Monthly Archives: December 2013

Making a List and Checking it Twice



You better watch out, you better not cry.
You better not pout.  I’m telling you why.
Santa Clause is coming to town.

He’s making a list.  He’s checking it twice.
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Clause is coming to town.

In order to control spending you have to control what is spent on impulse buys.

People have different techniques to do that.  One of the most common ways (and the one that I have found is the most effective for me) is to put an item on a “wish list” and only buy it after an interval of time has passed (a week, a month, a quarter ?- you decide what works best for your life).  I also use it to decide if a sale item really fits into my life.  If it fits, it’s already on the list.

My Amazon  cart is in constant flux throughout the year as items are added, saved for later, and deleted.   Tens of thousands of dollars of virtual merchandise move through the process before any actual purchases are made.

The Independent Penguin only exchanges his money for things of value that will increase his happiness.  I’m still a work in progress.  But one of the things I do to try to get to his level is to make a list and check it twice.

Merry Christmas!

Don’t Look Now, but the Jones Family is Ahead


You watch HGTV, so you already know that kitchen counters are of utmost importance for your kitchen happiness and having updated appliances is mandatory.  It’s best if they are granite and stainless steel, of course.  Yes, if you have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops you should be proud of your kitchen and be eager to show it off.  You will hardly be able to contain the joy that bubbles out of you when you are cooking.

Until this week.

Whirlpool has introduced the White Ice finish pictured above.  The bloggers who follow kitchen fashion are quite breathless.  It’s much better than stainless because it doesn’t pick up fingerprints and much, MUCH better than those old cheap white ones because it has a stainless steel handles and accents.  In addition to these game changing attributes it is being compared to the style of an iPhone.  It’s not only worth getting, it really makes all other refrigerators not even worth owning.  This is it.  You should run out and buy it today if you want to be fashionable.  Don’t hesitate … rumor has it that the delivery van is already on the way to the Jones household with the entire set of White Ice appliances.

Unfortunately for him, the Independent Penguin isn’t even looking for a new refrigerator since his old one is still running.  It seems that he will just have to remain unfashionable today.  Me too.  You?


Give Great Gifts


This is the season for gifts.  There will be enormous efforts to identify, purchase, ship, and present gifts in the next few weeks before Christmas.  ENORMOUS efforts.

And most of them won’t be well suited to their recipients.

Here is modest proposal to identify what will be a great gift.  Give something that will be used on Christmas … a year from now.

Here are a few that fit the bill from my life:
Under $10
A real baseball
Whiffle ball & Bat

Under $50
A Ukulele
Quality Chess Set
Fleece jacket
Juggling apparatus

Everything but the jacket has something in common.  They all are used in developing a skill that becomes more enjoyable over time.  The more they are used the more enjoyable it is using them.

Remember that you are in the constant process of trading some time in your life for money.  If some of that money is used to buy gifts you are trading some time from your life for that purpose.

The Independent Penguin only gives great gifts.  I will try to do the same this year.  Will you?