TGIF: The Blog – It’s Alive


This year has seen a slow start to the ol’ blog post production line. Things are always busy in January, and as a bonus I’ve started another consulting gig that pays ever-so-slightly more than blogging (editor’s note: so does minimum wage, and searching for loose change on the street). But I know that the masses are languishing without my weekly musings, so I had to get something out today.

Let’s gather some eclectic thoughts and cobble together a post, loosely termed. TGIF!

Things Are Worth What People Will Pay

This week the little 6 y.o. neighbor boy rang my doorbell. I dread all such encounters, but this one was particularly bad. He and his buddy were selling “drawings”. They were about 2 inches square and just solid colors. No animals, dinosaurs, or monsters. They were easily the worst drawings I’ve ever seen.

And the best part? He was charging $2 for them! 

Now, I’m all for being shaken down by neighborhood kids. It teaches them valuable life lessons, like how you can shame someone into buying something they don’t really want. But I prefer my shakedowns to have a touch of reality to them. I’ll pay 3x the value for some Girl Scout cookies, ‘cause they are indeed food and they taste OK. But I have a serious problem paying $2 for a piece of garbage.

I didn’t laugh in his face (though that too would have been a valuable life lesson…), but I told him I didn’t have any cash on me and he’d need to talk to my wife since she handles all of the neighborhood purchases (apologies to the missus – I was kinda floundering). 

However, what’s interesting is that some neighbors, who are either nicer or slower with excuses than me, ended up buying from him. So while I may call his drawings garbage, the market says they’re worth $2 apiece. If I had just a little less shame, my sons could be rich!

While we’re on the subject of “things are worth what people will pay”, my short of Tesla in the stock picking contest is going smashingly… Thank goodness it isn’t real money.

PSA / Random Thing You Might Not Know

When I was young, my back started to hurt. It wasn’t wracking pain, but it was pretty constant and highly annoying. I told my doctor about it, and he asked me a really weird question: “Do you keep your wallet in your back pocket?” I did, and he told me to move it to a front pocket; he said my wallet was causing an imbalance of my back and spine when I sat, and that was likely the cause. 

That sounded like some of the sketchiest medical advice I’d ever heard, but it turns out he was right. Within a week my back pain was gone, never to return. I’ve passed on this little tip many times, and each time it’s saved someone. I’m like a hero. 

I think about this, plus a career in picking pockets, every time I see folks with massive brick-like phones in their back pocket (my wallet was a tiny thing in comparison). Put your phone somewhere else, and my heroic medical legacy will go on. 

Upcoming Posts

I have a veritable cornucopia of posts on the way. Soon, you’ll see the birth of the greatest book club ever, discover my budding eBay empire (where I, like the neighbor kid, sell garbage), find out how you can get shredded just like me, explore the high costs of being poor and the low costs of being rich, and learn about one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. I have been busy writing drafts – I promise. It’s just they’re all kinda terrible right now.

The Market for President

Yes, it’s time. Primaries and whatnot don’t really give us a good sense of who has a chance of being the next U.S. president. The media loves to portray a wild race with always-changing leads, but in reality, there are just a few people who have a chance of winning.

We turn to the world of betting to get the best view on each candidate’s chances. Though many a U.S. site now has bettable odds, for nostalgia’s sake, I’m going to stick with Ladbrokes. Let’s see where things stand:


Klobuchar is being led by people who aren’t even candidates – always a bad sign in an election.

It’s good to remember that money drives these odds. If I bet $100 million on John Cena for President, he’d lead the table, at least until the money pouring in for everyone else started to balance my punt.

While letting money drive the odds of winning can lead to some interesting results (like Meghan Markle at 500 to 1 odds), it should hopefully be one of the best predictors of an election. That’s not to say it’s good, just that it’s one of the best 🙂

My regular posts should resume next week. I\’m excited too.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend!

7 thoughts on “TGIF: The Blog – It’s Alive”

  1. Hi Paul,

    Good to know that the regular posts will be back soon. Concerning the current post, I think I would be soft and ending buying the picture for the kids…maybe trying to negotiate a better price.

    The topics for the upcoming posts look interesting. Looking forward to it.

    Have a nice week.


    1. Thanks Odysseus

      Yes, I should have tried to negotiate him down, or perhaps switched to a barter (I’m constantly finding unwanted little kid toys around the house). But I fought that discomfort that I knew was intended to part me from my hard-earned $2!

      Thanks again – have a great week as well

  2. Some day those little neighborhood goobers are going to be the next Picasso and you’ll be kicking yourself. 😉

    That said, I’m not into buying something I never asked for. I would have sent them packing too!

    1. There is a chance they’ll be the next Picasso…but I think I played the odds the right way with my $2 bet 🙂 And when you think about it, I was pushing them to become better – rewarding mediocrity would keep them from unlocking their artistic genius.

      I don’t fault the kids, but I’m a little disappointed in the mom for encouraging such highway robbery.

      1. only if you’re married to/living with someone at least 55 yrs or older. For instance, I bought the house when I was 55, and had my boyfriend move in and he was only 54 at the time. He has his own ID for the community and can come and go as if he is the owner.

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