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battening down

October 20th, 2013 at 07:21 pm

I did find the BOGO beef special at Albertsons, so I got 2 packs of sirloin tips and spent 15mins opening the packages, wrapping the beef tightly in paper, ziploc bagging servings, and ziploc bagging that so its a unit. I've got beef, lamb, fish, shrimp, eggs (in the refrigerator). I'll be okay if the grocery strike doesn't last too long. We are coming up on the holiday season so I think all sides would be motivated. However, the last strike (just for QFC I think) lasted 86 days.

I figure I can fill in grocery issues using: Target, various ethnic grocery stores including Uwajimaya, Pike Market for produce, Whole Foods and PCC, and the U district and Ballard Farmers Markets.

Did go to Fred Meyer to use the blood pressure reader - 124/84. Yeah!

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.

going to heck weekend

September 27th, 2013 at 08:15 pm

Not really me, but:

Saturday, I go to Wing Luke for free museum day, which is near-ish the stadiums, which will be busy tomorrow.

Then Sunday. Ah Sunday, day of rest. Maybe. You might have heard that grocery workers will go on strike. I asked my checkout person when that might happen. She said the earliest is Sunday. She also hoped that common sense and cooler heads will prevail ... two qualities that are in short supply these days, so they will probably be rationed, to be deployed only when everything else has been exhausted. Big sign at the front of Fred Meyer tonight - are hiring, but you have to be willing to walk through a picket line.

Then there's Monday. Will the government shut down. Again? Anybody else notice that Ted Cruz has a strong resemblance to Joe McCarthy? Especially that jaw line.

I have been busy finding change - my intimate EF now totals $13.43. Following some great advice, small bills; the largest bill I'm going to set aside is a $10.

Went back to the gym and am weighing myself at home. According to the scale at home, I'm 169. I'm working at it.

Free museum day

September 4th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Got an email alert that Free Museum Day is going to be Saturday, Sept 28, and I took a look at the ones participating. In Seattle its richer than it has been in past years: EMP, Burke, Wing Luke, Museum of Flight, Henry, Frye, MOHAI. What to choose?

I'm toying with Wing Luke - I've never been there.

Easy to participate - pick your place, and print (or get it on your smartphone) your ticket(s).

winning

August 12th, 2013 at 09:34 pm

Spondulicks and I must have had our tiger milk lattes a couple of weekends ago. I got a call from the Gumshoe Answer Man. We won the Gumshop drawing! 9 $15 gift certificates.

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.

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.

the repair cafe

May 14th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I read

Text is about repair cafes and Link is http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/world/europe/amsterdam-tries-to-change-culture-with-repair-cafes.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all
about repair cafes in the New York Times last week. A space, a group of people who are willing to take a whack at fixing things, other people that bring non-working stuff, along with coffee, tea, and cookies. Intriguing idea, I wonder if we can start something like this in our neighborhood. We have a lot of coffee shops that run trivia nights, craft nights, and other events.

Our biggest repair coup couldn't have happened in a repair cafe. DH replaced the belt on the washer about 5 years ago - still running well.

Today the trainer looked terrible - I was his last appointment, and I asked him to go home, I could construct a workout myself and follow it. Only 3 more additional visits to complete that 555.

funny this and that

March 23rd, 2012 at 09:31 pm

Work is easing up a little. My boss, the director of the department, is on leave and the biggest project she had me on was developing the department budget. Got it done today which means I can finally, finally go back to digging myself out of the swamp of work.

I had a number of interesting experiences this week. Wednesday I went to the pre-construction open house to the Northgate light rail station. Our quick way to get home from I5 is going to be used as a staging area. No surprise and sacrifices have to be made. The big controversy is more parking versus a pedestrian bridge coming from the community college. Its building up to be a choice between one or the other - depends on whether you think the cars are coming from the north or to the west.

I left soon after a 70 yr old woman complained that the station will block her view of the Olympics. A quick calculation is telling that by the time the station is built, the view is going to be the least of her concerns. To be fair, this project is not made for her particularly. Its not even made for me, who is pushing 50 next month. 9 years from now I'm thinking of retirement, not commuting after all.

The next wacky thing this week is finding out that Saturday a

Text is Hollywood production is being filmed nearby and Link is http://www.phinneywood.com/2012/03/22/movie-filming-in-greenwood-on-saturday/
Hollywood production is being filmed nearby AND that Gary Busey is in it. Somebody on our crew has him on their list. Never been able to "throw" the results before!

And today, I took a little stroll near Occidental Park (Pioneer Square) and walked past three news crews. I asked a local about and he told me that the lawyer defending the US serviceman charged with the killings in Afghanistan... well, his office is nearby. So they are waiting.

productive frugal day

February 12th, 2012 at 09:18 pm

In honor of retire@50 and monkeymama:

Had a very productive, moderately frugal day today:

10:30 - 12:30. did the Sunday routine of going to the coffeehouse and got coffee, a slice of quiche and read the Sunday NYT. Yes, I pay for coffee. Sundays it happens to be free, but if there is a jar about, I slip a dollar in. I've made my peace with paying for coffee - I get drip, I enjoy the ritual of ordering and being social with the staff. NYT paper subscription on the weekend happens to be expensive and duplicates the Kindle, but I like the feel of paper, I see all the pictures and the NYT itself is the one paper that won't turn your mind into cream cheese.

12:45 - 1:30. 2 mile walk, listened to the podcast of Marketplace Money, hunted for change (found pennies and a 10 cent euro coin). Noted on the walk that a Tile company was having a 20 yr anniversary sale. 50% off grout. Will have to check that out.

1:30 - 1:45. Hit the bus stop. (I go carless). I used OneBusAway to figure out when the bus will come - it really helps to take away the frustration out of using transit. Found out I had about 15 minutes, so I went to the produce stand. Bought 69 cent avocadoes for lunches next week, and $1 bagged salad. I was tempted by the $2/pt blueberries but figured they'd get smashed by the time I got home.

2:15. Made it to Bedrock Industries to pick up 10$ worth of vitreous glass for mosaics. Noted that I can get 4 x 4 in squares of marble for 50 cents!

2:45 Walked to Peets and Whole Foods because I was feeling a little hungry. Peets had a line, didn't see what I really wanted at Whole Foods, so I skipped the temptation. Noted that the blueberries were at 3.99$ at Whole Paycheck.

3:15 Caught the bus back and walked another 1.5 mile home. Got my exercise today and quiet time today.

4:30 - 7:30 Pulled my green folder out, took up Vanguard's offer on cheap(er) TurboTax. Calculated and filed my 2011 taxes. I pay $207, which is pretty usual for me. Since my 403b is going great guns, that represents my tax deferred money pool; I put 5K in a Roth - its worth more to me to bulk up the tax-free pool of money than it is to get the refund if I put it in a traditional IRA. My tax rate in total this year is 9.7%; I'm good with the $207.

In other words, I got a lot done, learned bits of information to further my hobby, got exercise, chilled out. I spent a little bit but I'm good with what I spent - it will all get used.

a tale of two groceries

February 3rd, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Grocery 1.

Went over to the dying Greenwood Market tonight - it's advertising their last 2 days of business. There was a lot of empty space, but they had set up an open house for cupcake, cider and coffee. One could write in a memory book. I wrote that I always appreciated buying a brat from them during the Seafair Parade.

Anyway, as I ate my cupcake and drank my coffee I saw one of the staff come up with cleaner and a rag wiping up a spill. "Two days left and you are still cleaning?" I asked.

"Of course", he said.

Grocery 2.

Went over to the Safeway to pick up a few groceries. Found a few. Didn't find any change on the floor, but I did note 5 or so tiny dried spills...