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Cassorla Law, LLC understands the attention to detail, communication, trust and expertise required for personal representation and contracting. When your name is on the line, Cassorla Law, LLC, delivers results carefully executed to your highest standards. _____________________________________________________

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My love affair with Rhapsody may be coming to an end

Ok, so I've never had a terribly good financial head. Let's face it; I'm great at anything book-smarts related and absolutely lousy at anything street-smarts related. I suck at the non-theoretical. But at least I'm willing to admit it.

So, of course, as part of that whole growing up and turning into an adult thing, I've suddenly decided to learn how to deal with checking and savings and IRAs and 401s (and I thought they were jeans) and so on. I sometimes wonder if there're folks whose sole job is to sit in a back room trying to find a way to make it even harder to balance a checkbook (or three) while making it seem easier.

Now, I've been with my bank for a while, but recently (read a couple years ago) opened a credit union acct so I could get away from the bank because their favorite sport seems to be finding new ways to charge people like me for being money stupid. And I think they may have gotten more of my money over the years than I have. No blame here--though I am bitter and feel like blaming, I must take and own my part in this mess. I am a money moron.

Anyhow, I ended up sometimes charging one account for a recurring cost and sometimes another--depending on where the money was, of course. And so it was with Rhapsody. I've been a member of Rhapsody since its inception. I pay monthly, though I used to pay quarterly. I loved the access to so much music. Especially since I am a fan of world music (and especially Israeli music) and could get it there. I was proud to not buy into Apple's i-Tunes (has anyone but me noticed that Mac's making the same proprietary mistakes IBM made that got it out of the computer market fast?). I even recommended it lovingly to friends.

And then I decided to learn how to balance a checkbook. And found out they've been over- and double- charging me, fo MONTHS.

So I call. Henry tells me he has no record of his company cheating me out of hundreds of dollars. Gosh, can I call my bank and see if they can tell me what's up? I did. They did. We're in the process of fixing it. But in the process of gathering my proof, so my bank will believe me, I've discovered that Rhapsody has been screwing around with me on the credit union side, too! They've charged me on that account every single month they charged on the bank account. Hmmm....problem? Hell yeah!

So, of course, I will begin by calling Rhapsody again on Monday, after I talk again with my bank and make sure they're ok with that. But I'm going to have a really tough time being civil about it--because I don't believe the person hired to answer the phone for a company deserves my ire just because his or her company screwed up. I'm also going to have a tough time finding a new music service, but really, how do you stay with a music service that believes it can just take your money when it feels like it?

I know I can't.

Bye bye (or if it makes it easier for y'all to read; buy buy) Rhapsody!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Gosh, Virginia, that's a great idea! Not--Part II

So what else could possibly be wrong with the $168 billion stimulus package?

Only that the checks--for as little as $300 or as much as $600 (before the $300 bonus per child is added in)--won't go out until May. The recession, however, is happening now. By May things may be different--actually, by May things will be worse if our economy doesn't pick up now.

Is congress dilly-dallying? Not really. Congress is doing what congress does best; making a lot of noise in the hopes that it will pass for governance. I'm sure there are some politicians out there whose interest is in actual governance. I'm also sure they don't last long.

Those in it for the job lose the job because those in it for other reasons are in it to get rehired. And when you spend your job time working on getting rehired, you're likely to get, well, rehired. Basically, those folks who make it far enough to have "names"--face it, most of you don't know who is in congress besides McCain, Clinton and Obama and maybe who you voted for personally--have also made it far enough to have become celebriticians.

Congress is trying to get rehired. Joe Bloe from Indiana can go home and tell folks he did what he could to save their economic lives. He can then point to himself as a good-guy and ask for his job back. And few people will ask him if he really thinks it worked. Because it won't matter if the economy rebounds. If it does, congress will take credit and if it doesn't, congress will shift blame.

And, really, $300?

No, Virginia, it isn't christmas and there is no Santa Claus.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gosh, Virginia, that's a great idea! Not.

Ok, so congress, in a tizzy, has decided to "stimulate" the economy by sending every person who pays taxes some extra cash. Too bad that won't do a darn thing for the economy.

There are a couple of interesting things one should look at in this situation. First, in my mind, is the war. Wars, as a general historical rule, stimulate economies. There is often some privation during the war, and folks sacrifice to some extent or another, but there's more building, more technological breakthroughs, more science and medicine, and more more more means a better economy--so much so that when "the boys"--and women--come marching home, the economy has to readjust because wartime jobs go away just as a massive portion of the population returns.

Not so for George W. Bush's war. His war--though one could as easily call it his father's war--has effectively shut down the economy. Somehow, that makes sense. Dubya has made his life's work to achieve what his father hadn't--probably out of some "overdeveloped sense of vengeance," I hear Count Rugen whisper in my ear. Nothing to be done for it. Dubya has set his mind against being usefully lame duck-ish and no one can deter him from making detrimental decisions until the next president takes office and makes detrimental decisions.

Seems odd, no?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A little O2, PLEASE

Oh-Two! O2!

Oh how I wish I could breathe!

It started with a sinus infection. This one is not as amusing as last year's--when every time I coughed or sneezed I would pass out. Now, as always happens, I have bronchitis and it's trying to become pneumonia. I'm ready to strangle my MD. He knows this is what's going to happen. My chemo makes me very very susceptible to respiratory infections.

Meanwhile, I'm falling behind on work. I hate it when my students have to wait for me to feel better before they get their grades. So, of course, I'm up in the middle of the night, grading blogs and realize I didn't blog last week. Thank goodness they can miss a couple of weeks without really losing anything major from their grades. That means I can miss a week or two without having to change my forgiveness policy in their favor.

I sometimes wonder if my students even care that all the rules apply just as much to me as to them. I wonder if they even care about any of it, except their grades. I think I'm just feeling down right now. I'm usually very upbeat about my students and teaching.

Maybe, just maybe, a combination of no sleep (because it's impossible to sleep when you can barely breathe) and chest pain is ruining my attitude. Better stop blogging.