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.
Viewing the 'IRA, Stocks & DRPs' Category
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.
I am still partially knocked out from the flu but several other neat-o things happened.
I am now at 172, by the gym scale reckoning. I do have a trainer for 30 minute sessions. She is particularly helpful for posture, balance and Pilates-type moves. Basically back, core and glutes. I can do a number of exercises at home. One set I'm to do every day and its just like a free chiropractor visit.
I opened a mail piece from my transfer agent. I also have Oshkosh Truck. Its value has been picking up in the last year, but I bought for sentimental reasons - sister and I grew up about 8 miles from Oshkosh. I rarely talk about it because you can buy but it doesn't pay a dividend. Hah! It has returned to paying a 15 cent/share dividend which has been reinvested. Yeah!
Finished my Christmas shopping last week.
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.
In addition to the 50K Drp stock portfolio, I also passed 200K in the 403B.
For a more intimate milestone, in the past 4 years that I've been picking up change, I'm about to hit $300 in change acquisition. And that's counting silver dimes as dimes, not melt value.
So some actual fiscal news - with the stock market highs, my dividend reinvestment stock portfolio has gone above 50K. It's good if you like hitting that milestone, but not so great if you realize that with high stock prices, reinvested dividends buy fewer shares. The perfect pricing situation would be a low, consistent price for a long period of time.
I'm not playing the snowflake challenge particularly, but a big fat one came to me this last Saturday. One of the other condo tenants approached me about renting my interior garage parking space. Since I don't have a car and for the moment am willing to go carless, well yay, the parking space now is an asset. Asking around - the going rate seems to be about 100$/month.
The only issue I see is I have talked to a contractor about renovating my 1980s condo kitchen, and we talked about the parking space as a launch pad for materials - it would be much easier, safer, better for the materials in question if they were semi-inside on my parking space where the sub contractors can pull them when needed. Of course, I'd need to approach both the condo board and my possible parking space rentor about it.
There was a hitch in the sectional - just like amino acids, they have an asymetric handedness (left hand vs right hand). And just like amino acids, the left handed version is common, while the right hand is either toxic (as in amino acids) or has to be special ordered (as in my right-handed sectional). So I've bought the chairs first, then I disperse them to their corners when the sectional comes. None of these chairs are going to get heavy duty use for long periods of time, so I've cheaped out on them.
Discovered as I checked my Drp stocks that two of my stocks migrated from one transfer agent to another. Hadn't run across that before. All to the good frankly - the fewer transfer agents, the fewer passwords I'd have to remember.
Its been 10 days since I last wrote. Not that much has happened:
Got evaluated at work, and did smashing. I did read though that our medical insurance is going up double digits so who knows if a smashing evaluation translates into a raise.
Did the Gumshoe but did not win. Paulette did the Gumshoe and she did not win. We made plans next year to do the Gumshoe together ... and not win.
Working on the mosaic business numbers. Am about 30% done. Don't know if I'll get them done before Argentina, but we will see. Went online to vistaprint and did up a $10 box of business cards.
Got the first notification of what our 403B fees are or will be, with a lunch meeting about it next week.
KO split on Monday. 246 shares. Yippee!
Been hotter than blazes lately up here in the northwest corner. In addition, I've been averaging 2-3 hot flashes/day.
But all in all, it feels like the calm before the storm. I don't think the storm will happen before the Argentina trip, but mostly after. And by a "storm" I mean a complete change in my routine. Things feel different, like the routine that I have I will not have too much longer.
I do have one change already - my current trainer left the gym and I have to decide whether the new spot is convenient enough that I can work it, namely get there by public transit within 15 minutes. If not, I think I will see if and how I can get by with just me. I say that, but the last time I said it I was 20 pounds heavier. Right now, altho I'm stalled in the mid 160's, I feel that really ... 150s is about the right weight and I'm pretty close. And without gym, I can get some real savings in for the "storm" to come.
I don't usually talk about shopping, but I will today. Today was the first day of a "City" Target located smack dab in the middle of Seattle. Last year, I opened up a Target DRIP and became a Target shareholder, so while I did a little shopping (sliced turkey breast for $5/lb), I did mucho research.
The place was packed - plenty of business being done. An excellent addition to a once nasty block where you now can get lunch fixings, a sport bra, feminine products, hardware, furniture, an iPad, a wheeley suitcase, cards and wrapping paper... not that you couldn't get them before in downtown Seattle, you would have to run a 2 hr steeplechase through at least 7 stores. And you still wouldn't be able to find a hardware store.
So I'm stoked. I'm stoked that I can shop at it, stoked that it really opens up that once incredibly nasty block (2nd & Pike), and I'm stoked that I'm a shareholder to it.
So I was the jury alternate, the spare in case something happened to the other 12. The other 12 are now in deliberations, and I was released. I'm still not to talk about the case until it is over, but the court will call me when that happens.
As far as fiscal is concerned, I had a very merry time eating lunch at restaurants, not going to the gym, etc. Gym and the trainer cost bucks, so having to cancel means despite eating at restaurants I've been saving a bit than usual.
Excited that KO stock will split 2 to 1 in August. It doubles the shares, halves the price. It halves the dividend but since twice as many shares are generating the dividend one would get the same dividend ... however if you reinvest the dividend, at half the share price you buy twice as many shares, which then get reinvested. Right now I have about 123 shares, which will soon be 246 shares. The $60/quarter in dividend (not changed) will soon buy almost 2 shares/quarter.
This week I formally asked for and got time to take the trip to Argentina. I knew I could get it - had plenty of PTO - but its a point of pride not to leave my boss hanging. I'm also taking a number of days off.
As a shareholder of KO, I got the shareholder proxy vote for the 2 for 1 stock split. Voted yes. So much less drama than voting for a person ... and yes I firmly believe that corporations are not people.
Sister's birthday gift is progressing nicely. I've glued the mosaic pieces together. I'll buy the thinset this weekend.
Contractor is tearing down the Greenwood Market building this week. I watched through the hurricane fence and saw the big gaping holes in the front of the building dug out by the dozers. Never had the lowest prices, but they were the most conscientious.
Am holding at 164.2, ready for the next drop down. My lowest weight in the modern era is 163.6.
Took a look at the 403B - its all knit together into one account. Now to figure out how I want to rebalance things.
Looked at my not-so little drip portfolio. Still hanging in there pretty well. I've shut off adding to two companies WEC and IP, but I'm adding to TGT. I am ashamed to say that I am following the JP Morgan trading issue with more than a little amusement.
555 doings: I've been off and on with the water. The beef soup helped last week, but this week I'm going to drink it. I'm taking two days off this week, so those days along with the weekend means that I'll get the 8 hours those days. Had a six-colored salad with my sliced turkey on Friday. Today, when I stowed my clean gym clothes in a storage locker I realized that I could put some of them on and work out for an hour, so FINALLY I met a new 555 requirement. (5 workouts at the gym without a trainer...got 1). During the little workout, I used the interval setting on the bike which I NEVER did before and used the stretching machine which I also NEVER used before (do or use 5 new exercises ... so far I have 3).
Well, possibly. I know, I know, when a stock splits two to one, I get twice as many shares for half the price. Net worth is the same. KO pays a dividend, and after the split that is also halved to keep the dividend from doubling.
Still it makes me giddy - not necessarily right away, but afterward because a year or two later, when the dividend rises by a penny, it for all intents and purposes rises by two pennies. I have enough that when I reinvest I buy an additional share, after the split I buy two. (the dividend amount stays the same, but if the share price drops I buy twice as much)
I remember about 8-9 years ago when I would dutifully put in $50 into KO, and when it was in the low to mid 40s, I would buy at least one. Now its at around 75$, and I look forward after the split (75/2) to perhaps buy a little bit more.
Much better for the waistline if I buy a Coke share rather than a Coke.
Fun fact 1:
The two accounts comprising my 403B are FINALLY going merge sometime this week. Everything should be done by the 1st week of May. Rumor had it that it was delayed because HR had to find one ex-coworker, get him to decide and sign and if necessary, get him to create an IRA somewhere else.
Time to watch daily, and see where the money goes. Its been awhile since I decided, but I think I'm having it go as a very big contribution. After it goes, then I figure whether I should rebalance.
Fun fact 2:
Got a piece of mail regarding my old shares in M&I which got sold to Bank of Montreal (BMO). Apparently some shareholders are forming a class action suit, charging M&I CEO with collusion with BMO. I'll be watching that with interest. Methinks the results and $2 will get me a coffee.
Currently, steady as she goes...
Found out that I can use the new CU ATM in the grocery store without any charges either from them or from BECU. New CU seems a bit more focused on service inside the grocery store - they were open at 4 pm this Saturday.
Enjoying the several days of sun, for once this year, we finally got some! Sister is in the midst of planting for her CSA this year. She is a little north of the big tornado alley warning this weekend.
Holding tight at 167. I did do a quick analysis of my food diary, highlighting what I ate that was outside the paleo diet, counted the highlights, then compared scores when the two days my weight was high, and two days my weight was low. Right now, it appears that I can predict my weight based on a six day moving average of what I ate. The more closely I hewed to the paleo diet (lower scores) for those six days, the more likely I lost weight. The less closely (higher scores), the more likely I will gain. Time to really re-double my efforts.
Shut off optional contributions to two of my DRPs - IP and WEC, but have started them for Target (TGT). I've also put $300 into my Sysco (SYS) DRP. SYS has a $3 fee, so it makes more sense to put $300 in every so often than it does to put in $50/ month.
I found a useful used book on raising meat goats for the Duvall friends, copyright date for 2006, for $12. They have two milk goats and now several meat goats in addition to the boy milk goat, which equals a meat goat. I'm not sure if they have the book already; DH doesn't think it likely - their budget is stretched tight these days.
Another friend is saving ceramics and found materials for me. She has one of the best gardens in South Seattle, in my opinion. Might be fun and a change to do an outdoor project. Over my little break, I saw a couple of mosaic pieces in the window of one of the art gallery/consignment shops, screwed up my courage and talked to the owner and showed some of my photos of my pieces. She was warm and friendly, thought I was doing great. Also said that if I make her a mirror, similar to a piece I've done, she has a place to hang it.
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!
Am looking at increasing my withholding for my 403B this upcoming year. Since I turn 50 this year, I qualify for catch-up. And I will be catching up. My task for this weekend is to figure out whether I can play catchup for both my 403B and for my Roth.
I've just started a Drp - Target, aka Tarzhay, stock ticker TGT.I had an interest, and since I have two other stocks with the same transfer agent, it was now a cinch to start it up directly from the transfer agent. Much, much easier and cheaper than using Temper of the Times. The only thing about this Drp is the $5 fee - I'll have save up and put in $500/ a pop to keep the fee at 1%. That's the thing that gets me with Sharebuilder - $4/trade seems like a good deal, but not if you are trading a few shares.
Made a wild Christmas candy bark recipe - base of chocolate, layer of crispy bits of bacon, chopped nuts (the original recipe called for peanuts, but I substituted walnuts and pecans), topped with caramel and on top of that, a little bit of salt. Tasty, but if you have bridge work, dangerous.
We are going with some friends to Korean barbeque and to them, for the Christmas season, goes the candy bark.
I'm almost done with the deciding about who to give and what to get them for Xmas, and with the exception of one item, I am done with shopping for the hardest recipient: MIL. Since she now has a Nook, I aimed for a couple of BN gift cards hidden in a homemade cheese-based gift basket. Collection phase is over, wrapping, packing and shipping remains.
Noticed that two of my dividend stocks WEC and SYY are raising their dividend. WEC especially is nice - 6 cent per share increase. To cheer me up because stock prices are so volatile, I totaled the dividend payments I would get if I stopped now and decided not to re-invest. $260.
Last night I lost my ATM card at the grocery store. Today I appeared at the credit union, bright eyed and managed to get a new card in about 15 minutes. I'll miss that (the CU at the grocery store is leaving as of Monday). I rarely lose stuff, so it was fortunate I got it all over with. I mentioned their move and the guy who got me the new card told me that they will keep one of the two ATMs, but will remove it as soon as another bank or CU goes into that space.
Finished the first week w/o our boss, who is on maternity leave. One down, twenty five more to go.
The stock market that is. Time to monitor my stocks closely because if they pay dividends, and they keep paying dividends, buy 'em cheap.
One does have to ignore that my holdings (403B, etc) have dropped some, marshall the money I have to invest, and wait until my stocks drop below my target price.
Taking the analogy of "buy when there's blood in the streets", its like cleaning my gun while not dwelling on my own bleeding as I lie in wait in the sniper nest.
I have to remember that in March 2009, I bought great stuff - International Paper at $4/share, 3M at $45/share, Coke at $40/share. Most of my holdings pay enough of a dividend to buy an extra share/quarter.
Today I tried depositing what was in my tip box - my credit union - BECU - claimed that the entire credit union ATM network was down this afternoon. Ah well, I did have an additional fiscal task that a rep did so it wasn't a total bust.
I got a set of forms from the Toronto, Canadian branch of my transfer agent (fiscal entity that administers a particular company stock DRIP) - I had to show a "bank officer" my driver's license, so the rep could fill out the form and vouch for my identity. I had a slight worry that since the form said bank officer...that I had to go to a bank. I could go to Chase, as I still had my credit card with them, but since the payments are going to be on the credit union, well, tough. The credit union rep was willing to fill out the form and sign for me (after I whipped out my driver's license). From her part, she was not certain about the "reputable and internationally known institution". We will see. Along with the form I slipped in a printout stating that my credit union is the 4th largest in the US.
... grouting my mosaic - the fish one - with dark grout. I buffed a bit too hard or did it a hair too early and a couple of the background pieces popped out, so I covered the holes with grout. But the fishy turned out perfect. I'm going to be a bit sanguine about it - I want to use the piece as the bottom of an outdoor/indoor garden tray and if its hair imperfect ... it means that I won't be afraid to use it.
Didn't look at my stocks much. I am excited that I might be able to buy some more in a few weeks. But we will see. I'm still kicking myself for not buying more in March 2009.
My blogoversary matches DH's birthday - I took him out to dinner. $80 there, and a 30$ gift certificate to one of his favorite bookstores. Wasn't feeling all that creative for him.
It is my staycation - and I picked up a $20 entry form to the neighborhood Gumshoe 5K walk. I did it last year - you buy into 30 clues that lead you through bits of the neighborhood. After each clue there is a question that you can answer only if you are in the right place. You write the answers on your entry sheet. The clues are not tricky, but they are subtle, detailed, and every word is used. The perfect person for this is an observant 12 yr old - looks with no filters, and has plenty of energy for backtracking. I find that I can get into the "zone", catch the clues, and not put on a filter or over think it. Today I got 20 of the 30 clues - 10 left! It helped that the 5K walk was in a part of the neighborhood I lived closer to and knew better.
Yeah, I broke down and ordered a box of paper checks for my credit union account. I can transfer about 95% of my transactions using bill pay, but somehow its just so satisfying to give a person a paper check. Write it give it to them and its done, versus sending it, making sure the other person clicks on the link blah blah blah.
As I was waiting for my name to be called to order the box, I idly watched the ATM line. How come when I get to the machine, it takes thirty seconds, and it takes the guy ahead of me five minutes? ATM performance anxiety, me thinks.
Also got a check from Bank of Montreal for a fractional share as my old bank stock went away. Turns out that yes, the new bank stock is a full Drp, and one can optional cash payments (can pay in US dollars), so I went in and signed up for dividend reinvestment.
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
Down to my last $35 for this month; we'll see if I can hold out until the 30th.
Other than that, reinvesting the 2Q dividend checks. Most are enough so that I buy at least half a share.
Weekend looks unusually busy - Saturday I take the garden mosaic class that got canceled in the beginning of the month. It happens to be at the same time as the Greenwood Car Show. Unfortunately I'm willing to bet that somehow that little scheduling feature escaped the teacher so it wouldn't surprise me that it will get canceled again. If that's the case, time to ask for a refund. We'll see.
Sunday we see a "rough cut" of a second movie from screenwriter friend and his son. Trailer is funny and it got a bit of press in the neighborhood paper.
Oh, and if you think I should be committed for looking for change on the ground, I'm a piker compared to this guy.
Savings: $8 tip box
Spending: $1.91 coffee + $1 apple + $17 groceries
The next weeks are going to be semi spendy. I won a pair of Sounders tickets, so while that will be free, well there's the beer and food. (And lately food is especially pricey.) DH is asking for us to go for a beer at a new pub in the neighborhood. We all reconnected with the rancher that we bought the beef from - we'll be buying another one this year - but we probably will be putting down a little deposit.
I did manage to get that $300 to buy more SYY stock, so that was something, and June is a dividend extravaganza month, so there's at least a $150 getting reinvested automagically this month. Even with the over 300 point drop over the last couple of days, my drp portfolio is holding at about $33K.
Work is back to being nice and quiet ... for once. Finished up one of my direct reports performance evaluation, one down, one to go, and I have to do mine. Apparently we will get a pay raise out of this. Will it be enough to counterbalance no fresh produce under $1/lb. Stay tuned.
Sister called. She now has 12 people who have bought into her CSA ... been gardening up a storm. This Sunday I paid for a class to learn to do garden mosaics, which I psyched about. Either I'll make a little something for my collection of pots, or I'll do a little something for the farmette. Depends on my interest, inspiration and whether I have a knack.
Happy Mother's Day, or perhaps Happy Mothers' Day. I'll go generic since me mum died in 2003.
Some doings on the fiscal front for the small money. I've still have to remember that I bank at the credit union instead of my bank. Just yesterday when I planned my day I plan to hit the bank then... no, no scratch that, hit the credit union in the Safeway.
The interest rate on both checking and saving is 6% on the first $500, 0.1% on anything above it. It means that I have to figure out when to slice off some savings when it gets to be $1000 or so. ($500 @ 6%, $500 @ about 0% ... 3% is about my target). This time around I had $300 that I put into my Sysco (SYY) drip.
The variable interest rate on the I-bonds for these next 6 months is 4.6%.
Small money making small money. It feels as slow as being on a pumpkin pulled by gerbils, still every little bit of money is making something.
Right now I'm immersed in portfolio construction. Best book I've read so far is The Perfect Portfolio by Leland Hevner. Its interesting because it gives one a real nuts and bolts view of constructing a core and specialty investment portfolio. The Kiplinger book on portfolio construction reads like the same ol' same ol'.
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.
Collected an expense check for something work related I bought, and my bank stock dividend check came in the mail two days ago. (Since its in the process of being bought by another bank, no dividend re-investment). They go into the tip box, along with $3 here, $4 there, $5 yesterday. Right now the tip box squeezings this month stand at $39.
One of my other DRP stocks - IP - raised its dividend by almost 5 cents/share/per quarter. It means that for most of my stocks, each quarter I buy close to another share of stock.
At the asian grocery store, I found seed packets - edamame, several different types of long beans, purple shiso. Mailed the seed packets this afternoon to sister. She is interested in growing them, but found it hard to order some of the seeds.
As for lunch these days, I made up 3 cups of crab salad, bought a pack of whole wheat english muffins, and am going to town. A little bit different than the 1/2 c rice and bit of protein lunches that I've been taking these past couple of years, but the salad/ english muffin combo should last me the better part of a week.
Very slim cheap non-processed food pickings at the grocery store lately; I had better luck with one of the permanent produce markets in town, Rising Sun market. $1.25/lb tomatoes, $1.59/lb green grapes. Had to pick around the not so good stuff, but I could be in Japan and have nothing to pick at.
Other than that, I haven't had any NSDs, but I've had several very low spend days and that makes me happy.
Discovered that one of my Drp stocks did a 2:1 split while I was gone (WEC). Actually, the split got completed my first day back.
I found out because I look at the share prices every couple of days and it was freakishly low. Like, tear my hair what happened low. Nice to know it was a divide by two situation.
I'll be checking the transfer agent to see how they account for it and how they calculate the cost basis, but as for me right now maintaining my spreadsheet, all I'm doing is multiplying the shares I have by 2, and dividing the price I paid by 2.
Also turns out that the dividend increased by a couple of pennies per share also. Good news on that front.
I picked up a copy of Turbo Tax yesterday. My financial moves this year have been pretty boring - no IRA conversions or odd schedules coming from an inheritance. (Unless I find $100 bills on the sidewalk, the IRS doesn't particularly want to know.) This year, bread and butter. I can do bread and butter myself.
Finishing up catching up at work which has been a struggle. I'm still jet lagged and when I wake up I think that I'm not in Seattle but somewhere in Asia. Its been much rougher than Paris. Getting to Hanoi I wasn't particularly jet lagged, or perhaps I was so excited that I didn't care. Could also be the light - Paris is a similar latitude as Seattle, so the day lengths are similar - May/June nice and long. Vietnam, being close to the equator, has a day length close to 12 hrs year round, while Seattle, not so much.
Did make it to the gym and miracle of miracles, I'm under 170, with a 1 lb weight gain. That after 3 full meals/day, hours mostly on the bus or a plane with a bit of walking, and multiple course meals with beer or wine. I thought for sure I'd have put on at least 5 pounds.
Sent sister the $5000 for farmette upkeep. She's back in Milwaukee from the trip. I hope she had a good time - those last few days when the tour ended and we were flying home was especially rough. Incheon airport in Korea with an 11 hour layover was especially hard.
Moved $5000 into my 2011 Roth last night. Yep, don't waste any time, get that extra year to incubate tax free. If you can, one makes a bit more money if you contribute at the very front end (the first days that you can) rather than at the very back end (April 13).
Also began something else very early too - packing for Vietnam! I know 4 weeks out that its freakishly early, but I really much prefer that than running around the night before grabbing stuff in a hurry and then when you unpack you say "huh?", or worse you have to buy what you need, depressing when you know you didn't have to.
Anyway, I know I pack differently than most. What I do is begin to put items that I know I need to pack on the floor of the living room. I keep adding items to the pile, perhaps reference a list. Especially with clothes, I lay them out to make sure that every combination will work as a outfit. When the pile gets large enough so that I can't stand it, I get out the suitcase and carry on and begin to pack so the pile gets straightened up. At the very end, I pull out the camera and take a picture of the bags, so the bags will be the first file on memory card. I figure that if the checked bag doesn't make it, it will be a lot easier to show the airline what my bag looks like.
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