Paying More than Market Price: Not Always a Bad Thing

Safety harnesses are for (bonded and insured) sissies

Some people are too stupid to live, and some small businesses are too stupid to stay in business.  At least, it seems that it should be that way. Low-ball contractors, lousy service providers and crappy restaurants.  Idiots who should be meeting with a bankruptcy attorney or be hounded by collection agents instead stay around way past their expiry date, pissing off their customers and racking up debt. Danger, USA Financial Service! Tree care (trimming, pruning and removal) is a dangerous job.  Every year, both professionals and amateurs get to audition for Darwin Awards. Many a hapless do-it-yourselfer, with little regard to safety or common sense, will be featured on YouTube as dumbass fail! of the week, either felling a tree on their … [Read more...]

Coffee Break: Having The Right Tools

  Having the right type of tools matters with any type of project, whether it's tackling a business systems issue,  paying off a huge mountain of student loan debt, or changing out a toilet seat. Changing a toilet seat is simple enough, except when the plastic lug nuts holding it in place are first frozen, and then stripped by attempts to take them off with a pair of pliers. In that case, this eezy-peezy honey-do project turns into a serious time commitment. But, I'm grateful to have a Dremel rotary tool to cut off both bolts and nuts. Taking the nuts off would have been a heck of a chore with hammer and chisel, an alternate method I briefly considered. Similarly, Google Finance, Morningstar and Scottrade stock … [Read more...]

Caffe’ Corretto: The Government Hates Guitars

Time for a Break - Image by Wikimedia Commons

Add a slug of good whiskey, sambuca or grappa to a cup of Espresso, and there you have it, Caffe’ Corretto. Just what I need after reading about the lunacy Gibson Guitars is going through, courtesy of  Mordor the Federal Government. Make that two slugs of whiskey. Working as I do for  a multinational company, I've had plenty of training on import and export rules and regulations. I know about the staggering number of alphabet-soup Federal agencies that have overlapping jurisdiction over the import/export process, and who as a rule don't play well together.  I've been drilled about the heavy penalties for non-compliance. I've read manuals, sat through grueling power point sessions, and taken regular online training. And yet, … [Read more...]

Are You Worth As Much as a Plumber?

Avert Your Eyes!

When spending time in front of the computer, I have to make some calculations about how to best budget and divide my time amongst the menu of online activities: writing blog posts, posting comments on other PF blogs, spending time on forums, answering emails and Facebook messages, researching stocks and finance (mostly mining stocks), and just plain time-suck web surfing. I calculated that given our ROI over the last few  years actively managing our finances (and even despite recent setbacks in the commodity space), that the limited time spent on online on research is worth between $75 and $100 an hour.  When doing projects around the house or for the Mrs., I've been know to shamelessly propound this fact, if only to get out of doing … [Read more...]