linklings, south towards home edition

This was a big week in the Blap household. We received notification that the buyers of our house put down their (rather substantial) deposit on our house; we finalized a lease on our new rental for the next eight months (before we buy a new house); we locked in a mover and we started some packing in earnest.  It looks like it will happen.  It’s going to be an interesting experiment in remodeling our lives over the next year.  I’m a little bit scared and excited at the same time.  You can’t make a big move like this, so far away from most of what you and your spouse (and kids) know without wondering how it will work.  I’m excited about the change in climate and hopeful about the change in lifestyle – but I’m nervous about finding new income (job or consulting or whatever) and being so far away from our families.  It wasn’t a move I could have imagined a few years ago, but I approach it like I have most of the moves in my life – it is motion, is moving forward, not standing still… and therefore a good thing.

March 2009 Was a Perfect Example of Why You Shouldn’t Try to Time the Market:  Indeed.  But I did, a little, doubling up one of my loser financial industry positions once it hit rock bottom.

Save Money on a Diamond Ring:  I can’t imagine going through this again – is it big enough, clear enough, pretty enough?  I’m glad I got a good diamond.

Eight Ways to Beat Bad Customer Service: I dread my upcoming encounters with customer service – canceling dozens of services and restarting them in a new location will be a lovely experience, no doubt.

How to Hedge Against High Inflation: I think inflation will be under control by 2010, but if not…

Six Simple Ways To Simplify Your Life: I sympathized with this article a lot (let me emphasize, A LOT) because I have the same ridiculous fantasies about moving to the country and living off the land and eating cheese I curdled myself.  Then I realize I don’t even know if cheese IS curdled or what curdling is and I barely keep houseplants alive, and I love my electronica.  But it’s a fantasy, so I don’t blame myself.  I figure I have time to grow into my inner Thoreau.

Frugal Entertainment Rule: You Must Try Redbox:  I see these things everywhere, too, and I just can’t see any reason to ditch Netflix…yet.  Then again, it does seem like a much faster and more convenient option, as long as you’re willing to get to the store on a frequent basis.

Credit Card Spending Down By 10%, Our Is Down By 50%: The most telling part of this article was that SVB’s spending is down because her stress-related medical spending dropped after she quit her job.

Last Minute Tax Deals: Mine are done, but I’ll wait – as I usually do – until April 14th or 15th to file.  I owe a tiny amount – less than $300 – so I figure there’s no rush to file.  I’ve finished everything, but I’ll wait to e-file until the last minute.  If you haven’t started, though – get on it.

Hey Big 4! If I Were You, Here’s What I’d Do (Instead…): If you know anything about the Big 4, this is a grim, grim article. I’d be worried if I knew anyone associated with this industry – or if you are, say, a shareholder in a company audited by one of these four firms, which includes most of the Fortune 500.

Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Kill Myself: Pretty amazing post. I can’t imagine going through that thought process, and it’s a touching piece worth reading. My blog’s named brip blap because I’m a very up-and-down person, but honestly, I’ve never – even in my darkest moments of depression – considered killing myself. I’ve always been, if nothing else, very interested in seeing what the future holds. I also suspect I am a bit too much in love with myself to do that. But it’s a brave thing to discuss, and Mrs. Micah deserves some kudos for having the guts to write about it.

PS: I am referencing the excellent book North Toward Home in the title of this post.  A lazy afternoon spent chatting with Mr. Morris on the front porch of a coffee house in a Mississippi summer haze is a fond memory of mine, and my best memory of talking with a writer.