Category Archives: Frugality

9 Cents a Mile

This might put a slight crimp in my enthusiasm for Philly Car Share – though it remains an absolutely brilliant concept.

Philly Car Share

Registered and picked up my “FOB” which is some gray plastic thing that opens and starts the car somehow on Friday. In the brochure it gives a small bit of information I had not seen despite scouring the website for such information:

  • $.09 / mile up to 200 miles
  • $.18 / mile over 200 miles

This makes a whole lot of sense, but I was a bit irked to see it now. Because for my situation where I need it for near weekly distance trips to client (100 mi rt), church (70 mi rt), or bimonthly trips to parents (270 mi rt), this unforeseen fee adds $10-30 to the overall rate. Still a great deal versus a car rental, but as a lifestyle it will surely add up.

I’m expecting to take my first trip Thursday morning to Wilmington and back. Will give a detailed report to the bloggership.

Dell Printer – 0, Samsung Printer – 1

It all started when I started really, really needing to print something. The junker printers were dried up and not working. I broke down and ordered this Dell 926 All-In-One printer for the low price of $75 bucks. Bought some extra ink to boot.

It was great until I had to change the black cartridge. That printer never worked again. I had some trouble with the fax on it too, although the scanner worked fine. That “extra capacity” cartridge yielded a whopping 150 sheets maximum, which in my world is called “pathetic”.

Nevertheless when the printer no longer ran smoothly a helpful Dell rep took me through all the issues over the phone. For some reason the “feed” (the way the paper loads from the top down) was always skewing into the side of the printer, wrecking the print job. This rep replaced my printer with another, which made me happy. The printer came within 24 hours, which made me even more happy.

However, this new printer is not working either. It blinks and tells me I must install a color cartridge, which is already there. I cannot install the driver because the driver will not detect the USB cable which is plugged in, and won’t move me through the installation.

I’m installing a new driver for everything because my XP croaked before vacation, and I opted to buy a new HD and reinstall a fresh windows on that which is the path of least resistance when under a client deadline.

So I went to Staples and got this Samsung printer. I just installed it. I love it! It does whatever I tell it to in the realm of printing. And the toner shall yield 1000 pages before I must take it and shake it and lines happen on my pages. Who needs color anyway?

Minutia Updates

…in case you’re wondering:

– Cell phone recharged last month, I still have 332 minutes left.

– I use Skype as much as possible, and paid up $30 for free US calling for 2007.

– Akismet has intercepted 330+ spam, a 100% track record.

More substantial posts to come, I took a bit of a break for holy week’s aftermath!

Dying Penniless

From Rick Joyner’s “Word for the Week” – Morningstar Ministries

I read up on his thoughts each week and find much of what he says to be profound. Currently this man is fulfilling God’s purpose in leading a team that is restoring Jim Bakker’s former PTL property that fell into disrepair in the 80’s.

For those of you reading this who don’t particularly care for Rick or his thoughts, please go on to another blog if you don’t mind!

This guy thinks big… and small!


“I have a personal vision for being entrusted with billions of dollars and even being able to pay off the debt of some nations in order to see the biblical prophecies fulfilled, and as a testimony of how the Lord paid the debt of the entire world.

However, I also have a personal goal of dying penniless.”

I did a double-take on that! That’s great. I think Bill Gates has a similar dream of giving almost all of his money away, or at least not to his kids!

For the whole essay, click here.

The Tuna Challenge

The Tuna Challenge is on! The only person taking up this challenge is ME. I was convicted of the Lord after reading the Book of Daniel that my normal work lunch diet of Tortellini, Vodka sauce, Hot Cherry Peppers, and Red Hot was not conducive in this time period with my prayers to receive wisdom and revelation for increased job performance as Daniel did. I would tend to go into a carb coma for the early afternoon.The Tuna Challenge

I started thinking about a Daniel fast, and although this is fish meat, I think the Lord (and my metabolism) will honor this considerable sacrifice on my part during the 10 hours or so of my working day. My caveat is that the Red Hot stays. It makes this sacrifice bearable, because I would rather fast through lunch than eat dry tuna, and have done the former more often for the past 2 weeks. I have heard this type of “fasting” derided by others as the “I forgot to eat” fast, and am prone to agree that it holds little if any spiritual value.

Red Hot helps me eat tunaYes, this is a bit unusual, and I am going to open up this post for your comments regarding my prior working diet and your speculations concerning the new “improved” diet. This will be observed for the next 40 [working] days, through Holy week of “easter”. You are also welcome to join me on the Tuna Challenge, you do not need to visit the east coast either!

OK, let me have it… whatd’ya think of all this???

At Panera

I am beginning to enjoy life a bit more than during my previous post. I went in the prayer line at church yesterday to receive prayer for some personal issues I had discerned relative to my approach to the job. Had a guest speaker there, and I didn’t really feel like going forward, but churches out here don’t really upen up the altars that much.

 Anyhow I ended up getting slammed pretty good, and during recovery I got a very simple, profound download from Above that summarized the heart of the issue. It was the clearest, fastest answer to prayer that I can recall in the last 5 years! Even after that I woke up at 3 am and got a practical strategy to solve future problems at work!

Also –

During the service, this guest speaker was talking about… what could it be… but how he and his staff in coming off an extended fast in a distant state received untold spiritual edification from… a CHEESESTEAK!!! Yes, I heard it was a CHEESESTEAK!


In addition, and as an additional second confirmation I have just learned about an as yet unsubstantiated theory concerning the role of Cheesesteak in the End Times.

Since I do not want to have my name showing up on one of those “discernment” websites (at least not yet) I will not publicly endorse taking doctrinal sides regarding culinary foods and their role in the end times. But the view seems more plausible the more I think about it!

 CELL PHONE UPDATE: I am down to just 90 minutes left. I will have to refill next month at this rate! If you didn’t read the original post I last filled it in November.

FRUGALITY UPDATE: I am at Panera, and eschewed the $7 sandwich and the diabolically high $9 Crispani Pizza for a French Onion soup in a breadbowl. Under 5 bucks. No drink though, I’m getting thirsty.

WHAT I AM UP TO UPDATE: On my way in 1 hour to Washington Crossing for Soaking prayer. They have played the same cd’s for the past 2 weeks in a row. One of them I suspect features a former girlfriend and her unnamed friends (this cd is everywhere, I am glad we are still friends) and that most un-soakable of TBN artists, Dino.

February 1: The CHALLENGE is on!

Today is Day 1 of the Cheesesteak Challenge. Prior cheesesteak postings HERE

The Cheesesteak Challenge

I’ve noticed a few things about Philly.

1. Largest city in the country (6 million in metro, 1.5 in city limits) withOUT a house of prayer.

2. Other than a handful of indiginous locals, not too many people on the national prayer/prophetic/worship scene pass through here.

3. A lot of locals really do care about the city and are moving in from the suburbs, waiting for God’s strategy.

It is in this spirit that I have created the Challenge.

*** If you are an intercessory missionary (20 or more hrs/wk) and in the area for a visit during February, I want to meet you!

*** Leave a comment, and I will buy you a cheesesteak when you visit.

*** If you know of someone who would fit this description and enjoy such an experience, forward this post.

*** If you are a likeminded local with a history of prayer & getting things done toward this end, let me know as well!

*** I will figure out a way to accomodate vegans who qualify for the Challenge.

Saving Money: Dining

Since my $10/month cell phone ideas generated some response, I’ll mention three ways I have saved $$$ in the fast food/dining department.

1. Water. Tap water. Keep a bunch of it in your car (bottled is OK here!), or get non-bottled (free) water at the restaurant. Will save you around $2. If you have a family, train your spouse and kids to order “water, please” – save $2 / head.  If you are dating, ignore these rules unless you want to see how tolerant your significant other is of your Scrooge-like frugality.

2. Order from the Dollar menu in the drive through. Again, train your family. “How many Whopper Jr’s do you want, kids?” Or you can buy a $7 combo meal complete with enough sugared carbonation to wreck your immune system for the rest of the evening/afternoon.

3. This one is a bit embarrassing… went to Panera the other day for their wi-fi. Was hungry. Coffee and a sandwich at Panera would be about $8, which is less than what Starbucks charges for a 24 hour wifi pass. Still I saved a couple bucks courtesy of #1 above and the BK drive through. Spent $2 on Whopper Jr’s rather than $6.50 on a high end gourmet sandwich. Still, I plopped down $4 on coffee and the irresistable chocolate roll.

4. Not really a money saver, but I now keep a supply of granola bars in the car which streamlines breakfast into my commute. The 12 pack of water is also on hand to ward off thirst and keep me lubed and healthy.

Cell Phone Prepaid Update

Just checked my remaining minutes: as of today I have 190 minutes left. Prepaid – the way to go if you follow the rules.