Where were the disruptive technologies when I was in college?

I graduated in college in 1995.   This is before students could do most things online.   Submitting my financial aid application, just to get my student loan, involved standing in line.   When the quarterly checks were issued, it involved standing in another line.   When it came time to register for classes, yet another line.   The final line came when it was time to pay my tuition.   It used to be a painful experience. All of this can now be done electronically, without the need for standing in line.

Now, I’m seeing that the monopoly of the university bookstore is being broken by Amazon and others   In college, I used to tell friends that the book store was run by organized crime.   You buy a book for $100, sell it back to the bookstore for $35, and they resell it for $80.  If that’s not organized crime, I don’t know what is.

I noticed on Amazon.com today that you can rent text books.   First they broke the monopoly of university bookstores by offering text books.  Now they’re really changing things by letting you rent them.   I used to keep my text books as a trophy of tough classes that I had taken.  When I had to move six months ago, I let all of the trophies go.   None of them had been opened in at least a decade.  Renting would have been the perfect option for my electives.   I used to just check out the reserve copy from the library.

I wish these options had existed when I was in school



Why I hate insurance companies and why I’ll never use White Flower Van Lines for a move again.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ll know I was up against a tight deadline when I moved to San Diego.   I found a moving company that seemed competent on paper.   That company was “White Flower Van Lines, Inc.”.   I had them move my household goods as well as my Motorcycle.   Having these idiots move my motorcycle was a huge mistake.   They charged as much as a professional would have, but were anything but professional.

When the two thugs arrived with my stuff, I noticed that they had strapped the motorcycle to the side of the van.   A professional would have palletized it, or used a three-point harness.   Not the two ex-cons they sent out.   This resulted in my right mirror being broken.   Not just that, but they beat the sh*t out of one of my saddle bags.   There was approximately $1000 worth of damage done to the bike.   My bike is a BMW and everything seems to cost three times what you expect and twice what is reasonable.

Thug 1 said I didn’t need to worry as they were “insured”.  OK, great.   Then I find the insurance company they’re dealing with is someplace called Anthem Insurance, located in Anthem, Arizona.   Apparently, it’s a town with out electricity (or a varied gene-pool) as they can’t deal with ANYTHING electronically.   I pain-stakingly took photos, filled out paperwork, and sent it via certified mail.   About 2 months later, I get back their offer for a settlement.   The mouth-breathers hadn’t even asked me for estimates at this point.   The settlement they offered was a whopping $30, minus the $10 it would cost me in notary fees.   WOW!, a whole $20 dollars.    

I sent Anthem a certified letter rejecting their ridiculous offer, and enclosed the $620 estimate from the BMW dealer for the mirror alone.   I’m not sure how they came up with $30.   I’m just glad, as an insurance company, they were worried about my safety.   Riding with a broken mirror is safe, isn’t it?

I replaced my mirror today, at my own expense.

The short of it is to avoid “White Flower Van Lines” at all cost.   Pay a little extra and get professionals to do your move.