Monday, April 28, 2008

That's Pretty - Cover it Up!

Who do mattresses have such nice patterns on them? First thing we do is cover it up with sheets and blankets. I've never bought a mattress because it was pretty (did I?) - I tried it out to see if it was comfortable. I wonder if that's why they are so expensive? Marketing can be so very odd.

Closed for real

I got an official written notice that my account is closed! Woo-hoo!

I will be running my credit report in about a month or so to see if they dinged my credit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today is a good day!

I got answered by Rosie on Ask Ro.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Target Stores or

I love Target Stores! They are my favorite place for almost everything I need. Target. That is the place I shop - Target Stores.

And just in case Google Ads doesn't pick up Target Stores instead of the the bad company I wrote about, I also love

I love too! You can get practically everything you need on - most without tax and free shipping! One word of caution tho - always clear your Internet Cache when shopping on-line because sometimes if they know what you are shopping for they will show a higher price.

Why I Hate Targeted Marketing

I recently wrote a very negative article about a certain credit card company (read it here) and Google Ads, in all their wisdom, is using the little ad box on my blog to place an advertisement for that company! It all seems very counter productive. Good thing I also opened a case with the Better Business Bureau for that company that won't be named again (so they don't get another ad).

I think I'll write another article about a company I like so the bad company doesn't continue to get my targeted ads. Who shall it be................

Black Top

I wonder how much global warming is due to the fact that a significant part of the surface of the Earth is now covered with black asphalt for roads and parking lots instead of green grass or other natural coverings. Black surfaces absorb more heat - store it longer - and radiate it back out long after the sun sets. Even in very remote areas of the world you will find ribbons of blacktop roads.

We need personal vehicles that fly, have water for exhaust and can be folded up into a briefcase like George Jetson's car. That last part might be a bit far fetched, but I'm a firm believer that if it can be imagined - it can be done. In fact, I sometimes think that the imagination is actually a window to another dimension that actually can exist. I'll bet when my 4th grade teacher wrote on my report card "tends to daydream" he didn't realize I was being clairvoyant.

Has Capital One Seized Control of Their Computers?

I received a call this week (2 actually) that my request to close my Capital One account as been processed and the account is now closed. Folks - this is real progress! Click here to learn why this is news.

However, I was told in the message they left that it could be up to 11 days for the computer to spit out a letter showing the account is actually closed. I'll keep waiting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Why can't I get a decent size piece of chicken anymore? When I was a kid the chicken pieces were much bigger. Or so it seems.

I finally figured out that even though I grew up on a farm where our free roaming chickens were much healthier and possibly bigger, it was actually my perspective that had changed. I grew up! My body is bigger so the chicken seems smaller. Duh. :)

A Year Ago

Whenever I read an article about price changes - they always compare to the price of a year ago. So if you can keep your prices artificially inflated for over a year - it becomes the norm. Oil prices of over $100 a barrel are being compared to $70 a barrel one year ago. But if you think back just a little further oil rices were only $30 a barrel and remained that way for a long time.

Same for housing prices. You can see that housing prices have fallen a lot from one year ago. But if you look only a little further, you will see that even these lower prices are much higher than they were - say five years ago. And they were fairly steady for many years before that.

I'm not fooled by these mind games - but unfortunately a lot of folks are. The people that set the prices know most Americans have a very short memory and are taking advantage of that.

I am, however, counting on American's short memory when it comes to the election. I hope they will forget about all the in-fighting between the Democratic candidates and can still vote for whoever wins the nomination. I've said before that I do not dislike John McCain, but we will not have any real change if a Republican is elected because they will keep a lot of the current staff. In that case things will be pretty much the same a year from now.

I've Done My Part

I've spent my tax refund and my "stimulus refund" (before I even received it). Now can I get lower gas prices?

Speaking of which, I heard the other day that lawmakers are considering giving us a "gas tax holiday" for the summer. That will allow the oil companies to continue to make huge profits and at the same time eliminate whatever the gas tax was being used for (roads?, environmental studies?, Alternatives to fossil fuels?).

I didn't realize the gas tax was around 18 percent - that is a lot. But once again, I think a better approach would be to attack the high prices - not the tax. If OPEC can decide not to increase supplies, then clearly supply is not the problem. Oil prices are artificially inflated for the sheer reason of profit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Turning Green

If I hear the phrase "going green" one more time I think I'm going to puke. It is by far the most overused, and often wrongly used phrase of our time. I'm just as tired of "environmentally friendly" I think the only real environmentally friendly thing we as humans could do is leave the planet all together. Everything we touch seems to have a negative impact on our delicate planet.

My point? Overuse of a marketing phrase is not helping. Next time you hear that phrase ask yourself is someone making money off of the thing being presented? I'll bet yes. We should use the word "efficient" - which implies we have put money aside and used common sense and all available technology to do the right thing from the beginning. We are capable of so much more than what we are doing - automobiles, for one, are a great example. We should be using next to no fossil fuels at this point - we have known for too long that it pollutes, costs too much and causes too many wars. We should have had more efficient cars long ago - or another form of transportation. But money comes first.

Lets be efficient about going green (barf!). Lets not talk about it - just do it!

Life seems an endless series of appointments

Dentist, vet, car service, cable installation, job interviews, haircut, and on and on and on.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Capital One - Not In My Wallet!

Beware of Capital One!

Think it’s hard to get a credit card? If you have a Capital One card it might be even more difficult to get out of it. I’ll try to explain my ongoing frustrations with Capital One as briefly as possible.

  • I noticed in February of this year that the fixed interest rate that I have had for the past 10 years had suddenly become a variable interest rate (which was much higher) and it had changed sometime late last year without any notice. Capital One said they had sent a notification of this change but I did not receive one. When asked why, after 10 years of being a customer in good standing, they would suddenly change my rate they replied that the economy had forced the management to make this decision.

  • I immediately opened a new account with my credit union with the same fixed rate I had before and even better terms. (props to Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union)

  • I paid my Capital One account in full and called to cancel the account. The agent read a paragraph that said, among other things, that the account would remain open until it had a zero balance for 1 month. I protested this condition but was told there was no way to get around it. After more protesting I finally convinced them to put a hold on my account so nothing would get accidentally charged which would interrupt this unavoidable computer cycle.

  • A month went by with no charges. However, at the end of the billing cycle, Capital One charged finance charges from the prior balance to my account even though they had assured me at the time I called to cancel that my account was paid in full.

  • I immediately used my reward points cash to pay this balance leaving a credit balance of $4.16.

  • After 30 more days (now 60 days total) my account remains open.

  • Yesterday and today I spent nearly 3 hours talking to 6 different agents, 3 of which claimed the title of Senior Account Manager. I insisted that I wanted my account closed TODAY. I was told by all of them that there was absolutely no way they can manually close the account. No Accountant, Programmer, Lawyer, President or any other being was capable of closing the account. It must run through the monthly computer cycles and it might be the end of May before my account will finally be closed. I never raised my voice, got angry, or forceful in those entire 3 hours – and neither did they (I’ll give them that) but nothing was accomplished – my account remains open.

  • I was also informed that a credit balance on my account wasn’t a zero balance, and it may take up to 90 days to refund that $4.16. (!!!)

  • It should also be noted that in the past Capital One repeatedly ignored my request to cap my credit limit and they continued to raise it without my permission. When asked why they said the computer was not able to put in this limitation.

  • The problem is that large open credit lines can damage my ability to seek credit elsewhere. I may have difficulties from a simple thing like getting a new cell phone to buying a car or a house. Having this account continue to be open is a BIG PROBLEM and I am at the mercy of a computer system that cannot be controlled and a company that doesn’t care about my credit score.

  • Since Capital One is unable to control their computer system at all, I feel it is my duty to warn other people about this and I will do so daily in bigger and bigger ways. I promise to end my “Beware of Capital One” campaign as soon as my account is closed in good standing. It is now up to them to determine how long this might go on. Not many people read my little Blog – but I am a member of many Blogs that do get read by thousands and I pledge to use those and other avenues to warn others until this matter is resolved and my account is closed in good standing. I can be quite creative – I hope they get this resolved quickly!