10 December 2008

Pessimism, Pee in the Park, shuffling & Santa Ana squawking

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. - George F. Will

Photos today are courtesy of residents trying to preserve their lawns and stave off the damage wrought by
pet urine and other deposits.

The subject line shuffling refers more to $$ than stuff. Last year I'd said yes to a line of credit thinking that I would use it to start the MLIS programme. I didn't start the programme as planned due to Kali's diagnosis and vet bills so I didn't use any of the monies and the cheques just expired.

I'm not a big fan of taking on debt but with all the expenses of upgrading my network, tuition and the like hitting all at once, I was considering taking advantage of one of those offers and perhaps even using it this time. The alternative was to liquidate some already non-performing assets in my brokerage account.

What does that mean? I've been crunching numbers and re-crunching. Among the different scenarios I considered was not paying the server and other current card balances off in full this month but I couldn't justify paying even a couple days of credit card interest to preserve non-performing assets to keep the balance up in order to take advantage of the continuing opportunity for bargains in this troubled economic time.

I finally opted to go the liquidation (no reference today's pictures intended) route and spread the numbers across the non-performing (surprise I actually have one performing asset) although it was a near thing. Timing is so tight that if I hadn't done some additional account transfers I'd been looking at my first overdraft in decades.

Today my chequing account balance reached an historic low when two scheduled credit card payments hit one day before the brokerage account troops arrived. That is scary, scary stuff.

So what did I do yesterday? I took on debt and bought a lap top to meet the computing requirements for the degree programme. Dell and Citi bank were more than happy to finance the purchase and monthly payments are something I can work into the budget.

With a little luck and a lot of hard work, once I have a semester or so of coursework under my belt, I'll have current contacts and references to seek scholarship and grant support for the degree and take some of the pressure off. Until then, most of my academic references are either stale or expired.

With all the not quite as I'd planned progress on the 2nd, when I went back to work (read wilds of RB and day job) on the 3rd, I had already mostly determined that Knit@Nite was not going to be on my December schedule.

Since the ends woven in, wash and eyes embroidered phase of the duck/blanket combo still hadn't happened and the fish panels were still in disconnected mode (and they still are), I didn't have any completed items to show and with a tight cash flow story, the extra run to UTC/JCC and over long day when frankly I was near knackered was just not on.

Between the 3rd and the 5th, I didn't get much more than the number crunching and more Rubik's cube strategy planning done on the stable muck out. I more than made up for it on the weekend. Between the weather and the work, I was walking dehydrated wreck with a leaking faucet of a nose.

I am so, so over this Santa Ana give way to fog give way to Santa Ana weather. I know it isn't sympathetic to people dealing with "real" late Autumn weather but it's December, act accordingly you crazy climate.

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