It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Here’s what caught my attention over the past week…
I want you all to know that I fled to Illinois yesterday to avoid having to vote on whether or not the Honeybee’s new jeans make her look fat. I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but I figure between myself, and the truant Democrats from Wisconsin and Indiana — who have their own set of problems to deal with — we now have enough votes to form our own quorum and pass any laws we deem necessary and appropriate. Like banning women from asking if they look fat in their new dress/jeans/blouse etc.
Okay, on to more important matters at hand…
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Get Rich Slowly – Setting Your Home-buying Priorities — Price, Quality, Location: Pick Any Two. There are all kinds of variations of the “Pick Any Two” maxim that says you can have any two you desire from a given set , but never all three. For example, there is the widely known saw “Better, Faster, Cheaper.” Meanwhile, at my house, when it comes to sharing a little evening television time with the Honeybee, she’s always quick to remind me of this one: “Chick Flick, Oprah Winfrey Network, Sleep on the Couch.”
Early Retirement Extreme - The Early Retirement Path. It used to be people were considered rebels when they retired at 60. Then it was 55. Then 50. Now there is a whole new generation of people out there looking to retire at 45. Forty five! In fact, Tim from Canadian Dream: Free at 45, plans on doing exactly that. You know, if this early retirement thing gets any bigger than it already is, who is going to be around to do all the work?
The Amateur Financier - Encouraging Entrepreneur Children. I was going to share this excellent article with my 13 year-old son, Matthew, but he just informed me he’s officially retired.
And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy…
Kiplinger – Disappearing Tax Breaks
Time: It’s Your Money – What to Do with All the Foreclosed Country Clubs?
Financially Poor – Change Now and Change Often
Budgets Are Sexy – Budgets are Sexy Turns 3!
The Simple Dollar – Eight Minutes to Financial Success Series – Minimize Electronic Temptations
Money Crush – Emergency Fund Strategies
Not Made of Money - Is Your Emergency Fund In Good Shape?
Eventual Millionaire – How to Use Your Vision to Achieve Business Success
Watson Inc. – Labeling Debt to Make It More Palatable
Beating Broke – What Motivates Your Finances?
Saving Money Today - Understanding Financial Terms
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From February 2010:
Taste Test Experiment: Bottled Waters vs. Filtered Tap – Come on, folks. What happened the good ol’ days when we all drank water from the tap or a garden hose? Was that water really noticeably worse tasting than the relatively expensive stuff we now buy in bottles? Well, in yet another taste experiment of mine, I asked a dozen of my family members to try and see if they could really tell the difference.
Who Wants to Win Some Free Tax Preparation Software?!
H&R Block was kind enough to give me some promotional codes for their H&R Block At Home Premier Edition online tax preparation software! The codes are valued at $55 which should also cover any sales tax. Keep in mind that this covers your federal tax filing; any state filings would cost an additional $34.95. If you’d like a copy, simply drop me an email by the end of the day on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at Len@LenPenzo.com and let me know you’re interested in trying it out. I’ll then randomly draw two names from all the entries on Tuesday.
Credits and Debits
Debit: ABC News reported this week that average gasoline prices in the US once again reached their highest point ever posted during the month of February, since weekly prices were first tracked in 1990.
Credit: Fortunately, crude oil prices seemed to stabilize this week after Saudi Arabia ramped up their production to make up for losses from the current unrest in Libya.
Debit: Meanwhile, despite finishing up on Friday, the US stock market suffered its worst week since November on fears that rising oil prices will harm the US economy’s ability to recover. For the week, the Dow Jones lost 2.1 percent, the S&P 500 was down 1.7 percent, and the Nasdaq fell 1.9 percent.
Credit: Despite all the strife and turmoil going on, both here at home and in the Middle East, it’s nice to know that some people realize what’s really important in the grand scheme of life. Take the Florida woman who was arrested after she allegedly came home and threatened her roommate with a pair of scissors, struck her with a board, bit her on the breast, and then — just to drive home her point — whacked her with a sign. All because the victim’s kids ate the alleged attacker’s Thin Mints.
Credit: Sheesh. I love Thin Mints as much as anyone, but not enough to ever give somebody a real ass kickin’ just for eating them all. I guess the moral of the story is this: if you’re gonna eat somebody’s Girl Scout cookies, just to be safe, make sure you steal those crappy Dulce de Leches. Blech.
Credit: Hey, can you just imagine what terrible fate that poor roommate would have endured if she had really done something bad, like pilfering a pint of Haagen Dazs?
Other Useless News
First off, I want to give thanks again to Dr. Dean Burke from the Millionaire Nurse Blog for filling in for me here last week! Great job, Doc!
The Harlem Globetrotters were in Southern California this past week, so I took the family to watch them “play” the hapless Washington Generals last Thursday. Needless to say, the Generals got pummeled — even though the ‘Trotters at times were outnumbered on the floor because they had players sent to the penalty box by the refs for being “too funny” at their expense. (Yes, a real penalty box just like in hockey.) They also introduced their new “4-point shot” — four small circular zones on the floor, 35 feet from the basket. It was amazing to watch both teams sink those long bombs with surprisingly good accuracy; I’ll bet they made 40 percent of those shots. I wonder if the NBA will pick up on it. Anyway, this is the second time we’ve seen them and, once again, they put on an absolutely terrific family-oriented show for kids of all ages. If you get a chance to see the Globetrotters when they come to your town, do yourself a favor and be sure to take the family. I promise you’ll have a great time.
Here’s another friendly reminder for ya: if you happen to enjoy what you’re reading – or not – please make sure you follow me on Twitter. And, if you’ll be so kind, don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed too!
Letters, I Get Letters
I’ll feature the most interesting question or comment I get each week here on Black Coffee – assuming I get one, that is. If you’re lucky enough to be the only question in the mailbag I’ll highlight your letter, whether it’s interesting or not.
By the Numbers
Since Crystal brought it up, here is Charlie Sheen, by the numbers:
63 Approximate number of television and big-screen movies he has appeared in.
2 Television series he has starred in. (Two and a Half Men and Spin City.)
1 Times he appeared on Friends. (An episode from 1996 entitled “The One with the Chicken Pox”)
$55,000 Monthly child support he is reportedly paying for his two kids with Brooke Mueller. This is on top of child support he is paying for his two kids with Denise Richards.
$50,000 According to court testimony, amount he testified paying “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss for, um, services rendered.
5,000 Women he reportedly claims to have slept with. (That’s roughly a different woman every other day over the last 30 years for the 45 year-old Sheen. Even so, it’s 15,000 fewer women than Wilt Chamberlain claims he bedded shortly before he died at 63.)
1 Times he managed to accidentally shoot actress Kelly Preston in the arm.
36 According to a Scripps News poll, percentage of people who, like Charlie Sheen, believe that “the US either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.”
This week I had articles featured at the following carnivals:
Carnival of Personal Finance @ Money Smart Life
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.