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Impressive Feat

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Itís late, and I havenít goofed off much today. Tomorrow the BW wants to go over to Tampa to the IKEA store for a new couch and footstool, and probably something else too. That means we have to get rid of a love seat and footstool that she picked out a few years ago, but she says the Salvation Army will take it for sure. I just remember that I wanted to buy a couch in the first place because there was almost no difference in cost, but she wanted a love seat. Now she wants a footstool with storage in it and she feels bad that Jerzy slept on the love seat several times last year.

I was totally shot yesterday around eight in the evening, but felt better after lying down for a few minutes, and Iím really tired today, but not totally shot. The class is over; I sent in a report and certificates to AARP and a report to my fearless leader, which finished that for another month. I also spent three hours on the Kiwanis, picking up the mail, collecting and depositing money, and writing my own check for a yearís dues, and then depositing it. If I can think of anything to say here Iíll be done for the day, so I think Iím done.

One lady lost enough weight and got back into such good shape that she put on her wedding dress and had her picture taken. Thatís a better reward than weight watchers or anyone else could come up with. I was impressed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 11/11/2010 9:50PM

    My husband bought our hide-a-bed couch when he was a teenager. His brother had moved out to get married and took the furniture with him. So he bought it to sleep on. Later, he took it with him when he moved into his first apartment. So, it is close to 50 years old. I wonder what it would be like to get a new couch every few years.

Thanks for the generic comment on me and my wedding dress. It DID feel good to be able to get it on. It was also interesting to see in what ways my body shape has changed over the years and how the dress fit differently than it did originally.

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MRDPOLING 11/11/2010 7:04PM

    Oooooo I love Ikea! I haven't been in months! I got a truck and I have been looking for a reason to drive to Florida. hehehehe!

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MS.ELENI 11/11/2010 7:00PM

    It must be in the air.I have been wanting to get a new couch too. Hope you found one that A likes

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The Secret

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Third Avenue just changed the log-in procedure, and now they have a support group (a contractor) running things. The person I talked to told me a new, secret requirement for a valid password that is not included in their printed description of the requirements of a password. I logged in twice after I changed my password, and it seems to be OK now.

One of the problems that banks, brokerage firms, and mutual funds have is that they have written disclosures of their rules, and you often find out that the rules they impose on you are different from the rules they wrote (if you assume that they meant what they said in print). I ran into that at Sun Trust Bank this year, where they say they allow six withdrawals a quarter, but fine you if you make more than two in one month. The branch manager told me about a couple of other places where it says six per quarter but they fine on three per month.

The brokerage where our money market was held when we bought the last trailer had a rule that you couldn't write checks on the account if the balance fell below $5,000. It did not say you couldn't bring the balance below $5,000. When I wrote a check that brought the balance to $3500, the dealer called them, and then I called. The woman said they wouldn't allow the balance to be brought below $5,000 with a check, which is a different rule. I shortly moved that money to Vanguard's money market fund, and soon closed the brokerage account.

The unfortunate answer is you don't know what secret rules they have, and I wouldn't have found out today if I didn't ask the woman for the third time, and finally get the secret.

Other than that, the safe driving class went OK, my treadmill showed up today and I put it together and worked up a sweat checking it out, and it's nearly seven and I'm ready for a little supper and really, really tired.

I hope everyone had a good day and better evening. Thanks for the tips.

PS - when I failed to get in, I was told to click on the password help button, but there wasn't any. They're just not set up all that well, but it's only a little money.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 11/10/2010 4:27AM

    OOOH! A new treadmill!!! Very cool!

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TUDI4480 11/9/2010 11:48PM

    Yikes! Your experiences with the various banks, brokerages, and on-line oversight are leaving me shaking in my shoes! How you don't feel like keeping your coins under a mattress....

Anyway. Congrats on your new treadmill. That will be lots of good fun, no matter what the weather outside. Enjoy it to the hilt!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 11/9/2010 10:32PM

    Glad that you got a treadmill and good luck with the bank.

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MS.ELENI 11/9/2010 9:32PM

    It is nice to have a treadmill. Then you can walk and not worry about weather etc.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 11/9/2010 8:46PM

    I'm sort of wishing we had a treadmill, now that winter is rapidly approaching.

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    I think Vanguard prides themselves on low fees and reasonable "secrets". Have you had a good experience with them?

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Log-In Frustration

Monday, November 08, 2010

I have been doing most of my money management on line for the past couple of years. When we were full-timers, it was a pay phone and mail, then a cell phone and mail. When we first settled in one place it was mail and personal interfaces with the bank, which wasnít very good because Seafirst, where we first opened an account, had been bought by Bank of America, which was bought in turn by Nationís Bank. Nationís kept the Bank America name, but had a different software system which was supposed to be merged within a year. While we were full timing it was OK, because now there were free ATMís all over the country (itís hard to cash a check when youíre two or three thousand miles from ďhomeĒ.

The only trouble with that was that we settled in Florida, Nationís territory, and I was treated like a leper for years, and eventually told that Washington, and parts of Oregon and Idaho would never be converted. When I had really hard time depositing money with a pre-printed deposit slip, I finally cracked, and now we do business with Patriot Bank of Trinity, FL. They have a branch I can walk to easily, and originally paid four per cent interest on deposits up to $50,000 and 1.01 per cent above that. Since the Vanguard MMF was paying 0.05 per cent and E Trade bank was paying 0.1 per cent, it sounded like a good idea. Of course, the rate eventually dropped to 3.01 per cent on the first 50K, and recently 3.01 per cent on the first $25K, with 1.01 per cent above that. I still canít beat that anywhere else, with full insurance.

I also got in the habit of checking on our IRAís and mutual funds on line and getting all of our tax documents on line. Recently I wanted to branch out and liked Third Avenue Funds because they started offering individual investor accounts, so I opened an account there. It went OK for a while, but suddenly I could not log on to my account, even though I had both the user ID and password correct. I called them, and eventually managed to reset the password to the same value it had been before and log on. The next time I tried to log on, I was locked out again. And tonight again. This is starting to worry me a little because I elected ďE-DeliveryĒ and I like to have access to all of the documents I need for the IRS, and I like even more to feel that my money is still there and (relatively) safe. I think my error was to expand from the single fund I had in one of my IRAís and do business with a business who expects investors to buy in chunks of $50K or so. They donít expect you to look at things very often, I guess. Or else they donít have very good software.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 11/9/2010 4:51AM

    It really does sound like the problem could be bigger. You're bank could (though it would mean time and aggravation) look into whether someone is trying to log into your account from somewhere you are not. That will tell you if someone is trying to hack your account(s). The Bank would look at the IP of each of the log in attempts. If you are only using the one PC, then there should only be one IP. If there are more, they have means to find out where the other IPs are located and deal with it.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 11/8/2010 11:36PM

    Good luck getting this all straightened out.

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ROWINGFOOL 11/8/2010 10:09PM

    Some more secure systems will lock out a user after a set number of failed attempted logins. If someone is trying to hack your account (and you might want to think twice about posting where you have your bank accounts) it could very easily show up as a frequently locked out account.

I had that problem with my Yahoo email when I was moderating our local FreeCycle... someone got it into their head to try to hack my email. They never succeeded, but I did get messages about "attempted logins" and for a while I had to jump through increasingly difficult hoops to log in myself.

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MS.ELENI 11/8/2010 8:36PM

    Sounds too complicated for me.I only use bank site to make sure I didn't forget to log something in my check book.

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Another Sunday

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Yesterday it was 46 degrees when I went outside in the morning, and today it was 46. I tried, but I couldn't see my breath. The high today was predicted at 69, but tomorrow it goes to 74, then 79, and the it's 60/80 or 81 every day for the rest of the week, so the current cold front is gone. For the five weeks we spent in Mazatlan in January and February, that was the weather, and it's practically perfect, as far as I can tell. You sleep well because it's cool at night, and it's warm but not hot in the daytime. Here it's like that some of the time, but we get the cold fronts coming through every so often and they mess things up.

I cut the grass today and made another big pot of pea soup, which is cooling right now in a dish pan with ice cubes and water in the sink. I'll put it in plastic containers and keep out at least half to eat right away and freeze the rest. The first batch I made was 16 3/4 cups, and measured 112 calories per cup. We ate it all in four or five days without trying. We each had a cup with lunch today to finish it, and the BW asked me to do another pot. Bill was interested, so I mailed him a "recipe" which will probably get close to the same results.

Bill has been following the Rice diet and is down 10 3/4 pounds in three weeks. He is getting about 1200 calories per day, which is what the Duke University charge a fortune to feed people, and the bariatric patients get 600 calories per day, at least in the beginning, so I don't think it's too dangerous, but some people (including SparkPeople) don't like that approach. In his case, it's a treatment for kidney failure, which is what the diet was designed to treat. If he eats the right foods he will get enough potassium to keep him going, I hope.

We will watch another Sherlock Holmes movie in two hours.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 11/8/2010 4:48AM

    I need to get me a winter home down there. Oh and a winter job down there as well. hehe!

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TUDI4480 11/8/2010 1:14AM

    The pea soup sounds yummy. It is good to read your blogs again. Have a fine week.

emoticon emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 11/7/2010 9:11PM

    It's supposed to rain here tomorrow and then on Tuesday turn to snow. Tomorrow is our anniversary. Perhaps, we should take a romantic walk in the rain. Then again, maybe not.

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MS.ELENI 11/7/2010 8:28PM

    I love the weather but being sick I have stayed in house.
I am also going to watch Mystery Theater.You got me hookd on them.I don't like the Sherlock Holmes as well as the other two tho.
I have been making and eating chicken noodle soup for 3 days.I have had enough for a long time emoticon

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    Would love your weather. As you can imagine, we're a bit cooler, more like 30/50, but it's going to moderate this week and it looks more like 45/75 which is mighty fine.

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Mostly Good News

Saturday, November 06, 2010

We had a good trip overall, and made it home last Sunday. Then we had to get the mail and catch up. The BW still has one hole in her left eardrum, and pneumonia to keep it interesting. I have been driving her everywhere she needs to go because she doesn't feel capable.

The most interesting part of the trip was driving straight west in the middle of the strongest storm since a freighter was sunk on the great lakes in 1978. I had been filling up every day, and the mileage varied from 37+ to 32+ (through the mountains) except for that day. We drove at 70 almost all the way, except for a couple of really heavy squalls when we were poking along with the hazard warning flashers on. When I filled up that night we only got 25 miles/gallon. If you add 70 to 50, you wind up with a 120 MPH headwind. Since the drag is a function of the wind velocity squared, you can see why a low drag coefficient is good, and why driving slower gets you better gas mileage. I try to keep it down to 70 on the interstates, but sometimes it's hard.

The good news is that the BW seems better today, and I have cleaned most of the house for the guests we expect for the holidays.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 11/7/2010 7:29AM

    Glad you made it safely and I hope your wife is feeling much better soon. I really enjoyed the scientific explanation of gas mileage.

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MRDPOLING 11/7/2010 3:50AM

    Glad u are home safe but sorry the BW is still down and out!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 11/6/2010 11:35PM

    Glad to have you back and see you sparking. I don't consider myself an outstanding driver (I have issues with attention.), but one thing I do very well is get good gas mileage when I drive. Back in my single days, my girlfriend could never understand why the car had better mileage when I was driving. Reason: I don't drive pedal to the medal.

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MS.ELENI 11/6/2010 7:49PM

    Sounds like you had an interesting trip.Hope it wasn't all bad weather. Hope A feels better soon

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