Everybody was quietly watching the puppet show at the Asian Art Museum when I hear a “boooooooP!” What was that, I think to myself as a stench waffles in the air. Someone must have farted! I look around to see if I can identify the culprit. Then I notice others looking around, with some staring right at me!
“Not me!” I silently voice with my lips as I point towards a kid rolling around on the floor in front of the stage. “Probably the kid!” I mime again with each crease of my lips extending more exaggerated with every word.
Once the show was over I tap the kid on the shoulder and say, “Hey buddy, you got me in a lot of trouble with the adults. The bathroom is over there!”
“Sorry sir, I was just farting. Everybody likes to fart right?” replies the kid with a big, teethy smile.
“You’re right buddy, listen to this one!” KABOOM! I let one rip right next to him. We laugh and go on our separate ways.
THE MORAL HAZARD OF AMERICA Read more…
There was once a time I felt very sad every time an ambulance zoomed by with sirens blazing. I knew someone was suffering, and sorrow would fill my heart not only for the injured, but also for the person’s family and friends. Nothing is permanent, and the ambulance reminds me of this fact every time I hear one.
Over lunch, I was sharing my feelings with a friend, and she changed my mindset. She mentioned, instead of feeling sad, feel happy. Be happy the ambulance is out there saving someone’s life. Feel emboldened help is on its way!
My friend was right. I chose to feel sad about an unchangeable past rather than focus on the good act of trying to make things better. It was this simple epiphany 12 years ago that changed the way I looked at everything, forever.
Rather than sulk about those personal finances on life-support, why not change the way you see your outlook? Instead, look at your massive debt, or your crummy income as an opportunity to recover. The worse you are, the more upside you have!
Shop around for health insurance: The internet has really helped lower the cost of insuring yourself and your family. eHealthInsurance has some of the lowest rates and best coverage due to its largest network. They are based right here in the Bay Area, and I have met a number of their representatives. The Affordable Care Act debacle has proven to be more expensive and more cumbersome to sign up so far.
Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
I was at a cocktail party the other night, and after several stiff vodka tonics, a female manager-level friend, “Julia”, began complaining about one of her staff.
She came up to me and said, “Sam, what am i going to do? Nancy keeps getting pregnant! She’s having her third child in the past 5 years, and now I’ve got to find cover for her again!” After Julia’s rant, she twirled her way to a slick looking fella at the bar and began chatting him up.
Initially I tried empathizing with Julia, given I do remember the feeling of having to cover for someone when they’re “sick“. But Nancy’s case is different. After all, someone has to give birth, and after seeing one too many sex ed video’s from the 9th grade with images of globulous placentas seared in my mind, i’m glad it’s not me! The Europeans would argue a 3 month maternity leave is not long enough given they practice a 6 month healing process.
Julia’s complaint brings us to the great debate:
Is it fair or even true that women are discriminated against and make less money than men on average? Read more…
There’s nothing more maddening for a manager than getting a last minute e-mail from a subordinate “calling” in sick on a Friday. At least have the balls to call in and fake a pathetic sick voice! Sending in an e-mail last minute to say you are sick after partying it up all night is like breaking up with someone over e-mail.
Last minute notifications have managers scrambling to find your backup. Your jealous colleagues who have to pick up your slack will surely resent you as well. The next problem is the law of probabilities. Let me explain.
WHY CALLING SICK ON A FRIDAY IS BAD
* There are seven days a week, meaning there’s a 15% chance (1/7) you’ll get sick on any given day. Furthermore, what is the percentage chance someone is so sick they can’t even come to work for a day? I say at most 50%. Take 15% X 50% and you get 7.5%. To suddenly be sick on a Friday right before your weekend is therefore an unlikely 7.5% probability! Read more…
I was driving downtown to drop my wife off at the museum when a car started drifting dangerously into my lane. I beeped the horn to alert the driver and when I drove by, the teenage kid in the back seat flicked me off! I didn’t have a long annoying horn, nor a machine gun type rat-ta-tat-tat beep. All I did was beep once so we wouldn’t collide. The father was reading a map and driving at the same time.
I have to admit that my blood started to boil and I was tempted to blast him a new one when their car stopped next to me in front of the light. Instead, I buzzed down my window, stared intently, and told the kid, “Don’t embarrass your parents. I beeped at you guys because you were halfway in my lane and didn’t even know it.”
The dad was still clueless as to why I was talking to his punk kid and he also rolled down his window to ask, “What’s up?” Read more…
I was cleaning up my basement and realized the best things I’ve bought were simple and affordable, and have provided years of entertainment.
Here’s my list:
- A pair of Hi-tech hiking boots. Cost: $65. Age: 5 years.
- A Cannondale mountain bike. Cost $250. Age: 7 years.
- A Wilson Basketball. Cost $30. Age: 4 years.
- A Martin acoustic guitar. Cost $350. Age: 10 years.
The great thing about this list is that pretty much anybody can afford all four or at least one of the four. How easy it is to strap on a pair of hiking shoes and go for a zen journey into the wilderness. How nice it is to go for a ride down the back roads without a care in the world. There are community centers all around with indoor gyms, which are especially convenient during the winter months. Finally, nothing beats strumming that new tune until your fingers go numb.
Maybe it’s true. The best things in life are free, or close to it! It makes me happy knowing that if I ever had to go back to my old McDonald’s job again, my leisure activities wouldn’t decline as precipitously as my income.
Readers, what are the inexpensive things you like to do? What are the affordable things you’ve bought that have provided you years of enjoyment? Have a great weekend!
So here I am at Starbucks, testing to see if being here among the bustle of loungers helps gives me writing inspiration. They say it’s good to get out of the house once in a while to recharge the soul. I take the first seat that’s available, and what do I notice? Hanging on the side of the chair, hidden behind the backrest is a white purse. I look around wondering if someone had dared claim their space with something so valuable. Several minutes past, and I thought to myself definitely not. A poor woman must be frantically back-tracking where she could have misplaced her purse. Eventually she would return, or will she?
As I waited, I felt like a culprit. I didn’t want to take the purse and give it to the front counter. For what if in that instant, the woman popped into the store and saw me? I’d be implicated as the thief and would have to explain myself. Maybe she was simply taking a long time in the bathroom after a venti mint mocha frappuccino and had a very large husband to boot? I was trapped, and felt like I was on candid camera, being tested on what I should do. The temptation to open the purse and reveal any treasures was not great.