Monday, May 02, 2005

Last week's goings-on

My kid is still a genius. She passed four time-trial multiplication tests in two weeks, the first try on each of them. She had previously missed a time (nines, I believe) and had to take it again, and afterwards became a drilling, flash card reading machine so that it wouldn't happen again. The test requires writing the answers to 16 questions in 30 seconds. Try it. Try it with a random set of 12s questions. I managed to make the time with a few seconds to spare, but then again I can also drive a car, something I wouldn't expect a third grader to need to do.

I survived my third reorg in eight years without getting laid off or fired. This is one of those things that makes me unhappy with big business and yearn to become self-employed. Some reorgs are legitimate attempts to better structure a company, some are unnecessary and serve as a front to shake up an organization so the less desirables don't have a place to land, and most have a curious side-effect of saving the company a lot of money in salaries. I tend to believe my current company is trying to solve some internal development and communications problems with this reorg, and hopefully that will be the net effect. My last company had some unchecked politics that tended to favor those who followed the party line and kept their mouths shut when they saw things they didn't like. Honest and moral people tended to get either beaten into submission (metaphorically) or laid off. I was pleased to leave that atmosphere.

I survived a month without using a credit card. Going back to cash-only required only a couple of weeks of skimping, and a major rewrite of my budget spreadsheet. Now I simply substitute a debit card for a credit card, don't eat out, and watch the numbers very closely. By my current estimate, I'll have the card paid off and in the trash by the end of the year, along with my second mortgage. After that, I'll have extra money to pay off my car loan early, and then more extra money to put into Stacey's college fund, my retirement, and the home mortgage. All I need to do is keep my job, learn to love Ramen Noodles, and wait.

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