Thursday, September 28, 2006

$50 ING Direct Bonus - Updated with Valid Codes

To obtain a $50 bonus on a $250 initial deposit, sign up for a new account at, using one of the unique reference codes below. The deadline is November 15, 2006, and the offer is limited to new customers only. First come, first serve.




For additional reference codes, look for the ING folks in their bright, orange and white cow costumes. They've been handing out flyers in various locations all over the Chicagoland area.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Free 12 oz. Drink at Borders' Seattle's Best Coffee Cafes

Click here for a printable store coupon. 9/30–10/8/06.

"Valid only in the Seattle's Best Coffee cafes in our Chicago (Michigan Ave.), Chicago (Hyde Park), Chicago (Uptown), Chicago (North & Halsted), Chicago (Lincoln Village), Chicago (State St.), and Chicago (Lincoln Park), IL; Snellville, Buford, Athens, and Augusta, GA; Waldorf, MD; and Arlington, VA, Borders stores. "

Friday, September 22, 2006

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Apparently, my 2004 federal income tax return is being audited by the IRS. According to the letter that I received yesterday, I need to substantiate all of my gifts to charity. Thankfully, I kept all of my receipts in a nicely labeled file folder. But I have to say that I'm more than a bit annoyed. Is it so hard to believe that an individual in my position would choose to give more than a certain percentage of my income to charitable organizations? The sad thing is that I didn't even report any of the smaller, one-off gifts that I made to organizations like the American Cancer Society. I only deducted gifts that exceeded $250.

Anyway, I've just got too many things going on in my life right now. And it's just one more thing I have to put on my to do list and remember to follow up on. Argh!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More Haircare Products to Try

I wonder what it is about the demographic group that I happen to fall into? This is the second time in recent history that I've been asked to sample and evaluate a haircare product. First, it was a bottle of shampoo. This time around, it's a bottle of conditioner.

Since most manufacturers claim that their shampoos and conditioners produce the best results when used together, I'm curious as to why they'd ask their panelists to test the products separately? Not that I'm complaining. A free bottle of conditioner is a free bottle of conditioner. Just curious, I guess.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Creature of Habit

One of the advantages of being a creature of habit is that you know exactly how much things should cost. I typically grab lunch at Jimmy John's at least once a week. I pretty much order the same thing (No. 5, no onions, no cheese). And one of the cashiers knows my order by heart. But today, when I walked into the restaurant, I was greeted by a cashier I didn't recognize. And sure enough, when she rang up my order, she tried to charge me an extra dollar over the usual cost. So, I looked at her and calmly asked 'Are you sure that's right?' She says, 'Yeah.' But then her co-worker leaned over and pointed out her error. So then she had to void the transaction and start all over. And while she was doing it, she mumbled something about how the keys on the register tend to get stuck, and that's why she over charged me. Umm, yeah...right. It would've been nice if she would've just apologized for her mistake, instead of blaming it on the machine.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Stigma Associated with Fast Food

A co-worker called me just now to ask me if I wanted to do lunch. I told her I'd just grabbed something from McDonald's. And then she started musing out loud about what she wanted to eat. I guess she was in an indecisive mood. And then she said something that startled me. "Sometimes I'm just embarrassed to bring a hamburger from McDonald's into the office, you know what I mean?" Umm, yes. But then I just tell myself to get over it.

I guess there's a stigma associated with McD's. It's okay to buy your lunch from a healthy, chi chi place like Spa Cafe. Not so cool to buy something from McD's. As if it's a reflection of my socio-economic status. I guess it's the same thing as bringing a frozen entree to work and heating it up in the communal microwave. When I worked in the law firm, only the support staff brought their lunches to work. I always bought my lunch because it was a good excuse actually get out of the office during the middle of the day. But practically speaking, it would've saved me a lot of time and money if I had just packed a lunch. The lunchtime crowds can make even the fastest of fast food places seem slow.

Ugh...I hate spiders

I've been having a lot of problems lately with spiders. Every time I looked outside, I'd see the creepy things crawling all over my screen door. And I can't tell you how many times I had to use a broom to sweep the cobwebs off of my patio furniture. It definitely discouraged me from sitting outside with my morning coffee. To be honest, I'm not even sure how the spiders managed to get up there, 'cause I live all the way up on the 12th floor. And I know that our management company sprays for bugs every year in the spring.

And now that summer's almost over, it occurred to me that maybe I could do something about the spider problem. So I looked up the word 'spiders' in the index of my old copy of Earl Proulx's Yankee Home Hints. And sure enough, Earl had a very cheap, easy and practical solution to the problem. Cedar shavings. So, I grabbed a cedar block (the kind that you usually hang in your closet to keep moths away), and attached it to the outside handle of my sliding glass door. Voila! No spiders for the past 3 days. I'll have to find more cedar blocks to hang underneath my patio table and near my grill.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fun Quiz About Money

Here's a fun quiz about money from MSN Encarta. I only got half of the answers right. Oh well.

Happy Tuesday!