It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joeâ€¦
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of whatâ€™s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Hereâ€™s what caught my attention over the past weekâ€¦
For the past month I’ve been in a battle of wits with a pesky rat that found its way into my house and made itself at home.
The rodent has managed to ruin my emergency water supply. He also completely destroyed multiple strings of our fancy pancy lighted Christmas garland and other things in storage. I can only imagine the damage he is inflicting on my home whenever I hear him gnawing on stuff between the walls.
Since then I’ve set multiple snap traps, but the little bugger has completely ignored them so far.
Adding insult to injury, Mr. Rat continues to leave little “gift pellets” all over the place — I’m sure just to let me know that he is still around. So now it’s personal. I’ve had it up to here with that little …
Anyway, today I went to the hardware store so I could implement Plan B: glue traps. I set up narrow runways that will, God willing, guide my little bucktoothed friend straight into one of the gooey trays.
Yes, yes … That rat is going down, folks. Hopefully, tonight.
I’ll keep ya all posted on my progress next week.
Oh, and if you have a particular method for successfully catching no-good lousy dirty filthy stinking rats, let me know. Just in case that darned critter figures out a way to outsmart me yet again.
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From October 2009:
The 7 Deadly Sins of Personal Finance – Itâ€™s time to step into the confession booth and reflect upon whether you have committed any of the seven deadly sins of personal finance. Now get in there.
Credits and Debits
Debit: On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 158 points. That marks five straight days in the red — and the longest losing streak since July.
Credit: The good news is that, despite the recent string of losses, the Dow is still up 5.9% in 2012. And the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are doing even better; for the year they’re up 11.5% and 13.6%, respectively. Hooray!
Debit: Even so, US taxpayers will be losing big in the market this year. That’s because the Treasury recently announced it would buy back 200 million shares of GM stock at a price of $27.50 — a 50% loss on its breakeven price of $54 per share. I know.
Debit: The end result is taxpayers are now out over $40 billion — never mind the bond holders who received just ten cents on the dollar for their stake in GM. On the other hand, that “deal” allowed the Auto Workers Union to make out like bandits. Literally.
Credit: If that kind of financial chicanery was committed by any organization other than the US government, all of the perpetrators would be rightly locked up to rot in prison.
Debit: In the end, this is just another salvo in an unabashed unjust envy-fueled class war that continues to methodically redistribute wealth from one segment of society to another.
Debit: Of course, the great majority of our blissfully unaware populace won’t feel any significant pain until the US dollar is ultimately destroyed by hyperinflation brought about by our government’s unwillingness to curtail spending and eliminate its massive deficits.
Debit: Back when fiscal sanity still prevailed, folks received 26 weeks of government unemployment checks; today it’s 99. This week, the US Labor department announced it’s now adding health insurance to the list of unemployment benefits. Yep. At least for some folks.
Credit: Maybe all these taxpayer-provided benefits are why so many people seem to tolerate unemployment these days. Hey, I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’. And don’t worry — the Fed will just “print” more money to cover the added expense.
Debit: In fact, the Washington Post recently went so far to suggest that the government could solve the current deficit crisis by simply minting a couple of platinum coins with a face value of $1 trillion apiece. No, really.
Debit: Hey … Do you think the Treasury could mint an extra platinum coin to cover theÂ $1 trillion taxpayers will soon be owing after the next round of Obamacare tax hikes take effect on New Year’s Day? Me neither.
Debit: In other news, the US housing market remains in dire straits as new home sales have dropped back to a level not seen since 1975. Is it just me, or have home prices also dropped to similar levels?
Credit: Finally … A pet chicken saved a Wisconsin family from being barbecued after the log house they lived in became engulfed in fire.
Credit: Arson investigators said that the chicken’s heroic action led them to immediately rule out fowl play. Ahem.
By the Numbers
Speaking of chicken, here are some facts about the most popular fried chicken restaurant in America, Kentucky Fried Chicken:
1930 Year Harlan Sanders opened up his first restaurant, The Sanders Court & Cafe.
1940 Year that KFC’s original recipe was invented.
11 Number of secret herbs and spices in the KFC recipe. While KFC will neither confirm nor deny it, one claim says they are: oregano, chili powder, sage, basil, marjoram, pepper, salt, paprika, onion salt, garlic powder and Accent.
0 Amount of trans fat in KFC chicken. Their chicken has been free of the nasty stuff since 2007.
80 Countries where you can find a KFC restaurant.
1936 Year that Sanders was made a “Kentucky Colonel,” an honorary title that is given by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to its most prominent citizens.
Contributing Source: Yahoo!
The Question of the Week
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Last Week’s Contest Winner
Congratulations to Liz B., who won a $20 Starbucks gift card! She was one of eight people who correctly guessed that “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 was one of the four Top 10 iTunes downloads of 2011 that I currently have on my iPod. (The other three were “Forget You” by Cee Lo, and “E.T” and “Firework” by my future mistress, Katy Perry.)
Liz’s name was pulled in a random draw among all the correct guessers.
Thanks to everyone who participated. I’ll have another contest next month.
Other Useless News
Here are the top 5 articles viewed by my 3394 RSS feed and weekly email subscribers over the past 30 days (excluding Black Coffee posts):
- When Is the Right Time to Stop Giving Gifts to Nieces and Nephews?
- How to Pick the Perfect Christmas Tree (In 3 Easy Steps)
- Essential Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill
- Why I Refuse to Get Upset by Subtly Deceptive Advertising
- 15 Reasons Why Waterbeds Are for Suckers
Each month I post some of the more curious search terms visitors entered into Google’s search engine (according to Google Analytics) that led them, somehow, some way, to Len Penzo dot Com:
- who picks up body parts after car accidents?
- why would a dog poop in the corner of a room?
- why are real estate agents so stupid?
- why do southern people like their master bedroom in the basement?
- sex change for men to win contest for $1/4 million
Hey, no matter how you got here, please be sure to:
1. Click that â€œLikeâ€ button in the sidebar to your right and become a fan of Len Penzo dot Com on Facebook!
2. Make sure you follow me on Twitter!
And last, but not least…
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Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment â€“ assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not!
Hoping for a cheap back link on my blog for a “breast enhancement” product, Breasty Momma left me this rather, er, uplifting comment — even though it did lose a little something during the translation process:
Whoa! This blog is excellent! I really like reading your articles. Stay up [sic] the great work!
Aww, thank you. But there’s no need to go overboard — you had me at “Breasty Momma.”
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.