Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ye olde year-end flurry of activity.

Christmas again already, is it?  My, that year went by fast.  But it was an exciting one - and not just in the "may you live in interesting times" sense!

Unsurprisingly, I'm sitting in a telescope control room on Christmas night.  Not something that happens every year, but maybe half of the years.  I was in the same place the night of Christmas Eve.  However, in between, I did make it up to the top of the mountain to do a bit of work during the afternoon and get snowed on!  Yes, not only was there snow already on the ground (has been for weeks now), but snowflakes were falling on me.  That was neat.

So it's December, and I'm scrambling.  Scrambling to work as many hours as possible toward the 1000-hour annual cap at my main job.  Scrambling to sort through all kinds of mail and deal with it.  The nice folks who send me a bunch of paper every quarter about my IRA, which I never ever read (the value has gone up nicely in the 3.5 years I've ignored it!), I told to just email the info instead.  I gave in to the Astronomy Society of the Pacific, who've optimistically sent me a nice letter every year since 2005 asking if I wanted to renew my lapsed membership... but only because they, too, seem to be going more "electronic."  See a trend here?  Yeah.  I don't like lots of paper filling up my mailbox.  Unless it's paper that has the words "PAY TO" followed by my name - then I'll make an exception.

I came across an advertising piece from the airline that they apparently sent me early this fall, encouraging me to purchase a membership in their lounge, on the basis that I'd actually save money by not having to pay for soft drinks, juice, bagels, muffins, snacks, cookies and internet access (let alone espresso, alcohol, and other things I don't buy anyway) whenever I was in an airport that had a lounge available.  It was somewhere on my floor, unopened.  I think I had ignored it... but I had figured out the math and joined up anyway.  Their calculations were using an example of someone who flew 12 times a year.  Ha. Ha.  That reminds me, I need to bug them because they've only credited me miles for sixty-three of  sixty-four flights I took this year with them or their partners.  I think I might fly less next year.

Other than that... work, work, earn money, pay off debt.  The balance on the credit card that doesn't earn me miles is approaching zero, which I'm happy about.  I hope I can pay it off completely in the next few months.

Funny mail from "HomeLoanCenter": "Your Mortgage Payment could be REDUCED to $644.00."  How do they propose to REDUCE something to $644 that's currently about $550?  Silly dead-tree financial spammers.

Oh, going through the mail is part of trying to tidy up the house.  I'm working every night until the end of the year, so I can take some with me each night and destroy it. :)  After New Year's, I'll have a little bit of a break, so I can look into doing things like washing dishes and sweeping and rearranging closets and furniture and all that stuff.  My friend Joanna from Honolulu has offered to help a bit with that when she comes over on weekends to volunteer with me on the mountain.

I found out last week that the bookstore that carries one of my photos has run out.  Bumped into the manager today and he said that yeah, we need to work on getting more ordered.  One little victory.  And I have to get around to finding the time to work on another product or two that I want to provide for them.

Oh well... back to digging through the mail.

Mele Kalikimaka & Hau'oli Makahiki Hou to all.

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