Month: December 2016

The Bigots at the National Organization for Marriage don’t give up

Some time ago I had signed up for the National Organization for Marriage (An oxymoron if I ever saw one) emails. I did it based upon the saying, keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

But apparently they’re having trouble hitting fund raising goals as this recent email from them laments.

Anthony — With only about 36 hours left in our year-end $100,000 matching gift challenge, NOM needs every supporter to step up and make an immediate contribution so that we don’t lose out on this incredible opportunity to have every gift we receive be doubled by midnight tomorrow night.

I am so grateful to all those who have responded with a contribution to support our year-end matching gift challenge, an incredible opportunity made possible by a group of donors. But, unfortunately, we are still $22,885 short of our goal.

Please, I’m asking you to make an urgently-needed donation today so that we have the funds we need to move forward aggressively in the new year to restore marriage, uphold the truth of gender and protect religious liberty.

And of course the email is from Pumpkin Face Brian Brown. But that last sentence, to restore marriage? How? A bit of a nebulous statement on his part. The truth of gender – what might that be? That there’s a spectrum of gender out there and Brian the crybaby doesn’t like that?

And religious liberty – I think he misses what the framers intended – that religions can do what they want and cannot interfere with the state. Of course nobody told the Diocese of Providence that since they still lobby the General Assembly.

But your religious liberty ends at the tip of my fist.

What to do with 2lbs of strawberries

We picked up 2 pounds of strawberries last weekend. Yesterday we had to do something before they rotted away.

So I capped them, split them in half and into a pan with about 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar, a pinch of salt, and some pectin. Heated it up and let it come to a boil for a few minutes. The strawberries were delicious on even Aunt Jemima waffles.

So after yesterday I had 2 cups of the strawberry syrup left over. So made a dynamite batch of home made waffles. Really simple recipe – 2 eggs, 1 4/4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, four teaspoons of baking powder, quarter teaspoon salt, and then a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla extract.

1/2 Cup in each of the waffle maker spaces and then cooked until the green light came back on. Perfect waffles, I had mine with the strawberry syrup, someone added bananas.

The Post Celebration Notes

During the holiday I found out I’d been left a significant sum. Enough to buy a car and do some investing.

So doing some math I tumbled on I can get a VW Golf Wolfsburg edition for $24K or less. Hmmm. Guess what car I’m going for.

That will leave roughly $10K to invest. A modest amount to be sure but I did some projections as there’s a real estate mutual  fund out there returning about 20% and even when you back out the 1% management fee it’s pretty attractive. That $10K with an additional $10K per year dropped in gets over $300K in 10 years. Not too shabby making a $100K profit over 10 years. I suppose I should project it out to 15 and 20 years. But hell even the 10 year outlook is pretty fucking rosy.

I also projected it out to 20 years and the amount is astounding. For a modest initial investment and a consistent addition. And where does the $10K in addition come from? Well if I buy the car it frees up the $363 per month I spend on the MBTA pass, and the $500 or so on Zipcar rentals. Do that math and you get $10,356 additional saving per year. And I do plan to stick to that. I mean at year 3 I’ve got the dough to say buy a BMW X3 cash. Though I’d likely be reluctant to trade the VW Golf in at that point. So just let the cash ride.

And for breakfast it was Trader Joe’s Black Forrest Bacon, with my signature scrambled eggs, and then some roasted tomato dusted with salt,  red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.

And for dinner some filet mignon with Montreal Steak seasoning, thyme and butter just in the sous vide bath now.

The Holiday Goings On

So today started off going over to my cousin Richard’s house in Glocester (Chepachet), RI. Nice place. My Aunt Carol was up from Florida too so we got to see her.

It’s funny Someone had a bit of trepidation about going there but in the end wanted to stay. Alas we couldn’t as we had a prior commitment for Christmas day.

Went down to East Greenwich and did some baked stuffed shrimp, ham and baked beans with a friend of ours. Then watched Christmas shows, The Year without a Santa and Scrooged.

All in all it was pretty good and we have a standing invite to head up to my cousins place in Chepachet on Sundays. That would be cool. Me an my cousin were really tight until I hit my mid 20’s. And the cousin is doing quite well. I guess a 2 year and 8 month stay in jail changes you. He’s got a window replacement business up and running and it’s paying for the building the business is occupying, plus he’s got his wifes people paying rent in the house so his total out of pocket for the house is maybe $700 a month. Not too shabby.

And it’s funny, Someone’s trepidation was due to the racist shit from my father. But my aunt and cousin aren’t racist at all. Kind of hard since my cousins wifes son has a son whose skin show’s he had a bit of color.

Also found out I should have access to enough cash to buy a Volkswagen Golf TSi Wolfsburg edition. Nice.


Unseasonable weather

So I realized, I didn’t flip the house heating on until December 10th this year. Amazing.

And we’ve had snow events – the most recent a couple inches. But it was on the ground this past Saturday and gone by Sunday. That is the kind of snow I like.

However it rained briefly in my office location in Quincy, MA. The roads of course became black ice. Lovely trying to cross a street. Providence on the other hand was bone dry by the time I got home this evening.

It’s funny too I had to forego the parka – I was sweating my ass off in it. And it was funny this evening. Someone met me at the train station and said to me “Why don’t you pull your hood on?” I looked at him and said “Because you gave me a sweater to wear today, not a hoodie.”


Snow – just the way I like it.

So we’ve now had three snow events in southern New England. The first two were just dusting, there in the morning gone by the evening.

Of course we had the arctic blast – the rivers froze up a little bit and all. But then Friday into Saturday we had out first appreciable snow – about 2 or 3 inches of snow greeted us Saturday morning. Just enough to make travel miserable.

And better it went from snow to rain so a nice slushy mess.

But imagine my surprise when I looked out today – no more snow. Temperatures shot into the mid 50’s helped with that.

But I like snow like that, snow that doesn’t hang around to be a pain in the ass.

Why I absolutely love the Volkswagen Golf TSi

So I’ve driven a number of different cars with my Zipcar account. And I have to say it, hands down my favorite car is the Volkswagen Golf TSi.

I should explain why. I’m a fairly confident driver. They say drive defensively, I aim for offensively.

And the Golf TSi – the perfect car matched to my abilities. It’s an awesome car, 0 to 60 MPH in around 7 second. All I now is at the top of the ramp to I-95 south near me, I’m doing maybe 30MPH and half way down the ramp I’m at 60MPH and I can hear the turbocharger kicking in. Nice.

Just last night, I was able to avoid an accident with an idiotic driver – the handling on the Golf is superb. The short wheelbase makes it a blast to drive too.

The only fault I have with the car, it’s the stupid decision by Volkswagen to not put a USB port in the car and instead that abortion of an iPod connector. Look, some of us don’t want to use an iPod. I suppose if I bought one I’d hack in a USB port – after all that dumb iPod connector has to have a 5 volt rail on it somewhere. Even if it didn’t, pretty easy with an LM7805  voltage regulator and a few other components I could even fashion one that I could tuck into the dashboard.


The Annual Use Up Of Paid Time Off

So starting in November in earnest one starts burning off unused paid time off.

Company we work for doesn’t carry forward vacation, sick or personal time. And we get 20 PTO days plus now 7 holidays and 2 floating holidays. I know it’s paltry when compared with say Germany or France but it’s time off.

And so I have no exhausted my sick time which I euphemistically call mental health days. And as of tomorrow Personal time will be used up. That leaves 40 hours of vacation to burn which I leave the office on the 22nd and return on the 3rd of January.

So in honor of my grandfathers death and my mom’s birth (Dec. 11th and Dec. 12 respectively) I’m taking Monday the 12th off work. It’s supposed to be snowy, rainy, and just generally nasty outside too. So a good day to take off from work.

And my paternal grandmother died on Christmas Day of 2005, so taking the week between Christmas and the New Year is sort of a requirement.

And how do I honor those ancestors, I sleep a lot. Just stretched out on the now well worn recliner I’ll have music playing, maybe reading and I’ll doze off for hour or so stretches. It’s very relaxing.

Some people have the theory that you go all over the place during time off, me I do some cooking, baking etc. and snooze to my liking and it’s the most effective way of treating workplace stresses. It’s funny even when I was a kid, my friends used to say that I raised sleep to an art form. And I mean sleep anywhere. I recall one camping trip in my early 20’s where I would fall asleep on the dock, the sound of lapping water and the call of Loons was enough I guess.

And now that we’re starting to understand the role of sleep in our lives, I guess I’m ahead of the curve in the ability to just snooze whenever I feel like it.

Finally turned the heating system on

I know, I know. December 10th was the date. Last year it was mid October. So in essence three months later.

It’s finally gotten frigid as hell here – to the point where the VW Golf TSi I was driving was warning of black ice, and a little bit of frost is settling onto cars. Current temp is about 19F.

But it’s all good – denying National Grid a couple months of serious revenue is fun.

Letting the air out of Christian Holidays

So the two biggies are Christmas and Easter. But ever since I started doing my research on the origins of Christianity and found out that the central figure of each of those holidays never existed, well it took some of the wind out of my sails regarding said holidays.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the days off work for those holidays, but just don’t get excited about them any longer.

And more and more – I realize Christmas in particular is for the kids. I love the looks on their faces when they get the toy they didn’t expect but they love it. That’s what it is.