Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hey COSTCO ...

Hey COSTCO!!! Tell me why I am a member again.

I just received an email advert that says, "Nikon Cameras, save up to $600 while supplies last."

A closer look at your ad never mentions the Nikon rebate. You claim that the savings is courtesy of COSTCO, nothing could be further from the truth.


Nikon prices are not discounted ever; unless they are grey market. Nikon however offers rebates, which is what your pricing is. A look at one of the most reputable camera stores on the Internet and in brick and mortar is B&H Photo Video in Manhattan. They are offering the same package and spell out the $100 instant rebate.

This must be what everyone calls BS advertising.

COSTCO you ought to be ashamed of this practice.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Birk Economic Recovery Plan

The Concept Is Good, But His Math Is Seriously Flawed.... Hope He's Not A Banker!!!

The Birk Economic Recovery Plan:

I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG. Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a “We Deserve It” dividend. To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a “We Deserve It” dividend. Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

A husband and wife has $595,000.00. What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis20solved.
Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college - it’ll be there
Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car - create jobs
Invest in the market - capital drives growth
Pay for you r parent’s medical insurance - health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Moms and Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( ‘vote buy’ ) economic incentive that is being proposedby one of our candidates for President.

If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up. Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t. Sure it’s a crazy idea that can ‘never work.’

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party! How do you spell Economic Boom? I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion “We Deserve It”dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC .
And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,

T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Michaelangelo's David Returns to Italy

Sometimes one picture is worth a thousand pounds!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gas Lines in New Jersey? - Only At COSTCO

I have been to CostCo for gas and other things coast to coast. One of the things I always enjoyed was the exclusivity of going there; quite simply put, I paid to be a member, so I paid for the enjoyment of the discount. Sounds smug right; good it is supposed to.

Apparently the legislature in New Jersey does not think along the same lines. The discount clubs in this particular state are not permitted by law, to discount gasoline to members only, despite the fact that you are paying for that privilege. The gasoline must be sold to everyone at the same price, regardless of membership status.

A recent trip down Rt70 in Brick Township showed a small mob at the local CostCo. Regular gas was selling for $3.62 per gallon. Holy vapors Batman, we better get on line before it's gone!

You have to keep in mind that gas was selling down the road about a mile, in both directions, for $3.71 per gallon. A whopping 9 cents a gallon difference. One dollar and thirty-five cents on an average 15 gallon fill.

Now, you may say, why did I pick 15 gallons as the average. I was curious and decided to ask the gas jockey. Yes, in New Jersey (Oregon also) citizens are thought of as being too stupid to fill up their own tank. But I digress. The gas jockey says a great majority of the people filling up here, are waiting ten to fifteen minutes to gas up depending on the size of the line (that is queue for you Brits). Once at the pump the average sale is about 15 gallons of gas.

Okay... here's the bottom line of the story. You go to this CostCo gas station because you think you are saving money. You pull in and wait the 10-15 minutes. Waiting with the engine running and the air conditioning on, burns approximately 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of gas depending on the gas guzzler you own. At the $3.62 per gasllon you are about to spend, you just spent approximately $1.80 waiting to buy the gas. You could have driven, or maybe it was on the way, to the other station and paid the $3.71 a gallon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Have An Accident? - Pay For The Response

Accident in Howell Twp. - Route 33 & Colts Neck Road

The accident that is played out in the video shown above, courtesy of the Asbury Park Press, is a common occurrence in any region of the USA. There are dozens of accidents nationally everyday, sometimes dozens just in one municipality. In this time of budget crunches in most of these municipalities, the following may prove to be a cash cow.

The time has finally come to have motorists pay directly for the emergency response to an accident. Yep, that's right, bill them directly. No insurance company, bill directly. If the motorist does not pay, garnish wages, or place a lean on their house if they own one.

Emergency service organizations and municipalities need to put a price tag on the cost of police, fire, EMS, and road crews, responding to the scene of an accident. Let's peg those costs directly to the drivers of the vehicles involved. If it's a three car accident, divide the cost of the response by three.

Let the insurance companies sort it out between them. I'm sure that the insurance industry will welcome this on two fronts. One, they may be able to sell optional Response Insurance to motorists. Secondly, this could actually have a significant impact on the accident rate. Maybe, just maybe, drivers may slow down, they may actually stop at a stop sign, they may actually signal a turn, they may actually yield to traffic, they may actually retract that middle finger and smile.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Standardized Logon / Logout Buttons

I think it's high time someone came out with a standardized logon/logoff button for all websites. I am sick and tired of trying to find the little words that say 'logon' or 'logoff'. Most web developers it seems try to bury these words in obscure places on their web pages.

What is the friggin problem? I think it's a conspiracy among companies to keep people logged into these sites so they can spy on our browsing. Even the banks, who encourage you to logoff and close the browser, don't provide an easy method of spotting the little devils.

So all you people that like to hack code out there, let's get a flash script up and running. A red flashing LogOut button ought to do the trick.