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N in azaleas


Hello, world!

I've been NUDGED. (hello, ciaracat!)

I'm fighting with a "time-saving" tool at work. The tool is called InfoPAK and, like Robohelp, is designed to create standardized documentation based on the mouse clicks it records. It appears to be having a small fit right now, however.

I'm working in Gainesville, Florida. I enjoy being in a sunny place for a change. The trees drip with Spanish moss, a reminder of clean air quality. Wildlife, in the form of tree frogs, toads, lizards, mosquitos, and spiders, abound in and around my hotel room. I'm staying in a Residence Inn, because I like being able to have vegtables with dinner and that is easier to achieve when one cooks for oneself.

B and I will be leaving for Lake Vallecito, Colorado, on Friday. We'll be joining his parents and his sister and her family, to celebrate his mother's 60th birthday.

We have recently decided we have to get firm hold of our debt. Debt Management strategies for me must involve my cutting back on gift spending. This may be the year you experience a card in lieu of a gift or some homemade present. One year, my brother and his friend Clay made a bargain to create macaroni pictures for one another for Christmas presents. Pretty fabulous. Of course, I promptly forget this information everytime I see a new birthday.

I'm administering the re-read test to whittle down my book collection. If I am not willing to re-read a book currently AND I have not reread it within the last few years, I am recycling and/or selling said book. I'm also attempting to keep my fanny out of bookstores. This last is less successful. I have recently re-read Catherine Asaro's work - her tagline is so good (suggesting actual science in her science fiction). Unfortunately, her Heinlein-esque marriages (aunt to newphew, etc) leave me a little cold. Bujold is holding up better.

My brother just bought his first house! In the small world department, it turns out I knew the couple that previously owned it, in that friend of a friend way: Christina Kellaway (whom I knew from school) and Wolf Loescher (whom I remember from Six Mile Bridge). It's a gorgeous mid-century modern, complete with Terrazio (sp?) tile. My bro is combing the local schools to find a janitor who knows how to clean the stuff. Like loyal little family members, we pitched in to help him paint a few rooms. (They were in good condition; he and his fiancee just wanted to change some of the colors). Alas, I will be unavailable for moving help.

I am just beginning the job search process anew. This time, I need to start with informational interviews. I would like to get a better understanding of the avenues available to me. If any of you know any communications, human resources, training, change leadership, or business analyst types who wouldn't mind participating in an informational interview, please let me know. Because I've "grown up" in consulting, my view of project timeframes/ corporate expectations / activities, may be skewed. I'm trying to better understand how my skillset might translate to an industry job.

Got to go back to tool battle. Until next time..


I've discovered a good trick to helping keep in budget. I've decided how much money I can afford to spend on "discretionary" stuff - eating out, buying books, buying gifts, groceries, all of it. That helps me know that if I buy a bunch of gifts, I'm choosing to eat out less that month, etc.

Then, to make me stick to that amount, I've opened a second checking account for discretionary spending. Each month, I transfer in my budgeted amount. When it's gone, it's gone. And it isn't tied to whether I pay my bills, etc.

Good luck with the job hunt! I'd love to see you not traveling. :)
Part of why I'm doing it the way I'm doing it is that it added stress for me to have it categorized that way. One big bucket of discretionary spending works better. And I don't want to do cash in envelopes (a) because they can get lost, and (b) doing it through a bank account allows me to more easily go back and look at what I DID spend the money on. If I keep feeling as though I don't have enough money for eating out, I can go back and see that I had too much in the way of unaccounted for ATM cash withdrawals, etc.
I'm all for keeping up with exactly what I was spending and where, and credit cards do tend to give you all that nice electronically-downloadable info that you can use to generate nice reports of your habits.

I like the idea of a separate account with its own credit card, that could be used for "fun" spending only.
Yay! Thanks for the update! :D

Sounds like you've got a lot going on!

Have fun in Colorado!
I think you will be pleased to learn that your friends love you for your self, not because you give lavish gifts. And if your efforts at economy lead to less stress and more free time, you can gift those friends with your presence - an excellent alternative!
N in azaleas

September 2009

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