May Makeover Challenge Motivation

[16:40] Sister: Did you ever get those green jeans? How did the size fit?
[16:46] Me: I got the jeans, but can’t wear them in my current ass.
[16:46] Me: When I trade in for a smaller ass, I will rock them mightily.
[16:46] Sister: LMAO

Site Maintenance

Hey all! I hope everyone is having a great pre-holiday so far. I know I am. 🙂

I’ll be doing some site maintenance – upgrading WordPress, possibly tweaking the look of the site, and who knows what else – in the next few days, so I apologize for any weirdness that may occur. Things should be back to normal (including more frequent blog posts by moi) by Monday, Dec. 29.

Happy holidays!

Which Discworld character are you?

I found this Discworld quiz through the Ankh-Morpork Knitter’s Guild group at Ravelry. I am not sure if I am pleased or disturbed by my results.

You Scored as Lord Havelock Vetinari

You are Lord Vetinari! Supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork! Cool, calculated, and always in control. You graduated from the assassins guild, but failed a course on stealth and camouflage, because the professor never saw you there (even though you attended every class). You always seem to know what everyone is thinking, and after a conversation with you, people feel that they have just escaped certain death.

Lord Havelock Vetinari
Carrot Ironfounderson
Commander Samuel Vimes
The Librarian
Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax
Gytha (Nanny) Ogg
Cohen The Barbarian

eHarmony Friends and Family 3-for-1 Coupon Codes

As some of you may know, my husband Chris and I met through the online dating site eHarmony over four years ago. We’ve been rather revoltingly happy ever since (even when freezing our tushies off while appearing in the latest round of eHarmony TV commercials), which is why I wanted to share the love this holiday season and post some eHarmony coupon codes that will give you three months of membership for the price of a single month, or under $20/month. That’s right in line with the monthly fees at other online dating sites that don’t provide the personality screening and guided communication options that make eHarmony a better fit for those of us who are more interested in real relationships versus just a date for the weekend. 😉

For eHarmony Friends and Family, get a 3 month subscription for the price of 1 ($59.85), good till 12/31/08.

New subscribers: FAFDECA8
Former subscribers, who want to resubscribe: FAFDECE8

For (Canadian residents):
New subscribers: DCANFAFA
Former subscribers, who want to resubscribe: DCANFAFE

Just select the 3 month plan on the subscription page, and enter the coupon code above.

My Day As A Dave Ramsey TMMO Live! Volunteer: A Review

I just got back from my volunteer stint in Tampa for the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover live event on September 6, 2008, and I am tired! I’ve been up since 5:45, and it’s now almost midnight. Needless to say, no workout today, and I was at the mercy of the benevolent TMMO volunteer management staff as far as food went because we weren’t allowed to bring so much as a bottle of water into the St. Pete Times Forum where the event was held.

From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa

My friend and fellow Financial Peace University classmate Colleen and I left Orlando around 7:30 AM and arrived at the venue in downtown Tampa just after 9:00 AM. We were given our choice of Large or X-Large volunteer t-shirts in the lobby (the early birds snagged all of the smaller sizes) and handed some pre-printed name tags, a TMMO Live workbook, and a voucher for one item (~$20-$30 value) from the Dave Ramsey product line. From there, we joined the rest of the volunteers on the stadium floor to get our general orientation regarding duties, meals, and the show, then split up for specific training on our assigned tasks.

From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa

While the primary duty of each volunteer was to man one of the many product tables selling FPU kits and non-FPU Dave Ramsey books, CDs, DVDs, software, and product bundles, some of us also were drafted to scan the tickets of incoming attendees, hand out pens, flyers, and workbooks, and sell bundled kits as walking vendors in the stands. At the end of the event, the women, armed with latex gloves and trash bags, were assigned to trash detail in the stands while the men packed up the remaining merchandise and loaded the boxes on the trucks.

We were given a lunch break around 1:00 PM when the event started, and dinner was provided at around 7:00 PM when the show was over.

From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa

All in all, the food was pretty good, and I survived the long gaps between lunch and dinner without collapsing in a heap. We were on our feet for much of the day (including many trots up and down the Forum’s back stairs and around the perimeter of the bowl), so I know that my total calorie burn was higher than an average sedentary work day even without dedicated exercise.

We were expected to man our product tables for an hour and a half prior to the start of the show, during the two 20-30 minute intermissions, and immediately after the show. The rest of the time, we were free to find our own seats in the stadium to watch the event ourselves. Because we weren’t limited to the paid seating areas, we actually got so sit VERY close to the stage at the front left.

From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa

The material covered was like a Cliffs Notes version of the same things I’ve learned in greater detail already in FPU and from the TMMO book, but it was really interesting to watch Dave Ramsey perform live and see how folks who were new to his personal finance philosophy reacted to his mix of humor, plain-speaking, and common sense–very entertaining as a whole. I’m sure he changed a lot of minds today about the nature of credit, debt, and sound financial practices. At the very least, he gave many people the hope that, however bad their money issues may be at the moment, there was a workable plan to get them to a better place within 2-5 years as long as they were willing to take responsibility for their own fates.

Now for the stuff you really wanted to know — What we got for donating our time!

As one of the cadre of over 100 volunteers, I scored:

  • free admission to the show ($35 value) when I wasn’t passing out workbooks to entering guests or working at the book bundle table; we missed the first 30 minutes of the show while we were at lunch, and about 8-10 minutes before and after each intermission.
  • a heather blue volunteer ringer t-shirt (size L) with “Live Like No One Else” printed on the back and a “Dave Ramsey Volunteer” logo on the front left pocket position
  • a coupon for one $20-$30 value item from the merch tables (I got one of the deluxe envelope systems. Other options included a Financial Peace Jr. kit, a choice of one of DR’s books, $30 off the $99 FPU kit, the financial management software, and several other items in the same price range.)
  • a box lunch (sandwich, chips, oatmeal raisin cookie, peach, and ham or turkey submarine sandwich) with ice water or iced tea
  • a catered dinner (strawberry cheesecake, salad, bread, bean casserole thingie, seasoned new potato wedges, and sliced pork loin) with water, iced tea, and coffee
  • the opportunity to chat with lots of other motivated people working through the same financial baby steps
  • a real live handshake with Dave Ramsey himself, LOL! 😉 (He came around to greet and shake hands with all of the volunteers about 30 minutes before the doors opened.)

(Alas, no pics with the Dave since my camera was at the product table with Colleen when he came by to shake the hands of the volunteers handing out course materials at the entrance.)

It was a great experience overall, and very much worth the $15 in gas and parking money Colleen and I both chipped in for the trip.

Back to regular workouts (including a catch up back/bi/abs one) tomorrow morning!

I’m going to do my 100 Push Ups workout now and then hit the sack.

If you are at all interested in seeing DR live for free, and there is a TMMO Live! event coming to your town, look into volunteering like I did. The staff members are very cool and friendly, you’ll get to watch a good 80-85% of the show, you will be fed two meals, you will get to meet and possibly help a lot of folks on their journeys to financial prosperity, and hey–SWAG!

Some more random pics from the event:

From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa
From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa
From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa
From 20080906_TMMO LiveTampa

I can’t believe I never noticed before!

I was left to my own devices last night when my husband went out to play some cards (the WoW collectible card game, not poker) with his geek crew, so I fired up the DVR and finally watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time whilst roasting a chicken, balancing my accounts in MS Money, and hoovering the carpet, not necessarily all at the same time.

Plenty has been said about the film, so I will just say that I found it really well acted, very emotionally engaging, and worthy of a few leaked tears at the end.

However, amidst all the blubbering I still noticed something really funny. Funny for me, anyway. Maybe not so much for my husband given the origin of my discovery.

MyHeritage: Celebrity MorphGeneology Family history

We could save a whole lot of money on Halloween this year if Chris would just get some black hair dye and a black cowboy hat, don’t you think?

Temporary Site Snafus

7/3/08 Update: The upgrade was successful, but I had to remove the Recent Comments block from the sidebar because it was using too much of my server’s CPU resources. Comments are active again, though, so post away!

Regular blog visitors might have noticed some downtime since Sunday as well as a switch to a pretty basic WordPress default theme today. Apparently one of my WordPress plugins recently went a bit bonkers, and my web host’s bots have been automatically taking the site offline because lil’ old Caustic Musings was using more than its share of the server’s CPU time.


Anyway, I’ll be troubleshooting the issues and upgrading my scripts Thursday and generally bringing the various bits and pieces of the blog back up to speed as soon as I can. I am disabling comments until I get everything working properly again. Thanks for hanging around, and please excuse the temporary mess!

$10 BP Gas Card & Insulated Tote for Donating Blood (Central Florida)

If you live in the central Florida area, why not stop by a branch of Florida’s Blood Center and donate a pint of blood as your good deed for the July 4th holiday?

The blood center is giving away a $10 BP gas card and a spiffy insulated red lunch tote through July 6, and you will also be enrolled in their Darden Restaurant Club Red program which gives you a $10 gift card valid for Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze or any other Darden Restaurant for every 2 donations.

Hey, a frugal fitness geek can never have too many insulated food carriers, and $10 for gas definitely won’t be taken amiss in my house.

Big Red Bag