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Monday, February 05, 2007

My final post on blogger

I've had enough of blogger.

The downtime, the slow updates, the lost posts, the lost blog, and now the forced update.

Well blogger, all I can say is "I'm going to the store to get a loaf of bread."

Of course I'm not done blogging.


EDIT: But Blogger has a new bug. When I try to put in a link to my new blog, it prefaces the URL with this blog's URL. The HTML code is showing it correctly, but blogger messed it up again. How fitting. I will add a link to my new blog on the sidebar as well, or you can type it in your address bar manually.

Coming Soon...

I just really don't like the new blogger very much.
I am trying to though. It's not my fault if it sucks.
Maybe I'm just being closed minded. But what's wrong with that? I mean, if you are right, why be open to change?
If you have set things up how you want them and then someone comes along and changes it, I don't see how that's a good thing.
Especially if they repeatedly ask you, you say no, and then they force the change.

I'm sure Google spent a lot of money working on it. I'm sure that they are proud of it. But what they don't seem to realize is that I am an asshole.

Coming soon...Jagular 2.0

Conversations at Work

Female Coworker #1: Nag, Nag, Nag, Bitch, Moan, bitch, moan, gripe, gripe, gripe, sizzle, spark, spark, SPIT! (stomps off in a huff)

Female Coworker #2: Whell...

Female Coworker #3: What's her problem?

Jagular: Y'all be nice. She's going through a tough time in a woman's life.

Coworker #2: What time is that?

Jagular: Thirteen to Thirty-five.

Oops, Blogger Finally Caught Me

Ok, so I've been altering cookies, backdoor bookmarking, storing funny caches, and hiding from google in general so they wouldn't make me update from the old blogger. But they finally caught me. The gig is up.
Blogger Beta has finally forced me to update.

And what I feared about it is all true.

I hate it.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Lost and Found

Lost: One blog. White with green borders, and has many words written on it. Last seen at this address.
If you have seen this blog anywhere floating around the web, please call or write to me. This blog is sick and needs it's medication.

The IPhone

Friday, February 02, 2007

Good News, Good News, and More Good News

Today is Good News day.

I have been waiting for my auto insurance to post to my account. It is set up for auto deduction or I would never pay it. It finally posted overnight and it was twenty five dollars less than normal. So I went to the website and my rate has been lowered because of how long I have been there. So that twenty five dollars is going into the snowball. happy dance

I am up to 63 wins and 0 losses on Windows Freecell. My new record for a 100% streak.

I recalculated my debt payoff schedule and I am 0.7 paydays ahead of the original schedule due to increased snowball size, larger than expected income tax check, and brownbagging it to cut spending. And that is including having had the extra expense of my mother-in-law's surprise party for her birthday (I was just as surprised as she was. I just knew it would break our budget, but it held together after all.)

I got an email from my muse this morning. She said that she will come to visit me soon. So hopefully I can get my creativity started back again. My book has been sitting there gathering dust for lack of creativity. So has the website I've been working on. My brain has been lying dormant since just before Christmas. I need to coordinate my brain's availability and my work schedule to coincide with the muse's visit so that maybe I can get some things done around here.

The groundhog saw no shadow today. So there should be an early spring. So that's definitely good news.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Alternative News

Troy, Michigan: The Hooters restaurant wanted to move to a better location. They bought an old run down tavern and spent a million dollars to renovate it. But then the city council declined their request to transfer the liquor licence. They said that because they were trying to promote the Big Beaver commercial district as an upscale shopping area, they didn't want to have another Hooters in town.
So now the old location won't close until the new one is able to sell beer. And the new location draws enough customers even though there is no alcohol served. So the law of unintended consequences has struck again. Instead of getting rid of the Hooters Restaurant, they now have a second location.
Calls to city council members were not returned and Hooters executives declined comment due to pending litigation.

However, a friend of mine in the Thai Food Store had this to say:

Two Hooters is good. Any man find two Hooters is make very happy. Maybe they start Thai food store in Michigan. Then every man go there. Have a Thai food with big beaver and two hooters. Is make very happy man in Michigan.

Credit Card Ambivolence and Other Meaningless Drivel

How many credit card offers do you get in the mail in any given month?
I get a lot. I usually get between three and five of them per day. I think that is a lot. Credit cards don't bother me a whole lot. I have never been much of an impulse shopper. Yes, I know my balance is high. It's the highest it's ever been. But I also have a high income, so it's not really that bad. The balance on my credit cards has never been much more than a tenth of my annual income. I don't think that's too high.
I know that there have been a lot of people who have gotten in some pretty serious credit card debt, so that is what worries me. It seems like one of those things that kind of creeps up on you.
I know I could opt out of prescreened offers for credit, but I never have. I actually enjoy getting credit card offers in the mail. I read the terms that they offer, too.
That's how I got such good cards. I have a different card for different needs. I have one that is zero percent interest on purchases. I have one that is zero percent interest on transfers. I really like one of the banks who gave me a credit card. Every month on your online statement they tell you your credit score and also what you can do to improve it. So I see my transunion score every month for free. It also keeps a chart so you can see which way it is headed. I was amazed at how wildly mine is bouncing around. There's about a fifty point range that it keeps jumping all over.
But my favorite CC is Amex. My Amex is a really good deal. Zero percent on everything, plus 1% cash back, and they gave me twenty five dollars and a high interest savings account to sign up. Plus I can carry a balance on it, even though it's one of the green ones, and then it's still at zero percent. That's the CC that I don't feel guilty about using, because I pay it off on payday and it's cheaper than cash, because of the cash back.
And since impulse buying isn't really my weakness, it doesn't bother me.

What bothers me the most about credit cards is that they are so eager to get your business. That means that they know that they will make their money back in the long run. For example, when you pay for something with a credit card, they charge the vendor a percentage and then they turn around and charge you interest. So they win twice. Even the Amex that I use charges the vendor, and I heard that Amex charges the most fee to the vendor out of all the CC's.

So I've been feeling a bit ambivolent lately about credit cards.
On the one hand, they make things really easy when it comes to managing my finances.
If I need to make a major purchase I can do so without having to have that much cash. So if my AC went out or I needed a new roof on my house I could handle it.
But on the other hand, I really hate being in debt. Even if all of my debt were interest free I would still hate it.

I haven't cut up all of my credit cards like most of the financial advice people tell you to do, mostly because I still intend to build a house, and I want my credit score to be as high as possible. I admit that I don't know as much about credit scores as I should. My Transunion score goes from about 710 to 760, depending on how much balance I am carrying on my debt. Right now it's 720.
My understanding is that that is a good score. I expect that as I pay everything off over the next few months it will go higher.

Does anyone know how high of a credit score I should have if I plan on buying some acreage and building a house? I plan on saving for a year of two first and putting a good chunk of money down on it. Is there a "magic number" that the banks want your credit score to be for you to get a preferable rate? I don't know what my other credit scores are, because I am waiting until after it's been a year since I checked them so that I can check them for free.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bon Voyage, Karina

Have a wonderful flight, Karina. Not only do you get two daytimes today, you also get two summers this year.
Dress warm, be safe, and don't abuse the Poms too badly.


Lulugal: A PF-blog by Lulu (with technical support by Kevin).
I'm pretty fond of this blog because...well...they linked to me first.
Frequently updated about financial issues, well thought out content, excellent links throughout the blog. My favorite PF blog.

Tax Status

Your tax return was accepted by the IRS on 1/29/07
Your refund should arrive by 2/13/07

CC#3, your days are numbered...

Sidebar Update

I added some new links on the sidebar to the blogs I read.

Ice Princess: Cami from Save Karyn is getting out of debt. And getting married. Good job, and congratulations.

Frannie Farmer: A very refreshing blog from Frannie the farmer. Complete with good old-fashioned common sense. An absolute must read.

Jones: The blackdog is back. But this time he's a bit more slow walkin'.

Lulugal: A PF-blog by Lulu and Kevin.
I'm pretty fond of this blog because...well...they linked to me first.
Frequently updated about financial issues, well thought out content, excellent links throughout the blog. My favorite PF blog.

Date Night

Last night was date night.
Ah yes, the key to a happy marriage.
My brother came out to the house to play the Nintendo WII watch the kids, and Shelley and I went out on a good old-fashioned date.
She looked so pretty all dressed up. She even wore her pearls.

We hadn't figured out where we wanted to go. The point of going isn't so much the where as it is the going. We decided to go out to dinner.

"Do you want to go to Outback Steakhouse?" she asked.
She knows I like that place. That's why she suggested it. I'm not sure she cares too much for it. She was never really one for a good steak. But this is the game we play. Let's go to the place you like...no, let's go to your favorite this time...how about a different place that you like...and finally we will come up with a place.
So I just told her. Just pick any place that you would like to go and we can go there. (Oh, please don't let her say Chinese.)
So she said that what she has really been wanting lately has been.....are you ready for this one?

The International House of Pancakes. Otherwise known as IHOP.

So for our date night we went out for pancakes.
We were seated very quickly, which was surprising. I expected the pancake house to be overflowing at 7PM. They gave us each a menu, which was pretty neat.
And then came the task of figuring out what to order. That was pretty tough. I mean, there are so many different good breakfast items that how can you make up your mind. I ended up ordering an omellete and then Shelley proceeded to pull a mind-fuck on the waitress.

It's really a site to see, her mind-fucks. And trust me, she is a pro. The key is to keep changing things, from what I can tell. And substituting. And making the waitress explain how things are cooked.
Have you ever ordered your eggs deviled? How about ordering your eggs with raw toast, and when they ask how you want them cooked say that you would like them boiled, mashed, and mixed with mayo. (Egg salad sandwich)
In the end she (accidentally?) ordered two meals. To be fair, she ordered two small meals to make up one bigger one.

I swear, I love this woman more and more every single day.

And what I really love about her is not just her mind-fucks. She actually gets my jokes, and that's pretty cool. She even gets my references, which to me is just plain scary on so many levels.

I often will quote some obscure movie or text in the course of my conversations. Not to make a point, as in I am citing a reference here to backup my position but rather to include a quote in our conversation such that the other person never even realizes that I have just quoted someone.

Here is a recent example:
Shelley: Why did you put a picture of a castle on your blog?
Jag: I just thought it was cool that some guy built himself a castle.
Shelley: Why is that cool?
Jag: Can you build a castle?

And of course, this is a reference to the 1935 movie Curly Top, starring Shirley Temple.

Elizabeth (Shirley Temple): Oh, my duck does a wonderful trick. My duck can lay an egg.
Mrs. Higgins: And just what is so wonderful about that?
Elizabeth: Well, can you lay an egg?

Which, of course, Shelley picked up on immediately and commented right back at me.

In the end, the waitress forgot to turn our order in to the cook, and we were almost an hour just getting our food. We never fussed or complained. The manager came and apologized and then we eventually got our food and had a great time overall.
They discounted the meal by fifty percent, so we paid $13 and some change.
Not too bad, after all that.

Monday, January 29, 2007

An Inconvenienter Truth

We've all heard the news. The earth is getting warmer. Man has released so much pollution that the greenhouse effect is trapping the heat from the sun to the point that the average temperature is rising. In a couple of hundred years the only habitable place on the planet may be antarctica. We all have to stop driving SUV's so our grandchildren will have a chance to live. Left unchecked, the polar ice caps will melt, raising the ocean levels to the point that they will flood most of North America.

I call bullshit.

Now where do I get off calling bullshit to such a well established fact as global warming? Well, quite frankly, because it is all more or less a bunch of bullshit.
I would like to just go through some of the more established facts about global warming.

Let's start with something basic. Let's start with the fact that global warming exists. I have looked at the numbers. The average temperatures across the world are, in fact, increasing. Or at least they used to be. Except that the average temperature hasn't actually increased since 1998. To the contrary they have decreased. I'm sorry, but it's true. However, the decrease is very small. I've been out of college for quite a while now, and I don't feel like brushing up on the degree of change that would constitute statistical significance, so I will just assume for argument's sake that the degree of decrease is insignificant, and ignore the decrease altogether. So then, the temperature is now at least holding steady. Why isn't this in the newspapers then? Good question.

How about this one: Global warming is caused by pollution. It's a very basic premise of the whole global warming issue. Again, bullshit. If you examine the amount of pollution that man is responsible for and compare it to the amount of pollution that natural events (volcanos, forest fires, cow farts, etc) cause, the results are obvious. It's absolute bullshit. This becomes even more evident when you take into account the fact that the warming trend predated the rise in carbon dioxide levels by a hundred years.

But the greenland glaciers are shrinking. That's my favorite. When Greenland was first discovered in the 900's AD, it was, in fact, green. It was even quite lush. Many of the glaciers in question didn't even form until the fifteenth century during what is commonly called the "Little Ice Age". We are actually on the heels of that same ice age. The earth has been warming ever since the fifteenth century. But it's not actually warming. It's just returning to normal after an ice age.

What about massive flooding throughout North America?
Yeah, whatever. That's nothing but pure propaganda in its worst form. Even Al Gore has admitted that he just put that crap in his movie for dramatic effect.

The actual truth is that the temperature of the earth is not constant. It fluctuates. Every twenty or thirty years some wise guy gets the idea that the earth is in trouble. Back in the seventies they were warning about the impending global cooling. We were all going to die in a new ice age. But before that, there was global warming. Back in the late thirties and early forties they were warning of global warming. That started in 1938. But before that, there was global cooling. In the late 1800's. In 1895 the New York Times was warning about global cooling and the impending ice age.

In the next hundred years more people will die from their ass is too fat than there will from global warming. Or global cooling. Or climate change in general.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A perfect presentation

Conversation at work:

Female coworker #1: Do you know what I like about Mr. Jackson?
Female coworker #2: His butt?
Female coworker #1: No, it's that he's really personable.
Female coworker #2: Oh. I thought you were going to say his butt.

Jag: That's what women like about me.
Coworker #2: What? Your butt?
Jag: Yeah. That and my waist.
Coworker #1: Now how on earth did you come to that conclusion?
Jag: I overheard them talking.
Coworker #1: And what exactly did they say?
Jag: Well, I heard these two ladies talking about me and they said they liked my butt and my waist.
Coworker #1: Did they now? What did they actually say?
Jag: Well, the first one said, "Will you look at that ass." And the other one said, "Yeah, I know. What a waist."

Ok, I know. It's an old one. But hey, it still worked. And I presented it perfectly.

Re: Marriage

Sometimes you are right,
And sometimes you are happy.

Just a thought.

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