Dreams, Machines, Schemes, and the quest for more Greens

Okay, you missed me.. Admit it, you really did. Never mind the fact that the majority of you people that read this see me on a weekly [if not daily] basis. You missed the clever witticisms and intelligent observations that have made this site such a treat to read for the last year and a half. Not so much? You’re just avoiding work at this point, aren’t you? Well, whatever.. like you’re so freaking interesting.

So here’s some interesting things for you. I was sleeping the other day (I’m as surprised as you are), and I had a dream where sideburns went behind your ears… Yeah, I know.. messed up, right? Anyway, it meant that people’s ears were kinda pushed forward on their heads.. not quite on their cheeks, but pretty close. and then sideburns.. then a freaky looking gap, then normal hair… I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean.. but I’ve got sideburns now, and I’m told they make me look good. Compliment me the next time you see me. I’d appreciate that.

So I ordered all the parts for my entertainment machine, and they should be arriving next week some time. I’ve built machines before, but I’ve always ordered the motherboard and the processor from the same place, and so they’d come preassembled, with the thermal compound and heat-sync already [correctly] attached to the processor, so I’m not too worried about it bursting into flames as soon as I power the thing up. Well this time I was pretty picky about parts, and a bit choosy about prices, and I ended up buying parts from all over. Motherboard and DVD-Rom from one place, the case from somewhere else. CPU, heat-sync, and fans from another place [along with a wireless keyboard and mouse]. Power supply and RAM from yet another place. So I’ve got 5 boxes coming my way… and there exists the slim possibility that I’ll dick it up and the thing will explode on me. I’m not all that worried… In fact, I’m pretty excited. I did something the last time I wired up a motherboard to a case, and now the light turns on whenever I turn the machine off, and it turns off when I power it on. I want to not do that this time.

So, when I went to church with Rachel a few weeks back, and we listened to her father preach, he mentioned how people give things up for lent, and Rachel wrote to me (In jest) that I should give up girls for lent.(I had, the previous evening, regaled her tales of my not so stellar history with the ladies.).. Well, after a bit of thought, I decided that that was kinda a good idea… so that’s what I did / am doing. Not giving up on girls completely, as, let’s face it, that more or less defines me as a person…. When people ask “Hey, do you know Ron?” they say “Oh yeah.. he’s that guy that chases after women, right?” “Yeah that’s the one.” Anyway, what all does that entail? I’m not certain. I’m no longer making decisions based solely on the hope of it somehow bettering my chances with a female… which is a pretty big deal for a guy that has frequently passed on social outings based on the slim hope that someone might magically show up for one reason or another. Turns out, that’s a lousy way to live… You end up alone by the fireplace watching the same damn movie over and over again trying to figure out what it was that you did that made her not show up. Anyway, I’m not doing that anymore. Also, you’ll recall I spend far too much time thinking about things that I can’t change, have no control over, and don’t understand.. I can’t say I’ve stopped doing that.. but now when I catch myself thinking about such things (it’s always woman related), I just say “whew.. good thing I don’t have to think about this for another month or so” and then stop… for a while. the cycle continues over and over again, but at least I never get to the part where I start getting pissed, self-deprecating, or depressed. See, progress! (Avoidance is always the answer!) Anyway, so far, it’s been quite nice.. cause if I were my normal self, I’d be going hella insane by now. Instead, I’m just kinda enjoying life, and not thinking too much about it… and it seems to be working out quite well for me thus far.

[this too shall pass]

Here’s a little sleep math for you:
6 hours + 3 hours + 2 hours + 3 hours + 0 Hours + 11 Hours + 10 Hours ? 5 Hours + 5 Hours + 5 Hours + 5 Hours + 5 Hours + 5 Hours + 5 Hours.
I know.. it’s strange, but true.

I’ve finally started a budget. I know, it only took, what, a year and 3 months to make that resolution come true. Well.. shut up. Anyway, I think this one has a shot at working for a while. The idea is this: I give myself $100 cash each week… and that money is supposed to cover all my food, and any entertainment expenses that may come up through the week (movies, beer, game/movie purchases, outings, etc.). The exceptions are :

  1. Expensive items I’ve been planning on purchasing for a sufficient amount of time. (e.g. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King DVDs.. I’m already planning on buying them.. so they don’t count as part of the week’s “entertainment” expense. If there were a random DVD as Best Buy I saw and decided I wanted, then it would come out of the cash. For the record, Futurama comes out this week, I believe, and it ain’t coming out of the cash.)
  2. Max and Ermas lunches and Pickwick nights do come out of the cash. No exceptions. [Money can be rolled over from one week to the next if a particularly expensive dinner is expected.]
  3. Dates don’t count. I’m free to blow as much money as I want. At this point, that risk seems pretty low.
  4. Gas doesn’t count, cause I hate paying with cash at a gas station. Gas expenses are fairly constant, and there’s really no way to cut down on them without either
    1. quitting my job.
    2. Leaving my church.
    3. alienate every friend I have living 3+ miles from my house.
  5. [For now] Groceries don’t count. This may seem odd, as I’m spending money on food at the grocery store.. But the idea is to force myself to do more shopping / cooking at home. With groceries not counting (Groceries == food purchases only) hopefully I will. Once I’ve grown accustomed to cooking food again, then I’ll ease into counting grocery expenses as well, Considering that yesterday was the first time I did any grocery shopping (not counting Doritos runs and my significant investment in Mr. Boston) this year, I don’t think it would have affected my cash count much anyway.
  6. Clothes don’t count. I don’t buy clothes that often, and clothes are hella expensive, and I don’t want to look like ass.

So anyway, that’s my new budget. So far, so good. I cooked a number of meals at home last week (including a slightly sketchy spaghetti that ended up not killing me [thanks, Serita :)] So here’s hoping I save tons of money, eat better, and eventually get my solid gold house and rocket car.

In the off chance you didn’t know, Unreal Tournament 2004 is excellent.

5 thoughts on “Dreams, Machines, Schemes, and the quest for more Greens

  1. You shouldn’t limit your not ‘going hella crazy’ about things that you cannot control to just this month. I would recommend doing that indefinitely.

  2. I’m aiming for things that are achievable. A month is a noble enough goal.. If it goes well, then I’ll see about trying for a longer period of time… To start out shooting for forever would mean instant failure.

  3. Did you end up spending more in overall shipping by parting your machine out to so many vendors? I’ve found that generally, the extra shipping cost frequently outweighs the couple of extra bucks you might find a product for at a vendor you’re already ordering from. (It’s early, and English Nazis will be shot.) Additionally, as you order from one vendor, you can develop a relationship with them and, like us, get a boxful of various Xeon fans and heatsinks for the price of shipping alone. All because we’ve dealt with a very few vendors over time. :-)

  4. 1.) shipping was free from 2 of the places, and < $10 every place else, including the case place (which impressed me). I saved over $80 on the RAM alone by going elsewhere (around $50 on the CPU.. and the motherboard was only available from a few places) I can understand developing a relationship with places… but 1.) I don’t intend to buy that many machines.. this isn’t my business. and 2.) I get enough free parts as it is… my closet is full of them. I know what you’re saying.. and if it were only a few dollars, I wouldn’t have cared.. as it’s easier to track one package. but when you’re talking about saving over $100 just by putting forth a little effort, it seems worth it.

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