Any fans of “The Closer” out there? Here’s your chance to win a bit of memorabilia. Some chocolate, too.

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Got regrets? Read this.

I’m a little tardy in recapping what I’ve been doing lately, and I’m sorry about that. But I won’t be for long.

Yep, I’m over it. That’s because I re-read my June 5 piece at Get Rich Slowly, “The statute of limitations on regret.”

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Note: A version of this article (written by me) was published in MSN Money’s Smart Spending blog in 2009.

Years ago my dad had two teaching jobs: elementary school all day, and an evening gig with adolescents deemed too unruly for regular high school. One evening, a student flipped a penny at him. Dad picked it up and put it in his pocket. The teens laughed, and another one flipped a penny. Then another one.

When my father had 12 cents in his pocket, he said, “Guys, I want to thank you. All I need is 38 more of these and I’m going over to the Fairfield and have a draft beer — on you.”

He could see the horror in their faces: Man, I’m not gonna buy the TEACHER a beer! Not another penny was flung.

That was an example of what he would call a “useful life skill”: realizing that sometimes nontraditional tactics are needed to solve nontraditional situations.

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Many years ago, cartoonist Chad Carpenter had just a few syndicated clients. One of them was my then-employer, the Anchorage Daily News, so I actually know the guy. (Well, if “know” is the same as “I used to bug the crap out of him every chance I got.”) These days his daily strip is syndicated in just over 500 newspapers and other publications, mostly in the United States and Canada but in some other countries as well.

At first I wondered how some of the humor would translate to, say, a Norwegian or Jamaican audience. Then again, I guess jokes about outhouses, snowmen and the Grim Reaper are pretty universal.

Which is why I’m putting another Carpenter collection up for grabs — who wouldn’t snicker at a drawing of  people being forced to wear life jackets while heading across the River Styx?

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Bring your money queries to the table on Thursday, June 14, when Kiplinger.com hosts a live web chat with a trio of experts from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

The session is part of Kiplinger’s “Jump-Start Your Financial Plan” series. Here’s the beauty part: It’s free.

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