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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Money Won

It's the week of Christmas, and instead of deciding on thoughtful gifts for my friends and loved ones or contemplating on the birth of the world's savior, I am agonizing about which runningback to start in the flex position. Yes, it is another fantasy football post and, yes, technically this is still a personal finance blog, but just barely. As long as I somehow connect these ideas to money in the next five minutes, I think I still get to attend FinCon next year.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Upside of Spending

So we are in Paris, as I type up this blog post on my phone like a putz. It is foggy and raining and to a soft punk Arizonan, pretty cold, too. I shouldn't complain about any of this, either the typing on a tiny computer that fits in my pocket, the weather, or the supposed danger of going to Paris or Brussels. How can you be sad in a place that is so beautiful and where all the food is cooked in butter? I am ridiculously lucky and I intend to roll around in my good fortune, slathering it all over, enjoying as much as I can of it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

As I Accelerate Towards the Earth

As I Accelerate Towards the Earth
"What are you thinking right now?" asked the man with the ponytail and the GoPro on his head, and the parachute on his back.

"I'm thinking, 'Why is my seatbelt unbuckled, and why is the airplane door open, and why I am not strapped to the guy with the parachute yet?'"

He gave me the double thumbs up, obviously not listening.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

When a Sprinter Hits the Wall

When a Sprinter Hits the Wall
I promised myself when I started blogging that I wouldn't be one of those writers who started out every piece the same way, apologizing for not writing in so long, and promising never to do it again. But here we are, with over a month between posts. I can at least be good enough not to give you some flimsy apology. I know what happens during times of procrastination, and you do, too. Let's just move on.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Miracle of the Commons

The Miracle of the Commons
It is hot in Arizona right now. Every day, the temperature creeps up from its balmy low in the mid-eighties, as the sun pours its terrible heat down upon us, and punishes everything that still has the audacity to live here. Before we know it, it's above 100 and stays that way until the sun gets tired of beating our poor, dumb asses, and takes the night off. There is no escaping it. I walked Mrs. Done by Forty from our car to her building on campus this weekend, when our car thermometer showed a temp of 115. Delirious, I pondered our situation as we took shelter in the shade for a bit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Football is Coming

A little over a month ago, our long time renter moved out. It was time. We'd been sharing a house with her since 2011, and at the four year mark we'd found the space too small for all of us. The quirks we found endearing about each other for the first year or so turned out to be annoying in the end. It's the way of things. But we parted as friends. She still comes over on Sundays to hang out, catch up, and play board games.

Oddly, I don't mind missing out on the $400 of rental income. I know this makes me seem like a rich jerk, but we make enough that we don't really need the money. Especially since we have the mortgage paid off, the rent was always seen as 'extra'.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Defense of Price Optimization

A Defense of Price Optimization
A while back, I heard about insurance companies using price optimization for the first time. This is when an insurance company strategically raises prices on only some of its existing customers, hoping that the price hike is not so large that the consumer picks up and leaves. The rub is that the price increase in, say, auto coverage, is not actually based on how risky that particular driver is. The higher price is based on the kind of consumer the company thinks he is: whether he's likely to shop coverage and switch if hit with an increase.