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Archive for August, 2007

EF Udate

September 1st, 2007 at 12:23 am

The interest for the month of August was available from ING, though it won't post until tomorrow, I don't think. It was $2.63. But since I won't be looking there again until next Thursday I'll add it in now.

$1098.31 Old Balance
+ 2.63 Interest added
--------
$1100.94 New Balance

I don't have all of my ING in EF or the interest would be higher, but I like to have some money available locally in case of some emergency where I need to get at it quickly.

Does anyone keep any money on hand at home for emergencies? I am thinking of putting $200 in a little firesafe combination lock box to hide in my house in case an emergency happens on the weekend. Although maybe not, if it were a true emergency I could use a credit card and just pay if from the EF on Monday. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable having that much money in the house with DH coming and going like he does, even in a safe and with a home security system. I just don't like the idea of using a credit card like that.

That Homeschool Thing

August 31st, 2007 at 11:49 pm

I was also reading in the forums about the homeschool thread and all I can say is that there are a lot of generalizations going on there. I've homeschooled and I've had kids in public schools and some of the stuff about public schools being said is wrong, some of it is right.

But really it is the parent that makes the children social, polite, involved in the community, regardless of whether or not they are in public school or homeschooled. I can take my kids to the grocery store and teach them how to pick out produce and how to use coupons and how to calculate a unit price, and in fact, I do. I can teach my kids about saving money, writing a check, balancing a check book, and the proper and improper use of credit. It has nothing to do with their schooling, it has to do with my parenting. And I think that is what so many homeschooling parents forget, that sometimes public school kids learn just as much as homeschooled kids do because their parents make sure they do. I was a public school kid who learned because I wanted to.

Homeschooled kids aren't better than public school kids, they are simply luckier than public school kids because they have one parent who is able to be more involved in their schooling. And that is what makes a better kid, an involved parent. As a SAHM, I am able to be as involved in my children's public school education as I want to be. If I don't like what I see I would not hesitate to pull them out, or talk to the teacher or principal.

And just as an aside, I have seen so many posts on homeschooling forums and sometimes this one, even in this latest thread, by homeschooling mothers who spell or use so many words incorrectly it makes me cringe and it scares me. Spelling is huge in how you present yourself to the world and if yew kan't speel proporly howse ya gunna teech yer kidz two dew it? Or tell the difference between there and their, bear and bare, accept and except, effect and affect, to, too, and two? There certainly should not be an arrogance about homeschooling in the same paragraph as words that are spelled or used wrong, because it completely undermines the point. Not that there should be arrogance anyway in regards to homeschooling.

The whole thing reminds me of the blown out of proportion SAHM/WAHM debate. It doesn't matter whether you work or don't work, it matters how you parent your child.

Grocery Shopping and Random Babbling

August 31st, 2007 at 04:21 am

My third entry for today.

I stopped at Freddy's today to get organic milk and use my coupon. So I got another gallon of organic milk for $3.58 a gallon. And guess what printed out at the cash register? Yet another coupon for $3.00 off 2 half gallons of Organic Valley milk.

They also had turkey legs on sale for 79 cents per pound so I got two packages. I ended up with 9 very large turkey legs. My daughter is an extreme turkey lover so this works out well. It's been a while since I've seen them for 79 cents a pound. They are usually 99 cents a pound now.

I also took Rose for a haircut today. We had the girl wash it, too, which I usually don't do, but Rose's ears still hurt from being pierced and she bumps them so much when she washes it herself, we decided it would be worth the $3 extra to have someone else do it for her. So it ended up costing $16. Now that she is eleven she no longer qualifies for the children's haircut, even though all they did was give her bangs, trim the ends and put a little layering around the face. Took all of ten minutes, if that to do the actual cut. It wasn't some fancy adult style or anything. Of course, I forgot my $2 off coupon for them, too.

Five more days until school starts and it can come none too soon for me. The kids were picking at each other for most of the day. But they managed to finagle a two night stay at the lovely Casa Grandma so I get some time to destress.

I think I might go to a matinee movie tomorrow if Hairspray is still here. It is tonight, but they change out on Friday mornings and I have a feeling it will be gone. That's okay if it is, I'll just stay home and watch a movie I taped instead. As long as I get to unwind. Then I'm going to get started on The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald. Starts out set on the Australian planet Kookaburra. Should be interesting. Plus its military sci-fi, which I love. Looks like she may be as good as Elizabeth Moon at that if it is even possible.

EF Update

August 31st, 2007 at 04:08 am

Today was the auto deposit of $10 to savings. I also deposited $26 in ones from my coin jar. I then sent that $36.00 off to ING.

$1062.31 EF Old total
+ 36.00 Today's deposit
---------
$1098.31 New EF Total

Interest for this month is going to put it just over $1100, but it is not deposited until tomorrow or Monday.

Don't ever tell me little bits can't add up to an EF. I'm living proof they do. Just have to keep at it.

Wasted Effort Bugs Me

August 30th, 2007 at 10:06 pm

I am so glad I am not out in the workforce. I don't think I'd ever be able to hold my tongue if some of the things that happen to DH happened to me. Well, this one didn't really happen to DH, but he is the one most affected by it.

The guy he spent nearly 3 weeks training to cover his old position quit. I know this work isn't for everyone but you ought to know going in what you're getting into. It's not like they don't tell you that you work so many days straight and you work 12 hour days.

So now DH is having to cover the old job and his own job. Sorry, two 12 hour a day jobs add up to 24 hours and that doesn't work. Fortunately he is paid at the higher rate for both jobs. But now the company they subscontract for is getting all snippy, thinking the job should be three weeks ahead of where it is. If it hadn't been for this other company, this position would have been filled months ago and with a different person.

Anyway, they've put up another JVA (job vacancy announcement) for the position. The woman they hired to be the first guy's alternate does not start working up there for 2 more weeks. Meanwhile they look for yet another alternate. DH does not get paid extra for training, either.

I told him to be careful and not allow them to overwork him. He needs to make sure he gets enough sleep for his health and is able to eat right and get into the exercise room before it is closed up.

Of course, we may end up with scads of extra weeks worked during this time period which means the remaining credit card will be paid off that much faster. The only possible silver lining in all of this. Only any extra work weeks means time he won't be at home with me and the kids. Trade offs suck sometimes. At least school starts in five more days. That will help immensely.

I'm so glad we have free long distance. We're going to be using it a lot.

Debt Consolidation Update and the Car Will Have to Last

August 29th, 2007 at 09:13 pm

Well, we've done it. We have transferred all of our Bank of America credit card balances and our Citi credit card onto the debt consolidation loan and they are now reading with a balance of zero. We have one credit card left with a balance on it and it is at 1.99% until October of 2008.

We are going to aggressively pay this credit card down now. DH and I decided we will not start saving seriously for a new car until after this card is gone. We think we can have it paid off by March or April if we throw everything at it as hard as we can.

As soon as it is paid off we will start saving for that car. We will be putting enough aside though to get our current primary vehicle in tip top shape so it will last another two years. And we will do some repairs to the Blazer and try to sell it. I don't know if anyone in their right mind would buy a vehicle that gets an average 16 mpg. It is a luxury version (and no we didn't buy it new) so its possible some dumb 16 year old out to buy his first vehicle might plunk down a few thousand for it cause its pretty and status-y.

Over all it is in decent shape, but the air conditioner needs to be refilled and the 4 wheel drive needs $200 in repairs and I think a new serpentine belt soon.

The only reason we bought a 4 wheel drive was to get out of the mountains when it snows bad, but we've come to the conclusion over the years that when it snows bad it is better to stay put until you absolutely must go out and by then the roads are plowed and the regular car is fine. So it really isn't needed.

I don't even remember why I ever thought it was so urgent to get out of the driveway and out of the mountains to begin with. I don't have an outside job and DH works in Alaska. There really is no real reason to leave during bad weather as we have a good store of food laid up especially in winter time.

Anyway, so if we can get two or three thousand for the Blazer and drop it from our insurance we can throw that money at the last credit card as well. And that is also where our income tax return will go.

It will be nice to get down to medical debt, mortgage, and debt consolidation loan.

Meal Planning

August 29th, 2007 at 05:41 am

We have been really lax about eating out too much. Now that DH is gone for 3 weeks I am going to do my best not to eat out again until he returns, or at least keep it to the minimum, like once. With that in mind I'm making menus for the rest of the week.

I am making all meals from stuff that is on hand in either the freezer, fridge, cupboard or garden, or that I will be picking this week (blueberries at Mom's, blackberries from behind the chiropractor's office).

Wednesday
beef chuck roast, crock pot (freezer)
new potatoes, sliced and steamed (garden)
green beans, boiled (garden)
canteloupe (on hand)

Thursday
roasted turkey legs (freezer)
broccoli/cauliflower (garden)
new potatoes roasted (garden)
blueberries (garden)

Friday
fried chicken (freezer)
homemade gravy
new potatoes, fried (garden)
blackberries (wild picked)
green beans (garden)

Saturday
Roast beef hash (made of leftovers from Wed)
raw carrots (garden)
any leftover berries
salad greens (garden)

Sunday
Turkey sandwiches (made from Thurs leftovers) on 100% whole wheat buns that need to be used up (in freezer)
soup (cupboard)
leftover broccoli and cauliflower
canteloupe (on hand)

Lunches tend to be soup and sandwiches anyway, so Sunday's lunch will probably be some TV dinners I need to get rid of before they get freezer burned.

Breakfasts will be a combination of eggs, homemade sausage, waffles, pancakes, toast with peanut butter and jelly (blackberry, strawberry or apricot) or French toast. Maybe some bacon if I can find some in the back of the freezer.




Not much of Anything

August 29th, 2007 at 03:28 am

Today was a bit of a boring day, really. I bought an 18 pack of organic eggs and put $100 on my Costco card for gas, and filled up the tank.

I took DH to the airport. I wrote 3 pages on my book. I received the earrings that I ordered in the mail, and that's it, really.

Now I'm just waiting for Eureka to come on the telly.

Long Day

August 28th, 2007 at 06:32 am

My day was long. We did clothes shopping for Tobias, and Rose got a pair of dress shoes, so we are now all finished with back to school shopping. Great big Hooray! Spent $137, $14.08 was for Rose's shoes. Didn't have to spend nearly as much on T for school clothes as I did for Rose.

My massage therapist called in sick today so I did not get my appointment. I was not very happy but since quite frankly I believe she caught the cold from me in the first place, I guess I can't complain. That real nasty one I caught in Victoria. Hopefully I can get in before school starts, because that is eight days away, but who knows with Mom's schedule if she can watch the kids right now. And
DH leaves tomorrow so I have to have someone.

I've been going to the chiropractor 3 times per week since my hip went wonky and it doesn't seem to help for more than a couple of hours. Now the other hip is starting to hurt, maybe overcompensating. Oh, well. I did spend a lot of time walking around today, so that may be part of it.

The kids started back at tae kwon do today. They have been out of it for almost a year and a half. They seemed to do okay. Rose got right back in the swing of things and Tobias started over at the
beginning, since he's now in the older class. Since he was only in the Little Tiger class before he only ever learned the kicks and punches and basic hand techniques, how to say yes, sir, no, sir, and not any of the poomses or older skill level things. They gave us free uniforms, too, which I wasn't expecting. It was nice since they cost $50 and they've both outgrown their old ones, but Tobias hasn't grown into the one Rose started with yet.

We also spent a couple of hours out at DH's Mom's house. His great granddad was over, too and his sister and her girls. We did a birthday cake for DH with our meal from Wendy's.

Yeah, bad habits rearing their ugly heads. The frosty has corn syrup in it. Not high fructose but still corn syrup and that was enough to set off my system, so no, won't be doing that again.

DH's birthday isn't until the 30th but since he leaves tomorrow we celebrated it early. I gave him the DVD's Blood and Chocolate and the latest James Bond movie. That's what he wanted.

And we also stopped by Mom's and I sat in the massage chair for 15 minutes and then she ran one of those hand held massage thingies that does the kneading motions over my sore lower back and hips for 30
minutes, which gave me some relief. I am so tired of hurting but I don't want to be taking pain pills. I had to do that in the beginning of this and it threw me for a loop. Or it made me loopy, not quite sure. Maybe both. Generic percocet will do that.

I am glad to be home now and about to go to sleep on my wonderful new bed.

200,000 Hits!

August 27th, 2007 at 07:19 am

Wow, will you look at that. 200,000 hits on my little old blog. That just kind of blows me away. 16 months of blogging and you guys haven't gotten tired of reading me yet. So thanks to all my readers. I sure do appreciate all of you!

Survey Updates

August 26th, 2007 at 11:57 pm

I just checked my accounts and I should be receiving my $50 check from Global Test Market on the 8th of September. I wish it didn't take six weeks for them to send out a check. They're in California for Pete's sake! But I shouldn't complain as they are the best paying survey site I use. (Real surveys, none of this paid to try business). As for points I am currently at 577, so a bit past the halfway mark to being able to cash out again. So far I've cashed out again right around when the check comes, so hopefully they'll send out a bunch of surveys in the next two weeks.

Lightspeed has been slow, ACOP has been slow, Pinecone after spitting out one survey in my direction this month has gone dormant again, NFO has been slow, though I did do a free product test with a 100 point follow up survey for them. I've done a $1 and a $2 survey with Your2Cents (but have to hit $5 to cash out there), and SurveySavvy has been hit or miss. I haven't heard from Mindfield in months! Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.

I wish the paid to clicks hadn't gone down after that earthquake in the Asian islands. I was making a good amount with those just clicking while I watched something. Can't have everything I suppose. I'm saving up my MyPoints for Christmas time. I've got over 3000 at this point.

Free Shoes!

August 26th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

A long time ago my friend gave me a box of boy's shoes that her son had outgrown and we have been waiting and waiting (there is a seven year age gap) for Tobias to grow into them. Well, last night we were cleaning out his closet in preparation for new clothes and I had him try the shoes on and two pairs fit! So that means no new shoes need to be bought for him.

They were in really good condition, too. One pair canvas sneakers and the other leather hiking boots. He can still wear one pair of tennis shoes from the end of last school year so he'll have a pair for gym class as well. One more thing I can scratch off my list.

Now I just have to get caught up with the laundry so I can see where Tobias stands on clothes before we go out and buy him new school clothes. I think plenty of his older clothes can make the transition into play clothes easily. Oh, and we found two sweatshirts and a pair of shorts in the closet that fit him great. They are faded and in the play clothes category, but it will be nice to have two sweatshirts for the upcoming autumn after school play time.

Coin Jar Update

August 26th, 2007 at 08:23 am

I've added in some money to the coin jar the last couple of days. Totals now are:

$21.00 in ones
10.75 in quarters
5.40 in dimes
1.05 in nickles
.37 in pennies
------
$38.75 New total

Clothes Shopping

August 26th, 2007 at 05:20 am

Rose and I went back to school shopping while DH, his dad, and Tobias picked up the new bed and brought it home and set it up. It is heavenly. I'm typing on it as we speak.

Anyway, we started off at J.C. Penney and spent $45 there for $85 worth of clothes, then went to Target and spent $35 on $70 worth of clothes, then went to Kohls. We spent $105 there, but besides clothing we got 3 clunky bracelets that will go with several of the outfits we bought.

We were going to go to Old Navy but decided to skip it when we kept setting off the Kohl's alarm even though they demagnetized us four times. Sigh. Our last stop was at Fred Meyer. where we spent $90 for $100 worth of clothes. I had a $10 off coupon there. Things are awfully expensive this year, even with the sales. She still needs two pairs of pants. Fortunately the 3 pairs we bought go with at least 3 outfits each. And we did get two pairs of sweatpants, so hmmm, maybe we can get away without any more.

That's about it.

Bought a New Mattress

August 25th, 2007 at 06:42 am

We visited a few mattress stores today and finally ended up at the one we bought our mattress from last time. We found one that we both really liked that we had seen at other stores selling for much less. The salesman started out with one price, which was quite good really, about $400 less than the lowest price of the same one anywhere else. The highest price we saw on this bed was $2599.

We didn't say anything when he made the offer, just looked at each other for awhile. Apparently he didn't like the silence because he then offered it with no tax, that they would pay the sales tax. We continued to be quiet and just look at each other and he knocked another $50 off the price. Then we accepted the offer. And since we are picking it up ourselves tomorrow we saved the $100 delivery fee. I think we did quite well. Total cost of the mattress was $1229 and we both were comfortable on it, which almost never happens.

It is a Simmons Beautyrest, and the type is the kind they use in the Westin hotels. Very nice. I think it helps we shopped at the end of the month and they were bringing in the new models and needed to clear out the 2007's.

EF Update

August 23rd, 2007 at 07:36 pm

Today was the auto deposit of $10 to savings, which I transferred to ING. This brings the new total in my total EF to $1062.31. I peaked at interest earned ths month while I was there and it was $1.94. I have just over $700 of my EF in the ING account. The rest is in the local CU for fast access, but pathetic interest rate. Still, I don't want to wait 3 to 4 days in a true emergency to get at it all. Trade offs.

Interesting

August 23rd, 2007 at 05:11 am

Can anyone explain to me exactly how I make the vB Code work? With short sentences. And little words. Please?

I read a good article today about NOT bailing out the mortgage lending mess here:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/ContrarianChr...

And here is an excellent to the point explanation on just why it is happening. This one's a short video.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/Money.htm?g=b2476c2e-2bad-4b43-99f...


Shoe Shopping, Buffet, and Doughnuts

August 23rd, 2007 at 04:26 am

After my 1.5 hour physical therapy appointment this morning ($75) we went south to Mt. Vernon to buy new steel-toed work boots for DH. He has, as I've mentioned in the past, a size 16 foot, which means pretty much you take what you can get when you can find it.

The Redwings in Mt. Vernon happened to have two pairs (we called first) in size 16 and held them for us. One pair cost $160 and the other pair cost $203. Guess which one fit right? $203. Well, on the bright side, work reimburses up to $160 for these boots, since they are a job requirement. So it was only $43 out of pocket, plus tax, in the long run. We also bought a $7 jar of leather conditioner. DH has extended the wear on his boots for ages just by treating them regularly.

Then we took the kids to the Royal Fork (buffet) for an early dinner. They were still on the lunch menu when we paid but before we finished they were on the dinner menu so we got some of each. The cost for the four of us was $31.30, which was the lunch price. Way cheaper than the OCB in town, even with the cost of the gas to drive 25 miles down the freeway. Then we swung through Krispy Kremes and picked up a dozen glazed. Don't remember the price on that, it was $7 something, I think. We were all too full to eat any so they went in the trunk and we will each have one tomorrow.

All in all an expensive day. I've told DH no more eating out this hitch. We've already done it far too much.

Coin Jar

August 23rd, 2007 at 04:17 am

I added five ones and a handful of change to the coin jar today, then counted up everything in there. I rolled dimes and should be able to roll quarters by the end of the week.

$15.00 in ones
9.00 in quarters
.90 in nickles
5.40 in dimes
.28 in pennies
-------
$30.58 Total in coin jar

Bought Some Jewelry for Christmas Presents

August 23rd, 2007 at 03:51 am

I just bought 2 pairs of earrings from Pretty Cheap Jewelry for Rose. She will get them for Christmas, though she won't be able to wear them until the end of February because the holes need to heal up and not be stressed for six months.

I am putting the confirmation number here: 03N72243HG661693K because its a place I can't lose it. And actually I may end up only giving Rose one pair because I really liked the other one myself! I guess it can be part of my Christmas present from DH! All told I spent $17.50. Not bad at all.

History Repeating Itself

August 22nd, 2007 at 08:36 am

Here is an interesting short article about the current mortgage lending woes and how the lending nitwits (his words) keep causing this cycle to continue.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/WhyYouCantTrustYourLender.aspx

Safety Net

August 22nd, 2007 at 07:53 am

The money from paypal from Pinecone showed up in my CU today. I added it to the Safety Net portion of my EF.

$83.31 Beginning balance
$ 5.00 Pinecone money
-------
$88.31 Total Safety Net balance

This brings the total in the full EF to $1052.31.

Braces

August 20th, 2007 at 08:55 am

So tomorrow Rose is supposed to be getting her braces. They're all paid for, fortunately and I will owe nothing more. We promised her Chinese food for dinner, since it is soft and relatively easy to chew. We figured she'd be in a fair amount of pain from them.

DH is taking her, just like he will be taking her to get her ears pierced. I can't stand to see her in pain. I hated being the one to go with them for vaccines when they were babies.

So, no pricey braces but it will be a pricey week between the Chinese food and the ears getting pierced (part of her birthday present). Ah, well. It's all been planned for.

Bed Fix

August 20th, 2007 at 05:07 am

DH and I spent a good portion of today repairing one of the boxsprings to our King size bed. It took some doing but we finally got it done and back in place and flipped and rotated the mattress and I can feel a huge difference already just sitting here on the bed. I also vacummed the boxsprings and mattress while we had the bed torn apart. Wow, there was a lot of dust there.

We need to buy a new bed pretty soon. This fix will probably allow it to last up to another year, but it is well past its warranty and I think it is part of the problem I have been having with my hip.

So DH and I are going to start researching beds. He's all for the sleep number bed but I'm not so sure. It's air pockets and to me that means they can pop, so what good is that? Does anyone have any experience with a sleep number bed? I'd be interested to know.

I found 39 cents under the boxspring when we took it out so I added that to the coin jar. Today was also a no spend day.

DH's Pockets

August 19th, 2007 at 08:07 am

DH finally emptied his pockets, so a whopping 61 cents was added to the coin jar. Sometimes I feel silly to be so happy about adding little bits to my jar but I know it adds up. It's added up to a few hundred dollars this year into the EF.

So many times I read about people who think it is not worth saving such tiny amounts of money, whether it be the coins, or the $10 a week I put in, or the spare dollars that show up, and how if I had listened to them I wouldn't have over $1000 in the bank right now. Most of it saved in little bits and pieces.

Starting next month I will be able to add $100 every four weeks into my EF on top of the weekly $10. So instead of just $520 a year, there will be an additional $1300 a year, for a total of $1820 that is planned money. Anything on top of that, my coin jar, or surveys, just will make it grow that much faster.

I am hoping to add $100 this month, but I have to see where everything shakes out after buying school clothes for my two kids who insist on continuing to grow taller all the time. Smile Hopefully I can still squeak it out.

Who Bought This?

August 19th, 2007 at 02:29 am

There is a house kitty corner across the street from my parent's house that just sold for $738,000! This is NOT a $738,000 neighborhood. This is a $250,000 to $450,000 neighborhood. We always called this house The Castle, yes in capitals. It had a turret in the middle for the front door area and it went up two stories. The bottom story was done all in brick and the second story looked more like a Swiss Chateau. It's on 3/4 of an acre.

It is a gorgeous house on the outside, but it is not a nicer house on the inside than other neighborhood homes and I don't get why it would sell for such an outrageous amount of money. Most homes in the neighborhood were selling for around $350,000.

It is on the busline, 1/2 mile from the nearest grocery store, 2 blocks from the elementary school and 2 blocks from the hospital, all which raise value a fair bit, but also 2 blocks from the domestic violence shelter which lowers it. So for the most part it is very well located. But still, it seems whoever bought it paid twice what is worth.

My husband's uncle was the realtor on this one. He makes a 6% commission. Not bad for two months of work!

I just hope this ridiculous sale price doesn't cause property taxes to rise in the neighborhood. They're already too high there.

Pinecone Money and Coin Jar

August 19th, 2007 at 12:28 am

I received $5 from Pinecone into my paypal account last night and transferred it to my CU. It should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday and it will go into the Safety Net portion of my EF.

I peaked at my interest at ING last night and it is already at $1.51. Every little bit helps.

To my coin jar last night I added:

$ 9.00 in ones
$ 1.50 in quarters
$ .10 in dimes
-------
$10.60 total

DH still hasn't emptied out his pockets from the fair, so I'll probably be adding some more in.

Surveys and the Fair

August 17th, 2007 at 05:34 am

I finally got a Pinecone Survey today. It's been close to 2 months! So that $5 should show up in my paypal account tomorrow or Monday. After a very slow week with GTM I got 8 surveys from them today. I qualified for a 35 and a 50 pointer and then got 5 points on 5 and the other one was already closed. So 110 points from them today. And 10 points from NFO. I missed a Survey Savvy because I forgot to do it yesterday. It was a $2 one, too. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some, and apparently you ignore some.

Hopefully tomorrow is a slow survey invite day for me, as we are going to the county fair up in Lynden. Mucho dinero, but it's once a year. Looking forward to the funnel cake with powdered sugar, whipped cream and strawberries. We split it between the four of us. I can't even imagine trying to eat one of those things on my own. Maybe one that was just powdered sugar, but definitely not a loaded one.

I just have to restrain myself from buying any of the nifty do-dads they always have in the commercial building...it slices, it dices, it curls your hair and folds your laundry... Big Grin Hmm...actually...LOL

Savings Update

August 17th, 2007 at 05:09 am

Today was the weekly auto deposit of $10 to savings, which I transferred to ING, bringing the new total in the EF to $1047.31.

Can You Stand Another Tipping Entry?

August 16th, 2007 at 04:52 am

We will be going out for Mexican food for lunch tomorrow. It'll probably be about $40 plus an $8 tip. One thing about this restaurant is the service is never, ever bad, its always above and beyond, so I always plan the tip in ahead of time. I've stopped going to places that have bad service consistently, so pretty much of the time I've got the amount of the tip planned out ahead of time.

I know I am anti-tip, or rather anti-expected tip a lot of the time, but I do tip well. I came out of the service industry, I know both sides of it. To me a tip is a gift. And well earned. Many things go into it, including the friendliness of the waitstaff, the number of times she (or he) comes back to the table (too many is just as bad as not enough), how busy the restaurant is and how many tables I see her serving (if she's covering the whole floor, she gets a lot more leeway in my book!), if the order is right, etc. But friendliness and order right is my biggest thing.

The attitude I am seeing lately tells me too many people have forgotten this. It's like the kid who gets $20 from grandma in their birthday card every year and if one year grandma only sends a card and the kid calls up and says where is my money? They've come to expect it, forgetting it is a gift. I guess that is my thing with tipping. It should never be taken for granted. But I live in a state where restaurants must pay minimum wage before tips and if I didn't I think my views would be different on that score.

I saw a tip container on Baskin Robbins counter today. I was walking by on the way to the store and I always look at all the little shops as I go. I'm sorry, this one just got to me. It is your job to scoop ice cream and put it on a cone or in a bowl. How the heck does that qualify as a tippable service? That's the whole job.

Okay, I know they now have some pretty fancy ice cream coffee drink thingies, which I don't order when I do go in, but I'm sorry, those are not that hard to run, anymore than an espresso machine is. I've run a high quality restaurant espresso machine. It's not rocket science though places like *$ would like to make you think it is. I'd love to tell one of those baristas to try running a restaurant kitchen through a $5000 lunch rush, with only 3 other employees in the kitchen and then they could whine to me about how hard it is to steam milk and squirt chocolate and dump flavoring in a shot glass and mix the drink just so. I mean come on. Only I can't do that in a *$ because I don't drink coffee.

Maybe they should just change the word. Change it from tip to gift or server bonus or something. I'd be much happier giving a good waitress a bonus or gift then an expected tip, that's for certain.


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