Thursday, July 31, 2008

Attended T. Boone Pickens Town Hall Yesterday

Yesterday, I attended the T. Boone Pickens town hall meeting yesterday. I don't have time this morning, but I will post about it later. I did get pictures posted on Facebook.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pictures of the New Skate Park part 2

Pictures of the New Skate Park

For those, who are interested, here are some pictures of the new Skate Park in Chesney park.

Readers Input/Thoughts Sought

Now, that i got my washer fixed, I need to get a new dryer. The one I have, absolutely won't work at all, Not even a buzz. I have looked at new dryers (I have never bought one brand new) and I found a Whirlpool for $259.99 +$10 for the cord + $59.99 delivery/haul away.

On the other hand, I could go check out the used place here in town. Not sure how reliable the dryer will be. The prices start at $59 and go up from there. The Delivery and haul away is only $25. Last time I looked items advertised on their sign, I didn't find anything at the low end price. So really not sure what kind of prices they will actually have.

The frugal side of me says, to buy used, and save the cash (or pay down debt). The more sensible side of me says to get something that you know is reliable and will last at least 10 years.
I would really appreciate all of your thoughts.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Billionaire To Host Town Hall Meetings

image Courtesy of The Associated Press

I am sure by now, you have all heard of T. Boone Pickens. The Texas oil billionaire that has been running commercials all over the radio and TV, promoting his plan for alternative energy. According to his commercials, he will be having a series of town hall meetings and encourages people to visit to learn more. The website is even set up as a social network (see my profile).

Well, this weekend, the Topeka Capital Journal reported:

Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is expected to speak about his plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Kansas Expocentre's Heritage Hall in a town-hall meeting.

This will be the first in a series of town-hall meetings about his Pickens Plan, described at his Web site,, as "a blueprint to reduce foreign oil dependence by harnessing domestic energy alternatives, and buy us time to develop even greater new technologies."

Amazing as it may be, the first town hall meeting will be just 2 blocks from my house. You can be sure, I am interested in what he has to say. As such, I plan to be there. I want to here this man and his thoughts in person. So, I will save gas (and energy) and walk the 2-3 blocks and have a listen to his plan. I will be sure to make every attempt to share with you all, what he has to say, and my thoughts on it.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Mr. Food Recipes-Mexican Toast

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until well blended.

2. Cut each tortilla into quarters then place in the egg mixture. Gently stir to completely coat the tortillas. Allow to soak for 10 minutes, or until softened.

3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add 4 tortilla quarters and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden, turning halfway through cooking. Drain on a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat with the remaining butter and tortillas. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

NOTE: Sure, you can top these with maple syrup or even fresh or thawed frozen strawberries.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sketch A Skyscraper Contest

I don't live in Oklahoma, but I received an email from the Oklahoman, promoting a contest, that might be of interest to my readers. Especially, if they have kids.

What do you think Oklahoma City's newest skyscraper should look like? Devon Energy is building OKC's newest skyscraper, and we want to see what you would build. Sketch your skyscraper, submit your drawing no later than 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 7, and you could win:
  • 1ST PRIZE:
  • $1,000 savings bond
  • 2ND PRIZE:
  • $500 savings bond
  • 3RD PRIZE:
  • $250 savings bond

    more info

    go ahead share your thoughts with me now.

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    Repairs, Repairs and more Repairs

    Today has been a day of repairs. This past weekend I spent $30 for a new bathroom exhaust fan. When I bought the house, that thing needed to be replaced and I kept putting it off. Well, today it was installed, at a cost of $118 to the electrician. The old one had its own light switch. That one was disconnected, and the new one was wired to the light, so that it came on when I turned on the lights. As a result, a plate cover was also placed over the the whole where the removed light switch had been.

    I then went to an appliance place and bought a part for my washing machine ($52). That part, I will try to install myself. It is the water valve, that regulates the water flow into the machine. Simply put, it involves taking the back off the machine. Turning off the water and disconnecting the hoses and unplugging the machine. Then I simply remove the two wires from the old valve and reconnect the new on in its place. Sounds simple enough, and I won't have to pay the $90 for the appliance repairman to come out.

    Next on my list, is getting the bathroom door fixed so it doesn't drag on the floor. Previous attempts of doing it myself has failed, as within weeks it is doing the same thing again. Time to bring in the professional, estimated cost $50-$100.

    I also need to paint the ceiling and trim work. Then getting someone that can place the bathroom tile that I received through

    Finally, I need to purchase a new toilet and get it installed. The new toilet will have greater flush capacity and won't clog as much. Thus ending some of the problems that have begun to develop. Thankfully, so far, I have been able to fix most of those clogs myself with a plunger, but with the age of the toilet, better to be proactive and replace it before the major problems develop. Besides the seat is falling apart to.

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    Central Park Panels (continued) part 4

    Stay tuned for more previews. In fact, you are encouraged to drive by and take a look at the mural. Perhaps even volunteer to help during one of the painting days.

    Central Park Panels (continued) part 3

    Central Park Panels (continued) part 2

    Central Park Panels part 1

    This summer has been progressing quite nicely, with Central Park taking on the next section of the mural wall. Below is some pictures of the progress:

    Presidential Library & Museum Tour

    One of my goals is to visit every Presidential Library and Museum. Since, not every President has one, it's really not that hard of a goal to meet. There are only 12, unless you count the duplicates. Nixon and Ford have two locations, so if you count both of those then there are 14. Fords 2 are the only ones that are in the same state. Nixon, has one in Maryland and one in California. Of course there are also other museums that include Presidential homes that aren't part of the Presidential Library and Museum System. Such Museums includes George Washington's home and also Thomas Jefferson's home, Montecillo.

    So far, the Presidential places I have visited:
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, GA

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene, KS

  • Ronald Reagan Birthplace, Tampico, IL

    There is also the Ronald Reagan boyhood home, in Dixon, IL. OK, so now the list of the remaining Presidential Libraries (& Museums) and Presidential attractions that are on my list to visit eventually. One of which is only about 75 miles from me.
    1. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum, Simi Valley, CA
    2. Richard Nixon Presidential Museum, Yorba Linda, CA
    3. Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, TX
    4. George Bush Library, College Station, TX
    5. Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, MO
    6. William J Clinton Library, Little Rock, AR
    7. Herbert Hoover Library, West Branch, IA
    8. Gerald Ford Library, Ann Arbor, MI
    9. Gerald Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
    10. Richard Nixon Library, College Park, MD
    11. Franklin D, Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, NY
    12. John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA

    In addition, I would love to get to these other locations that aren't part of the National Archives.

  • Ronald Reagan boyhood home, Dixon, IL

  • Thomas Jefferson's Montecillo, Charlottesville, VA

  • George Washngton's home/plantation (Mount Vernon), Mount Vernon, Virginia
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  • Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Carnival of Money Stories

    The Carnival of Money Stories has chosen and linked to one of my posts from last week. Stating,
    The Prince of Thrift updates us on his 401k and debt reduction progress.
    Other links that I enjoyed in the Carnival included:

  • Ashley at Wide Open Wallet shares her personal finance history as part of the PF Bloggers Group Writing Project.
    What a unique idea. I may have to see about joining the group, or in the least write up my own history.

  • Finally, Cash Money Life shows why it’s important not to underestimate the little things- even the nickels and dimes.

  • In this article, Patrick offers up some very good advice on why savings is very important.

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    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Welcome to the Raders from the Carnivals

    The first carnival to go up, linking to one of my posts was the Carnival of debt Reduction.

    Prince of Thrift presents 401(k) and Debt Reduction Updates posted at Becoming & Staying Debt Free.

    There are 2 other carnivals that are expected to link to me, but they will be published tomorrow (Tuesday).

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    What Type of Billionaire Are You?

    Here’s a fun quiz to take and determine what type of billionaire you are. I took it and I’m a:

    What would you do with your money?

    go ahead share your thoughts with me now.

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    Friday, July 18, 2008

    401(k) and Debt Reduction Updates

    I received my 401(k) statement yesterday. The total of my account at the end of June was $4,526.28, as you can see in the sidebar (on the right hand side).
    Beginning Balance was: $3,672.46
    Money In: $527.66
    Employer Match
    (1st Time ever - Jan-June): $390.23
    Net Gain/(Loss): ($64.07)

    To bad, this will be rolled over in a down market. It would be so much better, if it were in an up market. Then again, maybe the new funds will be down on the day I buy them, and the roll over will work to my advantage. (Right now though, I will be selling low and buying low.)

    On that note, the retirement representative came by the store to show me the info on the new "Simple IRA," plan. I ended up electing to put my future contributions in 4 funds. With those elections being at 20-20-20-40. The funds are small caps, to large caps to international, and are mostly growth funds with some moderate risk mixed in. In 15 years, as I get closer to retirement age, I will start moving all my funds to more stable funds, with lot less growth potential. That way, when I retire, I will have the funds to live on throughout my retirement.

    One of the fellow employees, walked away because the market is down and he doesn't want to get into it now. Everyone (all the other employees) turned and tried to explain to him the principle of "buy low, sell high." However, this guy thinks he knows everything and that the people "on TV" are saying don't buy. Oh well, I can't be concerned about him, I have to focus on my own retirement, and try to reach my goal of not less then one million dollars, by the time I retire in 20-25 years.

    Also yesterday, I received both my last check and my vacation check. I used $100 from the vacation check to pay down my car loan. As you can see (in the right hand sidebar), I now only owe $8,090. Yep, I paid off the extra pennies to get that to exact even dollar amount. At least for one day, before the interest charges started collecting on it again.

    As you can tell (in the sidebar), I updated the emergency savings amount. That figure, includes the remainder of that vacation check, as well as the $50 per paycheck (that had been going into my emergency savings). Now, I will have to manually deposit the funds into the emergency fund since the new owners don't currently have direct deposit. Thankfully, both Credit Unions, are right around the corner from each, now that the one with my checking (and bill-pay) has opened a branch downtown.

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    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Catching Up

    A couple of carnivals that escaped my attention, has been discovered. On July 4th and 5th, articles that I wrote appeared in two carnivals.

    Kevin Surbaugh presents Retirement and Financial Independence posted at Becoming & Staying Debt Free, saying, “I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement lately. Now that I’ve repaid my debt, now that I’ve begun to save money, I’m curious how much a person actually needs in order to retire.”
    - The Skilled Investor

    - and -

    Kevin at Becoming & Staying Debt Free, just paid off his mortgage, and is now working on reducing his remaining debt! Read his article, “And That Mortgage is Gone!”; Kevin is Mortgage Free!, for the story. Very inspiring!
    - Military Finance Network

    This past Monday, I mowed the lawn and got caught up with that after 3 weeks. With only one day off from work, it is sometimes difficult to actually mow. Especially, when it rains on that day. This next week, my day off will be changing, so hopefully, it will be a better day to mow.

    I can actually see my desktop for the first time in months. Question is, can I keep it cleared?
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    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Ronald Reagan Speaks About Debt???

    Clever Quotes Rewritten to address debt issues:
    It isn't that people in debt are IGNORANT, it's that they know so much that isn't so.

    Yes, the famous quote from Ronald Reagan can easily be applied to debt, by only changing a couple of words.

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    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Bank Failures Is It A Reason For Concern?

    In the past few days, we have seen the second largest bank failure in history. Prompting the FDIC, an arm of the federal government to step in and take over Indy Mac Bank. In large part, the problems at Indy Mac were created by two issues. One was the writing of to many bad mortgage loans and second, when their stock started to tank, depositors started pulling out their funds in June and through the first couple of weeks of July.

    Because of the troubles at this bank, we have been seeing all bank stocks taking a huge dive. Prompting listeners to the Dave Ramsey Show to email Dave, wondering if they should withdraw their deposits from their local banks. Ramsey's response is that we are not in a crisis, despite what you hear on TV. According to Ramsey, he is not going to remove his money from his bank. His advice is to remain calm and stay the course. Everything will shake out and rebound in the long run.

    Still, in the wake of the Fed takeover of the Indy Mac Bank, Nightline, plays up that fear mongering, by reporting that many bank stocks were falling. Most of my accounts are at credit unions, but one bank (Washington Mutual) that Nightline mentioned, is one that I have my ATM/Checking account at. The account, that serves as my Food (grocery) budget envelope. On WaMu's part, they told Nightline, that they were not in danger of collapsing. Although that would depend on the depositors and if they decide to make a run on the banking giant. For me though, I will leave my balance (currently $6) in the account and continue making my bi-weekly deposits to do my grocery shopping.

    WaMu problems is in part by being another bank that wily-nilly handed out option-ARM's, to people who couldn't afford a mortgage at all.

    Downey Savings, based in Newport Beach, and First Federal Bank of California, based near Playa Vista, were specialists in so-called option-ARM loans -- the adjustable-rate mortgages that let borrowers pay so little that their loan balances would rise instead of going down. Washington Mutual was a major option-ARM lender as well.

    Most option-ARM borrowers had passable credit scores, but Downey and WaMu also made loans to borrowers with blemished credit. Those subprime mortgages began defaulting in large numbers in late 2006, and option-ARM delinquencies have risen sharply in the last year.
    - LA Times

    These banks as well as the borrowers, who were not really qualified, are to blame for the current mortgage mess. I don't believe there should be any federal bailout for these banks and mortgage holders. I don't have any problems with the FDIC insurance program doing their job, but those mortgages should not be bailed off. If you can't afford the loan, you have no business borrowing the money. Then again, I really don't think anyone should be borrowing, instead they should save their money up and pay cash.
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    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Birthday Thoughts

    Today marks a milestone in my life. It is the day that I turn 40. I am excited about turning 40, but it hasn't always been that way. There has been times that I have been depressed, sometimes depressed enough that I wanted to kill myself. However, I always knew there was so much more to live for.

    I was depressed to that point, because none of my hopes, dreams and goals had been achieved. I never in my wildest imaginations had ever thought I would still be single at 35 let alone 40. My goals included being an accomplished writer before I was 30. In addition, I planned to be elected to Congress by this time as well. Well, suffice to say those goals and dreams never materialized. I am at a job, that 5 years ago, I hated, but now love. I have virtually no savings, from years of trying to impress everyone else by buying stuff, I couldn't afford and didn't need.

    Which means, now, I am working hard to pay off my debts, so that I can build that savings. In the past few years, I have achieved small goals. Especially over the last 2-years. I have moved up the ranks at work. Not only that, but I have seen my debts move in a downward trend, while my net worth has slowly and steadily increased. I expect to have all of my debts paid off before I turn 41 next year. A goal, as long I remain steadfast I should accomplish by June next year, at the latest. So heres to the past 40 years and to a terrific future, as I start down the other side of the hill.

    My plans today, include a long hard day at work. Dinner, at I-Hop (with a friend) and possibly culminating the evening by going to my first ever roller derby match. A match between Topeka's own Capital City Crushers and Wichita's ICT.

    I would like to thank those who have commented on this blog, on the blog at liveJournal, on Facebook and over at MySpace.
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    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Looking Forward to Sunday

    A couple of days ago, I received a birthday card from my insurance agent. I was surprised when I seen it. Not that the practice isn't done by insurance agents, but because I hadn't seen mine do it before. So far, it is the only birthday card I have received. Right now that card is displayed in my leaving room. However, soon it will be in the shoe box with all the other cards I have received, since I started collecting cards.

    Looking forward to Sunday, when I crest the proverbial hill, I have been thinking about things to do, while not damaging the budget to much. I have thought, I would go to I-hop for dinner after work, and then go to see my first roller derby match. It was just, last week, that I first found out, that Topeka even had a roller derby team. That team is known as the Capital City Crushers.

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    Updated List of World Gas Prices

    This morning, I came across an article, that compared gas prices around the world. As you can see, the USA prices aren't (represent by Los angles, CA and Topeka, KS) aren't that bad in comparison to the rest of the world. Although, it is small comfort. In fact, I would love to have the price they pay in Mexico, although the prices from the middle east would be far more desirable.

    Gas prices in world cities
    CityReg. price in USD/gal.
    Hong Kong8.05
    Sao Paulo6.38
    Los Angeles4.57
    Topeka, KS3.87
    Buenos Aires3.56
    Mexico City2.62
    Dubai City1.70
    Kuwait City0.92

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    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    Exploring Rollover Options

    This past week, I started my quest to find the funds, that I would be rolling my 401-K over into. My first stop was at a local Credit Union (Educational credit Union). Unfortunately, the only funds they have would be a traditional IRA and/or CD's. Not any funds that would be aggressive and help grow that money over the next 20 years. Well, that is unless you want to settle for only 2%-3% interest. The best interest rate at the Credit Union would be a 60 month CD, with only a measly 3.80%. For an account that is currently on about $3,000 that is not enough to help get that up to the 1 million dollars or better that I need to live on in my retirement. Rather, I need something that is at least 12%. The lady at the Credit Union, was very happy to help and assist me with my questions. She even that I was doing the right thing to investigate my options and to try to determine the funds I wanted to roll into ahead of time.

    That was very different to my talk with the people at one of the local banks. When I arrived at Core First, they were annoyed that I was even seeking information, without having the rollover kit in my possession. After being shuffled into the cubicle of some gal, that spoke briefly about the readitional IRA, Roth IRA and the CD's. She gave me the card of someone in their investment department and told to call him, once I actually had the rollover kit. Indicating, that they weren't interested in talking to me and helping me to get informed without that rollover kit. Something, that I won't actually see for another month or two, since I have two weeks, before my place of employment is sold. Of course, I could give the bank a second chance and call for an appointment with the financial counselor, but my gut reaction is if they don't want my business, then they won't get it.

    I left that bank, and headed for work. The next stop, on my investigation trail, would come on my day off. Everyone's needs are different, but for me, I need something aggressive. Something that will grow with an average compounded 12% interest/dividend every year. That is why my next call, was to Roger Schumaker of Retirement and Tax Solutions (5909 SW 28th), in Topeka, KS). My appointment was Monday afternoon. I think, based on my personal knowledge of Roger, that he will be who I end up working with.

    From the moment, I walked into Rogers office, I knew this was someone that actually cared about my investment and my future retirement. The thing is, it's not just finding someone that can do the job, but someone that will take the time to help you be informed about what you are going to do.

    We discussed two options that he recommended one was "unit investment trusts", by First Trust.

    A Unit Investment Trust is a fixed portfolio of securities, held for a predetermined time, investors purchase units which represent an undivided ownership in the securities contained in the portfolio.
    While this option looks interesting, I am not sure it is for me. Sure it is more aggressive then the most aggressive mutual fund, he gave me information on. However, I do not want to be re-evaluating my retirement portfolio every 15 months or so. So that takes me to the other option that he presented. That being those mutual funds.

    Since, I personally want something aggressive, I automatically eliminate the moderate and conservative funds. That leaves either growth or moderate growth funds. The family I am looking at is the TransAmerica Funds and is MorningStar rated. Both have an average return of more then 12% over the last 5-years. Last year the growth fund had an impressive 8.69% and the moderate growth had a 7.97%. However, the market is horrible right now, so it is quite possible, that the return this year, will be no where close to even last years low numbers. Even so, it would be an awesome time to invest, while I can get in at lower costs. Allowing me to ride the tide back up. The question is, do I have the stomach to all my retirement fund to ride out the current down turn. I think, I can do it. That is why I don't want to be forced to look at and re-evaluate my investment every 15-months.

    For me, I think, the unit investment trusts would be perfect for my automobile savings. It would be a fund that, like a CD, would allow me to cash out part of the funds at maturity, to buy that new car. After which, I could reinvest whatever is left, to continue saving for the next car. However, for my retirement, I don't want to be watching the funds that closely.

    go ahead share your thoughts with me now.

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    Monday, July 7, 2008

    Grant Cushinberry 1921-2008 — A better place

    The founder of the Chesney Park NIA passed away this past week. His visitation is tonight (July 7, 2008) at 6 pm (Bowser Johnson Funeral Chapel where the family will receive family and friends from 6-8 p.m. Service) and the funeral is tomorrow (7/8/08) at 10 am (Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, 2420 SE Bellview, Topeka, Kansas).

    You may remember that the first panel of the Great Mural Wall of Topeka was dedicated to him (Grant Cushinberry). I for one am glad, that we were able to get this tribute to him before he passed away. May he rest in peace. Now below is the text of the excellent write up, that the Topeka Capital-Journal did on his life, after learning of his death.

    Topeka philanthropist more than paid his dues to this community, and all have benefited

    Grant Cushinberry said that if people put God first, others second and themselves third, the world would be a much better place.

    In practicing what he preached, the Topeka humanitarian proved his point.

    Cushinberry, who died Tuesday, brightened his community during his 86 years by providing food, clothing and other necessities to countless people.

    His name was synonymous with the Community Thanksgiving Dinner and God's Little Half Acre, the garden and donations clearinghouse he operated at 1835 S.W. Fillmore not far from his home. When he wasn't operating his trash-hauling business or performing his duties as an employee of the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center, Cushinberry spent much of his time producing garden items for the needy or collecting and redistributing food and other items.

    "If I see something that needs to be done, I just work at it until it gets done," he once said.

    Cushinberry said that when he saw people eating from garbage cans as he was running his trash route, he became impassioned about the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. He solicited food for the event and helped organize the event for nearly three decades.

    In response to other needs, Cushinberry gave away everything from fresh rhubarb and donated cole slaw to live chickens and ducks from God's Little Half Acre. He also offered free clothing, furniture and other items for people of all ages, from toys to crutches and wheelchairs. Cushinberry ran the grass-roots site for nearly 30 years.

    In the process, he became a role model and a community treasure, not only for his philanthropy but through his ability to reach across racial lines. Cushinberry was black, but he provided for people regardless of their ethnicity.

    "He used to always tell me we're all one race, and that's the human race," said Cushinberry's son, Garry, a member of The Capital-Journal editorial board.

    As Mayor Bill Bunten put it: "He cared about people. It didn't make any difference whether they were white or black."

    Cushinberry's giving stretched beyond Topeka's city limits, as he sent aid to storm victims and others in need in the U.S. and abroad. His efforts prompted letters from presidents and notice in Newsweek, among other publications.

    But it's Topeka that benefited the most from Cushinberry's work and from his words of wisdom, which appeared in essays and letters to the editor of this publication and in a 1991 booklet produced by a local publishing firm.

    For all those who were inspired by his writing or through discussions with him, for all the hungry people who received food from his garden, for all the underprivileged children he took to circuses and ballgames, for all of us, we say thank you.

    Cushinberry used to say that in doing his good work, he was "just paying rent for being down here on Earth."

    Mr. Cushinberry, you paid well more than your share. And we're all the better for it.

    - D. Kevin Surbaugh

    Exploring my Options

    I have an appointment this afternoon, with a retirement specialist to discuss my options to rollover my 401K, when I get that in about a month. I talked with 2 others, last Thursday. One was enthusiastic and even commended me for wanting to get informed ahead of time. The other acted like they didn't want to even talk to me, until I had the rollover kit in my hand. So know, I am going to talk to a third one.

    The results (review) I gathered from all three will be the topic of my major post tomorrow (as well as my CJonline post).

    go ahead share your thoughts with me now.

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    Friday, July 4, 2008

    Independence Day

    By the time this article posts, I will be half way through my 6 hour half day at work. On my way to spending a few hours volunteering for the Spirit of Kansas (Topeka's 4th of July Celebration). However, I wanted to wish each and every one of my American readers a very Happy Independence Day (aka 4th of July).

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    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    Hashing Out July's Monthly Budget

    I know, many of you might be asking, "you are single, who are you hashing it out with?" But, even though, I may be single, I am still hashing out that budget with the free spirit me and the sensible tightwad me.

    So with that, here is that budget for July 2008.












    Internet/Basic Cable

    Cell phone







    Auto Gas$70

    Tags & Taxes

    Car Payment



    Sunday Best


    Eye Doctor


    Optimist Membership$40

    Farm Bureau Membership



    Providian Credit Card


    Black Gold Insulation





    In addition, my retirement post made it into the Money Hacks Carnival, check it out.

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    Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    Giving Blood For a Free Car Wash

    This morning, I went downtown to give blood. The reason, was to get a free car wash, at the premier auto detailer here in Topeka. I really wasn't interested in the t-shirt that was also being given away.

    Well, anyway when I got there, everything was going well. That is until they seen all the neurofibromas (from my neurofibromatosis) on my arms. It was the first time that I had ever heard that neurofibromatosis could prevent someone from giving blood. I suppose if they didn't know what it was, then I guess that would be cause for concern.

    Still, though I was able to get my FREE car wash certificate for a FULL service wash.
    Full service includes an Exterior Wash, Wiping Off Dash, Emptying Ashtrays, Vacuuming Seats, Vacuuming Floor & Mats, Cleaning Windows.
    Of course I have upholstery that I can't seem to get cleaned, but that would be extra. How much extra, I am not sure. Probably still won't be able to get them cleaned at this time. However, it would be nice to at least get a quote, when I use my free car wash.

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