0.6 percent, 26, 5, and a bazillion – A day by the numbers

Numbers. They seem to crop up over and over today. So let’s begin.

Banking gone bonkers

I had an 18-month CD mature yesterday. I forget what the interest rate was but it was definitely more than the bank is offering for an 18-month CD now. So I went to the bank to see what my options were. As it turned out, the best deal I could get was for an 11-month CD at 0.6 percent. Give them your money for longer and they penalize you. Hmmm.

This is quite a shock to someone who saw rates of 20 percent on six-month CDs at Rhode Island savings and loans in the early 1980s. Brown University had a policy whereby it would loan students money interest free for six months. So enterprising students would get their free loan, walk down College Hill to downtown and buy a 20 percent CD. Easiest $1,000 they ever made.

The tale does not end so well. State chartered S & Ls were insured by a bogus state insurance fund. The fund went belly up and the S & Ls (and their share holders) went belly up with them. The Reagan years had their charms.

The biggest mail day of the year

Did your mailbox seem unusually full today? Ours did. We had 26 pieces of mail, 17 letters and nine catalogues. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the day after the Columbus Day holiday is the Postal Service’s biggest volume day of the year. (With the well publicized disruptions in service this year, the jackpot in your mailbox might be distributed over the next few days). I felt really bad for our letter carrier. He’s going to need some serious pain relief tonight.

This reminds me of how my mother, who grew up in central New Jersey, used to “take care of” the mailman and the newspaper delivery boy and others at Christmas time. “Take care of” is New York City jargon for giving them some cash at the end of the year.

You’ll like our dentist. Or not.

Our daughter has been grousing about her dentist. He seems to try to sell her things (e.g., a mouth guard, Invisiline braces) that she doesn’t want. It really stresses her out. My wife and I love our dentist so we told her to check him out.

Today was the day. After her cleaning and x-rays, the dentist examined her mouth. Then they had a chat. “Why did you leave your old dentist?” My daughter explained getting stressed out by his up-selling. Our dentist then explained that he never does that. If you want to discuss products or services, he’ll happily do so, but he doesn’t believe in hard sell tactics. Then he broke the news. He found five cavities. Derp.

Why I wear a mask while riding

I know that the odds of getting covid (or any other disease) is tiny when I am riding my bike. Being in several high risk groups, I wear one anyway just to be on the safe side. Today I found a second reason to wear a mask.

Back when I was commuting or riding to night games at Nationals Park, I would ride home in the cool of the evening or nighttime. The ride along the Mount Vernon Trail from DC to my home in Mount Vernon is usually pretty splendid, but, when conditions are just right, I can find myself riding through clouds of midges. Billions of them. Midges are tiny flying black bugs. They get in your hair, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. They also stick to your arms and your clothing.

It’s gross.

You’re riding along enjoying the cool air when suddenly


You struggle to maintain control of the bike. You have to wipe the bugs out of your eyes and brush them off your arms and legs and clothing. And then you take a swig of water from your bottle and rinse out your mouthful of the little beasts.

Dis. Gus. Ting.

Did I say how gross this is? The best you can say about the experience is that midges are free flying protein.

Today, I was buzzing along on the MVT when I rode into a swarm. A few got in my eyes. Dozens stuck to my shirt. My mouth, however, was saved from the onslaught by my face mask. Pandemic for the win!!!

One thought on “0.6 percent, 26, 5, and a bazillion – A day by the numbers

  1. Ah yes the good old days of high interest rates. Those were also the days when you also got a premium for opening a CD with a particular bank. My in laws got the following for doing so: a Homelite chain saw, a VHS home movie camera kit, and a starter set with 6 Dickens Village Department 56 pieces. Now it’s take 0.6% or leave it. It’s like they don’t need your business. Oh and why not take one of our credit cards with a 17-25% interest rate. Oh and if you don’t pay attention they will open a credit card account for you whether you want it or not. All that regulation getting in the way of banks making money. Let’s see lend you money at 17-25 % and pay you 0.6% at most. How can a bank make any money in this world.

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