Thursday, May 28, 2009

Archie picks...

Veronica! Oh, how great the agony of Betty!

Spend your money like a millionaire

A frugal one, that is.
Millionaires make up just 2 percent of the population. They get a bad rap during recessions for being wasteful with their money and are frequently used as examples of excess. It's the millionaires that you don't see that you can learn from in times like these. I call them the frugal millionaires and interviewed 70 of them to uncover ways we can all be smarter with money.

Nearly 70 percent of the economy is based on consumer spending. To keep the economy going we need to keep spending but not waste money in the process. This is where the frugal millionaires come in. They've been smart with their money all along and haven't lost it all and had to remake it. These are the kind of people you want to learn from when it comes to spending your money.

If you can afford to purchase a new car every month, you can afford to buy Cameron's house

Ferris Bueller fans, take note: Cameron Frye's house is for sale. The house used for the film is actually near Chicago, as opposed to the house used as Ferris' home - which is in Long Beach, California.

For those of you - like me - who fondly remember this film during your high school days, please don't feel old when I tell you that Cameron is 52. Alan Ruck was 29 when he played the depressive high school student with the marvelous car. Oh, yeah.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Movies

Like most patriotic Americans on Memorial Day weekend, I usually spend a good bit of time watching movies. On the big screen in the community cineplex. On the small screen in my bedroom. From Blockbuster for $3.99 (for a whole week), or a nearby Redbox for $1 (for one night). Doesn't matter. At some point or another, I'll watch one movie - or two or three - from beginning to end.

I've seen two so far.

Saturday night's film was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, rented from the Redbox. Button was filmed in such a gorgeous manner, with such a beautiful city (New Orleans) and such striking actors (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond, and Tariji Henson), that I was completely taken aback by how utterly boring I found it. Pitt and Blanchett seemed to have no chemistry together. Should I not have expected more from them? Pitt and Henson were nominated for Oscars, but I didn't find their performances to be particularly moving. I found the most striking character to be the tugboat captain Benjamin worked for, and I mourned his passing because he was the only character who seemed full of life and vitality.

When Blanchett's Daisy tells Pitt's Benjamin that he is "perfect," I almost expected him to say, "Well, of course I am - I'm Brat Pitt!"

Last night's film was Night at the Museum, shown on the ABC Family channel. I was charmed by the film when I first saw it a few years ago, and it still has its pleasures. I think it'd be great fun to have an Easter Island head around the house, but I wouldn't let it get away with calling my "dum-dum." I particularly enjoyed seeing Dick Van Dyke (a Vermilion County native!) and Mickey Rooney as two of the "bad guys" of the film. Has there been another film where Van Dyke has been the villain? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think there is.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Always be ready, no matter what you're wearing

Obviously this soldier was a Boy Scout at one time. Their motto is "Be Prepared."

(AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

If you're poor, you're gonna pay more

The high cost of poverty.
Poverty 101: We'll start with the basics.

Like food: You don't have a car to get to a supermarket, much less to Costco or Trader Joe's, where the middle class goes to save money. You don't have three hours to take the bus. So you buy groceries at the corner store, where a gallon of milk costs an extra dollar.

A loaf of bread there costs you $2.99 for white. For wheat, it's $3.79. The clerk behind the counter tells you the gallon of leaking milk in the bottom of the back cooler is $4.99. She holds up four fingers to clarify. The milk is beneath the shelf that holds beef bologna for $3.79. A pound of butter sells for $4.49. In the back of the store are fruits and vegetables. The green peppers are shriveled, the bananas are more brown than yellow, the oranges are picked over.

(At a Safeway on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda, the wheat bread costs $1.19, and white bread is on sale for $1. A gallon of milk costs $3.49 -- $2.99 if you buy two gallons. A pound of butter is $2.49. Beef bologna is on sale, two packages for $5.)

Prices in urban corner stores are almost always higher, economists say. And sometimes, prices in supermarkets in poorer neighborhoods are higher. Many of these stores charge more because the cost of doing business in some neighborhoods is higher. "First, they are probably paying more on goods because they don't get the low wholesale price that bigger stores get," says Bradley R. Schiller, a professor emeritus at American University and the author of "The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"The Incident"

Yes, friends, another season of the best show on television - Lost - has drawn to a close. Last night, we got to see what happens first when a hydrogen bomb named Jughead explodes (a flash of white light!), Jacob in white and an unnamed man in black sitting on a beach, Jacob meeting with several Lostaways in their LBTI's (life before the island), Bernard and Rose living out their "retirement," and Ben making sure yet another person meets a very sticky end (How many people has he either killed himself or ordered to be killed? Too many to count).

I probably won't be posting a full review of the episode, but even if I did, I probably wouldn't do as much justice to it as Jennifer Godwin or Alan Sepinwall.

Only 7 more months or so until Season Six! Destiny Found!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Evangelical Outpost

Joe Carter has returned. And he's not alone.
Matthew Anderson—one of my oldest blog buddies—will be joining me as a senior editor. Together we hope to help shape these young writers, honing their writing and reasoning skills and preparing them to provide thoughtful reflections on culture, politics, and religion from an evangelical Christian worldview. Our goal is to make EO an incubator for developing intriguing opinions and introducing interesting individuals.

In the process, we plan to bring you an engaging and entertaining mix of content, from book reviews and essays to opinion pieces and link lists (i.e., the return of 33 Things) and much, much more. We especially want to provide critical reflection on matters—daycare, cremation, etc.—that few of us stop to consider. Most of all, though, we plan to introduce you to interesting people—our contributors, our commenters, and our friends in the community of Christian bloggers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Star Wars Day!

Before it's over, I have to post this:

The American Patriot's Bible

Finally! A Bible for every red-blooded American!
THE ONE BIBLE THAT SHOWS HOW 'A LIGHT FROM ABOVE' SHAPED OURNATION. Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot's Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation's history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the New King James Version Bible text.

This is the Bible that the world has waited for! All those other countries can go to... well, you know where they can go.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mine That Bird wins the 2009 Kentucky Derby

I love stories like this: someone (or in this case, some horse) - who no one thought would be capable of much - does something amazing.
Mine That Bird dug up a miracle, stunning the field to win the Kentucky Derby with a dynamic stretch run through the mud at Churchill Downs.

The 3-year-old colt and jockey Calvin Borel found room along the rail deep in the stretch Saturday then pulled away to give the 50-1 long shot one of the biggest upsets in the 135-year history of the race.

UPDATE: Stop by Mark Beech's place at Sports Illustrated for his thoughts on today's race:
Folks, there is no sporting event in America quite as great as the Kentucky Derby. Nearly every other one worth mentioning is contested by millionaire athletes who are nothing like you, me and the guy down the street. But the Kentucky Derby brings those two worlds together. Mine That Bird beat eight horses who sold for at least $200,000 at auction. Two of those horses sold for more than $2 million. The crown prince of Dubai had two horses in this race. Mine That Bird also bested a colt who is the only horse owned and trained by a retired Louisville high school principal, as well as one owned by diet queen Jenny Craig. No other event in America makes a folk hero quite as quickly as the Kentucky Derby. It's not the greatest two minutes in sports for nothing.

"...almost the most fun a kid can have."

Enter a strange and exciting world. A world which Bill O'Reilly beckons you to come and enjoy.

She paid $540 for those?

The First Lady shows off her new footwear to the patrons of a Washington food bank.

Mrs. Obama, we know that your husband is pulling down $400,000 a year now, so you can afford those shoes. But if you're going to buy shoes with that kind of pricetag, please make sure they are pretty. And that you're mindful of where you wear them.