Category Archives: General

Taking requests

I could stand the distraction from all the sunny economic news — name an album or an artist and I’ll give it a listen and review.  Nothing sounds good right now for some reason, so y’all choose.

And don’t be the guy in the back yelling for Skynyrd.


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Whatcha Readin’?

I’ve long been a fan of magazines, and am surprised by how often I see cutting your subscriptions among money-saving tips.  I consider a few magazine subscriptions to be part of a healthy news and information diet, and it’s just not something I’m willing to forego.  I realize that most of the content can be found online, but I like the simple pleasure of lounging on the couch with a periodical.  But for the sake of argument, how much am I spending yearly for this splurge?

After years of reading Newsweek, I switched to Time back in ’06.  My wife tells me we’re paying about $20 a year for Time.  I also subscribe to Money, which I’m told we just re-upped for $35.  Recently we began a subscription to Smithsonian, mainly because it was $12 and we thought it would make us look smart.  My wife gets Southern Living for about $25, which has its uses, and on a bad month at least has numerous pictures of pie. 

So for less than $100 we get a steady stream of news and informational fiber.  I used to get Sports Illustrated but honestly, I absorb so much sports news through other avenues that it just wasn’t doing it for me.  We also recently didn’t renew Cook’s Illustrated, which is a wonderful magazine but was rather pricey for a bi-monthly.  I’m considering a subscription to the Atlantic, based on the excellent stable of writers they feature on their website.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, though.  Instead of renewing, it can be a lot cheaper to just let your subscription run out and then sign-up again online.  For example, we blew it by paying $35 to renew Money — you can sign up new for $15.


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Paul Newman, Renaissance Man

Charitable work aside, you have to admire a man who could not only make a good film, but provide you with an endless assortment of snacking options with which to watch it.  Quickly and probably unjustly omitting the obvious, a Top 10 list of Paul Newman’s best works:

  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  2. Those spicy pretzel rods
  3. Cool Hand Luke
  4. Italian Dressing.  The Caesar is really good too, but get the creamy.
  5. The Hustler
  6. The Sting
  7. Popcorn, although it gets a little pricey.  I know it’s for a good cause but still, it’s popcorn.  Y’know?
  8. Salsas, so many salsas
  9. The Hudsucker Proxy
  10. Slapshot

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The Most Irritating Thing…

..about our weak fast food moment yesterday is that after a long weekend of watching football, the entire transaction was no doubt precipitated by an onslaught of Taco Bell commercials.  We like to consider ourselves fairly immune to advertising, but we actually had a direct-response reaction to Adam Corrola.

Which is funny when you consider that my comment to my wife upon initially seeing this ad campaign was, “Hadn’t we as a society already made the informed decision that we were done with Adam Corrola?”

In quasi-related news, DirecTV announced last week a continued relationship with TiVo, including a new HD TiVo box to debut sometime next year, right around when we’ll be switching to HD probably.  For devotees of both services such as myself, this is huge news, as I didn’t want to migrate to a DirecTV DVR.  Now I just need to better utilize my existing TiVo so that I don’t absorb as many ads while watching football real-time.

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Ten Wasted Dollars

Sooo…I just went to Taco Bell.  At 9:30 on a Sunday night.  At my wife’s behest, but admittedly I was rather complicit in it as well.

Taco Bell happens in our house once a year, because Taco Bell is disgusting and I usually feel mildly trashy afterwards.  But even dumber is how it happens, which invariably entails a drive for the singular purpose of Taco Bell (15 minutes round trip), and usually not even to satisfy a specific meal.  We had a perfectly good dinner — homemade tomato sauce from the garden.

Ten bucks at Taco Bell.  You know how much food you can get at Taco Bell for ten dollars?  A ridiculous amount of food.  I tried to rationlize it by considering it necessary consolation for a tough Saints loss, but that’s a cop-out.  I’m a grown adult and I just drove out of my way for Taco Bell.

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Avast, Mateys!

Let we forget, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

‘Tis ridiculous that I have to work holidays like this.  Arrr.

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Obama and McCain: Overall Economic Plans

Since I hit upon the tax plans yesterday, and both Obama and McCain rolled out new ads today specific to the economy, here are links to the candidates’ respective economic plans:

The Obama plan here.  And in the red corner, the McCain plan.

I’ll dig into these more in the coming weeks and compare and contrast.  On first walkthrough, the Obama plan appears to be a little more substantive in terms of specifics.  Just a first glance, so I’ll retract that it need be.

Also, and this I am sure of from first glance — the McCain website is a train wreck.  Ugly, clunky, and full of typos.  The typos are particularly irritating.  I’m sure my blog is full of typos, but my blog isn’t running for president.

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