Working in Comfort

Today I listened to another podcast by Joshua Sheats at Radical Personal Finance. Instead of working to make the most money or even retiring to do nothing, he suggests the concept of working comfortably. Here’s his “formula” to working comfortably:

  1. Doing work that you care about
  2. For reasons that are important to you
  3. With people that you like
  4. In the place that you want to be.

Don’t Worry About a Comfortable Retirement, Focus on Working in Comfort Instead

Podcast List 1

I’ve listened to a number of podcasts by Joshua Sheats of Radical Personal Finance. This post is a reference list for others to check out. Note that I haven’t yet listened to all of the ones on this list. These first two reveal a lot of wisdom.

Moline Visit – Fall 2016

I’m spending the week visiting my mom in Moline. The weather was very nice on Wednesday. So after visiting an Asian grocery store in East Moline, we stopped by Ben Butterworth Park by the Mississippi River. Here’s a picture.

Betty and Tim at Butterworth Park. Click photo for full size.
Betty and Tim at Butterworth Park. Click photo for full size.

One evening, my mom fixed me a “Field Roast” from the Grain Meat Company. It’s made from wheat gluten. The texture isn’t the same as real meat but it was still tasty and enjoyable.

Meatloaf from the Grain Meat Co. Click photo for full size.
Meatloaf from the Grain Meat Co. Click photo for full size.

Jeri’s Birthday at Disneyland

Jeri and I celebrated her birthday by going to Disneyland. We started by having lunch at Vegan Pizza (in Garden Grove close to Disneyland). I had their Philly Cheese steak pizza (fake steak, onions, and bell peppers) and Jeri had their Hawaiian Pizza (fake ham, pineapple, and jalapeños).

Vegan Pizza - Philly Cheese Steak and Hawaiian. Click photo for full size.
Vegan Pizza – Philly Cheese Steak and Hawaiian. Click photo for full size.

Here we are getting some photos in California Adventure.

Tim and Jeri on Buena Vista Street.
Tim and Jeri on Buena Vista Street.
Tim and Jeri with a Mickey Wreath. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri with a Mickey Wreath. Click photo for full size.

Star Wars is the new “big thing” at Disneyland now. We saw “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” which is a 10-minute 4-D show that starts from the beginning and ends with a peak at the new Star Wars movie that is coming out next week, “The Force Awakens.” We then went to the Star Wars Launch Bay which had a short video commentary about the upcoming movie plus lots of visuals.

Tim at Star Wars Launch Bay. Click photo for full size.
Tim at Star Wars Launch Bay. Click photo for full size.

We did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We also got some PhotoPass pictures taken.

On the Train. Click photo for full size.
On the Train Click photo for full size.
Tim Asleep at the Controls.
Tim Asleep at the Controls.

Since we had plenty of time until our Star Tours FastPass, we decided to wait the 65 minutes to new Hyperspace Mountain (formerly Space Mountain). The ride was cleverly converted into a Star Wars theme ride. We then did the Star Tours (3-D motion ride) that featured the new “The Force Awakens” movie. By now, we’re getting hungry so we head to California Adventure. We stopped at Starbucks, ordered a few items, plus ate some of the snacks that we brought.

Tim and Jeri on Hyperspace Mountain. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri on Hyperspace Mountain. Click photo for full size.

We saw the 4-D preview for the latest Pixar movie “The Good Dinosaur.” We thoroughly enjoyed it. When we left the theater, a light drizzle had begun. We walked over to Paradise Pier where we waited about 10 minutes to the start of the World of Color show “Winter Dreams.” Even though we were cool and wet, we enjoyed the amazing sights and sounds.

World of Color in the Rain. Click photo for full size.
World of Color in the Rain. Click photo for full size.

Old Film Cameras

Here are photos of some of my dad’s cameras.

Camera bag with Linhof camera and equipment. Click photo for full size.
Camera bag with Linhof camera and equipment. Click photo for full size.

Main Linhof Items. Click photo for full size.
Main Linhof Items. Click photo for full size.
Linhof Film Holder. Click photo for full size.
Linhof Film Holder. Click photo for full size.
Linhof camera with front open. Click photo for full size.
Linhof camera with front open. Click photo for full size.
Linhof Camera Back. Click photo for full size.
Linhof Camera Back. Click photo for full size.
Exacta and Varex Cameras. Click photo for full size.
Exacta and Varex Cameras. Click photo for full size.
Top view of Exacta and Varex cameras. Click photo for full size.
Top view of Exacta and Varex cameras. Click photo for full size.

Lunch with Lizzie at Mitasie

Yesterday, Lizzie and I had lunch together (at a vegan restaurant, of course). She had Lemon Grass Chicken and I had Tofu with Vegetables. Both were very good. We also had their Soy BBQ Pork Roll (summer rolls) as an appetizer. Afterwards we went to Hobby Lobby so that she could pick up some more supplies.

Lizzie having vegan Lemon Grass Chicken. Click photo for full size.
Lizzie having vegan Lemon Grass Chicken. Click photo for full size.
Tim having Tofu and Vegetables. Click photo for full size.
Tim having Tofu and Vegetables. Click photo for full size.

Disneyland with Joanna before the Summer Block Out

Everyone in our family has an annual pass to Disneyland. Of course, we bought the lowest price passes which means that we are blocked out quite a few days (like all weekends, holidays, spring break, Christmas break, and summer).

Our summer blockout starts this Friday. So Joanna and I decided that we needed to get our money’s worth and have some fun. So we headed straight to Disneyland after work. Others in the family opted to go later in the week early in the morning.

We did Toy Story Midway Mania three times. The wait times weren’t bad…only about 25 to 30 minutes each time. Although we almost didn’t get in line the last time because the posted wait time was 60 minutes; it was half that. Although we didn’t get great scores (ranging from 170K to 200K), we had fun. We were always the highest in our vehicle…Joanna even accomplished that once!

Selfie in Carsland with Joanna. Click photo for full size.
Selfie in Carsland with Joanna. Click photo for full size.

Joanna at California Adventure. Click photo for full size.
Joanna at California Adventure. Click photo for full size.

We did the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Here’s a picture. Also notice the people in the front on the left. What a great job of looking oblivious to the ride! LOL

In the Back Row on The Hollywood Tower Hotel Ride. Click photo for full size.
In the Back Row on The Hollywood Tower Hotel Ride. Click photo for full size.

We did a favorite of mine, Soarin’ Over California, which had been closed for remodeling.

We ended our day back in Disneyland (as opposed to California Adventure). Our Fast Pass for Star Tours was 8:15 PM to 9:15 PM. Because of the new night-time parade, Disneyland was packed! We ended up getting stuck in foot traffic. Although I must admit that I felt kind of special since I was the rebel spy on the Star Tours mission.

Cleaned Dad’s Downstairs Office

My dad really enjoyed working with computers. His first personal computers included the Radio Shack TRS-80 (late 1970’s) and the Epson HX-20 (early 1980s). He later got a “portable” (AKA a “luggable”) Compaq computer. (We still have these computers.)

Over the years, he accumulated a *lot* of computers, related equipment, software and supplies. He had an office downstairs where he enjoyed working. However a few years ago after his health started to decline, he was no longer able to spend time downstairs. So he moved a computer upstairs. Eventually this downstairs office turned into a cluttered mess.

Last Saturday, I flew back to Moline, Illinois with a goal to help my mom clean up the office downstairs. Although it was almost overwhelming at first, I eventually got it done. As they say “Inch by inch the job’s a cinch.” I went through all of the piles, boxes, notebooks, files, etc. I kept items (like pictures and special memorabilia) that had special value.

A lot of stuff was thrown out. We filled two and a half trash containers…thanks to some neighbors plus the garbage was picked up mid-week. We made a trip to the eWaste site in Davenport. We made another trip to the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to donate some building supplies as well as my dad’s wheelchair, walker, etc. And we made three trips to Salvation Army. We completely filled her recycling container with paper and cardboard.

Here is a BEFORE picture that was actually taken after I had started some cleaning.

Downstairs Office Before Cleaning. Click photo to view full size.
Downstairs Office Before Cleaning. Click photo to view full size.

Here are some AFTER pictures.

Downstairs Office After Cleaning. Click photo to view full size.
Downstairs Office After Cleaning. Click photo to view full size.

Downstairs Office with Organized Shelves. Click photo to view full size.
Downstairs Office with Organized Shelves. Click photo to view full size.

Lunch with Joanna at Native Foods

On Tuesday, March 31st, 2015, Joanna and I went out for lunch to a place close to the office. Because I had signed up for the restaurant’s reward card, they gave me a $10 credit for my birthday (that had to be used within 10 days of my birthday). The restaurant’s entire menu is vegan!

Initially we were going to sit inside but the A/C was turned up too high. So we moved; but when we sat down in a window booth, the sun was too hot. So we opted for a shady spot outside. Enjoying lunch outside on a beautiful day (without any bugs) makes the soul feel happy.

Joanna got the Chicken Run Ranch Burger (like a chicken burger). I got the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger (with fake meats along with cheese made from cashews). Plus we ordered the Native Nachos which had corn, black beans, taco “meat”, Chipotle sauce, chips and “cheese.” The nachos were filling. Because we each order a side and a drink (Joanna had the daily special which came with a free drink), we each got a free dessert.

I had the chocolate parfait (sorry, we forgot to take a picture). It featured chocolate pudding (probably made from tofu) plus chunks of chocolate brownie that had chocolate chips and was topped with slivered almonds. Wow! It was good!

Joanna at Native Foods on a beautiful spring day. Click photo to view full size.
Joanna at Native Foods on a beautiful spring day. Click photo to view full size.
Tim enjoying lunch at Native Foods. Click photo to view full size.
Tim enjoying lunch at Native Foods. Click photo to view full size.
An Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger. Click photo to view full size.
An Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger. Click photo to view full size.
Native Nachos. Click photo to view full size.
Native Nachos. Click photo to view full size.

Thomas Carlyle: If I had only known

A few years ago, I heard Chuck Swindoll tell a story about Thomas Carlyle who was a Scottish writer back in the 1800s. He was so busy with life that he missed out spending time with his wife during her latter years while she was dying.

I found the account here. Just in case that web page goes away some day, I’ve copied it below.

Thomas Carlyle lived from 1795 until 1881. He was a Scot essayist and historian. During his lifetime he became one of the world’s greatest writers. But he was a human and humans make mistakes.

On October 17, 1826, Carlyle married his secretary Jane Welsh. She was an intelligent, attractive and somewhat temperamental daughter of a well-to-do doctor. They had their quarrels and misunderstandings, but still loved each other dearly.

After their marriage, Jane continued to serve as his secretary. But, after several years of marriage, Jane became ill. Being a hard worker, Carlyle became so absorbed in his writings that he let Jane continue working for several weeks after she became ill. She had cancer, and though it was one of the slow growing kind, she finally became confined to her bed. Although Carlyle loved her dearly, he very seldom found time to stay with her long. He was busy with his work.

When Jane died they carried her to the cemetery for the service. The day was a miserable day. It was raining hard and the mud was deep. Following the funeral Carlyle went back to his home. He was taking it pretty hard. He went up the stairs to Jane’s room and sat down in the chair next to her bed. He sat there thinking about how little time he had spent with her and wishing so much he had a chance to do it differently. Noticing her diary on a table beside the bed, he picked it up and began to read it. Suddenly he seemed shocked. He saw it. There, on one page, she had written a single line. “Yesterday he spent an hour with me and it was like heaven; I love him so.”

Something dawned on him that he had not noticed before. He had been too busy to notice that he meant so much to her. He thought of all the times he had gone about his work without thinking about and noticing her. Then Carlyle turned the page in the diary. There he noticed she had written some words that broke his heart. “I have listened all day to hear his steps in the hall, but now it is late and I guess he won’t come today.”

Carlyle read a little more in the book. Then he threw it down and ran out of the house. Some of his friends found him at the grave, his face buried in the mud. His eyes were red from weeping. Tears continued to roll down his cheeks. He kept repeating over and over again, “If I had only known, if I had only known.” But it was too late for Carlyle. She was dead.

After Jane’s death, Carlyle made little attempt to write again. The historians say he lived another 15 years, “weary, bored and a partial recluse.” I share the story with in the hope that you will not make the same mistake. While our loved ones must have the money we make to live, it is the love we have that they really want. Give it now before it is too late.
Author Unknown