Wednesday, January 04, 2012

961 12 (blink) 12 (blink) 12 (blink)

961 12 (blink) 12 (blink) 12 (blink)

No, that’s not the ancient VCR in your attic come back to life to taunt you anew about your inability to set its clock.  It’s a practice exercise for those among us who still pay their bills by check.

Take a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and write the number a dozen or so times.  That may put your mind into gear for the next dozen or so checks you write and prevent you from having to void checks because you put the wrong year in the date line.

Of course, you don’t have to scrap the check.  You can cross out the date and write in the correct year and initial the correction.  Or you can sneakily change the final 1 in 11 by putting a little curlicue at the top of it and a little “__” on the bottom.

But wouldn’t it be fun for once to get it right the first time?  Fun, and smug satisfaction.  Imagine how superior you’ll feel to your neighbors and even to yourself if you write 1/15/12 on that check!

Without this little exercise you’re likely to get the year wrong.  And you’re almost as likely to get the month wrong.   And if you’re an unconscious check writer, you may find you’ve written 12/15/11 when you meant 1/15/12.

On the other hand, the check will probably go through even with the wrong date on it.  No one reads those things.  It’s all done by optical scanning and the only thing that counts is that the amount on the amount-number line matches the amount on the amount-in-words line.  If it doesn’t, the bank can choose whichever line it wants.  That’s a change.  Used to be the “words” line was what they’d pay.  Now they can use either.

How do you find out about such things?  By reading the fine print the bank sends you.  You know, the little booklet that you glance at and toss?  The one they sent out with your 12/11 bill, but dated 1/1/12?


--Even the thugs aren’t what they used to be.  The New Year’s Day firebombs in Queens were packed in glass Starbucks bottles which are mighty tough to break. Can’t do much damage with thick glass, but at least these guys stole their bottles from an upscale recycling bin... and do they serve lattes at Rikers?.

--The win in the Iowa Republican caucuses doesn’t amount to much and doesn’t predict anything, either.  So now it’s on to greener pastures... or at least different pastures of equal insignificance.  Note:  this was written the day before the event, proving again that there need be no facts in a news item.

--Spell check in Google Docs doesn’t recognize many contractions and Microsoft Word doesn’t allow most punctuation in subject lines.  Time for some little revisions, programming geniuses.  We’re all trained from birth to use contractions and punctuation marks.

Have You Noticed... that the life expectancy in New York City is 82, which is five years higher than the national average?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2012, 12, 12

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