Sunday, May 4th, 2003
One great American icon Have you read the news about MasterCard and Visa settling a lawsuit brought by Wal-Mart and others? The retailers were upset that MasterCard and Visa were requiring them to accept signature-based debit cards, the fees (to the retailers) for which being much greater than PIN-based debit cards.

Most of the various accounts say the settlement is a good thing for consumers. One is headlined "Debit Card Deal Helps Consumers." Another says the settlement "serves the interests of consumers." David Balto, "a former Federal Trade Commission policy director," says, "It's a terrific day for consumers."

Another great American icon But the first thing that came to my mind is that when I use my debit card as a credit card, and sign my name to authorize the purchase instead of entering my PIN, I don't have to pay any extra fee. However, when I use it as a debit card, and enter my PIN, my bank charges me $0.50. So how is a deal that lets retailers force me to use my debit card with a PIN a good deal for me? Are we supposed to naively trust that stores will lower prices now that they save on Visa and Mastercard fees?

Oh well, I guess we'll cope. We used to be able to use any ATM we wanted, and now, if we're wise, we use only our bank's. If retailers won't let me use my debit card for free, I'll just use a credit card, and pay it off each month.
Monday, May 5th, 2003
One great American icon My favorite pizza is Marion's but they don't have one close to downtown and they don't match the great deal another place has. And that place is Pizza Factory on Mondays, when you can get two pizzas for the price of one, so long as you go to pick them up. The traditional pizzas are good but this evening I went gourmet and got a Seafood Blanc and a Fresh Tomato and Spinach. Yay!
Tuesday, May 6th, 2003
Click for larger versionClick for larger version My friend Derek came over this evening to help me clean my gutters, a task I've neglected for years. We only did the gutters on the bottom in the back. If I'm lucky I can make him come again.
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See how pretty my gutters are now!
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One thing I'd never really noticed, until Derek pointed it out to me tonight, is the lovely view of Dayton Towers, err, I mean, Oregon Place, that I have from my deck. Click for larger versionClick for larger version
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Wednesday, May 7th, 2003
Click for larger versionClick for larger version I've complained about parking before, but until today I'd never ridden the parking shuttle. It was fun as a diversion but I wouldn't want to do it all the time. Unless you time it perfectly you have to wait 5, 10, or 15 minutes or so for the shuttle. And if you're not fortunate enough to have a friend to go park there and drive you to dinner, then you have to do this both ways. Seems to me I'd rather, on the rare occasion I come to campus late, sit in the comfort of my own car and stalk commuters for a space because then when I'm ready to leave, I don't have to take the shuttle again.

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Thursday, May 8th, 2003
Click for larger version Today I walked across downtown to the annual Peace Bridge event, held on Dayton's very own Peace Bridge, the Martin Luther King Way (Third Street) bridge across the Great Miami River. In the sixties, during the race riots, tanks were stationed on the bridge to keep black people from crossing into downtown and the white East side. For the past fifteen years, black and white people have met on the bridge to commit to working for peace in Dayton.

Good and honorable motives, which is why I walked over to be a part of it. A kid sang the national anthem to open the ceremony, and then the mayor read a proclamation, and then a bunch of people read stuff and prayed, which did get to be a bit boring. And then the fun part at the end was when all the kids released their balloons!

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Thursday, May 15th, 2003
Click for larger version This evening Dr. Pruett, the COM professor for whom I'm a TA at Wright State, took me and his other TA's to dinner at his country club, Sycamore Creek in Springboro. Dr. Pruett and Julia are in front, and Jessica M., Jessica W., I, and Katie are in back.

We had a good time. Dr. Pruett told us about when there used to be a bar on campus; he used to take TA's there for a drink. I wonder if I'd give students higher grades if I listened to their speeches after a few drinks?
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