03 March 2011
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Didn't I Just Do A "Plan"?

Why, yes I did.  You could call this failure to plan, of which I am frequently guilty, or you could consider that I might be talking about different kinds of plans, of which I am guilty in this instance. 

Verizon's Plan

Didn't I just do a "Verizon's Plan"?  Why, yes I did!  But this is a different plan.  It's the one that they Original multi-pound clunker cellphone from Radio Shack, circa 1986sell you when you sign up for their cellphone service.  I've had a "plan" from Verizon, almost from the first days of commercial cellular service.  (My current cellphone is a Droid X; my first was a multi-pound clunker from Radio Shack.)  You probably have a plan, too.  You give them money, they give you "minutes."  On the surface, entirely reasonable.  In fact, however, it verges on the diabolical.  Let's say you have 500 minutes and pay $50 per month.  That's 10 cents per minute, disregarding the made-up extra charges you find on your bill.  But wait!  Dare to use an extra minute and it's suddenly 45 cents per minute!  If you use around 500 minutes (you blabbermouth, you!), you're tempted to sign up for more minutes so you don't hit that ridiculous extra charge.  Of course if you use a lot fewer than 500 minutes, you can sign up for a much smaller plan.  Except, of course, they don't have one, since I would end up paying $1.00 month if they did, and they don't want that, either. 

I'm the last one to inveigh against corporate greed, and the "plan" plan that Verizon uses to maximize their revenue, instead of simply charging for usage, is very impressive.  I'm sure there's an "app" that tells smartphone users how many minutes they've consumed, and I'm sure there are smartphone users who dial the weather in Nome until they hit their plan limit.  I'm not that dedicated.

401K Plan

The point of the 401K is to allow individuals to invest money for retirement.  The way it works is sort of like an IRA (Individual Retirement Account).  You take money, put it in an investment "vehicle" of your choice, and it grows tax-free until you're old enough to have lost your job with no prospect of getting another*, at which point you need the money and you're in a lower tax bracket.  You take your original money back along with any investment income, and finally pay tax on the investment income at your new, lower rate.

Of course I'm lying.  That's the way it should work, sort of like an IRA.  Instead, the way it works is that there are administrative fees, fund fees, and no end of complications.  Speaking of corporate greed, if I were a financial corporation I would send a thank you note to the IRS and the Congress for designing this particular "plan" since there is a rake-off of one sort or another at every step, not to mention the costs in time and money an employer incurs in trying to find the best "plan" for everyone.

Girl Scout Cookie Quality Control

Girl Scout Lemonades(TM) cookies, 2011 batch.  A dollop ain't what it used to be.

I remember the days when a dollar was a dollar and a dollop was a dollop.  Alas, not any more.  I may have to switch to the Lemon Sandwich Creme Cookies if this is characteristic of the remainder of the Girl Scout Lemon Chalet Cremes.  (So far only one stack has been disassembled.)

*This may sound biographical, bitter, or both.  It is neither, although there are many people for whom it is, some of whom I know, some of whom I know read this blog, and with all of whom I sympathize.



Led Zeppelin "The Song Remains The Same" T-shirt


Led Zeppelin "The Song Remains The Same" tour.  I think this is an especially rare shirt, having the Swan Song record company logo on the back.  I could be wrong.

Led Zeppelin "The Song Remains the Same" T-shirt with Swan Song record company logo on the back.
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