My experience with a US bank account

Posted in General

As a non-US resident it is seemingly impossible to get a bank account that is run from the US. As an internet marketer, this is essential so that you can get your paypal account verified, as well as have a secure place to store any dollar amounts that you may be paid.

I was overjoyed one day to find etrade.com which allowed me as a non-US resident to open up a brokerage account which I could run exactly like a normal bank account. However, that being the sales pitch, my experience is otherwise.

My experience with e-trade is that I received a debit card for my account which I could use anywhere in the world, linking my account to paypal was almost as easy, and transferring funds into your account could not be easier.
However every few months e-trade would lock my account forcing me to phone them, making international phone calls and sitting on hold for a number of minutes. Every time you so much as speak to an e-trade consultant they require a copy of your passport and a letter stating that you are the true owner. This letter must be signed and most of the time they had problems with my signature. At one point I even had to decrease the quality of my scan because they refused to accept the higher quality scan.

After my debit card expiring (which never actually worked because my account was getting locked out all the time) they refused to issue me with another card due to my “cash balance is not greater than 1000.00″ which is a rather large sum of money to have sitting around in a bank account.

All in all, my current situation is that I have a sizable sum (in my books anyway) of cash sitting in e-trade’s clutches, which they will not allow me to get out except by sending me a cheque (which I cannot cash due to the laws of my country being that in order to convert money from another currency you have to have a plane ticket or something), or the other way is to do a wire transfer which they will charge me $25 for and I will be charged almost $100 of penalties by my local bank for wiring non local funds into my account.

I guess e-trade’s mantra should be “We will keep your money safe, cause we won’t give it back to you without a fight”

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Finding a long lost friend

Posted in General

This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the Unite...

Image via Wikipedia

Well My Little Corner has been very empty lately, and it hasn’t been due to a lack of anything to say. Things have really been piling on top of each other lately and I have been finding myself not knowing which way is up. It’s like the first time you go scuba diving and the instructor tells you to watch his eyes as you descend. You start to feel disoriented even though you came from the top and were just sinking.

Anyway, one thing that has really been on my mind recently is Bible study.Some say an apple a day keeps the doctor away but many Christians will tell you spending time with God first thing in the morning will keep the gloomies away. No one will dispute that there is no substitute for spending time in the Word of God, in your Bible. However, if you just have a few quickie moments in the morning before your children wake up or before you scoot off to the office, reading out of a daily devotional book may be just what you need to get your day started right!

Go to any bookstore, online or off, and you will find a plethora of daily devotionals. It can be very overwhelming. There are also a number of online sources where you can get daily inspirations sent directly to your in-box. You should have at least one devotions book in print. Doing so will give you a chance to sit quietly away from the computer. You may have a spot at the kitchen table or in your comfy chair in the living room or perhaps you feel like the only alone time you ever get is in the bathroom. Take your book where you can give the text and God your undivided attention.

But a daily devotional will not give you the depth of study that I feel everyone needs, and God aludes to in His Word. Many Christians go to church, listen to the pastor and feel that the sermon just preached was aimed at them. So if this is the case why not just go to church and that is it? Well a good pastor will look at the general needs of the church and preach according to those needs. So even though it feels that the sermon was aimed at you, it was actually aimed at your needs as a part of the body of the church. This is good, however you needs as an individual have not been addressed, this is bad. Your pastor also has not told you how he comes to the application that he has given you in his sermon. You have an idea if you are listening to what is known as an exegetical sermon, but you may not know that your pastor has been studying for about 30 hours before stepping up to the pulpit.

 

Orthotomeo.co.za - Rightly Dividing

Orthotomeo.co.za - Rightly Dividing

I believe that every Christian should have available the tools and skills required to contuct their own exegetical study of the bible so that they can study various passages which will be pertinent to their own personal spiritual needs. That is why I have created Orthotomeo.co.za. The official release date is the 1st March but if you are interested in knowing how to conduct a fully exegetical study of God’s Word then please visit and sign-up so that you don’t miss out on any of the lessons which I will be providing.

 

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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How to block comment spam on your WordPress blog

Posted in General

Wow, what an annoyance! I was minding my own business checking email, only to find that some really annoying person had been running some sort of automated comment spam system against my blog. After checking the IP address I realised that they were coming from 94.102.60.150 - 94.102.60.153 and were generating random messages and random names with false email addresses. Personally I don’t get the point of this type of spam, I mean I have deleted a few comments that simply read “great post, checkout my website at www.jeansforsale.com” and was posted on a post about real estate, but this spam doesn’t entice anyone to visit a website or have any usable information at all. It is just really

 annoying.

 

So if you want to stop this comment spammer as well, here is an easy way to do this in WordPress. Go to Settings and then click on Discussion. Near the bottom is a Blacklist box. Now you can either individually add the four ip addresses into this box, or if you are paranoid like me and think that he might start using more ip addresses, then you can block the whole range. I entered 94.102.60.* into the box which will block about 256 computers from entering comments on your site. I did this because if the spammer bought 12 ip addresses instead of just four, they will probably be in the same range.
What I also did was tick the box that says users must have at least one approved comment. This doesn’t stop the comment from being posted, however it stops the comment from appearing on your site until you approve it. I will leave this one for about a month or so as it generates lots of work for you if you get lots of comments from new visitors. I turned this on though so if the guy has a different range of ip addresses he starts to try, his software will see that the comments are not appearing and hopefully move onto the next blog.

I will also be adding a plugin which asks the commentor to fill in a number which cannot be read by an automated bot. I will let you know which plugin I use when I have evaluated a few.

 

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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It’s True: You Really Can Know your Bible And Here’s How…

Posted in Church, General, Life

OK so the Zemanta plug-in doesn’t give me the cool results on my blog that I was expecting. It does some really cool things like automatically finding and offering up some images relating to the post (these image suggestions update as you type which is really cool) and offer some related posts from third party sites that you can add below your post. I loved the images but personally the post suggestions where mostly something which I would not want associated with my blog. So let’s see how Windows Live writer compares :-)

This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the Unite...I have been thinking alot about the Bible lately. I know I am a Christian and I am supposed to be thinking about the bible alot but, it is difficult to stay focused enough to really spend some good time in the bible. Many people will tell you that all you need is a daily devotional passage and away you go.
The problem I find with daily devotionals is that they are very shallow, I mean, take a verse like John 11:35 "Jesus Wept". This verse has the reputation of being the shortest verse in the bible (the English one). Reading from a daily devotional may not give you the full picture of what is happening here. We need to apply some sound hermeneutical principles here. So first we ask ourselves, "Who is the subject of this verse?", Jesus would be the answer, then we would ask "What is He doing?", and would have to answer that He is weeping, or more correctly He wept (since the word is in the past tense). We would look at the type of weeping, who was present, and many other questions. This type of study is called an exegetical study. You read out what the Word says and you don’t read some preconceived idea into the bible.

Most devotionals have a verse, or sometimes a small number of verses and then an interpretation of those verses. My question is, who is the writer of the devotional to tell you what scripture says? God’s Word is simple enough to understand to all but the youngest of children, it just takes a little work and yes, a little time too.

So if you wake up in the morning and already feel that your day is fully booked, force yourself to take ten to fifteen minutes to read from God’s word. Follow a plan, do not randomly open the bible to a verse you feel is good. "All scripture is God breathed", yes, even the genealogies. How are we going to learn about God’s plan if we only read selected pieces from His word. Make it a habit to read some of scripture daily and you will find the more you learn, the more you realise that you have so much more to learn.

What do you guys do for your morning / evening devotionals?

 

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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Does Google print their own money?

Posted in General
Google, I need more space for my Gmail Account

Image by Brajeshwar via Flickr

Well I am trying out a new plugin today on my Blog so you may see me moving into a different style for my posts. I will do a post about the plugin and give you my views on how easy it was to use and all that stuff in a later post.

I was reading a post on the Dreamhost blog entitled How to Make Money. It was quite an insightful article about how possibly banks work with money, practically making money out of thin air (read customer trust).

The writer then proclaims that they “make” bandwidth and disk space in the same way. They actually resell their resources many times, i.e. They buy 1GB of disk space and sell 10GB knowing that their customers will very rarely use the full amount of disk space that has been issued to them.

I got to thinking that this is the same way probably that Google can freely give everyone who has a Gmail account 7GB of disk space. I had been wondering about the cost Google is paying for this free service they are offering the world. I knew that there were some calculations involved to plan disk buying to cover future use, however I didn’t think it was as easy as laid out in the post. It makes sense though because I am only using about a 7th of my allocation on gmail and I consider myself to be a heavy user.

What do you guys think? Do you have a gmail account? How much of your allocation are you using?

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRpub.com

 

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ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Posted in General

HEAR YE! HEAR YE!

I don’t make it a habit to post multiple times on my blog during the same day unless I am trying to entice the cute little Google spider to come visit (Which I am not doing now…honest).
I have some big news… Sorry… BIG NEWS
My Blog is now available in your language, if you can speak it, you can choose it, Portugese, Spanish, German, and many more. OK so it is maybe not the greatest translation in the world and I will still be writing in the english language, but if you would like to take a gander at the other languages, then scroll down a little and look for the flags on the right hand side of the screen. When you see em, click em. Oh and if the translation says something outrageously funny, then be sure to tell all your friends about it, blog about it, digg it. Generally let the whole world know that my blog translates for good entertainment. :-)

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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How many wives et al…

Posted in General, Life

Well someone sent me a riddle today and I thought I would share it because it was so easy (hindsight after pouring over something for about 20 mins and then realising the answer is …. before I give it away just take a look at the riddle).

It honestly is not something which is too difficult, people who know me, know my level of mathematical ability is outta this world (ie. ability is the wrong word, disability would be more appropriate)

Well without further ado, the riddle goes like this, once you have answered the riddle open this protected post and leave your details in the comments:

Can you solve this?

Only skilled people can open this post…….

Once you succeed to open the post, you will find names of the people who have managed to open this…… Now it is your turn!
How to open attached post?

A man was travelling to Kasoa
At the bus stop, he met a man with 7 wives
Each wife has 12 sons and 12 daughters—–24
Each daughter of the man’s wives had 4 sons and 7 daughters—-132
Each son of the man’s wives had 7 sons and 4 daughters—132
Each grand daughter had 4 friends—-44
How many people got to Kasoa?

Easypeasy

The number of people who got to Kasoa is the password to open the protected post. Once you have opened it, add Your name and challenge others.

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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Protected: How many wives et al – You got it

Posted in General

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Enter your password to view comments.

Boredom vs Sickness

Posted in Funny Videos, General, Life

So I totally messed up on Blog Action Day, I thought it was the 15th already and posted my Poverty post on the 14th. Oops :-)
Anyway I don’t think it is too major a trainsmash, I still took part and showed my support for the initiative. That doesn’t mean that poverty goes away, it just means that life goes on and I will now try and think more towards how I can help.

I am now sitting at home in bed, having gotten really sick yesterday at work. I am not sure what brought it on, probably some random bug, but I was not feeling great at all yesterday. Problem is you lay in bed cause thats what you are supposed to do when you are sick and you get unbelievably bored. And in your boredom you start thinking, hey I feel good, not sick anymore, so you hop outta bed and bam, your head starts spinning your legs are aching and you feel extremely weak. So much for feeling better.

So in my boredom I start on the You Tube videos and reading random blogs and one video in particular gives me this giggle. Its a video about a guy preaching on a verse in the bible that says “I will destroy him that pisseth against the wall”. Now I couldn’t find the exact verse but my Libronix tells me that the word “pisseth” actually occurs 6 times, no kidding, here are the verses 1 Samuel 25:22, 1 Samuel 25:34, 1 Kings 14:10, 1 Kings 16:11, 1 Kings 21:21, 2 Kings 9:8. Now other translations show these verses with the word “male” but King James Version has the interesting phrase mentioned above. Now I wouldn’t base my theology on this guys isogesis but it is a pretty funny video so I will give you a chance to view it now.

 

Interestingly or oddly enough my gmail decided I might be interested in this story about a boxer who uses his three year old sons soiled nappies to keep the swelling down in his hands… Go figure.

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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Today is Blog Action Day 2008

Posted in General

Well I just found out about this Blog Action Day and even though the day is almost over I thought I would do a quick post. Blog Action Day is a day when thousands of bloggers commit to write about a single topic. This year’s topic is Poverty, so that is what this post is about.

To talk about poverty we need to have an idea what it entails or means so a quick Google search gives us a definition at wikipedia. Wikipedia defines Poverty as “Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens.”

So now we know what poverty is, lets walk with Michael W. Smith and SEE poverty

Wow, did you see what the water looks like. I was thinking about some of the thoughts that go through my head some days and comparing them to what I see in some of the other Poverty posts. I wake up some mornings and complain that I have to get out of bed because it is cold, some people don’t sleep because they don’t have a bed to keep them away from the cold. I drive to work complaining that the traffic is terrible and long for open roads that I can drive all on my own, some people get to work by cart, or even walking hundreds of kilometres, yes, that is walking by foot. That is of course if they even have a job to be going to. I can’t eat my sandwiches because the lettuce made the bread soggy, some people don’t have lunch, or breakfast, or even sometimes supper. I complain about the price of bottled water, because the water that comes practically free from the tap has too many chemicals in, for some the only drinking water they have is muddy or filled with sewerage. I complain about having the same meal more than twice a week, some have a 50kg of some practically tasteless porridge like stuff which last them a month, and they eat it every day, without fail, without spices, and without complaining.

Why do we complain so much? Why do we feel that the world owes us a better life? Who are we? Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Paul says that he has lived in prosperity as well as poverty and Christ gave him the strength to live in whatever hardships God allows in us to build us up.
James writes in James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Is it not true that we learn from our mistakes? We may make a mistake, but we need to somehow turn the mistake around so that we learn from it and don’t repeat it.

Maybe you are not good enough for God to look after, after all he is very busy and my problems really are not very big. Well the bible says that God ensures that the birds have their needs met, so how much more convincing does it take to believe that He will look after our needs. Maybe we look at the wrong things when we look at other people. This video asks, “What do you see?”

MercyMe has released a song called “God with us” and it starts off asking the question, “Who are we, that you are mindful of us” It goes on to say that our offerings are not enough when compared to the unbelievable gift that God has given us. Here is the video of the song for your viewing pleasure.

Well that is all I can think talk about this year’s topic, keep a lookout.

I am JMR and this is My Little Corner on JMRPub.com

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