1.31.2009

PG&E: less gas usage = credit on bill

I certainly like being rewarded for lowering my consumption of water (See save water and $180/year), so now it's now time for me to take the PG&E challenge and see if I can be rewarded for using less gas.
For ever percent you decrease your natural gas usage during January and February (compared to last year's usage I assume?), you'll receive an equal percent credit on your spring gas bill. To make a bigger difference, if you reduce usage by 10% or more, your savings jumps to 20%.
Last January I used 33 therms and last February I used 29 therms.... so I guess an average of 31 therms is my number to beat!
(We did have a few crazy warm bikini-weather days here in Jan, so that should work in my favor.)
This was posted at A Carnival of Everything Home

1.30.2009

annual $$ check-up

Exactly 364 days ago I calculated my net worth for the first time. I decided that it should be an annual ritual, like a financial check-up or check-in of sorts. However, I think I now understand why my brother recently sent me a link to shesgeeky . It's Friday night, and here I am writing about how I'm calculating my net worth! (Plus I'm doing it with a hand-held calculator, which probably makes me some kind of neo-Luddite geek...) I know there are plenty of net-worth calculator websites, MSNBC Calculator, NetWorthIQ , etc. but somehow it feels more satisfying for me to do by hand. Then there's the question, should I have to calculate it at all? I suppose I could enter all my financial and banking information (passwords too) into an online money management site like Mint and my net worth would automatically be calculated, up-to-date and available to be checked at any time. Hmmm... would I then want to check it all the time--like a person who gets on the scale to check their weight everyday?
For the time being, I like the perspective of looking back on the past year and seeing how I've done, especially since I can now say my net worth went up 10% since last year. A victory!
You can find this article posted at The Carnival of Financial Goals and The Carnival of Financial Planning.

1.29.2009

624

No, that's not my FICO score, but rather my Twitter Happiness Score !?! "Happytweets is a measuring stick for how positive, or happy, a particular Tweep is." Forgive me for being a bit slow on my twitterati lingo -- is a tweep like a peep like a person? This is all likely a bunch of @#$%, but I confess that I was pleased to see that my 624 for theparttimelife equates to Over The Top Happy! (not quite up to the 750 high-scorer status yet, so still some room for progress....)
http://twitter.com/theparttimelife

1.14.2009

micro-vacation

Whatever you want to call it, I am very grateful for my "day away" today. Due to an modified teaching schedule this week for exam week, I had the whole day off! With this Indian-summer-like winter weather, I decided to make the most of it and headed to the Carmel Highlands/Big Sur area to soak in the gorgeous coastline and wildlife. It was a day of light hiking, sitting, listening, watching, reading, writing... delicious time to just BE. Sooo worth it! It was interesting to me that I had to make a very conscious decision before I left this morning to not turn on the computer. (I don't really want to admit that I'm somewhat addicted.) But I did feel a minor sense of withdrawal from having nearly 20 hours with no screen time... HereI am -- back on the computer tonite. A day in paradise left me quiet and reflective but somehow now that 'the machine' is on, I quickly revert to multi-tasking mode and fill myself with email, online shopping, Scrabble, and writing in my blog. Perhaps I just need more practice with micro-vacations -- I'm going to challenge myself to go 'screen-less for a day' more often... and next time, the full 24 hours!

1.08.2009

swungover

A main reason I choose the part-time life is to be a person who isn't just constantly waiting for the weekend, vacation, or retirement to arrive. I was falling back into that trap a bit in '08 in spite of being part-time... but am getting back into the groove. Danced last night til nearly midnite without a care in the world because it's one of my no-work mornings.... ahhhh..... swinging, spinning, dipping to a live swing band is a great way to spend a Wednesday night. Now off for a morning ride on my red beach cruiser :)

1.03.2009

creating space

It was definitely feeling crowded in my brain at the end of '08 and I'm glad that some space has returned...
I got my carpets steam cleaned yesterday and it kicked off a flurry of clutter clearing, re-arranging, Goodwill donating, paper shredding, etcetera. They say that your outer physical world is often a reflection of your inner one -- while many would already call me a minimalist, this new layer of clearing is helping my mind have a much welcome fresh start for the new year. (Kat-naps and time to just "be" help a lot too.)
Too much clutter (physical or mental) and go-go-go, do-do-do energy do not help the creative me thrive; I am grateful for breathing space to return and invite my creative self to come out and play in '09!!!!