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Last night, I was making a frozen pizza when the downstairs smoke alarm went off. It was a really obnoxious noise, of course, and I ran around finding a broom to shut the thing off. Well, apparently it traumatized Mimi because she refused to go downstairs after that, even when I fed her. Well, she's a fairly young cat (5) and must have really keen hearing, so I bet that it was painful to her. Harlee, on the other hand, slept though the whole thing. She's old (16), so maybe she's lost some hearing. She can hear though because she'll come when called. Anyway, I wish that there was a way to preemptively shut the smoke alarm off. By the way, the pizza was good.

I'm reading a really good book about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It's called The Age of Cryptocurrency by Vigna and Casey. They're a couple of Wall Street Journal reporters, so they aren't some wild-eyed anarchists. Cryptocurrency has some societal ramifications that I hadn't thought of. The intro has a story about a young woman in Afghanistan who was blogging for a film site. The people running the project couldn't pay the women directly because only men can have bank accounts in Afghanistan. (Assholes.) So they paid them in bitcoin, and set up a site where they could exchange bitcoins for Amazon gift cards. The young woman bought herself a laptop, and it was a revelation to her. I highly recommend the book.

I've been having fun looking at items for my drop-ship cat supplies store. The person who wrote the book about it said to pick something that you're really into because it will keep you motivated. I won't pick any toys with small bells, however, because I don't want to be responsible for someone's cat choking on one. There is something with bristles that cats can rub against to self-groom. People seem to be interested in it, but I'm not sure if it's safe or not. I might order one to look it over.

I decided to stay home today and catch up on some stuff. I actually have an urge to clean, so I don't want to waste it! If I get myself together early enough, I have a weight bench/slant board that I tried to sell, but no one was interested. I need to haul the thing over to the thrift shop and get it out of my living room.
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Slept in. Fed the cats and me. Had a headache, so I lay down for a little while. Now I'm eating lunch.

I'm reading some books by James Altucher about making money. He did an interview with the CEO of Freelancer.com, and the CEO recommended Web development and app development as good ways to freelance. So I'm on the right track. Altucher also recommended a book called Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson about starting a business, so I got that on Audible. I'm always looking for good audiobooks to which to listen while I'm driving around the area. I might listen to them while cleaning too.

My plan is to alternate working on homework and cleaning.

The cats are feeling laid-back. They like having me home. Zara is refusing to finish her food. Sigh. She flashed me her belly multiple times though, so she's relaxed.
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At the tail end of my sleep last night, I dreamed a voice saying, "The same people keep forgetting to do their timesheets." Then I woke up and said, "Yes, that would be me." I fired off an e-mail to my boss saying that I would come in later to do my timesheet. Then I went back to sleep. I intended to get up at noon, but slept until 1:30.

Got up, fed me and the cats, got myself put together, etc. Ran over to work to fill out my timesheet.

Then I ran errands. Ordered Harlee's food, and got refills on meds for Harlee and me. Paid my car payment. Got gas. Picked up some soda.

Came home and snuggled with Mimi for a while. Now I"m taking a break, and then I need to make a grocery list and go to the store.

I think that I'm going to look into using coupons again. It's a bit of work, but I know a Web site that lists best deals.
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I had an upset stomach when I got home from work yesterday. Eating made it worse. So I lay down, and wound up sleeping until this morning. I had a nasty attack of diarrhea this morning too. I have IBS, although I'm not taking anything for it. So I guess that it was a flare-up. I felt okay today though.

I've got the new databases set up at work. The full-time front desk worker is thrilled about the new music library. He thinks that he'll use it a lot, and so will I. I had a long discussion with the new director about what the library needs, and he wants to get our book budget increased. I wish him luck. We really need it to update our collection; the majority of our books are from the 60s and 70s.

I have most of my work done for one of the classes. I need to work on the other one, but probably not tonight. I want to put a couple of items up for sale on the local Facebook garage sale site. I'm planning on going to the Balloon Festival this weekend. I have enough money to pay for admission and parking, but not enough to pig out on corn dogs and funnel cake ;) So I hope that people will buy my stuff.

$$$$$

Aug. 8th, 2017 10:24 pm
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The vet called me today. Apparently, they never charged me for Harlee's blood test, which was an unpleasant surprise. I also haven't had a chance to call the vet to find out about the results. So I went over there on my dinner break and talked to the vet. Harlee is in Stage 3 kidney disease. The vet wants to try to give her different food. (This is after I dropped a bunch of money on expensive food for Harlee. I'm sure that Mimi and Zara would gladly eat it though.) The vet also wants me to give Harlee meds. One of her meds costs more than my meds do. Sigh. Love my girl, but she's getting into the expensive time of life.

The vet also didn't have Pill Pockets. They suggested trying Big R, which is a farm and home supply place, but they're open limited hours during the day. I also tried Amazon, and they have what I need, but it's an "Add-on item," and I need to spend $25 on other stuff before they'll add it to the order. Well, I stupidly broke the carafe that I use for flavored water, but it's sold by Amazon Marketplace sellers and not Amazon, so that won't work. However, I was trying to buy one of my textbooks used, but the seller never shipped it, so I'll probably need to buy it full price from Amazon. So then I could buy the pill pockets.

Why is everything so complicated?

It's looking like Ramen and scrambled eggs for me for the rest of the month :)
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Well, I didn't have much packing to do. Just my book bag. And I have clean clothes hanging in the bathroom for tomorrow. And I have a list written out of things that I need to grab tomorrow morning (sandwich, soda, cell phone charger, etc.) because I'm going to be groggy.

I spent more time running around figuring out how to pay a bill online when I only had cash. Answer: prepaid Visa card (which isn't cheap when you add up the fees). I need to open an account at a local bank.

Oh, and I decided that I should stay at the cheap Airbnb near Pere Marquette that doesn't have Internet because I have a cell phone that I can use as a hotspot. Duh. I love ways to do what I want to do without spending a lot of money!

Anyway, I need to feed the hordes and wind down to go to sleep. My alarm is going to go off obscenely early.

Sunday

May. 15th, 2017 12:57 am
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I didn't get up early. I don't think that my alarms went off; I'll have to see if I set them 12 hours off.

Tired at work today. (Don't ask me why; I got a lot of sleep.) I'm scrambling to get stuff done before the conference and my presentation. Time seems to be on the bullet train.

Sold the remaining pet carrier that I used to fly Harlee or Nima out to Michigan. The woman who bought it wants to put her two cats, who are friends, into the carrier together while they move. How do I get the cats who don't get along?

Finally made my quiche tonight. It was good as always, and worth the wait.

Harlee is calling me....

Brrr!

Jan. 7th, 2017 12:54 am
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It was 6 degrees F at dinner, and 3 degrees when I left work to come home. I had an errand to run at dinner, which I canned because it was Too Darn Cold. (I'd last no more than a day in a Minneapolis winter.)

However, Operation Lower My Energy Bills is going well. I lowered my thermostat to 65 degrees last night, and didn't really notice it. The cats were fine, even Harlee. I forgot to lower it when I went to work, but did so when I came home for dinner. My thermostat appears to be programmable, so I'm going to see if I can dig up some instructions for it on the Internet. I also left fewer lights on for the cats.

I've been leafing through a vegetarian cookbook, and it has a bunch of recipes that sound good to me. But I'm going to make some fish and chips, and some baked mac and cheese this weekend. I'm trying to eat up what I've got. Next weekend, we have a three-day weekend because of MLK day, and that would be a good time to do a bunch of cooking. I forgot to mention that my mom gave me two packages of scone mix that I want to try.

I'm tired. I'm glad that it's the weekend. I worked a Wednesday - Friday schedule this week, and Monday - Friday next week, and then I'm going to switch to my Sunday - Thursday schedule because we'll be open on Sunday. (I could have worked a Sunday - Thursday schedule even though we're closed this weekend and next weekend, but I decided not to.)
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Organizing the home office has run into a bit of a snag. I have a wheeled computer cart that I want to get rid of. I listed it on Freecycle...and no one responded. I listed it on Craig's List...and thus far no one has responded. It probably would cost $100 to get someone to take it to the dump, and besides, I hate to dump a perfectly good piece of furniture.

Bah.
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Got up at a decent hour this morning to have a blood test done (15 minute drive). Then I brought a couple of old computers to the Computer Recycling Center (1 hour drive round-trip). Then I returned some stuff to the pet store (1/2 hour drive round trip). Then I talked to my mom. Then I went back out to pick up a paper shredder that someone on Freecycle gave me (40 minutes round trip). I ate a couple of times in the middle of all that. Now I'm pooped (must be all the driving).

Someone in the Tightwad Gazette suggested using shredded newspaper as kitty litter, so I'm going to try it and see what happens.

The question is whether I'm going to some garage sales tomorrow or not. I'll decide tomorrow. In general, I need to get rid of stuff more than buy stuff, but I could use some clothes and microwave-safe cookware.
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I've been filling my car up at the gas station with the lowest prices in the area (within 5 miles). I like AAA's price finder.
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I feel like everything that I have to say is redundant. No, I still don't have a job. Yes, I'm still looking. Yes, I'm still working on getting the place organized.

I suppose having nothing to say never stopped me before.

The car is now being fixed. The rental car is a cute Dodge Neon that's fun to drive. The only problem is that I left my parking permit in the Honda, so I have to park the Neon out on the street.

I'm not sure if my air conditioning is working or not. It doesn't seem to cool the place off very quickly. On the other hand, it got really stuffy in here when I turned the a/c off. Either way, I shouldn't run the a/c often. I've turned on my oscillating pedestal fans in the living room and the bedroom. Harlee was really dubious about the fan in the living room, but now she seems to realize that it cools her off. I looked for another fan for the home office, but WalMart didn't have any out yet. Hey, it can get hot in May. It is hot (high 80s and low 90s).

I talked to a recruiter about a job that didn't pan out. Now I'm talking to another one.

I gave away a medium-sized box worth of stuff on Freecycle.

I'm investigating ways of hanging clothes to dry (indoors) instead of drying them in the dryer, but at a cost of 40 cents a dryer load, most solutions have a long break-even point. I did see a picture of a jury-rigged setup in the Tightwad Gazette, but I'm not sure if I'll try it or not.

And yes, I've been reading the Tightwad Gazette before I go to sleep. It's amusing reading and I've learned a few things.
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I was expecting a check from the Unemployment agency, and I really needed the check to pay my mortgage on the 1st. Tonight, I opened my mail to find that I hadn't signed the form for my claim, and they want me to fill out a duplicate form, SIGN IT, and mail it. This delay means it'll be about 10 more days until I get the check. No one's fault but mine, but I flipped out about it.

Later, I was buying a newspaper at a newspaper rack in a shopping center. (For some reason, I'm no longer getting the paper at home.) My car was parked in the parking lot. I heard a crunch of two cars colliding, turned around, realized that my car was hit, saw the other car take off like a bat out of hell, and yelled, "Hey!" The front passenger side was damaged, but the car is drivable.

I called the police, and he took an hour to get there. However, he turned out to be a really nice guy. He apologized for the delay, and told me that because the accident took place on private property, and I didn't get the license of the other car, that he didn't need to fill out a police report. But he called my insurance company and talked to them first, and then passed the phone to me. They're calling me back tomorrow between 10 and 12 to tell me what to do next.

The one good bit of news is that a recruiter left me a message about a job that I had applied for. The humorous or ironic part is that the company makes insurance claim software. I didn't think that the job was a very good match, but maybe it's a good match after all -;)

I'm going to call the recruiter back on Monday morning. I hope that I don't have to bring the car somewhere on Monday morning. Well, the car will just have to wait.
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In college, someone had a puzzle with a picture of a lot of people at a feast/orgy. Its title was "A Quiet Evening at Home". Totally unlike my life, but the title made me smile.

I'm trying to make a game out of finding cheap food to eat. I bought a baguette at WalMart, and have been eating it with (part-skim) mozzarella cheese or (low-fat) peanut butter and (sugar-free) jelly. Albertson's sells a box of six single servings of macaroni and cheese. (It takes five minutes to make a serving and you don't have to freeze leftovers.) And I've been eating a fair amount of fruit. One of these days I'll make some stir-fry.

My other bit of excitement is that I cleared enough space in the dining room to set up the dining room table. I have a small pile of books there waiting for me to sit and study. (After all, I eat in front of the computer and study at my dining room table.)

Yesterday, I sold five more boxes of books (for a grand total of 14 boxes). I stayed home today and finished up my homework. I'm working on job search stuff and emptying boxes.
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I received a message from a recruiter who saw my resume on Yahoo HotJobs or Dice.com. He asked me if I was interested in a contract position. I said, "Yes," and I haven't heard from him since then. What's up with that? Sheesh, this is like dating -;)

This week is hell week as far as my class is concerned. We have to set up our machines to run Javadoc. We also have to critique a set of API documentation. So I'm plugging away at it. My teacher asked if anyone would be interested in a class on Java that prepares you for Java certification, and I'm probably going to say that I'm interested. I hope that it's not too expensive.

And speaking of money, my finances are going to be really tight over the next month, so I'm stockpiling stuff. I now have 60 pounds of cat litter. I already have way too much food in the house, so I can scrounge.

There is a movie that I really want to see that is opening this weekend--The Namesake, so I'll probably let myself see it. I also plan to sell some books at a used bookstore in Fremont. I went last weekend, and found the store empty and dark. It turns out that they moved, and are reopening on the 15th. I also need to sell a classical guitar and a silent guitar on Craig's List.

And, oh yeah, job search stuff. So I'm keeping busy.

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