Limeguy out of control for post 171..

How old are you?  Here is a way to figure this question out. Do you remember a time when there were no ATMs? I do, I guess that makes me old. Back in the old days when you worked, you would get a paper pay check and then you would have to go to the bank and stand in line waiting for a teller so you could cash your paycheck. While you were having your turn with the teller you could deposit money or check your account balance. At this time there was no online banking. Heck, the internet was just being used by a few of the major universities.

Then the internet came along, and the banks got on the internet and they get networked. When the first ATM machines were introduced where we lived, they were touted as time savers for the customer. You could deposit money, withdraw money, transfer money and check your balance any time of the day without waiting in line for a teller. As young people we embraced the technology. The upside for the bank was the need for less tellers. Less tellers ment less salaries and greater profits. And the ATMs were working 24 hours – seven days a week.

Why are we walking down the memory lane of ATMs tonight? Good question, Virgina.  Here is the rub. We do business with TD Bank. Not by choice, by default. And, yes, I have been too lazy to change banks.  Our orignal bank was Commerce Bank. They built an empire in the Mid Atlantic and Florida by provide exceptional customer service. At some point about three years ago, they were bought out by TD Bank based in Canada. Ever since the purchase TD bank has changed all the rules in an attempt to generate more profits. 

The most recent change to our accounts was about a year ago when TD Bank informed us that we would have to use their ATMs or pay TD Bank 2.00 per transaction to use somebodies elses ATM machine.  Well, here in the Mid Atlantic, that must have cost the WAWA company huge money. The WAWA stores are convince stores. More and more of them sell gasoline as well. They have PNC Bank ATMs and don’t charge a fee if customers use the machines and are not PNC customers. WAWA figured that you would probably buy something with that money while you were getting the money out of the ATM. Not any more.

Commerce/TD Bank was the 800 lb gorilla of banks in the Mid Atlantic. I would guess 7 out of 10 customers using the PNC machines in a WAWA were TD Bank customers. Now we can not use those machines unless we want to pay 2.00 per transaction to get our money.  So I would guess that the TD Bank customers now go to their local TD Bank to use their ATM since they refuse to give TD Bank the 2.00 per transaction.  I am in that group. I will NOT give the bank my hard-earned money without a battle. 

When I have gone to the local TD Bank branches (Manahawkin and Wall) recently, of the maybe five times I have tried to use the machines, four of the times the machines were not working. This happened last night before my company Christmas party.  So follow this, the bank restricts the free usage of the ATM to their machines. They don’t provide any more machine (since we can’t use other machines for free, more if us will be using their machines) and the machines they have are not reliable.

When the machines don’t work you have two choices, go to the WAWA and pay the 2.00 per transaction or (wait for it) go into the branch, stand online for a teller to get you money. Pardon this (WTF), we have gone backwards? In the 1960 ‘s and 1970’s we stood inline for our money. Then machines were created to allow us 24/7 access (without a teller) to our money. Now in 2011 we are back to standing in line for our money. But if you want to pay them their fee, no need to wait. Hmmm.  Talk about a ruining a good, working, business model.  Maybe in 2012 I will be less lazy and change banks.

Sorry for the rant, I will file this one under things that bother me so.

I do have a picture to share with you tonight. This picture comes from December 28, 2003. Our children were at winter camp in the Catskills. DW and I were in New Orleans for the first time. We haven’t changed a bit since then.  This picture was taken on the St. Charles street car.  I might, repeat might, be a little grayer.

Namaste 

ST Charles Street Car 2003

All Springsteen, all the time for post 120..

Funny title. We have Sirius satellite radios in both our cars, one in our house and the spare unit went to The University of Scranton with DS3. His unit used to be in his car until he blew up the transmission back in July. I listen to about 8 minutes of real radio a day. The 8 am news and traffic, then back to Sirius. Usually the receiver is turned to Margaritaville. Which as you may have guessed has lots of Jimmy Buffett music with reggae and trop rock mixed in. Now and then the DJ gets into a different mood than me and plays song after song that just does not fit with my mood. That is when we go exploring the Sirius dial.

Tonight’s adventure led me to the Springsteen channel. I listen to it sometimes, but I am a fan of the pre 1990 music and not a big fan of anything newer.  That being said when they try to balance the old with the new, I don’t wind up spending a lot of time listening. This afternoon I got an email from the guy that runs the Summit lacrosse league that there is a pick up game in Westfield tonight. I reached out to the usual suspects to see if they could get out of the house, no joy. So I traveled the 75 miles (10 miles closer than Summit) and played lacrosse for 90 minutes under the lights.  I played attack. I had three shots, none went in. I did ping the pipe pretty hard on my first shot. I did have one “sweet” assist. The midfield player brought the ball over the center line and passed me the ball. He kept running and when he was three strides from the goal I hit him with the pass in full stride. He caught the ball and stuck it in the net. The play even looked like real lacrosse.

The field in Westfield was alongside the rail road tracks. There must have been during the 2 hours I was there at least fifteen freight trains go by. The goalie was telling which trains would pass by during the game. The Tropicana train, the garbage train. I said, “Garbage train” He said “Yea, and does it stink!”.  I guess I was lucky because the garbage train did not go by while we were playing. It was pretty funny to see the guys try to call a face off while the freight train is rumbling past about 50 yards from where they were facing off.

The title of tonight’s blog come from the fact that for the ride up and back, it was all Springsteen, all the time. I  turned the radio up and sang with the songs I knew, and turned it down and listened to the ones I did not know. During the ride home they broadcasted a concert from 10/26/1999 in Oakland, CA. I enjoyed the show. It is coming up on 11:30 pm eastern and that means it is past my bed time. My “medicinal” shot of sipping rum on the rock is nearly finished as well.

The picture de jour is from December 2004 when DS2 and I traveled to Tampa on a super cheap fight for the weekend. My cousin was living in Tampa at the time so she picked us up at the airport, drove us around, fed us and put us back on the plane when it was time to go home. She even let us sleep at her house!  It was a great weekend.  Looking back at the pictures tonight made me smile.

Namaste

DS2 checking the water in Tampa Bay, December 2004

Obvious Dirty Harry reference needed, .44 (post) magnum..

Could not resist. This entry should start out with Dammit!, followed by an apology. I went to bed last night and suddenly had an idea for today’s blog. A really good idea. Such that I started to write the blog in my mind. Then, I shut the brain down so I could get some sleep. Ding, dong, guess what I forgot this morning? Right, what I was thinking about last night.  This is frustrating.  Now, the future game plan might be to write down on some paper near the bed the topic and hope that I can rebuild the thoughts in the morning. Or, just get out of bed and let the muse motivate me into writing.  I’m not really sure which choice I will make.  I would certainly hope that if I had written down the subject last night, that the inspiration would have returned in the morning.

For lunch today since it was not too hot or humid I took my sandwich and bottle of water over to Allaire State park in Wall, NJ.  The park is about 5 minutes from my office. Usually I have my iPod or Oakley mp3 sunglasses to provide the music for my walk. Both of these items are still in my camera bag from the trip to Lake Placid. I guess I did not do quite as good a job putting my things away as I thought. So, without music to distract me, I walked 1.5 miles each way trying to remember last nights topic. Frustrating. But on the bright side, today is National S’mores Day. There truly is a day for everything and everybody. At the Allaire State Park they have a railroad that goes around the park. The trains whistle blows and you can ride the circuit if you so choose. Click here to see a video of the train as it passes by. I shot this while walking back to my car.

So, I wrote the above part of the blog while waiting for the work day to end.  I got in the car to drive home, still thinking, thinking. I put Radio Margarittaville on, it’s always on in my car. And drove south on the GSP. Third or fourth song is Tree Top Flyer, the “hidden track” from the Barometer Soup album. And bamm, just like that, I had the blog topic from last night. This time I wrote the subject down. See, I can learn a new trick. I will work that subject, maybe publish Saturday or Sunday. I’m excited, I hope the end result meets my expectations.  Then, I head towards home, and instead of getting off at my exit I go to the next exit which is for Route 72. This is where all the stores are. Driving to work this morning I got the idea in my head that my DW had not had flowers on the table in a few weeks. I thought, self, she needs flowers. Not necessarily roses or anything fancy, just something pretty. So I am walking around the grocery store and I call her on my cell. She had a tough day and could I please stop somewhere for wine. Ok, I said, I’m downtown in the grocery store and will get wine when I’m done.

Flowers, wine, makings for S’mores. I am king (at least for today). Dinner was good, mosquitos chased us in early. I picked  half of a five gallon bucket of tomatoes. Some will go to work, the rest will go to the freezer. Tonight’s picture was sent to me by DS2 this afternoon while he was walking on the south jetty in Barnegat Light. He was working on his next song. Writing music near the ocean.  Enjoy the video and the picture.

Bayou!

Barnegat Inlet, Barnegat Light, NJ