th5 Of caramels and sidewalks.It was 7 below zero and 12:45 a.m. when I left Anchorage for Phoenix, a city where I don’t think it’s ever been below zero. My layover in Seattle was marked by several startling holiday visions:

  • An electric cart driven by Mrs. Santa; beside her, Santa played the guitar and sang “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”
  • A life-sized plush snowman and a holiday princess walking through saying “Merry Christmas!”
  • An old time Father Christmas giving coloring books to kids and asking adults to applaud in appreciation of several embarrassed-looking Navy dudes.
  • A quartet of strolling carolers wearing Dickensian garb.
  • Someone dressed as a reindeer and what I think was a one-man band (but since the music was far away, it could also have been a one-woman band).

But you know what seems stranger than that now? The fact that I took a walk in shirtsleeves, on sidewalks I could actually see.


read more

th2 What Ive been doing.Made it back from the annual Talkeetna fling late Sunday afternoon, in one piece but very tired. Either I’m getting older or the late hours, odd eating habits and weirdly crappy weather (freezing rain despite ground temps in the 20s) took more out of me than I thought.

Before I recap that bacchanal, allow me to share a few recent happenings. 

Despite my previously stated position on why you shouldn’t write for free, I recently did just that. But donating “Want to cut costs? Get yourself a frugal filter (or two)” to the Wise Bread blog was a professional courtesy, which is one of the few reasons to give it away. Will Chen and Greg Go have both been helpful and supportive to me and I wanted to return the favor.


read more

th Free PSA and TSH tests this weekend. Two small bits of news, too.Sam’s Club is at it again, offering free health testing at all stores with pharmacies. This time they’ve got something specifically for the guys.


read more
336818722 abffefb434 m Dont toss those phone books just yet.

Missed calls © by carlos.a.martinez

My biweekly gig at Get Rich Slowly took on the pulpy plague of phone-book bundles. What to do with directories you didn’t ask for and won’t use?


read more

Last week I promised to give away a copy of “Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living…and Giving” along with a matching shopping bag. I’m also giving away a second copy of the book, sans bag.

I’d like to get some prizes, too. More on that in a minute.

The random number generator has spoken:


read more