Carnival of the Optimists #13: Lemons from lemonade

Does life ever REALLY give you lemons? I don’t think so. Lemons are self-contained. They stack. Handling them is obvious… as opposed to twelve gallons of lemonade, poured surreptitiously on one’s head when it’s least expected.

Sometimes I think that compromises are a really bad idea. For instance, I was entirely ready to compromise on my archaeological research, which requires odd materials and the services of exotic and uncommon craftsmen, due to a financial mishap involving my house’s foundation.

But, in the end, I realized that I had a blind spot in my planning, and fulfilling my goals for the LongsufferingWife and I was still possible. It simply required tenacity, and a determination that everybody involved will WIN, not merely “lose by an acceptable margin.”

Welcome, to the Carnival of the Optimists.

Well, that’s my good news for the week… pure “bootstrap.” We had a big old nasty problem, which both necessitated the need for a change, and perhaps not coincidentally, provided for a potential improvement to the family’s general financial game plan.

What else do we have cooking this week?

Good News!

At Willisms, we have “Botswana,” a surprisingly successful sub-Saharan African nation, that has taken its lemonade and done all sorts of good things with it.

Bootstrap/How To!

Harvey, at Bad Example, covers how to put an image in a Blogger sidebar, as well as why good manners on the Internet are in everybody’s best interests.

And Atlas Shrugs brings up the end of this week’s submissions with a mini-carnival (should I call it that? It’s not labeled “carnival,” but it’s longer than mine are…) in praise of milbloggers and the women who love them. Lots of good stuff.

“Progress” for this week will knock your socks off. Literally, it hates socks.
No, seriously, a pseudo-title might be my regular refrain of “Science fiction is here today.” Because, just in case you missed it, and it’s way too cool to miss, we blew a big freaking hole in the side of a comet (Tempel 1), just so we could find out what the heck it’s made from. It may not be a cure for cancer, but it’s important… and what’s more than that, it’s important and cool!

That’s all we’ve got this week, folks: it’s a short one. Keep them coming, and floss with those silver linings until they’re a regular part of your diet.


Archery Update, Day 4

It’s definitely about developing the body strength. Nice, tight groups (given that I’m shooting a self-bow, not a compound) when I can keep the bow absolutly steady on the draw. Broke another arrow on a bad release… but it’s fixable, even though it’ll be shorter.

Not bad… I’m starting to be disappointed with groups I’d have been thrilled about last week.

The 5-year plan is dead…

This year I’ll have probably put in around three months’ pay on the house, between soffit and ridge vents, insulation, and foundation repair (we need another six piers, which is over a month’s pay. Fortunately, I happen to have just under a month’s pay in savings, so I should be able to cover it w/o resorting to financing). Plus, we need sprinklers and about five grand worth of windows installed (the bedroom windows are ancient and not even vaguely up to code. They’re alluminum-frame jobs that hemorrhage heat.

Needless to say, I haven’t been making an extra mortgage payment every month like I’d intended, and there’s a list of things that really ought to be worked on that fill half a sheet of paper.

So, either
a) I’m going to go to town with a ridiculously strict financial regimen to figure out how to make those payments without deferring maintenance on the house.
b) Going to, short-term, say “the hell with it,” and get the house really, really nice so that we don’t have to muck with it when kids start showing up, and *then*, if we happen to have anything left over from kid expenses, pay the hell out of the mortgage.

Each option comes with costs. “a)” effectively shuts down my research cold. You can’t do material research without obtaining materials. “b)” leaves us committed wage-slaves for more years, since having the mortgage obligates us both to work, rather than giving one of us the freedom to quit the 9-5 racket and figure out how to make money from one of our various oddities.

Haven’t figured out which yet. But we’re way past “nickel and dime,” and something’s going to have to give a little.

UPDATE: Found a work-around that will let me have most of my cake, and a little bit of icing as well, though it won’t allow for any of it to go as smoothly as I’d like. Should still pay the house down notably mroe rapidly, though.

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