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Oh. My. God. (not fiscal at all)

January 8th, 2011 at 08:49 pm

Today was mostly a de-compress from the crazy busy last week, it was mostly running a set of small errands today - returning the last read to the library, getting my hair cut, loading up a smart card bus pass so sister can get to the airport and back on the light rail as easily as I can, hitting a used book store - saw a used CD that I'd like, getting a couple of travel sized toiletries and extra memory cards. Nothing individually horribly spendy, but taken together up in the $90 or so range.

Apologies to thrift-o-rama for the next paragraph.

As I was going along, I watched a bit of the Seahawk / Saint came. As well you might know, Seattle is the the first NFL team to make the playoffs with a losing season. The first I saw was 10-0 Saints, and I thought nothing more of it, just kept going. Traffic in Seattle was a bit quiet for a Saturday, but nothing special. Next to last stop, the game was 34-27 Seahawks. Walking to my last stop, everything was dead quiet. I've seen Super Bowl game traffic heavier. Last stop, 41-35 Seahawks. Heading home, I crossed our main drag in the neighborhood and heard the loud collective cheer from all the drunks at the sports bars. Still can't believe it.

snowpoclapyse, 2010

November 23rd, 2010 at 06:11 pm

Seattle is in the throes of its every other year snowstorm. Actually the snow occurred yesterday, but the ice occurred today. I was extremely lucky yesterday - it only took me 1.5 hrs to get to work, and 1.75 hrs to get home. Today - with the threat of the virtually-assured-nightmare ice bowl commute both ways, the fact that I got caught up with all my work yesterday, I had the PTO, I needed to get cracking on my part for the Thanksgiving festivities, - I refused to participate so I called in for a PTO day.

All the transit systems and the Seattle Dept of Transportation all tweet. Yesterday, while it wasn't a pleasure, at least I could figure out why we were stalled and could make a better decision. It does make for hundreds of text messages per day. I had the minutes saved for just this purpose.

And when I put on my Yaktraxs for the fourth year, I got the "great idea!" comment.

Got caught up on a number of fiscal fronts - my second CD matured Sunday so I called and put the proceeds into checking, and got my ING account to pull it in. 1.2% is unheard of for checking, but you have to maintain a large balance.

BECU solved a mystery. I got the temporary card, put a bit of money into savings. A few weeks later I wanted to put my this month's tip box squeezings into savings, but couldn't because it rejected my PIN. (I cancel and get everything back) Turns out that the first time you put the PIN in it will accept anything set of digits. Its at the end that it then gets down to the business of verifying your account. I'd rather be rejected early. I can take it. Anyway, got that mystery solved.

Also began making cranberry trifle try two. Try one was delicious, but I added a tad too much Cointreau. I'll fix that this time. All I've been doing is making three things: pound cake from a box mix, roasted cranberry sauce, cornstarch vanilla pudding. Cube the pound cake, layer it, add a bit of Cointreau, add a bit of cranberry sauce, a bit of warm pudding, more cubes of pound cake, Cointreau, pudding this time, cranberry sauce, etc. Keep layering until you run out of ingredients. Chill overnight, add whipped cream when you are about to serve.

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.

Greenwood Seafair Parade 2010

July 29th, 2010 at 08:10 pm

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

Text is here and Link is http://www.phinneywood.com/2010/07/28/talent-overflows-at-greenwood-seafair-parade/
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.

Greenwood Car Show, 2010

June 28th, 2010 at 08:08 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $15 breakfast + $2 ice cream + $4 muffin, iced coffee + $5 grocery produce
Found money - $0.10 (road)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $.67 apple
Found money - $0.38 (road, sidewalk, telephone pole)

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 lunch
Found money - $0.36 (sideway, road, Safeway: by checkout, next to soda display, underneath vending machine)

First off, I'm very close to the $50 target in found money. I'm at $48.76: 1071 pennies, 43 nickels, 181 dimes, 43 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents. Keep on dropping those coins, guys!

Today was a brutal day - we are at the end of the fiscal year. Sometimes it ends with a yawn, but not this year. Lots of whining this year with a couple of last minute booking projects.

The Greenwood Car Show was a ton of fun - it went between 90th and 69th, an extension of both ends from previous years. And it was free! However, there did seem to be a bit of filler in the middle - food, info, and guy buying opportunities. There were a lot of beautiful cars, but fewer really exotic ones which is what I go for. No

Text is leather car and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2008/06/28/greenwood-car-show_40639/
leather car this year. However, I did meet the guy who was developing the
Text is hot rod with the jet engine and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2008/06/28/greenwood-car-show_40639/
hot rod with the jet engine. He was mock stricken when I told him that I imagined him, "a Boeing engineer with time on his hands". Turned out he was a Westinghouse engineer with time on his hands.

Still, there was some interesting stuff...

The 1918 Cadillac, as is.

We aren't too far from the stagecoach - the chauffeur sat in the front with a windshield, no side windows and a deaf guy horn right by his left ear (guy pointing to it)

While the inside is more of what you would expect, complete with the wood horn that you would use to speak in (left).

Oh, and the most amazing thing of all, it was driveable.

Nearby was parked a 1947 jeep. Hadn't realized that the windshield flipped down, but that would make a lot of sense.

And the gear shift made me laugh out loud. First rule of frugality: use what you have.

pictures, still and moving

May 24th, 2010 at 09:28 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $1 bag of spinach salad
Found money - $0.04 (sidewalk, road)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.98 bagel (free coffee!) + $.50 apple + $5 edamame, kimchi
Found money - $0.18 (road, crosswalk, escalator edge, grocery store floor)

Deposited 45$ into the tip box for the month. I decided to take my new (to me) purse to a shoe repair place downtown to see about the straps. It's going to cost a bit more to replace the straps than I expected but the layout of the purse makes it still reasonable. But I finally got brave and printed some pictures with the $20 photoprinter. They print pretty well if there isn't too much gray in them (grey seems smudgy and muddled), so I definitely got a deal - printing whatever I want whenever I want. And the quality is reasonable if I want to finish my memory book (after 3 yrs!). The guy that I bought from thought that the culprit was the paper, so I might try improving that next. Now I get to pick two that I really, really like, cut the white edge of the pictures, get a bit of white matte board and frame them up. Definitely feel like I've got my money's worth Saturday.

The movie I'm the Executive Producer on made by the son of screenwriter friend is going to be shown at SIFF on Friday. It has been getting a lot of

Text is promotion and Link is http://www.seattleweekly.com/2010-05-19/film/northwest-newbies-at-siff-hollywood-is-not-the-goal/
promotion around town, much to the chagrin of screenwriter friend, the proud papa. A friend of his joked both that the son looked great in the pink prom dress and that the article (which I've linked to so you can enjoy) made screenwriter friend seem cheap.

I am cheap, screenwriter friend said, and proud of it. I laughed and told screenwriter friend that he'd fit right in my family ... and the cheapness of my family got him the last bit of cash to help them both out. And that's being fiscally real can do for you - when push comes to shove, you have the money to get 'er done. Looking forward to seeing what Victory Studios has wrought.

Greenwood Yard Sale

May 22nd, 2010 at 09:31 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $5 coffee, yogurt
Found money - $0.02 (parking meters)

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $5 groceries
Found money - $0.11 (corner, road, Safeway floor)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $22.50 yard sale finds + $1.50 cupcake
Found money - $0.62 (driveway, inside purse I bought)

In case anybody else is tracking me, Big Grin, ever since mid-July I've found $43.77: 942 pennies, 38 nickels, 158 dimes, 38 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

Today was the Greenwood Neighborhood Yard Sale, 2010 edition. We started late, but we still found some good stuff. There's always two ways to handle a yard sale: get there early to be the first to pick, or get there late for the desperation.

Desperation worked very well this year. I bought: a purse, 1 tablecloth, 1 HP photoprinter (along with cables, and picture paper). Most people were willing to deal - 50% off as soon as you showed an interest. The four pm stroll from site to site picking in the "Free" boxes was just as productive: 1 shower head, 1 tablecloth, 2 frames, a little salt spoon. I still am a sucker for purses, but while the handle was shaggy (why it was 50 cents) this one really had the layout that I liked. Best of all, I got home, shook the purse and found 52 cents left for me. The purse gave me a profit!

The photoprinter was the 20$ purchase. I was attracted to it because I now have plenty of fun pictures that I would love to print out. Its been 3 years since Paris, and I still haven't printed anything out. Will see whether the 20$ will pay off.

The free tablecloth was as good as the one I bought for $2. (Actually, a $1.90, because I found a dinged up dime in their driveway.) I bought the one in a very rich dark green, pulled from a free bin one in a rich red-purple. Holiday festive!

Add up everything we shelled out money for and it came to $22.50.

karma, said sarge

May 19th, 2010 at 09:36 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $6 tahini & bag of salad
Found money - $0.15 (grocery floors, crosswalk, sidewalk, under table)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 groceries
Found money - $0.04 (gym equipment, sidewalk, grocery floor)

Well it happens once per year - I lose things. Yesterday evening, after shlepping my groceries home, I searched my purse, patted my pockets, tore open my grocery bags. No wallet. Eeek!

My house key was in my wallet, so I after pulling out the hidden key I dumped everything out, took a deep breath, and said, "I've got to back track."

As I went to my first stop I took stock. I had $15 in money, some spare change (of course), house key, one filled coffee card (it took 10 coffees to get a free one, dammit), my Safeway card, and my debit card. Of that, I guess the debit card was the most hassle, having to cancel it and all. But I didn't sign up for the "convenience" of me over charging my debit. Once it went to 0$ it would be denied...and there was only about $100 in balance on it. Painful, but not a nightmare.

No wallet on the first stop, but I hadn't pulled it out there, so that was expected.

Checked the bus stop. I keep my bus pass separate from my wallet, so I had that. It had been about 30 minutes since I was there. Seattle is a freakishly honest place, but still it being out in the open and all it would have been a miracle if it was there. But miracles have happened to me in the past. I once left my sweater on a bus. 4 hours later I -amazingly - got on the same bus heading back home and saw my sweater next to the bus driver.

Checked the grocery store that I had bought something that night, so it was the last, best place. I went to the customer service desk and asked whether it was also the lost and found. Yep, she said, what did you lose? I lost my wallet and began to describe it ... cloth with a

Text is Beetle Bailey and Link is http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2009/05/09/in-defense-of-oddball-items_50906/
Beetle Bailey com--. Yep, she said, we have it right here!

Nothing was removed; everything was in place. I laughed and told her that I had lost and found it about a year ago - the Beetle Bailey comic really makes it stand out. And I think it makes it totally un-cool to steal. No petty theft teenager wants to be thought of as being so desperate as to steal a Beetle Bailey wallet.

In any case, pwhew!

Greenwood Art Walk, 2010

May 17th, 2010 at 09:02 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $15 brunch + $3 mocha + $23 piece of art
Found money - $0.03 (floor, parking lot, newspaper box)

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $10 for 10 Luna bars
Found money - $0.62 (road, planting strip & gutter, bus stop)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $8 lunch + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.03 (lotsa floors - food court, escalator, Safeway)

Thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Greenwood Art Walk, and saw many spectacles but I didn't take many pictures (matter of fact, really just one). I learned a lot about my neighbors.

Neighbor 1: A set designer for Hollywood - tv and film. Bought a bit of small commercial space and designed rooms to HIS liking...

I don't do justice, but being a renter and always looking at the tyranny of beige and white, seeing celandon green walls with yellow stencil, chinese sculpture and a wild chandelier...exciting. The basement of the place contained an art collective and I bought my $23 piece from them. It was a cute little leather monster - one-eyed and screaming. He looked like I feel in January or so.

Neighbor 2: I'm about a block north of the neighborhood park which has bought out two abutting properties. There is to be a meeting about what to do with them and how to integrate them with the park. I always like the idea of another P-patch, but it would be great to allow neighborhood restaurants to rent space also...several are only 3-4 blocks away. Another two cents I threw in was to create an entirely edible landscape, and a third is to commemorate the

Text is orchards and Link is http://www.phinneywood.com/2009/08/26/city-fruit-still-harvesting-in-neighborhood/#more-1200
orchards that were here before the neighborhood was. Great ideas, the chair of the committee said - come to the meeting!

Neighbor 3: Lawyer. His flower photos made it through a juried art show, but I was excited that he specialized in wills and estate planning and he's in the neighborhood. I nabbed his card and a gift certificate.

Neighbor 4: (bringing it back to fiscal) A coin cutter. He pulled me aside and had me look at his
Text is work and Link is http://www.etsy.com/shop/ACutAboveCoins
work. He did the cutting, sanding, and spot plating of gold, palladium and rhodium of some of the elements. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the Secret Service and the Treasury isn't after him. Apparently cutting coins is
Text is legal if the intent is not to defraud and Link is http://www.internationalcutcoins.com/aboutus.cfm
legal if the intent is not to defraud. Here's a thought: a cut
Text is Wisconsin quarter and Link is http://wisconsinquarter.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=177&locid=48
Wisconsin quarter for sister developing her organic farming at the farmette. I'll have to think about that.