Thursday, January 29, 2009

Total Randomness

1. Yesterday, when asked what we were talking about, Mrs. Dave responded "His scary-looking monkey" as she pointed to one of our coworkers. And high-larity ensued. It's very similar to her mechanical bull comments.

2. One of my coworkers really thinks the constitution is going to be discontinued. Because of our current president (there were also cracks about using the Koran instead of a Bible, and that the president intentionally screwed up the oath of office, not the person that was administering the oath). Seeing as how she dislikes anything liberal, I decided I shouldn't point out that our current president probably will not be allowed to suspend our civil liberties as quickly as the previous president. Though, with a majority in congress being of the same party, it does make me leery. Really. I think the government does best by the people when the president is not of the same party as the majority of congress.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


So...the world wide economic meltdown has caused Iceland's government to become defunct. That's right. Iceland's government no longer works. It has gone the way of the Dodo.

In other news, contraception being covered as part of the economic stimulus has been taken off the table. Some were saying it was a great way to get the economy rolling again (buying condoms and what not), others said that was a load of bubkiss. Those saying it was a load of bubkiss have obviously figured out how much it costs to raise a kid nowadays. Let's do a little math, shall we?

Birth control pills cost about $10/month for the generics (and probably close to $25 for brand name). Spread that over a between $120 to $300.

Cost of the first three months of having a kid? Well, if you can get a 132 count of disposable diapers to last you 14 days, you're spending about $60/month, plus wipes which will be about $40/month, and there you go, you're already at $300 for the year (and i'm not including things like clothes, formula, or other incidentals of having a doctor appointments both before and after the birth).

So if the Feds can just wait 9months, the economy (at least in the baby sector) will turn right around.

Also, did you hear about the lady that delivered Octuplets today? That's not having babies, that's delivering a litter (I kid!). I read she wants to breast feed all the babes, to which I say "good luck to you!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Step 2

I have decided that I shall attempt to become an FIer. Financially intelligent, Financially intregrous (is that even a word? oh well, it is now!) and Financially independent. This is as per the book Your Money or Your Life. There are nine steps in the book. Nine simple steps that I have broken down into 23 steps. Yes. I have made extra steps. Actually I didn't, I just decided instead of having Step 1A and 1B, I'd just call them Step 1 and Step 2, respectively.

So. I will bypass Step 1 until I get my social security earnings statement from the feds in April or so. On to Step 2 then.

Step 2: Determine how much you have today. Include Savings/Checking/Stocks/Mutual Funds/Retirement accounts, etc. Include House/Car/other items that can be sold for money. Include all little items in your house that can be sold for money--If you needed to make money fast, what would you sell, and for how much?

The side effect of step 2? it gets you to throw away all the crap you have sitting around your house that isn't worth anything to you (you're not going to use it), and if you don't want to sell it, donate it. Spring Cleaning. Here I come.

I will start with my closet--I already looked at the clothes and decided I'll keep the stuff hanging--I've worn everything in there at least once over the last year except for the suit. But I only have one of those. Ah, but look at that top shelf. The top shelf that has every backpack I've used since high school. Yeah...I don't know why I kept every backpack either. And what's with this computer just sitting on the floor in the study? Or the one that's gathering dust in the kitchen that doesn't work anymore? Or the other one that's sitting in the other corner of this room. Just think about how much space we would save if we could put this computer on the other desk and then got rid of this desk!

So I guess I will be working on getting our house de-cluttered. I'll probably leave it up to Shawn on whether he wants to post anything on Craigslist or if it would be better to just donate everything (or Freecycle it).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Your Life or Your Money

So, I'm reading this book about finances. It's a good book and I decided to read it after reading 2 MSNMoney articles about people who read the book and then retired about 10 years later. You can read the articles here and here.

The steps to Financial Independence (a key phrase in the book), as outlined in the book, are solid. Though a couple of the steps seem odd--like the "Calculate, to the best of your ability, the amount of money you've made in your entire life" You are supposed to include all monetary gifts and jobs you were paid for that weren't reported on a W2 (like all those babysitting jobs you did in high school). It almost seems odd that you should calculate everything you've made up until this point, but the purpose is to prove to you that you ARE worth something (and it's just very likely you have happened to spend it all). This is probably done to shut up those people who always whine that there's no way they'd ever make a million dollars, the people may have not made a million dollars, but they've probably made way more than they think they did.

Other steps are perfectly normal--Keep track of every cent that comes to you and keep track of every cent that leaves your possesion. Oh sure the book gives you ideas on how to cut spending, but it seems (and I'm not done with the book yet, but up until this point) that the authors are much more of the mentality of once you start keeping track of what you're buying and how much you're making on a daily and monthly basis, you start to notice ares that you're wasting money on things you don't need--some people always have to buy a candy bar at the checkout line, some people always need to buy a shirt when they go out window shopping, etc.

There is a chapter about how to save money (or cut expenses), but most of them are the ones we already know about--pay off your credit cards as fast as possible, pay with cash as much as possible, make extra payments on your house, try to use your car less, etc.

If anything the book is getting me motivated to clean out the closets and get rid of stuff we don't need nor want. Because really, we've got more than enough.


Stupid Texas and its Stupid allergens..

Graphic courtesy of the Central Texas Allergy and Asthma Center.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In the News today

168 kids call in sick at Taylor High School in Williamson County. 168! They apparently all have flu like symptoms. This is a very fast hitting flu--the kids would go to school in the morning and then get a fever in the middle of the day thus spreading the bug to their classmates. However, officials aren't actually sure it's the flu. I figure it might be a senior ditch day. Or maybe the school tried to do a career fair. I remember when my high school made the state papers for having some massive number of people call in sick on career day.

United HealthCorp has agreed to pay 50 million
to the people they insure who were overcharged for services. Apparently the problem stems from certain subsidiaries of United HealthCorp using Ingenix, a company that determines how much insurance companies should pay for standard treatments. The kicker? United HealthCorp owns Ingenix. And they don't see a conflict of interest. They should have known something was afoot when Ingenix said that chemotherapy was a non-normal treatment for cancer. That's right. Chemo is a non-normal treatment for cancer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How you know you're a Texan

How you know you're a Texan: When you've become so acclimated to the weather that 80* temps don't even make you think of turning on the air conditioner, and 70* means you're sitting under a blanket on the couch (and just for the record, I was not the one sitting on the couch with the blanket).

How you know you're not going to make it through the Texas summer: When it's 57* and you've got the door open to help keep the house cool (and there's nothing running that would make the temp inside the house warmer).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


* Blatantly stolen from Amalah's blog title.

Also stolen from someone else's blog? This video. Which I equally love, find hysterical, and depressing because this was made in March 2006 and yet it still applies.

My resolution for the year?

[aside] I actually had 3 other resolutions, but they've already gone to pot, so there you go... [/aside]

Buying stuff I need, not the stuff I want. yep. true story. That's not to say that I have to buy the cheapest thing I can find, just that I can't go and buy things that I don't actually need.

Besides, I figure Shawn will like this because it means I'll be buying less clothes and shoes.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Quazi and his collars

Quazi has a habit of throwing his collars. It usually happens to coincide with him getting in a fight, or otherwise chased.

It's obnoxious because it's expensive to keep replacing the collars and tags (sadly, the tags are the most expensive part and back when he was going through a collar a week, I went and bought them in bulk, much cheaper).

But it gives me joy because I think he must lose the collars in about the same place each time (it's not like he goes to THAT many different places). And so, in one of our neighbor's yards there is a stash of Quazi collars. All 25 of 'em.

Friday, January 02, 2009

My favorite products of '08

Yeah, I'm bored and I'm sleepy. oh, and these are in no particular order.

1. Curel lotion--So good even Shawn uses it
2. Avon's Ageless Results Nightly Nutrient Peel
3. JCrew Favorite Fit Boot Cut Cords
4. JCrew Perfect Fit Tees
5. Victoria Secret's Intimissimi line
6. Mario Batali Dutch Oven
7. Vic Firth Salt and Pepper Mills
8. Pampered Chef Mandoline (of course...I haven't used it yet. But I'm excited.)
9. Billy Bookcase from IKEA
10. Photo Finish Foundation Primer by Smashbox