Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Funny: Photobombers

I'm going to be away, and won't be blogging for a while. I wanted to leave on a high note (pun intended - these photos sure look like people are high).

The Source: This is Photobomb

Choice selections:

You might also enjoy: The Art of the Photobomb by Hi Liner

Another Friday relief link: Seven Movie Posters That Almost Were by CollgeHumor

American DiCaprio Psycho? Too goody two shoes... the movie worked well with the Director's choice: Christian Bale.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coupon Mania

I'm not a fan of coupons. The reason: You end up spending more money than you planned on items you might have not needed to begin with. Unless...

Unless you hunt only for the coupons you need - when you need them. Relevant services: Restaurants, Oil changes, Flowers.

We get the Ann Arbor News weekly, and each week we are bombarded with paper coupons we don't really need and can barely keep track of. So that's our conundrum, we want to save, we want to be always on top of the most recent and best deals -just not swamped and overwhelmed with offers we don't need and stacks of paper we regularly neglect to discard.

I have a few links to help the Coupon seeking hunters - if you agree with my statements above or not:
Soon to be placed as a permanent link fest on the side bar.


Download DelayedExec Freeware

DelayedExec has moved to its own Home Page:

Check it out!



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

zdnet: Poor economy saves Mac community from clone crap

I would say that the Mac crowd are so snobbish that anythign that's manufactured by a "not apple" company is considered crap, and they are snootily happy paying high premiums for PC-s. Or are they not aware that today - Mac - is an Intel x86 based PC?

Poor economy saves Mac community from clone crap
According to Mac clone maker Psystar, it wasn’t the continuing pressure of Apple’s legal department, nor its dubious technological and market proposition, that did the company in. Rather, it was the economy and its declining profit margin. Potential customers should be thankful that they dodged a bullet.

Hi I'm not a mac - and I don't like paying three times as much for a PC with a different operating system. I've worked with Macs - and I can say they can crash and break just like any other PC. Get over the propaganda.


Miss CA, Carrie Prejean interviews Trump about finance - weirdness ensues

I said my word about Trump before...

If anything, just watching Carrie is an inviting thing (for haters, and just men looking to see a pretty lady).

Fox-News aren't too shy about hiring ex-beauty queens. Now employing a current one.

It's like an interview with your boss; thank you for paying my salary, your welcome, how's business - good thank you. That's A-O-K. Weird.


"Who's idea was that? To lose the humidity? Thanks for touching me. Steve never touches me." I guess it's entertaining.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Funny site of the day:

This is why stumble upon is such a vital tool - sometimes, at some point of the day - you just need to get a smile on, regardless of what made you frown in real life.

Sample funny stuff:

Air port sign for landing airplanes in Chengdu, China

To be or not to be.... that is a question... wait, what?

Tastes so heavenly, you'll need to repent.

Bad Chicken! Spank that bad Chicken!


Where I get my morning finance news

There are so many potential sources to get good and valid data, so much so - that it just might be too time consuming to sift through all of it. I like some technical, some commentary and headlines. Here's what I do:

1. Listen to morning podcast at "Top Guns Trading": Daily State of the Markets

2. Check latest posts at Bespoke Investment Group free blog posts. This gives me some free and useful research tidbits.

3. Open my brokerage account to view a real time watch-list of etf-s parsing sectors and commodities to know where the market is heading today (not that it would help anyone except day traders, I'm not one).

4. Open my "Free Stocks Ticker" and let the headlines scroll. I have it set to read random RSS posts from different financial sites and news wire. Sample feeds: bloomberg, cnbc, fox business, pfblogs.

I personally do not read any financial paper or magazine - although I did try most of them for a while. It's all pretty much out there for free, if I had to recommend any - my two favorites were Investor Business Daily and Wall Street Journal. I'm pretty sure the heavy guns have their own alert services so that they get on top of any development on the second it is rumored.

Have an excellent week.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This should be tought at schools: How to make smalltalk

Smalltalk - the art of being non intimidatingly polite while surrounded with strangers and you don't really feel the need to know what's on their mind.

Must admit - I'm not very good at making small talk. Seven Tips for Making Good Conversation With a Stranger (abbreviated, click for full article)

1. Comment on a topic common to both of you at the moment
2. Comment on a topic of general interest
3. Ask open questions that can’t be answered with a single word
4. If you do ask a question that can be answered in a single word, instead of just supplying your own information in response, ask a follow-up question
5. Ask getting-to-know-you questions.
6. React to what a person says

So what can you do when the conversation is such a struggle?

7. A friend argues that you should admit it! “We’re really working hard, aren’t we?” or “It’s frustrating—I’m sure we have interests in common, but we’re having a difficult time finding them.”


Friday Funny: The Guy Dictionary

Continuing the tradition of entertaining my readers on a Friday (all accidental 3 of you...)

Found through "Stumble Upon", clicked around to reach: Comic Relief: The Battle of The Sexes

In it found: "The Guy Dictionary".

A choice selection:
Statement Translation
"Can I help with dinner?" "Why isn't it already on the table?"
"Uh huh," "Sure, honey," OR "Yes, dear." Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.
"It would take too long to explain." "I have no idea how it works."
"I was listening to you. It's just that I have things on my mind." "That girl standing on the corner is a real babe."
"Take a break, honey, you're working too hard." "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
Click for a few more funny ones...


Just in case you missed it: There's a global financial crisis - in photos

I'll keep it short, here's a link:
27 Visualizations and Infographics to Understand the Financial Crisis
One example:

One more:
Graph showing why the market is about to collapse again soon (unless we all go spend the rest of the money we don't have right now)

All one really has to understand is that there IS a crisis, and most economics don't really know how to undo the financial mess they have created themselves. So most likely it's here for a while. (But solving the mortgage mess and housing glut in the US is a start)


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taxman Grabs Half of Sold Virginity Profits

Giving a whole new meaning to the tax-authority's long arm reaching everywhere. This time, it's the German revenue tax, not the IRS. (Although there was a case in Nevada recently...)

Student Who Auctioned Virginity Online May Have to Pay Half Her Earnings in Taxes
The teenage student who sold her virginity for $13,827 could have to hand over half of her earnings to the taxman.

German inland revenue investigators are studying reports that Alina Percea, 18, was paid in cash for a weekend of sex with a middle-aged Italian businessman after auctioning her virginity online.

Prostitution is legal in Germany — where Alina studies — but hookers are taxed at 50 percent of their earnings.

The Romanian-born computer studies student is allowed to work in Germany for 90 days as long as she arrived on a student visa, even as a prostitute.

But because Alina earned so much in such a short time she may also be liable for a hefty VAT bill.

A German inland revenue spokesman said: "If we have hard figures then we can make an accurate assessment."

It's like they're doing their best to write the punchlines themselves: "If we have hard figures then we can make an accurate assessment".

It's an interesting anecdote to those who are wishing for higher taxes for social benefits everywhere. The German government is taxing the whores 50%. Way to "tax the rich"...

I recall a joke, where after arguing at an open market about prices and getting responses like "believe me, it costs me more - I'm losing money on selling you these vegetables" - a prostitute decide to use the same reasoning. But in Germany, it does cost her more.


Don't Bother SEC Staffers; They're Busy

Busy sleeping on the watch while the Madoffs of the world are cheating and stealing for 20 years...

Fox Business Headline: Al Lewis: Don't Bother SEC Staffers; They're Busy

Image from NY Times 2006: S.E.C. to Ease Auditing Standards for Small Publicly Held Companies .

Should one trust anyone when it comes to investing money?!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How I Budget

Here’s the big “secret”: You will do just fine financially, if you spend less than you earn.

I think the biggest difference in approach between what I suggest and what is offered by many budgeting tools is that I say: don’t budget for categories, budget for short time periods.

We intended to stop consuming our savings and deteriorating into unmanageable debt, and instead spend less than we earn and grow our savings. We started our approach, which is detailed on this site, around 2005. We changed our course together as a family. As individuals we had no problems - but as a married couple we had to agree on our money approach together.

This page has been ported from my previous blog "", some links will direct you back there. Eventually I intend on bringing that content into my current blog "Thrifty Trend".

Details of our approach

I suggest you click on the post links to learn more about our “secret”

(Some links to old blog might not work, I will work on this soon - it seems the old blog host is no longer active. Sorry)

  1. Download our budget spreadsheet and place it on
  2. Figure out how much you should spend each month, start recording your spending
  3. Don’t buy anything if you’re out of money for your 10 days budget
  4. Talk about it at home - don’t hold back
  5. Bridge the perception gap between yourselves regarding money as a couple to achieve financial zen
  6. Never cease the search for knowledge.
  7. Seek goals - there’s no reason to hold money to keep the bank happy.
  8. Make a long term plan to become wealthy (or sufficiently - not poor)
  9. Implement your money knowledge and the plan by sticking to an investment strategy that will keep your money safe
  10. Be frugal while investing - seek the lowest fees and commissions.

How did we come up with our “System”?

As mentioned in the posts, we decided to read about personal finance together. We agreed on goals and dreams. We agreed on where we want to be 10, 20 years from now and even on what kind of retirement do we envision (while we were at our 20-s). These aren’t spontaneous conversation topics - those arose from reading the books.

The books - however helpful they were - did not touch on a core subject for us - how do we track our spending together, and how do we do it without offending each other, or one side appearing cheap and nagging the other on how much money we don’t have left in the bank (or reasonably payable monthly credit usage). While I used to check our financial statements from banks and credit cards on the web frequently, my wife would do so rarely.

We agreed on the “short term budget for anything” system in principle. Initially my wife suggested we use a dry erase board positioned in a location we both view regularly, and contentiously update it. That means calculating, summing up and redrawing from scratch every month. It was a good experience as far as working together, but was very annoying as far as the required work.

We then moved to a spreadsheet on our main computer. This proved difficult because we actually use the laptop more than the main computer, and usually at work I sit in front of a different computer. The next step was obvious to me - work on a shared spreadsheet on the web.

Would you be surprised if I tell you the system has worked well for us thus far?

While I can credit the books and websites for inspiring us and providing us with many ideas - our implementation of our own ideas is what gave birth to our system. We improved upon the wealthy guru authors to use online spreadsheets to budget from anywhere we are and to spend on anything we like, whenever we like, as long as we acknowledge our limitations and live frugal when we can’t (for a maximum of a few days).

In this site, I end most posts with a big


Because we need to enjoy this life and live richly within our means. There are very few problems too complicated to resolve - and one always has to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. Cheers!

Sivan Segev

The world's most arrogant millionaire: Trump

Have money and nothing better to do? Sue someone for trying to estimate how much you're worth - proving to whomever was too thick to realize thus far: Trump is one arrogant douche.

I wanted to finish this post with an embeded video of SNL doing "Trump Chicken Wings". But the following will do; Fake trump wearing a Pizza:


Monday, May 18, 2009

Bought Wii at discount, Looking at games for my 4 year old

Well - we finally did it. My birthday is coming up, and we've been thinking about getting a Wii system for a while. It seems like every family I know from around has one, and we were just waiting for the right deal around this date. Went to Best Buy, the deal was - you buy a wii, you get 20$ gift card; which we used for the Wii-Play with the extra remote.

We have 3 girls, and our middle child was a bit left out so we went online and looked for games for her. Unsurprisingly Amazon has a much wider selection than Best Buy and all the games are sold for less. So here's a lesson: Don't Buy Games at Best Buy!

Here are some games I found for my girl, pretty cool:


Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Funny: SNL Mother Lover, Not Funny: CNBC headline

The sequel to di@@ in a box...

Actual headline on CNBC: Recession Drives Moms to Drink, Do Drugs and Gamble
OK, don’t panic but moms, typically the rock of the family during a crisis, are starting to crack under the recession pressure.

A recent survey showed moms are overwhelmed with financial pressures that have escalated since the economic downturn began.

One in three moms surveyed by and the Insight Research Group this spring said they have turned to a vice such as overeating, drinking, drugs and/or gambling to cope with the stress.

Two-thirds said they feel intensely negative emotions, resulting in arguing, fits of crying and frustration as they worry about the state of the world, how to pay the bills, etc.

Nearly 9 out of 10 moms said they sacrificed buying something for themselves in order to keep buying nice things for their kids.

And guys, listen up: If you think this isn’t your problem, think again. One in four moms said they’re having less sex with their partners as a result of the economic stress.

Can you hear me now?

But don’t worry,, a Web site for moms to swap stories and get advice, has put together a Recession Survival Guide to help moms get through the slump.

H/T to Fark thread.


PS: Like many news items, I found this through my own RSS open sourced freeware, called "Free Stocks Ticker". For more details: here (until I port that page into this blog)

Friday dump on Suze Orman

About a year ago, I wrote a list of reasons not to watch CNBC - some took it emotionally. Since then some facts have changed regarding CNBC for the better, but still there are enough reasons to avoid it.

I know that at some point in time, I was watching CNBC daily, and Suze Orman weekly. I can't explain it - and I won't make excuses for it. It just got old (it was boring to begin with). I think I was more puzzled at what I was seeing than absorbing positive knowledge. I guess the main point of that show is to hear sad stories from people in financial stress than to get educated.

I have two links to end this post with:
1. Found on MSN money: I don't hate Suze; I just disagree
2. Someone made a video poking fun of Suze, I think it was more mean then funny: Mad Money, Suze Orman Style at Wallstrip


Thursday, May 14, 2009

About This Blog

Welcome to S.Segev Software Blog. (formerly Thrifty Trend Software)

Here you will find original and unique freeware, a few finance opinions, tech and economy headlines gathered at the author's discretion.

Who am I?

Hi, I'm S. Segev, a software engineer willing to give away some free software and opinion. Please do reciprocate if you find value here.

Free software means... well - you pay nothing, and get to email me how great it is

Give it a try:

Thrifty Trend?!

The site's address is, that's because it started out as a personal blog espousing mainly opinions regarding personal finance. The author at this point prefers to dedicate his time to other goals.

Thanks for dropping by,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quick update on "blog relocation"

I saved two versions of the template, one with some ads I tested, and one without most ads. Currently showing without most ads. (except entrecard and a tiny adsense at the bottom right)

Also, Blogcatalog rejected registration for some reason so I took off their widget for now. Will try again later - after ported some more content.

Will probably not get much of the other items I intended to do done until next week...


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beginning the long road to relocate my blog

Well, I abused some internet blogger theme to reach this point, and I'm trying my best to feel comfortable and "at home" with the new environment.

Every tab-link above is pointing right now back to blogvis. I have a huge to-do list to declare "blog relocation complete".

  • Port tab content to this blog, edit and update titles and content as relevantly needed
  • Port and update list of freeware, including my favorite freeware page
  • Register this site at some aggregators
  • Post notification of relocation on blogvis
  • Clear content from blogvis, replace current content with links back here.
  • Release new versions of my free-ware, with links back to this blog instead of the old one
  • Finally - release my 3rd and last post regarding the last Vegas trip - which I've delayed because blogvis service began distroying my old blog.
(That's right, take a nice cold beer, say cheers and chug it)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Goodbye to Blogvis

I've been writing on for a a bit more than a year. I'm looking for a new home for my muses. I guess I need a new blog name too.

Thrifty Trend - that's where I've landed.

Will update soon.