Dreamer’s World May 08, 2018 – Thinking About Dinner

Since everything is calming down here after the initial adjustment from the move, it is time to think about getting into the kitchen and preparing dinner for Hal and myself. I have 4 pork chops that have thawed out, and I will marinate them this evening. I will cook them tomorrow, and that will provide us with meals for a few days since these are large and thick pork chops.
After work, I made sure that I had the ingredients for the marinade I prefer to use, as well as the necessary spices. Also, I made sure that we have the side items for the meals. This will be the first real cooking adventure in the new apartment. I have used the Instant Pot a few times, but not the oven in the kitchen. There are always a few quirks that have to be accounted for, but I am confident that things will turn out delicious after I finish cooking the pork chops tomorrow evening.
    I am tempted to get some applesauce from the grocery store, as well as some fresh asparagus. I don’t want to go overboard, but I also want this meal to be special for Hal and myself. We already have potatoes, and green beans and baked beans. I know that I will have to get an onion or two to spice things up.
    I will be glad to cook in the new kitchen at last. As great as the Instant Pot is, it cannot replace something that is prepared the old fashioned way in the oven.
After a short time away from the computer, I realized that tomorrow is the night that we are going to see the new Avengers movie. This shouldn’t affect the overall plan to cook, it will just push things a bit later in the evening. We are going to the early evening session so we won’t be out late. I expect we will be home by 2030 tomorrow evening. Probably too late to eat after cooking, so it will be a decision at that time whether or not to put things off until Thursday.

Dreamer’s World May 08, 2018 – Making A Change

    Since I have written so much about the move to the new apartment, and how much we all love it, I decided that I would go ahead and make another change. I decided that I would update the appearance of my blog.
    I made the decision rather quickly, but I wasn’t rushing things. I chose a light color since the new apartment is full of light and I wanted something more cheerful to match my mood most of the time. Although I can be reflective at times, generally I am always looking for ways to be more positive.
    I hope everyone likes the new theme.

Dreamer���s World March 12, 2018 ��� March Madness to March Sadness, or Losing The Joy

    Times change, and we must change with them, or be left behind. Change is not always for the better, but it is a constant that will not stop. Sometimes the change really makes me think back to younger days with a sense of nostalgia when I realize just how much they have changed.
    March Madness starts tomorrow. The team from my Alma Mater, the University of Kentucky, is in the field and I hope that they will do well. All my life, I have looked forward to this time of the year because it signifies the end of winter and the start of spring. I used to fill out brackets by hand just to test my knowledge of college basketball and also my precognitive abilities. I always had a bracket that made UK the National Champion, and occasionally I was right.
    Over the past few years, the joy has gone out of this annual event for me. Social media has turned people into assholes about everything else, and March Madness is no exception. This is not a complete surprise that I am affected in this way. I have listened to the chatter through the last few years and suffice it to say that there are far too many people with an agenda for arguing that have taken over March Madness.
    Last year, Kentucky lost a thrilling game to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament on a last-second shot. Almost immediately BBN (Big Blue Nation), the Kentucky fanbase on social media erupted in a fury over the game. Things got so bad that some “fans” were sending death threats to the official after the game. Is this something that is pleasant? Is this something that brings me joy? Definitely not. I was embarrassed to be associated with these people, to say the least.
    Apparently, some UK “fans” found this new outlet for their own personal frustrations too easy to resist. When UK lost a football game in December, there were more threats against officials. The pattern had been established. Blame someone else for your shortcomings and failures because it is easier than correcting those shortcomings and failures yourself.
    In September of last year, before the college basketball season had started, the FBI announced that it had been investigating corruption in college basketball. Because many universities are public institutions, taxpayer money was involved and this often crossed state lines, hence the federal involvement. I was never naïve enough to think that things like this never went on. Corruption is a part of life, especially when obscene amounts of money are involved.
    At the same time, these crimes were being uncovered, the NCAA was still refusing to acknowledge the financial contributions made by athletes and refusing to allow them to collect any benefits. This is slavery by any other name. The “free” education argument is bullshit because the only reason some of these young people are even at college is that they excel at sports. If that is the case, why should they not be allowed to earn a living when their labor is being exploited by the NCAA to enrich itself?
    An example of what I am talking about. If a student gets an academic scholarship for Computer Science or Information Technology and decides to use their knowledge by starting up a business or website while in college, the university doesn’t show up and demand that they stop because they cannot be allowed to make money while they are “getting their education.” Instead, a student like this is hailed as a role-model for initiative. A student on an athletic scholarship who wants to make money from his/her athletic prowess is labeled a “cheater” and dismissed from the same university to protect their image of “running a clean program.”
    The intelligent student who develops a business or website might leave college without graduating and still be hailed as an innovator. The student on an athletic scholarship who leaves school without graduating to pursue their passion is labeled as “a dumb jock.” With this hypocrisy in place, I find it harder and harder to support college athletics.
    Therefore, I cling to March Madness with nostalgia. I know that the passion is dying, but this is a sign of my own views evolving to meet the world that we live in. March Sadness is just an acknowledgment of this.

Dreamer’s World January 15, 2018 – A Great Man

Today we honor a man who died struggling for his ideals, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was only a small child when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. I remember my parents talking about him in later years as a man who was taken from us too soon. I think that Dr. King would be an invaluable voice today. We need someone like him to serve as our conscience in these troubled times as the ugly spectre of racism has stepped out boldly into plain sight.
Dr. King demonstrated that a single voice can affect great change for the better, sadly we now have the voice of hatred pulling our country in the opposite direction. Dr. King taught us how to bring out the best in humanity, how to build bridges to connect us rather than walls to divide us. Dr. King cared about the least among us, and worked to elevate them in their own eyes, and in the eyes of society at large. There are so few voices out there today that offer us the same hope for a better future for everyone, and not for just the privileged few.
Dr. King taught us that love will triumph over hate. It really seems hard to grasp when we look at the world today, but I still believe in what he said. We always will struggle against those who choose the easy option of hating others. What matters is that his message becomes the prevalent view in our society n order for us to move forward. We must educate each generation about what Dr King taught to us or his dream will slowly die. Like a flower, his message requires our constant care and attention in order to take root and grow. The threats are all around us, and they become more violent and brazen every single day. We need to care about each other more. We need to value the basic human dignity in all of us. We need to focus less on judging a person by their wealth, and more on their needs.
I don’t believe we can make true progress until we practice those things in our daily lives so often that we never think about them. We all have this choice to make. I choose to look once again to Dr. King, and his message of Hope and Brotherhood on this day, and every other day.

Note taken on January 15, 2018 at 05:36AM

For more information, visit http://ift.tt/2mv1q6W

Dreamer’s World January 15, 2018 – A Great Man

Today we honor a man who died struggling for his ideals, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was only a small child when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. I remember my parents talking about him in later years as a man who was taken from us too soon. I think that Dr. King would be an invaluable voice today. We need someone like him to serve as our conscience in these troubled times as the ugly spectre of racism has stepped out boldly into plain sight.
Dr. King demonstrated that a single voice can affect great change for the better, sadly we now have the voice of hatred pulling our country in the opposite direction. Dr. King taught us how to bring out the best in humanity, how to build bridges to connect us rather than walls to divide us. Dr. King cared about the least among us, and worked to elevate them in their own eyes, and in the eyes of society at large. There are so few voices out there today that offer us the same hope for a better future for everyone, and not for just the privileged few.
Dr. King taught us that love will triumph over hate. It really seems hard to grasp when we look at the world today, but I still believe in what he said. We always will struggle against those who choose the easy option of hating others. What matters is that his message becomes the prevalent view in our society n order for us to move forward. We must educate each generation about what Dr King taught to us or his dream will slowly die. Like a flower, his message requires our constant care and attention in order to take root and grow. The threats are all around us, and they become more violent and brazen every single day. We need to care about each other more. We need to value the basic human dignity in all of us. We need to focus less on judging a person by their wealth, and more on their needs.
I don’t believe we can make true progress until we practice those things in our daily lives so often that we never think about them. We all have this choice to make. I choose to look once again to Dr. King, and his message of Hope and Brotherhood on this day, and every other day.

Note taken on January 15, 2018 at 05:36AM

For more information, visit http://ift.tt/2mv1q6W

Dreamer’s World January 11, 2018 – Making Changes

    As 2018 begins I have begun making some changes that should help to improve my life. I know that I can do things better, and the time to implement the necessary changes is always the present. Like everyone, I am guilty of putting things off because they are too inconvenient, or I was too busy. The excuses are endless and so easy to fall back on when we need them. They are crutches that support our bad decisions or lack of action.
    Sometimes the changes are straightforward. There is one that I have begun changing, and that is the amount of money spent on eating out. As much as I love to cook, I found myself in the kitchen less often. I took a chance and purchased one of the “Instant Pot” electric pressure cookers for xmas, and I can already tell that it is going to save money for us. It makes cooking so easy and quick that I have already prepared multiple meals that took far less time than if I had made them the old way. There is also less cleanup required after using the instant pot. I just wash out the inner pot by hand and let it dry and then wipe down the inner lid.
    I noticed a substantial difference in the bank balance at the end of the last pay period, and I know that is due to making meals here at home. Even the increased cost of buying groceries to account for cooking still saves money for us. I consider the instant pot a very wise investment, and Hal likes the results as well. I am spending more time in the kitchen cooking and less money at restaurants, so this is an excellent choice that I made.
    It is time to re-evaluate other areas to see what changes I can make to improve things. I will have to take some time to determine the best course of action, but it will be worth it in the long run. One thing that will be relatively easy is to stop worrying about upgrading my tech toys. What I have is perfectly functional, and if it finally fails, I can then consider an upgrade. For pieces of technology where I have multiple devices, I need to use them until they fail before even considering a change, no matter how intense the temptation might be.
    Another change is to get out of the ruts I find myself in from time to time around here. I need to get to bed earlier and do more for myself after work. Motivation always gets more natural when the days are longer, so winter is usually a time I struggle with this issue. For right now, getting more sleep is the primary way to feel better.