On Hustles

It's not quite a hustle since I never sell anything, but I'm constantly amazed by the perfectly good stuff my neighbors throw out in my apartment building. Several times a year I'll find boxes of cleaning products or lamps with functioning CFL bulbs just sitting in the dumpster area. Usually this is around the end of the month when someone is moving out. My sister is a kindergarten teacher and I've outfitted her classroom with Rubbermaid storage containers, a Casio keyboard (still in its box), a set of four steel folding chairs, and strings of Christmas lights, all courtesy of my neighbors.

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm 1

On How a Stanford Professor Made A Really Good One-Cup Coffee Maker

I'm a fan of mine as well, though I haven't incorporated it into my daily routine as I'm less of a "one cup" and more of a "full thermos" guy. It's perfect for the weekends though.

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm 0

On Workplace Thievery

I've got a number of pens and notepads from the office scattered throughout my car and apartment and I've burned a few CD-Rs for my friends using the office supply. I also have pilfered a stamp or two over the years for thank you letter to my grandparents. Aside from that I'm pretty clean. The biggest theft of which I'm guilty is wasting time. Back in my college days I worked at a deli and while the owner did tell me that I was to pay for my own meals (discounted 50%) I only did that on the first night. After night two I was duly informed by the other managers that on-duty employees weren't expected to pay so long as they didn't take the full dinner break or leave. Basically the trade-off was that you stuck around in the store so you could help out in a rush and in return you could make yourself a sandwich or have some soup. After a few months there was little on the menu that even appealed to me anymore, so I'd say my employer made out in the long run.

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm 0

On A Triple Feature for When You're Feeling 30(ish) and Not Flirty and Not Thriving :/

I do love Revolution Brewing. I've got a growler that I refill from time to time, and I once had a very tasty bacon & egg sandwich at the bar.

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

I dropped a good chunk of cash ($190) Friday after work when I stopped by the winery near my office, justified internally because a) it's nice to support local businesses, and b) it's cheaper by the case. That will make for several gifts and a little left over for me. Saturday I picked up a new camera for my sister, pricey ($350) but she's had a rough year and a kindergarten teacher needs to take plenty of pictures while the kids are still adorable. I also bought a sandwich for lunch along with some licorice for my father ($11). Sunday was a snow day and I barely left the couch. My only accomplishment was watching the entire first season of Breaking Bad.

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am 0

On Living Without Credit Cards

@limenotapple I'm about the same. I had one in college but never used it, opting for a debit card and writing checks all the time. When I started my job I traveled a good deal and it was immediately apparent I needed to use the credit card for hotel reservations, out of state gas purchases, USPS fees, etc. I ended up applying for another card with a better rewards program that I use strictly for business expenses, so now all my stops at the liquor store don't show up when I submit an expense report. Plus I've racked up a good amount of rewards points and a shiny credit score off all the work purchases. My sister only got a credit card a couple years ago, after she got her debit card hacked after buying school books online. She's even more frugal than I am so it's rare that I see her using it. I gave her a bit of grief when she started writing a $8 check for flax milk at my co-op a month back.

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm 0

On My Credit Card Debt Is As Bad As Substance Abuse

@andnowlights Seconded.

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm 0

On Did You Have Any Idea Kai Ryssdal Was This Cool?

I love Marketplace and Kai but he'll always be downgraded a notch in my book based on his GIF pronunciation evangelism. History will judge him harshly on this account.

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm 0

On What Various People in Various Industries Wear to Work

I work for an engineering company and the definition of business casual here has the stereotypical engineer "flair" to it. I'm slightly ashamed to admit I'm wearing a short-sleeved white dress shirt with pleated khakis today. All I'm missing is the skinny tie and the horn-rimmed glasses. I also own at least 20 knit polo shirts, half with corporate logos on the breast.

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

Considering all that I did this past weekend I came off quite light. Friday I took off work and went to Chicago with a friend to catch one last Cubs game for the season. He paid for the tickets and wouldn't let me reimburse him since I drove, paid for parking ($5), and the CTA ($9). I bought one Old Style and a hot dog ($16) at Wrigley and coffee ($3) on the way home. Saturday I woke early and picked up coffee and scones ($9) at my local cafe and went downtown to the Dane County Farmers Market with a friend. I didn't buy anything but did enjoy the people-watching. I left my car at the ramp all day for $5 and met up with some others for lunch ($20) before the UW football game. We then walked to the pre-game tailgate where I had two beers ($13) and listened to UW Band. After the football game we stopped in for a drink on the walk back and I bought the round ($22). I called it an early night and skipped dinner with everyone else. Sunday I met up with an old friend for brunch and she insisted on paying as a birthday present despite the fact my birthday was over a month and a half ago. Then I drove down to visit my folks and help out with some yard work in exchange for dinner that night. Aside from the driving I didn't spend a cent.

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm 0