January 29th, 2007

gps

Philadelphia, WG gathering, Long Island

On Saturday, I went to the Philadelphia Where's George gathering at Famous Dave's BBQ on Roosevelt Blvd. Of course, I did a bunch of geocaches along the way. Ran into Fielding, a geocacher, at a cache site. Arrived at the gathering somewhat late, but oddly enough, I wasn't the last one to get there. I had the ribs and catfish platter.

After the gathering, I went on my way and continued geocaching in Northeast Philadelphia. I actually found more geocaches at night than during the day. Funny how that works. Most of those were in urban settings. I did, however, attempt one that was in a wooded area by the Pennypack Creek. Both the terrain and hide turned out to be easier than I thought, even in the dark. The last location, which was by the Delaware River, was actually open at night. I was surprised that there were other people there sitting in their cars. I was wondering why at first, but then I remembered a certain Meatloaf song. There was a Wawa store just down the road from there, so that's where I had dinner. (and stocked up on iced tea and chocolate milk too)

On Sunday, I headed out to Long Island. The temperature was comparatively mild at a bit over 40°F. I met up with Macatac at "MAM's Micro #12 - East Williston". Then we both headed over to "MAM's Micro #9 - Williston Park" because that cache was next on both our lists. Unfortunately, there were people where the cache was. So we split up and returned to that cache site separately later on.

"Haunted Mansion" was the most interesting location of the day. It's a big abandoned house in the middle of the woods. Finished the day with dinner at LJS in Melville, since it's just down the road (well, down the road, then right a bit, and then down a bigger road) from the last cache of the day.

One thing I discovered is Opera Mini works well enough on my cell phone to enter bills into Where's George. So I entered a few bills (that I got from paying the toll with $2 bills) at the Philadelphia gathering and one more bill in Melville. Not much point in doing so, except to add to my collection of bill entry zip codes. Also, speaking of $2 bills, one of the toll clerks wanted to buy all my $2 bills. But uhh... the point of WG-ing the twos is to circulate them, not to have the bills sit in someone's collection.

The caches...Collapse )
create a fursona

Monday Money Matters

Great Kills Park - The blimp

There was a sprinkling of snow last night, but when I woke up this morning, it had all disappeared. Which is good because then I didn't have to brush snow off the windshield before heading off to work. Actually, I don't think I've had to use the snow brush more than twice this winter and I haven't used the ice scraper at all. Going to become lazy.

I found out via The Consumerist that HSBC Direct is currently offering 6% APY interest on new deposits. This promo lasts only a few months, after which the interest rate drops to 5.05% APY or whatever the regular rate ends up being in April. One thing I should point out is ING Direct (aka Orange Savings Account) offered a similar deal last year, also from January to April. After that, their interest rates started to lag behind the Fed's rate hikes. I think they had to make up for the extra interest paid out during the promotional period. So, if past is prologue, will HSBC Direct be the next to fall a little below the top rates for online savings accounts? Maybe. But in the meantime, I might as well take advantage of this offer since I've been meaning to consolidate my emergency fund, which is currently split up into several accounts. (long story)

I also received a lot of refund checks all at once. From the FSA reimbursement check, I now know that eyeglasses ordered online are eligible. So is CVS heel balm, even though the only thing I wrote on the form for the reason was "for cracked feet". (They probably get that a lot. :) ) One check that surprised me was from Verizon Wireless. It's been many years since I switched from Verizon to Sprint. According to the letter, they did an "extensive audit of accounts" and found that I had a credit balance. Hence the refund. I don't recall having anything left over in that account, so it's probably a pro-rata refund from canceling the account in the middle of a billing cycle. Anyway, I appreciate that they took the effort to return the money.