Wow… Six years is both a long time and, well, at the same time, it doesn’t really feel like that much time has passed.
There haven’t been a lot of things in my life that I’ve stuck with for that long though, you know, without finding something new or different to replace it.
Maybe a handful… Tops.
My favorite food in the world has been Manwich for the past 27 years — at this point, that’ll probably never change. The hockey jersey thing has been going for 18 years now. The photography hobby/job is about to hit a decade. I’ve been married for almost 7 years. The kids are still fun and exciting but, compared to the site, they’re still relatively new.
No, I won’t lose interest in them… C’mon…
But things that pretty much defined my personality that I’ve totally lost interest in are yo-yo’s, Burger King, argyle socks, video games, the Simpsons (proably been a decade since I watched a “new” episode), running, camping, khaki pants, shaving, “current” music, real haircuts, taking the stairs, swimming, web design, and any sort of manual labor.
Sure, age might be partially to blame but if you’d told me 15 years ago that I’d end up abandoning my $40 haircut, argyle socks, and the Whopper for lunch everyday, I’d have thought you were crazy.
Anyway, I remember the morning I decided I’d start doing this and typed out that very first post like it was, well, just a couple of weeks ago.
Right now, I’m stashing away $110 each week for property taxes, $16 each week to cover my homeowners insurance premium, and $250 per week for just, well, whatever I fancy.
If I’d been doing that all along (and never had to take it out to cover the property taxes, homeowners insurance, and, uh, whatever — totally hypothetical, I know), I’d have stashed away $117,312. And earned plenty of interest along the way too.
Headlines all over the place are touting yesterday’s surge that put the DJIA over 13,000. And then, just a few lines into the articles, every one of them taken from the AP wire, they drop the line, “But appearances can be deceiving, and there may be more reason to worry than rejoice about Wall Street’s latest accomplishment.”
I disagree. While it is odd that it’s taken less than 7 months to go from 12k to 13k (it took like 7 years to go from 11k to 12k), I don’t think it’s realistic to call this a repeat of the dot com era.
Last night, CNBC was essentially calling this bittersweet, dropping in references to the rising energy costs (I still think gas is very affordable), the slumping housing market (it’s not slumping, people are just overpricing their homes), and the sub-prime mortgage issues in the news lately. On those, hey, if you fell for a 5-1 ARM mortgage, it’s not like you didn’t see the day coming when the rate would go up. You gambled and you lost. I like to think the number of people out there with this problem are greatly exaggerated in the media.
I’m also not one to get excited because the Dow hit a nice round number. Honestly, 13k is no more exciting than 12.5k for me. I love how they drop stats like it was the “35th record close since the start of October.” Talk about meaningless filler!? Did you know I just reached a new record for breaths taken since birth? Yep, I just raised it again. One more. And again.
Don’t get me wrong, any day that has a 1% gain is huge — my net worth for next month, should the pattern hold steady, will show that. The number 13k, though, is meaningless. Love it — a meaningless headline.
My real point though is that this is *nothing* like the dot com era. I made a lot of money before it came tumbling down, but I lost my shirt on stocks like Pets.com (what was I thinking?). The past 6 months or so of gains haven’t come from the Amazons, Googles, or Yahoos. It’s been the staples, Boeing, Pepsi, Corning, etc… That’s a big difference. Those aren’t volatile stocks.
And this talk of the economy tanking just doesn’t hold any weight in my wallet. Things are cruising along just fine. And no, the price of gas hasn’t changed the way I live my life. Not one bit.
While perusing through the archives of this site, I’ve found that my posts used to be, well, more frequent, yes, but better too.
Lotsa fun charts, neat comparisions, goofy photos, and some over-the-top rants all mixed up into one and somehow still connected to my financial task at hand.
Now, though, it’s like it’s practically a formula of efficiency. Picture up top on the right, a few bland single sentence paragraphs, a rhetorical question that I answer anyway, and couple of links to past postings before I click “Publish”.
She, along with her kids, stepped up to the plate (when McDonalds really should have) and went above and beyond when they immediately mailed my son Duncan two of the McDonald’s Happy Meal smurfs that we so coveted but were unable to obtain.
They were even un-opened Smurfs. Most impressive.
Thanks so much from all four of us — we really appreciated it. I wish I could accurately describe to you how excited Duncan was to receive his own mail…with Smurfs inside!
Does it get any better than that?
I think not.
And no need to worry — Baker and Jokey are in good hands!
Really, you need to click on the link — otherwise the rest of this post is meaningless.
Regarding me missing the mark…I beg to differ.
Don’t get me wrong — I thought it was a good commercial. Well, the first minute or so of it was good.
I thought the soundtrack worked (partially because you never heard his (Eminem’s) nasally voice).
I thought the message was, well, it was good too.
I just thought the star was all wrong for the reasons I listed out originally.
Beag mentioned the Grammys — Eminem’s got to have some curb appeal. Good point but that’s the thing — how many folks over the age of 30 have ever heard any of the songs nominated in any of the categories?
We’re about the same age — right in the center of that most coveted advertising demographic. I don’t know about you, but I pretty much punched out of the modern music scene in the Dave Matthews era and the waning days of Pearl Jam.
I’m also not ashamed to admit that I enjoy listening to all three… Back-to-back-to-back…
At the same time, though, I have zero interest in the acts performing on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve celebration anymore. Haven’t had any interest in over a decade. The same holds true for the Grammys — performers, nominees, and presenters.
I think I’m in the majority on that one. I still watch the show but mostly because nothing else is on on that night — kinda like how I watched the Super Bowl even though my Bears weren’t in it.
Point is, Eminem has little appeal to me and probably everyone that I know over the age of 30.
On a tangent, since I mentioned the Dick Clark thing, I’d like to take this moment to mention that Will Smith’s daughter is terrible. Just terrible. “Whip My Hair?” Huh?
Now, for the whole “Made in the USA” thing, well, I know that that hasn’t been the case in the auto industry since, well, probably the early 1970′s — just like you mentioned.
I drove a GEO Metro in the early 1990′s. It was a GM product. Inside the door, it said Suzuki. Go figure.
My BMW was assembled in the heart of NASCAR country. German engineering? Yeah, right…
My Scion was actually assembled in Japan. I’m actually pretty surprised by this.
I only mentioned the “across the river” to connect it with the Justin Bieber reference. That, and hailing from southern Ontario, I know first hand that the landscape is dotted with humongous auto assembly plants. And technically, Windsor, Ontario could be considered a Detroit-area assembly plant like you mentioned — close or not, it’s still in another country.
I also thought it was appropriate as they threw “Imported” from Detroit right in your face as if Detroit itself is another country. What’s up with that?
We’re in total agreement that Chrysler had/has lost its edge. I blame the Plymouth Voyager explosion of the mid 1980′s. Mini-vans were their bread-and-butter back then and they held on to that “image” for far too long.
They do need some “edge”. But I still say that Eminem in a Super Bowl commercial was the wrong way to go about it. On MTV, during a Jersey Shore marathon, sure, but not the Super Bowl.
When it comes to widely viewed events (such as the Super Bowl), the memorable commercials are the ones that have appeal to the masses.
Comedy is one way to get there — though that generally works best for beer commercials.
The Volkswagen Passat Darth Vader spot used comedy and a “villian” from 35 years ago. That worked. My son is the same age as your little one (to the day, I think) and he knows who Darth Vader is. My mother knows who he is too.
It appealed to all ages (and genders) making it a perfect Super Bowl commercial.
VW is not suffering from an image crisis though…
Back on topic and regarding what I think was a poor casting choice for a Super Bowl commercial.
The last big, BIG televised event that I can think of was the Winter Olympics last February. You may or may not remember the BC Tourism commercial that ran nearly every break featuring Sarah McLachlan, Ryan Reynolds, Michael J. Fox, Steve Nash, Kim Cattrall, and Eric McCormack.
If not, here it is:
Same idea as the Chrysler commerical, while not all local to Vancouver or even British Columbia, all of them are Canadian and pretty much everyone on the northern half of this hemisphere will know of at least one of those celebrities. Further, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have a neagative image towards any one of them either…
Ryan Reynolds was named People’s most beautiful person three years in a row. I’m not certain why — he’s alright, I guess — but that crown ensure that grocery store tabloid readers know who he is along with all those folks going to see his chick flick movies.
The older crowd would know who Michael J. Fox is from his time on Family Ties. Or even the Back to the Future movies. More recently, he’s the face of Parkinson’s disease. He’s well known and, as far as I can tell, pretty well respected too.
Steve Nash was the NBA’s MVP for a few seasons. All of the wannabe jocks know who he is.
Kim Cattrall covers the cable crowd. She was one of the stars in the Sex in the City series that got so many people to pay extra for HBO. She’s also been in tons of movies and even dated Pierre Trudeau (a former Pime Minister of Canada).
Eric McCormack, rightfully so or not, covers the gay crowd. I’m not sure if he’s actually gay or not, I don’t think he is — it doesn’t really matter — but from his role on the tv show Will & Grace, I’d say that the masses just assume he is.
How do these six spokespeople differ from Eminem? Well, first off, the variety alone ensures that 95% of the audience will identify with at least one of them. Maybe Chrysler should have had a few more cameos.
Further, though, and more importantly, they all have pretty squeaky clean images.
I’m not an expert on any of those celebs — I listed pretty much all I know about them — but I do know that their image is treated with higher regard than that of Eminen. Image is everything.
That’s why I thought the commercial was terrible.
You just don’t want a perceived thug telling you they’re coming back. To me, that’s the message Chrysler sent and it’s 100% because of the casting. It’s not edgy — it’s almost insulting.
Oh, and I don’t see Detroit making a comeback.
Okay, does this mean we should have a rap showdown?
Seriously — I really appreciate the well thought-out, not to mention long, comment. Thanks Dude!
So today, as I took on the role of Mr. Mom (daycare is closed today), Duncan came to me and asked to do another guest post.
His first post was a bit cryptic but, to his credit, he *was* only 5 days old.
Then, a month later, when I was practically in full Mommy-blog mode, he did a guest video post.
At the time it was pretty exciting.
Now, though, it’s pretty, well, it’s just another “baby babbling” video on YouTube. You know what I’m sayin’…
For his third post, though, now nearly 18 months later, having grown tired of being seen here on PIAC but not heard, he wanted to do something different and show off his speaking voice and newly discovered command of the English language.
Here’s his 17-second podcast:
Okay. I’ll admit he doesn’t speak much English… but he speaks a mean Tiger, dontcha think?
And, sorry if this ruins the whole Brainy Smurf image for you. I sound nothing like him — I’m actually frequently told that my speaking voice (when recorded) resembles Kermit the Frog.
I don’t hear it, personally.
Maybe it’s a bad Steve Whitmire version of Kermit but certainly nothing like the original Jim Henson Kermit…
I’d really planned to put togther some sort of synopsis of the past year, compare it to the the previous two, and then wrap it all up with an exciting run-on sentence declaring that year four would be the most financially successful yet.
That’s what I’d planned on doing…
Obviously, it didn’t happen.
Sadly, it was because I was too busy spending money.
Yep, last month was rough — but this month will be one for the record books…
(Have I mentioned yet how great it feels to spend like crazy?)
I’ve never been a fan of how some bloggers come on and blab about themselves with all kinds of self-importance, or whatever, as if their readers really care about where they went or what they’re up to but here I go…
Regarding the complete lack of posts this past week… I’ve just been really busy.
It’s that simple.
And my finances have been rather flat over the past week too but, no worries, I should be back to moaning about them before week’s end.
So if you’re one of those out there that’s eagerly anticipating every one of my typed words, yes, all five of you… hang tight.
I kid… No, really, I truly appreciate every reader. I do.
But ya wanna know what’s really peculiar? (and a bit discouraging, actually…)
My traffic has actually increased over this past week…
I'm three apples high and nearsighted. I like yellow-haired smurfs, robot invasions, sarcasm, and anything where the secret ingredient is love.
I started this blog in March 2007 after accidently stumbling across a few PF blogs while researching the idea of using 0% balance tranfers to finance a home improvement project -- from there, I was hooked...