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Ten Things I Think I Think (and Personal Finance Links)

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  1. Mini-Vacation in the O.C. - With my wife giving a presentation in the O.C. we've packed up the dog and drove down for a couple of days. We're staying on Huntington Beach - a surfer's paradise (I don't surf). I've counted more than a dozen people who don't wear shoes and about a half-dozen Lamborghinis - odd place. This is the stereotypical California that you see on TV, not the San Francisco/Silicon Valley one that I live.
  2. Shorebreak Hotel is great and terrible at the same time - I think I don't know what this hotel was thinking. It's extremely nice (perhaps one of the better bathrooms I've ever been in) and very modern. However, the "premium" Internet connection tops out at 1024Kbps (1M/s) and costs $10 a day. That speed makes it tough to watch YouTube videos - and forget about Netflix. (More thoughts on Shorebreak below.)
  3. Much Faster Internet Speeds at Home - I think buying my own cable modem and setting it up to use WPA2 encryption, really juiced up my Internet connection. I was having trouble passing 10MB/s and now I'm getting 35MB/s. It's something to think about if you have a slow Internet connection at home.
  4. Putting the price of an Internet connection in perspective - At home I'm paying about $50 for 30 days at a download rate of 35M/s. That's about 4.7 cents a day per megabyte of speed. With the $10/day rate for a megabyte of speed at my hotel, I'm paying 210 times what I paid at home if we were to try to make the services equivalent. I understand that hotel has to make a profit, but you'd think they'd at least have the option for a decent Internet connection at only a mere 10 times what I pay at home.
  5. Years Later, the Lexus Christmas Commercials still Irritate me - I think I'll probably never get over those Lexus commercials that just encourage people to surprise their spouse with a $60,000 purchase. I wrote about it a few years back: Surprise Honey, I Just Added $60,000 to Our Debt. When the economy was going well, I thought it was irresponsible, in times like these, I just think the company is trying to create a bad image for itself. It's getting to the point where the brand has such a negative image in my eyes that I might start thinking of less of people who choose to give them their business.
  6. $2 Meatball and Cold Cut Subs at Subway - I think one of the best deals this month is Subway's $2 6-inch deal. It's a perfect lunch size at around 400 calories on average. I haven't seen Subway advertise this much in their stores, just a little $2 next to the items on their menu. I wonder how many people are going to make the mistake of paying $5 for the foot-long versions.
  7. Technology on Airplanes - I think that I loved this NY Times article about using cell phones on airplanes. Nicely written, good snark - wished my fingers did the composing of it.
  8. Valet Parking in Hotels - I think that this is one of my biggest pet peeves. I like to have easy access to my car in case I want to grab a bite to eat. I don't want to have to wait 15 minutes and I certainly don't want to have to pay or tip for the privilege of doing so. I can understand it being a necessity in some areas, like New York City, but here in LA where everyone has a car and it's necessary, there's no reason not to have free self parking for your guests.
  9. Tebow! - I think I don't have to say anything about him, but I will. My wife was double parked in picking me up from the sports bar where I was watching the Patriots (when you live far away from your team, and have no DirecTV it is your own option). The Patriots game was over, and the Broncos were down by 3. I started to protest that I wanted to watch the end of the game, but I quickly realized I knew what was going to happen. I thought it would take overtime, but it didn't. Tebow magic reminds me a little of the Red Sox in the Morgan Magic days.
  10. Movie of the Week - I think that I'm not very excited about Green Latern. My wife and I were about halfway through it when she fell asleep and we haven't felt the need to continue to watching it. Perhaps later this week, we'll fight through it.

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Posted on December 5, 2011.

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10 Responses to “Ten Things I Think I Think (and Personal Finance Links)”

  1. Steve says:

    Would the WAP2 tip apply to DSL internet? Our internet has always been slow, but it’s felt even slower since we started using a wireless router.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I’m not sure sure Steve. I don’t even technically understand how it boosted the speed of my connection. I read about that the HP TouchPad had some hardware optimization for the encryption and gave it a shot… and the other computers also seemed to get faster. I guess I just suggest giving it a shot.

  2. I hate those Lexus commrcials. Give me a break! Sweat the small stuff dot com just wrote a post about the same commercial. Seems like it gets people talking.

  3. I’m pretty sure you meant 10 Mb and 35 Mb, rather than MB (MB is 8 times as much as Mb), right (since standard WiFi has a max of 54 Mbps).

    Maybe the modem you had from the cable company was throttling your speed? It seems unusual that switching the encryption would make much of a difference, unless the old encryption was a huge burden on the device.

    I have DSL modem that I rent from the phone company … mostly so that they can’t BS me by saying it’s my device if there’s a problem. However, after looking at how they had the security set up (and being unable to alter it without some work), I disabled the WiFi and connected the DSL modem to my own Wireless router via network cable. I do NOT trust my phone company with the security of my network.

    WiFi is definitely a cash cow for some hotels. It’s nuts to think that WiFi costs them $300/month per occupied room ($10/day). I’d be surprised if it costs more than $1 per occupied room per day. That’s $30/month … and while some people make fairly heavy use, some people are just checking email, or not using it at all.

    A friend of mine went on a cruise lately. WiFi was available. For $1 per MINUTE. I’m sure there are some extra costs associated with being in the middle of the ocean (obviously, the cruise line can’t have the cable company run a line to the ship), but $60 per hour?

    Yeah, I don’t see much signage about the $2 6inch subs, either. I’m waiting for December – “one dollar three inch”. Has a nice ring to it …

  4. Forgot to mention … it’s a good idea to use WPA2 encryption, in any case. Regardless of whether or not it will speed up your connection (which I doubt), it does a good job of its primary job – keeping your network secure.

  5. Evan says:

    I know you wrote about it in the past but do you have a buddy anywhere in the country with DirectTV? if so you can then add on the PS3 (not sure other systems) version of the direct ticket for $70.

    Its what I did and I am loving the Falcon games at my house in NY! Not so much the outcomes but the games at least

  6. I actually decided to go with Clear instead of the cable company for my internet. Speeds are way better and less interuptions. But you have to live near one of their towers or be in the coverage area. Its not available everywhere yet.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thanks LaTisha, I went to look up Clear and they didn’t say anything about their service areas. If they rely on towers for delivering service to end-users, I’m betting that they won’t be available everywhere ever – just too many towers to set up.

  7. LaTisha says:

    Yeah, they make you put your address in first before they will sell the router. Right now they are fighting with Sprint to expand their coverage area which will require them taking on more debt. So it looks like their plans are stalled for now.

  8. lattimore says:

    if your patriots get tebowed next week i’m gonna break down and buy a jersey. i’ll probably burn it in effigy shortly thereafter though.

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