I thought about not posting the last two stories, but I figured they were entertaining and the kind of thing that I would to read if I were someone else. Not too much personal finance after the first story, so if that's your interest, just jump straight down to the links and enjoy.
Story 1 - Small Business Stimulus Package
You have a small business and need a boost in this economy? This is your lucky day. Ben at Money Smart Life is giving away a Small Business Stimulus Package. You can win $250 in cash and/or various web consulting services.
Story 2 - The Drive-In
I need people's thoughts on this one. Let me know if I'm a jerk here or not. I'm at the McDonalds Drive-Thru the other day (probably a once-a-month thing and I typically get a double cheeseburger and move on). This drive-thru is a little weird. It actually splits the line into two for ordering and then re-merges them. I guess it's faster that way because they two people ordering at the same time and can process the food faster. Cool idea, I just don't know how they manage to give people the right food with the merge. If one side takes 15 minutes and I'm ordering just a double cheeseburger, well you can see how one side could move much faster than the other at times.
I'm done ordering and looking to merge back into the single line. I let one car go from the other side (the car that was before me when I entered the split to order). However, another car is trailing it, probably 18 inches of space between them. I'm waiting for them to stop and let me in (typical zipper merge), but they just keep driving. Finally I honk my horn to let them know that I'm there and waiting and have as much right as they do (there is no yield) to get my food. Probably more because if they mess up the merge, who knows if they'll get my order right? This is a drive-thru so you know it's already a high risk even before you add this merge twist.
So I honk my horn and the other car stops. They roll down my window and they are a 70 year old couple (just a guess). I ask them if they were going to let me merge (in not the most polite tone). They called me a name back and finally told me to go ahead. So here's the thing... am I the biggest jerk in the world for being angry at my elders? Do they get a free pass to be rude because they are older? In the end I decided that all things being equal, all people deserve to be treated equally. It doesn't matter if you are old, young, blue, purple, or some third gender that scientists just discovered last week.
Story 3 - The Football Game
I went to the Oakland Raiders game with my wife yesterday. Longtime readers know that I'm a big Patriots fan, so I was putting myself in enemy territory in one of the dangerous stadiums in the US. There were signs and public announcements everywhere reminding fans of conduct rules. In fact they have a SMS number where you can just pre-type in your section and row, so if there's a problem, you hit send and the police are there. I wish I were making that last sentence up.
If that last point wasn't strong, my wife may have had the quote of the day, "I don't have a lot of rules in life, but one of them is that if you have a jacket covered in skulls, you get to get on the escalator ahead of me. You know, generally speaking."
Towards the end of the game, the 100 Oakland fans (starting down 21-0 before you get a first down and losing big in 3 hours of rain will eliminate most fans) gathered around the Patriots bench to taunt them with chants of 18-1 referring to the Patriots record last year. I really don't understand this chant. Roughly translated I take it to mean, "You just had as many wins as any team in the National Football League in a season. Also you had a higher winning percentage than anyone has achieved in any of the four major sports in the US (outside of the other two teams that I think accomplished the same feat). On the other hand, my Oakland Raiders have managed to win 18 games in the 5 years - combined." I wish I had video of it, so I could put it on Failblog.org.
A finally football thought: The Patriots could go 11-5 winning approximately 69% of the games they play this season and not make the playoffs. Another team, Denver Broncos or San Deigo Chargers, depending tie-brakers, could go 8-8, just 50% of their games, and make the playoffs. By the way winning 69% of your games would have made you the fourth best NBA team last year and the best baseball team by a mile. Sure a lot has to do with a small sample size of the NFL, but that's amazing. If someone has some extra time on their hands, I would love to read the highest winning percentage a team has had and not made the playoffs in any sport. I don't know how hockey does winning percentage with it's ties (so I'll leave that to a hockey fan).
Finally if you are still reading please enjoy these links:
- Brip Blap wants to know what motivates you more: frugality or decluttering?
- Frugal Dad asks are artificial Christmas trees a frugal alternative?
- Generation X Finance says did you move in 2008? Uncle Sam may pay for Your yoving expenses via Tax Deduction!
- Million Dollar Journey wonders do you leave cash tips?
- Digerati Life offers resume writing tips: stand out from the job hunting crowd!
- Money Smart Life presents year end insurance policy review - tips for lowering rates & checking coverage.
- My Dollar Plan takes a look at free credit report and scores.
- The Sun's Financial Diary posts how to use your credit card without going in debt.
More Finance Posts:
- NCN's guest author Paul tells a story in which the emergency fund comes to the rescue!
- Free Money Finance on dealing with the #1 issue in making more money.
- Blue Print for Financial Prosperity supplies a CD Rate Interest Calculator.
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