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Viewing the 'Holiday$' Category

death bet - skip if alarmed

December 17th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $20 buy-in to the death bet + $20 shipping sister's Christmas gift
Found money - $0.24 (parking meters, sidewalk, bus floor)

Saving log - $2 tip box (replaced the 20$, BTW) + $50 Drp
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $110 Christmas gifts
Found money - $0.08 (sidewalk, parking lot, under Coinstar machine)

Nearly finished with Christmas shopping - two more small gifts and I'm done. We had the work holiday lunch and the half day afterward; the lunch itself was very low key, nothing too fancy, no alcohol, only a moderate amount of rah rah. I won a little something in the drawing - a free Sunday brunch for 2, including 2 mimosas.

Coin rescue is proceeding apace: $13.50, 320 pennies, 13 nickels, 59 dimes, 11 quarters, and 1$ bill. Several other co workers confided that they look for change too. Just what I need, more competition. Smile One even told me that she plants a quarter in different places just to see how long it takes for someone to pick it up. Most places, the quarter disappears quickly, within hours. She tried planting a quarter at Westlake Mall a couple of years ago and it took a couple of days for that quarter to disappear. That opens up a whole new area of economic experimentation I hadn't considered. I could imagine the halflife of a quarter on the sidewalk as a recession indicator.

The death bet caused quite a stir, so I asked the organizer about it as I bought in. Turns out he got the idea from a friend of his at Amazon.com, where the employees have held one for years and years. Our organizer wanted in on it, but figured, well, why not just start another one? Our organizer's friend at Amazon held, for this year's death bet, these: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon. Yowsa! Full house. Big Grin Anyway, I'm putting my list in the comments. Its a reasonable mix of ill and ill will.

giving and receiving

December 11th, 2009 at 09:15 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box + $50 drp
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $1.60 2 apples
Found money - $0.02 (bus stop, parking meter)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $0
Found money - $0.03 (bus step, gas station pavement, parking lot)

Saving log - $7 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $13 groceries
Found money - $0.02 (floor of grocery store checkout, parking meter)

gifts on two fronts:

1. Christmas - got the Christmas gift from sister of mustard, coffee, hot sauce. Not mixed up, of course. We especially treasure that jar of horseradish mustard; my sinuses won't stand a chance. Also got two very cool looking stainless steel coffee mugs decorated in a kind of Mayan glyph design. All ready for 2012!

Waiting for the spiral stakes to arrive for me to send to sister. I've sent several small gifts along with the dutch oven...heck, the dutch oven is a fine gift on its own...so if its late, its late. No biggie.

Moving on the other gifts for DH's family. They will not be as creative as in past years. Several parts of the family tend toward the food gifts, which I frankly like. Less stuff to kick around. (Body fat doesn't count. Big Grin)

MIL will be an issue. She's mentioned no food, her tastes are kind of tricky, and I don't feel that I know her well enough for a fun basket of smallish stuff with a theme. No sense of humor, so no Festivus pole Big Grin; and I don't feel like I can handle the fallout if I'm truly mean.

And its not as if I'm a goob in this department. Giving gifts can be pretty easy for me - I bought an apple today for a co worker as a surprise to her, and the apple was (magically) just the way she liked it - crisp, sweet/sour, and cold. I can promote thoughtfulness, good will and holiday spirit just like that & all for a grand total of $0.80.

I think I'm overthinking this gift thing.

2. Tax season. Got one of my 1099-DIV this evening. Tax season is opening with a bang!

In other news -

DJ friend is working and mastering the Internet radio station's second compilation CD. He's becoming a music impressario on the sly - the CDs he is producing are becoming even more important calling cards than the radio station ... Interesting to me because I thought the CD was dying.

Still is cold! I ran an errand during lunch, then walked back to work in the frigid weather. I walked past a woman walking in flip flops. Not only is it so 2006, it risks a wicked case of frostbite.

freezing, man

December 6th, 2009 at 08:09 pm

Saving log
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $3 apple, tea
Found money - $0.41 (tree planting, road, floor)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $13 lunch + $60 various
Found money - $0.03 (carpet, bus stop, near pay phone)

I have gotten very, very good at finding money. It feels like it has been popping up everywhere. I especially have been noticing coins in the square of ground where the sidewalk trees have been planted (tipping the tree for his service, perhaps?), and on the floor near an edge or corner. One of the easiest rules to find change is: If you drop change in a spot, other people have dropped some there too.

I started logging what I find in mid-July. As of today, I've found $12.39:
284 pennies, 12 nickels, 52 dimes, 11 quarters and 1$ bill.

Today I walked to Fremont and back - 6 miles. It was freezing, and while I wore gloves, I had to dip inside business to warm up.

I've had a spendy Saturday - I finally got new cross trainers - the shoes I've been walking and jogging I've walked and jogged in for over 3 years. Yes, I know I've been bad. I just hate breaking in shoes. I also picked up a new clock for the bathroom. Our old one's feathered hands fell off and the clock face busted. I'm odd, I guess, to need a clock for the bathroom. I've noticed that most of my friends don't seem to have one - not as if I need a schedule to do bodily functions, I just need a visual cue to let me know if on time in the morning.

This week is the big shopping one for me - we have several out of state gifts to get and no brilliant ideas. I find that to be cheap I need the brilliant idea or theme, otherwise I spend more than I wish.

3 pics of the season

November 28th, 2009 at 06:45 pm

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

mixed (Black Friday) bag

November 27th, 2009 at 07:55 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3 coffee, yogurt + $8 lunch, tea + $26 kitchen items

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel
Found money - $0.11 (sidewalks, crosswalk)

Saving log - $10 tip box
Spending log - $30 wine, coffee for T-day dinner
Found money - $0.03 (sidewalks)

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Along with the old favorites - turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, squash, green beans, pumpkin pie - pumpkin turnovers were delicious, and the guests brought a sweet potato cake with coconut frosting that was wonderful. We all ate too much - one of our guests really had to walk to settle her digestion along with me, so I took her on the 1 mile neighborhood tour: the mayor's house, and the various arson spots.

I didn't plan on buying anything on Black Friday, but I did pick up a couple of salt and pepper shakers shaped like gigantic keyboard keys. DH broke our everyday-use glass and metal top salt shaker when it slipped from his hand. These shakers are easy to load, won't break, and make me laugh. I also picked up a single set-and-use teaspoon tablespoon measurer. It also has a magnetic clip and sticks to the refrigerator. In other words, no retailer should depend on me for their livelihood. I also took a snap of a large group holding signs "Buy More Stuff" in an ironic manner in the midst of Westlake Mall. Funny! I'll post it tomorrow.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that 11 cents walking out and about while the turkey was roasting ... it was a holiday after all, so I didn't expect that much. Today, "Black Friday", I also found 11 cents, but somehow I was disappointed. The sidewalks were full of mylar bits and paper - I look for metal in perfect curves, and all the glittery bits inhibited my eye. I'm sure that a fair amount of coin was lurking underneath the trash.

For laughs (or maybe tears), I calculated the amount of money it would take to invest in various fixed instruments to get to the money that I've picked up from the ground. I hear the "not worth it" far less than I used to. Well, if its not worth it to pick up sidewalk change, most of the other fixed instruments are not worth it much either--

1st month, found $1.33. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $11,400 4 wk T-bill; $1,227.69 in an ING account; $798 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $6,384 in checking paying 0.25%.

2nd month, found $1.20. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $51,435 4 wk T-bill; $1,107.69 in an ING account; $720 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $5,760 in checking paying 0.25%.

3rd month, found $3.28. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $140,591 4 wk T-bill (T-bills had a horrible auction week that week); $3,027.69 in an ING account; $1,968 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $15,744 in checking paying 0.25%.

4th month, found $2.37. To get that amount of monthly interest, it would take $60,941 4 wk T-bill; $2,187.69 in an ING account; $1,422 in a 6 month CD paying 2%; $11,376 in checking paying 0.25%.

The Bank of Seely is looking better all the time.

pumpkin turnovers

November 24th, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $5 baking ingredients
Found money - $0.10 (beauty bark in the park)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.07 (Safeway floor & parking lot)

Still am finding money around - between July 14 and today I've found $9.58 - as 238 pennies, 9 nickels, 45 dimes, 9 quarters.

Its Thanksgiving, so I'm going to have a bit of fun and post the recipe for the turnovers I made last night for Thanksgiving. I discovered tonight that they are delicious microwaved.

Pumpkin, raisin, ginger, cumin turnovers

1 24 oz can pumpkin
1 c golden raisins
2/3 c candied ginger
1/4 c sugar from candied ginger (otherwise 1/4 c granulated sugar)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
dash of nutmeg
dash of salt

1 package phyllo dough
melted butter
granulated sugar

Chop ginger if ginger is in large pieces. Combine all filling ingredients. Stir to mix, taste and correct for seasoning. Chill filling overnight. If phyllo dough is frozen, place in refrigerator to thaw overnight also.

Next day, preheat oven to 375F. Melt butter, strain - you want clarified butter. Pull out filling. Put a small dish of granulated sugar close. Wet a towel to keep phyllo moist and prevent cracking. YMMV, but these are the steps that worked well for me:

Pull off one sheet phyllo, brush sides with butter, brush center with butter.
Pull off second sheet phyllo, set on top first sheet.
Cover rest of phyllo.
Brush second sheet phyllo.
Cut buttered phyllo sheets into thirds lengthwise (three long, thin strips).
(each strip) Spoon filling on one end.
(each strip) Fold into 1st triangle
(each strip) Brush butter, sprinkle granulated sugar along rest of length of phyllo.
(each strip) Continue to fold length of phyllo into triangle - think flag.

Repeat - I ran out of phyllo before I ran out of filling.

Set phyllo triangles on baking sheet. I used parchment paper at bottom. Brush triangles with butter, sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake 20-30 minutes - or until phyllo is golden brown - at 375F.

Optional: sprinkle with powdered sugar.

delirious from that new investment opportunity

November 20th, 2009 at 09:00 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $32 t-day groceries
Found money - $0

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $4 chocolate coins
Found money - $0.13 (sidewalks)

Rounding the corner on Thanksgiving. As of writing, we are the hosts. As I write, I'm baking 2 pumpkin pies. Its not as if I really want to bake 2 pumpkin pies for the 4 of us, but the recipe made that much filling. I mostly followed the recipe, but added nutmeg. A lot of nutmeg. I'm a firm beliver that if you don't

Text is hallucinate and Link is http://www.erowid.org/plants/nutmeg/nutmeg_basics.shtml
hallucinate, its not enough nutmeg Big Grin.

DJ friend came by my office and told me that he had an investment opportunity for me that was perfect. Here it
Text is is and Link is http://www.catsforgold.com/img/cfg.png

Made me laugh!

food doings

November 15th, 2009 at 06:32 pm

Found money
Friday - $0
Saturday - $0
Sunday - $0.22 (sidewalk corner, Goodwill floor, Goodwill parking lot, Safeway floor)

Lots of little food and holiday things.

Yesterday, DH and I went to a coffeehouse "mugging". One of the arson fires in the neighborhood destroyed a coffeehouse and the quirky mugs therein. Another neighborhood business offered to host the destroyed coffeehouse, but no mugs, so on Saturday we could get a free cup of coffee if we brought our own mug and donated it to the coffeehouse by leaving it in the bus tub.

As I walked past today, I saw my former tulip mug being used. Smile

Fish trade is being worked out - the fish in question is Alaskan sockeye salmon, always good. We have club, rib-eye, beef sausage (hot dog size) and ground beef for trade. The hitch comes from the beef cooking skills of the fish trader; to be fair, club and rib-eye are the classic slap on the grill/cook-hot cook-quick cuts, which you need a little bit of confidence/experience to do. She's interested in getting advice next week, and I'm to get information about the ground beef, so we can better assess the fish to beef ratio. Compared to the duck trade, this is definitely more business. The fish for beef trade will go through, but probably in a couple of weeks.

I was at Goodwill today, seeing what change I can pick up from the floor Smile. We needed a platter or two for Thanksgiving; our ceramic platter broke when I dropped and it hit the floor. At Goodwill I found two matching circular metal with white-enamel platters, each at $3. No pattern - I liked the clean look, the handles, large diameter and the total unlikelihood of them busting when dropped. The enamel part is the only issue - carving and slicing directly on them is counter-indicated.

As far as change finding is concerned, winter has come. With the rain, cold, and wind, change hunting feels like it has become an inside game.

caught him!

November 13th, 2009 at 09:56 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 groceries
Found money - $0

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

It would appear (maybe) that the arsonist has been caught. I looked at the picture, I'm sure that I passed him a couple of times on 85th as I walked home. We'll see whether it really was all him - one can't be too complacent because it might not be him or there might be a copy cat. Still, the mood around the neighborhood is a lot brighter.

Other things are looking up too. I always enjoy Friday the 13th because its going to be a payday. (We get paid on the 15th, or the Friday before, and paid on the last day of the month, or the Friday before).

I decided to talk a break from walking home tonight so I have a bit of energy to burn and don't totally feel like sticking my head in the refrigerator. Besides, this weekend is the weekend of cleaning house and preparing for T-day.

Took a break from hunting for change...actually I think it took a break from being lost. The weather has been freezing, so no one wanted to be out and about, and they kept their collective hands in their collective pockets.

heating up

November 11th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Saving log - $50 DRP
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (gym floor)

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $21 groceries
Found money - $0.28 (sidewalk, bus seat, between the sidewalk cobbles)

Right now its just watchful waiting. I bought a bit more gym time with the credit card last month, so I'm slowing my spending down (even more) and I have $700 in my bank savings account. I'd like to see if I can withdraw as little money as possible from my ING account.

Thanksgiving is only two weeks away. We are having the Duvall duck friends over. I picked up a few t-day specific groceries (cranberries) tonight and will keep buying. I saw a recipe for maple pear upside down cake and was intrigued, although the 11 tbsp of butter made me do a double take. (I'm 172, with a hope of being in the 160s by the end of the year.) I really enjoyed the roasted cranberries last year and it was fast, so I'm making that again this year.

Work is definitely heating up as it has every November since I've blogged Big Grin - I see a lot more special event checks and much less

Text is fake pledging and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2007/11/30/fake-pledging_32450/
fake pledging than in year's past.

Not much money news. My 403B is heating up to close to 6 six figures. Stocks are creeping up also. Real estate? Well, the arsonist is still around - hundreds of neighbors attended a community meeting last night hosted by the Fire Department. First order of business: noting that the meeting site (a local church) is at over capacity, and note where the fire exits were. We are to call 911 if we smell smoke, etc, and not to worry about over reporting.

I heard a fire truck as I walked home tonight.

just call me Jackie Handey

October 31st, 2009 at 06:52 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $12 breakfast, coffee + $17 mailing dutch oven to sister
Found money - $0.04 (by parking meter, door jamb, counter)

Mailed off our spare, heirloom cast iron dutch oven to sister. I bought it for $10 about 15 years ago in Tucson, and it has behaved like a champ. In June, when we visited sister at the farmette, DH made the no-knead bread recipe, but we had to use a casserole dish, which is a bit scary to heat up to 500F. It worked out but we mentioned that the dutch oven is the tool for the task. Since June, I have been looking for yard sale/estate sale/thrift store dutch ovens. Either nothing or minimum of $60. So sister gets ours and a clearly typed recipe.

After that it was breakfast and a good long walk. I've found that I'm positively the girl version of Jack Handey, thinking deep thoughts:

1. Visited the brand new Whole Foods down in Interbay. They have something called a "chill room". Its a nice little lounge just off the cafe and the wine/party foods/prepared foods are.

My thought: this grocery store needs a DJ. I mean, you have the space, and you would cater to two populations of people who pay for premiums ($5 cover charge and extra for watered down drinks, extra $1/lb for produce). Synergy!

2. Why isn't there a mailbox in/outside the bus? Right now you have buses driving and using gas, and you have post office guys driving around and using gas. Buses take a published route, and end up at a rest stop, transit center or a base, where the post office guy can open the bus mail box and grab it. This would be a substitute for the blue boxes.

3. Halloween is now second to X-mas, as measured by retail sales. I've seen a couple of mash-up decorations this year (a Halloween snow globe decoration, a ghoul being crucified). Why bother with 3 discrete fall/winter holidays? Next year: Santa with fangs pulling a turkey out of the oven.