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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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Hmm.... how do I do this without giving away spoilers? This was simultaneously the coolest and weakest of the three X-men movies. It earns coolest because it had some excellent battleReview: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV / Movie, News, Interviews & more - Jay's Doctor Who Update Well, Doctor Who's second season will air on Sci-Fi in October, as previouslyFuture Imperfect: Doctor Who on Sci-Fi

When I returned from my vacation yesterday, my computer would not recover from hibernation mode (i.e., it wouldn't turn on). I went into a local computer store today to askA child's view of computer repair

Stop, right now. Don't read anything else. Just click the play button below. Okay, I'll forgive you if hit the Expand button first. Seriously. Do it. Now. Did you watch it?Tron: Legacy - new trailer

I don't know a whole lot about Wolverine's origins other than what is in the X-Men movies. For some reason I never read the comics versions. I'm pretty excited toWolverine movie trailer

Writer's Blog: J.K. Rowling vs. Airport Security Somebody in the TSA has got to get a grip. [tag]J.K. Rowling[/tag] tried to return home recently and had a run-in with [tag]airport security[/tag]: Airport securityHarry Potter and the Paper-Cut Terrorist

The little clip shows exactly why Jar-Jar (and to some extent, the entire Phantom Menace film) is so unliked by so many. And it's hilarious. Skip straight to the 1:00 markWhy Jar-Jar is the most hated character in Star Wars

Urgent News Release - HostPC Community Support Forums See, this is how people are supposed to behave. I have a lot of respect for Joe's integrity. Joe is the owner ofHostPC supports competitor in crisis

I read somewhere recently that comic books do superhero fights better than movies because things happen too fast in the movies. I understand where that's coming from, but I'm notReview: Superman: Doomsday

So I've been using the same laptop at work for years. It's actually not a bad laptop for basic business needs - a Latitude D620 - but given that IThe Good, The Bad, and The Desks

This is just a list of things I saw today that you need to see. Doctor Horrible, Act 1, the 8-bit Nintendo version: Mail truck converted into a Colonial Viper (original BattlestarStuff you just need to see

Images: New visions from Google Earth | CNET News.com This is really great! The already wildly cool Google Earth is getting additional information laid on top of it, so you canGoogle Earth gets even cooler

My second guest shot on the Midnight Movie Club was posted this week, reviewing the film "Return To Me" (with a stellar cast led by David Duchovny and Minnie DriverReturn to MidMo and other short subjects

I just caught up on my JMSNews reading and found a few items I thought I'd point out. First, we have a tentative release time for Babylon 5: The Lost TalesBabylon 5 / JMS updates

I knew a few phrases from maybe 3 or 4 Johnny Cash songs before I saw this movie. I knew he had gone to prison (though I wasn't sure why),Review: Walk the Line

Saving money thru the power of cluelessness

Earlier this year I had the windows in my house replaced. This cost more money than I had on hand, so I took the loan offered through the company who sold me the windows. Aside from an 11% interest rate, there were terms that would give me time to get a better loan at a lower rate, at which point I was going to pay off the original loan.

So, life happened and time went on. I was delayed in getting the new loan slightly, but managed to get it within a short time of the original loan beginning to accrue interest.

I called this morning to get the payoff amount for the original loan. They quoted an amount including $370 of interest. I said thank you, and hung up, ready to write a check.

Then I thought about it for a minute and realized that was way more interest than I expected, so I did some math. I computed it assuming either daily or monthly compounding, but no matter how I did it, I only came up with $160 of interest due.

$210 is a bit large of a discrepancy for me to swallow. I accept that I’m not a financial wizard, but that’s a rather big difference.

So I called back. I told them how I computed the interest and the difference I found, and asked them to explain what I was doing wrong. I knew it had to be something I was doing wrong, but I wanted to know what it was. She told me that the contract I signed was for an actuarial loan vs. a simple loan. I said, “ok. What does that mean?”

After being put on hold, the woman came back and said she’d have a loan officer call me to discuss. I said, “Great. I just want to know how the quoted payoff was calculated. Thanks.”

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It wasn’t the loan officer, it was the same lady again. This time she sounded tired… a little defeated. She reiterated that the contract I signed was for an Actuarial loan, but the loan officer decided to treat it as a simple loan, so my payoff would include just $160 of interest!

I was actually speechless for a second. A bank just ate $200 in revenue simply because I didn’t understand how an Actuarial loan worked, and they didn’t want to explain it to me. I’m positive that in reality they made no mistake in their calculations. They were legitimately owed the full $370. But simply because I asked how they got that number, I saved $210. That’s just awesome!

The lesson for today: if you don’t understand something, ask a question. Worst case scenario is that you’ll learn something. Or maybe you’ll save some dough!

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