June Stats

We’re nearing the end of the reno; in fact, we’re probably going to finish this week.  Though, you probably already knew that:  I’ve started posting a bit more again, so that was a clear sign that things were nearing completion.  We’ve pulled everything out of storage (saving $174 pcm) and started going through boxes and finding room for things – not to mention getting ready to donate tons of stuff.  We’re trying to lessen the amount of stuff we have around to weigh us down; life isn’t about stuff.  (To be fair, it’s nice to have some stuff.. but the amount that we need or even want is much less than it used to be.)

We’ve also been putting out just ridiculous amounts of recycling as we’ve been unboxing.  I wonder what our neighbors think.

I’m hoping to have some interesting things to share with you over the next month or two, but, for now, let’s continue to our stats for this month!

Student Loans 3.73% $23,387.31 $180.74 $0.00
Mortgage 3.50% $309,274.07 $2,259.03 $0.00
Total $334,123.34 $2,439.77 $0.00

The exclamation mark may not have been warranted; we didn’t do anything special.  Hopefully next month’s will be more interesting.


What new laptop?

So, today, my laptop stopped working.  Well, not the laptop itself – it started up fine, but Windows wouldn’t load.  Terrible timing, really – I hate switching laptops (or anything else), and we’re still in the middle of just a crazy number of things with the reno and travel planning and life in general.  I went ahead and built a laptop on Lenovo.com* for $545, but we don’t exactly have a lot of spare cash right now.

I was able to start up in Safe Mode, so I started backing up my files** while discussing the situation with DW, who offered to share her laptop for a while.  In a past life, I would have just bought the new laptop and figured it out later – I don’t like being a guest on someone else’s computer, and I need something on which to manage the household.  However, things have certainly changed over the past couple years, and I was coming around to using DW’s laptop until we figured out what to do.

Of course, if I can run in Safe Mode, maybe I can still do a little work on my laptop.

But wait!  If I can run in Safe Mode, I can do some troubleshooting.  What might have happened to tank my laptop?  Since I can run my OS, it doesn’t seem to be a hard drive problem, so what else could have happened?  I installed updates this morning – could something have gone wrong there?

I did a System Restore to before the updates, and, presto change-o, I’m back, baby!  I have my very own laptop, and I’ve saved $545 today!  Not a bad day.

Of course, updates are important to install for security reasons, but now I have lots of time to figure out what to do.  And I’ve taken one more small step toward being financially independent:  by fixing a tool rather than getting a new one, I’ve delayed an expense and given myself a chance to approach it in a smarter fashion.  Maybe I’ll be able to keep this laptop running for a long while yet.

06/21/16:  It looks like the update re-applied but didn’t wreck my laptop.  Just a glitch with the original attempt?


* Lenovo laptops have good battery life, and the Lenovo site still allows you to customize a build to include Windows 7 Professional.  I refuse to move to a Windows system above 7.

** I back up my files irregularly, but I did have a fairly recent backup in case all went to hell.

“Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Yesterday, DW and I went met some friends at Ram’s Head Tavern in Annapolis to start on their World Beer Club journey.  This is a guided tour through the world of beer by way of 100 beers to expand your palate.  As I dug into articles and blog posts about the club in preparation this week, I couldn’t find a comprehensive list of which beers I would be enjoying, so I figured I would post one, now that I have my membership; hopefully this will serve as a good reference for some of you out there.

  1. 21st Amendment Back in Black
  2. Abita Purple Haze
  3. Ace Pilsner
  4. Affligem Blond Abbey
  5. Allagash White
  6. Anchor Steam
  7. Anderson Valley Gose
  8. Ayinger Celebrator
  9. Ballast Point Sculpin
  10. Baltika #6 Porter
  11. Bass
  12. Becks
  13. Bellhave Scottish Ale
  14. Bitburger Pils
  15. Dixie Blackened Voodoo
  16. Boddingtons
  17. Boulder Hazed & Infused
  18. Boulder Shake
  19. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
  20. Brooklyn Brown Ale
  21. Carlsberg
  22. Chang
  23. Chimay Red
  24. Crispin Browns Lane
  25. DC Brau Corruption
  26. Delirium Tremens
  27. Devils Backbone Schwartz Beer
  28. Dominion Double D
  29. Dominion Morning Glory
  30. Dominion Oak Barrel Stout
  31. Dos Equis Lager
  32. Duchesse de Bourgogne
  33. Duvel
  34. Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel
  35. Estrella Damm
  36. Evolution Primal Pale Ale
  37. Firestone Walker Double Jack
  38. Flying Dog Raging Bitch
  39. Fordham Copperhead
  40. Fordham Gypsy Lager
  41. Fordham Rams Head IPA
  42. Fosters Lager
  43. Fruili Strawberry
  44. Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat
  45. Grolsch
  46. Harp
  47. Hoegaarden
  48. Kalik
  49. Killians
  50. Kingfisher
  51. Kostritzer
  52. Labatt Blue
  53. Lagunitas IPA
  54. Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
  55. Lindemans Framboise Lambic
  56. Magic Hat #9
  57. Molson Golden
  58. Moosehead
  59. Moretti
  60. Negra Modelo
  61. New Belgium Fat Tire
  62. Newcastle
  63. Ommegang Abbey Ale
  64. Ommission Pale Ale
  65. Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale
  66. Paulaner Hefeweizen
  67. Pilsner Urquell
  68. Pinkus Organic Hefeweizen
  69. Red Stripe
  70. Redhook ESB
  71. Rogue Shakespeare Stout
  72. Sam Adams Boston Lager
  73. Sam Smith Nut Brown
  74. Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout
  75. Sapporo
  76. Schafly Kolsch
  77. Shiner Bock
  78. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  79. Sixpoint Resin
  80. Skullsplitter
  81. Smithwicks
  82. Smuttynose Robust Porter
  83. Sol
  84. Spaten Optimator
  85. St. Pauli Girl
  86. Stone Arrogant Bastard
  87. Stone IPA
  88. Strongbow
  89. Svyturys Baltijos
  90. Troegs Pale Ale
  91. Tusker
  92. Union Duck Pin
  93. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier
  94. Weyebacher Merry Monks
  95. Widmer Hefeweizen
  96. Woodchuck Amber
  97. Woodchuck Granny
  98. Xingu
  99. Yards Brawler
  100. Zywiec

I’d already had 26* of these before this weekend, so that means I get to try 74 new beers.  As the reno draws on, having this to keep me going is really helpful.  Drinking good (or at least varied) beers with good friends is basically the meaning of life.


* I think.  I didn’t go back and check each one to verify.