Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another False Hope?

Fine print in housing bill mutes benefits to consumers - MarketWatch
One of the highlights of the housing bill waiting to be signed by President Bush is a tax credit of up to $7,500 for first-time home buyers. But read a little closer and it doesn't seem quite as appealing for buyers: that credit has to be paid back.

As usual, lawmakers seem to have wasted huge resources creating laws that will not benefit citizens or the country's economy. It seems to me the main beneficiaries will be banks and mortgage lenders.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Right or Happy?

How Being Right Stops You From Being Happier
Far more often than most people realize – to their great detriment – it really is an either/or proposition. Do you typically choose being right or being happy? Which of these values do your actions typically show that you hold higher?

Most people, without even being aware of it, choose being right at the expense of their happiness. And by the end of this piece you may be surprised to see how much you do, too.

Beware the Credit Card Monster

How I made peace with my plastic - MarketWatch
Now's not the time to start relying on credit cards.

In reality, it is never a good time to rely on credit cards. These financial instruments are not friends to the consumer — quite the opposite! They only server one master: the card issuer. And it is an evil master — yes, that is correct … evil.

I have one credit card in my wallet and I use it mostly as a tool to prevent fraudulent access to my funds. Here is how I handle my credit card:
  • At the end of every week, I total all purchases made on the card and I schedule a payment from my bank account to the card issuer (in this case, my credit union).
  • I never charge a purchase on the card that I cannot immediately pay from either checking or savings accounts.
If you treat a credit card as a short-term (no more than weekly) financial instrument, then you will avoid the finance charge trap that can sink you into financial disaster.

Here is some more credit card information we all can use:

Five Credit Card Traps Everyone Should Know About - MarketWatch

Your thoughts

Thought for the Day:
"You can make your life into a grand ever-evolving work of art. The key is your thoughts, the wondrous invisible part of you that is your spiritual soul."
Dr. Wayne Dyer

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I will miss Randy Pausch

I will miss Randy Pausch. The Carnegie Mellon Computer Science professor who shook the world with his Last Lecture speech, passed away yesterday at the age of 47. Randy was a fighter, like many other cancer patients (such as my wife), and beat the time odds by many months but, far more importantly, by many meaningful events, many private, some very public. Randy's legacy goes beyond The Last Lecure. He was an innovator in ways most of us never knew. He leaves behind a great teaching tool called Alice, which is a great way for young people to learn how to program computers in a fun way. A spin-off project, Storytelling Alice, is available for younger students. As a computer programmer, I am in awe of Randy's accomplishments. As a person, I am in awe of his spirit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Law of the Garbage Truck

I received the following in an email yesterday:

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport . We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.' He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so. 'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.'