Hristo's FI Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Lemur
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Lemur »

@RockyMtnLiving

One existential crisis at a time please :lol:
But will log into my 'things to read / research' list.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

While being cognizant of my tendency to make lists of things I want to do as a substitute for actually doing those things, here's yet another list (this one inspired in part by @Lemur's Rob Greenfield suggestion):

- Get bulk dry goods, and use as my cooking/eating base (this means I'll need to take over more of the cooking duties from DW);
- Get veggies, fruit, eggs, and cheese from farm share and CSA;
- Grow more veggies at home (back patio containers and 2 community raised beds);
- Limit trips to the grocery store;
- Eat meat sparingly, with a preference for locally-sourced and not factory farmed;
- Shower only after exercise, and take camper showers when I do;
- Limit cocktails to one a week, and limit alcohol consumption generally to wine club wine (4 bottles/mo., shared w/DW) and beer I brew myself (with a preference for NOT consuming alcohol most days);
- Run 3x/week, and bodyweight/kettlebell workouts 2-3x/week;
- Sleep 8-9 hrs/night;
- No deodorant, no mouthwash, use Brommer's soap for shower and shaving;
- No coffee;
- No pills;
- Slowly work towards a TV-free life;
- Flush toilet less often;
- Downsize wardrobe (yet again), and work to limit the number of washer loads I need;
- No more dryer (for me first, maybe I can get the family on board eventually);
- Harvest rainwater on back patio;
- Stop using napkins, paper towels, ziplock bags;
- Ride bike more for errands;
- Always shop locally;
- For kids' soccer games, map out route ahead of time and don't use GPS app on phone;
- Track water, natural gas, car gas, and electricity use and post on this journal;
- Maybe stop with the podcasts, mostly--they're a lot of good ones and I've learned a lot from them, but most mornings and evenings I'd probably be better served by just being more present to what's going on around me on my commute walks and my exercise runs; and
- Think DIY first.

The "why" of the above is:

- Reduce expenses to get to FI faster;
- Improve resiliency and adaptability for an uncertain future;
- I want to be fitter and have naturally whiter teeth and healthier skin;
- Something about climate change.

ETA: I've said this a number of times, but I really need to be smarter about work. I have a job where I really can just leave when my work is done; I don't actually have to sit on my ass in the climate-controlled cocoon for 9-10 hours a day. I can just come in, do my work, and leave. Granted, the downside of that is there likely will be more work to do. But I can say no. I have a minimum work requirement that really is pretty low for my profession/industry, and I'm specialized enough for my firm and entrenched enough with my clients that I really could just come in, do the bare minimum (re work volume), and leave. And just not come in to the office on days when I don't have stuff I need to get off my plate. That certainly would make more sense than me thinking I've got to sit here for 40-50 hours a week to do 30 hours of work and just trying to look busy the rest of the time. If I just do my minimum volume of work well, I've got job security forever.

So, step 1, I really should spend less time on this forum while I'm at the office.

ETAETA: Because I'm better at preparing to do things than actually doing them, I just rearranged my office so that my computer screens are visible to anyone who walks by my office (and my office is visible from our office kitchenette). Consider this analagous to putting your workout clothes next to your bed before you go to sleep, to make it that much easier for you to do what you know you should be doing, and so that you're relying less on willpower. Probably not advisable for folks passing by my office to see "EARLY RETIREMENT EXTREME FORUMS" blazoned on my computer screen.
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

ThriftyRob
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by ThriftyRob »

You are good at writing lists! :) This list looks highly focussed and should help you achieve the outcomes listed in the "whys" you presented. Good luck with your plans.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

ThriftyRob wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:36 am
You are good at writing lists! :)
Ha! I got list for days! Though in my defense, if I go back to the many earlier lists I've posted in this journal, I have actually implemented a good number of that stuff into my daily life. It's a slow process, but it's movement in the right direction on most fronts.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Final thought before I (for real though) get to work. I think I'm finally starting to get the web of goals thing. (I know I'm really slow to understand these sorts of things.)

I'd previously thought of it as something more like seeing that a single activity can have several related but different benefits (e.g., walking/biking to work saves money, is healthier, you'll look more attractive, might mean you don't have to go to the gym, is better for the environment, means you don't have to pay for parking, gets you more in touch with your local community and neighbors, is more likely to result in serendipity, gets your body better prepared to need less heating and cooling when at home, etc. etc.) But I see that its broader than that, actually. It's not one activity has many benefits (though that's part of it); it's about the mutually-reinforcing goals, plural (duh! It's in the name.) My recent education in CC has made that clear to me, how it is all connected. I'd jumped around mentally thinking: (1) lose weight; or (2) spend less money (or otherwise increase my savings rate); or (3) be a better husband/father/son/friend/neighbor/community member/parishioner; or (4) be more self-sufficient; or (5) be more resilient; or (6) drink less and eat healthier; or (7) drive less, bike more; or (8) become financially independent. But with the CC thing, I'm now not only understanding that for all of these things, it's not simply "and" rather than "or"; I'm actually getting how that is going to apply (and, to be fair to myself, has been applying) to my life.

Take weight as a good example: I've only ever once in my life succeeded in purposely dropping a bunch of weight, by picking a plan and sticking to it. That was right before I joined the Peace Corps, and I had to take a strong antibiotic that meant I couldn't drink alcohol for 6 months. I used that as an opportunity to also eat consistently healthier (I still remember what I ate for bfast, lunch, and dinner each day), and to exercise regularly (that was the first time I ever consistently ran for exercise). My weight dropped from 225 to 175 in that 6 months, and ever since it's fluctuated usually between 180 and 185. But I've always known that my ideal weight is probably more like 155-160, but I've never been there, even though I've tried many, many times. Anyway, my point is that I think the problem is the singular focus on "losing weight" or "get weight to 165"--and then making a plan as to what I need to do to meet that goal, and of course failing to do those things and failing to meet that goal. The truth is that at my age, and with the family and community responsibilities I have, "losing weight" just isn't a sufficiently strong goal. I need something bigger, and not just one thing, but a number of interconnected goals (dare I say, a "web of goals"), that reinforce one another, where there is little to no distinction to be made between the goals (or primary objectives)--e.g., lose weight, eat healthier, be less wasteful and less destructive, be a better neighbor and dad/husband/friend, be more physically active, watch less TV, read more, drink less alcohol, etc. etc.--and the side effects (or secondary objectives) of the choices one makes to meet those goals--e.g., losing weight, eating healthier, being less wasteful and less destructive, being a better neighbor/dad/husband/friend, being more physically active, watching less TV, reading more, drinking less alcohol, etc. etc.

I don't know who wrote this for the ERE Wiki Web of Goals page, but I really like it: "The web of goals can be seen as an evolving life-story that automatically minimizes waste (any kind of negative side-effect) and allows for the maximum possible number of opportunities in a rich world, or maximum resilience in a poor world."

ETA: I get annoyed with my Jesuit priest because his homilies almost always have the same message, just using different words, and that message is "love one another," which for someone like me tends to just sound like a whole lot of wishy-washy vague horseshit. I'm always asking him (under my breath): yeah, fine, but how? It's the how that matters. But believe it or not, I'm starting to grok my priest now. He can't really tell us the how (a diocesan priest would have no problem telling us how, of course, but Jesuits gotta be Jesuits). It's up to us to, first, make love (or the theological virtue of charity) the central reference point for your life, and then, second, organize your goals and the choices you make and the activities you undertake guided by that central reference point, with all sorts of mutually beneficial positive side effects that all ultimately lead back to love. A rose window in a cathedral is a good image: with love (which for us Catholics would be personified by Jesus) in the center, and with everything stemming out from and rooted in that central image of love.

Note: This is what happens when you start your day in the chapel praying the Rosary with a group of fellow Catholic school dads, after school drop off.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

New house windows are expensive.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Re my web of goals, DW bought 10lb bags of rice, black beans, and red beans yesterday, and after finding some good black beans and rice Instant Pot recipes I wanted to try out, I came home to find that DW already had a batch of black beans and rice going. So, for dinner, we had black beans and rice with onions, garlic, and canned tomatoes, with some roasted brusell sprouts and broccoli, and some sauteed mushrooms, topped with salsa and hot sauce for me, and sour cream for DW. I could eat like that every night. The kids even enjoyed the meal, which has been our biggest obstacle to shifting our cooking to a more dry goods plus veggies mindset. So that's promising. For breakfast it was yogurt with roasted granola DW made last week, and then for lunch it'll be the black beans and rice w/ veggies again, though this time topped with a little ranch dressing DW made last week (and which she stored in a re-used banana peppers glass jar). I could definitely live this way. Baby steps, for sure, but this is healthier and cheaper, and if it means DW doesn't have to go to the grocery store as often, then this could definitely work.

Yesterday I was good about my diet (yogurt/granola for b'fast; pb&j for lunch; apple for a snack; and the beans/rice for dinner), EXCEPT that I still succumbed to my post-dinner snacking urge, dipping into some pimento cheese and day-old french bread. Post-dinner is definitely my weak spot, so I need to figure that out. But all-in-all, a healthy eating day.

Re drinking, I stuck with just 1 beer (home brewed); so that's progress.

I ran yesterday, and this morning I just did a few push-ups, SO, for probably the first time in my professional career, I did NOT take a shower before work. I'll skip showers often during the weekend, if I don't exercise or do any manual labor; but I've always showered in the mornings before work. I'm trying to stop doing that unless I work up a sweat exercising in the morning, and today was my first day doing that. I feel fine; kind of great, actually. For one, my skin isn't as dry as it was yesterday.

I've stopped using mouthwash, though I'm not quite ready to ditch the deodorant. I also switched to using a regular toothbrush instead of my electric toothbrush I've used for 20 years. I'm sure the electric toothbrush is better, but I don't like having to pay for the expensive brush heads when they wear out, which of course they are designed to do quicker than really necessary. I'm timing myself using the regular toothbrush, as I know that's a big benefit of the electric toothbrush is that it automatically stops after 2 minutes, which forces you to brush longer than you might otherwise.

I've been doing the "if it's yellow let it mellow" with the toilet flushing, and so far no family members have revolted. It helps having an 8-year-old son who is a bit gross, as DD and DW just assume he's the one not flushing, and they're just happy to see he didn't pee on the seat.

We watched "Amazing Race" on TV yesterday after the kids went to bed, a show I can't stand and quickly lost interest in. It's going to take some effort to move away from having the TV as the thing we use to relax and zone out with at the end of the day. It's helped that we've gotten used to not having any subscription streaming services. But we still manage to find something stupid to watch on the antenna or via some app like the History Channel, or PBS, or, of course, YouTube. I'd like to move the TV down to the basement rec room, and just not have a TV in the living room. But the plan is to put a bathroom down there sooner rather than later so that we can move DS back down there.

I've walked or rode my bike this week for all my errands (library, book store, drug store to pick up photo prints, picking up bread/cheese for wine night). However, DW has of course driven as she had kids' soccer practice duties the past couple days. And I'll have them this evening and no doubt I'll drive because the kids won't ride their bikes to/from practice when it's this cold and dark.

I've enjoyed going podcast free the past couple days. On my commute walks and on my errand walks, it's been nice just being more "present" (sounds so new-agey) in my surroundings. That said, DW and I got to talking about Shane MacGowan this morning because of something we saw in the paper, and so I couldn't resist the urge to rock out to some Pogues on my walk in to work.

As part of our effort to make our little townhouse a little more of a forever home, and to make it more energy efficient, we had our first windows guy come out yesterday evening. We've never done windows before and I wasn't prepared for the hard sales pitch; here's the price, here's the price with a discount; here's the price if you sign right now; here's the price if you sign now but with a 10-day price guarantee. Anyway, it sucked, and those sorts of interactions are a big part of why DW and I have moved houses so many times in the past 10 years, rather than deal with the home reno stuff. We aren't knowledgeable about home renovations/repairs, and we both hate being ripped off. Anyway, our current windows absolutely suck (the seal is broken? on almost all of them)--they look like shit and don't insulate at all. So we want to replace them. We've got someone else coming out tomorrow, not from a national company, so perhaps it'll be less used car salesman-y.
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

mooretrees
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by mooretrees »

What a great update! So many fun changes you're experimenting with.

Recently, DH made us some deodorant. We both like it better than store bought so that's something to consider.

Kids and biking at night, well, that's really a gear and normalizing issue and perhaps that change can happen when it's not so dark. If they get into the habit of biking to practice when it's light out, then it's simpler to just add some lights. Is carpooling an option for practice/games? Maybe not because of covid?

Fun to read about your changes!

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Thanks @mt, could you perhaps share the deodorant "recipe"? Re kids/bikes, they used to be much more into riding bikes but with the move to our current neighborhood, where they pretty much have free reign to walk wherever they need to go, and biking to school would be silly given how close it is, they'll go weeks now without getting on the bikes. We've got all the gear we need (namely, front and back lights, with AA batteries so that we're not constantly worried about whether they'll lose their charge). But I think it's more of an exhaustion thing--all day in school, then homework, then rather intense soccer practice, and then chores around the house and getting ready for the next day; riding their bikes to/from practice is just one more "thing" they have to do, as opposed to just vegging out in the cooled/heated truck listening to music. I get it, but I also get that this is sort of the bigger cultural, wastefulness problem we've got--think driving to the gym to run on a treadmill, mentality. So I don't know. That's honestly what prompted me to start asking questions about the veggie oil fuel thing, because I'd read in Peter Kalmus's (sp!) book that he was basically dealing with the same problem--he's a dad and his boys like playing organized team soccer, which necessarily requires driving; so what do you do?

It's kind of a shame because the bike route to/from the soccer fields is actually a really fun one--it's about the only "off-roading" you can do in-town, as about half the path runs along the freight train tracks. It's one of the few bike routes outside of our neighborhood I'd be OK with DD (not DS yet) doing herself. I suspect that's what's going to happen, eventually, if DD sticks with soccer (and I very much think she will, more so than DS). Faced with the choice of: (a) have Dad/Mom drop me off/pick me up at soccer, or (b) have the freedom to go myself--I suspect she'll eventually start choosing (b). But we're not there yet.

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jennypenny
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by jennypenny »

Why no deodorant? I'm just curious because the cost is so minimal. Skipping a family dinner would pay for a year's worth of deodorant, even the expensive all-natural kind.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

@jp: Just experimenting with the stuff in my life that I think are "essentials," to see if they really are. It's not about saving money; it's more about creating less waste and learning to live comfortably with less stuff.

As an example, I was reflecting this morning on how absolutely revolutionary it seemed to me when, about 6-7 years ago, I cancelled my $95/mo. parking at the office. I'd been riding my bike in to the office (11 miles round trip) most days for a few months, but having office parking just seemed like such an absolutely essential thing to have, that it really was frightening to get rid of it, even though I knew I wasn't using it and I didn't need it. I kept running through in my head all the various ways I might really need the parking--e.g., what if it was pouring rain and I had an early morning deposition at the office? So I've just been spending the past few years slowly peeling back the layers of all the stuff that I think is essential, that just really isn't.

ETA: Now, with my new job 1 mile away from my home, I actually get "free" parking--free as in my law partners pay for it as part of the firm's rent, but I don't pay for it. Anyway, it was nice to have the parking for when DW and I wanted to grab a meal downtown, or hit up some retail, but didn't want to walk; and it was also nice to let friends/neighbors borrow the keycard when they wanted to do the same, but didn't want to pay the $10+ for parking downtown. With COVID, the firm initially cut back the parking initially to save costs (it's not cheap), but it has since brought the parking back for those who are coming into the office regularly. Well, I was the first to start coming into the office regularly, and I've told my law partners I don't want them to restart the parking for me, because I really don't need or want it, and it's silly for the firm to be paying for a parking spot that isn't going to get used. That's a big difference in working for a small firm/biz vs. a big one; at a big corp./firm, I'm sure I'd say I was "entitled" to the free parking as part of my pay. But here, the firm's owners are my friends, and why would I ask them to pay for me to have something that I don't need or want, just because they are paying for the firm's other attorneys/employees to have it?

"Whenever something is wrong, something is too big." - Leopold

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

I'm going to put this here, so I remember it, though it's inspired by a back-and-forth I had on NuncFluens' journal.

I'm heading towards something career-wise, though I haven't figured out yet what. I tend to think that thing is becoming more autonomous with my workload, and having my pay adjusted accordingly--so, I do work for my "own" clients, and for any work I do for others' clients, there's some sort of hourly pay structure built in, as opposed to a flat salary with bonus structure. I have a friend who I've mentioned here before who makes furniture and is rather successful at it, as far as I can tell. He'd been in the corporate world (kind of, corporate in an artsy way), and his Dad saw the hours he was working while he had a very young family and sat him down and asked him to reflect on his priorities. So, he went to work for himself. He works hard, but he also has the freedom to pick and choose what projects he takes on, and he has time to be fully involved in his kids' lives (he's got a lot of them; Catholic and all), and he has time to do things like renovate his house himself, and read (a lot), and take very long bike rides in the middle of the week. Well, yesterday he sent around a picture of him and his biz partner sitting out in some rural field somewhere drinking a beer and just chilling. I don't know why he was there, it very well could have been work related in some way. But regardless, that's the level of freedom I'm pining for currently. I don't mind work; I like work and I know I need work to keep on the straight-and-narrow (Glorious St. Joseph comes to mind). But there's so many different forms that work can take, and I have the tools and, frankly, the resources and the cash reserves, to make that happen.

All that's to say, I've got a 3-night silent retreat coming up (I do one annually, though usually just 2 nights, and I missed a year b/c of COVID and b/c I wanted to make sure DW got to take her first retreat); and the first time I did a silent retreat I ended up putting my resignation papers in with my old firm not much later. And the last time I did a silent retreat DW and I ended up opting to downsize houses significantly. So, while I don't think I'll be resigning--I like my law partners and I've got the flexibility to structure things in a way that's more comfortable, so long as I'm willing to get paid less--I suspect change is coming.

mooretrees
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by mooretrees »

I'll get the recipe here shortly, I'm sure DH has bounced around trying different ones out. I've gone in and out of using deodorant for years, mostly due to laziness and a slight fear of aluminum. DH gets pretty smelly without it, so he's a steady user.

I was thinking about your relax with the family sorta dilemma and have some suggestions, totally unsolicited of course! Have you ever listened to an audio book with the kids? I listened to a lot of the Harry Potter series and it was fantastic. Make some popcorn, pop that in for an hour or so of mellow listening time. What about listening to the Narnia series? I found this used set of Kenneth Branagh narrating the series on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Chronicles ... SwDmBY3b7r

Then I did some searching and found this interesting podcast: https://soundcloud.com/short-curly/popular-tracks I've never listened to it so take it with a grain of salt. It's supposed to be interesting and short ethical podcasts that are supposed to inspire some family discussions. Not exactly the same as watching something, but maybe once a week it could be fun to shake it up? On a night where everyone isn't really spent to begin with?

This was another podcast (I remember you saying you were liking not listening to them...but...) specifically for kids and families from the producers of Fresh Air:https://whyy.org/programs/eleanor-amplified/ It sounds fun, and quick so maybe a few episodes a night?

Anyway, those were my thoughts about how to try at least one night or so of tv free evenings. Oh right, what about game night?! DH and I can't seem to take up the habit of board games, but there are so many amazing games out there. I'm hoping our son will like board games when he's older and that will help us play them as a family. Even in our small town there is an amazing game store with folks that have great recommendations for new and different games.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Thanks @MT, I'll check those resources out. As for relaxing with the kids, the TV problem is really more just DW and me. Honestly, by the time we get the kids home from soccer or from playing in the neighborhood, fed, showered, and ready for the next day, it's generally time for bed. We do get to relax a bit during that 5-8pm window, in the form of family dinners (always, and always w/o TV), and also board games and family walks, kicking the soccer ball around, playing catch, etc. To the extent we watch TV as a family in that timeframe, it's something like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy, which I tend to not think of as wasted time. Our weak spot TV-wise, where we just have the TV on b/c our brains are too tired, is after the kids go to bed, so in the 8-9:30pm timeframe. Reading is something we say we're going to try and do during that time, but it rarely happens. Going for a walk or having a drink on the back patio are good options; but on a day-in-day-out basis, you can bet we're watching some stupid TV show during that timeframe. That's the problem time.

ETA: As @NuncFluens were discussing on his journal, the real problem here is that DW and I are both giving our best and most productive hours of the day to our respective employers/clients. So there's really just not a whole lot left afterward.

ThriftyRob
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by ThriftyRob »

Sounds like you had a success with the beans, rice and veggies meal. Left-overs for lunch is a great way of saving time and money too. I can't offer any suggestions for how to avoid the post-dinner snack tempation though (not something I experience).

I'm looking forward to reading what you work out with your colleagues at work for getting a better work/life balance.

I'm also looking forward to seeing @mooretrees' deodorant recipe too. I'll say more about deodorant in my journal.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

@TR: Just finished the beans/rice/veggies leftovers for lunch, with some of DW's homemade ranch dressing mixed in (b/c, why not?). Funny, the ranch dressing is in a used banana peppers jar, and a colleague sat with the fridge open for quite a few seconds staring at the jar in confusion before asking me what kind of banana peppers is that; I said, it's the ranch-y kind.

Re my WOG, I ate rice and beans for dinner last night and again for lunch today; and apart from some after-dinner snacking I've stuck to eating whole foods.

For alcohol, DW asked for a cocktail last night and so I caved; she stopped at the cocktail though while I drank a beer (homebrew) afterwards. Not surprisingly, I felt a good bit better Thursday morning when I woke up than I did this morning. Good reminder that I really do feel better when I limit myself to no more than 1x drink/night.

I've been riding the bike more, as I've had to go to/from work/house a few times as we've got window replacement folks coming by the house. I of course drove last night to pick up my kids from soccer practice, though I opted for my in-laws sedan rather than the truck, as it gets better gas mileage and I'm supposed to drive it occasionally anyway to keep the battery charged.

I ran this morning, so that's 3x in a week, which I've probably not done since the early days of COVID. And so I took a shower this morning; likely won't take one tomorrow.

I've been sleeping well.

I've cut back to 1 cup of coffee a day; working my way to 0.

I can't even remember what stupid nonsense DW and I watched on TV last night after the kids went to bed. Wait, just remembered, it was the Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T Law & Order thing; there's really no excuse other than we're just brain dead.

I've been good about following the "yellow let it mellow" both at home and at work; no one has said anything to me yet. I've also limited my napkin/paper towel use, both at home and at work. Not zero use yet, but just 1-3 or so/day.

I'm also definitely still enjoying going podcast-less. I'm at a place currently where I don't mind being in my head a bit. No doubt that is something that will come and go, and sometimes I'll want someone talking into my ears when I'm on walks/runs; but for now, I'm enjoying being in my own head.

ETA: Sort of related to WOG, I'm going to pick up some firewood today from a friend who sells it. Should be enough to get us through the winter, which means we should be able to limit our use of gas this winter, relative to what we did last winter. Also, sometimes it really is nice to own a pick-up truck.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

For $50 my friend gave me a pick-up truck bed full of kiln-dried firewood; all of which was sourced from the various tree companies in town who give and (sometimes) sell their cleaned up downed trees to my friend, which he uses to make very expensive furniture. I was going to pay him $100; he was going to charge me $25 (plus some of my homebrew); so we agreed on $50 (plus the homebrew, of course). I was afraid to ask what he's charging his wealthy non-friend customers who will be using the wood as fuel for the outdoor fire pits so their kids can roast marshmallows. But I hope it's a lot.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

Also good with black beans, rice, and roasted veggies? Queso.

DD made a fantastic chimichurri a couple months ago, as part of some kids' recipe kit subscription her Godparents got her as a gift; I bet that would make a wonderful topping for black beans/rice as well.

Had a reaffirming ERE moment yesterday when a church friend asked me if I'd ever made sourdough bread, and I said no and asked him why he was asking. He said he'd passed by some sourdough bread in a store the other day and it got him thinking "I wonder how you make sourdough bread"; and then he thought: "I bet Hristo knows how to make sourdough bread." Well, I don't; but I'm glad he thought I'm the kind of guy who might.

Needless to say, I figured I needed to remedy this "never made sourdough before" thing:
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I just followed the instructions from Rob Greenfield's wild fermentation post for the starter, which is just non-chlorinated water and flour; and I tasked DD with the chore of stirring it twice a day until it smells sour. So, we'll see what happens. More fun with fermentation!

ETA: Speaking of fermentation, I bottled 2 cases of Belgian Tripel on Saturday. So with the Christmas Ale I bottled a couple weeks ago, plus a few stragglers left over from the Red Ale, I've got something like 5+ cases of beer in the house that I brewed myself. A lot of the Christmas Ale will go out as gifts; I'm hoping the Belgian Tripel lives up to the name; it's one of my favorite styles. I used my smaller carboy for the fermentation, and I put too much volume in the carboy which resulted in it actually spilling out a bit from the top during the first couple days of fermentation. Those first couple days of fermentation were extremely active, and then it sort of stopped. Whereas with the Christmas Ale the fermentation kept on bubbling (with longer intervals between the bubbles) for almost the entire 2 weeks. Not sure why the Belgian was so different; could have been because of too much volume in too small a carboy? Anyway, I've yet to screw up a homebrew batch to the point where it's undrinkable; so, we'll see.

I'm debating doing a country wine now, rather than starting up another homebrew batch. Or perhaps a lager--a friend has an extra fridge he said I could use for the lagering; though I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the temp on his fridge up to where I need it to be for the lager yeast to work. I'd love to be able to make a good everyday lager with some flavor; something like a Yuengling--i.e., something with a bit more flavor than a "beach beer" (i.e., Coors Light); but that's not as heavy as an ale.
Last edited by Hristo Botev on Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 1108
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

A funny thing happened this morning: My alarm went off at 5:15 and I really didn't want to get out of bed to for my run; BUT, I thought, "well, Monday is a shower day, and I can't take a shower unless I've gone for a run"--so, I got up and went for a run. I'll call it a Web of Goals success.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6811
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Your journal is fun to read. I think I would choose cheaper zip code over resort to shower day :lol:

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