linklings, jimmy buffett and being there edition

moscow, Saint Basil's Cathedral with effects

I have long disliked Jimmy Buffett. He didn’t really work with my worky-worky aesthetic.  He sang stupid, silly songs about drinking in the afternoon and swinging in a hammock.  But here’s a good example of lifestyle reeingineering:  I moved to Florida and suddenly songs about drinking in the afternoon and watching the waves at sunset didn’t seem so stupid.  They seemed, well, topical.  I checked a couple of Buffet CDs out of the local library and – to my surprise – enjoyed them.  Songs about gumbo and margaritas suddenly make sense.  I felt what he was singing in a way I never had before.  An artist I’d dismissed suddenly seemed, well, relevant.

Silly stuff.  But I thought about moving to Russia, and about how at that time I suddenly started appreciating and really understanding the stuff I studied in school.  You can read about the Russian Revolution or Stalingrad but until you see the monuments and walk over the bloody ground you can’t really FEEL it.  I love the idea that you can travel the world through words; travel writers have taken me to far distant corners I have never visited myself.  I have been in some distant, random parts of this beautiful world, but other writers have gone further afield, and I count on them to take me where they went.  But sometimes nothing substitutes for the real thing.  Standing in the shadow of Ivan the Terrible’s insane cathedral late at night, with snow falling all around me, couldn’t be replaced with a thousand books.

And now for the links…

Training A Child About Money – Online:  This is a great resource post for a parent of children about, oh, 5 and under.  I worry about money training more and more each day now that my son (3) sees and understands the transactions that go on at stores – I don’t want him to believe in the magic credit card, obviously.

What Works For Me:  The one-thing-at-a-time mindset is the goal we all need to strive for, I think.

How to Brew Your Own Beer and Maybe Even Save Some Money – Equipment:  Mmmmmm, beer.

What If There Was No Tomorrow:  A good word of advice about personal finance.  Imagine you got hit by a car tomorrow.  What about your planning would be pointless and what would be unfinished?  I still don’t have a decent will and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about planning for my 60s…

Financial Advisor Websites With Blogs:  Interesting idea – if you really want financial advice, seek out a financial advisor’s blog.

Case Study: Financial Priorities:  Me, I don’t see it.  Pay off ALL debt.  Then invest.  My 6-word solution, free of charge.

Where To Save Birthday Money For Kids:  I have a few months before the rounds start again, but it never hurts to start planning.

Great Stock Market Performace, But Will Dow 9,200 Hold?:  Me, I don’t think it will.  I’m a Dow 6000 (or lower) guy.  I think that we’re overvalued, even now – but time will tell.

How to Survive and Thrive During a Recession: Interesting ideas, although I just don’t look at broadband internet as a luxury anymore.

Federal Minimum Wage at $7.25/Hour – Chart of the Day:  Don’t get me started on a rant about the unfinished choice between capitalism and socialism in America.  Either abolish the minimum wage or make it reasonable.  As of now it’s barely reasonable, so either get rid of it and tell everyone to work for whatever they can get OR assure everyone a decent living wage.  Make a philosophical choice.  $7.25 is a living wage in some states; in others it isn’t.

Best Free Essential Software For Windows:  Great list; I am building a computer on free software and paid DOS, although with the announcement of Google’s OS that may change soon.  So far, I haven’t noticed a glitch using Open Office and Gimp and Picasa – great tools at the very, very right price.

Put The Squeeze On SpongeBob:  If you have kids, though stuff to think about.  I hate thinking about TV – it is my guilt and my pleasure when it comes to my kids.  It gives me peace and gives me anxiousness…