July 2004 Archives

This weblog has been quiet for a while, but not for the lack of anything to write about.

I've been spending a lot of time helping users with MT in the MT Forums. With the release of MT3D in May, then MT 3.01 a few weeks ago, the forums have been pretty active with users facing installation and upgrade issues, as well as issues with the new features in MT3.

Before MT 3.01 was released, I thought it would be a good idea to have a local installation of MT to test anything I wanted to on it (like new template designs or plugin code) without disturbing anything on the MT installation on my host account.

State banking bill in jeopardy

From David Lazarus' Jul 16 SF Chronicle column:

Under the amended SB1904, employers would not be subject to penalties under Section 212 if they offer workers the option of receiving payments via direct deposit. The onus would be on workers to either accept or decline the offer.

However, the revised bill also would allow employers to avoid penalties simply if they "discuss avoidance of the transaction fee" with their bank. In theory, a single phone call would suffice.

This approach was supported by the California Chamber of Commerce, which is insisting on a "safe harbor" for employers so they're not left holding the bag for the banks' fees. [Ed. - That's exactly who should be left "holding the bag"!]

But unions (other than the UFW) and consumer advocates say the chat-with-your-bank remedy is nothing but a loophole that subverts the intention of Section 212 by denying workers their right to have paychecks cashed "without discount."

They also say the amended legislation does nothing to address the plight of workers who, for whatever reason, are not creditworthy enough for checking accounts. They'd still be stuck paying the banks' fees even as their employers get off scot-free.

"It's a terrible bill," said Gail Hillebrand, senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco. "The amendments make the bill worse than current law."

The current bill may die in committee, but there still may yet be hope, though far off in the future:

California employers have filed class-action lawsuits against Bank of America and Wells Fargo challenging their right to levy the fees. It's still possible that a solution will come from the courts.

Classes for Women

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Here's one for the guys, in response to the "Classes for Men" posted by Rhye and the Queen of All Evil:

Continuing Seminars For Females
(Prepared and presented by males)

  1. Silence, the Final Frontier: Where No Woman Has Gone Before.

  2. The Undiscovered Side of Banking: Making Deposits.

  3. Parties: Going Without New Outfits.

  4. Man Management: Discover How Minor Household Chores Can Wait Until After the Game.

  5. Bathroom Etiquette I: Men Need Space in the Bathroom Cabinet Too.

  6. Bathroom Etiquette II: His Razor Is His.

  7. Communication Skills I: Tears - The Last Resort, Not the First.

  8. Communication Skills II: Thinking Before Speaking.

  9. Communication Skills III: Getting What You Want, Without Nagging.

  10. Driving a Car Safely: A Skill You CAN Acquire.

  11. Telephone Skills: How to Hang Up.

  12. Introduction to Parking.

  13. Advanced Parking: Reversing Into A Space.

  14. Water retention: Fact or Fat.

  15. Cooking I: Bringing Back Bacon, Eggs and Butter.

  16. Cooking II: Bran and Tofu are Not For Human Consumption.

  17. Cooking III: How Not to Inflict Your Diets on Other People.

  18. Compliments: Accepting Them Gracefully.

  19. PMS: Your Problem... Not His.

  20. Dancing: Why Men Don't Like To.

  21. Sex: It's For Married Couples Too.

  22. Classic Clothing: Wearing Outfits You Already Have.

  23. Integrating Your Laundry: Washing It All Together.

  24. Oil and Fuel: Your Car Needs Both.

  25. Oil and Fuel: Your Car Needs Both. (In case it was missed the first time)

  26. Learning to Go in Public Restrooms.

  27. "Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Big?" - Why Men Lie.

  28. TV Remotes: For Men Only.

Update: Dean (husband to The Queen of All Evil) has posted his own list of Classes for Women. My favorite:

Class 4: Summarizing Conversations. How to relate an entire conversation you just had with your sister, mother, or best friend in 25 words or less. 10 week intensive training course, meeting 3 nights a week. Advanced students only.

Related course topic: How to answer yes/no questions in 25 words or less, and actually answer the question.