the kickoff, a reflection and links

I’ll turn this post upside down from its usual order:  links, then some thoughts.

Links

 Could Your Lack Of Money Be Your Own Fault?: Yep. Almost always. With a few exceptions (medical care, for example), most of our spending choices are just that: choices.

Relocating To Save Money On Housing: We did it. We found that we couldn’t even afford a small townhouse in a terrible school district for a half-million dollar mortgage – and property taxes upward of $1000 per month. We picked up and moved to save money on housing, but one cautionary note: there will always be unexpected expenses. I didn’t expect to be paying so much for pest control – which is a must – which we never paid for in New Jersey.

7 Ways to Invest Your Time (besides commenting on blogs): Mostly of interest to other bloggers, but I’ve thought of doing this, for this reason: I’d rather see replies made via Twitter or Facebook or even on other people’s blogs for one good reason (then other people see it, and you can encourage wider conversations) and one selfish reason (other people see it and become aware of my blog).

Do You Have A Job?: An amusing cartoon in this post, which leads in some ways into this post, Should You Work for a Bad Company?:  At first blush, I’d say no, although “bad company” is hard to quantify.  The Big 4, for example, seem to me to be “bad companies” but then again, they provided me with the skills and “street cred,” so to speak, so maybe it is worth it.

We Used A 30-Year Mortgage To Buy Our Home:  I understand you might get a better rate on a 15-year mortgage, but if you have the ability to prepay on a 30 it seems like a safer choice to me – you have the option to make it a 15 year mortgage, effectively, but you can also drop back payments if necessary.

And via Funny about Money I’ve come across a new blog that I like, Simple Life in France. It’s ironic that I like the blog because I liked France less than any other country I visited in Europe (except perhaps Belgium – but I’ve visited France a dozen times and Belgium once, so France loses). I couldn’t stand "magical, beautiful Paris," didn’t like the food, didn’t appreciate the sneers and glares when I tried as hard as I could to speak in my broken high-school French and really disliked the airports, train stations, streets and other dirty public places. In fact, the one thing – the ONE thing – I loved about France was the non-Parisian food of Provence. I ate several times at a charming little restaurant near my office with some French friends, and had a good time (and great food) every time. It always made me suspect that if I got out of Paris more than I did I might have enjoyed France a bit more. This blog made me think, again, that might be true. It looks idyllic.

Bundle Rolls Out New Features: Now You Can Track Your Own Spending and Create a Budget

NFL Sunday Ticket for $350 a Season? Really?!?!

Techniques for Thrifty Home Transformation

Virtual Brokers Review

 Health Savings Account Guide

Are Municipal Bonds the Next Bubble?

 

Other thoughts

I have probably made reference once or twice to the fact that I’m a big fan of Peter King, who writes for Sports Illustrated.  His “Monday Morning Quarterback” column, or MMQB, is one of my favorite weekly reads.  I am a big NFL fan, but that’s not the only reason – King manages to make his writing compelling regardless of the subject.  He often digresses into discussions on travel, coffee, books, charities and a million other subjects.  I enjoy that writing just as much as his football writing.

So here’s a short video clip of King discussing how his MMQB came into being.  I think he makes a couple of interesting points about the superiority (although he doesn’t use that word) of internet writing over traditional paper publishing:  the immediacy and the lack of restrictions on length.

 

Why I didn’t post on 9/11

And on a final sad note – perhaps not in the way you’d think – 9/11 came and went for me with only a morning of somber reflection, and then I moved on with my day.  I’ve written about 9/11 each year I’ve been writing this blog, until now.

2009:  and once again, forced to reflect on that day

2008: dark days behind us, brighter days ahead

2007:  dark day

 

It’s hard to believe, but each year the date comes and goes a little easier.  I still remember, but this was the first year I didn’t feel moved to put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking) to get some of my thoughts on paper.  I was sad, and reflective, but not as much so.  I’ve been living away from New York City for almost a year and a half now, and in many ways that distance probably has done more than the passage of time to make it feel less like a open wound.  Next year – the tenth anniversary of the attacks – will probably be pushed in our faces because of the attention we pay to anniversaries in multiples of 10, but it will simply be one year further on.But anyway, no post this year on 9/11.  Maybe it’s better that way.  If you feel so inclined, go back and read my 2007 post – probably the best one I’ve written on the subject.  And let’s hope that like so many other terrible events that happen in our lives, the lives of people we know or even in the lives of people around the world, that we can heal and move on, without ever actually forgetting that those events occurred.

4 comments

  • King’s MMQB is one of my favorite reads – you just have to be sure to block off a good bit of time to read it!

    The bad company example that I used from personal experience was an offshoot of one of those big accounting firms that got broken up when Sarbox came into effect. It was a good experience for me professionally, even if it was a bad company and it is no longer around. Choosing to work for a bad company isn’t always an easy decision, but it could end up being a worthwhile personal and/or professional experience.

  • Thanks for the mention! Your logic was exactly ours regarding a 30-year mortgage. Right now a 15 is too expensive for us but we plan to progressively pay more towards out principal as time goes on.

    As for 9/11, I didn’t want to write about it this year. Perhaps part of it was that it fell on a Saturday and I don’t normally post on Saturdays. I think part of it is time and wanting to move on from it (I’ll never forget though). Another part are the politics that surround the site and the war we are in. I don’t want to get into right and wrong of everything but I think 9/11 is used to fuel things it shouldn’t.

  • It is indeed remarkable how bad of a writer Peter King really is.

    • Um… no, I disagree. I think he’s great – maybe not technically, but he engages the reader, which – at the end of the day – is all a writer hopes to do. Don’t know where you’d get the impression I was calling him bad.