This Saturday I will run in the Canby Dahlia Run. It is a half marathon (13.1 miles). I’ve run 13-plus miles three times since my leg injury. My leg is healed, but I am far behind where I hoped to be in preparing for this half marathon. I feel confident that I can run the Canby Dahlia Run without stopping to walk. However I do not feel confident that I can run it as fast as I did the Eugene Half Marathon in April.
In addition, this is my last time asking for your support before the Canby Dahlia Run. I do not want to spam people by asking for donations, but I am raising money for Womenspace, a local nonprofit that does work to combat domestic violence. If you are willing to help me in anyway it is greatly appreciated. The money goes to a great cause. My mother was in a violent relationship, which is one of the reasons I chose Womenspace as a receiver of charitable help.
In total I have raised over $100 for Womenspace so far, and I hope to raise more. I hope you will considering helping me “help Womenspace.” You can like/share my fundraising page through facebook, share on twitter, you can blog about my running for Womenspace, or you can make a financial pledge.
So… my laptop has been very glitchy the last few weeks. It does not have a virus… but it has a limited amount of memory, and it wasn’t great to begin with because cheap was all that I could really afford on a college budget. Well… it has served me through my first two years of graduate school (and helped write the Master’s Paper). Heck, this laptop has even traveled to the Philippines and back with me. But I am now looking into upgrading my laptop to a Microsoft Surface.
I want more memory. My laptop has 2 GB… the base Surface RT has 32 GB, but I will probably get the 64 GB.
I want a machine that will not choke under pressure. My laptop, twice, flipped out in the middle of important class presentations. I don’t know if you have ever had to give an entire presentation from memory… but I have had to do it twice. It is NOT fun. I think my laptop just got nervous though… because it was fine during practice… but when it came time to actually perform, the laptop folded under the stress and left me hanging. My concern with the Surface RT is that I have heard there is a learning curve with the new Windows 8. I think the learning curve is what brings the Apple Ipad into the picture… because no matter which one I get, it appears there will be a learning curve. Thoughts?
I want a computer that does not freeze up. One of the reasons I have not been blogging as much is because sometimes my computer has just had enough. I do not think it is overheating… I just think it was an out-of-shape computer to begin with, and keeping up with the demands I need at graduate school level was a little much for this thing. So… when I lose an hour or more a day because of my glitchy laptop, it does cut into blogging time. NOTE: Our wireless has also been cutting out. I think the laptop freezing and the wireless cutting out are two unrelated problems, because my laptop does not need to be at home to have a freezing issue.
I want something lighter. Hiking across campus to teach a class, and then hiking across campus to attend a different class, with a medium size laptop is not fun. I am hoping the Microsoft Surface will be the answer to my grad school needs… but I am still in the decision making process.
FINANCIAL ISSUES: This is where it gets confusing, and if you have a tax answer, I would love to hear it. I read, somewhere, that for a computer to be tax deductible it needs to be purchased during the school year. Okay… I feel like my laptop will last through the summer… maybe, and give me time to get the new Surface in the fall. However, if there is a learning curve (see #2), then I don’t want to walk into class with a brand new gadget and look incompetent in front of students while I try to learn. If I buy the tablet over the summer, even if I want to use it for school, it might not be tax deductible for education related expenses. I hate tax laws.
The other financial issue… the Surface is currently running a special that ends June 30th, to buy the tablet and get the keyboard with it for free ($119 value). I’m not sure if that matters as much… because if I waited until the fall to buy it, the price for the tablet itself may drop anyway. It would be nice if I just had $900 laying around the house that I could just spend without worry… but I am a graduate student, so going out to eat anywhere is a big deal.
Anyway debate is between the Microsoft Surface and the Apple Ipad 4 (or a new laptop). I want something that will last until the end of my dissertation. Should I get a laptop? Should I get a tablet with a keyboard? It’s not like I don’t have enough to think about while in graduate school. What would you recommend? Thanks!! 🙂
*I apologize, I had trouble publishing this post. Every time I published it, it appeared blank on wordpress.com and I had to completely redo it. I kept saving it as a I went, yet it still appeared blank. Even the saved revisions appeared as blank. Why? I have no idea. This fourth attempt is short… but at least it appeared!*
So I was frustrated today. I had to buy my first pair of new jeans in over 6 years. Why? Because living in a small town creates interesting budget challenges.
I once lived in Colorado Springs, which is one of the 50 largest cities in the United States. I had no trouble going to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or some other thrift shop to find a couple pairs of jeans which did not have heavy wear marks or holes. That is not true for me now living in a small college town. Here I found only a few pairs of jeans in my size… but they had holes in them. Maybe it is related to the economy being down. Maybe people simply cannot afford to donate good pairs of jeans. Maybe it had to do with the size of the town because there were more people in Colorado Springs who donated (but that seems to create a paradox because wouldn’t that mean there were also more people who needed clothing in Colorado Springs?)
Whatever the reason, today I was forced to buy new jeans.
Marathon training is great. But I was not expecting my legs to become too large for my pants. A nice problem. However, I did not realize how expensive it would be until I started to look for pants at the local thrift shops and failed to find a single pair. Today I spent more money on three pairs of new jeans than I have ever spent. Not cool… especially on the budget of a graduate student. Oh well…
So today, while drinking my coffee and enjoying a day off after Christmas, my wife and I had the television on. We were watching Extreme Cheapskates on TLC while doing other things. In this particular episode, one of the people named Roy, talked about how he uses “used coffee grounds” to clean his windows with. Several of the things that are mentioned in the show are things my wife and I would never do because of health risks or just being disgusting. But using coffee grounds to clean with? That was intriguing, especially as I watched the show drinking a cup of coffee!
So I did a little googling and found some ideas. Currently my wife and I only use coffee grounds to put in our compost. But these sites suggest other uses for Coffee Grounds:
Ideas range from cleaning dishes, to ant repellant, to furniture dye. Have you actually tried any of these? Do they actually work? Any tips or ideas you have will be greatly appreciated. I am a graduate student living on a budget so any money saving tips for my wife and I are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading and have a great day!