Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hypermiling Warning from AAA

Although getting outstanding mileage could seem like a great idea, AAA warns of the dangers of extreme tactics.,0,355595.story

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WSJ.Com – Abusing Subscribers

When Murdoch took over the Wall Street Journal, I knew things would change. Unfortunately, they have decided to make subscribers view a full page ad – that requires a click through to get to content. If it was free content (see, I would understand. Since I pay for my subscription, I am not going to tolerate it. Unless the ads stop, they are going to lose a subscriber.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Support my Wedding Fund!!


With the wedding just weeks away, it is time to raise money fast from the blogosphere. With only $22 in adsense earnings, I am asking the blogosphere to show your power by clicking on my adsense links en masse. Can we raise $20 in June? How many clicks would that be?

Actually, this post is mostly in jest; however, I strongly recommend both books on Amazon. Anyone interested in the business world should give them a read.

Best use of $581m Tax Refund


According to news reports, Kodak won a $581 million tax refund from the IRS. Instead of blowing it on a big screen TV, they are using it to fund a stock buyback program. Of course the Kodak execs and lawyers who won the refunds, they will be using their bonus money for ENORMOUS screen TV's.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

DIY – When to outsource!

Do it yourself is a good way to injure yourself if you don't know what you are doing or don't have the right equipment. Today, I am getting a quote to have my gutters cleaned out. A few days ago, I looked up and realized I was growing things in my gutters. J It looks like a garden. Although I can get to the gutters on the lower levels, I have one gutter 2 stories up that I don't have a good ladder to reach. Thus – outsourcing to someone who knows what they are doing. They get paid and I stay safe.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sold my Beer- BUD

A few months ago, I decided to invest some of my IRA money in Budweiser. Even in a downturn, I expected the parent company of the King of Beer would continue to generate nice cash flows. It was intended as a long term investment. Luckily, it turned out to be buyout target and the stock shot up in value. Friday, I closed out the position and moved the proceeds to cash.

While the people who stay in through the buyout will probably make a little more money, I didn't want to be greedy and decided to take profe,its now.

Of course, the investment in AIG has not turned out so well, but that's another story.

Easy Energy Saving Tip

An easy, inexpensive way to save electricitcy is to look for appliances that are "always on." For example, my printer did not come with an off switch. Although it goes into sleep mode, there is no reason it should draw any power when I am not using it. To stop this, I have it hooked up to an extra powerstrip I had laying around.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Going Nuclear Now?

Although alternative energy sources (solar and wind) can and should be exploited, the simple fact is they will not be able to provide enough energy to power the US for quite some time (if ever). Although hydroelectric power provides clean energy, blocking rivers to provide power is no longer considered a good environmental practice. Bottom line, we need to build nuclear power plants all over the country to replace oil plants.

  1. Clean and free of greenhouse emissions;
  2. Largely conflict free.

Sending billions of dollars a year to the Saudis and the Russians is fundamentally a bad plan.

Do you take food to the movies?

How many people bring their own food and/or drinks to the movies? Because I prefer Coke Zero to Diet Coke, I snuck a 20oz bottle in a few months ago. Although we don't go to the movies often (1 time per month at most), we always take our drinks with us.

  1. We save $5 or more on my Coke Zero and her bottled water;
  2. We get to have what we want, not what they offer;
  3. We can take in candy in reasonable sizes and/or what we like at a reasonable price. Who wants to pay $5 for a box of raisenetts?


We do, however, buy popcorn if we are in the mood.


BTW – if you have a drive in theater near you, we recommend the experience. Two lawn chairs, a radio, and an ice chest and you get to see two movies for the price of one.

Trade for new Gas Grill!!

When I bought my home, it came with a ginormous Viking grill complete with marble countertops. At 8 feet long, it takes two people to take the cover off it. Furthermore, it was not in poor shape and needed a significant amount of work to bring it back to "like new" status. Because of the problems, I have used it exactly TWO times in almost three years.

Today, I made a trade with a neighbor who happens to be a handyman. He is going to buy us a new Weber gas grill and I am going to give him the old grill. Furthermore, he is going to use a Bobcat he rented to clear some brush from the back of my property.

Everybody wins. With a large family and plans to entertain, it fits his lifestyle. For us, grilling is normally a 2 person (at most 4 person) experience. Instead of a full blown outdoor kitchen we never used (and actually hated), we will have a something that fits our needs. In the summer, we can leave it on the deck and enjoy it often and easily. In the winter, it is small enough to clean off quickly and clear any snow around it.

I cannot wait to fire it up next week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Auto Sales Data – Return of the Hatchback?

According to recent sales data, gas guzzling SUV's are no longer selling worth a flip. The top 4 models are listed below. The only SUVs selling reasonably well are small CR-V and Escape sized vehicles.

Personally, I would like to see the return of the hatchback to prominence in the US. Popular all over the world, they offer a ton of practical space in a compact, fuel efficient vehicle. My dream vehicle – a Honda Civic sized hatchback – possibly a hybrid – certainly a 4 cylinder.


Honda Civic / Hybrid


Toyota Corolla / Matrix


Toyota Camry / Hybrid


Honda Accord / Hybrid


Linens&Things – Horrible Out of Business Sale

My fiancé and I noticed Linens & Things was having a going out of business sale. Simply put, it was the worst sale ever. Because they were unwilling to accept their own 20% off coupons, many items were more expensive than the pre-sale prices.