At the beginning of the year, I posted as one of my goals “Attend the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference (FinCon12) as part of my job.”
Well, it’s (almost) September, and that means that FinCon12 is just a few days away. My ticket is purchased, I’ve got my (very nice) FinCon Connection Issue 1 with the FinCon12 schedule… I’m ready.
The Logistics of Fin Con
Since I live in Denver, you wouldn’t think there’d be much in the way of logistics that I’d have to figure out. I mean, the above list doesn’t include things like, “booked my flight/hotel room,” “packed my bags,” or “figured out how to get to the hotel from the airport.” Having the so-called “home court advantage” does have some perks.
But, there are still some logistical things to figure out, because I actually live in the Northeast corner of Westminster, which is North of Denver proper (about 25 minutes North, if there’s no traffic, which never happens).
The biggest logistical issue: Clothes
I work downtown, and take the bus to work, because
a) I have a free bus pass through my work,
b) paying for parking downtown is expensive,
c) gas is expensive (especially for my 25 mpg Subaru), and
d) Denver traffic is a bear.
That’s all well and good for the regular work week, since I can usually carry most of what I need with me on the bus.
Where’s the logistical issue? Well, for at least one day of the FinCon schedule there will be volunteering in the middle of the day, for which they suggest we wear “clothes that we don’t mind getting dirty.” So… not work attire then. (And while I was planning to wear the same outfit during the day and into the evening, being able to change into nicer clothes for the evening get-togethers could be… nice.)
I’m all for volunteering, and think it’s really cool that that’s part of the schedule. But if I’m coming downtown in the clothes on my back and the equipment, etc. that I can fit in my backpack, having to change clothes mid-day might be problematic. Without a room in the hotel, I will have neither an easy place to store any necessary changes of clothes, nor anywhere convenient to change into them.
The issue isn’t even really changing into the clothes. I’ve had enough situations in my life where a “superman” change is necessary to go from one part of the day to the next. I’m just not sure where I’m going to put said changes of clothes until I need them, and how I’m going to get them downtown with me.
Option 1: I could pack them in a small rolling suitcase and bring them with me on the bus in the morning. I’d have to find somewhere to put them in the meantime, but I do have a locker in my cube at work (not ideal, since the office closes at 6 pm), and I might be able to leave them at the hotel. (This could be tricky, because people are always a little iffy about things like boxes and luggage being left in places like hotels.)
Option 2: I could drive downtown each day and leave my change(s) of clothes in my car.
For the reasons mentioned above, this is not the most appealing option (traffic, parking, gas. But, now that I’m a student I have access to a parking lot that’s only $5.50 for the day (that’s about 1/2 of what most lots cost, if not a 1/3), so that makes it a little easier, although that lot’s not as centrally located as I could hope…
Other logistical issues
They’re small, but they’re things like:
- Where do I put any stuff I might get during the conference that I don’t want to lug around with me?
- Do I really want to rely on public transportation to get me home at night? (It’s perfectly safe, it just takes longer than driving.)
- Do I want to bring food with me for meals that aren’t covered or splurge on going out with folks?
I’ve got some time to figure these things out.
In other news…
My sister helped me put together business cards for the conference, and they are completely awesome.
My sister’s kind of amazing.
Previous post: Tragedy has struck the Finance Geek household: my worms are dead. :(
Things were great My worm bin was doing really well for the first few weeks. The worms were happily wriggling about, doing their worm-y thing, (slowly) making beautiful dirt.
But then… Then I fed them. You wouldn’t think this would cause problems, and it normally wouldn’t, except that I actually overfed them. It turns out they had not sufficiently processed the food I had given them originally, and adding more overwhelmed the system.
Compounding the problem Not only did I give them too much food, but I did during a time when we weren’t really running our AC during the day, which meant it was 80+ degrees in the house every day—too hot for worm bins. I didn’t know to make sure that the worms had enough moisture in their environment to cope with the heat (but no so much that they would drown), and so they fared poorly.
First sign of trouble So, after (over)feeding them and letting them sit in a too-hot house, the worm bin started to smell. Anyone who knows anything about worm bins (not me, clearly) will tell you that worm bins don’t smell if they’re “healthy,” so a smelly worm bin is a sign of worm distress.
Ignoring the signs I just thought that it meant the worms hadn’t been able to process the food I’d given them quickly enough for it not to smell, so I decided to leave them alone, and let them do their thing a little while longer.
Tragedy struck I thought I was right, because after a few days, the smell died away. I assumed the worms had processed the excess food, and all was going well in their little worm home. I should have known better. I opened up the worm bin yesterday and was smacked in the face by the stench of ammonia. In case it’s not glaringly obvious, that’s not good. What’s also not good is the fact that half of the contents of the worm bin were soggy and stuck together. Worms need a certain amount of moisture to function, but too much water also causes problems, which is why you always see worms on the sidewalks after a heavy rain. I dug through the bin with my trowel, hoping against hope that there were still some worms in there, but no, they were all dead. In my ignorance and (accidental) neglect, I had killed them.
The aftermath With a heavy heart, I emptied the rotted contents of my ex-worm bin into a garbage back and took it down to the dumpster. I still have some food scraps in my Worm Food container in my fridge, because I haven’t given up hope that I could try again.
If at first you don’t succeed… And I do want to try again. I just need to save up another $30 to buy myself a new pound of worms. Maybe two, so they can process the food scraps more quickly. My birthday’s coming up at the end of this month. Maybe someone will buy me worms for my birthday. I promise I’ll take better care of them this time. I know what I did wrong now. RIP my worm-y friends.