Friday, April 24, 2009

Change Pot Tuesday

Friday - A single penny while filling up at the BP on Route 7 in Sabraton (Morgantown, WV).

Saturday - Two pennies. The first was in the parking garage at the WVU Mountainlair student union building. The second was late in the afternoon at the Mall at Robinson in Pittsburgh, PA.

Sunday - Eleven cents. A nickel at the toll booth on PA State Route 60 outside of New Castle, PA. I was unable to pick up the nickel because of the line of cars behind me, but will donate a nickel to the Change Pot. A second nickel was found in the parking lot across the street from the Cleveland Browns Stadium. I am not sure if my followers will be happy that I took a nickel from a Cleveland Browns fan or upset that I was at the Cleveland Browns Stadium to begin with. (We were there to see a lighthouse.) The last find of the day was a penny in the parking lot of a BP gas station in Twinsburg, OH.

Monday - Five pennies in five separate locations. First was a penny in one of the carhop spaces at the Sonic in Streetsboro, OH. Upon returning to the hotel, a Hampton Inn & Suites in Streetsboro, I found a second penny. I found the third penny at lunchtime while eating at the Chipotle in Streetsboro. Later on our way out of town, we returned to the Sonic so Lori could get something for lunch. I found another penny by the drive up window, but was unable to retrieve it and a second penny in another carhop space, which I was also unable to retrieve. I will donate two pennies to compensate for these two finds.

Weekly Total: $0.19
YTD Total: $3.27

Change Pot Stats
(So you will know when and where to look)

By State

West Virginia $1.72
Ohio $0.54
Indiana $0.45
Virginia $0.39
Pennsylvania $0.16
Maryland $0.01

By Location

University $1.54
Restaurant $0.37
Department Store/Mall $0.33
Family $0.25
Public Common Areas $0.29
(parking lots, sidewalks, etc.)
Grocery Store $0.14
Gas/Convenience store $0.12
Government Office $0.11
Toll Booth $0.05
Hotel $0.06
Unknown $0.01

By Day of Week

Sunday $0.42
Monday $0.08
Tuesday $1.40
Wednesday $0.01
Thursday $0.28
Friday $0.22
Saturday $0.86


Found, but not collected $0.07
Found, and collected $3.20

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A good friend of ours maintains a blog and a few weeks back, she posted a entry titled "NOT ME Monday". If I understood the blog correctly, it was a list of things she had done, but would never admit to doing. I'm sure she will correct me if I misunderstood, but on that assumption, I was inspired to write my own NOT ME entry.

  • I have NEVER sliced my thumb open while trying to condense my trash into a soda can, because the openings of those soda cans are very sharp, I know this.

  • I have NEVER left our garage door opener in my rental car upon returning it. Especially one that I rented from a location 2 hours away (Pittsburgh). And I have definitely NEVER done this when our only other garage door opener was with catsitter because we were traveling.

  • I have NEVER locked myself out of our house and had to ask a neighbor for a ladder to remove the screen from a open window so I could then crawl through.

  • I have NEVER put unleaded gasoline in a delivery truck that only runs on diesel fuel. NEVER. And if I had done it, I would NEVER do it a second time. I know the difference between a green handled pump and a black handled one. I also know that a diesel engine does not run well on unleaded gasoline.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Change Pot Tuesday

Wednesday - One penny on the sidewalk in front of Wicomico Hall at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD.

Saturday - Saturday was the jackpot of the week with a total of $0.38 found. The first find was one penny in the automatic changer at a register in a BP gas station in Columbus, OH. At first I thouht this was one of those "Need A Penny, Take A Penny" trays, but when my own change came out, I picked it all up including the penny that had been left by the person before me. That evening, we found $0.37 cents at the Easton Town Centre in Columbus. We began by finding $0.11 outside of the parking garage in the form of a nickel and six pennies. The change was spread out in a path like a Hansel and Gretel bread trail. Most likely someone lost the money through a hole in their pocket while walking from the garage. We proceeded to P.F. Chang's where we had intended to have dinner and found a quarter on the sidewalk in front of Chipotle. I find it rather interesting that the quarter was lying on the sidewalk right next to a couple of tables full of people and no one saw it or bothered to pick it up. After dinner, which ended up being at the Cheesecake Factory because of the long wait at P.F. Chang's, I found a penny on the floor while on our way out of the restaurant. Saturday's finds put the Change Pot over $3.00 for the year.

Sunday - Found 4 pennies in three separate carhop bays at the Sonic on Olentangy River Road in Columbus.

Monday - I found a single penny in the parking lot of the Sabraton Plaza Shopping Center in Morgantown. I ended up drenched for the the time I took to pick it up because of the pouring rain, but I will still add it to the Change Pot.

Weekly Total: $ 0.44
YTD Total: $3.08

Next week I think I might post some Change Pot stats comparing where my finds have been. Let me know what you think and I will see what I can come up with.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday's Mailbag

After visiting Salisbury University yesterday, I decided to check up on my application to Ohio State. I have been admitted to Salisbury, but before I make a decision, I wanted to see if I had been admitted to Ohio State. Ohio State's program is a combined MA/PhD program, so it would naturally rank higher than a program that ends in a terminal MA degree.

Much as I had suspected, I did not get accepted at Ohio State. The graduate coordinator at Ohio State said that the University and the department were experiencing cutbacks due to the economic situation and that they were unable to offer as many admissions as they would have liked. In a normal year, applying to six schools should have been enough to get me into at least one, but I was unable to secure admission to a single one of my original six schools. I will reapply to a PhD program in two years after I earn my MA degree, but I suspect that I will apply to different programs the second time around. If I wasn't good enough for them the first time, I doubt that I would be good enough the second time. I will save my money not applying to those schools a second time and try my hand at some other very fine schools. It will be their loss, not mine.

I have also pretty much crossed Old Dominion in Norfolk off my list. The school was much nicer than I expected and the program was exactly what I was looking for, however, because I missed the deadline for financial assistance, I would be unable to afford out of state tuition. Sure, I can take out student loans to pay for it, but at 20k per year, it just doesn't seem practical.

Out of state tuition is almost quadruple the in state rates and I can attend other university's for less money. If I get an assistantship at Salisbury, my tuition will be waived and I would only pay fees. That's about $1,500 a year as compared to 20K. At East Carolina, I could get in state tuition rates through a program called the Academic Common Market. If I am accepted at East Carolina, I would pay just under 10K total for the two year MA program. Again, much more practical than 20K per year at Old Dominion. Finally, if I have to use my last resort and attend school at WVU, I would pay just over 11K total for the two year program because of in-state tuition.

So those are my options for the fall. Wish me luck on the assistantship.

Wednesday's Mailbag

On Wednesday, I received the first positive news about graduate school. I have been accepted to Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore in Maryland. The letter did not actually come in the mail, it was handed to me while visiting the History department yesterday. I am still waiting to hear on the assistantship I applied for at Salisbury, and if I get an assistantship, Salisbury becomes a very attractive place to complete my Master's Degree.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Change Pot Tuesday

This week's recap:

Friday - A single penny found at the Sheetz gas station on Route 7 in Morgantown while getting drinks for our road trip to Pittsburgh for the Easter weekend.

Saturday - A dime found at the cafe counter in Borders Bookstore on McKnight Road in Pittsburgh's North Hills.

Monday - Two pennies were found at an Exxon station in someplace called Ladysmith, VA. I stopped here for gas and a bathroom break while on my way to Williamsburg to visit graduate schools in Norfolk and Salisbury, MD. (I only stayed in Williamsburg because it was cheaper than Norfolk.) The first penny was found outside by the pump I filled up at. In fact it was under the car when I got out. The second penny was inside on the floor by the register.

Tuesday - Tuesday was a big day for the change pot with finds totaling $0.37. The first find was a quarter at the parking pay station of Old Dominion University's visitor lot. I had put in $3.00 and was attempting to put in a fourth, when the machine gave me my quarter back, plus an additional quarter. I then proceeded to lose both quarters in the machine, but will donate $0.25 to the change pot for the original find. Later that day in the university's student union, I saw a gentleman with a disability drop a dime. Instead of picking up the dime, I informed the gentleman of his loss. I admit, if the gentleman had not had a disability, I may not have said anything. I am donating a dime to the change pot for this find. The final find for the day was on my way to Salisbury, MD for Wednesday's campus visit. I stopped to get something to drink at a WaWa (a gas station) on US 13 in Virginia Beach. I found two pennies on the floor at opposite ends of the check out counter. Not bad for the day, and a good strong finish to the week.

Weekly Total: $0.50
YTD Total: $2.64

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Update on Graduate School

Well, there is not much to say about an update to Graduate School. I still have not heard back from Ohio State, the last of my original six applications. I am not sure if that is good news or bad that I haven't heard yet, but it has put our lives on hold for the time being, unable to make plans for much of anything. We are proceding with the updates to the house on the assumption that we will be moving, we just don't know where or when and that can be stressful.

I am visiting Norfolk this week to see the department at Old Dominion and the traveling to Salisbury, Maryland to visit the history department at Salisbury University. These are two of the Masters programs to which I have recently applied. I have not heard from either, but we are hoping for something soon. I also applied to East Carolina in Greenville, NC and hopefully will get to visit the department there before the end of the semester.

As a back up plan to all of this, I broke down and applied to West Virginia University, but please keep this under wraps. Many people will be happy to hear this once it gets out, but it is strictly a backup to our backup plan. It was really hard for me to actually accept applying to WVU for several reasons. First, with the exception of a handful of people (they know who they are), I have absolutely hated living here. I am a big city individual that thrives on the stress of a fast paced chaotic environment. I am at my best in the chaos of the urban world because I have a knack for making sense out of all the chaos. This rural environment is too slow and, well too rural for me. Applying to WVU opens the door to the possibility of us staying in Morgantown for another 2 years - something I really don't want to think about. However, I had to realize that with the economic downturn, staying here may actually be the best for our family, at least for the time being. All I really know at this point is that whatever is meant to be will be and that things always work out they way they are suppose to, even if we happen to disagree. And while I truly believe that, I must say, my faith of late has not been very strong. All I can do is hope that God's plan will at some point coincide with mine.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Update on Goals

Well, the year is a quarter of the way over and it's time to update on our goals for the year. I have achieved 5 of my 43 goals for the year so far. That is an 11% completion rate so far. I am also well on my way to completing some other goals. By the time May rolls around I expect to have completed 3 to 4 more. Most of the goals that have been completed are improvements around the house. For instance, our front door is now painted to match our shutters - something that has been on my list of goals for three years! Better late than never. Below are the goals that have been accomplished so far:

1. Submit an article for publication
2. Finish remodeling guest bathroom (another goals of 3 plus years
3. Paint front door
4. Fix ceiling in master bathroom
5. Paint the foundation

The two goals that I have made the most progress on are walking 5,000 steps a day and reading 12 books. I am actually averaging over 6,000 steps six days a week and over 7,000 steps on the seventh day of the week. Because I am exceeding this goal by so much, I am going to revise my goal to average 7,500 steps per day. I did not get any reading done last month, but I have still read 6 books so far this year. I hope to get back to reading this month.

I hope everyone else is doing as well on their goals for the year. Its hard to believe that in a couple of months, the year will already be half over. If you haven't started working on your goals, no is a good time to start.

Change Pot Tuesday

I apologize for this post being late. Verizon had an issue with their network that disabled our phone and internet for the past week. Our service was just restored today. Thank goodness we did not have to call 911. Verizon is crediting us for the time we have lost.

Last week's change pot found $0.16 over two separate outings. The first was last Thursday in the parking lot of Walgreens. I had gone over my lunch to pick up a prescription. Between the time I went into the store and the time I returned to the car, someone had dropped a dime and a nickel beside my car. I suspect it was from the car next parked next to me. They had arrived after I did and as I started my car to leave, they were getting into there vehicle. I didn't bother to thank them and I didn't give them their $0.15 back. Thursday's find put the Change Pot over $2.00 for the YTD total.

They second find was on Saturday while exiting Target. We had stopped to pick up some diapers and baby wipes for James and I found a penny on the way out the door.

Weekly Total: $0.16
YTD Total: $2.14