Payday Loans

Archived Posts from Woops, Bought Crap

Yeah grows on tree my ass.

If you like to waste money by being stupid, forgetful, and lazy, here’s five ways to do it.

DMV Registration Late Fee – $39

Why pay your car registration on-time? Live life “dangerously” by delaying your smog check and car registration. If you hold out long enough, the penalty fee along with your chance of getting car impounded increases exponentially!

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Lenovo IdeaPad S10 Netbook

  • Intel Atom 1.6 Ghz (ala Pentium M 1.2 Ghz in performance), 512 MB of RAM, 80 GB SATA HDD, GMA 950, 1.3 mp webcam, 3 cell battery and Windows XP Home.
  • 9.8 x 7.2 x 1.08 inches; 2.4 lbs; $429 MSRP.
  • Hands-on Video from Laptopmag on Youtube.

When the netbook market started getting more of a traction last year due to the release of the Asus EEE PC — I proclaimed aloud into an empty room on how I’ll never buy a wannabe laptop with zero functionality, battery life, and processing power. Soon after the declaration, I closed the Firefox tab and went back to my intensive game of Minesweeper.

A little over a year later, while on a different Firefox tab browsing through Fatwallet, I saw a ridiculously low-priced Lenovo IdeaPad S10 ($362 after coupon and Live.com cashback), whipped out my credit card and hit the submit button on the ordering page before I even knew what happened.

Hmm… f*ck.

But truthfully the impulsive purchase wasn’t as impulsive as it reads, because I knew there was quite a time frame involved before the Lenovo S10 was available to ship, giving me some time to cancel the order (and now it seems that shipping time frame will be even longer, maybe all the way into November).

After some consideration of other netbooks in similar configurations — such as the Asus EEE PC 1000H; the MSI Wind; the nicely priced Acer Aspire One ($400 for 6 cell on Amazon); and the recently released Dell Mini 9 — I decided to keep my order of the Lenovo IdeaPad S10, even with Lenovo’s entire sketchy pre-ordering ordeal (if you’ve also ordered an IdeaPad S10, you’ll know what I’m talking about).

The decision process was as follow:

  1. Not much of a laptop person (in fact, never owned one), but got sick of bumming laptops off friends and family when I needed the mobility.
  2. With netbooks pricing of around $350 to $550, you’re coming close to various categories of budget laptops, which are usually 15″ machines weighting at about 6.5+ pounds.  Not my cup of tea.
  3. A full-feature portable laptop (that’s under 3 or 4 pounds) will cost more than $1,500… and I’m just too much of a cheap ass to spend that much.
  4. Recent netbooks are equipped with bigger hard drives and Windows XP, giving you the option to run other applications so you can do more than just surf and type.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10 Shipping

In either case, the Lenovo isn’t shipping until supposedly September 23rd (realistically a much later date), so I’ll have many more nights to sleep on the purchase.  But I think I’ll end up keeping the order — after all, blogging in a Starbucks or Panera Bread has always been my childhood dream.

Update: Just for those people stumbling in via search looking for updates, Lenovo has updated the ship date to 10/21/2008. If you’ve ordered a white one within hours when it was available on Lenovo’s site, you should have yours shipped recently on 9/23/08. Supposedly the white ones are shipping first. Meh!

Sunset on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Sea

Just came back from a weekend getaway cruise (first cruise! snapshot above).

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • The ocean can be quite scary at night.
  • Tall places with little railing is also a bit scary.
  • Apparently, I’m still a wuss.
  • Not locking or turning off your cell phone while roaming can cost you an extra $24.95 in charges.

T-Mobile international roaming charges.

I forgot to lock the keypad on my Blackberry while I was dancing badly aboard the cruise ship, and an accidental call was made to a friend. Thankfully her answering machine only allowed a message length of four minutes, or else I’ll be weeping terribly as I write this post.

Half an hour after the accidental call, my friend checked the message and called me back, wondering why she wasn’t invited to whatever party I was at. The call went straight to my voicemail box, as I didn’t have reception by the time she called back.

Here’s the kicker:

If you have T-Mobile, as per their International Roaming FAQ, unless you switch your device off or activate Unconditional Call Forwarding on your device, you will be billed for calls delivered to your voice mail box while you are roaming internationally.

So even though I didn’t pick up the call or check the voicemail, I was charged the spectacular rate of $4.99 per minute for receiving a voicemail message while roaming.

Ouch.

If you have T-Mobile and you see an expensive call coming from 805-637-7249 on your bill, you were most likely charged for receiving a voicemail while roaming internationally. Turn off your phone or lock your keypad and save some money.

The really stupid part is that this is the third time I’ve accidentally made a call while traveling abroad. You’d think I’ll learn by now…

Sweet! Empty bookcase.

I know. It’s not very exciting.

Pre-ordering the latest iPhone; splurging on a Pleo; or painting my car in ‘race flame red’ would all be a more exciting headline. But alas, being the boring hermit that I am, I bought a $30 bookshelf at IKEA.

After all, I need a sensible place to put my adult material DVDs — I mean, reference books for personal development…

Right. That’s it. Reference books.

One gripe: the IKEA site listed the bookcase as $19.99, but the store in Costa Mesa, CA has it for $29.99. Oh well.

Related Posts:

So the pay day has finally come. I can finally cash out and say what I’ve always wanted to say to colleagues, family, and friends — because I’m stinking rich. It is strange that lucky events often happens to me on April First of every year – but who am I to deny destiny?

What to do first? Perhaps buy myself another private jet? Or another 3 series from BMW? But why stop at the poor man’s M3?

With odds of 1 in 175,711,536 for the Mega Millions, many of us would expect that many Americans would know better to avoid sinking money into lottery tickets — but unfortunately according to a survey from the Consumer Federation of America, 21% of Americans still believe lottery to be a practical means of wealth accumulation.

You can argue that when the jackpot reaches a certain astronomical value, the positive expected value would warrant a lottery ticket purchase. And we can throw other factors such as after-tax results, taking the lump sum, more than one person winning into the equation, and have some math debate about probability theory — but in general, it is still safe to say that most lottery tickets are a crappy bet.

Anyhow, who cares? I’m stinking rich.

Sure, it’s a bit strange that I’ve won a lottery that I haven’t entered myself into, but hey, a “National Lottery” from the city of Istanbul can’t be wrong!

Related Post & Articles:

Mmm... wasteful

There is a very, very good reason why this post is showing up in the middle of the night.

  1. Maybe I’ll get less heat for buying this.
  2. Maybe I can delete this post before anyone reads it.
  3. The picture from the previous post is creeping me out.

Last year, I tried to buy some new rims for the car. The deal didn’t pan out, so I just sort of pretend I never wanted the wheels in the first place.  All was well until the tire tread on my Bridgestone Potenza RE950 started wearing out.

And so, after some tough decision making while in the bathroom, I decided to buy some new wheels along with the new tires.  My justification? Uh… I can save some money by putting them both on the car at the same time? Hah.

Of course, the wheels were delivered to my house after I left Southern California for Northern California. I never got to put them on at the same time.

Here are some reasons why this purchase was stupid:

  1. The wheels are still NOT on my car. They’re 400 miles away, sitting at home.
  2. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the original wheels on my car, other than them being “ugly” steel wheels with hubcaps.
  3. Car accessories tend to depreciate in value, along with the already depreciating car (kindly noted by dforester in the previous post).
  4. Did I mention I bought something that I’m not even using?

Other than those reasons above, they’re pretty cool. Cost a little bit under $400 for all four. About 12 pounds each at 15 x 6.5, 4 x 100, and +38 offset.

Can’t wait to put them on the car one day… heh.

Related Post:

mmm... map-a-riffic

Last month, in anticipation of my move from one part of California to another, I decided to ditch Verizon Wireless and switch to T-Mobile, as my plan didn’t have free long distance, nor did it have nationwide coverage (it was some obscure, cheap local plan that Verizon doesn’t even offer anymore).

Anyhow, long story short, I went with the white Blackberry 8100 Pearl, since you can now find it “free” from many online retailers (plus $50 cash-back after mail in rebate). Got the white one because it’s prettier (heh).

At first, free for a ~$300 phone sounds cool, but of course you gotta get the two year contract. Plus a plan that’s at least $39.99, and a data plan for $19.99 (minimum of six months). Don’t forget the setup fee of $35.

So in total I paid $10 for some random service charge the wireless dealer charged for the phone. The $50 rebate will cover that charge plus the initial setup fee, whenever the rebate gods decides to mail the check to me.

First month’s bill? $89.95 (eeesh).

And so the phone’s hardly free, as I’m required to have a $20 data plan for six month that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.

I’ve also bought a $27 micro SD memory card (2 gb). Which was a bit stupid because:

  1. It’s been establish that I don’t listen to music
  2. I don’t really care much for taking pictures too

I was thinking about canceling the data plan after six months, but now that I have email, internet and Google map (at a slow speed of 115 kbps) at my fingertips, I’m swaying a bit in my decision (plus you can plug the Pearl into any laptop and use it as a modem).

At the end, I’ll still most likely cancel the data plan, as $60+ a month for a cell phone service is just too bling bling for this cheap bastard (although Google map really saved my ass lately as I roam around the streets of Mountain View and San Fransisco).

The phone’s camera is fairly neato too:

Yesterday, I went to Target in Sunnyvale to stock up on food and random household supplies. To my ghetto surprise, the Target in question was a two-story building! Wowzer!

My first thought was: how the heck are they going to get the shopping cart onto the second floor? And then my question was answered:

An escalator, for shopping carts! Wowzer!

An escalator for shopping carts! Wooooo!

Naturally, I quickly took out my fancy new phone, snapped a picture (as my fellow escalator riders looked on with dismay), and continued to ogle all over the contraption as people walk by trying not to stare.

Good times.

Related Post:

After last month’s 25+ hour flights, and the 36+ hour train ride from a few days ago, I realized that traveling could be quite tedious unless you pay for the comfort.

Being the super famous, A-list, filthy-rich professional blogger that I am, I decided to get myself a nicer ride than the poor man’s M3 that I bought last year, the Gulfstream 550 (coincidentally purchased on the same date).

40 mil for some spiffy comfort

At a price tag of about $40 million, my new Gulfstream has a seating configuration of 16 (because all A-list bloggers should have a decent size posse). With cruising range of around 12,000 km, I can now travel to from Los Angeles to São Paulo without any issue.

Some Gulfstream 550 facts:

  • Crew: 1-2 pilots, 2 attendents
  • 14-19 passengers
  • Cruise speed: 0.85 mach
  • Range: 6,750 nautical miles
  • Price: $33 ~ $43 million
  • Annual fixed cost: $820,000
  • Variable hourly cost: $3,500

At a somewhat hefty fixed cost of $820,000, about a quarter of which is for the captain and co-pilot, I decided to be the thrifty blogger that I am and get an airline transport pilot certification (and also lasik surgery to get my eyesights corrected).

Unfortunately pilot training was tougher than I thought, so I’m now down about another $60,000 for the non-refundable tuition fees. It’s alright though, the point was to travel in comfort, and although the Gulfstream’s four electronic flight instrument system displays are quite spiffy, looking at it for hours on end is not my idea of fun.

Now to look for some hot (male or female) flight attendants…

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