TARP is obviously working.  I applied for a HELOC a few weeks ago, here was JP Morgan Chase’s response:

Thank you for your recent application for a Home Equity account. We regret that we are unable to grant your request for credit at this time. This decision is in no way a reflection of your credit – it is simply indicative of the current housing market and the decreasing equity in most homes.


First – they’re right, it’s not my credit.  My credit is spectacular.  Secondly, I wasn’t asking for much at all – pay off a few higher interest bills and have some left over for a new dishwasher and water heater.  I have a credit card issued by them that has four times the amount available that I was asking for.

So let’s recap:  A few years back they started lending to anyone and everyone with barely a second glance at their credit score.  Surprise, this didn’t work out so well for them.  I’m simplifying, but then people got creative with these bad debts and sold them as not so bad… that with some bad calls by Greenspan and his boys and we’re at today.  You could argue that a good part of our problem started with the banks lowering their standards.
So because they were greedy back then, now I can’t get a loan from them.  So they’re losing even more money because they’re not going to get that interest I would have paid them.  Brilliant.  And I end up giving someone else more in interest and can’t buy a new dishwasher and water heater which is probably costing a few more people their job… which means they won’t be buying anything extra for Christmas this year.  And TARP was supposed to ‘free up’ some money so banks would start lending again.  Obviously not working.  Screw the banks – “They made their bed…” comes to mind.  Fire them… fire them all.  Give me the money – I’ll create jobs and lend it.  I’d lend it for next to nothing, but you’d better have a damn good credit score.

The subprime primer

I’m Calling “BS” Trane!

Back in October I was forced to replace my furnace.  My insurance was awesome about the entire thing.  Love them.  They went after The Stupid Company’s insurance and must have done pretty well because I got 60% of my deductible back.  I got a newsletter from The Stupid Company.  It has the president’s name on it.  I’m guessing I can find an email address or phone number and have a little chat with him.  At the very least, I’d like a refund on the service I paid for.  Heh… that might just be fun.

Anyway… to my point.  The Trane salesman, as nice as he was, made some big promises.  He sold me on the  Trane XV80 – two-stage, variable speed fan, whizbang whatever.  I’m pretty sure he claimed that move to that one (I was only looking at the 80% ones anyway) would save me like 30% on my utility bills.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to save me that much, but 15% would be nice.  I can’t speak for the savings on the electric because I haven’t been paying much attention and that’s harder to call.  But the gas savings has been nonexistent.  Actually, I think it increased a little.
2/08 – CCFs: 99 – Heating Degree Days: 1194 – Days in Billing Cycle: 32
2/09 – CCFs: 102 – Heating Degree Days: 1190 – Days in Billing Cycle: 29
So the weather was about the same, and I actually used a little more gas in a couple less days.  Not complaining, it’s a perfectly fine system… just proof that companies throw around statistics and promises that don’t really mean anything.  Not that we’re surprised, right?

Still need to cover the $85 headlight change, new roaster… never put up the ‘after’ pictures of the landscaping.

Ignore this part… just trying something.  New Comfort Heating and Cooling New Paris

Problem With The World Today

Actual conversation at Blockbuster

“Yeah, I’m exchanging the mailed one for this one… the mailed one is broken.  I didn’t know if you guys had to mark it or something”

“How did it get broken?”

“Uhh… I opened it today and it was cracked from the center to the edge.  I’m not sure how it happened”

“Umm… ok… yeah.. whatever.  I don’t know what to do with it.  I don’t care.  I take that back, they don’t pay me enough to care”

Now I’ve been places where it’s pretty obvious that people don’t give a shit about their job (the Quizno’s downtown is a great example) but I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with an employee where they verbally state it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had one of those jobs before – but I at least tried to hide that fact to non-coworkers.