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Archive for October, 2008

Exercise log October 2008

October 31st, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I got away from blogging about my exercise routine but I didn't stop exercising. For the month of October, of the 28 days I was home (we were out of town for 3 days) I worked out on Wii Fit 9 times, so an average of about every 3 days. That's okay and far better than what I was usually doing before we got the Wii Fit program, but I still want to do better. I'd like to get up to 12-15 times/month. That's my goal for November.

We are really enjoying Wii Fit. All 3 of us use it regularly. I started doing 20 minutes or so and the past few times have done 30 minutes or more. For anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive way to get in shape and have fun doing it, I'd highly recommend it.

Great casino visit today

October 19th, 2008 at 02:53 am

We went to the local casino today for a couple of hours. I had a great outing. I played video blackjack and video poker and ended up winning $343 total! I'm generally happy if I break even or don't lose too much. Coming home a big winner doesn't happen that often so it was very nice. DW lost $75, but that still works out to a nice profit on the day.

Unexpected $250 check

October 18th, 2008 at 12:19 am

Our synagogue called yesterday and left a message for my wife that there was a check there for her. She did do some part-time work for them not long ago but she was already paid for that, so we didn't know what the check could have been for.

She picked it up last night. Turns out it was the $250 security deposit we paid to rent the room for our daughter's Bat Mitzvah a few weeks ago. Neither of us remembered that we had it coming to us. That was a nice little bonus.

General update

October 17th, 2008 at 01:12 am

I realized I haven't posted for a couple of weeks. Nothing particularly exciting has been going on but I figured I'd give some updates.

1. Even though I stopped doing the Exercise Log entries, I have not stopped exercising. I'm still working out with Wii Fit. I think I did 22 minutes tonite.

Now that I've had it for over a month, I would still highly recommend it for anyone looking for a home exercise regimen. Much more convenient than a gym, not dependent on the weather and you can exercise on your own schedule. It is even portable if you go out of town and want to pack it. As long as you have a TV to hook it to, you're all set.

Not only that, but the other night, the TV was in use so I just went upstairs and did several of the exercises I've learned from Wii in our bedroom. You can't do the balance games but can certainly do the yoga, strength training and aerobic ones.

2. My wife and I visited a local casino (Chester, PA) last week. I won $93 and she won about $12. We had a casual dinner at their sports bar and just had a nice evening out. We're planning to go again on Saturday morning while our daughter is at a school program. We'll play a little and maybe do an early lunch or snack.

3. Got the van fixed today. It had failed inspection for an emissions problem. Repairs came to almost $1,500. I know I could have had it done cheaper elsewhere but the dealership is so convenient. They provide excellent service, a free rental and I trust that they know what they're doing. They did recommend some other work be done (like front brakes and tires) but I decided to shop around for those things. Now I just have to get it back to DMV to get re-inspected.

4. We had to scrub our annual Disney World trip. My daughter was hand-picked for a special school program that meets every Saturday for 6 weeks and that conflicts with when we were going to go. We're all bummed since we have been going annually for a long time (my daughter just turned 13 and has been there 14 times). We're talking about going next summer instead. We'd love to go for more than a week so we could do that then. Can't do it during the school year.

5. Since we can't go to Disney, we may just go away for 2 days that week when my daughter has no school. We're deciding where to go. Lancaster, PA is always on our list so that's probably where we'll end up.

6. As I mentioned on the boards, I got 2 books for doing medical surveys. I put them on Half.com and sold one within 24 hours for $7.99. The other one is still listed but hasn't sold yet. Since I got them for nothing, anything I make is okay with me.

7. Watching my portfolio dissolve right along with everyone else but keeping my cool. 18 years until retirement and 6 until college so time for things to turn around. I'm sorry that I already maxed our Roths for the year. I would have liked to have been putting that $10,000 in now instead of earlier in the year like I did. Oh well.

Can't think of anything else to report at the moment.

Over $600 back from Bat Mitzvah spending

October 3rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Last night, I returned most of the unused alcohol we had bought to stock the bar for the Bat Mitzvah. We had originally spent just over $1,100 using the recommended list the caterer had given me.

We were able to return any unopened bottles of liquor or wine or unopened cases of beer. We kept 8 bottles of wine for ourselves. We also had to keep, I think, 3 12-packs of beer because we had written on the boxes. And, of course, we couldn't return any opened bottles, so we have quite a few of them at home now.

End result was I returned $554.00 worth of stuff which I was very happy about. That means we spent about $566 for alcohol including all the stuff we get to keep. Knock off the 8 bottles of wine, which really shouldn't count as a Bat Mitzvah expense, and the total was under $500. Had we gotten the liquor from the caterer instead of supplying it ourselves, the charge would have been $15/person. We had 106 people so we would have paid $1,590, meaning we saved over $1,000 doing it ourselves. Plus that way we wouldn't have gotten to keep the leftovers.

I think what really kept the liquor bill low was that I make my own homemade Lemoncello. A lot of our synagogue friends are familiar with it and many others became familiar with it that night. I brought about 4 liters of it to the affair and we used about 2.5 liters. That only cost me about $35 to make but a lot of people drank that instead of the other stuff.

The other money back came from the balloons. We had changed the original balloon order but I realized after the fact that when I picked them up on Saturday, they charged me for the original order, which was more. I went back with the receipt last night and explained the error and they credited me $54 for the overcharge.

So I got back a total of $608 dollars last night which was a nice little bit of change.

September Survey Total

October 1st, 2008 at 03:12 pm

For the newbies, I'm a physician and have the opportunity to do various online surveys. These surveys are not available to the general public.

As expected, my survey income has been off sharply because I had pretty much stopped doing them, especially while I was doing all the work to prepare for our daughter's Bat Mitzvah.

Total survey income for September was only $160. Considering I was pulling in over $700/month before, that's pretty lousy.

Now that the Bat Mitzvah is behind us, I'm planning to get back on track and start doing them all again. Especially with current economic conditions, I can't afford to pass up hundreds of dollars each month in extra income.