United we fall

Online forum SomethingAwful managed to raise $27,695 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then suddenly, PayPal locked the account. When someone finally managed to contact PayPal, they were informed that PayPal has an exclusive contract with United Way—and that United Way’s contract would not allow PayPal funds to be transferred to the Red Cross. Yup: United Way and PayPal would rather block $27k in relief funds, than allow the money to go to the Red Cross.

Now it can be told

My Prius arrived! Three days ahead of the most optimistic estimate! Now it’s purchased, time to tell the whole story… I started the search on September 16th. Calling the local Massachusetts Toyota dealers quickly established that they all had ridiculous wait lists; the best wait time I was quoted was a year. However, the situation wasn’t completely hopeless—according to the online forums like priusonline.com and priuschat.com, dealers often get cars that are a color or a package that nobody on their wait list wants, or nobody on the list who wants the car can get financed at that particular moment in time.

Revenge on telemarketers

The following is a transcript of a conversation between Bob, a telemarketer for a cemetary outside Louisville Kentucky, and phone prankster comedian Tom Mabe. Name of cemetary changed to protect the guilty. Mabe: Hello? Bob: Is Mr. or Mrs. Maybe in please? Mabe: This is Mr. Mabe. [Sounds of Mabe crying.] Bob: Hi, Mr. Mabe. This is Bob, and I’m calling to you from Evergreen Cemetary. How are you today?

Instant ditz, just add stress

It’s February 1st. My current “permanent” resident card expires on the 8th. I filed the paperwork in late November—you’re not allowed to file until 90 days before the card expires. Unfortunately, the INS service center in Vermont is currently taking 4-5 months to send out receipts (according to the national service center), followed by another 9-10 months to process the paperwork. Since I rather need to be able to keep working, I asked the national service center person for suggestions, and was told to go visit the local INS office and ask for a temporary visa and work permit extension.