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Random Thoughts and Personal Finance Links

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I've got lots on my mind this week, so I'm going to skip the introduction. As usual, there are links to personal finance articles that I liked at the end of this post.

  • I was Interviewed by The Slacker Method
  • Trip to Boston - I'm heading to Boston next week to visit friends and family. While it's always nice to see people, some people mistaken call this a vacation. There's typically so much running around that my wife and I are completely exhausted.
  • Saturday Night Live's best show in years? - Neil Patrick Harris bought it last night. Almost every skit was hilarious. Taylor Swift's reaction at the end of the song to the applause was like a 7-year old getting a Wii for the holidays. Ms. Swift, I know you are young, but at this point you have millions - in sales, dollars, and people who love you. Applause should not come as a surprise.
  • I Want a Palm Pre - I remember when the iPhone was announced some 18 months or so ago. The office at my work completely froze for three hours in awe. Early this week, I had a similar experience in my living room. Palm showed off the new phone that it's been developing for a few years now. It looks much better than the iPhone. I don't know if it will get developer support like the iPhone, but I'm impressed enough to probably pre-order it.
  • Yankees spent nearly 450M on players last month and ask for tax-free bonds for the stadium - This link says it all.
  • Surf the World on a Wii Fit Balance Board - This is amazing sounding stuff. I had no idea that the Wii Fit Balance Board was standard bluetooth with an open API. Very smart Nintendo. I've been looking for something else for the Wii Fit lately and the other games got horrible reviews. Unfortunately this looks a little too techy for me (and I'm fairly techy) and it may require a Mac.
  • Cheap Restaurant Eats

    I've been experiencing the wonders of a bad economy lately, with some restaurant deals. It seems every restaurant wants to save me money. I haven't even needed my tips to save money at restaurants. Before I get to the deals though, I need to tell you about Everett Jones BBQ, a place based out of Oakland, CA. It's the best BBQ I've had since I left Boston - though Boston isn't exactly known for it's BBQ. It's been a 2+ year search, so I'm excited to put that search to bed.

    My wife and I celebrated New Year's Eve at Turtle Bay Restaurant, another local gem. I mention it because it started out bad, but ended up great. We showed up for our 8PM reservation and they didn't have a table for us. I was about to go into my Jerry Seinfeld reservations bit, when I decided that nothing good can come from that. Instead we simple voiced our disappointment once and asked if we could go to the bar to wait. I was expecting a couple of free drinks while we wait, but that didn't happen. After sitting, we found out that the prime rib buffet was completely done. We still didn't say anything much, but we were clearly disappointed.

    That's when the 180 happened. The owner came by and told us that drinks would be on the house. My wife asked if there was any more of the creamed spinach that was with the prime rib buffet and if she could order a side dish. The owner gave us that on the house as well. By this time, we were so happy about the free food and drink that I didn't mind when they forgot my caesar salad. I did mention it to them though because I didn't want to be charged for it. Of course they felt even worse and proceeded to give us dessert. All totaled we had a three course meal, with a couple of drinks for around $55. I ended up tipping an unprecedented 50% to show my appreciation for their understanding.

    Lastly we enjoy the take out 1/2 priced burgers from Armadillo Willy's for lunch on Saturdays. My wife and I found that for less than 8 dollars we get two large burgers and fries. We end up not eating much of dinner.

    And now for the personal finance links...

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    2 Responses to “Random Thoughts and Personal Finance Links”

    1. I’m sorry, but Saturday Night Live has not been funny since Will Ferrell left the cast. Each season since has had some redeeming qualities, enough to get me to still watch, but I was left yawning last night. NPH was good in the digital short where he and a band dressed like Doogie Howser M.D. played that show’s theme song, but that was about it. Too many of the skits go on too long, like they are just trying to fill time. There is no point, no punchline and no ending. The audience kind of giggled nervously through most of the skits, like they knew it was SUPPOSED to be funny, and they were expecting something funny…but the payoff too often didn’t come.

      SNL actually cut cast and went with cheaper talent last year. I think they are paying the price for that now. Just one more downside to today’s economy…

    2. JC says:

      I am also tempted to pre order the Palm Pre. I have been using my Treo for over 2 years and its definitely time for an upgrade.

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