Good idea?

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Well, I am not sure what to make of it, but the early indications are positive. I decided at the end of December to try something new and dabble in a little something I don’t know much about. I decided to “invest” in digital currency, or cryptocurrency, or virtual currency.

It’s not a large investment because I wanted to see how it works and just kind of dip my toes into it. Because of the high volatility of cryptocurrency, I am a bit leery of the stuff but at the same time kind of intrigued by it. As such, the time and money and opportunity all seemed to come together.

I have money that goes into a PayPal account that just kind of sits there. The long and short of it is that the money is basically “free money” that I get each month from resources that I published online while I was a teacher. I get sales from that each month and the amount varies widely based on the number of items purchased. So, there is a lump of “cash” sitting in the account mostly doing nothing. I could transfer it my regular bank account, but why? I look at it as a blind account for a rainy day.

Anyway, at the end of December I saw that PayPal was going to offer the ability to purchase digital currency. So, I decided to take a small-ish amount of that lump and see what happens. There isn’t a need to have access to that money, really, so it is mostly a long term investment.

I bought some Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the most popular forms of digital currency. Why these two? Well, from what I can gather they are also the most stable – as far as that goes.

Anyway, I put $90 into Bitcoin and $20 into Ethereum. At that point, I was a very small, fractional, owner of the currency. Exciting right? Not really. When you look at the amount per share it is less than thrilling. One share is worth $55.4k at the moment. So, I own all of 0.00339408 for my $90 investment. Cool, right?

Well, that is the interesting part. For my original investment of $110, I now have a chunk of “cash” that sits at just under $242 (at time of publishing). I have more than doubled that little toe dip in just under two months. Is that a good return? I would say so, but at the same time it could go right back down to where I started in a heartbeat so I am not getting real excited.

BUT, I can certainly see why there are lots of people so enticed by this idea. Buy in, watch it go up, sell at a higher price. If you’re talking in BIG dollar amounts, this would make total sense. In fact, Elon Musk (he’s kinda bright, right?) just sunk $1.5 billion into Bitcoin from his Tesla company at the beginning of the month. He was looking to create more capital by leveraging Bitcoin. Seems it worked since the price has shot up since he invested.

I am not making or giving any financial advice, by any means. However, I am curious if there are any others out there that have ventured into these relatively unknown waters and what their experience has been.

Hit me up in the comments and let me know what you think. Good idea? Bad idea? Had good or bad success yourself?

Sticky situation

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Warning labels can only go so far. Warning labels exist because people are stupid. Warning labels can’t possibly tell you all the things you are NOT supposed to do because the label isn’t big enough, the packaging would be horrendous, and no one can think of all the stupid stuff you shouldn’t do. Truth be told, if you see something stupid on the warning label it is because someone actually did it. No kidding.

People still need to use common sense. I realize the stuff is in short supply these days, but we really really gotta have people think before they do stuff.

So, I am sure by now you have heard the Gorilla Glue incident. I don’t know about you, but I have been glued to it since I heard about it. I have read every story I can get a hold of. The tears of laughter just spray from my eyes because I can’t believe the ridiculousness of it all.

If you haven’t of it, good job not paying attention to what is going on in the world! Ignorance is bliss, so they say.

Anyway, I think the lesson here is that you can get into a pretty sticky situation if you let your vanity get in the way of common sense. You’re going to get stuck with something you didn’t expect. And once the consequences hit, you’re probably going to come unglued.

All right, I’ll stop.

It isn’t nice to make fun of stupid people. But it sure it fun!

Sales?

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Anyone else feeling like the Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales are a little lacking this year?

I haven’t found anything that I have said, “Oh, I gotta get that cuz it’s a great deal!” Seriously. The sales are kinda disappointing this year.

Considering that most people will be shopping online, it’s felt a little underwhelming. I know there have been lots of calls to “support local” and I would like to do that too, but gift cards (or cash) sure seem rather impersonal and not real exciting.

I have been looking for three very specific items and only one (general category) has good sales. Of course, the item will also have (typically) good sales again in two months for the Super Bowl so it isn’t like I have to rush right out and get something.

The other items I am keeping an eye have either not had a markdown at all (Ryobi leaf blower), or the markdown was so piss poor (Sonos sound bar) that it was hardly worth the purchase (not even 10% off!!). So, I will continue to wait on those items too. Nothing exciting or anything to feel good about at the moment.

Has anyone found anything that excited them or enticed them to buy?

Tell me about your exciting purchase in the comments, or give me a recommendation of a sale you think is worth getting excited about.

Paranoia

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I went to Costco this last Sunday. It was a regular trip for me. Nothing of immediate need and I was actually going to do some research on a possible big purchase.

It just so happens that this was also the day the moron of a governor was announcing his new mandates for the next foreseeable future. Those mandates would go into effect the following day, or the day after. Lockdown Part Deux.

Anyway, it seems others who were visiting Costco that day were simply there to buy toilet paper and paper towels again. REALLY? Gosh you people are stupid. Panic buying.

Oh, and the panic was on the outside of the building too. The line, in the wind and rain, to get into the fricking place was the entire length of the building. Also, the sheep were wearing their masks while standing outside in the wind and at least six feet apart.

Apparently the fear is so great or they have now been so conditioned to wear the mask that they don’t even mind wearing it outside in the fresh air! Gosh you people are stupid.

Well, I was the only person in line that I could see that wasn’t complying with the mask thing. I stood there, with my mask off, will I got right up to the door. Yes, I will wear it inside (though I don’t really like it) to help others and also help businesses stay open. I am not going to intentionally get people in trouble (well, at least not yet…).

I just couldn’t believe all the stupidity on display. Actually, I guess nothing really surprises me. No, actually, there are still things that surprise me. I guess this was one of them.

How quickly people let the paranoia set in and control the.

Shop

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Is this normal? Asking for a friend…

No, not to shop. Everyone shops. It’s something that is probably done at least once per week, if not more. I get that.

But, what I am wondering is if it is normal for someone to go shopping and then ask if anyone in their family (not immediate, but extended) needs anything? Not just once, but every store you are running to for errands that day?

Three stops. Each one had the question posed to family. Different family members want us to pick up stuff for them at these three different locations?

Would this irritate you? It does me, obviously.

I am not out to shop for other people. I am not a service. I am not running it around to you and I am not going to store it for you until you have time to pick it up. I don’t care if you are family or not, I don’t wanna do it, especially if you are physically capable of doing it!

Small exception: While we were in lockdown and the older parents were afraid to go out in public, I made an exception here. I fully understood and supported this.

Not the case now.

Irritating AF. I guess that is my lot in life. First world problem, I know. But still. I’ll take care of my own crap and they can take care of their own…now if someone else in the house, er, I mean, that friend I was asking for could catch the drift…

Cravings

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How do they work? Why do they work? Eh, forget that. I don’t really care. Well, mostly not really.

So, normally my cravings are the pretty standard fare – pizza, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, hamburgers, chips, etc. All stuff that is great when it is in your mouth, but not so much for your health. Ya’ll feel me here, right?

Anyway, I was at Costco the other day and I walked into the cooler area where they keep the veggies and fruits. It is a place that gets visited on a typical grocery trip to Costco so it wasn’t any new or special. I am familiar with the layout and what is typically in there.

But, I’ll tell ya what, for some reason the GIANT box of big green grapes caught my attention and I had to buy them. I had this sudden craving for grapes. The unusual part is that I don’t normally buy them. The box is too big. They don’t all get eaten before they go bad. I am not really even that especially fond of grapes. Sure they’re good, but they aren’t anything I would go out of the way for, say like I would for pizza or a burger.

I shelled out the money and brought them home.

I have eaten almost the entire box myself, over the course of just under a week. Say what???? I have never done that before! Why the sudden craving for grapes?

Anyone have some insight on cravings? What do you crave, and do you know why?

Refi update

house money capitalism fortune

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Big banks suck!

I already knew this, you already know this, but didn’t have a say in the matter upon initial purchase of the house. We have been through three refi’s with Chase Bank over the last 7 years and none of them were this bad. There was, of course, some jumping through hoops but nothing too out of the ordinary. In the past they have been relatively painless to work with, until now.

My last update on the refi I spoke of the communication issues and bumbling of the person I was working with. It continued. It didn’t get better and the more I complained about it the less communicative they got.

Anyway, I submitted all the docs the required from the start. Things are moving along. They get communication issues and then want to have me submit more docs that were never asked for the previous three times we refi’d. Um, what? Oh, and then the also wanted signed statements about things from the past they never asked about previously too. Um, no. Not gonna do it since they were not relevant then and they aren’t relevant now.

When they said the refi couldn’t go forward until the documents were submitted I protested. Nothing has changed in the last two years (that was the last refi) and really all they needed to do was get some updated financial statements. Nothing else they wanted pertained to the situation. But, they said they needed these because of “law changes.”

Um, what law changes? Neither person I spoke to could say specifically. They just kept repeating it – because that’s how society works these days…if you repeat it enough, it become “true.”

**Note, I had begun the process with a different bank at this point and they haven’t asked the questions Chase Bank was asking, so “law changes” my ass…**

So, I told them to cancel the application since it wasn’t going to move forward. That’s when their disclosure about the “good faith” deposit stole my $500. Because I didn’t submit documents they were requesting and because I cancelled the application, not because they declined me, they had the right to keep my money.

Essentially, that means the bank could literally ask you for anything and if you don’t comply they keep your money. I see how it is, Chase. You got me. My bad.

So, in essence, the bank contacted me about a refi to lower my rates. I jumped through the immediate hoops thinking it would be simple since I am already a current customer, and then they jacked the process to make it unreasonably difficult.

Looks like the bank robbers ride again!

I would advise not doing business with Chase Bank. Ever.

 

Backwards

neon signage

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Going backwards? Strange concept in the times we live, but it I think it bears asking since we have set ourselves up for it…

Given the situation with Covid-19, is the public (general population) going to accept going backwards when it comes to a “disinfected” shopping experience? Or are employees going to be OK with going back to the way it was before? Are government services going to be restored and go back to business as usual? Because germs and disease existed before this whole thing and they will continue to exist after as well.

So, some questions?

Is everyone OK with the removal of the plexi-glass cages cashiers are now in? They protect the public and the cashier, so are they going to stay?

Is everyone OK with discontinuing the disinfecting of each and every shopping cart? Again, it gives the perception that the business cares about it’s shoppers. Is that not important after the threat of Covid-19 has dissipated? What about the flu and other infectious bacteria/viruses?

Is everyone OK with going back to full capacity seating in restaurants?  More people packed into a small space is good, right?

Is everyone OK with door handles, counter-tops, and self-serve check out stands not being cleaned after each use?

Is everyone OK with standing inside of six feet of other customers, shoppers, employees, co-workers, supervisors, non-family members, etc?

I am being the devil’s advocate here because, of course, we are going to go right back to the way it was right after this whole things is over and everyone has moved through the proper “phases of reopening.” Right? Back to “normal.”

But in doing so, we basically are going to say it is OK to go back to a society that allows for thousands of deaths each year from the flu. Or, we are going back to a society that expects less of the places we frequent because, well, it isn’t practical or cost effective to keep it up.

So, dirty and contagious it is. Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? If it was possible now, why not then. If it was possible now, why not continue it? It’s a lose-lose battle for consumers and businesses.

Happy back to normal! Eventually.

 

Better luck

man old depressed headache

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Projects. So much time for projects.

BUT, do you have a project you want/need to do but are putting off because you aren’t sure the results you’ll get are what you want?

Don’t you hate it when you work on something and you have it all laid out in your head but then it doesn’t turn out like you envisioned it? OR, maybe it doesn’t go the way you want and it ends up being more trouble than it was worth, falling into that “Better luck next time” category of tasks?

I had one last night like that latter of those two. A retractable screen door on the house needed to be fixed. The most expensive option was to just replace the thing and with a new one or the other option was to buy parts for half the original cost and attempt repairs with no instructional manual. There was a vote and I lost, so repairs it was.

After much grunting, Pissing and Moaning, and not so quiet mutterings under my breath, I got to the project last night after work. And it went about as well as I thought it would. It was more trouble than it was worth. I would have rather started over with a new setup, but there is now a semi-functional screen door again. It just doesn’t work like it did when I originally installed it…which was perfectly (if I do say so myself). Now, it will make due but its not operating as smoothly as it could be.

Oh well.

So, I ask, do you have any projects you are dreading to tackle? Or did you do a project you dreaded only to regret tackling it afterwards?

I’m curious.

Breakthrough

As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” You could also throw in his “Shazam!” or “Golly!”

There was a breakthrough. I am holding my breath, but at least there may be a payoff to my concerted effort and persistence.

Goal Zero finally responded to my customer service inquiry – only nine days after submission. Not with an answer I liked, but at least it was an answer.

And Ryobi, finally, after two hours on hold yesterday and then resorting to the “call back” (yeah, don’t fall for that ever…) option for no response. I called again this morning and after 20 minutes on hold, someone actually picked up!! They were very nice and got the process started for tool replacement via the warranty. Mind you, this was just the first step so there are still things on their end that they need to do, but I am hopeful. Hopeful that at least the process will now go the way it should have at the start.

Persistence. Patience. Bargain with the devil? Nah, I didn’t have to go that far, but I was contemplating the next step…a witch’s curse? Pentagram on the garage floor? Flaming sacrificial alter for burning the tools? There are a lot of options when you think about it.

Hopefully none of you out there are doing customer support. If so, know that you may not be safe from the dark world. As a matter of fact, maybe that is why I have had strange happenings in my home office…perhaps I have been cursed in my role for customer service…that might explain the strange goose-pimples at odd times of the day…

I’m out! I gotta go get my protection on.

man wearing gray and red armour standing on the streets

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