Category: Call Me Stupid

Jun 22, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Working It

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 3 A six-mile run and a generous reward system caused me to gain a few pounds. No reason for concern. Nine times out of ten, I lose weight the week after a bad weigh in. Persistence is the key to success. Getting back on track became my top priority. The universe, however, conspired against me. Back-to-back buffets at the office got my week off to a bad start. There’s always too much food. I do what I can to make sure nothing goes to waste. A caterer prepared trays of sandwiches, chips, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies for our faculty retreat. The hummusy-tasting pimiento cheese sandwiches were a tad dry. The chips were easier to resist …

May 25, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Where There’s a Will…

Do you have a will? A lot of people avoid estate planning — as if not talking about death will somehow keep it from happening. Wrong! Moreover, the worst thing you can do to your heirs is die without an estate plan. In recent posts I’ve mentioned my plans to retire in the next five to seven years. I’ll get a small pension from a previous employer plus Social Security. The bulk of my retirement income, however, will come from the money I’ve saved (including the match from my employer). At this stage of the game, the balance in my retirement accounts is significant.   God willing, my life force and my account balance will zero out at the same time. If I die before the …

Mar 23, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Birthday Presents

For my 57th birthday earlier this month, I gave myself a new car and a trip to Orlando. The new car was somewhat of a requirement. The PT Cruiser I bought in 2005 had enough miles on it to make me nervous about driving to Florida. I’ve known for months what kind of car I wanted to get. My PT Cruiser was the first convertible I’ve had the pleasure of owning. Driving with the top down is possible at least a few days every month here in Georgia. Wishing I’d bought another convertible seemed more likely than wishing I hadn’t. Refusing to pay more for a car than I paid for my first house ruled out a lot of options. A car is a means …

Apr 07, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Thinking about Retirement

I got my first steady job in the summer of 1972 at an ice-cream store in a brand new shopping mall. I was fourteen. Except for a month or two in 1977 after my employer went out of business, I’ve worked at least one job ever since. Those early positions were more character-building than income-producing. Saving for retirement — or for any purpose — never crossed my mind. I spent every penny and then some, relying on credit to make up the difference. Some of my earlier jobs required participation in a retirement plan. I minimized my contributions and cashed in whenever I changed jobs, paying both the ten percent penalty and the taxes on the meager sum I’d still managed …

Mar 30, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Poisoned!

A whopping case of food poisoning has made for a rough week. I should have known better, but misplaced trust and my inner cheapness conspired against me. I have nobody to blame but myself. The nasty little beasts hitched a ride into my gut last Friday. I’d paid a pretty penny for a thick ribeye steak the previous Sunday. No oven-broiling or pan-frying for me. A steak that nice has to be grilled, but the weather didn’t cooperate until Friday. With few exceptions, I hate putting proteins in the freezer. Not for taste reasons, but because I have to think about what I want to eat far enough ahead of time to thaw something out. And if I change my mind, …

Nov 11, 2013
By Michael Rupured
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My $85 Watch Battery–Revisited

The watch I wear everyday stopped running again. The battery lasted from March, 2010 to just the other day. I call that a good value, even at $85. This time, I went straight to the watch store. Here’s the story, reprinted from 2010, of how I came to pay $85 for a watch battery. Almost every watch I’ve ever owned was a Timex. I had a Swatch once, but somebody stole it. Nobody ever wanted my Timex watches. They took a licking and kept on ticking until I either stopped winding them or quit replacing batteries. My ex bought me a nice watch for Christmas (2008). I’m sure he was disappointed by my lack of interest in fancy features. He’s …

Jan 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Learning Curve

I bought my first personal computer back in the mid 1990s. The only software I used was America Online for e-mail and internet access, and because it came preloaded, Microsoft Money. At the time, I questioned whether or not the purchase was worth the money or the space the set-up required in my little Washington DC apartment. By the time it died a few years later, I could no longer live without a computer at home. I ran out and bought another desktop, and when it bit the dust, another. I dropped AOL when I got internet access via my cable provider. For the most part, I still only used the Microsoft Money and the internet. I spent huge percentages …

Oct 21, 2011
By Michael Rupured

DeFriending Prevention

When I first got onto Facebook in April of 2009, I accepted and sent friend requests to anyone and everyone. This wanton love for my fellow man ended up being a big mistake. Turns out, one should never friend certain people. In March of the following year, I spent several hours defriending more than seventy people. Although the process of removing “undesirables” from my list of Facebook friends was enjoyable, the fall-out was intense. I learned that defriending is an extreme act. Unless you intend to sever all contact forever and ever amen, one should avoid it unless and until it becomes absolutely necessary. Since the Great Defriending, I’ve tried to be a lot more selective about sending and accepting …

Aug 27, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Things I Would Do Over

For better or worse, the things I’ve done (both good and bad) have shaped me into the person I am today. While far from perfect, my life has turned out pretty good and certainly much better than I ever expected. In fact, those who know my story consider the fact I’m even alive today to be downright miraculous. Yes, I made a lot of poor choices and stupid mistakes. I’m a slow learner and tend to try things without bothering to research my options, read the instruction manual, or heed the advice of those who’ve gone before me. Even so, considering the way things have turned out, I have no regrets. But given the opportunity, there are a few things …

Aug 26, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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My Retirement Roller Coaster

After finishing college and launching my career, retirement seemed like an impossible dream. Work was my life sentence for a frivolous youth and a mountain of credit card and student loan debt. Any money I could set aside was more likely to be needed for a casket and burial plot than a condo in a retirement community. Before I finished school, several of my employers required me to contribute to a retirement plan. I always kicked in the minimum and when I left their employment, promptly withdrew any cash I’d accumulated. In one case, I passed up a two-for-one match and in every case, I paid taxes and a ten percent penalty for taking the money out. Let’s just say …