Monthly Archives: September, 2011

Facebook lies

I received an email from Facebook. Yes, I have a Facebook account, but to my credit, I almost never go there. So woots for me!
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The Times

Source: Library of Congress. Click image for more information.

Just a little something I found on

Date Created/Published: New York : Printed & published by H.R. Robinson, 1837.

Medium: 1 print : lithograph on wove paper ; 32.7 x 48.4 cm. (image)

Summary: A commentary on the depressed state of the American economy, particularly in New York, during the financial panic of 1837. Again, the blame is laid on the treasury policies of Andrew Jackson, whose hat, spectacles, and clay pipe with the word “Glory” appear in the sky overhead. Clay illustrates some of the effects of the depression in a fanciful street scene, with emphasis on the plight of the working class. A panorama of offices, rooming houses, and shops reflects the hard times. The Customs House, carrying a sign “All Bonds must be paid in Specie,” is idle. In contrast, the Mechanics Bank next door, which displays a sign “No specie payments made here,” is mobbed by frantic customers. Principal figures are (from left to right): a mother with infant (sprawled on a straw mat), an intoxicated Bowery tough, a militiaman (seated, smoking), a banker or landlord encountering a begging widow with child, a barefoot sailor, a driver or husbandman, a Scotch mason (seated on the ground), and a carpenter. These are in contrast to the prosperous attorney “Peter Pillage,” who is collected by an elegant carriage at the far right. In the background are a river, Bridewell debtors prison, and an almshouse. A punctured balloon marked “Safety Fund” falls from the sky. The print was issued in July 1837. A flag flying on the left has the sarcastic words, “July 4th 1837 61st Anniversary of our Independence.”

Mini Eat My Ass – B of A edition

Bank America ATM ClosureMy first ever blog from the car using my iPod.

Bank of America is rumored to begin charging $5 a month for debit cards.

I’ve been warning about this for years. Step one is get you hooked and step two is to shove it up your ass.

So long B of A. Closing my account is going to feel great!

Update: Added picture and the following text.

Now that I’m home I can add a few additional details about the colonoscopy sponsored by Bank of America and other financial institutions across this great land of ours.

In Bank of America’s scheme, the account holder will be charged a $5 monthly fee if they use their debit card a single time in a given month. The fee is scheduled to begin early in 2012.

Other banks are joining in. Wells Fargo and Chase are “testing” $3 fees. I wonder what that means? A focus group of consumers to find out how much they like it? Doubtful.

Regions Financial plans a $4 fee starting next month. SunTrust is apparently already charging a $5 fee.

Tom’s Law #42
Let the banking customer beware.

Okay, that’s not really a law. Sorry. I lost my interest. I could fix it, but I’d have to charge a fee.

Other fees are a hippin’ and a hoppin’, too. The fees that some banks charge for “non-network” ATM usage will be going from $2.00 to $2.50 per transaction.

Some other fees I’ve heard about:

  • $1.00 – saying hello (friendly) to your banking representative
  • $42.00 – saying “fuck you” to your banking representative
  • $1.00/hour for parking in the lot or $10 for a 24-hour pass
  • $8.00 monthly surcharge for printed statements
  • $5.00 monthly surcharge for access to online banking
  • $2.00 for printed receipts
  • $5.00 for phone calls (first 15 minutes), $3 for each additional 15 minutes
  • 12 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts per parking lot use for non-profit car wash fund raising events
  • $3.00 to check account balance
  • $1.00 rental fee for pen usage when filling out deposit or withdrawal slips
  • $4.00 fee to check your ID when conducting transactions with a teller (non-robotic only)
  • One percent interest fee on all savings accounts
  • One percent deposit fee
  • Three percent transfer fee
  • Five percent withdrawal fee
  • $8.00 fee per money order
  • $25.00 fee per cashier’s check
  • $84.00 fee for insufficient funds transaction
  • $800 processing fee to fake signatures on loan foreclosures
  • $30 per incident to wear sunglasses inside a branch office
  • $7.99 to ask a bank employee the location of the bathroom
  • $10.00 to use the bathroom
  • $8.00 for toilet paper (optional)
  • $12.00 for soap to wash hands
  • $8.42 for water to use the soap
  • $4.00 for towel to dry hands
  • $20 fee for attempting to transfer money to WikiLeaks

That’s all I can think of right now. I wonder if they have any current openings for Fee Designer. I could go for a career change. B of A execs – call me! I’m cheap!

In late December [2010] it was announced that Bank of America had bought up more than 300 Internet domain names in a would-be attempt to preempt bad publicity that might be forthcoming in the anticipated WikiLeaks release. The domain names were such as and as well as similar names for other top executives of the bank. Nick Baumann of Mother Jones ridiculed this effort, saying: “If I owned stock in Bank of America, this would not give me confidence that the bank is prepared for whatever Julian Assange is planning to throw at it.”

Source: Wikipedia

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Right now, you’re probably asking, “Yeah, but what about the rainforest?” You ask, I deliver!

Rainforest Action Network Statement on Bank of America’s New Emissions Commitment

May 18, 2011SAN FRANCISCO (May 18, 2011)—Today, Bank of America announced a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitment covering its ‘operational’ emissions coming from the company’s global facilities. The announcement can be found here:

Amanda Starbuck, Energy and Finance Program Director at Rainforest Action Network, issued the following statement in response:

“While we welcome Bank of America’s continued acknowledgment that reducing greenhouse gas emission is critical to combating the climate crisis, the bank must move quickly to address the much larger carbon footprint coming from its role as a lead financier of the coal industry. RAN estimates that Bank of America’s financing climate footprint is to be one hundred times larger than the size of its operational carbon footprint.


Thanks for the reminder to check up on all the B of A controversies. All publicity is good, right? You guys sure have that nailed.

So, what does an outfit like B of A teach us about something like the free market? The takeaway (for me at least) is that they are expert practitioners of the mythical win-win voluntary fee market transaction that many hold so dear. Ooops. Dear me. I meant free market, of course.

In this sort of transaction, one side says, “Yes, I’ll conduct business with you, but only if I can rake you for every penny you’ve got. I can fee you for anything. Naturally, you can’t fee me for jack shit, no matter how ineptly and rudely I do what I said I’d do but massively failed.”

If I treated my customers the way B of A treats theirs I’d have to live in a box. I could probably get one from B of A for a $12 fee.

Hyppo and Critter: Equality for sale

Pac-Man legends of the fall

Image Credit: Some internet denizen who is not me

Not to get too deep or anything, but if you think about it, Pac-Man is nothing more than a graph. A pie chart, to be precise.

His source data is approx. 80 percent yellow and 20 percent nothing. Hey, that’s just like the brains of most human beings. Coincidence? I think not!

80-20. That’s interesting. For some reason these numbers seem to come up a lot. For example, in a business meeting, 20 percent of the participants usually do 80 percent of the talking. This is also known as a monumental waste of time.

I’ve also heard 80-20 described as a rule in business meetings. This has to do with the fact that 80% consensus on a difficult issue or problem is fairly easy to achieve, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in when attempting to deal with the remaining 20%. Thus, if this is your jargon, the 80/20 phrase can become a signal to the group that impasse has been reached. “I think we’re at 80/20,” the moderator might say. “Let’s move on.”

There is even something called the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Back in 1906 the inventor of this principle noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people and that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Wow. Who knew that Pac-Man had such depths? And here I thought he was just a drunken mindless idiot.

Since what I mainly do in life is sit around and think about stupid useless shit, I decided to try to come up with a list of as many Pac-Man style graphs as possible and celebrate the 80/20 in my own life. Assuming that Pac-Man is a pie chart, here are possible legends:

  • 80% boss, 20% wife
  • 80% work, 20% free time
  • 80% pain, 20% pleasure
  • 80% bills, 20% discretionary
  • 80% litter box, 20% purring

Can you identify any 80/20 examples in your own existence?

Termination Tuesday – Round 9

Termination Tuesdays – Ways To Die Poll

The madness continues…

The premise is simple. It’s a poll comparing two ways to die to find out which one is liked the least. Fun, eh? I guess that will be determined by the execution of this idea.

Heh! I slay me! 🙂

We’ll do it bracketology style. If I can think of 64 worthy entrants, each weekly poll will eliminate one contender. Eventually we’ll be left with only the final four and then we can have some sudden death playoffs.

Yeah, that’ll be fun! Come on and play along. After all, it won’t kill you now, will it?

Last week in a surprisingly strong performance Immurement had absolutely no problem trapping Choking in a corner. This week it is an all-puncture battle. Which prick will win?

Rattlesnake Bite seems obvious enough, but here’s a link if you need to know a bit more about Human Dartboard before casting your ballot. (I originally heard about this while watching an episode of 1000 Ways to Die.)

A demolition worker draws a target on his stomach and invites bar patrons to throw darts at him in exchange for buying him drinks. He has forgotten that he has a quarter-stick of dynamite in his pocket, armed with a blasting cap. When he falls over after having too many drinks, the impact with the floor ignites the cap, setting off an explosion that tears him in half.

Source: Wikipedia

Don’t you hate it when you forget about that stick of dynamite in your pocket?

Workin’ It

Did I already do a Work Post this week? I’m too lazy to look. Fuck it. It’s go time.

A Tale of Two Shitties

Chapter One: You Want It When?

Tom’s Law #42
Fast shipping to customers is fraught with danger.

A customer visits your ecommerce website and places an order. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Whoo hoo! It’s time to celebrate by rolling around like a pig in shit.

It’s not just any order, either. One with an $800 item and a $20 accessory. Score!

Demotivational Dictionary: customer
An idiot stupid enough to want the meaningless shit you sell. And want it yesterday.

The customer wants fast shipping. Uh oh.
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