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It seems I have mentioned the prepaid gift cards which consumers are buying. Another banking product where we, as taxpayers, should let the banks pay us. Craig T Nelson was on Leno the other night. He is trying to start a taxpayers revolt. He said it was because of the bonus money. He thought there should be somebody that has the numbers. Congress should accept responsibility for their failure to tie some big strings on that money. This is a major example of lobbyists "bribery funds" for the banking industry and I hope someone steps forward to rectify the lapse of judgment. He also usurped my mantra about, voting them out of office. It is now time to remind you to VOTE. Go to the voting venues in June. At least VOTE.

Jay asked if the banking industry made any changes since they had to beg for a government handout. Again, I agree with Mr. Nelson. Congress has an absolute responsibility to the people they are paid to represent. That includes listening. A recent poll was taken and people were asked if the banking should be better regulated. Many were perplexed because they assumed there must be an accounting of the money. There isn't!!! Call in Senator Dodd and a few others responsible for deregulation. Maybe they can use some of that lobbying money to get a tougher, more comprehensive, law to bring the GREEDY banking industry into compliance with being an earthling. I am NOT in favor of money redistribution. But I am against these large corporations whose GREED is unfathomable. One former compliance person reported nothing has changed. The bankers/mortgage lenders are still making those same outrageous loans, they are still awarding bonuses to those who were directly responsible for the meltdown! Another suggestion (like the tax revolt) is for people to stop paying their credit cards. Send in the envelope & bill with the words, "You owe me". Of course, you would likely land in jail. People in the spotlight can afford to do those things. Maybe they will.

Back to my original thoughts about prepaid cards. They are quite restrictive. Do not buy one unless you want that. You cannot get cash, you cannot pay bills, they are a one shot deal, no reloading. So what happens when you've spent your limit, almost?

You can transfer the leftovers to a new prepaid card, where there will be a fee charged, for doing so. I forgot to mention that the purchase price includes an activation fee. So, you get a $100 giftcard. You have a dinner out, buy a couple of suvenirs, then go online to check your balance. If you do not want another card, customer service will continue to try to get that done anyway. Oh, another thing is, after 7 months, there will be a monthly fee of $2.50. When I thought about buying a card, I thought it would be simple. It isn't. Be sure to read the back of the package. It is there that you will find if it is good only for U.S. purchases. I mention this because I wanted to buy something that would be shipped from the U.K. It was declined. This whole scenario brings to mind a saying: BUYER BEWARE

With baseball season getting ready to start, the Padres are playing well in pre-season. Now it will be wait and see. Playing full time for 5 months can be tough. To all season ticket holders: did you get your "very special" card that identifies you as a season ticket holder? Now, that involves some ingenious marketing skill, to sell the idea and then have it happen. As far as I can tell, there is no real use for it. I wonder if there will be random card checks--"do you have your card with you?" Now we don't have the coupons and it kind of ruins the fact that I always gave my early entrance coupon to Pete. I am sure this will upset him. I got my Padres shirts out of storage, my jacket is ready to go, the only question is the body! I can take a bus from 10th & F, down 10th to Park. that will save my legs. After sitting for a few hours, I should have no problem walking home. I am looking forward to seeing the "gang" and of course our usher, Rudy.

So long

Watching the game from Elsinore, they have DOLLAR beers on Thursdays.

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