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Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life
~ Benjamin Franklin

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Dilbert's 9 Point Financial Plan

Dilbert creator Scott Adams claims this is "everything you need to know about personal investing":

  1. Make a will
  2. Pay off your credit cards
  3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support
  4. Fund your 401k to the maximum
  5. Fund your IRA to the maximum
  6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it
  7. Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account
  8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement
  9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio

Scott Adams calls it his Unified Theory of Everything Financial.

He might be right.

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Absence of Evidence? - Or Evidence of Absence?

There's a difference between an absence of evidence, vs. evidence of absence.

A medical test is performed on a person and comes out positive for cancer. The doctor presents this diagnosis and prescribes medical treatment. After the treatment is completed, the test is run again. This time the test comes out negative, the test offers an absence of evidence for cancer.

However, after the test results the doctor will sometimes say: "You are cancer free!" That declaration suggests the test is evidence for an absence of cancer. It is not. The tests are an absence of evidence for cancer. What?


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Adam and Eve, God and Satan

Arrived via cousin Kelly.

God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

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Across The Universe - Beatles Musical with Evan Rachel Wood

Jude and Lucy
Jude and Lucy
Across the Universe

Across the Universe - Directed by Julie Taymor, Across the Universe is a classic "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl" story--all presented as a musical containing 33 class Beatles songs. I'm not usually drawn to musicals, but the familiar and catchy Beatles tunes quickly got my attention. From there, the ensemble cast of young actors/singers (including Evan Rachel Wood from King of California) brought something genuine and earnest to the often psychedelic storyline that knitted together lyrics from Dear Prudence to Why don't we do it in the road.

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First Aid Myths - Useless or Dangerous?

First Aid Myths - Do NOT try these at home. Some first aid tips cause more harm than good.

  1. Myth - Pee on jellyfish sting - Since you are far more likely to suffer a jellyfish sting than a shark bite, know this: Peeing is not proven to help jellyfish stings (though testimonials abound). Instead, apply vinegar.
  2. Myth - Slather butter on a burn - Besides the obvious risk of infection, putting butter or any kind of grease on a burn can TRAP heat and cause scarring.
  3. Myth - Ice minor burns - Another bad idea. The sudden temperature change will cause more pain. Instead, apply cool water to clean and soothe the area.

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Evaporative (Swamp) Coolers - Research

Evaporative or swamp coolers are an energy efficient alternative for cooling air during a summertime heatwave. They work on a simple principle: when water evaporates, it takes a little bit energy (heat) away with it. This creates a cooling effect like the one we experience when our sweat evaporates.

Evaporative or swamp coolers use this cooling effect to create and distribute cool air in a room or home. However, as those on the U.S. East Coast know only too well, evaporative cooling doesn't happen when the air is already saturated with water vapor--a condition we call high humidity. And high humidity doesn't just occur outside; a home, room, or even the inside of a car (during an amorous escapade) can become highly humid. Because of this, rooms cooled by evaporative coolers need to be well ventilated. Without ventilation, evaporative coolers will turn your home or room into a humid sauna. Below are more tips and info...

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Ways to Hedge Against Fall of U.S. Dollar

Ways to Hedge against Falling U.S. Dollar - If all your money and investments are in U.S. dollars, the falling value of the U.S. dollar is a huge concern. After record stock market and real estate market declines, the next big theft of your money will be devaluing of the U.S. dollar--in simpler terms, inflation. Your dollar simply won't buy as much as it did before if the value of the U.S dollar continues to fall. Some consider this the most insidious of taxes.

So you need insurance, currency insurance. You need some way to hedge against the falling U.S. dollar. Below are some options suggested in Several ways to hedge against falling dollar by Kathleen Pender.

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Insults with Class

Maryannaville collected some great quotes for her blog post When Insults Had Class. I notice almost all were from or about men.

I am not insulted.

Here are some of my favorites, with a couple others I found.


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21 Funny Airline Announcements

Rec'd from co-worker this list of 21 funny statements made by pilots or attendents in the cabin of commercial airliners. Here are the top three...

1. On a Southwest flight 245 (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have.

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25 Things You Should Have Learned by Middle Age

Rec'd by email...VERY funny...even wise.

1. If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out.

2. Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

4. It ain't the jeans that make your butt look fat.

5. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Miller Ad About Beer and Makeup


Miller Ad About Beer and Makeup - This advertisement (photoshopped?) had me grinning for quite a while...

Miller Ad About Beer and Makeup

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Ron Mueck Sculptures

Ron Mueck's sculptures faithfully reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play with scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images.
~ From Ron Mueck Wikipedia entry

Ron Mueck is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor whose work with the human body and all its flaws is absolutely mesmerizing. If you've seen Mueck's work, experienced it, you'll never forget it. It's not that the sculptures are beautiful or of beautiful subjects; most of the subjects are fairly ordinary or even ugly. But it's the realism, the play with scale both large and small, and the nudity that demands your attention.

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REAL Myers-Briggs Personality Types

Myers-Briggs Personality Types - Here's a hilarious version of the famous Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Totally loved the often comic book perspective. It's a lot of fun to guess where where you and others fit into this personality universe....I'm either an idealist or conspiracy theorist.


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Fresno Barbie


Fresno Barbie - Having lived some of my formative years in Fresno, California, this Fresno Barbie bit had me in stitches. Perhaps only a Fresno native would appreciate the humor.

Rec'd via email--Thanks Sharene!


River Park Barbie

River Park Barbie

This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Physical Trainer Rocky. You won't be able to afford any of them.

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Salma Hayek - Google Logo Picture

The Best Google Logo EVER - Google partners with Salma Hayek (PIC)

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Rap Lyrics - Lost in Translation

Rap Lyrics Translated - Story goes that an Oakland High School student earned the school districtís highest honors at an Ebonics Translation Competition with this inventive translation of rap lyrics into....What? Honky talk?

WARNING - Lyrics and translations contain sexual and violent themes (which, sadly, can be heard coming from the mouths of grade-schoolers). I find it difficult to believe a school district would sponsor such a competition, but it's a kick none-the-less.

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So You Want To Convert To Buddhism


Buddism Introduction - Here's a nice summary or primer to Buddhism. Very friendly, accessible presentation; not advanced in any way, but I just found it pleasing and informative to read.

BTW, my favorite book introducing Buddism is Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught.

So you want to convert to Buddhism

What the Buddha Taught

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Keep Me In Your Heart (for a while) - Warren Zevon - Lyrics

The Wind - Warren Zevon

This would have been a good song for my mom's "momorial." Maybe I can have it for mine.

Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

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Internet Is A Denial Of Service Attack On Your Brain

Intriguing perspective on the how the Internet is a denial of service attack on your brain.

Quotes

"We found that mental performance, the capability of the brain, was also reduced. Workers cannot think as well when they are worrying about e-mail or voice mails. It effectively reduces their IQ," says Wilson.


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Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit


Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit - Here's a good intro to will, estate and trust law. Still should have a lawyer review your documents to be safe. I found it very easy to go through and understand. She has a lawyer narrate much of the text and provides excellent summaries of the main points to consider when putting together a will and living trust.

Includes all necessary forms, and seems to perform online updates. For a relatively simple estate, I think the Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit is a winner.

Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit (CD-ROM)
*NEW Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit Online Version (CD-ROM)

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