Friday, October 30, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beware Sirens

 I know the water is getting colder but that just means you lose strength to fight them drowning you more quickly. More not safe without a wet-suit below the break.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scotch Nature: Making It

Normally this feature concentrates on saving money but some opportunities are coming up to address the top line for a change. Keep in mind that like the whole Scotch Nature series this will seem patronizing to a lot of you out there but might spark some thoughts elsewhere.

Holiday Pay: So several holidays are coming up and many employers than need to be open realize that if they don't want a "blue flu" that they need to sweeten the pot with at least time and a half. Now I know that if you have kids or a large close family volunteering to work Thanksgiving or especially Christmas isn't going to be a popular thing but we could at least get up for National Hangover Day which will keep you from wasting money on booze and STD tests. Let's say you make $10 per hour and holiday pay is $15 that's an extra $40 bucks (unfortunately pretax) to buy Christmas presents or New Year's preps. If you're unencumbered you could probably volunteer for the coming four holidays and maybe quadruple that.

Temp Work: If you're one of the "umpossible" chronically unemployed that supposedly don't exist nowadays this is the time to be throwing boxes at Fed-ex or stocking shelves at some store at night doing seasonal work. It's also time to be going to H&R block's(or other seasonal tax-preparer's) tax classes so that you can start doing taxes part time after the New Year. If you manage things right you'll have two new and recent employment references on you're resume when the time comes to apply for one of the scarce full time jobs out there.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scotch Nature: Tire Gauge

Disclaimer: As with much of the Scotch Nature series the following advice will be head-poundingly obvious to many people. Congratulations you probably aren't part of the 48% of America that would have to go into (more) debt to cover a $400 emergency.  Someone decides they that they're sick and tired of being sick and tired and start looking for how Great-Gramma managed to raise 5 kids on whatever a widow could scrape together in the 30's and need a gateway drug to common sense.
You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.1
The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.

 So let's say you drive a mostly reliable car that gets about 25mpg now lets say that instead of 30psi in each of your tires you are running closer to 25psi. Now let's assume that you dive about 150 miles per week, and gas where you live is $2.50 per gallon. 25mpg x (0.3% x 5psi) low= .375 mpg

Cost of one week driving @ 25mpg = $15

Cost of one week driving @ 24.625 = $15.23

Now I know $0.23 doesn't sound like much but lets take 52 weeks a year $11.96.

Or nearly 20lb of pinto beans at Sam's Club.

Just do me a favor dig out on of the tire gauges your dad is always giving you as a stocking stuffer find a store with a free air hose and properly inflate your tires once a week for a month and see if you are putting in fewer gallons(spending less or more depends on whether Putin accidentally bombs an Sunni pipeline or other big things out of your control).

Now who here has a messy car*raises hand* yes friends I too am a messy car sinner. So I challenge all of my fellow messy car sinners to this very weekend grab a trash bag and their bathroom scale.

From what I’ve read, the fuel of thumb is: For every extra 100 pounds you carry in your vehicle, you reduce gas mileage and fuel economy by roughly 2%.
 Now I'm not going to look but who here has a whole bunch of range targets, sand bags, and assorted other unlikely "tools" in their truck that come up to 100 lbs. Don't get me wrong having tools handy is good and can save you trips, but if you're carting this and 30lbs of trash around in your floorboards you are literally paying for it.

Let's just use 100lbs for a round number could be less but I can name several friends who have way more excess in their truck campers and trunks, not to mention floorboards.

Let's take a 20mpg truck x 2% unneeded load =  .4 mpg

At $2.50 gas(these numbers go up if gas does) we have $18.75 to run it 150 miles per week just for gas.

Now with 100lbs of stuff you probably don't need we have $19.13 to run it that same 150 miles per week.

So over a year that $0.38 per week comes to 19.76. Now I hate hauling the sand bags and targets in and out of the shed as much as then next man but I wouldn't mind an extra box of ammo or two to practice each year.

So many people are considering buying a car they can't afford and spending hundreds of dollars of interest each month(don't get me started on depreciation) to safe a few bucks on gas that they never stop to ask if they are getting the best they can out of what they already have.

Friday, October 16, 2015

BeCos(play) It's Friday

 More not safe for post-apocalyptic animated love triangles below the break.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Welfare Riots Aint Nutin Compared to Whitetrash Lottery Riots

The latest from the fiscal canary in the Spend and Promise coal mine that is Illinois: Lottery payouts.

So anybody want to take a guess at what happens when casinos take money but refuse to cash out chips?

Random Hotness

 Still feeling a bit too under the weather to properly sort things, so more chaos below the break.

Comming Soon To A Theater Near You?

Food for thought if you have an option to get bought out of a defined benefit pension.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Scotch Nature: Home Economizing

I recently got a request for some more of these posts so here goes.

Since not everyone is able to work full time to contribute to the top line of the income minus expense equation if you still have adequate just not plentiful income coming in you need to start treating home economics as a full time or part time job. That means that 40 minus hours worked outside the home is extra time you need to be spending on saving the household money it would otherwise be spending to the best of your ability. If need be make up a time card and clock yourself in and out.

Budgeting: On paper, on purpose, both spouses have a vote and it must be unanimously agreed to or you have bigger issues if you can't work this out. Dave Ramsey has a free budgeting software available here.

You need to be looking for coupons from free sources. Not the newspaper and not kids selling books of them door to door. The dirty little secret of coupons is that most of them aren't for things you need anyway. so the moment you find yourself thinking "I could......with this." yank yourself up short on the old leash because no matter how "good" the coupon is if it's on something you don't need your household has a net drain.

Next you need to ask yourself what around here could break, followed by is there anything I could do to take care of it. A few minutes with a vacuum hose every three months beats the snot out of paying an appliance repairman or buying a new refrigerator. And a regularly cleaned kitchen counter-top beats having to pay for the doctor and miss work.

Soaking beans takes a little bit of time but the $0.50 per Can adds up especially since the number one thing a home economist can do is cooking more from scratch basically substituting your labor for the labor you buy from a food processing factory. So learn some easy recipes and have some hot food ready for the soldiers coming off the front.

This goes to the last and in many ways most important way you can support the person bringing in the lion's share of the out of home income if you aren't able to. SUPPORT THEM....basically unless something is bleeding or on fire wait until after supper to bring it up. Do your best to solve small problems yourself and look for any relatively simple ways to insure that they are rested and able to achieve their best bringing home revenue for the household. Look I know everyone loves to make fun of REMF troops but trust me the grunts wouldn't like not having beans, bullets, or band-aids. Be the strong shaft that makes the spear all the sharper.

Tuesday Tap, Rack, and Bang

 More not safe to field strip below the break.

Friday, October 9, 2015

BeCos(play) It's Friday

 More unsafe booty below the break, and as always bonus nerd points below the break.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Seeing Red

 The news is enough to have you seeing red, more personified rage below the break.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Old NFO's Physical Therapy Team

 Since Old NFO is having some "discomfort" at Physical therapy we assembled a new team for him.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Martyr Zone

In case anyone hasn't seen this on Gun Free Zone I believe this can sum up the viewpoint of the part of the country that doesn't have access to a light-rail system. It's always interesting to see the people who say without realizing the irony in their words, "There has never been a mass shooting stopped by an armed citizen." No there hasn't been.

For now:

Friday, October 2, 2015

BeCos(play) It's Friday

 More not safe for Disney Purists below the break, and as always bonus nerd points below the break.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


 Wood-workers of the world know that sometimes it's just easier with flat pieces, so in the spirit of equal opportunity from my various Stuck-In-The-Middle posts I present the following straight lines. More not safe from splinters below the break.