Showing posts from November 24, 2019

30 day challenge #1 - The Gym

In December, my goal is to go to the gym at least 5 times a week. The stretch goal is to go all 30 days in December (the gym is closed on December 25th.) For the normal weekdays when I'm at work, I will go to the gym straight away from work. I'll either pack my gym clothes and change at the end of the day at the office, or stop by my home, which is on the way to the gym from the office. Either way, I know for the weekdays, it will be work - gym - dinner - chores/hobbies. For the weekends or days I am off of work, I'll be more flexible with my time, which is both great and disastrous. It doesn't matter if I go at 9am or 10am or 3pm. But I know if I let myself slide, I'll start talking myself out of it. "I'm kind of hungry, so I'll go after I eat lunch" turns into "Well, I could use today as one of the days I won't go. After all, the goal is just 5 times a week instead of 6 or 7." So, I'll wake up, get my usual two cups of coffe

Created my 2020 Budget

Near the end of the year, I create a budget for the next year. I start with what I actually spent this year (using the average monthly spend for December) and decide if the categories I used are still useful, and if I need to decrease or increase the budget from what I spent this year. The categories I'm increasing: Rent (My lease is up in June. They may or may not increase my rent, but I want to be prepared for it if they do.) Internet/Phone (Spectrum raised their rates and I shopped around for cheaper plans - they don't exist after adding fees and taxes. I wish Google Fiber was an option!) Alcohol (I increased my budget for this a little bit, but I might not use it. I plan to drink more wine than beer, and wine is often more expensive than beer per serving.) Shopping (I severely underestimated what I would be shopping for - I bought a Halloween costume, accessories for my piano and gadgets for my kitchen, some clothes and board games and card games and flute books


I've had a great time visiting with others this week, and soon I'll wrap up and head home. It's been a fun and relaxing time, and I think I only checked my work email 5 times since I've been in Ohio, which is quite low for me. I'm looking forward to a few things soon - tomorrow is "Spreadsheet Day" - the last working day of the month, so I get to update my personal finance spreadsheet, and prepare for my December challenge, and Advent. I suppose I better start Christmas shopping as well! My December challenge is going to the gym at least 5 times a week. I'm hoping for every day that the gym is open, but I understand that sometimes things get in the way. I have dinner with one of my friends set for a day the office will be working a half day, so I'll have time to go to the gym, clean up, then head to dinner. I recently learned that in the 1939, 1940 and 1941 there were two Thanksgiving celebrated in the US. Originally, Thanksgiving was celebrat

Life seems quaint and quiet and calm in the Midwest

Visiting friends and family this week in the Midwest seems to have a different pace than the urban center in which I live. I feel like they enjoy life more and get a lot of satisfaction from a slower pace. I did that for 27 years before I moved to a city in the Southeast, and it's interesting to consider the different vibe. Most have children and are very close to their families. The friends that I spend time with in the Southeast are all transplants from other areas and don't have families in the area. In a way, we are selecting our friends as family because our original families are hundreds of miles away. Of my closest friends, their families are in Illinois, South Carolina, Louisiana, New York, England and mine are in Ohio and Michigan. It is a nice but different connection - we are likely closer because we don't have family to lean on for routine or frequent social engagements. However, it is always fun to visit friends and family back home!

Driving the Honda Insight while in Ohio

My parents bought a Honda Insight about ten years ago, a few months before I bought my Honda Fit. I was looking to buy a Fit for quite some time, but wanted to wait until my Chrysler Cirrus bit the dust. (It kind of did - a young girl in a VW Beetle didn't stop in a mall parking lot when she should have, and despite me slamming on my brakes, I hit her car's rear right side. Totaled my car. Unsure what happened with her car.) Moving on: I got some money from the insurance company, and put that toward a brand new, fantastic Honda Fit, which I've been driving for just over 10 years. The Honda Insight feels wider, likely because it sits lower than the Fit. They are the exact same width - 67 inches. The Insight is slightly longer, and the Fit is slightly taller. While the Insight is slightly better with gas mileage, I like the Fit. I really dislike the Insight's rear window - the hatch spoils the view. I'm sure my parents are used to it, but I like to have the least a

Quiet day on Monday - so I read.

Today will be a quiet day. I don't expect to meet with anyone except for my parents. I'm grabbing a few books that were mentioned over at the conference - Thomas LaRock's DBA Survivor and Grant Fitchey's SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning. I'm likely going to bounce between DBA Survivor and Make the Bread Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese. I'm in chapter 2 of DBA Survivor, and it's nice to see that the checklist of activities are ones that I already know about and do with some regularity at my job. I'm always comparing myself unfairly to my coworker, the DBA who has 25 years of experience being a DBA in different sized organizations, using Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. I grow more each year in knowledge, and the more I grow, the more I feel like there is much more to learn and then become proficient in. The thought for 2020 is to complete Brent Ozar's DBA Training course (Some of it I already know) and get fully certified as a Microsoft So

Back home, as in home!

After a week in sunny, warm Orlando (eventually it warmed up by the last half of the week) I've arrived at my parents' house in the not-so-warm and not-as-sunny Midwest. I'm glad I carried on my winter jacket, as it was warm as I stepped outside the baggage claim doors - temp was 39 and index was a breezy 30 degrees. I'm looking forward to a relaxing week after doing so much between the conference and two theme parks. I usually set up a schedule of people I have to see, but after last June when one of my brothers came to town (which rarely happens) I blocked out time just to spend with my parents and him instead of making the rounds. I ended up a lot more relaxed and happier that trip! I decided to change the schedule to see friends once a year instead of twice so that I can actually get a vacation in, instead of running from place to place.