Monday, September 12, 2016

Moving away from Lending Club

Just made the first withdrawal ($49.78) from our Lending Club account. Going forward we will be making monthly withdrawals instead of reinvesting our available funds.

The past two cycles with >$25 available to reinvest, I noticed there weren't any A notes to choose from. Not one. Overall I've seen a decline in available notes and seemingly less activity with other borrowers.  Of course Lending Club has been in the news recently with some controversy so this clearly has driven away both borrowers and lenders. Add us to this list.

So it makes more sense to move this money away from P-P lending and into our Schwab Total Stock Market SWTSX fund.

Notes on our experience with LC:

Started account at $500. High water mark $757.98 with a net annualized return of 5.07%.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Churning Gas Gift Cards

I like snagging discount gift card promos on eBay. A great way to earn some eBay bucks and CC points or miles.

Today the perfect one showed up: Chevron/Texaco gift cards. We have summer road trips planned so I jumped at the chance to grab some discounted gas cards.

Paid $184 for two $100 gas cards for Texaco/Chevron
eBay Bucks = $3.68 refund
Citi Double Cash = $3.68 refund

Total rewards refunded  = $7.36
Total cost equals $176.64 for $200 worth of summer gas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The aim for churning: free travel for 2016

At the end of 2015 we spent a few days in NYC for the holiday. We scored a great hotel in midtown Manhattan that would have cost $900 for 3 nights. (Remember the fantastic 100k bonus Brit Air Visa card deals from years ago.) Luckily we had enough British Air Avios to get the room. What a deal!

With that stay we've essentially depleted the remaining Brit Ait Avios we had. And haven't had a travel rewards for awhile. Been happy with Fidelity Rewards Visa and now the Double Cash Mastercard. This year however, I want to churn some travel rewards up. So step one is to rack up some air miles.

We both just signed up for the Citi Platinum AA 50k promo with $3k spend in first 3 months. That is 100k for the two us. But... I've also read if you call up Citi they can increase it to 60k each - 120k total. So I gotta call and ask. As they say, if you don't ask....

  • Step 1 - Air Miles - AA 50k promo (maybe 60k)  - working on the 3k spend
  • Step 2 - select a hotel rewards card to open .... researching options....
  • Step 3 - pick a trip

Thursday, January 07, 2016

a few 2016 goals

Hello 2016.

New year, new list of goals. Keeping it simple, here are a few I'm aiming at this year.

Money goals:
  • consolidate investment accounts
  • grow side-hustle money
  • tweak monthly retirement savings
  • some home improvements
  • CC churning for free travel

Personal goals:
  • declutter possessions
  • learn some spanish
  • expand home veggie garden
  • better weekly planning with Five to None
  • blog more!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Resurrecting a zombie PF blog….

You ever create a blog? Watch it not grow? Watch it stagnate?

Well, I have. And it's time to kick that corpse and raise the dead blog! Sure, zombies are a major interest in pop culture today. So how many zombie blogs are littered around the internet? You can either kill them …. or raise them up with a pulse. They can't do that shit on the Walking Dead.

So stand back and watch this shit happen, right here on WFM! The puny PF blog with grit.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Getting rid of excess clutter. Really going to do it this time.

Like most Americans I'm awash in stuff. Lots and tons of stuff. It creeps into every corner of my life, my house. And it is no uncommon thing to do a stuff-cleanse. Sure, I've done a few of those. It doesn't work well, usually. Or at all.

But here we go again. This time it will work. Just this past week I found 4 flashlights around the house that haven't ever been used. Or maybe used once. Crazy thing is, there are a few more flashlights around that aren't used.

I have something like 5 headlamps. 5 headlamps! I still only have one head. Crazy!

So this time I really want to rid myself of all this excess. Expunge all this crap. Simply my stuff.

There is no plan. No gimmick. No expert. Nothing more than simply getting rid of stuff at a slow and steady clip. No 2-day donation blowout. No one weekend attempt. Just a slow and steady attempt to "always keep purging." I will keep a page on this blog to keep track of the stats for my own notes.

It begins:
Donation to thrift shop: 4 flashlights. Almost new.
Selling on eBay: one headlamp, works perfect.
Total less stuff: 5

Friday, August 02, 2013

Gingria - Cheap Cocktails to make with cheap port and gin

One lazy summer evening years ago, I discovered cheap port over ice makes a fine sangria taste-alike. I like to believe my palette has moved beyond such simple pleasures and figured to resurrect this lazy summer evening cocktail with a little gin added to the mix. Aside from fancy pre-mix cocktails found in your grocer aisle, you won't find a simpler way to make a sangria-style drink.

It won't win any awards, but that's not what summer evenings are for...

Simple Gingria Recipe:
1 part gin
1 part soda water or still water
2 parts port - (cheaper the better?)
Lime quarter squeezed and floated
Couple of ice cubes

Tip? Bitcoin me: 16sVrM2s2zHqtGDQhFs4FjbdSxYs1EKZ7P

Friday, June 28, 2013

The missing Windows Start Button returns (sort of) in Windows 8.1

I've been using Win 8 for a few months now. It's been mostly fine. Frustrated at times, yes. Missing things, yes! Craving the start button, Yes!!

Well no more craving. I've loaded up the new Windows 8.1 Preview and like that the Start Button is now present.

But I didn't like that it just goes to the Start Tile Screen instead of the traditional Windows 7 window. I suppose Microsoft will hear complaints about how the new button behaves. I'll be waiting to see what people end up thinking about it. Does is really fix the outcry or just amateurishly appease the complainers that wanted it back?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fixing missing Dell D620 wireless wifi drivers with Ubuntu

I have an old Dell D620 that I use as a sofa surfing laptop. I've found Ubuntu works great for this purpose. I've freshly installed Ubuntu on it a few times and always have a problem with the wireless drivers not installing correctly. To fix this run these two commands from terminal:

sudo apt-get purge bcmwl-kernel-source broadcom-sta-common broadcom-sta-source (it may not see all of these)

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer

Restart and wifi will be good.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Made in America Mac Pro by Apple

I love that Apple is continuing to support US manufacturing, albeit very minimally but hey gotta start somewhere. Their new Mac Pro is quite a different take on a server. It is adding excitement by bucking two trends: manufactured offshore and tradition enclosure. Yes, in a very Apple-like way the new Mac Pro is moving rapidly away from the square corner box design. I love the look. I like the idea on cooling, can't wait to see more on the fan. Sure I've already seen comments about having to fit these into the workplace, rackplace. But the footprint is tiny, and I'm sure simple solutions will be created.

Can't wait to see more highlights on the product. And so great that it is Made in USA. Fantastic that the entire line of Mac Pros will be US Made. So design firms overseas will have to import these US Made computers. iAwesome.

Monday, June 03, 2013

A zin with punch - Sledgehammer Zinfandel 2009

Lately I've had a few bottles of zin that seemed watery and underwhelming. Deserving better I grabbed a bottle of Sledgehammer in the wine aisle hoping to break the trend.

Heavy fruit. Pepper. Deep color. Bold and lasting. Slight leather that can be easily forgotten in a zin, which I prefer. But I didn't mind it so much here -- the fruits overwhelm it. Overall this is a great glass of zin. Something I can recommend if you like a bolder wine.

The bottle was on sale for about $9 from a MSRP of $13 or so. For a sub $15 zin this hammer is hitting all the places I need.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Defeating clutter through simple actions

I started reducing kitchen clutter with one simple, effective step: jettisoning martini glasses. We had 3 sets ot 2 martini glasses. After a few years in our house we never had used them. Not even once. I thought about getting rid of one set. Then we would have reduced them by 30 percent but still be able to serve 4 martinis if occasion called. What? Who was I kidding. We never would be serving martinis. We don't even have the proper ingredients! So I reluctantly added all 6 glasses to the donation box and didn't look back. 

They have never been missed. And now the kitchen has less stuff. So what's your kitchen's martini glass? Find it and get it gone.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finding CHKDSK log in Windows 7

Ever run CHKDSK and need to review the log? You'll find it in Event Viewer.
-Open Computer Management
-Expand System Tools > Event Viewer > Windows Logs
-Look in the Application log for Wininit in the source column
-Double click that entry and you'll see all the results of the CHKDSK

Click photo to see larger version:

Friday, March 22, 2013

How to disable the password expiration on Windows Server 2008

If your server is non-domain joined and you are not using Active Directory the Local Security Policy controls items like password complexity rules, account lockouts, and password expiration. To turn off password expiration you'll need admin rights and to simply edit the Local Security Policy:

  • Launch “Local Security Policy”: Start > Administrative Tools > Local Security Policy
  • Expand “Account Policies” and select Password Policy
  • Set the Maximum Password age to “0″