Happy New Year!

We’re merely an hour away from the new year.  So happy new year, and here’s to an amazing 2009!  It doesn’t seem that 2009 could be any worse than 2008, but I suppose only time will tell.

In any case, 2009 is looking to be a great year for me. The wedding is only 59 days away, and rapidly approaching. Then it’s off to my honeymoon, and the beginning of the rest of my life with Charlene. As far as what the rest of the year holds, I have no idea. Hopefully, Charlene and I will still be employed, and who knows given the condition of the real estate market and the fact that mortgage rates are their lowest since 1971 (over a decade before I was born), we might even be buying our very own house in the next year or so.

May God be glorified in me in the next year!

(As a side note, this post is my 200th blog post since I started using WordPress as my blog engine. I’m so glad I switched from my archaic HTML/PHP based blog I had been using. This software is so much easier to use, it’s almost ridiculous. But here’s to the next 200 blog posts.)

Senate Refusal of IL Govenor Pick

The associated press has an interesting article on the Senate’s ability to refuse Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick for the Senate seat recently vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.  I’ve wondered this for a while, and it’s interesting to be reminded that the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the right to “judge” whether or not it’s members are fit to serve. I’m sure this is something I learned in Government Class back in high school, but it’s been a while.

Blah to Text Messages

I saw this headline on Ars Technica, and I just had to post about it and agree: Text messaging: Annoyingly expensive and insanely popular

I’d probably change the sub-title to: Insanley expensive and annoyingly popular, but the title in its original form was fairly accurate.

It does seem ridiculous to me that a message only 160 bytes costs $0.20 to send or receive when one does  not have a TXT plan.  In fact, Crunch Gear did the math and determined that sending 1MB of data via text message would cost over $1300! Now that’s insanely expensive.

I rest my case.

Tom Friedman: The Great Unraveling

Tom Friedman, of The World Is Flat fame, published an article in the New York Times titled The Great Unraveling. I think it’s an excellent commentary on the state of the Banking Crisis from the eyes of the Chinese. He articulates his position as only Tom Friedman can.

And Friedman really gets to the heart of the issue in his closing comment: “We don’t just need a financial bailout; we need an ethical bailout.” Now, isn’t that the truth?

MSI Wind Pictures

I promised that I’d post pictures of my MSI Wind when I got a chance. Sorry they took so long.

How real people grow their wealth

I saw this article on BankRate.com regarding How Real People Grow Their Wealth.  I thought it was very appropriate given the financial times we’re experiencing. A number of people seemed to share in my dad’s belief that “a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned.”  In other words, a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned because a dollar earned will only result in about $0.70 in the bank (after Uncle Sam takes his cut of course).

They’re also taking into account the very valuable proposition of compounded interest, and the increasing value that a dollar saved today will be considerably more valuable in 30 years when wisely invested.  Great ideas for increasing savings and wealth in a tough economy.

70 Days!

70 days until our wedding.  That’s 10 weeks.  Crazy!  I can’t believe it.  It’ll be here before we know it, and gone in a moment. I’m excited about marrying Charlene, and I can’t believe it’s coming so quickly.  It feels like I just wrote the post about it being 100 days away.  So much excitement!

As for specific wedding news, I got my tuxedo squared away this evening.  We went to Men’s Warehouse and got all the colors, styles, and sizes figured out.  My guys have to go get fitted now.  hehe. Fun stuff.

Mervyn’s Employees Bankrupt?

I’m a subscriber to BusinessWeek, and I read this article, and I found this article on the closing and liquidation of Mervyns pretty interesting.

I definitely agree that Private Equity wasn’t good to Mervyns, but I also agree with Rick Wartzman in his article “What Drucker Would Say About Mervyns” I think the gist of Wartzman’s article is that Mervyns failed to change in the face of a changing retail landscape, and they died.  It goes along with another axiom I learned while at Cal Poly: “Change or Die.”

But I took strong issue with page 4 of that article.  Sounds to me like a giant pity party for all the workers of Mervyns who are currently unemployed.  While I agree that times are tough, and the job market is pretty ugly (heck, I was unemployed for three months myself), I don’t agree with the approach that Emily Thornton took when writing the article. She makes it sound like these “veterans” with 28 years of experience are now going bankrupt because of Mervyn’s closing.  I disagree.

They’re going bankrupt and having to tighten their belts because of poor financial planning. In this economy, everyone is facing hard times. But people with decades of experience should have been planning and saving for tough times. Since they clearly haven’t, it seems hardly reasonable to blame their financial trouble solely on Mervyns. They, too, need to take responsibility. They should be out there looking for new jobs. With that much experience, they shouldn’t find it too difficult to land new jobs.

Quite ridiculous if you ask me…