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Highest Echelon

A personal finance blog. Paying for my University, life and eventually achieving financial freedom.

Prosper Loans Details

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Prosper Archives

posted by johnwilkx, 7:26 AM | link | 1 comments |

Funded 2 More Prosper Loans

2 more Prosper loans went through this morning.

D credit rating at 28% apr
B credit rating at 20% apr

My current ROI is 21.03% just .82% shy of "Meridian," the highest ranked ROI lender on all of Prosper.
posted by johnwilkx, 7:20 AM | link | 3 comments |

One Of My Prosper.com Strategies

Sunday, October 29, 2006

One of my Prosper.com strategies is to bid at current apr, even if I plan on underbidding myself later.

Let's say a borrower requests 24% apr and has a credit rating of B. Taking Prosper's fees into account the actual apr is closer to 22%. The requested apr (24.00%) is great, but it's too much to hope for. When I don't have enough time to fully analyze and email the borrower, I'll bid $50 on the requested apr (24.00%).

Then when I have more time, I'll come back and analyze the posting. I'll look at the group, current delinquencies, past delinquencies, and their story. If I then feel that they are a safe bet I'll underbid myself by as much as 5.00%.

If I'm EXTREMELY lucky (and this doesn't happen much) I'd get approved for the 24% apr and then my lower apr as well.
posted by johnwilkx, 11:34 AM | link | 0 comments |

I'll Open a Zecco.com Account in the Next Few Months

"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February." Mark Twain
I'll wait a few more months before I open a brokerage account at Zecco.com. That way I can get some more feedback from the pf blogger community.
posted by johnwilkx, 10:03 AM | link | 2 comments |

My College Progress So Far

This was one of my most difficult college terms ever. Work sucked and really impacted my ability to study. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!) recommends not to work for money, but rather experience. My job has absolutely nothing to do with my future profession choice, so I'll be coming to a very profound decision concerning work in the next week.

I'm still deciding whether I'll take 2 or 3 classes next term. My courses are all accelerated, so 2 classes count as 4 and 3 as 6. I'll also be taking a CLEP exam worth 6 credits in November. I have an extremely high probability of passing it without even studying. If I do all that I have the potential of earning 15 credits in the next 2 months. I put a College Completed Meter on the top right of my page to keep me motivated. No matter if I take 2 or 3 classes, I'll still get my Associates Degree early next year, and that makes me feel extremely accomplished and happy.

Any thoughts? What's more important at my age? Working for experience or for a trifle sum of money?
posted by johnwilkx, 7:47 AM | link | 2 comments |

Daylight Saving Time

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't forget to set your clocks back by 1 hour tonight. Clocks fall back from 1:59 am to 1:00 am.

The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.

Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight. It is a saving daylight kind of time. Similar examples would be a mind expanding book or a man eating tiger. Saving is used in the same way as saving a ball game, rather than as a savings account.

If you were to go drinking:

In the U.S., restaurants and bars have various closing policies. In many states, liquor cannot be served after 2:00 a.m. But at 2:00 a.m. in the fall, the time switches back one hour. So, can they serve alcohol for that additional hour in October? The official answer is that the bars do not stop serving liquor at 2:00 a.m., but actually at 1:59 a.m. So, they have already stopped serving when the time changes from Daylight Saving Time into Standard Time. In practice, however, many establishments stay open an extra hour in the fall.

U.S. Daylight Saving Time Schedule
2004: April 4 - October 31
2005: April 3 - October 30
2006: April 2 - October 29
New Federal Law In Effect
2007: March 11 - Nov. 4
2008: March 9 - Nov. 2
2009: March 8 - Nov. 1
2010: March 14 - Nov. 7
2011: March 13 - Nov. 6

posted by johnwilkx, 3:26 PM | link | 1 comments |

Update: Applied for Credit Line Increases

Friday, October 27, 2006

I received confirmation emails from both Chase and Household saying that they will review my credit line increases. Since I applied for increases less than a quarter year ago I really didn't think I would get my increases approved.

I already got a response from Chase saying that my Signature card's credit line will be staying at $7000 (at least for a few more months). That's all fine and good. There's no penalty for requesting a credit line increase since it's a soft pull and simply a review of my on-file credit report.
posted by johnwilkx, 1:47 PM | link | 0 comments |

Applied for Credit Line Increases

I applied for a $1000 credit line increase on my Chase Signature and a $1000 credit line increase on my Household.

The increase my credit line option seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet on the Bank of America website. There are other ways of accessing that online option, but I'm in no mood to click around until I find it.
posted by johnwilkx, 8:10 AM | link | 0 comments |

I'd Vote For Him - Dabu Dabu Dabu

Thursday, October 26, 2006

posted by johnwilkx, 9:08 PM | link | 0 comments |

My Current simuStock Portfolio Allocation

One of my simuStock portfolios is performing much better than expected. I decided to invest $2000 and cut it right down the middle by buying 34 stocks of eBay and 33 of Amazon. A gain of over $368 was achieved in under 3 months. If I had opened an account with Zecco for $2500 I'd be getting back $2959.50!

Account Balance
Starting Balance$2,000.00
Cash Balance$0.59
Stock Balance$2,367.08

Liquidation( 18.38%) $2,367.67


...if only Zecco existed back then.
posted by johnwilkx, 10:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

October: My Credit Limit in Review

October: My total credit limit increased by a very respectable $3,400 to $22,400. I am now 44.8% to my ultimate goal of $50,000. I've added more details (percentage and actual dollar amount) to the meters at the top right of this page to help give a better understanding of where I'm at.

I'll be applying for additional credit limit increases in the next few months.
posted by johnwilkx, 7:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

Risks With New No-Swipe Cards

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Almost every credit card company is coming out with no-swipe credit cards. These cards don't require manually swiping through a machine or signatures. All a customer needs to do with a no-swipe cards is wave it in front of a terminal that picks up the customer's data. The card speeds up checkout which provides convenience for them.

However, there are security risks that come with this new technology:

In a study performed by RSA labs on 20 credit cards, it found that the cardholder's name and other info was being transmitted without encryption.

Without encryption, any person with the correct form of receiver and some technical know-how can retrieve and collect credit card information. This information can then be used maliciously or sold.

Read the story here.

posted by johnwilkx, 8:48 AM | link | 2 comments |

How Much Is Your Blog Worth?

How much is your blog worth? Probably a lot more than mine. I found this really cool tool that displays how much a blog is worth. I'm worth a little under $10,000. Where do I get my payout?

Anyway, I'll put it up permanently way down on the bottom right to monitor progress.

What should my goal be? $50,000 at least?

My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?

posted by johnwilkx, 6:27 AM | link | 2 comments |

100 Chuck Norris Jokes

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We've seen them scattered all over the net. I simply added a few pictures.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

Chuck Norris once visited the Virgin Islands. They are now The Islands.

Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting implies the probability of failure. Chuck Norris
goes killing.

Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has ne
ver cried.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep ev
ery night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

Chuck Noris puts the "laughter" in "manslaughter".

Chuck Norris can speak braille.

Chuck Norris was once on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and was the first to spin. The next 29 minutes of the show consisted of everyone standing around awkwardly, waiting for the wheel to stop.

Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris

If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the **** down.

Chuck Norris thought up some of the funniest Chuck Norris facts ever, but he hasn't submitted them to the site because he doesn't believe in any form of submis

If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.

Chuck Norris frequently donates blood to the Red Cross. Just never his own.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rug
ged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn't stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

Chuck Norris is currently suing
NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

The quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris's fist.

Leading hand sanitizers claim they can kill 99.9 percent of germs. Chuck Norris can kill 100 percent of whatever the **** he wants.

Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas.

If you try to introduce your mother to Chuck Norris, she'll introduce you to your biological father.

Chuck Norris, Vin Diesel and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all died and are in Heaven. Each of them hope to occupy the seat next to God. God asks Vin Diesel why he thinks he should have the seat and Vin replies, "I believe... I should have the seat because of the virtuosity in my toughness and pride." Arnie says, "I believe... that I should be the one sitting next to you because of all my achievements."
God then turns to Chuck Norris, who replies with, "I believe... you are sitting in my seat."

When Chuc
k Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

Chuck Norris died ten years ago, but the Grim Reaper can't get up the courage to tell him.

Chuck Norris once survived a suicide bombing. He was the bomber.

Chuck Norris does not know where you live, but he knows where you will die.

Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

Chuck Norris is currently in a legal battle with the makers of Bubble Tape. Norris claims "6 Feet of Fun" is actually the trademark for his ***.

Chuck Norris can slam revolving doors.

Little kids enjoy lighting ants on fire with magnifying glasses. Chuck Norris enjoys lighting little kids on fire with ants. Scientists have yet to find out how this feat is achieved.

If it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, and feels like chicken but Chuck Norris says its beef, then it's ****ing beef.

We all know the magic word is please. As in the sentence, "Please don't kill me." Too bad Chuck Norris doesn't believe in magic.

Chuck Norris once went on Celebrity Jeopardy and answered, "Who is Chuck Norris?" to every question. It was the first and only time in Jeopardy history that a contestant answered every single
question right.

At birth, Chuck Norris came out feet first so he could roundhouse kick the doctor in the face. Nobody delivers Chuck Norris but Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris once ate three 72 oz. steaks in one hour. He spent the first 45 minutes having *** with his waitress.

Chuck Norris owns the greatest Poker Face of all-time. It helped him win the 1983 World Series of Poker despite him holding just a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoloy card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.

A Handicap parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if yo
u park there.

Chuck Norris' sperm can penetrate 13 condoms, the birth control pill, a brick wall, and the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line in order to impregnate a woman.

Chuck Norris has to sort his laundry into three loads: darks, whites, and bloodstains.
If at first you don't succeed, you are obviously not Chuck Norris.

Geico saved 15% by switching to Chuck Norris.

If you see Chuck Norris crying he will grant you a wish, if your wish is dying.

Pee Wee Herman got arrested for masturbating in public. The same day, Chuck Norris got an award for masturbating in public.

They say that lightning never strikes the same place twice. Niether does Chuck Norris. He doesn't have to.

Water boils faster when Chuck Norris watches it.

Chuck Norris' cowboy boots are made from real cowboys.

When Chuck Norris exercises, the machine gets stronger.

Chuck Norris is allowed to talk about Fight Club.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself... The only thing fear has to fear is Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris clogs the toilet even when he p***es.

A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw, was a fatal roundhouse delivered by Chuck Norris.

The most effective form of suicide known to man is to type "Chuck Norris" into Google and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky!".

Chuck Norris never gets brain freeze. Slurpees know when to back the f**k off.

Chuck Norris got in touch with his feminine side, and promptly got her pregnant.

Chuck Norris refers to himself in fourth person.

Whenever someone is constipated, doctors send them to Chuck Norris so he can scare the s**t out of them.

Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like Chuck Norris

Switzerland isn't really neutral. They just haven't figured out what side Chuck Norris is on yet.

When Chuck Norris was in middle school, his English teacher assigned an essay: "What is Courage?" Chuck Norris received an "A+" for writing only the words "Chuck Norris" and promptly turning in the paper.

Chuck Norris doesn't give Christmas presents. If you live to see Christmas, that is your Christmas present from Chuck.

Chuck Norris ends every relationship with "Its not me, its you".

Chuck Norris was sending an email one day, when he realized that it would be faster to run.

When Chuck Norris laughs too hard while drinking milk, he accidently s**ts a cow.
One time in an airport a guy accidently called Chuck Norris "Chick Norris". He explained it was an honest mistake and apologized profusely. Chuck accepted his apology and politely signed an autograph. Nine months later, the guy's wife gave birth to a bearded baby. The guy knew exactly what had happened, and blames nobody but himself.

Chuck Norris doesn't understand why you should consult your doctor if your erection lasts for more than 4 hours. His erections have been known to last for up to 15 days.

Chuck Norris has never had an alcohol problem. However, alcohol has had a Chuck Norris problem.

Jesus owns and wears a bracelet that reads, "WWCND?"

In order to survive a nuclear attack, you must remember to stop, drop, and be Chuck Norris.

Similar to a Russian Nesting Doll, if you were to break Chuck Norris open you would find another Chuck Norris inside, only smaller and angrier.

Chuck Norris' dog is trained to pick up his own poop because Chuck Norris will not take s**t from anyone.

Oxygen requires Chuck Norris to live.

Chuck Norris doesn't have a bank account. He just tells the bank how much he needs.
Chuck Norris frequently signs up for beginner karate classes, just so he can "accidentally" beat the s**t out of little kids.

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know when Chuck Norris is going to kill you.

Someone once tried to tell Chuck Norris that roundhouse kicks aren't the best way to kick someone. This has been recorded by historians as the worst mistake anyone has ever made.

The phrase "Made by Chuck Norris" is imprinted beneath the surface of China.

Microsoft has released a new Anti-virus removal tool called Chuck Norris. The tool dares the virus to enter the machine.

Chuck Norris always gets blackjack. Even when he's playing poker.

When the Incredible Hulk gets angry he transforms into Chuck Norris.

When Chuck Norris answers the phone, he just says "Go". This is not permission for you to begin speaking, it is your cue to start running for your life.

Chuck Norris only uses one chopstick.

Chuck Norris does not leave messages. Chuck Norris leaves warnings.

Filming on location for Walker: Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris brought a stillborn baby lamb back to life by giving it a prolonged beard rub. Shortly after the farm animal sprang back to life and a crowd had gathered, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked the animal, breaking its neck, to remind the crew once more that Chuck giveth, and the good Chuck, he taketh away.

When you open a can of whoop-ass, Chuck Norris jumps out.

Chuck Norris once had a near death experience. Needless to say, Death now refuses to come near him.

People say the truth hurts, but it hurts a hell of a lot more when it comes from Chuck Norris.

If you come home to find Chuck Norris doing your wife, it's probably best to go fetch a glass of water and stand there in case Chuck gets thirsty. There ain't no future in any other course of action.

Chuck Norris can open beer cans with his teeth. He still prefers to use other people's teeth, though.

Chuck Norris uses all seven letters in Scrabble... Every turn.
posted by johnwilkx, 8:48 PM | link | 18 comments |

The Festival of Frugality is Up

The Festival of Frugality is up at Pragmatic Finance. I contribute a small piece about my cell phone which costs $6.66 per month.
posted by johnwilkx, 6:29 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thoughts On Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad

I'm about a third through Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad on audiobook. While my opinion of Kiyosaki hasn't changed yet, I agree with some of the things he proposes.

Kiyosaki defines an asset as something that puts money in your pocket and a liability as something that takes money out of your pocket. I'll buy that. I know that there is much confusion with assets with liabilities.

He also suggests that people that want to become rich should buy assets that make money. He mainly proposes stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. I would also consider antiques, art, intellectual property, and education.

I'll post again in a few cassettes.
posted by johnwilkx, 1:06 PM | link | 2 comments |

Funded 1 More Loan on Prosper

I funded another $50 loan on Prosper.com and updated my Prosper Loans Funded Meter at the top right of my page.

Unfortunately another batch was canceled because borrowers couldn't verify their information in time. But I still feel that Prosper is a great place to invest in and remember it only takes 50 bucks to start lending.
posted by johnwilkx, 11:36 AM | link | 2 comments |

I Got A Raise

I got a 5% raise for my 3 year anniversary. On my review all my scores were satisfactory or above. Since inflation is hovering around 3% right now, I came out alright.

What percentage was your last raise?
posted by johnwilkx, 9:10 AM | link | 0 comments |

Adbrite Changes Setup, Harder to Integrate!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Within the last 24 hours adbrite has changed how they let advertisers modify their ads. Before I could change font size, color, style, hover, and a few other things. Now all I can change is color. Look at the ads in the center column. They are super sleek and fit my color scheme perfectly. Now look at the new adbrite waaay on the bottom right of this page. That's as well as I could match it, and it looks horrible! I could get this type of poor integration from adsense.

Am I jumping the gun?
posted by johnwilkx, 9:07 PM | link | 2 comments |

The Carnivals Are Up!!

The Carnival of Investing is up at Endless Gibberish.
The Carnival of Personal Finances is up at Fat Pitch financial.
The Carnival of Debt Reduction is up at No Credit Needed.
The Festival of Frugality is up at Free Money Finance.

I read through most of these and Adventure Money has a very enjoyable read about starting a business.
posted by johnwilkx, 4:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

My Very First Computer

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I already posted about the first computer I bought with my own money. But years before that my mother and I bought this computer. This must have been over 10 years ago.
  • IBM Aptiva
  • Windows 95
  • 166 Megahertz Intel processor without MMX which came out a few weeks later (Damnit!)
  • 16 MB of ram
  • 2.3 GB of hard drive space spread across 3 hard drives: 1: 1000MB 2: 700MB 3: 600MB.
  • 8 x CD drive. No burner of any type.
  • It was black.
It cost $2000 with a printer.

What was your very first computer?
posted by johnwilkx, 6:53 PM | link | 4 comments |

Free Samples, Free Offers, Free Subscriptions

  1. JC Whitney four free car catalogues. Request code RK056.
  2. ICE triple 3-in-1 Shampoo-Conditioner-Body Wash free sample.
  3. Free 2007 Coca-Cola calendar: call toll free 1-800-438-2653 to request. Mailed free of charge within 7-10 days. Monday-Sunday 9am to 7:00pm ET
  4. Free Subscription to CNET Digital Living magazine.
  5. There's another coupon for a free pair of panties from Victoria's Secret in this months Allure magazine.
  6. Get $5 for complete a survey on excessive sleepiness.
  7. Connecticut only. Free after rebate Norton Anti Virus 2007 CD.
  8. Free Celestial Seasonings Tea Sample printable coupon after survey.
  9. California only: Free Peachtree 2007 Pro Accounting after rebates expires 10/24.
  10. Lots of other free offers California Only.
posted by johnwilkx, 1:51 PM | link | 0 comments |

My First (Self Bought) Computer

I bought my first computer (with my own money) about 3 years ago from Best Buy. A T3265 eMachines. It cost about $700, which was a lot (for me) at the time. Besides my car, it was, and still is, my biggest financial purchase. Here are the stats:
  • AMD Athlon XP 3200+ Processor
  • 512MB PC2700 DDR Memory
  • 160GB Hard Drive
  • 4x DVD+/-RW Burner and 48x CD-ROM Optical Drives
  • NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX Integrated Graphics with 64MB Shared Memory
  • NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T 6-Channel Audio with Amplified Stereo Speakers
  • v.92 56Kbps Modem and 10/100 Ethernet Port
  • Five USB 2.0 Ports and 8-in-1 Media Card Reader
  • Windows XP Home Operating System and Microsoft Works 7.0 Productivity Software
I made sure to buy it without a monitor because I would eventually buy a 21 inch flat panel. I continued using my old 15 inch CRT box monitor for a while longer until I saved up enough money for the upgrade. I also subsequently bought a wireless mouse, a premium surround sound system, and a 4 in one printer, scanner, fax, copier. All of these things I plan on passing on to the next computer so I don't consider it wasted money.

After 3 problem free years, I was sold on eMachines. eMachines has established itself as a low cost budget system, an image they are slowly trying to break. I consider them the Hyundai of computers.

Even though my computer still works perfectly and plan on using it until it blows up, it's still a lot of fun to look at the newest technology. So in a few upcoming posts I'll review some brand new computers, laptops, and related technologies. Maybe I'll even convince myself to buy a new computer this year instead of 2008.

What are the specs of your computer?
posted by johnwilkx, 1:01 PM | link | 6 comments |

YouTube Saturday

Saturday, October 21, 2006

posted by johnwilkx, 10:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

Highest Echelon Contributes to One Carnival

Friday, October 20, 2006

Check out The Festival of Under 30 Finances at City Girl's Financial Blog. I post a small piece about why Prosper Keeps Canceling My Bids.

From what I gather, a lot of us hate Prosper for that.
posted by johnwilkx, 11:18 AM | link | 0 comments |

Yet More Canceled Loans at Prosper

I get a batch of these every week.

You were a winning bidder on

Listing title: Honest student looking for a loan
Listing number: 121212
Listing created: Oct-11-2006 4:30 PM

However, while performing a pre-funding review, we were unable to verify certain information relating to the listing, and as a result we are unable to fund this listing. The listing has therefore been cancelled, and the funds in the amount of your bid have been returned to your Prosper account, available for further bidding.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding.

I still suspect that the borrower was not able to verify his or her checking account quickly enough.
posted by johnwilkx, 6:43 AM | link | 1 comments |

Will McDonald's Make it to 2050?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

You decide. Try this fun little McDonald's simulator. I think the bottom line to this game is: A corporation needs to constantly strive to improve upon itself or it won't sustain itself indefinitely.
posted by johnwilkx, 7:17 PM | link | 1 comments |

Another Prosper Loan Funded

Another Prosper loan has finally been approved. I have updated my Prosper Loans Funded Meter at the top of my page.

  • Credit rating AA with 16.5%.

  • You must be a Prosper member to view the link, so I suggest signing up. It takes $0 to open a lenders account and only $50 to fund your first loan. It can easily be linked to your brick and mortar checking, HSBC, and Emigrant Direct (transfers are free). I'll even show you how to do that. It's quite convenient and very addictive.
    posted by johnwilkx, 4:14 PM | link | 1 comments |

    Better Than Fried Twinkies, Fried Coke!

    You can get anything fried at a fair. Twinkies, cookies, pickles. You name it.

    Last year concessionaire Abel Gonzales Jr. sold 20,000 fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches. This year he invented the next big thing. Fried Coke! Get the fully fried story here.
    posted by johnwilkx, 12:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

    Guy Pays $100,000 for Spacestation, Expects to Make $1.6 Million Annually!

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Entropia Universe is a computer game that uses a Real Cash Economy. Meaning that the items and gear in the game are bought with real United States currency. Why would someone pay real money for a bunch of pixels? More importantly why would Jon Jacobs pay $100,000 for a virtual spacestation?

    Jacobs argues that if David Storey can buy an undeveloped virtual island for $26,500 and make a profit, a spacestation would be the next step.

    Once a virtual profit has been made, Entropia Universe users can convert their virtual earning to real money by using the in game interface and withdraw.

    By using the Entropia Universe Cash Card you can instantly convert your virtual PED into real-life cash.

    Welcome to the future. It's virtual.

    posted by johnwilkx, 9:01 PM | link | 0 comments |

    Some Useful Coupons

  • Target: Get 10% off your entire order. Use code: TCRCPTAB. Expires 10/30/2006.
  • Pier 1 Imports: 20% off one item. Expires 10/22/06.
  • Bath & Body Works: Free Temptations or Holiday Fragrance Collection with $10 purchase. Expires 11/5/06.
  • And my favorite Old Navy: printable coupon $5 off $25. (I've used these before they are great) Expires 10/31/06.
  • posted by johnwilkx, 8:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

    Highest Echelon Has a Feed

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Highest Echelon now has a feed. I'm still not entirely sure how feeds work but I welcome any and all comments or experiences anyone has had with them.


    posted by johnwilkx, 6:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

    I Broke Down and Got Something by Kiyosaki

    For the most part, the blogger consensus on Kiyosaki is that he is nothing more than a good salesman. "We" feel that he uses tired old cliches that have been around since way before Kiyosaki wrote about them.

    Still, I decided to get Rich Dad Poor Dad. Since I didn't want to waste money, I borrowed it from the library. And since I didn't want to waste time, I got the audiobook on tape. I'll be listening to Kiyosaki as I drive to work and while I'm cooking. Maybe even at the gym.

    posted by johnwilkx, 1:48 PM | link | 3 comments |

    Prosper.com: Here's What I'm Bidding On Right Now

    Here are some of the loans I am bidding on at Prosper right now. You don't need to be a member of Prosper.com to view these bids.

    Credit score D, Current rate 24%
    Credit score D, Current rate 27%
    Credit score AA, Current rate 18.75%
    Credit score C, Current rate 21.49%
    posted by johnwilkx, 10:40 AM | link | 0 comments |

    Here's How To Get Money Out of Your Flexible Spending Account

    Last year I had a few hundred left in my Flexible Spending Account. Even though it would have entered the first quarter 2006 grace period, I still wanted my money back. Here's what I did to get my cash back.

    I went to my standard dentist cleaning in November and bought as many boxes of Crest Whitestrips Supreme (21-day program) as I could. They were 40 bucks each. I asked the nurse to make the receipt list these items as "miscellaneous," and she agreed. Next I submitted the receipt with all the proper forms to my Flexible Spending Account provider and I got my refund.

    After that I sold all the boxes of Crest Whitestrips Supreme on eBay for $39.99, plus shipping. At that time they were only available from the doctors office. Even now I don't think they can be bought in stores and if shipping and handling is taken into consideration eBay still sells them for around $40.
    posted by johnwilkx, 8:04 AM | link | 3 comments |

    The United States Population Hits 300,000,000!

    Well at the time of this posting 300,000,548. Check out this nifty "clock". U.S. and World Population Clocks and this one.
    posted by johnwilkx, 6:34 AM | link | 0 comments |

    Prosper Keeps Canceling My Bids, Enter Zopa

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    A while back, I decided to put a large chunk of my cash in Prosper.com. However, even though I have over $1000 sitting over there, less than half ($300) is in actual loans. Don't think that I'm not actively and aggressively researching and bidding on prospective borrowers. Lately, many of the loans I've bid on have been cancelled due to Prosper being "unable to verify certain information related to the listing." I suspect that the borrowers were not able to verify their accounts before the loan closed. But that's just my guess.

    Here's why I'm pissed. In all cases my money was tied up. First the 3 days that it takes for them to transfer the funds from my HSBC to my Prosper holding account. Then while I bid and wait for the loan to close. All the way through to the time Prosper decides the loan must be cancelled due to unverifiable information. All the while my money is floating around and sitting there not earning interest!

    Yes, Prosper carefully examines the loans before funding. But Prosper should offer the holding account at least 3% interest.

    Luckily Prosper will get some competition from across the pond. Zopa.com is coming to the United States. Zopa has been around for 18 months and offers an interest bearing holding account and 1.5% lender bonus. Competition is a great thing.
    posted by johnwilkx, 6:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

    My Cash Allocation

    I've tweeked with my allocation a little bit. I now have much more in Prosper and less sitting in my brick and mortar checking. Funds are slowly trickling from my Emigrant Direct to my Prosper.
    posted by johnwilkx, 4:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

    Funded 2 More Loans at Prosper

    Prosper is finally at $400 (check the meter at the top right of this page). Thanks to two loans funded for $50 each. One had a C credit rating and is willing to pay me 24.50%. The other had a B credit rating and is willing to pay me 25%. Both owe me $1.99 on the 13th of November. I love that almost all of the first payment is interest. All my loans are current to date.

    Now that I"m more familiar with Prosper I'll start tightening my requirement a little more.
    posted by johnwilkx, 3:05 PM | link | 0 comments |

    How to Winterize Your Car

    Last winter wasn'’t too bad, probably due to global warming. But that doesn'’t mean this winter will be as pleasant. I like to winterize my car a few months before it starts getting really cold so that I can still work on it without freezing my fingers.

    Here'’s what I do:

    Checked Tire Tread: Well, I actually replaced all 4 tires, but that doesn'’t mean I don'’t check my tread-wear. I just look at it visually. If your tread is low you can either replace the tires, or switch them for new ones and leave the worn ones around to drive with in the summer. In the summer, I'’m known to drive until the metal wires are showing. Also, look at the tires from the top. If it looks like the middle is being worn much more than the outsides try deflating the tire a little. Conversely, if the outsides are worn more than the middle try inflating the tire a little more. A lot of mechanics recommend the penny trick. Turn a penny head down and stick it between the tire tread. If a part of Lincoln'’s head is covered your tires are probably ok. However, use your best judgment.

    Windshield: I hate when my windshield fog up! Since water vapor likes to stick to the greasy film that accumulates over time on the glass, cleaning the inside of the glass is the best way to minimize fog. Use regular window wash or a mixture of vinigar and water. I repeat this every 2 - 4 weeks or so. If my windshield still fogs up, I pull out a napkin, open the window, spray out some window wash fluid, soak some up in the napkin, and wash the inside of the glass. I do this while driving sometimes. What'’s worse, not being able to see anything because of windshield fog, or swerving all over the road? I thought so.

    Wipers: The tip of the wipers actually doesn'’t squeegee the glass. The rubber bends and the sides make contact with the glass. To keep those sides in perfect working order, take a piece of fine sandpaper and run it along the blade on both sides.

    Trunk Supplies: It'’s recommended to keep a blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, extra gloves, flairs, sand (for traction), and a shovel in your trunk. You won'’t even know they are in there, but they may come in handy.

    Glove Compartment Supplies: I keep a small camera in my glove compartment. If I ever get into an accident it will come in handy. I also have my cell phone on me at all times for emergencies.

    I also wash and wax my car before it starts snowing. And I always change my oil before the winter starts. If I'm lucky I can drive through the whole winter on one oil change. Don't believe what they tell you. You can get more than 5,000 miles if you use fully synthetic.
    posted by johnwilkx, 2:28 PM | link | 0 comments |

    The Carnivals Are Up!

    Gold Stock Bull is hosting the Carnival of Investing.
    Dispatches From Blogblivion is hosting the Carnival of the Capitalists.
    Make Love, Not Debt is hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance.
    My Open Wallet is hosting the Festival of Frugality.

    Adventure Money has a great piece about The Power of Leverage.
    posted by johnwilkx, 7:54 AM | link | 1 comments |