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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Is this a thing?

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Though theoretically there’s a Craigslist covering my area, most of the activity on it is hours away. So I never pay any attention to it.

But I got to looking at Hondas, Toyotas & such yesterday and found one newer-model Honda way, way, way too cheap with no explanation at all. Except there were some cuss marks (&^5$#) in the headline, clearly indicating some sort of story.

I emailed the woman (supposed woman, but who knows), who responded with a tragic account about how the car was in perfect shape but it belonged to her recently killed son (cut down in the prime of his youth by a drunk — while on his way to his little brother’s birthday party, yet) and she couldn’t stand the sight of it. Now she just wants to get rid of it. If I want it, send my contact info.

I’d asked earlier where within my Craigslist area the car was located. She hadn’t replied. When I asked again … she sent me a long story about the car being in Macon, GA, but she had a prior arrangement with eBay motors to ship it anywhere in the country and I’d have five days to inspect it and return it on her dime … blah blah blah. And if you want it send your contact info.

Yeah. Right.

I went back to Craigslist and found — no surprise — that the listing had been pulled. But there was another, for a $2000 Lexus that was so suspiciously similar. Cuss marks in the title, email addy identifying the “seller” as a woman, same basic info about the vehicle as the other listing, incredible price, no location given.

Fascinating. Do people actually send thousands of dollars to strangers for cars they’ve never laid eyes on? Heck, I feel sort of doofussy for responding to the ad at all, let alone giving a moment’s credence to the “tragic” story. But sending money is a whole different thing.

I know Craigslist has all the perils of doing any sort of business with random strangers. I know the ‘Net can be a strange and perilous place. But are vehicle listings like this a known Craigslist “thing”? Or have I just run into some rogue weasel?

—–

ADDED: Some readers seem to think I don’t understand that this is absolutely, without question a scam. I do understant that. I was a little slow on the uptake, but as soon as I heard the BS about Macon, GA, and eBay shipping, I headed right back to Craigslist to report it and I blacklisted the scammer’s email. I’m just wondering how common this particular sort of scam is.

Claire Wolfe

V*te for The Zelman Partisans

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Lucky Gunner has very kindly added The Zelman Partisans to its wonderful list of potential recipients of the legal fees it hopes to receive from the well-smacked Brady Bunch.

Thank you, Bear, Joel, and anybody else who had the idea to contact LG. You can go here to read more and cast your v*te, hopefully for TZP. Scroll down; we’re at the bottom of the alphabetical list.

It remains unknown whether the Bradys will ever actually pay up. But if they do, LG will allocate funds to each group according to the percentage of the v*te they receive. Even 1% could be a big deal to a small, new group like TZP. We have darned near zero overhead and can put anything we receive to work building the group and planning projects.

So v*te — and spread the word!

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
Claire Wolfe

More midweek links

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Yes, BHM was down

You may have noticed that BHM had problems yesterday. These were due to a major site overhaul and server move that should eventually produce good results (especially for mobile users).

But the upgrade was handled … um, gracelessly. We bloggers were caught by surprise (I was in the middle of posting at the moment things went unexpectedly haywire) and at least one reader reported getting a message that the site downage was due to a February 2010 upgrade. I gather there are still a few improvements to come, but things should be calmer today.

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
  • Mike Vanderboegh is on a roll once again.
  • Anyone have change for a quadrillion dollar bill?
  • One of those things they didn’t teach us in school: “Born Free and Equal.” How a pair of Revolutionary War-era court cases helped end slavery in the north.
  • I’ve stayed away from the whole kerfluffle over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the rebellion that refused fast-track authority to Obama. To me, there’s only one issue: the TPP is secret. So at best there’s nothing (yet) to support or oppose and at worst, it’s an act of tyranny. Then how is it that so many business publications and supposed freedomista publications wail and lament the (no doubt temporary) failure of TPP/TPA? Just because somebody’s attached the words “free trade” to something doesn’t make it so. And c’mon. Does anybody really think Obama would want TPP if it were about actual free trade?
  • Oh well. Here’s a movingly strange SF story for you.

Xterra update (for those who care)

A repair on Friday fixed nothing while getting false hopes up. The mechanic then prevailed upon me to put the beast on a diagnostic scanner for a third time.

As before, the only code the wretched four-wheeled monster throws is P1320 — distributor issues. Yes, if you’ve been counting, the distributor has already been replaced twice (three times if you include the fact that it was successfully replaced 40k miles ago).

The guys who put the Xterra to the test were aware of the previous diagnostics and previous failures of new distributors to make one bit of difference. Certain vehicles, they concluded, simply require OEM distributors and nothing else will do.

So that’s either just shy of $200 from a junkyard (and who can even be sure it’s really an OEM part or what condition it might be in) or nearly $400 for a new (or maybe it’s remanufactured), guaranteed Nissan part. But though it’s guaranteed, it’s also listed as non-returnable because it’s an electronic part. Which confuses me to the max.

I spent hours researching but haven’t clicked to buy. I’ve lost all faith in the pronouncements of both diagnostic computers and “expert” mechanics. I can’t see spending that kind of money on yet another wild guess. Especially if the purchase might be irrevocable.

But many other suggestions (thank you) have been checked and didn’t pan out. Or they still remain to be tried but will be resource-consuming shots in the dark. How many weeks or months? How much money? And how many shots in the dark will it take? Somebody who loves the challenges of machinery might think this is nothing. Me? All I want is a ride that actually runs.

The only things I’m certain of are a) right now I’m inclined to give the Xterra away to any mechanically adept person who’ll take it off my hands and b) I’m going to take to drink. Very soon.

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, June 14th, 2015
  • Hastert may be a criminal. But other feds are worse. (Never mind that Hastert and his ilk made them worse.)
  • I admit it. Maeve Binchy, the mega-selling Irish author of simple domestic tales, is one of my guilty girly pleasures. Binchy died in 2012 of heart problems. While looking for something completely unrelated to her health, I stumbled upon this nice article about how she made the best of her initial diagnosis. Inspiring.
  • The fedgov has recently made it 5x more expensive to do. But Americans are again surrendering their citizenship in small but record-setting numbers. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
  • “No cloud for me,” says security guru Bruce Schneier. And amen. (Via Brad at WendyMcElroy.com)
  • Okay, then, what exactly is the difference in principle between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal?
  • This Onion article’s been getting around, but once again it’s too funny not to link and too true to be really funny.
  • Can reading make you happier? Hm, dunno. Bibliotherapy??? (H/T PT)
  • Trees. Trained to grow into chairs. (H/T SC)
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
  • You knew this was coming, didn’t you? (And not a bad thing, IMHO, though why the government should have anything to do with it, I don’t know.) Same-sex marriage and plural marriage.
  • “A Modest Proposal.” If withdrawing just under $10,000 from your bank account should be a crime, then how about … oh, driving just under the speed limit?
  • Carol Browne didn’t have to die.
  • Creative people. Yes. It’s true. They tend to be crazy. “[A]nd writers, specifically, are likelier to possess some sort of mental illness.” (Thanks a bunch, guys.)
  • True, he’s just a Republican politician and it’s nerve-grating to hear him called libertarian. But Rand Paul is still a cut above.
  • And finally, via Never Yet Melted, hilariously inappropriate covers of children’s books.
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, June 4th, 2015
  • Deep Web. Looks like an intriguing documentary. (H/T GL)
  • Why does Google want to harvest and store your media for “free”?
  • The four most dangerous words in the English language. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
  • And 24+ words that ought to be in the English language. (Ditto — and not all the words are SFW.)
  • As usual, The Onion has the best commentary on our newly granted “FREEDOM” from NSA snooping and scooping. (H/T jed)
  • Well, maybe. Millennials are destroying banks and the banks are to blame.
  • Dunno if it’s worth $100k to learn the dreadful details of the secret trade deal to be imposed on us by our global overlords. Seems those details really ought to be free.
  • Well then. The chimps are considerably ahead of me.
  • How much do skyscrapers actually move? Fascinating geek trivia. (H/T jed)
Claire Wolfe

Floating free in London

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

One man’s floating life on the waterways of England.

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, May 21st, 2015
  • Another terrific one from Ken at Popehat. How to spot (and counter) covert advocacy of censorship.
  • I’ve never downloaded anything from a torrent site. I’m against any form of piracy that deprives creators of the rewards they’ve earned. Still … The Pirate Bay has panache.
  • The usual anti-gun and “hate group” suspects band together to promote ballots over bullets. Um, yeah. Good luck with those ballots when you’re being threatened by thug government.
  • The liberation of Dachau and the righteous rage of the liberators.
  • “Oh, my gold!” Yet another company tries to do what egold did. (The poster says BitGold isn’t available to U.S. residents; I poked around the BitGold site and didn’t see anything about that. But I don’t doubt that avoiding all U.S. entanglements is a good start on surviving in this kind of business. Never mind that it would take a huge chunk out of your market.) (H/T Y.B.)

If you’re not up on your Internet memes, this new Delta Airlines safety video will leave you going “HUH???” If you are a meme-ista, see how many you can spot. (Hint: They’re listed behind the “see more” link.)

Claire Wolfe

Wednesday links

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

And in developments on the home front, if I’d had any doubt whether my ankle was actually broken or just badly sprained, I’d be doubting no more. The thing is itching fiendishly. I always thought the notorious itches had to do with the reaction between tight casts and dead flaky skin. Turns out it’s also from the healing. Thank heaven for being able to scratch! I think if I were wearing a cast, long about now I’d be trying to bite it off like a wolf with his foot caught in a trap. Still. Itching. Good sign.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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