woof

Back in 2001 I bought a bunch of Apple stock at $22. I sold it earlier this year near $50. I suspect it will keep going up even further, with rumors bouncing around about IBM selling off it's PC line of computers to an Asian company. IBM makes all the PowerPC chips that go in Macs, so I wonder what they are up to….
Selling Apple is fine, as I still own some in my mutual funds, and bought some more today when I diversified my IRA with a new mid-cap fund that includes Apple.
Then I was going to get out of online trading altogether. I have an account at the company I helped build an online web trading system for back in 1996, so it's mega cheap and fun to use the pages I helped build. I called them and found out what I had to send to close out the account.
Then I impulse bought Sirus in October with the Apple money at $4.09. It's at $8.09 today. I'm planning to hold until Howard Stern goes on the air with them, or it hits some predetermined number I have yet to decide upon. I doubt it will hold such an increase until Stern goes live; it's intended to be a long-term buy the way Apple was so that doesn't matter. But I can't say I'm not happy about the rise. Mostly, this post is to remind me through the next few months as we battle through the small wall of financial tasks, and I do the silly thing of buying outrageous Duran Duran tickets that I did earmark money for, but am tempted to hold in savings "just in case," that I set myself up to move forward with my financial goals, even as we backpedal a little in the immediate savings in the bank through the next few months…until DLJ gets a job, or we get past the end of year hill o' bills. I'm going to work hard on outside projects to replenish the Duran fund once it's used, with my regular web gig and also creating a new site for our realtor, she is interested in such a thing.

Monday…

Yes, I was right. Yesterday I was a Halo2 widow. But it was DLJ's birthday and he could spend it however he wanted to! We got back from brunch around 12:30 or 1, I'd say. And besides breaks for dinner or snacks, DLJ played Halo2 until around 10:30. Needless to say, he REALLY likes it. It looks fun. I was hoping the icky Flood wouldn't be in it so could play and not be squicked out by the little tumor guys with bugs in them, but somehow they don't look AS gross to me as they did in the first Halo. So maybe someday I can play it all the way through. I am making him not tell me the plot in case I do play.

Wow. I've been so busy. I didn't even notice I've been online journaling for over eight years now. Maybe when the big 1-0 comes around I'll pay more attention.

This weekend was full of activities and fun, despite starting out grumpily on Friday. But by dinner things were better. By the time we got in the car for dinner things were better, even. And we went to <lj user="giantfightbot">'s house, where we enjoyed a wonderful pork tenderloin with him and his loverly woman. They have a cute old house in the NE section of Portland, and they had done some really cool things to it, redoing a bathroom and having a friend make a neat railing to the second floor complete with wide post tops for cat butts. I brought a salad and we talked and sipped wine before venturing out to the Honors bar at the Kennedy School. There was a "psychic" on the other side of me in the teeny bar, who dominated her conversation with her small group, on and on and on about her spirits. Uh huh. How come psychics never seem to have normal, everyday folks when they talk about it? This woman was no different, she communed with war leaders from Arab lands and other dignitaries of stature. What, a simple farmer isn't wanting to bust out to the living, too?

Saturday during the day DLJ and I went to a holiday sale at the studio where one of my glass instructors works. She had described it for me once in class, but it was nothing like I envisioned, it was way better! In a building with a coffeehouse, flamenco studio, buddhist center, non-profits and other dance and work space she and at least one other woman shared a large room with many kilns and a few torches. The building was a very neat hive of activity and work, it was great! I didn't buy anything but took inspiration from what I saw, both from a marketing standpoint and a project one. I really need to get some small molds for myself.

After that we went to Bullseye, as one bright point on Friday was receiving my first commission for a finished necklace, based on photos they had seen of the few I have made. Yay! They wanted black, red and amber, and I needed to fetch some red glass. While there I got a few squares of sheet glass to make a gift for my sister in law, which I will work on this week to send out early next week. I couldn't resist some of the off-lot colors available, when Bullseye makes a strange but functional batch, they just sell till it is gone, and they had a rod called "galaxy blue" that was very cool. I also sang the "galaxy GLUE" song from "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" in my head all afternoon as a result.

So much more to write, about dessert that night, but must get to work. More later.

PS. The city agreed the sidewalk in question was not in front of our house. Better yet, they decided the damage by the hydrant was made by the water dept when they installed the newish hydrant. We don't have to fix it, the city will.

DLJ's bday

Brunch with many friends at Zell's, DLJ was really happy to have folks come out and celebrate. Now we are home, and I am officially a Halo2 widow. I'm making his cake as soon as the ingredients are at room temp, maybe I should go make some glass while waiting…..

More later about friends over last night, and friends Friday. Very friendly weekend!

ALERT ALERT ALERT

Duran Duran 2005 Tour Dates:

Feb 8 Puerto Rico Coliseo De Puerto Rico
Feb 11 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Office Depot Center
Feb 12 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
Feb 13 Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville VM Arena
Feb 16 Hidalgo, TX Dodge Arena
Feb 17 Austin, TX PAC
Feb 19 Dallas, TX Nokia @ Grand Prairie
Feb 20 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Feb 22 Mexico City, Mexico National Auditorium
Feb 23 Monterey Mexico Arena Monterey
Feb 25 San Diego, CA San Diego Sports Arena
Feb 26 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
March 2 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
March 4 Vancouver, BC GM Place
March 5 Spokane, WA Spokane Opera House
March 7 Calgary, BC Saddledome
March 8 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place
March 9 Seattle, WA Everett Center
March 10 Portland, OR Rose Garden
March 12 Salt Lake City, UT Delta Center
March 13 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock
March 16 Denver, CO Magness Arena
March 18 Chicago, IL Allstate
March 20 Louisville, KY The Palace Theater
March 22 St. Paul, MN Excel Center
March 23 Moline, IL Mark of the Quad
March 24 Detroit, MI The Palace
March 26 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Music Hall
March 28 Columbus, OH Veterans Memorial Aud.
March 29 Cleveland, OH CSU Convocational Center
March 30 Verona, NY Turning Stone Event Center
April 1 Boston, MA Agganis Arena
April 2 Philadelphia, PA The Spectrum
April 3 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Casino
April 5 Toronto, ON ACC
April 6 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
April 8 Fairfax,VA (D.C.) Patriot Center
April 9 Wilkes-Barre, PA Wachovia Arena
April 10 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Casino
April 13 New York, NY Madison Square Garden

To celebrate their tremendous success in the live arena, in spring '05, a live DVD/CD package will be released that was shot at the band's final London Wembley Arena concert in May 2004. The show – which broke the house record for attendance – was one of 17 sold out arena shows in the UK. Accompanied by a live CD from the same show, the DVD will include Duran Duran's classic hits plus material from Astronaut, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The DVD/CD was produced by Coming Home Studios and will be distributed in the U.S. through Rounder/Zoe.

update

DLJ thinks the interview went very well. Yay! He also got a contract nibble through his agency for something at Intel. Maybe that will turn into an interview! Yay!

Tonight, attempting to see a friend's performance, going to dinner at another couple's house. Saturday, maybe my artist's way meeting, going to a studio sale of my glass instructor's, having more friends over for wine, glass beads and more, Sunday, DLJ's birthday brunch. Are we busy or what? I need to make a cake in there somewhere, too.

more bills

DLJ finally went to the dentist. And it stings. Literally thousands of dollars of work over the next year. I TOLD him to go more often. He has bad genetics from his mom that gave him crappy gums, he takes really good care of his teeth, but hasn't been getting those bi annual cleanings to do preventative work and slow things down, so now its all at once.

Also, the city spray painted the sidewalk near a hydrant right between us and our neighbors, a pink color. That means we have to pay to get it repaired. They sent me a thing saying I had to repair, but it wasn't for my house, the photo showed cracks near trees in the small strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, and we have no trees there. So on the one hand, we got out of that one, but on the other, they might come back and say right, ok, but you have to fix THIS. And we need to get a $70 permit from the town before we can hire someone to fix it. Nice, huh?

Ordinarily, no problem. But one-income, property taxes in January, thousands of dollars of dental work…
Let's say I am not the happiest camper right now and have fantasies of other lives (like that limo driver in monte carlo one) flitting through my head. We'll be fine and slog through all this…but if we weren't paying off a small chunk of debt that I harbor small amounts of resentment over at the same time it would be a lot easier, and I'd be a lot happier.
Such is life.

To counterbalance this, my agency came by my place of employ yesterday. They met me and my boss here and talked a bit. They called me a "valuable find" when they heard more about what I do here, and what my skillset is. Today we got email from them:

"Thank you so much for the time you and Lunesse were able to spend with us today. It was very helpful and gave us a better understanding of the kinds of projects your department is working on. If you should have any needs in 2005 I would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Your enthusiasm for your product is delightful and I'm confident I have another Lunesse, but those types are few and far between."

That brightens the day a little as I try to sort out when we can manage to do all these things we have to pay for.

Oregon is home more than I thought.

Yesterday I went on a trip to a biz meeting in Hood River, Oregon, further east than I had gone before in the state.The town reminded me of Northern Exposure, small, cute, snug, but right on the Columbia River. In the summer, it's jammed with windsurfers, something I keep reminding <a href="http://www.thomasdolby.com">Thomas</a> of in my attempts to get him to come up and visit.
It was lovely. If I were single and fed up with city life, I'd look into seeing if I could do small townsville there. But it's a great place to visit and I look foward to going back in Spring to see the apple orchards blossom. The meeting went well, and we walked up the main street to the 3 Rivers for lunch. It's a small enough town that it shuts down in winter to a degree, but it's toting itself as a ski town, so that might change a little over time.
The ride to and from was very nice in a coworker's tricked out Mercedes, the waterfalls were flowing and the sky was clear enough to allow the brilliant greens of the moss and trees to pop off the rocks.
When I got home, I went to Home Depot to check on something for the holidays, and talked to my Mom in the parking lot on my phone. I told her I had gone to Hood River that day. "Did you say hi to all your relatives?"

Huh?
Aren't I the trailblazer to Oregon for this family?
Apparently not.
George T. Prather, from whose line sprung my Dad's mother, was one of the first settlers of Hood River, one of the first postmasters, and started the first paper, the <i>Glacier</i>. Mom says he was the first white guy to get married in Hood River, but I can't verify that. The current paper, the <i>Hood River News</i>, calls the <i>Glacier</i> it's predecessor.
I guess if I ever decide to relocate to Hood River it will give me street cred against all the tourists and recent arrivals. And it shows, maybe, where the writing/journalism bug came from!
Neat. It's nice to live somewhere with family history, especially history that is a complete suprise, in such a neat little town.
Yo, Prather, good to meet ya. You sound like a cool guy, postmaster and paper -startup man. I will have to do more research and see if I can find out more.
All around neato! In terms of settling down roots, this makes me feel a lot more at home and connected to this newish state of mine.