11 March 2006

News and New Toys

The funeral will most likely be on Thursday. We're planning on leaving for Colorado on Monday. Strangely, my dad has opted to come. Why strange? Because he normally avoids anything remotely resembling a family gathering. He didn't even come over on Friday when Mom called and gave him the news that Grandma was dead. My Aunt Sandra and Uncle George came over (Sandra is Dad's sister), but not Dad. Of course, it's possible he'll change his mind by Monday.

Knowing that Grandma had left me some money, I opted to buy a new laptop. My old one was, well, VERY old, and the connection that allows it to actually be plugged in and run was broken. I had been considering buying one for a while now, but the good ones were too pricey. I'd been hoping to find a decent refurbished one, actually, but I decided to use some of Grandma's money to get a top-of-the-line one. It has a wireless internet card. I've spent roughly the last two hours playing with it, and got it working about a half-hour ago. I had to (a) reconfigure my DSL modem for wireless, (b) choose an encryption key, and (c) put the laptop on automatic configuration to get it to work. When I asked the guy at Galaxy about setting it up, he said that the most important thing was to have it encrypted. Otherwise anyone and their evil cousin/twin/dog could piggyback a ride on your wireless network.

The rest of Grandma's money will go first into savings, and from there maybe into a CD or an IRA My mom tried to explain IRA's to me while we were both very exhausted; I eventually said, "Ok, I know you're speaking English, but..." Here's what I got out of it. There are two kinds of IRA's. On one, you get a tax deduction when you put the money in, and then you PAY taxes on it when you take the money out. On the other, you just put the money in and never pay taxes on it. I asked her why there were two kinds. She said it was because the second option was simpler. I blinked at her and asked why the first option was still around. The answer, essentially, was bureaucracy. I have no clue how interest, etc, works on IRA's. But if I can get a better rate that way, it might be worthwhile to start one with at least some of the money.

On a strange note, my shoulders were LESS tense in taiji this morning than they have been. I suspect I've been carrying my worries about Grandma in my shoulders, and now the worst is past, so the worry is gone. Now if I can just figure out what worries to let go of to get my hips to open up... *sighs*

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