Savings and Standing Taller

Athol:  I have a slight hunch that “A.F. Bannerman” is a fictional person created in the marketing department of J.P. Morgan, but the quote attributed to him is rather good….

A.F.Bannerman:  “Your savings, believe it or not, affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice – in short, your physical well-being and self-confidence. A man without savings is always running. He must. He must take the first job offered, or nearly so. He sits nervously on life’s chairs because any small emergency throws him into the hands of others.

Without savings, a man must be too grateful. Gratitude is a fine thing in its place. But a constant state of gratitude is a horrible place in which to live. A man with savings can walk tall. He may appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessity.

A man with savings can afford to resign from his job if his principles so dictate — and for this reason he will never need to do so. A man who can afford to quit is much more useful to his company and therefore more readily promoted. He can afford to give his company the benefit of his most candid judgments.

A man with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous in family or neighborhood emergencies. He can take the level stare of any man … friend, stranger or enemy. That ability shapes his personality and character.

The ability to save has nothing to do with the size of income. Many high-income people spend it all. They are on a treadmill, darting through life like minnows.

J.P. Morgan, once advised a young broker: “Take waste out of your spending; you’ll drive the haste out of your life.”

If you do not need money for college, a home or retirement, then save for self-confidence. The state of your savings does have a lot to do with how tall you walk.”

 

Jennifer’s Amazing Thighs

So we’re on our walk, we walk a lot together, it’s just something peaceful and light exercise. Funny how enjoyable it is these days really.

Anyway…

Jennifer is a quiet, peaceful, polite, easy-going girl. Jennifer doesn’t yell across crowded rooms at people, she’s the type to walk across the room and talk to someone. So when I’m on a quiet peaceful walk, with quiet peaceful Jennifer, the last thing I expect is for her to suddenly blurt something out at 117.3 decibels.

“IT’S THIGHS!”

I don’t often reach for the “Bitch WTF you talking about?” card. But…

“Ahhhhh…. I need a little more to go on.”

“At the Taste of the Caribbean, it’s thighs!”

Okay I tried saying it nicely….

“Bitch WTF you talking about?”

“The Jamaican chicken. They use thighs! That’s why it’s always so good. Kinda crunchy skin and a little fatty and yummy. It’s thighs! They use thighs!”

Lightbulb!

O.M.G. it is thighs. That’s brilliant.

I must tell everyone.

Here’s the story. About two months back we started BJ shopping… oh… I mean we started shopping at BJ’s Wholesale. Anyway, you can get 24 chicken thighs in six pouches of four and it’s been a nice go-to meal option. I get two pieces, Jennifer gets one, eldest gets one and youngest is a fucking vegetarian because animals have faces or something fluffy bunnies like that.

Jennifer:  -_-

Anyway, I’ve always had a mental image of barbequing chicken as being a bit tricky because of the odd shapes and getting it to cook through right. So never really bothered to try. But chicken thighs… and nothing but chicken thighs… holy crap barbequing them is crazy easy and ridiculously good. Moderate but evenly sized, the skin seals the juice in pretty well. Low heat and just keep them turning as needed. If they start to get too close to each other, just pull the thighs apart and put them where you want.

I had been using a very small amount of olive oil and seasoning, but…. olive oil and open flames seems to EXTREME FIRE.

So like I was saying, just coat the thighs in a good seasoning, be brave on this step and don’t hold back. Give it a good shake of the flavor. This is barbeque not cucumber sandwiches we’re making. My favorites lately are this Asian sweet ginger, garlic and sesame seed mix. There’s a red curry blend that rocks as well.

So there we go. Cheapest part of the chicken is the best to throw on the grill. Great just as thighs or slice them off the bone for a salad or something. And full credit to Jennifer for stumbling onto this one. Usually I’m the creative foodie and she beat me to this one so naming rights are hers. I’m just proud to say that Jennifer’s Thighs are amazing, I could dive in and eat all day.

Cooking Game: Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs . Easy breakfast, quick to cook, uses leftovers, lots of protein, tasty. Let’s get started.

Here’s the formula….

Eggs + splash of milk + sprinkle of salt = The Glue Holding Everything Together

Meat + Vegetable + Cheese = The Flavor

The Glue + The Flavor = Scrambled Eggs

Here’s what makes it so quick, tasty and easy….

…use leftover meat and vegetables.

Seriously that’s it. Last night you grilled some beef and peppers and you have a leftovers of a strip of seasoned beef and peppers… that’s already full of flavor and already cooked, so all you have to do is chop it up and reheat it. It’s really just that simple. ANY meat, ANY vegetable. It’s all works just fine.

So chop your meat up and your vegetables and toss them in a pan on medium heat. Add a little butter to stop it sticking, but you’re really just warming it all up rather than anything else.

Once that’s in the pan warming, get a bowl and start cracking the eggs. I use 3 eggs per adult and 2 per kid as a rough guide. I add “a splash” of milk which I guess comes to about a 1/4 cup of milk for 7-8 eggs. Sprinkle some salt on the eggs, take a fork and mix them for about 10-15 seconds tops. Seriously, just mix them and stop, you don’t have to try and frappe the damn things. Quickly mix and pour it over the top of the meat and vegetables in the pan.

Medium heat, maybe a squeeze more.

You’re going to occasionally stir the eggs and reshuffle them in the pan. The goal here is to try and keep them moist and fluffy… working toward the goal where the entire pan of eggs comes up to temperature at the same time, rather than cooking half of them on the bottom of the pan and having runny eggs on top. It’s kinda hard to pull off exactly, but good enough is good enough.

Right before you think the eggs are done. I mean right before. That’s when you add the cheese and not before. What you want is scrambled eggs + melted cheese nestled within the scrambled eggs. If you add the cheese early though, the eggs and the cheese fused together in something that tastes… er… reasonable, but the texture is horrible.

Adding the cheese right at the end works though, don’t even worry if it’s not melted in the pan, as you pull it all off the heat and start serving it up, the heat from the eggs will melt the cheese… and the cool cheese help will stop the eggs from overcooking further. Am I amazing or what?

Got all that?

MASTERCLASS

Here’s the combination that will peel panties off.

Bacon + Fresh Baby Spinach + Feta Cheese

Bacon = The worlds most perfect food. Need I say more? Bacon always works and if it doesn’t, dump her and find a woman it will work on.

Fresh Baby Spinach = This is an uncooked vegetable, so we have to handle this one a little differently. Just add them with the eggs and cook them together. The leaves will stay “big” until they are completely cooked, when they shrink and wrinkle up. The good news is that eggs and baby spinach will complete cooking at pretty much exactly the same time.

Feta Cheese = This is the perfect scrambled egg cheese. It’s strongly flavored, comes already kibbled into small pieces and tends to stay intact in the scrambled eggs. So you get a small chunk of identifiable tasty cheese. It’s the MILF of cheeses.

HOLY CRAP AWESOME CLASS

When you get good at routine scrambled eggs… it scales up in size pretty well. Meaning it’s possible to switch out to a large casserole dish / big pot, and do two or three dozen eggs at a time for a big group of people. Just use more meat and more vegetables of course. It’s the slow warming up to temperature that’s the trick and having the entire dish suddenly cook through at once.

You can do this. Start small. Go bigger. Anyone can cook.

Stay At Home Dad Tricks… the Shoe Organizer

Shoe OrganizerWhen my girls were little we had some of these for their clothes hanging in their bedroom.

It’s a shoe organizer for an adult… but with little kids… it’s big enough for a full change of clothes.

Put a complete outfit for a kid in each shoe holder. Then when they need to get dressed, they just choose a shoe cubby and take it all. The shoe holders pretty much go all the way to the floor, so even a toddler can reach at least half of them.

It’s empowering for the kid to be able to “choose”. Time saving for the parent to not to try and fish out an outfit from the mess. Just rotate the clothes down as gaps appear and put freshly laundered clothes at the top.

For us it also doubled as a cheap “toy holder” for the 23 million Pokémon my daughters acquired. It was important to collect them all.

That’s it.

Alert: Image links to Target.com but in all seriousness, we really did use these for the girls when they were little.

Now they use them for shoes.

Perhaps you would say, a plethora of shoes.

Explaining The “In Her Or On Her” Rule

Forum issue…. spent a long time triaging this case and everything went back to the husband having a porn/Internet addiction. As in we figured out the exact month everything started falling apart being when they first had cable Internet installed. Literally a bright motivated guy one month and starting to flunk out of college the next. Then over a decade of unemployment and underemployment after that. Her carrying about 80% of the income load while he stayed home and jerked off to porn. Long story short, I gave her a full and complete triage experience, she unleashed “Option A or B” on him, he went for Option A.

Which brings us to this post. One of my suggestions that was part of Option A was to adopt the “In her or on her” rule. Meaning where his semen ends up. i.e. no jerking off to porn, if he’s having an orgasm, it’s with her in some way shape or form. Don’t care where he comes, just as long as it’s with her.

Then comes the hamstring questions. What if she’s not available, or doesn’t want to? Or other reason to get around the rule. Squeaky squeak squeakum.

My response…

(1) He’s the addict, so anything he says isn’t reasonable or valid related to the addiction.

(2) He’s allowing himself to have his brain be rewired to experience her as the outlet for his sexuality.

(3) Given long enough (months) doing (2) will make his brain eroticize her to him. Just like he’s conditioned himself to particular porn to be a turn-on, now he’s conditioning himself to be turned-on by her. Yes that’s “artificial”, but it will feel completely real when it’s done.

(4) Like any form of hunger, the longer it goes between feedings, the greater his desire to be fed. So if she is unavailable (work) or unwilling (I expect somewhat rarely), all that does is make him more interested in her and more attracted to her. If he routinely masturbates without her, then he basically messes up the entire program. The orgasming without her is the entire problem.

(5) What he’ll come to learn is that 99% of eroticism lies in the feeling of being turned-on. After he orgasms, it’s over. It seems very counter intuitive I know, but he’ll actually find a more satisfying sexual experience on the other side of this process. It’s really not robbing him of anything.

(6) Without the endless dopamine chasing of the porn/Internet addiction, he’ll find greater personal focus in his life as a whole. He’ll think better. Perform better. This is a real addiction he’s been facing and it’s terribly draining on him.

(7) Monogamy isn’t exactly easy. It’s not for me. I’m a higher desire person than Jennifer, but it’s the experience of being turned-on that’s the most enjoyable thing. By a conscious focus limiting myself to her, it actually is sexually frustrating in a positive sense. Much of Oneitis is simply a biological response to sexual frustration coupled with an emotional focus on a single woman. As long as she is a basically good wife, it’s pretty freaking enjoyable.

Or in other words, the “in you or on you” rule may seem like a gimmick, and to an extent it is. But it’s also going to work to make him find her more sexually attractive and help him fall in love with her again.

And even if the process to make that happen is artificial, the feelings he’ll experience as a result of it will be real.

The caveat to all this being that she’s actually into him. She’s been a total Nice Girl slaving away supporting him and being sexually cut off by him. She wants to lay him like tile.

Jennifer:  This can also be a lot of fun for her. We don’t often skip nights but the positive change in Athol’s attention toward me is noticeable the longer it goes since the last time we had sex. It’s nice to be the focus of that level of desire. Now if a girl was mildly evil…