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…
Let’s get right to it this week.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Squirrelers – Can Long Hours of Work Be Deadly? The Wise Squirrel discusses new research that shows people who work 11 or more hours per day are more likely to get heart disease. There’s a nugget of good news however: those of you putting in 11-hour workdays can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack by clocking out a minute early.
Life and My Finances – Is Cash Still King? I’m Starting to Have My Doubts. It used to be you could flash a wad of bills at any salesman and they would instantly drop the price of whatever they were selling by 10 percent or more. That’s no longer guaranteed. I’m not sure why either. Thankfully, Derek points out a few places where people with cash are still treated like royalty.
Bruce Bucks – Pack Up Your Debt and Travel. Says Matt: “I go through phases where I get tired of always making the right decision.” You know, some guys just have all the luck. According to the Honeybee, I haven’t made a correct decision about anything since 1996.
Afford Anything – How I Lost Money with a Bank CD. Speaking of bad decisions, check out the big mistake Paula made when she decided to buy a bank CD. I know. How in the world does anybody lose money on an “ultra-secure” bank CD? Well, Paula did. (And the Honeybee thinks I have problems.)
And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy…
Money Crashers – How to Refinance a Home Mortgage
The College Investor – FHA Loan Limits May Drop on October 1
Wealth Pilgrim – Choosing A School — How Smart People Do It
The Penny Hoarder – How to Make $750 a Month Selling Used Books.
Thousandaire – My Definition of Rich
Financially Poor – Would You Give This Cheap Christmas Gift Idea?
Free From Broke – 9 Things to Do When You Retire
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From December 2009:
The Top 10 Reasons Why I Love (and Hate) My Credit Cards – I wrote this article for a contest. No, I didn’t win. (Darn it.)
Credits and Debits
Debit: The Senate, using an arcane legislative procedure borne from the August debt ceiling agreement, raised the national credit card limit by another half-trillion dollars on Thursday. The debt ceiling now sits at $15.19 trillion. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.
Debit: Never mind our children and grandchildren, Big Government and its insatiable need for the additional cash required to keep it afloat will soon be adversely affecting all of us.
Debit: Meanwhile, President Obama unveiled a $447 billion jobs bill in a speech to another joint session of Congress on Thursday. Hopefully this proposal will be more effective at creating jobs than the last one.
Credit: Okay. I’m probably being too harsh on the president. According to the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, the Recovery Act “saved or created” about 3 million jobs.
Debit: Too bad that comes to $262,333 for every new job. I know.
Debit: And that’s assuming all 3 million of those jobs were “created,” as opposed to “saved.” Otherwise the cost per job is even more.
Debit: Hey, don’t look at me; I’m still trying to figure how a “saved” job qualifies as “stimulus.” That’s kind of like claiming you swam to shore when, in fact, all you really did was tread water.
Debit: Then again, other economists are claiming that the original stimulus actually created/saved only 450,000 government jobs — while simultaneously destroying/forestalling one million jobs in the private sector. That’s a net loss of over one-half million jobs.
Credit: Although I’m not advocating this, I think the economy would probably be better off if we just equally divide the $447 billion among every American. That’s roughly $1500 for every man, woman, and child.
Credit: In other news, a Mississippi man was arrested after allegedly being caught absconding with a veritable bounty in his pants consisting of two bags of jumbo shrimp, a pork loin, and … two live lobsters. That kind of gives new meaning to being pinched for shoplifting, doesn’t it?
Credit: I’ve heard of people with crabs in their pants, but never live lobsters.
Credit: One thing the police didn’t find in the alleged shoplifter’s pants were Schweddy Balls. Hey, now; that’s the newest ice cream flavor from Ben & Jerry’s.
Credit: By the way, after being confronted by employees — presumably with the line, “Is that a pork loin in your pants or are you just happy to see us?” — the alleged shoplifter apparently tried to kick-start a hasty escape by throwing the purloined pork at employees. (I’ve got nothing to add to that; consider it a visual gag.)
By the Numbers
The Top 10 Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, based upon the most Facebook fans:
1 Phish Food. (Chocolate ice cream with marshmallow, caramel swirls & fudge fish.)
2 Half Baked. (Chocolate & vanilla ice creams with fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookie dough.)
3 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. (Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough.)
4 Cherry Garcia. (Cherry ice cream with cherries & fudge flakes.)
5 Chocolate Fudge Brownie. (Chocolate ice cream with fudge brownies.)
6 Chunky Monkey. (Banana ice cream with fudge chunks & walnuts.)
7 Cinnamon Buns. (Caramel ice cream with cinnamon bun dough and a cinnamon streusel swirl.)
8 Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. (Sweet cream cinnamon ice cream with chunks of oatmeal cookies & fudge.)
9 Chubby Hubby. (Fudge covered peanut butter filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream rippled with fudge & peanut butter.)
10 Americone Dream. (Vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl.)
The Question of the Week
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Other Useless News
According to my Google Analytics data, here are the 10 most curious Google search terms that, somehow, managed to bring people to Len Penzo dot Com over the last 30 days:
1. creative ways to talk about yourself in a project and earn an A plus
2. Fugitives with means, all the difference in the world
3. who is the blogger who does family store brand taste test challenges
4. are you amarter [sic] than a 5th drader [sic]?
5. what kind of car would a humble rich man drive
6. Lou Penzo
7. credit card consumers are idiots
8. Black coffee + sex
9. sex at the carnival
10. sex with plumber
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As I shamelessly mentioned last week, Len Penzo dot Com earned two nominations for the 2nd Annual Plutus Awards:
- Most Humorous Personal Finance Blog
- Best Personal Finance Blog, Single Author (I know. That is an obvious mistake that got someone fired over at the Plutus main office.)
You can vote for your favorite Plutus Award nominees by clicking this link. And remember, since this year’s award ceremony is being held in Chicago, I assume dead people are eligible to vote. I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.
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!
From Heather Madison: “I’m reaching out to you because I’m looking for a clown who is interested in taking on more clients.”
Heh. Sorry, my calendar is completely booked. Besides, I’ve got transportation problems; the damn clown car is in the shop again.
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.