Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Should I buy my old car at an auction?


Hmm... what to do.

My car was stolen two months ago from my apartment, a 1995 Honda Accord in good condition. Three weeks later, with the car still unrecoved, my insurance company declared it a total loss and gave me a good price for it. Then a couple weeks ago, the car was found--of all places, near Wild Oats on a street called Oakdale, just one block south of California Blvd in Pasadena. (Not only was it found near Wild Oats, but the thieves left an energy drink and a Wild Oats shake in the car!)

I saw the car and removed all my stuff from it as I gave it over to the insurance company. I saw that the mileage changed less than 50 miles, so the criminals didn't go far. The car still runs, and has very minimal damage due to the theft--they just filed down a Honda key and got in through the passenger side. The insurance company, having settled the case with me by paying me out, will be selling the car at an auction sometime soon. But they told me where the auction lot is and the car's stock number so that I could try to buy it if I want. I still don't know what day the auction will be, but probably within the next few weeks.

So my question: Should I try to buy back my old car at an auction? I had not yet bought another car because I was busy and didn't have the time, or didn't want to bother, so I still have the insurance money. The pro argument might say that I could get back my old car for much less than I was paid by the insurance company, and thereby have extra money and my old car back. The risk involved with buying cars at an auction is that you don't know the car's history, whereas I do know my own car's history.

Except for those last 50 miles, which the con argument would rest upon. Sure, the car runs, but is it messed up in some expensive-to-fix way which only taking it to a mechanic would determine? The best strategy might be to have a predetermined price-cap, above which I won't be willing to buy the old car. But either way, it might be exciting to try.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A kind of glossary


Slang words you should know.

bite - to copy someone's work, art, words, etc; that picture is a total bite of Van Gogh

buckethead - a knuckleheaded numbskull; see weenie; Frank can be such a buckethead

cheeser - big smile, like when they tell you to say "cheese" for a picture; show us your cheeser

couch surfing - when without residence, staying at friends' places, typically sleeping on the couch

eat crow - eat your words, recant; after we regulated her, she had to eat crow

good people - a person approved of, a "good person", affectionately referred to in the plural; my friend Suzy, she's good people

klinker - the feces clinging to the long hairs on the rear end of a dog; Chispita's got a klinker

loser - someone who's disappointing and going nowhere fast; a pathetic weenie; what a total loser

moded - mistaken, especially regarding mistakes exposed in public; ooo, you done got moded!!

normies - normal people; my blogs are fresh and original, not like those of the normies

props - respect, recognition; gotta give that girl props for what she did

regulate - exhort; we had to regulate those kids for messing up our lawn

sentis (sen-TEEZ) - sentimental, mopy; I didn't say hi to you today, so you got all sentis

space - frame of mind; when I'm with that group of friends, I go into a totally different space

trippin' - out of your comfort zone; when the homeless dude accosted us, my boyfriend was trippin'

weenie - someone who does something lame; someone who is consistently a weenie is a loser

weird - something unusual; who'd-a-thought; if regarding a person, implies he or she is not a normie; that's SOOO weird

whoop - the mindset of a "luv slave/sucka", typically lacking self-respect; she's all whoop on him

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Jury Duty is Over


In the case of Frederick's of Hollywood v. Arthur Andersen, there were claims, counter-claims, etc. In the end, no damages were awarded, no money transfered. That was our verdict after three days of deliberation.

At the heart of the matter was whether Arthur Andersen, the independent auditor for Frederick's during Fiscal Year 1999, was the one responsible for Frederick's filing for bankruptcy in July 2000. Why might they be at fault? Because they failed to give an audit opinion for Frederick's 1999 financial statements, which this article says can make things more difficult. We found Andersen to be professionally negligent regarding their conduct in the audit, but didn't find this to be a substantial factor in causing Frederick's bankruptcy.

Both sides gave a lot of evidence--by my count, 24 days worth of testimony and a stack of evidential papers six feet high (which put us six feet under?). There was some conflicting testimony; each side's accountants defended themselves and their competence and said the other side was incompetent. We decided, "Hey, maybe you're both right", you both were incompetent and failed to work as a team to accomplish what needed to be done. And so Andersen wasn't able to sign off on Frederick's financial books.

I found a couple articles regarding the case, which was filed years ago and which I wasn't able to read until today ("Frederick's Sues Arthur Andersen", March 2002, and "Uplifting", May 2002).

Anyway, it's over. I can go back to work. And get married. And perhaps people going to Jessica's bridal shower will be buying intimate women's apparel from the Plaintiff. I just hope no one buys me anything from the Defendant for the bachelor party, as accountants seem to produce numbers, which are not nearly as sexy as lingerie.