Blogging?

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Who is this?How could I not review this movie?

I truly apologize to those who’ve been awaiting this update for weeks now but I have a confession…

I didn’t go and see this movie.

You could tell it was terrible the minute they announced that they were making it a half dozen or so years ago.

And who’s the dude with the side burns and the skirt?

A new character? Sheesh…

They jumped the shark right out of the gate.

Anyway, two blue thumbs down on this one.

Worst movie of the summer.

Possibly even the decade.

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Now that that’s out of the way, I have to offer a big smurfy THANK YOU to Angie.

She’s a self proclaimed psycho stalker that’s been reading and commenting here on PIAC almost since the beginning.

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 soooo much!

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.

You’re awesome.

And no need to worry — Baker and Jokey are in good hands!

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Where’ve I been?

Seriously, it’s like I’d just up and quit this whole PIAC thing…

Not true — I am far behind on keeping everyone informed on my financial status and, yeah, some of that is by design. I’m embarrassed.

No worries, I’ll spill the beans before too long. It’s been a rough couple of months on the financial side of things.

But I also though I should let you all know that back on March 31st, we added another smurfling and officially joined the two-under-two club. Pretty exciting stuff.

Two-Under-Two

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Money Beagle‘s comment to Monday’s posting was so awesome that I thought a response was worthy of its own posting.

Click here to read the original post — and his follow-up comment.

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.

Don’t get me wrong — I know who Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, and Miley Cyrus are. I’m not totally out of touch.

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…

The 30-something crowd knows who Sarah McLachlan is, whether it’s from her music of the late 1990’s or the ASPCA commercials that can make grown men cry.

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.

Dearborn, maybe.

Okay, does this mean we should have a rap showdown?

;0)

Seriously — I really appreciate the well thought-out, not to mention long, comment. Thanks Dude!

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DuncanSo 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…

DuncanAnyway, the real reason for this post is because I’ve recently found out that a lot of people in my “close” family have been following Duncan’s, well, life through this website.

There are even a few unrelated readers that only seem to enjoy the Duncan photos that I randomly include in my postings — they’ve emailed me saying just that.

So I figured that I’d take it a step further and let you all hear him too (while making great use of the digital audio recorder that Santa brought me).

No worries — I don’t expect to make a habit of this but…Duncan’s time in the spotlight is waning as Smurfling #2 rapidly approaches so enjoy it while it lasts!

Raaarrrr!!!

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Happy Third PIACThe “event” didn’t sneak up on me.

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?)

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Well, we’re back from our weekend away and I’m going to exercise the ability to plead the Fifth when it comes to how much I ended up spending and on what.

It’s embarrassing.

Don’t worry, though, I’ll spill the beans when it comes time to list out my expenses for the month — I’m just hoping the recent surge in the market keeps up and bails me out of the “negative” month I’m currently lining myself up for…

Anyway, Duncan refused to do a traditional blog post today (at 8 weeks, he feels that he’s too old for that sort of thing) so, instead, here’s a video post:

Does anyone know what he’s talking about?

I have a hunch that it has something to do with his dad spending so much money on silly things…

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The Cookie Monster ate my baby...This the first guest post ever on PIAC — it’s not that I’m against doing them, I just wouldn’t know who to ask…

Now that I think about it, though, I think frequent commenters Dustin and Heather could definitely post some real valuable information!

Anyhow, let the guest post begin…

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PIAC Factoid: Duncan Smurf is only 5 days old. I’m not certain that that makes him the youngest blogger in the world but he can’t be far off.

Hopefully, in the days to come, he’ll have more to say.

And hopefully I’ll find the time to say more too!

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Two!Wierd that it falls on April 15. Total coincidence, though…

It’s amazing how much things can change in the short span of two years, not just from a financial aspect, but all-around.

For now, though, I’m going to stick with the financial stuff.

When I started, I had $7215 in credit card debt, owed $4014 on a high interest personal loan, and I still had $9700 to pay down on one of my cars.

Total non-mortgage debt was $20929.

Though I said then that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel of debt, now, I can’t fathom how I was so comfortable with my finances.

My head was apparently in the clouds…and had been for quite some time.

Just a few months later, though, my credit card debt alone would swell to over $20k.

Talk about moving in the wrong direction…

But this site kept me in line. Just posting the numbers each month, even if no one was reading them, forced me to hold myself accountable so I kept at it…

Amazingly, at the one year mark, I was well on my way to being 100% non-mortgage debt free and proclaimed that by this anniversary/birthday, I would be.

Guess what?

I am.

Let’s hope that year three brings even more success.

And that I continue to feel shame everytime I overspend on something silly…

Can You Dig It?

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