Odds and Ends

I’m still alive, just busy with life. I’ve had nothing happen that was worthy of a rant, and really nothing worth mentioning either.

I am training two new guys at work, so I expect to get new job responsibilities and perhaps different work hours within the next couple of weeks.

Drywall Dude keeps missing appointments to install the walls and ceiling in my living room, but if I annoy him long enough, he will eventually show up and do it.

I managed to drop my Lamy Safari fountain pen onto its nib a couple weeks ago.  I got it straightened out and serviceable, but it isn’t quite like it was before.  Plus, I have had some minor complaints with it from about day #3, so this was the catalyst that convinced me to buy another one – a Pilot this time.  I bought it on flea-bay and it is shipping from Asia, so it won’t be here for a few weeks.  I will write up a review/comparison after I’ve had time to put the new one through its paces.

Dear Niece made some awesome chili a couple days ago that I just finished up.  Instead of just throwing ingredients together until it tasted right like she usually does, she actually measured the ingredients.  As soon as she gets it uploaded to her Recipe Magic page, I’ll post the link. EDIT: Here is the link.

Speaking of Dear Niece, the Coleman air bed that she has been sleeping on since she got here seems to have developed a small leak.  She has had to refill it every two days.  It came with a patch kit, but there is no way in hell of finding a leak that small in a queen-size double height bed.  So, I ordered another real bed.  It is the king size version of the one I bought back in October.  She will get the full-size, and I will make room for the king in my room when it gets here about two weeks hence.

I’m still having battery life issues with my phone when I have the VPN active.  Last night, it dropped from 94% to 77%in twenty-two minutes, while in standby with the display off.  Still debating how important the VPN is.

Speaking of VPN, I bought a Tomato-enabled router from Torguard a couple months ago.  It is rock solid, but I can’t access amazon, Lowe’s, and several other sites while using my preferred server in Romania.  Some of the sites will load if I switch to a US server, but not amazon.  I tried to daisy-chain the new router with the old one, so I could have one direct connection wi-fi network, and one that runs through the VPN.  Unfortunately, it won’t work without tweaking the default IP address in the router configuration, and I’m too fucking lazy to drag the router to the PC and do it.  So, I ordered a $10 Ethernet hub, which I hope will do the job without needing to be configured.  If it won’t, I will do the config edit.  I how to do what should make it work, and if I’m right, it won’t take more than fifteen minutes.  I just don’t want to do it.  I seem to always run into issues when it comes to configuring stuff that is supposed to be very straightforward.  I eventually get it to work, but never as quickly or easily as expected.

February has been a good month for me financially.  I got small income tax refunds from both state and federal.  I also got paid for the personal days that I didn’t use last year, plus a bonus for not using any of them.  And we are supposed to get a very good annual bonus either this week or next.  Even missing two days last week due to inclement weather won’t hurt the budget one little bit.  I didn’t owe much anyway, but I am completely debt free at the moment except for the car (1.9%, so no big deal) and a couple X months no interest deals that add up to less than I have in the checking account.

I’m jonesing bad for a range trip, but Shooting Buddy is now working every weekend, and I have had a grand total of four days off this year that weren’t either vacation (during which I had other obligations) or bad weather (which prevented any travel). I have the weekend of March 22-24 off (vacation) and there WILL be smoke, noise and recoil during that time.

OK, y’all are now up to date on my über-boring life.  Until next time.

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4 Responses to Odds and Ends

  1. Neal says:

    Good to hear you’re relatively debt free. I went to a book signing over the weekend (www.theminimalists.com). I pretty much live that way and it was interesting to hear others talk about how they came to it. I own my home debt free but am planning to rent it out in order to find a cheap rental closer to work. Home ownership is overrated unless one can afford a multi-acreage compound for WTSHTF.

    • alaskan454 says:

      I went through my second Chapter 7 bankruptcy about six years ago, and I think I finally got the message. Although I have used credit from time to time since then, I have tried to minimize it. Make lifestyle changes and stick with them.

      Home ownership is both good and bad. On one hand, you are responsible for taxes and everything that goes wrong, but if you can keep the banks out of the picture, it is usually less expensive than renting. I managed to do it this time around by buying a run down shithole in the hood. I drained my savings to buy it for $19K, but had to hit the credit cards pretty hard to get it habitable on some level.

      It has taken over a year, and every penny that I have made since then that I didn’t need for survival, but I have it down to mostly finish work, and the credit cards paid off. There is still a lot of said finish work, but the largest expenses left are the interior doors, ceiling fans, drywall tape, and paint.

      Since it is an old, small home, in a less-than-desirable neighborhood, taxes are much lower than a new construction would be. Although, to be honest, it was WAY over-assessed for the condition that it was in at $45K. That is about right for how it will be once I’m done.

      I have my 35 acre compound site, but it is in Wyoming, and it is bare land. No resources to build on it at the moment, and if the shit really were to hit the fan, it is too far away to be a feasible bug-out location anyway. I’m not itching to dispose of it, though. Who knows what the future may bring.

      Good luck maintaining your debt-free status. It is a great feeling knowing that you are beholden to no one, except our benevolent overlords, of course.

  2. LarryC says:

    and then the bastards went and interfered with the range time anyway…

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