Update, Web and Home

I thought I would give a brief update of everything. I think it might be a lot of things so I will try and separate them out and address them in small paragraphs.

1. Home Hunting: Things are going pretty well. We put an offer on the good condo I mentioned in the prior post. It started at 80k. After we looked at it, it went down to 75k a few days later. After talking a bit, the wife and I decided to put an offer in for 70k plus they cover closing costs. The owner accepted after asking for 15 more days for bank approval and we pay two months of HoA fees instead of one. Considering they agreed to $2,500 more in closing costs for $257 more in HoA we were ok with that. The snag in all of this is that the condo is a short sale. So now Chase bank will take 2-3 months to decide if they will take it or if they will counter-offer. W really likes the home so I am willing to pay the list price. In the end even list price the condo, with HoA and taxes will be the same price as our current apartment, so if it works out its a win win.

2. Job: My new job is working out fairly well. The people are nice, and very patient. My only issues lie mostly in the fact that I have never been an “accountant” before so tossing me on the hardest fund as basically their full time analyst, plus giving me two other funds and two outside agency oversite is a little overwhelming. While my experience as an auditor and tax accountant has actually added a whole ton of things I bring to the accounting, I still have to dust off accounting techniques that were in school about 7 years ago. Two months down, I will know more in four months how I feel about accounting as opposed to auditing. Both have positives and negatives, we will see where the chips lie then.

3. Family: Things are doing ok, while it looks like my dad has lung cancer, it isn’t confirmed until his next appointment in January. I am going to do the best I can to avoid worrying about things. The wife is under a lot of stress with school, I feel like I haven’t seen her in months, and with the new job and new possible living situation my stress has probably made it hard for her to feel like I have been around.

4. Hobbies: I haven’t felt like doing much video game/web wise. I do have a ton of LP’s that I had wrapped up early that are scheduled and coming out fairly regularly. But strangely I really haven’t been playing much. I have been digging around the idea of drawing/writing again. I think I will start doing that, even if my content is usually fairly “adult” in nature. I want to get one group game going again, maybe that will get me out of this funk. I am thinking though it wont be a real space game, I am considering a google plus hangout game. I keep most of my stuff online anyways, and there are a lot more people available to play if I do it online.

5. Online: Finally my online habits are in the air. Currently I post a lot on Google Plus, and W and I have tumblr accounts (right now it just mirrors here). We have talked about shutting down most of our websites and using tumblr, but my problem is the lack of format capability with tumblr. So next week or so I have to figure out if I want to use tumblr sites or continue to use my domains. While originally I was considering tumblr only, I think I may keep a couple of domains open just so I can keep gaming campaigns going (and just have them repost to tumblr).

I am rambling now, so I will let you all go. I want to try and post more. I will post up W and I’s tumblrs in the next few posts.

Stressful Day

Day started out great, liking my job a lot (will post about my new job in a bit). Day became stressful, wife found a single roach in a back closet. She talked to manager, manager thinks its our downstairs neighbor.

I then called our actual landlord (the owner) and left a message. He left a message that someone would be out tomorrow to “take care of it” and then next week they will spray the entire building at once.
So that is partial good news… ok, its just crappy news that only partially offsets the bad news.
The day ended well though, we went to BECU and preliminary they think they will be able to approve a loan (but wont get confirmation until Wednesday so I wont hold my breath). We are thinking of a condo (or perhaps a mobile home).
So we are tentatively looking for a condo/mobile, and when full approval comes we will do that. We will probably have to jump our lease unless we take a long time and don’t find a place until next summer. However, I am willing to do that.
It is remarkable timing though, I am waiting for 200 hours worth of vacation and that should be enough for the 3.5% (or more if we get a cheaper place) downpayment.
Maybe this was all destined 🙂
Oh, and we noted no other roaches, we ripped apart the closet, then all the rest of the closets. Then we ripped apart the bathroom and kitchen and not a single sign of anything. We are hoping it was only a scout (we hadn’t seen one in the three months we have been here before this). We are crossing our fingers.

Life Changes

Be still my beating heart, I am actually posting a typed entry along with a video :).

Things are undergoing some major changes, I have mentioned some but not very clearly. Today is my last day on the job as a State Auditor (tomorrow is my last official day, but I took a furlough day to take it off). I accepted a position with the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst. Its a lot of changes, but I think overall it is for the better. I start the County on October 8th (next Monday).

The biggest pros are money and travel. Currently as a State Auditor my pay is lower mid range for my profession, and I am almost capped out. The problem being is the state already has us under a 3% paycut due to the economy and no COLA (Cost of Living Allowance, increase for inflation) for the last four years. Supposedly this year we will get the 3% paycut back (no COLA still) but the state is short by almost a billion dollars again and we all know we wont get it back and in fact it may go up to a 5% paycut. This doesn’t include the fact that in the last four years my benefits out of pocket cost as quadrupled (yes four times) and the coverage has dropped so much its almost a why bother (but not quite).

Local and federal government (at least in Washington) pays more than state. My new job will start me above the max I can make with the office, the benefits are better and and cheaper. Both of these things alone are worth it. In addition I get my own cubicle, dear god how I look forward to that. I like moving around for the fact that if something goes bad I only have to deal with it for a few weeks. However, I am tired of working out of basements, electrical closets, no bathroom within five miles. Having my own space will be great.

Another reason I took the County job specifically is I have audited them three years in a row. I am familiar with the operation and the position I will be in. I will be directly across the table in conferences from where I hae been currently (meaning I am one of the people being directly audited). The people there are pretty damn cool as well. The Controller and the lead Analyst are both ex-State Auditors. The person I am replacing was also a State Auditor so they will understand that while I know how to audit fund balances and controls, I don’t have the other side experience. They are already prepping to get me training.

Oh, and  a side note, I have the same retirement. All local/state employees in Washington (except for three cities that have their own reitrement) use the same retirement, so I maintain my same retirement with no drop in contributions.

Another huge reason for the jump is travel. Right now I put 20+ thousand miles a year on my car for my job, depending on the audit. I spend up to 1.5-2 hours each way in travel (also depending on audit, probably at the moment closer to 1.5 or slightly less). I don’t get reimbursed fully due to state cuts and my work days end up being 11-12 hours for only an 8 hour job (that is the worst side, it can go down to a 9-10 hours normally). The County building is directly on the “Swift” route of buses. The Swift is a bus line that has something like 12 stops along its entire route (which spands from Everett down past my house in Lynnwood, approximately 15 miles). I live four blocks form a Swift stop, and the County is a Swift stop. It means that I can get on a bus, and 35 minutes later I will be at the County, not driving. 35-45 minutes is the absolute minimum drive for me with my new apartment so it matches up. Plus the County reimburses for the bus pass.

Another thing I hadn’t realized I wouldn’t  miss was lugging all my equipment. A overstuffed backpack with a laptop, and then a roller suitecase with printer, router, paper, manuals, and office supplies that i lug everday to whatever audit site I am on. Now I will just get my coat on, maybe bring a lunchbox and if I want to bring something I can use my own backpack, but I can mostly just walk on the bus with no luggage.

I have a lot of spite at the moment with the Auditor’s Office. I will probably post some on it later after I start my new job. Even with the spite though, I will miss some of my coworkers, and the ability to walk away after a few weeks. However, I have had problems in the office with supervisors so its not like I can walk away from that. So I guess I am wrong, its not so easy to get away from drama.

TL;DR: I am leaving the Auditor’s Office this week, this is my last actual working day. I start at the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst (basically a Fund analyst) on Monday for better pay, better benefits and my own actual cubicle :).

edit: I uploaded a quick video for those of you who don’t want to read. I am trying to do both video and post at same time. Oh and I didn’t prep for the video so my appearance not the best 🙂