Thursday, December 11, 2008

To Do - 12/10/2008

Read the RFP for Arlington count handed to me yesterday and create a Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) for the proposal.

Talk to Joe Robinson about the RTM.

Talk to Glenn about the Robohelp project I am to work on.

Send McDowell an offer for the 6.32 Acres in Cacapon. Call tax office to find out how much she owes in taxes.

Job Search:
Research SQL tuning for DBA position sent my K-Force this morning.

Thank Susie for doing such a good job of packing a nice lunch every single day!

Call Pocomoke City to find out about water bill.

Babysit either at home or in New Market so Michelle and Enoch can attend Bridal Shower.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Things to do list

I need to make a list of things to do. I'll just use this blog as a convenient place. It's not like anyone reads this anyway...:-)

SQL Server tasks: Allow mulitple rates for the Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals Caculator based on time of year or holiday. 
  • Either add new fields to the Cottage table for Winter Rate and Summer Rate and Holiday rate
  • RateSummerWeekday, RateSummerWeekend, RateWinterWeekday, RateWinterWeekend, RateHoliday
  • or, create a new table that just contains rates and link it to the Cottage table
  • Rate_ID, RateType, RateAmount, CottageCode
  • RateType is a lookup code for type of rate (winter weekend, summer weekend, holiday, ...)
  • I'll have to create some way to figure out if  it is a holiday weekend.
Send mailing to the Morgan county landowners that live in MD, VA and DC.
Send a sample mailing to landowners that live in Morgan count to test response differences

Clean my desktop off. Get the Apprentice Desk Organizer from Staples. Clean and organize the home office.   

Go to Eastern shore and put up a For Sale By Owner sign at my Pocomoke City property. Also put up a For Rent sign.  Fix hole in Ceiling in middle bedroom in Pocomoke house.

Put up christmas lights in the mid size tree in front of my house in such a way as to simulate Palm tree branches. Maybe it will work better on the small willow tree.

Buy new set of pots and pans at Costco for Nestled Pines Chalet and deliver them to the house.

Buy and put up a Christmas tree.

Check oil on Celica (I know it must be low)

Wish List:
Get new fridge for NPC
Get new fridge and dishwasher for QO Condo
Get new windows for QO condo

Monday, September 29, 2008

Financial Meltdown - 9/29/2008

Wow! What a day on Wall street and the Capital! Here is the vote tally:
FOR the Bailout:
140 Dems
65 Reps

AGAINST the Bailout:
94 Dems
133 Repubs.
The nays have it.

As you can see, if the democrats were more united, they could easily have gotten it passed since they has 65 Republicans on their side. But Nancy Pelosi poison-pilled it by being totally partisan and blaming the Republican White house on everything! Even though it came to a head under the watch of the Democratic Congress and most everyone agrees that the Federal Reserve Policy of low interest rates cause the housing bubble that led to this fiasco. Rather, than lead at the crucial moment when every vote was needed to pass this staggering $700 Billion bill, Pelosi thought she could play partisan politics with the Republicans and still get her way. Just watch the first couple of minutes and tell me she wasn't being partisan.

She fails to mention anything about 9/11/2001 as a possible cause for anything related to the budget.

As it turned out, "Main Street", as the media calls it, was overwhelmingly against the bailout and they made sure their congressman knew it. Since all spending bills must constitutionally come from the House of Representatives, the representatives did their job Representin' and defeated this bill. Give it up for the US Constitutional form of Government!

Here are some things that stick out in my mind about this whole drama that has been playing out for the last week.

Democratic Representative Barney Frank was showing indignation last week because the Republicans had the nerve to propose an alternate plan after the "leaders" already agreed on the massive spening plan. Well, excuse me Mr. Frank. But we are talking about spending or rather printing $700 BILLION dollars! I'm sorry I couldn't come up with an alternate plan a day sooner for your taste. Did it interupt your dinner plans? Hello? $700 Billion Dollars! Are we on the same planet?

Flooding the economy with that kind of free money will only further devalue the already meager dollar. At what point does the Federal government say what most everyone else has to say in their lives every day. 'We just can't afford it'? We are already living on borrowed money. Deficit spending. We just don't have the money for this. Sorry. We are fighting two wars, paying billions already in interest on the National Debt; my pockets are empty.

I'm willing to ride this out even if the value of my house goes down. So, why can't you?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Clutter-free Environment

Since moving to Fairfax in November, I have had the chance think and do something about the clutter of years worth of accumulated clothes, knick knacks, 'collectibles', tools and more.

And now that my daughter is moving, she will have to deal with the issue for multiple reasons: selling the house, moving to a new house, not repeating past mistakes, etc. My son-in-law lived with a roommate for years before hooking up with my daughter. The first time I went to visit his apartment, he did not want to let me in because of the mountains of clutter stewn about the house. To be fair, his roommate shared in the guilt. My kids mother, Patricia, comes from a household of unrelenting clutter. My two kids were mostly raised in that environment, so they are more used to it. I was raised in a house where my mother pretty much single-handedly kept the place neat and the clothes clean and folded most of the time. So, although I have sustained various degrees of clutter as a bachelor for many years, I was never comfortable in it. But my upbringing trained me to expect help in that department from the female of the house, and I was rarely home long enough to stew in it so I could do what it took to get it under control.

Anyway, since I was moving, it was an excellent opportunity to separate the riff from the raff. I donated much clutter to the Salvation Army. This included collectibles that I bought for the purpose of ... collecting? A crockpot I bought at the Salvation army. I could not stand to just throw away something that I thought someone might want, so I donated it, including clothes, toy cars, McDonald happy meal toys, Kitchen appliances sitting in cabinets for year, books collecting dust, housewares, stoneware and maybe even an underwear! Ties. Pants. Shirts. Teeth molds.

But it wasn't enough. At the new house, Suzanne suggested that ALL the boxes (except for a few obvious ones), be put in a single unused bedroom in the basement. I had the movers put all the boxes in there in rows separated with enough space so I could walk between them and examine them any one at will. I could then unpack them piecemeal when time allowed, or a particular item or box was needed. This worked out pretty well.

Some books I felt I could not just throw out so I tried opening a seller's account on Amazon to see if anyone would want to buy any of them. Surprisingly, I sold one the very first night that I put it up. I have since sold another. I have many more I could list, but that takes time, although listing is fairly easy. (I smell a procrastination blog in my future). I think I will set up a rule, that if not sold within 60 days, I will de-list and donate. If you are interested in selling though Amazon, click here. To see the books I have listed, click here. Free delivery to the metro DC area. :-)

Unbelievably, my house is currently clutter-free in the all the living areas. Kitchen, LR, DR, bedrooms, family room (home office needs some work). I was even able to take out my entire Coco-Cola collection that I actively pursued back in the 1990s that have been in boxes in my previous home since 1999! They are all proudly displayed in the large basement family room in some glass-front shelves that are built into the wall!

With all this in mind, I found this article that motivated me to write this blog, that I will share with whoever is interested:

The Minimalist’s Guide to Fighting (and Beating) Clutter Entropy

By the way, there are still about 40 boxes in that basement bedroom that I am in no hurry to add them to my living environment. About a year ago, I actually started a site called to help people with this problem. The background picture is actually of my home desk as it looked at the time. Michelle even wrote an article for my site newsletter I had planned. But, my procrastination tendencies got the best of me, and there the website sits as you see it since September of 2006.

Here is Michelle's article:

Confessions of a Slob

Happy decluttering.