Wonky's Land of Nonsensical Musings

Month: November 2013 (page 3 of 3)

Rich , happy, and free part2

Remember our mystery quote: “I am happy as long as I am healthy, and I am rich as long as I am not in debt.” In part one I talked a little bit about health.  Here in part two I plan to try and give some specific help with finances.
I might have mentioned it in the past but I used to “write” a self help blog called the Slackers Guide to Life.   I still own the domain it just redirects here.  I put write in quotes because I almost never actually wrote anything on it. I divided the effort into a few categories.  One of the only categories at which I had any success was money.  So let me share some of my limited wisdom.
So you are drowning in credit card debt and only making minimum payments.  You make good money but never seem to have enough. The first thing you have to figure out is where all your money is going. I I don’t recommend jumping instantly into trying to budget and save money.  Take one month to determine how you are sabotaging you finances.  You need to record every purchase of any kind you make.  There are apps to help with this.  I currently use mint to track my budget and all my spending. But when I started I actually found it better to do so with just  a notebook. I recorded the date, the amount, and what I purchased. Once the month finished I went back to the list.  You can break the expenditures into as many categories as you want.  I went with a simple systems.  I grabbed a red highlighter and marked outlays that weren’t good for me or were unnecessary as bad. The rest were acceptable.  
When I finished I totaled everything up.  I was shocked to find that my bad outlays were almost twice as much as the good.  Be cutting out some of the bad things I could literally save hundreds a month. So I recommend trying this for one month to start.

Rich, happy, and free

Earlier in the year I read a quote that has stayed with me since, “I am happy as long as I am healthy, and I am rich as long as I am not in debt.”  Sadly I can’t remember who I got this quote from to give them proper credit.   As I said, these words have stuck with me and been rattling around in my mushy noggin for months.

I am not healthy and I am in debt. The health thing is what it is, to sound like a professional athlete. I am currently under care for this biggest health problem I have.  Now that places some limitations on what I cad no in the form of exercise. One very important aspect of my health is totally within my control.  What I put into my body would frighten most people. If it the product hasn’t been processed or extruded or purchased from a chain restaurant, I usually don’t partake. I don’t really like eating this way it’s just the most convenient.  I often make resolutions to eat healthier. I say as I eat a bag of cheetos. They are baked though.

Because I am just trying to post things during NaBloPoMo I’ll write about debt at another time.  Nothing like dragging out a blog post to fill a self assigned schedule.

Blast From the Past: This is Literature?

In a cheap bid to keep nablopomo going I am posting a blast from the past from way back in 2004

Here is the description of an authors first acclaimed literary novel:

Suder takes it name from its protagonist, Craig Suder, a black third baseman for the Seattle Mariners. A failure on his tean, in bed with his wife, and in his relationship with his you son, he walks away from his problems when his manager encourages him to go on leave. (Up to this point things sound good. This is a promising set up for a compelling internal struggle.) The manager, who is also a demented taxidermist, lends Sudar a cabin in Portland, Oregon, and sends him there to get some rest. On his way to the cabin, Sudar develops an obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with “Ornithology.” a Charlie Parker jazz standard. He plays it on a record player that he takes with him wherver he goes, and decides that he will learn to fly under his own power. Suder’s series of misadentures includes his being pursued by a Narragansett Indian Cocain dealer, an obese gay Chinese man, and his manager, who desperately wants to stuff an elephant Sudar has befriended.

uhhhh….. huh ………. I ….. ohhhhhhh…. brain hurt

The aftermath of being sick

After almost 4 days of being sick I examine the disaster that is my apartment. All the waste bins are filled with used kleenex.  My clothes, mostly sweatshirts and pajamas are balled up and on the floor from wherever they happened to fall.  Every flat surface is covered in stuff, much of it trash.  And yes a certain odor does permeate the place.  Sadly it is a little too cold now to open up the windows and air the place out.  Guess I’ll just burn some incense.

More fall colors

This time from my balcony. As always clicky clicky for larger size.

Music Monday: Elbow Grounds for Divorce

Big in the UK, I first encountered Elbow in the soundtrack for an episode of Topgear.  I sense fell in love with most of the bands work.

Allerton Park one of my favorite places

 Allerton Park is a large park and conference center near the small town of Monticello, Illinois.  It also happens to be one of my favorite place to visit. I like going there in almost every season.  Fall brings out the best in the place in my opinion.  The crispness in the air, the fall colors, and the slow spread of decay create a bright melancholy.  I love to photograph the place.  Click for larger images.

I got all philosophical as I watched and listen to the leaves fall one by one and looked at the many fallen trees. It reminded me of the scene from The Last Samurai.  “But then I come to this place of my ancestors, and I remember. Like these blossoms, we are all dying. To know life in every breath, every cup of tea, every life we take. “

Sadly the thing that died was the batteries on my camera so I had to take the last few pics with my phone.

Nablopmo 2: and being sick

Most of you will be aware of nanowrimo the national novel writer month. But you might not be aware of NaBloPomo the same thing but for blogging.  You just have to blog at least once a day for the month of November.  I did it last year and will be doing it again this year.  So expect many lame posts over the next month.  Like nanowrimo the point isn’t to worry about quality but just to get words on the screen.

Today I had plans.  I have mentioned in the past that my dad has health problems. He is confined to a bed or a chair.  The current house my parents live in is a quad level. That is a lot of stairs.  My Dad is stuck in the main floor.  His bed resides in the old living room.  So my Mom has recently bought a rather nice ranch one story house. Only one major renovation is needed. The chair doesn’t do well on carpet so the carpet needs to be torn up and then replaced with hardwood. The bedrooms actually already have hardwood floors under the carpet. So my plan for  today was to head up their and tear up the carpets.  My body had other plans.

I had been feeling like I had a minor cold for several days.  I had a cough, sore throat, and a snotty nose. It wasn’t enough to keep me from going to work but it was annoying.  I woke up this  morning feeling horrible. My sinuses were all stuffed up. I had a terrible headache, my throat was raw, and the cough was back with a vengeance. I quickly realized there was no way I would make the two hour drive and then spend all day doing manual labor.  So I had to make the call and tell my Mom I wouldn’t be there. Sorry mom.

I did manage a trip to CVS to get drugs of many kinds.  Funny enough writing this blog post was interrupted by me and the cat taking a three hour nap together.

Food Friday: Special Chilli with insanity peppers

With the temperatures dipping low and the days getting shorter, it’s time to pull out the stews and chilli. Below is a slightly modified version of my normal chilli recipe. I told my Lebanese friend who loves really spicy food that I was going to make chilli.  He told me he had something for me.  He then gave me what I in a incorrect homage to the Simpsons refer to as “the insanity peppers of Itsoplatilacal”.

I have no idea what they are actually called but they turn your mouth numb.

 Ingredients for about 6 servings:

  • Two cans kidney beans
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • some hot peppers  <- my supermarket labelled the two peppers on the left as “assorted hot peppers”  they were less hot then Jalapenos.
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cayanne pepper
  • chilli powder
  • ground cummin

Begin by browning the ground beef over medium heat in a rather large pan.
While the beef is browning chop up the onion and seed and chop up the peppers. Important: if you have insanity peppers don’t chop them up.  We are just going to add them whole to the mixture.
After about six minutes of the meat browning add the onion and peppers.  I also like to add in some salt and pepper at this point, approximately a table spoon.  Mix cover and let the mixture cook for another six minutes.
While that is going on get a big pot going over medium heat.  Dump in the diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce and the kidney beans.
Once the meat is done add it and the veggies to the big pot.  Also dump in the insanity peppers whole.
Season pepper, chili powder, cayenne and cumming to a hotness you like.  Remember if you have insanity peppers they are going to add more heat as the mixture simmers.
Leave the pot simmering on the stove for between four and ten hours.

Remove the insanity peppers which should have floated to the top.  The chilli will be best after a day or two sitting in the fridge.
The final result was more liquid than I wanted.  I had actually dumped two cans of water into the chilli but removed this step for you all since it wasn’t necessary. It had a nice flavor and was just spicy enough to clear out the sinuses. 
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