RBOC

  • I’ve been trying to use the word “actually” less in writing.  It is seldom informative.  But I use it a lot.
  • 5 years after their last change, one of our tires was losing air on a regular basis.  While putting off getting new tires, DH started filling it up with a bicycle tire pump.  Then one of them popped while he was filling it.  So we got new tires.  $690.
  • Despite glowing reviews, TJ’s kouign amann is not worth getting/making.
  • I do a lot with the media.  Usually my articles that are picked up don’t have a male coauthor.  This is my first experience with a news-worthy article with a male coauthor and I’m not doing the interviews like I usually do because they specifically ask for male coauthor by name.  (With my newsy female-co-authored papers they often ask for “one of you.”)
  • Just when I was thinking, maybe we should put some of the money we saved for excess living expenses this year into the stock market… we were reminded why putting short term money into stocks is a bad idea!
  • I’m pretty good at figuring out when the market is going to take a dip– it is whenever I think about doing something foolish with our money because it seems like stocks never go down.  Sadly, I’m fairly sure that if I tried to market that, my power would stop working.
  • june 5, 2007 is when hank green stopped being creepy on vlogbrothers and started being the adorable guy all know and love today.  I think it happened when he backed away some from the camera.
  • Why is customs so easy to get into Canada but so slow getting into the US?  Is it that the US gets more people coming in or that Canada spends more money on workers?  What I’m wondering is should I be annoyed at the US gov’t or not.
  • Dear couple fighting in the hotel room next door.  It is 4:30am and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.  I do not care who he told what.  Just stop screaming obscenities at each other.
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Sunshine and answers to questions

A gai shan life tagged us with questions.  Here are our answers.

1. What’s the best thing you’ve purchased or been given in the past six months?

The services of my wedding planner

We just replaced the tires on our car.  That’s pretty cool in the way that we no longer have to refill the tires with air every 2 weeks.  I guess.

2. What’s your favorite snack? (No one gets to say fruit.)

I like crunchy salty things.  I also like dark-chocolate covered edamame and pretzels.  Cheez-Its go well with red wine.

But what if fruit is my favorite snack?  Bananas are quite possibly the world’s most perfect fruit.  Also I love apples and dried dragonfruit (and in season, what’s more wonderful than cherries?).  Other than that, chocolate and nuts.

3. What form of exercise do you hate the most. (“All” is a perfectly acceptable answer.)

Almost ALL of it, most ESPECIALLY if it’s outside.  Yuck.

Tie between running and tennis.  Both of these because I tend to pass out in the heat (really, just standing in a tennis court outside is gawd awful) and also running makes my lungs burn and my throat dry out and I want to die.

4. If you could afford/manage to live anywhere, where would it be?

Here in the same area where I already live, but with a lot more money so we could afford to buy a cool place in a cool location.

Paaaaridise.  Also with a lot more money.  :)

5. What’s the geekiest hobby or pastime you have?

There are sooooo many answers to this.  Right now I’d say Magic: the Gathering (a collectible card game).  Specifically, I only really understand (and play) a version called Commander or EDH (which I just found out stands for Elder Dragons with Highlander rules [There Can Be Only One of each card in your deck]).*

My first deck was built for me by my partner.  It’s easy to play but doesn’t win a lot (mono white).  All you do is put equipment on creatures and then attack.  Then I built another deck (green/white) with lots of help from 2 people, which is quite a winning deck if I pilot it right.  It’s a fast mana-ramp to awesome fatties.  Then I recently built a deck all by myself, which I am still trying to figure out how to tweak right.  Mono blue flying wizards.  I hate it when people take control of my stuff and then beat me with it (a danger with the green/white deck because it has huge creatures).  I don’t have the brainpower for more than 2 colors in a deck yet, nor do I have the working memory to deal with a deck with lots and lots of synthesis.  My partner tends to play this way but he has 20 years of experience on me; I’m doing well for a beginner!  If you have read this far without going into a coma then I’m pretty surprised.  Also I’m starting to get interested in card art; I like the Ravnica lands and some stuff by Veronique Meignaud, who hasn’t done a lot of art.

*Another form, drafting, is SUPER hard.  I’ve tried it but I have enough trouble when I know what’s in my deck beforehand!

When my free time isn’t taken up with kids, anime is my geekiest hobby.  When my freetime is taken up with kids um… my only two hobbies are blogging and reading novels.  Which do you think is geekier?

Feel free to leave your answers in the comments, or comment on our answers, whichever.

September Mortgage Update and Furnishing an Empty Apartment for a Year

This month (August):
Balance:$21,340.08
Years left: 1.583333333
P =$1,125.48, I =$88.93, Escrow =$809.48

This month (September):
Balance:$20,210.15
Years left: 1.5
P =$1,129.93, I =$84.47, Escrow =$809.48

One month’s prepayment savings: $0

In the end we decided to move out here with next to nothing– we filled up the car, sent a few boxes, and DC2 and I each checked a bag and did a carry-on on the plane.

And now our 1200 sq ft 2br apartment is mostly furnished.

How did we get here from there?

1.  We bought a couch, dining room table and chairs, large ottoman, bunk beds (and mattresses), king-size bed (and mattress), kid’s bike, shelves, and a few sundries (plates and bowls, cooler, toaster oven, microwave) from some people who were moving out for 1K.  I’m pretty sure we could have bargained her down given how last minute she was about everything, but 1K was less than we would have spent at IKEA on much cheaper versions of the same stuff, so we’re good.  Even though she was a PITA to deal with and kept going on and on about how she didn’t want to sell us things because they were dented.

2.  IKEA has a lot of very inexpensive stuff.  We bought three small tables (one for the living room, two to use as nightstands), a set of odd silverware (that cost less than the same partial sets of silverware at goodwill– our goodwill sucks), and a few skirt hangers.

3.  The apartment has some built-in shelves and cabinets.

4.  We have some friends who were happy to give us the crappy stuff they bought back in 2000 that they have since replaced with much nicer stuff but hadn’t gotten rid of the crappy stuff even though they never use it.  Yay generous packrat friends who were saving this stuff for just such an opportunity!  Here we got some not great quality pots, pans, bakeware, measuring spoons and cups (the kind where you have to guess the size because they’re so well-loved), and so on.  They have dibs if they want it back at the end of the year, but they’re hoping they won’t.

5.  The same friends are letting us borrow some shelves and a card table they were keeping in their garage because they want to clear out the garage to organize it.  Also they’ll want them back at the end of the year.

6.  We got a card table and chairs at Walmart for $55 that we’re using in the dog-run for outdoor dining.  DH also got a bike for himself at Walmart.

7.  After trying to work in the eat-in kitchen and being defeated by the heat of the sun, DH decided he really needed a desk, so we got one for $60 off a neighborhood list-serve.

8.  Target filled in more kitchen and bathroom odds-and-ends, as well as things like envelopes and printer paper.

9.  Amazon filled in for some bigger items like a printer, extra ink, a bike for me (after waiting too long to buy one locally so all the students have cleared out anything under $300.  If only I’d bought the first time I looked!  Also, what is going on with Forge bikes not actually having any bikes in stock anywhere?)

10.  I ended up getting a laptop as I didn’t realize work wouldn’t come with a computer and my old laptop is giving up the ghost.

11.  Another friend has a piano lying around that the previous house owners left that she said we could have for the year if we pay for moving.  Paying for moving there and back puts it still at less than the cost of renting or buying a new digital piano.  (We really did want to bring our own piano but just couldn’t fit it in the car and it would have cost more to move than to rent one for the year.)

12.  We got some black-out curtains from Kohls (online, clearance).  The place did come with curtains, but the bedroom curtains didn’t block out any light and the living room curtains only covered about half the window, exposing the world to streaking toddlers who don’t want to get dressed in the morning.

13.  (Update)  Scored another set of shelves and very small chest of drawers that someone in the neighborhood left out with a free sign.  Now DC2 can keep hir shirts and pants in separate drawers and I have a place to put hir winter clothing and too big stuff, which means there’s room in the closet for their toys.

We’re doing a lot of “making do”… like, we don’t really need a casserole if we have the knock-off le creuset for some tasks and a mason jar for other tasks.  We don’t need a pyrex 13×9 if we have a metal one.  And so on.  We’re using long flat bowls instead of small plates for a lot of things (the plates we have are enormous).  But it’ll be fine for a year.  Things that aren’t fine we’ve eventually bought (like an ove glove– way better than the towels system we’d been using).

How much did this all cost, I dunno, something between 2K and 3K?  Closer to 3K if you include the bikes.  How does it compare with shipping?  We’re ahead if we don’t ship stuff back at the end of the year, but we’re about even (since we’d have had to buy bikes anyway) if we do a Pod at the end of the year.

How did you furnish your first place/most recent place?

A little late link love

I don’t want to talk about my to-do list.

A really neat use of data analysis in reporting.  (Totes stolen from wandering scientist’s link love)

I had a dream last night that Scalzi did the voice recording of this.

Anti-VD propaganda during WWII.

Holding pattern... yikes!  We hope everything turns out ok for everyone involved.

Don’t pass math anxiety on to your kids.  (The quiz at the end is super stupid though.)

I still think there’s hope on this front.  It just takes some time for these kinds of changes to be gotten used to and utilized.

Marmoset Babies wait their turn to talk.

Campaign zeroWe the protesters.

My kids had been having this conversation repeatedly.  It goes on for a while:

 

Ask the grumpies: What to tell a non-mom friend who says you need mom friends

Rented life:

What to tell a non mom friend when she says you need to find mom friends. (I expressed being lonely, never mentioned my kid). I don’t want mom friends. I don’t like most other people’s kids and good lord I don’t want to talk about kids.

Crucial Conversations recommends thinking about the best story behind her actions.  Probably she’s just trying to make polite conversation.  But maybe she’s concerned for your welfare.  CC also recommends thinking about what your end goal is– what is your ultimate objective from this conversation?  Do you want her to know you better, do you want her to stop making this recommendation, do you want to spend less time with her?

What to say also depends on your relationship with said non-mom friend and what you want to get out of this interaction.  If it’s a close friend, then you can ask why and then say what you said here.  If it’s not a close friend, then is this someone you want to be polite to or someone you’d prefer to alienate?  Do you think she’ll keep saying things like this if you don’t stop her or do you think it’s a one-time delio?

If polite and one-time, then smiling and nodding is always good.  Saying something non-committal and changing the subject works well.

If you want her to stop, then just tell her that you’re happy with your current social life.

If you want to be really alienating then ask her if that’s a dig at you and is that her way of saying she doesn’t want to spend time with you, thanks a lot.

#2 says: #1 is much better at this than I am.  I would respond with “Why?”  possibly followed by “Boy, you’re rude, aren’t you?  If you don’t want to be friends, we don’t have to.”  #1 hopes that isn’t the case– it isn’t necessarily rude when someone is complaining about being lonely to suggest solutions.  Kids really can be a hindrance to spending time with friends (that whole demanding attention + people call CPS if you leave them by themselves thing), but can help with spending time with people who have kids about the same age (since the kids entertain each other and leave the adults to socialize– and not all parents are stuck on birth stories and poo!), meaning you don’t need a baby sitter to get adult interaction.  So it’s not a completely off-the-wall suggestion.

Poll: What is your area of expertise

This could be by training, by profession, by hobby, whatever.  You get to decide.  Pick as many as you want.  Add details in the comments!  Especially if you choose other!

 

 

Anthems for working

You Better Work.

Unless you want to live in a Van by the River.

What reminds you to work?  Do you have any working anthems?

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