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Old 03-22-2010, 09:38 AM   #3801
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You've seen the HGTV show "Clean House"? Sunday afternoon at Hale Nords was "Financial Clean House" for our college-bound kid.

She finally has Quicken Basics loaded on her Mac (it's not a very powerful program) so she was ready to budget. She projected last year's spending onto this year's college freshman year and figured out what would change. She finally straightened out her confusion on how to use some categories and how to track her various spending accounts.

When she went through all the categories, she added up her spending. It was a thing of joy to see the look on her face when she realized that NROTC will eventually pay her a $250/month stipend... and she's planning to spend $260/month. But she has enough slack in her budget that she can solve her own problems.

Next was building an accounts list along with all the account numbers, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and other details. She even dug out her EE bonds and built the inventory. (One of them, a $100 Grandma gift when she was born, has yielded 5.4% APY for nearly 18 years.) By the time she goes to college she'll have enough job savings (and perhaps graduation gifts) to start a NFCU or PenFed CD. She thinks it's cool to build a ladder, while I think it's cool to lock the money up in longer-term commitments where it's not so easy to spend.

Finally she cleaned out her financial file folders and stashed them in a Rubbermaid container. Eventually all her stuff will be containerized for long-term storage and we'll get the bedroom & hall closet back...

Then we went surfing. She's beginning to realize that she's not going to be doing much of that in a few months.

139 days to go.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:13 AM   #3802
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Then we went surfing. She's beginning to realize that she's not going to be doing much of that in a few months.
Well...
It is possible to surf in Galveston, but
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:07 AM   #3803
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Well...
It is possible to surf in Galveston, but
Only if you're not on academic probation!

I don't think freshman year is going to offer many opportunities for anything outside the study group...
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #3804
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Crocus daffodils and squill in bloom, tulips and hyacinth up.
Seems to be a crocus crop failure.
Did end of winter trash gathering.
Give the crocus some extra time....mine are always up and blooming before I see much progress with the daffs. But this year the daffs were 4-6" tall before the crocus even poked there heads outta the ground! Now the crocus are finally starting too bloom in small masses, just as the daffs (which are about 8" tall) are getting ready to bloom too!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:05 PM   #3805
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...I assembled my Macrodome mushroom kit. I am awaiting the proper humidity to build up inside before I add the innoculated dowels (Shiitake mushroom first, then Oyster for the second batch) and colonizing/fruiting medium. Pics will be posted when it's all put together.
Sensor to the left on the countertop is a humidity/temp monitor device that was supplied with the dome mushroom growing kit. If all goes well, the plastic containers of ground up alder chips and wheat bran will feed and cause a colony of mycelia to develop throughout. Then I crank up the humidity and voila...mushrooms will emerge in the "fruiting" stage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycelium
In the retrospective mindset of FIRE, perhaps I should have gone into Horticulture instead of Engineering. Oh well, water over the dam.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:32 PM   #3806
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Then I crank up the humidity and voila...mushrooms will emerge in the "fruiting" stage.
In the retrospective mindset of FIRE, perhaps I should have gone into Horticulture instead of Engineering. Oh well, water over the dam.
In the spirit of the workplace, shouldn't you keep them in the dark and feed them... fertilizer?
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #3807
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I think someone is turning into a mad scientist...
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:31 AM   #3808
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I think someone is turning into a mad scientist...
We scientists aren't mad - - just annoyed, occasionally.

(My grandfather (a chemistry prof) used to HATE those stereotypes of "mad scientist" or "absent-minded professor". Personally I think they are hilarious. )
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:58 AM   #3809
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Up to my ears in the grunt internet research required for a policy paper on higher education that a friend of mine is writing for the Mark White (D) campaign for Texas governor.

I don't know diddly squat about Mark White (or higher education policy for that matter) but it is kind fun, and it allows me to actually be sure that the policy decision makers (for the campaign at least) are given accurate information to work with. My own little blow against political hackery and for facts and figures.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:20 PM   #3810
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I was out ALL day today. I live 10 miles north of the nearest town (a relative term for the boonies). In the true spirit of LBYM, I minimize my trips to conserve on gas. I accumulate my list of errands and then just go from point to point and take my time.
I had lunch with a former co-w*rker and coffee with a friend afterwards.
Both like to talk about investing with me. Not that I know so much about it, but they seem to think I do.
Both guys are much more aggressive investors, but for some reason they like to pick my brains, in great detail, about my ho-hum middle of the road conservative style.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:41 PM   #3811
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I continued my quest for the perfect home made pizza . This is my mission for this year and so far It's coming along .My pizzas now look normal and are really getting tasty .I have not learned how to toss one yet but I'm working on it . I also decided to make my mission this year to remodel two rooms so off to Home Depot for paint and carpet samples .
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:02 PM   #3812
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Went for coffee and breakfast with the gang, then went to a couple of the municipal departments to visit a few former co-workers, then it was off to a local church for a chicken & biscuits fund-raiser. Came home for a few minutes, then headed out to the U of I Extension office for a gardening telenet on plant propagation. When it was over, several of us stood around and visited for quite a while, then I went to my friend's paver business just up the road and visited with him for a while. I got home in time for supper, then fed the birds, did some garden prep work, surfed the 'net, and then went for my nightly coffee run.

Tomorrow should be a little less busy....maybe!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:16 PM   #3813
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Up to my ears in the grunt internet research required for a policy paper on higher education that a friend of mine is writing for the Mark White (D) campaign for Texas governor.

I don't know diddly squat about Mark White (or higher education policy for that matter) but it is kind fun, and it allows me to actually be sure that the policy decision makers (for the campaign at least) are given accurate information to work with. My own little blow against political hackery and for facts and figures.
Do you mean Bill White, current Democratic candidate for gov? Bill White for Texas

Mark White was governor in the early 80's, and education was one of his big issues - maybe the big issue. He and Ross Perot cooked up "no pass - no play" which earned him a bit of scorn (not from me though). I think he is still involved in education issues, but other than the occasional endorsement of some other candidate, he has not been heard from much on the political side of life. I think when Ann Richards took the democratic primary from him that he stopped running for office.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:47 AM   #3814
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Surfing! South shore has been going off for nearly a week, but it's finally fading.

Saw an interesting truck in the parking lot, which I later learned is a Pinzgauer. Hawaii has a lot of offroad big-truck fanatics but I think this guy has them all beat. He was also able to put his entire stand-up paddleboard (11-12 feet long) inside the back without anything sticking out.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:17 AM   #3815
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I caught a cold (sniff) so haven't done much except drink tea and sleep propped up. I'm better today so I'll do the dishes, maybe weed a bit. So nice not to drag myself to work trying to judge how sick I really am. I feel lousy so I baby myself until I fell better.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:05 PM   #3816
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I went to my weekly Chinese buffet deal with the usual crew. It was pretty chilly this AM, but the clouds went away, the sun is shining brightly...really!
These little beauties were patiently waiting to greet me when I pulled into my driveway.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:28 PM   #3817
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Saw an interesting truck in the parking lot, which I later learned is a Pinzgauer.
Wow!

Sales & Prices

Hmmmm. Only $10.5 to $19.5. Nice price points. I wonder if the one on the right is an RV? And check out the multi-wheeled versions.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #3818
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Home renovation continues...

I tracked down a second vanity and top to match the first, so the pair is ready to be installed once I get the tilework done in the bathroom. The cabinets won't be in for the family room until mid-April, so that job is stopped for now. The furnishing to go in the family room after the cabinets are in and the carpeting is done are arriving, so I'm running what looks like a warehouse in the remaining space in the house.

The forces of Chaos are winning, 3 to 2...
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:36 PM   #3819
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Do you mean Bill White, current Democratic candidate for gov? Bill White for Texas

Mark White was governor in the early 80's, and education was one of his big issues - maybe the big issue. He and Ross Perot cooked up "no pass - no play" which earned him a bit of scorn (not from me though). I think he is still involved in education issues, but other than the occasional endorsement of some other candidate, he has not been heard from much on the political side of life. I think when Ann Richards took the democratic primary from him that he stopped running for office.
Oops. Blush. Senior moment there.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:23 PM   #3820
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Went to the Farmer's Market and bought eggs and meat.
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