Monday, November 05, 2012
I put $800 into the checking account the other day, planning to use it for little details like keeping the lights on and making a mortgage payment. Looked in the account today, and $450 has vanished! WTF?? Turns out that Directv stole it.
It seems that any time you give your debit card number to someone, it's a tacit agreement that if you owe them money, they can just reach into your account and take it - it's considered "a purchase." There is no way you can block this from happening or prevent it from happening again, other than getting a new debit/credit card with a new number (with my bank, that's a $35 charge...and besides, I've already memorized my card number.)
So if you make a payment online or over the phone to an ongoing account, such as a satellite subscription, using a debit card, then they've got your number, literally and figuratively. You prefer to pay by writing your own check? Too bad - they've already grabbed whatever they want without telling you, and there's not a darned thing you can do about it except rearrange your banking tools and habits. I'll be doing that rearranging very soon.
It works differently for things like buying shoes - that's a one-time purchase, and if they charge you twice, it's a "mistake" and the bank can rectify it, so debit cards are still good for that. But companies that you have a monthly charge from? Forget it. The company has total control.
Don't believe me? I wouldn't have either. Ask your bank - they don't like to point this out, because it discourages debit card use for recurring payments, but it's all true.
EDIT NOTE: I never authorized auto-pay or direct payment. What happened was, a little more than a year ago, I came home from visiting the kids for a while and discovered that the tv had been shut off. I called Directv, and they said it'd been shut off for non-payment, and would I like to make the one-time payment via debit/credit card? I said sure, and it went through and I thought we were done. Turns out they kept my debit card number on file, "...in case I wanted to use it again."
I do pay online - I love online banking - but I never authorize auto-payment, because my income is agriculturally rather than fiscally based. I get lump sums at irregular times, rather than the weekly or monthly incomes most people have,and I don't always align perfectly with big companies and their predetermined billing cycles.
And, yes, I am going to get a new card.
Friday, November 02, 2012
I don't like to throw things out into public view until they're certain, but this is a decent bet, and I need you guys all crossing your fingers for me.
An old friend with a crafty-sort of business just received an award and is expanding into a bricks-and-mortar retail presence. I called said friend for a month or so, and he just got back in touch with me today (just got back in the area yesterday.) At first he wasn't all that sure, but I gave him my mini-sales pitch (art-y, *lots* of retail experience, web-building experience, etc), and he's going to go over things with his financial person and get in touch with me Tuesday - start off part time and segue into full time, probably opening the retail store.
So it *is* possible to make money working at something you enjoy with people that you like!
(Of course, this could all fall apart at my feet, but I don't think so. I'm confident...but just in case, please keep me in your prayers.)
Thursday, November 01, 2012
So, let's see how I did with my October goal list:
- showing up on SP every day.
Well, maybe I didn't make it every day, but I was definitely around more often than not. No check, or maybe a check minus.
- impose some sort of order on my work schedule.
Okay, check...sort of. I finished all the independent work and the CSA is finished for the season. Now I am completely unemployed and dead broke - but my schedule is wide open! :)
- become firmly established below 200 pounds
Believe it or not, check! 197 and holding (more or less, depending upon Our Friend Sodium)
- blog (here) 2-3 times per week
Nine blogs in four weeks - that's pretty good. I"ll give that a check.
- remember to wear the FitBit and get in my 10,000 steps per day, plus a couple days (like 2-3) of semi-serious lifting
No check here - not even close. Although I did figure out at least part of the problem. I keep the FitBit clipped to my bra in the center and a lot of times when I'm just around the house, I don't wear one. Lousy excuse, I know, but a true one. Maybe if I'd get dressed all the way every day, I'd do better with that. The other part is that I just plain forget. The lifting I demand a check for, though - all that firewood has got to count for something.
- make the "daily" household chores become, in fact, daily, rather than waiting until they reach calamitous proportions
No check here, either, although there has been some minor improvement.
- set aside time for daily meditation
Nope. It goes in streaks, then I forget for days on end, pick it up again, then lay it back down.
SO for November, I'm going to try the same set of goals as last month and see if I can get the missed ones shoved into line.
I was going to do NaNoWriMo again, but I'm not sure...anybody else doing it this year?
EDIT: Oops. Sorry. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel writing Month (I think...) and challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Some people do it every year, some people do it several times a year, some people (like me) have yet to get beyond a certain point. (For me, that point is roughly 31,000.) Here:
Friday, October 26, 2012
This is the time of year when all the leaves fall from the trees ... and you discover just how close you were to that wasp nest - all summer long - without ever knowing.
(This isn't my photo - mine still has a few active wasps.)
Friday, October 26, 2012
This is for whomever it was that requested photos.
This is the beginnings of the pile next to the wood-eating furnace:
This is the big pile of logs - the ones with the tags or paint are sold to a lumber company - the ones with the Xs will be chunked up and split to burn:
Here you can see where the already cut bits are. See them in amongst the logs? I pull my Saturn Vue around to the logs, load the cut pieces into it and drive them around to the wood furnace. I've discovered this is much easier and more efficient than using a barrow.
Any chunks that weigh more than about forty pounds will be split. I can easily lift more weight than that if it's a suitcase or something, but logs are ... different. First, there's always the possibility of dropping the accursed thing on your foot, but mainly, since I usually wind up filling the furnace the moment I get up (and frequently in the middle of the night) I don't want to have to deadlift and toss a sixty pound log. It's not the lifting so much as the tossing.
I admit that it is a good workout (I lost another two pounds, thanks to wood) and you build all the muscles, including the little connecting ones when you do work as opposed to stationary exercise. I also begrudgingly admit that it feels good to be independent of other sources of fuel (although it does require electricity to push the hot air around in the house.) Just some days...particularly when it's especially cold and therefore the furnace has to be filled more often (physics - please don't ask me to explain)...when I'm outside at 2:00 a.m., watching for zombies ... I long for the time when I could just turn a little wheel on the wall and warm air would magically come pouring out.
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