I wish my step-father-in-law, Dean Faulkner, happy trails in his next life. He passed away recently at the good age of 92. He will be missed!
Be sure and vote this upcoming November! Let’s make Washington first on two counts – first to affirm the rights of LGBT folks to marry by approving by popular vote R-74. Let’s show that Washington is a state of tolerance, where we are all free to have the same rights regardless of our sexual orientation. Second, let’s finally do something sensible around marijuana – let’s legalize and regulate it much like tobacco and alcohol. I know there is dissension inside the marijuana advocates around this bill and the arbitrary limits that is set regarding when you are too impaired to drive. But let’s start somewhere! We can always tweak the law later as the undesired results are encountered.
Since some of the jobs I’ve been applying for have asked for a portfolio here’s stuff I’ve recently worked on – with some of my comments:
- Divine Mother Project – This site I really like, and I think is one of the best designed sites I’ve worked on. Unfortunately the originator of the project did not anticipate the full scope project and still owes me some money around this. I want to continue working on this, as it is missing some critical components (such as a shopping cart!). A lot of time was spent on dealing with the graphics.
- Progressive Party of Washington – A site I do some pro-bono work on, as I’m the treasurer.
- Not A Number Cards & Gifts – The site really needs a redesign, but has great search engine rankings, showing that content not design is the most important factor in SEO.
- Lake Union Naturopathic – A clean/simple site for a local naturopath.
- Amer & Young, PLLC – Website for a small local law firm, which I also do system admin for.
This post will probably piss off a number of online marketers, to which I say, so what! There will still be plenty of people who will try this sort of thing. I want to attempt four things with this post
- Educate people on how some of these promotions make their money
- See if any of the products advertised actually show up
- See if I actually get any of the money sent actually comes to me
- See if being honest on how these work brings in a better response rate than the typical response.
Here’s the deal, I, like many people, am struggling to make ends meet, and I’m willing to try things that don’t cost much money to make make more money. So at some point I joined one of these affiliate/make more money etc. websites that float all over the Internet. Some of them are more honest than others. The website I joined allowed me to download the following program, which generates a very nice looking offer page for a product that I never have to stock. Supposedly all the money that is sent in for this offer will come straight to me (my struggling store actually). Feel free to download the program and create your own offer page that looks exactly like the one I have up except for the link to explain what is going on.
Let me be very clear, NONE of the stuff described in the offer happened to me. Hopefully, there is a real Sara Brown who had these experiences. The whole thing is just a made up. After I generated the page, I decided that I could not in good conscience post it without some kind of explanation such as this. After generating the offer page, I wondered how, if I get all the money sent in, how does the marketer who is supposedly supplying this wonderful book make any money. Then it struck me, of course the book that you get is just going to be a sales pitch for the full system, not to mention your email is then on their list for future opportunities to send you spam.
So here’s the straight pitch – please consider this offer a donation to support a small, leftist, political gift shop that is struggling (as are many people) with the current economic conditions. If you do donate, and you do get the promised materials, please let me know, I’d be curious as to what they say. And if the materials do indeed work, please consider donating more! The typical response rate for this kind of offer is less than 1%, please consider donating just to show that honesty gets a better response rate!
We’ll we finally changed our phone service to Credo. Goodbye AT&T! However, I think there is a bug with the Sanyo Zios (and Android 2.2 phone).
When adding contacts to my contact list they don’t always show up! They are in the phone because I can see them in my listed in my contact log, i.e. the name I put in shows up in the log, but it does not show up in my list. At this point Credo wants to back up all my stuff and reset the phone, I REALLY don’t think that will help. This seems to be a bug!
I had this problem when I first got the phone, and Credo had me turn on the sync feature with Gmail, which I had turned off. This worked at the time, but I find it to be very annoying that I had to allow the sync. I TOTALLY dislike the fact the gmail syncs itself with my phone. The phone s/b an independent device that DOES NOT NEED Gmail to function. As far as I’m concerned this is a bug not a feature. Maybe they will fix this? (doubtful!) I also dislike having to have a gmail account to access the marketplace. How much of my information do I really want to share with Google – not that much!
I’ll post updates as I find out more about this problem.
If you are a fan of the Prisoner TV series, asking the question” Why six is a perfect number”, might get you the answer “That would be telling.” However in mathematical terms a perfect number is one where when all the factors (except itself) are multiplied together they equal the number itself AND the factors when added together equal the number.
The factors of six (excluding itself) are 1,2,3:
1*2*3 = 6 AND 1+2+3=6.
Six is the smallest perfect number. The next known perfect numbers are 28, 496, and 8128.
Here’s my current thoughts on the 2010 election:
Patty Murray, I don’t agree with her on everything, but the alternative of Dino Rossi seems very undesirable. Not to mention that I think it’s important to do everything possible to ensure the Democrats at least keep control of the Senate.
I-1053 – Require 2/3 majority of legislature to approve tax increases, NO
Other states of have tried this and all it did was hamstring government. It allows a minority to stall action.
I-1082 – Allow private workers comp insurance, NO
Health insurance never should have been allowed to be a for profit business! This initiative will allow private insurance companies to come in, cherry pick the companies that they want to insure (read big businesses), and then leave the rest to fend for themselves. Big companies love it because it eliminates their co-pay on insurance premiums. As an employee, you’ll love it when the entire cost of your insurance is deducted from your paycheck!
I-1098 – State income tax, YES
Washington currently has one of the most regressive tax systems in the country. Let’s make it a little more fair by having an income tax! Most other states have one, and they have not imploded, or lost lots of population because of it. High income people who don’t like it can move to Alaska!
I-1100 – Privatize liquor sales, YES
Get the state of of the liquor business! Once again other states have private liquor stores, and they haven’t imploded with underage drinking or alcoholism. Taxes and enforcement stay in place with this initiative. Plus revenue will be made up by new liquor stores paying taxes (vote for I-1098 to help offset revenue losses).
I-1105 – A different privatization of liquor initiative, NO
This initiative directly conflicts with some of I-1100, so approval of both will be a mess. This one also repeals some of the taxes, which will cause the state to lose even more money.
I-1107 – Repeal taxes on candy and bottled water, NO
Just think of this as another sin tax (do we really need bottled water and candy?) that funds education. A yes vote on this and a yes on SR-52 (below) would be contradictory, as this would cut the funding for SR-52.
SR-52 – Allow issuing of bonds for school energy retrofits, YES
This measure allows the state to issue bonds for school energy retrofits that will pay for themselves with the energy savings.
Joint Resolution 8225 – Allow state to raise debt limit, YES
This allows the state to raise the debt limit by the amount that the state will receive from the federal government. It is kind of an accounting gimmick, but it would allow the state to borrow more money now, while interest rates are low for capitol improvement projects that will create more jobs. If the state waits, these projects will cost more, and people will not be put back to work as soon.
Joint Resolution 4220 – Allow denial of bail in cases of clear danger to society, YES
I’m torn on this one, as I don’t like the denial of citizens their basic rights, but in cases where there is a clear danger to society, I think there should be a way to limit the danger.
Rash developed by extra scrubbing to remove excess santorum.
First let me state that if Chase had not taken public bail out money, and had not gotten such a great deal on buying Washington Mutual (2.5 billion for a company with 250 billion+ in assets), I would not find their current policy on check processing as objectionable. However, for a company to take public money, and then continue with a policy that appears deliberately designed to generate more fees for them seems unconscionable at best, and would be illegal if Congress was not such a corporate lapdog.
The policy I’m referring to is the policy of processing debits to an account from highest to lowest. What this does is ensure that if an account is going to over that the most NSF fees possible will be generated. For example, if an account has $100 in it, and three checks for $125, $10, and $5 are processed, Chase will process the $125 debit first. The account is then overdrawn by $25 and then the next two will be processed each one incurring another NSF charge. Thus in this example Chase charges the account three NSF charges, for a total of over $90 in fees. However, if the processing order was reversed, there would be only one NSF fee, as the first two checks would clear without overdrawing the account. This would generate only one NSF for Chase for $39.
The fairest thing would be to process the checks in the order that they are presented to Chase’s system; however Chase has made the ludicrous claim that they do not have timestamps for some types of transactions (see below). Yes, transactions may enter the system in a batch, but there is still an order in which a batch is processed, and a time associated with that processing. I’m an IT guy; unless it’s deliberate almost EVERYTHING on large scale systems is logged with a timestamp. In fact, from a security standpoint it would be asking for trouble not to timestamp and log every transaction. From what Chase is saying it appears they take a batch, sort it, and then process the sorted transactions further. They could easily leave out the sort part (or even better reverse the sort order!)
I’m not trying to dodge personal responsibility, but mistakes do happen, and Chase has set up their policy to make sure that these mistakes cost the public as much money as possible. When Chase accepted public money, they should have been forced to change this policy (jeez, they only received a paltry 25 BILLION+ in bailout money).
I will be changing banks shortly due to this policy (probably the same at most banks!), so I will be asking around. If anyone knows of a bank with a different policy, please share it in the comments below.
I’ll be curious to see what the actual Rules and Regulations say when I receive them – stay tuned.
Below is a transcript (account numbers etc. removed) of my recent interactions with Chase around this policy:
Dear NOT A NUMBER INC D/B/A NOT A NUMBER,
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to
contact us here at Chase. Chase strives to provide the
highest level of customer service to our customers and it
is disappointing when we hear that we have not lived up to
Our records indicate that most of your transactions are
submitted as a check and ACH withdrawal. This type of
transaction posts to your account between 12:00am –
6:00am. Unfortunately, there is not a time stamp for
these types of transactions.
Please note that ACH debits, non-teller processed checks,
signature transactions without authorizations will post to
the account from highest to lowest.
As you requested, we are sending you a copy of the Rules
and Regulations regarding our posting order. Please allow
five to seven Business Days for this request to be
Kindly accept my apology for any confusion or
inconvenience you may have experienced.
Chase Online(SM) offers a wide range of services to help
you manage your finances, including free Account Alerts*.
Account Alerts help you monitor your account balances and
transactions. You can have alerts sent to your e-mail
address, mobile phone, pager, PDA, and voice phone number.
To get started with Account Alerts, please visit the
Customer Center and click “Account Alerts” on the
left-hand side of the page.
*There is no charge from Chase, but message and data rates
from your wireless provider may apply.
If you require further assistance, please contact our
Business ServiceLine at 1-800-CHASE38 (1-800-242-7338).
Representatives are available to assist you 7:00 a.m. –
9:00 p.m., seven days a week.
Felecia M Bailey
Internet Service Center
Original Message Follows:
———Response from me———————
If it is indeed the policy to process items as they are
presented to your system, please send me the timestamp for
all of our recent NSF transactions (last 3 weeks), as it
sure appears that they where processed highest to lowest.
I look forward to receiving this data.
—–ORIGINAL MESSAGE – response from tChase—————–
Dear Not A Number Inc DBA Not A Number,
Good afternoon and thank you for contacting the Internet
Service Center. It will be my pleasure to assist you.
Delivering quality service to our customers is among the
highest priorities here at Chase.
Beginning on February 17, Business customers will begin
receiving letters notifying them of some key changes that
will be effective on their accounts April 1. Some of
those changes include fee changes to standardize and
Posting Order – Effective 3/29/2010 (All Markets /
Items processed throughout day (e.g. ATM withdrawals,
debit card transactions, deposited checks drawn on us,
online bill pays, outgoing transfers, outgoing wires,
teller cash withdrawals, teller cashed checks on account,
etc) post at time transaction completed. Before 4/1/2010,
items posted from highest to lowest dollar amount at end
of business day. This may help customers avoid negative
To avoid possible negative balances in the future, you can
have Overdraft Protection set up on your checking account
through a savings account, credit card, or Home Equity
Line of Credit. Transfers are made in increments of
$50.00. There is a transfer fee of $10.00 each time this
is used. If you are interested, please contact us at the
To apply for overdraft protection, you may visit a Chase
branch or contact our Telephone Sales Center at
1-800-CHASE24 (1-800-242-7324). Telephone Sales
representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a
day, seven days a week.
Here at Chase providing excellent and efficient customer
service is our goal. I hope that I have provided you with
such service today. It has been a pleasure assisting you
and do have a great day.
If you have any questions or require further assistance,
please e-mail us via the Secure Message Center or contact
our Internet Service Center at 1-877-242-7372.
Joanna Lynn Trevino
Internet Service Center
Original Message Follows:
———-My original Message—————
Can you please tell me from a policy manual would be
great what your policy is on the order checks are
processed. It appears that your policy is to process
checks from the larger amount to the smaller. Is this
indeed the policy? And if so, why? The obvious answer is
because it generates your bank more money. For a bank that
took public bailout money that seems unacceptable. If it
is the policy, you could easily do the reverse resulting
in less fees for you, but a more satisfied client base.
The most fair policy would be to process them in the exact
order in which they enter your system. If this is the
policy, please provide me with the exact time stamp of all
the NSF checks I have had in the last month. Please be
aware that I am currently a VERY dissatisfied long time
Wamu customer for 20 years customer, and I m seriously
considering switching banks. For your bank to have taken
public money, and then continue what appears to be a
policy designed to continue to charge customers extra fees
is unconscionable at best and unethical at worst. I look
forward to your reply. Please be sure that your management
knows my views, and be aware that an unsatisfactory
response i.e. not refunding at least some of the fees,
providing time date stamps and/or at the very least
providing the written policy will lead to my leaving your
bank, and publicizing why to my many Twitter and Facebook
followers/friends. Thanks for you time and attention to
Due to my success in getting high rankings for a small card and gift store and LED online reseller, I’m now working on raising the rankings for an author who does author and illustrator visits and a manufacturer of rechargeable LED flashlights. Once I get the rankings for those two up there, I have a better portfolio for getting other SEO work.
I’d also like to raise the rankings for this blog for the terms six and “number six”. No real reason except to see if I can. Not that that many people search for the term six by itself, and those who search for number six are most likely either Prisoner or Battlestar Gallactica fans. Of course, the most searched on term involving the number six is six flags.
A couple of other sites I’ve worked on, which I’d love to get raised in rankings is a friend whose company does events and concert promotions, and another author, who does book signings. Although neither of them will ever get much higher rankings without adding some content (ahem, Rita, Carl are you reading?). There is only so much I can do to optimize a site for high rankings. A lot of the rankings game is based on incoming links, and without content to attract such links a site won’t achieve higher rankings. So I encourage each and every person out there who is attempting to get higher search engine rankings, write something, anything, even if it is drivel like the above. Hey, most of Twitter is drivel, yet people still read it. Of course, the more interesting the drivel is, the more likely people will link to it.
I am available to help you optimize your site for higher search engine rankings, and my rates are reasonable with discounts for non-profits. You can learn more about me on linkedin, or drop by my store most anytime, as I’m usually there during the work week.
Humans can stop reading here (or continue if you just have time to kill), as the following is just to hammer home the search terms that I used above to the search engines.