Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Walking on Water in 2007

You have to see this video to believe it. National Geographic has a video of the "Jesus Lizard," a lizard that gets its name because it can actually walk on water.



My Other Car...

My other car is a broom

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Theme Song

I recently found my blogs theme song. A song by Troy and Genie Nilsson. mp3 version

CHORUS: The Borrower is slave to the Lender (Prov 22:7)
The Borrower is slave to the Lender
The Borrower is slave
(He works all night and day) (Psalm 127:2)
The Borrower is slave to the Lender (repeat)

O...Owe No man anything (but love) (4x) (Romans 13:8)

No man can serve two masters
He'll hate the one and love the other
You cannot serve God and Mammon (money) (baby) - (Luke 16:13)
The borrower is slave to the lender

CHORUS

LAST CHORUS:
The Borrower is slave to the Lender
The Lender's the head and the borrower's the tail -(Deut 28:44)
The Borrower is slave to the Lender
Debt is a curse (Deut 28:44-45)
The Borrower is slave
(He works all night and day)
The Borrower is slave to the Lender

John 1:6-8

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

Refund When You Die! Maybe an Inheritance To

I couldn't believe my ears hen I heard the story on TV. Granted, I wasn't really paying attention to the TV, as messed with blog comments and getting ready to go out the door to work.

So, I decided to look it up online. I may leave a couple of minutes late, but there it is with 117+ news stories about it. A Wexford, PA couple has their home up for sale, but with a catch of sorts. They are offering a full refund when the buyer dies.

The couple have no heirs and built the house in 1993. They want $399,900 for the four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath home, which is located about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh.


Yep, that's right folks, it's the deal of a lifetime. But, hey there is more, the couple are even offering the buyer a chance to become heirs.


If the buyer agrees to care for the couple in old age, he could also inherit their retirement home in Arizona.

"Why not go for the works? So if we're worth $2.5 million, you get it all," said Husick, 55.



Quoted Source comes from the AP News.

If you like this post, buy me a coke

UK Readers Have Options To Compare Lenders

Are you searching for a mortgage lender in the U.K.? Then Mform.co.uk is a website to check out. The British paper known as the mail has called them the best. Of course we here at DebtFree4ever.NET do not have the same view as everyone else. Certainly, if you're hell bent on putting yourself in debt, then this is a great website to consider using to compare mortgage "needs."

The site even can help you compare First Time Buyer Mortgages. One thing I enjoyed playing with was the various online calculators that they have on the site.

Finally, they even help you compare what in the United Kingdom, they call remortgages. Remortgaging is basically what we Americans would call refinancing a mortgage. Something that I would cautiously consider if it will really save you money.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tip You For What?

I pulled a Dave Ramsey no, no. Those of you who know who Dave Ramsey is, knows that he advises his listeners to avoid credit at all costs. He also says that when you are in debt, you can't afford to eat out. Well Sunday, I ate out. Even though, it was a bad financial decision on my part, I am going to discuss the place I ate at.

It was one of the buffet places. You know one of those places, where you serve yourself and eat as much as you want. I paid better then $11 to have the opportunity to eat some turkey. I just love turkey. This buffet's turkey isn't as good as Old Country Buffet was before they left town, but it was turkey. For $11, I could have bought a turkey breast, potatoes, corn and fixed my own and still had left overs for another meal or two. The part that really bugs me though is a practice that I see at all the buffet places.

That practice; that I begin seeing in recent years, of asking you to tip the "wait staff." I wonder what wait staff. The person that sits a few extra plates on my table? I mean they certainly don't wait on me. I get my own food. What service am I really paying for when I leave a tip.

Now don't get me wrong. When I go to a restaurant and order from the menu, I leave a tip. In fact, I generally will leave a tip in excess of the 20%. I will even get upset, if someone in my party, says they aren't going to leave a tip, because everyone else is leaving a bigger tip. When a waitress (wait person) does an excellent job and is friendly they should be rewarded. However, as I said before, what service am I paying for at a buffet place?

The worst place for this tip thing was at the former Old Country Buffet at Westridge Mall. I would go in there and get my plate of food, then go get my drink and sit down. Then a young lady would come over to my table, and say, "Hi my name is ... and I will be your waitress today." On more then one occasion I wanted to push my plate aside and say, "Oh, I'm sorry was I suppose to wait on you. I will have ..." OCB's food was better than any of the places that remain in Topeka, but their wait staff were less wait staff than the place I visited Sunday.

I have never understood the logic of paying for an overpriced meal and then being asked to tip someone for not waiting on you. It just doesn't make since to me. I will continue to tip at sit down restaurants, where someone actually is serving me, but at a Buffet, where I serve myself, I have a hard time giving even serious thought to tipping there.


If you like this post, buy me a coke

Psalm 89:16

In thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.

If you write

If you write WASH ME on my truck I'll carve RESUSCITATE ME on your chest

Macho Law

Macho Law prohibits me from admitting I'm wrong

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Ink is Still Wet on the Contract

Today it is with some excitement and trepidation, that I report that my sphere of influence will be growing. I have signed an agreement with the Topeka Capital Journal to be a volunteer community blogger. The topic? What else, but personal finance. For the past year, I have been the number one personal finance blogger in Topeka, KS. Now, with this additional avenue, I will be able to reach more people in regards to digging their way out of debt.

The new avenue will have a slightly different feel. While, the blog may still contain some personal information, it won't be as extremely personal. As I see it now, the posts will be more like Forgeries and How To Prevent Them, rather than posts about my personal budget and fight with Washington Mutual or Bank of America.

When they first started the blogs and wanted people to apply, I did so but heard nothing. Then a couple of weeks ago, I applied again, and was immediately contacted. They liked my fraud post. With that, it was referred to those who make the final decisions. Today, I was called for the interview and to sign the contract. As soon as I finish this post. I will be writing my first post of introduction for CJonline.




If you like this post, buy me a coke

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

God makes miracles

God makes miracles, but He doesn't clean cars.

Comparing Debt Repayment Plans

AccountOutstanding BalanceMonthly Minimum PaymentDOLP NumberDOLP RankingDave Ramsey RankingMy Current Payments My Rankings
Providian Visa
$601$371621$4001
Amerifirst Mortgage
$1075$751413$352
FingerHut$1,000$502032$103
Car Loan
$11,378$4002844$4004


In addition to these 4 debts, I still owe $210 to Black Gold for the insulation that was sprayed in my attic earlier this year. I do intend to get that and at least the credit card paid off by the end of the year.

For Fingerhut and Amerifirst, if I don't get them eliminated by the end of the year, which would take a windfall to accomplish, I will have them paid off by March 23. In other words, I will have everything except the car paid off before I celebrate this blogs 2nd blog-aversary.

Now, I am sure some of you are wondering about my lower then minimum payments. I have talked with Amerifirst and the $35 is the amount they gave me. Amerifirst understands I am trying to get back on my feet financially and have been very good to work with. At least as good as a "slave owner," can be. Fingerhut on the other hand has been difficult to contact, and I am just sending them the crumbs of my budget. It won't be long before their payments are accelerated and I can get rid of them from my life forever to. However, for now I am focused on the Credit Card, which besides being the smallest, also has the highest interest. Then I will focus on that home improvement loan that is at about 16% interest. After which, I will turn my focus to the 2% interest of over priced fingerhut.

Come April, I will be able to then accelerate my payments on my car loan. According to the figures, that loan will be paid off by Feb 2009. That is if I can maintain the very accelerated payments that would leave me with virtually no mad money.

If you like this post, buy me a coke

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

News is Now Public Knowledge

The news is now public. Topeka Capital Journal is reporting the news about the location, where I work.

Falley’s Market, 3000 N. Topeka, will close Nov. 10, company management announced Tuesday.

As one of the managers (or even an employee), I cannot say to much to the media. In fact all media comments must come from the corporate offices in Oklahoma City. While the store will be closed Nov 10, I will be at the store until the day before Thanksgiving cleaning up and transferring unsold products to other stores.

As we have been told, and I have seen before, the paper will report in tomorrow mornings paper (and currently online):

The store’s 20 employees were told about the closure on Friday. The employees are being given an opportunity to transfer to another store if they are interested in doing so, according to HAC Inc., the Oklahoma City-based company that operates the store.

Although two of our employees have received word of where they will be transfered, most of us have not. In fact, it will be more difficult to place those of us who are in management. The reason being, is in most cases we will be additional managers that the store wouldn't of had otherwise.

My biggest concern, is I will be put back on the night crew to again take charge of that crew. Something I don't want, because those individuals tend to be buried and forgotten about. Not the place to be, if you (like myself) want to advance to the next level of assistant manager.


If you like this post, buy me a coke

CHOOSE LIFE

CHOOSE LIFE DON'T TOUCH MY CAR

Monday, October 22, 2007

Don't count your chickens before they hatch

We have all heard this saying as we grew up, and even through out adult lives. However, did you know it is an intricate part of personal finance. How? Well set back, as I tell you.

How many times have you made plans to use some expected income. Perhaps a tax refund. Perhaps it was just your paycheck. Yet, if you think about it, you don't know what the future will happen. If you write that check before you actually have the money in the bank, then you are playing with fire. You as the saying goes, are counting your chickens before they hatch.

Let's say the delivery of your companies checks were delayed for some reason. Maybe the delivery truck, delivering them from headquarters has a wreck. Maybe the boss has a heart attack and there is no one else who can get the checks out of the safe. Or a host of other things that could happen to prevent you from getting your paycheck on time. Now you have checks out there, that are going to bounce. What do you do?

If you had waited until the money was in the bank, you wouldn't have to worry about the mess you made yourself. My suggestion, and the advice competent personal finance guru's like Dave Ramsey or John Cummuta is to Never spend what you don't don't currently have in the bank.



If you like this post, buy me a coke

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bad Credit Offers

Today I stumbled upon another site that claims to want to help rebuild a persons credit. I know, I can hear it now. It's not hard to hear that idea, and you would be right. The thought of someone, rebuilding their horrible credit, is very common.
However, anyone who has read my blog very much, knows I hate credit in all forms. If you have bad credit, obtaining a new credit card isn't going to help. In fact getting a new credit card would be like giving alcohol to an alcoholic.

When you have bed credit, the best thing you can do is to learn to use cash only. Avoid credit at all costs. Even if you have good credit, avoiding credit is sound advice, because you will end up spending more money when you use, then you would if you payed cash for every thing.

It's like Dave Ramsey says, "the same advice your grandmother gave, only we keep our teeth in." In addition, if you get a mortgage to buy a house, which I would suggest saving for instead, then do it responsibly. If you have bad credit and do not have even a down payment saved, you have no business getting a mortgage.

The first step is always the hardest

I was talking with a couple of people at work about my effort to become debt free. One of them laughed me off (just like Dave Ramsey {1440 AM - 7 pm} says people will) like I was stupid. She seems to do this a lot, however the other guy made the comment that being on a fixed income you have have to use credit to survive.

What he failed to understand, was that being on a fixed income is the very reason you need to live on cash, rather then credit. I agree once you have been living on credit rather then cash, it will be hard to cut the credit strings.

That is what I tried to explain to him. It is as the saying says, "the first step is always the hardest." The first step to getting debt free, much like alcohol to an alcoholic, is to get rid of the credit cards and other forms of borrowing. Once you can manage to cut the credit strings and get a handle on your money, then budgeting will be all downhill from there.

Personally, I don't feel I have control of my budget yet, however, I can see the light as some of debts are actually nearing payoff. Once that happens, I can begin to build my savings and thus have control of my money.




If you like this post, buy me a coke

Friday, October 19, 2007

Job Shift - What's Next?

I just received word, that my store will be closing. Just a few short months after I was transfered to be the lead shift supervisor they have announced they will be closing the store.

All employees will have positions they are promising. It is unknown where all the employees will land. Especially those of us that are in management. For someone like me, that would be third in charge in a larger store, but am second in charge in my current store, it could be more difficult to place. My store manager, will be reduced to assistant manager at whatever store she ends up,

For me, looking at past situations, whatever store I end up, I will be added on as an extra shift supervisor. For example if I return to the store I was transfered out of, they have two shift supervisors and 2 overnight managers (which are the same rank, on paper as shift supervisors), I would be a third supervisor.

I could even be forced to retake the reigns of the overnight crew. Something I really don't want to do, but it could happen.

At this point, I don't know what where I will end up. I have my vacation on the calendar for the week after next. Which means I would have one week left before the store closes, when I get back.

This may mean I will have to change my vacation time also. I still have to get my 1 week and 1 day of vacation time taken before the holidays. However, I may have to reduce my vacation to say 2 or 3-days at the planned time and then take the rest after my latest transfer.

I was expecting this, but it is still disheartening. This is the store I started in back in 1990 and again when I returned to Topeka in 1999. Over all, this is the fourth assignment I have held in this store. My foster parents shop in this store and don't like any of the bigger stores that have popped up a couple of miles away from us (this store). So it is kind of disappointing that I will again be moving and will never see this particular store again.

Credit Union Month

October in Credit Union Month. Every year the month of October is celebrated as the month for Credit Unions. However, since 1948 the third Thursday of October (which was yesterday) has been International Credit Union Day. (enjoy the video that I found below)



Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, which means it's members (customers) are owners, that provide an effective and viable alternative to banks for more than 172 million members in 97 countries.

Since they are not-for-profit, they can often times provide better interest rates on savings and better rates on other "banking" products.

So with that I would like to wish everyone not only a happy Credit Union Day but also a happy Credit Union Month.



If you like this post, buy me a coke

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Philippians 2:3-5

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus

Great Loan Calculator

I found a free online calculator, that will actually allow you to tell it what you are paying each week/bi-weekly/monthly/semi-monthly. Most online calculators tend to only ask for your interest rate and loan amount and tell you what your monthly loan payment is. Well I already know that information, what I want to know is when I will have my loan paid off based on the payments that I am actually making.
For example I found that even though I hope to pay off my car in another year, it will actually be 2.6 years based on my current payments. I would have to have basically pay my entire paycheck for the next year to make my goal of being debt-free by the end of 2008.

In addition, I have found that I can have my credit card paid off by Dec 31, going with the plan laid out earlier this month on this blog. However, if I can come up with an additional $200/month, I can have it paid off next month. That is if I can also come up with an additional one time payment of $40. This ultra fast scenario would save me $2.37 in interest.

I really like this idea, unfortunately the calculator seems to indicate it will be the only small debt that I will be able to get paid off this year. I had been hoping to see 3 loans eliminated this year, but doesn't appear to be very realistic.

However, the other 2 debts should be able to be paid off by May 2008. That means the credit card would be paid off this year in Nov. or Dec, while the home improvement and Fingerhut debts will be paid off early next year, but only if I increase the home improvement payments by $200 in Dec. or Jan. after I have paid off the credit card. If I continued paying the regular monthly payments ($75) it would take an additional year. Casting me an additional $89.48 in interest.




Debt Elimination Payment Plan
Additional Monthly Payment Applied is 0.00































































































































Month Credit Card AmerifirstFingerHutCar Loan
10/16/2007 $400.00$75.00$75.00$400.00
11/16/2007 $400.00$75.00$75.00$400.00
12/16/2007 $40.01$434.99$75.00$400.00
1/16/2008 $0$475.00$75.00$400.00
2/16/2008 $0$63.47$486.53$400.00
3/16/2008 $0$0$275.42$674.58
4/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
5/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
6/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
7/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
8/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
9/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
10/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
11/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
12/16/2008 $0$0$0$950
1/16/2009 $0$0$0$950
2/16/2009 $0$0$0$273.85



If you like this post, buy me a coke

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

History of the Piggy Bank


Have you ever wondered why we save coins in a piggy bank? Dogs bury bones. Squirrels gather nuts to last through the winter. Camels store food and water so they can travel many days across deserts. But do pigs save anything? No! Pigs save nothing. They bury nothing. They store nothing. So why do we save our coins in a piggy bank?

Some say it come from the Middle Ages, metal was expensive and seldom used for household wares. Instead, dishes and pots were made of an economical clay called pygg. Whenever housewives could save an extra coin, they dropped it into one of their clay jars.They called this their pygg bank or their piggy bank.

However, there is another story that seems to be more reliable. According to Legends of America.


In the early 1900’s, a ten year-old boy, impressed by a traveling missionary’s sermon about lepers, decided to raise money to help a boy suffering from the disease. Raising a pig named Pete, Wilbur Chapman, sold the pig, donating the $25.00 from the sale to the boy with leprosy. His compassion caught the imagination of the public and started the “Pig Bank Movement” to help lepers and the name “piggy bank” was coined. A plaque commemorating the boy and the idea of the “piggy bank” is mounted on the Community Christian Church on Main Street.

It seems he bought the pig for $3 (as a piglet) and then sold it (after raising it) for the $25 mentioned in the paragraph above. On a side note, this is also the answer to why the pig in Charlotte's Web is named Wilbur.

So there you have it. That is why we have the piggy bank, instead of the squirrel bank.

In addition the Oct. 30, 1933 issue of Time magazine told this story:

Contributors to the American Mission to Lepers, which now supports 184 leproseries, own toy pig banks in which they deposit their odd coins. The idea developed 20 years ago when Wilbur Chapman, Kansas farm boy, bought a piglet, named him Pete, raised him to pighood, gave his profit to Leper missions. Last week Mr. Chapman, now a St. Paul electrical engineer, visited Manhattan to permit a firm-willed patrician from Richmond, Va., Mrs. Robert Randolph Harrison, to pin a silver medal on him for his boyhood initiative. Mrs. Harrison during the ceremony wore a little gold pig on a brooch over her heart; she is the "Honorable First Pig Lady in America," for ingeniously transforming Mr. Chapman's pig-fund idea. Like 80,000 others who learned from her, she sends toy pig banks to her friends. Proudly she recalled last week: "I started with six little pigs, and in the first year raised $45. Now in Richmond I am able to raise in good years $2,000 through 400 pigs I have out. . . ."




If you like this post, buy me a piggy bank

National Do Not Call Registry

News reports have been reporting that it may be time to renew your registration in the National Do Not Call Registry. It appears that registrations by phone expire quicker then if you register online. At least that is what it appears to me, when I went and renewed my registration online this time. When my registration was complete, I was given the following message:


REGISTRATION COMPLETE
You have registered the following telephone number in the National Do Not Call Registry:

(785) 969-8994


This registration will be effective until October 17, 2012.

Please print a copy of this page for your records




If you like this post, buy me a coke

Philippians 2:6-8

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

Go Your Way

You Go Your Way I'll Go Maui

No Obama

No Obama Nor Chelsea's Mama

Monday, October 15, 2007

Great Mural Wall town hall meeting

YOU ARE INVITED

Chesney Park Neighborhood

Great Mural Wall town hall meeting

Young and old please come

Meet the mural artist

And give us your ideas for what

To paint on the next mural panels

Tuesday October 23rd

At 6:45 pm Professional Marshall Arts

1900 SW Clay

A project of your NIA with partial funding

By Weed and Seed


There will also be an announcement

Regarding the Chesney skateboard park

Forgeries and How To Prevent Them


The other day, the LA Times had an interesting article by a reporter who had become the victim of stolen checks and subsequently forgeries.

The writer, while a frequent user of online bill pay, had ordered new checks to cover miscellaneous expenses. When they arrived, the package wouldn't fit in the mailbox. So, the letter carrier left them on the front porch.



I had no way of knowing that some lowlife had got to them before my wife and I did.


The author makes a good point here. Getting a better mailbox will hide those checks from would be thieves. It might be a good place to point out here, that you should never put out going mail in you mailbox either. Postal Inspectors, call it the "Steal me flag." The reason for both is the same. A would be thief is walking down the sidewalk (or by your home) and sees you have a package (and check packages are very recognizable) at your front door, or you have outgoing mail (and usually it's bill payments --they can "wash" the checks and rewrite them--) and decide to steal them.

Another way to protect yourself is to have the checks delivered to the bank (or credit union) and then pick them up there. For out going mail, take the mail to the post office and drop them in the inside mail drop. Thieves have ways of steal mail from outside mail boxes, although new designs in the newer drop boxes makes it more difficult. Never put mail in a drop box that is full, thieves can grab mail, without any effort, no matter how secure the box design is.

If you think check forgeries won't happen to you, think again. In 2005 losses to check forgeries exceeded $711 million. That number is just what it cost the banks, no one knows how many billions more it cost consumers and businesses, and none of those consumers thought they would become victims either.


Google "check forgery" and "police report" and you'll learn that if you're a victim of the former, you'll need the latter to prove your innocence.


This is something that most people don't think about. When they become a victim, they are victimized by the system, because they must prove that they didn't write the checks. It is never, just a simple thing to say, I didn't write this check. It is a big headache of telling everyone and every authority that it is a forgery and then provide the collectors with supporting documentation of the forgery.

In addition, some companies actually ask to see you ID when you write a check. These are the companies that you should be supporting. For example there are a couple of national companies, that the Topeka Police Department and Shawnee County Sheriff's office won't take reports from for stolen or forged checks. The reason? They won't check ID's. In the view of the police, if the store won't protect theirselves, in the name of convenience to their customers, then it is a waste of their time to take the report. The reason is simple. If the cashier doesn't take time to check the ID then there is no witness to testify that someone was the one who presented the check. Which means they can't make an arrest, if they were able to find someone. All of which means, those stores really don't care about you all they want is your money.

However, forgers have gotten smarter. Even if your store does check your ID when you shop there, they may not be doing it right. First off the cashier should be verifying your name, address and picture. All of which must match on both the ID and check. Further forgers have begun counterfeiting Drivers Licenses even the new counterfeit proof ones. With the right computer programs they can create the holographic images. They then print the design and either glue or stick it to a used gift card. In so doing they can open their wallets and leave the ID behind the plastic window to show "their" ID (with your information on it). Forgery experts with the police suggest (and some businesses have begun requiring it) that you remove your ID from your wallet, so that the cashier can see that it is real.

The idea some people have of, I have been shopping here for xx number of years and everyone knows me, doesn't fly. Even the forgers have regular places they shop. I can recall one such person a few years back. She came in more then a dozen times. Each time she came in to the store, she wrote a check, the cashier didn't check her ID, but she wrote it on the check for the cashier. Every one of those checks came back. Every one of the checks had a different drivers license number on it. This doesn't mean the store thinks you are a thief or forger, it just means they are trying to look out for you, while protecting theirselves as well. For me, I won't shop a store, who won't check my ID.

Remember, the more advanced these crooks become, the more inconvenienced we who are honest become.


If you like this post, buy me a coke

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fox Business & Dish Network Update

Tomorrow is the big day. Fox Business Network will be launched. There is still no word from Dish Network if they will carry it. Last they told me, it was still under negotiations. Direct TV will be carrying the new channel on channel 359.

We really need to turn the heat up on Dish. Fox Business has a comment form for you to use to submit the request (enter your zip code and then you will be taken to the form). In addition you may want to call (and really should) Dish Network yourself and let them know of your interest. Today, I even told them I was disappointed that they still had no new information and that Direct TV would be carrying it. Dish Networks phone number is:

(800) 333-3474

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Free Ipod


One thing I have wanted for a long time is an Ipod. Well, I found a blog who is giving away an 16GB Ipod Touch. Now if I am lucky enough to win this, I can download the Dave Ramsey radio show and hear it when ever I have time. Never again would I have to miss a minute of the show. Perhaps I could do the same thing for the TV show, but we shall see on that one.
The features of this particular Ipod are:

Multi-touch interface
3.5 Inch widescreen display
Surf the web with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Gift value $399.00


The winner will be selected at random on Monday November 12. I hope no one goes to the blog and enters, so I will have a better chance of winning. If you do, however, the author says you must follow a few simple rules.

All you need to do is make a post on your blog linking back to their blog article.

Then simply post a comment on said article with the address of the page that you made about this contest. One post will enter you into this contest.

Daniel 10:12

From the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spending

I got my paycheck yesterday. Take home of $203. Today, I withdrew $150 from my savings account. Bought the size 10 Brooks Addiction spending $107 at the shoe store. I then went over to Best Buy and replaced my broken headphones. Now I will be able to hear the videos, when I get to a public computer, that I can't hear on this one (computer).

Cookbook Website is Now Live

As of a few minutes ago, I have completed the move of my cookbook website to it's new servers. The site will be looking for additional people to post new recipes. If you would like to be able to submit your recipes to My-Online-Cookbook.com I will need your email address, so that I can have blogger
send you your invitation.

KEVIN'S CRISPY FRIED CHICKEN

2 1/2 - 3 lb. cut up frying chicken
Crisco for deep frying

SEASONED FLOUR:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tbsp. season all
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

CRISPY BATTER:

2/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg yolk
3/4 c. water, buttermilk or milk

Combine flour and seasonings in a bowl. Combine water (or milk) and egg yolk. Gradually add to dry ingredients. Heat Crisco to 365 degrees in deep pan or fryer to a depth of about 2". Moisten chicken pieces. Dip in seasoned flour then into batter then back in flour. Fry in hot Crisco for 15 to 18 minutes or until well browned. Drain on paper. 5 to 6 servings.

SPANISH TORTILLA

1 1/2 onions, diced
6-7 potatoes
Salt to taste
7 eggs
Olive oil

Peel and dice onions. Set aside in a bowl. Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Slice potatoes very thinly and mix with the onions. Add salt to taste. Heat the olive oil and fry the potatoes and onions until soft.

Meanwhile, break and beat the eggs in a bowl. Drain the fried potato and egg mixture and add to the eggs. Mix well. Heat a small amount of oil in an 8-inch saute pan.

Pour about 1 inch of the mixture into the pan. Cook one side until eggs are set. Flip onto a plate to turn the tortilla over. Return to pan and cook other side until egg mixture is set. Remove onto a serving plate. May be eaten hot or cold. Yield 3 small (8 inch) tortillas.

SPANISH TORTILLA

6-7 potatoes, diced
Salt to taste
7 eggs
Olive oil

Peel and dice onions. Set aside in a bowl. Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Slice potatoes very thinly and mix with the onions. Add salt to taste. Heat the olive oil and fry the potatoes and onions until soft.

Meanwhile, break and beat the eggs in a bowl. Drain the fried potato and egg mixture and add to the eggs. Mix well. Heat a small amount of oil in an 8-inch saute pan.

Pour about 1 inch of the mixture into the pan. Cook one side until eggs are set. Flip onto a plate to turn the tortilla over. Return to pan and cook other side until egg mixture is set. Remove onto a serving plate. May be eaten hot or cold. Yield 3 small (8 inch) tortillas.

Thai chicken curry

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 lb skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch strips
1 to 2 tablespoons of fish sauce* (found mine at that international supermarket)
12 oz of fresh spinach
1/2 cup basil, cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
cooked rice

1. puree 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, ginger, garlic, onion, lemon peel, pepper flakes, paprika & curry in blender.

2. heat coconut milk mixture in skillet over medium-high heat. cook til it gets thicker..maybe 2 minutes.
add chicken, remaining coconut milk & fish sauce.
heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low. simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes or til chicken is done.
stir in salt, basil & spinach (a handful at a time)

serve over rice.

i doubled this recipe last night. i also had to thicken the sauce up with cornstarch, since it was a bit too runny for me.
i didn't have basil and i forgot to get more garlic while shopping, so i didn't add those.

oh, and a tip for peeling ginger root....use a spoon to peel it :)
i love fresh ginger...it smells so nice. i added the ginger peels and some extra lemon peel to water and simmered it on the stove..smelled nice! :)


anyway,
ingredients to be pureed:

added the coconut milk:



added the chicken:

added the fish sauce:

added the spinach:

rice. jason ordered some rice & the naan bread you will soon see from sitar (the indian place we love to go to) their rice is awesome. great by itself!:

mmm..that naan bread:

plated:

closer:


*fish sauce STINKS if you don't already know, so beware!

---submitted by beepboop----

Herbed Turkey and Dressing

BASTING SAUCE:
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon each: dried marjoram, rosemary and
1/4 cup fresh parsley -- chopped
2 Tablespoons dried chives
DRESSING:
1 pound sliced bread
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 cups celery -- thinly sliced
3 cups carrots -- thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms -- chopped
1/2 pound fully cooked ham -- cubed
2 cups green onions -- sliced
2 cups chopped pecans
1 large tart apples -- chopped
1 cup dried apricots -- chopped
1 Tablespoon rubbed sage
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 eggs -- lightly beaten
1 16 pound turkey -- (16 to 18)
1 cup chicken broth

In a pan, bring broth, butter and salt to a boil. Add herbs;
set aside. Toast bread; cut into 1/2" cubes. Place in a bowl. In a
skillet, brown sausage; remove with slotted spoon and add to bread. Add butter
to drippings; saute celery, carrots, mushrooms, ham and onions for 15 min. Add
to bread mixture; stir in next eight ingredients. Add eggs and 3/4 cup basting
sauce; mix lightly. Stuff turkey with about 8 cups dressing. Skewer openings;
tie drumsticks together. Place on rack in roasting pan. Baste with some of
remaining basting sauce. Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 5 to 5-1/2 hours or
until thermometer reads 185 degrees, basting every 30 min. When turkey begins
to brown, cover lightly with foil. Add broth to remaining dressing; mix
lightly. Place in a greased 2-1/2 qt baking dish; chill. Cover and bake at 325
degrees for 1 hour; uncover and bake 10 min.

Old fashioned Square No Bake Cookies

1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a large saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until blended. Add rolled oats, nuts, vanilla, and salt. Put into 8"x8" square pan and chill. Cut into squares.

Old fashioned Square No Bake Cookies

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


    Mix sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a large saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until blended. Add rolled oats, nuts, vanilla, and salt. Put into 8"x8" square pan and chill. Cut into squares.
  • Sweet Potato Streusel



    Ingredients:

    2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed

    6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted, divided

    1/4 cup orange juice

    1-1/2 tsp. salt

    10 NABISCO Ginger Snaps, finely crushed

    1/2 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans, toasted

    ()

    Here's How to toast nuts (3 ways):

    1. Nuts may be toasted in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until they're golden brown.
    2. To toast in the oven, spread nuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
    3. To toast in the microwave oven, place 1 cup of chopped nuts on a paper plate. Microwave uncovered on HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they smell toasted. Rotate the plate a half turn after 2 minutes. They will not brown.

    Tips:

    1. Warmed nuts are easier to chop.
    2. Always taste nuts before using; rancid nuts will ruin whatever food they're used in.





    3 Tbsp. brown sugar




    PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix potatoes, 3 Tbsp. of the melted butter, the orange juice and salt until well blended. Spoon into 2-quart casserole dish.

    MIX remaining 3 Tbsp. melted butter, the gingersnap crumbs, pecans and sugar until well blended; sprinkle over potato mixture.
    BAKE 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.


    Prep Time: 15 mins.
    Total Time: 45 mins.

    Serving Size : 8

    Potato Pirogies

    INGREDIENTS:



  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cold water

  • 1/4 pound bacon

  • 1-1/4 pounds baking potatoes

  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 ounce bacon

  • 1/4 (32 ounce) jar sauerkraut - drained, rinsed and minced

  • 2-1/4 teaspoons sour cream

  • salt and pepper to taste









    DIRECTIONS:


    1. To Make Dough: In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, egg
    and water. Mix all together to form dough; cover bowl and set aside.

    2. To Make Potato Filling: Place potatoes in a large pot. Add water to
    cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 25 to 35 minutes or until tender.
    Remove potatoes from water and mash. Place bacon in a large, deep
    skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble
    and stir into mashed potatoes. Stir in cheese and season with salt and
    pepper.

    3. To Make Sauerkraut Filling: Place bacon in a large, deep skillet.
    Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and place
    in a medium bowl. Stir in sauerkraut, then sour cream. Mix well.

    4. Roll reserved dough out on a floured surface. Cut circles out of
    dough, using a small round container. Place a spoonful of potato or
    sauerkraut filling in the center of each circle and fold over, pinching
    edges together to seal. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a
    boil; drop pirogies in boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or
    until they float.
  • Yams for Health

    4 medium Yams, peeled and sliced

    1/2 t Finely shredded orange peel

    1/2 c Orange juice

    1 T Brown sugar

    1/4 t Salt

    1/4 t Cinnamon

    1/8 t Allspice



    In a large skillet, bring 1" of water to a boil. Add yams. Cover and

    simmer for 20 minutes or until they are tender. Drain. In a small

    bowl, mix orange peel, orange juice, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and

    allspice. Pour over yams in skillet. Cook and stir until bubbly.

    Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, spooning sauce over potatoes

    occasionally to make a glaze.



    Per serving: 135 calories, 0 fat.

    Corn Pudding B

    1 can (15-1/2 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

    1 can (15 oz.) cream-style corn

    1 pkg. (8-1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix

    1 cup sour cream

    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted

    3 eggs

    PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix all ingredients until well blended.

    SPOON into 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

    BAKE 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with additional butter, if desired.

    Corn Pudding A

    INGREDIENTS:

    * 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels, thawed
    * 6 eggs
    * 3 1/2 cups milk
    * 1/2 cup butter, melted
    * 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 1 cup white sugar

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. In a blender or food processor blend the eggs very well. Add in the flour and sugar and blend well. Add the milk and blend slightly. Finally mix in the corn by hand. Stir in the melted butter and pour the mixture into a large casserole dish.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. When the pudding is done the center should be solid and the top should have a nice golden brown color. Let rest for approximately 15 minutes then serve warm.

    Potato Perogies

    INGREDIENTS:

    * 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/4 egg, beaten
    * 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cold water
    * 1/4 pound bacon
    * 1-1/4 pounds baking potatoes
    * 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * 1 ounce bacon
    * 1/4 (32 ounce) jar sauerkraut - drained, rinsed and minced
    * 2-1/4 teaspoons sour cream
    * salt and pepper to taste


    DIRECTIONS:

    1. To Make Dough: In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, egg and water. Mix all together to form dough; cover bowl and set aside.
    2. To Make Potato Filling: Place potatoes in a large pot. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 25 to 35 minutes or until tender. Remove potatoes from water and mash. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and stir into mashed potatoes. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
    3. To Make Sauerkraut Filling: Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and place in a medium bowl. Stir in sauerkraut, then sour cream. Mix well.
    4. Roll reserved dough out on a floured surface. Cut circles out of dough, using a small round container. Place a spoonful of potato or sauerkraut filling in the center of each circle and fold over, pinching edges together to seal. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; drop perogies in boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they float.

    Sherbet Punch

    Sherbet Punch
    2 qt lime sherbet
    2 qt ginger ale
    2 gt 7-up (R) or Sprite (R)

    Mix equal parts sherbet, 7-up and ginger ale to desired taste and consistency. Makes 1 average bowl of punch. Can increase as needed. This recipe is also good with raspberry or orange sherbet.

    COCA-COLA CAKE

    2 c. cake flour
    2 c. sugar
    2 sticks butter
    3 tbsp. cocoa
    1 c. Coca Cola
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 c. buttermilk
    1 tsp. soda
    1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Combine cake flour and sugar. Heat butter, cocoa, and Coca Cola to a boil. Combine buttermilk, soda, marshmallows, and vanilla. Pour boiling Coke mixture over flour and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add to eggs/buttermilk mixture and beat well. Bake in greased flat cake pan at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

    COLA FROSTING:

    1 stick butter
    3 tbsp. cocoa
    6 tbsp. Coca Cola
    1 lb. confectioners' sugar
    1 c. chopped nuts
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Combine butter, cocoa, and Coca Cola and boil. Pour above boiled mixture over confectioners' sugar. Add chopped nuts, vanilla, and blend thoroughly. Spread over warm cake.

    Microwave Fudge

    Easy chocolate fudge made in the microwave oven.


    # 3 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
    # 1/2 cup cocoa
    # 1/4 cup milk
    # 1/2 cup butter
    # 1 tablespoon vanilla
    # 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional



    Combine and cook confectioners' sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter on high power until butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Blend in vanilla and pecans. Spread into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Cut microwave fudge in squares.

    Easy Strawberry Pie

    -1 pint strawberries, hulled
    -8 oz. Cool Whip Lite
    -8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    -1/4 cup sugar
    -1/2 tsp. vanilla
    -graham cracker pie crust

    Arrange strawberries in bottom of pie crust. Mix sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla. Fold in Cool Whip Lite. Spoon over berries. Chill for three hours, then serve.

    -Contributed by Mona

    Chow Mein Clusters

    2 cups butterscotch chips
    2 cups chow mein noodles
    1 cup salted peanuts


    1. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butterscotch morsels, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in the chow mien noodles and peanuts.
    2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm.

    Easy No Cook Fudge

    Easy No Cook Fudge
    .... with a unique flavor!

    ¾ cup butter, divided
    1-oz. square baking chocolate
    1¼ cup sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
    1 egg
    2 cups crushed graham crackers (any flavor - I love the chocolate ones)
    1 cup flaked coconut
    ½ cup nuts
    2 tablespoons light cream or coffee creamer
    2 cups confectionary sugar
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate
    1 tablespoon shortening

    Melt ½ cup butter and baking chocolate.
    Blend in sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, egg, graham crackers, coconut, and nuts.
    Mix well with a spoon, then with hands.
    Press mixture in an ungreased 11 ½ x 7 ½ x 1 ½ inch pan; refrigerate.
    Mix together ¼ cup butter, light cream, confectionary sugar and 1 teaspoon
    vanilla; beat well.
    Spread over chocolate mixture in pan; chill.
    Melt semisweet chocolate and shortening over hot, not boiling water.
    Spread melted chocolate over white filling; chill.
    Cut into 1 inch squares.
    Store in refrigerator

    ***from http://littlepixey.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_littlepixey_archive.html#107695020329688014 ***

    No Bake Cookies II

    2 cups white sugar
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup margarine
    1/2 cup milk
    1 pinch salt
    3 cups quick cooking oats
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1. In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute.
    2. Add quick cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
    3. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

    Old fashioned Square No Bake Cookies

    1/2 cup milk
    2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    3 tablespoons cocoa
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    3 cups rolled oats
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Mix sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a large saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until blended. Add rolled oats, nuts, vanilla, and salt. Put into 8"x8" square pan and chill. Cut into squares.

    SOFT gingerbread cookies

    these are so very good...and if you make this whole recipe, you'll have about 100 cookies (if you use a 3-4 inch cookie cutter)...so some of you might want to half this recipe. :)

    in a big big big bowl, mix all these ingredients together.

    1 pint* of sugar
    1 pint of shortening
    1 pint of molasses**
    1 pint hot water
    2 teaspoons baking soda (mix in with hot water)
    3 teaspoons ginger
    3 eggs
    add vanilla

    mix with flour*** till stiff****
    then place on a floured surface to roll out (roll out to about 1/4 inch thick) and cut out...you'll use a lot of flour for this too
    bake at 350 for 12 minutes


    * 1 pint = 2 cups
    ** buy 2 jars of grandma's or other molasses
    *** you'll end up using a lot of flour ( I used almost a 5 lb. bag)
    **** it will be close to the consistency of play-doh and it gets tough to mix, but it is well worth it!


    ---submitted by beepboop---

    MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE FUDGE

    Another easy chocolate fudge made in the microwave oven.


    # 1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet morsels
    # 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
    # 1 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
    # 1 tsp. vanilla



    In glass dish, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Microwave 3 minutes on high. Stir until smooth. Add walnuts and vanilla. Spread into foil-lined 8-inch square pan.

    Chill until firm, 2 hours.

    Yields: 1 1/4 pounds.

    The perfect fudge recipe for people who don't cook.
    -----
    Recipe from back of Nestle's package!



    MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE FUDGE

    Another easy chocolate fudge made in the microwave oven.


    # 1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet morsels
    # 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
    # 1 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
    # 1 tsp. vanilla



    In glass dish, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Microwave 3 minutes on high. Stir until smooth. Add walnuts and vanilla. Spread into foil-lined 8-inch square pan.

    Chill until firm, 2 hours.

    Yields: 1 1/4 pounds.

    The perfect fudge recipe for people who don't cook.
    -----
    Recipe from back of Nestle's package!



    Uncle Jack's Pecan Pie

    3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup dark corn syrup
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 cup Whiskey (I use Jack Daniel's)
    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
    1 cup whole pecans
    1 10-inch pie crust

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine eggs, sugar, butter, syrup, vanilla and Jack Daniel's Tennessee. Mix well then strain. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust; cover with pecans. Pour filling over chips and pecans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean. Set aside for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    Dixie Pie

    INGREDIENTS

  • 2 (9 inch) pie shells, partially baked
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut



    DIRECTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place raisins in a small saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover. Place over low heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Mix until smooth. Drain excess water from raisins. Fold into mixture along with nuts and coconut. Mixture will appear curdled. Pour half of mixture into each pastry shell.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until filling is set. Cool on wire racks. Garnish with whipped topping and chopped nuts if desired.
  • Contacting Washington Mutual Again


    I recently again contacted (by e-mail) Washington Mutual about lower the interest on my Providian credit card.

    Please drop my interest rate and in exchange I will pay off the balance of this account by the end of the year.

    Let me word that another way. I would like you to lower my interest rate, and in exchange for you doing so, I WILL pay off the balance by Dec. 28, 2007. Which I figure to about $260/month (and 3 payments) if you will lower that interest rate.

    Surely we can work together, you get your money and I get relieved of this debt. Can you arrange this please. Thank you.


    After several days and one e-mail apologizing for the delay, I finally received an answer.

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding your account. We apologize for the delay in responding to your message.

    We received your request for a lower interest rate, but we are unable to meet your request at this time. We do evaluate our customers accounts on a periodic basis. If your account becomes eligible for a better interest rate you will be notified by mail and your account will reflect the change immediately. We are sorry we are unable to meet all of your account needs at this time.

    If you have further questions or would like additional information, please e-mail us through our secure Contact Center or you may also call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-356-0011. Representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Thank you. We look forward to more opportunities to meet your financial needs.

    Sincerely,

    Customer Service Representative

    P.S. We hope you enjoy the convenience of online account access. Keep in mind, at our website you can check your balance, pay your bill, and more - - 24 hours a day!


    I never agreed to the 36% interest and unlike other personal finance bloggers who have said they were successful in getting their interest rate lowered (with WaMU), I have had the opposite experience. Still, I intend to get this loan debt paid off by the end of the year. Along with the Black Gold insulation and the 2nd (and final) mortgage (home improvement).


    If you like this post, buy me a coke

    Who I Want To Emulate - Part 2


    Welcome to part two of who I want to emulate. Last time we took a look at Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man. It is important (to me anyway) to point out, that I have not personally met any of these men (or women), but would like to. Today, we are going to look at another wise man. Someone who is a millionaire, but as far as anyone knows, has not joined the ranks of billionaire. Someone who millions of people turn to for advice on their finances. This man, if you haven't already guessed is none other then Dave Ramsey. The author of the best selling book Financial Peace. As well as th host of the daily radio program, "The Dave Ramsey Show," and beginning Oct 15 a new television show to be hosted on a brand new television network (Fox Business Network) also launching the same day.

    Ramsey made his first million(s) before he was 23. He then lost it all when the banks holding his real estate loans was sold and the new bank called his notes. After he filed bankruptcy, he learned how to live within his means. As he learned he begin teaching people what he learned. Through the process he rebuilt his wealth without going into debt. One may think all of his money comes from teaching people simple common sense things that we all should already know. But, they would be wrong. He did reenter the real estate market with a number of rentals, all of which he paid cash for.

    I like this guy, one because he built his own wealth, with out using someone else's money. He busied himself and earned every penny he has in his bank account. What he teaches, makes sense (if you will stop and actually listen) and is something that I want to put into practice.

    This gentleman, as with all the people I write about in this series, is one of the people I most want to meet face to face.

    ***** side note: despite what Cox Cable says, the Fox Business network won't only launch in the Northeast, Time Warner will have it in Atlanta and Kansas City as well as a number of other markets. Direct TV will carry the channel on 359, and will carry it nationwide. Dish Network is still in negotiations.


    ---Other Posts in Series---
    Who I Want To Emulate - Part 1

    agnostic dyslexic insomniac

    I’m an agnostic dyslexic insomniac that lies awake all night wondering if there really is a dog

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Merger Question


    This year I relaunched a blog that I had abandoned when I started this one. After much thought, it seems as though I don't have enough time to devote to both blogs. KevinsView.com is more political in nature and this blog is more personal finance in nature. This blog is still my thoughts and I was wondering what you all thought. I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments and in the poll (in the sidebar).

    Would you be offended if I posted an occasional political thought? Do you think the political thoughts would turn people away? Bring more visitors in? Do you think it is a good idea? Let me know your thoughts. I will be anticipating your comments and your votes.

    Details...if I do merge the two blogs...KevinsView.com will be forwarded into the DebtFree4ever.NET blog.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Merger Question


    This year I relaunched a blog that I had abandoned when I started this one. After much thought, it seems as though I don't have enough time to devote to both blogs. KevinsView.com is more political in nature and this blog is more personal finance in nature. This blog is still my thoughts and I was wondering what you all thought. I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments and in the poll (in the sidebar).

    Would you be offended if I posted an occasional political thought? Do you think the political thoughts would turn people away? Bring more visitors in? Do you think it is a good idea? Let me know your thoughts. I will be anticipating your comments and your votes.

    Details...if I do merge the two blogs...KevinsView.com will be forwarded into the DebtFree4ever.NET blog.

    My other bumper sticker

    My other car bumper sticker is funny.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Goodwill launches online shopping


    Recently I was reading the online version of the Miami Herald. Specifically the column by Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, better known in the Personal Finance world as the Frugal Duchess.

    In the specific article I read, the Duchess interviewed the folks at Goodwill, after she learned of a new service the national chain of non-profit thrift shops.


    Many of us love thrift shops, but lack the time to hunt for treasures at second-hand stores. Goodwill addressed that problem with www.shopgoodwill.com, an eBay-style electronic marketplace and auction platform. The merchandise, including antiques, is posted with photos by 71 Goodwill organizations around the country, according to Joan Dornbach, vice president of marketing for Goodwill of Orange County in California.


    Like Sharon said many of us, especially those of us in the frugal world of personal finance bloggers and readers, enjoy shopping at thrift shops. However, time often escapes us, until now. This is a site I think I could visit every now and then. The thing is though, Goodwill is the thrift shop that I visit the least. So the new eBay style website, may not be for me, yet may be for many of you.



    If you like this post, buy me a coke

    If At First

    If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    Who I Want To Emulate - Part 1

    One of the people I most want to emulate is the Oracle of Omaha. Other wise known as the second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett. Can I be the next Warren Buffett? Probably not, I would be starting way to late in life. However, I desire to invest my available funds and make myself rich. Maybe (and hopefully) multimillionaire if not a billionaire. The things I would be able to do with that kind of cash in the name of good will.

    I realize though, before I can even begin to invest, I will need to finish getting myself debt free. 100% debt free, like Warren Buffett was when he started investing. Like Dave Ramsey says though, I cannot invest a dime until I get my debts paid off. Although against Ramsey's advice, I still have money going into my 401-k. However, I am not investing into any of my stock interests. Still though, I look at what Buffett does, and consider his investments. It is those things that I plan to invest in; to begin with, when I get back into a position to be an investor.

    So it was with great interest that I read, Buffett's Berkshire buys more of BNSF, in my local paper. Burlington Northern Santa Fe is a local company in Topeka and is one of the largest transportation companies in the country.


    OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has bought 7.8 million more shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe stock, giving it control of 17.2 percent of the nation's second-largest railroad.

    Berkshire had owned about 15 percent of Burlington Northern before this latest purchase, which was revealed in a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission

    Berkshire made its latest railroad stock purchase on Wednesday by exercising the options it already held to buy 7.8 million shares of Burlington Northern stock. Berkshire now owns 60.8 million shares of BNSF.
    - Topeka Capital Journal


    Being a local company, I am familiar with this company, headquartered in Burlington, IA. The question though is do I know enough about the operation of such a company to become an owner? Buffett always says to never invest a company that you couldn't take the reins of. That is why he is reluctant to invest in tech stocks. It also is the reason the few shares of stocks that remain in my portfolio (being to few to sell, to get any funds from) are all in retail and food companies. Such companies as Kroger (a competitor to my company), Pier 1 and Coca-Cola. Since I have worked retail most all my life, these are companies I know something about and feel, if I had to, could step in as chairman of.

    I still have an estimated 2 years before I am completely debt free, so I will have time to consider such an investment. Not to mention how heavily I will begin increasing my current investments.

    pasta and antipasta

    If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?

    Saturday, October 6, 2007

    Need New Shoes! - Exploring My Options


    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my suspected Plantar fasciitis
    (heel spurs). Today, I visited the shoe company that the orthopedic person suggested I visit. He said it was the only shoe place he would recommend. Before I went though, I visited another shoe company that it was obvious that the sales associate didn't know what he was talking about. So I said to the friend with me let's check out this Great Plains Running Company.

    Since we had already been abandoned, it was no problem getting out of there and down the road to the Great Plains location.

    Upon entering the store, everyone was busy, so we locked around and eventually Karen, the stores community relations person came out to help us. She talked with us and then began to measure my feet length and width to find get the proper shoe. Once the measurements were made she showed me the inserts to correct the proration of my feet and unlike the grocery store inserts also cups/supports the heals. She then had an associate help my friend find a pair of running shoes. While he was measuring his (my friends) feet, Karen was busy having me try on several pairs of shoes (with the inserts slide in) to find the most comfortable.

    When it was said and done, the decision was that the Brooks Addiction was the best shoe for me. She gave me a card with the information, so that I can return in a couple of weeks, when I get the $100, to get the shoes. We left with the (SuperFeet) inserts in a bag and as I type this, they are now in my cheap crappy shoes. I look forward to getting the better quality shoe, but for now I have some arch support to help begin to correct my bad walking habits.

    I would recommend to everyone in the Topeka, KS area to look up Great Plains Running Company. They are the only company that I know of that takes the time to find the shoe for your specific foot needs. Not only that, but they are very professional and know what they are talking about.

    Kansas Foster Parent Given National Honor


    WIBW-TV reported this weekend that an area foster parent and adoptive
    parent was nominated by Congresswoman Boyda to honor him by the
    Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. I would like to
    congratulate Mr. Griffiths on this honor.

    In the article (below) Boyda said:
    "Earlier this year, the House of
    Representatives honored foster parents by unanimously passing my
    National Foster Parents Day resolution. Yesterday's awards gala was
    another opportunity to honor these loving families. Of course, no
    award can repay the efforts of caring men and women like Stuart, but I
    hope the recognition helps to express our nation's gratitude for their
    efforts."


    This is great and should be an additional incentive for the President
    to Proclaim National Foster Parents Day.


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District)
    has honored Riley resident Stuart Griffiths as a 2007 Angel in
    Adoption for his exceptional work as a foster and adoptive parent. The
    Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which
    orchestrates the Angels in Adoption program, Thursday honored Mr.
    Giffiths, along with more than 180 other Angels nominated by Members
    of Congress across America, at an awards ceremony and gala event in
    Washington, D.C.

    Mr. Griffiths is a dedicated foster parent who has, over the years,
    hosted 32 foster children. Mr. Griffiths first started working with
    children as a wrestling coach while in college, when he gave rides to
    and from practice to a young man living in a group home.

    Mr. Griffiths wanted to do more to help, so he began volunteering at
    the young man's group home – helping with homework, playing ball, and
    whatever else was needed.

    Eventually, the home asked Mr. Griffiths to take on the role of
    assistant director. He later returned to school and earned a degree in
    social work, and he has devoted the last eight years of his life to
    working in child protective services.

    As a foster parent, Mr. Griffiths has focused on helping children who
    were victims of abuse or had behavioral problems grow into successful
    and talented adults. He now has five adopted sons, ranging in age from
    14 to 19.

    Congresswoman Boyda said, "For over a decade now, Stuart has opened
    his home and his heart to children in need. His efforts are moving and
    truly inspiring, and I'm pleased to have the chance to honor his
    caring work."

    CCAI was created in 2001 by the active co-chairs of the bicameral,
    bipartisan Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) to more
    effectively raise Congressional and public awareness about the issue
    of adoption.

    The Angels in Adoption program is CCAI's signature public awareness
    campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S.
    Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have
    enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States
    and abroad.

    The Angels in Adoption program was established in 1999 as a
    Congressional press conference to honor outstanding individuals. Since
    then, the program has developed into a yearlong public awareness
    campaign culminating in an awards gala and celebration in Washington,
    D.C.

    Congresswoman Boyda added, "Earlier this year, the House of
    Representatives honored foster parents by unanimously passing my
    National Foster Parents Day resolution. Yesterday's awards gala was
    another opportunity to honor these loving families. Of course, no
    award can repay the efforts of caring men and women like Stuart, but I
    hope the recognition helps to express our nation's gratitude for their
    efforts."

    Take a look at Life Insure, if you are in the Market for New Insurance

    Are you considering switching insurance? If you are, then one site that you may want to check out is LifeInsure.com. The site allows you compare term, universal and whole life. Of course, if you have read my blog with any regularity and listened to Dave Ramsey, you know that I don't like whole life. So I would strongly suggest that you avoid that portion of the site.

    Why? Because you won't get the extra money that you pay. If you die, then your heirs will only get the benefits of the policy and not a dime of the savings that you added to it. If you cash it out early so that you can get that savings, well the interest is not what you would get in a good mutual fund. So again, I implore you, don't buy whole life. If you already have whole life, sell it, buy term and invest the difference in a good mutual fund. Never, buy annuities or other investments from your insurance company, they just aren't the best rates.

    LifeInsure.com will let visitors from all 50 states compare rates between various companies. So if you are in the market for new insurance, then give LifeInsure.com a look see.

    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    Credit Freeze


    Recently Experian announced that, starting November 1, they were voluntarily joining Equifax and Transunion to allow consumers in all 50 states to place a credit freeze on their credit files.

    A credit freeze helps prevent access to your credit file. Since no one can check your credit(without your PIN number), would be identity thieves cannot open new lines of credit in your name.


    Credit report freezing is one way of preventing financial identify theft should personal financial information fall into the hands of an undesirable third party. A freeze prevents your credit history from being accessed by a potential creditor. If a creditor cannot access a credit history than there is a very good chance you or anyone pretending to be you will not be given a loan or a line of credit.

    A freeze doesn't guarantee someone cannot acquire credit under your name, however Experain says it is an affordable and quick way for consumers to take action to prevent identity theft in a worst case scenario.
    - PC World


    Only consumers in 39 states were able to place a credit freeze on their files, until the three credit bureaus allowed consumers in all 50 states to do so. that means consumers in 11 states were not protected.

    Those 11 states (with no credit freeze laws) are:
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia


  • Thankfully, the bureaus have decided to protect all consumers, unlike this handful of states.

    The Federal Trade Commission, which provides a wealth of consumer guidance on credit freezing, agrees with Experain, yet cautions: A credit freeze may prevent an identity thief from opening a new account in someone's name, it will not protect the victim from a thief who is using their existing credit cards. Additionally, if the theft is ongoing when you place a credit freeze, the freeze itself won't prevent the crime. That said, the FTC does see credit freezing as effective against the "vast majority" of identify thefts that entail opening new credit accounts.

    For victims of identify theft, Experian's file freeze option will be free of charge. Others who simply want to freeze access to their credit history will be subject to a $10 fee to place or lift a freeze. Some states mandate a specific price for placing and removing freezes.
    - PC World


    I think this is an option, that I will certainly take advantage of.





    Over the years, mortgage refinancing has become comparatively easier than purchasing a new mortgage. One of the obvious reasons for that is growing trend for home loans as most of these can easily be paid through your american express card. It has attracted more masses because they get bundled property insurance with home loans. Some companies even include health insurance in the package to get more customers.

    flag decal

    Your flag decal still won't get you into heaven

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    What Did My Parents Teach Me About Money


    Will Chen over at Wise Bread, recently asked,

    What did your parents teach you about money? Did they give you words of wisdom or did they teach you by example? How did their views affect your perception of finances later on in life? If you think their influence has been less than positive, how did you overcome them?

    This question got me to thinking. What did my parents teach me? It really wasn't much. I remember them constantly saying that we didn't have enough. They wouldn't even let me play "little league," or several other activities I wanted to participate in, because we didn't have the money.
    Granted, I had medical problems and went to Kansas City for numerous check-ups, but what the insurance didn't cover an organization known as Crippled Children did. Including my back surgery in 1983. But, that is another topic. What did my parents teach me? Well, let's take a look.

    My parents really didn't teach me anything about money. I hate to sound mean about it, but that is the straight dope. They were always hard up for money, and never talked with us kids about money or budgeting.
    I remember the Catholic church bringing food baskets at Christmas time to our protestant home. I remember us buying clothes at garage sales or being given used clothes.
    As kids, my parents gave us an allowance of 50 cents a week. Mom kept this allowance in a coin purse in her purse. We were never taught how to save the money (not even in the piggy bank). If we wanted to buy something with our money, we still had to ask her, for "our" money. All to often though, she would borrow from our money and have to "pay us back."

    One thing I did learn about money was in church that we are suppose to tithe 10% (or more) of our income. Never once did I actually see put anything in the offering plate. At one point, I even mentioned to mom, that they never donate at church. Her response was that I didn't know what they did in Sunday School. My response was that her actions (what I see) speaks louder then anything she said she did.
    Much of what I have learned about budgeting has been in my adult life. Most of that has been in the last couple of years since I started studying John Cummuta and later Dave Ramsey.

    I started this blog in March 2006, and have been learning more about money as I write about it.

    So what about you? What did your parents teach you about money? I would love to hear each of your stories.