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Archive for November, 2008

Car Inspected - honest mechanic

November 28th, 2008 at 09:49 pm

Today I enjoyed the luxury of being able to sleep in as late as I like. Smile

When I finally deigned to get up and dressed, I headed out to get my car inspected.

I seriously thought that I was going to need to replace my windshield wipers in order to pass inspection. In fact, I was planning on buying new ones before getting inspected.

But instead I stopped at the first place I saw that had the state inspection.

I told the mechanic that I needed my oil changed, my car inspected and most likely new windshield wiper blades.

Roughly 40 minutes later, my car passed inspection and my oil was changed. But I still had the same wipers! The mechanic told me that they were still fine and didn't need to be changed.

I was very happy about that of course - but more so happy that he didn't just say that I needed new ones to make the extra sale.

--

This weekend I really need to finish up my defensive driving course. I've one hour completed and 5 more to go. I'd been planning on doing them during my lunch breaks, but then kept getting pulled up front to give the receptionist her lunch break. So . . just need to go ahead and get 'r dun this weekend.

I think when I get the 10% discount back, I'll put it in my extra monies accounting as a rebate - since I've already paid my 6 month premium without the discount.

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I got another ING referral bonus today. Smile Now I need to do some legwork (i.e. typing) so I can send out more referrals.

Vegetarians & CA'ians - watch Oprah today!

November 26th, 2008 at 05:28 am

I got an email this morning telling me that today's Oprah show is going to be visiting Loma Linda, CA (where my dad and grandma live!). They are going to be visiting the Loma Linda Market, which is a Seventh-day Adventist grocery store type place. They are going there to research why Adventists (who mainly are vegetarians) live so long. Then she is having some people from there come to Chicago to cook a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast!!!

This is just too cool! I even woke up my mom and stepdad this morning to call them and ask them to record it for me -- one of the pitfalls of not having cable anymore.

Reconnected with a friend, sad news -not$

November 25th, 2008 at 08:13 pm

I was on FaceBook the other day reading one of my friends pages, when I noticed the name of one of her friends. It just so happened to be the name of the girl who's family lived in the downstairs part of our house for a bit over a year when we lived in MN! She and I are about the same age, and she has a brother about the same age as my brother.

We used to walk about a mile down the road to a combo bar/grocery and get a rootbeer at the bar (whatever it is called where Norm from Cheers would sit and be served) and then get ice cream or canned veggies, etc from the grocery area. They had the sweetest mixed mutt named Manna (what is it?). He survived being shot by a neighbor (he was chasing ducks on this persons pond) but after having costly surgery, was felled by a car a few short months later.

Her mom was single - their biological dad had been a class A jerk and no class father. I think they were attempting to stay hidden (if I remember correctly). So their mom meets this wonderful man who'd been single his whole life and was a good bit older than her. They fall in love and get married. He adopts my friend and her brother - they get a new dog - an Alaskan Husky and live on a small farm in the country.

They live happily.

Until a few months ago when my friend's adoptive dad dies. Frown

I'm glad I found her. My mom and her mom were really good friends, but lost touch. So now I've sent her my mom's contact info so they can reconnect. I think it will do my mom as much good as it will her mom.

Goodbye Sam's and Strangeness

November 23rd, 2008 at 06:27 pm

My dad and I were talking on Friday. He told me that the Sam's Club card was up for renewal again. We share a card and take turns paying for it each year.

However, now that he's out in CA and living with his mom (my grandma) they go to Costco instead of Sam's. I very rarely find myself going to Sam's anymore.

So, we agreed that it probably was time to let go of our membership. Frown Bye Sam's, it was nice knowing you.

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Strangeness . . .

Last night I got an instant message from someone I'd not heard from in nearly a year - just out of the blue. This person was interested in finding out if I still had something of theirs that they'd left at my place. Smile (I did still have it.)

Then today I got an email from someone who saw an OLD posting of mine on a teachers website about The Lorax. (Dr. Suess - cute environmental theme). At one time I had adapted the story into a play format for my students - which is what that person wanted. I had to tell her that I didn't have a copy of it anymore. Frown I do however still have my video copy of The Lorax!) Smile

What made the above email and instant message even stranger is the following two conversations I had recently (within the past week):

1. With my mom -- You know, I realized recently that I haven't even visited particular teacher website in over a year. I must really be starting to let go of that part of my life.

2. With friend/co-worker -- Have you ever heard back from so and so? Has so and so ever came back for that item they left at your place?

Work, etc

November 22nd, 2008 at 10:28 am

Well, the past couple days have been much better as far as the amount of productive work time I've had. Makes the days go by so much faster.

But Friday during lunch time something happened that really ticked me off. As I've said before, my desk is located very close to the kitchen/breakroom. My back is actually to it.

One of my female co-workers is a born and bred New York City native, transplanted to Dallas a bit over 10 years ago. She fits the NYC sterotype of bold and brass. I usually get along with her pretty well, and ignore her spurts of cursing, etc.

Friday, she and two other co-workers were in the kitchen getting their lunches out. I had already put my lunch in the microwave. When it was done, I went in to the kitchen and got it out, then had to ask coworker D to move so I could get to the sink to drain my bowl. I drained it, checked the sink to make sure nothing had fallen out of my bowl, then went to my desk to eat.

A few minutes later co-worker D steps out of the kitchen and shouts, "Laura! You need to clean up after yourself when you use the sink!" I just turned and looked at her, then turned away.

My bird was *itching* to fly - it hasn't flown since the 5th grade. I also seriously considered going over there and slapping her. However, maturity and professionalism prevailed, and I just ignored her.

I thought of a comeback later - "Do you think you're being funny? If so, you're not. You're just being crass and totally unprofessional." Of course, I don't know if I could actually say that to her - but if I did, I think it would totally shock her, coming from me. Smile

So, anyway. I'm thinking that on Monday I am going to talk to our mostly Spanish speaking co-worker who is in charge of keeping the kitchen clean, amoungst other things, and try to convey to her that I'm sorry if I've left any messes behind me for her to clean up. And if I ever do, PLEASE let me know. -- I am human, as much as I try not to, there may be times I haven't noticed every little particle I may have left behind.

I also plan on talking to D. I think I may say something like "D, the way you acted on Friday towards me really upset me. I felt it was totally unprofessional and rude. It may be acceptable for you to talk to the guys in the back like that, but that's not the way to act in here. I lost a lot of respect for you. In the future, if you have a problem with me, I would appreciate it if you would come directly to me, and say what your problem is, rather than shout it across a room. You are much more likely to get a positive response that way."

I am SO leaning towards taking my dad and grandma up on the CA move. The only person in my office I would miss at all would be Shr. Really, ever since the company moved to the new building, there has been a definite shift in the pleasantness and enjoyability of working there.

I am going to be working on updating my resume this weekend, and then have my mom help me tweak it over Thanksgiving.

--
Thursday night I ran 2.5 miles in 35 minutes on the treadmill. I was totally wiped out after that, but proud of myself.

I asked my dad last night to see if he can find out about any 5k races being held out in CA while both my brother and I are visiting him and grandma. I think it would be such a blast to do a race with my brother - even if he leaves me in his dust. Smile

Oh yes, I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I will be going to CA again. I will be leaving Dec 25 and coming back Jan 6. 13 1/2 days away from work! Yee Haw! (And yes, there is a reason for making sure there are some non-holiday weekdays included - re: resume.) I'll be using my remaining 2008 vacation days, plus 3 of my 2009 ones (which may not matter if things work out.)

Need advice - work related

November 19th, 2008 at 06:35 pm

My main job is one where there are periods of time where I am so busy I can hardly think, and then times where I can go HOURS at a time with absolutely nothing to do.

Before the new desk arrangement, I was able to manage the down times by surfing the net, or doing fake spreadsheets based off of other ones I'd done before (for real), etc. But now, with the new arrangement (where everybody and their mother can see my computer screen), the option of surfing the net in more than quick little spurts is gone.

Let me preface this by saying that during down times, I do mention to various people that I'm pretty well caught up, and if they have anything I can help them with, I have time.

So, 6 days or so I've had more down time than busy time. I have all the filing done, I have all the logs put away, I have the insurance as up to date as I can (have to give vendors a little time between contacts), etc.

I've pretended searched on the various work-related websites - played with the maps on the computer, created various fake spreadsheets, etc., etc., ad nauseum!

I've about had it up to my eyeballs with pretending to be usefully occupied!!

Right about now, I'd even welcome DW giving me a 600 page book to copy!

So, I mentioned my availability to at least 3 people once (one being my Office Manager, the other being the president's daughter, the third being a friend and co-worker). The first two I *really* don't feel comfortable mentioning my availability more than once in a great while to -- don't want them to start thinking that I'm not a necessary employee, the third person I work pretty closely with, so don't worry about it.

I want to be truly productive and be an asset all the time, not just when DW slams me with a ton of things to look up and print out, etc.

So, my question is, what can I do to truly be productive, or at least better ways of killing time between assignments, without making it look to those in charge like there isn't enough for me to do, and if they need to let someone go, I'd be an easy one to do so.

Days like today feel like an almost complete waste of time. From 8:30 - 5:30, I would say that I had actual productivity for *maybe* 2 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the day I was starting to feel so frustrated, that I wanted to go walk outside and scream!

Made an extra $20 :)

November 12th, 2008 at 06:45 pm

Good news and not so good news.

I found out today that a third lady from my office has signed up at our gym. This is good of course for E and for the gym.

It is however not so good for me personally. These three ladies and myself all will be in the gym at about the same time in the morning - all of us needing to be DONE at about the same time as well. Not to mention that there are two other new ladies who've been coming in the mornings.

There are two shower stalls in the ladies locker room.

Now, good news part. Smile

One of the ladies who signed up for the gym actually also signed up for a PT course from E. She had asked me personally to introduce her to E.

So I found out today that as staff, I get a $20 referral bonus for her!! I may get another referral bonus for a second of the three ladies who joined up - I didn't directly refer her, but I've talked to her a good bit about the gym and about E - so we'll see on that one.

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I've now used my netbook two times at the gym doing ChaCha. It really works pretty well. Smile

I think I'm starting to get the hang of the keyboard. Smile

I'm needing to do a bit of cleaning this evening, my kitchen especially. So I'm going to do what my coworker suggested to me today -- put my netbook on the kitchen table, turn the volume up loud as possible, then work on cleaning in between questions. That way I can get my cleaning done, but also keep making a bit of money. Smile Ahh. . . the convenience factor. Big Grin

I'm a Netbook girl :)

November 9th, 2008 at 05:07 pm

This coming week I have two extra early morning shifts at the gym, plus my Friday morning early shift and afternoon shift. I started thinking about how much money I'd received from my last 3 gym paychecks which I hadn't allocated yet to any of my Extra Monies funds yet (due to the bounced check). Then I thought about how much I'd be getting soon from ChaCha (at least $145).

I made the leap.

I bought a netbook -- at Target -- for $300.00.

It is the ASUS Eee PC 900. It's just over 2lbs in weight and the screen is 8.9" diagonally.

I have books that weigh more than it, and that are thicker than it.

I also bought a usb mouse to use with it, and a carrying case.

Tonight I connected to my home internet network with it and downloaded the ChaCha toolbar and was able to do a couple queries. I will def. have to use the mouse for that though - at least till I get more accustomed to the touch pad.

I also called my dad and grandma on Skype - which came preloaded. I thought this had a built in webcam, but I found out that it doesn't. So, I'll have to see if I can find an inexpensive one -- but that will come later - after I pay back the loan to myself.

So, at this moment I have a loan of $350 that I owe myself. I will be keeping track of what I earn doing ChaCha at the gym, as well as how many hours of extra gym shifts I do beyond the Friday afternoon shifts (which is what I originally signed on for.) I wonder how long it will take me to pay myself back?

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Oh yes, I must mention the bit of drama in the purchase. My card was initially declined. Imagine my surprise!

The people at the electronics counter graciously let me use their phone to call customer service. Apparentally my trying to make a $350 purchase at Target flagged my account as "unusual activity". I had to answer a bunch of questions and confirm a number of charges from the past few days - then my card was reactivated.

The man on customer service was apologetic, but I told him that I was *thankful* for the flag, even if it was a bit of a hassle and delay. I seriously LOVE how alert WAMU is about their customers credit card usuage. I would SO much rather have my card declined, than to go check my account and see thousands of dollars worth of charges on there that aren't mine - that is SO much more hassle and headache.

Odds and Ends

November 3rd, 2008 at 07:09 pm

* I updated my Extra Monies pages, as well as my tickers.

* The gym paycheck that bounced as well as the next one I got have both been finally taken care of. I picked up my check today (which includes the $98.25 + $10 bounce fee + last two weeks work hours) and was told that I *do not need* to worry about this one bouncing. I'll be putting it in tomorrow. If it bounces, I'm going to insist on money orders from here on out.

* I bought a few groceries at Target this weekend. I wasn't paying close attention to the register, so missed my Morningstar corn dogs ringing up wrong. Luckily I checked my receipt and caught it. The lady at customer service gave me $3 in cash back. Free corndogs! Yay!

* My brother's birthday is tomorrow!! He's going to be 28 years old. He was born on the day Reagan was elected. Hopefully he'll celebrate his 28th birthday with Obama being elected. Smile

* I've been doing quite well with not buying junkfood or eating junk at work. So well in fact, that I've lost nearly 10 pounds since my last post! (Mostly water weight I think though.)

* I'm still considering a laptop. Although a comment made by E on Thursday night when I picked up the keys to be able to open the gym on Friday's has me wondering if it is a good idea or not. He mentioned that they may have to let go of some of their employees.

* I won another weekend contest for ChaCha last week. $10 Smile Yay!

* My mom and I did a 5k together last weekend. We both walked away with first place trophies for our age categories. ......... Of course, we were the only females competing in our respective age categories! LOL!

I was so very proud of my mom for finishing and not taking any shortcuts. We were the last two of 25 people to cross the line. My time was the same as my first 5k (43:37) and my mom finished in 50:00. (She can't run due to joint/bone problems.)

* I finally got to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Smile It was showing at a second run theatre near where we did our 5k. It cost $3 for my mom, me and my stepdad to see it. Cheap entertainment.

* I think my car's stereo speakers are dying. Today when driving home the sound kept coming in and out, getting louder and softer, going from one side to the other. First time I've noticed that.

How expensive are car stereo speakers to replace??

* I paid $2.11/gallon for gasoline today. I am loving the falling gas prices!