bigato's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by ffj » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:51 am

Welcome back. It's been too long.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:57 pm

Thank you very much, guys!
YaW, sorry for not having answered the email. I've been using the cellphone mostly and I hate to type on that thing. Also hate not writing a proper answer. And can't access personal email at the job. So I end up postponing it until I forget it. Maybe now that my focus is back on ERE, I'll be posting more often.
Fish: yes, it definitely is possible to forgo ERE. Thing is, if you stay around here, your brain keeps on absorbing unconsciously the peer pressure and you program yourself everyday towards ERE. Whether that is a good thing or not, is up to you.

LiquidSapphire
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by LiquidSapphire » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:47 pm

Hi! I thought of you and checked in the past couple of pages. Sounds like you had hard times, but now are having amazing times. So happy for you.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:04 pm

Hi LiquidSapphire, great to hear from you!
Yeah my life is great nowadays! I can say that I am doing my dream job in one of the best places in the world where I could be, among some great professionals, working 6h/day mon-fri, and I also am having some adventures every now and then, like that time in 2017 when I cycled 3 thousand km in a single speed bicycle in 24 days! Also, I'm vegan since 14 months ago and it has been great.
I see you have a blog now, I'll check it out! Maybe add you on facebook if you use such a thing?

jennypenny
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by jennypenny » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:08 am

Hey Bigato! I'm so glad you're doing well!

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:38 pm

Thanks Jenny!

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TheWanderingScholar
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by TheWanderingScholar » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:37 pm

Hey, I found a cool picture of a one person electric vehicle when I was Riga.

Do you prefer email or WhatsApp?

P.S. It seems like all the OGs are coming back out of their shells.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:46 pm

heheheh you can send it to me via whatsapp :)

LiberateMind
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by LiberateMind » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:56 pm

Welcome back.. :D

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:38 pm

Thought some of you might enjoy it: I'm currently riding my single speed bicycle through Argentina during my 33 days vacations. It's a kind of a road bike and the way I do it is a mix of touring and personal sportive challenge. All of my stuff weight 19.3 kg including my steel bike. I stay in hotels and eat what vegan food I can find, which so far has been potato chips, biscuits, fruits and juices. Planning on crossing to Chile and probably reaching Lima in Peru. The longest distance in a day so far was 266km, averaging 154km a day so far. This is the fifth day and I'm lying in a hotel bed while I write this. The hotels price make it not very ERE, but I thought some of you would appreciate the adventure and challenge part. Among my stuff is a foldable bluetooth keyboard which I use to write my diaries daily and share then on my website, since I deleted all of my social media accounts (except whatsapp and strava). Website address available by pm request if you are so inclined, and although it's in portuguese, I heard that automatic translators like Google's do a reasonable work nowadays. No pictures thought, just plain old text rendered into html by simple unix scripts.

Nicolino
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Nicolino » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:23 am

Haha, being vegan in Argentina will probably be not easy! Hope you watch out for your safety and your stuff while riding there, but I guess you are familiar with those things coming from Brazil. I have seen so many cases of long term travelers having their stuff stolen in my country, can´t help but feel a lot of shame anytime I read one of those cases.

If your wondering through Chile brings you to Santiago, I am more than happy to buy you a beer and hear your stories first-hand!

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:05 am

Thanks Nicolino! Probably not going to Santiago this time, but I'll take your offer if it happens.
Ate some wild edible plants I gathered on the side of the road today, like dandelions leaves, mustard flowers and anise stems. Now *that's* ERE hahahaha. Thinking about getting some salt and lemon in the next city for the next wild salad! Also wondering that if I had a metal mug, I could even cook some of this stuff.

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niemand
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by niemand » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:00 am

bigato wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:05 am
... salt and lemon ...
Get some tequila in the next town, breakfast of champions :D
Jokes aside, your cycling trip sounds wonderful, makes me think of the young Ernesto Guevara on his Latin America trip, although they went by motorbike.

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m741
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by m741 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:24 pm

Hey bigato, glad to hear you're enjoying yourself. If you make it to Lima, there's an amazing vegetarian (nearly vegan) restaurant, which was one of our favorite places to eat over 7 months. I think it was $3.50 USD for a three course meal w/drink:

Restaurante Vegetariano SAYEL
Calle Cantuarias 285, Lima 15074, Peru

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm

Thank you very much m741! Will surely pay a visit if I get there. But today I'm so exhausted that I don't feel I'll be able to get to Lima. Who knows, maybe San Pedro de Atacama or maybe I'll just ride home from here. I can postpone the decision one more day, at which point I'll have to decide whether to turn left or right. Should be fun! At least today I'm in Cordoba and will be eating at a vegan restaurant! My second real meal in 7 days, with over a thousand km ridden so far.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:41 am

I gave up on the initial goal and just rode about 1600km. Reason was, argentinian roads are awful for bicycles. I had several kinds of hardships, and being vegan on the 4th largest consumer of meat per capita in the world wasn't the smallest of them. I decided to go home once I was down to fighting things beyond my control and where adaptation would not improve my comfort over time. Like huge trucks coming both ways in roads small enough that I had to get out of the road and wait.

I think I may not do this exact type of adventure again because of the downsides, one of them being it's not cheap. On the bright side, my networth went up instead of down despite the travel expenses, because of the huge market optimism now in Brazil and because I did a good move one week before the election last year. Transitioned from permanent portfolio allocation into 100% Ibovespa Index fund of my liquid money, except for emergency fund. I'll keep it like that for as long as I feel comfortable with the economy, at which point I may get back into permanent portfolio.

I just can't be bothered to learn much more about investment presently and adopt a more active attitude. It's just too boring and I'd rather not while I am still working with no idea if I even want to stop. But recently we had the worst fall in VALE stocks in history, about 25% in a day, and that is in a very solid company. Happened because of one of their dams that failed, in a disaster that killed over a hundred people, with two hundred more still missing. That had me learning how the hell did people had returns like 15.000% in a day on a 25% fall in stock value, and then with the help of a friend I learned details of how trading options works. Seems interesting to devise a portfolio hedged against black swans, and potentially benefit from such an event.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:54 pm

Learned that my mother plans to retire in 2021 at 66 years old, build something on some land she inherited on the countryside and grow some food, maybe make some money out of it. Quite similar to what I intended to do, except that I'm at 38 years old and could actually have some kind of retirement. Felt tempted to retire at the same time just for the kicks, and go live on my property on the countryside, about 40km from hers. Except that mine already have houses. That put me thinking that I could make a business out of renting the bigger house via AirBnb for small periods and live in the smaller house. I'd need to make everything way more beautiful than it is now, and while I could do it all myself, I'd be tempted to pay for it while I'm still working, and move there afterwards to make it more beautiful, grow gardens, etc. Other option would be to just retire already and do most of the renovation myself as a full time job, buying carpentry equipment to build furniture which the house will need, etc. The brazilian market have been very nice to me lately and it's likely that I'll reach some nice milestones by year's end.

In related news, the retirement and social welfare rules in Brazil are in route to change, and thankfully so because the government budget wouldn't resist otherwise. One of the changes that is likely to happen mandates that in order to receive the retirement monthly stipend from the government (a minimum wage per month), one must have contributed at least 20 years. The minimum today is 15 years, and that much I already have. And guess what, I complete 20 years in 2021 (again this year). At that point I would be entitled to one minimum wage for the rest of my life. Yeah I know that I could have some kind of small work just in order to contribute that minimum for the time necessary, but since I'm already at what is the peak of my career so far, both professionally and financially, I could as well just keep piling some more. I should be able to subsist on the present minimum wage, as in the past I was able to make that work for me and my (now ex) wife, two dogs and some cats. That means that retirement at 40 years old would mean being sure to be able to bridge the 25 years until 65 years old (the minimum retirement age that will probably be the new law).

There is some fear that my company may be sold by the new right-wing, economically liberal government and people are afraid to loose jobs. Well where I am now, my job would only cease to exist if the company where also to be terminated. And in that case, the money I would receive after they fire me, would make retirement a bit more comfortable. Part of that is some mandatory employment insurance fund that exists in Brazil, in which the employer deposits 8% of your wage every month (and I'm working since 2001). That money is mine after three years being unemployed anyway, but if they fire me it would be available instantly and they'd to pay me an additional of 40% of that capital.

Even if I decide living on the countryside is not for me anymore, it may make sense to live there, improve the place, make some money out of renting and wait until the economy improves enough that I can sell it for a sizable amount. Overall, I'm very optimistic with this country's future in the long term. And then just rent somewhere else and never buy real estate ever again. Well at least I don't think I'll change my mind in this life about this*.

All in all, I'm not trying to retire and I'm comfortable, but I could. I've been thinking about things like buying a omega speedmaster mechanical, hand-winded watch to celebrate my retirement when it happens. After all, I would just need to work some bit more for that.

Another thing that could potentially happen is that I could try to negotiate a telecommuting arrangement and live on my property and still do programming 6h mon-fri. It's even possible that the opportunity for doing so appears at some point without me trying.

Meanwhile, I did not finish my degree which I would need in order to climb the two last steps of the corporate ladder (while still being a programmer). I should finish it this year, or maybe I just say fuck it and forget about it. Being promoted would represent a sizable wage increase though. I don't know really. I find needing the degree stupid and feel like an idiot being forced into it.

Recently I did an online test for autism from some important psychology organization and it said I probably am in the spectrum. I discounted it as probably imprecise and sent the link for the test to a group for about ten friends, all of them very nerd and introverted, believing that the test was bullocks and that every nerd would probably score just as high. Surprisingly, I was the only one to test positive, even among the nerdiest of my friends. They are like my local version of the ere community, an oasis of sanity. Well that put me thinking that I am different even among nerds and that I should really hire a professional to have the real diagnosis. To be honest, I felt relieved to know that I am probably really different from most people. In the sense that no, I don't really need to conform so much to average, I am allowed to be different and there is a reason why it hurts when I try to conform too much.

Also since I'm sharing this, I did a Mensa test in january of 2018 in part out of curiosity but also because I wanted to take part in their meetings. I scored in the 5%, a bit beyond the 2% that is their threshold. They gave me a feedback that the difference is within the range in which environmental factors and my state in the day could have affected the outcome enough that I could maybe be able to pass if I wanted to try again at some point. I have only shared this with a few people, because it really sounds as if I were bragging, but it goes to show again how I'm different - people with more than a certain difference in IQ have a lot more difficulty to relate to each other and since the IQ distribution in the general population follows a bell curve, I'm in the range where I don't meet many people that make me feel I belong to some group. It's rare that I even meet individuals that I related to, let alone groups. Present company being a exception to this rule, off course.

This leads me to the main reason I suspect that I may not be so happy in the countryside, though: in bigger cities I have a lot more chances of connecting to a small group of like-minded individuals. My life has been so much happier in the past two years, and part of the reason is exactly this, I'm learning where to find these black sheep. Nowadays I feel much stronger in my loneliness, but I suspect that this may be an effect of knowing that I have some real friends to whom I can reach when I feel like doing so.

*considering that "one life" is about a decade or so

Scott 2
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:33 pm

What would you do if a professional did place you well into the autism spectrum? I think I'd land there as well, but haven't seen any benefit to getting a diagnosis. I have found benefit from reading books about people dealing with aspergers and the coping strategies they use in life. I suppose a professional could offer more direct instruction in those mechanisms. I've probably found more benefit from my wife reading those books and understanding that I'm really wired differently, not just trying to make her crazy.

Work is the best option I have found for reliable in access to do interesting things with really smart people. It's one of the top factors that keep me working. I do find working remote provides enough interaction to satisfy that need.
Last edited by Scott 2 on Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

suomalainen
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by suomalainen » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:00 pm

Either of you read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? I don't think I'm on the spectrum, but my anxiety resonated with the lead character and I found it oddly soothing to read the part where he gets over-stimulated and basically shuts down in a baggage closet. I like to hide like that sometimes too.

Scott 2
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:13 pm

I have not. The book my wife and I first read was:

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband

It was a life changing read for me. There were a lot of parallels to our relationship.

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