Archive for September, 2007

Managing Internet Identity: Addendum

September 29, 2007

The previous post courtesy of pasadena conversations, an excellent blog the keeps an eye on media and community in Pasadena. A related website offers “open hours” with instructions on how to develop websites.

If you happen to be in the Pasadena area, these are well worth checking out.

On taking control of one’s internet identity

September 28, 2007

Privacy? What’s that?
Somehow I came upon this fascinating take on managing one’s internet persona. It’s here. Since clicking on links seems to be not a very engaged in practice (how’s that for passive voice?) I’ll quote at length. As someone that writes an “anonymous” blog I found this fascinating:

controlling your public appearance

In the last month, I’ve received almost a dozen panicked emails from people who had commented on my blog at one point or another and were horrified to find that their comment was at the top of Google’s search for their name. In each case, I have respectfully altered the comment to an anonymous name. I prefer not to remove these comments because this leaves holes in my blog, especially when others’ comments are based on those earlier comments. Unfortunately, most of these people do not understand how Google’s cache works and write back in rage that it’s not fixed. I politely try to inform them that Google’s cache can take months to update and I cannot do anything to speed this up.

When people bitch about MySpace and Facebook being walled gardens, one of the positive things that I offer in return is, “at least those teens’ profiles aren’t in Google’s cache.” With Facebook’s opt-out decision, this is no longer the case. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m a bit terrified of what this might mean long-term. (more…)

Hitting the Financial Reset Button

September 27, 2007

I’ve been Missing in Action. It’s been a busy summer. First we had to deal with fumigating our house. Then I was away for a few weeks on a vacation and then work-related trip. Upon our return we were scrambling to unpack and get ready for the beginning of a new school year. During all of this our blogging feel by the wayside. This doesn’t mean we haven’t been thinking about our finances and ways to run a tighter ship. Still, I must say that it was really therapeutic to get away from the day-to-day grind.

When we got back from vacation I found a big check waiting for me. This check was the result of our decision to sell a mutual fund. We decided to sell this asset so that we could pay off our credit card debt. We were sure to put a good chunk of the money aside in a high-yield CD so that we have the money available to us when it comes time to pay taxes. We used the rest to help wipe out most of our debt. I have no doubt that we did the right thing as the level of stress we were living with trying to pay down our debts was really not healthy.

Our challenge now will be to keep on top of our bills and really build our emergency fund so that when big expenses arise (and they always do!) that we don’t have to use a credit card to pay for it.

Tonight when I was updating our debt/assets and paying bills online I noticed that the one credit card I had paid off in August was showing a $242 finance charge. I was enraged and called the cc company to ask them to get rid of it. Amazingly enough they did! So, I am now back to a $0 balance with that.

I’m still hoping the Bizarros will rise from the dead.

Vacation from Blogging

September 14, 2007

Unilateral.
I’m making a unilateral call. I should find out about the results of my licensing exam soon, on Monday. I think, though, that we’ll probably not be back scrutinizing the finance stuff for a few weeks. October 5th. Of course, Ladydough is free to violate this at any time. So check back once in a while, for kicks.

Lady Dough said to me the other day, “I can’t believe Bizarro are done with their blog. I feel like we were blogging for them.” RIP.

Blog Action Day.
Of course you all know about the blog action day coming up, right? Check it out. Google ‘blog action day’.

Vacations and the value of perspective

September 6, 2007

Our posts have been erratic and our stats have been plummetting. And I haven’t even cared. Frankly I haven’t been in a blogging state of mind. And that’s OK.

I’ve been on the beach, literally and figuratively.

We went on vacation back at the beginning of August and then I was on a business trip. Going away has so many amazing benefits. It’s wonderful to get out of the grind of daily life and all the work and worry. I also find that leaving the daily grind allows me to relax and really reconnect with family and what it is I enjoy (going for walks, reading books, cooking good meals, time to daydream, etc…)

I got back from my voyages a couple of weeks ago. Another benefit of travelling is that I always feel so happy to come home. I notice things I really like about my life while I’m away and it feels good to get back.

That said, I’ve found that for every week away it takes 2-3 weeks to get back into a routine.

As Noma mentioned we need to updated our debts and net worth information. The good news is that we decided to sell some stock to get rid of most of our credit card debt. I feel so happy about that decision. Now we need to get aggressive about managing our money so that we don’t rack up the debt again.