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…
Happy Presidents’ Day folks! I’ll spare you my witty repartee this week on the blog articles, only because I’m short of time this weekend and — believe it or not — it takes me awhile to come up with that stuff. Amazing, huh? Especially considering how bad my material usually is.
Anyway, to save time, I’ll be using more contractions today. Sorry, grammar snobs. (It’s okay; that one took me less than two minutes to think up.)
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Afford Anything – Why You Should Live Like No One Else
Control Your Cash – Dividends Yes. Yields, Not So Much
Hope to Prosper – How to Balance Time and Money
JoeTaxpayer – 6 Ways to Fund Yourself to Wealth
Square Pennies – Surviving Cancer Has Its Benefits
Retire by 40 – Go Bungee Jumping
My Journey to Millions – How I Prepare to Meet My Accountant
Krantcents – The 3 E’s of Success
Millionaire Nurse Blog – College Financial Aid: Is It Truly Hopeless?
Squirrelers – Perception is Reality: Credit Scores and the Workplace
Money Infant – Let’s Talk About Money
Dollar Disciple – Why I Love Real Estate for Financial Independence
Personal Finance by the Book – Are Extended Warranties Worth It?
Married with Debt – Thought Leader: What Makes One?
Doable Finance – Dollar Cost Averaging Is Key to Success When Investing
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From February 2010:
Six American Presidents Who Suffered with Personal Debt Problems – I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the President’s Day holiday weekend than with an article honoring six of our biggest deadbeat commanders-in-chief. (Okay, maybe I can — but I’m going with this idea anyway.)
Credits and Debits
Debit: I see New York City has spent two years and $2.3 million trying to build a simple park restroom — and it’s still not finished. I know.
Debit: Just to be clear, that park restroom isn’t the Taj Mahal, folks — it’s a bunch of toilets. Okay, I’ll say it: talk about government waste.
Debit: It’s not just the price of toilets that are going up. Based upon historical indicators, the odds are strong that the average price for gasoline in the US will cross the $5/gallon mark this summer.
Debit: Here in Southern California, it’s already at $4/gallon. In fact, I just passed a station on my way home yesterday that was advertising regular 87 octane for $4.04.
Debit: Of course, aside from the fabulously wealthy, we’ll all feel the sting of those rising gas prices. Maybe that’s why the Chicago Teachers Union is asking for a 30 percent pay raise over the next two years. Heh. No, that’s not a typo.
Debit: The Chicago teachers are also calling for class-size reductions of between 18 and 26 percent so that there will be only 23 pupils per classroom. (Remember, folks, it’s for the children.)
Credit: I never did understand the argument for smaller class sizes. I spent 13 years in a public school system (including kindergarten) where the minimum class size was 35 kids — and the teachers did a terrific job. Even when they had to deal with imps like Steve Kowolski.
Debit: Meanwhile, a public high school in Cincinnati, Ohio with a graduation rate of 14 percent is apparently using taxpayer funds to pay its students “incentives” as high as $30 for attending school. Whaaa?
Debit: Ironically, there was no incentive for actually learning something — or not disrupting class to the detriment of the 14 percent of the student-body who really wants to be there.
Debit: This is a sad example of how the entitlement mentality becomes instilled into the mindset of people. Can I assume the prevailing “logic” in America is that folks now need to be paid for doing the right thing? If it is, it will be the downfall of our nation.
Debit: And people wonder why our government — at all levels — is awash in a sea of red ink. In fact, the US is spending money so fast, it is now expected to hit the $16.394-trillion debt limit imposed last summer by October 15th, much quicker than the government originally anticipated. It will be interesting to see how our politicians try to defend yet another increase to the debt limit.
Credit: Speaking of the indefensible, the Cincinnati school’s “CEO” tried to defend his attendance incentive program by saying, “These kids are very poor. They don’t have all the benefits suburban kids have.” Yeah. Like responsible parents who will give them a good ass-whippin’ every time they are truant. Just sayin’.
By the Numbers
The top 10 most visited websites (excluding Internet service portals):
7 Windows Live
I think Len Penzo dot Com is bubbling just under the surface. Or not.
The Question of the Week
Other Useless News
Diane wrote in last week to ask if I kept track of the stats for my Canadian readers. Yes, I do! Here are the top — and bottom — 5 Canadian provinces and territories in terms of the average number of pages viewed per visit here at Len Penzo dot Com over the past 30 days:
1. Alberta (2.58 pages/visit)
2. Yukon Territory (2.33)
3. Prince Edward Island (2.23)
4. Nova Scotia (2.19)
5. Ontario (1.93)
8. Newfoundland (1.62)
9. Saskatchewan (1.56)
10. Manitoba (1.52)
11. New Brunswick (1.34)
12. Northwest Territories (1.00)
Yes, I know there are 13 total provinces and territories — but I believe Google’s analytical software combines the Northwest Territories with Nunavut. I asked Google to reconsider that, but they wouldn’t hear, ahem, Nunavut. (Oh yes; I’m here all week folks!)
Whether you happen to enjoy what you’re reading (like my friends in Alberta, eh) — or not (the Northwest Territories, you hosers) — please don’t forget to:
1. Click on that “Like” 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…
3. Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed too! Thank you. ðŸ™‚
Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment — 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!
Angelina dropped me a line to ask if I’d like to feature one of her guest posts on my website:
Today I came across your blog (My Journey to Millions) and I must say that the informative content is worth reading…
I’m glad to see you have high standards, Angelina — unlike the crap that “Len Penzo” guy posts over at his sorry blog.
I’m Evan Len Penzo and I approved this message.