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Birthday Parties

February 23rd, 2013 at 04:39 am

Ok I know, I haven't posted anything an a loooonnnnggg time, but I still read this board every morning.

Anyway I have a question.

My Grandson's birthday party is today, he's turning 2. My daughter and her hubby have this big party all planned out, a Breakfat/Pajama party for goodness sake. (No one wants to see me in my pj's) It will be held in their Church this morning.

The boy has 6 Grandparents, 4 Great-Grandparents, over a dozen Aunts and Uncles, and several cousins, not to mention all the parents friends and coworkers. Needless to say, he gets ALOT of toys for both Christmas and his birthday. He already has more toys then he could ever play with (besides he prefers the boxes they came in) and every imaginable electronic gaget a 2 year old could want, several shelves of books and so many clothes DD has donated or traded almost half his unworn wardrob.

My question is, Is there a way to convince my DD and her hubby to maybe consider a "Colledge Fund Party"?

Maybe they could ask "Peanuts" (grandson) guests to only bring a small tolken gift for him to open and a donation to a special account for his future education.

I know it might be a touch to late for this party, but for future ones maybe?

Extreme Couponing or OCD?

April 6th, 2011 at 06:21 pm

I was/am watching the new TLC series "Extreme Couponing" and thinking to myself: "self, what in the world would you do with 300 toothbrushes?"

While I have been trying to use more coupons in my weekly shopping trips, I don't think I can use 400 deoderants in my lifetime.

Where does one draw the line between good smart shopping and becoming obssessed with the game to the tune of 500 rolls of toilet paper?

I do understand that food banks, pantries, churches and other various chairities should be the primary beneficianaries (sp?) of these "hunts", but wouldn't most phycologist' call this obsessive complusive disorder?

The next step for some of these "Extreme Couponers" is the show "Buried Alive".

Canceled Cap 1

May 9th, 2010 at 09:32 am

First let me say;

"HAPPY MOTHERS DAY" to my mom and all mothers out there.

I canceled my cap 1 card today. No I'm not going without credit cards totally, just the annual fee finally got to me.

I called them up bright and early wanting to see if there was a way to convert my fee card to a no-fee card and it just wasn't possible. Or as they put it "there is an annual fee associated with this card, if you want to, you may apply for a different card".

7 years I have had this card, never late with a payment, never over my limit (never even close to the limit) and this is how they repay loyalty. May apply for a different card, Hurmph.

So now I am looking into other cards and would like some leads on websites that rate them. I googled it and really am not sure i trust the sites all that much. Oh and I have been reading the site that SA lists as well "the credit finder".

No annual fee is a must, rewards are secondary and balance transfers are almost a non-factor. As for Interest rate, I pay in full every month so I'm not real concerned with the rate.

Graduation !

April 23rd, 2010 at 01:33 pm

Well she did it, and even early by a few weeks.

For those who don't know what I am babbling about, a short backround.

My wife had been playing the yo-yo games for several years with temp jobs that she was told were permenent hirings. After her last layoff, I asked her to go to school for a degree in a concrete field, one that was almost layoff proof...Cosmotology. She Graduated Wednesday after completing the required 2,100 hours of school.

While she was attending school I took a part time job; one for the extra money to make ends meet, and two because I'm not real good at sitting around with nothing to do.

Now I have to decide if I want to continue working the "part time" job, or start getting some things around the house done that I have kind of ignored for the past 11 months.

I think that I will continue working until football season starts lol. Then I will re-evalutate the situation. One thing I know for sure, the extra income has been very very helpful in my debt repayment plan. Oh well I'll see how it all pans out for the next few weeks.

Anyway, I wish to tell my lovely bride of 16 years Congratulations! (and I hope you pass the State Licensing Boards with ease). Damn 16 years already?

MyStockFund ?

April 11th, 2010 at 01:06 pm

Does anyone use this? Or know anything much about it?

http://www.mystockfund.com/

I am a Recycle bank member and this site is listed on their rewards list, here's the posting:

"Reward Description:
As a RecycleBank member, you have the opportunity to open a MyStockFund account with no annual or monthly fees. Additionally, MyStockFund will give you the opportunity to purchase as many planned purchases per month for the first year for FREE, thatís an additional $12.99 per month discount!"

I don't have an accual brokerage account anywhere, so i have been looking into several different options. The fees and such have held me back from doing any individual stock investing.

Thank You in advance.

Scheduling Future Bills

February 20th, 2010 at 05:01 am

Am I just an oddity, or do others "prepay" their regular monthly bills?

Let explaine what I mean by "prepay". I know the date each of my regular bills are due each month (ie: gas electric cable ect) as should we all. I also know approxcimently when the online statements are available. As soon as I can setup a payment online I do. But I set them up for payment the day before they are due, not the same day I get it, then I mark the transaction in my resigtry with the payment date.

I ignore the current date balance in my check book and only use the bottom line as my grocery/gas/entertainment balance. Since I don't use any checks (my wife does, I use the debit card) I don't have to worry about numerical order or things like that.

The advantages I see to my method are:
1. I am never late with a payment
2. The pressure is off me to remember to pay bills (although I do have my set days for scheduling payments, the Saturday following payday, so this is kind of a nonfactor)
3. I gain interest for carrying my checking balance at a higher level for an extended period of time

I know number three is only worth a maybe a dollar or so a month but why give away interest when i can be earning it?

My only exception to this way is my car payment, my target debt at the moment. That I pay 25% of the monthly payment on a weekly basis so as not to accumulate any more interest then I have to. Accually I have been paying double that every week since it is my target.

I kind of do the same type of thing with my credit card, but that is for another time.

So am i just an oddity? Or do others "prepay"?

Side note: I got the title to my other car in the mail last Wednesday (I paid it off the previous Friday, 2 years and 1 month early). The same day someone busted out a tail light and scratched the bumper in a parking lot.
I am starting to wonder if maybe accually owing a car is a jinx for me.

Taking Stock (with a small memorial)

October 27th, 2009 at 08:35 am

Tommorrow's my 43rd birthday and I'm none to thrilled about it. I always figured I would have more, be more and need less by the time I turned 45.

As with most dreams you need to work hard to achieve them and I have worked hard. Unfortunently I have also played hard. My life has been about the best of this the most of that and now, when I finally figure out that I don't have to have the best, I am up to my chin in debt.

Funny thing is, just a year ago I was in far worse financial shape then I am now, the cards were killing me with interest (they are all paid off now) I owed almost 3 times as much on one of my cars (my focus debt atm) and my house was just refi'ed into a lower rate but with way to much principal for the amount of time we have lived here.

So why am I not thrilled? Life happens is why. I posted before that I had paid off one of my cars and, in accordence with Murphy' Law, the car promptly died. I got a new car (brand new) that in many ways I still regret buying instead of a good used one. I got my EF up to 2500.00$ and my furnace decides it needs a vacation, 1400.00$ of the EF went to fix it. I could go on but I won't try to bore you with whining.

I guess the biggest reason I'm not real happy with the upcoming b-day is my oldest dog had to be put down a few weeks ago. Me and her had a ritual we would do each year on my b-day that for some reason I am going to miss. We would walk down to the ice-cream place together and both get a cone then take a walk around the nearby park to work off the extra calories *soft smile*. This was for her and I only, my wife didn't go (we do our dinner and movie thing later). I know it's a silly thing and probably no reason to not look forward to tommorrow but it is my reason.

PS. April Mae you were my friend and my confidant. You always made me smile no matter what. I hope to see you again when my time comes. I know you will be waiting by the Rainbow Bridge for that day. For now though I hope you finally catch that rabbit you dreamed so much about, and you find it in your heart to let it go.

Tortoise and Hare (not financial)

August 19th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

When Boo was about to begin 7th grade, she asked for a pet. Knowing full well who would end up taking care of said pet, I agreed, thinking she was old enough to handle the responsibility.

We all know whom ended up taking care of it, but that is another story. Not to be out done, Bubba decided he should have a pet as well. Hmmm maybe I should have thought about that one more, but i agreed with him as well.

So we all pile into the old car and head off to a pet store. I had in my rather limited mind Bubba would get a fish of some sort and Boo would get a gerbil or some such rodent. As usual I was wrong, Bubba decided on a Russian Blue Tortiose and Boo felt she needed a rabbit (it was so soft).

I really should have thought that all out more. With the rabbit i figured we had a maybe 3-3.5 year commitment. The Tortiose was the one i was worried about. I have heard tales of them living to the ripe-old age of 80+ years. Not really wanting to be committed to a life-long pet, I hemmed and hawed alot but as was normal, we ended up with both.

Neither animal was that exspensive but lordy the periferials they needed cost me a small fortune. Anyway, flash forward 4 years and I have been taking care of both for a more then a few of them. Flash was looking good and Dolly was just there, not real mobile or playful or anything, just there.

It was my morning ritual to get up, caffinate myself, feed the dogs, feed Flash, then feed Dolly (by the way Dolly is the rabbit lol). Did you know Russian Blue Tortios' hybernate? I found this out after Flashes first year. Did you know that they are also suppossed to be refrigerated when they hybernate? This I didn't know. When I fed Flash one morning I noticed he hadn't touched his food from the day before, well it was fall and I figured he was heading off to lala land. Boy was I wrong...Flash made his way to the Sun filled desert that fall, he was 4 years old.

Flash forward 6 more years. There sits Dolly, not real mobile or playful or anything, but still there. Dolly left us last Saturday, she was 10 years and 2 weeks old to the day.

Her life has made me think alot about things. And not only about the silly tale about slow and steady. More about how no matter what one's preconceptions might be, never take anything for granted be it people, places, relationships, finances, machines, anything.

I truely hope Dolly has found her place in the sun, she deserves it.

Murphy's Law and Part Time

July 15th, 2009 at 11:56 am

Murphy's Law states "if something can go wrong, it will"

I paid off my car a few months back (I remember snoopy dancing)and a few weeks ago, she died. Under normal circumstances I would get her fixed and continue on with my life, this time though, it would cost way more then the car was/is worth.

Sooooo... I did a really dumb thing and bought a new car, not new to me, brand new. I bought into the hype and the "deals" and dove off the deep end. Even though I think I got a great deal on a car I have wanted since they were introduced a few years ago. I still have a nasty case of buyers remorse.

I did put 50% down on the final price and had the money to both plate and insure it, but still, I feel a bit weird driving around in a new car.

Funny how things work out though, on the same day my car rolled (well sputtered) off into the sunset, I got a part time job. It's 5 nights a week for between 4-6 hours a night and pays above min wage so my debt reduction schedule is going to step up a bit even with the new payment.

I guess the old saying is true:

"When one door closes, another opens" Alexander Graham Bell

or

"When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window."

Part Time?

May 17th, 2009 at 01:15 pm

Recently the fine state of Nebr has informed my wife that she no longer quailifies for unemployment insurance since she has become a full time student. She would "qualify" if she was going to school for something like "nurse, cpa, teacher" or any other occupation they deem fit to pay for, but cosomologist isn't on their list. I can't seem to get a reason or a list of criteria what does qualify.

I have been cruching numbers trying to figure out if we can meet all of our obligations on just my salary, and we can, but without a whole lot of wiggle room and some serious cutbacks in our grocery shopping tactics.

I have already slashed our budget to within an inch of it's life in all areas I can, but food is the one area we try to keep some varity in. I refuse to eat ramen noodles and mac-n-cheese for the next 9 months while she finishes her degree.

So I have been out submitting applications all over the place for the past 2 weeks. I have put in an average of 4 apps a day except Sundays. So far I have only had one call back for an interview. Now please understand I am not out there applying for office mgr, part time doctor or anything like that just a simple min wage part time evening job.

Frumpy *ie:wife* already has a partime job in the evening 3 days a week, and i will not ask her to do more then that so she can focus on her schooling and try to graduate early.

I am wondering if because i already have a job, if the resturants are figuring I wouldn't be reliable or something. Oh well, I will keep plugging along and see what comes up.

Stamp Out Hunger May 9th

May 8th, 2009 at 03:35 pm

Just a reminder (or a request) to everyone that Sat May 9th is "Stamp Out Hunger" day.

The Postal Service should have sent out cards (I know I delivered them on my route) to ask everyone to help stock local food banks by setting bags of non-perishable food items next to their mail boxes. Your carrier will pick them up and send them to your local food bank to help those who are in need in your area.

Please Contact your local post office to verify its participation in the food drive. (Search the USPS website for the contact information for your local post office.)

I know in my area last year we collected over a million pounds of food. Hopefully everyone can pitch in just a little and help a very worthy cause.

Thank You in advance

Needing Some Advice

March 13th, 2009 at 03:49 am

Student loans? Where do I start?

Wife has been laid off (4th time in a little over 2 years). She wants to go back to school to be a "cosmotologist" didn't they used to be called stylist?

I am all for her going to school for it, (even suggested it a few years ago when her string began) but I have absolutely no clue how to even begin to compare student loans to grants to begging for money on a curbside.

The way I see it, if she were to get licensed, she will be able to do something she would be more then suited for and enjoy doing. Plus "layoffs" wouldn't be as looming or as dreaded as her current production jobs.

Anyway, workforce developemnt will no longer fund this type of education,

" we only provide funding for education in careers that will place workers in jobs that pay 13$ or more an hour"

Huh? Around here those type of jobs are few and far between.

I have done all the work-ups how we can survive and even make headway with only my income, so I'm not panicing about our bills, yet.

I have been surfing the web and accumulating all kinds of info, but most of it is about as clear as mud ie: legelease. We have spoke to a couple of finance people in the schools, but they are about as helpful as a wart if your not willing to enroll "right now".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance

An APR Rant (sort of)

February 9th, 2009 at 01:47 pm

I got home today and went and got my mail. Interesting notification in there from Cap 1 Credit Card:

"Due to extraordinary changes in the
economic environment, we're reviewing
our existing credit card accounts"

Hmmm this doesn't sound good...

"Having considered these economic
conditions, your account's current
Purchase rate, and the length of
time you've had this rate (7.49%),
we will be increasing your
Purchase rate."

OOhhhkkaayyy....to?

"A variable rate equal to 15.9% as
of 1/28/2009."

Are you kidding me??? They doubled my interest rate??? Why? I have only been late with one payment since I got the card, and that was 1 day late. On top of that, I pay an annual "fee" for the "privilege" of having their card.

So being the rational and calm person I am (a hint of sarcasm here) I called them to politely ask "hey umm why?". My call was anwsered by a nice gentleman, in Argintina, who's english is worse then mine. After about 5 minutes of deciphering what he was trying to tell me, I asked to speak to a supervisor.

A nice lady who spoke much better english answered with this bright, cheery "Hello my name is B***, how may I help you?" So I proceeded to once again ask the question "Why?". She went into her scripted response which i let her go on for about all of 30 seconds when i rudely interrupted her.

Me: "So your company is punishing me for doing the right thing by paying on time and paying over the minimum payment?"

B***: "No sir, due to the extrodinary economic conditions, we....."

Me: "I read the mailing. Ok if you guys are going to be charging me double, how about cancelling the annual fee?"

B***: "This card has an annual fee associated with it, but this is what I can do."

Me: "Okay, what are you willing to do for me?"

B***: "We have been authorized to offer you a 5.9% APR unitil Jan 25th 2010, at which time your percentage rate will adjust to the 15.9% set forth in the mailing."

Me: "But you can't waive the fee right?"

B***: "No sir, we can not waive the fee"

Me: "Okay, give me the 5.9% until January, at which time I will have to decide if I am going to continue to use your card or shop around for another credit company."

B***: "Okay sir, we will set this up for you right now'

Me: "ummm thanks I guess"

Me: "By the way, I hope you don't take this personally (the job) I know you are not in control of what policies they want to change or how the changes will effect your customers, but to me it seems silly to punish a good customer just so the toppers can get their bonuses"

B***: "Sir I completely understand"

Me: "Okay, if that's all taken care of, I hope your day gets better from here. Thanks and bye."

B***: "You have a good day sir, and thank you for using capitol 1, bye."

Has anyone else been notified of the "changes" they are making at cap 1? Or how about other companies? Are they doing the same thing? I would hate to cancel this card, even with the fee, it's the only credit card I have. I have had it for better then 10 years. I don't want to hurt my credit rating but I may have to.

Side Effects

January 9th, 2009 at 07:45 am

Ok so I have to buy a chair, Snoopy Dance killed it. This is one side effect of paying off my car I'm more then happy to have. I never really did like the chair anyway.

A un-thought-of side effect of paying off my car came to me this morning. I can reduce my auto insurance to liability only, saving me about 20$ a month (my estiment *is that spelled right?*). I'm waiting for my agent to call me back and give me the accual numbers.

On another front, I got my blood work back from the doc. My knee turned out not to be gout, somehow i got a viral infection in the joint (what has my knee been doing while i'm asleep?). Steroids, antibiotics and rest are about all that can be done.

All I know for sure is i NEED to get back to work. I have never been one for "bed rest" nor have i ever been very good at amusing myself without direction or a plan. I have read everything i have in the house, including the furnace manual. I have accually begun to count how many times i see that fool who does the 'sham-wow' commercials a day. *sigh*

Sorry for the short rant, but it has pointed out a side effect to me i hadn't thought of before. What happens when i retire?

Snoopy Dance!!!

January 7th, 2009 at 06:24 pm

dadada daaa da dadada daaa da
^^^peanuts music^^^

Ok so right at the moment i can't really dance (yet), but man is this chair getting a workout.

I PAID OFF MY CAR!!!

I made the last payment online this evening and to be honest, this car is the first car i have ever financed and accually paid off.

I have "owned" way to many cars in my life (i lost count at 24) but this is the first one i have made all the payments on and the bank accually has to send me the title to.

By the way, of those 24+ cars I only financed 5. The rest were beaters, cheapies, fixer-uppers and my personel favorite Postal Jeeps (7 of those).

Anyway, judging my the sound of the chair, I had better quit chair dancing or I'll be buying a new one.

A very special Thank You to all the posters on this and other sites who led by example, told their stories, and gave their advice so freely. "Snowball Flakes" (hybred system i use) was based on much of what i read here.

*turns the crosshairs at Capitol 1*

Your next.

Co-pays

January 6th, 2009 at 02:48 pm

So I went to the orthopedic surgeon today. Why do I pay 20$ for my copay at the regular doc's, and 30$ at a specialist?

A short background, 10 or 11 days ago I woke up with my left knee totally locked up, went to my regular doc last Tuesday, he sent me to the ortho doc "just to be sure".

Ortho took x-rays and seen me for all of 5 minuets, announced my knee was healthy from his side of it, and sent me back to my regular doc.

Next Tuesday is the soonest I can see him (and it will cost me another 20$ to boot). So here I sit, going stir-crazy reading about alternative heating, and waiting for Tuesday so I can go back to work.

One nice thing about all this is, I am getting alot of reading done. I have read 3 debt books, 3 investing books, 3 books about being green and one fiction that I couldn't finish.

The debt books were:
"Pay it down" by Jean Chatzky (decent book)
"How to get out of debt" by Harrine Freeman (ok but if your looking for almost any State Federal Local contact information this is your book)
"Debt Zero" by Lynnette Khalfani (so far the best one I have read this week informative and direct)

I have already returned the others so can't list them, sorry.

Anyone have any suggestions for good financial or "green living" books?

Why is it?

December 30th, 2008 at 06:21 pm

Why is it every time things start to go well, Murphy raises his somewhat beastly head?

I woke up yesterday morning, good news there, rolled over to get out of bed, and scared the snot out of the wife and dog with a scream to wake the dead, bad news there.

My knee has locked-up. I have no idea what I did. Being a net-nut, I looked it up. I have one of three things as near as I can figure out. Gout (rich mans arthritis yea right), an infected sac or cartilage, or a torn ligament.

I went to the doctor today and he said the same things were the possibilities. (I didnt mention I had looked them up, because I am pretty sure doctors have got to get tired of net-know-it-alls). Anyway, I have another appointment on Jan 6th with a specialist and will be off work until then and probably later. The appointment couldnt be made any sooner because the swelling had to be reduced and the surgeon wasnt available until then to look at me. (You have got to love HMOs).

One thing I do have working in my favor is I hardly ever use any sick leave and have 50 or so days I can be off with pay. I am hoping I will not have to use more then the 8 I am already going to be off.

On a better note, I have been using a modified form of Debt Snow flaking and am only 250$ away from having my car paid off. Look out Capitol 1 you are in my sights.

Cookies

December 25th, 2008 at 09:25 am

My Wife decided today is the day to break in her birthday gift. I bought her the gift LAST JUNE which has sat idle since then. This fact has nagged at me for the better part of 6 months.

She had been talking about this particular gift for as long as I can remember. Then to see it sit idle for so long after what I spent on it was really irritating.

Anyway, back to the title of this entry, Cookies. She has made cookies since she woke up today. Since 4.30am the house has smelled of cookies, the counter tops have been throughly floured, almost every bowl we have is either in the dishwasher or in the sink, every flat surface in the three ajoining rooms are covered with cooling cookies.

The gift was a Kitchen Aide Mixer.

Here is what i have been doing while she bakes, hope you like it. (yes she was the inspiration)

*sung to the tune of the 12 days*

12 bags of flour
11 pounds of sugar
10 vanilla beans
9 dozen eggs
(is this a hint?)
8 pounds of walnuts
7 cookie sheets
6 mixing bowls
5 pounds of chocolate
(did Santa make this list?)
4 rolls of parchment
3 cookie cookbooks
2 oven timers
and a new kitchenaid mixer
(ok ok I got it)

MERRY CHRISTMAS
AND
A HAPPY NEW YEAR
TO ALL

Gift idea

December 14th, 2008 at 01:04 pm

I'm not a Christmas fan. Never have been and probably never will be. It isn't "The Spirit of Christmas" I dislike, it's the commercialism. Around here they started Christmas late last July, trees grew from concrete floors, red and green infected the grocery store aisles, decorations hung from ceilings, ect ect ect.

That said, I think I have came up with a gift idea I can live with. For the first few years of my marriage we did the gifting for everyone (read stressful), a few years ago we gave up on that and went to cash/gift cards (read argumentative).

This year we are going to try something different. All our "gifts" will still be cash/gift cards, but with a twist. We're going to give each child, Parent and sibling their expected *sigh* amount, and we will donate an equal amount to a Charity that matches their personality. The donations will be made in their names.

I know this will double my Christmas total and the money could be better used for paying down bills. But I'm hoping that the simple act of giving will help me with my "Christmas Spirit".

Bi-Weekly Mortgage?

December 11th, 2008 at 07:59 pm

For the past few months I have been toying with the idea of setting my home loan up to be a bi-weekly payment.

A true bi-weekly, with 26 payments a year.
I already pay extra on the principle but the bi-weekly would make a bigger payment over the year.

After carefully weighing both the advantages and disadvantages (yes i did accually write out a list of pros and cons), i'm still not positive it's the best way to go.

I know in the long run it will save me alot of money and cut time off my loan, but I'm still not convinced I can rearrange my other bills in a way that makes it all possible.

I did lookup my next 3 check month which is February, and wonder if I should just wait until then.

Does anyone have any experiance with bi-weekly payments? Do you like the way it works? Are there any real drawbacks? (not just the ones I dream up)

Any advice would be helpful and appreciated.

EPA and the dinner table

December 6th, 2008 at 04:02 am

I was doing my normal morning routine (surfing headlines) when I came across an article that REALLY caught my eye.

"Farmers target EPA report they say might tax cows"

It seems the EPA did a study on livestock "emissions" and found that someone should pay for all that pollution.

"The American Farm Bureau Federation said, based on federal agriculture department figures, it would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog."

"The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Ken Hamilton, estimated the fee would cost owners of a modest-sized cattle ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year."

And how does one think the farmers will pay for this?

Just for the sake of argument let's examine the price-per-pound effect.

A "dressed" carcass of beef averages about 569lbs of useable meat. Divide $87.50 by 569 and you come up with 15.4 cents per pound. While this doesn't sound like an astronomical amount, you know as well as anyone $.15 isn't all we would be charged.

The Farmer would get his cut (which I feel he should) the carrier, the butcher, the packing company, and as always the Government. (I know I left a few out).

The numbers are even worse on a gallon of milk or pound of butter.

The article does state that:

"EPA officials insisted Friday that the lengthy, highly technical report, which mostly focuses on other sources of air pollution, does not include a proposal to tax livestock."

Ummm right. Can you say "smoke screen"?
This is only the first step to a new tax.

One thing I did find rather humorous in the article was a quote by a member of PETA:

"It makes perfect sense if you are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption and recoup environmental losses," said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman in Washington for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals."

*sigh* I guess i had better get used to over pesticided egg plant because I'm not going be able to even afford a hamburger from the $1.15 menu at mickey d's anymore.

If you wish to read the entire story, I read it on Yahoo News.

No More Drive-Thrus For Me

October 14th, 2008 at 06:12 pm

A few days ago i posted about my change experiance at a national chain burger joint. All's well that ends well.

Today i did it again. I went thru a drive-thru, even though i know better, even though every fiber of my being said to walk in.

A bit of backround: As most you may or may not know I am a Postman. We had yesterday off for "Colombus Day" (or as i prefer to call it "Native American Day" *ty South Dakota*).

Anyway whenever we have a Monday off it means all the mail you would have gotten Monday is piled up on top of Tuesday's regular mail. Colombus Day is also historically the heaviest mail day of the year. It's the un-official start of the Christmas catalog mailing season (you may or may not have noticed a few extra catalogs today).

The long and the short of it is we were extremely busy, and i was worn out by the time i finished. I hadn't had anything to eat since 4.30 am, I got off at 4.45 pm.

Drive-thru to the rescue. yea right. My order was simple, 2 cheese burgers, fries and a diet coke. They were quick and friendly and i drove my weary butt off without checking my order. Mistake.

I was on the inter-state when i reached into the bag and grabbed one, took a bite, and almost broke my teeth. Have you ever bitten into something that wasn't there? it was a picture perfect cheese burger with one small exception. No burger. The bun was there, the ketchup, the pickle, the onion even the cheese was there...no burger.

I was less-then happy to say the least. I called the 800 number on the bag and told the lady on the other end my story. Do you know what she said? "are you sure there was no burger in your sandwich?". Thank goodness i wasn't driving, i would have surely wrecked my car by driving it off the road laughing so hard. She took all my info and apologised several times promised that she would "relay" my experiance to the resturant owner and managers.

So I have made myself this very solemn vow: NO MATTER HOW HUNGRY, HOW PRESSED FOR TIME, OR WHAT SPECIAL OFFER IS ONLY AVAILABLE A THE DRIVE-THRU...I AM NOT ALLOWED TO USE THE DRIVE-THRU ANYMORE

p.s. I still think Joe Pesci has drive-thrus nailed down "they **** you in the drive-thru"

What would you do?

October 4th, 2008 at 04:32 am

I have a routine every morning...drag myself out of a warm bed..get my caffine...turn on my puter...make a small breakfast....read this page and a few others...shower and head off to work...

The other morning i woke up late...i had to choose what would be the sacrificial item of my routine...breakfast and reading lost...problem with that is i do not function well without food..so i made a quick stop by one of those national chain food places for a sandwich...(i know not real cost effective)...

Anyway i used the drive thru (another thing i very rarely do *think Joe Pechi in Lethal Weapon*)...my order was simple and accually correct for once...the lady was nice and chipper for so early in the morning...but after i drove off i discovered not real good at counting...i had handed her a 20.00 for a 3.50 bill...when i looked at my change i had 21.50...it bothered me all day...after work i went back and talked to the manager and gave him the 5.00 back...he gave me 10.00 worth of coupons for my effort...

I didn't mention when i used the drive thru..or decribe who helped me...i didn't want to get her in trouble..later realizing that after the drawer was counted they would know anyway...

My question is...what would you have done?..returned the money or let it be as it is?

W-2 's and miscalculations

June 11th, 2008 at 05:35 pm

Ever since my daughter (Boo) started working I have done her taxes. I also do my own, my brothers, my mom and dads, and this year, my in-laws.
Boo got a notice from the IRS a few weeks ago saying there had been a mistake in her 2006 tax return. The notice also stated that she owed 404.00$ in back taxes and fees.

Hmmmm....

I redid the taxes 2 more times before i caught the mistake, which brings me to my small gripe. Why is there no standardization of W-2's?

For 2006 Boo had 4 different W-2's none of which were the same. At job "b" she had made just over 3246.00$ and her federal tax withheld was 346.00$. Guess which number i missed.

I told her i would pay the fine (i figured i made the mistake) but she had to pay the tax portion. She had spent the money so she should pay it back.
She agreed but didn't have the money at the moment. The IRS being ever vigilant had given her 2 weeks to either pay up or pay additional fines/fees.

Guess who had to buy the money order to pay the bill in full. Boo has always been financially responsable so I'm not worried about getting the money back (eventually). But I really do wish that the IRS would require ALL businesses to use a standard W-2 form

Siding and the Joys of Spring

May 17th, 2008 at 04:01 pm

Hello again everyone,
As I mentioned in my first bog I don't post a lot, but I do read this forum every morning before work. Anyway, this one will be a bit on the sarcastic side.
Thirteen years or so ago I bought my current residence, being somewhat of a procrastinator I neglected to paint it with any type of consistency. Now I have major problems with the cheap siding they used during construction (it was a new house when I got it).
As anyone who has Georgia Pacific's press-board siding can probably tell you, if not cared for it will fall right off the house. I know mine is/has.
Well with the weather turning "nicer" I have decided it is time to fix the problems and paint it all at once. Alas. the siding for the most part is toast and has to be replaced. So being the "good home owner" that I am, I had several vinyl siding companies bid the replacement (plus I wouldn't have to paint anymore).
Now bear in mind I was prepared to pay to have this done figuring it would be in the range of $10,000 or so. Shows how wrong I can be. The lowest estimate was well over $14,500 the highest was $23,950.
After I got off the floor I decided that it didn't look that hard to do. And really it isn't that hard to do, if it's not raining (a joy of spring) the winds are not 30+ mph (another joy of spring) and my significant other didn't already have plans for every free weekend for the rest of my life (the last joy of spring).
I have so far spent just over $2000 on cement fiber board siding (yes I will still have to paint, but it will never rot) and the various things needed to install said siding. The stuff all arrived the Friday before last and I moved it all into my garage that day. Did I mention that cement fiberboard is very heavy? About 70lbs a piece and I ordered 240 of them, needless to say I was happy it was raining the next day. Also thank goodness for aspirin.
So far it has been nice enough only two days this week to do anything with it and I am doing the install after already working the day. The way I figure it, the entire house should be resided by late JuneÖ.2010
Wish me luck and that I donít fall off the ladders.

Maintaining An Even Keel

February 24th, 2008 at 01:48 pm

Hello everyone,

a bit about me. i am a rural mail carrier, married with 3 kids (two from a previous marriage and one is hers from her previous). All 3 kids are out out and out...but you wouldn't know it from the "visits" and phone calls asking advice. anyway...

as i said i work for the USPS (no postal jokes please) and yesterday (feb 23rd) we started our National Mail Count.

NMC is how the rural mail carriers salaries are determined.

a quick explination of NMC: Mgmt litterally counts every piece of mail we handle every day for two weeks. they also count our parcels and our "accountables" (certifieds registered ect) and several other things we do in our daily routine. i won't get into most of it because i barely understand alot of it myself (i know this sounds bad since it has a direct effect on my pay, but i never went to law school nor am i the brightest cookie in the jar).

the "standards" have been agreed upon by our union reps and mgmt but they leave alot of gray around the definitions.

this is where the "even keel" comes in. the 'counters' have their instructions, and the membership has ours. we have been told to question anything we have 'doubts' about as to their category ie: letter, flat, parcel.

i understand mgmt's stand as to trying to save money, but since i am on the other side of the fence, i am more apt to agree with the membership. there is a fine line between making 40000$ a year and making 41500$.

the real problem is we have to work together the other 50 weeks of the year. tempers and patience are already in short supply. so how does one know when your pushing to far and should back off? or should you trudge on and hope it works out for the best?


p.s. for the next couple of weeks please be nice to your carrier (wouldn't hurt the rest of the year as well) we are human just like everyone else.

A Dream Warrior

Hello Every One

February 18th, 2008 at 10:46 am

This being my first blog entry (anywhere), I'm not real sure where to start.
I would like to say that I admire alot of your blogs and respect the efforts everyone puts into them.
I have learned alot by reading the posts here and thought maybe i could contribute a bit as well.
Hopefully i can post at least once a week, (i'm not a prolific writer).

Just thought it was time to quit lurking and try to be helpful.

A Dream Warrior