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Conversations with credit card companies

One of my biggest goals for the first half of this year is to get out from credit card debt. Over the last 10 years, 2 kids, home purchase, 2 layoffs, private school, and various other costly things have had a tendency to accumulate quickly. A few times over the last decade I’ve made good progress on getting things paid down, but then something pops up and next thing I know there goes $3000 on emergency last minute plane tickets.

There is a CitiBank card I’ve had since I started college, and carried a balance on since the mid 90′s. As you might have already guessed, this one currently has my highest interest rate. After the recent government rule changes and an unfortunate accidental late payment, this card has a whopping 29% interest rate.

This year I’m also lucky enough to get a nice tax refund that’s not earmarked for something else, enough to cover the balance on this card – Yay!

So last night I called the card company and had a very polite conversation with a lady there. I asked very politely if she could lower my rate, I was put on hold for a moment, then she came back with a very polite script about how that was impossible at the time and they review these things every quarter and automatically make the proper adjustments.
Well then, I told her, I’d like to do a couple of other things while I had her in the line. I’d like to pay my balance in full and lower my credit limit (by a lot). This took her by surprise I think. She did as I asked, and finished our conversation with a question asking me if I’d like to transfer a balance. I politely told her no thank you, you interest rated are too high.

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19 March 2011
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Super cute little song from Ava’s Kindergarten Graduation

Catching up on some video uploads recently, I just uploaded the super cute song Ava and her class sang at her kindergarten graduation from ISTP (at the Cowper campus in Palo Alto)

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4 August 2010
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Margaux & Mamie

We had a visit from the kids grandmother (Mamie) from France a couple of months back. Here is a cute little video of Margaux putting her through her paces. 

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2 August 2010
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A little swimming

We got one of those Flip video cameras recently, along with the waterproof enclosure. Its a pretty fun toy!

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2 August 2010
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Life keeping me busy…

Well I’ve been at my new job with Context Optional for a year now (making visualizations, games, and applications for various companies on Facebook), second daughter was born and is now 16 months old, my oldest daughter has started first grade, and things just keep plugging along.

Ava seems to be getting smarter and more talented every day; and Margaux is a firecracker, running all over the place and getting into all kinds of mischef.

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2 August 2010
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Lotsa travel over the past couple of weeks

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been back and forth to New York for a day of fun and adventure with Ava, Chico to take Ava to visit cousin Korin and family, down to LAX and Long Beach to hop a boat for Catalina, spent 4 lovely relaxing days in Avalon, and we are now on the way back to Long Beach and LAX to fly home to SFO. Tomorrow I’m back on a plane to Chico to quickly pick up Ava and in a couple of weeks we are headed to France, and for me ultimatly Italy for my brothers wedding.

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28 June 2009
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My second trip down the road of Unemployment

Well its time I dust off my blog and put it to use. Friday I was laid off from after being there 2 weeks shy of a year. It was a startup very close to home here in San Mateo, close enough I could ride mybike to it. Unfortunately it was never much more than just a job so my departure is a good swift kick in the butt to go and do something I find engaging and fulfilling. 

Right now I’m setting up my goals of what I should be doing with my time off, well after all my final paperwork and unemployment is done. 

One of the main things I want to do with my time off is to really try out some of these really cool services (live above: Seesmic.com) to see what is really worthwhile, and what isn’t. I’ve liked the idea of seesmic for a while, but have just never found anything to post previously. This seems like a good opportunity.

Anyways here are some of my broader goals for the next few weeks while I look for  work:

  • wrap up my lectures for the beginning ActionScript class I’m teaching at the College of San Mateo this semester.
  • Finish my transition from ActionScript 2 to ActionScript 3
  • finally Learn Flex thanks to Adobe’s initiative for the unemployeed to learn flex: https://freeriatools.adobe.com/learnflex/
  • Update my blog here and my original website: http://www.confusionfree.com
  • Work on the prototype of the video application I’ve been planning over the last month
  • start some iPhone development with the free courseware offered here: http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs193p/cgi-bin/index.php   
    Note: my current mac  is a Power PC and not an intel based machine. Any friends or collegues who have an old crumby intel mac they no longer need, I can find it a good home! 
  • Email inboxes to ZERO
  • Spend some quality time with the family.

I think thats it for now, I’m going to be keeping track of my progress here, so you should be seeing more updates from me soon.

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5 April 2009
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No. 2

Well I’m happy to announce that number 2 is on the way! We just got the first peak today. He or she should be here in March…

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6 August 2008
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I’ve been quiet here way too long

Well I’ve let this blog stagnate here long enough. Luckilly I just got an iPhone and this awesome free wordpress application on it, and I thought I’d take it for a test drive. I thought typing on this little screen based keyboard would me tough, but it’s surprisingly quick and easy. Thanks to wordpress for this amazing little app!

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6 August 2008
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Away in Philly for a couple of days

Eveo sent me out to Philly for the week to get trained on a new system. It’s been interesting driving around here, especially since it snowed today (only a couple of inches though). Tomorrow (or is it today now?) I finish up the training and drive directly to the airport and back home….bound to be a long day.

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7 March 2007