Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dancing Legos

I suppose if you'd spent a considerable amount of money and time keeping up with the latest Lego sets for a pair of nephews who have their own Lego Lab in the basement-- have I mentioned frantically bidding on eBay to obtain the sold-out Harry Potter Castle so that the little darlings might have what they so desperately wanted one particular Christmas? -- you'd also be amused to see what some talented young (or perhaps it's just youthful) artists have done with their legos.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=99174057823861673&q=monty+python&hl=en


Combining performing Legos and Monty Python makes my little geek heart sing. It's also much more fun to watch the Legos dance around than it is to step on them in bare feet.

But hands down, my favorite is still Darth Vader conducting a Lego orchestra playing his theme at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqTi0ZFDawY

His baton? A light saber, of course.

And what have you done to entertain the world lately?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What He Said .....

I think I'm in love. Or at least very, very, very serious case of like with a heaping topping of hero worship.

And anyone who knows me, knows that intelligence and the ability to communicate are pretty much table stakes to the game of love for me. If you have nice eyes, a sexy voice and a quirky sense of humor, I'm done for.

I've no idea what this guy looks like but he makes more sense than almost anyone else I've read in his post about living in this world, with the knowledge of terror plots and Al-Queda and Osama Bin Laden and GWB and everything else that drives the 24 hour news channels.

http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2006/08/wait-arent-you-scared.html

Bravo to John Rogers for citing the excellent police and intelligence work that went into disarming the London Bombing plot and Major Points to him for his support of military families.

I wish I had written what he did, especially the comments about FDR and Churchill. Oh, to have leader of that calibre in today's world!

P.S. If you've the time, read the comments. Many of them are brilliant and equally insightful.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bank Shot

You never know what you had until you've lost it....

Never were truer words said. But in this case, I'm not mourning the death or loss of a romantic relationship, or family, or even a beloved pet. I am in mourning over the death of my long-term relationship with Citibank.

Oh, sure, I called it Shitty-Bank more than once (I wasn't the only one), but to continue with this appalling use of trite phrases, you always hurt (or malign) the one you love.

I've been a Citibank customer for about 50% of my life. I had my acct number in Manhattan engraved upon my memory. Even 5 years after having to regretfully close that account to open one in Citibank's Upstate NY region, I still know that 8-digit number by heart. Maybe I'll use it as a PIN someday.

I admit, I took Citibank for granted. Didn't every bank allow you to make transactions at the bank with your ATM card? Paper deposit slips? What were those? Just use the ATM card, dip it into the slip at the counter and your account and personal information popped for the teller.

No more those happy days. Citibank has abandoned Western NY and handed over its branches lock, stock and barrel to M&T Bank.

It's like stepping back 20 years in terms of technology and service. M&T is clunky where Citibank was race-car sleek. M&T requires paper deposit slips for those occasions when you want to deposit with a teller rather than the ATM.

Paper?

No ATM card-driven transaction?

It's like going from broadband back to dial-up. It's like going from my iPod playlists back to mixing cassette tapes. It's godawful!

Did I mention Citibank's very nice feature of automatically crediting $1000 of any deposit to my account immediately, as cash. I'm sure it was based on some complicated formula involving my account record and client profile, but the funds were available immediately. And it had been $2000 when I was still in Manhattan.

M&T? $0. Takes 3 days to clear. Minimally.

Depressing as the transition has been, I might have grumbled and stayed with M&T were it not for two things:

1) a $.50 charge for using the M&T ATM.

Let me get this straight? I use the ATM, avoid waiting in line to use a human teller, and you charge me more? You cut headcount and I pay extra for your automation?

2) a $1.75 EFT charge for a Paypal transaction.

This was the piece de resistance, aka what actually drove me to esl.org and bankofamerica.com to investigate opening a checking and savings account elsewhere. I use Paypal to purchase things on eBay and other website that take Paypal. Sometimes the payment is large, sometimes, it's less than $5. The $1.75 electronic funds transaction fee was on a payment of $6.75 for a book. The fee was almost as much as the shipping!

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. I won't take any more of M&T, and I'm mulling over a lawsuit against Citibank for unlawful abandonment. I think I might be entitled to some compensation for mental anguish.

Anyone know a good bank?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tagged!

TAG....I'M IT!!!

I've been tagged by Amanda, over at http://www.funkadelica.blogspot.com/

5 things in my freezer: ice cream, Lean Cuisine dinners, frozen veggies, frozen blackberries, vinegar ice cubes (for the garbage disposal)

5 things in my closet: clean clothes, luggage, lots and lots of shoes, collection of handbags that I rarely use, paint-spattered clothing used for painting (duh)

5 things in my car: empty Diet Coke bottles (for recycling, eventually), water bottle, battered map of Rochester, DVD to be returned to Blockbuster, book that my nephew was reading and left in my car two weeks ago

5 things in my purse: wallet, concealer, Palm, cell phone, iPod, hairbrush

5 things in my wallet: money (woo hoo - for a change), debit card, drivers license, shopping discount cards, pictures of my nephews and my friends' kids.

If you read my blog, and I do really DOUBT that 5 people do, then TAG YOU'RE IT! Copy and paste into your blog!