I've found $36.05 since mid July. With the $120 that I added from winning the 2013 death bet, my intimate emergency fund is at $156.05.
Viewing the 'Death Bet' Category
Deep irony that I'm going to use about $120 of my death bet winnings to fund my intimate emergency fund, where I would use said fund if many, many people will be facing a possible death issue.
2014 is now here and we have similar sets of participants but a new crop of celebrities.
Took a nice long walk this morning and afternoon, soaking up .... 2014.
I have a Target Red Card and noticed that I had used it between the times card information was stolen. I have to assume that I was one of the 40M.
So far, no strange spurious transactions. However, I'm royally sick of the "no, they didn't steal this, so you are safe" then it turns that this happened, but you really are still safe. The final straw was encripted PINs. The hackers didn't have the PINs, then they did, but not the encription key. I changed my PINs up and made a teeny purchase to test.
On another note about still watching, I am collecting lists for 2014. If you are interested in playing, email me directly.
Got another bit of good stock news today. 3M raised its dividend - effective next quarter. It went from .69/share/quarter to now .88/share/quarter.
The other good news is that I got the good news from Seeking Alpha, which I seem to like much better than The Motley Fool, or Value Line, or the WSJ or Barrons or IBD. Plus, the email alerts are just enough.
Intimate emergency fund = $28.34.
The Grim reaper has been busy this past week - several have come close (Harold Camping was on a list last year, and someone had Kim Jong-il's sister and wife of the guy who got executed last week).
And .... amazingly, 2 million visits.
I hope everybody had a tasty and reasonably low key Thanksgiving. I hosted a small group (3) and all parties were "just in case" potluck people. You have the chips and salsa people who come to a potluck with the minimum; and then you have the 180 degree style - us. There's the dish, and then what if they had no serving spoon so that goes, and then it turns into "just in case", and suddenly you are lugging half of your kitchen. So we had a lot of food for just the three of us. Leftovers for a week!
Last week my drp stock portfolio crossed a milestone. I got a 100% return. Specifically, I put about 26K worth of contributions over the past 10+ years, and now my portfolio is at 53K. Total stock portfolio worth also includes about 6K of reinvested dividends.
So far, I'm still ahead in the death pool pool. Fingers crossed, but somehow December is busy for death.
The union for 4 biggest chain grocery stores in Seattle has put in their 72 hour notice to strike. I sympathize so I'm going to see if can avoid breaking strike lines. I don't really have good alternative cheap places to get meat but I think I can do okay on the produce. We'll see.
I've been going back to the gym several times a week, logging in my food, etc. I've been bouncing around 175-180, and I would love to lose 10 pounds. My latest health check had my blood pressure at borderline hypertensive, so its another reason to exercise. I also swapped out my table salt for salt substitute. I don't eat too much processed food but even reading the labels on the stuff I do eat: phooey.
With the condo, my friends had a standing bet that within a year I'd be running the condo. Well, I've been asked to run for VP on the board. I don't know whether I really want to do it. I always think that "well do it for a year and stop" but I have serious problems with disengagement. Its the flip side of stick-it-tuitiveness.
But the intimate emergency fund (what the found money account morphed into) is doing well: $19.20. And I am still ahead on the 2013 death bet.
My youngest, least celeb in the 2013 Death bet came in (Lisa Robin Kelly), so right now I'm ahead in the 2013 Fantasy Celebrity Cemetery. This weekend, Spondulicks and I will divy up the gift certs I won during the Gumshoe.
Its been a nice staycation! Maybe Saturday I'll buy a lottery ticket.
First day of vacation, and lucky me, I was NOT on 2nd Ave downtown on a Seattle bus at or around 8:45am ... which I would have been during my normal work schedule. Neither Seattle bus that the shooter went on was my bus, thankfully.
Unlucky me though - while I had fun the night before at the Duvall friends house watching a new episode of Breaking Bad, then stayed overnight talking about it - I came home to find that V.I. (kitty) pooped on my bed and the sectional. I'm certain it was a statement for leaving her home overnight - both poop placements were definitely where l'il ol' me had resided not 16 hours before.
Turns out that the Duvall friends themselves are lucky, in that they are running (or in this case, not running) a dead disposal. You might remember that my new sink is now too deep for the disposal, so the plumber removed the disposal and I kept it, thinking I could sell it or manufacture good will. Well, I am manufacturing good will by donating my disposal to them.
Nobody had Eydie Gorme in the death bet, but her NYT obit was good reading. Who could have guessed that her high school classmate was Stanley Kubrick? That's as good as Jack Klugman and Charles Bronson sharing a NY cold water flat in the 50s.
Been nearly a month already since I last wrote something. Hopefully, though, it will ease up. It has to eventually.
Lately I've been hip deep in making decisions about my upcoming kitchen remodel - the sink and faucet, the countertop, the cabinets, the flooring, the lighting, the appliances. I sure hope that all of my decisions will play nice with each other, and the new kitchen will play nice with the dining room. I've also notified (and renotified) my condo neighbors and the condo board. The tentative start date is this Monday - I've learned that it really always be a bit tentative because the contractor wants to absolutely, positively make sure that the materials will get here with no delays before they start ripping up things to shreds.
Right now this is the last weekend of the old. I'm treating it as a calm before the storm. Tonight I take down pictures, pull out everything from cabinets. I have enough empty space so that the new refrigerator gets put into the living room. Saves me more decisions about where to put my freezer stuff - and it will be nice to be able store a bag of salad whilst the teardown begins. I've put the kitty food bowls in my bedroom and my fur girl is quite confused. I'm trying to tell her that THINGS will be different in the next few weeks.
The welcome packet project is done. Someone did buy a unit in the last week or two - I'll be a knocking at their door to welcome them, packet in hand.
Just finished my taxes, and yes I pay some. The price of good investing - I've made a bit of coin in these last couple of years, and I had to figure out cost-basis this year.
And of course an update on the death bet 2013 - about 1/2 the players got Hugo Chavez. Don't weep for the other half - they are playing Lindsay Lohan! One player got a local celebrity - Booth Gardner, the former governor of Washington.
So this is third try at a blog post. I don't know why they aren't getting captured...
Last couple of weeks I've been in saving mode and it feels great. looking forward to payday tomorrow, though. I backed off my 403B contributions to about 20% or 10K annually. I might have to back them off a bit more depending on how my regular spending settles out. FWIW, I capture the full match at 8%, and I contribute my 6K to my Roth annually so I will still be saving a lot, just not a lot a lot.
Decided on the sink and faucet choice, made a choice for a slide in stove, and am looking at flooring, signed the construction agreement with the contractor and contractor has ordered the cabinets and open shelving. Its on, its just that work will start when the contractor knows the cabinets are coming within two weeks.
I've been working on a project for the condo board - developing a welcome packet comprising of a FAQ about the condo, a Lake City Chamber of Commerce business guide, a kicky map of north Seattle, and current transit guides. Nothing too fancy, but something to have in hand and talk about when one knocks on the door to a new owner's condo.
First hit of the FCC. Spondilucks had Van Clyburn.
Happy Holidays, and best of success in all your fiscal endeavors for 2013.
As for me, I'm getting back into the swing of routine. A different routine - I now can depend on me waking up at 7:45, and getting out the door at about 8:15 - 8:20, to catch any of the three downtown express buses. One (the 522) got me downtown on the 26th in 15 minutes. Man that was nice.
Done with carpet tile, just finished with the major wall painting (painting trim I'm sure is a forever project). I moved 2 full car loads of my stuff at the old place to the new condo, with the last full car load (books) perhaps will happen in the next week or two.
The next 'goal' is get set up enough to host the super Bowl party... first Sunday of February. For that, I'll break down and buy that TV, and get some seating. After that, the fridge and stove work like champs.
I have been doing lots of mini goals with the condo - got all the lighting to work, put post-its on the rooms to remind me what I need to do in them, arranged a charging station to hem in all the electronic crap in one area, am making a pile of stuff to donate/recycle (sometimes its just easier to move it, then donate it), arranged the entry way, monitored when the garbage gets picked up so I can slip a contractors bag of nasty carpet or dried paint waste when the dumpster is empty. Lawyer friend came by with his half full truck and took 15 bags - hard to tell if he will swing around again. He soon will not be a co worker - he's heading for another job at another non-profit. Hopefully we can still keep in touch...if nothing else, he's another dead pool player.
Received a box of organic produce from sister, and I've sent her a Christmas fish in return. Also sent her before and after condo pics.
Our own Spondilucks won the 2012 Dead Pool pool, so I mailed the proceeds to her. She hosted a New Year's Eve soiree which was a whole lot of fun. We had a great time comparing methodologies! Right now the 2013 pool has again 13 players - I might have 2 more and am willing to wait a day or two longer, but after that it becomes not fair to others who got their list in...especially if you are planning on playing Hugo Chavez.
Still holding out on not having Internet at home - what I might do is write posts when I can then publish them one after the other. My net worth took a dip because I put down 20%, but it is still around 600K. The 403B really perked up at the very end - it alone is at 181K.
Still no call from the court, so I have to assume that the jury I was an alternate for is still deliberating. I'll see if there is a way to search cases online. I was a little disappointed not being able to deliberate last week. I'm sure the jury that remains probably envies me.
Right now I'm relaxing at home, but I do have some goals for the day this week. Goal #1 is to catch up on my house cleaning - which I am doing 30 min or so at a time by using mini-projects. For instance, I scrubbed out the tub out yesterday afternoon. Ah, heaven! Goal #2, unfortunately is work related - performance evaluations. One more section for me to write on my own eval, and I scheduled the meeting for my direct report who went on family leave.
Goal #3 is to finish my commission. So far, everything is glued - I stick the mosaic onto a board using thinset, then grout. Grout cures for a week and voila. But so far, it looks good... Paulette, the finished piece will appear near you!
Sunday I hit the mother lode. I was at a yard sale, looking, and I talked with the owner who told me that she had a lot of stuff due to "projects". I mentioned my mosaics. Turns out that she used to do stained glass and asked me if I could use stained glass. Could I! . I bought what I think was about 10 lbs of glass for $5, it was a nice variety too. You can see the stained glass above and below the numbers.
Other things - I finished by change finding for the third year in a row (yes, oddball me I started in mid-july). $90.35. Thank you loose change losers. And yesterday, I found my 6th silver dime for my precious metal portfolio.
No interesting deaths that I know about - nobody had Andy Griffin, or Kitty Wells. 4 people in our group have Bashir al-Assad.
So lets see...
Thursday I checked out a free talk by a fine art mosaic artist at a little rent space. I'll be filing that spot away for next winter - you can go and grout there. It turns out that Seattle is a small hotbed of mosaickers, so I'm going to tap into that.
Friday we put down the deposit for the space in Buenos Aires. At least according to the pictures, it looks sweet. Its a high-end four bedroom, four bath house with other amenities. The cost per person per day for our group is about $49. The only issue is that the place is fairly far away from the center of downtown, the history, and the sites, but it is close to the subway. Right now we have the airline tix, the living quarters...now to think about what we will do for 14 days. I say to give the guys an argentine grilling class.
Saturday was a double hit: the Greenwood Yard Sale and ticket to the Rat City Rollergirls. A co worker skated with them but is now retiring, so we all wanted to see her skate one last time. I had a fair amount of luck at the yard sales - DJ friend and wife are expecting, so I got 4 baby outfits for $10. I went a bit pricey because 3 of the outfits were new (one of them still had the tags), and all looked cute, clean, and were of different ages. I also got 2 sets of outdoor glasses for $2, a grout float for .20, a chisel for .10, and a DVD player for $2. Normally I wouldn't take the chance, but our DVD player is acting up, and the player I got was tidy and the remote was clean and tidy also...so it looked like a good gamble. If its not, well, 2 DVD players will be donated. Most of what saved me money was taking a picture of interesting things, rather than actually buying them.
Best thing I saw was a complete 3 inch telescope
Funniest thing I saw was this from the tool sale
Best blast from the past were these TV tubes in a bucket. It so reminded me of when the TV repairman made house calls, came in with his case full of these tubes all lined up.
The Rollergirls game was tremendous fun for $12. Not quite sure whether it was 'real', but then again, all sports are performance. There was a lot of humor if you looked at the skate names, skate numbers, referees.
We saved a bit by knowing the right bus line. Sneakily, we parked about 1.5 mi from our house, took the direct bus from there, then took the bus back to the car. Unfortunately for my diet, the arena food was expensive and not in keeping with 555 principles. . I got a chance to see what the sports setting of my camera did.
What the action generally looked like. The skatenames were a hoot...stuff like 357 Semi-Automatic, Ann R. Kissed (say it out loud). 30 in this picture was Shovey Chase. One of the referees was called Hanging Chad.
Glad that the referee was secure in his, um... referee-ness. This was the second game, so the skaters were different.
And Sunday, we had two hits in the death bet. The leader is still ahead , but the rest of the pack has now spread out.
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!
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. .
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.
Work is easing up a little. My boss, the director of the department, is on leave and the biggest project she had me on was developing the department budget. Got it done today which means I can finally, finally go back to digging myself out of the swamp of work.
I had a number of interesting experiences this week. Wednesday I went to the pre-construction open house to the Northgate light rail station. Our quick way to get home from I5 is going to be used as a staging area. No surprise and sacrifices have to be made. The big controversy is more parking versus a pedestrian bridge coming from the community college. Its building up to be a choice between one or the other - depends on whether you think the cars are coming from the north or to the west.
I left soon after a 70 yr old woman complained that the station will block her view of the Olympics. A quick calculation is telling that by the time the station is built, the view is going to be the least of her concerns. To be fair, this project is not made for her particularly. Its not even made for me, who is pushing 50 next month. 9 years from now I'm thinking of retirement, not commuting after all.
The next wacky thing this week is finding out that Saturday a Hollywood production is being filmed nearby AND that Gary Busey is in it. Somebody on our crew has him on their list. Never been able to "throw" the results before!
And today, I took a little stroll near Occidental Park (Pioneer Square) and walked past three news crews. I asked a local about and he told me that the lawyer defending the US serviceman charged with the killings in Afghanistan... well, his office is nearby. So they are waiting.
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
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.
Hard to believe that grey is such a sweet, sweet color around here. We still have a little bit of snow and plenty of icy water on the lawn and in the driveway, but everywhere else, it was muddy snow, wet roads and downtown, dry sidewalks.
Errand day today: delivered the now-clean gym clothes to the office, did a 3.5 mile walk (first long-ish one since last Sunday), bought bras at Fred Meyer which is now also doing a clearance sale preparing for them to close for renovations, picked up some trash around the house. (We had our recycling bin blow over in the windstorm last night). Cancelled the grout fest scheduled for today - maybe next week when it might be a true fest because I'll have two pieces to grout rather than just one.
Found 17 cents "around" a penny or a nickel at a time.
Oh, yes, several people had Etta James; a couple of people have Joe Paterno. This year, with more players and the players themselves seem to have done better research ... the game is already interesting right off the bat.
Yeah, this time I'm one of those Seattle snow weenies. I left work early, caught the bus, got home before the sun set. In my salad days I would have been out there snickering, but these days ... I'm not going to be the problem.
If I wake up to a couple of inches and more snow, doesn't matter whether the office is open or not, I'm staying home. I've got plenty of PTO and I can't imagine that any "fire" at work couldn't wait a day or two.
Of course, nobody had better die tomorrow. Wikipedia is going dark that day due to a protest on SOPA. Also get any lolcat craving out of the way today, they will be dark also.
I thought about putting Paula Deen on my list. Even tasting that cooking will get you in trouble (you have to taste quite a bit and the often-ness of it probably keeps you craving that stuff), and keeping it secret for 3 years just says denial to me.
Spent $14 getting enough food to last a couple of days,
Friday night was the deadline to the dead pool. I now have 13 players - which is so fantastically symbolic that I'm closing it to new players. Just got CB's payment, and with her, Mjrube, Mjrube's friend, and Paulette participating, its tempting to consider this the $20 challenge by other means. Good luck to all.
Tax time this year - I've pulled out my green (again fantastically symbolic) folder and am out "collecting". Its different this year - most places really, really want you to sign up for e-delivery to keep you paperless, or to impoverish the USPS even more. I haven't made any exotic moves, the drip re-investments are about 1K, and I haven't made much interest, I can't imagine that I'm going to pay a ton of tax. Only thing is that one of my drip companies got bought out by another drip company (which I like even more), so not only is it one more 1099, I can't write off the stock loss.
Today I did a bit of walking, but I checked out grout colors at Home Depot and Lowe's ... still might go with the gray that I have, and I slipped into Ross and picked up a Cal King bed sheet set. We have a couple of sets that we rotate, but it would be nice to refresh them a bit. Also bought a bit of food from the Greenwood Market, another grocery store that's going away. I'm still bummed. With them going away, the Fred Meyer down until October, and one of our main arterials being ripped up, 2012 is ... 2012.
As mentioned by Paulette, she is playing with us, along with mjrube, and CB. I have almost as many bloggers playing as F2F contacts. Since not everybody likes to read this sort of stuff - it requires that you are secure in your karma - I've put my list in the comments that you can read or ignore.
Also bought stamps so that I can mail mjrube her winnings for 2011.
I say that because here in Seattle (and in Hollywood) we still have 2 hrs left of 2011. I take my death bet MCing seriously. If someone slides off this mortal coil from Pacific Standard Time zone, I am ready.
Right now I have 7 players for 2012, and that's not even counting several from work, whom I've given next week. My workmates all know the rules and that I'm going to check their picks. It's possible that we can have up to 12-13 players, which makes the winnings very nice.
Best of everything in 2012 to all SA bloggers! The only resolution that I believe in making is to resolve that Jan 1 is just another date. If you need to make a change, no time like the present. Any of the other 364 days will do.
For 2012, I plan to do more mosaics and sell some this year. I've created three with a fourth on the way and given them as gifts to the delight of the recipients. Time to see if the world needs another mosaic artist.
Calming down from Christmas - these five days are usually some of my favorites. So quiet, so peaceful, so... not part of the rest of the year or part of any year. These 5 days gave the Romans fits, too. After all, 360 is so ....round.
Any way - I filled out the increase in my 403B contributions. I put in for 17K, and for another 1K of catchup. We'll see for the next three months how it goes.
Cashed in a couple of checks - the Chase credit card cashback, and some Christmas money. With the proceeds, I've bought another round of Target stock. $500, so about 9 shares.
Got my list of celebs for 2012, and it looks like there are going to be 8 or 9 participants this year. Mjrube, where are you? You are ahead for 2011!
2 players had Christopher Hitchens
3 players had Kim Jong-Il
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.
I found a 1943 steel penny on the floor of Safeway yesterday. Different color and a magnet really grabs it. The US made these pennies at the height of WWII, when copper was needed more in other places. The penny is not in great shape, but its another interesting find.
Nobody had Amy Winehouse ... but several of you suggested it.
Perhaps you remember that I have some drps - stocks where I can add to my position in small amounts along with reinvesting the dividends as they come up quarterly. My bank stock had been ailing since the near-implosion in the fall of 2008. I say had because as of July 1, it had been acquired by the Bank of Montreal (BMO). I discovered that the transfer agent (the banking/ accounting entity that you buy the shares from) is the same one as my KO stock. Good news - no new weird one, and they are very prompt with the payments. It appears that I can drp in that one also, but I've asked for the prospectus. The only odd thing is that the account is kept in Canadian dollars.
Stocks went up in the last couple of weeks (though not on Friday) - my net worth broke 600K again. We'll see if it holds.
Have 5 more days til I close this year's change finding adventure. I found .21 today, and I'm at $88.23. Probably not going to hit $90 this year ... but $88 - $89 is darn good enough.
Nope, nobody had Betty Ford.
On the crafty side, I'm making progress. I have only a couple more frames to paint, and I've finished gluing the glass and tile bits into my mosaic. I also bought a bit of thinset mortar ($12 for a box), and found a notched trowel for $2 at Goodwill. Gotta love it when I can find what I need at the thrift store. I've emailed the mosaic teacher several questions. When I get the answers I'll take the plunge and get the mosaic mortared to the board. Grout awaits! will
For all you regular readers regarding this year's death bet: nobody had him.
Last year. And she was suggested for my list this year too. Godspeed, Ms. Violet Eyes.
Came from 35 degrees C to 35 degrees F! I had fun, and will have pics and color commentary soon.
A quick FYI - someone picked correctly on the Fantasy Celebrity Cemetary for 2011 today.
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