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battening down

October 20th, 2013 at 07:21 pm

I did find the BOGO beef special at Albertsons, so I got 2 packs of sirloin tips and spent 15mins opening the packages, wrapping the beef tightly in paper, ziploc bagging servings, and ziploc bagging that so its a unit. I've got beef, lamb, fish, shrimp, eggs (in the refrigerator). I'll be okay if the grocery strike doesn't last too long. We are coming up on the holiday season so I think all sides would be motivated. However, the last strike (just for QFC I think) lasted 86 days.

I figure I can fill in grocery issues using: Target, various ethnic grocery stores including Uwajimaya, Pike Market for produce, Whole Foods and PCC, and the U district and Ballard Farmers Markets.

Did go to Fred Meyer to use the blood pressure reader - 124/84. Yeah!

groceries are striking here

October 18th, 2013 at 10:09 pm

The union for 4 biggest chain grocery stores in Seattle has put in their 72 hour notice to strike. I sympathize so I'm going to see if can avoid breaking strike lines. I don't really have good alternative cheap places to get meat but I think I can do okay on the produce. We'll see.

I've been going back to the gym several times a week, logging in my food, etc. I've been bouncing around 175-180, and I would love to lose 10 pounds. My latest health check had my blood pressure at borderline hypertensive, so its another reason to exercise. I also swapped out my table salt for salt substitute. I don't eat too much processed food but even reading the labels on the stuff I do eat: phooey.

With the condo, my friends had a standing bet that within a year I'd be running the condo. Well, I've been asked to run for VP on the board. I don't know whether I really want to do it. I always think that "well do it for a year and stop" but I have serious problems with disengagement. Its the flip side of stick-it-tuitiveness.

But the intimate emergency fund (what the found money account morphed into) is doing well: $19.20. And I am still ahead on the 2013 death bet.

going to heck weekend

September 27th, 2013 at 08:15 pm

Not really me, but:

Saturday, I go to Wing Luke for free museum day, which is near-ish the stadiums, which will be busy tomorrow.

Then Sunday. Ah Sunday, day of rest. Maybe. You might have heard that grocery workers will go on strike. I asked my checkout person when that might happen. She said the earliest is Sunday. She also hoped that common sense and cooler heads will prevail ... two qualities that are in short supply these days, so they will probably be rationed, to be deployed only when everything else has been exhausted. Big sign at the front of Fred Meyer tonight - are hiring, but you have to be willing to walk through a picket line.

Then there's Monday. Will the government shut down. Again? Anybody else notice that Ted Cruz has a strong resemblance to Joe McCarthy? Especially that jaw line.

I have been busy finding change - my intimate EF now totals $13.43. Following some great advice, small bills; the largest bill I'm going to set aside is a $10.

Went back to the gym and am weighing myself at home. According to the scale at home, I'm 169. I'm working at it.

Free museum day

September 4th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Got an email alert that Free Museum Day is going to be Saturday, Sept 28, and I took a look at the ones participating. In Seattle its richer than it has been in past years: EMP, Burke, Wing Luke, Museum of Flight, Henry, Frye, MOHAI. What to choose?

I'm toying with Wing Luke - I've never been there.

Easy to participate - pick your place, and print (or get it on your smartphone) your ticket(s).


August 12th, 2013 at 09:34 pm

Spondulicks and I must have had our tiger milk lattes a couple of weekends ago. I got a call from the Gumshoe Answer Man. We won the Gumshop drawing! 9 $15 gift certificates.

early June, no shots fired edition

June 6th, 2012 at 09:00 pm

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.

Frugal superpowers

May 27th, 2012 at 09:36 pm

Thursday night, I swapped the cords from our non-working DVD player to to the one I bought last week at the neighborhood yard sale. The player and the remote work!

Friday I joked that I had a frugal superpower. Along with being able to pick grocery store produce ... and I used that this weekend by picking out and buying the best 3 pound clamshell of strawberries. Our own strawberries in the strawberry pot are flowering and just setting fruit, as is one of our blueberry plants.

Got the idea for sister's birthday gift in August from a photo she sent me with my birthday gift... turns out that the farmette finally now has a mailbox. And that got me thinking; the classic first mosaic project for some is a house number plate. I know we have no house number plate at the farmette, so a mosaicked one will be her birthday gift.

lots of stuff to report (long)

May 20th, 2012 at 07:44 pm

So lets see...

Thursday I checked out a free talk by a fine art mosaic artist at a little rent space. I'll be filing that spot away for next winter - you can go and grout there. It turns out that Seattle is a small hotbed of mosaickers, so I'm going to tap into that.

Friday we put down the deposit for the space in Buenos Aires. At least according to the pictures, it looks sweet. Its a high-end four bedroom, four bath house with other amenities. The cost per person per day for our group is about $49. The only issue is that the place is fairly far away from the center of downtown, the history, and the sites, but it is close to the subway. Right now we have the airline tix, the living quarters...now to think about what we will do for 14 days. I say to give the guys an argentine grilling class.

Saturday was a double hit: the Greenwood Yard Sale and ticket to the Rat City Rollergirls. A co worker skated with them but is now retiring, so we all wanted to see her skate one last time. I had a fair amount of luck at the yard sales - DJ friend and wife are expecting, so I got 4 baby outfits for $10. I went a bit pricey because 3 of the outfits were new (one of them still had the tags), and all looked cute, clean, and were of different ages. I also got 2 sets of outdoor glasses for $2, a grout float for .20, a chisel for .10, and a DVD player for $2. Normally I wouldn't take the chance, but our DVD player is acting up, and the player I got was tidy and the remote was clean and tidy also...so it looked like a good gamble. If its not, well, 2 DVD players will be donated. Most of what saved me money was taking a picture of interesting things, rather than actually buying them.

Best thing I saw was a complete 3 inch telescope

Funniest thing I saw was this from the tool sale

Best blast from the past were these TV tubes in a bucket. It so reminded me of when the TV repairman made house calls, came in with his case full of these tubes all lined up.

The Rollergirls game was tremendous fun for $12. Not quite sure whether it was 'real', but then again, all sports are performance. There was a lot of humor if you looked at the skate names, skate numbers, referees.

We saved a bit by knowing the right bus line. Sneakily, we parked about 1.5 mi from our house, took the direct bus from there, then took the bus back to the car. Unfortunately for my diet, the arena food was expensive and not in keeping with 555 principles. Smile. I got a chance to see what the sports setting of my camera did.

Coworker, conferring:

What the action generally looked like. The skatenames were a hoot...stuff like 357 Semi-Automatic, Ann R. Kissed (say it out loud). 30 in this picture was Shovey Chase. One of the referees was called Hanging Chad.

Glad that the referee was secure in his, um... referee-ness. This was the second game, so the skaters were different.

And Sunday, we had two hits in the death bet. The leader is still ahead Big Grin, but the rest of the pack has now spread out.

the repair cafe

May 14th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I read about repair cafes in the New York Times last week. A space, a group of people who are willing to take a whack at fixing things, other people that bring non-working stuff, along with coffee, tea, and cookies. Intriguing idea, I wonder if we can start something like this in our neighborhood. We have a lot of coffee shops that run trivia nights, craft nights, and other events.

Our biggest repair coup couldn't have happened in a repair cafe. DH replaced the belt on the washer about 5 years ago - still running well.

Today the trainer looked terrible - I was his last appointment, and I asked him to go home, I could construct a workout myself and follow it. Only 3 more additional visits to complete that 555.

funny this and that

March 23rd, 2012 at 09:31 pm

Work is easing up a little. My boss, the director of the department, is on leave and the biggest project she had me on was developing the department budget. Got it done today which means I can finally, finally go back to digging myself out of the swamp of work.

I had a number of interesting experiences this week. Wednesday I went to the pre-construction open house to the Northgate light rail station. Our quick way to get home from I5 is going to be used as a staging area. No surprise and sacrifices have to be made. The big controversy is more parking versus a pedestrian bridge coming from the community college. Its building up to be a choice between one or the other - depends on whether you think the cars are coming from the north or to the west.

I left soon after a 70 yr old woman complained that the station will block her view of the Olympics. A quick calculation is telling that by the time the station is built, the view is going to be the least of her concerns. To be fair, this project is not made for her particularly. Its not even made for me, who is pushing 50 next month. 9 years from now I'm thinking of retirement, not commuting after all.

The next wacky thing this week is finding out that Saturday a Hollywood production is being filmed nearby AND that Gary Busey is in it. Somebody on our crew has him on their list. Never been able to "throw" the results before!

And today, I took a little stroll near Occidental Park (Pioneer Square) and walked past three news crews. I asked a local about and he told me that the lawyer defending the US serviceman charged with the killings in Afghanistan... well, his office is nearby. So they are waiting.

productive frugal day

February 12th, 2012 at 09:18 pm

In honor of retire@50 and monkeymama:

Had a very productive, moderately frugal day today:

10:30 - 12:30. did the Sunday routine of going to the coffeehouse and got coffee, a slice of quiche and read the Sunday NYT. Yes, I pay for coffee. Sundays it happens to be free, but if there is a jar about, I slip a dollar in. I've made my peace with paying for coffee - I get drip, I enjoy the ritual of ordering and being social with the staff. NYT paper subscription on the weekend happens to be expensive and duplicates the Kindle, but I like the feel of paper, I see all the pictures and the NYT itself is the one paper that won't turn your mind into cream cheese.

12:45 - 1:30. 2 mile walk, listened to the podcast of Marketplace Money, hunted for change (found pennies and a 10 cent euro coin). Noted on the walk that a Tile company was having a 20 yr anniversary sale. 50% off grout. Will have to check that out.

1:30 - 1:45. Hit the bus stop. (I go carless). I used OneBusAway to figure out when the bus will come - it really helps to take away the frustration out of using transit. Found out I had about 15 minutes, so I went to the produce stand. Bought 69 cent avocadoes for lunches next week, and $1 bagged salad. I was tempted by the $2/pt blueberries but figured they'd get smashed by the time I got home.

2:15. Made it to Bedrock Industries to pick up 10$ worth of vitreous glass for mosaics. Noted that I can get 4 x 4 in squares of marble for 50 cents!

2:45 Walked to Peets and Whole Foods because I was feeling a little hungry. Peets had a line, didn't see what I really wanted at Whole Foods, so I skipped the temptation. Noted that the blueberries were at 3.99$ at Whole Paycheck.

3:15 Caught the bus back and walked another 1.5 mile home. Got my exercise today and quiet time today.

4:30 - 7:30 Pulled my green folder out, took up Vanguard's offer on cheap(er) TurboTax. Calculated and filed my 2011 taxes. I pay $207, which is pretty usual for me. Since my 403b is going great guns, that represents my tax deferred money pool; I put 5K in a Roth - its worth more to me to bulk up the tax-free pool of money than it is to get the refund if I put it in a traditional IRA. My tax rate in total this year is 9.7%; I'm good with the $207.

In other words, I got a lot done, learned bits of information to further my hobby, got exercise, chilled out. I spent a little bit but I'm good with what I spent - it will all get used.

a tale of two groceries

February 3rd, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Grocery 1.

Went over to the dying Greenwood Market tonight - it's advertising their last 2 days of business. There was a lot of empty space, but they had set up an open house for cupcake, cider and coffee. One could write in a memory book. I wrote that I always appreciated buying a brat from them during the Seafair Parade.

Anyway, as I ate my cupcake and drank my coffee I saw one of the staff come up with cleaner and a rag wiping up a spill. "Two days left and you are still cleaning?" I asked.

"Of course", he said.

Grocery 2.

Went over to the Safeway to pick up a few groceries. Found a few. Didn't find any change on the floor, but I did note 5 or so tiny dried spills...

out and about

January 21st, 2012 at 06:45 pm

Hard to believe that grey is such a sweet, sweet color around here. We still have a little bit of snow and plenty of icy water on the lawn and in the driveway, but everywhere else, it was muddy snow, wet roads and downtown, dry sidewalks.

Errand day today: delivered the now-clean gym clothes to the office, did a 3.5 mile walk (first long-ish one since last Sunday), bought bras at Fred Meyer which is now also doing a clearance sale preparing for them to close for renovations, picked up some trash around the house. (We had our recycling bin blow over in the windstorm last night). Cancelled the grout fest scheduled for today - maybe next week when it might be a true fest because I'll have two pieces to grout rather than just one.

Found 17 cents "around" a penny or a nickel at a time.

Oh, yes, several people had Etta James; a couple of people have Joe Paterno. This year, with more players and the players themselves seem to have done better research ... the game is already interesting right off the bat.

2nd snow day

January 19th, 2012 at 02:28 pm

Luckily, the office was not as nutty as they have been previously - the office has been closed and I'm on my second snow day. DH's office (IRS) tried opening but they closed at noon.

Walking is okay - still have my Yaktrax and they are the best 20$ I ever spent. The neighborhood businesses tend to be open when their employees are living nearby. I thanked the Safeway for being open. Saw two little girls looking under the Coinstar machine - one pulled out a quarter. Heh heh - good to see the habit being passed on.

Other than that, the usual soul searching - are we weenies in the snow, why are we weenies in the snow, could this be handled better, could this have been predicted better? Once upon a time I would have been among them. Now - yep I'm a weenie. I hated snow and ice when I lived in the midwest, and came to Seattle because I wouldn't get much of it. While I would prefer that Seattle wouldn't shut down in the snow, it does, and you can either b!tch about it or deal with it.

In other words, "go on board, dammit!"

So in that spirit - this is what I'm doing this afternoon...

13 players, tax time, and actual spending

January 7th, 2012 at 07:38 pm

Friday night was the deadline to the dead pool. I now have 13 players - which is so fantastically symbolic that I'm closing it to new players. Just got CB's payment, and with her, Mjrube, Mjrube's friend, and Paulette participating, its tempting to consider this the $20 challenge by other means. Good luck to all.

Tax time this year - I've pulled out my green (again fantastically symbolic) folder and am out "collecting". Its different this year - most places really, really want you to sign up for e-delivery to keep you paperless, or to impoverish the USPS even more. I haven't made any exotic moves, the drip re-investments are about 1K, and I haven't made much interest, I can't imagine that I'm going to pay a ton of tax. Only thing is that one of my drip companies got bought out by another drip company (which I like even more), so not only is it one more 1099, I can't write off the stock loss.

Today I did a bit of walking, but I checked out grout colors at Home Depot and Lowe's ... still might go with the gray that I have, and I slipped into Ross and picked up a Cal King bed sheet set. We have a couple of sets that we rotate, but it would be nice to refresh them a bit. Also bought a bit of food from the Greenwood Market, another grocery store that's going away. I'm still bummed. With them going away, the Fred Meyer down until October, and one of our main arterials being ripped up, 2012 is ... 2012.

money is fungible

October 28th, 2011 at 08:27 pm

Over the course of 28 months (2 yrs + 4 months) I've found $166.03.

Two weeks ago I bought a Kindle for $150 (including tax), loaded it with 1 $9.99 book, and bought another during the daily deal for $1.99. Sweet, no?

I bought a case for it for $15, which puts me over the top, but if anybody laughs at me for picking up pennies ...

Well, I bought my Kindle with found money.

And I really needed the Kindle tonight during the commute. It took forever - downtown traffic was astonishing ugly - and a main intersection in my neighborhood is closed this weekend (and will be next weekend) so it can be fixed in time for next road season's cone chess on 85th.

waiting, but productive

August 17th, 2011 at 08:56 pm

Been quiet - I've been paid, and I've been waiting for something fiscal to happen.

This stay-cation was broken up. I just came back for two days in case the auditor had questions for me. I met with the auditor for all of thirty minutes. Sigh. But these two days weren't a total waste. I evaluated one of my employees and was evaluated by my supervisor, and I caught up with my emails. I will only have three days worth of emails rather than nearly three weeks.

Didn't win anything on the Gumshoe, but I had fun. I'm in the process of drawing and designing my third mosaic piece. So far I've gotten some free flat pallet wood that forms a back and a frame - I can funky it up, mosaic on the flat, and stain the frame up. Another artist, whom I took the mosaic class with, offered me some pine back boards. They were originally for the backs of wheelchairs - flat, smooth, nice. So far - free stuff!

Two fiscal blogs that made me laugh

August 9th, 2011 at 07:20 pm

Blog one, just the pictures.
Blog two, the captions are a riot!

Several people commented about the Gumshoe - here's a link. Its a creative fundraiser, and got a lot of people out there walking with their fuchsia handouts. Got the other 10 from the main Gumshoe walk. All I have left is to identify one restaurant from a snippet of a picture in one of the side games and I can turn it in for several drawings.

where was I when the stock market dropped

August 8th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

... 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.

first day of staycation

August 4th, 2011 at 08:45 pm


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

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

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

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

mystery gift

July 28th, 2011 at 08:01 pm

I got a mystery gift today. Somebody paid $20 for me to get a twenty minute massage. I suspect it was my boss, but I'm not sure. I'll ask her tomorrow.

Yesterday was the Greenwood Seafair Parade... somehow the pictures I took didn't really turn out, but I'll see if I can find some good ones for fun.

The crafty patch is thinning out some. The non-crafty, but creative project of getting my database to play nice in Office 2010 is nearly done. It loads and mostly works - only two buttons don't. Of course they are the two buttons that I use in January, so sigh, project not completely done. But done enough for August.

Video for what our department does has been written and filmed. Now it has to be rendered into a file format and edited ... then done!

We are planning to get another 1/8 of a cow. This one is larger, so it will finish a bit slower (late August instead of right now) - good for a little time to save some money. Bigger means that 1/8 is going to run more than 50 lbs, so I've gotten another buyer who we can sell some to if we don't have enough freezer space. The farmer is offering us two possibilities - one is an Angus, the other a Limousin. Finding out the Limousin is a very old breed that runs a bit leaner is tipping me toward that choice.

Everything is now quiet enough to allow us all to wonder about a US default. But in the meantime, its payday tomorrow.

end of year tired

June 28th, 2011 at 09:16 pm

And yes, I know we are in June.

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

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

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

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

busy weekend (for once)

June 24th, 2011 at 09:36 pm

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.

quiet weekend

June 20th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

No savings, but spent only for a $1.72 coffee. I brought 4 lunches for the week, so no outside lunch today. Right now I'm at a low point in both my checking and savings, so its feel the frugal burn for a couple of weeks.

Last weekend was quiet, but I had an opportunity to visit a space that I've wanted to for a long time. You might remember that my neighborhood hosts a genuine Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The Sakya Monastery had a book and media sale inside on Saturday so I saw the meeting room and the kitchen. Several lay people also told me that the Shrine Room was open with a guided tour on Sunday noon. The paintings on the walls, the mandalas on the ceiling and the golden Buddha was amazing. I didn't take a picture - it didn't seem right. I learned on the tour several fun facts:

1. The Shrine Room was personally consecrated by the Dalai Lama in 1993.

2. It was in the film, Little Buddha. (Although our neighborhood is decidedly NOT as snotty as Queen Anne!)

3. The Lama in charge had a dream of the interior of the space in the 1970s, and sketched it. When the building came up for sale, his sketches helped the make the decision, but what really clinched it was:

4. The street number is 108, which is the most symbolic number in Buddhism - the number of beads in a mala, number of defilements to overcome to attain enlightenment.

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.

state of the household for June

June 2nd, 2011 at 10:19 pm

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.

Greenwood Yard Sale and auuuurrrgh for other reasons

May 23rd, 2011 at 08:43 pm

The aaaauuuuuurrgh came from total computer problems for me today at work. I (and the IT guy) thought it was hard drive problems, but it was a piece of despicable mal-ware that was pretending to cause a hard drive failure ...probably to pay 'em money and they would magically "fix" it. So I didn't get much done today. Thankfully, I'm now in the quiet season, where there is planning, but all but one of the big projects is done.

Change finding for this year is marching along - I'm at over $80 since last July. One of the players of the death bet had Harmon Killebrew, so he is now ahead.

Greenwood Yard Sale for 2011 has come and gone. DH and I went to go, thinking we'll just see what's out there and take a picture of something that I couldn't believe was for sale. Nothing to do a double take ... maybe that "make me an offer" saddle. But I did buy a batch of picture frames - one for $.50, where the lady wouldn't play when I tried talking her down, and 8 more for .25 apiece, with the seller who did play along. Since even the fifty cent frame was so cheap, I thought I'd have a little fun and distress them artistically. I also bought a sturdy one foot square cedar table that we could use as a little outdoor tray, a stool to stand on, a stand for some of my outdoor container plants. $10 for that.

Repotted the sage and rosemary. DH has potato plants growing in a black plastic garbage can that are now about 3/4 of the way up the can. Blueberry plants are going great gang busters, even the plant that I thought was on its last legs from canker. This year, its all leafy goodness and doing wonderfully.

Light rail near me

May 17th, 2011 at 09:56 pm

Some of the very old time readers might remember that I live in the Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood, about 7 miles north of downtown. And a few of the merely old time readers might remember me being excited enough about Seattle light rail to post about it.

Well, plans are afoot to get light rail to north Seattle - yesterday the two gigantic borers near the University of Washington were christened and began digging south, hooking up to the northern most downtown stop. Five years from now light rail should reach to the UW. Great, but still 4 miles south of me.

Tonight I went to an open house for a light rail stop at Northgate, which is about 1.5 miles east of me. The place was packed - a good 150- 200 came. The route and placement of the station has been pretty much decided - tunnel most, popping up some, and an elevated stop next to the Metro transit center. Multiple plans for what the station would look like, and multiple plans for how the buses will interact with the light rail.

Comments from the crowd were mostly good, although it was weird to hear the "how come its not across the street?" versus "its gonna wreck my property values because its so close". Can't win.

For a good twenty blocks the rail line should run in a channel alongside the interstate, so there was a lot of concern about making sure neighborhoods to the west (namely me) could use it. Two road/sidewalk overpasses would be maintained - on 92nd and on 103rd. A couple of comments about community college students not being able to use it. What happened to college students these days? I thought nothing of walking many, many blocks. And this community college campus - like many college campuses - ain't tiny. 12 blocks walking shouldn't be anything.

Matter of fact, the open house was about 8 blocks from the transit center which would be where the light rail line would be. I walked home from the open house. Took me 45 minutes to walk home, no biggie. Ride itself would take about 13 minutes from downtown to the stop.

The real time lag though is that the light rail will come to us in 2020. I'm probably going to be a little less spry by that time.

mystery solved

April 1st, 2011 at 09:57 pm

For reals, even...this is not an April Fools thing.

A bit of setup for this. We live on a "T" corner, meaning that one of the streets deadheads. We are fenced on the north for a bit of privacy, with a wide driveway leading out to the road. About 20 yards south of us is another "T" corner, where the street that was deadheaded leads out. In other words, following one of our streets is a bit of an intelligence test ... that I don't mind using.

Anyway, about a week ago DH and I woke up one fine Monday morning and we noticed spots of white powder on our drive way. The spots formed a line and edged our driveway, hit our cherry tree and our laurel bush.

We were both a bit taken aback - I touched the white powder with my foot ... definitely powder. We were going to call our landlord, thinking that it was some sort of herbicide/insecticide/something but we went to work and forgot about it. And then a couple of days later the white powder disappeared.

The neighborhood blog had an answer - our driveway was part of a marked hash house harrier running trail that the "hares" put down for the "hounds", and the powder was flour. Whew.

Oh. My. God. (not fiscal at all)

January 8th, 2011 at 08:49 pm

Today was mostly a de-compress from the crazy busy last week, it was mostly running a set of small errands today - returning the last read to the library, getting my hair cut, loading up a smart card bus pass so sister can get to the airport and back on the light rail as easily as I can, hitting a used book store - saw a used CD that I'd like, getting a couple of travel sized toiletries and extra memory cards. Nothing individually horribly spendy, but taken together up in the $90 or so range.

Apologies to thrift-o-rama for the next paragraph.

As I was going along, I watched a bit of the Seahawk / Saint came. As well you might know, Seattle is the the first NFL team to make the playoffs with a losing season. The first I saw was 10-0 Saints, and I thought nothing more of it, just kept going. Traffic in Seattle was a bit quiet for a Saturday, but nothing special. Next to last stop, the game was 34-27 Seahawks. Walking to my last stop, everything was dead quiet. I've seen Super Bowl game traffic heavier. Last stop, 41-35 Seahawks. Heading home, I crossed our main drag in the neighborhood and heard the loud collective cheer from all the drunks at the sports bars. Still can't believe it.

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