Leap Year Survey for 2008–The Results

If you’ve been a fan of this blog for a while (and I can’t imagine many people have), you may recall a post which I wrote the last Leap Year on February 29, 2008.

At that time I was 38, Anthony was 4 and still in preschool, and I was still happily employed at Learning Tree and making decent money.

My, how things have changed as we’re about to find out. Keep in mind that many of the questions in the Entertainment section dealt with who was popular at the time so if the questions seem completely irrelevant, that’s why. And to give you another idea of this, I mention MySpace in the original post and only joined Facebook 5 months prior. Kind of scary.

Anyway, here are the results from the Leap Year Survey 2008. Let’s see how well I did.

Personal
If single now, will you be married? (N/A)

If married now, will you still be? Yes
Result: True. It’ll be 19 years this year so things aren’t going to change.

Will you weight more or less? Significantly less
Result: True. I started my weight loss blog entries on March 24, 2008 and a few days later I weighed in at 251 lbs. As of this post, I’m at 209 lbs. and focusing more on muscle mass than overall weight.

Will you have (any more) kids? No
Result: True. And I’m glad that hasn’t changed. Anthony is a handful on his own!

Will you have the same job? No–they will be moved to VA by 2010
Result: True. While most of the jobs moved to Reston, VA, there are still some lingering here in California.

If no, in which profession will you be working? Writing
Result: False. I’m proofreading which is nothing like writing.

Will you be driving the same car? No
Result: True. I can’t recall what I was driving back in 2008 but I’m sure it wasn’t what I have now, which I got in 2009.

If no, what will you be driving? Luxury sedan
Result: False. I drive a sedan but unless you consider a used Ford Fusion Kia Rio a luxury car, this one is definitely wrong.

Will you still be living in the same place? Yes
Result: True. That won’t change.

Entertainment
If Britney Spears is still alive, how many total children will she have? 5
Result: False. She has 2.

What number husband will she be on? 6 (Currently on #3 #2)
Result: False. She’s engaged to someone who will be her 3rd sucker.

Will Lindsay Lohan make it to the next Leap Day? No
Result: False. She’s still lingering but barely. And who would have ever guessed Whitney Houston wouldn’t?

What about Abe Vigoda? Yes
Result: True. The man just won’t make those rumors of his passing come true.

Will 2Pac release another CD? Yes
Result: False. His last album, Pac’s Life, was released was in 2006.

Will your favorite artist (Depeche Mode for me) have won a Grammy? No
Result: True. While they were nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Short Form Music Video, they were snubbed again.

Will your current TV show still be on the air (in production, not syndication)? No
Result: Null. I can’t even think of what I was watching back then other than The Simpsons, and that’s still going. Could go either way, I guess.

Technology
Will you own a iPod? Yes (I’ve had one for 3 years)
Result: True. Each member of the family has one.

Will an “iPod Killer” be introduced by then? No
Result: Null. It’s hard to exactly say if this is true  for several reasons. For one, the iPhone essentially has an iPod built in to it, smartphones can do just about anything an iPod can, and who ever saw the iPad, Kindle Fire or other tablets coming? Even with all those facts, iPod sales continue to soar.

The DVD Format War may be over, but will the winner (Blu-ray) still be around? No
Result: False. Sales of Blu-ray discs also continue to climb.

If you blog, will you still be? Yes
Result: True. Duh.

Microsoft: Bankrupt or not? Bankrupt
Result: False. While they were having difficulties after Apple and Google got the smartphone wars going in 2007, they are by no means bankrupt.

Will hybrid vehicles still be all the rage? No
Result: True. Hybrids continue to be popular but many car manufacturers are making fuel-efficient vehicles that can get up to and over 40 MPG – at a significantly lower price, making them a viable alternative to hybrids.

Will satellite radio still matter? Yes
Result: True. It’s still around and with many fans and despite the SIRIUS/XM merger, it only started turning profits recently.

What major innovation will cell phones feature? Ability to shoot hi-definition video
Result: True. Many phones shoot videos in hi-def.

Cost of Living
The average cost of gas per gallon will be: $4.50
Result: False. As of this post, it is $4.25 but still climbing.

The cost of a single-day, adult ticket to Disneyland will be: $109 (Currently $66)
Result: False. They are currently $77 for kids and $80 for adults, single-park ticket.

The cheapest menu item at McDonald’s will cost: $2
Result: False. You can still buy stuff for around a buck.

The average cost of a base-model, entry-level car will be: $23k
Result: False. With people straying away from gas-guzzling SUVs, compact cars are making some headway. Most manufacturers offer a base-model, entry-level car for around $15k MSRP.

Well, there you go. It looks like I pretty much failed at this survey and as such, I’m not bothering with one this year 🙂

A Virgin Mobile Survey Worth Looking At

Hey, guess what? I got another Virgin Mobile survey in my inbox today and let me tell you, this one is definitely worth sharing.

First of all, it seems that Virgin Mobile is considering a few new interesting options that include “free” lifetime upgrades and, what I will cover first, The Virgin Mobile Phone Fund:

Concept 1

Just as the image dictates, this plan will give payment-punctual users a cool $5 credit each month which can then be applied toward the purchase of a brand-spanking-new phone of their choice (a year from the start of the program, I assume). Seems like a pretty good deal provided you are on a Beyond Talk plan and if you’re not, well, then I guess you wouldn’t qualify. But hey, $60 a year toward the purchase of a new phone is not bad at all and might be enough of an incentive to get people to switch over. This also might imply that Virgin Mobile has a few new models coming up so hey, it’s a win in my book.

I guess my only question would be if this plan is available for those who have the auto-payment option (like yours truly). This pretty much means that I’ll always be on time and that those extra $5 a month are in my pocket just waiting to be used at the end of the year. No other details were given, such as if the credits can be carried over to the following calendar year.

The next feature is also kind of cool provided you want to spend some extra money. This one is called Virgin Mobile’s Free Phones for Life:

Concept 2

“Free” does, however, come with a few caveats:

  • You must pay a one-time $300 “initiation fee” when you join the program, and
  • You must select the $60 Beyond Talk Unlimited monthly plan and make your payments on time (penalty for late payment was not listed)

I suppose that is a good deal if you go through phones like toilet paper or just want to upgrade sans contract every year as I wished I could have when I was with Verizon. I would have no problem paying a initiation fee under one condition: different initiation fee levels for different Beyond Talk plans. For example:

  • $100 for the $25 plan
  • $200 for the $40 plan
  • $300 for the $60 plan

As it is, I rarely come close to using up my 300 minutes under my current plan and the way I’ve been getting Kickback* minutes (thanks to all of you fantastic readers and for your comments as well), there are months that I don’t use my paid minutes. And at home, I use Skype to save even more of my minutes. The $60 plan is definitely out of my league but if things were a little more the way I mentioned in the bullet list above, they might have me on this one. I wish they’d consider such a pricing schedule.

So should these plans come to fruition, and I certainly hope they do, upgrading to a new phone comes down to these options:

  • Get up to $60 a year toward the purchase of a new phone without a fee and stay on a cheap Beyond Talk plan, or
  • Get free phones for life with a one-time $300 fee and a $60 Beyond Talk plan

As for me, the first choice is the best. While I’d love a free phone for life, the point of our switching to Virgin Mobile was to save money on our monthly cell phone bill. I like paying $50/month for two lines; there’s no way to get me to pay $120/month for minutes that will go to waste. I was paying that when I left Verizon so it’s just not going to happen and, quite honestly, I can’t afford that.

Unless, you know, they take my suggestion of initiation fees based on your current monthly plan…

Lastly, there’s this future plan that is more of a feature than anything else. Dig this:

Widget Concept2

At long last, Virgin Mobile is considering a My Account widget that actually does something. Currently, at least on my Optimus V, the My Account widget does nothing but take me to the Virgin Mobile site which, in most cases, can never be accessed. It’s a real pain when I want to check how many minutes I have remaining and as such, I’m always in the dark until I can get access to a computer. And that totally sucks.

With the planned widget, users will have a choice of access options that include the following (my preferences shown below in order of what I deemed important):

widget

Really, Virgin Mobile? You need a consumer panel to tell you that we need this widget? I could easily access my available minutes and account info on all of my previous Virgin Mobile dumbphones yet on my Android OS, this has yet to materialize? While I’m all for this, I’m wondering what the heck took them so long to offer this widget.

If anything, I’m glad that I was given the choice of which features I wanted on it. I’d be happy with my first four choices seen in the image above; everything else is just superfluous.

UPDATE 6/12/11: As an eagle-eyed reader pointed out, two of the options listed above are “Available Data” and “Available Messages” which could imply that Virgin Mobile has plans for limiting both and mark the end of unlimited data and text messages under their Beyond Talk plans. My only guess for those would be that the widget would also be on phones under their PayLo program which does limit both, and that’s what I am certainly hoping for because killing unlimited data and text messages would be a stupid move from a consumer’s standpoint. That’s one of their biggest selling points at the moment. But as for now, pure speculation. [Thanks, Wadya]

So there you have it. Looks like the future is bright for us Virgin Mobile customers. Any thoughts on all of this? Leave a comment below and, thanks to WordPress, you can now log-in using either your Facebook or Twitter accounts!  And as always, I will continue to post surveys as I get them and as long as I remain a customer.

Now go and have your say!

*My Kickback code is dJWQc09H

Virgin Mobile Survey: Upgraded Customer Service?

As you can probably guess, I love my Virgin Mobile Optimus V phone. And despite its problems I can’t tell people enough about it.

I got another survey from Virgin Mobile today and it only centered around thing: upgraded service. The gist of it was that if I would be willing to pay extra for the following (with my answer highlighted):

vm-extras

For me, it’s just not worth paying extra for any of that considering I’ve only called their Customer Service line a few times, both for billing issues which were eventually resolved. About the only thing I would want would be people who actually understand the problem, which seemed to be a big problem on the times I did call.

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Leap Day Survey for 2008

Well, seein’s today is February 29, I’ve decided to post a little quiz that everybody is free to plagiarize and post as they see fit elsewhere. In fact I will probably post it to my–blecch–MySpace page as well.

Based on the happenings in the world today, the object is to get your opinion of how you think they will have changed by the next Leap Day in 2012. For example, “Will you be driving the same car? If no, then what will you be driving?”

The questions are broken into a few different categories just for fun. And as always, there are just a few simple rules:

  • Answer “yes” or “no” not “maybe”
  • Explanations are allowed if necessary

Ready? Here we go.

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