"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween And A Wee Update...

 Yeah, I know, I sucketh much as a blogger. *hangs head in shame* I'm also not completely unpacked yet either. *hangs head in shame and sighs deeply*

I still haven't found the charger and extra battery for the digital camera. I'm starting to think that Mr. Hairball must have packed it in one of the "office" boxes, because it's not in any of the "computer desk area" boxes. Most of those "office" boxes are still stacked up against the wall in the study/kitty room, because he's not going to be taking them all up to his new workplace. The thought of digging through all of those boxes is overwhelming right now, so I may just have to continue to do without my camera. I really do need to start deciding which of the remaining boxes will be unpacked and which will be stored "as is" until the next move.

I've been working on some  window quilts. Our apartment still has its original windows, and once the temperature outside gets below about 50F, it's chilly over by the windows. I went through my fabric stash and linen closet for some of the materials, and I went to the local thrift store for the rest. I'm sewing these by hand so it's taking me longer than if I used a sewing machine. I've got the one for our bedroom done enough that I can use it while I continue to work on it. We've had some nights where it's gotten down into the forties at night, and it's much more comfortable in there with it up than it was before. We choose to keep our heat turned down lower than a lot of people do during the colder months of the year, and these new window quilts will help keep it warmer inside.

I'm ready for election day because the political commercials are pushing me to ever closer to destroying my TV. Currently, I'm in the habit of watching/listening to TV in the mornings during the week while I pack Mr. Hairball's lunch and tidy up the kitchen. I usually turn on one of the channels that features the local news and weather so I see what's going on in Hometown City. As most of you are aware, the commercial breaks on TV right now are an endless stream of  political ads. I live in ReddyMcRedville, so the candidates are really just fighting over who is the biggest Teapartier of all. I'm seriously thinking of just skipping the local news and weather until after the election. It would probably do me good not to hear about how politician X is actually a ______ (insert your scary word of choice) who hates America.

Mr. Hairball finally got all the paperwork properly filled out, stamped, signed and turned in, so that his past work experience would be properly credited, and he would get an increase in his future paychecks. He gets paid the last day of the month and it shows up early if that date is not a workday. I eagerly checked the bank Friday late afternoon to see if the paperwork had been approved early enough to change the amount of his October paycheck. It did. It made it smaller. *beats head on desk* It looks like when the information was entered that someone made a mistake and instead of having his raise added to his check, it was subtracted. Awesome.

We also still don't have our health insurance cards even though our health insurance started in September. We have a snazzy printout that we can take with us if we need to go to the doctor that says we have health insurance, but the cards are still AWOL. We've asked HR repeatedly if since his old employer used the same insurance company if the insurance company might be confused and is not issuing us new cards because it thinks we still have our plan through the old employer. HR keeps telling us no, but I find it hard to really trust them after all the drama Mr. Hairball has gone through in trying to recoup a portion of the salary he was verbally promised. He's calling them again on Monday to ask about fixing his paycheck and to remind them about the missing insurance cards.

Mr. Hairball has started looking at the job ads in his field trying to find something better for when this contract is up. He's found a few that look promising, and has started working on his application materials. The thought of possibly making another big move next summer is overwhelming for both of us, but we knew that moving to Hometown City would only be a temporary stop. His boss does seem to like him and his work, so if something better doesn't turn up for him, he should be able to stay here for another year.

We are still saving for a new laptop for Mr. Hairball over at Smarty Pig. I  finally found the power cord for the old secondhand laptop, and I've been using that some during the week. Unfortunately, due to its age, it is in pretty bad shape and only the Linux side still works.  Most of the time this isn't a real problem for me, except when I want to do something like use the instant watch feature at Netflix. I shouldn't complain though, at least I have access to a laptop during the week again. Hopefully by the end of the year we'll have enough saved to buy his laptop so I can get mine back again.

I'm about to make some dinner and decide on my viewing choices for tonight. Mr. Hairball doesn't really like horror movies, so he will be spending the evening in the study/kitty room while I enjoy some spooky goodness.

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it and my apologies to those who don't. I know from spending most of my life in very conservative places, that Halloween can create divisions between those who celebrate it and those who do not. Hopefully, that will not be the case here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Joan Crawford Week Day 5

I have limited internet access right now, so comments may take a while to post.

Today's movie is The Damned Don't Cry with Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran, Kent Smith, and Selena Royle.

Plot:  Joan Crawford is a socialite with a secret past who is now suspected of murder. 


I hope you enjoyed the movies this week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Joan Crawford Week Day 4

I have limited internet access right now, so comments may take a while to post.

Today's movie is Possessed with Joan Crawford, Van Helfin, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks, Stanley Ridges, John Ridgely, Moroni Olsen, and Gerald Perreau.

Plot:  Joan Crawford struggles with the obsessive love she feels for a man she can never have.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Joan Crawford Week Day 3

I have limited internet access right now, so comments may take a while to post.

Today's movie is Humoresque with Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant and J. Carrol Naish.

Plot: Joan Crawford plays a wealthy woman in a loveless marriage who uses her money to help a struggling violinist. She falls deeply in love with the violinist, and is tormented by the fact that his music will always come first.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Joan Crawford Week Day 2

I have limited internet access right now, so comments may take a while to post.

Today's movie is Mildred Pierce with  Joan Crawford,Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, and Bruce Bennett.

Plot: How far would a mother go to win the love of her daughter?


PS: If you need a laugh, here's Carol Burnett's take on Mildred Pierce.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Joan Crawford Week Day 1

 I have limited internet access right now, so comments may take a while to post.

Today's movie is The Women with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Ruth Hussey, Marjorie Main, and Lucile Watson.

Plot: This movie is about a group of wealthy NYC women and what happens when one of them learns that her husband is having an affair with another woman.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's Alive!

This past week felt so strange to me without my laptop. I did fire up the desktop one day so I could check my email, make sure all was well with our ING and Smarty Pig accounts, and scan the news headlines. I moved some of our furniture around so that the desktop computer is now back in the "master bedroom" which we are using as the study/computer/kitty room. The cats were kinda annoyed with me being back there, as they had gotten used to having that room pretty much to themselves during the day. They are both grouchy old ladies who prefer a warm and quiet room for their numerous naps.

I'm still working on unpacking boxes. It's going slower than I had hoped as I keep finding boxes that I can't do anything with at this point, and if haul too many boxes around in one day, my back starts giving me fits which affects what I can do the next day. *grumble grumble* The closet in the "master bedroom" is a work in progress. It will eventually be my main kitchen pantry, various storage, and where I put the clothes that won't fit in the small closet in our bedroom. I've got two of my food storage racks arranged in there the way I want, but I'm having trouble getting a third one put back together. I need to remember NOT to take that third one apart before the next move as it's a real bear to get back together!

 The dress code at Mr. Hairball's new job only lets employees wear jeans once a week, so I also spent some time hemming and taking up some of his dress pants that were too long and too big in the waist for him.

As for bad news, it seems that the portion of Mr. Hairball's paycheck discrepancy related to getting credit for all of his education and work experience will take longer to resolve than we had hoped. In the good news column, I think I'll be able to finish this month about 10% under budget for groceries, so that's more money we can put towards the "New Laptop For Mr. Hairball Fund". I've been putting my grocery store receipts up on the refrigerator as a reminder of what I can do when I put my mind to it. *grins*

We don't have cable at our new place, and the local channels I can currently receive seem to be paid up primarily of Judge XYZ, talk shows, televangelists, infomercials, and programming directed at small children. Needless to say, when I found my box of DVDs I was really excited to have some more viewing options! I spent the last week in a nice retro bubble as none of the DVDs I watched/listened to during the day contained movies or TV programs made after 1980.

I was thinking maybe I should start doing theme weeks where at least one movie/program a day fits into a theme.  I own this set, so the theme for next week will be Joan Crawford movies. I'll watch them in chronological order so I'll start on Monday with The Women.

Hope all of you have a good week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Programming Note And Money, Money, Money...

My plans to start posting more regularly have hit a snag. Mr. Hairball is going to be taking my laptop to work with him everyday, because he needs access to a decent equation editor before he goes completely insane. Tech UnSupport at his new job just keeps offering him Kool-Aid and mumbling about the awesomeness of Microsoft Office while he begs them for permission to install OpenOffice.

Because of the never-ending trainwreck known as the Human Resource department, Mr. Hairball's current pay is about 18% less than we had planned. Some of the discrepancies in his pay related to his education and experience should be resolved before his next paycheck, while others, like the signing bonus he was continually promised until someone at HR realized that he wasn't eligible, will not. Oopsie! *sighs*

In light of the above, I have reworked the household budget based on the numbers from his September paycheck, and right now, we will be able to save slightly more than 13% of our after tax income. If the people at HR do decide to finally give him full credit for his education and experience, then we will be able to increase that percentage. After all those months of pulling money out, it is a start in the right direction to finally be putting money back in savings.

Anyway, after living off our savings for a few months, paying for all of the various moving expenses, and with another large expense looming on the horizon, neither of us is comfortable right now with using some of of our current savings to buy Mr. Hairball a new laptop.  I'm on the old Linux desktop right now, but my use of that computer will be limited to times when the outside temperature is less than about 85F. This baby pumps out some serious heat, and having to crank up the A/C so I can use it, really defeats the purpose of trying to save money to build our savings back up. I will have some access to my laptop at night and should have regular access to it on most weekends. Please be patient if it takes me a while to respond.

 We have changed one of our Smarty Pig saving accounts goals to a fund for a new laptop for Mr. Hairball. There's a widget on the right hand side of my blog with my Smarty Pig savings goals if you want to watch my progress. My goal is to try a save a little extra wherever I can, so that the new laptop fund continues to grow every month. Mr. Hairball and I have agreed that while other savings goals need to take priority at this time, a small portion of any extra money we manage to save will go towards the laptop fund.

More later...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Old Ghosts And Hometown Rivalries

In my brief post about Mr. Hairball getting a new job and us packing up for another move, I left out some rather interesting details:

  • Mr. Hairball's new job just happens to be located in my hometown.
  • My hometown is one of those places where high school football is an overwhelming obsession a really big deal , and there is an intense rivalry between the two public high schools in town. 
  • Mr. Hairball stumbled into a job working for the local school district, and will be working for the high school I did not attend when I lived here. 

I never thought in a million years I'd be living back in Hometown City, and dealing with the  whole high school rivalry and the football obsession thing again. It was insane back then, and from the stories Mr. Hairball is telling me about what goes on at work, nothing has changed. To make things simple, we'll call the school he works at Crosstown High School, as it is the "new" school that was built when Hometown City grew large enough to need another high school. Papa Hairball attended Hometown City High, as did Brother Hairball and myself. It feels quite strange to now live in Crosstown High's district.

Mr. Hairball is constantly hearing talk of how Crosstown High School is so much better than Hometown City High in regards to X,Y, and Z, and any instance where Hometown City High School actually is doing better, is regarded as a case of bad data or some other excuse.  I guess heads would explode if someone broke down and admitted that Crosstown High is usually better at X and Hometown City High is usually better at Y. *shrugs*

I drove out to see the old homestead a couple of weeks ago. The new owners have made some changes and the old house looked nice. I hadn't done that in many years as I was afraid it would be painful to see new people living in "my house". Mama Hairball told me that they were a nice family and she felt they would take good care of the house. It looks like she was right. I had forgotten just how far out of town we used to live. It's about a half hour drive from our new apartment near Crosstown High out to the old place. Pretty much another world as far as I'm concerned. I passed a gentleman driving a pickup truck on the way down my old street, and he waved at me as I passed him. Can't remember the last time a stranger waved at me like that!

Mama Hairball asked me how the town had changed as she had moved away before the last oil boom happened, and I told her that the "affluent" side was now an unending sea of big box stores, strip malls, and chain restaurants.

I guess never being more than a block away from a chain restaurant is considered progress to some people.

Still unpacking, I'll post more later on.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Now where did I put the packing tape???

Dear Readers,

 Mr. Hairball has found a job!! The movers will be here on Tuesday so we are packing like crazy to meet the deadline. We are both achy and exhausted from packing and stacking boxes, but are extremely grateful that he has a job.  I'm going to need to take some time to get settled in the new place, but after we get settled in,  I'd like to start blogging again on a more regular basis.

Best to all,

Hairball T. Hairball

PS: We've never had "real" movers before, so I feel a little like Wheezy Jefferson when she and George moved into their "deluxe apartment in the sky".

PSS: Comments will continue to be moderated to keep out the spammers, so please don't fret if your comment takes a while to be approved. As long as your comment is not spam or obscene, it should make the cut.