Saturday, December 27, 2008

Himalayan Grill Flagstaff

I have to write about this restaurant because it's the best Indian food I've tasted in America and one of the best (yet hardly known) restaurants in Arizona. It's the Himalayan Grill and it can be found at 801 S Milton Ave in Flagstaff, Arizona.

This evening we had the Shrimp Saag and Chicken Tikka Masala, both to die for. For the last 2 years they've won Best Indian and this year Best Ethnic as well. One thing that makes them stand out though is the fantastic service. They're exceptionally accommodating and very friendly. This is the fourth time that we've been there and we wish they'd open a branch in Phoenix.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Target Gift Card

I was wondering what I was going to do with the $60 Target gift card that I'd been given by a friend for Christmas when a spark of an idea entered my head.

I took the gift card to Target and bought six $10 gift cards. One of them I gave back to the person who'd given me the $60 card and the other five I gave to six friends (two of them I told to share a card).

So, dear reader, the question is, can you be cheaper than me?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Automatic Millionaire summary

I mentioned that I was reading The Automatic Millionaire and that it was making me poorer. That was obviously tongue-in-cheek and generally I think that this is a good book. I learned nothing from this book because I already knew or was doing everything mentioned and more.

The one thing that I very much disagreed with the author (David Bach) on was the rainy day (emergency) fund that he recommended that people set-up. Personally I think that this is a bad thing if you own a house.

Your emergency fund has a multiple of your monthly spending to tide you over if you are unemployed or otherwise need emergency cash. This is sitting in a rolling CD or savings account earning 2%. It is also money that you will hopefully never need and so will most likely sit there for years. You are also being taxed on this 2%.

A much better option, in my opinion, is to put that money into your mortgage where it will save you 6% to 7% (tax free). Then setup a HELOC against your house that you never use except for that emergency. If you do the math, then you'll see that the cost of using an 8% to 9% is very cheap compared to the rainy-day fund because you will never or rarely use it and when you do you'll pay it down first instead of making extra payments to your mortgage.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Phoenix Light Pantless Rail

The Merciless Flirt has an interesting post today called C'mon 'n ride it: No Pants on the Phoenix Light Rail. Apparently the 8th annual no pants subway ride takes place in New York on Saturday, 10 January and if she gets her way we'll be pantless on the Phoenix Light Rail on that day as well. Sounds good to me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

I remember rocking to Joan Jett and The Blackhearts' I Love Rock N' Roll in the early 80's as a teenager and never thought that I'd be doing it again 25 years later but this time just 10 yards from her playing live.

Our company hired Joan Jett and The Blackhearts as the feature band for the evening at our Xmas party. Before that we had 38 Special and (separately) Sinbad the comedian.

I'd never heard of Sinbad but was impressed with his impromptu and he had me laughing out loud a couple of times.

Joan Jett Rocks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Automatic Millionaire

I've recently started reading The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. I'm still at the beginning of it and so far haven't learned anything new and have gained nothing from it. However, I hold out high hopes that there will be at least one small nugget of information hidden somewhere in there.

The book discusses the Latte Factor which is a fairly widely known concept that cutting out your daily latte and muffin and investing it in the market will make you a millionaire over your working life.

However, this has had the opposite effect on me. Before I started reading the book I would never buy a latte. Now that I read about lattes everyday I've developed a craving for them and I'm started to drink them. Perhaps this book will change me from a potential automatic-millionaire to a nothing...