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intimate emergency fund

February 4th, 2014 at 08:56 pm

I've found $36.05 since mid July. With the $120 that I added from winning the 2013 death bet, my intimate emergency fund is at $156.05.

bump in my intimate emergency fund

January 1st, 2014 at 07:41 pm

Deep irony that I'm going to use about $120 of my death bet winnings to fund my intimate emergency fund, where I would use said fund if many, many people will be facing a possible death issue.

2014 is now here and we have similar sets of participants but a new crop of celebrities.

Took a nice long walk this morning and afternoon, soaking up .... 2014.

Fixing up my red card

December 30th, 2013 at 09:21 pm

I have a Target Red Card and noticed that I had used it between the times card information was stolen. I have to assume that I was one of the 40M.

So far, no strange spurious transactions. However, I'm royally sick of the "no, they didn't steal this, so you are safe" then it turns that this happened, but you really are still safe. The final straw was encripted PINs. The hackers didn't have the PINs, then they did, but not the encription key. I changed my PINs up and made a teeny purchase to test.

Still watching.

On another note about still watching, I am collecting lists for 2014. If you are interested in playing, email me directly.

loving Seeking Alpha

December 17th, 2013 at 07:38 pm

Got another bit of good stock news today. 3M raised its dividend - effective next quarter. It went from .69/share/quarter to now .88/share/quarter.

The other good news is that I got the good news from Seeking Alpha, which I seem to like much better than The Motley Fool, or Value Line, or the WSJ or Barrons or IBD. Plus, the email alerts are just enough.

Intimate emergency fund = $28.34.

The Grim reaper has been busy this past week - several have come close (Harold Camping was on a list last year, and someone had Kim Jong-il's sister and wife of the guy who got executed last week).

And .... amazingly, 2 million visits.

Tday +1

November 29th, 2013 at 08:09 pm

I hope everybody had a tasty and reasonably low key Thanksgiving. I hosted a small group (3) and all parties were "just in case" potluck people. You have the chips and salsa people who come to a potluck with the minimum; and then you have the 180 degree style - us. There's the dish, and then what if they had no serving spoon so that goes, and then it turns into "just in case", and suddenly you are lugging half of your kitchen. So we had a lot of food for just the three of us. Leftovers for a week!

Last week my drp stock portfolio crossed a milestone. I got a 100% return. Specifically, I put about 26K worth of contributions over the past 10+ years, and now my portfolio is at 53K. Total stock portfolio worth also includes about 6K of reinvested dividends.

So far, I'm still ahead in the death pool pool. Fingers crossed, but somehow December is busy for death.

groceries are striking here

October 18th, 2013 at 10:09 pm

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

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

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

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

maybe I should buy a lottery ticket

August 15th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

My youngest, least celeb in the 2013 Death bet came in (Lisa Robin Kelly), so right now I'm ahead in the 2013 Fantasy Celebrity Cemetery. This weekend, Spondulicks and I will divy up the gift certs I won during the Gumshoe.

Its been a nice staycation! Maybe Saturday I'll buy a lottery ticket.

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.

dang busy

March 23rd, 2013 at 03:54 pm

Been nearly a month already since I last wrote something. Hopefully, though, it will ease up. It has to eventually.

Lately I've been hip deep in making decisions about my upcoming kitchen remodel - the sink and faucet, the countertop, the cabinets, the flooring, the lighting, the appliances. I sure hope that all of my decisions will play nice with each other, and the new kitchen will play nice with the dining room. I've also notified (and renotified) my condo neighbors and the condo board. The tentative start date is this Monday - I've learned that it really always be a bit tentative because the contractor wants to absolutely, positively make sure that the materials will get here with no delays before they start ripping up things to shreds.

Right now this is the last weekend of the old. I'm treating it as a calm before the storm. Tonight I take down pictures, pull out everything from cabinets. I have enough empty space so that the new refrigerator gets put into the living room. Saves me more decisions about where to put my freezer stuff - and it will be nice to be able store a bag of salad whilst the teardown begins. I've put the kitty food bowls in my bedroom and my fur girl is quite confused. I'm trying to tell her that THINGS will be different in the next few weeks.

The welcome packet project is done. Someone did buy a unit in the last week or two - I'll be a knocking at their door to welcome them, packet in hand.

Just finished my taxes, and yes I pay some. The price of good investing - I've made a bit of coin in these last couple of years, and I had to figure out cost-basis this year.

And of course an update on the death bet 2013 - about 1/2 the players got Hugo Chavez. Don't weep for the other half - they are playing Lindsay Lohan! Wink One player got a local celebrity - Booth Gardner, the former governor of Washington.

sailing along

February 27th, 2013 at 01:29 pm

So this is third try at a blog post. I don't know why they aren't getting captured...

Last couple of weeks I've been in saving mode and it feels great. looking forward to payday tomorrow, though. I backed off my 403B contributions to about 20% or 10K annually. I might have to back them off a bit more depending on how my regular spending settles out. FWIW, I capture the full match at 8%, and I contribute my 6K to my Roth annually so I will still be saving a lot, just not a lot a lot.

Decided on the sink and faucet choice, made a choice for a slide in stove, and am looking at flooring, signed the construction agreement with the contractor and contractor has ordered the cabinets and open shelving. Its on, its just that work will start when the contractor knows the cabinets are coming within two weeks.

I've been working on a project for the condo board - developing a welcome packet comprising of a FAQ about the condo, a Lake City Chamber of Commerce business guide, a kicky map of north Seattle, and current transit guides. Nothing too fancy, but something to have in hand and talk about when one knocks on the door to a new owner's condo.

First hit of the FCC. Spondilucks had Van Clyburn.

getting back to routine

January 5th, 2013 at 03:52 pm

Happy Holidays, and best of success in all your fiscal endeavors for 2013.

As for me, I'm getting back into the swing of routine. A different routine - I now can depend on me waking up at 7:45, and getting out the door at about 8:15 - 8:20, to catch any of the three downtown express buses. One (the 522) got me downtown on the 26th in 15 minutes. Man that was nice.

Done with carpet tile, just finished with the major wall painting (painting trim I'm sure is a forever project). I moved 2 full car loads of my stuff at the old place to the new condo, with the last full car load (books) perhaps will happen in the next week or two.

The next 'goal' is get set up enough to host the super Bowl party... first Sunday of February. For that, I'll break down and buy that TV, and get some seating. After that, the fridge and stove work like champs.

I have been doing lots of mini goals with the condo - got all the lighting to work, put post-its on the rooms to remind me what I need to do in them, arranged a charging station to hem in all the electronic crap in one area, am making a pile of stuff to donate/recycle (sometimes its just easier to move it, then donate it), arranged the entry way, monitored when the garbage gets picked up so I can slip a contractors bag of nasty carpet or dried paint waste when the dumpster is empty. Lawyer friend came by with his half full truck and took 15 bags - hard to tell if he will swing around again. He soon will not be a co worker - he's heading for another job at another non-profit. Hopefully we can still keep in touch...if nothing else, he's another dead pool player.

Received a box of organic produce from sister, and I've sent her a Christmas fish in return. Also sent her before and after condo pics.

Our own Spondilucks won the 2012 Dead Pool pool, so I mailed the proceeds to her. She hosted a New Year's Eve soiree which was a whole lot of fun. We had a great time comparing methodologies! Right now the 2013 pool has again 13 players - I might have 2 more and am willing to wait a day or two longer, but after that it becomes not fair to others who got their list in...especially if you are planning on playing Hugo Chavez. Smile

Still holding out on not having Internet at home - what I might do is write posts when I can then publish them one after the other. My net worth took a dip because I put down 20%, but it is still around 600K. The 403B really perked up at the very end - it alone is at 181K.

middle of staycation

July 18th, 2012 at 06:55 pm

Still no call from the court, so I have to assume that the jury I was an alternate for is still deliberating. I'll see if there is a way to search cases online. I was a little disappointed not being able to deliberate last week. I'm sure the jury that remains probably envies me.

Right now I'm relaxing at home, but I do have some goals for the day this week. Goal #1 is to catch up on my house cleaning - which I am doing 30 min or so at a time by using mini-projects. For instance, I scrubbed out the tub out yesterday afternoon. Ah, heaven! Goal #2, unfortunately is work related - performance evaluations. One more section for me to write on my own eval, and I scheduled the meeting for my direct report who went on family leave.

Goal #3 is to finish my commission. So far, everything is glued - I stick the mosaic onto a board using thinset, then grout. Grout cures for a week and voila. But so far, it looks good... Paulette, the finished piece will appear near you!


Sunday I hit the mother lode. I was at a yard sale, looking, and I talked with the owner who told me that she had a lot of stuff due to "projects". Smile I mentioned my mosaics. Turns out that she used to do stained glass and asked me if I could use stained glass. Could I! Big Grin. I bought what I think was about 10 lbs of glass for $5, it was a nice variety too. You can see the stained glass above and below the numbers.

Other things - I finished by change finding for the third year in a row (yes, oddball me I started in mid-july). $90.35. Thank you loose change losers. And yesterday, I found my 6th silver dime for my precious metal portfolio.

No interesting deaths that I know about - nobody had Andy Griffin, or Kitty Wells. 4 people in our group have Bashir al-Assad.

lots of stuff to report (long)

May 20th, 2012 at 07:44 pm

So lets see...

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

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

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

Best thing I saw was a complete 3 inch telescope


Funniest thing I saw was this from the tool sale


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


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

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

Coworker, conferring:


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


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


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