Sunday, October 28, 2018

Irish Coffee

It's a hair of the dog type of day.
Because it's Sunday, and because I'm a little hungover from yesterday's wedding (photos on my Instagram), here are a couple of ways to make an Irish coffee. This cocktail is not just for curing hangovers though. An Irish coffee also an excellent after dinner beverage.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

The 52 Week Savings Challenge

At the beginning of the year, I set out to do something I've never done.

I've never saved money. Ever.

Sure, I've had savings accounts in the past, but being self-employed my entire life has been an endless cycle of feast or famine. Other than working at that casino in Onterrible for a few years schlepping cards, I've never had a steady paycheque. Making regular contributions to a savings account has been (I thought) practically impossible.

Enter the 52 Week Savings Challenge.

The concept is straightforward. There are no complicated rules to remember. Week 1, you save $1.00. Week 2 you save $2.00, and it continues through the year, adding one more dollar to each week’s savings goal. By Week 52, you’ll set aside $52.00, which will bring the year’s total savings to $1,378.00.
The Starting Schedule

For the nerds:
x = week number
Your weekly savings contribution = ($1)x

I set up an automatic transfer to my savings account to happen every Sunday starting Dec 31st. It was painless.

I have to admit it was difficult to get excited about seeing a paltry $46.19 in my account at the end of February, but I soldiered on.

On April Fool's Day, I saw something somewhat unexpected: Interest had kicked in.

4¢ Interest!
I had heard rumours of this sort of thing happening to others, but this was the first time I'd noticed it happening in one of my accounts. Banks have only ever removed money from my accounts, and rarely put any in.

Sure, it was only 4¢, but I'll take it.

500 Bucks
By the end of July, I was saving about 30 bucks each week, and in Week 31, I topped up the contribution to hit the $500.00 milestone.

Five. Hundred. Dollars.

It was mine, and no one had dibs on it. (You must celebrate all wins, big or small.)

At this point, I started feeling enthusiastic about this endeavor. My puny nest egg was starting to have some substance.

Fast forward to today.
One Thousand Dollars!
It is Week 44, a few days before Halloween. After diligently plugging away at this for the past ten months, adding a couple of extra bucks here and there, my savings account just cracked the one thousand dollar mark.

I am proud of it. I am fiercely protective of it. I know it's not much, but this exercise has taught me a thing or two about the power of discipline, momentum and delayed gratification.

Money and I have never had a good relationship, but that is changing.

Friday, October 26, 2018


Today I plugged in a bunch of stuff that has been collecting dust for a few years. It's all been sitting quietly in the corner and stashed in the closet, doing exactly the opposite of what it was designed to do.

My friend's daughter is getting married tomorrow and I'm playing the service.

It'll be a happy occasion, and I'm grateful for this gig.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I Am Responsible

I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. 

~ Robert A. Heinlein

Today was a difficult day.

It was a day of reflection. Looking back at the last 30 or so years of my life and taking stock of the relationships I've had, I've realized that every single one of them was abusive in one way or another.

Why do I welcome narcissists and sociopaths into my life with open arms? What's in it for me? It astounds me that I've let myself get run over and taken advantage of for so long. It's a major hole in my game and I need to fix it, but how do I recognize their behavior in real time? How do I maintain my objectivity while still being actively engaged? At what point do the deal-breakers start kicking in?

I know that I am the common denominator in every single one of those  relationships, and I accept responsibility for that. I am repeating the mantra, "I am responsible." It's a tough pill to swallow, and it obviates the victim mentality.

I have always been hopeful. In each of those circumstances I believed I was doing the right thing at the time. In retrospect I still believe it, but I need to protect myself from ever letting anything like that happen again.

I owe it to the people I love. I owe it to myself.