Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 968

I got a couple of checks in the mail today that were part of a class action settlement that I didn't even know I was a part of. Apparently I was swindled by Merrill Lynch more than twenty years ago on a mutual fund transaction. We're not talking big money here, but the settlement was better than the typical discount coupon "good for a free dessert" that you usually get after these class action lawsuits. I'm convinced that class action suits were invented by lawyers to benefit other lawyers. The class, or injured party in these cases rarely gets a dime.

Now that I think of it, this is the second time I've received money as a result of a class action suit against Merrill Lynch. Is it any wonder that people don't trust Wall Street anymore? The whole thing happened so long ago that I don't even remember buying the stock that was involved in this big brouhaha. Truthfully, I've made so many poor investment decisions over the years, that the performance of this poor manipulated stock was probably no worse than many of the honestly purchased dogs in my portfolio.

It was probably good that the greedy lawyers send me a little surprise moolah this month. My company certainly didn't bill out a huge amount in August. Every month when I take my humble stack of invoices to the post office, I simultaneously marvel that my small business is still relevant after all these years, while wondering how much longer I can continue on the small amount I currently bring in. I'm also wondering now if the good years would have been even better if Merrill Lynch wasn't quietly skimming money off the top.  I think I have the last laugh though. I'm still around, and Merrill Lynch isn't.

I'm wondering whether it's going to take 20 votes or 2000 to get my Instagram Gallery up and running. If any of you saw my pleas on Twitter or Facebook yesterday, I hope you voted for me. I actually think this might be a good thing. I've taken a ton of flower pictures that would look pretty darn good printed on canvas in someone's apartment. I also like the idea of an Instagram stock photo agency. I've been plagued with rejections from traditional stock photo agencies for years because they said the files I sent them contained "artifacts." Whatever! The images look good to me and they actually print out pretty well too. I think it would be a godsend to actually have a stock photo agency that was looking for poor quality photos. Nobody's Instagram pictures are all that good technically, because they all come from cell phones. This new Instagram Gallery might be exactly what I need. Finally, I wouldn't have to compete with someone's $25,000 Hasselblad.

I'm trying to think of someplace different to go for breakfast tomorrow. I think I've totally exhausted the menus of my four regular breakfast haunts. It's time for something new. Not necessarily better, mind you, just new.

Nautica is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day