Friday, March 05, 2010

Super Mario on LSD - Videoclip for "Dorset Perception"

Very cool little video.

Making the Banking Move...

I'll be moving to PNC bank to counter being charged an account maintenance fee. Hopefully enough people will leave Citibank and they'll realize what a bad business decision this was.

Really Citi treatment
Bank slaps monthly fee on more accts.


Penny-pinching Citibank will put the squeeze on small-fry customers, charging them up to $90 a year by demanding a fee every time their average monthly checking account balance sinks below $1,500.

Starting in February, Citibank will no longer automatically waive its $7.50 monthly fee for its "EZ" and "Access" checking-account holders who make either a direct deposit, or two bill payments online monthly.

"Yes, we're changing certain terms and conditions for our EZ and Access checking-account packages," a spokeswoman said.

"Regarding what prompted us to make these changes, we did so to make them more simple and straightforward, by recognizing and rewarding customers for maintaining their balances with Citibank."
Bloomberg NewsREALITY CHECKS: Citibank checking customers who have under $1,500 in their accounts could soon face a $90 annual fee.
Bloomberg News
REALITY CHECKS: Citibank checking customers who have under $1,500 in their accounts could soon face a $90 annual fee.

But one Citi manager admitted the extra fees will be a tough sell, and likely will send many of his less-well-off customers to rival banks.

"Some are regular working folk who are trying hard to make ends meet and to pay their bills," said the manager. "Fifteen hundred dollars is a lot of money. Many don't have that kind of balance in their accounts."

Fees are lucrative to banks. Pulling an extra $90 a year from its customers' pockets may not seem like a lot of money to a bank, but multiply it by thousands of accounts and the dollars quickly add up.

"When this is aggregated, it can be highly significant," said James McNulty, a finance professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

And if Citi finds that customers don't flee, other banks might be tempted to copy it, said Peter Cohan, a management consultant. "If it turns out that this bank makes a lot more money from the move, other banks will start to do the same."

But some of the more "customer-oriented" of the nation's 8,500 banks may be tempted to attract new business simply by advertising the fact they do not charge maintenance fees, Cohan said.

He also warned that the Obama White House would not look too kindly on banks "trying to squeeze pennies out of the poor."

With the rise of "free checking" offers, most bank customers pay very little in bank fees. About 70 percent of consumers spend $3 or less in monthly fees for checking account maintenance and ATM access, the American Bankers Association says.

And 56 percent pay nothing. That's up from 52 percent in 2008, the ABA's survey found.

Citibank's move to boost fees comes as two of its main rivals, Bank of America and Chase, are taking an opposite tack, by curbing charges for overdrawn accounts.

Bank of America recently announced it would simply stop imposing fees on customers who overdraw their accounts by less than $10. It's also limiting the number of fees for individual overdrafts to four per day.

Chase is eliminating overdraft fees on debit cards unless customers opt in. Customers who agree to the fees will be allowed to overdraw their accounts; those who do not agree to the fees will be declined if they try to overdraw their accounts.

Chase will also stop charging fees when accounts are overdrawn by less than $5.

The changes come as Washington lawmakers push proposals to eliminate what critics say are unfair bank charges and fees.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

My Yelps

Snowpacolypse 2010

So I survived the Snowpacolypse of 2010, as it has been referred to. Didn't do much of anything over the entire week off. Ate lots of food. Spent some time with friends. Did a little tiny bit of sledding and watched LOTS of movies.

Keenan and I made a pallet on the floor Saturday and ba
sically stayed there, less work, for the week.

I enjoyed the snow storm
/blizzard. There was a lot being said on the news of people experiencing cabin fever and going stir crazy, I was not among them. I found it very peaceful to stay in the apartment and watch the snow accumulate outside. Of course I also live in DC, so if I really needed to go somewhere, 7-11, grocery store, restaurant, bar...I could walk. I wasn't snowed in perhaps the same way people in the suburbs were. I could have stayed in for another week.

Also not a bad work week. Went to work today, Friday 02/12/2010, and now I have a three day weekend. :) Can't beat those hours.

I did get to go out and enjoy the snow as much as I wanted to. It was a lot more fun when I didn't really have to leave a few block radius from my apartment. Coming to work today was not as much fun. The streets are a mess, you can't really get from one side to the other and not a lot has been shoveled. Getting to and from a bus is not enjoyable.

But I wouldn't trade the week of snow for the inconvenience its created getting to work today.

They say Monday night we may get another 3-6 inches of snow. Curious to see how that plays out with the mess we already have on the ground. Another delayed start on Tuesday? We shall see.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Last Weekend of Summer

This weekend Claire and I went up to Front Royal to spend some time with my Dad and KC and to get out of the city. We went up Sunday afternoon and let Monday afternoon. Spent some time on the Shenandoah River and did a lot of eating and drinking!! We also saw my Dad and KC's new place out by Skyline Drive. We did a little hiking and I took this picture of Claire and Champ together. If you look at the Mountain in the background you can see a section where there are no trees. That is Skyline seen from their new place.
Anyway...I had a really nice time and I think Claire did as well. I hope I can get back out there again while the weather is still warm ans get in one more swim this summer.
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Spiders Freak Me Out

I was up in Front Royal this weekend to visit my Dad and Step-Mom and while we were playing this string golf game I went to set my drink down and sawe the biggest, brightest colored spider I have seen so far in my life. Apparently it's of the "garden variety." At any rate...spiders freak me out but I had to get a picture of this one. It was pretty cool looking. It has 8 legs but the are grouped together in sets of two making it almost seem less spider like.
By looking at the picture to the left here, you can see the body in the center and then 4 yellow legs coming off the body forming an "X". Under each of the yellow joints there is another full size black leg behind it.
It was a really odd looking spider...and I figured I would share it with who ever actually reads my never updated blog.
If you can see the zig-zagging white under the spider...that's actually how it weaves the center part of its webs.
Pretty interesting spider and generally spiders freak me ouy!
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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bye Monroe Street

It's been a while since I have posted a blog. Been so busy with work. Recently also found that I have to be out of my place by the end of this month (October), so that's another thing I don't really have time to deal with. If anyone knows of a good one bedroom place in DC let me know. Hopefully something that includes utilities. Well, almost time for Desperate Housewives.....awesome show.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Summer Sessions 2

Keenan and DJane at Summer
Sessions 2.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Renegade outlaw smokers......

Against the city's proposal to ban smoking in all business places? Then check out BAN the BAN
I have to admit I am against banning smoking in bars and clubs. Restaurants...I could deal with, but put me in an environment where I am drinking and I better be allowed to smoke. There, in my opinion, is an easy way to settle this. Open bars that are no smoking or clubs that cater to this growing population. I don't care if people don't smoke, they do way more irritating things like chew loudly, snap their gum, get "hot and heavy" in public....why not ban that? True it may not be life threatening but it does cause me mental anguish. Doesn't that count for something?
Earlier I mentioned I might not be opposed to anti-smoking restaurants and here's why. Children under the age of 18 usually don't have much say over where they sit when dining with their parents. I do find it morally unjust to allow them to sit in a smoking section because their parents smoke. I usually find myself unable to light up in a restaurant when I have an infant sitting a couple tables away. When I see both parents light up it is disturbing to me and I still can't bring myself to do it. I will generally wait until after dinner and then head outside for a smoke. That's the reason I would not flat out oppose smoking in restaurants, but really.....when is the last time you saw anyone under the age of 18 in a bar or club? Especially in the infant to toddler range?

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