POSTERRegular readers know how I feel about the “Tundra” comic strip, created by Alaska cartoonist Chad Carpenter. Not content with being syndicated all over the world, Carpenter recently branched out into filmmaking with “Moose: The Movie.”

At one of the screenings Carpenter handed out autographed calendars. I promptly re-gifted mine for the May 3 giveaway (whose write-up included my impressions of the film).

Now that “Moose: The Movie” is available for home viewing, I’m reinstating the weekly giveaways with a copy of the DVD.

Is it great cinema? Of course not. But it’s good, goofy fun and very Carpenterian; witness the wildlife protection poster glimpsed in the Gangrene Gulch ranger station. Anyone who’s visited (or wants to visit) the Last Frontier will fall in love with the cinematography.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. A review from The Alaska Dispatch News calls it “bright, fast-paced, well-produced, utterly entertaining and very amusing,” among other things.


read more

th-1The lovely and talented J. Money has apparently had enough. In a blog post called “What haters are like,” he details some of the bummer-speak he’s encountered with regard to finances.

Stuff like:

I just paid off my debt! (You shouldn’t have had any to begin with.)

I just invested in my first stock! (You need to diversify more.)

I just saved for retirement! (Why? YOLO!)

I just bought a used car! (It’s gonna break down, you know.)

I just bought insurance! (You would have been better off saving it.)

I just saved $20.00 doing it myself! (My time is worth way more than that.)

As the kids say: Srsly????


read more

ImageProxy-1As regular readers already know, Swagbucks is my favorite rewards program. That’s why I post special offers every so often – and today’s offer, the $100 Million Day, is a good one.

Since I’m currently on the road I was unable to get the post up first thing this morning. Thus by the time you read this the first couple of Swag Codes have already come and gone. But you’ve got a shot at four more before 5 p.m. PDT, and you’ve got until 11:59 p.m. PDT to earn up to 400 extra points (called “SB”) in several other ways.

What ways? So glad you asked.


read more

thThat’s Saturday as in “tomorrow,” and yes, I should have given everyone more notice.

My apologies: When I’m in New Jersey I just lose track of time.

Late last night I suddenly realized, “Holy cow* — it’s Thursday!” I went to the McDonald’s website and found a place just two miles away from where I’m staying.

Despite the late notice, I hope that those of you who expressed an interest can make it.


read more

thThe conference is all over, including the shoutin’, and I am as flat as week-old cola. Time-zone changes have never bothered me before but this time around I simply couldn’t fall asleep on time.

The four-hour time difference meant that even a midnight bedtime felt like mid-evening to me.

Bonus: I developed a charming habit of waking up every hour or so to see if it was time to wake up yet.

To make a short story long – a talent that came in really handy when I went back to school – I’m too tired to promise that I’d get myself to the Panera tomorrow, as I’d tentatively planned. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the idea.


read more

thThe 2015 Financial Blogger Conference starts today in Charlotte, NC, and once again I’m among my people.

Not rich people necessarily, but people who are nerdy enough about money and blogging not to be bored by conversations about compound interest and Google algorithms.

Is it any wonder that some relationships — and at least one marriage — have resulted from this annual money geeks meetup?

Last year I wondered how these romances began. Was it finding someone with similar financial values? Noticing that this person’s eyelids didn’t droop when you mentioned retirement planning?

Or maybe it was just the two free drink tickets that come with the receptions.


read more

thGot questions about the post-work world? Get answers for free during an eight-hour online chat this Thursday.

It’s sponsored by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, 20 money professionals will tackle your questions on topics such as:


read more

thIt’s been far too long since I wrote for fun. But I’m still underwater, work- and project-wise, and thus don’t have the time and focus for a decent post.

I wish I could rise above the buzzing and busy-ness, because I don’t want to neglect the community that’s developed here. Sometimes you just don’t have it in you.

Hang in there, and thanks for checking back in.

In other news:


read more

Not dead, just busy.

th-1This morning I realized it’s been nine days since I posted. That’s not good, but it’s sometimes inevitable. Times are I get too bound-up in real life and can’t find time first to come up with a topic and then to write it.

Unfortunately, I may maintain radio silence for another week or so. Blame a combination of visiting relatives (they get here Sunday and will stay for a week), everyday deadlines, some fill-in child care for two families and a couple of special projects.

And, of course, the tail-end of a particularly amazing Alaska summer.

None of those things is particularly onerous (especially the summer part). Taken together, they’ve usurped all my waking hours. Occasionally they follow me into my dreams, e.g., waking up with a start and thinking, “Is that piece due today or tomorrow? Do I have enough research to finish it? Did I ever get in touch with that specialist?”


read more

th-2My recent “Tell me about yourself” post produced some very interesting responses. One of the commenters, Michelle, asked whether I’d answered the questions myself.

I guess I could do that. But another thought crossed my mind: Since I got to ask you guys questions, maybe it’s your turn to ask me some.

How does that sound? Here’s how I propose to do this:


read more

thToday is National Thrift Store Day, which I’d forgotten. Strictly by coincidence I wound up discussing secondhand shops with my younger great-nephew, who is far more stylish than I.

B waxed rhapsodic while describing the leopard-print winter jacket he recently got at Value Village. Just $8 to be both warm and cool at the same time.

He also recently bought some really high-topped Converse sneakers (think “mid-calf”) there, along with a T-shirt emblazoned with cartoon sushi and a simple summer frock.

(B is a gender non-conforming kid who’s been wearing “girl” clothes full-time for several years, although his older brother explained to me that there’s no such thing as girl clothes or boy clothes.)

He loves the variety as well as the price. Where else is an 8-year-old in Anchorage, Alaska, likely to find affordably priced black Dr Martens boots of shiny patent leather black with pink stitching and laces?


read more


The last time that Savings.com had a gift card giveaway, two of my readers won. Each got a $20 Visa gift card.

This time around, the scrip is even more generous: Forty winners will each get $25 worth of buying power at The Body Shop.

Savings.com has also brokered an exclusive discount for Body Shop fans. But first let’s talk about how to win the gift card.

It’s pretty simple: Go to The Body Shop giveaway page and enter your e-mail address in the form. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 20. Winners will be notified on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Summer can be rough on your skin. Getting a $25 head start on emollients would be a nice way to end the season. Or stock up on your favorite body products in advance of winter’s chilling effects.

Note: From now until Aug. 20, you can get $10 off Body Shop orders of $60 or more plus free shipping. Use this link and enter the code SAVINGSDOTCOM10.


read more