On City vs. Suburb

Sometimes I think the term "suburb" is too general to be useful. I, personally, could stand living in one of the older, close-in suburbs of a big city, with modest houses on modest yards, work and retail a short drive away, and maybe a commuter rail station close by. I could NOT stand living in one of those sprawling exurbs of McMansions on half-acre lots, with the grocery store ten miles away, and a ninety-minute highway commute twice a day.

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 1:26 pm 0

On Car Talk

My credit union has a partnership with TrueCar that allows us to car-shop online and (supposedly) qualify for extra discounts. I've never used it myself, but if I suddenly had to buy a car that's probably where I'd start.

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 11:40 am 0

On My Not-So-Great Grandfather And The Great Depression

@holdensjane @andnowlights Actually, I thought the writer's point was exactly the reverse. He grew up in a family who thought his grandfather was a cheap bastard, and then afterwards learned about the psychological wounds that made the man that way.

Posted on January 1, 2015 at 11:42 am 0

On How Much Did You Spend On Music This Year

@Non-anonymous Forgot to mention another thing part of that $150 went to: a band Kickstarter-ing their first album.

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm 0

On How Much Did You Spend On Music This Year

I spent about $150 on music this year, maybe a bit more. Most of that was for paid downloads from iTunes/Amazon, and downloaded tracks for Rock Band. (Those count! The artists get a cut! Yes, I'm a nerd.) I only went to a single live show this year, and it was a cheap one. Whereas ten or twelve years ago, despite a much smaller income, I probably spent over $1000 a year on CDs (half new, half used), concerts, band t-shirts, etc. But the root cause here isn't so much the decline of the music industry as it is me getting old.

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm 0

On Millennials Having a Hard Time Saving Money

I haven't bothered to get around the paywall and read the WSJ article. But they do acknowledge that the older people with current savings rates of 3 or 6 or 13% might have had lower rates when they were in their 20s, right? Right? (Also, a quibble: members of Gen X can now be 49 or older, depending on the exact start date you use.)

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm 0

On Our Vanilla-and-Guilt-Flavored Real Estate Fantasies

@Katni @eatmoredumplings I'm a diehard East Coaster and I couldn't live in NYC either. For one thing it's simply too expensive. For another, there are so many things to do there that I'd probably develop a fatal case of fear of missing out. No, the right way to do the northeast is to live in a smaller city or town but keep a couple of friends in NYC who will let you crash with them when you feel like visiting.

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm 0

On Savvy Drinking: Is the Smart Buy the Best Value?

This sounds like a good example of economic thinking gone wrong. "The drink you want is marked up more than the drink you don't want, so it makes more sense to buy the drink you don't want."

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:45 am 1

On It's a Weird Day. Let's Rank States!

Connecticut does have Mystic Seaport, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am. In a bar (in Providence RI) a couple of years ago, I overheard one rich-looking guy telling another "I live in Old Lyme but I work in Old Saybrook," which I found utterly hilarious. Stereotypes come to life!

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm 0

On Meet The World's First Bookless Library

I'll be the killjoy who points out that this is definitely not the FIRST bookless library. They even have a Wikipedia page about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookless_library

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm 1