Saturday, May 30, 2009

Money Saving Tip of the Day

Funds are tight for most people I know. I am doing everything I can to cut back where possible. If I don't have the cash for something, I don't buy it. No more credit cards for me. I quit drinking Starbucks lattes a couple years ago, and brew my own coffee at home. Better to spend pennies for my caffeine fix than to shell out $4 or $5 per pop.

For most people, their biggest expenses outside of food and shelter is probably their automobiles. Like a lot of families, we have two vehicles. I have a Saturn sedan with over 120k miles on it that I drive to work and to deliver my pizzas. Mrs. Dickster drives a Saturn Vue. Fortunately, we do not have a car payment for either vehicle, but we still have maintenance expenses.

The Vue was badly in need of a couple of tires. It has over 50k miles on it and was still on the original tires. Since this is the vehicle the wife uses to take our son to school, it was time to replace the two front tires. I started shopping around on line for some new tires. The best price I found was at NTB for $94. Of course that was just the price for one tire, before all the extra fees that they add to the final price.

I had previously had a conversation with a financial advisor about budgeting and cutting expenses. One of the suggestions was to look into buying used tires instead of new tires. I had been searching the local listings of Craigslist for new tires, nobody had anything to fit our Vue. I finally found a place close by when I searched google for used tires in Maryland.

This morning, I went to the Tire Depot in Millersville, MD and purchased two tires with a good bit of tread on them. The total cost of two used tires, balanced and mounted, $80. Less than the price of one new tire, and a far cry from $200 for a pair of new tires. I should also mention that when I got there, they were working on one car, so I had a short wait. All told, I was in and out in about twenty minutes. Whenever I have gone to a chain like NTB, I have always had to wait at least an hour for the work to be done. So not only did I save money, I save a good bit of time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming to a Menu Near You

I am all for a cleaner planet. In my junior high school days, I was a member of our ecology club. We went to local streams in our area, collected water samples, and tested them for various pollutants. I do not want to see black smoke spewing from factories. We should explore developing cleaner forms of energy.

I do recycle, and I have switched over to more energy efficient light bulbs. Conservation of our resources is a good thing. However, I am not a fan of the current "Green" movement. I have come to the conclusion that it is more an effort to exert control over our lives, and in particular our lifestyles. When I see news reports that show that Mars and Jupiter are also showing signs of "global warming" it leads me to believe that our Sun is the cause.

In another example of how insane the global warming cultists have gotten, in Britain, government advisers are developing menus to combat climate change by cutting out so called "high carbon" foods. According to their studies, lamb is one of the worst offenders. To produce 2.2 pounds of lamb, 37 pounds of carbon dioxide are produced. Beef is only slightly better. They also want to cut back on the consumption of tomatoes and alcoholic beverages.

If you don't think that this could happen here, then think about this. The Europeans are further along in following the global warming cultists. Barack Obama is doing everything he can to make the United States more like Europe. This is the road that Barack Obama and the other leftists are trying to take this country down.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Music Monday-Ray Charles "America"

On this Memorial Day, in honor of those who have served to keep us safe and free

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Music Monday-Dean Martin "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime"

Since Sunday was Mother's Day, I decided to post a song from an artist that my mother used to enjoy, Dean Martin. As a kid, my folks would get out the old LPs and turn on the stereo. Sometimes we would listen to my father's Hank Williams, Sr. or Johnny Cash albums. Other times my mother would put on her Gary Puckett and the Union Gap or Dean. We were pretty much at their mercy. At the time, I did not appreciate their music, but now I have Hank, Johnny, and Dean on the iPod.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be DELETED without prejudice.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The End of the Rainbow

I was driving home from work the other evening. It had been raining most of the afternoon and it was slowing down. The sun was trying to come out, so there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

As I was driving down the highway, the angle of the sun and the road mist gave me an interesting view. To my left, and slightly ahead of me, I could see a spot on the road where the rainbow touched the ground, not unlike the picture here. The legendary "End of the Rainbow."

Alas, there was no pot of gold, so I guess I will be making my usual commute to the office tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Men, Women, and Toilet Seats

I think every guy (at least every married guy) has heard at least one complaint about leaving the toilet seat up. I do my best to try to put the seat back down for Mrs. Dickster, and I think in our 17 plus years of marriage you could count on one hand the number of times I have left the seat up. However, an incident at work today got me thinking, so I want to pose an informal poll question, especially for the ladies out there.

Which is worse; a guy leaving the toilet seat up or a guy who leaves the seat down and urinates all over the seat? We will save the non-flushing aspect of the question for another time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Music Monday-Billy Currington "People Are Crazy"

When I first heard this song, it immediately reminded me of a night in my past. It is a story about a guy who meets an old man in a bar. They spend the evening drinking beer and telling stories.

The song took me back to a night several years ago in Hawaii. My in-laws took the entire family to Hawaii to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. One evening my brother-in-law and I decided to head to a bar we saw that advertised "Shower Dancing." However, when we got there we found out that the shower dancing was only on the weekends. Since we were already there, we decided to sit at the bar and have a few beers.

We ended up sitting next to an older Korean man who introduced himself as Mikey. We all sat around drinking beer and singing karaoke. Mikey sang a Korean song and when he finished he said "Not bad considering I no speak Korean." Then he held out a pouch of something that looked like shredded coconut and told us to try it. It was kind of chewy but not unpleasant. When we asked what it was, he told us "Dried squid." I am glad we didn't ask before hand.

The other reason I like this song is that it sort of sums up my philosophy of life: "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cowboys Practice Dome Collapses

I hate the Dallas Cowboys. Whenever I have played fantasy football, this hatred of the dreaded Cowboys has led me to keep any Cowboy off of my roster. The reason is simple. I just can't see myself rooting for any member of the Cowboys to do well.

However, as much as I hate the Cowboys, I would never want to see anybody get seriously injured. So I take no pleasure in the near catastrophe that took place yesterday when their practice dome collapsed during heavy winds.

About a dozen people were injured when the dome collapsed. The most serious being special teams coach Joe DeCamillis suffered a broken back. Thankfully, none of the injuries sustained were life threatening.

UPDATE: It has since been reported that a scouting assistant Rich Behm has suffered permanent paralysis below the waist as a result of the incident. Best wishes to him and his family.


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