Student Loan Letters

A note to student loan consolidators: I have already consolidated my loans. You can stop sending your letters.
I get a ridiculous amount of mail from student loan consolidation companies seeking to cash in on my the fact that I (a) have good credit, and (b) owe a mountain of money. I used to think all these “notices” were from one persistent company, but they all seem to come from different places. The senders are reputable companies like “Student Loan Processing Center” and “Federal Loan Consolidation Department”. Here is my collection thus far:
We start with the official looking envelops. These ads attempt to disguise themselves as official notices or bills:
official looking student loan letters
Next are the truly annoying “tear-off” notices. These look like my high school report card. The sender shifts the burden of folding letters and stuffing envelops to the recipient who carefully tears off three edges only to find an advertisement inside.
tear-off student loan letters
Finally, the postcards. These at least admit on their face that they’re not going to get much attention. The worst of these has to be the “Dude, did you know…” Finally an advertisement that really knows where I’m coming from – struggling between my cheesy street-slang roots and my professionally formal lawyer ways. Second place goes to the “Warning” for bringing the important matter of interest rates to my attention as though it was a beastly dog. I may have to put that one up in my window as a warning to would-be intruders.
student loan postcards
All this and not a single company offering a free iPod* for multi-thousand dollar commitment. Amazing.
* iPod mini

Print Toner Return

ink packagePrinter ink is a big scam, and the scam is not limited to ink jet printers. I have a laser printer and recently discovered that the cartridge it comes with only contains half of the normal amount of toner. In any case, I was convinced by picture of the molecular structure of printer toner that I should avoid eBay refills and go straight for the giant, name brand, costs-more-than-the-printer cartridge. There is one thing this company does right though: they provide free shipping for the return and recycling of the old cartridge. While I doubt their motivation is truly a heartfelt environmental concern, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to pollute the earth with a giant hunk of plastic and chemicals in addition to paying a hefty price for all those time I actually printed “this page for your records.”

Beer Summit

I checked out the Beer Summit this weekend. It wasn’t too notable. For $25 you can drink tiny cups of beer for a few hours, sampling various beers while listening to a “beer band”. The band was a horribly predicable cover band, playing such crowd pleasers as Brown Eyed Girl, Sweet Caroline, Laid, and Blister in the Sun. There were some interesting beers, but most were fairly typical. I thought maybe I should share a picture, you know, for the record:
Boston Beer Summit