Archive for the ‘Financial Shenanigans’ Category

Apropos Of Absolutely Nothing

December 17, 2008

Gas was $1.46 in Oklahoma. I filled the tank of the big black pimpmobile* for about 20 bucks. Unbelievable. I can’t remember the last time I filled a gas tank for such a tiny price.

Gas is $1.80 here today.

Discuss among yourselves. I have things to do.

*Why am I calling it a pimpmobile? Actually, Bonnie came up with that. See for yourself.

I rest my case.

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Out Of My Cold Dead Fingers

October 24, 2008

shall they pry my 401k.

Six and a half percent.

October 1, 2008

That’s the percentage my entire portfolio (retirement, savings, etc.) lost in the last one month.

How did you do?

Now That’s Service.

January 10, 2008

Got a telephone call at 8:15 this morning from the fraud unit of my bank’s business credit card division. Apparently, they monitor activity in the accounts 24/7, and they were calling to check on possible fraudulent activity on my account.

Did I really make an online purchase of Moody Blues concert tickets?

Yes, I most certainly did. They’re playing in Santa Rosa on March 9, and I’m going. So there.

I saw them live 13 or 14 years ago at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, and have always wanted to see them again.

The fraud investigator on the phone got all excited because he’s about my age and has been a fan of the Moody Blues as long as I have–ever since Days of Future Passed was released (gulp) 40 years ago.

So I am going off to see the Moody Blues in a couple of months. Shiny, eh?

Scary Tactics

December 30, 2007

An acquaintance of mine once “invested” in a time share and later went through bankruptcy. She did not “reaffirm” the time share debt and thus, according to her lawyer, was free of it.

Nearly two years later, she got a call from someone purporting to be from the time share company, demanding that she pay her long-past-due bill for all fees. He was extremely nasty, intimidating, and when she told him she had gone bankrupt, he yelled at her that she could not bankrupt her way out of a time share; it is her “second home” and therefore she is required to keep it, or some such bullshocks, and he got extremely abusive.

Nearly in a panic, she called her bankruptcy attorney. He turned right around and called the guy, who said “Oh, no, she misunderstood me, since she was a past customer, we were just trying to find out if she might be interested in purchasing a week in a resort.”

Bullshocks. Again. He only said that because he had an attorney breathing down his throat.

I just wonder how many people fall for the scare tactic and send in money, even though the debt was discharged? Must be enough to keep a guy like this in business. Sad.

Yep. Expensive Week.

August 26, 2007

Took the car in at 8:15 this morning and sat down in the waiting room, expecting about a 90-minute wait.

I should have known.

The service manager came in and said my transmission gasket is leaking a little, so they need to replace it. That’s a warranty repair. However… (isn’t there always a “however”?) my tires are wearing unevenly which means I need all four wheels balanced.

They issued me a loaner car and I headed home.

I should have quit right there. But no; I just had to go over to the mall to pick up a clock battery at Radio Shack and (here’s where I got in trouble) a larger Critter Keeper for The Spook at Petco.

Remember that business about me and pet stores and adult supervision? Right. I forgot too. And now there are four:

Until there is evidence to the contrary, I am declaring this one to be female, and her name is Inara, because she is dark, exotic and beautiful. I am open to suggestions on what to rename her if she turns out to be a he.

She weighs 5.5 grams (about the same as Firefly) and is tamer than The Spook but not as tame as Firefly and Geico. So far. She ate a big glob of pulverized banana off my finger. I set up her cage, and hopefully by now she’s gone back to sleep.

I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for this sort of addiction?

Nice.

October 31, 2006

I had scheduled an online payment for my credit card to be taken from my checking account yesterday. As of today it had not shown up–which is not unheard of–but the credit card company’s website showed me being charged a $39 late fee.

So I got on the horn, and after rummaging around in her system for a while, the very nice phone rep told me she had an e-mail in front of her alerting all reps that all customers’ online payments for yesterday had been accidentally erased.

Nice of them to tell the customers that too. I wonder how many people will not notice, and just pay the fee?

The rep took my payment over the phone and assured me she would reverse the late charge. We shall see.

Gulp.

September 30, 2006

I just placed an order for a customized HP-Compaq laptop.

Do I need a new laptop? Not particularly; the old one is less than 3 years old.

Do I want a new laptop? A card-carrying gadget-freak like me? Heck yeah!

For those who care… here’s the rundown on what I am getting:

Compaq Presario V6000T customizable Notebook PC
Genuine Windows XP Home Edition
Intel(R) Core(TM) Duo processor T2050 (1.60 GHz)
15.4″ WXGA Widescreen (1280×800)
Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator 950 w/Ports
IMPRINT Finish + Microphone + QuickPlay
1.0GB DDR2 SDRAM (2x512MB)
80 GB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Super Multi 8X DVD+/-R/RW w/Double Layer Support
802.11b/g WLAN
Extra 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Microsoft(R) Works/Money
System Recovery DVD w/Genuine XP Home Edition

Estimated build completion date is October 11, and shipping should be 5-7 business days after that.

It should arrive just in time for NaNoWriMo 2006.

And now I had better get some work done, so I can pay for the thing!

One Year Later

August 17, 2005

Somebody has finally rented the place.

But the landlord lost an entire year’s rent while the building sat vacant. Tell me again how that constitutes good business practice?

Social Security Hokey-Pokey

February 27, 2005

Political Calculations has posted a Social Security Calculator for our consideration.

If you scroll down, you will find plenty of links to other insights and commentary on social security calculations, including Spear Shaker’s take on Schumer’s fuzzy math.

(Hat tip: Patrick Ruffini)