Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cyber pan handling

I need some help. There are three ways you can help me.

  • Please click on the 'Donate' button to the right if you have a PayPal account.
  • If you need any web design work done, perhaps we could simply work together and I could earn it that way. Email me at the address to the right if you're interested.
  • Finally, just forward the link to this blog to anyone who might be able to help or would even be willing to visit this blog. I have Google AdSense so even having more visitors would be very beneficial.

Well for those that have previously read this blog, mainly in December and early January, you know that my family is having some economic issues. Things haven't changed much and in fact look a bit worse than before. The mortgage crisis affected us, at least indirectly as we were unable to sell our home but had to relocate. Savings got wiped out, credit debt rose in order to continue to feed the family, a wife and two little girls.

Please Please Please, if you have a Paypal account click on the Donate Now button to the left. Throw in a buck, or two. I need to get at a minimum around $1000 in the next couple weeks to meet rent, electricity, food, and heating oil obligations. I probably would need about 10 times that to get out of this financial crisis, but even a little bit to start out would be helpful.

For those that have no sympathy, let me explain quickly. I do have a job, and in fact a good one for the future. It just doesn't pay enough to dig out of a hole. I'm tech savvy, could probably throw together a website if you need one, so I'll work for the money as well. I just need to desperately get out of this situation and keep above water.

I know this isn't the best approach, but I don't have weeks or months and I still believe that in the roughest of times, people still do help each other. Last time I asked, didn't work at all, but hopefully you guys are nicer and more sympathetic. If not, well at least I tried. God Bless!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama Osama?

The picture says it all doesn't it? Vote for Osama so he can help his Muslim friends destroy the country. Oops did I say Osama, I meant Obama Osama. But wait just one second, what the hell is going on in this Democratic campaign?

Let's break down the truth first of all. Barack Hussein Obama is not a terrorist, right? This piece is for the truly ignorant out there. No he is not a terrorist. He's not Muslim either. In fact he is a Christian. No that picture is not a fake, but it's not him getting suited up in a suicide bomb belt either. He was presented with this outfit in a visit to Kenya a few years ago. It is basically a sign of respect to accept this apparel as gift from fellow dignitaries. He is in fact partly of Kenyan decent, as his father, a non-practicing Muslim is from Kenya. I don't remember what his mother is, ethnically speaking, but I do know she is a Christian as well.

What I don't understand is a Democratic campaign that is so dirty and desperate as Hillary Clinton's. I might expect this from the Republican side, destroying a Democratic foe, but for someone supposedly on the same side, this is crazy. This just goes to show what Hillary Clinton will do to win. It also goes to show how stupid her campaign thinks we are. I for one am a bit smarter than that, being that I have a college ejukatiun and all. I just really hope the folks in my home state of Ohio aren't that stupid. I hope the people in Texas aren't that stupid. If the Democrats of America have any intelligence at all (which I might question still regardless of the outcome) this will backfire on the Clinton camp and be seen as one of the dirtiest, stupidest campaign blunders ever. Go Obama! Beat Hillary! Then we'll see who's the better candidate Obama or McCain.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Alaska Weather

It was about 30 degrees today, above zero. Records highs of up to 45 above are possible on Tuesday. That is about a 95F degree difference from what it was in the first week of the month. I love Chinooks! For those not familiar, a Chinook is a wind that blows down a mountain range causing warmer temperatures. In this part of the Interior when a southerly wind blows over the Alaska range, we can often get dramatic warm-ups in the winter. It is not unheard of to have the temperature rise over 40 degrees in several hours when there is a Chinook. This warm-up happened a bit more slowly than that, but man is it nice! I had planned a piece on law enforcement in the Bush tonight, but that will have to wait until tomorrow when I have more time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well the week is almost over and what have I got done. Ummm, yes that's right-- nothing really. My ToDo list is getting so long I might never catch up. I'm concentrating on making my time management skills better, but thus far still no extra time to be found. I've always been a procrastinator though, so that is no surprise. I came to the revelation quite some time ago that if I ever want to accomplish anything in my life that I'll absolutely have to conquer this time management challenge.

I think I suffer a bit from SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder, I think). SAD is something people in the higher latitudes deal with in the winters, from the lack of natural sunlight. I have never liked winter, but since moving to Alaska over 5 years ago I have noticed the change in energy levels and mood from about November through March. I am really tired much of the time and just want to sleep. Oh wait, convenient isn't it, it's bedtime now and I'm overdue. Let me know via comments if you'd like to know more about SAD and I'll do some research and put together something for you all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Less Cold

Well it is official, as many in the local area know. The deep freeze has made it's way out of the area. 8 straight days of -40F or colder. The coldest official temperature was -48 in Fairbanks proper. Outlying areas got into the -60s and -70s for most of those 8 days as well.

At least it's finally "warmed" up though. I tell everyone it hasn't warmed up though, it actually got less cold. I mean it is still around 0 outside. To me that is hardly warm. It's forecast to get into the 20s within the next week, so the cold will be bearable, even to a Midwesterner like myself. Unfortunately, the cold weather is now in the Midwest. Minnesota was around -40 within the past couple nights.

You know what I say, better them than us!

Monday, February 11, 2008

TradeKing final review... for now

For background information on this review please visit the two links below.
This is the third and final part of my experiences with TradeKing... at least for now.....

The issue I was having with TradeKing now appears to be resolved. My account was able to receive transfers via ACH as of Friday the 8th of February. This was indeed 5 business days as was stated from the original correct setup. The first two setups were incorrect. The first of those was all my fault, so 3 business days were lost because of my incorrect info. The second was mostly my fault as well, costing 5 more business days. I say mostly because the feedback on the site, when giving the correct info, with incorrect formatting was a bit vague. I tried to input a dash, which was incorrect, but it simply told me the number was wrong. Thinking I did something else, I took off 4 digits before the dash as well. So that number was four digits short. Oops, another five business days.

Finally, after talking with TradeKing tech support and getting frustrated with them, and getting in contact with my other institution to verify the correct information, I got the correct numbers with the correct format (yes including the four missing numbers, minus the freakin' dash). I wish someone had told me that in the first place. Oh wait, yes the younger lady on the internet chat explained that in a vague fashion. Anyways, this was Friday the 1st that everything was setup. Time to wait another 5 business days.... On Sunday the 3rd I received an email stating I had an incorrect ACH profile, a- freakin - gain. WTF?!

I had never received an email about the second profile, so I ignored it and held my breath. Checking my records I saw that the original screwup by me also prompted an email by TradeKing on a Sunday. So it looks like these emails are sent on Sundays. That's a bit odd, I would expect to see it sooner, but whatever. What alarmed me is that I got a message about the second profile while waiting for the third one to go through. A less patient person would have deleted the third one as well thinking it was incorrect also. This is not what I did though. As I said I waited.

On Friday the 8th it was live. I immediately transferred funds into TradeKing from the third ACH profile. Tick, tock, time to wait another five business days, even though the funds are no longer in the other institution and TradeKing is showing the funds in the account, but uncleared. That means I might be able to trade this Friday, the 11th. So in all it will have taken me 18 trading days. Only 8 of those were fully or partially by my own error or misunderstanding.

So now I wait......
One final word though, is that even through all of this I would not dissuade anyone from using TradeKing. Mainly I am documenting my experiences for you. I am a beginning trader, so I can't speak about the interface or the research or even timely trades. Well I could speak a bit about timely trades in a few days and perhaps in the future I will do a full fledged review with specifics on different options trading, interfaces, research, experiences, etc. For now this is what I have. This is my final TradeKing review for the moment. Good luck everyone!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Good bye Mitt

It was nice knowing you, or at least the image you presented. I can't say I care a lot about Mitt Romney dropping out of the race. All I really saw was a politician who cared about himself and his image only. So basically he was the average politician that is already in Washington. He's obviously an intelligent guy and was very successful at what he's done, but there are a lot of people in the world like that.

So what is a Conservative to do? Seriously, all we have left is McCain. I'm not sure about him either. He is status quo, good ol' boy. Again nothing special about him. I don't see him being a visionary or a real leader that will change things. Truth be told he's probably almost the same as Bush politically, only without all the burned bridges.

I was sort of sad that Thompson dropped out, but he never got his campaign together either so he didn't have a chance. The presidential race now officially sucks. I'm a Conservative, and the best choice to me looks like Obama at this point. If he were Conservative, without reservation I would fully endorse him. Unfortunately, he's too far left for me, so at this point the best I can say is that I'm undecided. At the very least, I hope he get the Democratic nomination. Anyone on the ballot would be better than Hillary Clinton. I seriously can't stand her.

Anyways, good bye Mitt. It was nice knowing you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Breaking area news!

Apparently, there has been a widespread power outage in the city of North Pole, about 10 miles outside of Fairbanks. As I was looking at the local weather stations I noticed several of the North Pole locations were about 2+ hours outdated. Then I noticed a new post on someone’s Wunderblog explaining the situation. I don’t know much more than that at this time, but if I get more info and have the time I’ll update. It’s about -35 right now so a prolonged outage is a serious situation. Hopefully they can get things sorted out quickly if they haven’t already.


Temperatures in the interior last night were as cold as -70(unofficially) and -67(officially). In the Fairbanks area it was ‘warmer’ between -45 and -50. Brrrr. Keep warm!



Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's freakin' cold!

And that's no exaggeration. Seems the Russians decided to send some Arctic air our way. The temperature in the last hour was -42F. It's forecasted to be as cold as -55F tonight in town, definitely colder in valleys outside of town. It was in the -60s the last few nights north and south of here. For anyone who has never felt that type of cold, I can only tell you that you'd have to experience to fully understand it. I'm from the Midwest(not the northern part like Minnesota or the Dakotas) so I am definitely not used to this yet either.

The clear skies in the mornings are truly awesome, that is only if you are up in the hills. Town was socked in by ice fog, yet another term I had never heard of before coming here. Alaska is truly a land of extremes. I can't wait until July when it's 70 or 80. Yes that's above zero, a swing of 130+ degrees. Crazy, that's all I can say.

Also, for those of you who have left comments recently, I am meaning to get to them soon. Hopefully tomorrow sometime I will address that. Also I've been wanting to add my email address to the page as well. That should be coming soon. Well I've got to get to sleep and prepare for the deathly cold tomorrow morning.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fairbanks NewsMiner Blogroll

The local newspaper has drastically changed their website. I would say the layout is much improved, and it now even includes pictures... woohoo! It is still unfortunately a bit slow, actually slower with the new layout. As I speak it is sitting in another tab not loading either, so maybe some problems over there. Either way, for the best source of Fairbanks news (especially since it's the only newspaper) check out

The blogroll featuring other area blogs is here

I'll be adding a links section to this blog soon and include at least one of the two above as well. For now I've got to get breakfast. Enjoy!

Trade King review part deux

I called TradeKing again yesterday and couldn't get the help I wanted from them. Evidently my problem was 'investigated'. They showed my bank as having rejected outgoing transfers. I had verified with my bank the day before that this was not an issue, so TradeKing appears to be at least partially wrong for it. They did however give me some more background info on the issue, allowing me to pin down another error on my part. It seems I had the wrong account info or at least not all the info needed (I was short 4 numbers).

So I'm trying one last time to make this work. I'll know at the end of next week for sure, but if this doesn't work I'm closing my account with TradeKing. Even though they helped me some, they were not as helpful as they should have been. I think this shows some weakness in their support department. I'm a freakin' computer programmer, so I can handle tech support issues, and I do understand what people go through at a call center. I also know a disorganized group when I see one and that is a somewhat disorganized group. So I'm not going to say they are a worthless company. I don't think that at all. I just think they have a few kinks to work out. Had that been my bank on the other end, I would have had everything figured out from day one, not having talked to so many people and having to put the puzzle pieces together myself. So one more chance...... if they screw it up you all will know it.

EDIT --added links to other parts
part 1
part 3 final

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