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403B wonk

June 11th, 2012 at 08:30 pm

I heard about this - has anyone else? Apparently all 401K (and I assume, the close relation, 403B) plans have to first present their fee structure to plan participants. That will be a surprise to a lot of people. Me being a 403B wonk, I've gone to all the meetings, Q & As ... everything. Fees aren't a surprise to me. Our fees aren't horrible - one can invest in things under 1%.

The real fun begins in October when the fee transaction shows up taken out of your account. Woah nelly.

I progressed on sister's birthday present - mosaic house numbers for the place in Milwaukee and the farmette. I finished gluing the glass bits to a fiberglass mesh. This last weekend, I made thinset mortar and glued the mosaic mesh to the backing board. Here's what everything looks like.



The pieces will be outside, so everything has to be able to take rain, freeze thaw, and UV light. The backing board is styrofoam/fiberglass/coated concrete. The 'glue' is thinset mortar, the bits are glass and vitreous glass. All that has to be done is grout, and seal the grout. It should wear like iron.

(Oh yes, if you look carefully at the picture ... I have jury duty next week. Fun times.)

early June, no shots fired edition

June 6th, 2012 at 09:00 pm

This week I formally asked for and got time to take the trip to Argentina. I knew I could get it - had plenty of PTO - but its a point of pride not to leave my boss hanging. I'm also taking a number of days off.

As a shareholder of KO, I got the shareholder proxy vote for the 2 for 1 stock split. Voted yes. So much less drama than voting for a person ... and yes I firmly believe that corporations are not people.

Sister's birthday gift is progressing nicely. I've glued the mosaic pieces together. I'll buy the thinset this weekend.

Contractor is tearing down the Greenwood Market building this week. I watched through the hurricane fence and saw the big gaping holes in the front of the building dug out by the dozers. Never had the lowest prices, but they were the most conscientious.

Am holding at 164.2, ready for the next drop down. My lowest weight in the modern era is 163.6.

Frugal superpowers

May 27th, 2012 at 09:36 pm

Thursday night, I swapped the cords from our non-working DVD player to to the one I bought last week at the neighborhood yard sale. The player and the remote work!

Friday I joked that I had a frugal superpower. Along with being able to pick grocery store produce ... and I used that this weekend by picking out and buying the best 3 pound clamshell of strawberries. Our own strawberries in the strawberry pot are flowering and just setting fruit, as is one of our blueberry plants.

Got the idea for sister's birthday gift in August from a photo she sent me with my birthday gift... turns out that the farmette finally now has a mailbox. And that got me thinking; the classic first mosaic project for some is a house number plate. I know we have no house number plate at the farmette, so a mosaicked one will be her birthday gift.

1 down, 179 to go

November 28th, 2011 at 08:27 pm

First day of bosses' leave was a quiet one and I managed to get mostly caught up on the routine stuff ... a couple of the big projects remain.

Am up to 167, but not bad considering I ate sweet, delicious leftovers.

Put an ad in our company intranet to advertise 4 free chicks. Duvall couple found a couple of rebel chickens who nested in amongst the blackberry brambles. Not a bad idea - a predator will have to be darn hungry to make it through a thicket of blackberries. They managed to rescue several of the eggs, candled them and found that they were developing. Wyandottes.

Got a surprise looking through Wikipedia - the golden Wyandotte was

Text is developed in a farm around my home town and Link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnebago_%28chicken%29
developed in a farm around my home town, probably within a couple of miles from the farmette. I NEVER thought anything or anybody of note came out of my home town.

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.

before Vietnam, actual fiscal news

March 4th, 2011 at 08:04 pm

Discovered that one of my Drp stocks did a 2:1 split while I was gone (WEC). Actually, the split got completed my first day back.

I found out because I look at the share prices every couple of days and it was freakishly low. Like, tear my hair what happened low. Nice to know it was a divide by two situation.

I'll be checking the transfer agent to see how they account for it and how they calculate the cost basis, but as for me right now maintaining my spreadsheet, all I'm doing is multiplying the shares I have by 2, and dividing the price I paid by 2.

Also turns out that the dividend increased by a couple of pennies per share also. Good news on that front.

I picked up a copy of Turbo Tax yesterday. My financial moves this year have been pretty boring - no IRA conversions or odd schedules coming from an inheritance. (Unless I find $100 bills on the sidewalk, the IRS doesn't particularly want to know.) This year, bread and butter. I can do bread and butter myself.

Finishing up catching up at work which has been a struggle. I'm still jet lagged and when I wake up I think that I'm not in Seattle but somewhere in Asia. Its been much rougher than Paris. Getting to Hanoi I wasn't particularly jet lagged, or perhaps I was so excited that I didn't care. Could also be the light - Paris is a similar latitude as Seattle, so the day lengths are similar - May/June nice and long. Vietnam, being close to the equator, has a day length close to 12 hrs year round, while Seattle, not so much.

Did make it to the gym and miracle of miracles, I'm under 170, with a 1 lb weight gain. That after 3 full meals/day, hours mostly on the bus or a plane with a bit of walking, and multiple course meals with beer or wine. I thought for sure I'd have put on at least 5 pounds.

Sent sister the $5000 for farmette upkeep. She's back in Milwaukee from the trip. I hope she had a good time - those last few days when the tour ended and we were flying home was especially rough. Incheon airport in Korea with an 11 hour layover was especially hard.

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.

catching up ...again

August 28th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Even though its been a relaxing stay at home, a lot had happened:

Did the neighborhood gumshoe event for $20. It was a list of 30 clues that got you about and out and around the neighborhood, and you had to answer the question regarding each place. I think the preteen set had the best mind for it; they observed, took things literally, and didn't read too much into the clues.

Went up to Vancouver, B.C. for a surprise two day trip. That one was a bit pricey - about $200 for the hotel room and parking.

Sent off sister's birthday gift for $10 - most of her gifts were home or kit-made or were provided for from the Greenwood yard sale. I especially liked how the flip book of pictures of the farmette and the two framed pics of the farmette turned out.

The rancher delivered the beef to us this afternoon. That one was a bit pricey - $316. We got our 1/8, or about 50 lbs, and I think we got pretty much what we wanted. All told, it did work out to be about $7/lb. Best of all, it just barely fit into the freezer. Here's what 50 lbs of beef looks like in a top freezer.


DH had to re-pack the big bag of short ribs into two smaller ones - he got one of the bags of short ribs into the freezer, but the other is in the fridge. Anybody got a great recipe for short ribs?

Oh yes, the official beef fest is going to be on the 11th.

spendy right now but crafts will distract me

August 17th, 2010 at 08:46 pm

Well, I'm on vacay, trying to get the PTO levels down, but again it will be a staycay (don't bother, thief). Lately its been very pricey for us too with the $318 for the beef and car repairs totaling $600. And then vacay is a bit spendy even as a staycay - if I'm at work, reading emails, bringing my lunch, doing stuff at my desk - I'm not spending money. None of this I'll buy coffee here, buy lunch here, need admission here. Trainer is away getting married (she already is, this one's for the parents), so that will be a bit less spendy.

But with vacay I'll have time to finish up two craft projects. They are two radically different ones.

1. Sister's birthday is coming up. I've made the three books in the bookbinding kit. They turned out well, so I think I will convert one into a farmette picture book printing some photos I took from there.

2. Making a playlist for beef fest. I already have the music, I even have it at the playlist stage. Now, being the ultimate control freak, I want to figure out a way to link the song files together so they will play in exactly the order I want them to. Both winamp and windows media will skip around after awhile.

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

Text is sinkhole and Link is http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/99071294.html
sinkhole that developed in Milwaukee is in her neighborhood. (not her car!)

We had another person leave. This
Text is guy and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2008/07/11/late-in-late-out_41065/
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.