A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Articles tagged with: It’s the economy stupid

You can’t blame all the problems on “going overboard”
Tuesday, 10 Mar, 2009 – 0:35 | Comments Off
You can’t blame all the problems on “going overboard”

When a well-connected party-goer mentions that she’s wearing a 10-year-old dress to a charity gala, it’s easy to dismiss everything else that comes out of her mouth as “oops, I did it again.”
And in fairness …

Watching an industry pass on in slow motion
Tuesday, 3 Mar, 2009 – 1:44 | 3 Comments
Watching an industry pass on in slow motion

My God, this is like watching an old lover stricken with cirrhosis and emphysema hobble around with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Your heart aches for him. You want to …

A cheapskate is born
Friday, 20 Feb, 2009 – 11:30 | Comments Off
A cheapskate is born

Need help reining in your grocery bill? Unable to stop that yummy-looking package of pastries from jumping into the cart?
I have a consultant who can whip you into shape: Big Guy.
I’ll warn you, though, he’s …

When the housing bubble bursts close to home
Thursday, 19 Feb, 2009 – 12:45 | 2 Comments
When the housing bubble bursts close to home

Mostly, I deal with the economy crumbling around us by ignoring it.
Not ignoring it in a “oh, I’ll just pretend unemployment isn’t approaching 10 percent in my state and Dad’s just on a really long …

Housing help a bitter pill but needed medicine
Monday, 16 Feb, 2009 – 2:28 | 2 Comments
Housing help a bitter pill but needed medicine

There’s a two-story house with a big back yard on a cul de sac about a block from where we live that’s just a picket-fence shy of perfect .
We have close friends on the street, …

When it comes to stimulus ‘government is the only game in town’
Saturday, 14 Feb, 2009 – 2:22 | 6 Comments
When it comes to stimulus ‘government is the only game in town’

Thank God it passed.
And thank Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, the only Republicans in the U.S. Congress with enough integrity to quit playing philosophical chicken, actually work on the bill and then vote …

Economic stimulus is in the eye of the beholder
Monday, 9 Feb, 2009 – 1:07 | Comments Off
Economic stimulus is in the eye of the beholder

Trying to define what is and isn’t economic stimulus is beginning to look like that classic judicial struggle to nail down pornography: “I know it when I see it.”
The problem is, too many are seeing …

Party on, dude! 10 tips for doing it in style and on the cheap
Sunday, 8 Feb, 2009 – 11:55 | 2 Comments
Party on, dude! 10 tips for doing it in style and on the cheap

You know the economy’s getting tight when the bounce houses and pizzas disappear from the preschool parties.
You know we’re in a recession when the crowd that usually rushes to the kid party mills – you …

A senator stands alone against outrageous CEO pay – until now
Wednesday, 4 Feb, 2009 – 1:41 | 5 Comments
A senator stands alone against outrageous CEO pay – until now

It’s been four days and not a single senator has had the guts to join Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill as co-sponsor of her Cap Executive Officer Pay Act of 2009.
“We have a bunch of idiots …

Seems it’s easier to be green in a recession
Monday, 26 Jan, 2009 – 2:13 | Comments Off
Seems it’s easier to be green in a recession

Turns out Big Guy is an astute observer of trends. He just can’t figure out yet why they’re happening.
“Mommy, there’s not much in the paper garbage,” he said today, pointing to our 13-gallon can for …

Caught between a rock and a pizza box
Saturday, 24 Jan, 2009 – 12:12 | Comments Off
Caught between a rock and a pizza box

By all accounts, the LeBlanc family was doing a lot of things right.
Their mortgage payment is $440 a month on a five-bedroom home in Lafayette, La., a figure the likes of which I haven’t seen …

Furlough is 2009′s foreclosure
Wednesday, 21 Jan, 2009 – 1:01 | Comments Off
Furlough is 2009′s foreclosure

Seeing every other house on your street sold at a foreclosure auction? That’s so 2008.
This year, you’re hopelessly unhip if you don’t know someone who’s been furloughed. Bonus points if you’ve been furloughed yourself.
The state …

Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help
Tuesday, 20 Jan, 2009 – 11:36 | 2 Comments
Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help

Dear Washington,
This is going to sound strange coming from someone five months into unemployment, whose entire professional career has been in an industry on the verge of imploding and who’s looking for work in a …

With this ring, I get out of a big medical bill
Monday, 19 Jan, 2009 – 23:53 | One Comment
With this ring, I get out of a big medical bill

Gary Johnson and Rebecca Witt are making it, but barely, on his $8-an-hour job while she uses grants to pay for college in between raising three children.
But because they aren’t married, the state of Michigan …

Make sure that perky, agreeable personality shines through online
Wednesday, 14 Jan, 2009 – 1:34 | One Comment
Make sure that perky, agreeable personality shines through online

Note to self: Do a 180 on entire parenting philosophy or the guys will never be fired at Finish Line. Or Best Buy, Circuit City or Blockbuster.
I’m too set in my curmudgeonly ways, so it’s …

Giving COBRA some fangs would help ease the bite of unemployment
Friday, 9 Jan, 2009 – 0:49 | 4 Comments
Giving COBRA some fangs would help ease the bite of unemployment

I took a gamble and won, which is odd for me. I’m usually so unlucky I haven’t come out ahead on so much as a lottery ticket in close to a decade.
We decided in November …

Don’t stop mousing, kids. The meter’s running
Monday, 29 Dec, 2008 – 1:12 | One Comment
Don’t stop mousing, kids. The meter’s running

I’ve heard of parking by the hour, cell calls by the minute and …  never mind on that last. I don’t want the site to lose its G rating.
But a proposal I saw this weekend …

Call automaker bailout rejection what it is — worker bashing
Friday, 12 Dec, 2008 – 1:27 | Comments Off
Call automaker bailout rejection what it is — worker bashing

It’s been a bad week to be a worker — if you still even have a job.

In Chicago, workers staged a sit-in after their plant closed and they were told they wouldn’t receive even as …

When talking to your kids about the economy, try the truth
Monday, 8 Dec, 2008 – 0:41 | 6 Comments
When talking to your kids about the economy, try the truth

Folks in the Bush Administration aren’t the only ones the recession is catching by surprise.
Exhibit One: A preteen who declared last week that she’s getting a Blackberry for Christmas.
OK, so $100 isn’t so bad if …

Dear Big Three: Here’s what to do if you really want us to relate
Wednesday, 3 Dec, 2008 – 1:17 | Comments Off
Dear Big Three: Here’s what to do if you really want us to relate

Dear Misters Waggonner, Nardelli and Mulally,
Is it all right if I call you Rick, Robert and Alan? Because I feel so much closer to now that you’re driving from Detroit to D.C. to beg Congress …

Simple gifts: Variations on a Play-Doh theme
Sunday, 30 Nov, 2008 – 1:27 | One Comment
Simple gifts: Variations on a Play-Doh theme

WARNING: Play-Doh has become an increasingly controversial toy in recent years. Three current or former sisters-in-law have banned it from their homes. So please consult parents before giving this gift. If they’ve done …

Simple gifts: Photo calendars in a snapfish
Friday, 28 Nov, 2008 – 1:35 | Comments Off
Simple gifts: Photo calendars in a snapfish

I started the Simple Gifts concept last year, on another blog under another name for another reason.
Last year, it was inspired by a fellow blogger on a site I moderated and her post venting …

When a bargain’s not a bargain and when it’s OK to give in
Monday, 24 Nov, 2008 – 23:40 | Comments Off
When a bargain’s not a bargain and when it’s OK to give in

Did you hear the one about the woman in New York who saved $3.34 per head of cauliflower but spent $28 on artichokes?
I’m not laughing at her. Really, I’m not. I’m laughing with her, because …

Even in bankruptcy lessons not learned
Monday, 24 Nov, 2008 – 12:49 | Comments Off
Even in bankruptcy lessons not learned

Dear Mervyns,
Oh, how I loved you in my single days.
I’ll admit: I was more of a blitzkrieg buyer that a bargain hunter back then, rolling through the store to restock on professional but stylish …

There has to be a way to continue insuring children
Monday, 17 Nov, 2008 – 13:54 | Comments Off
There has to be a way to continue insuring children

A flier in Big Guy’s backpack when he came home from school this afternoon asks, “Does your child have health insurance?”
It includes basic information about California’s Health Families program, which insures children whose parents …

It’s not a lack of confidence – it’s an epidemic of common sense
Wednesday, 12 Nov, 2008 – 12:58 | Comments Off
It’s not a lack of confidence – it’s an epidemic of common sense

We’ve soothed Wall Street’s jangly nerves in recent weeks, and The New York Times says banks are letting loose of some of the bailout cash.
Next up: A “crisis” in consumer confidence that could send …

Health care crisis not anywhere near the bottom
Friday, 7 Nov, 2008 – 13:22 | Comments Off
Health care crisis not anywhere near the bottom

“I used to complain about having no shoes until I met a man with no feet” was my parents’ favorite “quit your whining” cliche when I was a kid.
I learned the truth of it last …

The smell of retail fear?
Sunday, 2 Nov, 2008 – 1:14 | 2 Comments
The smell of retail fear?

Didn’t there used to be another holiday between Halloween and Christmas? I have vague memories of something involving turkey and Pilgrims and family dinners when I was a kid.
No signs of that in my local …