Saturday, December 23, 2006

Five things

Helen Boyd tagged me for the "Five Things You Don’t Know About Me" meme. Of course, the answers really depend on who "you" is, as she pointed out. But very few people know these things about me.
  1. I was skinny until I was seven years old. Then I discovered food was good.
  2. I earned eleven merit badges when I was Boy Scout.
  3. I have never had a stitch in my body.
  4. The middle toe on my left foot is shorter than it should be.
  5. I hate peanut butter.
Pretty boring, huh?

Plat du jour

A bridge player? Or maybe backgammon?

Not even if you have your lights and siren on

LA Firetruck Collides With Train
Lesson to firefighters: you don't have the right of way over a train.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another '60s rocker dies

Denis Payton, of the Dave Clark Five, has died. The DC5 was one of the earliest groups in the "British Invasion," arriving in the U.S. shortly after the Beatles in 1964. It was one of my favorites back then--though their music never progressed the way the Beatles' or the Rolling Stones' did. Just recently the band was chosen to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Payton's death makes me sad, even beyond the loss of someone who helped me learn to like rock 'n' roll. He died of cancer at 63--just the same as my father. And it won't be that long before I'm 63. It's a bit scary, actually.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bravo American Express!

A while back I posted an article about how I was getting an American Express Blue Cash card to replace my Discover. I was hoping that I'd no longer be getting so many calls from the fraud prevention department when I just used my card in my normal manner. My hopes have been realized. In fact, I haven't gotten a single call from American Express about my usage. It's wonderful!

But I have had one concern about my new card. My credit limit was lower--only 71% of my Discover limit. This could be a problem: I have about 7.5 weeks' charges outstanding when I usually pay my bill (electronically, always in full), two business days before it's due. I knew I had been using it a lot lately, so I went online to check my balance. Sure enough, I had used up well over half my limit, and there were still two weeks to go before I had to pay my bill. It was probably OK, but I didn't want to take a chance on going over--so I figured I'd make a partial payment now.

Then I noticed a link on the screen: "Request a credit increase." I went there, and they asked only two things: What limit did I want, and what is my household income. I asked for a 50% increase (making it a bit higher than I had with Discover), and put in the income figure (actually, I had to go and check my tax return, and adjusted it to only include the money we'll be getting in the future--there were some large non-recurring items last year). Then I hit enter, and got a confirmation page. The figures were what I wanted, so I clicked the submit button.

I expected to get a message saying they'd consider it and let me know. Instead, they said my request was approved, and my new limit would be available for use within 15 minutes! Now that's good service.

Sunday, December 17, 2006