Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm not so paper anymore

On April 8 I wrote that I still maintained a paper calendar.

I am changed woman, principally because I have a new job. With this job came the technology to more easily support electronic calendar keeping, and a staff that embraces it. Among the people with whom I work, there is a sense of obligation to keep seeking more efficient ways to do tasks in less time and with easier access to electronic record keeping.

Additionally in my new job more of the correspondence comes to me electronically than in my previous position, so the transfer of incoming information to information saved on the calendar is easy.

To reference one of my mantras, time is money, using technology as we are is making us a better team.

My advice: push yourself into using an electronic calendar. It'll give you more time for other activities . . . like blogging!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No Clothes, No Docs

I swore off buying new clothes in December of 2008. So far since then I have bought some socks, underwear, and one pair of shoes (for $20, originally $139) that I bought on an impulse and really need to take to the consignment store.

I technically have bought a couple of more dresses since I have some special events coming up, but I have not worn them and will count them as bought when I first wear them in public.

My 2010 resolution is to go to no medical professionals except for eye and dental care. I have gotten through more than a quarter of this year and so far, so good.

Last year I had an annual exam with no findings. I had to have an additional diagnostic test after my mammogram last year. I have a high deductible, so I had to pay the bill (adjusted after Blue Cross/Blue Shield review, to note). I have made a mental accounting that I used my this-year-mammogram budget on that second test last year.

I have been very blessed with good health. I can count on two hands the days that I have taken off for sick leave in the 18 years since I came back to work after staying home with the children (and this counts the time taken off to go to regular exams). Some of that time was for physical therapy on my leg after I decided that at age 47 I was going to start running. I don't run anymore, so I won't have to face those bills and that time off. Common sense can save so much money.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can Never Retire

Realistically, I do not think that I can retire ever. However, I don't think I am off as bad as the AARP retirement calculator figures. I input that I will retire at age 90, the oldest age it will calculate. It determined that I will have to have 3.5 million to retire. Even I go straight to the most expensive long-term care facility and live ten years, I do not think that I will need 3.5 million.

Try it yourself:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A slave of Microsoft

So life was ok. I had a really cheap week. Then I started getting Word and Excel files I couldn't open because my versions were too old. So I downloaded the temporary version of Microsoft Office. It reminds my a lot of Vista. A lot of fru-fru. It seems as if it takes more keystrokes to do what you need to do. The temporary ran out, but I can't get to the old versions, so now I cannot do any work on Word of Excel. I decided to go and talk to a real person about my problem, so I chatted with a Staples employee while I was out there getting my free ream of paper that was available this week. Yep, he confirmed it. Microsoft has shut me down. They had what I needed for a mere $144! Awful!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The calendar--I am still a paper gal

I recognize the advances that electronics have made. Considering that I went to secretarial school and actually worked as a secretary for seven years, I am a lousy typist. My life was under a cloud until word processing came into my life.

I believe that coordination of people's activities effect efficiency. However, I have yet to come to using an electronic calendar. The only thing that is stopping me is that I staple the source document to the page of the event, and I carry my calendar with me to my meetings. I don't type into my calendar, so I don't have the opportunity to make mistakes in the input. Most importantly, I have the source document at the event. There are many nuggets of information that are in letters of invitation.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

For us, the "happenin' now" is the Dogwood Arts Festival

If you haven't noticed or if you have not paid much attention to the Dogwood Arts Festival recently, give it another look. It is really turning into something wonderful.

My husband and I have an appreciation for the performing arts, but we are visual arts people; so I will speak to that part of the Dogwood Arts Festival. We live on Gay Street, and one afternoon last week my husband called me, very excited, when "our piece" had just been installed right outside our entrance. Isaac Duncan, Jr.'s "Threaded" is beautiful, just as are all the pieces throughout downtown, as part of the Dogwood Arts "Art in Public Places" program.

We have Marty and Jim Begalla to thank for their sponsorship of this display. I am so appreciative of individuals, who are in the position to support such endeavors, who unselfishly give in ways that make all our lives better. Their sponsorship is a true gift to residents and visitors of this city. Please take the time to enjoy downtown Knoxville and take in the "big art." This is a Thrifty-and-Proud-of-It endorsement, because the experience of looking at art in public places is free. FYI to all your thrifters, parking in city garages is free in the evenings and on the weekends.

Another component of the DAF arts offerings (free also!) is Joe Parrott's show at the News Sentinel building. The News Sentinel built some very nice gallery space in their relatively new facility, and they routinely have "good stuff" there. I am very partial to Joe's work; and while I must confess that I have not gotten up there yet, I definitely will. For us who have lived around here for a while, Joe's work will take us down Memory Lane. This emphasis on the subject matter should not diminish the experience of taking in his impressionistic style.

Check out www.dogwoodarts.com There is so much going on!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Those ------ traffic cameras

To me, Summit Hill crossing Henley used to be just a street. Now I approach it, sometimes twice daily, with teeth clinched and hands tightly gripping the steering wheel. I fear the camera.

Twice I have slammed on the brakes. Unfortunately my husband was in the car and . . ., well let's just say he would NOT have slammed on the brakes.

So far no greeting from the city has come in my mailbox. I have known numerous people how have gotten these tickets. Most of them are turning right on red with stopping. Come on! One of them was at 6:10 a.m. with no other car in sight.

$50 is a significant pop to a budget. Avoid the ticket. Stop on red, count to five and then turn.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Save the Gvt. some money: Fill in the Census Form

If everyone completed their Census form and sent it in, just think how many fewer workers the government would have to hire to come knocking on those non-compliants' doors next month!

The form is very simple, but it is very important to me as a citizen and in my professional position. First off, as an American I am duty-bound to participate. Secondly, census numbers ultimately impact the funding that goes to my agency, which is heavily federally-funded.

However, we know that many people will either throw away the census form or lose it before it gets filled in and sent, so those throngs of short-term employed will be calling on people in the near future. I know that many of these census workers need these jobs, so this will alleviate some of their financial woes, if just for a little bit.