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Showing posts from April, 2008

Gas prices are up. Suck it up or whine?

I've only driven our car, what, twice? Three times maybe? Gas prices don't make my brain burn.

Gas prices are up. Gas prices here in Nova Scotia are among the highest in the country. The (regulated) price at the corner is $1.321 per litre. People are freaking out. One by one, freaking out. But how much can you freak out, and for how long?

Antishay writes about the whining on her blog:

I had a conversation the other day that went something like this:
Friend: OH MY GOD Gas is now $3.71 a gallon!

Me: Oh?

Friend: THAT'S JUST INSANE. I can't afford that.

Me: I don't really look at gas prices.

Friend: I always go to Arco, they're usually $0.05 less.

Me: I don't know... five cents doesn't really add up. My tank holds about 14 gallons, so that's only a savings of $0.70 per gallon. It just doesn't make much of a difference to me. Granted, when we were in high school it was $1.14 per tank, but the day-to-day savings doesn't give me much to celebrate.

Friend: Ho…

Movies about money -- good and bad

I watched a pair of movies with 'debt' in the title over the past few days. One I liked, the other I didn't like much.

I expected In Debt We Trust to be an activist movie in the style of, say, Michael Moore or the Super Size Me guy. It was more like the latter, without even as much balance as the former.

Danny Schechter takes on the credit industry from the point of view that people who fall victim to crushing debt are hapless victims of an exploitative monster industry. While I don't disagree that Americans in particular have been buried by sometimes questionable practices of credit companies, I felt the film let the consumers off the hook too easily. Yes, people are sucked in by too-good-to-be-true offers which shouldn't be offered in the first place. Yes, people are sucked under by payday loans. But after all the reading I've been doing lately, the reality that spending less than you make is the key to staying afloat is virtually ignored. The film portrays s…

It's journalawesome infotainment!!!

This week's issue of The Coast (Toronto residents -- think Now or Eye) features a cover story about local comedy troupe Picnicface. They're the funny folks behind the iconic video POWERTHIRST. I profiled this video back on June 6, 2007, before knowing who Picnicface was.

Turns out the brains behind this hilarious video that infected the folks at work with catch phrases and puns is from Halifax. We loved the video before we knew they were from here, and of course we love it even more knowing that Picnicface is a home-grown phenomenon.

Powerthirst has clocked more than six million views on YouTube, and another 450-thousand over at Will Ferrell's funnyordie.com.

So, now that you've consumed Powerthirst and it has become a part of your soul, I have something more for you.

Given that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I present this video .... Halifax's News-Talk-Sports radio station News95.7, in the style of Powerthirst!

Please note that this video is not app…

Random whatsits of recent weeks

Some notes on stuff that's been doin':

Amanda and I went Thursday to check out the dream homes being given away in the QE2 Lifestyles Lottery. The bigger of the two is ginormously huge. Like, huge huge. Almost-too-big huge. It has room in the basement for further living-space expansion. Either that or you should shoot some epic films down there. And that actually sounds like a good plan. The second home is smaller, but still kinda nice. The consensus seems to be that we'd keep the first one and live in it for a year upon winning, then perhaps sell it. The second one, though, would be a re-sell in order to buy something obnoxiously fantastic in the south end of peninsular Halifax, then renovate the heck out of it and buy me a little car.

I checked out the Music Nova Scotia open mic at The Seahorse last week. It's hosted by my friend and former coworker Laura Simpson (no relation, though her husband's name is Scott Simpson). Laura had been recommending I come check t…

Big Ass Superstar: Mastermind

Krystal over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks posted today about the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. You may have taken the test. I seem to remember doing one in grade 5 (or 7), but I don't recall the designation.

I followed the link on GMBMFB (you can too!) and took the test ... I came up INTJ.

A link to a description of that personality type describes me as a "Mastermind":

Masterminds will adopt ideas only if they are useful, which is to say if they work efficiently toward accomplishing the Mastermind's well-defined goals. Natural leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command of projects or groups, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once in charge, however, Masterminds are the supreme pragmatists, seeing reality as a crucible for refining their strategies for goal-directed action. In a sense, Masterminds approach reality as they would a giant chess board, always seeking strategies that have a high…

Congratulations to Amanda!

Congratulations to Amanda!, originally uploaded by BigAssSuperBlog. Amanda got the job!

After two and a half years, she's now officially employed. Not contract, not temp, not term, not fill-in, not casual, but completely and fully employed because *she earned it*. She interviewed, kicked ass and totally did an amazing job. So she bought herself this cake. And the cake ... was ... delicious.

Bacon: the candy of meats

Saving money like a Big Ass Superstar

This is still not a Personal Finance blog, though I'm on a roll with writing about money ... so here's a few notes on how I do my financial thing, with a bit about how 'manda and I work the dough.

Some of this knowledge/wisdom is from watching TV shows like "'Til Debt Do Us Part", and "Maxed Out". Some is from books like The Wealthy Barber. Some is from reading personal finance blogs. And some has been arrived at organically through trial and error. I can assure you that if I'd had this much sense ten years ago, I'd have a lot more wealth now. But, that's what growing up is about, huh?

Budget
Jerry Good taught me in Broadcast Management class that "if you can measure it, you can manage it." And it works the other way, too -- if you can't measure it, you can't expect to manage it. We bought Quicken Cash Manager 2007 more than a year ago, and I never really figured out how to work all the accounts and stuff. But I *did* find…

Kudos to Philips on the Bodygroom

My much-blogged-about Philips Bodygroom broke.

The on/off button became permanently indented and wouldn't turn on/off. Bah!

A quick internet search told me that I wasn't the only one with this problem. I called Philips and found that my unit (the Bodygroom) was still under the two-year warranty. They emailed me a UPS shipping slip and I had it out in the courier within a day or so.

I don't know how long it took, 'cuz UPS dropped it off at the rental office downstairs and nobody ever called, but they sent me back a brand new one. Yup, a brand new retail boxed Bodygroom. And it could be my imagination, but this one seems even sharper than the last one.

I have not noticed any change to the button mechanism, so there's a chance this one could fail like the last one ... and I don't know if this machine earns me a fresh two-year warranty ... but I think it's great that they'd take care of me like this.

This is probably the best warranty-related customer servi…

Weird for having no debt? Not so much.

I just did my latest round of net worth entries over at networthiq. Although my cash reserves are a little down after the recent trip to Cuba, my stocks continue to accumulate (contributions plus a recent rise in RCI.B mean 26.6% more just in the past month) ...

... and my credit cards are all paid off. In fact, one's overpaid by $66, 'cuz we had to get a refund for one of the Cuba excursions.

All in all, I'm all assets and no liabilities. Again. As usual. I have no debt.

Is that so strange?

Squawkfox wonders the same thing on her Personal Finance blog:

I must be weird. I don't have lines of credit, maxed-out credit cards, and most of my paycheck goes directly into savings. I do have nice things though. I purchased new furniture this year, I participate in an expensive sport, and I have a stunning diamond ring. So why am I worth six-figures while others shuffle debt?
Do I have a lucrative job? Nope. I make an average salary for my age group, according to the November 2…

The People's Picasso of Havana

We heard about guys like this before going on our tour, but I still ended up shelling out 4 CUC for two quick-and-dirty caricatures of Amanda and I. Here they are, plus a shot of the guy who did 'em. I don't think they look anything like us, really.






One more Chris Andrews video, before he was Punch

The funeral for Chris "Punch" Andrews is today in Newmarket. I'm sorry I can't be there.

Thanks to those who replied to my previous post about Chris. I've heard from some people I haven't seen in more than 15 years.

Here's one more video from the BigAss archives. Judging by a shot from the end that shows an old Standard Broadcast News terminal, I think this was shot on September 30, 1991.

It shows Chris op'ing a Blue Jays game (on the Telemedia sports network!) at Energy 1480 (CKAN-AM) in Newmarket. It's also a short tour of the radio station. If you knew Chris, you'll appreciate the short bits of him in the tape. If you're just curious about what radio stations were like before computers, then you'll see that, too.

Keep an eye out for cart machines (YouTube video quality is too poor to read the labels), reel-to-reel machines, record players, old clocks, clunky headphones, ashtrays, the wooden weather station, giant PCs, and a small co…