Archive for the ‘Money and Finance’ Category

One Ad, Two Dads, One Million Moms

Friday, June 1st, 2012

JC Penney's Fathers' Day AdWell, J.C. Penney is at it again.  They’re trying to destroy the very fabric of our society, causing social upheaval, widespread misery, and universal damnation.  Yep, they’re running a father’s day ad with real-life dads in it.  Two of ’em, to be exact.  But how is that any different from the hordes of other advertisements we’ll be subjected to over the next couple of weeks as we work our way towards Dad’s day?  It’s because the couple in question is just that — a couple.

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The Lesson In The Juice

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

In our house, Friday nights are Burrito night.  My oldest son has his dance class and, afterward, he and I go pick up burritos in the mission.  Naturally, after dancing enthusiastically for an hour, he’s worked up a powerful thirst.  Sometimes, therefore, I’ll get an agua fresca — a Mexican fruit drink — for him while our food is being made.  Last night, however, he got a lesson instead.

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Inappropriate Marketing

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

So we had swim class in the morning and the San Francisco Free Folk Festival in the afternoon.  It was a full day, to be sure, but the real challenge was that the two were 40 miles apart.  So while the Junior Partner was practicing his up-faces, I took the older two to a nearby Subway to get sandwiches for a quick lunch on the road.  Unfortunately, when I ordered a kid’s meal for the three-year-old, it came in a bag emblazoned with the Green Lantern character from the recent film.  A film, I will note, that is rated PG-13 by the MPAA and given a 4.7.4 for sex, violence, and profanity by Kids-in-Mind.com.

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American Families Come Up Short In Emergencies

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

If you were suddenly faced with an emergency — a necessary repair or unexpected medical expense — how well could you handle it, financially? According to a new study, more than half of American families would likely be unable to come up with the cash to cover a significant expense in a month’s time. As the economy remains in the doldrums, even those who are still employed are no longer financially secure.

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The Value of a Home

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I had an appraiser come by earlier this week to check out the house as part of refinancing our mortgage.  Sometime next week, I’ll find out what she thinks my house is worth.  My family and I live in the same house in which I grew up and, whatever number she comes up with, I know it will be wrong.  A home is so much more than the dollar value of an upgraded bathroom and a new stove.

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A Parent’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2011

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

At the start of the New Year, it’s traditional for people to make sweeping statements about how they plan to improve themselves or their situation in the coming year.  I could certainly do that — I definitely need to lose weight, I’d like to yell at the kids a little less, I really ought to work more on getting my book published — but that would only benefit me or, at most, my family.  So I thought I’d take a look at the big picture and come up with some resolutions that will help kids all over.

So with that in mind, here is A Parent’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2011:

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Beware the Virtual Mall

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Just because your teens aren’t hanging out at the mall, don’t presume they can’t run up your credit card bill.  In fact, it may very well be that they are part of the population of online virtual worlds racking up a whopping — dare I say mind-blowing? — 7 billion dollars in sales of virtual goods in 2010 alone.  Yes, you read that right — in the midst of a huge economic crisis, people have spent 7 billion (with a “B”) dollars on stuff that isn’t even real.

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Philadelphia Pays The Price For Discrimination

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Four years ago, the city of Philadelphia realized that they were giving a huge subsidy to a community organization to help them serve the citizens of the City of Brotherly Love even though that group systematically discriminated against a large part of the population.  So the city told the Boy Scouts of America’s Cradle of Liberty council that they would either have to change their anti-LGBT policies or begin paying fair-market rent for the city-owned, half-acre property that the group had been using as their headquarters for nearly 80 years.  Not surprisingly, the Boy Scouts didn’t like that.

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Books in the Classroom: Text or Note?

Monday, November 15th, 2010

There’s nothing like curling up with a good book on a delightfully dreary fall day, watching the grey skies while keeping cozy warm by the fire.  On the other hand, I love getting on the computer and catching up on the latest news or finding the answer to some question one of my kids asked.  Luckily for me, I can choose either option — or, rather, I could if I had that kind of free time.  But what if one had to choose?  Many schools can’t afford both technology and textbooks, so which would teachers rather have?

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Pre-School Presents

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

So your precious darling has started pre-school and one day he or she brings home an invitation to a birthday party.  One of their little friends is turning a year older and, naturally, they want your brilliant and funny life-of-the-party to be, well, the life of their party.  But then there’s the dilemma of the present.  It’s not so much what to get as it is how much to spend.

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