Shameless Promotion: The Long Weekend Edition

My fourth post in this week's special Holy Technology! series.

Ah, long weekends. They sure do sound like fun but they involve a lot of preparation.

I'm headed northward skiing with a few friends (and seeing some family and friends at the same time) and since I am headed out tomorrow, I've had lots to do tonight (in addition to my usual French class). So pardon me while I have a glass of wine and share a few cool technology-related links in a relaxed fashion:

"I Married The Eiffel Tower"
Got to love the top ten Google search terms. I don't usually lead with the random but I couldn't resist this time. I saw this was the top term earlier this week and had to click on it. I was preparing for something lame but it was an interesting article about why people feel attachments to and have relationships with inanimate objects.

Some Funny Software Development Quotes
One of my coworkers found this site and it's actually pretty funny, even if you're lowish tech like me. Among my favorites: “A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.” – Mitch Ratcliffe
(Don't just read the thirteen quotes, the comments are pretty great too.)

How To Build Your Own Treadmill Desk for $40
If I didn't live in 220 square feet of space, I would totally consider doing this. Actually, I obsessively researched it for a couple days but couldn't figure out a way to make it work. Here's the best link I found for those of us who can't pay $1,000+ for a desk. And interesting idea at the very least!

Unclutterer reminds us all of RSS readers
If you don't know what an RSS reader is and you have to keep track of more then a couple websites, you should give them a shot. Seriously. They'll change your life if you let them.

Leave it to the New York Times to give everyone something to talk about, this time…
Managing your email and Sex, Lies, and Photoshop (ladies, watch this video. You'll feel a lot better about fashion magazines!)

And in case you really want to feel behind the ball, Maine second graders know how to Twitter. *Gulp*

Stay tuned tomorrow and Saturday from some cool insights into the world of digital art and online dating from some of my very smart friends…

Shameless Promotion: The Next-To-Last French Class Edition

I'm home tonight preparing for the last two French classes of my adult education session.

On one hand, le temps passe vite, but on the other, every time I teach a new class I rediscover how much work teaching really is, especially when you want to do a good job.

The people in my class (this time in particular) are hard workers. I mean I don't have anything like a grade that I can hold over their heads and still, they do the outside classwork anyway. You've got to respect that!

So while I try to find out how to make direct and indirect object pronouns interesting, a few fun links I've been reading:

Frugal Upstate: Web-based Calendars For Organization And Planning
After paying my $.90 liber a fine last week I realized the Post-it on my Google homepage was no longer going to cut it for timely reminders. Frugal upstate reminded me of web-based calendars. My new Google calendar system has already made me more productive.

Northern Cheapskate: Can You Fix The Economy?
For all you control freaks and or finance nerds, you can hop online and see if you can save the US and global economies with a computer simulation. If you succeed, you should probably take a screenshot of the winning screen and e-mail it to Obama. You might score yourself a cool cabinet seat or something.
Freakonomics: The New Six Word Motto For The US
The winner was "Our worst critics prefer to stay." but check out the other entries for some equally funny stuff.

Master Your Card: The Rule of 72
If you want to actually understand financial stuff, subscribe to this blog. Kristy is great at explaining, in this case how to calculate how long it will take for an investment to double at a given interest rate. Seriously, she can even make this interesting.

The Simple Dollar: Using Twitter To Save Money
And you thought Twitter was just for fun and profit (well, indirect profit anyway). Trent has a list of people with deals that you can follow. It's how I found out about Redbox having free movies on Mondays. I was then able to tell the editor of our paper about it (he has a movie review column) and now he thinks I'm smart.

The Screaming room: Often Misheard Lyrics
Completely unrelated to anything, I've always thought that CCR song said "There's a bathroom on the right" and I guess I'm not alone. I'm having the French class try to figure out song lyrics this week… maybe this post is where I indirectly got the idea!

So Bonsoir and Happy Middle of the Week!

Shameless Promotion: The Snowstorm Edition

In Maine, we often hear things like "predicting 10-15 inches of snow" or "wind gusts up to 60 mph" and in general, we shrug it off. It is often not as bad as predicted and other then having to clean snow off the car and shovel a bit, we're fine.

I woke up this morning and saw a downed line (either power or phone) in my driveway and about six inches of snow. Hmph. Then I checked my email and see every school district in a 50 mile radius is closed. Crud.

I began sending out text messages (part of my newspaper job is maintaining our emergency texting service) and made some coffee that I forgot to drink. Meanwhile school-working friends on Facebook posted about how happy they were for a snow day, and I tried not to be bitter.

It was proven once again: never underestimate the collective power of little kids (and probably their teachers) praying for an extra day of vacation. I myself once caused a fluke snowstorm because I hadn't finished my book report book and prayed really really hard for some divine intervention, and it worked. Well, at least that's how it worked in my head.

So maybe you are snowbound somewhere or just bored. Here are some links to keep you entertained:

Mel at What Mimi Read blogged about NonSociety, a blog which a few pretty girls are lifecasting. The best thing about the post is the photo contrast between the NonSociety girl (blogging in perfect lighting with a cute little dress on) and Mel. Not to disappoint you all but I am not lying around being pretty and perfect while blogging… I mean, talk about carpal tunnel!

Mark Laflamme had an interesting post about welfare and the people who should and shouldn't be using it. It's interesting discussion and makes me wonder if there is a better system we could come up with.

Kristy at Master Your Card asks should you get a part-time job, as in is a part-time job better then no job at all. It's an interesting question philosphically but also she has a list of part-time jobs that are currently hiring right now.

And what would link suggestions be without something from the New York Times? Low tech fixes for technology. Works for me!

In other blogging news from me (in case you care about things I write other then personal finance), I wrote about parents visiting classrooms on Learning in Maine (and got just a little snarky) and on my French blog, I posted about reading cheezy authors like Danielle Steel in French and how fun it is to read things like cheezy romance novels. Talk about a vocab lesson!

Enjoy the weather, wherever you are!

Shameless Promotion: The Slowly Roasting Chicken Edition

I bought myself a small organic chicken earlier this week thinking I'd roast it up and ave tons of leftovers for fun things like soup and enchiladas.

I turned on my oven at 5:45 last night immediately after getting home from work and took the chicken out of the fridge. 20-25 minutes per pound at 350 F. Works for me.

Then I looked at the weight of the chicken, which I assumed to be a couple pounds. Nope, it was 4.5 pounds. Ugh.

So the roasting began and I looked for things to do around my apartment besides cleaning. Trying to ignore the awesome smell of the roasting chicken (I covered it in butter… yum.), I started to gather up some of the cool things I've been reading. Enjoy!

The Washington Post made up a pretty graphic about the stimulus bill (from Grow Smart Maine). The military circle looks pretty small compared to the health/education circle. No matter how you feel about it, at least there is a plan for where the money is going, right?

And the girl who came to the office selling Girl Scout cookies reminded me, it seems to be the time of year for school fundraising. If you can't buy one more tub of cookie dough or tacky jewelry without screaming, check out this post from Frugal Upstate about her school fundraising philosophy. It has the potential to be quite liberating for those of you who have kids or just feel pressure to buy things from them.

Got seven hours to dedicate to your finances? Check out this fabulous series of posts at No Credit Needed.

An interesting question posed at Get Rich Slowly this week: Is it unethical to work a second job? I clicked on it because I thought it may be written from the primary employer's point of view (as in lower productivity) but it was about taking jobs away from people who could really use them. As usual with GRS, the comments are as interesting as the post.

And a reminder from Kristy at Master Your Card we can't do it all and there are some ways we don't set an example. I buy $6 juice, she eats out a lot. It happens.

As you can see lots of good reading out there in InternetLand.

Update: The chicken was finished and cool enough to deal with around 9:00 pm. My dinner last night turned into lunch today.

Shameless Promotion: Fighting Off A Cold Edition

I have been sucking down fluids, alternating between coffee and Emergence-C for days. Sure I've been going to bed too late and working/playing hard but now is not the time to be getting sick. It never is, right?

I seem to be coming across a lot of interesting health articles (probably because I'm paying close attention to them subconsciously, looking for an edge), though some I've been saving for awhile.

Uncluttering as a way to a healthful life, well, in part. This article has some ideas I've been trying to get at for awhile about freeing yourself of stuff and only surrounding yourself with things you love (from Unclutterer)

College kids eat less food in the caf without trays. Makes sense to me. This is why I don't keep a lot of junk food in the house and eat off of small plates (from Freakonomics)

Don't work harder, work smarter with interval training. Because if you're anything like me, you'd just as soon work out less. (from No Calories Needed)

Cheap Healthy Good is one of the most rocking healthy food blogs, right up there with Cookbooks 101 and Almost Frugal Food. If you think healthy food is boring, read any of these. (Lots of recipes in addition to fun reading).

Are you trying to go paraben free in 2009? Me too. It's healthier without them and thanks to some research, there are actually some affordable parbaen-free beauty products. (from Wisebread)

And of course what would we all blog about without the New York Times? Love drug (and its counterpart) discovered and a new way to stretch.

Best wishes for you and your health!

Other health-related posts:
Will The Recession Make Us Fatter or Skinnier?
Nine Things You Can Do For Your Health That Cost Less Then $1

Shameless Promotion: The Zonked Sunday Night Edition

My Saturdays have become full in the last few weeks, which is good from the standpoint that I am making more money and in general growing my little business. On the other hand, by Sunday I am completely exhausted and ready for my day of rest.

And if you're wondering why the heck bloggers like myself do lists of cool links about once a weekish, check this out. It pretty much explains the logic, and I did write it so I think it's good!

At Breaking Even

This week, I participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by CleverDude. (And if you are wondering what the heck carnivals are check out this post.)

Some Great Links

For those of you like me who need their protein, it's getting harder to find cheap sources isn't it? (Not to mention that eating a lot of meat is not good for our planet either.) Enter imitation crab meat, which you can actually do a ton with. (via Wisebread)

Hard times give people new insights. Blunt Money lets us in a little on her personal life and reminds us that in life's difficulties are opportunities. At least, I hope so…

Could you live without spending any money for a year? This guy is trying to. I'm not hardcore thrifty enough to ever try anything like this but it's always interesting to live vicariously through people who are. (from Give Me Back My Five Bucks)

On the same note, these people are eating on $1 a day. (from Portland Psst!)

And I feel let in on a big secret: how you know Sam's Club pricing is as low as it'll go. And it's not even complicated or hard to remember. (from Spending Less 101)

This woman is living one of those crazy exciting lives those with dogs and cherished kitchen gadgets can only dream of (that would be me folks). I'd like to travel more but could I ever travel this much? The adventures and costs of full time travel. (from Wisebread)

Free Stuff

Suze Orman's latest book– Oprah's queen of personal finance. I'm not a huge fan (something about her I can't quite put my finger on) but, hey, if it'll help you make better financial decisions in 2009, that's great? (from BudgetsAreSexy)

Vowed to manage your money better in the new year? Quicken is now free but so is (from Mrs. Micah)

Ordering your credit reports yearly is a good idea, and free. And how to do it online. (from CleverDude)

Weight loss podcasts that could keep you motivated. My fat-looking Wii will only do so much for that I suppose! (from No Credit Needed)

Captain Obvious Links
Common sense, sure, but some links to back up the statements.

Library use is going up.

United States living standards still among best in the world.

Walking like a penguin will help you walk on ice. (Check out the animation…hilarious!)

Greyhound has lowered their fares to get people to travel.

People who are in jail for embezelling will try to get rid of anything they have of worth rather then have it get taken by the government.

Happy Sunday! And if you have any good links, feel free to let me know about them. I'm always on the lookout!

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