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Square Debuts New Email Payment System

Violet Null Re:Sorry. (240 comments)

If you have the cash to pay off a credit card, then I can't see any good reason to have a credit card instead of a debit card. To pay more fees? How's that a bonus for you?

I have an American Express Blue Cash card; I get ~$400 in cash back every year, and there's no annual fee.

(In addition, the last I looked, the consumer protection on a credit card was better than a debit card, though that may have equalized in recent years.)

about a year ago

'No Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Coming To Florida?

Violet Null Re:Bad Idea (1219 comments)

I suspect what the GP means (and this is how it is in Illinois) is that taking a breathalyzer when asked to by law enforcement is a requirement of having the license. If a cop asks you to take one, you are allowed to say no, but if you do, you immediately forfeit your license. In Illinois, at least, refusing to take the breathalyzer is a summary suspension of your license for a year. However, it doesn't result in a DUI charge (at least, on it's own; if the prosecutor has other evidence, there may still be charges).

about 4 years ago

Percentage of New Years resolutions I have kept:

Violet Null News from the gym (177 comments)

Newsflash: People who go to the gym regularly hate January. Starting January 1st, there's a new flood of people showing up at the gym. Leaving aside the mobs who don't know what they're doing, especially with the free weights, there's simply *so* many of them that your gym routine becomes a chore because you have to wait for access to each new machine/station, and time limits are put onto the cardiovascular machines.

By February, 95% of these people have gone, and life can return to normal.

So, please. If you want to improve yourself and start going to the gym -- and bully for you for wanting to do that -- do *not* do it in January. Wait until February, avoid the lemming rush.

about 4 years ago

Facebook Post Juror Gets Fined, Removed, Assigned Homework

Violet Null Re:Unasked Question (539 comments)

When I served jury duty in the US courts, lawyers on both sides were given your name, address, and the answers you gave to a brief questionnaire.

When prospective jury members were being questioned in the voie dire, the lawyers addressed the prospective jury members by their last names ("Mrs. Jones, are you now or have you ever been a member...", etc).

more than 4 years ago

Which service is the last you would let lapse in a cash crunch?

Violet Null Re:Health insurance (637 comments)

The "real cost" is the cost for me to buy it myself, right?

One vial of insulin down at the local Walgreen's (pharmacy chain) is about $70. I require two vials a month (one Humalog, one NPH) -- $140. Syringes are $10 for a pack of 10[1], and I use 6 a day (4 Humalog injections, 2 NPH) -- $180. Test strips are $90 per 100, and I test 4 times a day -- $120. Throw in some more money for the lancets (those little sharp pins that are used to draw blood to test your sugar with).

[1] Syringes used to be five times cheaper -- $2 for a pack of 10, but that changes around 2004 or so, and the change was at all the pharmacies in my area. Syringes are a real pain to buy in a pharmacy because of all the legal record keeping that goes with them.

Would this stuff be cheaper in Mexico? Sure. But I don't live in Mexico. If I did, I wouldn't have the salary that I have here. Travelling to Mexico in order to pick up the medication even three months would eat up any savings. But even if they would ship it here for free, going by the prices quoted in the other guy's post, my current health insurance would *still* be cheaper ($150 / month vs $183.75 / month).

more than 4 years ago

Which service is the last you would let lapse in a cash crunch?

Violet Null Health insurance (637 comments)

I'm a type I diabetic. I just refilled my 3-month prescriptions today, to a tune of about $1,500 worth of stuff. Out of pocket cost to me: $0. Medical insurance for those three months: $450.

All of the other choices can be worked around. Not so with "being unconscious as your body enters ketoacidosis because you lack insulin".

more than 4 years ago

Man Swallows USB Flash Drive Evidence

Violet Null Re:Rights violation? (199 comments)

REGIS: For $16,000, the question is, 'What right do they have to risk the life of a presumed innocent man with dangerous surgery?' Your choices are...

A. The Patriot Act
B. The Alien and Sedition Act
C. The Jack Bauer Act
D. The part where he agreed to the surgery.

CONTESTANT: Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.


Um. I'd like to use a lifeline.

REGIS: Alright! Which lifeline would you like to use?

CONTESTANT: I think I'm going to use my "Read The Fucking Article" lifeline, Regis.

REGIS: Alright! Computer, please print out a copy of the article for our contestant!

CONTESTANT: *reads* Regis, I'm going to have to go with 'D', "The part where he agreed to the surgery."

REGIS: Final answer?

CONTESTANT: Final answer.

more than 4 years ago

"Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb

Violet Null As a Chicagoan... (863 comments)

As a Chicagoan (who drives, no less), I don't mind the new parking meters. Yes, the rates have gone up. Yes, the city government gave up a lot of revenue by leasing out the meters to a company who raised the rates, rather than having the balls to raise the rates themselves.

But, I can now use bills and credit cards to pay for the meter, which is infinitely more convenient than having to have quarters on hand. The meters themselves track the hours of operation and inform you *up front* about whether you have to pay or not -- if it's 7:30am and the meters don't go into effect until 9:00am, you'll be informed and if you pay anyway, the time you'll buy still starts at 9:00am instead of 7:30am.

However, the biggest thing I like is that I can actually find parking now. Back when parking was $0.25 an hour, you could park your car there all day for $2.50, which is what everyone did. Now that it's (shock) $1.00 an hour, most people just go for the lot. Even downtown, where it's $4.00 an hour, the upside is that I can find a place to park if I need to do some quick shopping.

And for people who complain that the left over time is wasted -- nothing stops you from taking your slip and putting it on/near the parking box for someone else to use if you've got a significant amount of time left on it.

more than 5 years ago

Circuit City Closes Its Doors For Good

Violet Null Re:I'm sure everyone is wondering also... (587 comments)

I needed an external USB hard drive. I had a $20 Circuit City gift card that I knew was approaching worthlessness. I saw their "Going Out Of Business -- Everything Must Go" signs, so I wandered in.

They had stacks of USB hard drives. The cheapest 500 GB one was ~$160. *After* their going out of business discounts, it was $120 + tax. I don't claim to have the pulse of prices down, but that seemed a bit steep. Walked down the block to the Best Buy. Same USB drive there was $90. Bought it, gave the gift card away.

about 6 years ago

The Neurological Basis of Con Games

Violet Null Re:Not me. (218 comments)

If you remember American Gods, who was getting conned in that case?

People dropping off the day's earnings at the ATM. Were they greedy? No, they were simply too trusting. But they got conned nonetheless.

Bringing in an element of the illicit helps a con because it makes the mark less likely to go to the police, and likely to publicize what happened, and greed certainly is a motivating factor...but it's a far cry from "you can't con an honest man". Honest men get conned all the time.

more than 6 years ago


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