I just spent the last couple of hours cleaning up old financial paperwork. So, if you’re not interested in that kind of thing, move along, nothing to see here, etc, etc.

I’ve blogged before about my continuing struggle to keep up with my Merrill Lynch accounts, in terms of entering the statements into Quicken. For quite a while, I’ve resisted letting Quicken download those accounts, since there tended to be some annoying little problems with that process. So, I kept manually entering them. Well, I fell off that bandwagon at the end of 2010, and had just been letting the statements pile up since. As David Allen would say, I’d gone numb to it.

I used to just have two accounts with Merrill — a catch-all account (called a CMA), and a Roth IRA. Well, now, I have the CMA, the Roth IRA, a traditional IRA (created when I rolled over the 401(k) from NMS), and an inherited IRA (from my Mom). So, that’s really too much to keep up with. Today, I decided to “clear the decks,” as it were, and get everything set up to download into Quicken. I started by shredding a bunch of old statements, from 2008-2010, that were in my filing cabinet. Then, I sorted out the big pile of 2011-2012 statements, and put them away, organized in a reasonable fashion, in the filing cabinet. Then, I set up all the accounts to download into Quicken. The result (in Quicken) is a little messy, but it all adds up correctly, and I guess that’s all I need.

My plan from this point forward is to open each statement as I get them, review it at a high level, then file it away. Meanwhile, the activity will get downloaded into Quicken any time I’m in there, balancing my checkbook, so that will be at least once a month.

I guess the main reason for this blog post is so that I can remember what I did, and when I did it, so that I can review things later in the year, and see if this system is working out. My main goal for this year is to actually look at the statements when I get them, so I can call Merrill if something is wrong, or if I need to change anything. Now that I won’t feel burdened by the need to do data entry every time I get a statement, hopefully I can avoid the temptation to just pile them up without looking at them!

Unfinished Stories

After going for a few months without reading any comics, I decided to spend a bit of time, over the last couple of weekends, trying to put a dent into the big pile of unread books sitting on the floor of my bedroom. In particular, I decided to finally read a few “orphan” books that have been sitting in the pile for, oh, five years or so. I read the first (and only) issue of Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target last week. And I read the three comics that Grant Morrison wrote for the Worldstorm relaunch of the Wildstorm universe today.

I thought that Kevin Smith’s “The Target” got off to a good start, so I’m disappointed that it never got past that first issue. I don’t really have too much to say about it past that; I think it would have been a fun story.

The Morrison Worldstorm stuff was quite interesting, though I’m not sure if it would have really gone anywhere, long-term, or if it would have wound up being a disappointing mess. It would have been fun to see where it went, regardless, but maybe its collapse was inevitable. One interesting aspect of it is that, for an “event” that only resulted in one issue of Wildcats, and two of The Authority, there’s a good bit of writing about it available on the web. I found three pretty interesting articles, one at, another one here, and one more here. And all three are from 2011. (The comics came out in 2006.) So there seems to be something about it that has engaged people, even five years after the books were published. I guess that’s the nature of pretty much any “grand plan” stuff cooked up by Grant Morrison.

Speaking of Grant Morrison, I’ve got a couple of other random mini-series written by him in my reading pile: Sebastian O and Vimanarama. I picked them both up at the same time, out of someone’s dollar box at a convention a while ago. And both series actually ran to completion, so it’ll be a nice change of pace to read stories that actually come to an end!


I just stumbled across this article by John Jackson Miller, talking about the end of Comics Buyer’s Guide. I had a subscription to TBG (as it was called at the time) back when I was in high school. I didn’t save those issues, as it came out every week, and was mostly ads, so there didn’t seem much point. But there was some good content in there, from people like Don & Maggie Thompson and Cat Yronwode. And some nice covers by folks like Terry Beatty.

I let my subscription lapse at some point, but I picked it up again and read CBG faithfully for quite a few years, before letting the subscription lapse again a few years back. Even though I hadn’t been reading it lately, it’s sad to see it go. I actually think I learned a lot about a number of subjects unrelated to comics from CBG, mostly from Don and Maggie’s writing. CBG was always very well-edited and well-written.

I see that Maggie is now writing for the Comic-Con blog. And other former contributors have also been blogging at various sites — John Jackson Miller has The ComiChron, Mark Evanier has News From Me, Tony Isabella has his Bloggy Thing. So I still get to read stuff from some of the best writers who appeared in CBG over the years. But I’ll miss the good old hard-copy version.