Viewing the 'Workplace' Category
Hola - Been a little while.
My first meeting as president of the condo board went alright. Mostly because I kept us on task. I can tell I'm going to have to be patient with an owner or two who will "sing the song of their people" over and over. Same tune too. The other big task is getting used to my gmail account and the condo board's gmail account.
Tomorrow is the Seahawk parade and even in this, the HR department is torquing me off with a unique ability of taking something simple and heartfelt and stomping the spontaniety out of it. Our HR will let us go but strongly "encourage" us (encourage with an underline in the email) to wear our t-shirts with our logos. Wrong on so many levels:
1.) This is a Seahawk thing, not an us thing (you might remember that I work for an non-profit with a Way at the end.) celebrating the Seahawks.
2.) Its lunch hour. Are you going to tell us when to eat also?
2.) its going to be 20F. Even me from Wisconsin, ain't no way I'm going to standing out there with just a t-shirt. Not with our health insurance. I'm layering and wearing a coat and that coat will be closed.
For frugalistas only, because I just bet this entry title is a magnet for weird. Not that this isn't weird, but back out before you are disappointed.
Careful readers of this blog might know that I work for a large non-profit. This is special event money season - where we get a fair amount of cash and coin. After hoisting several bags of coins to the auditors I said, "hey if you see any interesting coins, I'll trade."
2 days later we found our first silver dime. Happy to swap a dime from my wallet for that dime.
Ooooh, I'm going to heck.
You might know that I love following space flights. Perhaps you've heard that Voyager 1 reached interstellar space. What you might not have known is that it reached it about a year ago ... some measurements seemed to tell scientists they were there, some didn't and that's what caused the confusion. Its not like there was a big ol' sign like you see on the interstate.
So it seems to be with financial freedom. One kind of thinks that if they had $xM, then yes. But really, who knows? You could be there or several years out.
The raise kicked in, but I don't think its particularly enough. I'm going to back down my 403B contributions - they will still be quite high, and I will easily get all the match.
This evening I also got a letter for another vaccine study. I had a good experience with the previous one, and the payment for participating is quite nice ($540). I think I will collect more info.
Tomorrow I get paid (actually its the 15th, but we get paid the first business day beforehand). HR assured us that the raise starts this paycheck. 3%.
The timing is good - I have about 10 days to figure out whether I should back down my 403B contributions.
Seattle Greek fest this weekend. Time to stock up on good olive oil.
Yesterday I got a good haul in the Coinstar machine. Plenty of Canadian, which suits me fine because I might go up in the next few years. When I do, and I have a nice coffee, I will think fondly of the Coinstar machine.
My intimate emergency fund is growing - its at $10.54 and its been two months. I might not be logging my found money in, but I have been keen on finding it.
First off, I'm taking it relatively slow on the backsplash. Got what I want to do, am planning it meticulously, did my jury stick measurements, got the tile samples (which really look GREAT and will be the icing on the cake) to do the grout study.
But the pleasant surprise was a tiny-ish refund to the tune of $174. It came from the bank - apparently they have you pay just a hair too much to provide a little extra cushion for the escrow. After about 6 months, everybody gets into a rhythm, and the cushion gets refunded and my mortgage payment dropped by about $10/payment. Helpful.
Things are settling down fiscally, so I'm getting back in the groove, in a couple of different ways. I've reactivated my tip box at work, so I'm showing that some love. FYI, I have a little decorative box at work - the "tip box" - that I throw change, small bills in. When there's an office collection, I pull from my tip box, but in general every month I deposit what's in there.
6 weeks ago I was 175 lb naked and now I'm 170. Gym bug has not caught on yet, I'm just walking and always taking the stairs up and down. Since the gym is next door to work and a branch is two blocks from my house, it does require a lot of avoidance.
Looking at my net worth it has dropped a bit to the high 500K. If I hadn't bought the condo and hadn't remodeled the kitchen I would have been 70K up. You can't think that way, though. Money is a means not an end. I'm enjoying the end point and I know I will for a good long time.
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". I mentioned my mosaics. Turns out that she used to do stained glass and asked me if I could use stained glass. Could I! . 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.
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. . I got a chance to see what the sports setting of my camera did.
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 , but the rest of the pack has now spread out.
I left work early this afternoon. For me that's 4:30pm. There was a little whiff of tear gas in the air. I did manage to get out before the total transit snarl up. The protesters held the bus up for about 5 minutes before we got through. Not many people waiting until north of downtown.
TV cameras aplenty along Second Ave at noon.
DH left work - he's a seasonal temp for the IRS - early also. Matter of fact, that office shut down as soon after the first wave of window breaking happened. We were south and a bit west of the high end commercial corridor that got hit (again - those very windows were hit during WTO).
The new trick of the season was the sign used - party on the top (the sign itself), metal knob business end at the base of the stick. Protestor whacked windows with the business end of sign.
Fun fact 1:
The two accounts comprising my 403B are FINALLY going merge sometime this week. Everything should be done by the 1st week of May. Rumor had it that it was delayed because HR had to find one ex-coworker, get him to decide and sign and if necessary, get him to create an IRA somewhere else.
Time to watch daily, and see where the money goes. Its been awhile since I decided, but I think I'm having it go as a very big contribution. After it goes, then I figure whether I should rebalance.
Fun fact 2:
Got a piece of mail regarding my old shares in M&I which got sold to Bank of Montreal (BMO). Apparently some shareholders are forming a class action suit, charging M&I CEO with collusion with BMO. I'll be watching that with interest. Methinks the results and $2 will get me a coffee.
Work has gotten a little quieter and I'm back to the two main projects. Still a little challenging but at least I've returned to sanity. Right now I'm taking a few days off - Friday, today, Tuesday, Wednesday. I didn't really plan on taking off Easter, and out here in Seattle, there isn't a complete shutdown for Easter holiday.
I've reading a lot of spending diaries. Apologies that I'm not participating. I do feel quiet keenly that as soon as I'm away from work, I spend much more. When I'm working, my daily costs are basically one bought coffee ($2), and whatever daily groceries ($10 - $20) I go for. Starting on Friday, my spending jumped to a good $50/day with bought breakfast, bought entertainment, and bought lunch. Out and about, I do find more loose change ... but that doesn't keep up with the spending. .
This last Friday, I used a friends and family coupon and saw the Gauguin exhibit. Still $18; however it was cheaper than buying the plane ticket to Paris. Plenty of Gauguins - Breton ones, Paris ones, Martinique ones, 1st trip to Tahiti ones, 2nd trip to Tahiti ones - but the real stars of the show were the war clubs, craft boxes, sculpture and tattoo work of Tahiti and New Zealand which was his source. The other lookers were pretty mellow - it was senior Friday. Some looked like they could have seen Gauguin himself.
Weather has finally improved, so I got caught up on grouting three pieces. I showed lawyer friend a picture of the piece I made for him for his housewarming. I was relieved that he was thrilled with it.
I'm back up into the 167-168 range. I'm in the process of going through my food diary and seeing what I can change in my diet, looking for triggers, just looking for patterns. I did this this morning with a coffee sitting on a bench overlooking the Ship Canal. Very relaxing.
Oh yes, no one had Mike Wallace this year. I had Mike Wallace last year. As I've said repeatedly, I'm good at picking people, its the year I'm crappy at.
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
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.