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Coffee Klatch

   MeiDei  Hope & Balo - you guys OK?
April 19 at 20:53 EST .

   HopeandGlory  Hello Mei, I'm fine . . . I'm just taking a Breath'er, it gets a little tense around here sometimes, so I'm taking the opportunity to do a little Spring Cleaning and catching up on all the Gardening Chores . . . SMILE!
April 22 at 16:36 EST .

   MeiDei  So glad to hear from you & that all is well.
April 23 at 18:07 EST .

   MeiDei  I hope Balo is busy with her new job and/or garden and not absent due to health complications.
14 hours ago .

   Linder  Getting ready to leave early in the morning for District Republican Convention. Sitting on the rules committee and we will meet early to consider proposing a common sense rule change to expedite choosing delegates to the National Convention. The first time I was a county delegate to district and state conventions was the year Reagan challenged Pres. Ford and it was great fun...the last time that every delegate mattered and was wooed. Have been a delegate to many uneventful conventions since and it looks like another fun one is happening. I'm looking forward to it.
April 8 at 20:54 EST .

   7 people like this.

   MeiDei  An uplifting message - pages turn themselves - view full screen, enjoy a happier morning than perhaps what you expected today, or tomorrow : )
March 28 at 21:57 EST .

   1 person like this.

   Linder  Enjoyed! Will pass it on.
April 8 at 21:31 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Gerty  What is wrong with Google? Check out my pet peeve on that wall.
March 27 at 19:08 EST .

   MeiDei  To all who visit here ...
   March 26 at 01:51 EST .

   2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks, Mei. Happy Easter to all.
March 27 at 09:21 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Balogreene  My sister in Chicago came down this weekend. Yesterday she went to the Garden show with our older sister. Today, she and I went to Reston Town Center (the first planned community in America ), We went to my office, to deliver a footstool, and a signed picture of Ron Santo. Then we went looking for a Banana Republic (we went the wrong direction ). We got Bubble Tea, went to the Apple Store (we spent two hours, they were not able to connect to Verizon, so we walked out without phones ). Then, we met my 28 yr-old nephew for dinner. What a nice young man he turned out to be.
February 28 at 21:17 EST .

   3 people like this.

   Balogreene  Something I learned the other day. I'm 63, when I rollover my old 401(k ) to my new company, I can withdraw money with no penalty (except taxes ). I'm thinking of withdrawing enough to pay off my debt, and the car debt that is only partially mine. Then I will roll the rest over into the new company's 401(k ), put a little into it, and put more into a Roth 401(k ).

I get a free consultation with a financial advisor from T.Rowe Price from my old company. I will clarify with her. But, the guy I spoke to briefly the other night said it is a good idea to wipe out all debt and move forward with retirement savings.

Any thoughts?
January 31 at 00:23 EST .

   3 people like this.

   MeiDei  Scroll down to the tax chart from this site:
I think it will be helpful.
February 2 at 14:10 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Balogreene  Thanks Mei Dei. I do get a free consult from my old company, about how to do this. I would just feel better having no debt, and get taxed on that relatively low amount of money, than continue on with a couple of the debts.

What I'm really worried about, is I haven't accumulated as much in my retirement plans as I should have!
February 3 at 22:38 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Balogreene  I decided to roll-over to a retirement IRA, and also invest n my new company's Roth 401(k ). I'll have some ax able, some non-taxable, and diversity. Hope it works.
February 8 at 21:32 EST .

  7 people like this.

   Linder  Getting very close to Caucus time and am still able to be polite to polling callers. Have never had sooo many calls and I answer every one...reminding myself how lucky I am to live in this country. Most today are from Cruz, Rubio and Paul and are not polling questions but rather asking directly for support. The forecast of a big snow storm coming our way Monday eve. may put a new wrinkle in things. And then we'll be happy to send the process on to New Hampshire.
January 30 at 16:51 EST .

   6 people like this.

   Balogreene  Linder, living in Northern VA after the 30 inches of snow that fell, and all the people from the midwest who told us to just get over it, a big snowstorm won't affect you, right?

I know how I would vote if I were you, but, it comes down to who I want, and who might win the election. I'm hoping, right now, who one wants is more important.

VA has moved it's primary up to March (Super Tuesday? ), I'm hoping this time the front-runner won't already be decided. I hope I can have a voice. But, I am ready to vote Republican, no matter what.

The people recommending Bush, Kasich, Carson, Florin, etc are crazy, they don't have a snowball's chance in H. But, there are some others I hope don't get any votes.
January 31 at 00:17 EST .

  6 people like this.

   Balogreene  Man, this spell-check is awful! I meant Fiorina. I kind of like her, but, she is going nowhere. I also love Santorum, always have, but, no one else does.
January 31 at 00:25 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene  Okay, while it is still fresh in what is left of my mind. I started my new job today.

Enormous amounts of paperwork. One insurance plan (for a single ) is $250/month, I didn't look at the middle one, the third one is $120/month, and has an HSA. The highest deductible (the middle plan ) is $1300, the out of pocket is $3,000. At CACI I had a $4-5,000 deductible, and out of pocket of over $6k. I'm going to roll my other HSA into the new one.

The original news was wrong, there are only 8 paid holidays, two personal days, and 20 paid time off days.

I have an office about the size of my old boss. It has a door, and a smoked glass strip of a window (I close the door, no one can see in ). Two laptops, 3 monitors. One laptop is connected to the internet, the other (by order of the government ) is not connected to the internet. It has it's own network, but that is surrounded by "free air". I log on to both machines in the morning. Then, when I want to switch to the other, I just press a button, don't have to log off until I go home. The middle monitor is connected to both computers, but, the left works on the no internet machine, the right on the internet machine.

They are going to get me both Illustrator and Visio. Maybe Solidworks (a CAD program ).

My office is right by the kitchen. The Nespresso, Keurig (coffee and tea ), juice, water, and soda are free, as is the plastic ware. They have all different kinds of hot sauce, tabasco, honey, sugar, fake sugar, whatever. I didn't find the plates and napkins, but that's okay, I've gotten used to supplying my own.

I got my parking pass today, the lot about 1 block from work doesn't open to the public until 10:30, so, I use the pass to go in, and there is a ton of parking.

There is a Mexican, a Big Bowl, a couple of American places, a burger joint restaurants all within the block. And more. It is in the Center with Clyde's (a great area restaurant ), Morton's, McCormick and Schmick (seafood ), Starbucks, Sushi, Japanese, Italian, and more restaurants, all within walking distance. On one side of my building is a Teavana, and on the other is a Wine Bar! A movie theater is about two blocks away, the ice-skating rink is next to Clyde's.

My building has elevators (so do the parking garages ).

SHOCK ALERT!!! Everyone I talked to today gets in between 0800 and 0900. My boss, Christine, lives near me and says it is really easy to get in before 0800. She drops her daughter at school and gets in between 0730 and 0800. I'm going to try and do that 0800 start time!

And, because it is supposed to maybe possibly snow a huge amount on Friday, I have a laptop to bring
January 19 at 20:54 EST .

   6 people like this.

   Balogreene  I'm loving this job. It will make a good retirement scenario.
January 30 at 00:19 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene  My company does "on boarding" and "off boarding". Someone in my office calls it "out boarding", so I call it "motor boating". That will happen 15 Dec, in the morning. I will then be done. I've deleted all references to them off my home computer. They will delete all reference to me Friday morning.

I will start Tuesday, 19 January, due to Monday being MLK's birthday holiday. I've never had it off before! Kind of strange to have all Federal holidays off (never in all my years of work ). I will do a test run Monday, cause I got lost on the way to the interview.

I will let you all know the end of next week. I need a day or two to start to think about settling in.
January 14 at 23:18 EST .

   6 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Best of luck with this new job. You've got this.
January 15 at 05:49 EST .

  6 people like this.

   Balogreene  it's done. I'm officially unemployed til Tuesday.
January 15 at 20:48 EST .

  5 people like this.

   MeiDei  Good luck. You mentioned building your department from the bottom up, have you asked any of those you worked with, & presumably also out of work, to join you?
January 16 at 08:35 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Balogreene  There are 9 engineers also out of work. One seems to be enjoying unemployment at the time, two say they don't fit the needs, but one of them is brilliant and will be an asset to any company, he has asked me to float his resume. One other applied, but seemed to mess up by asking for too much money (he makes a lot now, he's also heard from another company, piece of cake work, but less money. Nothing he can't live on ). The other 5 were encouraging each other to apply, so, I hope they do. They wouldn't be in my "department" as I'm the only writer at this point in time, but, we would be working together. I hope some of them go for it and get jobs.
January 16 at 18:31 EST .

  4 people like this.

   Balogreene  It is strange how many companies think they don't need writers (my ex-company included ). They seem to think the engineers can produce all documents and graphics because "everyone knows Word and PowerPoint". This produces poor manuals for the service people to work from, but, a Writer/Illustrator is an added expense when they are trying to make money on the contract.

The Government has gone to lowest price-technically acceptable as the bottom line for all contracts. They look at the lowest priced proposal, ask their contracts people (not the technical people needing the work ) if that is acceptable. If it is, that company gets the job. If it works out they are not technically acceptable, or cannot do the Manuals, drawings, etc. needed, the Government has to put out a new contract for the new needs.

It really is not cost effective, but, it is what Congress has mandated.
January 16 at 18:36 EST .

  6 people like this.

   StormCnter  Balo, my son-in-law's sister does work that sounds very similar to what you do. It's a rewarding occupation and more in-demand than some would think. She now does a lot of consulting work, too.
January 17 at 09:56 EST .

  5 people like this.

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