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Archive for April, 2012

50!

April 29th, 2012 at 07:59 pm

That's me. And somehow today made me feel a little sad. I wonder if its a mid-life crisis, more like the thought that very soon my life will change. Right now the routine works pretty well, with a job that I can still save money from, inheritance money which means that I fund my 403B to the maximum, no serious problems ... just...

I want to be a bit lazy. I like my work, but I hate the rush, the complexity, and the deadlines. Along with the paycheck, the medical insurance and the bus pass are very, very useful and would cost me plenty to replicate.

I love doing mosaics, but can I make at least a partial living from them? Can I sell them?

I'd prefer not to rent any more. I'd like a little garden, not to mention making things like decorative walls and backsplashes. Even if it would be possible (hah hah) to do that with the rental, I couldn't take it with me.

I'm certain that its my "this is it?" mental cry. I have to keep reminding myself that "it" is good and much better than many others.

thinking of my 555s

April 26th, 2012 at 09:46 pm

So far, I have at these habits to shape into goals: more water, more sleep, spin class...what else?

KO is splitting

April 26th, 2012 at 09:20 pm

Well, possibly. I know, I know, when a stock splits two to one, I get twice as many shares for half the price. Net worth is the same. KO pays a dividend, and after the split that is also halved to keep the dividend from doubling.

Still it makes me giddy - not necessarily right away, but afterward because a year or two later, when the dividend rises by a penny, it for all intents and purposes rises by two pennies. I have enough that when I reinvest I buy an additional share, after the split I buy two. (the dividend amount stays the same, but if the share price drops I buy twice as much)

I remember about 8-9 years ago when I would dutifully put in $50 into KO, and when it was in the low to mid 40s, I would buy at least one. Now its at around 75$, and I look forward after the split (75/2) to perhaps buy a little bit more.

Much better for the waistline if I buy a Coke share rather than a Coke.

2 fun facts to ponder

April 22nd, 2012 at 08:15 pm

Fun fact 1:
The two accounts comprising my 403B are FINALLY going merge sometime this week. Everything should be done by the 1st week of May. Rumor had it that it was delayed because HR had to find one ex-coworker, get him to decide and sign and if necessary, get him to create an IRA somewhere else.

Time to watch daily, and see where the money goes. Its been awhile since I decided, but I think I'm having it go as a very big contribution. After it goes, then I figure whether I should rebalance.

Fun fact 2:
Got a piece of mail regarding my old shares in M&I which got sold to Bank of Montreal (BMO). Apparently some shareholders are forming a class action suit, charging M&I CEO with collusion with BMO. I'll be watching that with interest. Methinks the results and $2 will get me a coffee.

buffalo nickel

April 18th, 2012 at 08:54 pm

Today I slogged through work, and gave some investment advice to screenwriter friend (he's newly vested in a company profit share plan). I gave him the slightly more than a nickel seminar which he claimed he only understood 10% of, so its hard to know whether or what he will use.

He did pick up researching the ticker symbols on Morningstar.com, even the retirement target funds. From the retirement target funds he was looking at I learned a fascinating thing. I thought I was freakin' aggressive with my asset allocation (65%/35%) in my 403B, but to T Rowe Price I was behaving like a new retiree. Tough. I'm making money, putting my $750/paycheck in and my dips are dips not canyons.

As Paulette mentioned, we are following the celeb on our list. Again, another who was on my list last year passed away. I say my list has healing powers! Robin Gibb will never die.

I got a 1935 buffalo nickel in my grocery change this evening!

lot o' little

April 14th, 2012 at 06:30 pm

Currently, steady as she goes...

Found out that I can use the new CU ATM in the grocery store without any charges either from them or from BECU. New CU seems a bit more focused on service inside the grocery store - they were open at 4 pm this Saturday.

Enjoying the several days of sun, for once this year, we finally got some! Sister is in the midst of planting for her CSA this year. She is a little north of the big tornado alley warning this weekend.

Holding tight at 167. I did do a quick analysis of my food diary, highlighting what I ate that was outside the paleo diet, counted the highlights, then compared scores when the two days my weight was high, and two days my weight was low. Right now, it appears that I can predict my weight based on a six day moving average of what I ate. The more closely I hewed to the paleo diet (lower scores) for those six days, the more likely I lost weight. The less closely (higher scores), the more likely I will gain. Time to really re-double my efforts.

Shut off optional contributions to two of my DRPs - IP and WEC, but have started them for Target (TGT). I've also put $300 into my Sysco (SYS) DRP. SYS has a $3 fee, so it makes more sense to put $300 in every so often than it does to put in $50/ month.

I found a useful used book on raising meat goats for the Duvall friends, copyright date for 2006, for $12. They have two milk goats and now several meat goats in addition to the boy milk goat, which equals a meat goat. I'm not sure if they have the book already; DH doesn't think it likely - their budget is stretched tight these days.

Another friend is saving ceramics and found materials for me. She has one of the best gardens in South Seattle, in my opinion. Might be fun and a change to do an outdoor project. Over my little break, I saw a couple of mosaic pieces in the window of one of the art gallery/consignment shops, screwed up my courage and talked to the owner and showed some of my photos of my pieces. She was warm and friendly, thought I was doing great. Also said that if I make her a mirror, similar to a piece I've done, she has a place to hang it. Smile

a few days off

April 9th, 2012 at 09:33 pm

Work has gotten a little quieter and I'm back to the two main projects. Still a little challenging but at least I've returned to sanity. Right now I'm taking a few days off - Friday, today, Tuesday, Wednesday. I didn't really plan on taking off Easter, and out here in Seattle, there isn't a complete shutdown for Easter holiday.

I've reading a lot of spending diaries. Apologies that I'm not participating. I do feel quiet keenly that as soon as I'm away from work, I spend much more. When I'm working, my daily costs are basically one bought coffee ($2), and whatever daily groceries ($10 - $20) I go for. Starting on Friday, my spending jumped to a good $50/day with bought breakfast, bought entertainment, and bought lunch. Out and about, I do find more loose change ... but that doesn't keep up with the spending. Smile.

This last Friday, I used a friends and family coupon and saw the Gauguin exhibit. Still $18; however it was cheaper than buying the plane ticket to Paris. Plenty of Gauguins - Breton ones, Paris ones, Martinique ones, 1st trip to Tahiti ones, 2nd trip to Tahiti ones - but the real stars of the show were the war clubs, craft boxes, sculpture and tattoo work of Tahiti and New Zealand which was his source. The other lookers were pretty mellow - it was senior Friday. Some looked like they could have seen Gauguin himself.

Weather has finally improved, so I got caught up on grouting three pieces. I showed lawyer friend a picture of the piece I made for him for his housewarming. I was relieved that he was thrilled with it.

I'm back up into the 167-168 range. I'm in the process of going through my food diary and seeing what I can change in my diet, looking for triggers, just looking for patterns. I did this this morning with a coffee sitting on a bench overlooking the Ship Canal. Very relaxing.

Oh yes, no one had Mike Wallace this year. I had Mike Wallace last year. As I've said repeatedly, I'm good at picking people, its the year I'm crappy at.

no kidding

April 1st, 2012 at 05:16 pm

Despite it being April Fools, all of this happened to me:

1. Found a dollar bill in a puddle today, along with a fair amount of additional change. Today's total found money was $1.56, but....

It put my total found after 992 days of tracking and looking at $200.81. Thank you Seattle for being so ... fey about yer money.

2. Bought broccoli for $0.99/lb.

3. Declared my soap nut experiment a success, so I hunted for a dependable bulk supply. Found it at Zenith Supplies for $12/lb. Bought about $10 worth, along with 3 muslin bags. You put about 8 soap nuts into a muslin bag, close the bag, throw the bag in the washer with your clothes. The soap nuts are light, so a bit under a pound of soap nuts is hundreds of soap nut shells, years' worth of laundry.

These things were true. But my favorite April Fools Joke for 2012 was this.