Saturday, October 13, 2012

Daily Briefing for Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lots of Stuff

I've been busy as of late, much of it on the road for business.  So I will try to catch y'all up on a few things.

Whose Money Is It Anyway, Part 2

You may recall from a previous blog I shared how a family member of a friend had much difficulty withdrawing his own money from his own account.  Here's an update on that story:

So, I owe you an update about our experience yesterday at Wells Fargo.  We decided to go 'under the radar' with our withdrawals, and we took out 5k each.  The bank was empty, and the same teller provided service to both of us.  Overall, we didn't have any problems - she was bubbly and polite, and went through procedures we've all come to expect regarding our own money. 
However, whether or not it was just her being friendly, or tellers have actually been instructed to ask a few questions of their customers, she did say something that is absolutely worth mentioning.  She asked: "are you by any chance buying a car today?"  Of course, our only answer was no, without elaborating.  She stated that she was just wondering, because "a lot of customers have been doing the same thing."  In other words, she has noticed a significant pickup in cash withdrawals over the past several weeks.  It didn't appear that she had yet put 2 and 2 together. 
We are going to make the same type of smaller withdrawals over the next few weekends to see if any 'red flags' surface.  I just have a feeling that we may get questions at some point when a pattern of withdrawals is obvious.

 On a second note, the coin exchange business we went to on Saturday was completely packed out.

In addition, my friend reports the bank did in fact have the remainder of his brother's money ready when he went back to collect the rest.

72 Hours Sober

I have been hiding a serious chemical dependency problem from all of you for many years now.  I'm pleased to report I'm changing my life for the better.

Last Wednesday, I consumed my very last soda.  I've been able to play through the caffeine withdrawals and the other side effects of getting diet soda out of your system in large part because of the hectic schedule I've had since Wednesday.

I've been on and off the wagon (mostly off) for years now.  Some of the detoxification side effects I've noticed every time I do this include:

  • Intense stomach pains.  As in "bend over your desk and lie there because it hurts so bad" kind of pain.
  • Mental fogginess.  Some would say I suffer from this constantly.  I will tell you it's very noticeable for me as I detox.
  • Vivid bad dreams.  This was a first for me.  Thursday night/Friday morning was a long night for me, as I woke up various times disturbed by the various dreams I was having. 

So why give up sodas?  Here are a few of my reasons.

  1. Price.  As food prices go up, soda moves up with them.  I am literally being priced out of the market.  I estimate I will be able to save a lot of money now (I won't say how much, lest you get an idea of just how addicted I am.  And yes, I am still an addict - once an addict, always an addict.)
  2. The need to be less reliant on chemicals.  I can't feasibly store thousands of gallons of Diet Mountain Dew.  I'd rather detox now rather than during an emergency.
  3. Overall health.  I hope I will see a decrease in inflammation in the various parts of my body that stay inflamed, like my knee and shoulder joints, as well as my digestive track. 

The Elections Are Coming.  Should We Care?

I think the answer is "yes," although Reason magazine did a cover story in this month's issue claiming we were better off not voting.  Tomorrow, I will share with you my thoughts on the coming elections and what it means for the preparedness community.

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