for 1 NOV 07: DEAL THE CARDS
There's a stack in my living room that's been slowly building for months. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had 26 cards on it. But no, I'm NOT doing some weird experiment to build a poker deck from trash on the street.
The stack in my living room consists mostly of credit cards. Some are phony, sent with offers from various companies. But a few are real cards, which I really didn't want and never bothered to activate. If a burglar breaks in, he'll probably run out of time and patience trying to figure out which are which.
The stack of cards also includes a few souvenirs. I've kept credit cards from the old Montgomery Wards store at Peachtree Mall, and the Rich's store which replaced it before merging with Macy's. They'll be museum pieces 100 years from now - you know, when everyone in the U.S. can only shop at Wal-Mart.
Have you ever kept track of how many credit card offers you receive in the mail? I've guessed that if I took advantage of every mailing I received, I'd have a different card for every week of the year -- and the Discover Cards filled with a waving U.S. flag could be saved for federal holidays.
Now a new BLOG SPECIAL EVENT will allow me (and you) to see exactly how many credit card offers come my way. I've been asked by a survey company to collect all new offers, throughout the month of November. I'll put them in an envelope, and mail them to Iowa in December. As many as I receive, I'm thankful the survey company is paying the postage.
Why would a survey company want a month's worth of credit card mailings? A letter from the company says it's for "analyzing and comparing APR information, fees, incentives promoted, etc." As if most people really look at the first two of those....
(I should note this one-month survey will cover only five major credit cards - well, that's if you consider Diner's Club major. But how can you take that card seriously, when a chain of "diners" like Waffle House doesn't accept it?)
This one-month survey actually allows me to take advantage of any new credit card offers I like. I'll have to fill out a separate questionnaire if I do - but to be honest, I'm not expecting that to happen. Unless someone offers me a free pizza for every ten dollars I spend on gasoline....
My reward for collecting credit card offers is a free magazine subscription, and entry into a drawing for cash prizes of up to $1,000. OK, you TSYS employees involved in handling credit cards - how many of these perks do you get?
Since the survey company is asking me to count credit card offers for them, it's only fair that I share the information here. We'll see how many promotions really show up, how high my stack of cards becomes - and how much postage these companies are wasting, by thinking I just might be interested.
E-MAIL UPDATE: Our Wednesday comments about a Civic Center religious conference led to a history lesson. I never knew this TV celebrity had local roots....
Did you know that the lovely Jan Crouch is from Columbus. Her maiden name Jan Bethel. Attended Jordan High, father was an Assembly preacher. North Highland I think.
I was channel surfing one night and heard her tell about the tornado here in the early fifties and a story about her Easter chicken. She cried and cried while telling her story
She wears more makeup and dresses weirder than Tammy Fay.
I recently read somewhere that she and Paul are being investigated for fraud.
We did some online probing, and found most of this background information is correct. Her name as a teenager actually was Jan Bethany. I'm not sure why she didn't keep that name after marrying TBN's Paul Crouch - since Bethany sounds much more Biblical.
The recent death of Tammy Faye Bakker Messner means Jan Crouch has the field all to herself, when it comes to TV ministers wearing makeup. In fact, I keep wondering why she doesn't follow the lead of people like Jessica Simpson and Naomi Judd. Develop your own makeup line, and sell it on home shopping channels....
Paul and Jan Crouch have faced several run-ins with the government over the years. A Google News check at our post time found it has critics among "ministry-watching" groups. But if you believe Wikipedia, the only real "fraud" involving Jan Crouch is that she wears wigs.
By the way, I drove by the Columbus Civic Center Wednesday night. The parking lot seemed to have plenty of cars for that Christian conference with Eddie Long and Paula White. So did anyone dare to ask for a special offering, on top of the $47.50 admission price? And is it going to low-income residents of Columbus, or to orphans in Haiti?
Let's see what else happened Wednesday - besides the obvious stuff with costumes and candy:
+ WRBL reported Columbus had more than 961,000 visitors last year. Columbus State University research showed the number of visitors held steady, but the amount of money they spent went up 25 percent - and I hope all the Circle K store managers appreciate those higher gas prices.
+ The governors of Alabama and Georgia flew to Washington, for talks on regional water-sharing. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne told National Public Radio an 18-year dispute cannot be solved in 18 days. But if Kempthorne can do it, maybe he should join Jimmy Carter as a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
(Dirk Kempthorne noted other parts of the country have water-sharing disputes. Seven Western states will sign an agreement in December to share the Colorado River, and "sacrifice together." Tell people in West Point about sacrifice, and they might offer Florida mussels as a burnt offering.)
+ Former LaGrange High School baseball star Mike Cameron was suspended 25 games at the start of next season, for using illegal substances. And if that's not enough, Cameron just became a free agent - so he needs to hire the agent for Barry Bonds as soon as he can.
+ Instant Message to former WRBL news anchor Blaine Stewart: Are you kidding me?!?! I'm stunned - no, I'm SHOCKED! I mean, what would Candace Cook think? No, not the picture - but the fact that you're still doing part-time weather reports in Norfolk, Virginia....
BURKARD'S BEST BETS: Gas for $2.81 a gallon at Manchester Expressway and I-185.... half-price chocolate at Target and Walgreens.... and women searching online for ways to turn old jack-o-lanterns into pumpkin pie....
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