Recently I was one of the 25 million or so people who received an email from Amazon Prime announcing the $20 price hike for next year’s membership (to a total of $99 per year).

Everyone knew this was coming. Last month Amazon floated the classic ‘Trial Balloon’, announcing that they were mulling a $40 per year Amazon Prime price hike.

One month later, a price hike of ‘only’ $20 sounds more reasonable.   $99 (versus $119 per year) seems like a comparative bargain. Continue reading


OOMA Premier Blacklist Feature Review
OOMA Premier’s Blacklist

Mrs. GubMints called me at work the other day to let me know that the situation with Telemarketers and Bill Collectors calling our house phone was untenable- It seems that someone (a total stranger, not a member of the GubMints Circle of Trust) racked up tens of thousands in credit card debt and then provided the GubMints house phone number as their contact info.

The telemarketing and collection phone calls have been nothing short of relentless. Sure, I know that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act I have the right to contact the collection agency with a letter and instruct them to Cease and Desist, blah blah blah. Right- That’s much more trouble than it is worth.

What to do? Continue reading


Solar Power Purchase Agreement


As I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve had a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) since July of 2013.

So far the system has produced almost 2000 kW-h, which is in line with the contract proposal from the Solar PPA provider (approximately 4000 kW-h produced per year).

The overall utility bill for the GubMints family has dropped by 20-35 dollars per month (on a total bill of 120 – 200 dollars per month). Not too bad for not having any skin in the game!

Sadly, for those still sitting on the sidelines waiting to sign a rooftop solar PPA, the salad days may be over. Continue reading