May 2nd, 2002


Celebration and Scotch

Paul Placeway had a successful thesis defense on Monday. He entered CMU with me in the fall of 1993, so it's been a long and difficult process for him.

There was a celebration planned for him at the Sharp Edge. Lots of folks from the SCA and from other walks of life were there to celebrate Paul's triumph.

For a year or so, there had been occasional talk of celebrating Paul's graduation with a bottle of really good Scotch. So after his defense, I asked Steven and Raven if they knew of an organization to buy him a bottle. I had expected there would be such a group already, and I wanted to contribute.

As it turned out, they didn't know of any such group, but they liked the idea. So we decided to make it happen; they contacted SCA friends, I contacted some CMU people, and we found a number of people willing to chip in.

Steven and Raven swung by the liquor store on the way to the Sharp Edge, and they picked up a bottle of 25-year-old Macallan Scotch. They also picked up a card for people to sign. And according to Raven, while people were furtively signing the card outside the party room, more and more people came along, thought it was a good idea, and chipped in money to sign the card. By the time I repaid Raven for my share, so many people had joined the project that the per-person share of the bottle's price was extremely reasonable.

Paul seemed delighted to receive the bottle; he really does beam when he's happy. I felt very proud to have been the trigger to set that process in motion.

Money Without the Stress

I had been feeling just a touch concerned about our finances lately, because it looked like the amount we had in checking would be just enough for our end-of-the-month bills. But I knew that I was getting paid today, and I knew that we had money in savings, so it was just a matter of being careful not to bounce checks.

As it was, I just didn't get around to paying those bills until today. So tonight I paid a bunch of bills, looked at our finances, and determined that we had enough to move a fair bit of money into savings. Whee!

With a bit of crunch, we could put enough in savings to cover the minimum balance to avoid fees for our family account. But I don't want to go through that crunch. We've been crunching for a long time--I feel happier about building our savings with reasonable strength without crunching.

(A parenthetical note: according to Quicken, over half the money I've earned this year has gone to pay taxes. Yeesh!)