and happened pretty much as I would imagine it (admittedly not having ever been in an earthquake or lived anywhere near California).

The ending surprised Jeff and I to some extent, and if you see it, you are likely to guess why. They introduce you to a lot of characters and as far as I can tell, wrap them all up by the end, not necessarily in happy endings. In my opinion, this movie was worth my time and definitely worth the $3.75 (plus, it was bundled with Countdown: The Sky's On Fire- how can you go wrong with that?!).