Update: New goal
Hey Guys,

Sorry to have been a bit incommunicado of late. Lots of stuff going on and it's been a hassle to deal with. There was some private stuff and also lots of work things getting in the way. But the biggest issue was the update from hell that Windows did about a month ago. It completely messed up my laptop. The extent of the problems has been revealing itself slowly throughout the weeks. Every time I thought I was OK, another problem popped up:

- First, my MS Office programs started acting weird. Then they stopped working. I can't count how many times I reinstalled everything and tried to find a fix online. 

Things are more or less stable now. There is still some weird behavior (Excel starts up with Windows, but not always...) but it all seems to at least work. 

As I do all my writing in Word, this was a huge problem...

- The alternative I have is Dragon Naturally Speaking, which translates spoken word to text. Well, that one stopped working too. Same deal: reinstalling dozens of times until it is fixed more or less: I can no longer transcribe MP3 recordings. I have to record in .wav format now. So I had to find a new app for my phone and experiment with it. 

- Skype worked fine but I was unable to record conversations. I Use Pamela recording software and it always worked great. All of a sudden, nothing. So I spent hours talking to the helpdesk, they took over my laptop remotely, etc. In the end, it isn't fixed but it is more or less functional: when I start recording, the sound level drops and I can barely hear the other person talking. But on the recording, sound levels are normal. You can imagine it isn't easy to interview somebody for the podcast this way... 

- Last week, the problems with my Yeti microphone started: weird noise artifacts, distortion, etc. Same thing: reinstalling drivers, looking for fixes and so on. It seems to be working now. 

 All this has taken up way too much time and in the mean time my professional back log had been piling up. I've been working to get that done and have finally caught up.  Pfew...

It got me thinking and I decided to add another goal here: 

If we hit 1750$ twice in a quarter, I'll get a dedicated PC for all my video, photo and audio editing. I currently do all of that on my laptop, but just to give you an idea: rendering a 15min video file in HD takes 25-30min. While that's going on, I can't use my laptop for anything else as the processor and hard disk are too busy to let me use other programs. 

So that's a lot of wasted time, time I could actually be productive. Hence this new goal.