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The Most Loathed

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Posts posted by The Most Loathed

  1. On 6/30/2018 at 3:33 PM, Rooks said:

    Great update TML. Glad to hear that the job area is improving so. The fact your manager noticed something like that is huge IMO. I love it when people actually seem to give a crap, just because it's so rare. So many people are so heads down trying to get stuff done all the time they forget that the people around them are the important part. Good stuff. 

    In my one-on-one last week I specifically thanked him for being attentive and called out this example. I don't think he knew what to do with it. As one hetero male to another, the culture is that he isn't supposed to notice, I'm not supposed to notice that he noticed and by calling attention to it I'm practically calling him not-a-hetero-male, but I did so things get awkward. I have no regrets about saying thanks.


    I started this reply a week ago and just never finished it. Going to try now.


    Things are still good at work. I got a mini promotion. We had a consultant doing a lot of our development and he quit his firm. I was asked if I would be willing to shift from 50% development : 50% support to 100% development. I reminded them that I still have a learning curve in front of me. If they are comfortable with that, I'll take on the work but that's the price of pushing me into that role. They were fine with it. They also funded sending me to the Tableau conference in October immediately.


    I'm glad for this. I don't have had a mixed history with vendor conferences but I'm really trying to go all in on this Tableau thing and I see this as part of that. It's in New Orleans which isn't on my bucket list or anything but I will be able to say I've been now. My October will be crazy.


    My only complaint is that I've been terrible about food and feel like I'm all bloated and watery. This week is my birthday so it's going to be a bad week to try and start to manage this but I'm going to try and at least writing it down in a very loose way, just to build the habit. 


    • Like 6
  2. 7 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    Mrs. Sloth just ordered me an inversion table, she thinks that’ll help.

    Im curious to see what you think. As a person who had a ruptured disc, I've considered one of these many times. At least on old lifter I know (older than everyone in this thread) swears by his.


    7 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    She’s becoming part of the family. She doesn’t just sleep on the bed, she is entwined with Slothgirl - she picked her as her person. If she didn’t shed I think Mrs. Sloth would insist on keeping her.

    If this works out, I could convince Laura that it's for the best and she'd be happy. Otherwise you can bring sloth girl by to see Dilly anytime. 

    • Like 2
  3. On 7/13/2018 at 4:39 AM, Bearlee said:

    Sadly I don’t think this is going to happen. At best it was a 20% chance of going. And seeing how I’m heavier and more out of shape than when I made my declaration I don’t see it happening. Unless it was for a group meet up after the race, then the odds might go up to 30%. The person helping me with the Cubs, my sister, is going to be having a new baby in her house in the next couple of weeks, so I don’t expect much help from her in the future due to her own obligations. By the way it’s her son’s kid not her’s, but he’s living with her, so her responsibility too I’m assuming.

    It happens twice a year. Your original timeline was aggressive to say the least. This is just an opportunity to reset for a more approachable schedule. 

    • Like 1
  4. 12 hours ago, Bearlee said:

    I was thinking about contacting LadyShello for a meet up, but it would have been very short notice. However I still want to meet up sometime since you’re the only one that follows me that I haven’t met in person (on this continent anyways, someday WhiteGhost). Plus if I got a picture that would make Deftona soo jealous.

    Do I even need to say it? Hammer Race.



    • Like 2
  5. 21 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    I wouldn’t let your size keep you from going places. For one thing, that’s no way to live your life. For another, I’ve been to Kansas, you’re right in the middle of the bell curve there. 


    If I was to make a wild-ass guess, I’d say you’re too damn tired to keep up. Two little kids are a lot of work and the night shift is always a killer. I’m not trying to make excuses for you, but it needs to be factored in. Anyway... you know what to do, you’ve done it before, now you just need to do it again. 

    Sloth is a better, wiser, faster on the button human than I am so all I can do is no my head meaningfully at his comments.



    • Like 1
  6. 2 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    I’m the 20,000th viewer of your thread. I feel like I should get a prize. 

    I don't know how you know this but I do still owe you one or more beers.


    2 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    I’m glad your enjoying your new job. It doesn’t seem like you’ve been happy (jobwise) since you left Target. 

    I have not been particularly happy since I left Target. I thought I'd be happy at the consulting firm but left because my coworkers thought it was ok to literally yell at me in meetings. I don't need that.

    I rushed into US Bank to get away from that. My first role there was boring and mostly made up of waiting for people to let me do my job. When I finally settled into the idea that I would just take a boring and easy job, an opportunity came up to try and actually make people's lives better by freeing up data. I actually tried to turn that job down when it was offered to me but they were dead set on the idea that I could help. That as my last role. It was just and incompetent mess and I couldn't do enough to fix it. 


    I was reticent to go from one bank to another but the culture is so different and in all the right ways. The work, one week in, is stimulating. I believe that even if the work starts to get boring, as it will do after a couple years, there are other opportunities for me to engage in interesting ways. 

    • Like 2
  7. It was a good week.



    So far, I really dig the new job. It's all the things I have been looking for. I like and respect the people I work with. They are making thoughtful and intelligent choices and don't get upset if I ask a question either for clarification or to understand the underlying rationale. The work seems like it will be interesting and the senior leaders are aware of their need to meet business demand but also provide employees with enriching work. My fears about not being as strong in Tableau were overblown. They love that I'm very fluent in SQL and SAS and are game to help me learn what I don't know.

    My boss has four different training classes he wants to send me to . I don't always love these as most of them are designed for someone who knows not only nothing about the subject but nothing about computers. I can usually get some of the early stuff and figure the rest out on my own. That said, he's showing a real commitment to continuing training going forward. This year I'm taking a bunch of level 1 stuff but In future, I get to do some higher level classes of the sort I have never done. 

    I hate my desk and chair but they are only temporary. They cause my sciatic nerve to get angry, which hurts. We have a four foot (or so) counter in the breakroom  that no one uses for anything. So, I've been taking my computer in there for a few hours each day and working and it feels much better. On the second day that I did this my boss walked in and said "I notice you like to work standing, do you want me to order you a standing desk?" Um, yeah. Also, it's been a while since I worked with a manager who saw a thing like that and just went and tried to fix it. It's really nice.

    I totally realize that I'm probably still in some amount of honeymoon phase but so far, I'm in love. I didn't have this at my last job. The job before that, I did but only when I was at the HQ location, not when I went back to my own office and worked with my peers. So, I'm optimistic that I made the right choice. 


    This week was a little light on the workouts, 3 rather than 4. I thought, last weekend, about asking for a fourth or just going running or something similar. I'm so glad that I didn't as I just ended up with a really full week. I haven't even been able to keep up on dishes. I'm really glad that the weekend is here and I can sort a few things out that I've just kind of ignored all week. It's going to a be a hot one too so, we'll be hiding indoors anyway.


    Last week was my first week of food prep in a long time. It was so-so. I made a big egg casserole for breakfast. It was really good on day one but as time passed, I got bored with it and I think some of the flavors mellowed enough to be unnoticeable. Also, the scallions I used were tough which was not a great texture experience. Next week is short so I'm not terribly worried about breakfast prep. Long term, this is where I need the most improvement.

    Lunch was sweet potatoes and roasted chicken thighs. This has been a staple before so it was easy to return to. The only issue was that on day one I grabbed my surplus sweet potatoes rather than a meal with chicken and sweet potatoes. A stupid mistake. 

    The second half of the week I also grabbed a few protein bars and ate them at work. In truth, i think I was just looking for a little sweetness. I will need to decide how I want to proceed here. I had forgotten that having a snack (almonds previously) and a little sweetness (protein bar) in my day can swing it from Meh to Really Good in terms of food experience. I just have to relearn these things

    Next week is only two work days for me (we're heading to Nebraska the second half) so I just bought a couple pounds of ground beef and will do those with potatoes next week. 


    Tonight, I think we're going to watch the most recent Star Wars movie, which I have not yet seen. Tomorrow I'm going climbing. Sunday is a workout and food prep day. 

    • Like 5
  8. 19 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    When the gun went off I went hard and hit the first hill in seventh place.  I held that up to the top of the hill, but I started wheezing like a grampus.  I had to power down by a factor of 10. I lost places steadily for the next half hour when I started being able to breathe again. I ended up with a mid pack finish, which is good enough. 

    This sounds brutal. Finishing is its own achievement after a start like that.


    I vote for short walks for Dilly. 

  9. On 6/21/2018 at 1:59 PM, Rooks said:

    Anyway, figured I'd come write something. Oh... speaking of writing something. Anyone of guys ever done anything with blogs? I've been thinking about starting one. I started trying to make Instagram posts my outlet for my thoughts writing up >1000 characters with each post, but quickly realized that most of the time, I blow by their 2200 character limit with ease, so I end up scrapping the post. So yeah... if you've ever blogged, let me know your thoughts. Otherwise, maybe I'll just try and make my thoughts more concise and stick with the 'Gram. 

    I have done a lot with blogs. I've been toying with the idea of going back to one actually. Even though they are pretty outdated.

    My weapon of choice is Wordpress. It's an interesting mix of being totally prefab when you walk in but giving a lot of opportunity for customization. If you head to wordpress.com you can set up a blog pretty quickly. You end up making some choices very blind but know that you can change literally everything. If you ever decide you want to move your blog to your own domain and service provider, it's pretty easy to stand up your own Wordpress instance. I had one that I hosted for a while that several people worked off of. 

    If you want something that requires next to no set up but gives you fewer customization options down the line, Blogger works really well. I used it back in 2012 for 3 posts apparently. My memory is that it the simplest I've ever used.

    As far as I know, there is no bad platform to blog from. I think that this point they can all transfer from one to another without too much pain. 

    If you want to have more of a conversation on it, feel free to contact me through any tool of your choices (I think you have my number and email and everything) and we can talk that way or meet up and I'm happy to help you get rolling if you'd like. 



    Bummer about step father-in-law but it sounds like you guys are all dealing with it, even the little one. We also try to do the math of who out of that generation will be hanging around the longest but at the end of the day, sometimes you just roll a 1. 

    • Like 1
  10. On 6/17/2018 at 10:44 AM, Sloth the Enduring said:

    I don’t think anyone does logistics up to your standards. I don’t mean that as any sort of insult.  You’re just really good at thinking about systems and easily see how to do things better. I’m not sure what your exact question is, but I can’t say you’re wrong in your noticings. 

    It wasn't taken as any sort of insult. I do kind of have the tendency to expect every organization to have their processes sorted out. I probably expect too much on that front but also, it's the one thing an org can do to make everyone's life better, especially their own. Fortunately, I know a guy on the inside.


    @Sloth the Enduring knows this already (presumably) but for everyone else, yesterday he brought the whole family over to our little apartment to hang out for a bit. They brought Dilly with them so our dog, Clementine got to meet her. I admit to having some reservations at first about letting Clem loose in the house with her, mostly because I don't have much experience with introducing new dog to one another. The two romped and played and wrestled for a while and just generally wore each other out. There was clearly a lot of dominance games in there but it stayed civil enough.


    Last week was pretty much as expected, a bit crazy at times, a bit slow at times. At work I tried to get all the things I knew into other people's brains to the best of my ability. To some degree I feel most limited by their ability to consume, not my ability to impart. I spent hours debriefing and wrote multipage emails just trying to document everything I could. At the end of the week there is only so much I can say that and a lot that folks have to figure out. 

    If I have one disappointment in that process it was the reaction I would get when I would get to something where there was/is not process. I would look at the person I was talking to and say something to the effect of "this is the part you need to figure out". I universally got a blank stare in return. It was weird, I'm telling them that this thing should be the thing they dig into, deeply, and nothing. Come on guys, this is where you need to engage. 


    As I type this, I'm killing time before work. My first day doesn't start until 9 am, it's 7:15 now, Clem got me up at 6. 6- 6:30 is our normal wake up time so it's all good. This all points to my one, most outstanding question. Today we need to negotiate start and leave time. It's one of those details I would have ironed out in the second interview that they skipped. It doesn't matter much either way but it's just one of those things that needs to be sorted.

    Historically I've done 7 or 7:30 as a start time. It gets me out at 3:30 or 4 so I can get home, walk the dog, eat early and workout. One very real possibility is that they will say 9 am is their normal time. If that happens I get to become a morning workout guy. I'm not really a lover of morning workouts but I'll get over it and maybe someday I'll even like it. 


    Yesterday I did food prep for the week, which I haven't done in about a year. It wasn't too bad. I did an egg casserole for breakfast with 20 large eggs, scallions, and a bunch of herby cheese. I had a serving this morning and it was pretty good. The scallions didn't really retain their flavor but the cheese was a really good pick. I also cooked up 4 lbs of chicken for supper and lunches going forward, also a little over 2 lbs of sweet potatoes and a bunch of other veggies (cauliflower, broccilini, and a veggie I can't recall the name of). I'll take some today, knowing that there is a good chance of the team wanting to do lunch out. It can keep for a day. 


    That's kind of it for now. I haven't been posting a lot, I will probably keep things that way for a while. We'll see. 


    • Like 4
  11. We came really close to getting a new dog on Thursday. We've know for at least a couple months that we'd be getting a second. Laura has been watching the adoption websites and seen lots of cute dogs come and go. We've also emailed a few local breeders to see if they have litters coming. We've rescued our two dogs so far but our overwhelming feeling from the local rescue agencies is that they are disorganized at best and possibly more of a liability to the dog than being in the wild at worst. 

    Laura seemed to be gearing up for an adoption but I don't always read the signs perfectly so I wasn't overly wrapped up one way or another. She had started to call and check in a couple. Invariably, by the time she called, the dog was spoken for. She'd get doubly frustrated when the dog would become eligible on the rescues website a couple days later. 

    Thursday we were having lunch and she saw a couple she wanted at our local humane society. I said something about calling and she mentioned that was typically a waste of time. I needed to work the rest of the day but she was able to hop in the car and run over there. She found a really cute Corgi/Australian Cattle Dog puppy and put her on hold. We had always talked about and older dog that was preferably house broken but  the dog was really cute so I rolled with it. We went to Petsmart and dropped $300 getting a couple things for Clem but a whole leash and collar set, bowls, kennel and bed for the new thing with the plan to go get her on Friday.

    Friday I ducked out of work early so that we could bounce over there and get our new family member. We got in and the place was thronged but we were second in the adoption queue. I went and met the little pipsqueak. She was snoozing but the moment the lunch cart rolled out she was up and awaiting her dinner. We waited for a little over an hour for someone to let us take her home.

    I saw the woman from the front desk walking up to everyone on her way to us, asking if they were adopting today and if they said yes, who were they adopting. Just as I pointed her out to Laura, someone in scrubs walked up to her and started saying something about "if they insist on taking her home, I can have it done in a hour". I figured this was for some other people who had walked in that day, met a dog and wanted to take it home, something we were told could not be done or we would have already had our little monster at home. 

    When the vet tech type person walked away, Laura went over to talk to the woman from the front desk. She was, in fact, looking for us. She had just learned though that another dog who had been in contact with the dog we were going to adopt had come down with parvovirus, which isn't really treatable and can be fatal. It just has to run its course and maybe the dog lives, maybe it doesn't. They were going to run a blood test but it would take another hour. 

    I was sent home to walk Clem while Laura waited for the test results. I got back and Laura was hanging out with a pretty cool family who had faced some of the same struggles we had. In fact, they were sitting there because they came in to adopt a dog that they had seen on the website and right about the time that they arrived, some other family had said that they thought they might adopt. They were waiting to see what the other family said. They had tried going to breeders and shelters for months. They wanted a Golden Retriever but getting one from a breeder was thousands of dollars and they just didn't stay in shelters.

    Laura went and checked on the blood test and found out that they had just done the draw so it would still be an hour. There was also some talk that even if the test came back negative, they would need to quarantine the dog. We left frustrated, they extended our hold on the dog for 24 more hours. 

    As we headed home Laura expressed frustrations and reservations. Clementine has a crappy immune system so we fretted, what if she got parvovirus and died, what if the test gave a false negative, and so on. Laura called our vet when we got home and they were pretty reassuring that there would be little risk. Laura felt so frustrated with the 5 hours she had now spent with these people, that they hadn't tested for things like this and just with the whole process that she called and released our hold on the dog. 

    So, Clem is still and only child. Our search is on hold until after the fourth of July, our next road trip. There are still a couple rescues round here that Laura would like to work with but with the Humane Society and MARS (where we got Clem) both seeming a little questionable, she's running out of options. 

    I know that @Sloth the Enduring does some fostering and I think that there is a lot about these organizations that I think we don't understand. I'd be curious to get his take on the rescue organizations. I have to admit that my general feeling is that they want to do good but they aren't actually any good at organizing events, working with people, and in some cases, the logistics of managing large groups of animals. It feels like a bunch of people who love animals but don't actually know anything about their general wellbeing. 


    Next week is my last week at US Bank. I already have that sense of being done. I've deliberately documented everything I reasonably could from day one because I never had any intention of doing this job for multiple years. I don't know I'd leave the company necessarily but I know I wouldn't do this. Thus, it's mostly a matter of making sure everyone has everything I can provide. I've also been building projects for my peers for month, to get things to where they need to be and, frankly, sometimes just to keep them busy. They still have projects that they need to work on. 

    It turns out, I'm leaving at just the right time (for me). This group is getting shifted out of its current hierarchy and to a new one, this is when they were going to make me a manager. This week we all will have a meeting about that transition. I think it's, overall, a good transition to make and honestly, making it right now is perfect because they can cycle out my current team members or redefine their jobs and get some new folks in. 

    In preparation for my first week at a new job, back in the office, I'm pre-preparing my breakfast and lunch for the week. I've been doing Huel for the morning and I think it's why I've really struggled to shake some water retention and my weight has been kind of stubborn. So, last night I baked an egg casserole with scapes, chives and goat cheese. I'm excited to try it. It won't last the multiple weeks of @Rooks casseroles, nor is it intended. This will serve me for three days. Then I'll need something else to get me by. 

    I'm also reminded that when you cook from whole ingredients, it takes a lot of food to make up a 2,000+ calorie diet. My whole casserole (18 medium eggs and 1/2 lb of chevre) clocks in at 1,800. I've got several pounds of pork for lunch too but I'm going to tear through that quickly. It should be tasty though.

    • Like 4
  12. 29 minutes ago, RisenPhoenix said:

    Re: FIRE/Retirement/Future monies

    It sounds like you're well on your way. I generally think of myself as more disciplined than average on the money thing but reading your and @Rooks's comments makes me feel like I need to review our flowsheet. I know we're a bit of wreck right now after three vacations in 6 months but that might be the best time.


    31 minutes ago, RisenPhoenix said:

    Congrats on the job offer!  Hopefully it turns out to be everything you hope it to be!

    I'm optimistic, but I wouldn't take the gig if I wasn't. :)


    I did take some time this morning to start browsing some of the truly All-Star Tableau Dashboards out there and I'm excited to up my game. Even if my fantasy of freelance and early retirement dosn't play out, I'm excited to up my game. 

    • Like 1
  13. 22 hours ago, Sylvaa said:


    Sounds like you've had a busy week! Congrats on the new job!


    FYI - from a consulting perspective - Tableau is kind of tricky, depending on what you are trying to do with it. We went down that road for a while with certain projects, but ultimately scrapped the idea. If the clients you are working with don't use Tableau, it's a pretty expensive undertaking for them to get it up and running and it doesn't translate well between programs. I mean, with your background, this is most likely less of an issue, but something to keep in mind. 



    My opinion is that Tableau and, frankly, dashboards are way over and misused.That said, everybody wants them. It's interesting to hear that many clients find it too pricy. I assume it's the mistake of getting everyone a desktop license and thinking you want and your own server. Their cloud solution is pretty reasonable. However, you bring up a good point. I need to work on Power BI and others as well. This year will be Tableau centric I'll get some other toys out soon. 11c


    19 hours ago, Rooks said:

    Good news on the new gig. I'm really enjoying my new gig where I can commute in under 20 minutes with a 8-10 minute walk to get into the office. It's so much better than the 45 - 60 minute commute I did at my last gig. That just flat out sucked. Also, this new place is way more accommodating about working from home whenever I need it. So yeah...


    As for finance, I'm super glad my wife was super concerned about it when we started getting serious. Prior to meeting her, I was in much the same boat as you guys. I just put away the recommended 6% because that was what the company would match. Figured that'd be good enough. She started asking me questions and telling me what she was doing and that got me thinking and do more when I was only 28. Now I'm sad I'm didn't do more when I started working out of college.


    Now, I'm putting away about 18% of my income and hope to max out my 401k contributions and Roth IRA contributions within the next year or so. Also, will hopefully be paying off our house in the next 2-3 years and kiddo will hit public school soon (i.e. no more daycare costs). Overall, I think that'll put us on a great path to have a boatload saved up for whatever plans we want. I honestly think I'm much the same as you, where it's get to financial freedom as soon as I can, then figure out what the future is at that point. But that leads to the question of what is freedom to me and what the hell am I going to do when I get there? I think my post "retirement" job is totally going to a custom fabrication gig where I just do contract work with wood and metal for people. And I think financial freedom is basically to have the house paid off and at least 6-9 months worth of salary in savings. At least that's how I see it going in my head currently. Either way, paying off the house has become super important to me with kiddo's health stuff. Just having the freedom of not having any outstanding loans will be beyond fantastic. But I also know that I'm saving way more than pretty much anyone I've chatted with about finances. And we live frugally given our income, where our only splurge money goes to quality food and good beer (more than we should drink) and we limit personal "fun" money to just $50 a month per person (i.e. money you can spend without discussing the expenditure with the other person). That's the one that floors pretty much all my friends and co-workers. I get a lot of "I could never live like that". 


    So yeah... finances are goofy that we don't focus on them more. I see so many folks around me just buying stuff all the time, and I don't understand how they can afford these things. Then I remember that there's a reason so many people have thousands racked up in debt and the Credit Card institutions make money hand over foot. 

    I'm glad that the new gig is working out. I recall there being some uncertainty with the transition. Getting that time back is so valuable. 


    Putting away 18% is amazing. We were at ~15% before left her job. We probably clear 18% now, artificially, just because we have less income. I guess that's one way to get there :)


    Have you considered looking into the Twin Cities Maker community. They occasionally advertise Mig and TIg Welding classes to me. I have no idea what those things mean but they seem like they could play into metal fabrication. There are also so local maker spaces with CNC machines and all the other stuff that makers get into.


    • Like 1
  14. 20 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    "Race slow, finish whenever."  (Team Sloth motto.)

    I'd wear this shirt.


    20 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    Saturday night was nerd night.  We didn't have a quorum so we played bored games - a D&D board game and Truck Off., which was developed by a friend of TML's who is married to a friend of Mrs. Sloth.  

    I had know idea that you guys know Ryan's wife. I have a couple extra copies if you want one. To support him I bought a dealer pack and give them away to bars and stuff if they want them.

    • Like 4
  15. On 6/9/2018 at 11:35 PM, Bearlee said:

    In my family no one talks about money and finances for some reason

    This seems to be he norm. Even families who do talk about money seem to tend to not talk details. Things are couched in terms of "too much", "not enough", and other vagaries. I was raised being told that I needed to put 10% of my income aside for myself but nothing was really attached to that in terms of learning or consequences other than that "someday" I'd be happy that I did it. So, I would occasionally slip a little out of my piggy bank for playing video games or whatever. As soon as I was left to my own devices I didn't save. In fact, in my late teens and early twenties, despite working a lot, I over-drafted my account occasionally.

    One of the key experiences that I had in terms of getting my arms around money was a Finance class in college. Officially it was a business class but he made a strong effort to make it personal as often as possible. It was then I that I started to realize that the consequences of not putting aside money sooner than later were worse than I thought. Saving is something a lot of people want to do "when things settle down". Compound interest, however, works the other way around The first dollar(s) you put away get compounded the most and the last see no gain. 

    Later on, after I was putting money away for retirement, Laura and I did a finances review and I found that we were worse off than I thought. So we got our act together, limited retirement contributions and cleared all debt except student loan, car, and house. We then went about student loan and car. We didn't move out of the house so that we could have an artificially clear balance sheet but we do now anyway. So now we just maintain that and have our retirement contributions taken out of our accounts. 

    Those couple of deep dives into finance were probably pretty life changing. They didn't change things in that very second but they taught me a lot more about how to think and talk about money. I'm lucky that I had that exposure in my 20s and 30s. It gets really hard to put together a nest egg later than that. 


    On 6/9/2018 at 9:54 AM, Sloth the Enduring said:

    Congratulations. Not commuting was the right choice. It frees up a lot of time for living.


    On 6/9/2018 at 11:35 PM, Bearlee said:

    First, good co-workers which seems to be one of your main detractors at your current job. Second, no commuting which lines up with your values.


    I'm happy about not driving. The drive, had I gone with the other job would have only been about 20 minutes most days, so not much longer than my walk. I'm just happier getting some steps in  and not having the aggravation of traffic in my life anymore than necessary. I can be a princess about it.

    Good coworkers is so key. I've had great ones and I've had ones that were the entire reason I left. Mediocre work with people I can get along and communicate with is good work, at least 


    • Like 1
  16. On 6/3/2018 at 9:32 PM, Sloth the Enduring said:

    I need to rebuild my strength, but mountain biking beats me up enough. I think I’m going to try suspension training (generic TRX).  Has anyone tried a program they can recommend?

    I think I still have my TRX in my closet, if you want to use it before buying anything of your own, I'd be happy to loan it to you.


    I don't know if I have my notebook from when I taught TRX classes but my formula would go something like:


    Circuit 1

    • squat thing
    • press or front fly
    • row or back fly
    • squat thing
    • tricep extension
    • bicep curl

    Circuit 2

    • hamstring curl
    • plank thing or ab thing
    • glute bridge
    • maybe and plank thing or ab thing

    I adjusted the time based on the classes I was teaching but a minute in each is good (exhausting), 5 - 10 seconds to change movements, minute or two break at the bottom of each set. 

    Squat thing options

    • plain old squat
    • jump squat (not a bad idea or your mountain biking)
    • pistol squat
    • split squat

    plank thing or ab thing options (there are tons, these were my go-tos)

    • planks - you can do feet or arms in straps
    • tick tocks - plank with feet in the straps, swing left to right under control
    • pikes
    • knee tucks
    • mountain climbers
    • "atomic" push ups - feet in straps, push up then knee tuck (I've also see pikes instead of knee tucks

    Also, you don't have to do only TRX. It's totally ok to do kettlebell swings and TRX squats in the same workout. 


    Sorry if that was more than you wanted. A bit of a brain dump since I haven't thought about this in a while. 

    • Like 1
  17. It has been a week.

    • Monday - Pre-interview for a Thursday interview for a new job. This is the first time I've had a headhunter do the up front work. Boy Scouts that evening
    • Tuesday - Big Data Tech Conference that I spent my day at. I was still wrapping up a work sample for my Thursday interview. Worked out
    • Wednesday - Interview with big retailer (not target). The people were awesome but the job was less technical than I wanted. I was told I'd hear about whether I made it to the second round (next week). Met someone new and played Arkham Horror
    • Thursday - Interview at a wealth management firm, the one I did some sample work for. I was told I would hear back about second round interviews next week. Did another workout
    • Friday - Both jobs called and wanted to waive the second round interview. Both extended and offer within a couple hours of each other. Skipped workout to do the paperwork so I could get my paperwork in and change jobs

    The two different offers I had were interesting. The big retailer was offering more money and more PTO however I liked the sound of the job less. I also would have to drive to work which has been a real hang up for me this whole time. That said, if the other offer hadn't come through, I would have taken it. The wealth management firm offered a signing bonus but mostly offset the difference in income for the first year. They are walkably downtown which I love. I loved everyone on my team when I met them. Finally, and most importantly, they are going to pay for me to get certified on Tableau, a data visualization program that will give me a very marketable skill to use in the future, including, possibly, as a freelance consultant. It was tat last thing mixed with the walkability that really put me over the top


    21 hours ago, Rooks said:




    As someone who has trained outdoor, in the sun and snow, I have to admit that there is a certain energy that comes from it. On beautiful days, it just seems that much more beautiful, when it snows a bit or the sun is hot, I felt charged up, like I was extra committed. Rain and super cold suck no matter what so you do need some indoor space as well. I think my garage gym was a the best combo of this because I could open the big doors half of the year and really revel in it, even take my stuff out onto the driveway. There rest of the time, keep things buttoned up. 


    On 6/4/2018 at 4:37 AM, Bearlee said:

    I’ve been meaning to ask about something you mentioned earlier but wanted to wait since you were getting ready for you trip. What is your plan for retiring at 55? I’m toying with the idea of retiring at 60 because that is when my pension kicks in but I can’t dip into my 401k until I’m 62.5 and I won’t get my wife’s portion of the pension until I’m 65 (that is when the wife turns 60 and is eligible for the extra pension 50% of my pension). Plus I worry about insurance and I don’t think I’ll be eligible for Medicare until I’m 65 or 67 and Cobra from what I understand is quite expensive. So just curious on what your plans are. And even what you might do afterwards because I don’t see you as a guy sitting around the house reading a newspaper all day and taking a light stroll around the neighborhood for a couple of decades.

    I started a reply for this a while ago but I set the computer down because ran out of time and just could never pick up the thread. So I'm going to try and answer in discrete chunks and it may get spread out over a couple posts. If I miss anything, don't hesitate to ask again for that thing. I'll mostly go in reverse order


    " So just curious on what your plans are. And even what you might do afterwards because I don’t see you as a guy sitting around the house reading a newspaper all day and taking a light stroll around the neighborhood for a couple of decades."

    You're totally right. There are parts of me that want to say "no, I could relax" but I think that if I'm honest with myself, relaxing for me is having something to do that I want to do. You're probably right to think that I won't totally stop working until very close to the end of my life. When I talk abut retirement, I'm mostly thinking about going to some kind of part-time / flexible work schedule. Working half days or only a couple days a week and just shutting down work periodically to travel or have a week off because I want to, without worrying about PTO counts.

    This most recent job switch included a lot of consideration of this. The role I'm taking will tee me up to do freelance work and get a pretty penny for my efforts. So retirement might mean that I step away from 5 days a week and take on one project at a time. I would charge a little less than others but give longer timelines so I don't feel crunched. It could also mean that I step out of tech work entirely and go work for peanuts at the library or a book store or maybe I teach computer classes for high school kids or become an associate professor at the University. Laura's latest fantasy for my retirement is that we open a bed and breakfast and I handle food and room prep while she does all of the outdoor work. I guess you could say that my definition of retirement is more about a very high degree of flexibility and not at all about not doing anything. 


    "Plus I worry about insurance and I don’t think I’ll be eligible for Medicare until I’m 65 or 67 and Cobra from what I understand is quite expensive. "

    Insurance is stupid expensive. Until I'm ready for Medicare, but also as my needs rise, I do have to pay out for it. I have two approaches in mind, both work and it just depends on what I feel as I get closer. One option is to take some menial part-time job just for the insurance. For example, Starbucks lets a barista use their insurance if they work 20 or more hours a week. It's less than ideally flexible but it's also not awful. The second option is whether I'm a consultant or not, treat myself as a consultant. Do a budget that includes insurance and make sure I think about other expenses that I may not be thinking about before I "retire". The public market that each state has is where I would start but there are also some credit unions and social organizations that allow you to buy into an insurance plan with them as well. Bottom of the barrel (in my estimation) would be to get the lowest cost insurance you can and have several tens of thousands sitting around "in case". This works better, though, at 20 than at 60.


    "What is your plan for retiring at 55? I’m toying with the idea of retiring at 60 because that is when my pension kicks in but I can’t dip into my 401k until I’m 62.5 and I won’t get my wife’s portion of the pension until I’m 65 (that is when the wife turns 60 and is eligible for the extra pension 50% of my pension)."

    This is where I started my last attempt at a reply but it was long and winding so I wanted to start over. First, I should clarify "retire when I'm 55" is a totally misleading statement that I use. As I talked about above, I will probably not retire in the sense of "do no work" but will likely scale back, do contract or seasonal work, or do some modicum of part time work. I see these as much as excuses to interact with the world as anything. Also, 55 is surprisingly misleading, as it will likely be a bit later. 

    "I want to retire when I'm 55" is a phrase I first came up with when I was about 35 or a little younger, we were living in the house at the time. It largely came down to just feeling a little cheated that I sleep 1/3 of my day, I work 1/3 of my day, and I feel like everything I truly love doing gets the left overs, roughly 1/3 but if  you need more sleep or something goes long at work, it's always taken out of the discretionary third of the day. The phrase was more about getting back more of the discretionary part of the day while I'm still young enough to really enjoy it. 

    From this I had to work backwards to figure out what it would take to retire. For my early calculations I'm using the traditional definition of retire (no income) as it's the "worst case scenario". In FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) forums I have seen, people talk about a "4% safe withdrawal rate". The gist is that starting in the 90s and hundreds of times since, people have run simulations in which they invest a chunk of money throughout historical periods (where the US stock market existed) and with taking 4% of their total nest egg each year, their money can outlast them. Looking at this I pointed at the number $2,000,000 as a safe number, $50,000 is 4% of this. This is a bit of confirmation bias because it was a number I already had in my head somewhat arbitrarily. Having the to align, if loosely made me stick with it. 

    Taking my $2,000,000 number I was able to build a spreadsheet that included what I currently had put away and applied a 6% or 8% growth rate, I don't recall exactly anymore. I also built in a column for new contributions. So each year is would take my current nest egg, add x% from growth (over time it averages our to something like a 6-8%, even when you lose in certain years) and add new contributions. I fiddled around with contributions and found that from where I was at, if I increased my contributions by a couple hundred buck a year, I could hit my target right around 57 or 58. So, that has generally been my plan. I did a review in 2017 but haven't looked at it in 2018. I probably won't. Next year I will probably scrutinize my plan a bit more and see where we are. 

    This is all predicated on a placid lake of the future, which just isn't a thing. I know this. What it is though, is a course that points me in the direction I want to go. In the next 15 years it is extremely likely that Laura and/or I will hit a health speed bump, it may cost us a chunk of money or limit our ability to work. This will likely impact my retirement date but I'd rather that than go into inescapable medical debt or not afford the care we need. It's also possible (really likely) that in the next 15 years the markets will under go a "correction". Depending on timing that could impact my retire date too. The ideal scenario for me is that it happens in the next 2-3 years and I push more money into it and retire earlier but if it doesn't happen fo 15 years then I may have to work 5 more years, until it recovers.

    Other major variables in retirement date include what our annual budget looks like as I get closer. a small change in budget easily means a couple more years of work. By contrast, if I make a shift to freelance or find a part time gig just to cover insurance costs, I could theoretically retire earlier because while my budget would hold steady, my withdrawal amount would plummet. So, when I talk about "retiring at 55" I'm talking in very loose terms with every word in that phrase. 


    Oh, oh. Other things in your question that I didn't address, 401k is only available at 62.5, absolutely. I don't have a pension so that's not even a question for me. Several years back we got a finance guy. Through him we have something like 4 retirement accounts apiece. We have 401k (503 b ), IRA, Roth IRA, and a life insurance/investment fund. We can withdrawal from our life insurance plan at any time, IRAs become accessible at 59.5 and 401k at 62.5. So, we have an order of operations that we have to follow to get back at our money but the first year or two we will live off of savings mostly, then insurance until 59.5 then IRAs and finally 401k. Reviewing this makes me think that when I do my review of our contributions and growth next year, I should also site down with our finance guy and talk him through it as well and make sure I'm on point there. So, I'm glad that you brought this up. 


    So, that was a long winded answer that probably didn't help at al but to summarize:

    • Retirement, for me, isn't abut not working, it's about having more flexibility and more discretionary time
    • Insurance is expensive and it's possible I'll work part time for a few years for coverage
    • I backed into a somewhat arbitrary nest egg that I'm working toward and I check it and rebalance every couple of years
    • We have a variety of investment vehicle to try and make this possible
    • Like 3
  18. Very short update because I'm kind of swamped at the moment


    This week has been pretty good. I got all my workouts in and complete. It was indicated as to not quite be an "off" week but also not 100%. The kettlebell portion seemed a little easy but the GPP seemed ratcheted up including front squats 79 kg 5 x5 and lunge 5 x 100 m. I also got to juggle with Kristjian today.


    Work has been work. Laura has encouraged to expand my search for new work to include options I have to drive to. I'm not excited about the drive but the expansion seems to have served me well. I had two phone interviews this week for two different, promising roles. I have an on site set up for next week and will probably have a second.

    Thursday I will interview with a wealth management company for Tableau developer role. This weekend I've been trying to give myself a crash course on Tableau so I can have something to share with them in the interview. It will really come down to how much they want me to know day one and who else they interview. This role would set me up to jump to being a consultant in a few years if I want. This company is downtown so it's walkable.

    Later next week I will interview at a retailer that isn't Target for a Lead BI role. I have a friend in the company who is passing around good words on my behalf. This role is more in line with where I was when I left Target. I would have to drive to this job. This could mean we can't remain a one car family. 

    First, it will boil down to whether I get 0-2 offers. Second will be the vibe I get from the interviewers. If I get two offers and everyone gives me god vibes and assuming they are basically the same compensation I have to make a judgement call. We'll just see.


    Today I'm making pizza from scratch again for the first time in a very long time. I also need to get back to working on Tableau.

    • Like 4
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