Seattle Update, April 7, 2008

Monday April 7, 2008 


Some days it feels like spring is in the air, Sunday
was one of those days. I've taken to volunteering at
a gym in Ballard called
Stone Gardens.
Volunteering is a great way to get free climb time
at the gym. Unfortunately, because the gym is really
far away for me, getting there regularly is
difficult. I can only manage weekends and for now,
weekends are good because I'm not planning any
outdoor climbing. Usually the weekend is the time to
get away to Smith or elsewhere. This past weekend, I
put in some time at the gym and was even able to get
a workout and session in on Saturday. It was good.
In between my
volunteer shifts, I took a stroll through the locks
hoping to find some steelhead in the ladders. 
Unfortunately, none were there. 😦  I did get
to see a boat come through on the big lock, however.

Today was my 3rd day at work and Murphy's Law was in
place all day. It started with a miscommunication
that occurred on Friday, which led to my being 30
minutes late to a meeting this morning. It followed
with a long and drawn out day of trying to get all
of my credentials sorted and software installed.
Naturally, there were some snaffus, and only 1 issue
that required a call in to Helpdesk. Turned out an
important security patch (Security Update for
Microsoft(r) Office Outlook 2007 (KB946983)) causes
my Outlook to behave poorly, which was the last step
in getting myself running today. After removing the
update and consciously reminding myself to
all of the incoming update announcements
telling me I haven't installed it, my Outlook works.
Once that was solved, I was off to get my badge
where I was dismayed to learn I had to take
photo. Having the kind of day that I
did, I was not calm, relaxed and smiling so my photo
looks…well….bad. Their digital images are not
great, anyway, but I wish they had mirrors or
something before they sat you in the chair and
counted to 3. The person taking the photo takes so
many photos in a day that I doubt they really look
at the picture. They probably scan it for clarity
and that the eyes are open because I would hope
normal person would let someone get a picture like
mine on their badge! It works like your license and
apparently there is no take over, which is unlike
the DOL.

There have been a lot of little things I wanted to
post here, but having been busy and all, I'm going
to bullet it, below.

  • David P. Gardner earned the
    Five Star: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth
    Manager(sm) award as a result of evaluations
    submitted by clients.  He specializes in
    financial planning, investments and retirement.
    CFP, AIC Associate Investment Consultant, LUTCF.

David and I have worked
together since about the time I moved to seattle,
maybe 1996 or thereabouts. It was a time when
everyone else was making money hand over fist (and
boasting about all of the cool things they were
doing) while I was struggling to find a way to pay
off University debt and housing and fuel costs while
still having money left over for me to eat. A
colleague from Microsoft at the time
referred me to David, who was just starting off his
career and building a client base. Well, naturally,
with the returns Microsoft was seeing on
the market, who wouldn't want a base of clients from
there?  David was very helpful with
strategizing my portfolio, even making
recommendations on what I should invest in for my
401k, which was managed by another company. He
helped me find money to eat, but more importantly,
he kept me honest with my financial strategies. I
wasn't lured into the hefty spending habits of most
and although over time I earned enough to buy my
Audi and put a down payment on a house, I never lost
faith in my or David's investment strategy…even
through the bust of 2000 and the recession of today,
I am confident with what I am doing. In fact, now
that I have a job, I am looking forward to putting
some of my hard earned $$ into some funds to take
advantage of these low times. 🙂

  • Dinner in the van. 
    Yes, that's right. I invited two friends over to
    enjoy an evening in the van with me. This was my
    way of inviting them into my world on the road.
    Ok, living in Seattle in the van
    is not quite like living on the road, but a
    little imagination and you can be there. 🙂 
    I thought the evening went well, even if it was
    a bit of a culture shock for them. 🙂 

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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