carnivals and a baby

Over at Four Pillars there’s going to be a baby theme week.  Since I’m on vacation visiting my parents with my wife and one-and-a-half-year-old I’ll actually have 10 minutes free of toddler time to read them, so that’s something I’m looking forward to.

I’m happy to have a post included in the latest Carnival of Personal Finance.  There were a number of other articles worth reading, so go check it out. 


ye olde carnival

See, I did it English-style since the latest Carnival of Personal Finance is being hosted at plonkee.  My post about automatic enrollments in 401(k)s is featured.  There were several other good articles featured, too.  Just a few:

how your occupation, education, income and net worth determine your social class @ the digerati life, (very interesting read)

choosing a 529 plan @ lazy man and money (very practical read)

wait! don’t pick Harvard just yet @ financial dominance (very surprising, to me at least)

Go check it out!

book giveaway and carnival of personal finance

First off, the winner of the book giveaway is Saving Diva! Check out her blog, “Saving for a home of my own”. She just won a Rockin’ Girl Blogger award, but I won’t be jealous since I don’t think I’m eligible! 🙂

Thanks to everyone who commented and linked; I’ll have another giveaway soon, so stay tuned!

In other business, my post “Aging Gently” was one of the articles featured on the 109th Carnival of Personal Finance. I’m the lone entry on retirement, which surprised me a little bit…! Hopefully I’ll work up to hosting a carnival one of these days.

Brip Blap

As an aside, the name of the blog comes from my parents. As a child and on into my adult years I have had fairly drastic mood swings. I am generally a very upbeat calm person – I would say most of the time I operate at a 6 on a happiness scale where 1 is miserable and 10 is ebullient. However, once every few months (more in the winter, less in the summer) I will either zoom up to 10 or down to 1. My depressions are fairly rare, but when they come they are, for me, pretty bleak and not really easily shaken. Likewise my up periods – I’ll be maniacally energetic for a few days. I don’t think I have any sort of real psychological condition. I assume that it’s just my nature. Maybe that’s a dangerous assumption, but at least after nearly 40 years in the world it never seems to have led me to do anything more than mope, other than one fairly severe downtime when Bubelah and I were dating that very nearly ended our relationship. Note the word nearly, though, since obviously being married and having a child means that we worked through it.

Back when I was a baby, my parents said I was a brip (imagine waving hands dramatically upward, fingers a-flutter) blap (now imagine them swooping downwards) baby. I was bubbly one day and quiet or grumpy the next. So I think, for better or for worse, that describes me at my core – a generally pacific state with regular but brief swings between extremes. So that’s brip blap. You’ll have to see if that’s apparent in the blog or not. My guess is that it will be. My goal is to write frequently enough that it will be obvious, though, so we’ll see!


Well, I am sure everyone will be a-twitter over the relaunching of Brip Blap. If you visited the site before, you know that I wrote a vitriolic and often rage-filled political blog for about four years. It really peaked around the 2004 election, when it basically became a nonstop bloodbath of derisive comments about the Republicans.This time I don’t intend to talk about politics, although I’m sure that may come. Instead, this will be a more introspective blog, focusing more on me. Why? I am often asking myself that question. I feel like a dull person sometimes, yet, in the last ten years, I have:

  • Lived in Russia
  • Traveled to 27 different countries
  • Lost over 100 pounds through diet and exercise
  • Managed to go from a guy who got winded on a single flight of stairs to someone who has placed in the top 5 in my age category in competitive 5K races
  • Gone from being a confirmed bachelor to a happily married man with a superstar of a baby boy (update 2010:  now a big boy who now has a little sister, born in 2008).
  • Managed to go from being a workaholic nonstop business traveler to someone making in the mid-six-figures doing more or less nothing on a day-to-day basis
  • Completely 100% shifted my worldview on politics and the news and the world around in less than 6 months.

So, I don’t know – I hope that from all of that I can draw some topics for posting. Plus, I read a lot and have a lot of strong opinions on what I read – personal finance, childhood education, history, geography, famous quotations, self-help books and movies, movies, movies. Football, when I have time (J-E-T-S). And finally I am an enthusiastic twiddler in the Web 2.0 world (more on that later). So, subscribe, comment, and I hope this is interesting to someone besides me, but if not, that’s OK.