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Occupy Seattle

October 15th, 2011 at 07:28 pm

Today I visited Westlake Center to see what I can see amongst the Occupy Seattle group. A good thousand people were there. The energy was high, many of the homemade signs were clever and creative - my fave so far was Only Boehner's Tears Trickle Down. One sign had an Elizabeth Warner quote "The rich didn't get that way by themselves"; I had a nice chat with the lady (my age) holding it.

About 70% of the people were under 30, but there were a number of people my age also.

This whole thing, though, reminds me of the first day of the WTO riots before the anarchists came. And the anarchists were there, ever hopeful. Fewer black hoods and more Guy Faulks masks. I picked up the anarchist newsletter (which seems oxymoronic) where an article also compared this to the WTO riots.

Anybody else in a city with an Occupy group? Anybody else visit it?

good deed/bad deed

June 4th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

Well, I walked a little bit further than I had wanted to - although I haven't suffered any. I walked my route with an older man who was looking for his car. I was a bit worried about him, he described himself as having troubles with short term memory. I didn't really want to take responsibility for finding his car that who knows where it was; I split off with him to turn back to walk back home, but I did look for the car and license plate on my way home. I figured that's all I'd need was watching him as a missing person on the evening news.

Within two blocks I found that car, I was certain of it. By then he was a good four blocks away....moving away slowly, but fast enough that I had to jog to catch up to him. I told him the full license plate and I was right - it was his car. So pwhew ... a good deed but who knows whether other drivers on the road would agree.

Now for the bad deed. This in front of my former bank, the Chase on 85th. In case you have troubles reading it, it says, "Jobs Before Bonuses. Move Your Money." The part that got cut off said, "No job, No home, No fear."

And in front of the ATM. "Tax Dodger."

Can't say that I've monitored the chalk graffiti over the past several years, but I think this is the first I've seen of this stuff.

moving the CD, et al.

November 9th, 2010 at 09:12 pm

One CD matured yesterday and I've moved it to the checking account. I have it scheduled to be moved into my ING account early next week.

There are only 5 people in the canning exchange, which is good news - my other 6 half pints will turn into Christmas/ hostess gifts. Cracked open one and had several tablespoons in a cup of plain yogurt. Was a bit syrupy, and that was perfect for the yogurt.

Discovered another symptom of this recession: a very large banner advertising "we take EFT and SNAP dollars." Its great that this place does, its a new produce stand, but I've never seen a gigantic banner proclaiming it. Usually I've seen the window sign or a sticker at the checkout.

Haven't declared that we are in the season of Venus yet, which is lax on my part, because we have been very much under Venusian skies this week. It is early enough in the season, though, so drivers apparently having to get used to it. On my walk today I saw a large truck drive the wrong way on 2nd Ave ... a street that you do not want to be driving upstream of. He made the corner before any serious damage was done. Nobody honked though. Also saw a car neatly front end an ornate cast iron street light. Bad day for someone else. If he was one of those drivers that really gun it as he turns right out onto the street ... well, then he got his just desserts.

in the process of consolidation

October 19th, 2010 at 09:10 pm

One thing that one has to know about my little fiscal empire - I have money scattered throughout several banks. It worked well once when the interest rates were reasonable, the FDIC limit was $100K, and I needed a bank with a fair number of branches so visiting my sister wouldn't be a hassle. (Remember those days. My, it seems so long ago!).

Course it was explained to me that no bank really needs a depositor anymore; they get all they need from the Federal Reserve at 0.25% or even 0%.

Anyway, now my savings seems scattered and unwieldly. If I'm not going to be earning much in interest, at least I should put it in a place easy to manage and consolidate. As my CDs mature, I'm planning to move them to ING. Turns out that even the Electric Orange checking has a better rate than many 1yr CDs out there. I'm sure that there are places with a higher interest rate, this consolidation just feels like the downstroke of a heart beat - send the savings out when times are good, bring them back in and wait.

I'm going to go a bit slow and see what I can and can't do with Electric Orange. Best case is that I can do anything and the ATM situation is good, which means I can move the CDs, and even move the Chase account. I like the brick & mortar (I'm over 40 after all), and it turns out that ING has a brick & mortar site about 4 blocks from work.

you know you are in a recession when ...

October 4th, 2010 at 09:36 pm

You wake up to the NPR beg-a-thon, and a primo thank you gift is: one of the gigantic coupon books. This is the one in our area.

how rainy was it?

April 2nd, 2010 at 08:20 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box + $1725 tax refund, dividend check
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 lunch
Found money - $0.12 (parking meter, road)

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.36 (parking meter, sidewalk, road)

Almost at $32...
$31.96: 791 pennies, 30 nickels, 129 dimes, 30 quarters, 2 $1 bills, a 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

How rainy and stormy was it today? So rainy and stormy that the mayor rode up to the bus stop on his bike and took the 355. He nodded at me as he rode up; I nodded back.

I figured that I would be late for a training, but if I got commented upon, I could always say that the mayor was late too.

Heard from the production company (the one with the Emmys) that the HDef transfer was ready, and I pick it up Monday morning.

Only gossip in the financial issues today. Rumor has it that one WA bank is in such bad shape that unless they get a buyer by mid-April, they will be taken over. I have to say that at least rumors imply that there are some cracks in the fiscal omerta. But the lovely gossip about this bank is that the bank president resigned because he was not allowed to take a spring break vacation. You know, dude, if you fail in getting a buyer for your bank you will be taking a spring break, and a summer break, and a fall break. I expect that since he's a fat cat he will land on his feet (they always do). Who can hope for a 1yr or 2yr break in employment...after all, he's probably considered "talent". Methinks its the opening shots to a lawsuit and scheudenfruede-tainment for years to come.

Interesting timing with this bank and work. We received a corporate gift check and a letter from this bank. Felt a little queasy about cashing it ... the bank employees might need the money more than we would.

2 more fiscal reminders of the recession

March 11th, 2010 at 08:31 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $11 groceries
Found money - $0

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (road, sidewalk, parking meter)

Saving log - $12 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (road, sidewalk)

3/11 - no car, 2 mi walk, 13.5 mi bus
3/10 - no car, 3 mi walk, 12.5 mi bus
3/9 - no car, 3 mi walk, 12.5 mi bus

Finding pennies, but I haven't been looking all that hard. I'm still not 100% after Saturday. Maybe by the weekend I'll pick up my ambitions. However, I'm finally under 170. 168.8 as a matter of fact. I owe it to the food poisoning diet plan.

$28.45: 724 pennies, 27 nickels, 143 dimes, 29 quarters, $1 bill, 1 10 pence worth 15 cents.

Haven't been writing much because not a lot has been happening fiscally. Why rack my brain trying to figure out the creative way of saying nothing's happening?

But today a couple of fiscally, recession-y things did happen. First off, I'll remind you that I work to book pledges and data to my non-profit, our large local node of a national system (ends in -Way). In the course of my job I asked one WA-state bank (bank #1), who took over another WA-state bank which had been closed by the FDIC (bank #2), about whether we can expect data from bank #2. Nope, I learned. The FDIC canceled the pledges as part of shutting the bank down. Makes sense once you learn it, but very interesting nonetheless when we have a fair number of WA-state bank pledges and WA state banks are in such shaky shape.

Then in the mail tonight I got a pleady note from Chase about Debit Card Overdraft Coverage. "Soon we can no longer provide this coverage automatically" and "your everyday debit card transactions will be denied" if you do not have enough money available to cover a purchase.

Hahhahahahahahahaahaahahaaha. (stop to gasp.) Wow, what a threat. I've bounced one transaction in 5 years. Stupid $35 overdraft fee protection is a bug, not a feature.

SAM for a library card

February 28th, 2010 at 09:17 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $35 (breakfast for 2 w/tip) + $19 groceries (for work food and snacks so I can avoid stopping for lunch)
Found money - $0.49 (road, planting strip)

Saving log -$0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $9 headphones + $3 tea + $12 groceries
Found money - $0.09 (sidewalk crack, road)

Got V.I.s nails clipped yesterday, and it took about 10 minutes. The vet tech said that she was no trouble. What happens is that kitties get so surprised, then so relieved that its just the nails that she can get in there and trim fast...not to mention that it isn't her kitty, so its routine to her.

Took a 5 mile walk yesterday, and was finding coins all over the place... most of them, though, in the road. No dimes though, but several nickels. I generally find fewer nickels than quarters, so it was a tad surprising. $27.49: 669 pennies, 27 nickels, 110 dimes, 28 quarters, $1 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

Today I went to the Seattle Art Museum - if you showed your library card, you got in for free - and saw the Calder exhibit. (So I missed the hockey game.) Fantastic show, seeing a few of the paintings and non-mobile sculpture, including a rare wooden one he did during WWII when metal was scarce. And of course there were tens of mobiles - little ones, big ones, delicate ones, burly ones. You could see the Matisse and Mondrian in them, and in a couple, ikebana. I heard about this event from the paper - due to the recession, there is now a Freeloader alert column promoting and itemizing free stuff/events. I hope that when this recession ends that the column will continue ... but I know that's unlikely.

One other fiscal thing to get off my chest. I was walking past a neighborhood thrift store and saw in the window display a quarter holder. Not just any quarter holder, but one for the new set of 2010 to 2020 quarters, these honoring select National Parks. Now I'm as fond as the next person in getting (rescuing?) an interesting coin, but somehow in these times of need ... did we really need to spend money to make pretty quarters? I'm sounding like my grandpa more and more.

Umpqua is eating another WA bank

February 26th, 2010 at 07:21 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (gravel 2 blocks from my house)

Payday! Hard to believe its nearly March!

Couldn't resist taking a peek at the FDIC site - its Friday after all - and it looks like Umpqua Bank out of OR has eaten another WA bank. First it was Evergreen Bank, now its Rainier Pacific.

Umpqua, Umpqua ... sounds like a burp. At least the logo is pretty (left corner).

catching up with friends Sunday & Monday

February 8th, 2010 at 09:14 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 breakfast
Found money - $0.44 (planting square, road, car wash parking lot)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee + $7.50 rennet + $13 groceries
Found money - $0.05 (Safeway change cup)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $6 lunch
Found money - $0

Boy, Jeffrey wasn't kidding when he suggested cutting through parking lots with car washes on them to hunt for dirty money. I cut through a car wash parking lot about a mile from my house - 11 cents right off. Something about people washing their cars, then detailing them, means the customers get a bit sloppy as they run the vacuums over the mats. I'll have to cut through the car wash more often.

$23.68: 593 pennies, 23 nickels, 101 dimes, 22 quarters, $1 bill.

Friday I got weighed by the trainer - 170.8. That's with my shoes on. Nobody in the gym would want me to weigh myself with clothes and shoes off, but I'll bet I'd be 169 if I did so.

Went to visit the Duvall friends for the Super Bowl - DH made no knead pizza crust, and we put a lot of anchovies on one. We also went out during halftime to watch ducklings still in their cute fuzzy phase and to admire the new fencing. (How was The Who anyway?) The Duvall friends are planning on adding goats to their menagerie (chickens, ducks, geese). They have the land for the goats to clear, and they want to start to make cheese from the goat's milk.

Their first attempt of cheese was an attempt - they got yogurt, and yogurt cheese, but not cheese yet. Hence they wanted us to pick up fresh rennet from a contact very near us. We'll have to start hanging out in there - the store has homebrew equipment, rennet and cheese making equipment, and vinegar mother.

Today I had lunch with lawyer friend and screenwriter friend in the Columbia Tower food court. Only a couple years ago, we would have had to hunt hard for a table at noon and every place would have had a line. Now, its take your pick even at noon. Lunch seemed to be cheaper also - $6 bought a fairly nice lunch. Lunch conversation turned around screenwriter friend - his son made a great 80 minute film for his senior project. The Seattle Independent Film Festival (SIFF) is going to premiere it in June. Very exciting - as a matter of fact, its more exciting for us than it is for the film maker, who is a tad too teenage-casual about the whole thing. Oh well, you learn as an adult that great progress doesn't fall in your lap. If something succeeds, pounce!

winding down

January 25th, 2010 at 09:26 pm

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (road)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $2 apple, bulk catnip
Found money - $0.02 (crosswalks)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 brunch + $5 mocha, slice of banana bread + $12 groceries
Found money - $0.27 (sidewalk, road)

Ever since DH pointed it out to me, I've been noticing that there are no advertising placards on the inside of buses these days. Only stuff about Metro (our transit entity), how to prevent the flu, throwing money away if don't fill out your census form, maybe a couple of jobdango ads. Probably due to the recession; the pendulum has swung from this gem. I suppose I shouldn't complain.

Feels like less and less change to find out there. Over the holidays, everyone was spending money and careless about coins. Now? Mostly pennies, maybe a dinged up dime or two.

Everything is winding down, quiet and blah.

$22.02: 562 pennies, 19 nickels, 92 dimes, 21 quarters, $1 bill.

broke the streak

December 29th, 2009 at 09:40 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (sidewalks)

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $12 lunch
Found money - $0

Well, the 38th day in a row finding found money was not to be. I found nothing yesterday, but got back on the horse and found three pennies today.

Abandoned most of the frugal principals yesterday. I was going to decline a lunch screenwriter friend and lawyer friend's partner, but I sniffed the lunch that I had in the work fridge - it turned, and I thought, "a bought lunch with friends would be money well spent."

Work is picking up - I expect that it will be hopping by Thursday the 31st. This year is shaping up to be a strange one: more antsiness about making sure that the credit card is charged by the 31st than in previous years. Also, we are seeing a rise in bad credit cards again, as in 2007.

DH joined our death bet.

that's the recessionary spirit!

December 15th, 2009 at 08:17 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $22 groceries
Found money - $0.14 (gym table, parking meter, sidewalk)

Two recessionary items of note:

I haven't been looking in on 4 wk T-bills for a few weeks. Tuesday is when the T-bill auctions occur; sale occurs on Thursday. The interest rate of this week's 4 wk T-bill auction, and last week's: $0. Not just pennies of interest after the 4 weeks are over. You will make absolutely no money. I've made 15 cents these last two days - pretty good compared to that!

I finally did find a pretty good way to research the health of one's credit union here. You can look at your bank, also - check out the sidebar at the site.

Others are sharing a funny, dark mood this holiday season - I've joined a friendly death bet at work. Not us - you pick 10 celebrities that you think might cash in their chips in 2010, you pay in $20, and you monitor for 2010. If you have somebody on your list, you get assigned points based on how old they were - 100. In other words, Lindsay Lohan would be worth far more than, say, nearly anybody else.

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.

food stamps

November 29th, 2009 at 09:55 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel
Found money - $0.41 (11 pennies - road, sidewalk; 3 dimes - 1 in a gutter, 2 in 2 different sidewalk tree planting squares)

I read jaw dropping statistics about food stamps in an article in the paper today:

1 in 8 Americans currently on them
1 in 4 US children fed by them
1/2 of all Americans have been on them at one time or another
90% of black Americans have been on them at one time or another.

Map of food stamp usage

I have never been, but I've come mighty close to it.

bits and pieces

October 1st, 2009 at 09:49 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $2 fruit
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk)

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.80 onion
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk)

Quiet really, just a lot of a little. Payday, and with with the end of the 3rd quarter, I noted how my 403B finished the quarter (even better than last quarter).

Cracked open one of the pounds of ground beef and made spaghetti sauce with it. A couple of weekends from now, we'll have dinner with the Duvall friends and trade off our beef for some duck. Sister is finishing up her garden for the year.

One of the QFC grocery stores is closing. Its not one that I shop a lot at, but I did shop there once in a while. I don't see the recession easing, I see a grinding sameness with the legs down disguised. I hear the recession easing talk as a whistle in the dark. Better to hope than not, but I'm not going to be the first to spend freely.

But all is not doom and gloom with the recession. Don't try any of these fixes at home... or at least, not in my home!

1 yr later - the ghost ships of Malaysia

September 13th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

This was the most interesting article I've seen in months. Talk that the recession is over sounds like whistling in the wind. The shelves will certainly look light this Christmas.

Greenwood yard sale 2009

September 13th, 2009 at 07:15 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $26 vitamins, bath salts, apple
Found money - $0

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $12 coffee, breakfast + $16 various yard sale finds in the neighborhood
Found money - $.10 carpet of breakfast place + $.01 crosswalk

It was this year version of the Greenwood Yard Sale - it used to be held in April, but ever since last year when it hailed the day of the yard sale, the neighborhood re-set the time to September.

I don't whether it was due to the recession or that it was such a nice day that a lot more people participated (what? not going to the new Bravern mall), but the pickings were very good. I got a map from the Senior Center just up the street and began. I was specifically looking for a dutch oven for my sister, but I got:
2 bars of homemade soap (senior center) - $1
4 homemade brownies (senior center bake sale) - $1
1 metal bowl - $2
1 encyclopedia of container gardening - $1
4 burly patio chairs, 2 cushions - $7 (one had a strap out)
1 fold out patio table - $4

I could have gotten a foam cheesehead, a dehydrator, 2 bread machines, boodles of TVs (ha ha), a couple of flat screen monitors, a Bell & Howard film projector (got a flashback to second grade on that one).

We are in the process of getting rid of our ancient, flimsy patio chairs. Here's are two of the yard sale chairs. Stripping and repainting a patio table is in my future somehow.

In addition, we are going to give sister the smaller of one of our dutch ovens - we have two cast iron ones, each burly enough to make the NYT no knead bread recipe. I got the dutch oven that we're planning to give her from in a thrift store in Tucson for $10... made a lot of great meals in it.

mail tales

August 25th, 2009 at 09:12 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $22 2 baseball tickets
Found money - $0

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $20 chiropractor
Found money - $0.01 (Safeway floor)

Yesterday we got the sister's cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, carrots, hot banana peppers, string cheese. Apparently she packed it so tight (her strategy is to stuff the 10$ box) that the original box broke up - the postal service collected everything in a garbage bag, put it in a box, and taped the address from the old box.

Except for one destroyed, squishy cucumber, once everything got a quick rinse it was all right. Carrots (6 inchers - no doubt the ones we planted in June) got sliced lengthwise, laid out in a single layer, doused with a bit of olive oil and salt and roasted at 350F for 20 minutes.

The pickling cucumbers were a challenge - DH doesn't like pickles, and while I like them, I don't love them. I treated the pickling cukes like regular cukes - chopped them into 1/4 in pieces, added salt and let sit 1-2 hours to sweat them, then drain, combine with chopped red onion, chopped banana pepper, two cans of drained garbanzo beans, then dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley.

Its sister's birthday next week, so DH helped me mail off her gift. We tried to pack it properly - no need to add to the USPS's troubles.

Speaking of mail - the one side benefit of the recession is far less mail. No credit offers, few catalogs, only or two neighborhood flyers. For a week or two early this month, it was old times with tons of glossy campaign mail. Now? Nothing yesterday, 2 pieces for DH. I still get most of my stock receipts by mail - while I'm green, I must be light green. I like the idea of not having to remember my password to get my monthly or quarterly info.

another fallout of the recession

July 20th, 2009 at 07:48 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $5 apple, blue cheese
Found money - $0.01 (floor of Metro bus, in aisle) + $0.25 (in gravel, 3 doors from my house)

With the recession, it seems like more and more friends are getting caught by red light cameras, parking enforcement, jaywalking even. And the probability that I will be audited by the IRS has increased a goodly amount (1:130, now 1:90).

Didn't think about it before, but its not a surprise - tax revenues of all types are down, yet the need remains. The obvious choice is to wait until you screw up. And with the red light camera the process is automated.

Currently, running a red light is over $120. You can kind of talk them down to $70. That's a lot of coupons! Just be careful out there.

not rich, just living high

July 13th, 2009 at 08:07 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $0

And I even found .03 on my commute home. One more day and its payday.

The Sunday before it so Seattle-y hot that I didn't even jog the 3 mi. Yesterday it was considerably cooler, even sprinkled at times. I jogged the 3 mi in 47 min 50 sec. My goal was to finish, but since my heart rate didn't go much above 135 bpm, next week my goal is to get my heart rate to the 140s and see how fast that is.

Found this article in Newsweek tonight and it made me laugh in places. My several points:
1. You are not rich, no matter how much you earn, if you don't save anything. You are only living high.

2. The real rich don't buy that much stuff. Oh for sure, some in the later generations do as they convert from being rich to "living high", but when I was in college there was that really, really rich college kid living like a church mouse because that's what dad and grand-dad did. Anyway, the real rich buy money (stocks, bonds, companies) rather than stuff. That's investing in a nutshell.

3. Ahem. This article could have been written in 1920, 1923, 1929 (of course), 1937, 1948, 1953, 1957, 1973, 1981, 1990 ... you get the idea - any other recession.

4. I would make the case that to the "living high" set this recession/depression is different. To the real rich, who were careful on the way up, are probably equally careful on the way down.

Saturday observations

July 11th, 2009 at 07:53 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $11 breakfast + $4 iced coffee, cookie + $3 fresh produce

It was warm today and since I had gym yesterday, I just walked for about 4 miles.

I saw a tremendous number of For Rent signs everywhere in the university district. The University of Washington is on a quarter schedule, so the beginning of fall quarter is late September - early October, and it means that mid-July is a tad early for a landlord to fish for college student renters.

Everywhere downtown I also saw the adult version of the For Rent sign - named buildings with a glossy front poster describing the amenities. Smile Every one of them (name) Apartments, not Condos. It would appear that city life is tipping toward the renter, rather than the investor.

Last night I took out a bit of money from my bank (now Chase). I'm on the West Coast; the ATM splash page was all about what to do with those California IOUs. Lots of writing, but the take home message of the splash page was: you are screwed if you try to treat them like cash.

The latest bank to hit the FDIC skids hit close to family - Bank of Wyoming in Thermopolis WY. DH's sister lived in Thermopolis for a number of years before she married BIL - they live not too far away from Thermopolis still. Wouldn't surprise me if she had a bit of money in them even now.

something about the 4th

July 9th, 2009 at 09:08 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $26 groceries

There is one thing about the 4th of July that irks me. Most of the street fireworks leave a little disc on the sidewalk, just about quarter or dime size.

I've honed my change detection to a fine point - basically I look for circles on the ground. You don't know how many false alarms I've had this past week.


But most days I do find change. Today nothing, yesterday a penny, the day before a dime. Sometimes near a cigarette butt, sometimes not. Pickings seem a bit slimmer - as if everybody else is hunting for change too. It all adds up.

7 banks

July 2nd, 2009 at 11:53 pm

taken over by the FDIC this weekend. (FDIC is a United States institution) Be careful out there, folks, especially you all from Illinois.


bogged down

June 29th, 2009 at 08:47 pm

Saving log - $11 tip box
Spending log - $10 library + $5 large limeade

Looked in my tip box and realized that with all the sadness, I hadn't put anything in. Sigh.

I noticed, along with fern, that I've been bogged down in saving money. I'm putting in the devil's contribution to my 403B ($666.00) every paycheck for the tax deferral. I've already added to my Roth, and now its just the tip box, $125 off the second paycheck of the month, feeding the Drps, and plowing the interest earned already into savings. Maybe about $300/month.

Interest is pretty depressing - I bonds are paying 0% interest, I'm not adding to my position. T-bills are maybe earning a bit more - still less than a dollar on $4K, so again, I'm not adding to my position. All of my savings accounts earn a pitiful amount of interest - the best of them earn about 2.5%. In other words, no account seems to be earning anything worthy of taking the time to put those few bucks into savings.

This recession trying my soul - I'd love to see some investment catch fire, but it looks like I have to make do with knowing that as long as I cover my bases, the next few years will be better.

I also am a bit late in pre-paying the 2Q tax bill (I'm now on the pre-paying quarterly schedule, rather than in April). Since I'm not earning a lot of interest, the tax bill is taking out a huge bite out of savings that I'm not earning back. I'm planning on talking with the tax guy to see if I should even bother paying the next two quarters.

At least I'm still employed - haven't heard anything yet about layoffs.

I stopped by the library to pay off my library fine. I went through my email and caught one from the library asking for donations. I've never seen that before, ever. Turns out that my library fine was $2.10. I gave the librarian a $10 and asked that the difference be considered a donation.

this is novel...

May 27th, 2009 at 08:49 pm

Had a glorious weekend, and finally got caught up on what I needed to do before vacation (3 days and counting...Big Grin).

I'm back!

Chalk it up to the recession, but our non-profit workplace now has a severance package. I don't know why they didn't before, unless it was because attrition and incompetence did its magic in the past. Anyway, if we are laid off - not quitting, not fired - we receive a sliding number of weeks based on our seniority.

I'll be 10 years in February. I would get 4 weeks of severance right now, after February 5 weeks. I wonder whether PTO
is additive to the severance. Wonder if its too crass to ask.

the saga of the shack

April 25th, 2009 at 05:58 pm

You might remember the too expensively priced near-shack that I sometimes walked past. To refresh your memory on previous posts...

Part 1

Part 2

I walked past it again last week. They got rid of the fence, but now the hedge is sprouting...

Along with an exciting yellow sign...

So let's recap, shall we?

Feb 2008 - 499K
April 2008 - $445K
July 2008 - $395K

then no sign, seller has given up.

May 2009 - probable teardown.

Can't say that this will be fantastic either. The lot isn't big enough to support much of anything except a house with a yard.

bummer; but a glass is clean

April 5th, 2009 at 06:45 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.50 coffee, bagel + $8 iced tea and sandwich @ Starbucks + $49 workout jacket + $4 fresh vegetables

Because I jogged yesterday, I decided to take it a bit easy and walk from my house to U Village (about 4 miles), through the thicket of Ravennas - Ravenna Blvd to Ravenna Ave, avoiding Ravenna Place.

My first assignment was to get that kosher Coke. Easter Sunday, and the Passover stuff was all there, but no yellow top, cane sugar, kosher Coke to be found. I looked all over the store. Bummer, I guess. My trainer I'm sure will completely disagree.

It was a chance, though, to walk through U Village. Despite the recession, there sure looks like a lot of spending going on. The parking lot was totally full with a lot of crazy driving going on, while certain nooks and crannies contained a lot of over-indulgent parents and kids. I did buy a light weight warmup jacket, but for 50% off. I have to think back to three years ago - I bought my MP3 player, which I still use daily; some gym clothes, which I generally use at least weekly and are now just a tad big; picked up and drank the Coke which my (then) trainer scolded me about; I took the bus there, thinking that that's a long way - now I take and hour and a half to walk there.

baby lettuce

March 31st, 2009 at 08:39 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $8 groceries

Looked in my large pansy pots this evening and I saw baby yellow green leaves. Not surprised that the lettuce took almost 10 days to sprout - its been cold and rainy, in the 40s at night, while Sunday afternoon was the first nice sunny day in weeks. Exciting!

I felt a little itchy to go outside for lunch today, so I went to Uwajimaya. I brought my own lunch so the errand was supposed to be just a box of green tea. I got the tea, plus a small box of chinese greens to augment my lunch, and a packet of miso soup, on sale. I dodged a bullet, in a sense.

But for laughs, I looked around some more. Here's another recession sign - designer lunch boxes. More precisely, Mario Batali lunch boxes. For $28. Kind of rich, because Mario Batali, restauranteur, would much prefer you ate out rather than bring it in. It would seem he was branding at both ends.

grocery auctions

March 24th, 2009 at 09:04 pm

Grocery auctions? I don't know whether to laugh or cry... or eat up or throw up. Anybody here go to these things?

...it'll be even cheaper for you and your health if don't bid on the cheese curls in the first place.

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