Thursday, February 08, 2018

Just Hold That Thought

I will be on the plane in about than 36 hours and on my way to an exotic locale. Actually, I will make several stops along the way and be gone for 22 days!!  Yes, I have not packed bags or prepared for that long of a trip in a long time. It means I have to have the P.O. hold the mail, prepay some monthly bills, let the credit card and phone companies and bank know where I will be so that they continue to let me use my phone and my money.

I have to think how to pack as frugally as possible. There will be no need for fancy clothes, so that will help a lot. I have prepared my list of vaccinations, my passport is up-to-date and I even needed a visa for this trip and that is attached! Where am I going?  I will keep you in suspense until I either get there or post a photo or two from my Kindle or until I get back home and recover from post-trip exhaustion.

I will be leaving behind plants that are just coming into beauty and I actually have someone coming in to take care of them bi-weekly so that I can return to just look at the leaves!

One of my amaryllis bloomed for me today. I have others not yet in bud, and I will sadly miss their glory.

My calamondin is going crazy with both blooms and little tiny limes.  The corner of my kitchen is carpeted in white petals each morning and many times both evening and mornings the first floor is filled with a somewhat cloying fragrance of the blossoms.  I may miss most of the fruits as they turn ripe!

My birds will be fed and watered by the same person who is taking care of my plants.

I will also miss the "blue ribbon" sunsets, but maybe I will be able to photograph some new ones at a different latitude with a different attitude.

The odd thing about all of this is that I just want to get going so I can fill pockets full of memories and the mind full of photos and then get home again to a routine.  I will have a wonderful time as we will be with precious friends, but I keep thinking of all the challenges and just want it all to be good memories so I can reminisce back in my bed in my own home.  Clearly money and opportunity are wasted on me.

If I can stay healthy, I will return to blog again.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Resolution on that Banking Issue

This snow is long gone.

Called the bank (800 number), since I have no bank nearby to walk into. "They" being a computerized program said the wait would be between 59 minutes and one and a half hours. I love that 59 minutes math as if they had some kind of micro efficiency over their services. Maybe they should just hire more staff...but that would cut into the millions in profits and millions in salaries of those at the top! The computer system did say I could just push "any" key and they would "capture" my number and call me back when someone was able to assist me. I pushed the hashtag key and resisted the urge to also push FU. 

They did call me back in a little over an hour and "Bill from Montana" was the person who called me back.  That little cutesy response was to assure me that I was not talking to someone in Mumbai or Bangkok and that my bank hired good old boys who needed jobs in the USA.  "Bill" had a slow gravelly voice and a tired voice as if had just come in from hours of rounding up the steers and had put out his last cigarette.  I tried to joke and he patiently ignored that and continued in a droll voice---maybe he was an out of work actor?

He assured me that the new $25 monthly fee was because I had a "core" agreement with the bank that required I maintain a balance of 5K.  When I asked if this meant average monthly balance he said "No.  A daily 5k balance."  I calmly assured him I had another local bank that could waive those types of fees.  He responded that he could fix this immediately by putting me under a new agreement requiring a direct monthly deposit of a minimum of 250 dollars and no average balance maintenance.  He moved me over to the new agreement, re-deposited the 25 dollar withdrawal and told me he hoped I would have a nice day.  He assured me I would receive the new agreement in the mail.  (My bank is not Wells Fargo, but this gives you a clue how sneaky all of these big banks are and why you should write your Congressperson to support and not weaken the Dodd-Frank bill.)

I will read the new agreement with a spyglass, I can assure you.

Friday, February 02, 2018


Not my boat and a photo from this summer.
I have just spent over an hour waiting for a response on the phone...they warned me with their robotic answering machine when I got the connection that efficiency was not in their mission statement! I have lost my pin number for the Experian Credit account and I want to check that no one has stolen my ID and I want to freeze my account and I want my free annual report. You know, Experian is one of three companies that make money by collecting all of your financial data without having to ask you for permission, storing it on their servers without having to guarantee it will not be stolen by hackers, and then they can make you waste your time on the phone while running ads to sell you one of their products to protect this data that they have now compromised.  Days like these make me wish Elizabeth Warren was President.  She would have all three of these companies before the court and make them pay to obtain and keep our us, that is.  She would also make them do the reporting to the law officers and us when there was unusual activity, and do it for free.

I am sure that the average consumer would be willing to collect needed information for a loan for their bank when needed without this.

Our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is being stripped of its enforcement powers by this administration...because Lord knows we do not need more laws and regulations to protect us from big business and big banks!   (And it is really a hassle for those small real estate offices to prove they are not being discriminatory in their sales to minority folks.)  SNARK!  As another jab, my bank just informed me last month they are charging me a monthly $25 fee on an average balance of over 7K!!  But that is another challenge as I am now looking for a new bank. 

I did check with Equifax right after the breach, but since millions of accounts were stolen it will take the "dark web" crooks a while to get to my name.   I also was putting this off for Experian, because I knew it would be a mountain to climb not being able to find my password on this in any file I have.  

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to explode while listening to lousy jazz on my phone right now.

I do need a trip.