Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Begin the evacuation

I've been a bit frustrated with my bank, Netbank, for a while now. Last year they sent out a notice that they were lowering their checking interest rates. I was pretty annoyed. Didn't anyone tell them that every other bank on the planet was raising their rates? I began looking half-heartedly for alternatives, but since most of my savings were in the likes of Ing and Emigrant Direct anyway, it didn't seem too urgent.

This past week, I've been looking at various stock prices, setting up the Magic Formula account I wrote about in a previous post. I happened to look at NetBank's financials. I was pretty shocked. As of this writing, their stock prices are $2.26. They've been losing money three years in a row now, and dropping services like crazy. One of the latest to go was their quickpost deposit option...

For a good contrast, click on any of the other banking sites you see, such as Citibank, Ing, Bank of America....

Ing has just opened a new all-internet checking account. So, I've decided to jump ship. NetBank's insured, so if they do manage to kill themselves off you shouldn't lose any money (so please don't start a run on the bank and say it was my fault!), but I'm tired of getting less service when everyone else is tripping over themselves for my business.

Oh, and if you do decide to go with Ing, let me know. We each get a referral bonus if I refer you. :-)

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Spring Forward Fairy

Hey Kids,

Now is that special time of year when the Spring Forward Fairy gives us an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day. She does this at 2:00am by magically making it become 3:00am instantaneously. This sets us free from the land of Winter, where it's always cold and never daylight. She even does this even if you were bad this year, unlike a certain other rather judgmental character from somewhere near Canada. All she asks is that you lose an hour of sleep. The combined sleep gives her the power to make this change.

You do need to know that this year is special. She's coming out early this year. So, you will feel sleepy *this* Sunday morning. You might want to go to bed early or something to get ready.

This next part is difficult, but I think you're old enough to know. There is no Spring Forward Fairy. She's really just our personification of an energy policy set by the faceless U.S. Bureaucracy. Not only has a cherished childhood fantasy been ruined, but you've probably worked out that if the Spring Forward Fairy isn't changing the clocks for us, then that means we have to do it ourselves.

So, don't forget to do that.

There are two ways to go about it though. If you still want to believe in the magic and insist that the spirit of Spring Forward Fairy is real, even if the persona is metaphorical, then you can stay up until 2:00am and make the change right then, keeping with tradition. You might want to have a few close friends on hand in case you have more than one clock, so that you can change them all simultaneously. Or, if you find yourself rather jaded by this whole experience you might want to do the more practical thing that most grown-ups do and just set the clocks forward by one hour just before you go to bed.

Think about it. If she were *really* magic, she would have figured out a way to do this without making us lose sleep.