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Archive for July, 2010

I FINALLY got my snail mail inbox to zero

July 25th, 2010 at 07:04 pm

What a relief! I may as well go ahead and admit this - I found $1000 of Flexible Spending checks in there. I guess I thought they were just EOB forms. BAD Ralph! I am such a dweeb! Anyway, it took almost all day, but it was a good way to hang out in the AC and get some long overdue work done.

So now I am ready for the long haul, to KEEP the darn thing at zero. I do of course still have a "hold" bin, but at least now I know there is nothing but filing and low priority stuff in there. Of course my files also filled up again, so I expanded into another plastic container, and man, is it ever nice to have a working file system again. Up until today, I stacked the overflow on TOP of the main set of folders, so it was too painful to move the stuff to file. Now it is all clear and ready to use.

I got in the mood because I cleaned up at work Friday and that also felt great. And that was prompted by my memory of a guy at work asking for something, and as I pulled it out of one of my slovenly desk stacks, he asked - "I wonder what else is in there?".

A word to the wise... Smile

Goodbye to bottled water (almost) PURFilter is nice!

July 18th, 2010 at 01:54 pm

Our tap water has a bad enough taste (mainly from chlorine) that we used to buy those 2.5 gallon jugs of water. But since we started using a PURFilter oval pitcher, that has stopped, except of course for the portable bottles. So besides the substantial savings, we are generating less waste, and both are nice frugal things to do.

There only real downside is that sometimes the filtering can be a little slow, as the filter gets older. Being cheap as heck, of course I planned to replace the filter way less than the recommended 1-2 month interval, since it is just being filtered for taste. I figure I would taste any breakthrough. But that plan looks like it is being jeopardized because the filter getting slow as it ages is a problem because then the unfiltered water gets poured out before the filtered water when used if the top section hasn't drained down yet. And man, is there ever a difference in filter price depending on where you buy it. At our local Shop-rite, one is $12.99! Versus about $6.50 or so at Amazon.

I find this pitcher a lot more aesthetic than having one of those big contraptions on the faucet, but who knows, I may do that later. But for now, I am very happy with it.

Shelf life - it is important!

July 5th, 2010 at 11:13 am

I had sort of an epiphany today as I was cleaning up some old grapes after being away for a while. Just about everything has a shelf life, and it can be very costly to ignore that fact. In an ideal world, we would review everything at an appropriate interval to ensure that it is still good. Sounds easy, right? But as refrigerators everywhere can attest, it certainly isn't!

The problem for me is that it can get quite tedious. Checking the garden for the need for watering, for instance.

I'm guessing there is no easy answer! But I suspect it is like exercise - you need discipline, and it has to be fun. Any ideas?

Oh, and here is a good example where knowledge is power in this area.
http://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/7/page:1

And that site also makes a very good point - on some products, even a use by date is just for taste reasons, seldom safety. But sometimes it is! This area needs work. My suggestion (and I am serious here) is a "use by or get sick or die date". But realistically, if we just standardized on "Best By" dates for non-safety, we could restrict "Use by" strictly to safety issues, like milk. etc.