ffj's early retirement

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:22 pm

ffj wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:57 pm
While I was building the mantle it occurred to me that I could incorporate a hidden compartment. As I needed a place to hide my gold and precious jewels I thought this would be fun. So what do you guys think?
I think I need your address. You know, for census purposes. :P

Seriously, your remodel job is outstanding! I really like the color of the walls against the white moulding and the floors. Dang.

If the pear wine is weak on flavor, it sounds like a great candidate for the concentration of distilling. Just sayin'.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:08 pm

Wow! That looks amazing. It must be satisfying to complete that.

I'm guessing that small table will blend in more when you have furniture in the room but you might consider a wall mount receiver shelf. They aren't very expensive and it keeps the receiver up off the floor. I mean something like this (not sure if I like this one or not but you get the idea):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017JVEYO0/re ... =hyprod-20

I suggest this without having tried one -- just always liked the idea.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:48 am

@halfmoon, Saving

Thanks for the compliments. As I am partially color blind you can thank my wife for any pleasing color combinations. That is her job in this relationship. :D

I'm going to set up the t.v. and receiver as well as the speakers and subwoofer today. If that table doesn't work quite right I will definitely keep the suggestion for a wall mount in mind. I am trying very hard not to let the television and all of its accoutrements dominate the room.

Hmmm, I wonder what distilled pear wine would taste like? Maybe it's time to build a stovetop distiller. Haha

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:03 pm

Had a fun little project today. During the colder months I do a lot of hiking for several reasons. First, unless it is below zero, I can dress according to the weather and still be relatively comfortable, secondly, no ticks or chiggers, and thirdly and probably most importantly, very few people get on the trails when it is cold or rainy and I like having vast swaths of real estate to myself. It's so much easier to see wildlife too.

I also like to sit and ponder and one of the parks I go to doesn't have a whole lot of places to sit comfortably so I sneaked a bench someone gave me onto the property a couple of years ago as an experiment to see what would happen. Lo and behold, and I'm guessing because I had to carry this thing a mile the park service and everybody else has left it alone. So.... today I thought I would press my luck.

I acquired this pile of old fencing for free and I thought I would put it to good use.

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There is a new pond on the park property and I thought it needed a place to sit so I can think deep thoughts while I pet my dog. ;) It took me a couple of hours to build and it might get taken away but other than my labor and some screws lying around it was free so we'll see what happens. It looks out of proportion because it is, haha, no design awards here, but it's really comfortable. I think it's heavy enough that nobody is going to pack this thing away willingly. :D

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And here is what I get to see everyday when I go hiking. Deer really are beautiful animals.

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:38 am

I find it so cool that you're committing stealthy acts of improvement to public lands. 8-)

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:28 pm

It's really more for me to be honest. :)

But if others get something out of it, then that's great too. I use this place a lot because I can let my dog run free and I don't have to worry about other people or dogs or cars that might run over him. There are so few people that use this place even in good weather I rarely encounter others as long as I stay on the trails and go where cars can't. It kind of reminds me of the Great Smokey Mountains which is the most visited national park in the United States. One mile on almost any trail and you've lost about 98% of anyone who is in the park at any given time. Two miles down the trail and the place is yours.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:47 pm

It's been a really dreary and windy and rainy day here on Christmas Eve. We have the day off, as we traveled yesterday for one side of the family and tomorrow we travel again for the other side and Tuesday we travel once again for another smaller get-together. Yesterday involved my family and while we were all sitting around after a large meal and exchanging of gifts I happened to spy this old cookbook.

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This is my mother's cookbook which was a wedding gift in 1962. What was interesting about it is that all of the recipes are all really simple, with all basic ingredients. Also, everything is explained really well as far as spices, basic definitions, measurements, etc. It's kind of refreshing really. I like the layouts too.

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I joked that I was going to cook every recipe in the book and in fact I did make a meatloaf from it tonight. However, for some reason they had some kind of fascination with gelatin back then and here is a recipe that just baffles me. I mean, who would eat this? Perfection indeed. :D

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There was another thread about growing gardens for free in which I responded that no such thing existed. :) And today kind of emphasized that with a major score in compost. There is a horse training facility near my home and I've been watching what they've been doing with all the stuff (hay and poop) that comes out of the stalls when they clean them. I stopped by the other day and asked about getting some of it and the guy running the place was very gracious and offered me the finished compost for free! That really surprised me so after getting a couple of trailer loads today I gave him some homemade beer and Christmas candy. Look at this stuff, it's like gold for a garden.

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I spread it on my garden around the chicken tractor. Every week or so I move the chickens so they can poop and dig in a new spot. In the spring I'll get rid of them when I'm ready to till the garden up, and the cage that holds them will be made into a 40 foot fence to hold climbing plants and support others like tomatoes. I tried really hard to find a used dog kennel for cheap but it just didn't happen so I had to buy a new one, which I considered a fail but it should last me a long time with care.

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Did anyone notice the dog on top of the compost pile? That little guy was a hoot and fast as lightening. He's the horse trainers dog and I'm assuming he's a Australian Shepard or a mix of one.

halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm

ffj wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:47 pm
However, for some reason they had some kind of fascination with gelatin back then and here is a recipe that just baffles me. I mean, who would eat this? Perfection indeed.
Obviously your mother never belonged to a rural Pennsylvania garden club. :P Mine was a garden club president, and I was dragged as a preschooler to an endless round of ladies' luncheons that ALL starred Jello. Jello with carrots, celery, marshmallows, olives, pineapple, green beans, mandarin oranges, cottage cheese...and let us never forget the dreaded Tomato Aspic of Doom. Get thee behind me, Better Homes and Gardens. :evil:

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:19 am

Haha, oh I remember the multiple times my mother made Jello and bananas, which as a kid really wasn't too bad but there is no way I would even make Jello today. It's such an odd product. But come on, what child wouldn't love Jello and celery with green beans? :D

I googled tomato aspic, holy shit that looks disgusting. Thankfully we never suffered that atrocity as kids. My condolences. ;)

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:49 am

This Jell-O exchange led me to wikipedia because I never considered exactly what it is. After reading the article, I still kind of don't. It's a jelly so its like the same substance that a doctor or a considerate sex partner will use before sticking their finger up your ass (at least the ones I know). Apparently the first Jell-O patent was taken out by the inventor of the steam locomotive which might be a useful FYI to all the Jeopardy people on board.

It just leads one to the inevitable conclusion, that the human race, at its core, is fucking insane. I mean the idea of dedicating well over a hundred years of scientific and manufacturing resources in order to mass produce a food product that replicates in appearance, taste and constitution something that you could picture coming out of an extra terrestrial's anus just about sums up what we dedicate ourselves to around here.

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Fish
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Fish » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:58 am

I see you and Steven Mnuchin both received the same Christmas gift. :)

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:05 pm

@Jason
Well there is such a thing as Jello-shots, so all is not lost. haha

@Fish
I had to look that up but what's funny is that I am actually excited about getting all of this horse poop. I've tried explaining to my family what a huge score this has been, I got two more trailer-loads today, only to be met with an absent-minded "that's nice dear" from my wife and the kids absolutely could not care less. Sometimes I wonder how this whole marriage and family thing works, I mean it's free too! :D



Any of you guys familiar with bourbon whiskey? I got to try the famous Pappy Van Winkle 15 year today for the first time. A bottle of this runs at least $500 and more likely will cost upwards of $1000. It's pretty scarce and there is a major bourbon craze going on at the moment.

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I always drink bourbon neat and this stuff was pretty smooth. Was it $500 smooth? I dunno, my Elijah Craig 12 year at $32/bottle is pretty good. Here is a primer on Pappy if you are interested:

https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/ ... -expensive

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FBeyer
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by FBeyer » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:26 am

Listen people, all this shit becomes tasty parsley in a few months, what’s not to like?


No that probably won’t work...

IlliniDave
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:07 am

I grew up with that identical cookbook staring at me from the counter-top. In about the same condition, too. My mom got it when she got married, but it was 1963. Didn't you mention somewhere that our lives seem to run in parallel? Haha! But, alas, I do not enjoy whiskey. And it was my grandmother who always had a freshly made batch of Jello/bananas waiting for us.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am

@FBeyer
Exactly! The reason we have a freezer full of delicious vegetables is because a horse was gracious enough to poop after eating all of that concentrated pasture grass and feed and a horse trainer picked it up and composted it. It's the circle of life :) . That'll be my next sermon the next time we eat vegetables from the garden, haha. You get it, why can't my family appreciate that too? ;)

@Dave

This is bourbon Dave, not just whiskey, and certainly not whisky. :D I've just recently explored what the huge fuss is all about and what makes bourbon interesting is the really wide range of flavor profiles based upon aging and mash bills, temperature and weather patterns while in the rick house etc. It is an interesting subject to learn about but like all fads this stuff gets wildly overpriced really quick. My father-in-law received that bottle as a gift a few years ago and decided to drink it, but if he had waited he could have sold it unopened and bought multiple bottles of really good bourbon and still had money left over. Even the empty bottle will be worth a fair amount, but he had better sell while the market is high.

Green jello and bananas, brings back the memories. ;)

SavingWithBabies
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:33 pm

Growing up, a friend's mom would make a lime jello with walnuts, pineapple and I think sour cream. I actually really liked that but I'd rather have my mom's trifle that does feature raspberry jello along with custard, pound cape, fresh raspberries and canned mandarin orange slices and of course whipped heavy cream. My wife is weirded out by the ingredients for jello and prefers alternatives that do not have those animal parts.

There is an odd parallel though with this jello thing over in Japan. I first encountered it at the 1 year celebration of the passing of my wife's grandmother. They make a dish that looks like jello but is not sweet (like some mentioned above) and contains a medley of seafood. This is apparently a very traditional dish (as was most of the food at the catered gathering -- the gaijin also had steak to accommodate our potential lack of appreciation of such dishes). I later noticed this same dish at a conveyer belt sushi place (in my book, not worth it if you have limited time in Japan but some friends picked it). It is supposed to be more of a custard than a jello but maybe the modern take uses agar agar (seaweed-derived thickener that works like jello)? It looked much more like jello than custard to me.

I'm jealous about the Pappy. Although so far, the only hard liquor in that rough neighborhood that I've really enjoyed has been Macallan 12 Year Scotch.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:29 pm

@Saving

Yeah,the main ingredients are animal bones and pig skin apparently, so I don't blame your wife for being turned off on the list of what constitutes jello. Interesting on your experience in Japan, did you actually eat some of it?

That will most likely be the last time such an expensive bourbon passes my lips. I wouldn't be too jealous because as it was good, it is still wildly over-priced. I am slowly learning the differences in bourbon and like music, much of the differences come down to personal preference. He also had some Stagg, Jr. and some Eagle Rare and I vastly preferred the much cheaper Eagle Rare as the Stagg was much too hot. Like light your mouth on fire hot.

If you listen to the "experts" they will tell you to start your entry to a good bourbon collection with Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Elijah Craig, Four Roses Small Batch, and possibly a Woodford Reserve. It's all subjective though and if you are a Scotch fan than bourbon may not be to your liking. Since I live in the heart of bourbon country I have access to a lot of variety and it's kind of fun to try new things, within a certain price range of course. :D

SavingWithBabies
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:21 pm

@ffj I was a bit weirded out by it and didn't want to try it in the social situation. Then I could have tried it at the conveyor belt sushi but... I didn't. If I have another chance, I'll have to try it. Thinking about jello more -- these days, if I came across an unknown jello dish, I'd probably pass. Maybe as kids we're more open to new foods? It's hard to feed our 2 year old some veggies but he loves things like Nattō or fermented soybeans. I don't mind the taste of that but the texture is odd and it's super stringy.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:51 pm

This month would have been the first opportunity to have retired if I hadn't bought 4 years of time back from my employer. Those four years weren't cheap but having had the last 3.5 years off work has been wonderful. Out of an organization of hundreds, I can only think of a handful of others that also pulled the plug early which really highlights how few value and/or prepare for what I and a few others did. I think it comes down to personality really as the most frequent questions I get after leaving so soon are "do you miss it?" and "what do you do with your time/are you bored?" I never get questions on how it was possible really.

Anyway, what made me think of the whole money management/ERE thing today was a kind of shocking Craigslist ad I saw last night. I don't think it was a joke but it could be a play for donations. And if it is real, it just brings home even more the importance of what Jacob and others here are doing. I've been pretty fucking poor in my life but I don't think I would have ever considered this. Check this out:

Image[url=

Maybe I'm reading too much into the ad as it could be fake, but I am so happy to have found this site and like minded travelers.

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Smashter
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Smashter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:27 pm

Whoa. That's got to be scam. Although who knows, apparently the same sort of thing was happening back in 2009.

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/weird/Man ... slist.html

Regardless, I too am very grateful to not be in that position.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:06 am

@Smashter

I'd say you are right. That's the first time I've seen such a ploy so it caught me off-guard I guess. There was a couple that tried to sell their baby at our local Wal-Mart through Craigslist a few years ago (they were prosecuted) however so maybe that influenced me.

I am currently holed up in my home due to weather. The roads are a mess due to all of the snow and cold air. It dipped below zero last night and currently it's a balmy 9 degrees F outside. :( I've already got my next project lined up which unfortunately is all outside work, and this weather is not cooperating at all. I don't mind spending time in my home but when you are forced it takes on a whole new connotation.

A view from captivity: ;)

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:48 pm

Winter is horrid. This winter has been extremely cold compared to the last couple, with our bottom temps hitting -20F a few times, and on top of that we've gotten 6-10 inches of snow. Most of it melted, but still some around. I miss being outside. :( I do tromp out to the chickens each afternoon though so its something.

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theanimal
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by theanimal » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:34 pm

insert <Obligatory comment about winter not being that bad and you can still go outside and have fun.>

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:15 pm

I was involved in a business transaction with a guy who needed a new kidney and he couldn't get one because he was old or some shit. So the other side said "We'll throw in a kidney." And we're like, "where the fuck are you getting a kidney?" They said "We'll get you the kidney." Suffice it to say they were not US as you can't just start selling your organs off in this country. It's illegal. You need a medical professional or at least someone who knows what the fuck they are doing to take the organ out and then it goes into some registry like when you tell people what shit you want them to buy you when you get married. I mean the Frankfurt kidney guy could have Hep C and you get his organ but die the next day. The upshot was we made the deal but there was no kidney involved and the guy died a year later of pancreatic cancer so the new kidney wouldn't have made a difference.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:37 pm

It's illegal to sell your organs in the US?? Fuck man, when did this place turn into such a freedom-hating taint realm?

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