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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.

I've sometimes wondered...

July 22nd, 2011 at 08:33 pm

what the 30s were like. In the next few months, I worry that we'll all find out.

I got the checks I ordered. Nice. I'm being dinged $40 as a late payment from the landlord and I'm not sure why. I've found that the credit union's bill pay can be useful, but its slow, and doubly slow when the receiver doesn't seem to handle the EFT well. Far faster to write a check, date it, and stop by the landlord. Not to say that I'm completely reverting back to primitive, I'm just bowing to the best way depending on the payee.

The check patterns were fun - if I wanted a Scooby Doo checks, or Cruella De Vil, well, I know where to go. But the safest is the classiest. Imagine writing a mortgage check on the Scooby Doos. Smile

Am back at 167, and I'm making progress on the database. It seems unstable lately - it bombed out on me several times today.

crafty patch part 2

July 20th, 2011 at 08:22 pm

I listed out all the crafty creative projects I've been roped into or found to do -

Wrote the story board and wrote about a 1/3 of the shooting script. Screenwriter friend brought his camera and showed us how to use it, so now the camera people are working out shooting the piece. Today I made four joke pledges as props - Montgomery Burns giving to the Release the Hounds Dog Park in Springfield, for instance. Since stamping is part of my job, I made a joke Bulls%*t stamp. It will be small, but subtle. Thank you mom's side of family for the mean sense of humor, it came in handy.

Working on getting the database to play nice with Office 2010. I got the database to load (yay), and 80% of it works, but a number of functions were lost, and I'm working to get them back.

Got my first mosaic piece mortared with thin set on the wedi board (wedi board is a stiff styrofoam board coated in concrete and mesh. Thin and light but waterproof). It went about as smooth as I'd expect it to go the first time. The big thing is that even though I was careful in my calculations I still made a lot more than I needed. I'm willing to bet that many people try to finish several pieces before mortaring. There is a bit of thin set on the glass, but not much - I've been successful taking a knife and gently scraping it off. I learn to grout on the 30th.

I'm gluing glass onto mesh and making my second piece. Goin' solo on this one!

Have all but two of my yard sale frames painted. Time to take a look at pictures.

crafty patch

July 2nd, 2011 at 07:28 pm

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

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

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

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

heroic for $22

June 30th, 2011 at 09:21 pm

This morning, because I knew I was paid, I surprised my co workers today by buying 2 different large yogurts, 2 packs of granola, and a box of blueberries and a bag of fresh cherries. I set it up as a mini fruit, yogurt, granola station.

Heroic for $22 and change.

Today was the very last day of fiscal year, and it was still mostly crazy. At least everybody had a good breakfast this morning.

made it

June 29th, 2011 at 08:19 pm

I have $3 in my wallet and payday is 7 am 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.

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.

half day

April 14th, 2011 at 08:29 pm

Because I've come down with what's going around. I felt I had to make a meeting and do a couple of things at work, but then I just KNEW that I had just enough energy to make it home if I left at noon. I slept for the rest of the day. Its the achy, shivery, tired flu-type stuff. I sound fine.

I did, however, move two more accounts from bank to credit union, and on my way home I saved the tip box proceeds - 46$ - to the credit union using the ATM card.

Didja hear about the guy who deposited checks via a picture on his iPhone, then really deposited the check elsewhere? I have to admire that lo-fi skeeviness.

feelin' the frugal burn

March 30th, 2011 at 09:32 pm

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

Tomorrow I get paid.

A couple of bits of art news.

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

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

already, blew lunch

February 8th, 2011 at 09:38 pm

..well, just once. We went to Duvall on Sunday to watch the game on their big screen (which cut off the Pittsburgh side of the score which was a great feature), then we watched Glee and chatted. None of us thought any of the super bowl ads grabbed us - maybe we were jaded. Unfortunately we didn't get leftovers and I got back too late to make and pack a lunch, so I ate lunch with friends. That was Monday.

Tuesday I still had timing issues. I wanted to roast the duck thawing in the refrigerator, but didn't get that done in time either. So lunch today was:

1 cup peas/carrots
1 slice ham
1 fried chicken drumstick

Got the rice, and now am roasting the duck tonight. We'll see whether I get it done in time for lunches.

In other news, I am now fully packed. Sister's bed at our place, an air mattress and sleeping bag on the living room floor, our kitty is warming up. Work is coming together and should work out. It had better!

I am just freaking excited, and find it hard to sleep even. Thursday night sister comes into town, Friday night we fly out. I'm trying to manage expectations - I'm going to try to go off the net in a developing nation. And no looking for change - in a place with landmines, picking up shiny circular objects is not smart.

Got my lunches 1st - 4th

February 1st, 2011 at 09:35 pm

While I won't be packing a lunch in Vietnam, I can play up until I go!

Today it was 2/3 cup of brown rice, 6 oz of sliced ham with a little hot sauce, and the last little bit of green apple chutney...which I got from the canning exchange last November.

I pack multiple lunches at a time in those little square Ziploc boxes, so for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, its:

1 cup or so of vegetable beef stew
dollop of sauteed kale w/onion, garlic, red pepper

Snack will be 1/3 of the pack of beef jerky.

On a side note, I hit it lucky Sunday on the finding change front. First off, I found a run-over dollar bill. It looked all the world like a fake until I picked up. A couple hours later I found a 1982 half dollar as I was cutting through the car wash parking lot. Its a rare day that my luck has been that good, but day to day, my change finding luck has held up very well - I'm currently at $43.23 since mid-July 2010.

money laundering

January 11th, 2011 at 09:30 pm

Perhaps you remember that I process pledges for a large non-profit in Seattle... Two words, last two letters in the second word are "ay".

Received a corporate gift pledge to process - 10K from Goldman Sachs. Compared to the amount of loot they've raided from the US, 10K is chump change.

I joked with the staffer who brought it down that we are now money launderers.

liberty dime

December 27th, 2010 at 09:01 pm

I found another silver dime yesterday, half buried next to a tree in front of a church. This one's a bit older - date minted was 1944 - and its a Liberty head dime. For all you young whippersnappers (including me), here's a picture of one. (not a pic I took, I can't focus it enough using my little digital camera). Its a little grungy, but the relief is nice on it - only the E Plurbis Unum is faint.

I also looked at my PTO accrual as I was figuring out the percent on my 403B. 255 hrs. I'm waiting for HR to bring the hammer down. I could call in sick for a few days.

Finally, I'm working on my FCC list. Have about 8 that I'd like to follow, so 2 more and I'm done. Thank you scfr for a couple of more ideas.

I've been saving relatively crisp $1s and a couple of $5s for the Vietnam trip. So far I have about $30. Because I'm saving for the trip, I've decided to slow down the tip box savings, and return to it in March. I'm now reading and taking notes in a notebook, to bring on the trip.

money coming in

December 23rd, 2010 at 07:36 pm

December is generally my most spendy month. This year has been exceptionally spendy, after buying Vietnam trip and plane tickets for sister and I.

However, sister is moving money so she asked me what her share is: A bit more than 8K. So I will be getting that back.

DH's mom sent us a bit of Christmas money. DH needs it way more than I do, but a got a bit of it, so about $400 that I didn't expect.

The final bit of fiscal news is not about money coming in. Turns out that the HR software payroll uses to pull money for the 403B works on percentages, rather than flat dollar amounts. So no more $666.66 taken of each paycheck, now its 31%. Works out that I'm contributing a hair more than I have in the past - even closer to the $16.5K upper limit. Took a look at how I'm doing on the 403B. Not quite as nice as a last year, but I'm up about 8%.

bank stock surprise and Jackie Handey moment

December 19th, 2010 at 08:26 pm

Friday night I looked up my stocks, as I usually do. My bank stock, which has been limping along a low-ish level, increased its share price by over 1$/share & 18%. Wow, I thought, I'll have to explore that further after I read the news.

Then I read the news. My bank (M&I) is getting bought by a Canadian bank (BMO), at 0.1285 shares of new bank per 1 share of old bank. It means that if the sale goes through, I get 18 shares of a Canadian bank. They pay a dividend (a pretty good one), but appear not to have a Drp. So I will get checks.

Its a little disappointing in terms of losing the largest bank in my childhood home state, but at least the bank didn't get taken over by the FDIC or had a completely horrific buyout plan (like WaMu) so its not a total loss.

On another note, DJ friend/coworker showed me the 2Gig MP3 clips that one can get for $9.99. Why bother buying a $15 CD at those prices? I felt a Jackie Handey moment coming on. Big GrinI suggested that his internet radio station contact the supplier and see if getting the internet radio logo on those little clips would be possible. Even better, he could load podcast radio programs or even several of radio station produced albums onto the critter and sell them. Even if the buyer wiped the songs clean, those little clips on a collar could be quite an ad statement.

minor breakthroughs

December 14th, 2010 at 09:14 pm

Found over $10 in change last month! Thank you rainy Seattle - no one who drops coins wants to stay out in the rain and pick them up.

My passport with the Vietnam and Cambodia visas is sitting at Fed Ex right now. Not too bad - it took about 17-18 days. I now absolutely am going. Checked out one of the two books from the Seattle library. Its all about the Vietnam War - actually from the 1920's to the 1970's - so multiple Vietnam wars. Very interesting.

Big data dump (BDD) has occurred, so my email account now sports a message - I'm working on 43M worth of data, so stop bugging with your $25 stuff.

'brellas in the trashcan

December 8th, 2010 at 09:08 pm

Again, not much happening. The big expense - the Vietnam trip with sister - has been paid for. The Hep A shot was gotten on Saturday morning, and all I can say about it is: OW!!! It felt like the nurse dulled the needle and pounded in the shoulder. I couldn't even move my left arm Sunday, and had to hold it like John McCain. I'm in the process of taking my typhus oral vaccine - a capsule every other day, first thing in the morning because I have to take with no food, no chewing because the capsule with the attenuated bacteria have to get past the stomach. Its a bit of a challenge with my serious gag reflex, but I'm gonna do it.

Work is getting very busy again, with the big data dump (BDD) happening within a few weeks. I'm very happy about that because said BDD usually happens in late January, possibly interfering with the trip.

Today was rainy. Not surprising for Seattle, but today the rain was heavy and plus a fair amount wind which would catch the umbrella and do very bad things to it. As I walked 3rd Avenue downtown, a number of umbrella handles stuck out of trashcans all along the way. This rain's rough on even the natives.

Part one of consolidation occurred - most of my savings and CDs are now at ING, all pulling together and earning 1.2%. Not great, but I'm not trapped by a CD. Part two of the consolidation - moving from Chase to a credit union is stalled out. I'll have to talk to the credit union because I still haven't gotten my PIN number for my permanent card. I do have some savings in it and that are earning 6% ... so I can't be too mad.

sides, no entree

November 13th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Updates from the last few days, a few fiscal but most not.

Got into the dress I bought for the workplace social with the 60s theme and I think rocked it. I also demonstrated the best and most polite way to eat finger foods using white gloves. Even got 'wow' comments that I didn't stain the gloves while I ate. - But that's not really a surprise; one usually doesn't stain one's bare hands either.

We did the canning exchange at work the next day. From my 4 half pints of quince marmalade, I received: 1 half pint pear butter, 1 half pint of apple chutney, 1 pint of pickled okra, 1 quart of tomato vegetable soup. I was a tad nervous about the soup, but I did eat it already and had no ill effects. I did boil it hard for 15 minutes though. The pickled okra came from lawyer friend and the time table for it was thus: got home at 6:45pm, opened the okra; 6:47, had eaten 2 okra, began to boil the soup; 7:00, had eaten about 1/2 the okra; 7:10, all the okra was gone. Big Grin. Hope the gang enjoyed my marmalade. Out of all the jars, mine was the prettiest - a bright pink red.

I got the travel materials for the Vietnam/Cambodia alumni trip - visa information for both countries, bill for the rest (I just put down the deposit for sister and I), travel information, guidance for how the plan will go. So far there are 21 other people who booked. The tour managers gave me another set of everything for my sister. Today I mailed it off, and went to Walgreens for another set of 2x2 pictures for each visa. And yes, no smiling ... I think that your passport/visa pictures should pretty much match what you look like after you step off the plane. That way the customs official doesn't have to use his imagination. Now to book the flights, which determines the date of the Vietnam visa.

Consolidation on my accounts is proceeding. The first CD will be fully in my ING account Tuesday. And I get paid on Monday.

We are going to the Duvall friend's house for Thanksgiving. WE might mix it up a bit and have prime rib instead of turkey. It will give me license to make some British-inflected sides and dessert. I get the feeling that cranberry trifle might be smashing. The Duvall friends just started their blog, and it looks to be pretty good. Want to learn how to build a goat barn?

semi-big money

November 7th, 2010 at 07:27 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

fertilizer day!

October 15th, 2010 at 08:13 pm

I wrote the date on some of my work today:


And its payday. I saw the raise - about 15$ per pay period. The new health insurance contact will kick in in November, for perhaps a few dollars more.

This week Safeway had the all the loss leaders: grapes, broccoli/cauliflower, bagged salad, cat food. We ate enough of the beef to make room, so I also bought 2 lb bags each of frozen corn, peas & carrots, green beans, at $1.25/lb. Not great but we were out of the frozen veg so it was needed.

little bits

October 11th, 2010 at 08:24 pm

Received 75$ for the second shot. I have only two more blood draws to go, but three more payments, so $150 more.

Found 3 $1 bills yesterday folded in quarters on the sidewalk right on the corner. Across the street lay a fairly upscale bar, but a bar nonetheless. Ah liquor, my friend.

Right now I'm about 3 months ahead of finding money than I was last year. Two theories:

1. I've gotten better at finding at finding money.
2. Due to the recession, people are using less plastic and more cash; more cash, more change; more change the more likely one loses some. After all, you don't get change from a debit card.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a wheat penny penny board from the neighborhood coin shop, so it looks like I'm turning into a coin collector after all. The owner asked me what my angle is in collecting and I answered, "whatever I find on the sidewalk." He was amused. "Never heard about that twist before." Smile Since he is close by, it will be easier to stop by and learn a little bit about grades and show off that 1927 S. A couple of weeks ago DH found a 1944 wheat penny (non steel), so now we have 6.

We are close to finally getting our raise. Every paycheck since August I've been looking for the bump, and have been secretly disappointed. Secretly because it is the hallmark of ingratitude these days to mutter, "when the h%!! am I getting my raise?"

Part of it was that the health insurance got figured out. I'm happy to report that with normal blood sugar and now very good blood pressure I chanced it a bit and went to the very basic plan. Starting in November, I'll be paying a hair less but changing my copay from $20 to 25$.

DH re-starts with the IRS for the second season. He will now learn how to look up and handle balance due calls. Far less fun calls, but at least he doesn't have to call out.

all about the free sandwich

October 1st, 2010 at 09:24 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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


September 26th, 2010 at 09:21 pm

Went to the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle version (there's a museum with the same name in Chicago) for my free museum day. Did it because we went to the Greek Festival afterwards, less than a mile away.

A non-too-often photographed view of an "old style" street light.

For scfr - unfortunately, the Lusty Lady passed into history a couple of months ago; at least the sign made it.

A lego version of 1930's Seattle - the white 3 story building with the street lamp in front of it was the old SeaFirst #6 bank building. These days, its our office.

Speaking of the 30's many of the Depression -era photos and exhibits really spoke to me. Seattle was known then as the The Soviet of Washington; it held the first general strike in the nation. Seeing the Hooverville stretch for many acres south of downtown was chilling, as was a shot of 10 adult males in long 30s-style overcoats at the city dump picking through garbage for anything to resell. Times are bad now, but they could be (and have been) far, far worse.

The Greek Fest was a bit pricey... always is when you're buying the good stuff - eg a large can of olive oil. Also picked up a bag of the braid cardamon-y cookies, kasseri cheese, bunch of greek oregano. The cookies were sweet, but not so much that you need the insulin shot. $52.

When I got home, I discovered that my first payments coming from the flu study came. So far $175.

bank fall out

September 20th, 2010 at 08:38 pm

Weather has been very unsettled, as if late summer and fall were having a full-on wrestling match. First it would be sunny, then downpour, then wind, then heavy clouds. I'm not declaring Venus yet, but fall, of course, will win. Brown leaves have already started to hit the gutters and the first leaves of Fremont are turning red.

It has been a slightly spendy weekend - got my hair cut for $15 (it needed it badly), went to the Half Price books warehouse sale and picked up 6 books for $15. Next weekend will be spendy also - its Greek Festival time and I need olive oil and grape leaves.

Sausage from our cow is ready and I pick it up tomorrow from lawyer friend.

You might remember that I work for a non-profit that starts with "U" is two words, and the second word rhymes with the Canadian "ay". As in, "ay, you hosers." Work has been picking up for this year's campaign and I've been fielding calls from others in the same "united" system. We've all learned a lot about what happens to all of us when our local banks get closed by the FDIC. In a nutshell, all employee pledges from the bank that gets closed are considered a loose end, a debt, and die. They will not be paid out. What happens afterward depends entirely on the bank that buys the old bank from the FDIC. Most do nothing, just absorb the new employees and wait until next year. A few of the new banks will allow the former employees to run a small bridge campaign, and one even assumed part of the old bank's corp gift. Very interesting!

no-spend, raise, auditor day

September 16th, 2010 at 09:18 pm

Had a genuine no spend day today. Attended an all staff meeting where there was coffee, muffins, bagels, so no coffee spending; brought my lunch, so no lunch spending; didn't have an any burning grocery needs, so no spending there.

Found out at the all staff meeting that the health care costs didn't rise much and that many of us would get a little (1.75% raise). It usually happened in August, but in these times, we won't complain no matter when it happens. In my case, the raise would be about $35/paycheck more.

And today I met with the outside auditor (our non-profit gets an outside audit every year) about some of the financial data I booked. I could give the appropriate answers, so whew (!) on that.

PTO of a workaholic

July 30th, 2010 at 08:57 pm

Unfortunately, that describes me. I looked at my check stub today - we get those electronically too, so one can avoid looking at the particulars.

261 hours, or almost 7 weeks.

Its not my fault I don't get sick. Time to not feel guilty taking those mental health days; I'm chipping away at my PTO (paid time off).

And its my own version of the golden parachute/severence package. Actually, I'm sure the workplace cuts it off at 175 - 200 hours.

I don't get it (long and venty)

July 26th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I'll probably remove this post after awhile, or maybe not. I need to vent, and its a glancing fiscal issue.

Perhaps you know that I supervise - or as sister jokes, "stupervise" - two people at work. Supervising is a bit different than I had expected. A couple of issues were far easier to resolve than I had expected, but one difficulty is just throwing me for a loop because its so square 0.

I approve timecards.

Now ordinarily one should be able to do this in one's sleep. People fill out their timecards online, and are expected to do so unless there's an extraordinary circumstance. I then go in, glance at them, and approve them. While filling out an online card not as easy as writing one's hours out on a slip of paper or not filling a timecard out at all, it ain't rocket science. Besides, filling out a timecard means you get paid which means that even if the timecard was surrounded by alligators ... well, its important and it should happen come hell or high water.

Well, one of my people just does not fill out the timecard. I have to nag, the payroll person has to nag, and still ... no timecard to approve. According to the payroll person, my slacker is not the only one so that's something.

And yet, I don't get it. AT ALL. Why anybody "forget" to fill out a timecard. Or claim they don't have the online link. Ironic when one displays strong skills when one is on the computer doing something that they like. (Just like a guy who fails to write a check properly, but sure knows how to write one when paying the mortgage.)

Think of your workplace like a plane. With the current economy buffeting the plane, the plane is running turbulence, dropping thousands of feet in seconds. The masks come out. The mask is your paycheck. Without it, you're sunk. You're supposed to put on your mask before you help others, which in the terms of the analogy, if you need to help others fiscally, you especially need *your* paycheck, no? Now putting on the mask is not enough - to activate the flow of oxygen your supposed to yank on the tube. That, my friend, is what filling out a timecard is. Basic.

Now I have missed my own once or twice, I got reminded and I figured out a way to never miss because ... YOU WON'T GET PAID otherwise.

I don't scream, but man, I'm steamed. Next time it happens, no pay for you.

must be summer

July 23rd, 2010 at 09:45 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.90 coffee
Found money - $0.06 (road, inside the bus)

I decided that I couldn't resist maintaining the dirty money tracking. I at least want to see whether or not July and August in general are bad finding money months or whether I hadn't hit my stride yet. Since 7/14, I've found an additional $1.11 ... It appears that last year was a "hadn't hit my stride yet" issue.

Woke up a bit later than usual - I'm now in throes of perimenopause with the hot flashes and night sweats, so its hard to sleep through the night. The open window helps, but its not perfect. Since I was running late, I bought coffee in the neighborhood to drink on the bus rather than take the time to buy coffee downtown. Hence the slightly higher price.

Deposited $47 of tip box savings this month yesterday. The tip box savings are helping me out of a couple of months of spending. Sigh. So I am, with a number of people here, getting back on the saving rails.

Sister called - she lives part time in Milwaukee, part time at the farmette. The sinkhole that developed in Milwaukee is in her neighborhood. (not her car!)

We had another person leave. This guy. The one who usually comes by and yaks for 30 minutes. An hour and a half this evening! Not a fan of him, but means that the screws are quietly tightening at work.

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