Various errands

Several minor things taken care of and a few left to do. I have sent away my application to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America now that I qualify for membership.

Yesterday, I called American Express to have them raise the limit on my new American Express card. I’ve never had an American Express card before and when it was issued to me, it had a $5,800 limit. That’s about 7 times less than the limit on my Mileage Plus Visa, and it makes it difficult to use for travel. For instance, I used it at the hotel in Rome as well as for the various car services and the bill came to something like $2,400. When I tried to use it at the hotel in London, it was declined. I wasn’t sure why at the time but I discovered why yesterday when I got the bill. It would have gone over the assigned credit limit. I called and explained that I used these cards for travel and the hotel bill in London alone was $4,000 and that the card is pretty much useless to me if I can’t use it for travel. They doubled the limit for me on the spot, which now makes it worth keeping.

I booked my car rental through Hertz for my trip to Morro Bay at the end of this month. Ever notice all of the ridiculous fees that get added on? There’s sales tax at 8.25%. There an “airport concession fee recovery” at 11.1%. There’s a “customer facility charge” at $10.00. And there is a “California tourism commission assessment” at 2.5%. Everyone, it seems, gets their cut. I’m paying $39.47/day for a full-sized car, which for 4 days should come to $157.88. Instead, with all the aforementioned taxes and tariffs added in, the bill comes to $205.17 or what amounts to about a 30% tax! Or looking at it another way, I could have rented the car for an addtional day for the cost of those taxes!

Bees have built a nest behind one of the shutters outside the front door of my house. I need to get some of that spray that kills them off, then wait until nighttime to use it in order to get rid of them. I’m not looking forward to that.


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