Monthly Archives: September 2005


Ladies & Gentlemen … It is my great pleasure to introduce to you … Mr. Riley Gibbs.

Riley is a brown tabby domestic short hair cat … about 5 years old.

He was adopted from PACT Humane Society at the Petsmart near Woodfield.

He is currently exploring his new domicile and figuring out where everything is.

[tags]cats, humanesociety[/tags]

Too Much Security

Well it’s finally happened … the folks at ING Direct have completely lost touch with reality.

They recently implemented a new security technique that makes it incredibly cumbersome and difficult to log in to their online account management system.

Not only do you have to enter your account number … and a randomly selected challenge question … but now you have to enter your PIN number as randomly selected characters that correspond to the digits of your PIN.

Don’t get me wrong … I’m all for online security … but this is taking it way too far.

I think ING Direct is just trying to push their customers away by making it increasingly difficult to access their online system. First they took away the ability for us to download account transactions directly into Quicken. Now this?

I think it’s time to find another online bank that offers good rates, but has more rational and realistic security policies.

[tags]banking, ING Direct, security[/tags]

Here Kitty kitty kitty

Ok, so this picture isn’t all that good (it came from my phone) … but you might be able to detect a small bundle of fur in Ginny’s arms. No, we didn’t get a cat … yet.

Ginny has been in a serious funk when it comes to furry four legged friends lately. We were contemplating getting a dog, but the amount of work required for canine maintenance just doesn’t seem like something we are willing to deal with.

So, after some discussions the last few days, we’ve decided to get another cat. We’ll probably adopt from PACT Humane Society in the next week or so.


The other day I, while getting ready for our trip to SLC, I came to a minor realization.

That realization was this: Our age is determined by the batteries we use.

Well, at least for me it is … let me explain:

  • When I was young, a lot of my toys needed D cell batteries.
  • As I got older, my toys needed C cell batteries.
  • Once I started getting closer to being a teenager, my toys (and other items) needed 9 volt batteries.
  • Once I became an adult, those items (not necessarily toys now) that need regular batteries used AA. I guess Lithium Ion and NiMH could be considered for this category too, but those don’t get replaced that often.
  • Once I get older … I suspect I will need much smaller batteries … for hearing aids & the like (My parents, who went to SLC also, clued me on this).

I noticed all this when I was packing things to take with me … my bluetooth mouse, hand held GPS, and small digital camera, all needed AA batteries … and I didn’t have enough. Of course, my cell phone (who’s battery is dyeing), laptop, Ginny’s IPOD Mini (she forgot the charger for it), and of course my car, all have Lithium Ion batteries.

Ok, I admit it … this was a pretty weird thing to pop into my head … and a funny thing to have as a ‘realization’. But heck, isn’t that what blog’s are all about? 🙂

Microsoft tries to recruit Eric Raymond

Seems that Microsoft is trying to recruit open source advocate Eric Raymond.

My favorite part of his reply to the MS recruiter is this:

I’d thank you for your offer of employment at Microsoft, except that it indicates that either you or your research team (or both) couldn’t get a clue if it were pounded into you with baseball bats. What were you going to do with the rest of your afternoon, offer jobs to Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds? Or were you going to stick to something easier, like talking Pope Benedict into presiding at a Satanist orgy?

Oh well … there are stupider people in the world.

IPod Nano

Ok, I know I told Ginny that I wasn’t going to get an IPod (after she got her IPod mini as an early birthday present) … but this IPod Nano looks pretty cool.

I had thought about getting an IPod Shuffle at one point … but I didn’t like the idea of not being able to control the song that is playing. This new entry in the IPod family looks like a good cross between the mini & the shuffle.

Of course $250 is a bit much to spend on a MP3 player … but who knows. Maybe the price will drop soon. 🙂

Return Processing Fee

I purchased some software from a few weeks ago … then I found it cheaper at a B&M locally.

I purchased the cheaper copy and tried to cancel the order on amazon… sadly, it was too late to cancel.

I requested a refund and got a shipping label.

As soon as the item arrived, I slapped the shipping label on the box and sent it right back.

I just got an email from amazon indicating they had processed my refund … here’s the refund breakdown…

The following is the breakdown of the refund:

Item Returned Item Refund 86.99
  Per Item Shipment Refund 0.99
Other Costs: Per Shipment Refund 3.99
Non-refundable Deductions: Prepaid Return Label -4.98
  Return Processing Fee -43.50
  Promotions -4.98
Refund Issued   $38.51

<THUD> (sound of jaw hitting floor)

I sent the software back to them unopened, in completely resalable condition … Needless to say, I immediately sent a message to requesting a full refund. If I don’t get the refund, I will contest the charge and refund with the credit card company. A 50% refund fee is absolutely unacceptable.

Update 12:00 — Amazon said the fee was a mistake … and they are refunding me the full amount of the purchase … including the shipping. Case closed.