Tag Archives: Free

How the Internet Should Work in America

Today I received a check from EPB Chattanooga, which provided my family and I with high quality fiber internet while we lived in Chattanooga TN between April 2013-June 2015. The check was for $29.94 and was a refund for overpaying them during the time we used their services.

Here’s a photo of that check: IMG_0281

Let me also take this moment to say that when we were living in Chattanooga TN that our monthly bill for 100 Mbps/sec internet service was only $57.99 and that there was no data cap. Here’s a copy of that bill: Screenshot-2

I moved to Titusville PA knowing that the internet situation wouldn’t be the same and I was ok with it. I knew Chattanooga TN and EPB was special. But here’s what I’m running into month after month with our internet service provider here in Pennsylvania:

Screenshot-1Screenshot

What’s different? First and foremost, the price of the actual internet: $89.95 for a service that gives us 30-50 Mbps. FUN FACT: we just got an email saying that the price is going up to $99.95/month for this same service. What else do we see here? ADDITIONAL INTERNET USAGE fees. Yes, we have a data cap. How much data do we get? 400 GB/month. I know that sounds like a lot, but when you have 2 tech savvy homeschooling kids, a wife that does virtual assistant work from home, and your awesome mother in law lives with you and everyone streams YouTube and Netflix the data usage goes through the roof. We usually go over by 50-100 GB, but as you can see in January/February we went over by 350 GB, costing us an additional $70. That’s $70 taken away from either our monthly grocery bill or the money we’re spending to repair Fidelia Hall. It’s tough, especially when I believe that everyone out there should have equal, cheap (I also like free but hey I get it), and accessible ways to get the internet.

I’m not writing this to specifically call out Armstrong Internet because hey you’ve actually been really kind to us and have provided a great service. You may want to think about your ADDITIONAL INTERNET USAGE fees and how you should reconsider what those may be financially doing to a family living in the modern age where internet is needed to function from day to day.

I’m writing this to give a real world example of what equal and cheap internet access SHOULD look like in our country. America is pretty awesome and a lot of us have a really good life here. Access to the internet should be available to everyone and should be available at affordable rates. There should be no ADDITIONAL INTERNET USAGE fees. No one should worry about using too much internet. No one should have to pay more for using too much internet. HECK, no one should have to decide whether to pay a student loan or put food on the table or use the internet at home. These things should just happen.

I ask you to think about this. Armstrong, I ask you to reconsider your ADDITIONAL INTERNET USAGE fees. We’re not using your service for evil. We’re using it to learn and to enjoy a movie together as a family.

Thank you.

 

 

Finn and The Dentist

He's pretty awesome

He’s pretty awesome

I used to write about my family, music, and other things on this blog a lot more in the past, but in the last few years I’ve focused solely on library stuff. I’ve been wanting to get back to opening it up to other topics for a few months now and this moment just seems like the perfect time to do that.

My son Finn has had a pretty rough history with the dentist. When he was 1.5 years old, he had to go into the out patient clinic to have four teeth capped. The poor dude has some iffy genetics when it comes to teeth, so it was not something he could’ve avoided. Oh well. That’s life. He’s had to go back and forth to the dentist for cleanings/checkups since then and it’s never been that much fun for him. When something like that happens to you when you’re a little dude, it stays with you.

When we moved to Chattanooga this past April we quickly got him set up with a new dentist. Knowing that he most likely had some cavities in his molars (yikes!) we wanted to take care of it. We had an appointment to get him used to the dentist about a month ago but it just didn’t work out….he didn’t want to have any of it and the trip instead became an opportunity to show him how cool the dentist could be (and trust me, the dentist here is pretty cool. They have movies, toys, video games, and ICE CREAM). He was pretty cool with the idea of going back. Note: the dentist also gave us a prescription for Demerol to help take the edge off. Hey, don’t we all need that sometimes?

This week, Finn and I made the trek back to the dentist. I went back with him, reminded him about the video games and then quietly made my way back to the lobby and let him do his thing with the dentist and his assistants. I gave him the option to do what he wanted back there and I was pretty impressed with the results:

Not only did Finn get his teeth cleaned, but he also got X-Rays and gave the dentist a chance to see exactly what we need to do with his teeth (summary? lots of work and braces to come).

He also gave the dentist’s office a taste of his personality (this is what really impressed me). He told the whole office how digestion works (I use my teeth to chew the food, it then goes down my esophagus and into my belly and then I poop it out), recited the entire opening to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and negotiated with the dental hygienists to get to sit in the chair how he wanted to (I didn’t want to lie down, I wanted to sit up like a big kid).

To sum it up: I’m proud of him for overcoming his fears, getting what needed to be done finished, and doing it his way.

Music

I’ve been writing and recording music for most of my life .  However over the past six years I’ve set it aside to focus on other things.  Now that my youngest son Aero can crawl and my oldest son Finn is more than capable of running around himself (he’s 3.5 years old), I’ve begun again to pick up the guitar and write bits and pieces of music.  And I’ve missed it quite a bit.

It’s been one of those moments in my life where I’ve realized that I’m clearly entering a new phase in my life.  To “clean house” and get ready for this new phase,  I’ve been working on collecting, organizing, and putting all of the music I’ve written and recorded between 2001-2011 online for free.  Most of this stuff has been available for many years now, but some is brand new to the public.  Anywho, I’m happy to share it all with you now and I hope you enjoy it.

Please visit http://belsapadore.bandcamp.com/ to download any of the eight collections of music I have compiled.

Please visit http://belsapadore.wordpress.com/ to read writings and thoughts on the music I have created between 2001-2011.

Thank you for your time!

2004

2005

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2009

2010

2011

2012

SYNC YA Lit Into Your Earphones!

This is pretty awesome.
Free stuff for your patrons to get them into audiobooks!

2 Free Audiobook Downloads Each Week
June 14 – August 22, 2012

Teens and other readers of Young Adult Literature will have the opportunity to listen to bestselling titles and Required Reading Classics this summer. Each week from June 14 – August 22, 2012, SYNC will offer two free audiobook downloads.

The audiobook pairings will include a popular YA title and a classic that connects with the YA title’s theme and is likely to show up on a student’s summer reading lists. For example, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the first book in a new series about a girl who opens a door to two otherworldly cities at war, will be paired with Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities.

To find out when you can download titles to listen to on the run this summer, visit www.AudiobookSync.com or text syncya to 25827.

(full disclosure: This is part of a program created by Curious City and AudioFile Magazine.  I’ve worked with Curious City on this project in the past and am currently on their Board of Advisors)