Friday, April 8, 2011

Rich, Rich as Nazis!!!

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

The past few days have been pretty chill. See, I’ve been kinda broke this past week because of being in charge of the rent check for the apartment… and apparently it takes Wells Fargo 3 days to do anything… including cash checks, transfer deposits & then they’ll charge you a few bucks for the pleasure of doing business with them. So yeah… just been home working out, cooking dinner & watching some TV for the most part. Not too bad… just kinda boring… and I know that I should be out there mixing it up & meeting people… but have to save up a bit for the cruise in three weeks too.

I have taken this time to try to get to know the roommates a little bit… but they’ve been kind of keeping to themselves a bit too. I cooked some pasta salad the other day (it was in the cupboard & I had the ingredients handy) but they apparently had stuff to do in their room (study?) but at least they were thankful. I did get to hang out with Nurse for a few hours watching the TV series “Friday Night Lights” which I had never seen, so she caught me up, we talked about other shows that we liked, apparently she grew up in Irvine, there was even a Stevie Wonder joke thrown in there (trust me, it was tasteful, because it was on a birthday card & I like to think that Stevie Morris has a sense of humor). So yeah, I like that I’m starting to get to know my roommates a bit… but we’re not quite to the going to bars & parties every weekend just yet like with Jackie D & Carmen. Gimme time though… I’m fairly charming… and a lot of fun.

Tuesday night, I watched “X-Files: Fight for the Future” for the first time. Yeah, I know, I watched the newer X-Files movie a few weeks back… but I hadn’t seen this one. The story is that Mulder & Scully find a bomb in a government building… and it blows up… and they’re blamed for it for some reason… so now they have to try to clear their names… and of course, there are aliens involved… blood thirsty aliens… and a virus that could easily wipe mankind off the face of the earth… and government cover ups… you know the drill. Obviously if you loved the TV series, you’ll love the movie… and I liked the series… so I liked the movie.

Wednesday night, I was in a comedy mood so I went with “This is Spinal Tap” starring Michael McKean and many others. It’s of course the fake Rockumentary about a British rock band… and basically just poking fun at the whole thing, but it’s hilarious… so if for some reason you haven’t seen it in the almost 30 years that it’s been available to you, then do yourself a favor & go check it out. You can even have it beamed directly to your home via Netflix. It’s that simple. You have no more excuses other than you don’t have 80 minutes to waste laughing. Anyway, here’s some news about people that aren’t currently broke…

Guys & Dolls & Cars – Remember when you were a kid… and you went to McDonald’s… and you’d get your happy meal… because there was a prize inside of either a Hot Wheels… or probably a Barbie since I think 80% of my readership is female (still not sure why)? Well, were you more excited when you got the Mustang with the beefed up engine… or the Volvo wagon? That’s right, they didn’t even HAVE a Volvo wagon. Why? Because those are lame… completely unsexy. Nobody has even gotten laid in a Volvo with more than a hundred dollars in their pocket. It’s proven. Google it. (Now somebody’s going to an ATM to prove me wrong… because that’s what I would do) Anyway, a new survey says that men prefer their cars beefy or fast, while women go for lower price tags and higher miles per gallon., which studied data from 8 million purchases in the United States last year, found BMW AG's Mini had the highest percentage of female buyers at 48%, while 93% of buyers for Fiat SpA's Ferrari were men. "The study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle," TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak said in a statement. Following Mini with the women were Kia Motors Corp (47%) and Honda Motors Co Ltd (46%) branded vehicles, according to the study. Last year, General Motors Co's Saturn and Kia tied at 45.2%, followed by Mini at 45%. There were 15 brands with more than 40% female buyers, TrueCar said. Maserati (84%), Porsche (80%) and General Motors' GMC (74%) followed Ferrari for the highest percentage of male buyers, according to the study. The top-selling model for women, with a minimum of 1,000 retail sales, was Volkswagen AG's New Beetle at 61%, while for men it was the Porsche 911 at 88%, TrueCar said. So… news flash, guys make the important life decision of purchasing a car based primarily on looks & appearances… and women tend to think a little more about the fiscal value of the decision. This in no way correlates to other important life decisions made throughout one’s life… such as purchasing a house or choosing a college or… I don’t know… finding a mate. Not a huge surprise that most Beetles out there are bought by women though. I was more surprised that 39% of those bought were by men… but then again, I’m not going to get into the whole co-signing for someone with bad credit thing because that just destroys the whole study. Seriously, does anybody out there know one guy who drives a Beetle made since 1999? Think about it. Anyway, this is just the first news story today about money… so get ready…

Buy An Aircraft Carrier - The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has put an aircraft carrier up for sale on an official used equipment website. The Royal Navy aircraft carrier Ark Royal was taken out of service earlier this year as part of government budget cuts. It was decommissioned in Portsmouth earlier this month, and is up for sale on, a website run by the MoD's Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S) arm. Individuals and organizations interested in purchasing the former flagship of the Royal Navy -- which was launched by the Queen in 1981 -- have to submit their proposals for the ship to the MoD for approval. "We need to be assured of the viability of the person or organization...including how they intend to store, maintain and dispose of the ship before the sale can be agreed," DE&S spokesman Tim Foreman told Reuters on Monday. Proposals for the aircraft carrier -- which travelled 621,551 nautical miles over the course of its career -- include mooring it in London for use as a helipad. Interested parties have until June 13 to submit their bids and the ship will be handed over to its new owner by the end of the year. The coalition government said it would axe the flagship in a defense review last year as part of its plans to cut a record budget deficit. "HMS Ark Royal has a proud history in the naval fleet and was due to leave service in three years time. Bringing forward her decommissioning ensures we will have an enhanced carrier strike capability in the future," the MoD said in a statement. "Until then, the UK continues to have access to a range of international bases which allow us to project our air power around the world." HMS Ark Royal played a crucial role in the NATO campaign during the conflict in Bosnia and was also involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was the fifth British ship to carry the name Ark Royal. The first was built for Sir Walter Raleigh and became the flagship of the English fleet, seeing action during the Spanish Armada campaign of 1588. I’m curious what the asking price for the ship is… I’m guessing nine digits at least… maybe even ten. Can you imagine pulling up to the Yacht Club in an aircraft carrier? That’s big pimpin’ right thurr… pull up within range of your PA system, “Deck pop!!!” KAPLOW!!! Fire a round into the great blue yonder to announce your arrival. See? I was made to live lavishly. Some people have to learn & practice mannerisms like this… and mine are more instinctual. Oh… and aircraft carriers have a few of the giant guns right? I’m not just making my own aircraft carrier battleship hybrid, right? Eh, I’ll just have to check the website to see what it’s going for on eBay… er, eDisposals. You know who might also be interested in this boat…

McDuck Wins Again!!! – Since I was a boy watching “Ducktales”, I have always felt a kinship with one Scrooge McDuck. He came to America with a bad Scottish accent… and a dream… and since earning his first dime… his Lucky Dime, it has come true. Yes, it’s not all champagne & caviar… you have your bitter rivals trying to bring you down… sometimes your mischievous nephews break off more than they can chew… or get involved in a plot eerily similar to "Inception" involving dreams... or sometimes you travel through time and bring back caveducks… or get involved in a grand scheme with a klutzy superhero, but at the end of the day, he was finally able to take a relaxing dip in his Money Bin (because who doesn’t like to make it rain so much that you can swim in it). Seriously, the liquidity of his assets is truly remarkable. However, have you ever wondered… who’s the richest fictional character out there? Well, Scrooge McDuck, the "penny-pinching poultry" with a fortune in gold coins whose estimated worth is $44.1 billion, headed the list of Forbes' "Fictional 15" wealthiest imaginary characters. But despite his riches, McDuck still trails Microsoft founder Bill Gates' $53 billion. That’s right, even Scrooge McDuck… is almost $10 billion dollars away from the REAL LIFE Bill Gates. Sigh… imagine the adventures that he must get into… and on the real, the loneliness that he must feel thinking that everybody likes him just because of his money. Poor bastard. Anyway, vampire-themed franchises have become big business, so it's no surprise that Carlisle Cullen, the 370-year-old vampire from the "Twilight" books and films who has been accruing interest on a small savings account since 1670, came in second with $36.2 billion (but then again it all got taken up in a Ponzo scheme). A pair of over-achieving youngsters came in third. Artemis Fowl II, the prepubescent scion of an Irish crime family from Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl novels, was pegged at $13.5 billion, while the altruistically inclined comic book character Richie Rich totaled $9.7 billion. To qualify for the list the characters must be known in their fictional stories and by their audiences for being rich. "Net worth estimates are based on an analysis of the fictional character's source material, and where possible, valued against known real-world commodity and share price movements," Forbes said. While the list, which Forbes editors have compiled since 2005, is all in fun, the process and resultant numbers are serious business, said special projects executive editor Michael Noer. "We go to great lengths to calculate their net worth," Noer said in an interview. "It's similar to how we calculate real billionaires." Market forces, especially commodities, also provided some guidance. "McDuck was up over 30 percent, which is what gold has done this year, and his wealth is mostly in gold," Noer explained. Similarly Jed Clampett, the country bumpkin who found black gold in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies" benefited from rising oil prices for a $9.5 billion net worth (placing 5th). Mr. Monopoly, the top-hatted, mustachioed character from the popular board game, placed ninth with $2.6 billion. The editors based his worth on the current value of Atlantic City real estate and a presumed percentage of property ownership. The full list, with character profiles and sources of their wealth, can be found below...

6. Tony Stark aka “Iron Man” – $9.4B – Imagine if he still made weapons…

7. Smaug – $8.6B – I need to read… but apparently he has a diamond belly & marauds for a living

8. Bruce Wayne aka “Batman” – $7.0B – And Alfred’s the best butler money can buy…

9. Monopoly Man - $2.6B – Atlantic City has taken a dive

10. Arthur Bach – $1.8B - Seriously can’t wait for this movie remake… and the inheritance will be spent on booze

11. Jo Bennett – $1.2B - I haven’t seen the Office in a while

12. C Montgomery Burns - $1.1B – Probably going to take a hit with the whole nuclear power scare… and they haven’t even looked into the incompetence of the employees

13. Chuck Bass - $1.1B – Who the f**k is Chuck Bass?

14. Gordon Gekko - $1.1B – I hear he’s banging Catherine Zeta-Jones… in real life

15. Jeffrey Lebowski - $1.0B – Yes, Mr. Lebowski… not the Dude… and I don’t wanna give away the ending… but wasn’t he broke so he stole a million bucks from his kids foundation? I’m just saying… the logic is flawed.

Bank Robbery Update – After hearing about fictitious characters that’re richer than you, how are you going to get that first million now? Well, today may be the day to do it… and after a bit of a hiatus, we have another update in the world of bank robbery. Remember when I had one of these every week or so for a while? Anyway, bank robberies in the United States take place most often in mid-morning, on Fridays and in southern and western states, according to government statistics released on Tuesday. Robbers stole slightly more than $43 million last year nationwide in 5,546 robberies of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, statistics released by the FBI showed. The South led the way with 1,790 bank robberies, followed by the West with 1,691. California had the most robberies at 805, followed by Texas with 464. North Dakota, where there were two bank robberies, had the least. Overall, there were 5,628 reported bank crimes -- the 5,546 robberies along with 74 burglaries, eight larcenies and 13 extortions of financial institutions. That marked a decrease from 2009, when there were 6,065 such crimes reported, the FBI said. The FBI does not speculate on why such a decrease occurred, said spokeswoman Denise Ballew. Most robberies took place at bank counters and involved notes demanding money and threats of weapons, the statistics showed. Nearly all of the $43 million haul was cash, and about $8 million was later recovered, the FBI said. Okay, I’m going to break it down for you then… by the numbers. $43 million in 5,546 robberies… is about $8,000 per heist. Now keep in mind, that’s also what was reported stolen, which given the insurance the bank has, may or may not be inflated. Then you split that amongst however many individuals involved, including any inside man, getaway driver, cost of the guns, outfits, whatever… oh and about 20% of the time the money is recovered… and maybe even more times the criminals are recovered but not the money. Maybe that’s why there’s been a bit of a drop-off. Then again, even a small cut is better than nothing… but is it worth the risk?

So yeah… I think I’ll spend my Friday having a drink or doing something fun. I’ve also got to get a tan going on for the cruise… but hey, I’ve got a few weeks… and it’s not like I tan exceptionally well anyway. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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