If I only knew then what I know now

Over the past year or so I’ve visited the Library of Virginia in Richmond on multiple occasions.  The Library is located “downtown.”  Because street parking is limited, I have always parked the car at a garage nearby.  Depending on whether I visited the Library during the week or the weekend, the cost of parking ranged from $8 to $16.

I registered in advance for a workshop I attended today. In an e-mail I was told there is limited free public parking in the Library’s garage.  Used the underground parking for the 1st time today.  A breeze.

If I only knew then what I know now.  😦

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Outsource Jobs at D.C. Office of Tax & Revenue!

Wow, was it just two to three years ago that the largest theft in the history of the District of Columbia government was uncovered, with employees stealing between $50 – $60 million. Tonight I happened to catch a segment of the news and learned another employee has embezzled $400,000.

As a tax payer of the District of Columbia, I am BEYOND fed up with employees who act as if tax dollars are their own “money trees.” There is obviously a serious problem at the Office of Tax & Revenue. None of those employees need to have ANY dealings with money AT ALL.

Better yet, “ship” those jobs overseas (I know, that sounds terrible). I bet we will not have the unbelievable levels of theft that has occurred recently if these positions were in India, China, etc.

And, don’t get me started about paying for the Chair of the DC Council’s two luxury SUVs and another council member who stole $300,000 of government funds allocated for children’s programs [if you are repaying the money, you have, in fact, admitted you stole the money]. Maybe we can outsource these political positions as well 🙂

Ice Wine

Over a decade ago, while stationed in Japan, I took a one-day exertion to Japan’s “wine country.” Can’t recall the area of Japan I visited. What I do recall was “ice wine.”

I never had “ice wine” before but I fell in love with it immediately. After tasting the first sample, I asked for a second and quickly emptied my cup. Then I asked for another sample. The employee eyed me suspiciously but nonetheless granted my request. I was in heaven.

Excited about the “ice wine” I was determined to purchase a bottle. Well, that’s until I learned it was $50 for one bottle. Too rich for my blood.

Ever since that day I’ve been looking for “ice wine” [okay, not really hard, but when I happen to be in a store with a large selection of wine].

I have patronized World Market on countless occasions. I have purchased a variety of alcoholic drinks produced from multiple countries around the world. I would look for “ice wine” but would not see it on the shelf. I began to believe it must be just a “Japanese thing.” Lots of sake but never “ice wine.”

Until this past Saturday. I FINALLY found “ice wine.” The product is made in Germany. The description on the back of the bottle states,

The Heinz Eifel Eiswein (Ice Wine) is a gastronomic speciality made from hand-picked frozen grapes. These frozen grapes produce only a small amount of highly concentrated juice. Eiswein can age for many years or can be enjoyed now with blue cheese, fruit desserts or as dessert on its own.

Waiting for a special occasion to open this bottle. And, can’t beat the price. With tax, just under $24, half of what I would have paid in Japan 10 years ago.

Some advice to bank tellers

The other day I visited my local credit union to make a “principal payment” on my 2nd trust – $40.11. Yippee! Anyway, when I walked inside the credit union, and got into line, one customer was ahead of me. Almost immediately a teller was available to assist her.

There were two other tellers, both males, apparently “preoccupied.” I quickly realized one of the male tellers was handling the “drive thru” transactions. The other teller, who knew?

About a minute later another customer joined the line and stood right behind me. Literally, right behind me – this woman had NO CONCEPT of personal space. Anyway, we both waited for the next teller to assist us.

Boy, did it take more than 5 – 7 minutes. Meanwhile, the woman behind – lacking the concept of personal space – started huffing. From her reflection in the glass windows, I noticed her arms were crossed and, since she was way too close, I could tell she was quite annoyed.

Frankly, I was annoyed too (but was cool as a cucumber). This other male teller was doing SOMETHING but appeared to be doing NOTHING to those of us waiting in line. And, boy, did he chat a lot with his colleague who was assisting the “drive thru” customers.

Here’s my advice for bank/credit union tellers: if you are in your cubicle where the public EXPECTS TO BE SERVED but you have some other assignment, POST A SIGN – indicating to customers that you are doing some other task. Better yet, MOVE to an area where you are not VISIBLE to the public and you can do this other task at your own pace.

Frankly, there is nothing more annoying than standing in line, observing a teller who appears available to assists customers, but is, in fact, preoccupied with another task and thus is not assisting customers. This is EVEN MORE AGGRAVATING when there are only one or two people standing in a line, three tellers behind the “bullet proof service counter” and only ONE teller assisting customers standing in line!

The Benefits of Not Knowing

Well,apparently, today, there was, at some point, a significant drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Well, I didn’t learn about it the end of my work day (after the market had closed).

Glad I missed the news. Isn’t the financial markets, the financial fragility of this country (and frankly most of the “developed” world), depressing enough? Why develop an ulcer over the gyrations of the market? I know it is great theatre for the “talking heads” but for the rest of us, let’s acknowledge what has happened and move on. Frankly, what can you do? Not a darn thing! So not knowing, is well, probably best for the psyche.

It’s beginning to look a lot like. . .

Yes, you know the “holidays” are just around the corner, courtesy of those charitable organizations.

I have received request for donations from two organizations for Thanksgiving meals for the needy (definitely a worthy cause). And today, I received the first set of Christmas cards in the mail from a charitable organization [unsolicited gift], asking for a donation. Yes, for me, mid September is too early to be thinking about Christmas. But, I guess not for others.

My focus now for special contributions is Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas will wait until after Thanksgiving, UNLIKE retailers!

STOP IT: No more “Tote” Bags

I have six or seven black tote bags from various charitable organizations. The bags are all designed the same but have a design on the front of the bag for the particular charity.

STOP IT.

I don’t want the tote bags.

STOP wasting limited resources, charitable organizations, on these tote bags, sending them out with the HOPE that the recipient will send a donation. And, ultimately, the charitable organization sends a letter asking, “have you received your tote bag?”

This practice has turned me off. I’ve decided NOT to send money to charitable organizations who send unsolicited tote bags.

I wonder how much money has been wasted on these tote bags that the charitable organization could have applied to its mission.

I want those [Samantha Stosur’s] arms

Eat right & exercise. An apple a day keeps the doctors. Putting these principles to practice should keep your medical costs low.

A favorite exercise video of mine is “I Want Those Arms” by Tami Lee Webb. The video has two 15 minute segment of exercises focused on developing shapely arms.

Now, I have an idol for my pursuit of shapely arms: Samantha Stosur of Australia who stunned Serena Williams in the US Open Women’s Final.

Time to start swinging my rack. Tennis anyone?

Love my hand-me-downs!

Recently my mother sorted through some of her purses. There were a few she no longer wanted. These purses still look new. Of course I accepted them.

Then two days ago my mother had two Coach bags that my sister no longer wanted (my sister buys a Coach bag twice a year). I selected a really cute purse which I’ve been carrying the last two days.

Yes, the good life. Four purses at the best possible price: FREE!

NFL Network

Is a premium cable channel. You, the football fanatic, if you wish to see games on this network, you will have to pay EXTRA MONEY above and beyond the basic cable fee.

For die-hard pro football fans, the NFL is reaching into your wallet. Apparently starting this year, every Thursday will be Thursday Night Football and those games will be broadcast only on the NFL Network. The game tonight is between the last two SuperBowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers vs. the New Orleans Saints. A must see game!! Hmmm, should I buy shoes for my children or subscribe to the NFL Network?

And the powers at be with the NFL must be playing too much fantasy football if they believe during this Great and Ongoing Recession that Americans have so much disposable income that paying for a premium cable channel is insignificant (guess those NFL big wigs have overlooked that Americans, in an effort to save what limited money they have, are CUTTING their cable subscriptions).

A solution for you die-hard NFL fans: RADIO (I know you can’t see the action but hey, you can listen for FREE). Plus, by listening to the radio, you can use your imagination 🙂

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