Sunday, April 09, 2006


It’s been a while, so here goes:

I’ll start with the worst….the most stupid, the most irritating: When I bought the tickets for our flight from Louisville back to Tampa online, I inadvertently bought tickets with an 11:45 PM arrival instead of an 11:45 a.m. arrival…..can I even begin to describe how completely STUPID I felt???!!!

Of course the airlines, bastards that they are, want more than the original cost of the ticket to change the flight. I mean, what’s up with that deal? WHY would I pay $150 to change a ticket when the original ticket cost less than $100? WHY wouldn’t I just NOT use the original ticket and buy another? Yes, I know it was my mistake, but still, the airlines seem to want to take full advantage of my stupidity and rub my nose in it. Guess when it’s your ball park and your ball you can do that.

Our solution is to take a late night cab to my son’s house…..still WAYYYY cheaper than changing the flights or buying new tickets….and still more costly than it I’d done it right the first time. AARRGGHH…………


Speaking of bastards, can you believe the latest from GWB….aka shrub? At first when it was reported that classified information had been leaked he was quoted as saying that whoever was responsible would be “dealt with”….whatever that meant. Now, after months of waiting….for what, I’m not sure, it finally comes out that HE was the one who authorized the leak! I’m sorry, but can you spell T-R-E-A-S-O-N? (I’m sure shrub can’t) The whole situation is such a sad joke….but unfortunately WE pay the price! Sometimes it’s downright embarrassing to be an American when THIS person is our representative to the world. God….how many more days until the next election? And please….let the Democrats come up with a candidate who has intelligence, integrity AND a personality!


Back in January I faithfully entered the HGTV Dream House giveaway, just like I do every year. I know I have about as much chance of winning the house as I do winning the lottery, but at least it’s free to enter. Now that we’re back in the states I thought “Oh goodie! If I win, I’ll actually be here to accept the prize!” That is, I thought that until I saw a commercial on TV for the drawing……seems HGTV has already pre-selected three names, and the winner will be drawn from among those three. And now I’m trying to figure out….WHY would anyone other than friends of those three people even CARE about the drawing? Isn’t the suspense gone? Who’s going to be watching the show? Not me, that’s for sure.


Local television stations here in Louisville seem to have gone off the deep end when it comes to storm coverage. On several occasions we’ve had severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings. Yes, these are potentially serious situations…yes, people need to be warned, but come on! As soon as a situation develops, ALL the local stations go to NON-STOP coverage, which amounts to a guy standing in front of a radar screen, and occasionally someone will call in with a report of golf ball sized hail or the rumor of a funnel cloud.

I don’t mean to minimize the danger, but couldn’t we just have a crawly at the bottom of the screen, or a periodic weather radar update? As much as Art misses the weather radar in Italy, he’s more than had his fill since we’ve been in Louisville.


We’re trying to figure out what to do with our IRA money, now that Fifth Third Bank has locked us into some damned annuity that we can’t get out of for seven years! Yes, we CAN get out of it before the seven years are up, but of course they make sure that the penalties are stiff enough to make that course of action highly unlikely…..and VERY painful.

Our friend Art, a former broker, has suggested that we report Fifth Third to the Kentucky Attorney General’s office for taking advantage of us. As I find out more and more about this situation that course of actions sounds like at least a good way to vent my frustration. I’m sure it won’t do us any real good, but maybe it will eventually keep someone else from making the same mistake.

With this annuity fund of course we have to pay an annual fee, and are limited to the amount of OUR OWN MONEY we can withdraw now that Art is 59 ½. And to think, we were waiting expectantly for that magical day, only to discover that to withdraw any more than 10% of the initial investment comes with a hefty 7% “fee”….read: penalty.

Once again, not knowing the right questions to ask can get you into lots of trouble. Rest assured, once the seven years are up (only five to go!), our money will be moved….and hopefully the next five years will give us plenty of time to figure out where!


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