Friday, December 30, 2005

Interest Rate War

Back in Sept. I wrote an little about the interest rate war. Well it has now broken the 4% barrier. Looking at the latest Money Magazine The top five Bank Money-Market Rates range from 4.1% to 4.5%. Given that I like banks I have heard of before, and for most people a small minimum is preferable I'd pick E-Trade Bank from their list (4.1% with $100 minimum).

So it is worth shopping around to see where the best rates are. And given the lag in published magazines, it is possible that somewhere there are rates better than this.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Natural Gas Prices

Earlier this year I was really worried about heating costs this winter, as natural gas (NG) prices doubled and then almost quadrupled after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I recently got our gas bill and ran the numbers. Real world consumer increase (at least for me) appears to be 44.5%. That is not a small increase, but its not nearly as bad as it might have been. I do worry about those living up north on moderate to low incomes, they are going to feel a big bite in their wallets this winter!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pick your Chocolates

New study shows dark chocolate could cut the risk of heart disease.
After two hours, ultrasound scans revealed that dark chocolate -- made up of 74 percent cocoa solids -- significantly improved the smoothness of arterial flow, whilst white chocolate, with four percent cocoa, had no effect, the study published in Heart magazine said.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

WheatThins and Babies

New lesson of the day don't feed a 10 month old adult crackers. Baby girl choked on half a generic wheat thin cracker and threw up her dinner all over me, herself, and the living room floor. Fortunately she is fine, but the moral of the story is no more adult crackers until she has some rear teeth to go with the front ones. Maybe nilla wafers, but not the hard crackers.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Scales and Latte Money

This article on lattes and saving money was interesting to read, but I feel it missed a few points. The main one being that an occasional $5 coffee isn't a big deal unless you are living on the edge. But a daily $5 coffee is significant to anyone but the truly rich. A $5 coffee everyday you go to work adds up to $1250 a year. Over 18 years that is $22,500, if the money were invested and got a 10% return on average in 18 years it would be worth almost $57,000. (The difference wouldn't buy you a coffee.) Anyway the article is worth reading but don't dismiss the cost of small daily purchases.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

No Change

I'm about to travel to ApacheCon in San Diego next week. I wish I had arranged to spend more of the weekend there, it would be cool to see LegoLand and spend a day at the zoo.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I read two interesting articles this morning on Yahoo.
  • A recent study finds that coffee can help prevent liver damage.
    Coffee and tea may reduce the risk of serious liver damage in people who drink alcohol too much, are overweight, or have too much iron in the blood, researchers reported on Sunday.

  • Another study finds that moderate drinkers are less likely to be obese.
    Researchers found that among more than 8,200 U.S. adults, those who said they enjoyed a drink every day were 54 percent less likely than non-drinkers to be obese.