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Viewing the 'Emotional baggage' Category

soap nuts

August 22nd, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Yes, don't need to rub your eyes. Soap nuts.

Two weeks ago I bought a sample of these for $2. I got a little muslin bag, and inside were 7-8 dried shells of

Text is Sapindus and Link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapindus
Sapindus. The guy I bought them from at the farmer's market claimed that they were good for about 7-8 washings. So far, I've used them for 4.

Using them is pretty easy - plunk your clothes in the washer, plunk the muslin bag in the load, run the washer. Intercept the muslin bag when you load the clothes in the dryer for use in the next load ... the hard part, because the muslin bag has hiding skills.

Clothes in the dryer (or hung) ... supposedly the clothes need no fabric softener. Whatever that is. Smile!

I've really enjoyed using them. My clothes don't have any fragrance, they are clean (not that they get all that dirty) and feel soft ... although they still have some static when you pull them out of the dryer. Think I might get some more.

When they have given their all, the soap nuts can be composted.

Anybody else use them? For once, a cheap solution. (.25$/load)

first day of staycation

August 4th, 2011 at 08:45 pm


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

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

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

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

new bank stock

July 9th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Perhaps you remember that I have some drps - stocks where I can add to my position in small amounts along with reinvesting the dividends as they come up quarterly. My bank stock had been ailing since the near-implosion in the fall of 2008. I say had because as of July 1, it had been acquired by the Bank of Montreal (BMO). I discovered that the transfer agent (the banking/ accounting entity that you buy the shares from) is the same one as my KO stock. Good news - no new weird one, and they are very prompt with the payments. It appears that I can drp in that one also, but I've asked for the prospectus. The only odd thing is that the account is kept in Canadian dollars.

Stocks went up in the last couple of weeks (though not on Friday) - my net worth broke 600K again. We'll see if it holds.

Have 5 more days til I close this year's change finding adventure. I found .21 today, and I'm at $88.23. Probably not going to hit $90 this year ... but $88 - $89 is darn good enough.

Nope, nobody had Betty Ford.

On the crafty side, I'm making progress. I have only a couple more frames to paint, and I've finished gluing the glass and tile bits into my mosaic. I also bought a bit of thinset mortar ($12 for a box), and found a notched trowel for $2 at Goodwill. Gotta love it when I can find what I need at the thrift store. I've emailed the mosaic teacher several questions. When I get the answers I'll take the plunge and get the mosaic mortared to the board. Grout awaits! will

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

July 5th, 2011 at 08:18 pm


Text is website and Link is http://www.consumerfinance.gov/
website is up and running. Support Elizabeth Warren and check it out.

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.

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.

not nuts

June 10th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Saving log - $6 tip box + $1.42 dividend check
Spending log - $1.73 coffee (forgot my mug) + $9 groceries

At last, I found an

Text is article and Link is http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2011/06/09/6822871-good-graph-friday-want-to-be-a-pocketbook-patriot-stop-driving
article about not driving/not buying gas being a patriotic act. I've been mentioning it for years even in supposedly green Seattle and people have looked at me as if I was nuts. Finally, not nuts!

I can understand it if you were out in the boonies. Lugging groceries for miles up a hill is absolutely no fun, but in the city a car is a tool. You don't want to shoot a squirrel with a machine gun; why use a car for every batch of light errands?

another reason for not carrying my credit card

May 25th, 2011 at 09:45 pm

So I got a new credit card from Chase - a 1% and 5% cashback one. I only put the credit card in the wallet the day I plan to use it (never carry it just to carry it...too dangerous).

The day I put it in the wallet, I learned about another reason not to carry it; the credit card conflicts with my bus pass card as I tap the bus pass on the reader. The bus pass has a chip and a radio signaler in it so that it can store and compute the fare when you tap the reader to get on and tap it to get off. Apparently the credit card also has reader to store what is being charged and whether I get 1 or 5%.

Easy enough fix - just pull the bus pass card out of the wallet, but an even easier reason to not use it unless necessary.

wrestling with the water heater

May 16th, 2011 at 09:01 pm

Late last night the conversation went like this -

Me: we have got to figure out what is kitty's problem. I think she's been peeing, but it doesn't smell.

DH (feeling the carpet): Wow, kitty has quite a bladder. Wet here, here, here.

We open the swinging doors where the washer and dryer are - the floor is sopping wet, so much so that it was overflowing into the carpet pad and the carpet above it.

Turns out it was even worse than that - the water heater leaked catastrophically. From the bottom. We used every towel we had, turned the heater off and shut down the water. Still, there was plenty of water everywhere this morning.

The one good time to be a renter.

The RE management company called in the water heater guys and the carpet guy. I got home this evening with an industrial dryer running on the carpet, and the water heater replaced. Apparently water heaters last about ten years, we've been renting this spot for eleven. I would love to get new carpeting because of this, but that will be unlikely - no doubt because of the kitty, but also because its easier to change the carpet between tenants.


April 25th, 2011 at 09:08 pm

Closed out my checking and savings account with Chase, kept the rewards based credit card. Got what I got in cash, and promptly deposited it into the credit union bank. Now both my checking and savings accounts are close to the $500 limit for the 6% interest rate. Its only $30/ year, but at least it means that even my smallest accounts are working hard. Talked to HR, my next paycheck will be paper, the paycheck after will be direct deposited appropriately into the credit union.

That project is done.

DJ friend asked to write up a special letter for the Internet radio station. There is a serious issue - he is a legal internet radio station, which means in the U.S. he has to pay royalties. What usually happens is that he submits the songs/works/etc that he or his other DJs will play, along with a monthly payment to a royalty clearinghouse. The royalty clearinghouse pays another agency who then pays BMI, ASCAP, etc. Apparently the royalty clearinghouse that DJ friend has been using has not been paying anybody and has been shut down. So its been a mad scramble to go to a new clearinghouse.

I have to shake my head here. No wonder the music industry is in the state its in - everybody else has to streamline, get leaner and meaner, etc. The music industry appears to just have gotten meaner without the leaner.

So I wrote the letter explaining the situation to all - only took me two hours. As a payment, got a nice capacity coffee card for my trouble. Free coffee for a couple of weeks!

spring cleaning

April 24th, 2011 at 07:52 pm

Even if we do nothing else this spring, it has been a successful spring cleaning. Saturday we managed to remember that a non-profit was collecting computers and computer detris. DH parted with his beloved Amiga ... finally. We also got rid of one old monitor that I had to pull from the furthest corner of the storage area (ugh), two old desktop computer boxes - one we kept for a friend for 8 years (!), one dead laptop, cables, motherboards, keyboards, my broken digital camera, my beloved old MP3 player that died last year, and another ancient MP3 player. DH packed the car trunk and the back seat.

Very cleansing, we had at least 15 years worth of stuff. We heard about the pickup from our neighborhood microblogs, so this was one of many cases that the neighborhood blog saved us a bit of money and time.

We've got rid of the hardware. Now I wonder how we are going to get rid of the software and discs. Probably the ignoble route - shred the discs, break down the cardboard, and recycle any paper or cardboard by the usual route.

Finally "got off the pot" as it were with grandma's inheritance that I've kept in Vanguard. I've put about 5% of it in a high-yield dividend fund. I've asked to get the quarterly dividends so I can plow them into my DRP portfolio.

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.