The Password Is — “Organize”

Getting home and immediately retiring to bed has left a lot of loose ends in my life. Over the next handful of days I hope to tie them all up, clear my calendar, and put organization back into my life so that I don’t feel so disorganized all of the time.

Passwords From Hell
I am a firm believer in changing the passwords for my important accounts regularly. With each iteration I seem to generate “stronger” passwords in order to reduce the chances of identity theft. Feel free to laugh at me if you see me struggle to type my new set of passwords. Seriously, they are neither easy to remember or type…

Has The City Of Atlanta Been Bought By Ticketmaster?
After paying my water/sewage bill online yesterday I read the little pamphlet that accompanied the bill. In it contained this disturbing passage.

Convenience Fee for Online Credit Card Transactions
On February 19, City Council passed legislation to assess a $4.50 convenience fee for online credit card transactions. The ordinance was initiated by the Department of Finance and applies to all City of Atlanta online services. Please be mindful that this fee will be added to your total charge if you pay your water/sewage bill online using a credit card.

What? I understand that there is a cost of doing business, but $4.50 per transaction? That’s fucking highway robbery! Are you taking business advice fromTicketmaster?

Of course I read this pamphlet after I paid my bill…

ITP Flickr Pic
Slowly, very slowly, I am getting my photos organized. Here is one more from last weekend. This is the ferris wheel at the Tweetsie Railroad.

Hiding Behind The Fence

The theme park had yet to open for the season. I was hoping to be able to walk around and shoot photos of an empty theme park to have a “deserted park” series. Sadly this was as close as I could get without getting in trouble.

Speaking of Credit Cards — Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now
At dinner last night I heard from one of the participants that on Friday night his waitress at Loca Luna had mistakenly given his American Express card away to another patron. The error wasn’t discovered immediately, and by the time he could report the loss the other person had already charged hundreds of dollars at Twisted Taco. If there can by a funny lining to this story, my friend was most disturbed that the person using his card was a lousy tipper. According to the American Express records the guy was only tipping about 12% on the stolen card.

Online Love
I am not talking about Match.com or any such site here. Been there. Tried that. Given Up.

Instead I want to praise two of my favorite online purveyors of toys — NewEgg and Amazon.

NewEgg gets love for being on top of everything when it comes to shipping. A few weeks ago I purchased a portable USB drive and it was shipped to me in fewer than three days at the same cost as their “standard” shipping. Bully for them!

Amazon gets love for automatically rebating me some money because they lowered the price on a product I had just purchased from them. I had no idea that the price had been lowered, they just did this automatically. I wish all retailers would do this.

In the future I will also praise any company that abolishes mail-in rebates. I have one in my queue that needs to be handled pronto, and I am miffed at the number of hoops through which I must jump in order to do so.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – sluggish
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing Guided By Voices — “Eureka Signs”
Website Of The DayEnglish Forums helped me understand the error in my grammatical ways yesterday. Normally I’d immediately turn to Grammar Girl, but when I typed in “Was v. Were” into Google English Forums was returned first.
Exercise (b)Log – none
Mode Of Transportation To Work – My car

April Goals
1) Lose two pounds. (starting weight 202 lbs?)
2) Run no fewer than thirty miles.
3) Do twenty push-ups and fifty sit-ups at on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays.
4) Read three books, specifically
4a) “722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York”
4b) “Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job”
4c) “50 Fast Digital Photo Techniques”
5) Take Marta to work at least ten times.
6) File my Income Taxes. (since they are due in two weeks I better get this done)
7) Wear β€œnicer” clothes to work at least one day a week.
8\) Cook dinner at home at least two nights a week.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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10 Responses to The Password Is — “Organize”

  1. Stacy says:

    I do not understand this $4.50 fee thing. Are they trying to make us go back to writing out paper checks and mailing them in? Do they not realize they get their money so much more quickly (and guaranteed — no issue of bounced checks or ‘lost in the mail’ envelopes) with online payments too? Shoot, they should be deducting a percentage for those of us who pay online!

  2. Stacy says:

    And I just saw your website of the day! What? Didn’t trust me? πŸ˜‰

  3. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    I don’t understand the transaction cost either, except that it will probably generate another revenue stream for them.

    Trust? Of course I trusted you. I was just adding a belt to your suspenders. πŸ˜›

  4. Gentri says:

    RE:H2O payments. I didn’t read the insert, and am now pissed. So stupid. My water bill is next to nothing, and a $4.50 charge is adding around 15%. They’ll have to process mine manually in the near future……. dumbass city council. I’m guessing though that the city is grasping at ANY revenue stream, even if they are screwing US again in the end… so stupid.

  5. Beth Go Gators says:

    Any idea if this includes the cards that work as both credit AND debit cards? Cards in general?

    I have been trying to straighten out my account for over a year now — for a while they weren’t charging me anything at all because they had my address confused with another property. Not that I am complaining since my water is generally a lovely brown color anyway.

  6. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    I’ve typed it up verbatim. I am not sure if they view a debit card like a credit card. As for me I’ll probably start paying via a bank draft.

  7. Barb says:

    Georgia Natural Gas has the same $4.50 fee, I’ve resorted to paying with the old fashion paper checks. SE Toyoya wants $10 for their online payment, the only way to not pay it is an automatic debit for the payment amount. I can’t do that, because I’m trying my best to pay off Allan’s truck early, so I can get a new car. So, paper in the mail for them as well.

  8. Stacy says:

    In other ITP-related news, back in “Talk Nerdy To Me,” you gave us CheddarVision.

    My alarm clock went off today as the 92.9DaveFM folks were talking about the newest internet star… “the big block of cheddar cheese you can watch age.”

    So, heh. Lookit you: a whole week in front of the curve.

  9. Martha says:

    If there is no way to enter your PIN number than a debit card will be processed as a credit card. Banks make a lot more money on credit card transactions than when you use the debit option. That’s why so many stores are setting up their ‘swipers’ to ask for your PIN number first.

    I pay everything thru my bank with online checking so I don’t have to worry about these sort of issues. I don’t see anything on the Department of Watershed site that says ANYTHING about the fee. Sneeky buggers…

  10. I switched back to old fashioned paper checks.

    Why does the city need another revenue stream? We already pay the highest taxes in the state and get piss poor schools, an environmental disaster of a sewer system, and poorly maintained or actively torn up roads in return. And don’t even get me started on the complete lack of police presence in my neighborhood. I guess Shirley is too busy pulling strings to spring big time drug dealers who happen to be married to her daughter to worry about providing the citizens with basic services.

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