Thursday, April 10, 2008

Delegation, Power of Three

My desire to get stuff done without doing it myself came to a head this week. I have now paid people to:
  • prepare my taxes
  • pay my bills
  • clean my condo
  • put new tires on my car
The one thing I didn't buy today was dinner because my date covered it. Now I'm back home and the condo smells lemony (and like the cheap, possibly carcinogenic, mousepad with wristrest I got at the dollar store), the car corners better, the credit card balance is consolidated and being paid down, and I'm getting my largest refund ever. Best of all, it all got done! With a minimum of angst on my part. And I didn't have to be expert at something I don't have interest in being expert in. And the stuff I am expert at doing is going well.

I also need to make a decision about what to do with the refund before I spend it twice over. I'm thinking about:
  • spending a little on something fun (of course, by my definition that means kitchen cabinets I install myself, or a custom range hood but I already have a budget for that),
  • spending a little on travel (I'm still debating alaska in June, plus I want to see my grandmothers)
  • putting a hunk in a Roth (I haven't contributed to those in a while and gutted my early ones for the downpayment on the condo.)
  • buying glass studio time for playing around or classes (whee!)
  • paying down debt (blah)
If anyone out there in blogland feels strongly about paying down credit card debt (5.9%), car debt (8.5%), or spending it all on hookers and blow, let me know.


Also, I've had HGTV on in the background while I picked up clutter and did laundry because it's kitchen reno week on my favorite station. The show on right now is looking at the exact laminate I want to put in my kitchen (I picked it out when eagle eyed friend J visited) and it looks even better large than on the swatch. Cool. Other coincidences have happened too. There was a househunters episode last night in Portland, OR where the couple bought a condo from a building I toured when I interviewed there. It was super funky fresh and modern and I liked it a lot, but was still surprised to see it on TV. Two of the on-the-cheap kitchen remodels have featured IKEA cabinets and answered the question I had about whether or not people will care if my upper cabinets perfectly align with my lower cabinets. (No, apparently not.) IKEA is cheap because they don't do custom sizing. You cram whatever they have into the space you have and put up filler in the rest. Unfortunately, their selection of 12" wide cabinets leaves something to be desired but if I go with 15", there are some challenges. I figure at worst I buy the 15" and have to replace them with 12" before I sell. In the meantime, I have to custom fit a 28" wide vent hood for over the stove, and someone on the bookclub did just that and loved it so I'm feeling optimistic.

Oh no way - Househunters is on again (not my favorite, wasn't quick enough with the remote), but OMG!! These people are touring a house plan I recognize from the elevation! They're in the town my brother lives in near Austin, TX. He just plunked down a deposit for a new house this week to improve his view. But on monday, he had a different house in mind for a lot located closer to his current place (and the tollway noise) and sent me to the builder's website to see the house plans they offered. One of them has just come to life on my TV. Not bad. But the builders were not willing to make a modification that was a dealbreaker for the brother and he found a quieter lot and more accommodating builder.

I like those coincidences (all outsourcing all the time, HGTV overlapping with my actual H) better than the ones at work. Last week was office supply issues week: I ran out of staples, I ran out of tape, the printer jammed several times requiring me to dig paper out of every possible orifice. This week it was metrology issues: the 4 point probe ran out of memory and needed a software reconfiguration, the stress tool lost control of one laser... Fortunately I had no trouble with the profilometer which was on the critical path and couldn't be delayed.

One more day and my buddy (Esperanto Guy in the sidebar) gets here for nearly a week's stay. I'm taking a couple half days off so we can do stuff because if I take whole days I'll just sleep until noon and we won't have that time together anyway. He's going to help me with the computer tasks I have piling up, so I might not make him move bookshelves. Well, at least not many.

Oh, and go read this post at New Door Knobs and the one after it if you like pithy, comical conversations with kids.

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