2.3 mile Morning run

April 29, 2011

Starting this morning I’m aiming to go for a 2 to 4 mile run at least twice per week before work.  It shouldn’t be too tough, it will only take about 30 minutes and I will slowly start to see a lot of this area.

I’m so close to The Village, West Village, East Village, SoHo.. so many great areas.  It’s about time I start to learn NYC!!!


Upcoming travel

April 29, 2011

I stumbled across this distance calculator where you can type in any two cities in the world and it’ll calculate the distance between the two.  I started to plug in some cities where I’ll be traveling in the near future and it turns out I’ll be traveling over 28,000 miles in the next seven weeks.

4/29 – 5/2 – Tampa for the weekend, 1,000 miles each way = 2,000

5/6 – 5/10 – Amsterdam for four days, 4,000 miles each way = 8,000

6/10 – 6/23 – China for ten days, 7,000 miles each way.  Leaving from Tampa so that’s an extra 2,000 miles there and back, and will also travel around 3,000-4,000 miles while in China = 19,000 – 20,000

TOTAL= 29,000 – 30,000 miles total


Credit card dilemma..

April 3, 2011

Living in New York City, I typically keep $50 to $100 dollars in cash on me because there are many places where cash is the best form of payment.  Even though some of the smaller stores accept credit cards, if I’m buying something that is $5 or less, I feel like it is easier to pay with cash…. unless of course it’s $3.06 or $4.02 because then I don’t want the loose change in my pocket all day.

At some point I thought about the fact that retailers have to pay a fee in order to accept electronic payments and at some places, especially McDonald’s, I now pay only with my debit card just in spite of not liking the retailer or if I think I’m being overcharged to begin with.  On the other hand, I feel bad charging $6 or $7 on my card at La Grolla Pizza because it is a smaller restaurant where I deal with the owner when I go in.  I’d prefer to see him prosper and hang on to that 1% or 2% that would otherwise go to the credit processing company.

And thinking about the 1% or 2% fee that is charged made me interested in finding out more information.  The fee that a merchant pays in order to accept electronic payments is called the interchange fee.  The interchange fee is typically around 2% in the United States and the “issuing bank” collects the largest portion of the 2%.  VISA and Mastercard, for their role in the transaction, collect 0.11% and 0.095% respectively.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interchange_fee
So putting even more thought into my ill-conceived logic of paying with my credit for small purchases at places I feel like saying a big f-you, the clincher is that I’m also not too fond of Bank of America, which in my case is my “issuing bank”.  So essentially, what I’m doing by charging these small purchases is I’m moving money from one merchant that I’m not fond of into the coffers of Bank of America who is another corporate conglomerate which is no more deserving of those pennies.
So now I’m not sure how I should approach this situation.  For now, I’ve decided that McDonald’s in particular is less entitled to the pennies than Bank of America so for my $1.08 sweet teas I still charge it even if I have the exact change on me (do I ever have .08 on me though?).
http://www.vantagecard.com/lessons/lesson12.html
http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/11/pf/debit_interchange_fees/index.htm
http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/factchecking-industrys-interchange-fee-claims