Archive for February, 2006

The streets are paved with gold!

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

I ran into one of the classic moral dilemmas today. I was driving out of a parking lot and I saw a $20 bill about 5 parking spaces away. I work for peanuts, so I can smell a crisp Jackson from down the block. I threw my car into park, hopped out, and grabbed the twenty. Before I had a chance to start my Happy Dance, I saw another $20 about twenty-five feet away. As I walked towards it, I realized it wasn’t another $20 bill. It was nine more $20 bills! The parking lot was paved with cash I tell you. There were green bills cushioning my footsteps everywhere I walked.

Now that I’d acquired $200 in one minute, what do I do? Do I hop in my car and drive away, like most sane people? Nope. I’m an idiot. I ask a couple walking towards me if they’ve seen anybody running around screaming about lost money. The woman says, “Ha ha, you got lucky huh?” And then a second later she says, “Wait, those are his!” and points to her husband. “He does this all the time!”, she claims.

Ok, great. Nice going Keaka. You had to open your fat mouth. I’m a little skeptical, because the couple was walking towards me from the other end of the parking lot, opposite from where I found the cash. However, the guy did pull out a loose wad of cash from his pocket that contained a number of $100 bills. Anybody who throws $100 bills in their pocket without even keeping them together with a paper clip could very possibly throw $20 bills around on the ground without noticing. Anyway, they seemed genuine, so I handed over the $180 without protest. And then I felt guilty and took the last $20 out of my pocket and gave him that too.

I felt quite dejected about my roundtrip journey from rags to riches and back. That $200 really complimented the existing $3 in my wallet. They would have gotten along so well together! It wasn’t a complete loss though, because the guy insisted I take $20 as a reward (which I tried to refuse in another fit of stupidity).

What would you have done if you found $200? With all that loose cash in his wallet, I doubt the guy ever would have noticed that he even lost some of it.

VirtualBank

Friday, February 10th, 2006

[Update: March 8, 2006
VirtualBank sent me a check for the amount in question, and the issue has been resolved. I received a voicemail message and email from a senior vice president stating that the funds had been recovered. I received the check along with a letter apologizing for the delay. VirtualBank did not charge me for the research. I do not know if VirtualBank was influenced by this post, but I would like to thank them for eventually investigating and resolving the issue.]

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Even if you enjoy testing out sketchy online banks, I highly recommend staying away from VirtualBank. They stole my entire deposit. If I want them to look into the situation, they want to charge me $20 per hour, and of course it’s not known how long the investigation would take.

Great idea! VirtualBank stole my money, and now VirtualBank thinks I’m going to give them $20 per hour to investigate how they stole my money? I don’t think so.

Here’s what happened. I decided to give VirtualBank a try in late 2004 because they had a money market account with an APY that was competitive at the time (it’s not anymore). I made my initial deposit into VirtualBank from my First Hawaiian Bank account. Shortly thereafter, I closed my First Hawaiian Bank account because I don’t live in Hawaii anymore, and I had accounts with higher returns. I don’t necessarily need a physical bank location, but I want a higher interest rate for the tradeoff.

After testing out VirtualBank for about 8 months, I decided they weren’t worth it. I didn’t particularly like their website, and many other banks have accounts offering higher interest rates. I asked VirtualBank to close my account and mail a check for the remaining balance to my home address. Instead of doing what I requested, VirtualBank closed my account and pretended to transfer the money to my First Hawaiian Bank account, which had been closed for a long time by that point. If they couldn’t comply with my request to close my account and send me a check, then they shouldn’t have taken any action without my explicit approval. At the very least, they shouldn’t claim they transfered the funds to a non-existant bank account.

I’ve talked to First Hawaiian Bank, and their records don’t show any activity on the account since the time it was closed. It’s conceivable that First Hawaiian Bank accepted the transfer for a closed account and kept the deposit for themselves, but I doubt it. Regardless, since VirtualBank unilaterally decided to transfer my money from my VirtualBank account to a closed First Hawaiian Bank account, Virtual Bank should be the one to figure out where the money went. That’s why I’m placing the blame squarely on VirtualBank, even if the money is floating around in First Hawaiian Bank’s system somewhere.

In conclusion, don’t use VirtualBank if you don’t want to be cheated out of your money!

[The issue has been resolved. See the update.]

Does your roommate need a date? Don’t do this…

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

On Feb 11, 2002, at 4:17 AM, Keaka Jackson wrote:

Hi Logan,

I was wondering if you would go to “Screw Your Roommate” with
my roomy, the devilishly handsome Mikey!! As the most
gorgeous girl alive, I’m sure you get requests like this all the time.
However, this request is different. OK, maybe it’s not any different.
Nevertheless, please let me know if you would consider gracing
us with you presence at the Wilbur “Screw Your Roommate” on
Saturday, March 2nd. We live in Trancos, which I believe is your
old home!

Just to show you what an amazing night you would have, I’ve
gathered some quotes about Mikey:

“Mikey is so frickin’ HOT. When he takes a shower, I usually wait
in the hall to catch a glimpse of him walking to his room wearing
only a towel. Mmm, mmm. He sure is a fine piece of meat!” —
Kristen Jenkenson

“If I were gay, I’d hit that shit.” — Third floor (male) RA

“Mikey is such a SWEETY. And he makes me laugh constantly. I
wish he would write one of his romantic songs for me… That boy
has some serious guitar skills.” — Allison Morioka

“If you won’t go to Screw Your Roommate with Mikey, I hear his
roommate is single!” — Me

I could go on forever, but you get the idea. This will be a night for
the record books. You will tell your grandchildren stories of how
much fun you had at the Trancos Screw Your Roommate!

Eagerly awaiting your verdict,
Keaka

[Editor’s Note, February 3, 2006: All quotes in the email were fabricated, and should not be held against the imaginary quotees. And just in case you were wondering, the second setup attempt with an equally hot date was far more successful.