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And now,.... the REST of the stories! - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
And now,.... the REST of the stories!

Since we're not going to have any Harvey Days for the rest of the year, I figured I'd pick up the slack;)

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over.  Earlier in this week, Old Credit Card Bank, now forever known as Hackeybank, sent Eleanor her new credit card on the account we were closing because it was paid off. 

Read that last sentence again. Yes, in this wonderful world of paperlessness, it was absolutely essential that we be in physical possession of a piece of plastic in order to regain online access to our information.  When it arrived, I tried to activate it over the phone, but the call quickly got routed to the Fraud Police and my Eleanor imitation isn't the best, so I hung up. She did it the next morning. Finally, Friday morning, I got online and achieved Balance Nirvana.  They'd posted our payoff, canceled the late fees and unauthorized charges, and in fact owed Eleanor a smidge over three dollars.  I think I will have her cash it at the local Hackeybank branch, get it back all in pennies, and then hurl them at one of their ATMs.

One final oddity is that the transaction history doesn't even show the bigger of the fraudulent charges; the only one that appeared (and got reversed) was a nine-dollar online purchase from a gaming site in  Berlin.  When we saw yesterday that much of Star Trek Beyond was filmed in Dubai, I wondered if some of our unauthorized charges there had gone into post-production or something.


Our Shorter, More Regional Nightmare Is Also Over. I got an email from the Water Authority a little before 1 p.m. yesterday that the county water in our area had passed its second required test following the big break in a main Wednesday night, and we no longer needed to boil water for drinking or cooking. The results were actually known several hours earlier, but they had nobody updating their website and their only social media option was Twitter. The whole thing was a clusterfuck from start to finish; and, surprise surprise, the Republicans in charge of the County Lej (and the resulting parade of patronage down to this place) had awarded the contract for Water Authority crisis management to a Donald Drumpf disciple who was away all week at the GOP Hatefest in Cleveland.


On the Brighter Side, though,.... We got our bikes yesterday. Well, ordered them; Eleanor's needs to be ordered in her choice of color and gear speeds, and mine has handlebars too big to have fit in the back of the car, so we'll get them probably Monday or Tuesday.  Turns out we'd each worked with the same salesperson on the different occasions we'd been in previously; I told him the story about how I wound up freecycling the old bike that would've been too expensive to fix. He got a kick out of it, but told us one of his own: a guy recently came in with an even older bike- a Raleigh English racer, probably from the 40s, covered in dirt. He wanted to get an estimate on if it could be brought back to life and for how much. When he got the answers- uncertain, and a lot- he gave up on the attempt, but one of their mechanics asked if he could try tinkering with it rather than having the guy kick it to the curb. He agreed and left it with them; Justin hadn't seen what (or even if) it would look like, but he had a lot of respect for the history in those handlebars and tyres and is hoping it will turn out well.

We saw one funny at the register unrelated to any of this: apparently there's a brand of bike accessory called CatEye.  That brought back an odd memory from our honeymoon in England.  We'd rented a car, and were tooling around somewhere up round Stoke, and we saw a sign looking something like this one:

Ewwwww!, we said. Eventually, we figured it out- as these LA Times readers finally did when an expat Brit explained it all:

The sign did not denote the presence of a mad scientist in the neighborhood, I was told, but the absence of reflector dots down the center of the road (probably removed during construction).

"At a distance, they create the same appearance as lights reflecting in a cat's eyes," wrote Arthur Gimson of Redondo Beach, "and are of tremendous help while navigating narrow, winding country roads."

In the dark and on the wrong side of the road? Once we finally saw some and realised what they were, you betcha:)

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bill_sheehan From: bill_sheehan Date: July 24th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congrats on successfully completing your refi.

I received a letter recently from MaxiMegaBankCorp telling me that I should refi my three-year-old note on La Maison Casa House, and I'd save a bundle. I wasn't planning on any such thing, but thought what the hell, I have time, let's hear what the nice people at MaxiMegaBankCorp have to say.

It turns out that despite a truly stellar credit rating, they won't let me refinance my mortgage. I have no income. Now, you'd think that my available funds plus the demonstrated ability to pay a larger amount now would tend to indicate that I could easily handle paying less, but no, the underwriters won't speak to me unless I have a monthly income.

Setting up an income stream from my 403b would put me into an unacceptably high tax bracket this year, eclipsing any savings I might enjoy from a slightly lower interest rate, so it's just not worth it.

Banking is a funny business...
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