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commission brought in $100

July 29th, 2012 at 12:55 am

Last week I grouted the house numbers in gray grout, then I let the grout cure gently for 1 week. This morning I delivered it!

The couple thought that it turned out better than they could have imagined. Even though I offered to charge them $70 as a thank you for taking a chance on me, nope I got a $100 bill for it....

And an offer to mosaic their business address number ...
in any way I choose as long as the number conforms to City of Seattle business statutes.

And a hey, we want some of your business cards so that we can talk you up...

middle of staycation

July 19th, 2012 at 01:55 am

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.

matambre pic

March 20th, 2012 at 02:59 am

Just in case you were curious about it. It turned out smashing! The party was fun, but there was not so much planning - more like what were people's hobbies, personality, did people have side plans? A fair number of people also wanted to travel across the wide, wide river bed and visit Urugray.


January 2nd, 2012 at 03:18 am

Let me give you a tour of my tiny portfolio:

Monkey mama linked to my first project, done in class. I loved it, but I don't think of it as sellable and the grout is now starting to crack on it. I learned two lessons - 1. don't get fancy with the edge (fancy edges have to be babied), and 2. grout has to "cure" slower than 3-4 days ... I wrap my pieces with a bathtowel I hate, spritz the towel to dampen it and wrap that in a plastic kitchen garbage bag and leave it alone for a full 7 days.

This is the finished garden tray. I found a wire tray at the thrift store and fit the piece to the bottom. Wearing like iron!

This is the piece I gave to the Duvall friends. Its a homage to their

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1-winged rooster, State & Main. 1 wing but he produces "swimmers" (their comment, not mine). His first rooster son, First & State, got sold to neighbors.

I asked a coffeeshop (Green Bean) to hold their chipped and broken mugs, plates, and other ceramic stuff. I used a fair amount of black coffee mug for the rooster tail above. I made this piece for them. Word has it that they will be hanging it soon. I'll let you all know if that comes to pass!

I still have to grout this for lawyer friend and partner. They love poker and throwing dinner parties. What should happen (fingers crossed) is that the clear glass should protect the card face underneath from the grout. I learned also that a much better source for interesting ceramics is not the thrift store, but a high end ceramics shop because the high end shop can only sell the chipped and cracked pieces to me for a quarter or fifty cents. (a Vernon plate provided the curtain-y middle top).

quarter was a bust

October 1st, 2011 at 03:08 am

With the stock market 12% off and with the never ending recession, and with a virtual certainty that if you have a checking account with a big bank you'll be (expletive deleted)... well, I need to share just one good thing that happened this quarter. Here it is, made it myself:

tourist silly season

July 15th, 2011 at 04:30 am

Its July in Seattle, the height of the tourist season, and everybody is looking to make a bit of coin off of them....


September 27th, 2010 at 04:21 am

Went to the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle version (there's a museum with the same name in Chicago) for my free museum day. Did it because we went to the Greek Festival afterwards, less than a mile away.

A non-too-often photographed view of an "old style" street light.

For scfr - unfortunately, the Lusty Lady passed into history a couple of months ago; at least the sign made it.

A lego version of 1930's Seattle - the white 3 story building with the street lamp in front of it was the old SeaFirst #6 bank building. These days, its our office.

Speaking of the 30's many of the Depression -era photos and exhibits really spoke to me. Seattle was known then as the The Soviet of Washington; it held the first general strike in the nation. Seeing the Hooverville stretch for many acres south of downtown was chilling, as was a shot of 10 adult males in long 30s-style overcoats at the city dump picking through garbage for anything to resell. Times are bad now, but they could be (and have been) far, far worse.

The Greek Fest was a bit pricey... always is when you're buying the good stuff - eg a large can of olive oil. Also picked up a bag of the braid cardamon-y cookies, kasseri cheese, bunch of greek oregano. The cookies were sweet, but not so much that you need the insulin shot. $52.

When I got home, I discovered that my first payments coming from the flu study came. So far $175.

Greenwood Seafair Parade 2010

July 30th, 2010 at 03:10 am

I take pictures every year, because its fun and how often does one buy a great $2 brat? Along with few free (for the taking) pics?

Perhaps you have seen a few of these Seafair m a few years running. Every year the components of the parade are similar - the Seattle police motorcycles start the parade, the Seafair pirates end the parade, and there are businesses, little kids, beauty pageant contestants, horse dressage, drill team, bands, and step teams in between. I did manage to take good pics of some components that I've never gotten good pics of before. Enjoy ... and hurry up before they turn into red x's!

There was an Irish step dance troupe that moved into the neighborhood last year - so Michael Flattley, eat your heart out...

And I finally got a great picture of the Chinese step team, a real Seattle hallmark. They did a very intricate step pattern on the street, video

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here. Have got to love the sweep of that pheasant feather headress.

I caught the musicians on the drill team with confused expressions, however they were very good. Underneath the dragon was a huge drum.

And while I have taken pictures of the horse dressage team before, I just like the rhythm and movement of this picture.

funny hat, bright light, cheap food

October 26th, 2009 at 03:05 am

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $16 conveyor belt sushi pigout
Found money - $0.11 (coffeehouse floor, gutter)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 breakfast + $6 Halloween hat + $21 miscellaneous
Found money - $0.39 (sidewalk, gas station parking pad, carpet)

Saving log - $9 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.04 (road, sidewalk, under picnic table)

Still having reasonable luck finding change despite the leaves on the ground. This weekend was a do or die time to "do" something for Halloween - I usually say I don't have a creative idea for Halloween in the two weeks before but then pull something off. This time, still nothing. I'm going with a funny hat (keeping the price tag on for the Minnie Pearl fans out there) and be done with it.

Finding the funny hat meant heading to the Goodwill, change hunting all the way. You might have noted that I expected, and was disappointed, that the Goodwill parking lot would be a rich source of found money, and I have mused about the mystery. When I walked into Goodwill, I found a cheap, funny, fuzzy hat, but also a partial resolution to the mystery: Goodwill's inside carpet was the rich source of found money. Goodwill was extremely busy with shoppers; they made a mess of the racks and floors; and the only person who was watching the floor was me. At first blush, if people drop change in response to distractions, the Goodwill store is a primo study site to explore. But for now - easy dime and five pennies. With the other change found in other spots - Seattle has provided me with $6.54 since mid-July.

Later at the Fred Meyer, I bought another item for the months to come: a clip-on, five-pattern, 1/2 mile visible bright flashing pedestrian light. $6, but when I walk home in December, that car is gonna see me.

The other delight I've seen at Fred Meyer are the definite price reductions for food. For example, I needed some luna/clif bars for breakfast - last year at this time they went, cheapest, @ $0.99/bar. Now - $0.79/bar. I've now been seeing produce for under $1.00/lb and canned tuna at $0.65/6 oz can. I've not kept up my price book for the last couple of years (too depressing). I might restart it now.

A bit of our neighborhood news made even some of the national news (at least I heard that it made the morning ABC news). Our neighborhood lost 4 businesses Friday to fire - 2 places I ate at semi-regularly, 1 I drank coffee at every so often. The

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phinneywood blog has the fire pictures. Arson investigation is ongoing. Mine is from the back. That cooked area at the top is where the roof line was.

venus has returned

September 30th, 2009 at 05:38 am

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $7 salad fixings
Found money - $0.01 (gym floor) + $.26 (Safeway - another quarter by the Coinstar machine)

Fall has arrived in Seattle, today with a vengeance - cloudy, rainy, cold. After a day like today, as I walked to catch my bus tonight, I look to my little red fall beacon:

More good health news today - my cholesterol is a non-threatening 182. The big health issue is with V.I. - she hasn't been defecating in the litter box, and it turns out she has giardia. So our entertainment has been to catch her and give her her medicine to clear it. And wash our hands afterward. :P

DH sent me a highly entertaining

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sin link for a data geek like me. As you look, remember that Seattle is in the upper left corner. We hold our collective heads high!

action packed day

September 27th, 2009 at 05:41 am

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $4.20 breakfast + $56 greek groceries + $20 greek dinner

It seemed like a spendy day, but it really wasn't. Upon advice in the comments, we hit both the Free Museum Day and the Greek Festival.

We really went on an adventure today - we got to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma from home using our free museum pass, my bus pass, and DH's ORCA card. While it was cheap (about $3 without the passes and no driving, gas, parking), it took a bit more time to get there (2 hr versus 1 hr). A few pics...

Close up of the ceiling of the bridge one uses to get to the Museum of Glass - we are in Chiluly land.

Museum of Glass is a smallish building behind a huge honking cone.

Inside the huge honking cone is the "hot shop" where you can watch the glassblowers at work.

To tell you the truth, there was only 3-4 galleries of glass, so it took maybe an hour to go through it. We could take the bus back to Seattle, and we were dropped off within a block of a bus that I knew would take us to the Greek festival. This was the pricey part - I get the good olive oil in the metal gallon tin, feta, grape leaves - this year, I also got jar of hot pickled veg, a package of the least deadly sugar cookies (dozen baklava is just too dangerous), and a small pack of pistachio halva.

Then there's the eating. This pic sums up the Greek festival to me.

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

like we were banking with rocks and leaves before

September 5th, 2009 at 03:51 am

Or wampun and gold dust. After all, we are a highly primitive culture out here in Seattle...

Oh yes, that shape in the lower left is a fish upon closer look, not the shadow of a Ben Bernanke helicopter.

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $14 groceries (got gift certificate for a free coffee)
Found money - $0


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.


July 26th, 2009 at 04:21 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $12 brunch, coffee + $7 fresh vegetables and fruit
Found money - $0.01 (at my feet while I was at the ATM machine)

Love finding pennies by the ATM. It happens often enough that I don't miss checking for them.

It was hot in Seattle today, so I didn't run, but I walked the 3 miles from Sunset Hill to the Hiram M. Chittenden (aka Ballard) Locks. Instead of going into the Locks and watching the boats, I walked around the free English style gardens around the Locks. Never thought that anyone with the Army Corps of Engineers gardened, but I was very, very wrong.

The passionflowers are in full bloom.

Found an extrovert on the bus back home.

pictures of the times

February 26th, 2009 at 04:27 am

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $11 groceries

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $0

Noticed that I haven't been boring the snot out of you with current pictures. This weekend, while it was sunny, with the semi-downer depression zeitgeist of 2009 I felt in a black and white mood.

Saturday afternoon at the Pike Market - for a tourist trap this was a fairly light traffic day.

Chinese freighter? The name of the prow called out to me for obvious reasons.

This lived-in camper has been parked in front of the zoo for months now.

Somebody ran out of babies to knit for.

does your newspaper do this?

December 24th, 2008 at 01:37 am

I opened up one of the sections of the Seattle PI (Post Intelligencer) and found a sheet of printed gift wrap:

Close up of the pattern:

And I had a box to wrap so I used it. Does anybody else's newspaper provide this frugal service?

In another newspaper, I read about

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shoplifting going up (expected during a recession), but inside the article came an astounding (to me) statistic: 1 in 11 Americans use the five-finger discount.

2 performances

November 24th, 2008 at 02:39 am

Spending log - $15 gloves, hoodie + $21 groceries

Realized as I began my six mile walk that it was far colder than I was dressed, so I picked up gloves and a medium (cut large) grey hoodie at Walgreens. It was a toasty warm hoodie, but it also seems to be lucky in another way: I found change on the sidewalk within a block of putting it on. I also found 11 cents as I cut through the Safeway. Basic gray lucky recession hoodie.

On my walk toward Fremont I saw this performance:

Coming back, I walked past them again. No babies in the baby buggies, all had enigmatic smiles.

The second performance? My blog. For laughs, I put in my blog address into

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Typealyzer - which analyzes your blog according to Myers-Briggs.

My blog: ESFP.

They got the feeling, perceiving bit right. I'm flattered a bit - I just don't think of myself as a performer in any sort of way. Typealyzer seems to do a very quick analysis. I think its checking for verbs and active/passive voice on the first screen of posts it sees. Methinks for laughs I'll bore you all with a couple of heavy duty analysis type posts and see if it changes thinks a bit.

signs of the times next door

November 16th, 2008 at 04:25 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $14 brunch, coffee + $8 produce + $11 groceries

The weekend could not come any sooner. Today, after a leisurely brunch and coffee, DH and I teamed up to buy some fresh produce. Many good things for under a dollar: .69/lb apples, .99/lb cauliflower, 2 for $1 cucumber. The only things I got for over a dollar were red grapes $1.49/lb, and a box of salad for $1.29. The only rule that works for me with plastic boxes of salad is to check the bottom of the box for liquid. Clear liquid is bad, brown liquid is don't buy it ever bad.

Last week was so awful that I didn't even get to the gym once. I walked only 4 miles - to 50th and Greenwood and back, with a detour to Sakya Monastery to turn prayer wheels. They gave such a calming wooden squeak as they wheeled around.

Right at the beginning of my walk, the first block, I ran into this sign:

I've seen this green sign before. The last time was on 8th NW at least a couple of miles away, which means this neatly handwritten sign is not the product of a single desperate seller, but a marketing ploy. I remember when the house behind it was sold - for about $390K back in 2006.

signs of the times (long)

November 2nd, 2008 at 03:52 am

Saving log - $0 tip box + $40 DRP1 + $100 DRP2
Spending log - $17 brunch (for 2)

We finished a brunch card, so we got a free entree this morning. Top of the month we paid the rent, and I figured out how much to put into DRPs. Funny how when I send a bit of money to the transfer agents I get bummed if their stock prices go up.

Seattle is wearing its November soggy togs, but the leaves are much better this year than usual. Hard to find small change through the leaves. Smile

But along my walk, I've been noticing the signs of the times. Exhibit 1: a bit of paranoia. He's had this sign for years, but the sign itself is a fresh version.

There's that word "layaway" again, this time out in front of a hip Seattle boutique.

Not a funny or a repent sign in front of this church, more of a "we've all lost money together" vibe.

This condo was for sale for the longest time with no bites. Now its time for a different tack.

A different sign had "only 3 left". There were 6 "townhomes" (why can't anyone say house anymore?). A 50% closing rate is decent, but belies the urgency of the "only". It always pays to do the math.

The lack of a sign is the sign here, yet the sign post remains. A bit of schaudenfruede here - the sign had a price of the princely sum of "$750,000". If I'm asking for 3/4 of mil, the least I could get is a perfect picture window (note the plastic). Back to the picture. No sign, so did the house get sold? Unlikely - why keep the sign post? Rented out - perhaps, because there were fresh items in the window. Owners give up for the selling season? Probably. See ya next spring.

Our final exhibit. It made me laugh. I'm fairly sure, based on the placement and expression of the various characters, the bar is advertising to Democrats. Alcohol is the universal solvent - equally useful in both celebration and condolence. Can get them coming and going, as grandpa used to say.

spinner rims of the 1890s

October 24th, 2008 at 02:54 am

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $11 lunch, paper + $2 donation + $11 groceries

Did a good money deed late in the day. I was at the neighborhood WaMu ATM, when I saw the ATM frantically pushing in and pushing out a card. The receipt (for $13) jut out of the slot. I figured that he (name was on the card) left the card in a fit of pique. Still, not good. I pulled it out, put my card in, got my money, then took the card and receipt, put it in a deposit envelope, then stuck it in the deposit slot.

I figure that the bank will open it and set the card aside. The bank might call the guy, they might not, but at least the card is not an attractive nuisance.

After lunch I walked back and saw that the Seattle Fire Dept had a little exhibit open. Free, but I put in $2. and who wouldn't, seeing these beauties:

And the fantastic ancient hook and ladders:

And the spinner rims of 1890:

2 saturday pictures

October 12th, 2008 at 12:30 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $18 brunch (for 2) + $2.25 cookie

Perhaps your 401K, 403B, or IRA was like the little orange car in the mural. (upper right, above the live shrub)

First comes the crash, then the end-is-near-folks. Can the soup line be far behind?

Oh yes, and remember, He invests too.

welcome to Kondratieff winter

September 30th, 2008 at 01:58 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $25 lunch (chipped in for a birthday lunch)

I don't know Julie Tuesday, but she was quite the philosopher today.

I was in a training session, so I didn't see the 778 pt stock market drop until I clicked into the news this afternoon.

That the bailout failed really didn't surprise me - the extreme left and the extreme right didn't like it, the partisanship on both sides is (and was) so poisonous that no one voting for it would get any cover. A Rep voting for it would be accused of raising taxes like a Dem, a Dem voting for it would be accused of caving in to Reps and everyone voting for it would be accused of believing a lie. Its what GWBush over-estimating the case of getting into war w/ Iraq did. If you lie once, you could lie again. Everything is now a possible over-estimate ... are we now into an economic apocalyse - or not?

I do think we are now in a first phase of very steep patch of

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deflation - money is disappearing, stocks are dropping, assets are consolidated, the credit bubble is popping, margin and debt is left to default, consumption contracts. This unwinding is a process with more pain to come - even during the
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GD, its not as if stockbrokers jumped on Oct 30.

Fear is rampant. Still, when one of the IT guys is telling me its time to buy ... its not time to buy anything yet. Smile But it is time to window shop. And wait.

7 years after

September 12th, 2008 at 04:08 am

At work today.

The first few anniversaries we had a couple of minutes of silence - the minutes turned shorter and shorter. Today no minutes at all.

Its our nature to forget just a little bit. Its really not forgetting, but easing our memories into something more workable. You can't be white hot furious at that historical moment forever - emotion has to turn into determination. And we can't be too hard on the 7 year olds who can't share our memories. I remember my elders being furious at me for not remembering the Kennedy assassination; and they themselves upset their elders for not remembering Pearl Harbor.

scenes of visionary enchantment (long)

August 17th, 2008 at 04:16 am

The title taken from a Lewis and Clark entry. Every time I go to the cabin and people ask where it is, I get it wrong. We were 60 mi east of Butte, 50 mi west of Bozeman, in the Deerlodge-Beaverhead National Forest, in the Tobacco Root Mountains, near South Willow Creek, about 10 mi or so away from Pony, Montana. We also spent a little bit of time in Bozeman, Montana.

The Tobacco Root Mountains

The cabin in the woods. The idea from the Forest Service perspective is to have it melt away. Our project was to pull down a fence that DH's dad built and the Forest Service wanted it down. The X's out front are the cross posts with the nails that should head to the dump.

The back deck of the cabin in the woods. That lighter colored wood cube on the right is the shower.

A creek runs through it, but there is quite a cliff before you get to it.

Action shot of DH with the chainsaw.

This is not a happy picture. The forest is mostly spruce and lodgepole pine. All the red trees are dying from spruce beetle. Next year they will be gray and they will turn into vertical fuel for the next forest fire. Only two good weeks of killing frost at -40F can reliably kill the beetle. (N.B: I'll have to rethink that -40F comment - it was told to me in a casual conversation. See comments for more)

The stereotype of Montana. Works for me.

The better half of a Montana couple (a man and his dog), and at the Pony Bar, he's likely to have his own pint.

We got a little citified, too. This is Big Al standing guard at the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) in Bozeman. If you have a dino-mad child, MOR is the place to go.

holiday 4th

July 6th, 2008 at 12:06 am

Decided to just be and not blog-be this fourth. Brought watermelon, feta and mint salad to a 4th potluck to our hosts who live on Cap Hill, within 200 yards of a very decent lookout for the Lake Union fireworks. The salad was good, and recipe was straightforward (Watermelon, feta, mint in whatever proportion tastes good), but perhaps a bit too advanced for the palate of the party. About 2/3 of it went, while the 1/2 of the watermelon that I didn't use went right away. Oh well, that's why they call it "potluck".

The view looking out over Lake Union. The large barge in the middle is where fireworks are shot off.

I brought a little tripod for the fireworks, so I tried out snapping firework pictures. My digital camera had a firework setting, but it needed a good 15 seconds between shots to reset, so it meant basically hitting the button over and over, hoping for the best. Here's one of the best, much better than last year.

Here's where the digital camera is frugally awesome. I snapped well over 100 shots. No way would I even think of burning off that much film just to experiment and learn. But if the only downside is that it just eats up camera memory, and you delete the bad ones, the worst that can happen is if every picture is bad, delete them all.

Greenwood Car Show

June 29th, 2008 at 03:17 am

Happened today. For the financial diary part, I spent only $1.00 at it. The recession and $4 gas has hit here a bit also - in past years, the car show sprawled from 87th to 66th or so. This year, it "only" extended to 71st. But there were some very fun and frugal things at it.

For Ima Saver - a 60s red corvette. I think its a '62. There also was a '67 there.

My favorite exhibit - MEHVA (Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association) always brings one of these babies out at the car show. If you were trying to get to downtown Seattle from Greenwood 40 years ago, your 5 bus looked like this.

The other reason why these old buses are great is that the MEHVA run historic Seattle tours on these old buses - 4 hours for $5. I wanted to get a schedule and remind myself to try it out. Much better cost to time than a Duck (1.5 hrs for 25$) - although no intentional water trips.

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Many more solar and electric cars and trucks than in years past. This is a solar truck. Battery storage underneath the truck bed.

Perhaps a Boeing engineer had a tad too much time on his hands? The driver's cockpit of blue velour looks comfy, but there is a jet engine about 6 feet behind you.

Finally, high tech to a much lower tech: the leather car. I thought when I came up to it the leather was a case for the car underneath, but the door handle was attached into it, and in places you can see the metal frame underneath where the cow hide stretched over it. This car was made in Czechoslovakia in 1962. Only 10 exist in the US.

photo reminders

June 25th, 2008 at 05:41 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + $22 energy bars

I had every intention to make it a no-spend day, but my trainer asked me to buy a box of energy bars from her to get a bonus. She's never asked me before because as she says, "she sucks at selling supplements", so I don't expect her to ask again. Besides, I can always say that I'm finishing off the box I bought. It just so reminds me of high school band selling candy bars that it made me laugh.

Did look at the grocery flyers today - the sales start on Wednesday finish on Tuesday. Coming up on the 4th of July, its an okay week for produce - $1/lb for peaches, broccoli, cauliflower. But $1 seems to be the floor this year which is depressing compared to years' past.

Took a couple of pictures of items that I want to remember. The Ballard Denny's got destroyed this morning. I had eaten here in the past couple of years - Just pick any Saturday that I blogged in 2006 or early 2007.

And to remind myself of persistance, I took a picture of the last holdout of Ballard condo development. She didn't sell, despite being offered up to $1M for her little house. She died in her house a couple of Sundays ago - some folks stuck flowers in her fence. I have to admire that, but when sister and I faced a similar decision, we sold.

downtown supermarket

June 20th, 2008 at 03:23 am

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + $10 supermarket lunch

Found out that the bus pass will cost us $4 more/month, for a total of $171/yr that we shelter pre-tax.

The really thrilling frugal news is that downtown Seattle actually has a supermarket at 3rd/Pike. They had their grand opening today.

You go in and immediately head down the escalator and into the produce section...

No screaming great deals but a few good ones - 10/$10 odwalla bars, .79/lb bananas, .97/lb asparagus (not fond, but you might like). No parking - its downtown. And it was a bit of a mad house so the checkout lines were crazy. Matter of fact, the person behind me in line had enough time to notice the sale prices on a couple of items were higher than the regular price. Ha ha, be careful, supermarket, most of your customers will be accountants!

I know it sounds like a shameless plug for spending money, but its really great - now I can do the Rick Steves frugal picnic trick for lunch, rather than hitting the restaurants all the time. Pioneer Square has a couple of places, but their only produce is an apple and a whole lot of distilled grape products, if you know what I mean. And its so nice to know that when you have 5 people bring chips to the workplace potluck, you've got options. The Pike Market (3 blocks away) is great for produce and great bread, but what about the salad dressing and the butter?

Anyhow - bought my lunch and apple at the downtown supermarket and got a free cloth bag (note what the bagger was holding in the last picture) to add to my bag-of-bags collection.

Also found 10 cents on the street today. Big Grin

lamp deal

May 10th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.25 coffee + $1.50 coffee + $15 lunch + $55 dinner for two

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $20 2 bottles wine + $5 lamp

Again, the Greenwood Art Walk. I didn't go through the whole thing because, well... let me tell you below.

I saw a lot of wonderful photographs and caught up with a couple of the same artists as last year. I would have loved to buy a couple of things, so I thought I'd do the frugal thing instead and take a few myself of the day.

Who wouldn't love a bucket of marbles? Plunge your hand in -- they are amazingly cold.

The lamp store always amazed me. Every other store, the wares are laid out along walls, or they come up through the floor. Here, you are encouraged to look up at the constellation of lamps, your nose brushing against price tags. It makes the ceiling seem bright and ciliated.

Some urban edginess between the Greenwood Library (left) and a brick apartment building (right).

I thought that the pug pulling against his leash was pining for his master. Nope. His leash was just an inch short for he really wanted. See that little bit of orange kibble to the left of his paw? "Sometimes he loves me for me," his owner (dark orange and black fleece) said. "Sometimes."

Here's the reason I cut my Art Walk short. I took a break and walked into an estate sale a block from the Art Walk, chatted with the cashier, turned to the left and saw this gorgeous brass lamp. I must have been in a lamp mood from the lamp store. Here's an action shot in my living room (apologies for the mess).

What a deal - $5!

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