Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What if you could shop forever?

I saw a Target commercial that ended with a girlish voice saying "What if you could shop forever?"

Strange that someone would want to shop forever.

In the commercial one girl wants to. If I were a retailer, I'd be thrilled to have shoppers that want to shop forever, and on the day before Black Friday -- maybe people are getting their shopping juices cooking.

Its funny because shopping is a chore too. But maybe shopping can be fun, especially if you do it socially, like Target is suggesting in this ad.  When 16 year olds start shopping for groceries and diapers, shopping is less fun. On the other hand, spending money is always more fun than saving it.

Shopping forever is sounds like the punishment in Dante's fifth circle of hell. Can't you picture people rolling shopping carts around the linoleum aisles of hell? This circle of hell would have a big aisle in the middle, and people would shop their way around it for eternity.

The guy is Kirby Heyborne, but I don't know who the actress is.  It was created with ad agency 72andSunny. Here are the lyrics to the song; I can't believe someone puts commercial lyrics on line.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Open Enrollment" for Healthcare

Like many people I need to sign up for 2013 healthcare now. I have three plans available to me, and I worked out the differences graphically as shown above. I thought a graph would make it easier to understand which plan to get.

For the three plans, an HMO, a PPO and a high deductable plan, the cost for a catastrophic event is about the same. The difference is in the upfront expense versus the benefits for low utilization rates.

I wish I knew what the effect of Obamacare on these benefits were, but I don't know.
My internet research showed that older people and young children need the most healthcare according to a HSA study.

In regard to which plan to get, I think the less insurance you can get away with the better. The high deductible plan has worked well for me every year except two.  That is most years I save money on the high deductible plan.

Friday, November 2, 2012

How Much to Feed Kitty?

Tonight I was bedevilled by a cat begging for food.  We couldn't give her food since she was chubby already. How much food should a cat eat?

Calorie intake depends on activity but 25 calories per pound of body weight is often cited, or sometimes a range of 20-30 cal/lb.  This site has calorie content of different brands and flavors of cat food. Cat food flavors vary from by 20% so it is hard to be accurate unless you want to feed kitty only one flavor.

We have two cats who are both about ten pounds, so they should have 250 calories a day. Fancy Feast varies from 23.2 to 31.9 calories per ounce, and the cans are three ounces, so about 83 calories per can. 250/83 = 3.0 .   So unless I want my cats to lose weight, they should get three cans a day.

The variability per can is a problem, since it varies by 31%.  If I were to skip 31% of my calories in a day or about 730 calories -- I'd notice it.  If I decide to give one on the low end like Grilled Salmon flavor Fancy Feast instead of Classic Salmon flavor Fancy Feast, the cat gets many more calories and would lose weight.

The variability of canned food is a good reason to feed dry food.