Friday, October 3, 2014

Grumpy Bulldog Does America Day 30: Depression

First, old business.  People complained I didn't post the cow in the road.  Which I totally did!  As Offutt says, you have to Click to Embiggen the pictures.  Sure I could have zoomed in, but I was a little busy trying to not get hit by cows.  Anyway, here's the visual evidence, click to embiggen!

Today problems weren't created by dumb fast food workers, rogue cows, or porta-potties.  Instead they were created by Big Banking.  I don't remember if I mentioned this stupid bullshit with my ATM card.  Comerica Bank decided to "protect" me after that Home Depot hacking thing months ago by inactivating my ATM card and mailing a new one--to Michigan.  Hey, that's awesome since I'm in fucking Nevada!  And even more awesome since apparently it hasn't even shown up in Michigan.

My old card was still working until last night when I went to Target.  Which then after I got dinner last night I was down to $4 in cash.  But wait, it gets even better!

I drove from Reno to somewhere called Waunakee or something like that.  I stopped at the Wal-Mart and got a couple of things there.  I figure OK, I'll use my Discover card and get some cash with that.  But no, the card wouldn't work.  The cashier wasn't helpful by saying her machine had been having trouble all day.  I paid for the stuff with my Visa but it didn't even offer the chance to get cash back.

So I went down to the self service checkouts.  I just grabbed a pack of Twinkies and tried my Discover card again.  And of course it doesn't work again.  So I swiped my MasterCard and it also doesn't give me cash back.  I grabbed some York peppermint patties and tried my other Visa and again couldn't get any cash.  So now I have Twinkies and peppermint patties but no cash.

I tried my credit cards in the ATM but the problem is I have no idea what my PIN would be.  I mean I never used them and you don't want to write those down.  And I can't ask for a new PIN because they'd send it by mail to the house that's 2500 miles away.  Ugh.

I went to McDonald's and used 3 of my last $4 for lunch.  Then I brought in my laptop to see what the fuck was going on with my Discover card.  I knew the balance was low, but not THAT low because they're supposed to send me an email when it's at like $100 left.  Well it turns out they decided to "protect" me by shutting off my card for "suspicious purchases."  Because you know I've reserved two hotels in Nevada with this same fucking card but it's sooooo suspicious that I'm at a Wal-Mart in fucking Nevada.  I just clicked that these were not bogus transactions and then they got my card out of hock.  Idiots.

This all comes after my MasterCard "protected" me in Seattle by turning off my card.  Which was the same MasterCard that "protected" me when I went to Toronto 4 years ago by turning off my card.  Back then I didn't have a working phone in Canada so I couldn't even get that straightened out for days.

I know identity theft is a problem.  I have had to dispute transactions once or twice, but seriously, this is getting fucking ridiculous.  When I got to Elko and checked in, I called stupid Comerica to complain to them.  Basically all the jackasses can do is mail another card to my address in Michigan, which maybe will show up in a couple weeks.  In the meantime, what the fuck am I supposed to do?  Dunno.  This was one time when I could scream at someone on the phone and feel justified in it.  I mean they just up and send me this other card without asking me first.  They inactivate my old card without telling me.  What kind of fucking service is that?  If they had actually called or sent me a real Email, I might have been able to work something out in regards to where to send the card.  Though maybe not since it takes "5-10 business days" ie, we have no fucking idea but maybe sometime between now and Christmas.

Anyway, I guess in the meantime I just have to transfer most of my money from there to my credit cards.  Or maybe I can go to a liquor store and cash a check or something.  I did manage to get $40 from my Discover card at an Albertson's supermarket in Elko, which is good.

All that aside, I went about 300 miles across Nevada from Reno to Elko.  Nevada is like New Mexico with no mountains.  In 2006 I drove across New Mexico from Albuquerque to Tucumcari on the Texas border.  Most of the way it was flat with just a lot of scrub brush.  Although New Mexico I think is redder.  Nevada is more yellow thanks to this drought.  Like California, most of the lakes on my GPS were dried up.

Bad joke of the day:  I saw a coyote where one lake was supposed to be, but the coyote was too wily for me to get a picture of it.

There were no cows on I-80, so that was good.  On the morning news they said a motorcyclist died the night before on US50 when he hit a wild stallion in the road.  I didn't see any wild horses either, which is probably a good thing.

There were a couple of annoying times of having to go up mountains and some annoying construction zones.  The worst thing about the construction zones were first off they'd have one end and then a 1/2 mile later another starts so you think, "Oh good, we're free!  Oh...shit."  And then they had them in annoying spots, like on a windy mountain part and through a tunnel.  Plus they'd have you go off the shoulder onto those rumble strips.  Really if you're going to do that, pave over the rumble strips first.

So yeah I stopped in Wherever for lunch and to figure out what the fuck was going on with my money.  Then on to Elko.  No stops inbetween, because really where the hell are you going to stop?  OK, it's not completely desolate, but there's not a lot between the three points I visited today.

I feel OK not gambling today because things are too fucked up right now to be pumping money into stupid slot machines.  Though if you want you can play video poker at the grocery store even.  Woo hoo!

For dinner I went to a Chinese restaurant called Monkey Sun, because...Monkey Sun!  Isn't that an awesomely kooky name?  The food was OK.  I got mushroom chicken and orange chicken.  They don't make it fresh, which I think is better.  Oh well.

There you go.  Tomorrow it's on to Salt Lake City for the weekend.  For the first time I'll actually meet one of my followers in real life.  Prepare to be disappointed.  I really need to go to Dallas so I can go bitch out Comerica.  Actually I just need to go find the nearest Chase or whatever.

I attempted a few times to load pictures, but this Wifi/Blogger is being a piece of shit about it.  Par for the course.  Here's SOME of the pictures.


  1. That McDonald's shadow picture was my favorite. As you'd expect. "Monkey Sun" sounds like the title of a story I will steal from you.

    Is the real-life follower Offutt? Two titans of writing in person! It's like Zeus meeting ... Roman Zeus? My mind went blank there.

    When we went to Florida a few years ago I got a call on my cell phone from my bank that they would shut off my debit card if I didn't call to verify purchases within like 3 hours; I appreciated the effort but the time frame was pretty short to call. That'll all end when all money is electronic and your credit cards are on your phone. Or you should look into Google Wallet, if that's still a thing.

  2. Maybe you should get a PayPal account. You can pretty easily transfer money back and forth between those and your actual bank account, and you can handle all of your PIN stuff on the website.

  3. You can write me a personal check and I'll get you cash from my bank when you are in town.

  4. At least when Members First did that with my debit card last year after the Target stuff they waited until I got the new card to inactivate the old one. Stupid Comerica. I know Melinda had had problems with the Dow Credit Union in 2005 when we went to Florida. She had to call them and tell them that yes it was us using the card in Florida. It's usually a good idea to call your bank before taking a trip to alert them that you will be traveling.

    And I'm offended. I'm a follower and you've met me in person! :-p LOL I could tell some really funny stories about you and I have some embarrassing photos that involve a certain potty duck! Bru ha ha ha ha ha :-p Have fun in SLC. I'm going to send you a message on FB about a mission if you want something to do while there. :D



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