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Sharknado at WalmartSo, yesterday, we took a family trip to Walmart.

We don’t go there very often, partially cause of how busy it always seems to be but mostly because of the people that shop and work there.

I’m not one to judge but… Wait, yes, I am one to judge…

Really — you might think websites like “People of Walmart” are a gross exaggeration of reality for comedic sake but, I’ll tell you, there truly is no other demographic like the Walmart shopper.

Stereotypes exist because they are grounded in truth.

Walmart takes it to another level.

So, anyway, while I was digging through the $5 DVD bin with Duncan in search of Sharknado (don’t judge — where else would I find it?) an announcement comes over the loud speaker.

“Attention Walmart shoppers…”

Yes, it really started like that, but not all cool like it would have sounded at K-Mart. Imagine it in the voice of a barely literate 20-something male hillbilly lacking front teeth.

Yeah — somehow Walmart brings out the hillbillies of Connecticut. Really, there was a shopper in there wearing a cowboy hat. In CONNECTICUT!?

The message continued, in the cadence of a first grader reading out loud, “In two minutes, [insert sponsor here] will be giving away one razor sharp paring knife to everyone in the store over the age of 21. Supplies are limited. Please visit the red kiosk at the back of the store near the baby aisle. First come, first serve.”

Seriously?

First of all, a quick visual survey of the people surrounding me made it pretty unsettling that they we’re about to hand out “razor” sharp knives.

There might even be a stampede — the word “FREE” in Walmart is almost like “FIRE” in a movie theatre.

Further — they’re doing it in the baby aisle?

Are you kidding me?

I don’t know about your local Walmart, but in all of them around here, the “baby” section is in the back corner. The “kitchenware” aisle is usually part of that middle section where lots of just random household stuff is. In short — they’re not close to each other.

Why would *ever* you hand out knives to the gutter of society in an aisle full of diapers?

You can’t make this stuff up.

Making things even funnier, err scarier, while we were checking out, there was an announcement asking employees to do a “safety sweep” of their departments…

Hmmmm… must’ve been a report of someone wielding a “razor” sharp knife or something.

Back to Target we go…

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Of late, as in just over the past couple weeks, the local television newscasts have neen using the “block” term when reporting stories — usually of the crime or housefire variety.

Makes total sense in a big city where the streets are laid out in a grid — “Armed robbery reported on the 1200-block of Michigan Ave…” People know where that is, well, local folks do, anyway…

But here in Connecticut, where the main roads are all laid out following some really terrible city planning that dates back to the 1700’s (and secondary roads are just squeezed in), well, this “style” of reporting is really out of place.

The street I live on doesn’t even have an address number that reaches 100. Do I live on the zero block?

And, really, even within the borders of our wannabe BIG cities, I’d venture to say that there are more cul-de-sacs than grid like blocks.

I don’t think local law enforcement even refers to ### blocks.

In the era of Google maps and GPS units, I dunno, in addition to being useless in this part of the country, the “block” reference seems really dated.

Maybe it’s just me?

From the 0 Block of Smurfberry Lane, this is Brainy reporting for PIAC.

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So, I should mention that I inadvertently stumbled across a youth hockey program that’ll take a 3-year old player on the roster.

The “season” starts May 11th and runs for 8 weeks. I’m pretty excited and I hope Duncan’s enthusiasm as it stands now is still present on May 12th after the first practice.

The downside to this program, and it’s a big one, is that it’s just barely local.

Okay, it’s about an hour from home…

Yeah, it’s a haul.

While I’m less than thrilled about that part of it, I’m trying to look at it like a test run of what’s likely to come.

See, youth hockey involves a TON of travel. It’s just not as popular as soccer or baseball where there are dozens of teams at each age level all under one Recreation Department’s control so… even when they’re youngsters, hockey teams are generally of the “travel team” variety.

The other advantageous part is that, in the fall when he’s 4 years old, he’ll be able to “transfer” to a team (more on that inna sec) that plays out of a rink 15 minutes from where we live. This summer’s experience will make that commute, provided he still wants to play, feel like nothing at all.

Now, when I started playing soccer as a 5-year old, the team that I played for (Go Crickets!) and the league we were a part of were governed by AYSO which is the American Youth Soccer Organization. Our uniforms even sported their logo.

Since I was only in kindergarten at the time, I’m not sure if my parents had to sign any sort of contract other than the standard “We won’t sue if he gets hurt” form that would have been submitted with the payment.

When I moved to Connecticut, I just played in a town rec league. Yeah, just like a local group that threw something together without an organizing body calling the shots. Oddly enough, even at 7 years old, the players in this program were far, far,far more advanced than what I was used to in the AYSO.

I went from a stud to a dud. I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked that an organization with endlessly long tentacles did a terrible job of developing talent…

(Insert any anti-ObamaCare, pro-assault rifle, or big government arguments you want in the comments here… I won’t bother responding beyond questioning how one can play both sides saying big government is stemming from an apparently unqualified community organizer… Yeah, whatever… Healthcare is good, guns are bad, and I’m indifferent on the size of the government.)

Anyway…

So, fast forward 30+ years and change the sport to hockey.

Youth hockey in the United States is, as far as I can tell, governed from coast-to-coast by USA Hockey. In order to join a team, I had to register Duncan with them, which I did about a year ago, and he was given an ID number that’ll be attached to him until he’s 18, I’d assume.

Thankfully, membership is free for those 6-and-under.

And by signing on with this team next month, I’m totally serious about the “signing” part. As a 3-year old, he’s signed a contract with this specific hockey program under the guidance of USA Hockey.

In order to play for a different team in the fall, his “contract” will need to be “released” by his current team and then “approved” and “transferred” by USA Hockey to the new team — if they still want him.

This is for a FOUR YEAR OLD!?

I’m not certain on the reasoning for so much paperwork and, well, processing. I suppose that since, unlike school districts or town rec leagues that have residency requirements, hockey programs draw players from neighboring towns so you don’t want one team scooping up talent on the fly from other teams as if they’re minor league feeder programs without any governing body involved.

No joke, little kids have contracts that are “traded” just like the professionals.

While I’m sure it is all just paperwork and I’m thinking about this a little too much, can you imagine if there’s a dispute with a program? Like as if they won’t release your contract?

I am aware that it does happen, denied releases, that is, but I’m clueless as to the circumstances. Payment issues, perhaps… I dunno.

I just think it’s a bit much.

Sure, it’s a money making venture for USA Hockey to collect a fee from every player in the country to “grow the game” or whatever, which I totally understand and support, but even for the kids under-6 years old that aren’t paying that membership fee? Really?

Oh, and get this… Figure Skating is the same way…

Hopefully being a registered USA Hockey member doesn’t mean that he can’t play for Team Canada when the time comes…

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:0(So how could the guy from Connecticut not have anything to say about what happened in Connecticut a few weeks ago?

First, I’ll say this… When something like this happens in your own backyard, well, it hits a lot closer to home.

Don’t get me wrong… When Gabby Giffords was shot, I was, well, disgusted and a little disturbed for a few hours.

Seriously, what is wrong with people?

When the Batman shooting in Colorado occurred earlier in the year, it only stayed on my mind for a few hours. Wacko in a movie theater with a gun. Yeah, I’m not that surprised. Society, meh…

But when I caught the news that an entire classroom of 6-year olds had been shot less than 20 minutes away from where I live, well, I wanted to puke.

It still gives me shivers. Anytime they flash the photos of the kids on television — and with all of the funerals being local, well, there are a lot of photos and a lot of press coverage — it’s a struggle not to cry.

I can’t help but think of my kids in daycare with classrooms of 20 or so children — who would do something like that?

Seriously?

I’ve never have even the slightest inclination to do anything like that to ants on my driveway, even. It frightens me that there are people amongst us that do have those inklings…and probably have a weapon, if not on them, at home.

I mean, I have a hard time setting mouse traps and the remorse that I feel when I “successfully” kill a mouse sometimes makes me think I’ve got a mental issue.

Clearly, I swing in the opposite direction.

But even still, I can’t help but wonder (fearfully); who wouldn’t reconsider after firing a single shot into a little kid?

That’s messed up.

Mental illness is a BS excuse.

I know it’s a tricky diagnosis. I know some people have a short fuse. I know some people can just “flip out” once in awhile.

Am I mentally ill because I get a lump in my throat when I see someone else run over a squirrel with their car? Hunters would probably say yes.

Clearly, I’m anti-gun.

Always have been, always will be.

I can be swayed on some issues but not this one.

A gun is a tool whose sole purpose is to kill.

Protection?

Yeah, go f-yourself. It’s for killing people… with zero effort.

Though I don’t own a gun, have never held a gun, and have never even heard a gun shot, I’m pretty confident that even I’m capable of pulling a trigger.

Looks pretty easy to me. And, clearly, it is too easy.

Mental illness isn’t the problem.

Access to a “tool” that my 3 year old could operate is the problem.

* * * *

Magazine ClipSeeing some of my “friends” on Facebook put up photos criticizing the media’s misuse of the words “magazine” and “clip” lately make me not want to be friends with them.

Does it matter?

In my opinion, neither should be available to the public. EVER.

They clearly think otherwise.

One guy, a close friend in high school with, I kid you not, the exact same upbringing, goes on a hunting trip each year and posts pictures from his tree fort or whatever waiting for a buck to walk by.

I give him a good ribbing about how “Ambushing Bambi” is messed up every time.

He thinks I’m kidding. Like high school pals messing around…

Tough GuyWhen he proudly posts photos of himself, his gun, and his dead deer, I get a little more direct and tell him, “That’s gross, dude” or “You suck” or “Wow, tough guy dressed like a soldier shot Bambi in the back from a football field away.”

“I need to feed my family…” is a response I’ve gotten in the past.

“Dude, you make $60k a year selling vacuum cleaners… Ever heard of a grocery store? Oh, and you’re single.”

I get a rush in the closing seconds of an eBay auction.

He gets a rush shooting things.

That’s bothersome.

Like to the point where I, frankly, don’t ever want to be in the same room with him ever again.

I dunno, it just makes me sick that people can “proudly” defend guns especially just days after something like this… that happened somewhere they’ve driven by.

Gun lovers are among the most obtuse of all individuals.

More guns solve everything… Um, okay?

The Second Amendment argument is my favorite. Ahhh, the right to bear arms.

I live in Connecticut. Our license plates say “Constitution State” right on ’em and, as such, we’re taught a whole lot about the US Constitution.

Most 2nd Amendment defenders probably don’t even know that the “Bill of Rights” is part of the Contsitution. In fact, they probably think John Hancock signed the bottom of it…

He didn’t.

Enough US History trivia from this Connecticut educated Canadian… but here’s how the Second Amendment actually reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

That’s it.

Be sure to read it in your best part-pirate, part-George Washington, part-Winston Churchill accent.

Seems kinda silly and outdated, no?

It’s ludicrous that people think this means you can strap and automatic “assault” weapon to your back because the forefathers (who were apparently holy beings) said so.

Give me a break.

The second amendment should be wiped out.

Don’t give me crap that the first ten are untouchable cause, guess what, the Patriot Act of 2001 neutered most of them… but NOT number two.

Apparently it’s essential that we have access to weapons at Walmart to form our own militia to help fight terrorism.

Seriously???

The Second Amendment and the ample access to weapons of mass destruction (cause that’s what they are) in this country are the only reason regular people have the capacity to carry out an “assault” like the one that happened here in Connecticut.

Really, can it be justified that you can legally buy something called an assault rifle? And hundreds of rounds to go with it?

* * * *

Michael Moore wrote a piece for the Huffington Post that states many of my feelings more eloquently than I ever could.

Yeah, Michael Moore is that fat pig that leans far too left far too often and pretty much always crosses the line but I must confess that I agree with him 90% of the time… up to that line he crosses so effortlessly.

You could say the same about the Huffington Post too, I suppose, but give it a read before labeling it based on the source.

Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns

After watching the deranged, delusional National Rifle Association press conference on Friday, it was clear that the Mayan prophecy had come true. Except the only world that was ending was the NRA’s. Their bullying power to set gun policy in this country is over. The nation is repulsed by the massacre in Connecticut, and the signs are everywhere: a basketball coach at a post-game press conference; the Republican Joe Scarborough; a pawn shop owner in Florida; a gun buy-back program in New Jersey; a singing contest show on TV, and the conservative gun-owning judge who sentenced Jared Loughner.

So here’s my little bit of holiday cheer for you:

These gun massacres aren’t going to end any time soon.

I’m sorry to say this. But deep down we both know it’s true. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing forward — after all, the momentum is on our side. I know all of us — including me — would love to see the president and Congress enact stronger gun laws. We need a ban on automatic AND semiautomatic weapons and magazine clips that hold more than 7 bullets. We need better background checks and more mental health services. We need to regulate the ammo, too.

But, friends, I would like to propose that while all of the above will certainly reduce gun deaths (ask Mayor Bloomberg — it is virtually impossible to buy a handgun in New York City and the result is the number of murders per year has gone from 2,200 to under 400), it won’t really bring about an end to these mass slayings and it will not address the core problem we have. Connecticut had one of the strongest gun laws in the country. That did nothing to prevent the murders of 20 small children on December 14th.

In fact, let’s be clear about Newtown: the killer had no criminal record so he would never have shown up on a background check. All of the guns he used were legally purchased. None fit the legal description of an “assault” weapon. The killer seemed to have mental problems and his mother had him seek help, but that was worthless. As for security measures, the Sandy Hook school was locked down and buttoned up BEFORE the killer showed up that morning. Drills had been held for just such an incident. A lot of good that did.

And here’s the dirty little fact none of us liberals want to discuss: The killer only ceased his slaughter when he saw that cops were swarming onto the school grounds — i.e, the men with the guns. When he saw the guns a-coming, he stopped the bloodshed and killed himself. Guns on police officers prevented another 20 or 40 or 100 deaths from happening. Guns sometimes work. (Then again, there was an armed deputy sheriff at Columbine High School the day of that massacre and he couldn’t/didn’t stop it.)

I am sorry to offer this reality check on our much-needed march toward a bunch of well-intended, necessary — but ultimately, mostly cosmetic– changes to our gun laws. The sad facts are these: Other countries that have guns (like Canada, which has 7 million guns — mostly hunting guns — in their 12 million households) have a low murder rate. Kids in Japan watch the same violent movies and kids in Australia play the same violent video games (Grand Theft Auto was created by a British company; the UK had 58 gun murders last year in a nation of 63 million people). They simply don’t kill each other at the rate that we do. Why is that? THAT is the question we should be exploring while we are banning and restricting guns: Who are we?

I’d like to try to answer that question.

We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often an immoral end. We invade countries who didn’t attack us. We’re currently using drones in a half-dozen countries, often killing civilians.

This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to us as we are a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves. We slaughtered 600,000 of each other in a civil war. We “tamed the Wild West with a six-shooter,” and we rape and beat and kill our women without mercy and at a staggering rate: every three hours a women is murdered in the USA (half the time by an ex or a current); every three minutes a woman is raped in the USA; and every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the USA.

We belong to an illustrious group of nations that still have the death penalty (North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran). We think nothing of letting tens of thousands of our own citizens die each year because they are uninsured and thus don’t see a doctor until it’s too late.

Why do we do this? One theory is simply “because we can.” There is a level of arrogance in the otherwise friendly American spirit, conning ourselves into believing there’s something exceptional about us that separates us from all those “other” countries (there are indeed many good things about us; the same could also be said of Belgium, New Zealand, France, Germany, etc.). We think we’re #1 in everything when the truth is our students are 17th in science and 25th in math, and we’re 35th in life expectancy. We believe we have the greatest democracy but we have the lowest voting turnout of any western democracy. We’re biggest and the bestest at everything and we demand and take what we want.

And sometimes we have to be violent m*****f*****s to get it. But if one of us goes off-message and shows the utterly psychotic nature and brutal results of violence in a Newtown or an Aurora or a Virginia Tech, then we get all “sad” and “our hearts go out to the families” and presidents promise to take “meaningful action.” Well, maybe this president means it this time. He’d better. An angry mob of millions is not going to let this drop.

While we are discussing and demanding what to do, may I respectfully ask that we stop and take a look at what I believe are the three extenuating factors that may answer the question of why we Americans have more violence than most anyone else:

1. POVERTY. If there’s one thing that separates us from the rest of the developed world, it’s this. 50 million of our people live in poverty. One in five Americans goes hungry at some point during the year. The majority of those who aren’t poor are living from paycheck to paycheck. There’s no doubt this creates more crime. Middle class jobs prevent crime and violence. (If you don’t believe that, ask yourself this: If your neighbor has a job and is making $50,000/year, what are the chances he’s going to break into your home, shoot you and take your TV? Nil.)

2. FEAR/RACISM. We’re an awfully fearful country considering that, unlike most nations, we’ve never been invaded. (No, 1812 wasn’t an invasion. We started it.) Why on earth would we need 300 million guns in our homes? I get why the Russians might be a little spooked (over 20 million of them died in World War II). But what’s our excuse? Worried that the Indians from the casino may go on the warpath? Concerned that the Canadians seem to be amassing too many Tim Horton’s donut shops on both sides of the border?

No. It’s because too many white people are afraid of black people. Period. The vast majority of the guns in the U.S. are sold to white people who live in the suburbs or the country. When we fantasize about being mugged or home invaded, what’s the image of the perpetrator in our heads? Is it the freckled-face kid from down the street — or is it someone who is, if not black, at least poor?

I think it would be worth it to a) do our best to eradicate poverty and re-create the middle class we used to have, and b) stop promoting the image of the black man as the boogeyman out to hurt you. Calm down, white people, and put away your guns.

3. THE “ME” SOCIETY. I think it’s the every-man-for-himself ethos of this country that has put us in this mess and I believe it’s been our undoing. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! You’re not my problem! This is mine!

Clearly, we are no longer our brother’s and sister’s keeper. You get sick and can’t afford the operation? Not my problem. The bank has foreclosed on your home? Not my problem. Can’t afford to go to college? Not my problem.

And yet, it all sooner or later becomes our problem, doesn’t it? Take away too many safety nets and everyone starts to feel the impact. Do you want to live in that kind of society, one where you will then have a legitimate reason to be in fear? I don’t.

I’m not saying it’s perfect anywhere else, but I have noticed, in my travels, that other civilized countries see a national benefit to taking care of each other. Free medical care, free or low-cost college, mental health help. And I wonder — why can’t we do that? I think it’s because in many other countries people see each other not as separate and alone but rather together, on the path of life, with each person existing as an integral part of the whole. And you help them when they’re in need, not punish them because they’ve had some misfortune or bad break. I have to believe one of the reasons gun murders in other countries are so rare is because there’s less of the lone wolf mentality amongst their citizens. Most are raised with a sense of connection, if not outright solidarity. And that makes it harder to kill one another.

Well, there’s some food for thought as we head home for the holidays. Don’t forget to say hi to your conservative brother-in-law for me. Even he will tell you that, if you can’t nail a deer in three shots — and claim you need a clip of 30 rounds — you’re not a hunter my friend, and you have no business owning a gun.

Have a wonderful Christmas or a beautiful December 25th!

I’m not sure what to say.

I agree with him.

I don’t agree with him.

But regardless of which way you lean, guns kill people.

Sure, people kill people too but guns very clearly killed 20 six and seven year olds and 6 of their teachers.

Only in America.

We’re better than this.

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November 2012 Net WorthIt’s funny how perception can deceive you.

I mean, I’ve felt like I’ve been on a pretty good run lately, keeping my expenses relatively low and my income has been up a bit.

At least that’s what I thought was happening…

Cash:
A couple medium sized side-business payments came in at the tail end of the month to boost this up a bit.

Savings:
I’ve been stashing away over $1300 per month here but, like last month, I had to “borrow” hundreds of dollars from myself to pay for and/or down other things. This past month it was for that sideline credit card that was getting a little heavy.

That doesn’t bother me so much — it’s the fact that saving up for a new garage is looking more and more formidable as my piggy bank fails to grow at the rate I’d expected.

Worse yet, I might need to dip into savings again this month to pay my homeowners insurance premium (on which I paid a monthly installment for the first time ever just a few weeks ago)…

Three months in a row of taking out over half of what I’ve put in… Not a path to success.

Gov’t Bonds:
Another month, another two bucks!

401k:
2012 is looking to be a pretty flat year. Or maybe the fact that I stopped contributing (over a year ago) is just now starting to be noticeable?

Home:
The news might have you believe that Hurricane Sandy also wiped out much of Connecticut but my house is doing just fine.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
If you offered me $20,880 for these three cars today, I’d gladly hand over the keys. Offers? Anyone?

Credit Cards:
So while my net worth went down this month, my ability to keep the credit card balance at zero cancels out any downward feelings. I’m living within my means. And Christmas time is always more fun with a clean credit card balance!

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Zilch. Zero. Nada.

Mortgage:
Another minimum payment.

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Connecticut Plate UNV FLA

It’s funny, I swear that every 9 times out of ten that I see a car parked like this, it’s either a Mercedes or an Audi.

Really.

And is it just me or does every Audi driver with those “new” led headlights — the kind that look like Christmas lights under the actual light — also drive like an a-hole too?

I hate to break it to those Audi drivers…

Your car is a Volkswagen Jetta. With silly headlights.

Welcome back to reality. Lose the ego.

Oh, and as for the Mercedes in the picture… You’re not doing the University of Florida any favors with that vanity plate… I hope Tim Tebow smites you.

Related “Rage on the Road” Posts from the PIAC Archive:

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I’m pretty sure that I’ve said this before and, if not, I’ve certainly thought it — I can’t stand it when people just generally assume that “things are going up”.

Sure, it might seem like they are but… for the most part, they’re not.

Or are they?

In the past, I’ve found that a nice constant to use for this sort of analysis is a utility bill — any utility bill.

I moved into my current home late in October of 2002 but, for simplicity sake, I’ll just pretend that I moved in on January 1, 2003.

Here’s what the my natural gas bill has looked like from 2003 through 2011.

2003 – $329.67
2004 – $988.97 (I switched to a natural gas furnace)
2005 – $1733.93
2006 – $1545.59
2007 – $1666.98
2008 – $1892.21 (Coldest year ever?)
2009 – $1633.42
2010 – $1599.13
2011 – $1512.82

As you can see, I peaked in 2008 and have been on a steady decline ever since.

What happened?

Gas prices do flucuate, yes, but my heating habits certainly haven’t. I like to wear shorts in the house — even in February.

Thanks to global warming (or something), it was a balmy 58 degrees in Connecticut on Wednesday.

So I’ll blame that “inconvenient truth” — and applaud it. Hey, it’s saving me money!

Seriously, though, last time I heard, gas prices have been on the rise since 2008… and are still going higher… yet, my bill is shrinking…

The weather hasn’t been “that” crazy…

What gives?

Ordinarily I’d just flat out say something like, “Things aren’t really going up now, are they?” and end the post there…

But not today…

Could it be that the new siding and that insanely small amount of styrofoam insulation behind it that we had installed in the summer of 2007 got the ball rolling?

And what about the “real” insulation that we put in behind the walls during our 2010 interior renovation?

Could those “investments” be paying for themselves via my natural gas bill?

Apparently.

And I thought that part of the sales pitch was totaly hooey…

Okay, so my gas bill has dropped, what about the others?

Well, here are the stats for the rest of my utilities (exlcuding water/sewer cause it’s pretty static no matter what):

Utility Graph

Electricity and Cable went up, phone dropped like rock.

Explanation?

Well, I’m going to attribute the recent electricity increase to laundry for a family of four (starting in 2011) and a power sucking plasma television (which debuted late in November of 2010).

And the cable bill relates directly to the new television — we upgraded to HD service.

The dates coincide with the additional expenses.

As for the phone, in 2010, we got fed up and went with MagicJack.

I can’t stress how great this thing is.

For those interested in all of the actual numbers, click here.

0 2052

I’ve seen a couple of articles over the past couple of weeks on this topic. Essentially they’re just fluff pieces filling space in the business pages but everyone likes fluff pieces…

Anyway, I live in Connecticut so I’m going to focus my attention there.

Huffington Post – January 22, 2012
Credit Card Debt: $7,730 (3rd highest)
Median Household Income:$64,032 (4th highest)
Average Credit Score: 672 (9th highest)
Cost of Living: 4th highest

Connecticut is often recognized as one of the country’s wealthiest states. This is a well-earned reputation. The state has the fourth-highest median household income. The cost of living is also higher than that in all but three states. Residents, therefore, spend more than those in most other states. Average credit card debt is the third highest in the country, but not surprising, their credit scores are also high.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Hartford Courant — February 2, 2012

Classic example of how you can make numbers say whatever you want them to.

Niether article really listed how they came to these values but I think it’s funny that the largest newspaper in Connecticut came to the conclusion that we’re number one while the Huffington Post (with a more national audience) only put us in third.

All of that aside, where do I stack up?

My current credit card debt totals $6635. Lower than either stat above.

Less than a year ago, it was $28165 which far exceeds them both.

So since I’ve been on both sides, above and below, I think I’m equipped to have a knowledgeable opinion.

Well, not surprisingly, I do.

The Huffington Post puts Connecticut in third place in the nation with an average debt balance of “just” $7730.

No freakin’ way.

First off, I don’t think $7730 is nearly high enough to be third in the country. No way.

How many women between the ages of 18 and 45 do you see walking around with $400 Coach purses with matching $250 rubber boots? They’re all over the place around here.

I don’t have a problem with it (the boots are pretty fugly, though) but I don’t have the income to justify spending that kind of coin on some ugly accessories.

As our household income is considerably higher than the stat listed, I’d pretty comfortable saying that 80% of those Coach accessories were purchased with a Visa, Mastercard, or, heaven forbid, a Discover Card.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, I mean, we’re just talkin’ purses and boots here… and, for the guys, I’m pretty sure it’s not cheap to pimp out a Subaru either…

So I’d say the average 24-30 year old in Connecticut is carrying a 5-figure credit card balance. Easily.

And a $20k auto loan too… with an income well shy of $64k per year.

So… I’d say the Hartford Courant’s $15k number is more accurate — but probably not high enough to rank number one.

I mean, Connecticut isn’t New York or California… We’re third.

But combine the two articles and I think you’ve got the accurate result!

Can You Dig It?

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