Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Hate People that Litter!

I really, really try not to be someone who complains or criticizes others all the time, but then again I often find myself doing just that on this very blog. I guess it's difficult to keep totally quiet when something causes much aggravation, and I suppose it's a cathartic relief to vent about it in the blog world, at least for me.

So, where was I?

Oh yeah-- I hate people that litter!

This morning I was outside cleaning my yard and found a couple of scraps of paper sitting on my lawn. Strike 1.

Then I walked around a common area in my neighborhood and saw McDonald's cups and a Pepsi can sitting on the ground. Strike 2.

The last straw for me was watching a twenty-something girl in the passenger seat of a car driving by my house drop tissues out the window like it was no big deal. Strike 3.

Look folks, if you drop stuff on the ground, be it from a car, bike, or as you walk somewhere, you're ruining things for every other person around you. Nobody wants to see garbage all over the street/sidewalk/grass/garden, and nobody wants to have to pick up after you. Get a clue!

Ok, that's my rant. Next time I'll find something positive to write about. Promise!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where to Entrust Your Money

Getting down to the core of it, investing in stocks means you entrust people that work at public companies to get a better return on your money than you would be able to do on your own. In other words, when you have extra money sitting around, you can either spend it, put it in an interest bearing product (CD's, savings account, etc) or put it to use in another vehicle like stocks to try and get a better return. This entails higher risk obviously.

But with all of today's talks about bailout plans of financial institutions by the government, failing banks and investment companies, and a failing credit system, why should anybody trust other companies to get a better return than I can?

Okay, I'm being a little extreme, but all of this turmoil definitely has a negative reflection on the viability of blindly trusting other companies to do better than you can on your own in terms of getting return on investment. For better or worse the stock market is still the best system we have for building wealth, but now more than ever it's important to realize that you're still risking your trust in someone else to excel. Buyer beware and let's hope this whole thing shakes out soon and proves to be an improvement over where we've been.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where Would Women Turn without Chocolate??

I work with a lot of women in my office. And hardly a day goes by where I don't hear something along the lines of:

"I need chocolate!" or

"Do you have any chocolate?" or

"I have such a chocolate craving!" or

"Oh my god, does that have chocolate in it? That looks so good, can I have some?"

Well, you get the idea.

My question is, what would women do if chocolate was never invented? I doubt you'd hear something like:

"I need a turnip!" or

"Do you have any parsley?" or

"I have such a chard craving!"

Well, you get the idea.

I guess that really goes for anything though. Once you get a taste for something (be it a food, drink, or even just a personal preference like driving fancy cars) then you don't want to go back.

But the next time I hear "Oooh, I need some chocolate!" I'm tempted to respond with "Sorry, chocolate's been officially banned. Can I offer you some monkey brains?" That'll stir some things up around the water cooler...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Hurricane Ike has ravaged Texas and I feel for and fear for what the residents there have gone through and will have to go through in coming times. While reading this news report about the damage done, however, I just had to simultaneously chuckle and sigh when I came across this blurb about one resident of Southside Beach:

South of Galveston, authorities said 67-year-old Ray Wilkinson was the only residents (sic) who didn't evacuate from Surfside Beach, population 800. He was drunk and waving when authorities reached him on Saturday morning.

"He kinda drank his way through the night," Mayor Larry Davison said.

Wow. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Dream Bridge

After sitting for a half hour at 9:00pm last night in traffic on the dreaded eastbound I-76 Schuylkill Expressway, and after seeing the effects of a major accident on I-295 South in Cherry Hill this morning, I would like to call on all inventors and engineers to develop an "instant bridge" that can be quickly erected to allow traffic to simply go over an accident or small construction zone with only minimal interruption in traffic flow, and no imposition on the work being done underneath. That way, everybody's happy and there is no major mess on the roadways.

Yes, that's my dream bridge. Are there any smart people out there who can make this dream come to life?!? Or if such a thing exists, can we please find a way to implement it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Door to Door Fundraisers... Knock Somewhere Else

This evening, while I was making dinner, the doorbell rang. I knew right away that it must be a kid trying to sell me something to raise money for some venture or another. I pondered the option of not opening the door but then thought it could be my parents who have been known to stop by on occasion.

Sure enough a teenage girl was on my stoop when I opened the door, and she was holding a binder. I immediately cringed because I really despise when people do this. I understand the need to fundraise (heck, I work for a non-profit which has to do fundraising), but I really hate to be bothered at home by a desperate person without my having previously consented to see him/her. But I listened to her pitch, not wanting to be rude.

The girl was very well prepared with her pitch as she tried to sell me a subscription to help her raise money for an organization that involved students and some sort of project that she breezed over. I said no thanks, I just ended my subscription to that particular publication and was ready to close the door. She then asked me why I had ended the subscription. I said that I just didn't read it anymore and didn't want it again. She said that I could order the subscription and then cancel it right away and still be able to help her cause. I thought this was kind of fishy. So I declined again.

She then asked if I would like to make a donation anyway. I asked her if I could get a form and fill it out and mail it in. She took out a form and said I could use this as a receipt. But she said that I could not mail it in-- even though it had an address on the form. I then saw a website address (which I unfortunately didn't think to write it down or memorize it), and asked if I could donate online. She again said no. The fishiness continued to build here.

So I basically mumbled something about not wanting to give out money in person and that she should come back later, just trying to let her down easy. She said okay and finally left. She didn't return and hopefully she doesn't again, quite frankly. Interestingly, a little later on, I went online to try to find information on this supposed organization based on the information she told me. Of course I couldn't find anything despite doing mutliple searches. Something tells me this was a scam and I'm glad I didn't give anything to her.

This brings me to my conclusion here. While I understand the need to raise money, and I understand the need to ask people to give in order to raise that money, I really think it's in poor taste to stop by unannounced to a person's house to ask for money (and not just a dollar or two, but tens of dollars, mind you), without even knowing that person. A slick sales pitch and vague answers are simply unacceptable and I refuse to throw money at someone just to make them go away. It's really the lowest of the low ways you can fundraise if you ask me.

If anything, my tip would be for the fundraiser to start the pitch by saying "I'm not asking for any money at this time, but I was hoping you would take a minute to hear about X project that I think you will find interesting..." followed by a brief synopsis of what is going on, and accompanied by a brochure with ways I can get more information and ultimately give. This is at least in the direction of trying to build a relationship with me, not trying to bilk me for a few bucks.

Unfortunately it's people and organizations like this who give fundraising a bad name. On the whole, most fundraisers do not take this strategy, but the ones that do are instant turnoffs and give a bad reputation to other organizations that do it right.

Moral: If you're going fishing for money, don't be a fishy person representing a fishy organization and simply trying to bait unassuming people into donating.