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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.

lucky me

August 12th, 2013 at 03:52 pm

First day of vacation, and lucky me, I was NOT on 2nd Ave downtown on a Seattle bus at or around 8:45am ... which I would have been during my normal work schedule. Neither Seattle bus that the shooter went on was my bus, thankfully.

Unlucky me though - while I had fun the night before at the Duvall friends house watching a new episode of Breaking Bad, then stayed overnight talking about it - I came home to find that V.I. (kitty) pooped on my bed and the sectional. I'm certain it was a statement for leaving her home overnight - both poop placements were definitely where l'il ol' me had resided not 16 hours before.

Turns out that the Duvall friends themselves are lucky, in that they are running (or in this case, not running) a dead disposal. You might remember that my new sink is now too deep for the disposal, so the plumber removed the disposal and I kept it, thinking I could sell it or manufacture good will. Well, I am manufacturing good will by donating my disposal to them.

Nobody had Eydie Gorme in the death bet, but her NYT obit was good reading. Who could have guessed that her high school classmate was Stanley Kubrick? That's as good as Jack Klugman and Charles Bronson sharing a NY cold water flat in the 50s.

...as I was saying (long)

December 13th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Well, this is the first post in about 5 months. My entry title is a take off on Jack Paar's first words when he came back to his Tonight show after a big long kerfluffle.

Anyway, what happened was not a mere storm to my routine it was a fiscal hurricane (apologies to those still coming back from ss Sandy). It was all self induced. Pull up a chair and let me tell you about it.

First of all, no more DH. Actually, just to be clear, DH was more a DP (partner). We never got married, but we were together for over 20 years. I fudged the legal aspects of the relationship to provide myself a hair more anonymity. And now, it matters little except for the fact that no marriage, no divorce.

I had been dissatisfied in our relationship for some time, but something good usually happened that I could go on for a little longer. Last July though, I just looked around and saw that DH (okay, DP) was not going to change and I was damned, if I continued, that I was going to spend my next 30 years picking up after him. I blew...for me I blew, and then while I snapped back I snapped back into a different place ... a different realization.

We broke up, but we did go to Argentina together. I did give him the option to not go (he took out trip insurance), but told him that we all did want him to come. I can't say what he thought about the whole thing. I know that strangely enough, it took the heat off of me. If he did something cringe worthy, I didn't think of it as a reflection on our relationship because there now wasn't one.

Next day after I snapped, I went to my credit union in search of a home loan. Which, if you look at my net worth, was easy to get. I had 20% and could qualify pretty easy for a 3% 15 yr fixed. Next I thought hard about what I really really wanted. I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a real yard? Yeah, I suppose, but really yard work only appealed to me once in awhile, while plants in the yard grew relentlessly. And if I waited for Seattle home prices to turn reasonable, well I'd still be spending 30 yrs waiting for that. Plus, if I truly wanted to do yard work for a couple of weeks, I could fly out, spend some time with sister at the farmette, help her with the garden and weeding, and since I co-own the farmette, well, it helps me also.

After a bit of searching, I found probably one of the last sweet condo deals in Seattle, out in Lake City/Cedar Park, out at the northeast edge of Seattle. And yet the bus commute was 20 minutes shorter than what I'm used to (buses here are express, and I'm on the last stop before downtown), and the neighborhood itself sports a +90 walkability score. So I now am a proud condo owner.

With it, well I'm still spending money right and left. However, I'm buying quality and getting exactly what I want. New carpet, but carpet tile instead of wall to wall shag; new paint, but high end paint which means I can get away with 1/2 coats, only buying 1 gallon and taking only 1/2 sessions to paint a room. V.I. (kitty) has moved in with me and seems to have settled in well. Of course that litter genie could have helped much.

I can't rightly say that I'm saving money yet, but I am saving my sanity, resetting my routine, making new friends (I'm now closer to Spondilucks, who invited me to her New Year's party).

More to come, but as it is, while life is different, it is nicer for me than before.

she wants to come along

January 18th, 2011 at 09:31 pm

I'll know why I'll be picking out black cat hairs from my pho in Hanoi.

glorious, restful work

September 3rd, 2010 at 09:28 pm

Friday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $5 groceries

Thursday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $7 groceries

Wednesday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0

Feels very good getting back to work. Not because work is always super fantastic, but it is something that really keeps you from spending money. Hours can pass, and none of my money spent. Glorious. Vacation can be stressful in its own way, even if you do nothing. Nothing means, if nothing else, you are eating and spending more.

I did a bit of catching up. Sister enjoyed my creation for her birthday gift - a flipbook made from one of the books I made from a Japanese book binding kit, some pictures I took around the farmette, and a few fortune cookie fortunes.

Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Film Fest didn't accept the movie, so no quick trip to visit sister. I did mention to screenwriter friend that he could show it at another great Milwaukee venue: sister's-across-the-street neighbor owns a converted funeral parlor. This guy's "man cave" was once the main viewing room, and now is a large room with a home theater, 8 barcaloungers in a semi-circle, and a full size pool table many feet behind the loungers. Mammoth man cave, in other words. You could easily fit about 100 people comfortably for a show. Smile

Still fine after the experimental flu shot. No pecking. Well, DH would probably disagree. Smile Actually, I figure that this is going to be the safest flu shot I'm ever gonna get because I'm going to be one of a few hundred being heavily monitored. That has to be far safer than the average one that millions would get a few years from now.

DJ friend is interested in buying a few pounds of beef from us. I figure that our price for all our beef averaged about $7/lb, so that will be his price. However, the twist is that one of those pounds will be hamburger just to get the average right. Selling a little bit will have a useful function - it will make a little room for some bartered duck. Beef fest is still going to be Sept 11.

V.I. passed her 1 yr anniversary with us. So far, she has a little bit of a scratching issue. The vet hasn't found an obvious cause. No ringworm or fleas or anything that can be cultured. So its a watch and wait - change her diet from dry to wet, give her lots of affection and not too many stresses. No surprise vet boardings while we go on summer field trips.

double negative

May 8th, 2010 at 09:56 pm

Friday
Found money - $0!
Saturday
Found money - $0!

Yikes, I guess, that I haven't found any change for two days in a row. Holding at $40.38, so there is more to life than finding it. Smile This weekend has been glorious so far and I'm close to getting the patio in shape for us to use it. So far, I've:

1. Painted the bottom and legs of the patio table. I have one good coat on it everywhere. Tomorrow I plan on lightly sanding the top, get the second coat on and be done with it.

2. Set up two chairs for DH and I. Turns out that Fred Meyer, Lowes, and Home Depot all had the cushion pattern that I liked. FM price was $35/per, Lowes at $29.98 (so $30)/per, HD at $29.96. HD it was. I also sprung for a stack of chairs cover at $20 ... it does rain here, after all.

V.I. immediately commandeered the chair in the sun. She looks very sultry against the cushion - like Lena Horne on a beach chair. I'll have to post a pic.

3. Planted the 3 strawberry plants we got last Sunday in the strawberry pot. 5 plants at the top is a little tight, but at least everybody has new good soil for this year.

In other financial news, I checked out the new Grocery Outlet one neighborhood west of mine, about a 5 minute walk out of my way. I joke that they put the "gross" in grocery, and I could see that in the produce, but I was surprised that I could get brand name canned tomato products (diced, stewed, sauce, paste) for a least 40 cents/can cheaper, brown rice for 60 cents/lb cheaper, toothpaste for $2 cheaper, etc. Quite useful.

The other irony is that the stock I'm interested in selling (FIS) is possibly going to be bought out by a consortium of three private equity firms. In other words, go back into private hands. Apparently, I just need to sit tight, watch the price rise, and wait for the shareholders to get paid off.

SAM for a library card

February 28th, 2010 at 09:17 pm

Saturday
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)

Sunday
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,

Text is ikebana and Link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikebana
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
Text is new set of 2010 to 2020 quarters and Link is http://nationalparkquarters.com/
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.

2 new funds in the 403B

February 25th, 2010 at 09:01 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.03 (3 pennies in a planting by the bus stop)

Wednesday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $0 (free coffee)
Found money - $0.14 (sidewalk, crosswalk, planting strip, bus aisle, Safeway floor)

Total dirty money so far... $26.90: 690 pennies, 24 nickels, 110 dimes, 27 quarters, $1 bill, 1 10 pence (counted as 15 cents)

We had the yearly or bi-yearly update on our 403B. Two changes that I should research:

1. We are swapping our current small cap fund with another small cap fund. A quick look at style box of the new fund is telling that this is more of a mid cap than a small cap ... and that could be that successful small cap companies grow to turn into mid caps, or it could be that the manager is buying more mid cap companies that to compensate for small caps going under. Interesting thinking about that "style drift."

2. We are adding another type of bond fund - a low duration bond fund that invests in shorter term bonds than the usual 5-10 yrs. I have some bond holdings and I'd like to check this new fund to see if holding it would be useful to me.

On a non-fiscal note, we've had V.I. for six months, now as long as we had Morgan. I still get a little choked up about the whole thing....How are we celebrating V.I.'s six month anniversary? She's getting her nails trimmed. She might not be celebrating it, but we sure will. Big Grin

all Thursdays, Great and Small

January 28th, 2010 at 08:50 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $4 steak sauce
Found money - $0.23 (bus stop under bench, sidewalks, Safeway floor)

Wednesday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $0.05 apple
Found money - $0

Tuesday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalks)

Just when I thought that folks had stopped throwing money on the ground, I was proved pleasantly wrong today.

$22.26: 566 pennies, 19 nickels, 94 dimes, 21 quarters, $1 bill.

I'm at my busiest right now - data data data. I get paid tomorrow, and come Monday I will have worked at my current place for 10 years. Yikes! But definitely better than working 9 years and a few months.

With the stock market down, I'm still at six figures in my 403B, but barely. My addition stocks of SYY got bought in the past few days, and my new stock, OSK, also got bought. I'm 3 shares into war now.

I also mentioned to DH that by the end of February, V.I. will have been with us 6 months, or as long as Morgan was. I haven't mentioned V.I all that much - I just didn't want to jinx her. She is doing fine - coat is great, no inappropriate poohing, and now doesn't need the bribery of a greenie either. She is still a tad skittish, but now visits us as we settle down in bed. The quality that I most treasure about her is that she does not hanker to go outside. Oh, she'll follow you into the patio if you are puttering around back there, but as soon as you come in, she wants in. Its as if she learned that she'll never be a stray if she stays in the house.

403B at six figures

January 6th, 2010 at 09:16 pm

Wednesday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 lunch
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk, Safeway floor)

Tuesday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 cat toy
Found money - $0.10 (gym counter)

Yesterday I broke an exciting barrier. My current workplace 403B (non-profit version of the 401K) broke six figures. Its still fragile, ready to be knocked down to five figures at the slightest dip in the stock market, but its a cause to celebrate tonight.

Also confirmed in my Vanguard that my 2010 Roth has been set up.

Last Saturday, V.I.'s favorite toy got eaten by the vacuum cleaner, so I got her a new one. Its a cat dancer, with a fresh toy mouse. Within 3 minutes, new mouse got de-tailed.