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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The S Word Was Spoken

I didn't want to interrupt my saga about moving, so I'm posting this well after the fact, but I thought it was kind of amusing.

I was born and raised in Minnesota. I spent most of my life there. I've driven in snow since I was old enough to have a license. Hell, I drove in two feet of snow. I bitched about it, but I did it. And then I moved to Georgia.

After 6 years (SIX?!? OMG!) in Atlanta, I've started reacting like everyone else does here when I heard a forecast of snow. As I'm writing this, the National Weather Service has predicted snow for Friday night, maybe up to an inch. In Minnesota an inch of snow is called a nuisance. This is not the case down in Georgia.

Grocery shopping day is normally on Saturday morning. I'm now grocery shopping on Thursday just in case the snow starts earlier than expected on Friday. And yes, there's bread and milk on the list, but only because we needed bread and milk. :-) No eggs. This is actually not crazy. After Snowmageddeon when people were trapped in their cars for 24 hours or abandoned their cars on the freeway and walked off, I've erred on the side of caution. (BTW, I was not trapped in my car, but it did take my van pool 3.5 hours to get home, making it the longest snow-related commute I've ever experienced.)

I can already imagine the chaos at the grocery store, if not on Thursday when I'm planning to go, then definitely on Friday. Part of me is still sitting here mentally shaking my head over the thought of rearranging my whole schedule for one inch of snow. Let's pretend one inch of snow equals 12 inches of snow in Minnesota. You know what I would do if they predicted a foot of snow in Minneapolis? I'd buy gas, period. Not one other thing.

But I'm not in Minneapolis anymore. I'm buying the groceries.

Edited to add: We got 3/4 of an inch of snow overnight. You can still see the grass through the snow. The Minnesotan in me scoffed at this pitiful amount. The person who's seen how they drive in Atlanta is grateful this was a Saturday morning.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rip Off

On Tuesday I mentioned that I watch television in the gym while I'm working out and I talked about my guilty pleasure. Today I'm going to talk about shows that I have a problem with.

So when I watch TV in the gym, I really don't have a lot of time to search for something to watch. It hurts my speed on the machine. This means I only watch two channels (because of the previous button): The History Channel and The Travel Channel. If the Travel Channel has a food show on, I automatically watch whatever is on History. This has led me to see two shows that I've seen and heard about, but had never watched before: American Pickers and Pawn Stars.

Pawn Stars I just flat out disliked. Hard. In the episode I watched, a man came in to buy a sword that they'd purchased for $500 and were selling for three times that. The guy says he's seen them online for around $800. The Pawn Stars guy talks the buyer into $1000. Yes, double what they paid for it originally.

I know pawn shops work this way--they take advantage of the person who wants to sell their item and rip off the person who wants to buy it--but what I don't understand is why we're glorifying this greed. Blech! I'll probably watch the Weather Channel (the only other channel number I know) the next time my choices are a food show or Pawn Stars. I don't like to watch people being taken advantage of.

American Pickers is a little tougher for me because the guys driving around in the van seem like they're pretty good guys. Except they find older men who have been collecting things for decades and then pay them much, much less than the item is worth. Or try to anyway. I always feel bad for these old men. Not only are they losing something they've been collecting, they're not even getting a fair price for it.

I totally understand making a profit, but seriously obscene profit is another matter entirely. If you can sell an item for $1000, don't be offering some old man $300 for it, and then when he counters at $800, be telling him that it's too much. Bullshit. A $200 profit on a single item is more than adequate compensation. I have even less sympathy for the Pawn Star people because as far as I could see, they don't even drive around the country looking for stuff, so they don't have that overhead. People bring the stuff to them.

I'd like to like American Pickers, but I just can't get past how little they want to pay for items that are worth double or more what they're willing to pay. How much profit is enough? Especially if the man you're trying to purchase it from has already done all the restoration?

Anyway, I just find it so disheartening to see these television shows where it's predicated around the stars taking advantage of ordinary people. I always cringe when I see the final value of the item.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Latest Guilty Pleasure

Some of the equipment at the gym as televisions mounted on it, and to pass the time, I put something on and do my thing. The problem is that I don't know the channel assignments, and since I'm on my lunch hour, I don't have time to ditz round and figure them out. I never did find HGTV. :-( I have figured out the channel numbers, though, for the Travel Channel and History Channel.

This is how I got hooked on my latest guilty pleasure TV show: The Dead Files Revisited.

A psychic who can talk to the dead and a retired New York City police detective investigate places where people say there are ghosts/spirits/demons or whatever. The psychic and the detective work separately, so neither knows what the other one is learning, and before the psychic arrives, all identifying information is covered up or removed so she can't riff off a picture or something. Then, at the end, they do a reveal where they meet with the property owner and compare notes.

I am hooked! I never record anything because I don't watch it. I do DVR this show and I actually do play it back. One time I did the really stupid thing of playing it late on a Saturday night...during a heavy rainstorm. It happened to be a scary episode too and I stayed up a couple extra hours because I was spooked. :-)

My biggest frustration is that The Travel Channel doesn't have Dead Files on often enough! More, more, more!

And of course Netflix doesn't have this show. They never have anything I want to watch. Sigh.

Trying something new here. I've recorded what I wrote in this blog. Mostly. It's not exact. If you like it, head over to my Facebook page and let me know. If you don't like this, let me know that as well. If it doesn't work, I'm sorry and I don't know how to make it work. This is a test. :-)

Thursday, January 04, 2018

New Year, New Planner

One of the things I love most about a new year is starting my new planner! In 2017, I had a planner in a binder which had a huge benefit--Saturday and Sunday had their own pages--but one enormous drawback. I could only fit two months in the binder and I wanted my whole year in one place.

For 2018, I went back to a spiral planner, and while I'm sad that Saturday and Sunday are on the same page again, it gives me peace to have my whole year accessible.

I've already gone through my planner and added some stickers: I use dividers to add some space to the weekends, I put a "Weekend" sticker over the header they have on the bottom half of the page (who the hell makes a grocery list in their planner anyway???), I added "water the plants" stickers, and stickers for all the holidays.

They've made a few tweaks to the 2018 planner that I'm struggling to get used to like the glasses of water. I used to just draw a line through each glass I drank, now they're little bubbles. Do I color them in? Do I still cross them out? I've tried both and can't decide.

Also, in 2017 they did away with the check off boxes and I got used to using a highlighter to cross through the things I accomplished. This year the check boxes are back, and while I loved them in 2016, I am having a hard time remembering to use them this year. I'm sure I'll get back on track with this in no time, but for now, I'm struggling.

This year I also bought a second planner, one that's strictly for budgeting. While my regular planner does have a budget component, it isn't working for me. This budget planner has a number of features I think will be helpful, including recording what you spend each day. A bit cumbersome, but after moving this year, I'd like to restore my savings account to where it was before I paid for all the stuff on the old house, as well as the new house.

And I've ordered a writer's planner. I have two other ones that I didn't use (I think both are undated), but I'm still ever hopeful that this one will click more for me.

I don't know about three planners, though. I'm good with one, but I've fallen down in the past when I've tried to segment my life. 2017 is littered with the fitness planner (I just kept track of this stuff in my regular planner), two writer planners (see above), a business/goals planner, and a personal/emotional goals planner. None of which I used past March. Some didn't make it out of January.

Here's hoping I can stick with the budget planner and that this new writer planner clicks for me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Farewell Old Friend

I'm writing this the day I signed the contract on the offer to sell my former home. Even though I know that keeping it isn't an option--I do not want to be a landlord--I still feel sad about the sale.

When I sold my house in Minnesota to move to Georgia, I thought I'd never love another house as much as I loved that one. It was a custom home that I'd had built and I'd chosen the counters, the lighting, the appliances--everything. I expected my house hunt in Atlanta to be long and excruciating and I thought I'd drive my Realtor crazy.

But that wasn't what happened. We looked at three homes and then met with a builder's agent on a ranch (on a basement) in a new subdivision. This was literally the last house they had. And the more the builder's agent talked, the more panicky I became. My Realtor noticed this, hustled us out of there, and on the car ride back to where I was living, I asked if she could set up a second viewing of one of the homes we'd seen that day.

My house. Or what would be my house.

It had this serene retreat in the backyard. I literally couldn't see my neighbors in the summer. I had a good-sized kitchen and lots of cabinets, and one of my favorite things was the massive master closet I had. There were enough racks to hang all my clothes and shelving for my hats and purses and whatnot. I had a powder room, which I loved, and a covered back patio to sit out and enjoy my backyard retreat. If this house had been on a level lot, I would have stayed there forever.

But it was on a super steep hill--literally the only thing I couldn't live with. I have bad knees and my dad moved in with me after my mom died. I didn't want him going up and down that driveway everyday, but he did that because he wanted to get the mail. I couldn't tell him not to leave the house.

And so we looked for a new home and found one that has enough storage space (my former home did not have enough storage, not even close) and is designed in a way that feels as if there is more separation between the bedrooms, although I think it's about the same.

I'm hoping someday I love the new house as much as the one I'm selling, but today I'm mourning the loss of my home.