Banking! AAAAARGH!

I have a love/hate relationship with our banks. I say banks, because over the years, Anne and I have managed to open a number of different accounts with various banks, for a number of reasons. Several years ago we decided to open up a new checking account for our youngest son, who was about to head off to college. Naturally, we chose to do it through a bank we’d been doing business with for over 20 years. It was a shared account, which means Anne could deposit money as needed for school expenses, etc. One day, she and I went into the local branch of this bank to make a deposit (I won’t say the name of this bank, but I will tell you its logo has three initials in it), only to discover that our son, thinking Anne had already put in the money, had written some checks, which he assumed were good. They weren’t. The first check he wrote would’ve cleared with the amount he had in the account. But what the bank did was bounce the large check he wrote later first, and then proceed to bounce the smaller checks. When we asked the teller for a breakdown of the account, we discovered that there were $140.00 in bounced check fees (fees totaling more than the amount of the checks in question!). Our son should’ve gotten confirmation from us that the money had indeed been deposited, so this was partially our fault. How the bank handled the whole situation was unacceptable. It’s widely known that banks will (or at least used to), in the event of insufficient funds, often clear the largest check first, so that all of the other smaller checks bounce as well. When we explained the situation to the teller, and told her we were long-time customers, she was not able to offer any sort of break on these fees. This was an unfortunate mistake on our part, and the bank took advantage of it. Shortly after, we closed all of our accounts with this bank.

I wrote this strip after it was all over. And this bank lost some very good customers over $140.00.

banksunday

 

Tom Magliozzi, we’ll miss you!!

Like many, many radio-listening fans of “Car Talk”, I was saddened to hear of the loss of Tom Magliozzi. http://www.npr.org/2014/11/03/357428287/tom-magliozzi-popular-co-host-of-nprs-car-talk-dies-at-77

I can’t count the number of programs I’ve listened to over the years. Tom and Ray were like friends, stopping by on Saturday mornings to dispense car advice and truck loads of laughter.

I was scheduled to be in Boston over Memorial Day weekend in 2010, and with the help of Doug Berman, tried to coordinate a day when I could present Tom and Ray with the Sunday strip below. Unfortunately, they were leaving town for vacation the day before I was to arrive.

So long, Tom. We’ll miss you, and that infectious laugh of yours.

car talk 1car talk 2

EDISON HEADING OFF TO MARS!!

Yes, it’s true. Edison will be traveling to Mars on November 28th, and he’ll be in good company. Stephan Pastis, Goat and Rat will be riding along as well. Cartoonist Scott Stantis also has a boarding pass, and at this point, I’m not sure which of his Prickly City characters he’ll be sending.

Here’s the scoop. Scott, Stephan and I were contacted by Alan Stern, Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto, and founder of the education & research group UWINGU, and asked if we’d help get the word out about the “Beam Me To Mars” program, which was set up to beam messages and/or images to Mars from folks here on earth. We all three agreed to participate, and in doing so will be waving goodbye to our characters as they head off at the speed of light to our rusty neighbor on November 28th.

If you’d like to join us and write your own message to send, simply go to http://www.uwingu.com/ and click on the “Beam Me To Mars” button. George Takei, Seth Green, Homer Hickam and a host of other celebrities will be sending messages as well, so here’s your chance to be a part of something really amazingly cool.

The doors to this digital space ship will be closing on NOVEMBER 5TH, so put your creative thinking caps on and join us!

Edison_C201410242d053e402a330132a1a4005056a9545dA Prickly City strip that ran in July of this year talking about the New Horizons Mission.

10155245_10152317675747153_4729139394628923668_n