On cutting back and getting back to basics

Great blog post about the new Great Depression – the comments are wonderful, too.

“I think President Obama is grappling seriously and thoughtfully with the problem, and I’m thankful to have such an intelligent, steady leader…but I also believe that this train left the station a long time ago. The best we can do now is to slow it down, hope the damage isn’t as bad as it looks like it might be, and get as many people off the tracks as possible.”

What’s different about your life now?

I found this via AmpleSanity, where I find many of the interesting things I share with you.

Social Security

“I asked Dianne if she could see my Social Security number there in her system, and she said yes. “Does it begin X-X-X,” I asked, using the real first three digits. Yes, Dianne said, that’s it. So much for encryption. I was transferred to another operator to complete my order for phone service.”

AAARRGGHH.  Read this article about giving out your SS#.  It’s depressing and we all need a little more of that at Christmas, don’t we?

On a roll

I’ve been trying to move for four years now. During that four years I’ve collected more and more shit, which is not conducive to showing a house or moving. Packrat-itis R Us. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to thin it out a little. What a crappity-ass job! Hard, too, because I have a poor person inside me that thinks I’ll never be able to afford another t-shirt or jacket if I get rid of the ones (that I never wear) that I’ve been collecting.

Going through some closets today, and drawers. Giving away things that look great on the hanger and much less so on me. Yay me! This is really so much harder than it sounds.

I got rid of 15+ t-shirts, many of which are relics of the dot-com age. Companies that flared up and blew out just as quickly. Snalf.com. Linux Storm to name a couple. Also some that survived – Network Solutions (the bastards). And a Star Trek t-shirt. And my shirts from the Linux conference in San Jose, CA, 1998, where I was one of about 6 women in a veritable sea of geeky males. Andy Groves spoke at that one. It was interesting, but I’m not so heavy into Linux any more. Work requires too much mainstream integration and it’s just too hard to live in both camps. Too bad, it was much cooler to be Linux oriented.

Anyway, I ditched a lot of t-shirts. Hopefully I won’t miss them. Also a ton of lingerie that I never really ever wore (at least not for long). Victoria’s Secret stuff that was mostly uncomfortable as hell. Somebody at the Salvation Army is going to get a big bonus.

This throwing away requires some balance, so I also bought some wickery panels to stick on the wall for a fake headboard today. I think it will look cool. I’ll take pictures if it does. 🙂 Got a neat-o mirror, too. It’s a big brown padded leather embossed square. Alligator looking but faux. Heavy! 75% off at Pier 1, my second favorite store. I had a Picasso print above the bed that I loved but it didn’t fill up the space right. I’ll find another spot.

–Later: wall decor up, mirror still in corner.  Do you think it’s too weird?  Sort of a faux headboard.  I like it a lot. 🙂  It kind of matches the lion cage (see below).


Note the lion cage in front of the bed in pic 2. For the uninitiated, this is where Goober the Giant German Shepherd sleeps. This is how I give the cats a break, also keeps
him from standing on the kitchen counters when I’m asleep. Don’t want to give him the chance to do that when I’m not in a position to correct it. He’s so very TALL.   He whined about his cage two nights ago and I let him outside.  Last night when I put him in it I thought I should get in and make sure he didn’t have an accident.  He was SO HAPPY that I was in his cage with him, he licked my ears and snorted me and smiled and wiggled.  Cute but he’s such a behemoth.

Also: Have you EVER made a bed and not had help from the cat(s)?

On a very sad cat-related note: Susan’s cat, Nugs, 19, died today. She is very sad, it was a good cat and always traveled with them in the RV on their frequent trips. Nugs had some kidney problems and just died in her sleep early this morning.

Susan has worked with Bob since God was a boy and they are close. I know her, too, albeit not nearly as well. She’s very nice, funny, good hearted. This is going to be really hard for her.

More Dog Haiku

We need more dog chews!
One hundred eighty dollars.
College might be cheaper.

Okay, it wasn’t all on dog chews. I was at Target so I bought way more than I went in for on all sorts of good things.  Got some jerky and some SlimSlow, too.

And two pair of thongs. The kind for your feet.  And soda for Bob.  BUT, the bulk of it was dog chews, I swear.

Speaking of dog chews and soda, I think it’s time for a martini.  Mair, if you were here, I’d fix you one, too.

One step forward …

Office Depot had a good deal on low-end laptops in the Sunday paper. $349 after rebate.* My sis has been jonesing for a new laptop for a really, really long time, so I told her about it.

She was ecstatic, and I went and picked it up for her. On the way into the store, my [unbe-fucking-lievably expensive] Treo 700p fell onto its head on the parking lot, and died a lingering, painful death by crunched circuits. I had stripes on the screen and could make calls for awhile using voice dial, but then it went totally black. I was devastated.

Luckily for me, Verizon was on the ball and I have a new one coming. For whatever reason, they didn’t ask me what happened to it. I had been practicing lying about the circumstances for a whole day and was a tiny bit queasy about it. Lame, I know, but I am not a good liar. Not really due to copious moral fiber, more due to not being able to think quickly and respond off the top of my head. (That’s why I like computers … they don’t care if I’m fast, they only care if I’m good – or to put it less anthropomorpologically, I don’t think fast, but I think well. Most of the time).

It’s been hard being w/out the Treo since Sunday night. Number 1 reason: I can’t play solitaire any second I feel like it. Number 2 reason: that damnable hour commute to and from Bumfuck, Egypt, where I currently reside. I’m always afraid if the car dies and I’m on the side of the road w/out a cell phone the only people who will stop will be the bad guys from Deliverance.

On a positive note, the little laptop turned out okay. I wiped it initially, leaving the recovery partition, to put XP Pro on it. I am not too thrilled by Vista yet. Particularly Vista Basic which is what came pre-installed. But the XP wouldn’t work. No drivers for the hardware. Damn! I reinstalled the factory default Vista and it was slllloooooowww, but after some video tweaking to lean toward speed instead of pretty, it perked up. Got on the network w/out problems.  Office 2003 installed on it okay. The updates for that were different and it took a few minutes to figure them out, but it all came out a’ight. And still looks nice.

Now I just have to get the damn thing mailed off to Mair.

*This one is for $200. My last Office Depot rebate of $150 took them 120 days to process. Four months. That completely sucks but it did actually arrive today. The key may be to start asking about it earlier. That seems to trigger a response. Like, “Hey, she didn’t forget about it, I guess we’re going to have to go ahead and mail the check.” Bastards.

And then again

I looked through catalogs last night and found all SORTS of things I’d like to buy for people. And even more I’d like to buy for myself. God. I am so susceptible to advertising it’s not even funny. If I don’t keep it in check I am the most acquisitive person on the planet. Some day I will write about the pain that causes internally for my zen child.

I went to a charity rating website and they only gave Heifer a 3 out of 4 due to admin costs. It wasn’t bad, but apparently there are other more worthy, if less outwardly pleasing, places I could donate my money. Dammit.

I still like the idea of buying a cow.