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Archive for February, 2012

something frivolous

February 28th, 2012 at 09:26 pm

The stock certificate came tonight.

I was reading the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and I realized that the Packers were having their stock sale. I've been tempted a couple of rounds before, very tempted in 2001 ... now I finally pulled the trigger.

I now have a share in the Green Bay Packers. I own probably a billionth of the team ... maybe a blade of grass in Lambeau. It was basically a way of dressing up a 200$ gift - only bragging rights, and an excuse to go to the shareholder meeting in Green Bay in July.

163.6

February 27th, 2012 at 07:36 pm

Trainer weighed me this afternoon. 163 is a very exciting milestone. I'm 5-8, and 163 crosses over (under?) from overweight to normal weight. Don't kid yourself - I still have a little bit of gut even at 163 - but it is an exciting milestone nonetheless. Much, much better than 209, which is what I started at.

Good To Go

February 25th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

It, um, means something different out here in Seattle. Last Super Bowl Sunday (5th) we went over to the Duvall friends to watch. In late December, the 520 bridge turned into a toll bridge, so getting there we took an alternate route. That night though we thought, eh, screw it, let's play, see what happens and report out.

So we took the toll bridge. The traffic on it was beautiful, FYI. Apparently cameras are set up to take a shot at your license and mail you a bill if you don't have a Good To Go account.

Which is what we got this Friday (24th). Its no biggie - 3.15$, and its good to know that it takes a hair under 3 weeks to get the bill.

We tend to go there few times a year, definitely not enough to get a monthly weekly pass, but I'm looking into starting an account and putting a few bucks in it for the I'm-tired-it's-night option.

perfect day, actually

February 21st, 2012 at 06:06 pm

I've been sick since Friday, when I first felt that tickle in the throat. I canceled gym on friday, and, the same as the time before, the gym failed to get the message to the trainer. Sigh. Note to self: forget the main phone line for the gym, use the trainer instead.

I got everything that I wanted done that day, though, including pulling three large data sets due to be formatted and booked onto a little flash drive.

Saturday I was a little worse, but not that bad. Sunday a little worse yet. It was Monday that I really bottomed out - didn't do anything except sleep. Today I was a little better but probably pretty contagious and still not even 70%.

So today was actually perfect. I worked out my three data sets from bed, with a little moral support from kitty. No distractions, got the formatting done, and will book them when I come back.

I felt energized enough to walk to a pho place in the neighborhood for a bowl of pho ... my favorite thing for a cold or flu.

'A' into 'B'

February 16th, 2012 at 08:47 pm

Again, got paid a couple of days ago.

Turns that in addition to the 403B, we had (in the process of 'had-ing') a 403A. HR is merging the two so we are in the process of deciding what to do with our money in our 'As'. Choices are:

Roll it into the B
Roll it into another deferred-tax bucket
Cash out.

Since I don't like paying extra in taxes and penalties, cashing out is not an option. I picked rolling it into B.

Put 58$ of several months of tip box squeezings into savings. I was going to do it physically, but the ATM line at the grocery store didn't make it worth it. So I pocketed the money and moved $58 into savings. No line there.

Congrats, Paulette. You pulled ahead in dead pool today.

productive frugal day

February 12th, 2012 at 09:18 pm

In honor of retire@50 and monkeymama:

Had a very productive, moderately frugal day today:

10:30 - 12:30. did the Sunday routine of going to the coffeehouse and got coffee, a slice of quiche and read the Sunday NYT. Yes, I pay for coffee. Sundays it happens to be free, but if there is a jar about, I slip a dollar in. I've made my peace with paying for coffee - I get drip, I enjoy the ritual of ordering and being social with the staff. NYT paper subscription on the weekend happens to be expensive and duplicates the Kindle, but I like the feel of paper, I see all the pictures and the NYT itself is the one paper that won't turn your mind into cream cheese.

12:45 - 1:30. 2 mile walk, listened to the podcast of Marketplace Money, hunted for change (found pennies and a 10 cent euro coin). Noted on the walk that a Tile company was having a 20 yr anniversary sale. 50% off grout. Will have to check that out.

1:30 - 1:45. Hit the bus stop. (I go carless). I used OneBusAway to figure out when the bus will come - it really helps to take away the frustration out of using transit. Found out I had about 15 minutes, so I went to the produce stand. Bought 69 cent avocadoes for lunches next week, and $1 bagged salad. I was tempted by the $2/pt blueberries but figured they'd get smashed by the time I got home.

2:15. Made it to Bedrock Industries to pick up 10$ worth of vitreous glass for mosaics. Noted that I can get 4 x 4 in squares of marble for 50 cents!

2:45 Walked to Peets and Whole Foods because I was feeling a little hungry. Peets had a line, didn't see what I really wanted at Whole Foods, so I skipped the temptation. Noted that the blueberries were at 3.99$ at Whole Paycheck.

3:15 Caught the bus back and walked another 1.5 mile home. Got my exercise today and quiet time today.

4:30 - 7:30 Pulled my green folder out, took up Vanguard's offer on cheap(er) TurboTax. Calculated and filed my 2011 taxes. I pay $207, which is pretty usual for me. Since my 403b is going great guns, that represents my tax deferred money pool; I put 5K in a Roth - its worth more to me to bulk up the tax-free pool of money than it is to get the refund if I put it in a traditional IRA. My tax rate in total this year is 9.7%; I'm good with the $207.

In other words, I got a lot done, learned bits of information to further my hobby, got exercise, chilled out. I spent a little bit but I'm good with what I spent - it will all get used.

guy thanksgiving

February 6th, 2012 at 09:59 pm

Hope you all enjoyed it! I was in the grocery store Sunday morning, waiting in line amongst people all getting the same thing - beer, chips, dip, more beer, wings, salsa - when it hit me what I was experiencing:

Guy Thanksgiving.

Think about it. Regular Thanksgiving is some all you can eat Traditional Food with some football; the Super Bowl is Traditional Football with some all you can eat food.

The game seemed meh to me. Word to the wise: don't second guess a touchdown. Score them and be done with it. The ads were even more meh. Only the fat dog getting fit and Clint Eastwood trying to clear his throat using a Chrysler script seemed to rise above.

Visited with the Duvall friends and carted back many of the items they brought over, then, at the end, carted back home many of the things I left over there. One extra thing: they hung my mosaic of their rooster. Looks great! Yay!

a tale of two groceries

February 3rd, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Grocery 1.

Went over to the dying Greenwood Market tonight - it's advertising their last 2 days of business. There was a lot of empty space, but they had set up an open house for cupcake, cider and coffee. One could write in a memory book. I wrote that I always appreciated buying a brat from them during the Seafair Parade.

Anyway, as I ate my cupcake and drank my coffee I saw one of the staff come up with cleaner and a rag wiping up a spill. "Two days left and you are still cleaning?" I asked.

"Of course", he said.

Grocery 2.

Went over to the Safeway to pick up a few groceries. Found a few. Didn't find any change on the floor, but I did note 5 or so tiny dried spills...

you know you are busy when ...

February 1st, 2012 at 07:52 pm

You come home at the end of the day, throw your keys in the bowl and set your groceries down and you remember:

Hey, I got paid!

Such was me yesterday. Work is easing up a little but there is another big rut roh. Data is off, and while it is not my fault booking what we got and officially how was I to know ... well, I feel responsible. Especially when the COO is asking. Especially as I got a Kindle gift card as a thank you about it Monday.

And I spent it already. Smile On a couple of e-books on Argentina and Buenos Aires, and another paper book on mosaicking.

Tonight Coinstar was my friend. I passed by a couple of people using it, bought something, then passed by it (unoccupied), and picked up the three coins the couple left. One was a 1963 silver dime. Its the fifth silver dime I've found (and I keep those). Last time I checked, the silver in a silver dime goes for $2.

Talked to a co worker who was a font of mis-information about investing. I don't think I'm going to bother. He did tell me about the old gomers who gave him the advice. Wonder what kind of retirement those gomers have.

Can't wait for Sunday, to kick back with the Duvall friends, some homemade pizza and a bottle of Mikes. Too bad I don't have a dog in the fight - critiquing the ads will have to do.