jcollie719: (License JCollie719)
My car is in the shop this morning. I should get an estimate of the actual repair cost in a day or two. I'd love it if the repairs could be finished in less than six weeks, since I wouldn't have to spend as much on the rental car.

I did some food shopping last night to cover the next few days until I pick up my rental car on Friday.
jcollie719: (License JCollie719)
 The auto repair shop told me it would take 4-6 weeks to completely repair the hail damage and dents in my car. The shop doesn't have any "loaner" cars, but I can get a discounted rental rate through Enterprise with my car insurance. Renting a car for six weeks at the regular rate would cost me $1,700-2,400. Renting one for Friday-Monday only each weekend wouldn't be much cheaper ($1,600-2,200 total.) My dad might loan me his Oldsmobile during that time, but I'm not sure how he'd feel about me driving it back and forth to Denver for the cruise reunion or for FoxTrot in August if my car isn't fixed by then. I may rent a car just for those two weekends.
jcollie719: (Default)
My state tax refund arrived in the mail today.

2017 GOALS
RMFC
Weight below 280
Second vacation (BLFC or DC singles reunion)
 
I accomplished the last goal last month with the DC reunion. In place of RMFC, I will attend another cruise reunion in Denver in just over a month.
jcollie719: (Jamie pawpet)
My federal tax refund will be deposited into my account on Wednesday.

One of the upsides to gaining weight on vacation is that I usually lose it again fairly quickly. My weight the night before the trip was 313, and I weighed 324 when I got home. A week later, I'm down to 317.

The July cruise reunion in Denver will be much easier and more affordable for me. Depending on which activities are added to the schedule, I will likely only book a room at the hotel for Saturday and Sunday nights. The preliminary schedule shows the group will mainly do sightseeing during the day and have dinner and drinks at night. I could just drive to Denver and back on Thursday and Friday nights, then check into the hotel after work on Saturday. I will ask the announcer who follows my shift if he can come in at 11:30 or noon on that Sunday so I can attend a barbecue hosted at a cruiser's house in Colorado Springs.
jcollie719: (Jamie pawpet)
 My Washington, DC vacation started out a bit shaky but quickly got much better. Since my tax refund -- around which I budgeted my trip -- won't arrive until next month, I applied for a $1,500 loan through the Lending Tree website in the week before the trip. A local branch of One Main Financial completed the loan and said the money would be in my account on Thursday, the day I flew out to Washington. My mood was dampened a little Thursday morning when I got an e-mail from Lending Tree saying the loan wasn't approved. I greatly reduced my spending that day, then got an e-mail that night from One Main saying the loan actually was approved and the money was in my account!

THURSDAY
My first flight from Colorado Springs to Chicago was very peaceful because no kids were on it. I had a cup of orange juice and a stroopwafel on the flight, then got a tomato and mozzarella sandwich and a bottle of water during the layover in Chicago. There was a kid on the flight from Chicago to DC, but it didn't make a lot of noise.

The singles group went to Whitlow's restaurant in Arlington for dinner Thursday night. I had a barbecue bacon cheeseburger, chocolate cake for dessert and a rum-and-coke. Instead of separate checks for each person, the restaurant gave checks to each table of 5-6 people. I didn't have any cash on me at that point. The bill for the table was $120; the others at the table offered to reimburse me if I paid for the table with my credit card. I figured this would still leave me with enough money left on the card for the hotel and one or two nights of dining, along with cash in my wallet (This was a few hours before I learned my loan was approved.)

Taking the subway back to the hotel, I thought the train's announcer was beatboxing and calling himself "Willie Rest-In-Peace." Looking at the signs, I realized he was saying the train was headed toward the "Wiehle-Reston East" station and the "beatboxing" was just the announcer clumsily putting the microphone in its holder.

FRIDAY
The day started with a group tour of the Capitol building. There was nothing really going on since Congress wasn't meeting at the time. The group had lunch in one of the Dirksen Senate Building's cafes (I had chicken and fries.) A member of our group took us on a tour of the Senate's TV and radio studios.

The group went to Chadwick's bar before the dinner cruise. The cruise went up and down the Potomac river. I had the parmesan chicken for dinner. After the cruise, the group took an Uber ride to the Crystal City Sports Pub near the hotel. The pub was too crowded, so the group went down the street to Bar Louie instead. I had a couple of s'mores martinis.

SATURDAY
I wasn't able to sign up in time for the White House tour (The deadline had passed before I committed to go on this vacation.) I was told the group would meet at Arlington Cemetery for a bus tour at 1 PM. I took the subway and got there by about 12:50. I waited inside the visitors center and asked the group on Facebook when/where the group was supposed to meet. When I didn't get a response by 2:00, I headed back to the hotel.

That night, the group had a few drinks in the hotel bar, then headed down the street to Ted's Montana Grill for dinner. I had a "Red Rock" bison burger and some "Mountain Breeze" martinis (no relation to the Mountain Dew knockoff from Safeway.)

I got back to the hotel around 10 PM, then played some of the games on Steelwoulfe's Jackbox stream for a couple of hours.

SUNDAY
The group had a brunch buffet at the Crystal City Sports Pub. I got some andouille sausage with peppers and onions, some biscuits with chipped beef, and a mimosa. My ankles had blisters from all of the walking I'd done so far. I decided to just have two of the instant pasta cups I packed for lunch, then had dinner later in the hotel's restaurant. I couldn't stay up to listen to all of Doggy Radio because I needed to get some sleep before my flights.

MONDAY
United Airlines had given me two one-time passes to their "United Club" lounges for this trip. I had a two-hour wait at both DC and Chicago's airports, so I visited the lounges at both locations. I had a light snack at each location, along with coffee in Chicago. My flight from Chicago to Colorado Springs left about 40 minutes late. There was a loud kid a couple rows in front of me on this flight. I had eaten an edible before the flight, so I was thankfully relaxed and unaffected by the kid. The flight wasn't too far behind schedule, arriving 10-15 minutes late.

I thought I had lost weight during the vacation due to all the walking I did because the planes' seat belts fit comfortably on all of the flights. When I got home, I saw I had gained 11 pounds. I don't know if I have less body fat than before or United recently installed longer seat belts. I've had to request seat belt extensions on many of my past United flights, but none this time.

Another cruise reunion is scheduled for July in Denver. That will be much easier and cheaper for me.
jcollie719: (License JCollie719)
 I have a new temporary driver's license now. After my Toastmasters meeting, I went to a nearby DMV location, only to be told I needed to go to another one further south. (The first location is a county office, while the second is a state office.) I'm holding out hope my regular license will arrive in the next few days.

My dad was able to mail the additional tax information I needed to get my refund. The refund should arrive in 4-6 weeks. It sucks to not have the money for next week's vacation, but I'll be able to wipe out a portion of my current debt once the refund is deposited.
jcollie719: (Collie Weed Wink)
 The DMV said my new license was mailed on March 20th. They said I could request a duplicate license at a local DMV branch if it doesn't arrive today, which it hasn't.

I will bring the tax-related letters to Dad tonight. Dad said he could print out any forms I need to send to the IRS so I can (hopefully) get my refund before next Thursday. Both my state and federal tax refunds are being held until I provide additional information about some of the deductions.
jcollie719: (Tiger Jump)
First the Colorado Department of Revenue needs more information for my state tax refund. Today, a similar letter from the IRS arrived regarding my federal refund. If this issue isn't resolved by next Thursday, I'll need to skimp a bit during my D.C. vacation. I've already planned to bring some instant oatmeal and a few snacks to reduce the food part of my budget. On a happier note, my boss at KRCC let me know he found two people to fill my shifts during vacation.

I had lunch with the international cuisine group today at China Village. There were a bunch of dishes that were tempting. I ordered the curry chicken lunch and a mai-tai.
jcollie719: (Tiger Jump)
My new driver's license hasn't arrived yet. Instead, the Department of Revenue envelope in Saturday's mail had a letter stating my tax refund is being held until they receive an Individual Credit Schedule form. The delay shouldn't affect my plans for the DC trip in less than two weeks since I'll still have enough money for the hotel and trip expenses.

A co-worker's wife gave me some leftovers to have for Easter dinner: turkey, gravy, stuffing, corn, biscuit and chocolate cake.

There was another "cube it" moment during my KRCC shift today. When answering a question about calculating the age of the universe, a show's guest used "cube it" in the equation. Hearing the phrase "cube it" always reminds me of Jim Ward quoting Bill Cosby's "Noah" bit on the Stephanie Miller Show: "RIIIIIGHT! What's a cubit? Vooka-vooka-vooka!"
jcollie719: (AFA Chapel)
Still no federal tax refund. I'm not worried at the moment because I don't have any major expenses due this week. My next payday will be on Friday.

I never thought I'd ever have to say this, but... R.I.P. Rocky Mountain Fur Con. I didn't realize problems with the con ran deeper than just fear/hatred of certain groups. It turns out MAAAC, the organization that ran RMFC, had lost its tax-exempt status years ago. Also, the head of MAAAC sent a Cease and Desist letter banning someone (who wasn't even going to attend RMFC) for bringing a gun threat to the staff's attention.
https://www.flayrah.com/6903/rocky-mountain-fur-con-canceled-following-neo-nazi-associations-tax-irregularities
http://dogpatch.press/2017/04/10/rocky-mountain-fur-con-threat/

A group is now working on a replacement con for 2018. I've heard the names Mile High Furry Weekend, Mile High Furry Con and DenFur being proposed. Leaders of other cons are mentoring the group to get things started. I'm sad about the loss of RMFC as I've been attending since 2010, but I look forward to a new and (hopefully) better-run convention.

I might need to buy a new digital camera if I can't find a specific part for my current one. The tab holding the camera's battery in place broke about a month ago. Now the camera only works when it's in its charging dock. HP no longer supports the camera (a Photosmart R817,) so buying a new one might be better. I still have the waterproof camera I bought for my Grenada cruise as a backup.
jcollie719: (Craig Ferguson Ooooo)
I hope I'm able to find a substitute for my KRCC shifts during my upcoming vacation. The person listed as a part-time sub said he wasn't available that weekend. There are other part-time staff members, but I'm unsure which ones would be allowed to fill in for me.

I will soon be able to talk more on the air at KRCC. After the recent schedule change and partial switch to automation, Weekend Edition was the only program with breaks where I could talk. The station engineer said now that the automation system's kinks are mostly ironed out, he would insert 15- or 30-second breaks in the remaining programs so I could give a quick weather report, announce upcoming shows, etc.

Reading about the United passenger who was forcibly removed from a flight due to overbooking was disturbing. Four passengers were removed so four United employees could have their seats, according to news reports. When I began taking singles cruises in 2006, I signed up for Continental Airlines' frequent flyer program since they had the lowest-priced flights at the time. I was moved to the UnitedPlus program when Continental and United merged. I had flown American Airlines to last year's cruise in Grenada because United doesn't fly there. I had a better experience flying with American. Having a hub in Dallas is also a plus for Furry Fiesta. My flights to and from DC this month are on United (bought mostly with miles,) but I will likely use other airlines in the future until United improves.

I still haven't received my federal tax refund. My dad filed the return, so he said he would look into why it hasn't been deposited.
jcollie719: (I Haz A Sad)
The KRCC pledge drive was originally going to end this Saturday, but it will end on Friday instead. I'll be able to resume my "normal" schedule on Saturday morning.

It would be great if cell phone makers invested more into making the phones sound better. Being able to hear and understand callers is sometimes difficult in a room with 4-5 others taking pledges. Adding the "hamburger phone" limitations -- and the mountainous locations of some of our listeners -- to that is even more frustrating. Thankfully, today had my last phone shift for this drive.

I'd love to wake up tomorrow and find my federal tax refund has been deposited.

My digital camera is saying its battery is defective. I ordered a new battery this week. The tab holding the battery in place is partially broken, but I hope that isn't causing the "defective" notice.
jcollie719: (dog antlers)
I took a Zyrtec before bed last night since KRCC had its "Chili Challenge" this morning. Chili is a golden retriever therapy dog, and her owners help the station during its membership drives. A few people who pledged in person mistakenly thought the station had already moved into its future location on Tejon Street. That move likely won't happen until late this year or early next year.

My federal tax refund hasn't been direct deposited yet. If it's not in my account tomorrow morning, I'll take my change jar to the credit union to pad my account a bit. I still have about $150 in my accounts, but a little more wouldn't hurt.
jcollie719: (Panda Kigurumi)
Tomorrow at FoxTrot, I'll wear the "partial" parts of my fursuit with my jacket and regular clothes since this weekend will be chilly. I need to contact my suit maker after dinner tonight to see if she's going to FoxTrot, or if she can adjust the suit body sometime in the next two weeks. Next week might not work due to the KRCC drive.

I signed up for two more phone shifts at KRCC yesterday. My upcoming vacation is now completely "Even Stevened."

My replacement APAP mask was delivered an hour ago. This should greatly improve my sleep for the next few months. Also, a few of the KRCC shifts I picked were 6-9 AM, so my sleep schedule won't be quite as varied this week.
jcollie719: (Collie Wink)
I'm getting a larger-than-usual tax refund in a few weeks. This year, I'm able to write off more of my medical expenses.

Saturday marks 40 days until my singles cruise reunion in Washington, DC. I got a hotel room by myself, but I'll offer to share the room/cost with someone (either specific dates or the whole weekend) since the rooms have two double beds. For the KRCC membership drive in two weeks, I need to sign up for 5-6 phone shifts to make up for the work days I'll miss next month.
jcollie719: (Polar Bear Xing)
I bought a thermometer for my refrigerator tonight. Years ago, I had turned up the fridge's temperature beause all the liquid items I put in it kept turning to ice. More recently, I suspected it was too warm when my container of coffee creamer started to spoil a month before its expiration date. The current fridge temp is just inside the safe zone at 39 degrees, but I'm making it cooler just to be safe.

Another insurance refund check came in the mail over the weekend!
jcollie719: (Ryan Headdesk)
I should receive my end-of-February paycheck next Wednesday. I tried to submit the hours for my mid-March paycheck on Monday, but I forgot my password for the payroll site. I got the password reset today and submitted my hours (hopefully) on time this time.

I had lunch today at the Arabian Nights restaurant on the north end of town. I had the shawarma beef lunch.
jcollie719: (tiger jump)
My end-of-February paycheck wasn't deposited for some reason. I've called the payroll office and left a message for them. The radio station didn't mention anything about a delay, so I will likely be nearly broke until March 15. I'll bring my change jar to the credit union tomorrow to put a bit more into my account. I'm disappointed because I have a couple of bills due before the 15th.
jcollie719: (Hot Air Balloons)

After forgetting to do this for a few months, I've resumed keeping a food log. Instead of counting calories, my goal is to keep better track of everything I eat and drink, including zero-calorie things like water and diet soda. I previously left off the water/soda to save space. Now I'm making sure I drink enough water during the day.

I actually felt completely clean after my shower today. I took the time to make sure I thoroughly washed myself instead of rushing through the process as I often do.

I went through the rest of my old mail and found the remaining tax documents I need.

jcollie719: (Collie Wink)
PAY for Sunday, February 19th: 10 hours (5 AM-3 PM)

I'm glad I went through the mail that's been piling up over the past couple of weeks. I found a couple of refund checks from my health insurance company. I'll deposit the checks later today.

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