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Old 01-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #11601
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Went and test drove a 2013 Chevy Equinox and a 2013 Ford escape.

Wife can't seem to handle the 2006 Cadillac CTS without not recognizing where the car's nose starts. Looks like after the CTS is out of the body shop, it will be mine (finally).
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #11602
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Went and test drove a 2013 Chevy Equinox and a 2013 Ford escape.

Wife can't seem to handle the 2006 Cadillac CTS without not recognizing where the car's nose starts. Looks like after the CTS is out of the body shop, it will be mine (finally).
There is (or was) an active recall on the 2013 Ford Escape. Something with the engine.
I just bought a used 2011 Ford Escape and absolutely love it.

UPDATE: Here ya go
http://www.cars.com/ford/escape/2013/recalls/
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:42 PM   #11603
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Our daughter went back to college Thursday night after three weeks of holiday break. We're still getting back into our empty-nester routine. Our daughter cooked up a storm while she was here, though, so we have a fridge full of leftovers and exotic organic produce.

We mostly surfed our butts off, including some challenging hold-downs winter 10-footers on the North Shore at Laniakea and Chun's Reef. She's also started hanging out with triathletes and is training for a March half-marathon, so the generation gap began to make itself apparent. We'd drive up to the North Shore in the morning and surf for a couple hours. We'd come home and I'd take a nap while she'd go out for a four-mile run or do a P90X session, and then go beat up an exercycle or a treadmill. This from the girl who three years ago was in tears at having to run two miles at faster than an 8:15 pace.

She's no longer a teen, and this break was noteworthy for zero meltdowns. There was a flare of temper, and some college-related outrage/drama, and a couple losses of situational awareness, but the progress has been impressive. But enough about us parents; our daughter did pretty well too.

I never saw this next part coming-- she's turned into an alpha female. Go figure. I blame her mother. It was interesting living in the house between alpha females of two generations: one with youth, enthusiasm, & stamina and the other with age wisdom, experience, and deceptive cunning. By the next break I'm going to need a referee's whistle... and maybe body armor.

One of our projects over break was a family set of 23andMe samples. (They recently reduced their price to $99.) Spouse got her results back today, and she's still going through the website. It essentially printed out her centenarian card and asked her to turn herself in for further genetic research. It was eerily omniscient-- they pegged her geographic heritage within about 10 miles of her ancestor's Ukraine village. Along with her Ashkenazism heritage and her "Seven Daughters of Eve" confirmation, it also claims that she's 2.7% Neanderthal (slightly over the typical 2.5%). I've decided to keep my mouth shut until my sample comes back. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut period.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:15 AM   #11604
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I dropped my smartphone into the toilet bowl and spent a good part of the day trying to rescue the drowned phone. At the end it is certified dead RIP. Now I am in the market for a new mobile phone!
Bought iphone 5 today and spent the day fooling around with it. My first big expense in 2013 - at least this is an item I budgetted for - but a few months earlier than planned.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #11605
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Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut period.
Always a wise course of action.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #11606
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Bought iphone 5 today and spent the day fooling around with it. My first big expense in 2013 - at least this is an item I budgetted for - but a few months earlier than planned.
That's great! I hope you enjoy it. My daughter really likes hers a lot. What a nice ending to the story.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:26 PM   #11607
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Skated. Then put into storage the vast collection of christmas stuff that DW boxed up.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #11608
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Shoveled 6 inches of snow off my deck. Another blizzard just started. If I had still been w*rking, I would have been at the airport at 0 dark 30 this morning, and the flight I would have taken was cancelled. It wasn't this one, though!

WestJet plane slides off Kelowna tarmac in snowstorm (with video)

This is a day when I really appreciate ER!
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #11609
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I just activated my new Fidelity Investments 2% rewards American Express credit card... "new" because somebody cloned the old one to buy cosmetics in Orlando (FL) and a plane ticket to Sweden.

I use the term "activated" with some cynicism, because apparently that function is provided by the company's Upselling department.

I started this conversation with FIA Card Services on Saturday 29 Dec (over a week ago) when the $1.30 cosmetics charge showed up on the website as a temporary authorization. (I just happened to be on the website, which usually only occurs around the 10th of the month when I'm paying the bill.) They said "It's just a temp auth, we'll keep an eye on it, someone probably made a mistake entering the card number. Tell you what-- call us back in a few days." We had a long discussion about who puts the "service" in customer service, but they were skeptical. They agreed that it's unlikely for me to leave Oahu to buy lipstick in Florida, but they took no further action.

Last Thursday morning (3 Jan) we came home from surfing to find the answering machine lit up with urgent voicemails from FIA's computer. They'd suspended the card after realizing that I probably wasn't the one planning to fly to Sweden (although the airfare was a great price). It took a long time for their staff to understand that I was returning their call about card fraud and suspended service, not just calling because I enjoy their witty repartée. Apparently the alleged "customer service" dept is different from the fraud dept, who knows exactly what it means when someone makes a small charge on a cloned card. However once I was finally forwarded to the fraud guys, they started in on me with the Security 101 lecture. We escalated to management for a discussion of who puts the "service" in customer service.

Once we all calmed down (some of us for the second time), they said I'd have a new card in five business days. I started in on a long discussion about who puts the... well, you know... hey, I'm retired, folks, I can keep you guys on the phone all day! At the end of the debate they agreed that they'd have Fedex expedite the card to deliver it on Saturday morning.

So the card arrived today, Monday morning. The good news is that if I'd believed the "five business days" spiel then the card wouldn't be here for another seven business days. At least they understood that Hawaii is an American state.

The only reason I carry this Amex is for the 2% reward and for its ability to be used at Costco.

Hey FIA, you know that I can get a 2% rewards Amex from Costco, too, right?

My USAA credit card covered the five-day gap... but at only 1.25%. Of course that also came without any hassle, drama, or discussion of the definition of the word "service".
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #11610
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Warning: angst ahead!

In early December I mailed my property tax to the Parish (=County). I mailed it in the yellow, pre-addressed envelope provided, and at our main post office. I have been waiting ever since for the check to clear, but it never did.

I decided today that it is lost in the mail, and simultaneously discovered that my property tax is overdue. "OMG, OMG", I thought, "will my credit be ruined? Will my house be taken away from me in the middle of the night? Will stormtroopers appear at my front door to take me off in chains to a dungeon somewhere?" Oh, woe was me. Unless you are Catholic or have a Calvinist upbringing like me, you probably can barely imagine the degree of guilt and fear that something like this can inflict.

Since there is apparently nobody one can just go SEE in person about problems like this, I called the phone number given for the property tax office. After navigating a nearly-endless voicemail, finally I got to the point where it said, "Press 5 to speak to somebody" or some such thing.

I pressed 5. After 30 rings, I gave up and paid it online. Tomorrow I will go and cancel the check. I haven't cancelled a check in 40-50 years, so I hope that it is still possible to do it. But anyway, problem solved, it is paid, and no more guilt and fear interfering with my retirement bliss.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:19 PM   #11611
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today cleaned the rest of the leaves off the carport.
tonite dw & i and two other couples + a recent widow have an exciting evening planned - a spaghetti dinner at the local elk's club.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:08 AM   #11612
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Tomorrow I will go and cancel the check. I haven't cancelled a check in 40-50 years, so I hope that it is still possible to do it.
It is still possible, I just had to do that six months ago for one lost in the mail. Hadn't had to for 30+ years.

But they sure charge a lot more for it now than then.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:39 AM   #11613
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Warning: angst ahead!

In early December I mailed my property tax to the Parish (=County). I mailed it in the yellow, pre-addressed envelope provided, and at our main post office. I have been waiting ever since for the check to clear, but it never did.

I decided today that it is lost in the mail, and simultaneously discovered that my property tax is overdue. "OMG, OMG", I thought, "will my credit be ruined? Will my house be taken away from me in the middle of the night? Will stormtroopers appear at my front door to take me off in chains to a dungeon somewhere?" Oh, woe was me. Unless you are Catholic or have a Calvinist upbringing like me, you probably can barely imagine the degree of guilt and fear that something like this can inflict.

Since there is apparently nobody one can just go SEE in person about problems like this, I called the phone number given for the property tax office. After navigating a nearly-endless voicemail, finally I got to the point where it said, "Press 5 to speak to somebody" or some such thing.

I pressed 5. After 30 rings, I gave up and paid it online. Tomorrow I will go and cancel the check. I haven't cancelled a check in 40-50 years, so I hope that it is still possible to do it. But anyway, problem solved, it is paid, and no more guilt and fear interfering with my retirement bliss.
I feel for ya, and feel the guilt too...


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It is still possible, I just had to do that six months ago for one lost in the mail. Hadn't had to for 30+ years.

But they sure charge a lot more for it now than then.
Same here. You'd think the banks were on the verge of going broke the way they charge for some of these things.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:12 AM   #11614
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Thanks, Walt34 and MichaelB. I went to the bank this morning and managed to get them to do a "stop payment" on that check. It cost $35, more than it was decades ago but not nearly as much as I feared. The online payment still hasn't shown up at my bank, but the nice lady at the bank said it takes a few days.

So, on with retirement bliss! Nothing planned at all for the day, except to spend the afternoon with F as usual. Looks like a rainy day, but at least I didn't need a coat when I went out.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:48 PM   #11615
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Great day yesterday (and today)...filled with things i could never do if w***ing.

Yesterday, i had lunch with a very close college friend who i had not seen since 2002. It was a long visit, filled with sad, and some happy, stories. Much has happened since I last saw her. She lost her only child a couple years ago, tragically, at the age of 30.

We promised to keep in touch better. She and her husband are raising her 12 yo
grandchild. They recently built a house about 45 minutes from here, moving here from a Memphis suburb.

Today, our youngest tagged along to have lunch with our 28yo in Little Rock while her car was serviced. It was a very eclectic, fun restaurant in an old house in an
old cool part of town. We stopped for iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Then DH and i had dinner with friends....standing dinner date on Tuesday nights with three good friends. One of them came over afterward for a few beers.

NO going to w*** tomorrow.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:27 PM   #11616
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I happened to be in San Francisco today to spent a Christmas gift card when I saw the skating rink in Union Square. It was a beautiful sunny day and I couldn't resist. I went ice skating for the 1st time in over 20 yrs. It was sooooo liberating to be able to just do something spontaneous like this. And to do something that reminded me of my childhood memories growing up in Connecticut where the ponds froze during the winter. I didn't do too bad either. Forward, backward, crossovers, and I could even stop!
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:11 AM   #11617
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I happened to be in San Francisco today to spent a Christmas gift card when I saw the skating rink in Union Square. It was a beautiful sunny day and I couldn't resist. I went ice skating for the 1st time in over 20 yrs. It was sooooo liberating to be able to just do something spontaneous like this. And to do something that reminded me of my childhood memories growing up in Connecticut where the ponds froze during the winter. I didn't do too bad either. Forward, backward, crossovers, and I could even stop!
Congrats. Hope you got the skating bug. I started figure skating, I think three winters ago. Spent lots of time falling down. Got hooked. Now it is a three time a week habit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:21 PM   #11618
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Back to the check thing... I haven't thought about this in the past, but now wonder about the stop payment part.
I looked online for an answer, but didn't find one that made sense.

So if make out a check for $3000 to the tax collector, and he doesn't get it, why should I have to stop payment? If someone else intercepts the check, how can they legally cash it? If they do cash it illegally, is it my fault? Do I pay?

Who pays? Is it not like a counterfeit$20 bill, where the last holder is responsible?

Seems like I remember a Post office that lost 50,000 social security checks. If they were cashed, does SS take the hit, or is it the bank that didn't do due diligence to verify the check casher?

At $35/check, with no guarantee that 6 months from now the check might be cashed, this could get to be expensive.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:44 PM   #11619
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Mr. nu, I think the issue is what happens if the check to the tax collector does finally show up and they cash it. Chances are you'll end up with an overdraft and then you'll be in a p!ssing match between the tax folks and your bank on who pays the charges. Even if you do have the $ in the account to cover the check, if you've ever overpaid a govt. entity and then tired to get a refund of that overpayment, you'll have some appreciation for why it might be worth $35 to avoid the hassle.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:57 PM   #11620
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yeah... they got me beat.
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