Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Month: December 2011

Credit Card Currency Conversion Fee Settlement Windfall! (Or: I Should Have Picked Option A)

Back in December of 2007, I posted about a proposed settlement for the Credit Card Foreign Transaction Fee class action suit.  Members of the class had three options for recovery:
  1. take a straight $25 settlement if you traveled outside the US at least once in this period (and simply swear to that fact);
  2. get a somewhat larger settlement based on a declaration of how many total days you spent outside the US during that period (the settlement will be based on an estimated average figured out by the credit card companies and class action representatives); or
  3. provide a substantiated record of how much money you actually spent outside of the US during that period, and receive a refund of the fees actually charged.
Despite having have spent a substantial amount via credit cards in foreign currency over the years, I ended up just going for option 2.  It just involved flipping through my passport and copying over the dates onto the claim form.  As I noted in the comments to the original post, it had to be worth something, right?  Well, almost 4 years later, I got my check. $18.04. I should have gone with Option A, eh? (Also, if you submitted a claim?  Watch your mail closely.  It doesn't look like a check at all.  I nearly threw this one out.)

Endless

Arlington National Cemetery, December 2011

Leave the Governing to Sodomites and Infidels

Virginia Justice for Cyclist Left in Coma By Reckless Driver

You might have heard of the case of Michael Sprick, a German cyclo-tourist who has been in a coma since October.  He was enjoying the roads near Roanoke, Virginia as part of a NY-Miami tour, when he was hit by a truck driven by Norman Marchant.  Mr. Marchant was convicted of driving with a suspended license and reckless driving yesterday.  It appears he was fined $600.  The 90-day jail sentence was suspended.  I want to talk a little more about what happened, and how authorities responded, but I think it's best to start off with a report from Carol Colby, who was present for the trial.

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Clarendon Cycles: Arlington Deserves Better Connections to the MVT

Today's column was borne of a long running frustration with the lack of a decent connection between Columbia Pike and the Mount Vernon Trail.  The proposed solutions - running past the Pentagon or connecting Long Bridge Park - would still require some connecting work to Columbia Pike.  But the connections themselves would be the hardest part of the project.  It's a shame the Pentagon can't be a better neighbor (and employer - loads of people working there would benefit from such a connection).    

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