All-in-all, not a bad Super Bowl, if one just considers the game. The advertising was weak, however. Monster.com had the only had that was seven mildly interesting and they get extra points for not having dogs or cats in their ad like nine out of ten other ads did.

Quote of the Day: "The standard is a double-standard."

Bumper Sticker of the Day: "Dog is my co-pilot."

We saw the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley" last night. It was a particularly timely movie for us because the movie is set in Italy, which is where we're bound in March. The movie itself is certainly dark (but not Tim Burton dark) and reasonably well done. At some level it moves just a step too slowly, but is worth seeing, regardless.

We went to visit the Video Trolls (a.k.a. Blockbuster) the other night, and I noticed that "Mystery Men" is out on video. Great movie.

Yesterday morning I visited a bank here in Alameda to inquire about opening a checking account and savings account. My current checking account is kept at a bank in Massachusetts that is doing its best change from a not terrible place to do banking to a bank. Anyway, I spent one and one half hours not opening an account with the local bank.

For instance, in their schedule of fees, they state that a service fee for a savings account is $5.00, assessed quarterly, if the average daily balance is below $300. However, the pamphlet the bank hands out to customers says that the above fee is monthly.

When I pointed out to the new account representative the difference, and that I would argue with the bank's representatives if they charged me five dollars per month, instead of quarterly, she agreed with me that the bank's representatives would tell me to take my business else where before acknowledging they were wrong.

The Disclosure that banks always hand you when you open an account, which is full of fine print, and to which the bank will scrupulously hold you, also contained numerous contradictions.

The new accounts representative acknowledged that it made no sense in several places and seemed contradictory in others. Her explanation for all this was that no one ever reads those particular documents and that I just ought to sign the signature card and not worry about it.

At that point, I explained that I didn't feel comfortable working with a bank that didn't seem to know what it was doing.

Typical bank, though. It's easier for them to tell you to take your business elsewhere if you don't like the way they do business, than to actually engage in some sort of customer service.