Hristo's FI Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Hristo Botev
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

For the month the total net worth numbers increased by over $26,000, because of course they did--it's not as if we didn't just have the worst economic quarter since WWII, with people cutting back on spending in an economy with 70% of its activity normally driven by consumer spending. Madness, madness I say!

The net worth, not counting home equity, is now over the .5M mark; so, yeah!?!?

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:41 am
“If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart. If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined. If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life. A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls. He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not `studying a profession,' for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances"
One of my favorite passages. Long versatility, perseverance and optionality.

Alphaville
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:41 am
As a Catholic and a Southerner
you ever read flannery o’connor?

Hristo Botev
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:46 am
you ever read flannery o’connor?
Often, why do you ask?

Alphaville
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Post by Alphaville »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:06 pm
Often, why do you ask?
southern, catholic

but oh, because i like her as a writer

i mean, in case you had missed (but clearly haven’t)

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

@Alphaville: She's certainly one of my favorites. If you like Flannery you might also like Walker Percy, if you're not already familiar with him.

Alphaville
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Alphaville »

never heard of him, will make a note. thanks!

Hristo Botev
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

John Michael Greer is continuing to blow my mind (probably helps that I started my morning by finishing my read of Emerson's Self-Reliance). This is going to be my running list of skills to consider learning:

- Brew beer
- Wine
- Basic construction/handyman skills
- Distill moonshine/liquor
- Basic medical and dental care
- Grow food (need to cover unused parts of back patio with raised garden beds)
- Preserve food
- Fish
- Mend and make clothes
- Hunt, and process game
- Care for domesticated animals
- Basic mechanical skills
- Soap making
- Candle making
- Toothpaste/shaving cream
- Woodworking
- Play piano
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

horsewoman
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by horsewoman »

The tragic thing is that it took only one generation of convenience food to break the chain of knowledge... My mother refused to preserve or even cook without prepacked stuff, so in I never got exposed to these skills while growing up. If I was the standard consumer my daughter would not know this stuff either, and the gap would be even greater.
In my case it was a lucky combination of me being interested in "weird stuff" and a knowledgeable mother in law, who taught me.
I shudder to think how much knowledge will be lost due to the excesses of the last three decades, especially if YouTube comes down (unthinkable now, but who knows how and if the decline plays out...).

In any case, investing in skills is much more up my alley than the stock market. Digital money can be lost or taken away, but your skills are yours.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

So very true. My grandmother and her sisters grew up during the Great Depression, and canning and preserving was just something they did (preserved strawberries was a HUGE treat when we would visit her). My own mother, however, couldn't cook anything beyond a Sam's Club lasagna. Same for my mother in law (she specializes in what she calls "casseroles," which is basically pasta with something from a Campbell's soup can poured into a casserole pan). My great aunt ran a highly successful southern caramel cake baking business out of her house well into her 90s, because real layered caramel cake is just one of those things that you just can't fake with store-bought stuff; yet NO ONE, even in her small southern town, seemed to know how to make it anymore.

But I wonder if some of this isn't cyclical, at least a little bit? DW is and always has been an avid cook, in part because she hated (she'd never tell her mother this, of course) how much absolute crap she ate growing up. And as a result, our 9-year-old daughter's cooking skills already outshine my own. And cooking from scratch and eating good food at home is part of our daily family routine. But I don't know about canning and preserving, etc. I got to do some of it when I was in the Peace Corps, and damnit, it looked like absolute sorcery to my 22-year-old eyes to see how a babushka could create an entire multi-course delicious meal, soup to nuts, with nothing other than what she'd grown in her own kitchen garden over the past year or so, and wine from her family's own vines made in their own cellar, with cheese from their own sheep that the local shepherd looked after, and with a little bit of sausage from the lamb they'd killed with family and friends at Easter. And that babushka and her family were considered peasants!

I don't know how I get from where I'm at currently to that point.

Alphaville
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Alphaville »

what do you mean they were considered peasants—they were not actual peasants?

mooretrees
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by mooretrees »

Well, you’re on this forum so I think even if you don’t know the exact route to some lovely place where you and your family are a version of the babushka, you’re at the starting line.

Baby steps friend.

JenAR
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by JenAR »

An example of ecological capital might be terracing a sloped piece of land so that, without further effort, it accumulates water, fertility, and topsoil, becomes more productive, and feeds me as well as a greater diversity of flora and fauna than it could otherwise support, creating a rich web of mutually supportive interactions.

Or building a brush pile, to provide habitat for both predators and prey, shade, nutrient, and organic matter for the soil, and a safe haven for tree seeds to germinate and mature without being browsed to death by deer.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Life aspiration: Build a homestead on a large rural land plot, figure out how to live and thrive on that land with my own hands, invite low-income big city kids to the homestead for "camp" to learn those skills, subsidize those camps by charging high-income folks for the same training.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Alphaville wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:28 pm
what do you mean they were considered peasants—they were not actual peasants?
The post-communist country I lived in didn't have formal stratified classes of people, but the city dwellers certainly looked down on the villagers. That's what I mean.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

About to go "invest" some of that cash into a homebrewing kit; let the development of post-industrial life skills begin.

Alphaville
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Alphaville »

JenAR wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:33 pm
An example of ecological capital might be terracing a sloped piece of land so that, without further effort, it accumulates water, fertility, and topsoil, becomes more productive, and feeds me as well as a greater diversity of flora and fauna than it could otherwise support, creating a rich web of mutually supportive interactions.

Or building a brush pile, to provide habitat for both predators and prey, shade, nutrient, and organic matter for the soil, and a safe haven for tree seeds to germinate and mature without being browsed to death by deer.
deer browsing, etc. inspires an autobiographical composite on my part:

capital losses via neighbor’s cowherd overgrazing and trampling your green slope, followed by rains that melt and land the whole slope on your doorstep :evil: :lol:

you always have to watch your money, no matter what kind
Hristo Botev wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:43 am
The post-communist country I lived in didn't have formal stratified classes of people, but the city dwellers certainly looked down on the villagers. That's what I mean.
ah! snobbery. yeah... but a peasant is a peasant is a peasant. and a prosperous peasant is a happy peasant.

i was a peasant for about 7 years but failed at it 🤬

my essential problem was that i lacked the accummulated capital to make sufficient changes in due time: physical injuries required rare import labor, technological upgrades were costly, lack of nearby markets required heftier transport, etc.

i might return to peasantry after capital accummulation phase: peasant 2.0 = gentleman farmer 0.1 :lol:

Frita
Posts: 568
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Frita »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:30 am
About to go "invest" some of that cash into a homebrewing kit; let the development of post-industrial life skills begin.
Are you going to start with canned kits or process/use basic ingredients? We used to brew and are now more into sampling small craft brewery beer. It’s good to learn to do it yourself to appreciate the skill involved. We always talked about having a kegerator in the kitchen in lieu of the dishwasher. (Bottling is our least liked task of brewing.) It never happened though we do have a beer fridge in our den.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 445
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

@Frita: Starting with an ingredients kit, because I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'm about halfway through the brew currently, and I don't think I've screwed up yet. The equipment kit cost me about $175. I know I could have gotten it cheaper, but I threw in some stuff like a more task-appropriate thermometer and a larger boiling pot than the one I've got, just to be overly careful (also, I insisted upon getting it retail from a local place and not via amazon). Based on what I paid for the west coast IPA ingredients kit, I figure I need to drink about 200 beers to break even on the equipment. I'm assuming that as I graduate beyond the ingredients kit level of skill, I'll be able to do it for even cheaper.

Alphaville
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Alphaville »

a little late for this, but to suggest a low-tech approach, as beer is quite high-maintenance and always far in the future:

ooching into fermentation in a SE USA local food basin i'd start maybe with corn beer, then eventually graduate to sour mash + distillation. corn whiskey evolved there for many reasons (see @7w5 re: permaculture observation). you can always grow corn there. other grains, idk. plus a lot of people in the area will have bootlegging knowledge (you know your local laws best).

for corn beer, see: chicha, traditional andean beverage. executes fast, is highly nutritious, has low alcohol (but can be strengthened). "traditional" method is via chewing of the corn which inoculates wild (read: mouth) yeasts. but here's a modern gringo-friendly approach: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... icha-beer/ (chicha is drank fresh not bottled however: scooped from the pot, often thick as soup. lol@racking: so bougie)

otherwise for a quick & dirty intro to homemade booze with ready materials, i mean if you want results tomorrow, try this ginger beer (it's not a "beer" really, more of a rum wash) from this 18th century reenactor guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfnHCdc3BgA (he's a savvy internet merchant who seems to love his job, highly entertaining also.)

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