Most of that is due to my putting the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums thing on hold for a bit. I had been using Rhapsody to listen to the various albums on the list. Well, early in March JD and I were frustrated that only one of us could listen to Rhapsody at a time on mobile devices. I decided to go to the site and see if that was a feature I wasn't paying for or if there was an issue with my subscription. While there, I discovered that I was paying the higher of the two packages. I checked out the features for the one listed for $5 less each month and it seemed to have the same features I was paying for. So, I decided to look at the features for the Premium Plus program I was paying for. There was nothing - NOTHING - on Rhapsody's site about Premier Plus. I then started this horrific dance with support via phone, email, and FB trying to find out what the deal was. Essentially, they had to make a change to compete with the price/features offered by the competition. So, several months ago, they changed the $10 plan to be exactly like the competition...and they eliminated my $15 plan from new signups. Alas, the change in features offered meant the $10 plan and $15 plan had ONE difference - on the $15 plan, you could have more than one mp3 player (unlimited phones and tablets). In my case, that difference meant squat because I didn't use an mp3 for Rhapsody, let alone need to pay an additional $5 for more than one mp3 player. Through the entire process, the customer service folks were unsympathetic asses that attempted to avoid clearly stating the differences between the $10 and $15 plans and they scoffed at my concerns about how subscribers were not notified of the changes in subscriptions. I am no longer giving Rhapsody any of my money. They lost me for life.
I have been very lazy about searching for an alternate source of the Rolling Stone albums. I decided to go with Spotify, but never have my wallet around when I think about signing up. Along with that, I started using TuneIn Radio a lot on my phone. I've been listening a lot to Lightning 100 in Nashville; Mesquite, TX's school system's own KEOM (great playlist of 1970s pop...DJed by teenagers); B'ham-based Substrate Radio (in particular, Blood on the Knobs on Tuesday nights); 'HFS in Baltimore; and various chill/acidjazz/ambient stations that come up in searches.
In other news...
* For the first time in my life, I essentially broke even on taxes this year. I have mixed emotions about this. Glad I got all my money with paychecks, but that burst of cash early in the year has been a blessing in the past.
* The top reason why I am writing this post is because I'm dodging work. I built several pages with information about a service a business partner is rolling out soon. I did the construction on the development site several months ago. Long enough ago, that I forgot I had work in progress on the development site and had the db wiped for the sake of having a more current backup of the production site. Yesterday evening when I went to check the info on the pages I had previous constructed, I discovered my flub. This morning I verified that there was no way to recover what had been lost. I'm pissed about my being forgetful about that progress sitting on the site. I've made some attempt to rebuild those pages today, but I've wasted time staring at the screen each time I try to think of what to write there. I finished some work, looked it over, and decided that I need to go back "later" to look at it. Will "later" be in an hour or so? Will "later" be pushed until tomorrow and I get a day away for more emotional recovery?
* Calvin has been seeing an occupational therapist for his Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) this year. Liz Hamm, who I've known since high school, is his therapist. She and I got together for lunch during the holiday season last year because we hadn't seen each other in a while. When I talked about Calvin's condition and quirks, Liz chimed in to explain some of those as being his SPD and things that Calvin could do to deal with it. I called her later to get the ball rolling to have Calvin see her for therapy. The boy loves it so much and it has been making a fantastic difference in his attitude and stress levels. He is understanding his body more and learning how to cope with situations that would previously devastate him and require much emotional support from JD and/or myself. The fact we drive 45 minutes to Guntersville and then back each Tuesday is well worth the progress Calvin has seen.
* Harper's imagination runs away with her quite a bit. One day I'll be very grateful if this feeds her creative juices for writing, drawing, or whatever. At this time, however, much of her imagination manifests itself in fear. Her mind takes what people say too literally. When a friend of hers makes a hyperbolic verbal threat such as "I'll beat/kill/stab/punch you" or play acts some villainous role, her brain is visualizing all of it. To her, those threats have just happened, for real, in her mind. I was reminded of this the other day when I was talking to her about preparing my dinner and she asked what meat was. My explanation had her imagining her own skin getting peeled and someone pulling her muscles/meat off of her bones. The rest of that car ride was really sad and emotional.
* Nigel would eat gummies for 2 of his three meals of the day, if he could (flatbread and curry ketchup with a bowl of homemade beef jerky would be the third meal). At this time, his primary focus is on online gaming and trying to meet up in person with the people he's met online. He has a friend in Washington state that he is dying to hang out with. Every time there is a Minecraft convention in the world, he lets us know. He loves to travel and is pushing for us to work on a vacation late this summer to either the family house in Panama City Beach or attend the Rethinking Everything conference in Little Rock. At this time, we are also toying around with the idea of going to either PAXSouth in Texas in January2015 or PAXEast in Boston in April2015. This has prompted Nigel spending some time plotting out the cost of air, train, or car travel to those locations and what stops we might make to or from those conventions.
* Jennifer's interest in aromatherapy has been invigorated again. Yes, this time it escalated to numerous textbooks...that she then took copious notes from and drew up posters and diagrams to help her learn the material. She has also spent the past couple of months looking into certifications - what kind to get or even if any of the certifications are really meaningful or required for what she would like to do. Because of the Attachment Parenting, the natural child-birthing, and the general granola social circles she's come in contact with in Huntsville, she's finding an interested market in the items she has an interest in mixing and making. She made some items for Christmas gifts and proceeded to have those people or their friends offer money for Jen to make more.