Friday, September 23, 2011

Fire the Policy Makers

Totaling up the market movements in my accounts this morning I discovered that I lost more money in a single day yesterday than the entire principal that I've paid on the mortgage all year long! And I pay double the mortgage minimum every month.

It is time to fire the people making economic policy decisions. Start with Bernanke. Then it should be Timmy at Treasury. Every congressman at the fed and state level that proposes more tax increases and spending boondoggles. Cap it all off with firing the president for lack of leadership.

It sucks to be anything but a ward of the state any more. Is that the plan?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

EnergyWise from Progress Energy

It got hot in the house today, and it's all because the power company turned off my air conditioner. When it started going over 88 I began to wonder if it was time to give them a call.

What happened is my A/C has a box on it that allows the power company to cycle it off when needed, and apparently today was a day they needed to manage their power generation a little more closely.

It's called EnergyWise and what it does is cycle the air conditioner up and down in 15 minute increments so that the total demand for power across the grid is lowered, and they don't have to fire up additional power plants or turbines or whatever to make more electricity. I get $25 a year back by allowing them to do that and so far it's worth it.

The cycling ends by 7 pm, so I just went out to dinner with friends. When I got home everything was nice and cool just the way I'm used to.

I also have the Time-Of-Use meter. Basically it records when power is used, so daytime power costs a lot more than evening and weekends. That just means running the dryer outside of peak daytime hours. That saves me $45 or so a year, and that more than paid for the dinner tonight at a nice cool restaurant.

My friend complimented me on working towards ecologically responsible use of resources. I laughed! It was more about saving money in so many ways with only minor inconveniences that it was worth it.

FWIW: I worked for Progress Energy for a grand total of 9 days and took a serious disliking to them after that. Learned a few things since then though.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Super 8

Just watched Super 8 and it's really good. The writing is original campy, the kids are likable and the filming is tremendously period looking. Go see this in the theater if you get a chance because I don't think it will transfer well to digital.

Movie Page

Saturday, July 02, 2011's Attitude

Just saw that my subscription has renewed on the credit card, and once again I'm reviewing why I have stayed with them and why I continue to allow them to take my money.

My general opinion of, the company, is that they suck. They try to strike the Apple attitude of "This is what we are giving, you are commanded to like it, and if you don't like it then you are stupid". Seriously, that is what they think.

They do not care what the paying customer has to say. For instance, they took away a feature some time back. When I sent them an email asking them about it, the reply was "We have already discussed this, we are not going to put it back, ever, you will like the new stuff we have coming soon." That was the actual reply without the flowery stuff in there.

Prior to them poisoning the well with me, I had read an interview of CEO in the Wall Street Journal. At that time I was pretty high on them, but after hearing his re-written history of the start of the company I started to worry. It wasn't that a few things were fudged, it was that it was downright lies about how the company came to be. I disagreed with their political birth but they had moved well beyond it by that time. So for the CEO to tell outright falsehoods told me that this was a company that was not to be trusted, they would say or do whatever got them what they wanted, and that they would hide relevant information from you and lie to your face. Danger, money will be lost if you invest in them!

And finally, why the hell is it that when I log out of they log me out of Facebook too? Seriously, what is that all about? Sounds like shoddy programming to me, plus the fact that it's still there after more than a year shows they don't care to fix it.

Now, what can I do about reversing / challenging that credit card billing?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ocracoke, NC

Visited Ocracoke island on the Outer Banks this past weekend. It was okay, but if I have to give it a short description it would be: Nice quiet place, but the locals do not smile much or friendly and the tourists are mostly married young couples or lesbians, each of which are in their own worlds. It's expensive beyond reasonable for a tourist town. Rating: 1 star.

However, a big bright point seems to be Manteo and area. When we drove through there a local waved and smiled at us as we passed. And kept waving and called his wife over to wave too through the rear view mirror. They want us to come visit, so I'm going back!