mathiverse's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Interesting analysis. I find that I tend towards near perfect elasticity with respect to paid work and spending, but in the opposite direction of most humans who are locked into 40 hrs/week. As soon as I figure out a way to reduce my expenses, I tend to reduce my paid working hours in lock-step.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

When I cook chicken thighs that haven't been frozen at my house before, the skin gets nice and crispy and doesn't stick to the pan. On the other hand, if I have previously frozen and then thawed the chicken, the skin frequently sticks to the pan when I try to flip it after it's cooked which means not much skin to eat once the chicken is oven finished. Anyone know how to mitigate such a problem? Anyone have an explanation for why freezing and then thawing the thighs causes this issue?

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I had a great meeting with my mastermind group today. Out of the blue, my old company's HR department reached out to see if I might want to come back, so I went into the meeting asking for advice on whether I should return to my old job.

The major takeaway from the meeting was that I was asking the wrong question. The most important thing coming up for me is that I want to have kids in the next few years. The better question to ask is "How can I best spend the time between now and becoming a parent?" If making more money is important in the answer to that question, then maybe the job makes sense, if not, then maybe I should focus on what is important.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I think the two changes that helped me cook thawed chicken without sticking were:

. Drying off extra moisture before cooking them
. Letting them cook longer before flipping them

Thanks goes to a PM from a forum member for those ideas!

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Lately I've been cycling through various interests every three or four weeks, so I haven't really completed or learned anything completely despite starting six or seven wildly different learning projects. That's pretty frustrating when I look back. It doesn't seem like I can commit to something for more than a few weeks so far! I want to change that, so I'm hoping the future will turn out better with a few changes which I won't go into.

As far as keeping my expenses down, I broke the bank by paying for a few classes. I also still eat out regularly because I haven't figured out whatever mental barrier keeps me from being happy with a plain, home cooked diet. I recognize intellectually I don't need to eat out and I can survive (and eventually probably be satisfied/content) with plain food, but choosing such a thing more than 40% of the time is still a bridge too far for me. Making non-plain food at home every day is also a bridge too far at the moment. Maybe if I were really broke, I wouldn't do such a thing, but honestly money won't really be an issue for another few years if ever, so that's not much of an incentive.

I spent three or four days eating only rice cooked in olive oil to see what it was like. That meant I could cook once a day or less which was nice. I ate when I was hungry. I tracked my calorie intake each day as 40% of normal! Unfortunately, I felt pretty crappy the whole time (due to undereating probably - though I have extra body fat that could have been liberated for fuel, so I don't know), and it was, mentally, an all consuming plan since it took a lot to not eat other things. Maybe I need to do that for two weeks or more for it to feel normal? If could be satisfied on that diet, then I could build from there.

Scott 2
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Scott 2 »

You could look into an elimination diet or protein sparing modified fast, if you want to play the minimalist nutrition game.

I think eating nothing but rice might be harder than fasting entirely. It's deficient in too many ways.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Plain rice seems pretty pointless and unnecessarily painful to stick to...

Why not batch cook the rice, mix in beans, and then use that as a base for your meals....you can add some chicken, tofu, veggies, fried egg etc to mix things up with the meals...or with the right blend of spices it would probably be decent on its own, and a complete protein with the beans.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Well at first blush, that sounds about as painful as plain rice, but with a lot more work.

There are a few dimensions:

- tasting good vs tasting plain
- lots of cooking vs very little cooking
- cheap vs expensive
- from scratch ingredients vs processed

Ideal (not in my skill range): cheap, from scratch, tastes good, very little cooking

Eating out: expensive, tastes good, a lot more processed than the best home cooked stuff, very little cooking

Eating in given my skills (priority tastes good): cheap, tastes good, from scratch ingredients, lots of cooking

Eating in given my skills (priority not much cooking): cheap, tastes plain, from scratch ingredients, very little cooking

Plain rice and beans: cheap, tastes plain, from scratch ingredients, very little cooking

Plain rice and beans + add ins: cheap, tastes plain, from scratch, lots of cooking

Well, each dimension is really a spectrum, but for the most part the above reflects which side each option is mostly on.

The days of rice was about training myself to like plain food. Doing that would solve my problems pretty well. Your point is well taken that only rice and olive oil is probably more extreme than necessary. Even if adding a few more things like beans and maybe some vegetables would leave the dish plain, it would still be marginally better than rice and olive oil at very little cost in terms of additional cooking requirements.

I can also pursue spice only beans and rice recipes to keep cooking at a minimum and maybe I'll get lucky and find a recipe that results in something that tastes good rather than plain.
Last edited by mathiverse on Fri Aug 25, 2023 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Slevin
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Slevin »

A rice cooker and pressure cooker will make preparing rice and beans for days take about 15 mins of hands on effort (and up to 90 mins for beans to cook, but all hands off).

Rice cooker at minimum:

Rice + water (god this ratio is so variable depending on the rice, but ~ 1:1 rice / water for white, roughly 1:1.5/2 for brown rice)

2 tsp spices per cup rice, (turmeric + paprika is good, cumin + coriander is good, just straight chili powder ((the spice mix not straight actual ground chiles)) is also good.
1/2 pinky width butter per cup rice (omit or change to fake for vegan), idk find how much you like. Omit if this makes you feel unhealthy or something.
Crank in some pepper and salt.

Then turn on rice cooker. This is <5 mins of effort, maybe 2 mins of effort once you get it down.

Rinse rice twice if you don’t want it to stick. If you don’t care, don’t rinse, then add rice + spices and turn on rice cooker.

Beans at minimum:

2.25 cups of beans to 6 cups water in pressure cooker (insta pot is best for laziness). I usually do 4.5-5 cups dry beans, 12 cups water and it lasts a week or so if I’m eating it all the time.

2 tbsp spices per lb (2.25 cups) beans.
Throw in a few dried peppers in here as well depending on how much heat you like. Chipotles are god tier. Well, pretty much all of em are delicious.

If feeling less lazy, chop up 1 onion per lb beans, 1.5 bell peppers, some garlic, and sauté these for a few mins, then throw beans and water in the pot. If you have any green herbs for some reason (parsley, cilantro, etc), throw a bunch in here too. Whole thing is fine, you don’t even need to chop it if you don’t mind pulling it out after.

Check insta pot bean cooking time for whatever beans you are doing.

This is ~10-15 mins effort if doing the chopping and sautéing, < 5 mins effort if you are just doing spices and stuff.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Thanks for the spice suggestions! I'll try that out. Also, I love butter, so I have no qualms there.

Scott 2
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Scott 2 »

If your food is nutritionally deficient, especially in macronutrients like protein, you'll get strong cravings.

If there are hyperpalatable foods in your diet, normal food is going to taste bad. The hyperpalatable food stops tasting special too - hedonic adaptation. That's a big part of why I no longer bother eating out. The cumulative effect ends up being worse in every way.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Normal food doesn't taste bad. Plain food tastes plain. Plus the workload to make normal food that tastes non-plain is too high for me to do everyday given my cooking skill level and my available-for-cooking resources each day.

Yeah, if I try something like the rice-only challenge again, then I'll make the limitations more reasonable. Something like chicken, rice, beans, and vegetables only would probably serve the same purpose while not hitting issues with nutrient deficiency.

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grundomatic
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by grundomatic »

I'll second Slevin's recommendation of a pressure cooker. The instant pot changed my life. Here's a recipe I use: https://gardeninthekitchen.com/instant- ... and-beans/
You can then do the classic ERE cooking suggestion of omitting things, changing things, etc. to learn how it all works. I've replaced the salsa with plain tomato sauce, forgot tomatoes altogether, left out the corn, sautéed the onion, not sautéed the onion, added carrots, done fresh garlic instead, forgot the garlic, swapped pinto for black beans (up cook time by about 5 minutes), etc, etc. It all tasted fine.

Scott 2
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Scott 2 »

mathiverse wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2023 8:35 am
Normal food doesn't taste bad. Plain food tastes plain.
Once the pallette clears, plain food exposes a wide range of flavor. Something as simple as a leaf of romaine lettuce has nuance - sweeter towards the base, more bitter in the dark leafy bits. There's variance between individual heads of lettuce, that I don't have words for.

Because you pick up on that subtlety in everything, it's easy to take your taste buds on a ride. There's an orchestra of flavors available.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Lately, I've been considering going back to work once again. In an effort to find options beyond returning to salaryman life at a high paying tech company, I considered xmj's questions that can be used as a guide to find a work life that I don't want to leave.
xmj wrote:
Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:03 am
Philosophically... I've gone from

> "How can I exit this as quickly as possible and what shortcuts do I have to take?" (finite game)

to

> "How can I refactor this to do it forever?" (infinite game)

So overall I try to find an answer to the following:

- What would have to be true about a world in which I continue working for pay way past the point of needing to?
- What would I work on?
- Who would I do that with?
- How would the setup look like?
- What the hell is it all for?
I came up with a long list of requirements and desires surrounding my new work set up. However, the idea that popped out was doing a business-to-business software as a service or software product company. It seems as though it would hit most of my requirements after a few years of getting the business going.

The goal would be a lifestyle business that could turn into a more hands off affair in the next 3 years. It's not a goal to match the income I would make as an employee at a top tech company nor is it to become the next unicorn software company. The goal is much more around having flexibility in my work schedule and work style while still earning plenty to pay for the ongoing operation of the business and my own lifestyle expenses with savings on top.

This idea is completely inchoate. However, I wanted to ask if anyone had suggestions on how I can move forward in pursuit of this idea. I'm open to any thoughts and ideas. I will check out any reading recommendations.

What I see as my biggest problem at the moment is the lack of ideas about what to build for customers. So in particular, I'd appreciate advice or guidance on how to find business ideas that might be viable, how to test those ideas, etc.
Last edited by mathiverse on Mon Oct 16, 2023 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

My first steps will be to read One Million in the Bank and Becoming an Entrepreneur by Desyllas. Once I've read those, I'll see if I want to keep pursuing this idea.

simplex
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by simplex »

Becoming an Entrepreneur by Desyllas is a good starting point, especially p. 13/14: build workflows.

I think in order to have a lifestyle business, you need:
- to like what you are working on
- have some kind of competitive advantage
- have an existing market where customers find it normal to pay

What kind of background in tech do you have (competitive advantage), and what kind of people/industries did you like to work with (market)? When that is clear, you can start brainstorming on business ideas and see where money changes hands.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Trailblazers journey could be worth a reread if you are considering returning to work or doing something a bit different. They jumped in and out of the professional world a few times, and documented the pros and cons:

viewtopic.php?t=7271&hilit=trailblazer

dustBowl
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by dustBowl »

I would check out The E-myth revisited. I read it last year at one point when I was mulling over the idea of going in the small-business direction. I originally found it on this forum, I think via a recommendation from 7wb5.

It won't help with your issue of figuring out what you want to build - it's not that kind of book. But contains a lot of wisdom on why some small businesses succeed while others fail. It outlines pitfalls that are easy to fall into for new would-be-businesspeople.

It's an especially good read for someone (like yourself) coming from a strong technical background because it really emphasizes the idea that strong technical skills !== strong business skills. And that technical people often make the mistake of simply re-inventing their old jobs in a new context without realizing that running a successful business requires a different mindset and different skills.

My small caveat to this recommendation would be that if you just want a lifestyle business, some of the ideas in the book might not be 100% relevant. E.g. maybe it's actually fine for you to re-create a more independent version of your old job if you don't care about scaling and you just want a lot of control over your own schedule.

Overall though, I would still recommend it.

ETA: I also now see that E-myth is repeatedly mentioned in the One Million in the Bank thread so I feel even more confident in my recommendation :D

mathiverse
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Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

@simplex: Thank you for the advice! I look forward to reading Desyllas and I'll think about your questions. Could you provide a few examples of what constitutes a competitive advantage when it comes to lifestyle businesses?

As for what I used to do, I'm not sure that my industry experience will provide much other than certifying I can code since I worked on such low level, big company-type infrastructure that isn't really useful to small businesses. I'll think more about this though as I explore the idea. Maybe I'll find my experience is more useful than I thought from the right perspective.

@WRC: Thanks for the link to that journal! I'll check it out. I haven't read it before.
dustBowl wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2023 4:06 pm
check out The E-myth revisited
I will check that book out. I ordered it from the library. Thank you for the recommendation! Are you still considering going the small business route? As for creating an independent version of my own job, that seems like a good advice and I'll be interested to read more. I agree that such a route doesn't seem like a good idea because it'd involve too much of my personal involvement in the long term. So, for example, something like doing what I did at work, but as a consultant won't do. However, this is early stages, so I'll see what happens.

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