Lemur Journal!

Where are you and where are you going?
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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:15 am

How much calories do you need to eat today if you want to meet a target weight loss goal? Maintenance of bodyweight can be roughly estimated at your current weight multiplied by 15 for men and by 14 for women. A pound of fat is roughly 3500 calories. To lose weight daily, you've to eat less than your maintenance calories (energy balance thermodynamics). In any case, if you have a set date to meet you can calculate this with a formula. My motivation for this was seeing a thread on a PID controller where the author used grams of food. The issue with that is caloric density because I don't believe his method would have worked if someone would eat 100% olive oil (not that anyone would do that, but this is an extreme example). To make this work as a controller, you've to update X everyday with your weight (and also you've to update Z for the days left dieting) and preferably measure the same way (for me, I do naked in the mornings after I use the bathroom). This equation can be set in Excel to automatically adjust Z with the only input coming from you (X). Equation is this:

Calories to eat today for men = ((X*15)-(3500*(X-Y)/Z))+A
Calories to eat today for women = ((X*14)-(3500*(X-Y)/Z))+A

Where X is your starting weight, Y is your goal weight, Z is how many days of dieting you've left (ending date minus starting date in days), and A is the estimated caloric burn from activity. For sedentary office individuals, just put 0.

This equation assumes pounds (lbs*). The equation should also naturally work for metabolic slowdown or where your body sometimes will hold on to water weight for a few days (masking true fat loss). The downside is if you get stuck at a weight (and you're truly measuring calories properly), you will end up with some days where you will be eating much less. To make most effective use of this, in practice, I would eat slightly less than what the equation spits out so you can build in some slack; similar to using a lower withdrawal rate if you're retired ;)

* Another drawback of the equation is that it does not account for aging - older individuals have a slow metabolism so I would adjust the multiply down by 1 (*14 for men) and *13 for women if you're older 50 or so. If the calories are too low (men less than 1200 calories per day, women less than 1000 calories per day) it is probably wise to push back your target date unless your primary food source is lean protein.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:36 am

Back from a trip to Toronto. Spouse and I really enjoyed it and had a great time on our first vacation together. Some money was blown but memories were created. A great long-term investment in our relationship tough - a relationship/marriage must always be nurtured kind of like a plant. Something I've seen in my own grandparents (married 63 years) were that they always spoke very fondly of trips they made in the past; perhaps that is a beauty of travel in itself. OTOH, I will say with that in mind to be careful of tourist traps (looking at you Niagara Falls ;) ). Its very easy to walk into overspending situations.

We also feel refreshed...able to take a break from the work, grind, accumulation phase. Upon returning it was funny watching us run around and clean our house spotless and try everything in our power to be productive lol. Even deep cleaned places in our house and my spouse's business kicked off with numerous sales (almost a record?) in one day.

Back to the grind though! and my diet....feels good to have this control back too.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:00 pm

They call this coast FI where you no longer contribute and let compounding get you to your desired FIRE number. Two different ways to calculate this so pulling from Reddit (also including examples)...

So I'm going to assume I want to coast until minimum SS age (62.5), assume a 5% real rate of return, and retire on $1,000,000. So this is how much dollars I would need right now to make this happen.

Excel
=PV(Projected Real Rate of Return, Desired Retirement Age - Current Age,, -Desired Net Worth)
= PV(5%,62.5-28,,-1000000)

Formula
FI number/(1+RateOfReturn)years until retirement
=1000000/(1+5%)^(62.5-28)

Both results in $185,767.26

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:20 pm

Really enjoy reading a lot about "SEMI-ERE." Will definitely need to keep this in my list of options should I ever decide to call it quits on full-time work (earlier in my journal I mentioned that $600k would be my flexible number to roll out).

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:40 pm

Interesting conversation with my boss today about being an introverted type in the consulting world. I never would have guessed he is an introverted type as well but he discussed with me how over many years he learned how to "put on that hat" when the time called. He was impressed that I've come a long way with being more comfortable in front of an audience. Something I've drastically improved on since last year...In one years time I went from losing sleep at night over thinking about a conference call to leading conference calls and conducting once a week meetings. Not bad but room for improvement for sure! If there is one thing I like about a career/job is that for some people it can be a source of personal growth. I'm constantly in amazement how I took a job that almost makes $100k and instead of seeing increased work/responsibilities/stress, I am actually seeing less (but more challenging work), more strategic tasks, overall less stress + more growth, but also much more 'communication' engagements. The stakes are slightly higher is about the only drawback I can think of (as in if I screw up a delivery or lose a customer, its likely I'll lose my job) and some increased hours.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by MidsizeLebowski » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:18 pm

Glad to hear you're experiencing personal growth in your employment Lemur, that's more rare than one might realize! I've often thought about the value of the work environment in ensuring introverts don't become too isolated, particularly in the absence of family/friends/significant other, etc. To your above points regarding semi-ere it would appear that if there's a known tendency to skew towards the detrimental end of the introversion spectrum it may make sense to interweave social interaction with highly flexible income production within the framework of activities one enjoys- ie. leading gardening courses, teaching yoga, etc.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:09 am

Eagerly awaiting earnings report for National Beverage Corporation (FIZZ) on June 26.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:18 am

Reported earnings and I will have to update my DCF analysis later with the new figures...
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/FIZZ/?p=FIZZ

Funny how the media keeps seeing the product is in trouble but the revenues increased? Sure its not growing at its fast pace but the ROE for this company is ridiculously high....wondering what I'm missing.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:36 am

Employer contributed $438.46 to my 401(k). I won't be fully vested until after 4 years...additionally a bonus I received joining February is not fully realized until after 2 years (meaning if I leave my job before than, I have to pay that back). Luckily I'm in accumulation phase so its not like these are keeping me from being a "flight risk." Anyhow....still trudging along with a 40% savings rate. Not an ERE style savings rate by any means but if I were to mess around with some numbers...

The U.S. Census Bureau reported in September 2017 that real median household income was $59,039. For simplicity sake, round up to $60k. I save, in absolute dollars, $32,800 a year. After rough taxes of 10% off the $60k...$54,000. $32,800 / $54,000 = 61%. Sould mean my "spending" would be $21,200. Multiplied by 25...$530,000.

Yea I play around with these numbers a bit when I'm bored. Even with fudging numbers, I can't reach the magical 75% savings rate (which I consider the savings rate to be considered ERE level). The reality is SEMI-ERE is looking more and more exciting due to my on-going saving abilities.

Sometimes I'm wondering, without sounding judgemental, is if the vast majority (including myself and some members on these boards) are not willing to do the ERE style savings rate....which is why SEMI-ERE is becoming much more attractive and gaining steam? I still don't believe the 75% is unrealistic...its certainly possible if one executes a good plan.
Last edited by Lemur on Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by bigato » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:21 am

This depends on so many factors, that I don't think there is a universal answer.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:24 am

bigato wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:21 am
This depends on so many factors, that I don't think there is a universal answer.
Probably not a universal answer for sure...but I don't think there are that many factors. Really, going back to the basics, getting to a 75% savings rate is mostly systematic. What I mean by that is what system is developed to tackle the "Big 4" : Housing, Transportation, Food, Healthcare. What separates me and anyone else is only spouse vs no spouse, kids vs no kids, location, and income level, and how I/we solve the Big 4 issue. [Edit: Also what might separate us is any on-going or born with health issues].

A quick example of a household that makes $60,000:

Salary: $60,000
After Tax (using rough effective tax rate of 12%): $52,800.

Okay so...to get a 75% savings rate, one would need to spend ($52,800 * 25%) = $13,200.

Not many people are willing to live on $13,200 but can it be done? Let's say we can rent for $500 a month...thats $6,000 a year [in practical terms, finding a place to rent on $500 a month while making the median income will be tough, perhaps the scenario here has a spouse that splits or a roommate]. That is $7,200 left to spend on everything else. Now let's look at the system - Is this person commuting far to work and still eating luxuriously? It can't be done if they have transportation costs (without even running the numbers, now you have car maintenance, depreciation, gas, repairs, insurance, etc). Are they living right next to work and willing to eat cheap staple foods (lets assume $150 a month)? Yes now it's possible:

Now you have $6,000 a month for housing, $1,800 for food, $0.00 for transportation. Only variable left is healthcare and all the other little expenses like utilities and clothes. In this hypothetical, there is $5,400 leftover for all this. That is $450 a month left. That sounds like enough to me for internet, phone, utilities, and a small leftover budget for clothes...Not sure about healthcare but if healthcare is already taken out by the employer than I would assume the $450 a month gets a lot shorter. May have to work an extra job or put in more hours if possible.

Also Bigato I'm sure none of the information above is new to you...I just have a lot of time on my hands this Sunday afternoon. I think what I am getting at is if a system is set up appropriately, saving 75% is mostly unconscious. I think the only conscious decisions after solving the housing/transportation problem (these are directly linked), is what you choose to eat and spend on other items outside the big 4.
Last edited by Lemur on Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:59 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:45 am

Completely agree that it's mostly unconscious as is any kind of behavior that has developed to maturity. That includes being [unconsciously] stuck above $15,000/yr/person.

If you look at the budgets posted in the various journals, there are two differences that really stand out to me.
  1. Higher-spending budgets will have line items that simply don't exist in the low-spending budgets. The difference is not that low-spending people have figured out how to spend less on certain items. It's that they have figured out how to avoid spending on those items entirely.
  2. Higher-spending budgets will have one or more heterotelic behaviors (recall from the ERE book, heterotelic spending is bad spending---a failure point in the web) in the Big 3. This seems to come about due to inflexibility caused by either mental barriers, inertia (past choices), or partners.
As Scott2 mentioned in another thread, not only do low-spenders use ALL the "tips and tricks" but I'll add that they also do so within a deliberately and properly designed system.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:26 pm

Sometimes I'm wondering, without sounding judgemental, is if the vast majority (including myself and some members on these boards) are not willing to do the ERE style savings rate....which is why SEMI-ERE is becoming much more attractive and gaining steam? I still don't believe the 75% is unrealistic...its certainly possible if one executes a good plan.
It varies. Apparently, some of us are less willing to do the $60,000/year part than the $13,200/year part. As Jacob has noted elsewhere, there is no such thing as semi-ERE in the book, but even the intermittent employment option would require the availability of 4 hours/week employment at the rate of approximately $63.50/hr. at $13,200/year spending level. At 1jacob = $7200 spending level, 4 hours/week of employment available at the rate of approximately $34.60 would serve. Also, some measure of resilience such as having 3 skill sets that would earn that wage rate for very part-time employment is required for WIN! ;) in intermittent category.

Due to "head tax", it becomes increasingly difficult to get housing down to 10% of income at lower wage rates while one is employed, unless de facto second part-time domestic job is included in plan (free room in exchange for elder care, etc.) For instance, if I was willing to work full-time as substitute teacher, I would have to budget less than $300/month to housing which is not enough to even rent a room in the low income area where I often teach. IOW, at $30,000/year, you can only adopt the 10 year plan.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:17 pm

Jacob's point is spot on with my spending. Although I have the "big 3" mostly in hand, my largest line item is entertainment/travel. I still see discretionary spending of this nature from a completely consumerist view, ie take as much as I can with my limited time. There is virtually no consideration of entertainment, hobbies, or travel in my web-of-goals. This is where ERE differentiates itself. By design, housing, transportation, and food have been developed from a standpoint of a full-time employed person. When leisure, hobbies, or personal projects are substituted for primary use of time over employment, I think these things must be reevaluated.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:26 pm

hmm.

wrt topic "job changes in recent 20 yrs".
do we have any sociologist here? how is it possible to move so many societal class in one life?

it's like you had affluent parents but decided to go to military to receive scholarship for future college?
I don't write this to discourage going to military for money, but I'm rather concerned about the fact if first job/career path decides about your future economical standing... so next outlier checkbox is filled.

anyway, without bitterness and cynicism, congrats and keep going.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:22 am

jacob wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:45 am
Completely agree that it's mostly unconscious as is any kind of behavior that has developed to maturity. That includes being [unconsciously] stuck above $15,000/yr/person.

If you look at the budgets posted in the various journals, there are two differences that really stand out to me.
  1. Higher-spending budgets will have line items that simply don't exist in the low-spending budgets. The difference is not that low-spending people have figured out how to spend less on certain items. It's that they have figured out how to avoid spending on those items entirely.
  2. Higher-spending budgets will have one or more heterotelic behaviors (recall from the ERE book, heterotelic spending is bad spending---a failure point in the web) in the Big 3. This seems to come about due to inflexibility caused by either mental barriers, inertia (past choices), or partners.
As Scott2 mentioned in another thread, not only do low-spenders use ALL the "tips and tricks" but I'll add that they also do so within a deliberately and properly designed system.
I certainly need to go through some more journals here to gain other perspectives on spending. I see clear differences in many...for instance some have vacation line items. Some don't. Some have line items for kids activities...some don't have kids. A few have responsibilities to family members (taking care of a parent, sibling, etc.) while some don't. Agree that a key here is that some managed to simply avoid spending on line items entirely - transportation being a big one in my opinion. That in itself eliminates a whole mess of expenses...I like your point on inflexibility; that is like having a web of goals but one of the arrows is always under construction...so a detour has to be made that is not optimal.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:26 pm
It varies. Apparently, some of us are less willing to do the $60,000/year part than the $13,200/year part. As Jacob has noted elsewhere, there is no such thing as semi-ERE in the book, but even the intermittent employment option would require the availability of 4 hours/week employment at the rate of approximately $63.50/hr. at $13,200/year spending level. At 1jacob = $7200 spending level, 4 hours/week of employment available at the rate of approximately $34.60 would serve. Also, some measure of resilience such as having 3 skill sets that would earn that wage rate for very part-time employment is required for WIN! ;) in intermittent category.

Due to "head tax", it becomes increasingly difficult to get housing down to 10% of income at lower wage rates while one is employed, unless de facto second part-time domestic job is included in plan (free room in exchange for elder care, etc.) For instance, if I was willing to work full-time as substitute teacher, I would have to budget less than $300/month to housing which is not enough to even rent a room in the low income area where I often teach. IOW, at $30,000/year, you can only adopt the 10 year plan.
Even in the non-optimal scenario [my current reality], I'm looking to be in fantastic shape in 10 years so I always have gratitude for that. I remind myself constantly that I'm very lucky to be born in a country where the accumulation of assets is one of the easiest to do so (United States) while also lucky enough to come across finance/investing, and than MMM, and than this forum here with like-minded individuals. Also...making more than the median income is a comparative advantage if this were some type of competition...but even with more income, I'm defeated by those who manage to completely eliminate some line items in their budgets.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:17 pm
Jacob's point is spot on with my spending. Although I have the "big 3" mostly in hand, my largest line item is entertainment/travel. I still see discretionary spending of this nature from a completely consumerist view, ie take as much as I can with my limited time. There is virtually no consideration of entertainment, hobbies, or travel in my web-of-goals. This is where ERE differentiates itself. By design, housing, transportation, and food have been developed from a standpoint of a full-time employed person. When leisure, hobbies, or personal projects are substituted for primary use of time over employment, I think these things must be reevaluated.
I've taken into account extracurricular activities, vacations, and the like in my current 'Number.' This does mean I'll end up working more but part of it is also a defense strategy; worst-case scenario I end up calling it quits on full-time work and my withdrawal rate is much lower than it needs to be. Even in that scenario, the only regret would be working too long but since I don't hate my job with a passion than its not the worst trade-off either.
Stahlmann wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:26 pm
hmm.

wrt topic "job changes in recent 20 yrs".
do we have any sociologist here? how is it possible to move so many societal class in one life?

it's like you had affluent parents but decided to go to military to receive scholarship for future college?
I don't write this to discourage going to military for money, but I'm rather concerned about the fact if first job/career path decides about your future economical standing... so next outlier checkbox is filled.

anyway, without bitterness and cynicism, congrats and keep going.
Well my parents aren't affluent by standard definition [compared to American middle-class]...my Father was blue-collar (construction + security mostly minimum wage) meanwhile my Mother was stay at home with 5 kids and did home cleaning services occasionally. We had the free lunches at school, food stamps, and subsidies from kind family members. I'm certainly an outlier from a growth perspective [both mental and financial] in the respect that I had social anxiety disorder as a teen and in my young 20s, no direction in life (parents were always working) and I managed to come out 'middle class' in a somewhat fancy corporate gig about a decade later. I joined the military because I had no money or scholarships and student loan debt did not make sense to me...especially when at 18 I didn't know what I wanted to do to 'make a living.' My grandfather was a big influence on me to join the military and for the most part it was a good move. The military gave me life structure, opportunity, character development, and years to figure myself out. I did construction in the military and than moved into finance/contracting work after becoming interested in the subject while deployed in Afghanistan (came across a book by Peter Lynch: "One up on Wall Street"). I remember saving all this tax-free money and that book was perfect timing to come across because I was trying to figure out what to do with it....I knew I was different when my friends had plans to blow there money all on new Mustangs, parties, and the like and I had no plans for the money. I just knew I wanted to grow it. Always been a future-oriented thinker even before I became educated and had a formal degree.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:33 am

@Lemur
I meant that after RE self directed hobbies/entertainment are going to become the primary activity. This kind of throws a wrench in a web of goals if it has been set up to maximize situation while in full time work mode, when employment is the primary activity. Since this type of stuff was more "small potatoes" while working full time, it was something I mostly ignored from an ERE standpoint.

IOW, if you only have two days a week and a couple of weeks a year for self directed activities, then even in a consumerist mindset the possible monetary damage is very limited if one is reasonable. Now, with much more free time around the corner, I find myself in a situation where I'm realizing this stuff should have been better incorporated into my plan/web of goals all along.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:59 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:33 am
@Lemur
I meant that after RE self directed hobbies/entertainment are going to become the primary activity. This kind of throws a wrench in a web of goals if it has been set up to maximize situation while in full time work mode, when employment is the primary activity. Since this type of stuff was more "small potatoes" while working full time, it was something I mostly ignored from an ERE standpoint.

IOW, if you only have two days a week and a couple of weeks a year for self directed activities, then even in a consumerist mindset the possible monetary damage is very limited if one is reasonable. Now, with much more free time around the corner, I find myself in a situation where I'm realizing this stuff should have been better incorporated into my plan/web of goals all along.
Understood and something to take note of myself.

Coming off 4 days of being off work. Got in lots of sleep and exercise. 7 mile run on Saturday followed by 7 mile bike ride and 7 mile run on Sunday. Feeling pretty good. Took my son to a lot of parks so too can run around and burn calories....Good quality time. Wish I had 4 days off every week!

My spouse is working harder than usual lately and requests to eat out have dropped. She seems particularly motivated lately....we like to look up lots/houses in her home country [Philippines] and note that we can purchase a full-home in cash.

A big change that could happen in my current system is that family drama/conflicts/financial debts may cause my sister [our roommate as well whom we split rent + utilities with] to leave to take care of our mother. Its a low chance because they have an unhealthy relationship but still a possibility we consider. Should this happen, we are considering either purchasing a home or renting near where I work.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:31 pm

I've put together a simple spreadsheet for myself that shows what my savings rate is on a bi-weekly / paycheck basis. Essentially, I took my salary ($90k) and multiplied it for after-tax income ($90k * .85 = $76.5k). Now dividing this by 26, my after-tax income is $2,942.31 on a bi-weekly basis.

Now how much am I able to save from this? As standard per the last couple of months my savings rate has been a steady 42.75% because:

(1) 401(k) is automatically withdrawn at $726.92 per pay period.
(2) IRA I max out every year with tax refund....so $6,000 divided by 26 is $230.77.
(3) Post-tax savings: for the past few months I put $300.00 per check into stocks/bonds; lately just bonds because I'm trying to increase that allocation).
(4) So total savings per paycheck is $1,257.69. Divided by $2,942.31 is 42.75%.

As long as I don't have to dip into my cash/investments, this holds true. Should I go "over the budget" for any given 2 week period, I would simply have to subtract by the numerator in step 4. The goal is to not have to do this obviously.

This is where its fun to do plug-in-play. So today for the first time I broke tradition of saving $300.00 and instead...bumped up to $400.00. As a result, my savings rate increased from 42.75% to 46.14%.

Real life experiment will show if this worked or if we end up having to dip into cash savings. The goal here is by saving first, we will have to naturally adjust our lifestyle with the lower spending. We've some slack so going to attempt to cut down and see where this goes.


Showing future challenge levels:

$500.00 in after-tax savings: 49.54% savings rate
$600.00 in after-tax savings: 52.94% savings rate
$700.00 in after-tax savings: 56.34% savings rate

Will consider going up a level if we can sustain the 46.14% savings rate for a few weeks.

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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:12 am

Getting the itch to get back into coding. I've asked my employer if there were opportunities outside of our current project to get involved in some Python work to which they've found something. Just waiting for a response.

Job is starting to get monotonous...I remember how interesting/exciting this was when I took the position. As this story always repeats itself...eventually you become an expert in your current spot and it starts to get boring. I have not mastered this position yet but its at the point where anything newly gained doesn't have epiphany moments.

Continuing to read: Capitalism in America: A History by Alan Greenspan

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