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going to heck weekend

September 28th, 2013 at 03:15 am

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 10:52 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. I was saying (long)

December 13th, 2012 at 08:50 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 19th, 2011 at 05:31 am

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

glorious, restful work

September 4th, 2010 at 04:28 am

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

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

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 9th, 2010 at 04:56 am

Found money - $0!
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

March 1st, 2010 at 05:17 am

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,

Text is ikebana and Link is
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
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 26th, 2010 at 05:01 am

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

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 29th, 2010 at 04:50 am

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

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

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 7th, 2010 at 05:16 am

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

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.

3 pics of the season

November 29th, 2009 at 02:45 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $3.60 Financial Times, meat pierogi
Found money - $1.01 (one buck! in street parking strip amongst leaves, sidewalk)

Yes! I found a dollar bill... which is very rare for me. That puts me at $10.84 - 249 pennies, 10 nickels, 46 dimes, 9 quarters, $1 in bills.

Thought I put up a couple of holiday pics!

Thanksgiving day spread, traditional even down to the relish tray:

And after, when the remainders attracted V.I.:

And the day after, Black Friday. Can you see the irony in the signs? Big Grin

lot'l little

October 31st, 2009 at 03:28 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk)

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee, $10 snack foods
Found money - $0.22 (road, bus floor, Safeway floor)

Took money off the 403B table and rebalanced back to the 60 yr old man portfolio - cash, bonds, gov bonds, equal small parts of: large cap, small cap, mid cap, international, value. Saw my changes yesterday.

Saw that my transfer agent bought the $300 worth of SYY; it was bought along with the re-invested dividend.

Found out that the fire from last weekend was arson. When I tried to shortcut through the Taproot parking lot, I found that the back parking lot was all fenced in along with the fronts.

Behaved myself during the parade of work potlucks today, and I contributed with fruit snacky items.

V.I. (kitty) and I are having a nice time. So far, she's been hitting the litter box with me. I have changed a couple of things - I've shut the bedroom and home office door during the day, so no "surprises" in those rooms. I've also made the living room quiet - most of her "surprises" are left underneath coffee table, desk, behind the couch. Quiet, shadowy places. DH loves to have the radio on during the day and I suspect that loud human noises and bustle startles her. Most of all, when I hear her use the box, I quietly and quickly get a greenie from the bag and reward her as she walks past. I also play with her for at least an hour in the evening.

happy 80th!

October 29th, 2009 at 05:12 am

you Great Depression, you. You hardly look a day over 79. But never fear, your grandchild parts his hair near the same way.

(In all seriousness, today is the 80th anniversary of the then-Black Monday stock market crash. Wheee!)

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $2 decaf coffee + $20 pizza
Found money - $0.03 (road, bus floor) and yesterday - $0.02 (coffee shop floor, road)

Today DH is off visiting his mom, so evil me, I cleaned the kitchen and ordered a large pizza - olive, mushroom, onion, and anchovy. All my favorites and even better cold for lunch, and it takes a rare lunch thief to go after the anchovy pizza.

Then Mad Men, then a bath, and off to bed. So far kitty is behaving herself also and hitting the box. Nighty night.

trades and bribery

October 18th, 2009 at 06:34 am

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $13 breakfast, coffee + $12 wine & dessert for duck trade dinner
Found money - $0

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $5 yogurt, fruit + $49 vet stuff
Found money - $0.01 (bus steps)

No money found - a miss after 21 days straight of finding something.

The duck for beef trade occurred - they got:
1 ground beef, 1 t-bone, 1 chuck roast, 1 sirloin = 7 lbs beef
and we got:
2 muscovy ducks @ 8 lbs total, 1 dozen eggs.

We had a muscovy duck for lunch/dinner, I got a slice of the breast, which hardly looked like a poultry breast ... it looked like pretty beefy on its own.

V.I. is giardia free (yay), but had continued with some more missing of the litter box. We've decided to go with the positive reinforcement - keep the box impeccable, and when she uses it, she gets a greenie and face scritch, both things she likes. If she misses, we clean up but we ignore her. In the last few days, she has been hitting the box. We'll see if it holds.

I've been also using positive reinforcement with DH during this whole affair. A few days ago, V.I. was tested for the fecal parasites in general, but before the results were in, DH gambled a bit that she was still sick. He sprung for a stronger prescription, but tuna flavored. When V.I. tested negative but was still missing the box, DH still presented her with the medicine. "Why?" I asked. "I spent good money for the medicine, and I'm using it," he replied. So we were at the stage where DH was going to give her something that she wouldn't take and didn't need, all because of cash. I paid him to offset the cost of medicine - its free to him so he's free not to use it.

N.B.(10/19/2009): Turns out that the vet suggested to DH that he still give the medicine to V.I. C'mon guys: less is more.

fun, spendy day

September 6th, 2009 at 05:49 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $12 coffee, breakfast + $41 cat toys, collar, treats + $17 id, camera case

Sometimes you just have to have a spendy day. At least it was fun stuff. We used another PAWS coupon for some cat spending - the cat pillow was appreciated, the new collar, not so much. V.I. must have had an attachment to her old collar even though there was a cat claw embedded in it. Hers? I don't think we will ever know.

I also made a stop at Office Depot and solved a problem that has been nagging me since the long walk/jogs on the weekends. Its inconvenient, but necessary, to carry the remnants of my wallet as I jog - need at the very least, my bus pass, driver's license, a bit of money, key, and if I buy an apple or have a bit of tea at the end, I need a place to put the change. My running pants have one rudimentary pocket. I've been jogging in my jacket with the pockets to get one, but it does get mighty warm during. Smile I originally thought about a wrist wallet ($15), but never pulled the trigger. Today I just went with a very simple ID pocket on a cloth lanyard ($4) and see if that works.

I leave you with a non-financial picture.

The harbinger

food, exercise, cat

September 4th, 2009 at 05:15 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $40 dinner for 2

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3 peanuts
Found money - $0

Been a rough three days of eating. Tuesday I helped polish off a lot of angel food cake along with a lot of homemade blueberry plum whiskey compote.

Recipe is straightforward - 1 lb blueberries, 1 lb pitted ripe plums with skins on, 1 c sugar, cook about 15 minutes, add 2 tbsp whiskey, cook 5 min more, cool, store in refrigerator. It forms a sauce, thinner than a jam, although with a bit of pectin it should make for a smashing jam.

Wednesday I went to the baseball game and got logy with a beer, garlic fries, and a bag of peanuts. At least I could only finish 2/3 of the bag and I had to shell the peanuts besides. And tonight we had dinner, appetizers, and drinks with friends. DH bought the beers and fries at the stadium; I bought our dinners tonight.

I also got a bit of a shocker yesterday morning - my gym trainer quit, so it is time to finish off the rest of my time with another. I'm sad, of course, he was a great trainer, but my MO has been that I lose the most amount of weight within the first three months of training. Makes sense if your body gets used to specific exercise - and every trainer has their own favorites that they will try on you. In other words, from the tactical losing weight/gain muscle thing, this is the best thing that could have happened. So if you buy trainer time, three months and then done.

I get twinges in my knee when I climb stairs, and tried one legged squats - that knee felt very challenged.

V.I. is settling in still more - we only had her for five days and her coat has improved by leaps and bounds. She wasn't terrible to pet when we got her, but her coat was rough and dandered. Now, very soft and glossy even at the base of the tail. I don't think improved food would work that fast. I think its because her stress levels have gone down - being the only cat in a quiet environment, she has the time and the desire to clean herself properly.


September 2nd, 2009 at 03:05 am

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $5 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (crosswalk on 1st)

Here she is on our couch, very much a grande dame...

And yes, we are black cat people. I tried steering DH away from the black cats, to no awail.

starting to pick up

September 1st, 2009 at 04:04 am

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3.29 forks
Found money - $0.01 (chiropractor's office) + $0.01 (Goodwill parking lot) + $0.01 (underneath Safeway vending machine)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.90 bagel (free coffee) + $2.90 large iced tea, apple
Found money - $0.02 (floor of Pete's coffee)

Made a nickel the hard way these last two days! Would have thought that the Goodwill parking lot was prime for change finding: very busy, cash business, kids, people shifting money from hand to pocket and leaving in a hurry. I found a penny, was expecting to find much more.

I went to Goodwill again to buy forks. Got 15 for $3. Last April, several co workers complained that the temp staff stole all the forks. I bought 8 forks at Goodwill after the temp staff left. Opened the work silverware drawer in the last few days: one fork. Look in the mirror, thieves. Quit blaming others.

BIL and DH's sister have firmly decided to visit the Oshkosh EAA next year in 2010. "If not now, then when?". I emailed them and invited them to stay at the farmette, and sister emailed them and invited them to the farmette. We'll see. Just a little warning: if you decide not to attend EAA for a day or two, sister will work you in the garden. We joked that we were in a re-education camp.

Sister's birthday yesterday. She got her b-day gift from us but she chided DH: if you are going to use popcorn as a packing material, don't use oil! Big Grin She and the neighbor at the farmette are getting tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, and squash, squash, squash. She's beginning to be a regular at the Tuesday farmer's market and picked up another customer near the farmette, losing a non-payer in Milwaukee. I suspect that that's the benefit of the farmer's market - advertising to pick up weekly customers.

Yesterday I got my library visit in before the Seattle libraries furloughed for the week.

Kitty is settling in even more. Ate more dry food (at least she's cheap, sister said), and after she begged a little from my plate (I have SUCKER tattooed in cat on my forehead), played for a few minutes with the mouse on a stick, totally DESTROYED the little plastic bag containing catnip that I put on my dresser, explored the kitchen and the tops of the washer and dryer, tolerated a bit of brushing, wants to snuggle on the bad as soon as the lights are down. In other words, a full day, and not that shy. She does have an unusual habit - she is quite the tail swisher when you pet her and you think you better stop otherwise you'll get a claw in your hand...but she doesn't growl or attack. Tail swishing must mean general excitement. Think I will call her V.I.

they're the greenest people we know

August 30th, 2009 at 06:27 am

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $12 breakfast, coffee + $30 adoption fee
Found money - $0.10 (Safeway parking lot - underneath the vending machine)

At the breakfast place today, DH and I got a compliment. Our next table looked at the massive amount of food they couldn't finish and sighed...just about the same time we got our meals. I pulled out our Ziploc boxes and we merrily cut our portions in half. The waitress on duty said, "they do it all the time - they are the greenest people we know."

We are also in the midst of another recycling project. Because of the large crop of strays and abandoned pets, PAWS is swamped - PAWS Cat City ran a $30 special this month if you would adopt an adult cat. (includes chip, rabies shot, spay/neuter, etc) I wasn't ready at the beginning of the month even, but I feel ready now.

We adopted a very sweet, but very shy 2 yr cat this afternoon. She had been at PAWS for several months so the entire staff was excited about it ... and doubly excited that we were in the neighborhood so they could keep in touch. I have to reset my eyes - our new adoptee looks huge compared to Morgan. New adoptee is shy, so I'm hoping that that will translate into no desire for the outdoors. I enjoyed how PAWS classified her personality - they called her a "private investigator". Tentatively, I'm calling her V.I..

quiet fiscal year end

July 1st, 2009 at 04:32 am

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $5 groceries

I wore a pair of pants today that I was not able to wear in awhile. Actually I've never been able to comfortably wear them until now.

At work, today was one of the quietest end of fiscal year ends ever. We still keep our books open a few days more, but I don't expect a mad rush as in previous years. Yet another indication of a deep recession.

DH reseeded one of the lettuce bowls for an early fall harvest. We planted Morgan's memorial catnip in the corner and it seems to be doing well - nothing has disturbed it yet. I had heard that if the catnip plant is big enough and you don't bruise the leaves too much, the plant won't get mowed down by rampaging cats. Hopefully that's what's happening.

gratitude and love

June 27th, 2009 at 04:53 am

Thank you for your comment SMB - your words helped pull me out of my anger.

I woke up this morning at about 4 am to a grey twilight. Easy to see that people might be getting up and getting going, easy to see black shapes.

I'm left with a sad result of a senseless act. I could interpret dead Morgan in a box as an angry malicious act and lash out against my neighbors, or I can treat it as someone's last kindness from a horrible accident.

DH reminded me that if he was "caught" by someone peering into a box with a dead cat in it, that he would run too.

Gratitude has taken me a long way. I'm grateful to share Morgan for those six months. After all, she was six months old when we got her secondhand, so from the perspective of her first home, she had died long before. I'm grateful that I have no misplaced hope that my little girl will come back. I'm grateful that someone was kind enough to cover her up from indignity. I am grateful that someone called the police. I am grateful that in expressing my gratitude that I got some sort of answer from the police. And I'm grateful by your comments, dear readers. We've gotten more response from the universe than many others have facing the same situation.

Morgan was pure love to me. I have to remember to reflect pure love and gratitude back. Any other response would lead to madness and sadness.

I walked the

Text is stupa of Sakya Monastery and Link is
stupa of Sakya Monastery, twirling the 32 prayer wheels clockwise and I felt a lot better. DH bought the biggest, leggiest catnip plant I've seen for us to plant. We plan to plant it in the southwest corner of the property - the first and best place Morgan ran to when she began exploring - furthest away from where she was found.

"answers" decidedly dark

June 26th, 2009 at 03:05 am

Apologies that this is so very far off the topic of personal finance.

I called and got a hold of my contact at the Seattle Police Dept. This is the situation that he told me, verbally (no police report):

Sometime early Sunday morning (before 4 am), a private citizen saw 2 males standing by the cardboard box resting by our mailbox (we are one of 4 mailboxes in a row). The citizen shouted, "what are you doing?" The 2 males ran off. The citizen opened the cardboard box, saw dead little Morgan, and called the police. The patrol officer came at 4:15am and wrote up the incident report.

So I feel certain that Morgan's killer is in our neighborhood, and knows that Morgan was owned by either us, the upstairs neighbor (we are a duplex), or the next door neighbor (also a duplex).

I don't whether Morgan's killer is one or both of the two males, the private citizen, the person who set Morgan in the cardboard box, or none of the above.

We still have the cardboard box. The irony is not lost on me that said cardboard box has a shipping address of Lifeway Christian Store with a tracking number (!) dated from Feb 2009 and has "Kings Elementary" (private Christian elementary school) handwritten on one of the flaps, while Morgan is an entirely black cat (8 white hairs at the throat), and we have a license plate that begins with "666".

North Seattle is not anywhere close to the Bible Belt, its not even a Bible headband or a bible ankle bracelet. At least I thought that. We are left with a box and the thought of a killer-nutball or a killer-scumbag in our neighborhood. DH and I are debating about calling the SPD back either right now (me) or wait because we assume that the investigation is on-going. My SPD contact has my number, and they know we owned Morgan.

In the meantime, anybody have the ability to trace a tracking number back to an order?

not great, but better

June 25th, 2009 at 03:54 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee and sweet + $20 for 2 orders of takeout noodles

I'm a bit better today. I can now talk about what happened without totally breaking down. I've been playing telephone tag with the contact from the Seattle Police Department. I tried again to get the incident report. Nothing - we are now running up against the 72 hour limit. I phoned the police report line and heard the ominous phrase "we will not give you a report if its an on-going investigation."

Patience, baselle.

Though I have to admit that it would be ironic that Morgan working her way up the phyla (worms, flies, mice) in her death perhaps caught the biggest prey of all.

I haven't been hungry in days, just eating a bit here and there. Today was the first day that I even had an appetite. Yesterday I went to work, and kept my appointment to the gym. The trainer weighed me - 174. I told him that the news is not nearly as good as he thinks it is.

I am sadder today than you will ever know

June 23rd, 2009 at 04:29 am

I was yesterday also.

Sunday morning we discovered our cat, Morgan, dead in a box with a Seattle Police business card & incident number clipped to the lid. Morgan didn't have any marks on her, no broken bones, no blood. She looked like death literally caught her mid-yawn from a nap.

We tried getting the incident report but since it was written up during the weekend, it will take 24-72 hrs to come up.

You now know as much as I do. I am sadder today than you will ever know. She was a little princess, about to become an adult. Was.

Damn. Damn. DAMN.

free range escargot

April 20th, 2009 at 04:31 am

Saving log - $40 drp
Spending log - $12 breakfast + $20 dessert

Saturday DH and I cleaned up a bit more of the south facing flower bed in preparation of planting some more veg. We found a few more critters...

I suppose that if DH and I were really in desperate straits, we would put these in a jar for a few days with water and cornmeal, then bake 'em with butter and garlic. Of course if we were that desperate we wouldn't have the butter and garlic.

Instead, they all went crunch underfoot.

The container garden is also moving along.

We also found an eviscerated mouse in the yard. In the last weeks, Morgan had been hunting and bringing in earthworms, so I think she's moving up the phyla.

the pot garden

April 5th, 2009 at 03:28 am

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee + $10 lunch/snack + $20 dinner w/friends

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $10 breakfast + $40 two blueberry bushes + $2.75 top + $6 meat for lunches

Spendy couple of days all around. I discovered that I didn't have any turkey or ham for my little bit of rice, so I bought a bit of salmon, tofu, and green beans to augment and I didn't make the afternoon snack, so I bought a little side salad for that. For that one day, I went from $0 spending I went to the typical for six months ago.

Had to refuel my wallet, as it were, at the ATM before dinner. (I'm still old school - I've been burned enough times to be wary of just using the debit card. Way I roll.) General relativity exists - time has to change depending on perspective. How else can I explain why I can get money from an ATM in a bit under a minute, and why I ALWAYS am behind someone who takes freaking forever to get or not get their money. I know what I can and want to do at the ATM before I get there. I guess not everybody is that together. It still burns me, though.

At the little dinner soiree last night I learned that my ex is losing his job at the end of April. Told him about the hiring freeze, and the possibility of no temps working the fall campaigns. But you never know - and I'll be one of the first to hear, either way.

This afternoon DH and I bought two low blueberry bushes. I wanted a fairly low growth habit for two reasons - 1.) we were going to grow them in pots for a year or two or three and 2.) we figure that Morgan's side job will be to go after any bird that tries to snack on a berry, so we went for low to make the job easy and fun for her.

Again, the two lettuce pots are starting to sprout those little four leaf seedlings...(they are green in real life)

The gardener irony: Weed seedlings always look far healthier than your seedlings.

Here's the pot garden, so far. We're also doing a couple of tomato plants in pots - the soil that is the sunniest and warmest also grew potatoes, which are a host plant for fusarium wilt.

food sales and unfortunate news

March 13th, 2009 at 03:29 am

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $0

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $2 coffee + $2 groceries

Re: 2$ coffee. What can I say? Every couple of months I crave a professionally made cup of coffee.

I'm starting to see the food sales - one sign said: "Ignore the prices on the menu, everything is $6.95". Cabbage is now .19/lb, and now that I have Clif bar coupons, I can only dependably get Clif bar at Trader Joe's or PCC. The coupons last until 12/31/09...I can wait.


Now for the unfortunate news. I learned that lawyer friend's younger brother passed on this morning. I never met him, but I feel the loss.

CD release party

February 28th, 2009 at 05:41 am

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $20 drinks

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $4 coffee, scone + $8 lunch

I haven't been blogging too much about my work with Global Vortex Radio and DJ friend, probably because I don't do very much with it on a day to day level. But I have been doing some writing for the Internet radio station when DJ friend has a project for me. Mostly its been crafting a message to get a precise tone and effect. For instance, DJ friend needed other DJs to send their remixes and programs in certain way, and he REALLY needed that to happen. I crafted what we lovingly call the "hammer letter". It had to set a polite but firm tone. Please do this, and if insist on not, your show won't go on. It worked very well, with no problems with compliance and no hard feelings. I also wrote a thank you to the DJs that gave the all rights to one of their songs to GVR for the compilation album. It had to thank them for their gift, ease their mind that they weren't being ripped off, and tell them what will happen because of their gift.

I was paid in barter yesterday - I got a free copy of Global Vortex Radio's first CD compiliation (2 CDs) and a thank you in the liner notes! I'm buying another copy to give to my sister. I also got a free invite to the CD launch last night.

Here's a picture to give you a flavor of where I was...too bad my battery gave out right after.

The first half was an event to Seattle's Fashion week - a student fashion show. To tell you the truth, it has been over twenty years since I've last been "clubbing". So long ago, that at the door I proudly held out the top of my palm for the stamp, 80s style. Current style is underside of the wrist. Smile Observing cool kids is a lot of fun for an old fart geek like me. Lots of fake hugging - women & women pat at the base of the back, women & men pat at the top of the back, men & men at the shoulder blades. My only compliant is that "Kitchen" was in the name of the venue: kitchen was closed by 9pm. Its how the fashionistas stay thin, apparently. The bartender was a generous pourer. I'm sure I got 1/3 of a bottle in my wineglass.

Our event started at around 10:30pm - very fun. We got to go up into the DJ private aerie up above the bar (in the picture) and dance floor and I got a chance to meet new people and talk with some friends. Morgan's (our kitty) rescuer was there so I got a chance to catch him up and tell him how she's doing, a couple of former co-workers came by, and the couple of DJs that I met on the 15 bus and we later discovered that we had a connection to DJ friend (that's my boss! DJ friend later told them)- they showed and I had a chance to talk with them.

Today, though, I really felt it. How did I ever do this in college? Thank heaven it was Friday and I could rest up. DJ friend will be resting too.

its the freezer's fault

February 10th, 2009 at 05:36 am

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

Woke up this morning to a very sad Post-it on refrigerator from DH:

We must eat what we can
Freezer and refrigerator were OFF last night.

Bummer. He called this afternoon. We'll try saving a pot roast that hadn't been in the freezer that long, and we'll save the butter in the freezer, along with the bottle of good gin. Everything else he tossed. As far as the refrigerator was concerned, anything that hadn't been put in the night before gets tossed.

Sad, but it would be even sadder to risk food poisoning for several $1.49 bags of frozen vegetables. I think, well, hope, that we only lost about $50 worth of food. Its why I have to remember to treat food as food to be eaten, and not as heirlooms.

DH traced the refeer culprit to an odd design - you can control the cold inside on the middle of the top shelf - and lately the top shelf was quite packed. A few things knocked the control, a careless hand brushed the dial down, and there you are. No cold? Refeer can do that. At least it wasn't that the power cord was chewed on or it got unplugged accidentally.

Time to restock the refrig over the next few days.

Speaking of entities that chew cords and dangly things, a breakthrough of sorts. I said, "Morgan", she looked up from her scratching post. I said "Morgan" again and she came. Without bribery even.

Another bit of good news - DJ friend showed me the cover of the new, first compilation CD for Global Vortex. Vol 1: Electronic and House. Its a beautiful cover. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I have bought CDs on the cover alone. And if it was in the CD stacks I definitely would have touched it and thought about buying it.

question from the peanut gallery

February 5th, 2009 at 05:03 am

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $3.50 fresh juice

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $10 lunch

Its busy at work but I'm making great progress so I bought a treat yesterday and had lunch with the gang today.

Lawyer friend had read my blog and had a question for me: Why don't I count the farmette in my net worth? Let me see...

1. Don't know what the farmette's worth, and really, until I'm bought out or it goes up for sale, not worth it to me to appraise it.

2. And it would 1/2 of an estimate anyway.

3. Treating the farmette like an expense, which it is if I pay half-sies on expenses and taxes and I visit it once every couple of years.

4. Would prefer that my net worth be an underestimate.

After lunch, as we were walking back to work, screenwriter friend found a $10 bill under a parked car. Score for him.

Apologies that I haven't been posting daily - I have an excuse, now I have to look around for the screen and type one handed...

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