Links of loving linkiness

Just discovered miser mom.  She is a MATH NERD and obviously good at educating.  I’m loving going through her archive.   She also likes Gilbert and Sullivan and has some really neat tricks for child-rearing (and she’s got a big heart), though if she’s not careful she could raise a couple of economists.

if you want to read some depressing and interesting comments, click

Grover and Cookie Monster sing about movies.

Noooooo!  Link on bacon shortage stolen from Profgrrrrl.

You probably already saw this on historiann.

Oil and Garlic says to make your spouse do hir own laundry.  We do laundry together as a bonding activity, but if it is a less pleasant experience, it makes sense not to have only one person doing it all.

Hush asks if yelling is so bad.  It is 1:30am and I’m wishing our 2 month old would stop yelling at us!

A straight-forward explanation on why dividends aren’t all that, even if I still secretly love them.

We were in this week’s carnival of personal finance.

Google Questions, you know you wanna know

Q:  why does my 2 year old be grumpy to other people

A:  because ze is two.

Q:  equifax – do i need to send in copies?

A:  They say you do.  Good luck with that.

Q:  how is education these days

A:  still pretty terrible

Q:  how ask for notes from classmate

A:  Hey [insert classmate’s name here],

I’m in your [insert class name here] class.  I had to miss class on [insert day].  I was wondering if it would be possible to borrow your notes for that day.  I will get them back right away.  Thanks in advance!

Q: why am i grumpy when i don’t sleep properly

A:  because that is the correct response.

Q: how to toilet train when working part time

A: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing– potty train when you can, don’t worry about it when you can’t.

Q:  should teens have the same minimum wage jobs as adults?

A:  We recommend against stripping for the under 18 set, though one of #1’s former roommates did work as a stripper when she turned 18.

Q:  how much do you need to pay for a master

A:  We’re not really educated on the whole BDSM scene, but we imagine it varies by city and popularity of said master.  It’s all about the supply and demand (supply of demand?)

Q:  what advice would you give a friend who has admitted she cheated on a exam to the professor and is awaiting punishment

A:  Your friend should check online for her school’s procedure for academic dishonesty cases.  Otherwise, wait and suck it up.

Q:  should you force a kid to do something they dont want to do if you know they will love it

A:  Depends what it is.

Things that irritate us

  1. People who don’t answer my emails
  2. Having to remember to send reminder emails after two weeks of radio silence
  3. Credit card companies screwing up
  4. Hurry up and wait and then hurry up again
  5. Being asked how the baby is sleeping.  Just.  Shut.  Up.
  6. Boomerang chores.  You finally make that call, but then you have to wait for them to call back.  You set up the appointment, which reveals that you need to make yet another appointment.  You manage to pick up that book from the library… which means you have to make another trip to return it.
  7. Booking conference travel and annoying booking sites that mess things up.
  8. Next semester’s class schedule playing musical chairs.  No, I do not want to come up with a new elective for next semester.  I swear, another section of the core course I’m teaching will have more students in it than any brand new elective I could come up with.
  9. The hospital sending more bills.  Especially incorrect bills!  Hopefully tomorrow DH will clear up their 4.5K mistake bill.  (The hospital is *in network* that means we don’t owe you what BC/BS denied.  Especially when what they denied is more than the cash cost of the delivery if we didn’t have insurance!)
  10. The physicality of my body.  This quote from Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade pretty much sums it up:

    “I am not invested in my husk, so the idea that I should pay someone on television to elevate it somehow is preposterous.  This is the cloud of interstellar junk that happened to congregate around my consciousness; it’s functionally a waste product.  I don’t want to improve it, I want it cleaned off.”

What irritates you these days?


We didn’t use one with DC1.  Ze was really a thumb kid.  I was fine with that… less plastic, you never lose it.  I don’t think we even owned a pacifier.  Plus I wasn’t making as much milk and DC1 spit up a lot more, so more suckling was required, no doubt helping with that need to suck.

The hospital sent one home with us with DC2.  One night at 3am when an unhappy DC2 was obviously not hungry but was chewing on my breast (sometime after the nipple-confusion stage), we tried it in desperation.  It worked.

I think we’re going to keep just the one, and we’re only going to use it when we’ve tried everything else and it’s obvious ze needs to suck on something other than my breast.  I keep hoping that ze will discover hir thumb, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I never understood parents who forced pacis on their kids and complained that their kid wouldn’t take one no matter how hard they tried.  And my confusion got larger when these same parents later complained that their toddler wouldn’t give up the pacifier ze had been forced to take as an infant.  But now I totally understand the use of pacifiers.  Sometimes baby just wants to suck on something and will destroy a breast if allowed.

I’m not sure if pacifiers can be used in moderation, but I’m hoping they can.  We’re going to try, anyway.  Anything* that brings sweet quiet to a dreadfully unhappy baby.

*Well, not *anything*… mommy won’t be drinking hard liquor until nursing is done, for example.

Was your kid a pacifier baby or a thumb baby or nothing at all?  If you don’t have kids, do you remember which you were?  Any fun stories to share?


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It’s not really your money if you’re in debt

Here at Grumpy Rumblings, we’re all about enjoying life’s little luxuries… *if* you can afford them.  You won’t hear us castigating you for buying a nice car or fancy cheeses or lattes or traveling or whatever it is that makes you happy.  If you have the money, spend it on whatever (legal) thing you want to spend it on.  It’s not a race to financial independence unless you want it to be (and some of us prefer working to taking cold showers).  He who dies with the largest asset portfolio isn’t the winner.

However, we get irritated when folks with high debt loads make the same argument, especially when that debt is of the high-interest unsecured kind.  Not only are you shooting yourself in the foot someday living near the edge, but you’re also living it up today at the expense of other folks if that house of cards comes crashing down.  One day you may get hit with a negative shock.  You could lose your job or hit your credit limit or get hit with a big medical bill or any number of things that many of us self-insure for with cash in the bank.  And at that point, someone will have to bail you out.  It might be family or it might be bankruptcy or you may get suckers on the internet to help shoulder your burden.  It may even be the government paying for your problems in old age or nonprofits taking care of you.

Those folks say they’re entitled to their high debt loads.  They fund more lavish lifestyles than we have on their smaller incomes.  Travel, fancy handbags, daily meals out, nice cars, a house with no money down… why should they have to pay off their unsecured debt before living life?  They say it’s their money, they should be able to do what they want with it.

Except it isn’t their money.  It’s their money plus the expected value that they’re going to screw up and someone else is going to have to take care of their mess.  And the probability of that happening is pretty high, much higher than folks who are responsible with their money.

And those responsible folks are the ones who end up footing the bill, whether because they’re family or just society as a whole.  And that’s irritating.

Now, we wouldn’t trade with these entitled folks.  We *like* having real actual money of our own more than we like the consumer goods or additional travel or whatever it is we could be funding instead of saving or keeping our credit lines open.  But it is still obnoxious.  (And why is it that almost every person I know IRL like this votes Republican and hates folks on Welfare?  The only difference is access to credit!)

Student debt isn’t as bad because it’s virtually impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, but it can still keep folks from retirement saving, which eventually comes back to bite society through old-age Medicaid costs if nothing else (2/3 of Medicaid is long-term care).  Housing debt is secured which means the bank at least gets a house in return for the debt.  But we still cringe when people put 0% down on top of all their other debts.

Anyhow, I guess the point of this post is, stop bragging about your expensive purchases until you’ve taken care of yourself first.  We don’t want to hear about it.  It’s not your money that you’re spending until you’re out of debt.  Stop talking about spending other folk’s money.  Even better, stop spending other folks’ money… but that is probably too much to ask.  ETA:  Stopping complaining about your debt would also help, especially if you’re always attributing that debt to the universe being against you.

What do you all think?  Should people be entitled to lavish spending so long as they can make the minimum payments on their credit lines?  At what point are you allowed to live a lavish lifestyle?  What’s your limit for what you would do to get out of high interest unsecured debt?

link love

Lots of great links this week!

Story of my life from itsprobablyphdme. Shiny!

The annual food stamp/SNAP challenge from the nonconsumer advocate.  It’s would be a bit easier for us given that we’re now a family of four, but #4 only eats vicariously ($112 is pretty close to our regular grocery bill… $84 is not).

Graceful retirement links to a bunch of longevity calculators.

Gabe is winning at chore wars.

A map of the market from Smart Money.

Kelly Damian talks about horrible gift ideas.

Reassigned time discusses, among other things, how we wish we could hire more folks.

Oil and Garlic nails some problems with common proposals for fixing retirement and health insurance.

Wandering Scientist talks a bit about why she works and life the universe and everything (but not balance or having it all).

First Gen American with some great career advice.

No trust fund has an anonymous survey she’d like you to take.

Mutant Supermodel is looking for single parents to share their stories.

Hush with an interesting take on the tiger mother book.

We were in this week’s carnival of personal finance.

xkcd is epic.

Asking the Readers for More Ask the Grumpies

Once again, we’re out of Ask the Grumpies questions!  We even answered the hard ones about the Amalia Miller paper and about lumpy employer benefits!

We need more questions– What grey areas can we illuminate with our infinite wisdom?  What anxieties can we sooth with our forthright pragmatism?  What itchy unknowns can we scratch for you all?

We answer your deepest and most frivolous questions and everything in between every other Friday.  But, as perfect as we are, we’re not mind-readers and we need you to let us know how best to share our wisdom!

Leave us questions in the comments.  Or if you want to be super anonymous, shoot us an email at grumpyrumblings at gmail.