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slice of life at Ross

January 9th, 2010 at 07:26 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 breakfast + $42 stuff at Ross (gift card)
Found money - $0.39 (road, sidewalk, escalator railing - again!)

I was shopping at Ross Dress for Less - using a Christmas gift card. First off, I'm:

a size 12!

or at least I am by that pseudo house of fashion. We'll see how 12vy I am, but this pair of size 12 pants fit me perfectly - no "if I lost a couple of pounds" fit.

As I was getting dressed in the dressing room, I heard from the next dressing room over small children voices and the familiar clink of coins falling on floor. Add dressing rooms to the list of places to find change. I found a penny on the floor of an empty room - however it was glued to the floor!

Still, being a size 12 was exciting enough for me and got me through the exceeding long checkout line carrying pants, top, set of stainless steel mixing bowls. And I was waiting in the long line, moving along, I noticed one final thing that made me wonder. A 20-something woman 2 people ahead of me had an unopened 12 oz bottle of beer in her right front pocket. (Bottle cap said Rogue - a well known high-end Oregon beer brand).

It took me aback. Why was she carrying it? Leftovers from a party last night? Way to keep the edge off as she waited?- it was a screwtop, after all. She had a normal size purse and nothing in her left - no place to hold the other five. She moved all right - no stagger - and seemed normal enough.

I mentally thanked her, though. Musing about that beer bottle made the time pass by.

After getting out of Ross, I soo wanted to get a cookie. Then I remembered that I was now a size 12 and had standards to uphold.

post Christmas doings

December 27th, 2009 at 07:13 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.97 bagel (free coffee off the punch card + $1 apple
Found money - $0.22 (sidewalk, Safeway checkout, top of escalator)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 brunch, coffee + $4 vegetables
Found money - $0.33 (road, sidewalk, under parked car)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk)

Yes, if you can believe it, I even found coins on Christmas day. $15.23, and counting. I reviewed my Excel spreadsheet of when, how much, where I found change and it turns out that I have found some sort of change every day between 11/21/09 and now - 37 days straight. I feel like the Joe DiMaggio of found money. Wonder what the record is?

DH and I had rib-eye steaks, gingered carrots, and garlic mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. Saturday we were invited to dinner, movie, then back for dessert and digestif. We saw Sherlock Holmes, which played to me like the steampunk version of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. (liked steampunk, liked LSTSB). The conversation was varied - I've been finding that I'm suddenly the to-go person for help in losing weight. If only people knew that it really takes a total awareness and a total lifestyle change. Nothing magic, hell I'm having issues - I'm up several pounds to 174.

Not much fiscal is going on - I'm waiting for the end of the year when the last paycheck, the net worth calculation, and the 2010 Roth gets started at the end of the year.

Friday vignettes

December 4th, 2009 at 08:21 pm

Saving - $2 tip box
Spending - $1.75 coffee + $10 charging station
Found - $0.11 (bus steps)

Saving - $4 tip box
Spending - $1.75 coffee
Found - $0.47 (work carpet, in front of Chase Bank downtown, sidewalk, road, Safeway floor)

A few little vignettes on a Friday...

As I sat at my desk @ 10 am, eating a couple of leftover microwaved chicken wings w/hot sauce at my desk, I heard: "Breakfast of champions, eh?"

Got an unsolicited compliment. As I was doing an exercise another trainer pointed to me and said, "Like her. See how she's ..." And I lost the 1/2 pound I gained from Thanksgiving, despite finishing the last two cookies I baked the night before.

It was fun finding that nickel in front of Chase Bank. It felt as if I could say, "Jamie Dimon, you sucker!" Lately I've been really finding the change everywhere whenever I turn around. I wonder if its because everyone is using more cash, hence getting more change.

I hadn't noticed how deep this recession has gotten until I cut through the Wells Fargo Building on 3rd & Marion. As I rode the outdoor escalator heading toward 2nd Avenue, I got off at what would be the mezzanine and plaza. Great location - thousands of office workers could walk by. Back in the early 2000's there were at least 6 businesses in that space. Now? One: the soup place. No amount of fake-o gallery space can hide that.

I still have 200K of grandma money in a Vanguard money market fund waiting for stocks to drop. What did I make in interest on it last month? $7.

6 minute nightmare

October 26th, 2009 at 08:51 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.16 (sidewalk, bus floor, crosswalk)

Not quite 2 years ago, I decided to improve my cardio and test out my long distance walking. I did it in part to save a bit of coin (nothing cheaper than walking), but mostly I did it as an emergency preparedness tool. If an awful thing happens, a couple of energy bars, reasonable shoes, and three hours will get me home.

This video models what might happen to the Alaskan Way viaduct should a slightly more powerful earthquake hit Seattle than the 2001 Nisqually quake. The commuter bus that gets me closest to home gets to downtown from West Seattle using the viaduct. I wouldn't be on the viaduct at that time, but clearly if I was expecting it to come to my stop and take it home, not a chance that day and for many months thereafter.

nutty day

September 25th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $9 lunch + $20 copay
Found money - $0.16 (parking lot)

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $5.50 magazine
Found money - $0

It wasn't the full moon today, but it could've fooled me.

Act 1. It started when both of my employees called in that they weren't coming in, shifting the work to me, and today I had scheduled my physical this afternoon, so it wasn't that I could do their work all day. Luckily my boss was available and I could take off at 2pm and make my 3pm appointment (phew!).

Act 2. All this week I heard that the auditors were doing fine, they were satisfied, blah blah blah. At 11:30am one of the auditors comes by and asks me to explain 4 detailed transactions and how I calculated them. Did they look at my online calendar and say, "11:30? Perfect. Lets screw her over." It took me an hour to explain what I did and what that transaction represented (non-profit accounting 501, flipping between Excel and Access), culminating with an attempt to go into where I get the national data from. Link to get the original data bombs out. Grrr. She went away, and I bought a lunch and scarfed it down by 1pm.

Act 3. Same auditor returns at 1:30pm asking a different question on a different transaction. Auuugh! Luckily a couple of directors could answer some of the auditor's questions and she went away again.

At 1:59 pm, I slipped out while the getting was good. It turned out that I was a bit early for the physical.

Physical was undergone with no issues - matter of fact, I thought my blood pressure was going to be high (auditors!) because the last time it was checked it was high. 130/88. Not perfect, but much better than I had feared. Also got the listen to the heart, the Pap, the cholesterol test, and a couple of shots - DPT and seasonal flu. The doctor seemed happy to see me.

I had an interesting moment when I stepped on the scale with the nurse - I joked that it would be a lot better than it would have been 4 years ago. (It was by 35 pounds). The nurse asked how I did it, I started with the food diary, and she said, "I could never do that."

I interpreted the comment the way I wanted to (ie. That's difficult and I'm impressed with your skills), but I have to wonder how I would have taken it if I had heard this comment from a health professional when I first started. Say what you want about a trainer, none of them would ever say never.

The blood drawer was a hoot. We cracked wise about our day, me about the auditors, and she about the oddballs she got that day. As I was leaving, I said my final shot, "thank you, you've been a great audience. We'll be here all week - don't forget to tip your waitress."

spotting change & bagging jump ropes

September 11th, 2009 at 08:22 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $4.50 coffee, chocolate croissant + $1.75 iced coffee
Found money - $0.10 (under a bench)

Sad, in a sense. I spotted the dime under the bench from the bus, so I got off the bus at the next block and walked over to pick it up. Kind of funny that I can even spot change from the bus - but the bus has to be stopped.

Today I participated in a day of service - I was part of a project helping a non-profit by stuffing a jump rope (in a plastic bag) into another plastic bag and sealing the bag with a label. Repeat 4500 times. The 15 of us made for efficient work - we got done in about 5 hrs. The jump ropes will be given to every kindergarten kid enrolled in the Seattle school district. So if we didn't get the label on perfectly, well, no 5 year old would notice. The non-profit in question is working on lessening childhood obesity.

back at work

September 8th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.73 coffee
Found money - $0.07 (coffeeshop counter next to the non-fat)

Tried out the new trainer - I think it will be a good fit. Knee was okay on the ball squats - we are not pushing it quite yet. I've been jogging off and on for a few blocks yesterday and today and it felt pretty good. I got several new homework assignments from the new trainer. Smile I'm going to go through my appointments to clear the decks by Nov 1, when we expect a lot of work to hit.

For laughs, I texted my sister and got one back. Lotsa fun for a nickel.

Found the seven cents, but I put in the coffee person's tip jar. - I'm buying goodwill. I'm counting it as found, just spent right away.

The fundraising temp staff are here on their first day, so the energy level at work has doubled.

fun, spendy day

September 5th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $12 coffee, breakfast + $41 cat toys, collar, treats + $17 id, camera case

Sometimes you just have to have a spendy day. At least it was fun stuff. We used another PAWS coupon for some cat spending - the cat pillow was appreciated, the new collar, not so much. V.I. must have had an attachment to her old collar even though there was a cat claw embedded in it. Hers? I don't think we will ever know.

I also made a stop at Office Depot and solved a problem that has been nagging me since the long walk/jogs on the weekends. Its inconvenient, but necessary, to carry the remnants of my wallet as I jog - need at the very least, my bus pass, driver's license, a bit of money, key, and if I buy an apple or have a bit of tea at the end, I need a place to put the change. My running pants have one rudimentary pocket. I've been jogging in my jacket with the pockets to get one, but it does get mighty warm during. Smile I originally thought about a wrist wallet ($15), but never pulled the trigger. Today I just went with a very simple ID pocket on a cloth lanyard ($4) and see if that works.

I leave you with a non-financial picture.

The harbinger

food, exercise, cat

September 3rd, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $40 dinner for 2

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3 peanuts
Found money - $0

Been a rough three days of eating. Tuesday I helped polish off a lot of angel food cake along with a lot of homemade blueberry plum whiskey compote.

Recipe is straightforward - 1 lb blueberries, 1 lb pitted ripe plums with skins on, 1 c sugar, cook about 15 minutes, add 2 tbsp whiskey, cook 5 min more, cool, store in refrigerator. It forms a sauce, thinner than a jam, although with a bit of pectin it should make for a smashing jam.

Wednesday I went to the baseball game and got logy with a beer, garlic fries, and a bag of peanuts. At least I could only finish 2/3 of the bag and I had to shell the peanuts besides. And tonight we had dinner, appetizers, and drinks with friends. DH bought the beers and fries at the stadium; I bought our dinners tonight.

I also got a bit of a shocker yesterday morning - my gym trainer quit, so it is time to finish off the rest of my time with another. I'm sad, of course, he was a great trainer, but my MO has been that I lose the most amount of weight within the first three months of training. Makes sense if your body gets used to specific exercise - and every trainer has their own favorites that they will try on you. In other words, from the tactical losing weight/gain muscle thing, this is the best thing that could have happened. So if you buy trainer time, three months and then done.

I get twinges in my knee when I climb stairs, and tried one legged squats - that knee felt very challenged.

V.I. is settling in still more - we only had her for five days and her coat has improved by leaps and bounds. She wasn't terrible to pet when we got her, but her coat was rough and dandered. Now, very soft and glossy even at the base of the tail. I don't think improved food would work that fast. I think its because her stress levels have gone down - being the only cat in a quiet environment, she has the time and the desire to clean herself properly.

and I'm probably average for what I carry

August 28th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $17 groceries (blueberries @ $3.88 for 2 lb)
Found money - $0

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $22 Overstock.com purse
Found money - $0

My knee felt much better and I was much more confident on it than I had been, so I was bossed around by the trainer this afternoon. Did no knee exercises specifically, but during the twists and turns it was obvious that everything is connected. Got weighed today and I am at 173, so eating carefully to make up for no heavy exercise worked okay.

Received the purse at overstock.com. Some people are seduced by shoes, some by jewelry, some by jeans and skirts and belts... me, the purse. But this one fills a need. Vinyl, with a zipper at the top, useful because everything else I have is open or snapped at the top, I walk, and it rains in Seattle. As I was loading up my new purse, it occurred to me I carry expensive stuff routinely:

MP3 player - got it at $300
PDA - $150
Digital camera - $100
Spare prescription glasses - $200
Phone - $40

...depreciation, of course, so none of it will sell at those prices, but still, it gives me a jolt that I daily lug a pile that cost me $800. Bumping up against that 1K limit. Big Grin

snoozy Sunday

August 23rd, 2009 at 09:59 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $24 groceries, sister's birthday card
Found money - $0.01 (under the elliptical machine at the gym)

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $2.00 coffee
Found money - $0

My knee is still bothering me and it felt iffy to jog, so I did 45 minutes on the elliptical machine. And I got paid for it too by finding that penny underneath.

I'm down to $50 until the next paycheck next week - I broke down and transferred $200 from ING. With the chiropractor, mailing sister's birthday gift, and next weekend, I wasn't going to make it.


August 18th, 2009 at 08:19 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.73 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk, corner of 1st/Cherry) + $0.01 (next to wastebasket on 1st)

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.73 coffee
Found money - $0

My knee swelled a little bit. I can walk on it, its just stiff, but I'm taking it easy - no long walks, no stairs, no jogging, aspirin, and (R)est, (I)ce, (C)ompression, and (E)levation. The chiropractor gave it some gentle stretches and twists yesterday and it moved a lot better. Today, better, but I'm thinking that the workout Friday is going to be iffy. Better to lose a week than lose several weeks.

Yesterday I did make it to the bank to deposit the tip box earnings for the month.

Buying the beef set me back - after my monthly commitments, I only have $90 from my current paycheck to last me until the end of the month. I probably will have to grit my teeth sometime next week and take a bit of money out of savings. I'll hold out as long as is convenient, then break down. Bartering for a duck is a go, though, and that will feel good - I suspect my Duvall friends could use the bucks and the customers.

walking/cleaning out freezer weekend

August 16th, 2009 at 07:30 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, pastry + $23 groceries
Found money - $0

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $.77 apple
Found money - $0

Another change finding drought. Ah well.

Yesterday was a walking day. All the routes that I thought of I thought, "meh", so it was time for adventure. My route was walking from work in south downtown Seattle (didn't work, just deposited CLEAN gym clothes), through the Pike Market, along Stewart St, Eastlake, then took the Lakeside overpass into Capital Hill, up Broadway, up 10th Street, turned right at Roanoke Park, and walked along south Lake Union (Delmar, Lynn, 19th) along the Montlake cut, nearly 5 miles.

I love map my run, even though I rarely run. Jog maybe, walk mostly. I like my urban hikes. If nothing else, these walks force me to think on my feet. I note the bus routes and where I am, and am learning a lot of new-to-me-arterials. I'm debating whether to keep this to North Seattle only, or use the new light rail to explore some of south Seattle.

Today I did jog my 3 miles and did it in 45 min 9 sec, so very close to the 44 min goal my trainer re-set for me. At the very, very end though I did feel a sharp pain in my knee, so discretion being the better part of valor, I took it slow and took the bus back.

I looked in the freezer - with our influx of beef (and maybe duck) in the next few weeks - it was time to use the freezer food. I bought the last cheap cherries of the season, picked up several peaches for .99/lb, picked a couple of pints of blackberries hiding underneath our cherry tree, and we had a couple of plums to get rid off. The cherry, peach, plum, blackberry is the perfect cooked fruit combination - along with that tube of biscuits hiding in the freezer - it meant cobbler.

Sister called and asked us how our cucumber situation was. We are getting cucumber and carrots. The tomatoes that we planted at the farmette in June are beginning to come on. Turns out that there is a Tuesday Farmer's market 6 mi from the farmette with no participation fee for the growers, so sister tried it out. She sold $40 at the market but better yet, she picked up a weekly customer so close to the farmette that sister doesn't have to deliver, customer can come out. And the customer promises to tell her friends.

change drought

August 9th, 2009 at 08:23 pm

No finding change on the street since Wednesday - a 5 day drought. Frown So much for publishing my tricks of the trade.

Took DH out for a special dinner - one of the highest end restaurants in Seattle. All told, it was $280. But it was worth it - the drinks, the food, the service and the view were magical. I've never been there, and DH was there 33 years ago. And if you think of it as 28 lunches not bought, I've saved for it already. Just not every weekend.

Down one pound and am at 174. Walked yesterday and jogged today. 47 min, but considering that I didn't jog for the last two weeks due to the heat, well, it could be worse.

Mailed my ballot in, mailed my stock proxy in (one of my stocks is planning on merging with another. Instead of 15 shares of x, after the merger I will get 20 shares of y). I also mailed in another $300 into SYY.

jogging this weekend

July 19th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $4 grocery + $2 coffee (what? I was sleepy) + $1 parking lot sale
Found money - $.01 (sidewalk in front of Woodland Park Zoo) + $.01 (parking lot)

Did the three miles in 46 min 20 sec. While its not great, it was a minute and half better than last week. The trainer has a goal for me - 44 min. Its funny how if someone sets a goal for me, I work hard at it. If I try to set an exercise goal myself, somehow I treat it less seriously.

I also tried a different tack based on what I read today. Lately, as I jog, its time to myself and I've been thinking sad thoughts this last month. Its not easy to jog particularly fast thinking sad thoughts. Today I thought, "its a beautiful day, I'm strong and healthy and every week I'm moving faster ... I'm not tired ... I'm feeling great."

And I harvested 10 blueberries. From 1-2 year old plants, its all the harvest I will get this year. Blueberry bushes apparently mature after about 4 years.

spendy next couple of weeks

July 8th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $10 lunch + $11 lb of coffee

Had lunch with the gang today, and since I seem to have only one restaurant lunch in two weeks, I don't feel all that bad about it.

After paying 2Q taxes last week and in the next couple of weeks I will be paying off the gym personal trainer, it will be a very spendy couple of weeks.

As of this writing I have $120 to last me a until my next paycheck 6 days from now. The weekends seem to be the worst, but in any case, I'm going to be feeling the frugal burn.

I worked out a bit yesterday. Sunday I ran one mile in 16 minutes, walked the next mile, and ran third mile in 18 minutes. Ugh. I was fairly depressed at doing not very well - but it was in the mid 80s. Hot for Seattle. If at first you don't succeed and all that.

It is with great sadness that I've read about the passing of Oscar Meyer and the actress who played Mrs. Slocomb in Are You Being Served? My childhood is slipping away.

Sister sent several pictures of the garden. The tomatoes that we planted on vacay are now about 2 feet high!

not great, but better

June 24th, 2009 at 08:54 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee and sweet + $20 for 2 orders of takeout noodles

I'm a bit better today. I can now talk about what happened without totally breaking down. I've been playing telephone tag with the contact from the Seattle Police Department. I tried again to get the incident report. Nothing - we are now running up against the 72 hour limit. I phoned the police report line and heard the ominous phrase "we will not give you a report if its an on-going investigation."

Patience, baselle.

Though I have to admit that it would be ironic that Morgan working her way up the phyla (worms, flies, mice) in her death perhaps caught the biggest prey of all.

I haven't been hungry in days, just eating a bit here and there. Today was the first day that I even had an appetite. Yesterday I went to work, and kept my appointment to the gym. The trainer weighed me - 174. I told him that the news is not nearly as good as he thinks it is.

back to business

June 19th, 2009 at 09:21 pm

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $9 groceries

So it is back to business fiscally. I deposited my monthly tip box collectings - $40 worth - into savings, which I need to do because I took out $400 out of savings to pay off the vacation from my credit card. All told, the vacation cost me about $800 - gift to sister for hosting us, 3 hotel rooms, incidentals, some groceries, a few restaurant meals including one big one for family and friends. DH bought the gas on his dime.

And speaking of the car, the insurance agent offered him two possibilities - $3200 and he keeps the car & fixes the bumper, but no comprehensive, or $3400 and they take the car. While DH is not wild about the car, its the "devil you know" - it gets reasonable gas mileage (even coming back and merely 'driveable' it got 28 mpg), is comfortable, its an automatic and I can drive it (I'm not comfortable using a stick which was DH's former car), and is large enough not to get crushed by a deer. Looks like it will be the $3200 solution. The clunkers tax break is tempting, but you have to buy the new car first, then get the credit. And DH is is very interested in getting a completely plug in model for the next car. That would mean waiting several years - next couple of years the first ones should come out and then you want the bugs to be worked out first. Why don't we have innovative cars? Look in the mirror. Smile

I went to the downtown grocery store for an apple, then for an apple and 1/2 and 1/2 for my work coffee, then I saw a deal - .99/lb for fresh, good looking green beans. Haven't seen that good a deal for a couple of years, so I bought a couple of pounds at the spur of the moment. And then I bought salad for lunch. A planned 60 cent purchase turned into $9 in the blink of an eye.

Got weighed for my gym session - still holding at 178, which is nearly miraculous, considering the fish-fry, the several restaurant lunches, the beer, the cheese, the baked goods (our hosts at the funeral home bake like crazy - yum, but yikes!), the driving-but-no-jogging. The trainer smiled - the more muscle you develop the more bad eating for a week you can get away with.

Joes and Saturday errands

May 16th, 2009 at 07:13 pm

Saving log - $300 SYY drp + $40 MMM drp
Spending log - $12 breakfast + $26 tights & MP3 speaker + $40 cell phone + $4 watch battery

Ran a lot of errands today. Mailed in my first optional payment to buy more SYY stock.

We went to Joe's, formerly GI Joes, now bankrupt Joe's and soon to be no more. I had gotten shoes and running tights there in the past, and noted the $40 flip flops (!). Now its in its final stages of liquidation. The back had a lot of empty stands and round racks (also for sales). I figure that maybe 25% of their stock remained to be picked over. Its funny, when we used to talk about liquidations, it was a time to really get the 90% off deals. Nowadays, not so much - only about 40%-60% off - because liquidation is a big business by itself. And the ammo was only 25% off. What gives there! Big Grin.

I saw something that I would have taken a flyer on, but in doing the math the price would have still been about $30.

I went across the aisle to Ross and while I didn't find tights, I found running pants that were my size for $12. When we got home, I cut the ripped tights off at the knee and tried them on. I'll try them out in their new guise.

We are going on a road trip in June, hooking up with sister and visiting the farmette (which has no land line), so we broke down and entered the 21st century and each got a no-contract cell phone. $40 flat with 300 minutes and a 60 day trial.

Lastly, I bought a new watch battery and tried it out. My heart monitor lives again.

thank you, paycheck

May 15th, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $12 lunch

It might be just me but payday seemed extra, extra welcome today.

Not a lot going on but somehow there's more on my shopping list this weekend: a battery for my heart monitor, new set of running tights (DH suggested I cut the old ones off at the knee and use nail polish or something to stabilize the spandex. I might try it, but I'd prefer to buy a new set when it doesn't work out), a cell phone for the June vacation.

I can console myself in thinking that no matter how much I think I'm spending myself into the poorhouse, it won't be but a drop in the bucket compared to this guy. Read this guy's story, then read our refreshingly boring blogs.

N.B. The guy's story referenced above has a very interesting "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say.

newest Drp

May 12th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $4 coffee, scone

Received the invoice for my newest Drp - SYY - from its transfer agent. That makes 5 transfer agents to deal with for just my little Drp portfolio. Not only 5 transfer agents, but 5 online websites.

I spent a bit of time exploring the fee structure of my newest Drp. Generally you want small or no fees, and for my first two Drps that was a great calling card, but as you expand your horizons, it doesn't make sense to completely discount a good company investment because of fees. But one does have to figure out how to work around it.

SYY has a $2.50 flat fee to buy shares, along with a nickel fee for each share you got. No fees for reinvesting dividends, which is great. If you get enough shares, eventually what happens is that the dividend breeds more shares like a bunny, and does so for free.

$2.50 doesn't seem like much in the world of a $4 trade, but it means that it would be silly to put in $10 whenever you felt like it - that would mean a 25% haircut. The fee rule of thumb is just like it is with a mutual fund - 1%. So what you should be putting in when you can is at least 250$, preferably $300 when you factor in the nickel/share fee (SYY is going for about 23$/share - 250$ will buy about 10 shares, adding .50 to the fee sauce for a total of $3).

Weighed myself again today - 176.4. Celebrate now, then when the plateau happens, try not to gain it back.

thrill o victory/agony o defeat

May 10th, 2009 at 09:46 pm

I ran the 3 miles in 45 minutes 10 seconds.

Then thirty minutes later as I walked back, smug in my prowess, I caught the curb wrong and landed on the sidewalk, scraping my knee and putting a gigantic hole in my running tights.

Only my pride was hurt.

non-fiscal good news

May 8th, 2009 at 08:19 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $15 groceries

Felt a lot better, so I went to the gym today for the first time this week. I had an appointment with the trainer on Monday because he was going to be gone today. I called in sick to work that Monday and called in sick to him also. Unfortunately I didn't really feel up to it all this week. So when I hit the scale, I expected at the very best to not gain, at the worst to gain some.

Very pleasant surprise: 177.

That brightened my whole afternoon.

splurged on b-day

April 29th, 2009 at 09:46 pm

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee + $5 magazine

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $5 newspapers + $5 coffee and croissant + $7 lunch + $5 iced tea & slice of cake

Took the day off on my birthday (and splurged with the food), but I did make it to the gym - trainer was happy to hear of the 46 min jog, but still had me doing deadlifts with a 60 pound bar.

One of my little traditions on my birthday is to do something new. Today, after being a member of the gym for 3 1/2 yrs, I finally tried out the sauna. Relaxing, and strangely cool and refreshing when you step out. You have to realize that I generally have to finish in a rush, make sure that I both don't "emanate" and I get back to work on time.

After gym, I hit the library, and when I got back, I found a bouquet of flowers on the porch.

Hit the Milwaukee news first and was disconcerted hearing about 3 cases of the flu...I was thinking that it might change our vacation plans (and it still might), until I hit the Seattle news and read about our 6 cases.

Regarding the flu, can I mention how hard it is to wash your hands properly using "green" facilities stingy with the hot water - operating those hot water faucets that you have to hold down continuously - and stingy with the soap? We are supposed to rub our soapy hands over a continuous stream of hot water for twenty seconds. We need two hands free to do this, folks. NPR helpfully provided a kind of hip way of timing 20 seconds - the song soliloquy of Bohemian Rhapsody. Now all we need is the stream of hot water and the soap. Don't make us go Black Death on your a$$, folks.

sunday entry

April 26th, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.64 bagel (free coffee) + $8 conveyor belt sushi

Good news today -
Did my 3 mi jog in ...drum roll ... 46 min 40 sec! And I thought that I didn't do that well because I was skirting around parents with strollers, 3 abreast pedestrian chatters, and little kids in the middle of the sidewalk. Apparently the obstacle course made me faster. I celebrated by having a few plates of conveyor belt sushi.

Noticed at the grocery store that some of my favorite breakfast bars have new packaging, and are .2 of an ounce less. Good for the weight loss, but bad for price. Beware - I'm watching you!

Had a dinner salad full of lettuce thinnings, and I'll be having them every day for the next week - DH asked me what you look for and I told him we just play God.

This weekend I took some pics of what took my fancy. None of my subjects have any idea that there is a recession on.

Waitress! Another round for me and my table.

Green Lake egret

I have a lot of thinning to eat.

You are not blogging tonight.

kicking around Saturday

April 11th, 2009 at 09:40 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $12 breakfast + $10 bath salts and apple

I overheard this night as I walked through the Summer Streets program: "If you don't want to learn about memoir, try using our teleporter ... or study alien spores and brains."
(from the guy out in front of Greenwood's Space Travel Company - its a front for a non-profit writer's group).

Made me smile.

Again, I jogged the 3 miles, aka the mock 5K. Also did it in 47 minutes, jogging all the way, so it wasn't a fluke that I did it. Also my hips felt far, far better than last week. I could actually walk back home after the jog - much slower and took much longer than 47 minutes.

Planted purple carrots in an orange po- um, CONTAINER. Who says p-um, CONTAINER gardeners don't have a sense of humor.

Read an article in the New York Times today whose tone saddened me a bit. I'm not frugal as a competitive sport. I'm frugal because greater amounts of savings makes me comfortable in my place in society, and I'd rather have the money rather than greater amounts of branded stuff. I'm quiet about my saving in real life. If times get much worse, its really best not to brag about what you saved.

47 minutes

April 4th, 2009 at 08:44 pm

I've been doing a jog weekly, running a route that I know is about 5K. Trainer had a goal for me to run/walk it in 48 minutes, I did it in 47! Entirely due to forcing myself to never drop down a gear and walk it - I jogged it the entire way and waited for the second wind. It wasn't a fast jog by any means, and I never got the I-feel-great-lets-go-faster second wind. More like I'm-feeling-way-less-crappy than I thought. Smile

semi lazy weekend

March 29th, 2009 at 06:22 pm

Saving log - $40 Drp
Spending log - $13 breakfast + $57 mixed stuff + $100 public radio

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.50 bagel & coffee + $10.50 apple, tea, magazine, lunch

Mixed spending yesterday - I bought $30 worth of women's underwear packs, various sizes, for our non-profit's underwear drive, along with three more large outdoor pots at Big Lots, then I broke down and pledged during our local NPR station's pledge drive. I have it on reasonable authority that our local station is doing all right - didn't drink the kool-aid and grow the station unsustainably - however, the PI's demise has hit me hard. Times are a changin'.

Last night I also shut the lights off for an hour at 8:30 pm. However, I also watched a few episodes of Battlestar Galactica, and it felt like cheating. Smile Let's just say that a few of those CGI battles made up for the dark living room.

Today, I jogged about 1/2 the way to the Fremont Bridge, a mock 5K. Last week I made it in 51 minutes, today I did it in 50 minutes. Trainer's goal for me in this is 48 minutes. I'm getting better - heart rate did not go over 145 bpm - but when I start to flag and walk, I'll have to curb that because when I walk, I want to walk the rest of the way. My weight is plateauing again at around 179-180, so I have to provide the trainer with a few days of my food diary.

Rounding out the rest of the day, I looked at my lettuce bowls, and I see sprouting (they were planted shallowly - 3x the diameter of the seed). Another sunny day or two and I should see little green leaves. Also put up a sage plant in a plastic pot. My little patio pot garden is coming along.

Noted that the IRS cashed my tax payment Friday when I mailed it on Monday. As my grampa used to say, "somebody really wanted your money." He hated taxes with a passion - he definitely would have commented that I shouldn't get caught paying so much. Your inheritance is killing me, gramps!

Death in the afternoon

February 15th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.30 bagel, coffee + $.63 apple + $10 lunch

Well, not quite. I walked up Queen Anne Hill, this time with my heart rate monitor - my high was 151 bpm, which was much better than I feared. Call it a near death in the afternoon.

DH and I had our little Valentines Day at a new neighborhood French style bar. I had a combo of champagne and absinthe, called Death in the Afternoon, along with a round of escargot. So decadent, so cheap.

all I got to say

February 13th, 2009 at 09:11 pm

Saving log - $40 Drp + $100 Drp
Spending log - $0


Two months ago, the weight goal of 170 seemed like a BHAG - big hairy audacious goal. I'm halfway there.

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