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…
Tread lightly today, folks — it’s Saturday the 13th.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
L Bee and Money Tree – On Money and Sex. Lauren writes about a survey that found women who have sex with men of high net worth experience better orgasms. Interesting. Come to think of it, ever since we got married, the Honeybee has been adamant about me saving and investing most of my paycheck. Now I know why.
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – Could That Happen to Me? Says William: “Seventy-eight percent of all NFL athletes are broke within three years after retiring, and 60% of all NBA players within five years. How is this possible?” Good question. After all, if the results of the survey Lauren wrote about is true, you’d think the sexually active athletes would be able to see their financial troubles coming. (Er, so to speak.)
PT Money – Vanished! 10 People Who Took the Money and Ran. Phil shares a list of thieves, swindlers, scallywags and other bad actors who mysteriously dropped off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. You know, I enjoyed the article — but I’m still trying to figure out how Kevin Costner failed to make the cut.
Prairie EcoThrifter – 5 Financial Mistakes Married Couples Should Avoid. Funny. I thought getting married was one big money mistake in and of itself. (Don’t worry, folks. There’s a Twilight Zone marathon on TV this weekend, so I’d have been sleeping on the couch anyway.)
And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy …
The Free Financial Advisor – 7 Things Guys Shouldn’t Say at Work
Wealth Informatics – Priceline Bidding Strategies for Hotels
Financial Uproar – Why Flying from an American Airport Is Cheaper
Don’t Quit Your Day Job – Which State Benefits Most from the Mortgage Interest Deduction?
Wealth Pilgrim – Are Inflation Protected Bonds Safe?
Christian Personal Finance – What Is the Fair Tax?
Fiscal Fizzle – Why We’re Looking at HomePath for Our New House
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From December 2008:
The Sad Consequences of Fiscal Irresponsibility – This is one of the first articles I ever wrote for my blog. Looking back, the message is right on point, but it’s obvious I was still trying to find my voice at the time.
Credits and Debits
Credit: With so much government spending, it may come as no surprise that America’s richest city is now Washington, D.C.; the median income there is $86,680. For what it’s worth, the national average is only $50,502.
Debit: It turns out the recent Summer Olympics failed to bring the surge of visitors that Britain expected. In fact, the country saw August tourism drop 5% over the year before.
Credit: The good news is Olympic tourists apparently have deeper pockets than traditional visitors. How else can you explain August earnings rising 9% in 2012?
Debit: Meanwhile, over on the Continent, there’s more financial turmoil to report. This time, in Spain; its debt rating was cut yet again on Wednesday to one level above junk status because of continuing worries about credit-worthiness.
Credit: The price of gasoline at my Southern California corner station fell 13 cents this week. Hooray! Prices started dropping on Wednesday, after four consecutive days of record highs.
Debit: Unfortunately, I still paid $4.55 per gallon. I guess I shouldn’t complain though. On Friday, the average price of gas in the Golden State was still $4.65. Nationally, the average price is almost a dollar cheaper.
Credit: In other news, the Labor Department reported more good news on the US economy. Initial jobless claims this week took a nose dive. The 339,000 reported claims were 30,000 fewer than last week, and the lowest figure since February 2008.
Debit: Then again, for some odd reason, the Labor Department published the report even though they noted that “one large state didn’t report some quarterly figures.” Hmmm.
Credit: Last month, a survey found that consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to its highest level in five years. That’s encouraging news, but I want a nip of whatever it is those survey participants have been drinking. Just sayin’.
Debit: After all, that big increase in consumer sentiment is in spite of rising gas and food prices, persistently high unemployment, a record 46 million Americans on food stamps, and looming massive tax hikes that take effect in 2013.
Debit: Finally … A Florida man died shortly after consuming dozens of 3-inch long cockroaches in a contest. Now you know why people should only eat the organically grown ones.
Credit: If I was a betting man, I suspect the coroner will eventually announce the official cause of death as being the result of … wait for it … wait for it … a very nasty stomach bug.
By the Numbers
A little more on cockroaches or, as our friends south of the border here like to call them, cucarachas:
200 million Years that cockroaches have been on Earth.
4000 Number of individual lenses that make up a roaches’ eye. As a result, cockroaches can see simultaneously in all directions.
30 Species of cockroaches that are associated with human habitat. In all, there are 4500 species of roaches.
30 Days that the average cockroach can go without food.
32 Minimum temperature ( °F) that roaches can tolerate. Any less than that is usually fatal.
1 Years that the typical cockroach lives.
1 Wingspan, in feet, of the world’s largest cockroach.
45 Minutes a cockroach can live without air. Some roaches have been observed surviving after being submerged under water for an hour.
Sources: Essortment, Wikipedia, Roachcom.net
The Question of the Week
Other Useless News
Here are the top — and bottom — five states in terms of the average number of pages viewed per visit here at Len Penzo dot Com over the past 30 days:
1. Alaska (2.46 pages/visit)
2. Connecticut (2.32)
3. West Virginia (2.21)
4. District of Columbia (2.20)
5. Missouri (2.18)
46. New York (1.77)
47. New Hampshire (1.74)
48. Kentucky (1.72)
49. Hawaii (1.71)
50. Wyoming (1.64)
Whether you happen to enjoy what you’re reading (like my buds in Alaska) — or not (ahem, Wyoming) — 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!
This blog is a total squander [sic] of time!
No hard feelings, Joriss! By the way … Have you ever considered working as a fortune cookie company writer?
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.