A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:53 am

It's easier to see it in young children or nature. For instance, a rabbit is shy and extroverted.

George the original one
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by George the original one » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:32 pm

Jason wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:47 am
That's like being a doctor who faints at the site of blood.
You just described an ex-girlfriend of mine.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:34 am

Received some disturbing news regarding life at the end of the road. Last time I was up, two years ago, two of the cabins in the little Common Interest Community changed owners. Both happened to close while I was there but I didn't meet any of the new neighbors. In anticipation of my trip up in about 3 weeks I was talking to one of my "old" neighbors. He enthusiastically reported that with the arrival of a couple younger couples, quite a social life has sprung up in the neighborhood. Card games, cookouts, and group fishing outings. The downside is that it might take some diplomatic maneuvering to keep from being drawn in without being to non-neighborly. The upside is that it sounds like it's a pretty well established group now so my absence won't be disruptive, and it's seemingly all couples which sort of gives me an out.

I'd already started making arrangements to do some undeveloped land scouting while I'm up there. Now I'm motivated to make sure that happens. I'd hate to have to give up my lakeside perch on the edge of the wilderness area, so hopefully my imagination is just getting a little carried away and I won't find the Northwoods' equivalent of Spring Break going on up there. :lol:

bigato
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by bigato » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:17 pm

I think you may be overestimating the effect, but this is one of the inconvenients of owning real estate indeed. It makes it much harder to move when external conditions change. I'm hoping you're wrong though.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:29 am

bigato, the "lol" at the end was to signify the entry was a bit tongue-in-cheek. There's probably a remote chance I'll find the neighbors and their effect unbearable, but people drawn to the area tend to appreciate the tranquil environment, so I suspect you're right and it won't be anything out of hand.

Jason
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Jason » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:31 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:34 am
Card games, cookouts, and group fishing outings.
Obviously, someone from the unlit cigar demographic needs to step in and tell these city types that this is not the place for that type of yankee camping.

GandK
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by GandK » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:41 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:18 am
... I tend to find friendly relationships in all kinds of ways, it's just a matter of investing a little in some of them so they blossom beyond acquaintanceship. The only real difference compared to past analogous junctures is that I intend to base things more on overlapping interests than in circumstance.

All that has mostly been simmering in the background and this is the first time I've tried to organize the thoughts. More in the foreground events have conspired to make me again keenly aware of my "introvert's curse"--no matter how true my intentions or affections, in time I always wind up hurting people simply because of the deepest wiring of who I am. If I was a stereotype tough guy I suppose I wouldn't care about collateral damage, say the burden is on them to adapt to me, but I'm not really that sort of tough guy, so there it is. Figuring out how to thread the needle will, as always, be a challenging endeavor. And who knows, someday I may get it right! :)
Catching up on journals.

I resonate painfully with the above.

That said: as it relates to retirement and moving and your potentially noisy new neighbors :), is it possible you're ruling out a new potential good friend before they've had a chance? In any group I find myself in there tends to be one - if only one - person I'm glad I met afterward.

7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:34 pm

For some reason this journal entry reminds me of a flip-book of still images drawn on the bottom corners of a lively novel. Like Dave's new young neighbors will all be on their second marriages and their kids will be the ones getting drunk and playing Eucre by the time he finally moves up there.

suomalainen
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by suomalainen » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:28 pm

See, my first reaction/thought to the “young couples” invading (can I say invading any more?) the neighborhood and the impact on a confirmed bachelor was “wilderness swinger parties”. So...yeah, I don’t think that has any real relevance to anything, but thought I’d share. Back to regularly scheduled programming...

Jason
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Jason » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:54 pm

It's like Hemingway meets Blake Edwards. Aging fisherman, reeling in his marlin in solitude has surprise encounter with young ingenue. "The Old Man And The C Cup."

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:13 am

I visited my employer's 401k site for the first time in a few weeks, happy to see that I'm down much less than I would have anticipated from hearing/watching/reading the recent financial news. I have a lucky personality quirk in that I'm much, much more inclined to peek at my balances when things are going up than when they are going down. I actually turtle-up when the news is grim. That's probably kept me from making some ill-advised moves over the years. I also for the first time in many months, maybe more than a year looked a little deeper on the site. Somewhere along the way they added a very short duration bond-based stable value fund.

We don't have a long-term bond fund, just generic ~total market (average out to be intermediate-term), and I've been happy to limit my durations. Because I believe there will continue to be directed attempts to undermine investor confidence in the US economy through selective amplification for the next 15-16 months, I'm considering a hedge of moving a solid chunk into the short-duration stable value fund. I've always been leery of such products, but having an "insurance wrapper" (my term, not sure what the proper one is) soothes my instincts to avoid pointless volatility. I guess I should note that this short-term stable value fund seems to be the closest thing to a cash option in the plan. Over on bh.org they'd excoriate me as a "market timer" for even thinking such thoughts, ha! Last time I calculated I was at about 45% intermediate-term bonds, and I think that's about all I want for the long haul, and considerably more than I want now. Just not enough upside to balance the normal risks of extended durations. And 55% stocks, which historically I'd consider ludicrously low for me, is starting to feel like way too much as well.

I picked a bad year to retire, although to an extent it picked me. I mentioned political risk a while back as something I need to be alert to. I think it's highly likely that we'll get pushed so that that risk manifests itself in the form of volatility (at best). I wish I had a better plan than to just duck and hope, but there's not much wiggle room in the 401k. I'm at peak sensitivity to sequence-of-returns risk, and stepping out within +/- 4 months of what's shaping up to be a historically bitter national election (by contemporary US standards) makes me very glad to be an almost neurotic over-saver, and gives me a decent objective reason to dwell on the job even longer.

Then again, I got news yesterday that my first college roommate, and friend throughout those years, drowned in the Columbia River Monday. Super fit, adventurous guy. Total shock to everyone who knew him. It was interesting how many of us, when talking about it among ourselves, expressed sentiments that betrayed the existence of FOMO, i.e., "you never know when it'll end so you need to do what's important now". So at this point I'm still sticking to the plan. I just hope I don't let people trying to manipulate me for the purpose of steering my vote convince me to backtrack and pick a new direction. I suspect avoiding that will be harder than it sounds. In the meantime all I can do is stick to my old mantra: wake up eachmorning, and from where my feet hit the floor, make it the best day I can.

classical_Liberal
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:55 pm

Anecdotes of health scares and the occasional "old friend" who passed away are getting more common in my forties. Luckily I haven't been touched more closely. Still, looking at mortality rates 20 or 30 years into the future is an eye opener, and really something that shouldn't be ignored. Live my best life now, as time is no longer on my side.

Wrt investments, I'm at about 50% equities now as well. I dislike being that low, but I keep reminding myself this isn't a permanent allocation. I'm cash heavy/equity low, and about where I want to be for the long term with bonds and gold because I'm about to semi-RE. I need the stability to feel comfortably making the leap. Although valuations are somewhat in play with my decision, it's really not an attempt to "market time", because if I was planning on working FT for another 5 years my allocation would be much, much different. IOW, look at your allocation from a personal situation standpoint. Realize your personal situation will change with time, and that your current AA doesn't require permanence. It's just the best play given your present circumstances, regardless of market factors.

suomalainen
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by suomalainen » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:37 pm

Stable value funds are great. I assume yours is backed by privately placed debt assets and the "insurance wrapper" is a guarantee by the sponsor insurance company's general account. No, the returns aren't going to blow your socks off, but...it's...stable...value...The assets aren't really marked-to-market, so there's no volatility even if you looked through to the underlying assets. I suspect that yours is like mine in that it really just acts like a bank CD from the retail/401k investor viewpoint. You get your 3-4% interest and forget about it. My 401k is currently 75% in stable value and 25% in my company's stock.

Sorry to hear about your friend. Definitely a reminder that while you're tending to the (financial) future, you shouldn't look past your present either.

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jennypenny
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by jennypenny » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:39 am

I’m really sorry about your friend.

I’m coming up on the anniversary of my dad’s death and I’m thinking about it a lot this year. He was only 5 years older than me when he died. I can’t help feeling a sense of urgency (wd?) ... I’m not even sure for what.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:18 am

An Abbreviated and Premature August Summary

Made it up to my old home town Thursday--long tedious drive but it went without incident. The most notable thing was the number of trucks on the interstates. A lot of goods moving around. I guess that's good for buyers and sellers, maybe some manufacturers.

Invested assets are down about $900 for the month. Aside from today's activity I have two paycheck's worth of contributions in limbo waiting to see what it will take to get the cabin shored up for winter. I don't have a tally but August spending will be modestly high.

My dad's looking old. Comes with the territory of being 80, I know, but it seems like there's been a jump since Christmas. Oddly it was mostly in his hands that I noticed it. Could be that because the record cold of last winter killed his vines to the ground, meaning there's a lot less to do this year in the vineyard while they grow back, the relative inactivity is catching up with him. His house is a little depressing, he hasn't done much of anything since Mom passed--still has Christmas decorations up...from 2017. Mom got a few up that year but by the time January of '18 rolled around she was too ill to make taking them down a priority. I guess it's a sentimental thing for him. He's also getting behind on everyday home maintenance type stuff. Not having my mom to "encourage" him to get stuff done is letting his inner procrastinator thrive.

Has me noting to self that I need to be a little more proactive about having a plan for my own home stretch.

I'm headed up to the cabin in the morning tomorrow. Yesterday my caretaker told me he was quitting. A new facet of his family's business they started last year is apparently thriving (outfitting adventurers headed into the wilderness area via canoe) so he's lightening his load of miscellaneous stuff he used to do to get by during the warm season (the heart of the family business way providing wintertime dog sled transport). I'm happy for him but he's really left me in a bind. I spent a good chunk of yesterday watching DIY porn on how to winterize a cabin and running around trying to procure an air compressor and piece parts to jury rig fittings. Looks like the trip will entail heading up there, meeting with the foundation contractor and agreeing on a plan, then patching up the existing plumbing issues (assuming the plumber I called 2 weeks ago still hasn't come out) enough to successfully get the lines blown out. Then I'll do my best to winterize it and turn around and come back here for a week or so before heading home.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:01 am

My recent travels were a success in the sense that being a miniature replica of my target lifestyle, they provide evidence that where I'm headed is apt for me. This was even a trip full of little IRL headaches rather than the idyllic recreational adventure, meaning perhaps the intervention of the real world on occasion might not derail me right away.

I'll throw in the obligatory twilight from my little bit of shoreline photo:

Image

[Edit: Photo deleted to head off derailment]


No real problems with the blossoming social life of the neighbors. I did get invited for "coffee and brownies" on Labor Day afternoon, and did a lot more talking than I usually do up there, haha. But I also got invited out fishing twice, so the ratio of activities was not bad. I did get one chance to sneak off by myself to fish. Only declined one dinner invitation so I don't think my "standing" was damaged.

Bopping down to Illinois briefly, my dad seems to be doing okay mostly. Physically he's still pretty capable for an 80-yr-old. Emotionally he is faring okay. My mom always chided him for being a procrastinator and forgetful ("If it weren't for me he'd go off to class without remembering to put his trousers on"). I used to think it was just typical married banter with a dash of hyperbole, but I now see it was pretty accurate. It's likely his forgetfulness is worsening with age, which is of course a concern. Part of me would like to see him be a bit more of a proactive self-starter, but he seems content with his lifestyle. He meets old school friends a couple times a week, has monthly poker games with his old work colleagues, goes to church on Sundays, and has fairly regular interaction with family members. He's just slow about starting up little projects that need doing.

Back up to Minnesota. As I had suspected there seems to be a correlation with the cabin's foundation and the plumbing issues of the last two years. The cabin is off level with the lake side higher than the back side. Water comes in from the well on the lake side, and the drains for the supply lines are about 2' from the front. The problem line is the cold line to the bathroom sink (run which goes furthest back) which to my eye now looks to have an slight uphill run to the drain. What I observed while blowing out the lines with compressed air seemed to confirm this: I pushed a lot more water up through the cold side of that faucet than I did anywhere else.

I have a lot of options in dealing with this going forward. First step is having the foundation contractor in to re-level the cabin. That should restore enough slope (in the right direction) to that branch of the supply that the simple drain approach that worked for years should again be adequate to protect the pipes. If that doesn't restore the slope to my liking, the plumbing under the cabin can be adjusted to restore a healthy slope. Another option is to add another drain where the pipe had burst the last two winters. Right now there is just a Sharkbite connection on there so the mod would be pretty easy. Also I could just do nothing for now. The weak spot in the pipe is the Sharkbite. Its teeth won't hold the copper if trapped water freezes/expands, so it sort of protects the pipe. I can just plan on r/r-ing the connection every year (about $8). The robust solution I'm thinking about is redoing all the plumbing under the cabin (maybe all the inside too) with PEX A. That way if something does go wrong with the draining, the risk of incurring damage is less, and it will give an extra measure of protection as I make mods to extend the cabin's usable time in May and later in October by a couple weeks in each direction.

The real issue with the piers is not what I inferred from talking to my neighbor. The mini-porch has nothing to do with it, it is just the part that most visibly responds to the forces. The cabin's front three piers are set in the ground and it's very unlikely they extend down the 12' or so purportedly required for stability in that climate. They both respond differently to the freeze/thaw cycles than the rest of the piers, and are likely being slowly pushed up out of the ground. The longer term fix is to replace them with floating piers to match the rest, I think. I haven't commissioned that yet because I'm still thinking through the raising of the entire structure. I'd like to get it up high enough to have a legitimate crawlspace-sized clearance under the whole structure (I currently have only about 6" on the uphill side), and so that I can add skirting and insulation.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:11 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:01 am
I'll probably take it down next week because my mug's in it.
feelin cute, might delete soon

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:37 am

nm
Last edited by IlliniDave on Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Jason » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:43 am

Nice picture. But who's the guy with his thumb in your mouth?

Jason
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Jason » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:08 pm

Come on Dave, put the fish pic back up. You could be the Redneck Seppia.

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