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soap nuts

August 22nd, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Yes, don't need to rub your eyes. Soap nuts.

Two weeks ago I bought a sample of these for $2. I got a little muslin bag, and inside were 7-8 dried shells of Sapindus. The guy I bought them from at the farmer's market claimed that they were good for about 7-8 washings. So far, I've used them for 4.

Using them is pretty easy - plunk your clothes in the washer, plunk the muslin bag in the load, run the washer. Intercept the muslin bag when you load the clothes in the dryer for use in the next load ... the hard part, because the muslin bag has hiding skills.

Clothes in the dryer (or hung) ... supposedly the clothes need no fabric softener. Whatever that is. Smile!

I've really enjoyed using them. My clothes don't have any fragrance, they are clean (not that they get all that dirty) and feel soft ... although they still have some static when you pull them out of the dryer. Think I might get some more.

When they have given their all, the soap nuts can be composted.

Anybody else use them? For once, a cheap solution. (.25$/load)

first day of staycation

August 4th, 2011 at 08:45 pm


Much as I love time off from work, its hard on my budget and on my diet. If I'm at work, I'm not tempted to spend much money, and I'm not tempted to eat ... two temptations that really happen when I'm out and about.

But this staycation, I'm going to be finishing up on my crafts. I picked up my first mosaic - its now completely done, except for the grout sealer, which I'm applying. The grout sealer is to ensure that rainwater (of which we get much in Seattle) won't harm it. Here it is:

And last night I finished gluing the glass bits on the mesh of my second piece, which is going to be a bottom of a wire tray. (Got the wire tray at Value Village for $6!) I have yet to mortar the glass onto a board using thinset, then grout it, then seal the grout. But you can get the general idea.

I figure that I've spend about 300$ on the class and materials of which I have plenty for several other projects... and I think I can keep the costs down. Definitely enjoy this!

new bank stock

July 9th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

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

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

July 5th, 2011 at 08:18 pm

Their website is up and running. Support Elizabeth Warren and check it out.

crafty patch

July 2nd, 2011 at 07:28 pm

Now with July 1, it turned quiet on the accounting/ pledge processing front again, probably because most of the people that I would have had to slap took Friday off as a 4 day weekend.

I seem to have entered a crafty patch. Here's what's on deck:

At work: helping write a storyboard & screenplay for a 20 minute video about our department.
At work: troubleshooting my main database to get it to play nice with Office 2010. (creative, but not so crafty)
At home: painting frames and framing some of my more interesting pictures.
At home: picking some of my Vietnam and Cambodia, and perhaps even the Paris pictures to blow up, frame, hang on the walls.
At home: potluck dish for the 4th party and fireworks.
At home: finishing up the mosaic I've started on. Glass has to be glued in the mesh and the mesh has to be mortared on my board by July 29. July 30 I learn to grout.

Bought the last ingredient to make my mosaic - the glass - today and began to do some more gluing. Still having fun and I've gotten a couple of complements on what I have so far.

end of year tired

June 28th, 2011 at 09:16 pm

And yes, I know we are in June.

Our fiscal year ends on June 30. This fiscal year is shaping up to be like a number of others, a series of accounting fires to be put out. Some of our fundraising managers are stitched up tight; and some its, well ... time to slap them silly.

The garden mosaic class was a whole lot of fun. I'm working on a very simple project - a mosaic tray 10 inches by 14 inches. But in 5 hours I only got a 1/3 of it done, so I've gotten some supplies to finish. I plan getting the rest after the paycheck comes in. I got a tip on how to get glass in Seattle - Bedrock Industries. Its a recycled glass tiny piece candy land, underneath the gritty Garfield Bridge. A candy land of sharp edges though. They pay 20 cents/lb for glass.

The second movie rough cut was a lot of fun - a good crowd of 300 out of 800 seats. Not a full house, but a respectable crowd for a rough cut with scenes missing. I formally introduced dj friend to screenwriter friend (they actually knew each other), but both parties fully understand that if they teamed up good deals can happen. Screenwriter friend can possibly get movie music that he wouldn't have to pay royalties on, dj friend can get his crop of artists a new venue - movies that hundreds of people see. I was told that I'm a genuine "producer" here. Smile

Still holding out on the frugal burn. I have $5 and one more day. I think I can do it.

not nuts

June 10th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Saving log - $6 tip box + $1.42 dividend check
Spending log - $1.73 coffee (forgot my mug) + $9 groceries

At last, I found an article about not driving/not buying gas being a patriotic act. I've been mentioning it for years even in supposedly green Seattle and people have looked at me as if I was nuts. Finally, not nuts!

I can understand it if you were out in the boonies. Lugging groceries for miles up a hill is absolutely no fun, but in the city a car is a tool. You don't want to shoot a squirrel with a machine gun; why use a car for every batch of light errands?

another reason for not carrying my credit card

May 25th, 2011 at 09:45 pm

So I got a new credit card from Chase - a 1% and 5% cashback one. I only put the credit card in the wallet the day I plan to use it (never carry it just to carry it...too dangerous).

The day I put it in the wallet, I learned about another reason not to carry it; the credit card conflicts with my bus pass card as I tap the bus pass on the reader. The bus pass has a chip and a radio signaler in it so that it can store and compute the fare when you tap the reader to get on and tap it to get off. Apparently the credit card also has reader to store what is being charged and whether I get 1 or 5%.

Easy enough fix - just pull the bus pass card out of the wallet, but an even easier reason to not use it unless necessary.

wrestling with the water heater

May 16th, 2011 at 09:01 pm

Late last night the conversation went like this -

Me: we have got to figure out what is kitty's problem. I think she's been peeing, but it doesn't smell.

DH (feeling the carpet): Wow, kitty has quite a bladder. Wet here, here, here.

We open the swinging doors where the washer and dryer are - the floor is sopping wet, so much so that it was overflowing into the carpet pad and the carpet above it.

Turns out it was even worse than that - the water heater leaked catastrophically. From the bottom. We used every towel we had, turned the heater off and shut down the water. Still, there was plenty of water everywhere this morning.

The one good time to be a renter.

The RE management company called in the water heater guys and the carpet guy. I got home this evening with an industrial dryer running on the carpet, and the water heater replaced. Apparently water heaters last about ten years, we've been renting this spot for eleven. I would love to get new carpeting because of this, but that will be unlikely - no doubt because of the kitty, but also because its easier to change the carpet between tenants.


April 25th, 2011 at 09:08 pm

Closed out my checking and savings account with Chase, kept the rewards based credit card. Got what I got in cash, and promptly deposited it into the credit union bank. Now both my checking and savings accounts are close to the $500 limit for the 6% interest rate. Its only $30/ year, but at least it means that even my smallest accounts are working hard. Talked to HR, my next paycheck will be paper, the paycheck after will be direct deposited appropriately into the credit union.

That project is done.

DJ friend asked to write up a special letter for the Internet radio station. There is a serious issue - he is a legal internet radio station, which means in the U.S. he has to pay royalties. What usually happens is that he submits the songs/works/etc that he or his other DJs will play, along with a monthly payment to a royalty clearinghouse. The royalty clearinghouse pays another agency who then pays BMI, ASCAP, etc. Apparently the royalty clearinghouse that DJ friend has been using has not been paying anybody and has been shut down. So its been a mad scramble to go to a new clearinghouse.

I have to shake my head here. No wonder the music industry is in the state its in - everybody else has to streamline, get leaner and meaner, etc. The music industry appears to just have gotten meaner without the leaner.

So I wrote the letter explaining the situation to all - only took me two hours. As a payment, got a nice capacity coffee card for my trouble. Free coffee for a couple of weeks!

spring cleaning

April 24th, 2011 at 07:52 pm

Even if we do nothing else this spring, it has been a successful spring cleaning. Saturday we managed to remember that a non-profit was collecting computers and computer detris. DH parted with his beloved Amiga ... finally. We also got rid of one old monitor that I had to pull from the furthest corner of the storage area (ugh), two old desktop computer boxes - one we kept for a friend for 8 years (!), one dead laptop, cables, motherboards, keyboards, my broken digital camera, my beloved old MP3 player that died last year, and another ancient MP3 player. DH packed the car trunk and the back seat.

Very cleansing, we had at least 15 years worth of stuff. We heard about the pickup from our neighborhood microblogs, so this was one of many cases that the neighborhood blog saved us a bit of money and time.

We've got rid of the hardware. Now I wonder how we are going to get rid of the software and discs. Probably the ignoble route - shred the discs, break down the cardboard, and recycle any paper or cardboard by the usual route.

Finally "got off the pot" as it were with grandma's inheritance that I've kept in Vanguard. I've put about 5% of it in a high-yield dividend fund. I've asked to get the quarterly dividends so I can plow them into my DRP portfolio.

feelin' the frugal burn

March 30th, 2011 at 09:32 pm

I'm down to my last 30$ for the month, and have been since Sunday. I'm definitely feeling the frugal burn.

Tomorrow I get paid.

A couple of bits of art news.

Bit 1: Screenwriter friend's son is in the midst of another film. The plan is to show his rough cut in late April and to film us as some of the audience sequences. Sounds like fun, but if I'm tapped, its time to ask for a bit more of a plan - what festivals are you applying to, etc.

Bit 2: DJ friend had generated a record label to addition to the internet radio station. So he has multiple CDs, and he is now promoting them in one of the non-Starbucks coffee place outlets. Proceeds for one of the EPs is going to Japan relief.

no tsunami here

March 11th, 2011 at 07:54 pm

Last I checked, Jeffrey lives in Japan. Hopefully he is safe and sound.

Sister asked, and I'm sure plenty have thought of it. No tsunami in Seattle - we have all the Olympic mountains to protect us from a big wave. There might be a residual energy wave that gets into Puget Sound, but it would make the extra wave an inch or so, not feet. It'd be hard to tell the extra wave from the tide.

as I was saying ....

January 28th, 2011 at 08:43 pm

Apologies I went down. DH was "improving" our wireless, which meant 3 days of tearing his hair out trying to both configure it with the security and get both of our laptops on it. In the meantime cursing the Fry's guy. So he multi-tasked.

Other than that, I'm working like a demon to get everything set up for when I'm away. I can't plan for the unexpected, but then again neither can anybody else. Less than two weeks before sister and I fly off to Vietnam. Now we are both obsessing a bit. She's freaking out about baggage weight. We have a couple of flights on the tour, and their restrictions are 44 lbs. I'll be a beast and underpack: less than 30 lbs. (10 lb kitty NOT included) Room for souvenirs! If the choice is a bathrobe or souvenirs, souvenirs win. I'm freaking out about plane flights. Hopefully sister won't need my credit card to board her flight to get to Seattle. Hopefully this will be fun. Hopefully we can sleep a little bit and won't go crazy being on a plane for 15 hours.

Actually, I'm not so worried about the last item. I chatted with a co worker with family in SE Asia, so has made the trip often. She asked me about the carrier. I'm flying Cathay Pacific... she told me that that is one of the nicest cushiest ones, even in coach class. So yay. And she commended me for the price I got for our flights.

Fiscally, I'm up to $130K on my 403B. Am at about 168 lbs. Grocery prices are again starting to become reasonable - the loss leaders look pretty good. I'm thinking that the Super Bowl is starting to become the big grocery eating fest like Thanksgiving is. And speaking of the Super Bowl: Go Pack.

jelly bag and rant

December 12th, 2010 at 09:25 pm

First the jelly bag with a tripod to hang over the sink. (I was jelly bag-less so I spent 12$ at the hardware store.) I was given a quart of apple butter, homemade by lawyer friend. It was delicious but runny. The solution is: the jelly bag. Pour the quart of apple butter into the jelly bag and wait for 1-2 hours as the liquid drained into the sink. A quart of runny apple butter turned into about a half pint of perfect apple butter.

It got me thinking about my second project. Making yogurt turned into a bit of a bust two weeks ago, but I still have an urge for a dairy project, so how about yogurt cheese, made with supermarket yogurt? I didn't have the butter muslin called for (a finer mesh more-clothy cheesecloth), but I did have the jelly bag. Turned out perfectly, and dead easy, so easy that it really doesn't call for a recipe. Dump supermarket yogurt into a jelly bag, let drip for 12-24 hours. Press a little - I twisted the bag to create a more compact 'cheese'. Its the consistency of cream cheese. I made eight little yogurt balls and rolled them in dried mint and a bit of kosher salt.

Now for the rant. Its been awhile for this one, but today it was just horrible. Our usual Sunday coffeeshop closed a couple of weeks ago due to fire damage next door so we went to a different one. We set down our wrapped newspapers to get coffee and discovered people reading 'em when we got back. I'm happy that people still want to read paper newspapers, yay, but dammit, if you are too damn cheap to buy your newspaper, you ask "may I?" and accept a no if we are not done. We share when we are done. Done means unwrapped from the baggie, paper in sections in a stack on the table. It costs some to get the paper, we buy it so we get first dibs.

Nuts, man.

semi-big money

November 7th, 2010 at 07:27 pm

Received a $150 check Saturday, meaning I received the rest of my payments (save one) from my participation in the bird flu study. Save one, because the last data point is at 180 days. I'll get the last $50 sometime in March.

My tolerance for flu shots and blood draws made me $500, which comes in handy.

DJ friend had a little re-writing task that he was willing to pay me $25/hr on. (Which he did via Paypal) It took me two hours to do, so there's another $50.

Can't say that I see more of those side payments on the horizon, but what is coming up this month is the second phase of consolidating my accounts. One of my CDs is due, so I will call tomorrow morning and inform the bank to move that CD into checking along with the remnants there already. I have a link between this checking account and ING. After November, this money will in one spot earning 1.25% versus a couple of spots earning 0.35%. It will add up quickly.

Had a slightly spendy weekend. I'll be at an event at work where we dress up early 60s (and I thought I escaped Halloween expenses!). Normally I wouldn't care and would use nothing to wear/no time to buy as an excuse to go for only a few minutes, but I like how I look in early 60s garb so the project will serve double duty - I can consider what I buy refreshing my wardrobe.

I managed to find the near perfect blue dress at Ross for $22; white gloves, blue shoes that nearly match the dress, and a blue collar-less jacket at Value Village for another $23. Final thing - pantyhose for $4 (yeah, but I rarely wear pantyhose). I have a perfect pocketbook already. I tried out the whole ensemble and I look pretty good. However, if anyone asks - no all you can eat anything because I can JUST get into the dress.

little low these days

October 7th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Feeling the frugal burn. I'm a little low this month and I only want to withdraw $100 from savings until the next paycheck. Been good for most of the week and dropped back down to 169.

I've been getting checks from the flu study. I only have about 3 more blood draws and I'm done, done, done. This last week's blood draw was interesting - my undependable veins have re-made an appearance (tried tapping but no blood), so they finally had to draw from my hand. They warned me that it would hurt, and it did a little, but I had a big vein in the hand and a straight shot so it was less painful than them digging around on either arm.

DH is going back to his second stint with the IRS. He starts training next week, but doesn't get his commuter pass until he starts for real. Means that the bus tickets I also get from the study will come in handy.

The big news is that sister agreed to go with me on the Vietnam tour trip and I put a deposit on it. This will not be a super frugal trip (about $7000) by any means but it looks action packed! I have to let myself spend a little bit for some real fun, but its funny, I've now gotten used to a large amount of savings and I feel wounded if it drops.

all about the free sandwich

October 1st, 2010 at 09:24 pm

Downtown Seattle, at least in the Pioneer Square district, is a tad depressing. Every block, several businesses with the For Lease sign in the window, caused either by outright business failure or by moving to greener pastures in other neighborhoods.

But today a new lunch place opened up, complete with the free sandwich coupon. So free sandwich ... or rather, free doner. an o with the two dots above it, because its a turkish/german sandwich place. I got a lamb doner with the spinach wrap, cilantro, onion, feta, tomato, red cabbage. I think the cabbage is the german bit. Smile

I asked the counter guy how you pronounce doner with the dots over the o. Sounds like "duna" rhyming with tuna or puma. I said "donor" and he told me that only the Texans say it that way.

I will not have a particularly spendy weekend. I opened my purse tonight on the bus and got a sinking feeling. I left my wallet in my office (well hidden and no guessing where, thief) and it has pretty much everything I need, including my way to get into work. Its a rare person who works over the weekend to let me in, so its surviving by my wits until Monday. Mostly its going to be buying money from DH, and using a couple of bus tickets that I get from the bird flu vaccine study. I took the tickets after the blood draws despite having a bus pass because you just never know.

Turns out that the IRS is going to call DH back starting in mid October. Yay!

Following up with CB in City, my own college alumni is sponsoring a trip in February that I am very, very interested in going on: "Temples and Waterways of Vietnam and Cambodia". Just sounds like the trip of a lifetime. Talked with my boss, and as long as we plan it out, it looks like a go. Since IRS is not going to let DH go in February, I'm in talks with my sister (going alone is unappealing). The time of year is perfect for her.

news flash - free museum day tomorrow

September 24th, 2010 at 11:23 am

A little late, but perhaps you have no frugal plans tomorrow, September 25.


You print yourself a ticket for 2, and attend a museum participating in your area. Last year DH and I went to the Museum of Glass.

blast from the past

September 21st, 2010 at 08:44 pm

Totally, deliriously off the fiscal topic. I think I saw a ghost in the newspaper website today. Take a look at the picture. I'm nearly certain that that was the car my boyfriend had in the late 1980's. 1960 pink Caddy. Tells you something when that car was the "compact" lady car in 1960. We lived maybe a 1/2 mile away from the Wallingford Dick's at that time. And who knows, that might have been me taking a little junk food break and ordering on the left. (Brown hair, jeans, white shirt).

Good times, good times. Except that I probably still haven't lost that pound that I gained eating the hamburger, tartar sauce, fries, vanilla shake.

And I still haven't gotten over the shock of seeing a three foot long raccoon dumpster diving at that Dick's. Not pictured. Big Grin

last day of vacay

August 31st, 2010 at 08:57 pm

And I got paid today.

I've also volunteered, been picked and have embarked today on a medical study on the bird flu vaccine. Apparently there is a killed-virus bird flu vaccine that is safe, but only effective at high doses; there's an adjuvant (little molecule that seems to encourage a large immune response) that is also safe and works well for other vaccines; this study seeks to test whether putting the two together produces a safe, effective vaccine.

I'm excited to be in the study - I've been following the bird flu for a few years now (the flu wiki link) and I'm happy to be a part of possibly helping others.

So the study group took my medical history, made sure I wasn't preggers, made sure I wasn't sick (with the flu hah hah), that I was in general good health and didn't have any physical issues with flu vaccines in general - I get my shot every year without issues. Then the nurse took my blood pre-shot, I got shot, and I was taught how to keep a memory log.

Now I'll be going through weekly blood draws, I'll get a second shot at week 5, more weekly blood draws - 10 in all.

And the part that belongs in a fiscal blog - I'll be paid 75$/shot, $50/blood draw for a total of $550. Not quite as tidy as disneysteve's surveys, but a not too bad haul nonetheless. Might as well put that tolerance for shots and blood draws to good use.

spendy right now but crafts will distract me

August 17th, 2010 at 08:46 pm

Well, I'm on vacay, trying to get the PTO levels down, but again it will be a staycay (don't bother, thief). Lately its been very pricey for us too with the $318 for the beef and car repairs totaling $600. And then vacay is a bit spendy even as a staycay - if I'm at work, reading emails, bringing my lunch, doing stuff at my desk - I'm not spending money. None of this I'll buy coffee here, buy lunch here, need admission here. Trainer is away getting married (she already is, this one's for the parents), so that will be a bit less spendy.

But with vacay I'll have time to finish up two craft projects. They are two radically different ones.

1. Sister's birthday is coming up. I've made the three books in the bookbinding kit. They turned out well, so I think I will convert one into a farmette picture book printing some photos I took from there.

2. Making a playlist for beef fest. I already have the music, I even have it at the playlist stage. Now, being the ultimate control freak, I want to figure out a way to link the song files together so they will play in exactly the order I want them to. Both winamp and windows media will skip around after awhile.

pics of the SIFF film and party

May 31st, 2010 at 10:43 pm

As threatened, the picture link. Hold your cursor to the photo (don't click) and you can see the number. Woman in the animal print in pic#3 and #5 is the presenter from Montlake Terrace. Guy in red is the programmer. #36 is a pic of screenwriter friend's son. #38 is a pic of the stuffed to the gills audience. Blessedly, no pics of me! Big Grin

film premiere

May 29th, 2010 at 08:05 pm

Wow, five days since I last wrote. Apologies!

Last night screenwriter friends' sons' movie premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The one that I bought two copies of the High Def rendering of, and was given an Executive Producer credit of.

We saw it in its full glory on a big screen last night. Long story short it was a great night. I was going to take pictures, but no photography allowed, and the SIFF photographers were around anyway. Turns out that those pictures from those photographers get uploaded to Flickr, so I'll keep an eye out and link to the pictures as they come up.

First off, the 400 seat place was packed. Not a single empty seat. A number of my co workers showed also, so it was a bit like large group friends night. The SIFF programmer was there to introduce the film and the son came out to receive a commendation letter from the mayor's office. No one from Montlake Terrace had ever gotten a film into SIFF. Then the son thanked everybody who had helped with the film, including me.

The movie ran and it looked and sounded great. Lots of laughs. A film that you'd say, "that was a great film" rather than "that was a great film for a 17 yr old". Lights came up, and there was a 15 minute Q and A with the son and 8 members of the cast - how they constructed their characters, how they improvised, the budget. (all the equipment and actors were there already, so it was blank tapes and pizza for the cast.) $100 in costs. (His costs - mine were considerably more.) Then a standing ovation.

DH and I was invited to and went to the after party, held a couple of blocks away. I had a quick chat with the SIFF photographer who told me about the flickr upload bit; chatted with some of the co workers; and chatted with screenwriter friend and his wife. They told me they coached him on who to thank, and especially coached him on my name. Big Grin I laughed when I told her the extent of my "executive" powers was to decide to make two copies of the movie instead of one keeping karma at bay. Screenwriter friends' wife smiled, and shyly pulled out the SECOND copy of the movie from her tote. She thanked me for the decision and told me that brought it just in case. For what, she didn't know ... but if something happened during the screening, she was ready.

DH was beginning to get tired, so I quickly went up to the son, introduced myself (we hadn't met), thanked him for the shout out and for pronouncing my name correctly.

Then we left, leaving the rest to celebrate. Who knows what the future of this will bring... we'll find out.

pictures, still and moving

May 24th, 2010 at 09:28 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $1 bag of spinach salad
Found money - $0.04 (sidewalk, road)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.98 bagel (free coffee!) + $.50 apple + $5 edamame, kimchi
Found money - $0.18 (road, crosswalk, escalator edge, grocery store floor)

Deposited 45$ into the tip box for the month. I decided to take my new (to me) purse to a shoe repair place downtown to see about the straps. It's going to cost a bit more to replace the straps than I expected but the layout of the purse makes it still reasonable. But I finally got brave and printed some pictures with the $20 photoprinter. They print pretty well if there isn't too much gray in them (grey seems smudgy and muddled), so I definitely got a deal - printing whatever I want whenever I want. And the quality is reasonable if I want to finish my memory book (after 3 yrs!). The guy that I bought from thought that the culprit was the paper, so I might try improving that next. Now I get to pick two that I really, really like, cut the white edge of the pictures, get a bit of white matte board and frame them up. Definitely feel like I've got my money's worth Saturday.

The movie I'm the Executive Producer on made by the son of screenwriter friend is going to be shown at SIFF on Friday. It has been getting a lot of promotion around town, much to the chagrin of screenwriter friend, the proud papa. A friend of his joked both that the son looked great in the pink prom dress and that the article (which I've linked to so you can enjoy) made screenwriter friend seem cheap.

I am cheap, screenwriter friend said, and proud of it. I laughed and told screenwriter friend that he'd fit right in my family ... and the cheapness of my family got him the last bit of cash to help them both out. And that's being fiscally real can do for you - when push comes to shove, you have the money to get 'er done. Looking forward to seeing what Victory Studios has wrought.

karma, said sarge

May 19th, 2010 at 09:36 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $6 tahini & bag of salad
Found money - $0.15 (grocery floors, crosswalk, sidewalk, under table)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 groceries
Found money - $0.04 (gym equipment, sidewalk, grocery floor)

Well it happens once per year - I lose things. Yesterday evening, after shlepping my groceries home, I searched my purse, patted my pockets, tore open my grocery bags. No wallet. Eeek!

My house key was in my wallet, so I after pulling out the hidden key I dumped everything out, took a deep breath, and said, "I've got to back track."

As I went to my first stop I took stock. I had $15 in money, some spare change (of course), house key, one filled coffee card (it took 10 coffees to get a free one, dammit), my Safeway card, and my debit card. Of that, I guess the debit card was the most hassle, having to cancel it and all. But I didn't sign up for the "convenience" of me over charging my debit. Once it went to 0$ it would be denied...and there was only about $100 in balance on it. Painful, but not a nightmare.

No wallet on the first stop, but I hadn't pulled it out there, so that was expected.

Checked the bus stop. I keep my bus pass separate from my wallet, so I had that. It had been about 30 minutes since I was there. Seattle is a freakishly honest place, but still it being out in the open and all it would have been a miracle if it was there. But miracles have happened to me in the past. I once left my sweater on a bus. 4 hours later I -amazingly - got on the same bus heading back home and saw my sweater next to the bus driver.

Checked the grocery store that I had bought something that night, so it was the last, best place. I went to the customer service desk and asked whether it was also the lost and found. Yep, she said, what did you lose? I lost my wallet and began to describe it ... cloth with a Beetle Bailey com--. Yep, she said, we have it right here!

Nothing was removed; everything was in place. I laughed and told her that I had lost and found it about a year ago - the Beetle Bailey comic really makes it stand out. And I think it makes it totally un-cool to steal. No petty theft teenager wants to be thought of as being so desperate as to steal a Beetle Bailey wallet.

In any case, pwhew!

Greenwood Art Walk, 2010

May 17th, 2010 at 09:02 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $15 brunch + $3 mocha + $23 piece of art
Found money - $0.03 (floor, parking lot, newspaper box)

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $10 for 10 Luna bars
Found money - $0.62 (road, planting strip & gutter, bus stop)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $8 lunch + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.03 (lotsa floors - food court, escalator, Safeway)

Thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Greenwood Art Walk, and saw many spectacles but I didn't take many pictures (matter of fact, really just one). I learned a lot about my neighbors.

Neighbor 1: A set designer for Hollywood - tv and film. Bought a bit of small commercial space and designed rooms to HIS liking...

I don't do justice, but being a renter and always looking at the tyranny of beige and white, seeing celandon green walls with yellow stencil, chinese sculpture and a wild chandelier...exciting. The basement of the place contained an art collective and I bought my $23 piece from them. It was a cute little leather monster - one-eyed and screaming. He looked like I feel in January or so.

Neighbor 2: I'm about a block north of the neighborhood park which has bought out two abutting properties. There is to be a meeting about what to do with them and how to integrate them with the park. I always like the idea of another P-patch, but it would be great to allow neighborhood restaurants to rent space also...several are only 3-4 blocks away. Another two cents I threw in was to create an entirely edible landscape, and a third is to commemorate the orchards that were here before the neighborhood was. Great ideas, the chair of the committee said - come to the meeting!

Neighbor 3: Lawyer. His flower photos made it through a juried art show, but I was excited that he specialized in wills and estate planning and he's in the neighborhood. I nabbed his card and a gift certificate.

Neighbor 4: (bringing it back to fiscal) A coin cutter. He pulled me aside and had me look at his work. He did the cutting, sanding, and spot plating of gold, palladium and rhodium of some of the elements. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the Secret Service and the Treasury isn't after him. Apparently cutting coins is legal if the intent is not to defraud. Here's a thought: a cut Wisconsin quarter for sister developing her organic farming at the farmette. I'll have to think about that.

getting over the cravings

May 4th, 2010 at 09:18 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.28 (planting strip next to bus stop, curb, road, Fred Meyer parking lot)

Saving log - $5 tip box, $125 into savings
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 lunch + $15 groceries
Found money - $0.11 (sidewalk next to bus stop, floor underneath counter at coffee shop)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $2.50 paper + $5 mocha, croissant + $20 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (bus stop)

I broke $40 in found money. $40.20: 880 pennies, 33 nickels, 146 dimes, 32 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

After that, this and that. Frontier Bank went under Friday - it was the bank that I previously talked about here.

I've been wrestling with the after effects of the birthday celebration dinner. You feast for one day, and then your body says, "party on, Garth"... and suddenly you are buying mochas. Mochas with a coupon, at least, but mochas nonetheless. But the cravings have given me an excuse to buy some more strawberry plants. I'll aim for fruit cravings versus chocolate cravings.

Bought some more stock at the end of last month, and now I'm waiting for the price to go down some so I can buy more. Lawyer friend asked me for some stock tips. I threw out some ticker symbols, but gave him my dull boring dividend choices. He kind of blew off most of them - thought they were evil, or big, or blah, but he did think about one - ironically, the very one I'm thinking of selling. We'll see. I hope he does some more research and doesn't just take my word for it. I recently looked at the DRP portfolio - it'll go down some, but at the time I looked it totaled 28K.

just a check-in

May 1st, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Saving log - 0
Spending log - $30 two breakfasts & tip
Found money - $0.14 (road, sidewalk, grocery store floor, parking meter)

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (by ATM)

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $14 lunch + $5 ice cream
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk)

Still not much fiscally going on with me. I turned 48 on Thursday (thank you!) and was treated to a birthday dinner and cocktails at a wonderful neighborhood place. I treated DH this morning because I knew he dropped a bit of coin at the dinner.

BIL canceled visiting the farmette for EAA. At least we know now, rather than early July. V.I got her yearly vet visit - she passed with flying colors, and got her shots, but she did put on a bit of weight so now we'll have to be a bit cautious in feeding her.

back to work

April 26th, 2010 at 08:40 pm

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

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.

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