Do You Brush Your Teeth During The Day?

For just about all my life, I have brushed my teeth two times per day, once in the morning after I wake up, and once in the evening before I go to bed.  The number of times I would normally brush at any other point in the day would normally be equal to the number of times I went to the dentist that year, when I would give my teeth a good brushing before going in for a cleaning (I figure that’s as a courtesy to the hygienist?).

This has served me well, and for a long time, I would even kind of laugh to myself when I would see someone brushing their teeth in the bathroom at work.

But, after my latest cleaning, the thought popped into my head that maybe a mid-day brush wouldn’t be a bad idea.

No Cavities!

Thankfully, I did not have any cavities during my cleaning, as those are pretty rare.  However, my hygienist did say that I had one particular area that I needed to make sure I got a little closer, as she saw a little plaque buildup.

Since my appointment, I’ve been making sure to hit that area whenever I brush, as well as giving everywhere else a good brushing, but I stopped and started thinking not just about getting that area, but started to ask:

How Did I Let That Happen?

Over the years, I’ve been pretty good about not having many cavities (knocks on wood as I type this), but I can think of a few instances here and there where I’ve gotten similar input on a noticeable area that I had to make sure to catch.

mb-2015-05-toothbrushI started to think, maybe the time of days that I’m brushing are impacting my success.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but for me, the following is pretty much true:

Mornings: I’m rushing around trying to get out the door for work so that I get to the office at the usual time, or on the weekends, trying to rush so that I can get over and help the kids get their day started

Evenings: I’m generally tired enough where I just want to get through the getting-ready-for-bed process, and rush through so that my head can hit the pillow as quickly as possible.

In either situation, the key word between the two is: Rush!

In the morning, I’m rushed because I’m wound up and trying to get out the door, and in the evenings I’m rushed to get into bed and unwind.

Two Options: It’s All About Probability

Realizing this makes me think that there are two things to try:

  1. Try to eliminate rushing – I’m sure if I spoke to the staff at the dentist, they’d tell me just to add some more time to my brushing, and that two brushes would be fine.  This is great, but I’m 40 years old and have been establishing myself and my routines for many years.  Simply adding a minute or two to each brush sounds easy, but is it plausible to simply say that I’m going to stop rushing just because I know I shouldn’t?  Sounds too good to be true!
  2. Add an extra brushing – During the day, I certainly have times where I rush.  Deadlines, meetings, and such all happen and make me rush around from time to time, but I generally try to avoid rushing around too much around my lunch.  This would be the ideal time to add a tooth brushing session to my daily routine.

It seems worth a try, anyways, to add a brush.  Of course, you could use my first argument against me in that I’ve established a routine of not brushing during the day for pretty much my whole life, so adding a brush could prove just as, if not more, difficult than adding extra time to my current brushes.

I guess there’s only one way to find out!

Readers, how many times a day do you brush?  Do you brush during the day or do you figure (as I used to) that the only people who do that are those who work for at a dentist office?

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Things I’ve Heard Said About Forex

There are many different ways to invest, trade, make, and lose money out there, and just about all of them are available in some fashion on the Internet.  One of the big buzz words that I’ve heard over the past couple of years has to do with Forex trading.  I thought I would do a little digging on my own to find a little bit more information about forex and find out whether the things I’ve heard said or have wondered about are true, false, or somewhere in between.

  1. I’m not sure what Forex means? Forex is an abbreviation for foreign currency exchange.  Basically, you can trade based on how one currency (e.g. the American dollar) will trade against another.
  2. Is forex legal? Yes, forex is very much legal.
  3. Is forex regulated? That’s where it gets complicated.  Every currency is its own independent ‘thing’, and there’s not one body in the world that oversees all regulation.  So, forex trading may be regulated within certain countries, but the fact that currency exists in so many different forms makes it impossible to regulate whether trades regarding currency exchanges can take place, and how they can be worked.
  4. Is there a forex market?  Not really.  Most market exchanges like the Nasdaq or NYSE are open for a certain period of time.  Since currencies are trading 24 hours a day, forex trades can really be made 24×7.
  5. Can I trade forex with my brokerage? Simply put, no.  I use TD Ameritrade for my non-retirement brokerage needs, and I’m allowed to trade various investment instruments such as stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, as well as many others.  Forex is not an option, and it ties back to the reason in my last point, in that it does not have regulations around it, and most brokerages can’t or won’t trade in instruments which do not have regulations.
  6. Then how does one trade forex? If one is interested in trading forex, it is possible.  There are many reputable sites available where you can participate in this type of trading.
  7. Is it risky?  Sure.  Since these sites are not regulated or backed by the government, you don’t have protection.  Forex trading definitely amps up your level of risk, but there are many investors who are risk tolerant, and live by the rule that higher risk can lead to higher reward.
  8. Does Money Beagle trade forex?  Nope.  While I certainly appreciate those willing to take high level risks in their pursuit of making money, I do not have anywhere near that level of risk.  Still, as someone interested in how the markets and investments work, I’m always interested to watch others.
  9. What’s this about manipulation?  Recently, there was a settlement by hedge funds who were accused of manipulating the forex markets.  There’s definitely a risk here.  If a party has the money and gumption to make currency trades that could actually impact the price, that is, at its simplest, a form of manipulation.  The markets are supposed to move on their own, and forex trading is meant to trade against those movements, not drive them.  I would speculate that one way a forex trader could eliminate this risk would be to trade within currencies that have high volumes, where a staggering amount of capital would actually be needed to move the exchange.

There’s a lot to learn about this forex, and as it is a fast growing, ever evolving market, it will be interesting to see how things develop in the future.

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Reading, Watching, And Listening: May 2015 Entertainment

With this being a personal finance blog, every now and then I stray away from finance to get more on the personal sides of things.  Some of my favorite bloggers have been those that I get to know through their stories, experiences, and likes.  I hope those that interact with me here at Money Beagle enjoy the personal experiences and such that I share.

With that, I would like to make note of some things that have been keeping me entertained as of late, give some brief reviews and recommendations.

Reading

I love reading fiction and always have at least a few books checked out from the library. In addition to following releases of favorite authors, I also subscribe to an RSS feed of any new books that they receive, so I have a running list going of books I’d like to check out, which gives me a nice pool to choose from.  These books all looked good to me in reading the description.   Here are a few I have recently completed reading.

Remember Me Like This – Bret Johnston – This book had a really cool premise.  A child disappeared and went missing.  Rather than focus on the part where most books spend their time, looking for him, they actually start off with him being found, and pick up from mb-2015-05-booksthere.  The book goes through the family readjusting to him being back.  It was a pretty cool premise, and I read it all the way to the end, but it didn’t deliver as I’d hoped.  Maybe there’s a reason that books with this topic usually focus on the search, because that tends to be more engaging as a reader.  My biggest complaint was that it seemed like very little was happening.  I was surprised because many reviews on Amazon and Goodreads seemed made me really excited, and while it wasn’t a bad book, it just never really got me hooked.

The Sweet Thereafter – Bret Johnston – I must have hit a subconcious theme here about picking out stories focusing on an aftermath, because this was another one!  The focus of this book was about a school bus accident that claimed the lives of some schoolchildren, but focuses on the aftermath of those involved and those in the accident, those left behind, and those recovering.  I found this much more interesting, because it seemed that there was a lot more depth in the characters and a lot more change in many of the relationships that they had with one another.  This wasn’t a great book, but it definitely kept me much more interested and wondering what was going to happen next.

The Killer Next Door-  Alex Marwood – This is a book set in England, which focuses on a rooming house with six different individuals, all with something in their past.  They’re brought together in different ways, and, as the title suggests, there’s a killer amongst them. There are some very gruesome parts to this book, but that aside, it was pretty interesting.  I enjoyed this book, though my only complaint is that the last 30 pages or so seemed, well, completely unnecessary.  Usually a book like this does spend some time wrapping things up and showing the characters next steps, but this was unnecessarily wordy.  My only other suggestion would have been to maybe cut a character, but add a bit more backstory on the other characters.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more backstory on some of the characters that I think would have expanded the world a bit more.

Watching

Here are few things I’ve watched lately that are worth mentioning:

Olive Kitteridge – HBO Miniseries – Last fall, HBO played a miniseries based on a favorite book of mine, Oliver Kitteridge.  I read the book sometime last year, and it was great.  I won’t review it now, but I was very excited when I saw that they were making a series of this.  Olive is a very abrasive woman with little patience and high expectations.  Unfortunately, this makes her unliked by many, but the book and movie both do a wonderful job of exploring that, and showing how she really does care.  When you read a book, you often picture what the characters would look like, and I have to admit that Frances McDermott was not anything like I’d envisioned Olive as I read the book, but she did a wonderful job.  She’s a fine actress and did a great jobs with the material.  I was looking forward to this the day that I first read about the mini-series coming, and I’d read great reviews when it actually aired.  This was a great watch.

The Americans Season 3 – FX TV Show-  Cable TV has brought some great television, especially over the last 15 years.  Some of my favorites have been The Sopranos, The Shield, and Breaking Bad.  Those are three of my favorites and The Americans is right up there with them.  For those who might not be familiar with the premise, it’s set in the 1980’s, during the Cold War, and USSR agents are living here as Americans.  The series is very well written, and focuses on elements from the espionage to relationships and the different tugs and pulls that this situation brings.  As a viewer, you don’t want to root for the enemy, but as a watcher of the show, seeing how they deal with situations, with each other, and with their family is great watching.  The season just wrapped up and seems to be getting better as the series goes on.

Blues Brothers (1980 movie) – Netflix just added Blues Brothers into their on-demand queue, and I love it!  This is one of the few movies where, if you asked me to put together the ‘best clips’, I would just show the entire movie.  Very rarely does a movie make me laugh from start to finish.  It was one of the first movies with swearing that I was ever allowed to watch as a kid, and while technology has made car crash scenes in movies go above and beyond, the crashes in this movie can never be beat!

Listening

I don’t get much in the way of listening to many full albums anymore, but I grabbed one from the library.

Kid Rock – First Kiss – Being from the Detroit area, I have to appreciate Kid Rock. He was born and raised here, and he embraces the area. I saw him a couple of years ago when he played for a few nights at $20, and it was a great show.  He’s doing it again this year, and we couldn’t get tickets (they sold out), but I still wanted to give his new album a listen.  I have to say that I was a bit disappointed.  I popped it into my CD player in the car and listened to it over the course of a few drives, and the biggest thought that I had was that it pretty much sounded the same from front to back.  There was nothing that stood out as a must listen song.  The songs largely went from one to the next with the same vibe, instruments, beat, and laid-back theme.  He definitely has a great time playing music, and I appreciate his skill, but this is probably one that many people will enjoy, and then promptly forget about as soon as it’s done.

Readers, what are some of the books, shows, movies, or music that have been keeping you entertained lately?

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

I Ran My First 5K Race This Past Weekend

I’ve been doing treadmill running pretty consistently throughout 2015, but my wife finally convinced me to run in an actual 5K race this past Saturday and it was a lot of fun!  Her and I ran together, and we actually did really great, finishing in 0:29:44.  My goal was to break 30 minutes, so I was very pleased!

The 5K race benefited a program in our school district, so they actually made the entry fee such that families were encouraged to run. For the younger crowd (like our kids), they mb-2015-05-trackoffered a one mile Fun Run, which was basically running around the track at the high school eight times.

After we finished our 5K, my wife and I went over and took our kids to the track and went with them.  Neither of them made it around eight times, but my son (almost 6) went around 4 times, and my daughter (almost 4) went around 3 times, so we were very proud!  They each ran over half the time, and most of all, they definitely had Fun, so they met the Fun Run qualifications.

Both my parents and my wifes parents came, as well as my sister-in-law, so the whole family got to see the kids.  That really made them proud and should encourage them to participate in future activities.

I don’t have any more races scheduled.  My wife has quite a full lineup.  She’s got another race in a couple of weeks, and then she’s going to start training to run a half marathon in the fall, and that training package includes vouchers for other races of her choosing throughout the next few months.  I’ll potentially look at signing up for a couple of those.

Fun, fun, fun!

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