Archive for December, 2009

Goodbye to the Naughties

Paul Krugman‘s New York Times December 27th column (“The Big Zero“) notes that for most of America the past decade has been at best an economics holding action. For the first time in U.S history private-sector employment declined and median household income ended up lower than it was in 1999. Trisha and I have been fortunate in many ways. We both kept our jobs, managed to make some home improvements and pay off the mortgage, and get through a variety¬†of health issues. We also found time to take a couple of memorable trips in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. I’m optimistic that the next decade will offer more time for gardening, reading and travel.

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Christmas Day

Trisha was up early as always to feed the birds and by 8:00 we were in front of the tree opening gifts. Taking advantage of the luscious weather we walked a ways up a nearby logging road that we haven’t visited much since we’ve been without dogs. It was a wonderful reminder of how beautiful the forest is and the soothing effect of the waterfalls. Later it was back to the Snoqualmie Casino buffet for an early Christmas dinner. It’s so decadent. I sampled a wide range of the offerings: turkey with stuffing, French toast, smoked bacon, crab legs, carrot cake. The day ended with a typical North Bend wind storm and we lost power around 7:00 so it was a quiet evening reading by candlelight until bed time.

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Lovely Christmas Eve

We began our day with a vigorous workout at the gym. Trisha then readied Christmas cookies that we distributed to our neighbors. After an early dinner at the Snoqualmie Casino buffet we toured the Bellevue Botanical Gardens¬†display of holiday lights. It’s a dramatic presentation with thousands of LED lights used to imitate garden plants and animals like poinsettias, clematis, grapes, sunflowers, butterflies, peacocks, etc.

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First Stamps Posted on Ebay

I finally took the plunge and posted a few U.S. stamps for sale on Ebay. I doubt I’ll sell these initial items but I wanted to go through the steps and set up an efficient process for scanning and uploading the images, creating descriptions, and tracking my inventory. I have about 100 items in the queue and will be adding more to Ebay over the next few weeks.

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Building the Stamps Store

In anticipation of selling my huge inventory of extra mint U.S. stamps I registered two Internet domain names I’ll be using for my web presence: and The email address for the business will be I hope to spend some time over the holidays putting some initial items on Ebay and setting up a basic web site.

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No More Mortgage Payments

WhoooHooo!! I dropped off our final mortgage payment in this morning’s mail. For the first time since 1984 we won’t have a monthly house payment.

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Breaking Out the Snow Shovel

We had our first measurable snow this evening. I had to scrape an inch or so of snow from around Trisha’s bird feeders. I’m not complaining though: it was this week last year that we got the first foot of snow in that relentless series of winter storms. And the forecast is for temperatures pushing 50 later in the week.

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