Friday, June 26, 2009

Flag Friday - Fenway Park

For some reason, when we visited New England as a family, we didn't take the time to visit Maine. Because of that, my mom and I flew out to Boston so that I could knock Maine off my list. We spent some time in Boston (and Kittery, Maine), but because the Red Sox didn't make the playoffs that year Fenway Park stood empty on the day that we visited. On the trip home, I convinced my mom to let me bump and stay another night alone in Boston, while she flew home. I got a free flight out of the deal and flew First Class from Boston to Phoenix (because I was a 16-year-old working it with the flight attendants (that or they felt bad for me...). Boston is one of my favorite places (and I have since been to a ballgame at Fenway Park - see this post).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

5 years!?

5 years ago today was my first blog post. A blogiversary of sorts. As I couldn’t come up with any suitable way for celebrating short of offering free cake to all visitors of my blog, I’ve devised a secondary plan.

I’ve put it all out there on this thing. The blog has been with me through thick and thin. I’ve poured my heart out on these screens, laughed, cried (my tears stain your screen) and talked a lot about the Utes. Is there anything that I haven’t put out there?

I don’t think so, but on the off chance that there is something that I may not have covered, I’m turning the blog over to you, gentle reader, to ask me anything. It makes no difference whether or not you leave your name, use an alibi or comment anonymously, I’ll treat all questions equally. I won’t promise to answer every question (because there are still some things that I may want to keep personal), but I may surprise you.

Have at it! (Oh yes, and my first blog post is about as interesting as everybody else's – here’s a link)

PF - Week II - What to do With

I know that I promised to make these posts a weekly occurrence but, I've been a little busy (oldest excuse in the book, I know), but I've still got tons to share. From The Complete Tightwad Gazette p. 60:

What to do With:

1. Toilet paper tubes. Use to gather up unsightly loose excess electrical cord on kitchen appliances, lamps, entertainment center, etc.

I actually use twist-ties for this purpose (from bread bags, new purchases, etc.). They work pretty well - and I would just use rubber bands before I used toilet paper tubes.

2. Crayon bits. Place a variety of colors in a muffin tin and melt in the oven. Cool. This makes a scribble cookie. Each one has its own unique color and pattern. Use for an inexpensive stocking stuffer.

I wonder if you could do something similar with soap bits, once you've whittled the soap down to a size that's too hard to hold onto. I know some people place all of the soap bits in a loofah-type bag and use it to make the soap last.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Flag Friday - Cincinnati Reds II

If you look closely, you'll notice Chris Sabo's autograph in the baseball. My mom took me out of school to go stand in a long line at Kroger in order to get it. Sweet.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flag Friday - Walt Disney World

This one is obviously from Walt Disney World. I remember really liking the Epcot Center and I was even old enough to go to a filming of "Let's Make A Deal."

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Ada: Daddy I want some crackers.

I go to the pantry and pull out some Cheese-Nips.

Ada: No. Not those ones, the 'exagon ones.

I didn't really understand what she said so I asked her to repeat it. I thought that she said "hexagon," but I didn't know whether or not we had any. Just to check I found a box of Cheez-its (Don't ask why we have both kinds, we rarely eat them) and offered it to her.

Ada: No. I want the 'exagon ones, Daddy. Those aren't 'exagons.

Confused I look through the pantry again before finding some multi-grain Wheat Thins shaped as hexagons. I should have known.

Flag Friday - Alaska

Sorry for posting this late, I was at a specifier training session for Visa Lighting in Milwaukee, WI. It's good to be home now with Alison and the girls (I'm not sure who I'm apologizing to. This is MY blog for goodness sakes...). This is from one of my favorite trips. My Dad and I visited Alaska and went deep sea fishing for Halibut, saw tons of bears in Denali National Park, hiked flattop mountain, saw the whales and won a prize at the Alaska State Fair.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Personal Finance - Week I

From The Complete Tightwad Gazette, p. 19:

Most of these either don’t apply to me personally or to people in this day in age, but there are a couple that may work for us.

10 Painless Ways to Save $100 This Year

1. Purchase 10 Articles of clothing at thrift shops and yard sales this year instead of paying department store prices.

This is a good one because often times you can find new/like new clothes at thrift shops and yard sales. For example, I recently purchased a pair of Banana Republic jeans from the DI that appeared to have never been worn. If I remember correctly, it seems like the creases from the store were still visible. Even if I would never have purchased them new from BR I saved the difference between their cost and the cost of a pair at my usual stopping place – Old Navy.

2. Hang four loads of laundry per week instead of using your dryer.

Not too hard, but I would guess that with appliances with today’s efficiencies, you’d be hard pressed to add this up to $100/year.

3. Once a month make a pizza from scratch instead of having one delivered.

Alison makes the best barbecue chicken pizza. One of my very favorite meals. And we’ve even found a compromise on how much wheat flour she uses in her dough. It’s also been fun for everybody in the family (Kate excluded) to make their own pizza on a Friday night. While it may be cheaper than delivery, I’ve got a hard time knowing when to stop adding more cheese to my personal pan pizza..

4. Write a good letter instead of making a monthly long-distance phone call.

Or, how about an email?

5. Reduce your soda consumption by four cans per week.

We rarely drink soda, and if I do buy it, it means there was a killer deal on Peach Fresca.

6. Bake one batch of bread (two loaves) per week.

Unless you are baking bread and dough often you won’t save money. You’ve got to be able to buy your yeast in bulk and not waste it for this to be a frugal tactic.

7. Save $50 each on two children's birthday parties by making homemade decorations, cake, wrapping paper, and one present.

This year Ada will be getting a homemade paper-mache Minnie Doll (cost – minimal) for her birthday and Kate will be getting a bag of old screws and nails I’ve been collecting (cost – free).

8. Reduce your smoking by three cigarettes per day (or give up smoking altogether and save even more).
9. Reduce your whole milk consumption by two gallons per week, substituting dry milk in cooking, homemade cocoa mix, and in half-and-half for drinking.

We don’t currently do this and I’m not sure that we’re to the point that we ever will do this. If you’ve got to cut money from your budget, this is a great way to do it.

10. Pack four inexpensive school lunches per week.

I’ll substitute work lunches for school lunches (and note that this is an area where I can improve). There are so many ways to make a lunch cheap (no processed or pre-packaged foods) and most of the time the lunch is healthier, tastier and better for the environment with less packaged waste. Of course, you would reuse and re-wash your baggies from your lunch.