Oil Leaks and Experts

car-repair_ars

Everybody is an expert I heard this line a while back while listening to a podcast about blogging and podcasting. Everyone is an expert in certain areas of interest or hobbies or experiences where they know more than anyone in their immediate circle, or group, or even town.  They’re a trusted resource without even realizing it.  They know it, and more importantly, they’ve done it. For example, I know that for anything to do with finish carpentry, I can call on a friend and former colleague who’s been making sawdust (as he terms it) for 30 years.  He knows wood.  He can repair or make from scratch parts of antique cabinets to where they look more original than the original. If I have a question about woodworking tools, he’s … [Read more...]

New Furniture Sucks

Quick bed bail fix - Repeat as required

Particle board, MDF board, and low-density foam.  That's what new furniture made abroad in mostly China seems to be made of. I was cursing the poor quality of our kid's twin beds last weekend, as I got around to fixing yet another bed rail that had given way, busted up by rough-housing kids.  We purchased the beds years ago at a fairly typical bix-box store.  Heavy as the dickens, which makes sense since they seem to be all pressed MDF board.  They look nice enough, but they're not holding up worth a crap for 8-yr-old kid furniture. We don't hardly buy any new furniture any more. Virtually all the hard goods (beds, dressers, sideboards, sofa, tables, etc.) for the weekend cabin were bought used, either in yard sales or thrift … [Read more...]

Bad Habits on the Cheap

Image via Wikipedia I like cigars.  A lot. Some call this a bad habit.  Smelly (or aromatic, depending on the  point of view), it gives you volcano breath,  burns holes in your clothes and your wallet, and leaves ashes all over the new upholstery. Well, yes to all that, but sometimes you just gotta live a little. A well-made Corojo with a nice glass of whiskey is one of those vices that actually adds life.   It's relaxing,  gives you time to think, and keeps lots of things far, far away:  worries, mosquitoes and judgmental finger-waggling anti-smokers. I never can understand how anyone can not smoke, it deprives a man of the best part of life. With a good cigar in his mouth a man is perfectly safe, nothing can touch … [Read more...]

Slicing and Dicing on the Cable TV Bill

On impulse and on a whim the other day, I called the Cox cable to review details about our cable and internet charges.  The bill itself seems to have reached stratospheric numbers, what with the bundling and a couple of on-demand movies, it sure stacks up quick.  Time for a hard review. The first charge to stand out was the "Variety Pak" at $4.00/month.  The Movie Pak and the Sports Pak (including Fox Soccer Channel), also for $4/mo each, we liked well enough and would keep, but the Variety Pak, according to the nice lady on the other end of the phone, was channels like Oxygen, Hallmark and the like,  OK, let's ditch it. Nazzo fast, Guido.  The three Paks, despite being listed separately, came as a $12/month package.  Cancel … [Read more...]

How To Save over $4,000/year – Tips That May Not Be for Everyone

One more post on how to save money. Go Rural Have you had it up to here with paying exorbitant property taxes on that suburban house?   Move out to the country.  Chances are that place of a few acres out in the sticks has a tax bill that's a fraction of the dough you shell out in town for that generic 2-1/2 car garage 1/2 brick.  Your kids will enjoy a bucolic small town school while you get to commute hours back and forth from a real farm to a cubicle farm. Less money:  save at least $2,500/year net-net in property taxes for moving from a 2,500 sf house to a 1,200 sf house on 5 acres 60 miles out of town. Less storage:  bring your junk, your boat, and your motor home out of storage, and park them in your acre-sized … [Read more...]