Thursday, March 3, 2011

Too Much To List

At least the rain cleaned off my car.

Companion tickets for airline travel have long been a marketing ploy to get you hooked into specific credit card offers. These are traditional BOGOFREE (Buy One Get One Free) items but they come with a catch. The ticket is only good in specific inventories or fare classes. I have one from American Airlines and decided to attempt to use it but knew what would happen. Round trip airfare from Boston to Houston - Hobby for two tickets came out to $781.60 booked online with all taxes and fees. The same fare booked with an agent (required and $20 per ticket) amounted to $824.20. So using a “free” ticket actually cost more. No surprise.

The above are usually handed out with a credit card offer for 25,000 to 40,000 air miles which is what I am after. Sometimes you may get a pass to their executive club, companion tickets, money off coupons and so on but most are worthless. Just go for the air miles and don’t pay for the card - first year is usually fee free - then cancel out when they hit you with a fee. Impact on your FICO score is negligible. You can also negotiate at that point and I have had the fee dropped and been given 5,000 to 10,000 bonus miles. Remember the more you charge the more they make off merchants who have to pay a fee - all eventually passed on via higher prices.

Capital Planning Committee was well organized in their presentation and their recommendations. The condition of some of the equipment is beyond belief especially those fire trucks. This represents heavy use equipment in all sorts of weather conditions and the results become obvious.

Barney Fife department. A Girl Scout leader says young members of her troop thought they were headed to jail when a Georgia police officer told them to quit selling cookies.
The city's police chief and mayor spoke with the officer. They say he did nothing wrong and that it was a misunderstanding. The troop now has a permit to sell. And to smooth things over, the city is offering the girls a pizza party. Here is the real story. That cop was an idiot. Carrying a badge and having a gun does not make for common sense.

One of the big problems I have with overrides for education is the money goes into salaries and benefits.

The Gas & Electric fiefdom has budgeted $38,000 shutters. I guess they don’t shop at Lowe’s. Maybe they can un-budget it and put that 38K back to the ratepayers? Historical preservation is nice but lower rates are nicer.

So the stock market goes nuts and oil prices go through the roof over Libya. Libya produces about 2% of the world supply which is about what is probably spilled by tankers. The Saudi’s were on record as saying any loss of production from Libya would be made up by increased production from their fields yet that had no influence on the speculators.

Under funded pensions in the public sector amount to about 3 trillion.

A government shutdown is now possible but it is not a rare occurrence from what I have read. Been at least ten in the last 30 years with no shutdown of social security checks. Despite this Obama has said that may happen. Always count on scare tactics.

Teachers should be compensated to the best of the ability of a community but when the fiscal well has been tapped out then a certain reality must set in.

The Herald had an article about court officers having a second job by altering their schedule. Seems to be rather commonplace and many of the court officers are compensated in excess of a $100,000 a year. The pubic is becoming aware that there are now two classes of people - the public service elite and those who compensate them.

The GM of the Boston Celtic - Danny Ainge - shipped out about half his team at the trading deadline. The team is in first place and has the second best record in the NBA so this is a substantial risk. Check back in June for tar and feathers or sainthood.

I just can’t imagine a bigger political disgrace than Democratic legislatures fleeing rather than voting. You oppose a bill and do not have the support to stop it so you play hide and seek. If this happened in Massachusetts the Republicans would be perpetually on the lamb.

Soon the candidate night action will take place. Oak Point (Where every day is a tax free holiday) will have one sponsored by their extremely pro active vets group.

Those pesky Tea Party types have actually been serious about cuts and debt reduction. Seems that too many Democrats have now developed a status quo regarding the perfect storm with benefits and wages to the public sector.

The real action of those influenced by the Tea Party appears to be in the various state legislatures were the perpetually passing down of fiscal insanity has finally caught up. Cuts have to be made or taxes raised.

Have got tickets for the Red $ox games in Houston and Kansas City. I guess spring is here. Even made plane reservations for myself and my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - for KC using air miles. My wife will not attend games but “hang” with other ladies who are indulging our baseball wishes. Oh the payback I face on this!

Warren Buffett remains “optimistic” about our economy. Hey if I had 50 billion or so I would be optimistic.

Rush the blabbermouth has pointed out another wonderful inconsistency in the White House by shedding some caloric light on the eating habits of the First Lady. Michelle Obama does not exactly practice what she preaches to the hoi polloi.

I just wonder when the activity of pirates will grab some type of concerted effort on the part of nations. Seems the defensive exercise is rather shoddy and inconsistent.

The Razzies were handed out and I pay more attention to that award than the Oscars.

The sports team that generated the most revenue in 2010 was Real Madrid a soccer team that made 583M.

Freedom Of Information Act has shown a wee bit of negativity regarding late Senator Ted Kennedy including his rental of a brothel in Chile and a petulant and pompous attitude. Ted is a great example of DYKWIA (Don’t you know who I am?) mentality that seems to have been passed down the genetic food chain to his son “Patches.” I will say I greatly admired JFK and even more so RFK but Ted I had no use for since I have personally witnessed some of his DYKWIA behavior.

You know you are getting old department. The last WWI vet died at 110. I remember attending parades in the early 1950s when you had vets from the Spanish - American to Korea marching. The WWI group was about the age I am now. I do believe the last vet of the Civil War dies in the mid 1950s.

I saw The King’s Speech and it was an entertaining movie but I passed on The Fighter.

Regarding The King’s Speech I found dramatic license taken with the character Lionel Logue who became the therapist for the Duke of York. Logue was shown to be somewhat of a down and out character when the reality was he was financially quite comfortable with an extensive collection of wealthy clients that allowed him to also treat those with limited resources for free. Logue was a well respected professional who was actually the founder of British Society of Speech Therapists. In regards to The Duke of York he confidently made many speeches before the address that became central to the movie. It’s the movies!

Another scammer made contact with me the other day and it was not the English Lottery or some lost relative in Nigeria. This was a cold call from Texas Allied Petroleum for investment in a drilling operation. Just a mere 60K for a ten times that return and complete with a slick brochure that arrived the next day. Only issue is in this day and age one with even my limited internet skills can do ten minutes of basic research that shows this “company” has more red flags than a May Day celebration in Red Square.

The return call was a thing of beauty and lasted less than a minute especially when I pointed out the long trail of complaints and that all their fiscal reports were company created and unaudited. The sad thing is that some folks get dizzy with the promised returns only to be duped out of large sums of money. Be aware that they will often attempt to have the prospective sucker (investor) use their IRA as a means of investment. There are enough shady characters with legitimate credentials without having the fly by night frauds hanging around.


Suo Mynona said...

Obama's HUGE flip flop.

Obama has blamed Bush for everything, and probably won't say Bush was correct about Guantanamo. Bottom line, running for president is far different than being president.

anonymous said...

I have not seen much on the local elections so I guess the real stories will start once candidates night takes place.