Archive for October 15th, 2007

15
Oct
07

Good Deal: Punished

 

You know the expression “No good deed goes unpunished”? The same holds true for good deals. Almost without exception, there’s always a catch to that great deal you just got. And you usually do not discover that catch, glitch, or gotcha until after the fact. For various reasons, I have need to purchase a large safe. I dreaded doing it because safes can be pretty pricey and they are a pain in the butt. I know because I bought a smallish one before. The smallish one would fit in the back of my SUV, albeit testing the suspension system. Along with two neighbors and a few wheels, we were able to get into my house and secured. I did get nearly crushed during the event, but I lived with only ugly bruises and scrapes as evidence of my stupidity. When I knew that I had to get another one, paying somebody to deliver it and set it up in the house became the A plan.

About 2 weeks ago I fond the safe that I want and was getting ready to pay for it. The store manager sidles up to me and whispers in a conspiratorial fashion “can you wait a few days?” “I guess so. Why?” And he goes on to tell me how there’s around 30 safes in-bound to his store from all o fthe other stores and that there is going to be a big scratch and dent sale. I figure that it’s a safe and scratches aren’t really a big deal as long as the safe isn’t racked. He tells me that I most certainly will save a lot of money. What the heck? I show up at the appointed time and there are, indeed, about 30 safes in the back room. Some with light scratches and paint chips, some with giant scratches and whatnot. Nothing too bad… There are two buyers who worked for the chain back there pricing them and I explain that I am absolutely, positively buying one of these monsters right now, before I leave, make me a deal. One size bigger than I was planning (always a smart move), upgraded locking mechanism, and a very light scratch on the front and a chip on the top edge. There’s some bigger scratches on the back, but who’s gonna see the back??? I wind up getting a $400 discount and not having to pay sales tax (it’s for business use). I arranged for delivery. That’s when the punishment comes in.

$150 for delivery and set up of a safe is actually a pretty good price. And they set up the delivery for Monday (today) between 11 and 2. I felt a tingling sensation. I get a phone call telling me that one of their delivery guys hurt himself this weekend (hopefull, not delivering a safe) and that they would need to postpone the delivery. Expecting to hear something like I’ll have to wait for 3 days, it didn’t hurt so much when they said later on this afternoon. And then the thunderstorms rolled in. And, of course, I get a phone call telling me that they cannot deliver in the rain. “It’s actually stopped raining here.” “We cannot get the electronic mover wet or use it on a wet surface and it looks like more rain is coming.” “Which means that nothing I say is going to get that thing delivered today…” And now I am re-scheduled for tomorrow. And it will rain.

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15
Oct
07

David Carr’s Back

In exactly one game, ancient QB Vinny Testaverde, who took his first snap in the NFL before some active NFL starters were born, managed to get a win and exceed David Carr’s QB rating by almost 25 points (88.7 vs. 64.6). Testaverde now has at least one touchdown pass in each of his 21 seasons, extending his own record. Testaverde is 43 and can still man up. David Carr is 28 and still whines like a little child and complains about his back. Both are millionaires. Go figure. I know the phot shows him in Texans gear. However, it’s a position that Carr is all too familiar with, so I thought it was fitting.

15
Oct
07

My BCS Take

 

I think it sucks, too. If we had to crown a college football champion today, the game would be Ohio State versus South Florida. Yep. Ohio State sits on top of the BCS polls and has defeated exactly zero top 20 teams. And their schedule consists of exactly zero top 20 teams. Their current undefeated season does have wins against Youngstown State, Akron, Washington, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue (currently #23), and Kent State. South Florida, at #2 is a bit more impressive with wins against #17 Auburn and #5 West Virginia. However, they’ve sand-bagged a bit, too, with cream puffs like Elon, North Carolina, Florida Atlantic, and the University of Central Florida.

Playoffs, please.

15
Oct
07

Social Security Benefits

Kathy Casey-Kirschling is stepping out today to start a landslide. She’s the first baby boomer (born in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1946, at 12:00:01 a.m.), you know. She’s heading down to the Social Security office in her home town to sign up early for Social Security benefits. She’ll pull her first check in January. But there will 80 million more folks right behind her that will be starting to qualify for the next 20+ years. The first wave of 3.2 million baby boomers turns 62 next year — 365 an hour. About 49% of the men and 53% of the women are projected to choose early retirement and begin drawing monthly Social Security checks representing 75% of the benefit they’d be entitled to receive if they waited four more years to retire. In 2011, they’ll turn 65 and be eligible for Medicare. In 2012, those who didn’t take early retirement benefits will turn 66 and qualify for their full share. By 2030, Social Security’s caseload will be 84 million people, up from 50 million today. Medicare will go from 44 million beneficiaries to 79 million. That will leave barely more than two workers paying payroll taxes for every retiree.

I was born in 1964, the end of the boom. I have no illusions that I will ever see any of the substantial amount of money that I put into Social Security, ever. The money will be long gone, spent on some ridiculous government pork project. Truth be told, I don’t think the government has any business being in the role securing social welfare. I’ve saved, despite the boat anchor of Social Security taxes. Nope, the folks running around with blinders on, thinking that Social Security will carry them through their golden years, are just too stupid to see beyond the crap that politicians parade in front of them. Social Security is broken for a lot of reasons. It’s not going to get better. Think Hillary’s plan of raising the maximum taxed income level beyond its current $97.5k is going to help? Think again. If you are making that much money, you’ll never really see any benefits. You’ll just be funding the incapacity of everyone else who was too foolish to not prepare. I’m sure that will feel real good. But don’t worry, that money wont really be going straight to the folks on the dole. Nope. First, it will need to fund an ecological sustainability study on the one-armed, brown-speckled, shunt butt wiggler in North Dakota and then operate the Middle East peace mission (folks, there will always be a mission, there will never be peace, and we’ll always be paying for it…). Your government will have placed IOU’s in the coffers of Social Security so that they (politicians) can continue helping us.