Monday, April 30, 2007

Grades still aren't in yet

Grades are due by Thursday at the latest. The professor can post them as soon as she has them ready. But we have to have them by Thursday.

I did see that I got a 8 on my extra credit project. That's cool. The class average was 10.25. I was surprised. I figured she would grade them low. I know a few people did really well. I picked a really easy subject. I just used the law of supply and demand. With the topic and scenario that I chose, I don't see how I could have gotten a higher grade. I'm happy with an 8 because I was really only expecting a 5.

Do blind dates really suck?

I wrote that blind dates suck on my last post. But do they really? I really wouldn't know. I've never been on a blind date. All of the people that I've ever dated were friends of mine first. I didn't have the first date jitters that most people have. WIth us it was always more like friends hanging out than a date.

I mean it was a date, but there was no pressure. We felt like we could be ourselves. Not send our "representatives". I know this wouldn't work for most people, but it's great for me. If I meet someone new, I'm very reluctant to go out with them right away. The few times that I have dated someone that I didn't know very well was a downright nightmare. I've never dated a total stranger. And at this point, I don't think I could.

Blind dates suck

One of my friends from work went on a blind date last Friday. It was horrible. Some of their mutual friends set them up. He said never again. Friends are supposed to know you best, not set you up with incompatible people. He should check out a site where he can use different features like - webcams, chat, personals. He could use the play and flirt game or he could vote on pictures and decide whether the ladies are hot or not. He could use his webcam and make his own show or watch someone elses webcam show. It would so much better than what he had. And it's free to join.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'm thinking of changing my templates

Not so much on this blog. I am looking into the blogger hack to get rid of some things but for the most part, I like the look of this blog. Blue is my favorite color and this one fits perfectly. I've seen some blogger blogs that are pretty nice though. They don't have that annoying bar at the top for one thing. There is also a hack to make 3 rows instead of two.

I really don't like the template of my other blog too much. But I don't want the same or too similar of a template on two blogs. I'll have to look around some more before I really start messing with that one.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Have you used Masterseek?

Masterseek is a global search engine focusing on businesses. The masterseek search engine has company information on over 45 million companies in 75 countries. You can find everything from products and service information to company profiles and contact information. You can search for any type of company including accounting, optical, or even banking and finance. Connecting buyers and suppliers worldwide is one of the reasons Masterseek is one of the largest B2B search engines.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My final was extremely difficult

I'm not even exaggerating. I think someone ticked her off while she was writing the exam. We had 30 multiple choice questions and 5 long problems. We had to choose 3 of the 5 to do.

There was only 1 question from the last 2 classes. This was the information that I understood the most. Just figures right? There were 2 or 3 questions that I didn't have the fainest idea what the answer was. They were purely guesses.

Out of the 5 problems, there was 1 that I knew I was skipping as soon as I started it. I started another problem and I didn't like the way the answer was looking so I moved on. I wound up crossing that one off and doing the remaining 3.

The multiple choice was worth 90 points and the problems were only worth 60. I would feel much better if those numbers were reversed. I feel more confident in my answers to the problems than in my answers to those multiple choice questions. I knew the questions would be difficult because she told us she didn't like to use those anyway.

Now I just have to wait and see what grade I end up with. I hope I did well on my extra credit project. I need all of the points I can get.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Watching my portfolio

My portfolio is pretty well rounded. I have cash, stocks, bonds and mutual funds. I don't have a lot of money to invest, but I am making sure I have a balanced portfolio. Another piece of the puzzle for me would be to add global futures to the mix.

Most people never consider things like futures because they don't think they have the money. You can get started with Global Futures for as little as $250. You can also invest in options and foreign exchanges because they work with exchanges in Europe and Asia.

I'm trying to build my net worth. In doing so, I'm diversifying my money into different areas including areas that most people don't look at. I know most people stick to relatively safe investments but most of those investments bring lousy returns. I'm willing to be a little more aggressive with a portion of my money, especially since I'm still young and have time on my side.

Monday, April 23, 2007

General randomness

How in the world does Google decide what ads to put on your site. No I'm not gay or stupid, but these two questions seem to always appear in my ads.

I should be studying for my final on Tuesday.

I've been watching tv all day, when I know I have other things to do.

The Yankees got swept by the Red Sox. Giving up 4 back to back home runs won't help you win any games.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Personal finance programs on tv

I watched the end of a program on CNBC. The little bit I saw was pretty interesting. They had 4 personal finance experts giving their thoughts on becoming a Millionaire.

I really don't remember any of their names, but the one that interested me the most was the woman who believes everyone should be entrepreneurs. She said that you can start your own business or become a partner. She told one woman that she was probably not charging enough for her services. She told her to take every job that came her way, charge more and get help to take some of the work off of her hands.

She also suggested that anyone that was considering become an entrepreneur to straddle between their two worlds. Those two worlds being their regular job and their new business. She doesn't suggest that anyone just quit their job to start their own business. You should have income coming in and build your own business at the same time.

I can't wait until they repeat the program so I can catch it from the beginning. There seemed to be a lot of useful advice.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A new kid on the blog

Yup, on the blog. I like the play on words. Bloggerwave is the newest entry into the world of paid blogging. They offer you the chance to take opportunities, blog about them and get paid. Easy man. And fun too.

You haven't heard of Bloggerwave yet? Well, you need to check them out.

This week has been horrible

There are shootings everywhere. Today somebody killed themselves and a hostage at NASA. They also wounded someone else. People are outta control.

Yesterday here in Pittsburgh, a guy killed someone downtown at 8am. That's not even the worse part. First he went up to a guy and held him at gunpoint, when he spun him around, he saw that he wasn't who he was looking for. He said "my bad" and walked away. 5 minutes later, he saw the guy he was looking for and just started shooting. After the guy fell to the ground, he shot him several more times.

Not only were the streets crowded with people going to work, but it happened right in front of a daycare. They talked to a daycare worker and they said that luckily none of the kids knew what had happened. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

PayPerPost is making moves

I know I've discussed PayPerPost here before. They bring bloggers together with advertisers trying to get the word about their product out. Posties can choose the opportunities that they want to talk about. And we get paid for it to boot. How cool is that?

PayPerPost is working hard behind the scenes to make the company better, not only for posties but for advertisers as well. You have to keep the people who are providing the online ads happy. Most advertisers can rate the posties by how good of a job they feel we do. The vast majority are happy with the quality of posts that we put out. Posties take pride in their work and we don't like to put out posts that we aren't proud of.

Well, PayPerPost is making moves by buying another company. They haven't told us who it is yet. It's still "unofficial". That's great news for posties. It means the company is growing and expanding. It also means that there will be additional opportunities in other areas for posties. I think that the new company will expose a different segment of advertisers to PayPerPost who may not have considered them before.

I bet they've acquired a technology company. They're implementing a new platform and moving to a new data center. I want to say it's Tech Crunch but I'm not sure. I know I can't wait until next week to find out who it is. And I know things are really going to get exciting for us posties.

Review sheet for my final exam

I just printed the review sheet for my final exam out. The professor lists the concepts that she suggests you concentrate on. Basically, if a concept is not on her review sheet then it won't be on the final.

She told us that half is multiple choice. The other half is questions/answers and problems. We should expect to have between 3 and 5 of these to choose from. Each question will have multiple parts. Each question may have 6-8 different answers. The first few will be short answer and the rest will involve calculations and graphs. Remember though, that's for each question and I will have 3-5 of them. The second part will be the equivalent of 4-5 quizzes. Each quiz takes about 20-30 minutes. So it should take 1 1/2 hours at least to finish.

It figures the teams I want to see will be playing this weekend when I'll be busy studying.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We had our final review

Man, this test is going to be killer. I can't believe all of the information that we have. Our professor stood in front of the class and answered questions for about 1 1/2 hours. Her final is half multiple choice and half questions and answers. The question and answer section is set up just like our regular quizzes and in class assignments.

She told us on the first day of class that she hated multiple choice questions and makes them super hard when she has to use them. I have to make sure I know a lot of terminology down pat because I'm sure that will be the bulk of the multiple choice questions. I also have to re-visit some of the graphs because we have to know which ones to use. We also have to know all of the formulas that we learned all year long.

I looked at my grades on line and I need 119 points out of 150 for a B in the class. I'm surprised there's still hope for the B. 109 will be a B-, I can't afford to get any grade lower than that. She hasn't even made the exams yet. Some people are taking the test early and they'll have a different exam then we do. I just hope nobody ticks her off while she's writing it. I don't need her angry and writing exam questions at the same time.

Get a free software development tool

How do you feel about free? I love it. Especially when it's something as useful as free software. I know a ton of bloggers who create their own software when they can't find something that fits their blog. If you're looking to make a eDeveloper Discovery, this is definitely the site for you.

There's a blog with tons of information as well as a Yahoo discussion group for new developers. If you're out their trying to create something and you get stuck, head on over to the discussion boards and bounce your ideas off of some like minded people.

No more hassles and code free software. Best of all, it's free. Head on over and check it out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some things I've learned about blogging

I've had this blog for just over 1 year. I have over 200 posts and that's including the time when I took a brief hiatus because my computer blew up. I've learned a few things during that time. Nothing earth shattering, just some observations that I've made.

One of the biggest things I've learned is that you should stay true to your blog. This is supposed to be a personal finance blog but I've been blogging about everything. This blog has lost its focus big time. I have a blog on my own domain which will be strictly personal finance. My personal finance categories include school, because it's personal growth and directly impacts my finances. I may change the title of this blog to reflect the fact that it's not just personal finance related anymore.

Edit: I've put the rest of this post on my other blog. I think it fits better over there.

My taxes are done finally

And I'm happy to say I don't owe! That was my biggest fear. I thought I would owe big-time this year and I didn't, I got a refund! That really made me happy. My refund is $275. I do owe the state $24 which is not surprising since I owe them every year.

Last year I hardly had any deductions. This year, I'll have my 401k, student loan interest and I'll be able to take the Lifetime Learning Credit. I don't really care about my refund status. I try to withhold just the right amount. I know a lot of people claim no exemptions so they get a bigger refund. Not me, I claim 1 all year long. I would rather have the money in my check than worry about a refund. I will admit it feels good to get one this year though.

Using my free airline ticket to go to Las Vegas

I've earned a free airline ticket over the past two years. I don't want to use the ticket to go home since it's so close. I want to get the most bang for my buck so to speak. I've already decided to go to Las Vegas. That's what I'll use the free ticket for.

I can't wait. I'm looking to go in August around my birthday. I've been looking on-line for hotel rates and I think that will determine which days I actually go. I've seen rates that range from $55 a night to $420 a night. There's no way I'm going when the rates are above $150 per night. Of course I'm going to gamble and I hope to have my room at least partially comped. The lower the actual rate, the easier it will be to get the comp.

I don't understand the table games at all. I know that roulette I can pick a number and just ride that number or I can pick red or black but it seems like I would need a ton of money to play for a while. That's why I plan on sticking to the slot machines. Your money can last fairly long on slots. I know some people hate the slots and call them mindless, but I love them.

It would be awesome if I hit a jackpot. Then I could look into Las Vegas real estate, especially new home sales. That would be a hoot to actually own real estate in Las Vegas. I already know that I would go for a condo. A regular house would be way too much for me to handle.

All I know is that I can't wait for this trip. I haven't been to Las Vegas in over 4 years and I'm looking forward to seeing the newest sites on the strip. And hitting a jackpot of course.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thank goodness this semester is almost over

I don't think I could take much more school this semester. Last week was the worst. We were supposed to have a quiz and lecture and be done. We had a extra in-class assignment to do. It will make it easier for her to grade. All she has to do now is drop one 15 point quiz.

I had a death in the family so I didn't study. I couldn't afford to miss the class however so I still went. I had already missed a class when the weather was sub-zero. That quiz is the score that will get dropped. I can't afford a zero too as I'm barely hanging on to my B- as it is.

I did get my extra credit project done. At least I'll get a few extra points there. Tomorrow is just a review day. Unfortunately the final is cumulative. Next week, I'll be studying like there's no tomorrow.

Not having a car sucks!

I had planned on going to Cleveland this summer to catch a baseball game. The Pirates are right here, but most of the teams that I really like are in the American League and Cleveland is fairly close. The problem? I don't have a car. Day to day, it's not bad not having a car. I take the bus to work and shopping is fairly close. When you want to go somewhere out of the ordinary is a different story.

I don't like to borrow other people's cars. I don't even like to drive their cars. I prefer to have my own. I'm looking into Bad Credit Auto Loans for New and Used Cars. I've been eyeing a couple of different cars and I might have to just bite the bullet and finance something. I was hoping to put that off for another year or two, but I'm shopping around now. I'd say that I should have a car within the next 6 months.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Paying bills on line

Just a word of advise. Find out when your bank, credit union, or financial institution sends out the checks when you use on line bill pay. When I first signed up, my bank mailed the checks out 3 days before you said you wanted the bill paid.

Two months ago, they changed their tos (terms of service) to say that the check will be mailed out on the exact day that you want the bill paid. I still paid my bills the same way and last month, two of my bills were late. One charged a late fee (a credit card company of course), one did not. I am not mad at the bank at all. I should have read the up to date tos.

I just want to send a reminder/warning to everyone else to keep up to date with the tos of your bank and to find out exactly what day your checks are being sent out. Hopefully, your bills won't be late and you won't get slammed with late fees like I did.

Vote for your favorite blog

Do you have a favorite blog? Well you can nominate it for the first annual Blogger's Choice Awards. Don't know what the Blogger's Choice Awards are? Allow me to explain.

The blog awards are awards where any blog can win. That's right even your blog! You can vote for best blog or funniest blog. Or you can get wild and crazy and vote for the Hottest Mommy Blogger or even the Most Obnoxious Blogger. Me myself, I'm not eligible for either of those categories. I'm not a mom and I'm not obnoxious. Well, I hope nobody thinks I'm obnoxious.

What's really cool is that any blog can win. You can vote for yourself or your friends. How about the cool tech blog you read every day? That's right, nominate it as well. I do have a favorite blog and it's not even one of my own. I am tempted to nominate myself though just so I can put a brag on my blog. Did I mention that yet? They have cool badges that you can put on your site to let everyone know that you were nominated. And each category has it's own badge. If you have 3 blogs and they all get nominated, each blog can have it's own individual badge.

The voting period last until May 22, 2007. The winners will be announced live at Postie Con 07 on June 2 in Orlando FL. Wouldn't that be awesome to be at Postie Con and hear them announce your blog as the best of anything. Just think of the bragging rights you'll have. Don't be shy, nominate yourself or one of your friends today!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I may not have to buy a airline ticket after all

My next door neighbor has family in NJ. He goes home every other month to see them. I might be able to bum a ride with him for Mother's Day. The only bad thing is that his family lives in North Jersey and mine live in South Jersey so it would be way out of his way to drop me off.

The reason for that is that I take the PA turnpike all the way into Philly then cross the Ben Franklin bridge. He gets off of the turnpike in Harrisburg then takes 81 to 78 (or something like that). He said that he would let me know by the middle of next week, so I'll hold off on buying my ticket until at least then.

Mmmm shrimp

Do you like shrimp, or love it? There seems to be no middle ground with shrimp it's either one of the other. Here's my ode to shrimp:

S-sumptuous and delicious
H-healthy and nutritious
R-raise your good cholesterol
I-ideal source of protein
M-Mexican margarita shrimp
P-pan-fried goodness

Now that's what I think of shrimp! That margarita shrimp sounds good, but coconut shrimp sounds even better. I found a lot of great Shrimp Recipes that I can't wait to try out. What do you think?

Monday, April 09, 2007

I need to get my airline ticket for Mother's Day weekend

I still haven't gotten my ticket. Last year I purchased my ticket over a month before the holiday. Then about 3 weeks before the holiday, the price dropped by about $50 bucks. That's money I could have definitely used.

I don't really have to worry about all of the seats selling out because I have 3 days available to travel on. I'm also not coming home until that Monday or Tuesday so I should be cool with available seats. I just hate playing the waiting game, checking on the site every day to try to find the cheapest seat. An ideal price would be $80 including taxes so that's what I'm shooting for.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

I just want to wish everyone in the blogosphere a Happy Easter. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable day!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Memorial Day weekend I may be going on a party on the run

Have you heard of these? It's a bus ride to another city to go bar-hopping. The route is planned out and host bars are expecting the people from the bus. The first one or two bars will have food and drinks available for the trip participants. The owner of the bars that you visit touts it in their city as well, so it's usually a very high turnout. They're usually under $50 and they keep them fairly close.

In May, the trip is to Detroit. After that, the cities include Cleveland, Baltimore and New York. I don't know if I really want to go on any of those trips. The organizer is also working with a company in Cleveland so there will be people from both cities during the Detroit trip. Each city is taking 2 buses, so there will be lots of us and it should be fun.

Edited to say: My trip depends on whether or not any of my friends go. I don't want to be on a bus with a bunch of strangers. People are not usually rowdy even though they've been drinking. But I still want to go with at least one person I know.

I need to lose weight for my upcoming vacation

I am definitely not swimsuit ready. I'm not even shorts or capri ready. Why? I've gained so much weight and I'm having a hard time getting it off. I've been exercising and watching what I eat but it's really not helping. I found a diet pill called Nueslim, that I think I'm gonna check out.

It has a lifetime guarantee. I like the sound of that. Since most products have a 30 day guarantee, when you start gaining the weight back after day 40, you're outta luck. You can also try it for as low as $9.95 per bottle.

This will be my first vacation in over 2 years, and I want to be ready for it. I will lose weight before August.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

School is almost over for the semester

I can't wait. Next week is our last quiz and lecture. The following week is a review for the final. And the next week (3 weeks away) is the final exam. The only bad thing is that the final exam is cumulative. Some of the concepts build upon each other so you can just break them down and get the answer. Other things you learn and use once and that's it. It seems the latter is most of the information we learned. I have learned a lot but this has been a long semester.

I didn't register for the summer because there are no classes that fit into my schedule. I'm not surprised. I really didn't expect there to be a bunch of night classes in the summer. The only class I really wanted to take is a online class. I'm the type of student who needs structure, so it's not a realistic option for me.

I did register for 2 classes for the fall, macro-econ and pre-calculus. I did take macro before at the community college, but it didn't transfer in. I should at least have a basic understanding of it already. I'm not looking forward to pre-calc. I did everything in my power before not to take calculus at all. It's required for my major and for the business program that I hope to get into. I'll just have to study extra hard for that class.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I didn't get the job

I found out last Wednesday. I got an email first thing in the morning, it had been mailed around 10:45pm Tuesday night. The guy that interviewed me probably made his decision on Tuesday right after he interviewed the last candidate.

I really don't know how to feel. I haven't interviewed a lot, but when I did I got the job. So this was the first job I interviewed for that I didn't get. It also seemed to be a good fit and a good opportunity. There was the opportunity for advancement and that seemed appealing.

I guess I'll just have to keep looking. While this may not have been the job for me, I know one is out there.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Check out for legitimate sweepstakes

Yesterday, I wrote a post warning you to watch out for sweepstakes scams. I found a new site called the GiveawayProject that lists legitimate sweepstakes for you to enter. Michael also wrote a post called Free=Free? Don't Fall For This. It talks all about those enter here and win a laptop type sweepstakes scams.

Head on over to Michael's blog and read all of his great articles. And enter a sweepstakes or two while you're at it. Who knows, you might end up with an awesome prize out of it.

Make money by being an expert in your field

Do you spend a lot of time on the internet? I know I sure do. I'm not an expert in my field though. I'm fairly new in my job expertise. But for those of you who may are good at what you do, you can make money with Isellim: Connect with experts online now via Instant Message.

How does Isellim work? It's easy, you register as an expert in your given field and set a rate. Say you want to charge $1 per hour. Whenever someone wants to ask a question, they agree to pay your rate and you chat via IM. Easy Peezy.

Why not give it a try and make some easy extra money today.

Watch out for sweepstakes scams

My friend called me today to tell me that she won a cruise. I told her great, now what did she have to do to claim the prize. She started telling me all of the terms and conditions and I stopped her in mid-sentence. "Scam" I shouted. "But it's free" she replied. No it's not, and I'll tell you why.

First, let me say that I used to be a semi-professional sweeper. Yep, that's what we were called. The people who enter sweepstakes all the time. It's a hobby, but a lot of people take it very seriously. I did too until it got to be too expensive.

But onto the scams:

1. If you have to pay anything to claim your prize, it's a scam. Real sweepstakes don't require you to pay anything to claim prizes.

2. If you're told you won a cruise and have to pay miscellaneous expenses, it's not only a scam, but probably a time share pitch. They offer a 3-4 day cruise to the Bahamas. You pay port charges and some other fees. Sometimes they offer a room in the Bahamas. After they total all of the fees, it's over $500 per person. Then you have to sit through a time share presentation. And make no mistake about it, these are high pressured pitches geared towards getting you to sign. The best thing to do is turn down this "prize" and book your own trip.

3. You win something and as a "bonus" you get a bunch of magazines for some ridiculously cheap price. Scam. Not only do you not get your prize, but you have a hard time cancelling all of those magazine subscriptions.

4. You're at the mall and there's a sign up box to win a car, or some other fabulous prize. Scam. It usually puts you on a mailing list of some sort. If you read the fine print, you see that they might be running this "contest" in malls all over the country. Because you signed up for it, it also circumvents the Do Not Call list.

We all know the if it sounds too good to be true adage, but it's something about hearing "You Won!" that makes us throw all of that out of the window. Just keep your cool and request all of the information in writing before you give out any of your personal information.