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Archive for April, 2010

using the new fangled ATM, along with a recipe

April 28th, 2010 at 08:48 pm

Wednesday
Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3 tomatoes, red onion
Found money - $0.42 (gym bench, bus stop, Safeway floor)

Tuesday
Saving log - $14.53 dividend
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0 Frown

I have got to stop mentioning days in a row of finding money. As soon as I do - nada. Yesterday was a total bust, but today dimes appeared to be raining from the heavens. $39.60: 865 pennies, 33 nickels, 144 dimes, 31 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

Deposited my tip box squeezings for the month today. $45. Normally I would have done it last week, but I was on vacation. I used the newfangled put-your-money -directly-into-ATM, which worked well, except for the fact that it went directly into my checking account rather than my savings account. It meant that using the ATM was a two step process: 1 - ATM, 2 - Online to transfer tip box deposit into savings. Kind of defeats my purpose, but strengthens the bank's purpose. These days, no one makes money on a saver, least of all the saver.

DH bought 5 lbs of strawberries a couple of days ago, and we clearly were not going to eat them fast enough. Here's my recipe to use 'em quick!

Strawberry Rhubarb Orange Compote

3 stalks rhubarb, sliced in 1/2 pieces
1 large orange, peeled, sectioned, sliced, zested
ripe strawberries
granulated sugar - maybe 1/3 c, but to taste

Put rhubarb bits and orange sections into a saucepan, add sugar. (Reserve the zest.)

Turn heat to low and simmer, allowing the rhubarb and orange to release the juice necessary. Stir occasionally - make sure the sugar does not burn.

Clean strawberries. Reserve the nice looking strawberries for later - Use the ones closest to the edge first, trimming bruises, etc. Chop and add these strawberries to the rhubarb in the saucepan. These are sacrificial - they will dissolve and form more sauce. Cook until everything is softened, but the rhubarb still keeps its shape.

Add the orange zest. Cut heat to very low - just keep the sauce warm. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

Clean and slice any nice looking strawberries. Fold these gently into the sauce to give you strawberry pieces.

Serve over: dessert cup, short cake, angel food cake, scone, pound cake, plain yogurt ... if it turns out thick and jammy, toast. If it turns out a bit less than candy sweet, its fine as a side along with ham.

back to work

April 26th, 2010 at 08:40 pm

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $10 groceries
Found money - $0.07 (road, sidewalk, Safeway floor)

Monday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 lunch
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk, Safeway floor)

My luck is still holding out finding that "dirty money". Its now been 39 days in a row where I found some money on the ground. Lately, though, I've been finding about 50% of my found coins inside... usually I find only about 25% inside. Either way, go Seattle slobs, go!

$39.18: 863 pennies, 33 nickels, 140 dimes, 31 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

First day coming back to work, and while I had a lot to do, I got a lot done. Had lunch with lawyer friend and lawyer friend's partner. They were caught by the volcanic ash and flew home on Friday, a good 5 days after they should have. But they had fun. Their only regret was that they should have stayed in Paris for those days instead of gambling that the Nice airport would stay open.

In the midst of painting my patio table. I've painted the top with one coat last week, and yesterday I painted the underneath surface with one coat. I have yet to paint the legs, and sand the top, then paint with the second coat. I'm debating whether to even bother with a second coat on the underneath surface. The big issue is that I'm doing this painting outside, so I'm dependent on getting warm sunny weather. I also plan doing a nice circular accent around the edge - but that can wait. So far I've spent about $50 of the gift card (paint strip, paint, scrapper, brushes, sandpaper) on the project.

un-vacay

April 24th, 2010 at 08:06 pm

Thought I would make this a true vacation so I took a break from everything even though I stayed at home. The one disadvantage with vacations, even the play at-home version, is that you inevitably spend more money. I did some free stuff, but in the kicking around, I spent more money than I would normally.

I did walk nearly all of the Burke Gilman Trail... I'm not sure. On the Golden Gardens end, its easy - there's a sign: Burke-Gilman End. On the Kenmore end, the Burke-Gilman morphs into the Sammamish Park Trail and where that happens is different depending on the map. Anyway, I got past the Kenmore City Hall, saw no identifying signs and said to heck with it. Whatever I did, I did 6-7 mi/day for 3 non-consecutive days.

Did a bit of frivolous spending. $60 worth of CDs, which dates me. (Mommy, what are CDs? Big Grin). Ate lunches out, and hit a different coffee shop everyday. (Hey, its what a tourist would do.) Visited the Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum using a $5 off coupon that I got from Valpak. Did gym on Tuesday, but with all the walking, I knew Thursday that I wasn't going to be feeling it for Friday gym, so I canceled that. I figure that I've spent about $200 more this week than I normally do.

Managed to find found money every day. My grand total so far is $39.09: 859 pennies, 32 nickels, 140 dimes, 31 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

The only thing I didn't do over vacay was finish up painting the patio table. There's always tomorrow.

Seattle has apparently averted a garbage man's strike. In a weird way, I'm disappointed: one of the perks of being frugal is due to the not-buying and using until its used up is that you throw away a lot less. As it is, we pretty much only set out the can every other week...it takes us longer to fill it.

financial, topical joke

April 19th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Two quips going around the UK, according to the New York Times:

In its last request, the Icelandic economy wished that its ashes be strewn over Europe.

Cash? I misheard. I thought you wanted ash!

non-travel and travel thwarted

April 17th, 2010 at 09:52 pm

Found money log -
Thursday - $0.01 (sidewalk)
Friday - $0.13 (fire hydrant, floor by Coinstar machine)
Saturday - $0.02 (table, planting strip)

Not much has been going on, spending has been the same old, but I am on the first day of a week off. Burglar's note: its a staycation. Plans include painting that patio table, planting the planters, hitting the EMP (got a $5 off admission coupon), perhaps even walking the entire length of the Burke Gilman Trail. I think that's a good 20 miles from Golden Gardens to Woodinville.

Lawyer friend is in Europe ... he's supposed to be heading home tonight, for work Monday. Not going to happen, he and partner got caught by the ash fall from the Iceland volcano.

the small side of too big to fail

April 14th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Wednesday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (parking meter)

Tuesday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $0 (free coffee)
Found money - $0.03 (car wash parking lot, bus stop, crosswalk)

Monday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (bus, carpet, road)


Not much happening. Went to a group cycling class at the gym today for the second time. Up down, up down, down .... how does Lance Armstrong do it? A little padding "back there" would have been much appreciated. Still holding at 169.

With the few pennies this week, I broke $38; I'm at $38.02 in found money.

I've been following, with much amusement, the grilling of Kerry Killinger, the 25 million dollar rat of WaMu. "We should have been given a chance" he said. And there in lies the crux of too-big-to-fail. Its all a gradient. Apparently WaMu was big, but slightly too small for too big to fail. So to avoid WaMu's fate, a bank has to make darn sure it is too big to fail - making them all even bigger moral hazards. Bailout be damned, the revenge side of me wants blood.

the big sidewalk money

April 11th, 2010 at 06:17 pm

Friday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.02 (road, Safeway floor)

Saturday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 breakfast + $3 decaf coffee, muffin + $14 sundries, new gym towel
Found money - $0.05 (road, under sidewalk table, parking meter, bus)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $.49 apple + $28 planters, seeds
Found money - $5.04 (sidewalks)

Yeah! I found a $5 bill on the sidewalk about a block north of the Woodland Park Zoo. I walk it nearly every Sunday, so this is not particularly typical. No one was within a half a block from the bill, and no one was running toward the bill. Mine then.

$37.95: 825 pennies, 31 nickels, 135 dimes, 30 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, (1) 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

credit checks for everyone

April 8th, 2010 at 09:10 pm

Tuesday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.06 (sidewalks, road)

Wednesday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $1 matches
Found money - $0.21 (sidewalk, bus stop, Safeway floor)

Thursday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $15 groceries
Found money - $0.13 (coffee shop floor, sidewalks)

$32.84: 814 pennies, 31 nickels, 135 dimes, 30 quarters, 2 $1 bills, (1) 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

Attended an in-house supervisor's training, mostly to review new HR policies. One problem with working for one company for 10 years is that, really, you get the policy manual straight away, read it for a little bit your first week, then put it away. Time to think about printing out a fresh copy every five years or so.

Anyway, one of the big changes in hiring was that the new staff will undergo a credit check from HR. Mostly for accounting and operations, they figure the sales team, not so much. A bit of a chuckle here, the fundraising staff (the non-profit version of sales)...well, they fundraise. They might not handle money super routinely, but they certainly have been known to bring big checks to the office.

And HR is looking for 'below standard' credit histories. Whatever that means. They weren't particularly clear about what they are looking for - and I think they are they are trying to figure it out themselves.

quichies

April 5th, 2010 at 09:35 pm

Saturday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $15 brunch + $25 thrift store + $7 bookstore + $21 Fred Meyer
Found money - $.10 (Safeway floor)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $.50 apple + $8 lunch
Found money - $.24 (road, floor, planting strip, bus stop)

Monday
Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $990 2 HighDef copies of a film, getting it in shape for SIFF + $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple
Found money - $0.14 (escalator, road, planting strip, in front of outside vending machine)

Quichies are just like quickies, only spelled funny. They can be tasty and chewy and cheesy even. Pull up a chair, sit a spell, and dig in.

A slice of ham and cheese, quichie lorraine:
Finished my buying and picking up two copies of a High Def version of a mockumentary film to be shown at SIFF ... in other words, being an Executive Producer. If your wallet is flush (read the whine at the bottom) and you are in Seattle May 28 or June 1, check it out. If not, well, check out the trailer for free.

A skinny slice of plain quichie:
Yesterday, I picked up a wheat penny. Fun, I thought, a penny older than I am. Today I picked up another wheat penny. Coincidence? People diving deep into their change jars? Discuss.

Quichie slice, with some pretty fruit slices for presentation:
Went shopping again at the thrift store and bought a beautiful grey jean jacket with intricate embroidery and little crystals. Fit in a lovely way. $15. DH wanted my Pendleton XL jacket that I bought five years ago and have been wearing even though I am now officially swimming in it. Also broke down and bought a clip type MP3 player/FM radio for the long walks and jogs. $21.

High tech quichie:
Did my first text coupon last week. I was buying some CDs (low tech), saw a little sign to text something to a number for a 20% discount. I did so (nervously!), and for 10 cents (what it cost me to text) I received a text back to show the clerk. $6 savings. I suppose I will be inundated with text ads soon, but I can delete them before I read them at no cost to me.

Whine with that quichie?
Just to pile on with others getting roped into drama of broke people buying of meaningless stuff... To me, its not that someone is buying the thing. Free country. Its not even that someone broke is buying the thing. Again free country; one is free to be irresponsible. Its the whining and cajoling that gets me. Shut up about it, wouldja! And what is so wrong about saying I can't afford it and leave it at that? Its a perfectly good reason. No, no, you can afford it. People are taking on becoming the cajoling and hectoring arm of the advertisers themselves....for free.

how rainy was it?

April 2nd, 2010 at 08:20 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $0 tip box + $1725 tax refund, dividend check
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 lunch
Found money - $0.12 (parking meter, road)

Friday
Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.36 (parking meter, sidewalk, road)

Almost at $32...
$31.96: 791 pennies, 30 nickels, 129 dimes, 30 quarters, 2 $1 bills, a 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

How rainy and stormy was it today? So rainy and stormy that the mayor rode up to the bus stop on his bike and took the 355. He nodded at me as he rode up; I nodded back.

I figured that I would be late for a training, but if I got commented upon, I could always say that the mayor was late too.

Heard from the production company (the one with the Emmys) that the HDef transfer was ready, and I pick it up Monday morning.

Only gossip in the financial issues today. Rumor has it that one WA bank is in such bad shape that unless they get a buyer by mid-April, they will be taken over. I have to say that at least rumors imply that there are some cracks in the fiscal omerta. But the lovely gossip about this bank is that the bank president resigned because he was not allowed to take a spring break vacation. You know, dude, if you fail in getting a buyer for your bank you will be taking a spring break, and a summer break, and a fall break. I expect that since he's a fat cat he will land on his feet (they always do). Who can hope for a 1yr or 2yr break in employment...after all, he's probably considered "talent". Methinks its the opening shots to a lawsuit and scheudenfruede-tainment for years to come.

Interesting timing with this bank and work. We received a corporate gift check and a letter from this bank. Felt a little queasy about cashing it ... the bank employees might need the money more than we would.