Thursday, June 30, 2011

How about 6 tons of River Rock?

We are working on placing river rock about the house.  Looking at the cost of buying it bags from Menards (1/2 ft³ for around $2 on sale), Gertens, and Hot Rocks.   Hot Rocks seemed to have the best price, even though I have to go back and forth with the sales person (18 emails... she confused me once with another customer).  I asked for a 10% discount they listed on the website that had expired, but they gave it to me anyways.

I ended up paying $214.30 for 6 tons of river rock with delivery and taxes.  Now we just have to find the time to move it around :(

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No Soda how about Hawaiian Punch

Since I quit soda for June (wow only 2 days left :), I have been drinking a lot more water, but also I have been using single packets for flavor.  My favorite has been Hawaiian Punch.  Target dollar spot usually has 8 packets for a dollar, which works out to 12 cents per packet.  I usually have 2 a day.  Now I have to go read a study on Aspartame...

If you don't have a Target near you, I have found you can also buy cases at Dollar Tree online for the same price (but in bulk).  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lending Club

I joined Lending Club in January so I thought I would report.  According to lending club I have made a return of 9.8% since joining.  Pretty nice return, though I am not sure how they will report taxes.  If they report as income then it will be taxed more then if it is reported as dividend income.

In any event I put in 3k at the end of January and have $3200 now, 6 months in.  $100 of that was a bonus for investing over $2500 to start with, so it seems a bit high of a percentage, but they probably know better than I.

The promo they are doing is that if you sign up and invest $2500 you get $100.  I think you invest over 5k you get an additional 1% as well.  I think prosper has a promotion going on as well, I might look into that as well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Backyard Patio

This is a project that we started last year and are in the process of finishing this year.  The patio was finished last year, the retaining wall was finished this spring and the grass was planted a couple weeks ago.  Here is the  material costs:

  • Delivery $50
  • Sand $175 (locking and leveling)
  • Block $604
  • Retaining Wall Block $477
  • Compactor $121 (1 day, 4 hours Home Depot)
  • Class 5 base $176
  • Misc $80 (wood and rebar)
So all told for the patio we spent just over $1200.  This summer one of the corners of the patio sunk a bit, so I am not sure how successful I was with the compactor.

Patio block and Retaining wall
Thanks Menards :)
Area Prepped and Ready

In Progress in the middle of the night. Not too bad

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Michele Bachmann quotes

I generally try to be political on this blog, but my father-in-law is always pro-Bachmann and I say she doesn't always say the most intelligent things, but can't come up with a list for him.
I found a list and thought I would share.  Everyone can make a gaffe now and again, but I really think that some people have more of a tendancy to say "ironic" or irresponsible things at times, and Michele is one of those people.

  • "I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president, April 28, 2009
  • "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?" -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a new McCarthyism, Oct. 2008
  • "Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I'm not saying that that's what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, June 2009
  • "During the last 100 days we have seen an orgy. It would make any local smorgasbord embarrassed … The government spent its wad by April 26." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, accusing the Obama administration of premature fiscal ejaculation, May 2009
  • "That's why people need to continue to go to the town halls, continue to melt the phone lines of their liberal members of Congress, and let them know, under no certain circumstances will I give the government control over my body and my health care decisions." -Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a pro-lifer who completely missed the irony of using the same slogan as the pro-choice movement in arguing against health care reform
  • "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas." -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, April, 2009
  • "There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, Oct. 2006
  • "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people -- we the people -- are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country." -Rep. Rep. Michele Bachmann, March 2009
  • "Does that mean that someone's 13-year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus? That night, mom and dad are never the wiser." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, on health care reform's potential to dupe parents, October 2009
  • "I don't know where they're going to get all this money because we're running out of rich people in this country." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, accusing the Obama administration of plotting to divert money from Republican to Democratic districts and planning to tax the wealthy to fund the windfalls, Feb. 2009

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Article on sugar and food

I have been hesitant to post, but I have decided to cut out soda for a month.  I have to say it isn't the easiest thing, it is all over the place, and if you go out the only alternative is typically water or lemon aid (a cheat? maybe).  I have been faithful for the last 9 days (wow!?), though it hasn't been easy.  Oh, did I mention that there is a free soda fountain at work?  So am I giving up a part of my compensation?

Read this article on Lifehacker, it is pretty interesting.  It explains the issue with High Fructose Corn Syrup, America's favorite little sugar.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Huh, Tax refund?

We received a check from the state for $179, so apparently I didn't do our taxes correctly and they were able to figure out where I went wrong and send us a check.  I guess I would expect that, but it is still surprising.

Once I figure out my mistake I will update.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nick's new trampoline!

Grandma and Grandpa G bought Nick a trampoline for his birthday.  It is actually pretty nice and he was able to run into the screen walls and it didn't seem like it was going to break...  It was an interesting design, but once I figured out how to use he metal tool it came with it wasn't too bad, though I do have the blisters to prove I put it together...