Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Movies with a twist

I like movies that keep you on the edge of your seat guessing what's going to happen next. Some examples...

Friday, January 11, 2008

All bacon burger anyone?

Found this while browsing mailing lists...
The Deepfried All Bacon Burger

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dining Furniture

The last couple of days we were furniture hunting in the Bay Area. We visited Viking Trader, a locally-owned store in Berkeley and also stumbled upon a branch of Scandinavian Designs.

Viking Trader has gorgeous furniture. Modern, clean lines, but not totally ridiculous and kid unfriendly. Lots of Danish pieces. We loved an extendable oval table from Skovby in cherry wood, with a matching set of chairs.

Skovby has a bunch of inventive tables that can grow or extend without having to add pieces that need to be stored somewhere. Turns out we really liked their cherry finish, much to my surprise. Whenever we saw cherry wood before in kitchens, etc., it was stained very dark and looked just horrible imho. Their tables are finished in light cherry, which gives the table a very warm and friendly look. [Did I really just write that tables can be friendly? Sheesh...]

Scandinavian Designs is a chain store, but actually looks more like an european furniture store than any other furniture place I visited in the US. We found another Skovby table there that we liked, also in cherry, which was substantially cheaper than the one at Viking Trader.

We ended up buying a floor model of that table from the SD store in San Jose (this one), along with matching chairs in cherry (those). They will deliver early next week. I'm really looking forward to it.

I might finally start this weekend putting in the laminate we bought for the family/dining room back in September. Since our regular dining set is still used for staging in the old house, we had the patio furniture in the family room for the last few months, and I didn't feel like ruining the brand-new laminate with those chairs...

As for the couch table in the living room... We resolved that there is nothing on the market that fits our needs perfectly and I'm going to build one myself.

What's up with banks these days?

TechCU messed up the rate on my new home equity line of credit. The statement I received has a much higher rate than the paperwork I signed. I'm seriously annoyed and need to yell at someone.

Smith Barney's web site for my stock options is a piece of poo. Still. ... It's slow, clunky, ugly, and just hard to get anything done.

KeypointCU's Web site is very old-school and disorganized, but gets the job done. Maybe I'm just used to it.

Chase's credit card site is utter crap. Thank God I don't use it all that often. The best thing about that card are the regular $25 Amazon gift certificates. I have no good use for airline miles, but I do for Amazon coupons.

On the positive side...

Vanguard is great. Good returns, low management fees, no fuss. Easy to navigate and do what I want to do. Both for 401k and brokerage accounts.

Fidelity is ok. I had a 401k with them through the first US company I worked for. I don't use them as much anymore as I used to, but they've always been helpful and easy to deal with, both on the Web and by telephone.

For a no-fees german checking account paying interest on deposits, NetBank best serves my needs.

A good place to park some money in the short term (like when preparing to buy a house) is an ING Savings Account. Decent interest rate, and very easy to get money in and out.