Those Who Short Stocks Are Terrible People

I generally try to avoid stereotyping people with generalizations.  Still, I’m pretty much at my boiling point on this one.  I have come to the realization that I can’t stand people who regularly short stocks.

What Is Short Selling?

Shorting a stock is basically the opposite of purchasing a stock.  You short if you believe that a stock is going to go down.  You basically ‘sell’ a stock at the price it is today, and then later on close the position by ‘buying’ it at what the price is at that point.  So, if a stock falls 10%, you basically make that money as profit.

There’s risk.  If the stock goes up, the short seller will lose money.  And since a stock can go up forever, the risk is unlimited.

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Thoughts After Experiencing Uber Firsthand

Uber is one of the more popular new things over the past couple of years.  I’ve read a lot about the benefits both of taking Uber for rides and driving for Uber as a way to make money.  The articles and posts are many, and the topic has always interested me, but I never took the opportunity to experience Uber firsthand until earlier this month.  I finally did and was really impressed!

Uber Here, Uber There, Uber Everywhere

While Uber has always interested me, I never had real cause to use it.  I have my own car, and if I want to go somewhere, I just drive there.  I surmised that many people probably use it as a way to go out and enjoy a few drinks, but at the age of 40 with two young kids, those opportunities are pretty rare, and sleep is often chosen instead even when the opportunity arises!

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Can E-Cigs Save Smokers Money?

We all know the many well-known  negative consequences smoking has on your health.  But, the constant increase of taxes has meant the cost of buying traditional cigarettes will put a major dent in your budget. There is no sign that governments will let up on taxing bad habits.  So, the price of cigarettes is only set to increase.

Are you a smoker looking for a cheaper option?  Or are you looking for an alternative that can get you on the path toward quitting?  If so, then making the switch to E-cigarettes could be a good choice for you. Here’s why you should consider the switch.

It could save you money

Health organizations have calculated that smoking only 10 cigarettes a day will add up to a cost of nearly $800 after six months.  That’s nearly $1700 after a year, and over $17,000 in ten years.  It could be more if you live somewhere with high taxes. Currently, the average smoker actually smokes a little over 12 cigarettes a day. Switching to E-cigarettes gives smokers a great opportunity to save.  The average E-cig cost for the equivalent of one pack of traditional cigarettes is only a fraction of the price.

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Not Stocking Up: When It’s Time To Stock Down On Groceries

It’s common advice to ‘stock up’ on certain grocery items.  If you can buy stuff that you will use regardless, get it at a good price, and use it before it goes bad, then there are many advantages to stocking up.  Some examples on things that are great to stock up on include:

  • Dry pasta
  • Cereal
  • Crackers and snacks
  • Bottled or canned beverages
  • Canned goods such as soups and vegetables
  • Frozen meat

There are many examples.  As noted above, the key to stocking up is to make sure you’re buying items that you plan on using.  If hamburger meat is on sale, but you don’t eat much red meat, then stocking up probably isn’t such a great idea.

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June / July Book Reviews – The Girl On The Train and 3 Others

I’ve been busy reading this summer.  We recently finished up a week long camping trip.  We had great weather, which meant a lot of time available to read!  It was great!  Here are four books which I’ve completed over the past few weeks.

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

This book seems to be one of the most buzzed books of the year.  I was anxious to get my hands on it. In the vein of Gone Girl, the book follows the story of a group of people, centering on Rachel, the ‘girl on the train’ that sees something that impacts the lives of many.

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Medicare Fraud With A Sickening Twist

There’s an ongoing story that’s received a lot of local attention over the past few years, but I’m not sure how much national coverage it’s received. It really deserves attention just to put the word out there in hopes that such terrible acts are never committed again.

Typical Medicare Fraud

Defrauding Medicare is unfortunately a fact of life and probably will be for as long as the system exists.  Typical fraud by a healthcare provider involves submitting bills for services that were never done, enhancing claims to include bogus items, or something along those lines.

This is dishonest, immoral, and it cheats taxpayers out of money, as money goes to pay for things  that never happened, but a Farid Fata, a doctor here in the Detroit area took it one step further.

One terrible, sick step further.

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How I Used Logic To Fix My Remote Keyless Entry

My Pontiac G6 is nearly 10 years old.  So, it stands to reason that things might start to wear out.  This started to happen to the remote keyless entry fob.

The Steady Decline Of The Remote Keyless Entry Fob

Over the past winter, things weren’t working right on it at all, which was a pretty big problem because I used the remote start to warm the car up on cold days.  That was a pretty easy fix: The battery needed to be changed.  Changing the battery is a simple task, basically prying open the two halves of the plastic cover, sliding out the old battery and replacing it with a new one.  The biggest task there was actually going out and getting a replacement battery first.

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General Mills Might Be Going Off The Rails With Yoplait Yogurt

I love yogurt and typically eat one cup every day.  I’ve not hopped aboard the Greek yogurt bandwagon, as I really don’t care much for the texture and taste, but I still stick with ‘regular’ yogurt.

A year or two ago, as part of an effort to eliminate the consumption of artificial sweeteners in my diet, I switched from the low calorie (100 calories in most varieties) to the regular version.

By and large, I stuck with three different brands that I enjoyed the most.  Yoplait, plus two store brands (Meijer’s Purple Cow brand, and Aldi’s house brand).  My wife usually got me whatever brand out of the three that was the best price for the week between sale prices, coupons, etc.

It’s been a good system, but just in the past few weeks, the Yoplait brands have made some significant changes:

  • Lower Sugar – Yoplait regular yogurt (red cups) now have 25% less sugar than they did before.  This reduces the calories in a cup (on average going from 170 to 150 calories in a cup).  To offset, they increased the amount of milk in order to attempt to keep the same texture.
  • New Advertising Campaign –  To go along with their new formulations, they seem to be making a push to more TV and print advertising.

On the surface, both of these things seem like pretty good movements.  After all, more healthy options seems to benefit all, and getting the word out has to be a good idea, right?

My Impressions

However, having seen both firsthand, I feel that either one could blow up in their face, and the combination could be catastrophic.  Let me explain:

  • The new taste – I tried out a few cups of the new formula and I was not overly impressed.  You can definitely tell the lower sugar content as it’s not as sweet.  If this was the only change, I’d probably be OK.   I could use a little less sugar in my diet, but the problem is that texture seems off.  It seems more chalky and thicker at the same time.  Honestly, it seems they sacrificed quite a bit just to offer a healthier option and cut 20 calories from their offering.
  • The new ad campaign – The TV spots are hard to miss.  They feature a young, pixie-type woman talking in a very heavy French accent about Yoplait.   The colors and general theme can only be described as loud and bouncy.  The first time my wife and I saw one of the commercials, we both looked at each other with an expression wondering if this was for real.  I said: “I don’t get it.” She asked, “Are they making fun of European people?”  I’m not quite sure what message they’re intending to send, but I’m pretty sure it’s not being very well received.

Social Media As A Gauge

mb-2015-07-signMany times, when I have opinions like this, I am not sure if I’m in the minority.  Maybe people love the new flavors or think that the commercials are fantastic.  Who knows?  So, in order to get a read, I’ll head over to Facebook and check out their product page.  I’ve looked at their Facebook page.  It appears I’m not the only one with concerns.  People think the product change is too drastic (New Coke, anyone?) and wish they hadn’t changed it or offered the new formula as an alternative instead of a replacement.  Many people don’t understand the commercials and turn the channel or fast forward through them as soon as they come on.

It seems the changes are not being well received at all.  Yikes!

I love yogurt. I’d hate to see my number of favorable options reduce from three to two options.  The way things are looking for Yoplait, I’m not convinced they’ll stay in  my rotation.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Plantar Fasciitis: Taking An Unwanted Break From Running

Everything has been going great with my running program, so it was bound to happen that something would step in and throw a monkey wrench in things.  Sure enough, I started getting some heel pain and after doing some research, I’ve determined that I likely have a mild bout of plantar fasciitis.  I’m not one to often self-diagnose, but this one is pretty apparent based on the two things that make this an almost certainty:

  1. Pain in my heelmb-2015-06-running
  2. The worst pain occurs in the morning when I step out of bed

I’ve done a lot of research, and long story short, the plantar fascia is kind of like a rubber band that runs along the bottom of your foot.  When one gets affected, small, microscopic tears appear.  This is likely caused by some combination of:

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