The headline "Residents see flying saucer over Vancouver, WA" reminded me that I saw a UFO once.
I was about 14, and it was a hot summer night at my dad's small apartment in one of Vancouver's suburbs. I was out on the back deck looking up at the sky, and I saw a bright green triangle dancing across the sky. It swirled around over the same general area, and stayed for the entire half hour that I watched.
I was able to identify that object the next evening, when we drove into the neighboring commercial district in town. I saw that the local car dealership had a big laser light display to help advertise their latest sale.
At the beginning of the year, I started offloading many of my video games that I don't play any more, and even those that I had just never got around to playing. Before last year's bankruptcy, I always traded-in my used games at Hollywood Video / GameCrazy, but now I had to find new options.
Amazon and Best Buy both offer video game trade-in programs, though only for games which still have their manuals and boxes.
- You can check the video game trade-in prices offered by Amazon here. Amazon will pay to ship the games to them. Since Amazon has such a huge offering of products, the Amazon store credit that they will give you is almost as good as cash.
- Best Buy has an iPhone app to check the trade-in prices, and the iPhone's camera works really well to scan game's UPC. You do the trade-in at one of the best buy stores, and they'll give you a gift card which is good in the store or at the website.
I also found Goozex - a website where members trade games with each other; earning points by sending games, or spending those points by getting games from other traders. The site handles administration and arbitration, and makes it's money with a $2 per trade fee (on the receiver's side). It costs me roughly $5 to ship a game to someone else - $2 for the padded envelope, and $2 or $3 for postage.
I weighed each of these trade-in options for each of the games I was looking to get rid of. (I was surprised by the difference in trade-in values between Amazon and BestBuy.) In the end, I got about $15 at both BestBuy and Amazon by trading in video games. I've also a nearly-new copy of Final Fantasy XIII through trading at Goozex, and I'm on the wait-list for a few more games. And I have less stuff sitting around the house!
If you like Clients From Hell, you'll love Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising. Warning: these sites can sometimes be not safe for work.
I used to have a plain old cellular phone. For $25 a month, I got 100 minutes a month, and was able to call people when I needed to. I never went over that 60 minutes. I rarely sent text messages and I never sent pictures.
Last fall, I noticed a few 12 cent charges on of my monthly cell phone bill. After a few calls and lots of time on hold, Verizon said that someone else had entered my phone number as their call forwarding number, and Verizon would happy reverse the charges since it wasn't my doing. But there was no way they could prevent those charges from happening. There was no way I wanted to call them every month, and I didn't need the cell phone that badly, so I figured I'd save myself the $25 and ditch the personal cell phone entirely.
I told my boss that I would be ditching my personal cell phone. He's only needed me outside of business hours once in 4 years. He hated the mere idea of not being able to contact me at a moment's notice, so a brand new iPhone arrived for me just a few days later.
Now, I have an iPhone 4 that the office pays for. And an extra $25 a month in my pocket.