huge spider on the ceiling, with a brood of baby spiders, caption 'OH crap' Gigantic spiders are rare in Phoenix. I’m really, really glad this is so, because they can scare the hell out of you, even if they’re harmless.

On Saturday, I went to get a new battery for my phone. The first store I checked had no batteries—apparently, batteries are only available at “corporate stores”. So I drove over to one of those, explained what was wrong, and they said, “Well, you could send the phone in for service, which will take forever, or you could pay us money for a phone upgrade and extend your contract for 2 years. . . .” “I’d just like a new battery, if you have one in stock.” They found one. I said, “Cool! How much do I owe you?” “Nothing.”

This seems really, really weird to me. Are the people who write Sprint/Nextel store policy smoking the really good drugs? I wanted a product, they had that product, they gave me that product, and they didn’t want any money for it. Maybe it’s because my phone is almost 5 years old. Oh well. At least my phone should be able to get more than 20 minutes of talk time now.

Did my federal taxes on Saturday too. I’ll be getting a refund that’s at least twice what I had expected. Mortgage interest deductions for the win, I guess. The 2009 tax year won’t be like that, though, mostly because I shouldn’t have 3 months of being unemployed.