Ah, here I sit on a Tuesday night, sipping from a tall glass of club soda with a splash of Lewisville's locally distilled DeLos Vodka and a twist of lime. I just got out of a nice hot bath to take the chill off. Mamask8z is sitting at her computer laughing her head off at the peopleofwalmart.com photos.
Earlier tonight we tried to light a fire in the fireplace, but I couldn't get a good draft up the chimney, and the smoke kept blowing back in, so I gave up and quenched it. I cooked spaghetti tonight and we sat and ate while President Obama began to deliver his speech about Afghanistan.
I thought the President's rationale for his decision to send an additional 30,000 troops, followed by a drawdown in July of 2011 was sound. My oldest son Seth decided to write a letter to President Obama during the speech, while his younger brother was trying unsuccessfully to stoke the fireplace. He brought me his word-processed letter to proof-read for him and tell him how to address it. After a few spelling fixes, he was ready to print, sign, address and seal. I didn't ask him whether he minded if I published it or not, so I won't quote it here, but I'll tell you that the jist of it was "please stop the war".
Snow and sleet this week?
I heard earlier on the weather station that we may have some frozen precipitation this week. Good Lord, I hope we can all remember to drive safely if that happens.
It has been so cold this week already though. My office is apparently not well insulated, the ceiling above me basically being open to the building's garage area. Luckily though, instead of a space heater - which I think are fairly dangerous, I have an electric blanket which is draped over my chair, and which I sit on. Oh, it feels heavenly on a cold day to have toasty buns in the morning.
OK, so I have a confession to make. For YEARS, I used Microsoft Money to manage my personal finances. In years past, I accounted for every single penny I spent, and saved every receipt. Some time in the past couple of years, my give-a-damn got busted and then a hard drive failed in my laptop, and the next thing you know, I'm just "winging it". I mean, literally not balancing my checkbook at all - just relying on memory to know how much was available to spend or pay bills. Totally crazy, and I've got the overdraft fees to prove it.
Anyhow, I finally broke down and went hunting for a fresh copy of Microsoft Money, only to discover that it had been basically discontinued by Microsoft. What I did find was a FREE - yes FREE service called Quicken Online. (Now they're calling it mint.com - apparently I got in before it switched.)
Basically the service logs in to your bank accounts using information that you provide, and it figures up what bills you have that are recurring, and very quickly starts giving accurate projections about how much money you'll have on a given day. It also has reports to tell you where your money is going, and whether you're living within your means. As you classify and correct each expense, it learns from you, and will automatically fix them as it imports them from your bank in the future.
If you're not using any money management software, give it a try. I'll be interested to hear how mint.com might differ from the Quicken Online version.
New Masthead Logo
After our special Thanksgiving logo expired, I updated it with this:
It's stock art that I purchased and modified, so don't be too impressed, but I think it's our best one to date, if I do say so myself.
Oh crap, I just remembered that I forgot to post the weekly blog roundup. I'll do that soon.
Quality Assurance Time
So, I may have mentioned that we're just about to release a major set of improvements to our software at work. Normally I'm a programmer, but this week I'm doing double-duty as a QA person. It's a thankless job, but it has to be done. As I was entering my 27th bug today, I got to thinking:
1) I feel like a real a-hole, sitting here poking holes in my coworkers work product, but
2) This is kinda fun.