Feren (feren) wrote,

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Friday wrap-up...

Work was work. The bonus is that AC was only in for a half-day today, unfortunately he was in for the beginning half so we did have the staff meeting of pain. Two hours of suffering for me! There was a bright side to it all, though -- today was payday. I was momentarily perplexed when I saw that the direct deposit to my checking account was somewhere on the order of $150 less than usual, but then it occurred to me that I'd recently upped my 401(k) deduction via payroll to be twenty-five percent. That accounted for the sudden disappearance of that money, although it did raise the question of just how much money I'm putting into my plan every paycheck. The great part about the new checks we get is that everything is itemized in a sane, legible manner. When I took a look at pre-tax deductions I was a bit surprised to see that my deposit to my 401 for this pay period was over $600, and that I've put in over $6,000 so far this year for the plan. Holy crap, I had no idea I was taking that much money away from myself. I had a momentary mental tug-of-war where I debated the benefit of having a pre-tax deduction versus having access to approximately $500 more every paycheck. In the end good financial sense won out and I decided to leave my deduction where it is. It's a good thing my various funds are finally starting to turn around and show some profit, that certainly did help cinch the deal. Let's hope this trend continues, I could certainly use some good news on one of my investment fronts. It's true that my Roth IRA isn't doing badly, but it could be doing a lot better, and as for my stock purchases... let's not go there. When I finally sell them off it'll be a blood bath, the only upside of that being that I'll have one immense tax write-off.

Ra is doing his little act where he drapes over the back of my chair, lays his forepaws over my shoulder and then rests his chin upon them. The fact that he's purring like a wild thing makes this intolerably cute and relaxing. He's also trying to knead my collarbone, and I'm quite glad at this point that he's front-paw declawed.

Another good thing of note for today: Shanedoll (a coworker of mine who has been known to lurk about my journal and post comments now and then) sent me a $5.00 gift certificate from Amazon. Seems he feels that I deserve to have a stiff drink bought for me when my birthday comes around, but he won't be able to buy me that round so he decided to apply the money somewhere else. I of course seized onto the gift with a great deal of thanks and then went on a shopping spree across the music section. When the dust finally settled I had two separate orders in, all of them for music. The first order is the one I applied the gift certificate towards, and included "Tubular Bells 2003," which is apparently just a remix/re-release of the original Tubular Bells album. Since I don't own TB right now I figure it's as good a time as any to pick up a copy. I also picked up Blue Man Group's debut album, "Audio." roho has a copy of it on DVD Audio and it rocks, but I can't very well play a DVD in my CD player now can I? So that got added onto the pile. BMG recently released a new album titled "The Complex," and I would be a terrible fan if I didn't purchase that, so it was put into the order as well. Apply the gift certificate, choose the super-cheap shipping option and away I went.

After going to lunch with RW (who recently picked up a LiveJournal as well, once again proving that LJ is ready for classification as a controlled substance) I decided I needed to pick up two or three Crystal Method CDs, so back to Amazon I went. I found a deal on their albums that gave me a fair discount if I purchased "Tweekend" and "Community Service" together, so I put in an order for those two discs as well. I'm particularly excited about "Community Service," because it has a remix of POD's "Boom" on there that's absolutely captivating. Between the two CDs I think I've found new music to listen to the next time I'm playing Quake 3 against the guys from the office. Thanks again, Shanedoll -- even if it was a wee bit early that present rocked!

Tomorrow morning is going to be a lazy one, although I'm sure I'll find ways to keep myself busy. For one, I need to go over with Roho to Sam's Club and get groceries (I need a block of cheese, some chicken breasts, a few skids of water and some Atkins shakes if any are left). After that I should take the truck to the car wash and give it a good hosing-down. Since the new truck is on the way soon I might as well try to make the old one a bit more presentable, and it wouldn't kill me to empty the cabin of all the trash that has accumulated in there during the last month or two.

For amusement this afternoon I ran John the Ripper against my server's password file. I am terribly unimpressed with the results. 16 of the 67 accounts on my server had passwords that were cracked in under three seconds. Two more were cracked within fifteen minutes. After four and a half hours nobody else has been cracked, so I'm pretty happy with the results minus those 18 wayward souls. Right now I'm wrestling with doing the responsible thing and locking their account (hint... "changeme" is not a good password!) until they bitch about being unable to read their e-mail. I have to sleep on it and decide how much of a BOFH I want to be towards people who are mostly my friends.

The other thing I have to sleep on tonight is something a bit more personal. I've been telling myself that I need to write a letter since I've been remiss in communicating with some folks who are important to me. I haven't done it yet and I keep stalling on it for reasons I'm not even entirely sure of. I think part of me is worried how I will come across -- some of what I write in letters can be the textual equivalent of small talk. Another reason that I think I'm hesitating has to do with the fact that I don't really know what to say. Writing a letter has never come naturally to me, because I keep trying to classify it as "communication," and for me to "communicate" I usually expect a response. I make an inquiry, I make a statement, I toss in a humorous observation. I hope at least that the inquiry will inspire an answer in a return communication, but this hasn't happened very often so I feel sort of like I'm left dangling in the wind. Then of course I start second-guessing myself, wondering if I'm bothering them by sending them these letters, if they're getting tired of me or what...

Ah, self-doubt is truly the most amazing thing... it can reduce your psyche to shreds in mere moments. I will see if I can't find some courage tomorrow to write the letter and send it off. I'd like to think that I'm made of stern enough stuff that writing a few paragraphs shouldn't unnerve me so easily.

Since I'm currently spinning wildly from one tangent to the next I guess this is where I should interject that I bought some vanilla incense and a pair of blue crystal candle holders at the Dollar Store tonight. We stopped in since they were having their Grand Opening sale and we happened to walk by after dinner at the Continental. I instantly fell in love with that store and now I need to go back so I can buy glassware and the like for my house. Yeah, it'll have to go into storage for six months or so before I can actually use it, but dammit... that's some neat stuff for reasonable prices that they've got! I wish they'd had an incense holder to sell me along with the incense, though. Ah well, I'll make do one way or another. Tomorrow... I burn incense!

For those who are interested I also updated my quote file with a bit of new material tonight. I have been remiss in maintaining it as of late, which I guess is more proof of how much my wrists have been bothering me. Either that or I've just not been jotting down these little gems quickly enough and have forgotten to edit the file on the fly.

If you wonder about the spell I'm under, it's your love

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