Monthly Archives: February 2007

Wachovia Profits From Your Misfortune

The average overdraft fee last year was $27.40, according to In annual percentage terms, that amounts to a median interest rate of more than 20,000 percent on overdrawn debit-card purchases, according to the study, which looked at the overdraft fees that banks and credit unions charge and analyzed 8,527 overdraft transactions…
Industry experts say overdraft fees are the biggest single source of fee income in retail banking. U.S. consumers pay $10.3 billion annually in overdraft charges, about $7.3 billion of which comes from “chronic borrowers living on the margins,” according to the report. Further, these borrowers are more likely than other bank customers to be single, non-white and renters rather than homeowners.

Wayne Dyer

When I was little, I would marvel at the size of my parent’s book collection. There were concrete block and shelving board stacks all the way up to the ceiling or stretched along a long hallway, depending on where we were living. One of the books that caught my eye was Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer. As my vocabulary was growing, and because of the picture on the cover, I always believed the title was “Your Erogenous Zones”. I thought this was one of the books, off limits to me.

Jason Crawford, mi primer hermano, told me about one of the books he was reading called, The Power of Intention. I heard him. He likes motivational books, or at least he has pointed me to several over the years. I’m kinda hung up about books like this. I’ve always thought of them as offering panacea’s to folks who want to improve their circumstances; who doesn’t? Nice work if you can get it.
Jason’s living in San Francisco, so far, my favorite American city (I haven’t been everywhere). He rents construction equipment to contractors. We’ve been talking about the recent downturn in my fortunes, not asked back to GHP, Wachovia raping me to the tune of over a thousand dollars, uncertainty about what the hell I’m doing with my life, etc. It hasn’t been all bad lately, but I’ll get to that shortly. It seems to me that the thing that most disturbs Jason about me, and others closest to him, is folks wanting things and not taking any action towards achieving them; for example, ‘I’m fat, I want to be skinny. Could you pass me the bacon?’ ‘I’m poor. Yes, I’ll have my usual, the venti no-whip mocha.’ That sort of thing. It’s infuriating to him that otherwise smart people behave this way.

So after listening to me prattle on about what’s going wrong in my life, Jason will give me examples from whatever he’s reading. So, back to this book, The Power of Intention. Jason sent me a copy. I’m only on page 34. I’m usually a fast reader, but I’m taking my time with this one. My first impression is getting over the word, ‘intention’; good intentions being the road to hell and all. I don’t fashion myself particularly religious, but I’ve had several examples of the divine showing up repeatedly in my life and I’m not one to ignore these types of things. I don’t think Mr. Dyer’s a heretic, any more than I am, anyway. Lord help me. I just have to replace ‘intention’ with ‘holy-spirit’. I believe it’s all the same thing, though I still think the word choice is unfortunate. So, after jumping that hurtle, the book reading is going well and most of what I’ve read is right on the money. In fact a lot of what I’m reading is what I teach my students about mastering ballet.
With all of this in mind, I’m convinced that despite of the bad things that have been in my life, I’m really on the right path. I only need to focus on doing what I know I’m supposed to, teach ballet, do the computer thing, and be a good husband and father. There are plenty of areas in each of these categories that need improvement on my part. I do think, however, that when I’m calm and confident I can be open to attracting more good things. Since I’ve started talking to Jason about this book, here are some things that have happened:

  • I’ve admitted that I’m at a loss with the DVD thing, and I’ve enlisted help to get that accomplished.
  • Two of my students from last summer have been accepted into major summer programs this summer.
  • Two of my classes at a competition school ranked first place in their most recent competition; with special recognition of
    their ballet technique.
  • One of my students from last summer was the lead in a production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, I can’t really take credit
    for this as he’s just really talented.
  • Zanne has finally added me to the ranks of teachers at the Augusta Ballet School, and by all accounts finds that I’m good at
  • I’ve added two new web clients with one on the way.
  • I’m learning the 3D tool, ‘Blender‘. Which is going slow because my eight-year-old
    computer can’t run it.
  • The client I’m doing the most for lately has helped me purchase a new MacBook Pro.
  • The above client, recognizing my constant difficulty with money, has helped me purchase said MacBook Pro without endangering
    my precarious finances.
  • I’ve made a new friend at ‘my office’, George. He’s a great guy, if a little demanding of my attention while I hammer away
    behind the keyboard here.
  • I’m getting more time with Tess. Since I’m only going out of town once every two weeks, and not overnight, I’m able to be
    around more. We even made sugar cookies from scratch the other day that turned out very tasty, if I do say so.
  • Tam and I aren’t fighting as much.
  • I’m finally addressing the problem with my back that’s been causing me pain since May of last year.

End of recent blessing count. I could go on, but you get the idea. Simply shutting up and paying a little more attention to all of the good that’s happening to me, around me, and through me to other folks is, well, a good thing.
I need to get back to it. I’m upgrading an installation of Zen Cart, ‘in 3 easy steps’ uh, well, not so easy; but, that’s another story for another day.