Just a few little point updates.
-the doc is behaving like a good small-government type and emulating a decent economics package; I'm trimming and moving programs in order to reduce fiduciary outlay, in order to reduce debtload for a planned movement in purchasing power.
Essentially, I'm buying next to nothing (including a workable (!) scheme to eat healthily for $100 a month) and trimming what I normally overpay into my various loans and bills, in order to knock out one particular loan by August. Asides from the mortgage (which, like the national debt, is large enough to make a severe cost reduction program unfeasible due to long term effects), this loan is my largest and frankly my most embarrasing... I asked the bank if they would offer me a loan to pay off every-single-one of the credit cards that had been used to get me through college and a bit beyond, and they agreed.
Once the program is complete, I'll perform a similar but less severe trick on my vehicle loan (since it has collateral behind it, it's not as bad a risk as the unsecured loan), and then the same with the mortgage.
The benefits: greater spending power. I'm tired of watching guns pass through the shop or looking up something odd on gunbroker and *finding* it and not having the free funds to pick it up.
-How to eat on $100 a month, reasonably healthily, and lose weight doing so: Well, I'm halfway through the first month of the experiment and it's going beautifully so far. Twice a month I'll make a big pot of chili, soup, beans, whatever. When it's done, I immediately ladle it into 9oz containers and toss them in the freezer. The last haul was 11 of those, split between chili and chicken soup made with turkey stock from thanksgiving last.
Breakfast is one egg, done however I like, with a dabbling of leftovers from weekend food and some raw vegetables (mostly broccoli/carrots, it keeps long enough). Lunch is the container meal. Dinner is a sandwich, due to cash concerns this run it's bologna and cheese on whole wheat (real cheese too, it's not tha tmuch more expensive and far better for you).
On the weekends I make some off meals... pasta, lentils, stuff that doesn't freeze well but can cook up in a 2-3 day batch, and have that instead of the soups. There's two cans of "light" canned fruit in the pantry as well, which will augment.
This beats the pants off ramen or even canned soups... I get to control how much salt and how much spice goes in (little salt, much spice), and it just tastes better overall. I figure a big pot of chili like I made runs me something less than $10, for what's proving to be about a week's worth of food.
-Yesterday I went down to the John Sevier range and became a member of the Volunteer rifle and pistol club... looks like it may be worthwhile. I still have to go back on the 16'th for orientation and live fire demo, which I hope will actually happen because I'm scheduled at the shop that day.
View into my mindset: upon learning that there's a live fire demo required, thought #1 wasn't about my capabilities or accuracy... first thought, heck, current thought was "Wow, what will I bring? I could bring the Arisaka but ammo's pricey, could bring a Mosin but my ammo's corrosive... hate to waste a trip to the range with a pistol... the Marlin is still somewhat broken... "
I think I'll just bring the CZ75 compact. First gun's still the one I shoot best with :)
-The white shadow: Project's actually complete, and I ran the numbers and it may behoove me to go ahead and start driving it now instead of waiting for the insurance policy rollover. At today's prices, if I can manage the expected 32mpg then I'll be saving $30 a month in gas... my daily trip takes me 55 to 57 miles depending on which way I go, and the truck's mileage is suffering from old age. Trouble is, the plates haven't arrived yet, but I expect it soon. If they haven't arrived by monday I'll go raise hell at the dealer.