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Archive for December, 2008

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.