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Archive for November, 2011

irked at work

November 30th, 2011 at 09:30 pm

Have to get it off my flat-ish chest. HR asked about comments to the performance evaluation ... which is already fraught. I mentioned that the math is kind of gooby on it. A column says %, and you have to put in a decimal. For example, if you wanted the 50% thingee, you don't put in 50%, you have to put it in as 0.5. Its small, but dammit either fix the math or fix the column so you're warned that you have to put in the decimal.

HR minion mentioned that others mentioned it. Fine. Then came the back-handed slap that the HR minion mentioned to the HR VP (who came in late and asked for a summary) that "some managers were challenged by it".

I am not challenged this at all. Repeat: I AM NOT CHALLENGED BY MATH. And I said so. Don't get me wrong, I love a good "challenge", but I was very insulted by the word as used. I was tempted to snark that this gooby math was HR's challenge, not mine. Instead, I mentioned that if you want to present data of any sort, all the units have to be comparable. Basic science. Its like having one column in dollars and another in pennies.

Yet another skirmish between HR and me.

1 down, 179 to go

November 28th, 2011 at 08:27 pm

First day of bosses' leave was a quiet one and I managed to get mostly caught up on the routine stuff ... a couple of the big projects remain.

Am up to 167, but not bad considering I ate sweet, delicious leftovers.

Put an ad in our company intranet to advertise 4 free chicks. Duvall couple found a couple of rebel chickens who nested in amongst the blackberry brambles. Not a bad idea - a predator will have to be darn hungry to make it through a thicket of blackberries. They managed to rescue several of the eggs, candled them and found that they were developing. Wyandottes.

Got a surprise looking through Wikipedia - the golden Wyandotte was developed in a farm around my home town, probably within a couple of miles from the farmette. I NEVER thought anything or anybody of note came out of my home town.

TDay and BFday

November 25th, 2011 at 09:49 pm

We hosted the Duvall couple for Thanksgiving. Two tablecloths that I got during the Greenwood yard sale made their appearance, we had the usual, and we had our own mini-version of Christmas. They got the mosaic rooster (the rooster was a likeness of the one they kept for breeding); we got goat milk, a couple of chickens, and the loan of a couple of paper books that I've wanted to read for forever. I don't have to buy them!

Don't know what it is, but this Thanksgiving it was mostly the old simple favorites: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sliced cranberry sauce from the can, stuffed squash, green beans, pie, whipped cream, and actual conversation.

Today, I walked off some of the dinner and did a little buying in the neighborhood. Not only am I not a Black Friday shopper, I usually think that most of the time its a scam and I'll get a better price a week or two later. If nothing else, my sleep is worth MUCH more.

saving games

November 22nd, 2011 at 08:40 pm

Its been wet and rainy, so I'm getting fiscal, fiscal to take my mind off of sopping....everything.

Over the last month:
I've found about $7 in found money as I've walked.
BECU gave me about $2.50 in interest in my checking and savings accounts.
I put 45$ into savings, coming from my tip box at work (when I think about it, I put money in a little covered box in a drawer at work called my tip box)
ING gave me about $75 in interest coming from my savings.
I transfer $125 from checking into savings (1 paycheck), and I transfer $100 into ING (other paycheck)
I've made $375 in stock purchase ($75 is usual, $300 is a quarterly, once-in-awhile-buy)
I've put in $1200 into my 403B from work.

I'm having good luck playing all my savings games, from little to big - from the amounts that I find on the sidewalk, to the $1 or several dollars that I put into my tip box, to paying myself first, to making sure that my checking and savings accounts pay me instead of I pay them. I know that others can't or aren't interested in some of these games, but I find that the more of them I play, the more mindful I am to save and the more inspired I get. If anything, the big stuff is less inspiring to me because I overshoot a hair and it means that I take some out of savings.

What kind of savings' games do you play?

Chase wants me back!

November 17th, 2011 at 08:56 pm

Yeah, we got those big banks on the run. Got it in the mail today. According to card, my banking slavery can, apparently, be bought for $150.

A little bit more about the 403B consolidation - HR misspoke about "termination", only that the two accounts will be merged into one. Supposed to save money for the company because both accounts need to be audited. The match (.50:$1 up to 8% of salary) is unaffected, as is the 1.5% just for being an employee. Word, though, is that if you don't participate in the 403B, why give you the 1.5%?

Sliced up some bread to dry and get stale for stuffing. We are hosting this time; DH finished with cleaning the carpet. What's on our list to get is: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, drinks. What's on their list is bread, sides, salad, pie, cheese.

consolidating 403B

November 14th, 2011 at 08:20 pm

This afternoon we got a missive from HR. Instead of having 2 accounts (retirement, 403B), all participants will have just 1 account (403B). I think that the retirement account is what our non-profit gives you, and the 403B is your contributions. It takes us 6 years to vest, and the vest appears only in retirement. We were assured that the monies will merge rather than the retirement disappears. We'll see. If its true, its a lot easier to asset allocate or rebalance only 1 account. Could well be a super sneaky way to alter matching, vesting, and its a way to hide when the non-profit places the money into the account.

Personal Finance with Cormac: the lottery

November 12th, 2011 at 06:46 pm

Based on this link

Boy and man came into a store, sign blinking in bright neon. They trudged to the back smelling hardware and rubber and tired men in the midst buying things needed for tired men projects. Man was after bullets. Bullets were always sold in the back. Man was happiest buying anything in the back, nothing in the front was worth the time. Boy followed. He was a good son but he was of an age were he did not understand that the back sold reality, the front sold image.

But the man loved his son and after bullets were selected for the gun they needed to protect the cattle they had to trudge back to the front toward and through the candy colors and ringing coin to get back to the reality outside.

Boy spoke first. May we? He pointed to the brightest machine. Lottery $1.

Man paused. Stupid thing for a man to hope. Man filled ovals under the rimmed gaze of baleful blue eyeshadow.

Name? asked the woman.

Man shook the bag of bullets. LLC, said the man.

the next issue

November 9th, 2011 at 08:40 pm

I got a note from my credit union yesterday. They are moving their neighborhood banking center and ATM from the Safeway. Now I normally don't care much about the banking center - I use direct deposit and another banking center downtown is what I use for snafus - but I'm not very happy about the ATMs going.

Oh, and every time I think "I should get a financial planner", well, karma delivers the reason why. Geez, I think I can screw up by myself and for free.

green tomatoes and other stuff

November 5th, 2011 at 07:23 pm

So a few observations and doings about:

Harvested about 15 pounds worth of green tomatoes. My early girls were decidedly very, very not. I've split them off into two items I'm making - a green tomato jam and green tomato mincemeat. The green tomato mincemeat is perking away as I type. I plan on making little tarts out of the mincemeat for Thanksgiving and have it with a bit of cheese - kind of a dessert/cheese course in one. So far, it smells absolutely wonderful: green tomatoes, quince (as a substitute for the apples .... quince is still in season), orange slices, orange peel, dried currents, golden raisins, sugar, brown sugar, a bit of apple cider vinegar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, a tiny bit of hot red pepper.

Saw a few people with BECU (credit union) forms today, leave your bank day. We got word though, that the little neighborhood BECU is moving from the grocery store. Bummer, but I hope they keep the ATM. Otherwise, grr, double bummer.

Somebody had Andy Rooney on their list.

not a dang thing

November 4th, 2011 at 09:18 pm

Has happened to me fiscally. I did come down with a cold and took off a couple of days from work. Since I was either sick as a dog or working like a dog, didn't spend much money nor did I think any deep thoughts about money.