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Archive for September, 2006

Denny's

September 30th, 2006 at 08:23 pm

So DH and I, in our Saturday morning wanderings, went to Denny's this morning. It took me several minutes of reading and flipping through the glossy pictures of cutesy named dishes before I found what I really wanted--

The Original Grand Slam - 4.49$

It was in tiny print, no picture, an after thought. I remember many moons ago when two of everything (a Grand Slam) was a serious plate of food, even for a college student, and it got a picture and good billing. It was enough for anyone, and it was a feast. Now? You're a cheapo and on a diet.

No wonder why we are all fat and in debt. Smile

DH went even further - he ordered a senior omelette. It's a big step; he's at that sensitive age. Pretty soon the pride will drop even further and he'll be asking for the senior discount. Pride ebbeth before frugality.

Denny's was very close to the grocery where I got the tuna rain check, so I cashed in the tuna rain check, carefully checking with a free cashier that this was the right tuna. You can't be too lax with the details. Smile

6 cans of tuna - 3$.

Bought another long sleeved knit top at the thrift store - 2$.

She tried, she really did

September 29th, 2006 at 09:25 pm

Today was the day my 6 month CD matured, so as a noon-time errand, I stopped over to my brick and mortar bank to release it into my checking account. A teller did the deed, but then came the questions:

"Can I interest you in taking out another CD?"
-a quick check at the current 6 mo CD rate was 3.4%; 12 mo was at 4.6% with a bump rate. Umm, no.

"Don't quote me on it but there might be a change in a few days at the first of the month."
I told her that if its advertised on the website, I'll see it.

"May I see a second form of ID? You are transferring a lot."
I showed her my butt-ugly drivers license.

"Perhaps I can interest you in a credit card?"
I slowed her down by asking for a brochure.

She tried - I have to hand it to her. The bank got the use of 30K for 6 months...who wouldn't want another hit on that pipe? But right now, 6K to the bed & the personal trainer, the 665$ in interest to ING and probably to the chiropractor, and the 24K to Vanguard.

Anyway, I came home and told DH that he was now sleeping with a woman with over 32K in her checking account.

Another crazy thing I did was go to work, shoveling emails, and the craziest was that I actually worked out. The trainer took pity on me; we went slow and just did the machines.

No spend day

September 28th, 2006 at 05:37 pm

Only because the cold deepened and I spent another day at home mostly asleep. The new bed is baptized in cooties now. When the cooties get big enough to adjust my sleep number I'll be seriously upset. Smile

T-bill matured - sent $7.07 in my ING account. T-bill auctions are held every Tuesday, and the bills themselves are bought and sold on Thursday. Actually, the bucks aren't coming from the matured T-bill; they come from the fact that I'm buying $2000 for (this week) $1992.93 - they're the leftovers from buying the next 4 week T-bill.

Minestrone soup

September 27th, 2006 at 07:16 pm

Caught the cold that was going around in a moderate way. The symptoms of this one are congestion and being very, very tired. Stayed home and made a pot of minestone soup for the fluids. The produce in the refrigerator looked pretty unhealthy (I want minestrone, not cream of pencillin) so I conserved my energy and hoofed it three blocks to the Safeway (sigh). - 4.95$

Many Italians would laugh out loud at my soup, but it works. My big trick is to slice hot sausage into discs, then saute them in a bit of olive oil so they turn into little meatballs. Then you add lots of bay leaves, onion, lots of garlic, carrot, stalk of celery, zucchini, any other Italian-esque vegetables, chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, soaked chickpeas, parsely, oregano.

Cough, cough. . Bye.

Another gym reckoning

September 26th, 2006 at 08:03 pm

Nicer than the first reckoning...

Lost 4 lbs, (I'm 194 with the shoes on), I lost another inch in various places. Now I'm officially below 30 BMI. And with the chiropractic - I'm 5'8" and no one questions it. Smile

Since December, I've lost 18 lbs of straight fat and gained 7 lbs of muscle.

Time to keep going - it took years to get to 200, it'll take years to drop it.

Chirashi sushi for lunch today - $15.

Cavalade of fixed income

September 25th, 2006 at 08:22 pm

Moved 300$ to my ING account.
Bought a 100$ I-bond. I can hardly wait until November 1...I'm pretty sick of 2.41%, and it looks like the next 6 months will have a much better rate.
Banked 47$ from the tip box.

Lunch with the usual foursome - me, lawyer friend, his partner, and perhaps soon-to-be screenwriter friend. Lawyer friend figures that sister is going to ask me to help hold the farmmette (house, barn, sheds, 7 acres). And really, he said, its all right. Its an asset that we got as a freebie. We can hold to sell during better times. (I'm still not thrilled.)

Talked with the DJ Myng, my DJ friend/co worker. Not only did he totally love what I had written for his soon to be internet radio station, he used bits and pieces of my stuff for his myspace site. He's in my Sites I Frequent list, so if you want to take a look, feel free. Just remember that my original had paragraphs. Smile I asked him and he is going to throw me some more business.

The Friday laugh Sunday

September 24th, 2006 at 07:36 pm

Got word from the DJ friend - totally loved the write-up. Whew!

Got an email from sister. She figured that she'll be on vacation (10/2 - 10/16) when the offer comes in on the second property. I assured her that it was unlikely - it feels like it'll be November to me - but that if it did, I'll contact her and stall, stall, stall. And heck, both the heirs have to agree to a decision.

A branded piece of heavy equipment I saw downtown on the street Friday as the bus pulled away from the stop. It made me laugh out loud. Even funnier, check out the worldwide entities too.

Went to Uwajimaya - here's my favorite frugal purchase. Black sesame seeds, dried & finely ground orange peel, chili powder. So much addictive goodness all for $1.65. I put it on popcorn, myself.

Friday-Weekend thoughts

September 23rd, 2006 at 08:34 pm

Friday - not much happened. Thursday night I was restless, but it wasn't the coffee particularly that kept me up. See a few paragraphs below.

Finished DJ friend-co/worker write-up for his website Friday night. I had a lot of fun with it and turned out well - he had a lot of material, had lots of sentences. It was just a job to polish the sentences (keeping his style), get rid of the "well duh" phrases and connect them into coherent paragraphs. It took maybe 4 hrs. I've got to think about doing more of this - its a blast and I might just as well get paid for it. I'll put the link on when I get it.

Friday night DH and I went out to get burgers. Had a cheeseburger for the first time in 10 months. $5.95

Put 40$ in a DRP.

Saturday DH taught me a frugal trick of his own. Instead of parking meters, Seattle has parking stations - a whole block is marked off, and at the center of the block is a little pay station where you pay for a ticket with the expiration time and a sticker to stick the ticket to the sidewalk-side of the window. The ticket has a sentence that I've never noticed before - the ticket is transferable. DH and I had several errands around town. DH added a little extra time and we just drove with the same sticker and parked in our spots. Very clever - once you came back to the old parking meter, you couldn't get your change back. Smile

Now for what made me restless. I have a crush on a man. It feels like the classic - a bolt of lightening, although I should have known it was coming - I've been bubbly and receptive for weeks. Flirty jeans are good, but come on... Smile I don't know whether its requited, and since I'm married, its moot. In a weird, weird way though, I'm laughing as I write this: crushes are very frugal if you don't act on them - no dates, no diseases, no come-downs. (if you do act on them - the cost of divorce will kill ya!) At least its not a workplace one - you have to grit your teeth about those and ride them out. Smile

All I got today is...

September 21st, 2006 at 08:51 pm

5$ in the tip box.
T-bill interest that made it to my ING account this week - 7.22$

A quickie favor to write up my DJ friend's bio for his website. I figure to take a whack at it and see what I come up with.

Spent 7.75 on lunch, which kept it from being no-spend day. My boss treated me to a coffee close to my caffeine sensitive cutoff time of 10am. Usually if I have coffee after 10am, its worthless and I have trouble getting to sleep. Today I had a second cup at 10:15am. It wasn't worthless - I was buzzed for the day and went at gym with a passion. LOL, bedtime'll be a good little experiment.

CD maturing

September 20th, 2006 at 08:17 pm

About a week ago I got a letter from my brick and mortar bank - my 30K CD is maturing at the end of September. Since I've decided what to do with it doesn't involve re-upping for another 6 month stint, I went to tell 'em to put the 30K in my checking account.

I was too early. The grace period is 10 days and its 10 days from the day it matures, not 10 days before it matures. I get to come back nine days later. Oh well, at least I made the mistake in a way that's correctable.

Bought my cheap coffee ($1.37), but also bought a pint of non-fat milk to put in the refeer. A little more expensive than the free cream ($.65), but I'll shave a few calories off.

no tip box doings today

Fall is here

September 19th, 2006 at 08:10 pm

So let the waiting begin.

Today DH drove me to work...just because. Because this is the first rain of the fall, the drivers were crazy and it took us 45 minutes to get into downtown Seattle. Hwy 99 was packed, the Fremont Bridge was packed. The only route that wasn't packed was 15th Ave NW, it was just slow.

And since it was cool and cloudy, everybody got the same idea for lunch: curry. Big line for the curry special. Found out from the curry place owner that he uses corn oil, so not so bad.

Talked with the trainer about the possiblity of splitting with my friend (yesterday's lunch partner). She told me that it was up to me and they have done it in the past. The "bad" news after the corn oil good news is that she told me my daily caloric intake was supposed to be 1400 calories, not the 1600-1700 that I was aiming for. Hmmm, it might be amazing that I've lost the few pounds that I did.

I'm still psyched about the size 14 jeans. I've been joking and laughing at work and I just seem ... brighter and a bit more extroverted. Best 18.99$ I've spent this year.

Talked with the lawyer friend about the possible sale of the second property with the WiDNR. He told me that usually the government price is market value + 10% or so, and thought that right now they would give us probably the best price. Here's hoping, but not hoping too hard.

Put 5$ in the tip box.

Serendipitous lunch

September 18th, 2006 at 10:33 pm

Wore my new jeans to work (I'm a department where we put the casual in business casual), got my compliments.

On the bus - the first one had some sort of issue so when its replacement parked behind us, I motioned to my seat mate that we want to make a break for it to get onto the bus behind us when the back door opens. We did and we managed to get decent seats. He laughed and said that he's so oblivious when he was reading.

Man, its just so nice when you just take up your side of the bus seat. You even feel confident enough to flirt. Kinda flirt.

Had a serendipitous lunch with a friend. She came to my office and told me we had to cancel the lunch to my "hideout" two weeks from now. I countered that I was going to go to the place for lunch today - would she like to come? So we went, and we had a nice gossip session. The food was great, cheap, light, and best of all, no one from work goes there.

Actually, she's one of people I sent to my trainer, so we had a nice conversation about that. She asked me whether she was willing to split a few sessions with me. I'm very interested, but she does tend to be flaky, and I'm pretty consistent. Oh well, maybe she'll will be useful for dropping that expense by a few bucks.

Spending log - 1.37$ coffee + 10$ lunch

Saving log - 5$ in the tip box. I should be depositing this month's scrapings at the end of this week.

2 grey tops, tweezers and coffee

September 17th, 2006 at 08:13 pm

That's what I bought today - $1.75 coffee + $4.90 2 grey L tops + $21.75 tweezers. A few footnotes.

Coffee - at the weekend place, where I have a punch card and have saved up for a couple of free-bee coffees.

2 grey L tops - at the thrift store. I always go for the best feeling stuff in solid colors. Nice to be able to buy Ls, as opposed to XLs, but when I try them on with the 14s, I get the "muffin top" effect. So I'm jazzed, but I shouldn't be too jazzed because I have plenty of work to do.

Tweezers - couldn't find my favorites and my eyebrows needed shaping. Anybody got a problem with that?

My thoughts, eh?

September 16th, 2006 at 06:10 pm

Got an update letter from the executor (US Bank, in case you forgot) regarding the second piece of land, the house, and barn. It's in a holding pattern. Sister and I are waiting for the formal appraisal from the Wisconsin DNR (WiDNR) which should happen in 4-6 weeks, and the formal offer a month later. I'm getting from the tone of the letter that everything from the WiDNR is happening too slowly for even the executors. But its hard to know - the WiDNR considerations are different, perhaps more scientific and observational. Flight of fancy here - how good is the water quality, how many chemicals are in the soil, how many and what type of bird uses the creek and wetland as a migratory stop... To the WiDNR, finding a rare bird or rare critter might be part of the assessment. The cynic in me is thinking that the WiDNR is simply waiting for land prices to drop to their price. Smile

And the executors are asking whether we should winterize the house. Wonder how sister's garden on the place is coming along?

On a more shallow front, I hit Ross today and bought new clothes. 2 size 14s jeans, 1 size 16 (in case of a couple big meals and monthly bloat) jeans, and a black DKNY turtleneck - $70.86. Increase in self esteem - priceless. No thin spots in the crotch - also priceless.

Quiet day

September 15th, 2006 at 08:16 pm

Nice quiet day at work - did the data intensive project today (the type that distractions are very unwelcome). Still have a couple more updates before I'm really ready for the months to come.

Sent off the passport and renewal application by certified mail. Since I won't need the passport for at least another year, I should get a new one back in eight weeks.

My 30K CD is maturing at the end of this month. I'll double check the APY on the next leg just in case, but really my plan is to put 6K of it on the credit card (bed and the next set of personal training appointments) to pay it off, then put the rest into a simple Vanguard index fund. Come January of 2007, the maximum goes into a Roth IRA.

Had a chiropractic appointment today - next week I'm down to one/week, which will free up another 20$/week. I asked him what he meant yesterday. He was still cagey, but promised that he would do something for me "legally". I said that I have to keep my clothes on. Smile

No sense pushing anything. Let people give you a gift and be modest, grateful and appreciative if they do so.

Put 6$ in the tip box.

What does the chiropractor have in mind?

September 14th, 2006 at 10:33 pm

A few questions answered...

Toiletry drive: buy toiletries and they will be packaged and given to once-homeless folks now moving into several of the newly built non-profit apartment complexes scattered around downtown Seattle. I've toured the downtown emergency shelter 3 times in 6 years; each time I've seen fantastic progress. The shelter itself is now not a "snake pit" and folks are moving up and out into clean apartments. Still lots to be done but compared to 6 years ago, its phenomenal.

Got the Walgreens passport picture for $7.99. Not fantastic, but it does look like me and will probably look like me after 6 hours on a plane.

So I was getting my cheaper coffee and it turns out that my chiropractor gets his coffee there too. We chatted - lawyer friend is thinking about trying out a chiropractor and I was going to send him the business. At the end of the conversation, my chiropractor said to me that since we were finishing up that he wanted to do something special and that he was going to talk to his accountant. I wonder what that could be?

Chivralry is not dead,

September 13th, 2006 at 08:54 pm

it just happens to drive a big Safeway truck. During my evening hike home, I waited at the slow crosswalk when said grocery truck slowed, then stopped before the crosswalk. Crosswalk light still showed not to, but the truck blocked both lanes on the left, with no traffic coming from the right. Normally, if its a car, I much prefer to wave the car on. A bad driver could make the love/hate relationship I have with my knees even worse. I knew how much effort this truck took to slow and stop and it seemed a crime to wave him on. I went against the crosswalk light and waved back.

Gave 7$ to a toiletry drive at work. Shopping for that stuff doesn't give me enough of a thrill; better to give the money to someone who likes shopping for that stuff.

Got another rain check at a different grocery store, this time for diced canned tomatoes. 2 for .98.

Put the old passport, the passport renewal form, the check for $67 (yikes!) into the padded envelope. All that remains is to get 2 current passport pictures.

Zip-ola

September 12th, 2006 at 09:41 pm

Not much financial happened today. Got the cheap coffee @ 1.37, with tax. So only a 17% savings. Smile

We are doing a living room reorganization and DH found my passport. Even though its older than ten years, its still exciting because it be a whole lot easier and cheaper to replace than to get one from scratch.

Work is getting crazy again. Today in gym, my trainer was shadowed by another pre-trainer. I ran through the exercises pretty well - I must do better with an audience.

Put 6$ in my tip box.

Cheaper coffee

September 11th, 2006 at 09:14 pm

Forgot an energy bar today, and since my usual coffee place only has bad-for-you stuff, I checked out the little deli that I sometimes get sandwiches from. The energy bars were 1.69 (sob - better remember my .89 bars tomorrow!) but they also sold my usual brand of drip coffee...

For a 1.25$, or about .40 cheaper than I usually get it, or even better, for 25% less. Time for a switch. No harm, no foul, just a cheaper way to run my routine.

Waiting for my paycheck on Friday.

Put 35$ into a drip.

Hard to believe it had been five years. Five years ago this morning, I rode on a quiet bus. I heard a laugh from someone, then a growl, "don't you know we are at war?" At work, we watched buildings pancake on CNN and the dust cloud roll into the street, and watched them over and over. We were allowed to go home if we wanted and many people did. I was numb; I wanted to stay and do a simple repetitive task. It had to be better than watching tumbling buildings.

The box and the rain check

September 9th, 2006 at 10:31 pm

DH and I ate breakfast out, at decidedly unfrugal prices. We are both getting in the swing of asking for a box at a restaurant. No sense treating a gargantuan meal as a challenge (who wants to be known as being able to eat an 8 egg omelet?), but no sense in pitching out good food and good money either.

I've been asking for the box a lot lately and I've become expert at dividing meals in half. I think I'll get into the habit of asking for the box faster, maybe about the same time as when the food comes. Another advantage to following a routine - the restaurants and lunch places that know you by face usually let you get away with a lot. Several have even noticed my new look and are happy to help me out.

Next...

Tried out a new grocery store in a nearby shopping mall. Grapes and cottage cheese were as cheap as I've seen them. It's not that much further - matter of fact if I rode my bus 10 blocks further I'd hit that mall. The only thing that I don't like is that they have data cards, too. I'm trying a different tack. They gave me a card and an application for me to fill out later. I'll just substitute never for later and see what happens. I did that with Safeway - or did I just use a fake email and phone? I forgot, but I haven't been contacted and I haven't had my card taken away from me. Smile Call it the Gandhi method. Non violent, but private.

At another grocery store (sans card) I found my energy bars for .89/ bar, or .10 cheaper anywhere else, or even better at 10-11% cheaper. Yippee!

Also found 2 for $1 tuna. Last time I it was that cheap was back in May of 2005. (See what a price book can do for you?) Unfortunately everybody else found it before I did. The second frugal thing I did was ask for a rain check. The store was happy to provide it - even had a little slip for the purpose. The rain check was even better - I really didn't have a need to buy tuna, but now I can create my own tuna sale whenever I want (well, within reason). What a concept - if you don't have coupons, make your own by hunting for things that you use, are on sale, but have been sold out. And its easier to store rain check slips than it is to store the food itself. And its easier on the diet. Smile

One forty dollar check gone

September 8th, 2006 at 09:34 pm

Had a chat with the chiropractor. Week after next, I'm just going once a week. One $40 check drops to $20.

Glancing at a before and after diet commercial, I realized how incredibly frugal I am. Everyone else in these commercials is wearing the great condition fat pants, sticking their thumb out from the waist to show how big the pants are. Dammit, I'm wearing my too big stuff until it falls apart (or it falls off - hah hah). No one's getting me to pose in perfectly new usuable stuff. Besides, everything's incredibly comfortable and easy to get on.

Put the $7.45 from this week's T-bill into ING.

Put $10 in the tip box, sent $40 to my MMM drip.

Transfer agents

September 7th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

With the stocks that I hold as Drips, the transfer agents are like the bank. I send my check to them, they buy the stock and keep track of my holdings. Since I have four Drips, each with its own different transfer agent, I have become a connoisseur of transfer agents. My order from best to worst...

Wells Fargo (MMM) - The online interface screams 1997, but the math is right. My check is posted as a pending transaction within 3 days of me mailing it. Every transaction is regular. The transfer agent buys this stock every Tuesday, so if my check makes it in by Friday, its bought and I'm off to the races. They then send an invoice and SASE envelope so the buying cycle begins again. If I'm on the ball, I can buy stock every three weeks. Awesome! Dividends are posted about two weeks before they are bought. MMM pays dividends on a September 15, December 15, March 15, June 15 schedule.

Compushare (KO) - Nicer online interface, but it recently got revamped (it bought out Equiserve) so when I'm clicking at tabs to find what I want I feel a little like pigeon pecking at a disc for a reward. The transfer agent buys this stock every month on the first, and pulls the money out on the 28th for a 1$ fee (which I hate!). The stock shows as being in my account around the 5th or so. In other words, not quite as regular as Wells Fargo. Dividends get posted along with that months purchase. KO pays dividends on a October 1, December 15 (avoid the holiday rush), March 1, June 1 schedule.

Bank of New York (WEC) - The online interface is nice enough (dandy graphs if you happen to have more than one stock with them), but you have to run Internet Explorer to see it. Firefox shows it as a black, weird garble. Again, this transfer agent buys it at the 1st of the month. I mail this one in, and the check is posted as a pending transaction about a week after I mail it. Dividends get posted along with that months purchase. They send an invoice about 10 days after the stock gets bought so I can buy more on a comfortable 1x/month cycle. WEC pays dividends on a September 1, January 1, March 1, June 1 schedule.

Continental (MI) - my newest drip so I have less than a year's worth of experience but sheesh, transactions are poky. I have to beg for forms to buy stock, the check gets posted but it seems to hang there for months and months before the stock gets bought. I can apparently buy 1x/quarter. The online interface is the same as MMM, so I really have no complaints about the interface itself...its just that what's in it and the speed of how it changes is the problem. MI pays dividends on a September 1, January 1, March 1, June 1 schedule, but the transfer agent seems to post them between 9-15 days later.

I glanced out the bus window this morning. A tree was beginning to get some red color and around its trunk were plenty that had fallen. Fall is here.

forty bucks

September 6th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

Just a weird thing I've noticed. I write $40 checks the chiropractor, and $40 checks to one of my Drips, and I take out $40 in cash when I go to the ATM, and when my tip box gets to about $40 I'm thinking its time to stick it in the savings account.

It makes my online banking reconciliation a bit cryptic. Just what is this $40 for, anyhow? And what is it about two twenties, anyway? It must be my breakpoint, when I think something is cheap vs. expensive, or at least if its $40 or under, I don't complain about it to DH.

Put $6 in the tip box. Got a lot done at work today.

Retired the Larry's entries from my price book. My local Larry's is all chained up. Word has it that it'll be an Asian food superstore, a bit like Uwajimaya.

But I blog

September 5th, 2006 at 08:28 pm

The trainer was very happy to hear about the 2 sizes down and that I was in shape enough to hike for 6 hrs and be comfortable.

"You have to celebrate!" she said. "Don't be shy, tell the world. Your homework assignment is to tell at least 5 people after you leave the gym."

"But I bl--" and then I stopped. "Never mind. I will tell the world."

Honestly, it probably would be all right if I told her, but like any good journal, this blog works best as a secret inspiration.

Paid back the free coffee I got on Friday, added 3$ to the tip box to replace some of what I took to make it through Friday. I could have made it one more day without getting money, but a girlie emergency caught up with me. Tampons are way more expensive downtown than they are in my neighborhood. Sigh. They know.

Two good shopping trips

September 4th, 2006 at 05:14 pm

Trip 1: to get an emergency nice outfit in case I have to go out on the road with the fundraising staff for the non-profit that I work at. The mission is to look nice, but not too nice. You don't want people to assume that their gift goes to your favorite boutique, and besides, this blog is part of Saving Advice, not spending advice.

So it was Ross Dress for Less, where I got a wonderful surprise. I am 2, count 'em 2, sizes down. I'm now a 14, instead of an 18. Freakin' Woo hoo! Smile Got a brown suit and a pair of nice black pants = $38.06.

Trip 2: Best Buy. More of a treat, but it will be used a lot. Got an FM transmitter that plugs into the cigarette lighter of the cushmobile, and it broadcasts what's on your MP3 player on an unused FM band. Not fancy, but it'll work with either mine or DH's MP3 player. Set it up and it did what it advertised. Best of all, you can unplug it and take it with you or hide it from prying, thieving eyes = $54.39.

Used a 2 for 1 coffee coupon at a local coffeeshop - coffee for DH and myself = $2.00.

Bed came

September 3rd, 2006 at 10:24 pm

Oh yes, the bed came on Friday night. DH was not happy that he toasted an entire day waiting. Even if they had said morning or afternoon, he could have planned.

But I finally got a good night's sleep Friday, Saturday...ah. The hardness adjustment works, the position adjustment works, the massage works. But I could hear the vibrations coming from the massage all the way in the kitchen.

Labor Day weekend

September 3rd, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Saturday, the five of us (me, DH, friend, friend's wife, friend's dog) went hiking on Heliotrope Ridge, on the northwest side of Mount Baker.

We didn't quite make it to the end of the trail to the lookout, but me and the friend did make it far enough to see the Coleman Glacier from afar. It was rated strenuous (2000 ft elevation change), and I was very very thankful that I was in decent enough shape and had enough energy to enjoy the trip...and I was not the least fit person in the group (like I usually am). Turns out that the dog, a little white poodle, was strongest hiker of all us. It was fun, it was even fun enough to take up as a hobby.

My only nemesis was this. The picture's deceptive - what looks like a friendly little bridge crossing is at least a 30 ft drop into the stream and onto rocks. I'm deathly afraid of heights. The only way I could cross it was sandwiched between friend and DH, and look at friend's backpack while I mechanically moved my feet.

Our goal was this. We did get close enough to see it from afar here.

Cost of the trip = 17$ food (sandwiches, water, trail mix, McDonald's breakfast) + 5$ trail pass + 56$ (split in half - Mexican dinner after the hike...after 6 hrs of hiking, what's a little lard?) + 45$ gas (we took the white Buick cushmobile - fantastic to be able to stretch your legs after a hike). The Buick gets surprisingly good gas mileage - in the upper 20s, despite the fact that DH has a bit of a lead foot. Friend paid for a bit of gas, but he had driven me so many places for work and social stuff that we considered this trip payback. He's a DJ and gave us one of his CD mixes to sweeten the accounting.

going commando (fiscally)

September 1st, 2006 at 11:44 pm

Ran out the door with my purse, my wallet nestled in its little pocket. I walked to my bus stop just as the bus was pulling up (I love it when that happens). I reached for a compartment in my wallet...

No bus pass.

Its okay, especially on a commuter bus in Seattle - they know you have a pass and that you've bought the ride already. Besides, the driver said, its the first of the month and it'll happen a lot today. Get on.

Got in line for coffee. The cashier knew my order, poured my coffee while I opened my wallet and discovered no money in it. Worse, I had no debit card. Got my coffee anyway, because I was a regular.

So I went fiscally commando all day today.

I hate the surprise. I hate it when I forget that I stuck my bus pass, money from the ATM and debit card in a spare pocket for speed. I especially hate it when I have to dip into the tip box for the necessities.

Spending log - 4.50$ curry