Friday, March 28, 2014

Top 5 Things I've Learned in the Last Three Months

In no particular order.

Pins are Cheaper Than Pens
Unless you are a bank giving out credit cards in America.

I travel to Europe quite often. When I'm there, they have the same "automatic" amenities as we do here in the states except I can't use them because they require a credit card with a pin.

We live in a modern world with old technology credit cards. At least in the good old capitalistic land of the free.

In Europe their credit cards have a chip on them. This chip contains all your pertinent information. Your account balance, your name, what you look like, the birthday of your firstborn child and your pin (I may have made some of that up). This is because, in some countries, the Internet/communications system isn't as vast as in the USA so when they can't validate the sale via the Internet they can just read the information off of the chip. But, the chip can't be accessed without the appropriate PIN (personal identification number).

When you go get gas at a 24/7 pay at the pump station in Europe, they don't ask for your zip code when you slide your card (in fact a lot of them don't have a magnetic strip reader). They ask for your PIN. In Europe there are a large majority of gas station attendants who don't speak English. So when I'm out of gas in Italy, I have to park my car, go into the station, find an attendant who can speak a bit of English, try to explain to them that I don't have a chip on my card and that I'll be requiring a pen because I have no pin.

When you go to a restaurant in Germany, they bring a little chip reading device to your table. You put your card in and then guess what? It asks for a PIN. This comes as some embarrassment to we technologically advanced Americans. You have to ask them pathetically if they have the dumb down credit card machines. Then, if they do and are able to run your card, they ask for your PIN. Then, we pathetic Americans have to ask for a PEN.

That's not entirely true, their credit card machine almost always have a magnetic strip reader, but they don't carry pens with them. And I can't write anyway.

Texting and Driving is Not Just Dangerous
It's also annoying as hell. I am starting to enjoy the people who say, "I only text when I'm at a stop light."

They are the ones who make me miss the green light because they are too busy playing with their phones to notice that the light changed.

Then there are the ones who "can safely text and drive". They are the ones you come up on driving 15 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone so that they can safely weave between the white lines without crossing them.

I saw a guy the other day texting at a four way stop -- because it wasn't his turn. Of course, when it was his turn, he had no clue. People get stupid at four way stop signs anyway. Texting at a four way stop is like stirring up the kettle of stupidity.

I've Only Got Two
I feel kind of guilty for leading you on.

You Can Plant Plants 
It's a good thing you don't pee peas. That would hurt!

Obamacare is Not That Bad
But only if you are intelligent. I wish Obama would have done away with health insurance all together. Sick people are not happy and we all should have a right to the pursuit of happiness. 

However, all the horror stories you've been hearing are just not true. If you have a  brain, read this.  You have a couple of more days to sign up. If I had had access to Obamacare when I graduated college, life would have been much different for me.

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