Monday, December 15, 2008
I used Picasa 3 (free) to make the collage (size it to 4x6 so that it matched the 20x30 aspect ratio of the Costco print). This version of Picasa makes much better collages than previous versions. Then I printed off a 20"x30" print at Costco.com ($10+shipping). Then I framed it using this frame ($12+shipping). For $22 + shipping, it's a pretty cool gift.
If nothing else, I found out a pretty cool way of making a framed, poster-sized print for cheap. If I ever pick up my camera seriously again, it would be fun to line my house with huge photos.
One word of caution: for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to print a border around my picture when I sent it to Costco so that the frame wouldn't chop off my picture. It turned out to be a bad idea; the costco border chopped off way more of my picture than I wanted it to. If you end up doing this, don't print the white border when you send it to Costco.com. Also, be sure to upload the full resolution picture to Costco.com, or it will look horrible when you blow it up.
Here's the image that I used for my parents.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
If you exercise self restraint with credit (i.e. spend with them as you would with cash), I recommend buying everything imaginable with credit. You're also helping your credit score at the same time. Along those lines, I will open up a credit account for each of my children when they turn 16 or so. Length of credit history is a HUGE portion of your credit score, so setting up a credit card for a 16 year old will significantly help your son/daughter when it comes time for them to get a mortgage/student loan. Parents who teach children that credit is evil are setting their children up for failure when they go to apply for a mortgage or student loan. Responsible use of credit is a valuable skill.
If you want a 2% cash back credit card, they're hard to come by. Mine is no longer offered. Here's a new one that I found out about today: http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2008/12/schwab-2-cashback-credit-card.html.
Have fun exploiting credit card companies (at the expense of stupid consumers who pay interest)! Can you imagine a world where nobody paid credit companies interest? Credit card companies would all fail.