Student loans

I wrote three lengthy comments in response to NPR’s Facebook story about student loans. I abandoned those, and then I was just going to post something on my Facebook feed. I abandoned that, too.

But I feel compelled to say this.

I’m really effing tired of hearing about your effing student loans. I really don’t care.

Oh, I can’t say that either, even if I qualify it.

Go ahead, take away my Progressive Left-Wing Club Rewards Card.

I don’t seem to be able to go on the record with anything controversial anymore on here. I used to do it all the time.

No need to comment with your own tale that demonstrates how I don’t get it. I probably do get it. Maybe I just loathe 90% of college graduates between 21 and 30 because I’m still, at heart, a misanthrope, and a old, crotchety one, at that.

Ok, I’m done here.

UPDATE Dammit, I should qualify this by saying that I support the Occupy protesters who understand that they’re protesting because they feel like government serves primarily “the 1%”, the corporations, and the banks, and that people have lost their livelihoods, their homes, and their dignity because of Wall Street greed and politicians’ enabling of that greed. Somehow, I just make a distinct between those people and the law school grads who can’t find jobs. The law school grads ARE going to find jobs eventually, and they’ll pay off their student loans, even if it takes them 15 or 20 years. They will be fine. The 50-year-old unemployed factory worker ain’t gonna find shit, and when the law school grad gets his job, he’s not going to give a shit about that other guy anymore. Done again.

UPDATE And THIS (protesting Marine vet has fractured skull, critically injured by police) is really effed up regardless of why anyone is protesting.


Happy Holidays to all 308 million people in America except for Laurinda Swank

Laurinda Swank is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of my former bank, First Internet Bank, aka First Internet Bank of Indiana. FIB served me well for seven years, until their customer service took an acute turn south in the past year or so. I was already going to dump my account with them. At one point, through one of my own frequent accounting errors, I was left with a -$15 balance.

I had decided to set up direct-transfer capabilities from my credit union account. In hindsight, this was not necessary because I had this link established going out of FIB. But I set this up anyway, unaware that, in addition to the customary test deposit, a test withdrawal would be made. So, my FIB account received a 27-cent deposit, as well as a 22-cent withdrawal. I was charged the usual $30 NSF fee for the withdrawal. And now my FIB balance was -$45.

I had had way too many of these $30 NSF fees over the years. Occasionally, FIB customer support would refund one when the random transaction processing order or their lack of an immediate deposit method as an online bank was to blame, but this was probably around 10% of the time. FIB still made a killing from these NSF fees from me over the years. I was leaving them, in part, because of a last-straw with increasing poor service.

This $30 fee for a 22-cent test ACH withdrawal was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. Independent of any other activity, surely a reasonable agent of FIB would recognize this absurdity and give me a refund of the fee. No dice. Twice.

I submitted a complaint via the Better Business Bureau of Indianapolis. That went to one Laurinda Swank. Ms. Swank icily stated that I had received fee reversals in the past, and I would not receive one in this case.

I think I could have responded, but I wanted to focus on getting my numerous bill-payments and automatic withdrawals out of FIB. This is an arduous task that I would only recommend doing roughly once a decade.

So, back to Ms. Laurinda Swank. I will not judge this creature of the universe. But I take her decision against my interests personally, and I would like to go on record in wishing her a mildly unpleasant holiday season. Maybe a flat-tire in the driveway before she’s supposed to be somewhere, like a nephew’s piano recital.

In addition to Ms. Swank, I would also like to wish a mildly unpleasant holiday to Nancy Grace. She’s on the television set above me, and Swift Justice deserves swift cancellation.

On a related note, Maury Christmas, everybody!

A very Maury Christmas

On the latest Facebook redesign

I switched to the new Facebook profile now rather than wait for them to do it for me one day. I hate Facebook more with each new upgrade. All the new Facebook does is make me more acutely aware of how I can’t figure out anything by which I’m happy to define myself. I am not my job. I am not my four years at college. I am not where I grew up. Or, at least, I don’t want to be defined by these quick-and-easy biographical factoids.

Also, I’ve untagged myself from all Facebook pictures. I don’t wish to be tagged anymore. I certainly don’t want the last five photos of myself strewn across my profile. Strewn? In fact, I don’t think I’ll keep most of the pictures I’ve got of myself on there.

I don’t mind telling you anything and everything on this blog. (I guess I do mind; I’m battling with myself all the time about what ought to go here). The thing about this blog is that it’s on my own website, and that I don’t even use my name. If this isn’t your first time on this site, you probably know my name. But it’s different hiding behind a moniker somehow. The Facebook page is under my name, and there are certain attributes you are supposed to share with everyone to form the portrait of who you are. Maybe that’s it; that’s what I hate. I prefer the open-ended essay to the guided Q and A.

No, I don’t just prefer the open-ended nature of a blog. I despise how a site like Facebook seeks to define me by a tidy set of questions and a row of pictures.

I look at the new Facebook, and I feel like Facebook is encouraging me to be a narcissist. Look at me! Look at everything about me! Frankly, a lot of times, I really can’t stand me, and Facebook doesn’t seem to get that. Perhaps today, I just want my name and my picture and brief statement that says, “That’s it.”


Alas, most people I know communicate via this hideous tool, so if I am to remain even the slightest bit of a social being, I need to use it.


You know what it is? Facebook amplifies your life…and they probably would love that as slogan. It’s wonderful if things are going pretty well for you…you can share how well everything is going, and you can marinate in it, and everyone you know can join you… But if things are not going so well…well, it’s not exactly amplified…Facebook pages rarely turn into portraits of doom and gloom…there’s the facade of a happy person with good stuff going on…look–pets, job, good college, smiling in all these pictures, all sorts of amusing interests… It’s just not an accurate representation of life…for ME…it’s not. My Facebook profile seems like it belongs to someone else. It’s not the same person who hates getting out of bed every morning and hates going to sleep because he dreads that next morning.


Have you ever seen a Facebook page that just screamed out to you,

I hate getting out of bed every morning, and I hate going to sleep every night, because I dread tomorrow.

Of course not. Nobody would “friend” such a person. Nobody with 847 friends says shit like that.

No, I don’t need or want 847 friends. But I certainly don’t have 179 or whatever Facebook says I’ve got. Yes, I know I have friends. At the moment, I’m just saying…

…I have no conclusion. I forgot what my original point was. I’ve just been typing…and it’s been mostly garbage…and I don’t care…see…I don’t need to worry about “what not to say on Facebook” or that I’m being one of the “10 types of friends on Facebook that annoy you”…I should get some sleep…

Facebook…in a book

Dear Mr. Toastie,

We are currently in the final stages of preparing Duke University Alumni Today, the first publication ever to feature directory listings along with photos and essays submitted by alumni. We need your help! A brief telephone call will ensure your listing is completely accurate and up-to-date.

Please, give us a call at your convenience this week so that we may verify your information with you.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in making this publication a success.

Um, the only way this publication might be a success would be if the year were 1982. Gee, I wish I had all my favorite Facebook profiles and blog feeds…in a book!

Not to mention that I can’t begin to describe just how little I care that Chaz Farnsworth III (Trinity ’98, Fuqua ’03, Law ’04) owns his own international finance consulting company in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife Kathryn Anne Whittingham-Farnsworth (Trinity ’03) and two children, Chaz IV and Madelyn Cameryn.

Toastie’s in a bad mood today. Just today, Toastie?

912 —— (People who leave their pets out in the cold [repost])

Original post from 01-03-2008


Since Jade is still out there in the extreme cold and the extreme heat, 24/7/365, after nearly two years, I feel compelled to publish the address where this poor mastiff lives in her pen. A spring thaw will be here any day now, but, for one more night, her water will probably freeze over. Animal control has been over there a few times; the owners apparently aren’t doing anything cruel enough to warrant having to surrender the dog. I think the actual owner, the guy who owns the dog but doesn’t live there (while his mother and grandmother “care” for the dog) takes Jade out for a walk perhaps once a month. Otherwise, her life has been that 8×8 pen for nearly two years.

Not only is it cruel to treat an animal like this, but it makes for a really inconsiderate neighbor to allow for what amounts to the sound of sawing wood to emanate from your backyard at all hours of the day and night for close to two years.

912 —– Street. Durham, NC. Any mastiff rescue groups out there who want to try to coax the owners to give up the dog? Anyone have any ideas? I have nothing to say to the people who live there; they’re not nice people. I haven’t contacted the owner of the house. Property records point to Libra Properties with a mailing address in Carrboro. I can’t imagine that landlord is unaware that the tenants have kept a mastiff in a pen non-stop for two years.

UPDATE 3/2/09 5:36AM It’s officially a snow day here. I’d like to go back to sleep but can’t, because Jade has been barking for the past 45 minutes non-stop. She does truly sound like someone is sawing wood. I could call the policy non-emergency number, but I don’t think the police care about a barking dog in the middle of a snowstorm. “Do you want an officer to call you?” they’ll ask me. No, I don’t…I want to go back to sleep…and I don’t want to hear about how you can’t do anything productive about this dog.

I really hate these people at 912 ——. Jade won’t shut up, and I can’t stand her 50-minutes-plus of barking this morning, but this is certainly not her fault.

UPDATE 3/2/09 1:22PM I don’t hate these people. I hate how they’ve treated their dog.

UPDATE 4/30/10 12:33AM Removed street name, because I should not vilify people without knowing all information.

Quick Email to Car Dealer

[“Internet Sales Manager”],

When I fill out a form on the internet asking for a quote, I want a quote, not a series of form emails telling me how great [local Honder dealer] is. I think I can trust that the best deal is to be found elsewhere. I don’t really care about free car washes.