Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Been taking a break from blog entries as the family has been on a 10 day vacation in Hawaii.   Fun times indeed and a much needed break from the regular daily pattern of everything.

Kuhio beach at Waikiki

Part of being financially responsible is not getting into debt for vacation.  I had spent a year saving around $20 per day to not only buy the ticket, but also have cash for all 10 days there.  With room to spare.  The leftover will go back into the next vacation.   With all the points I earned on my Marriott Bonvoy Visa, a 4 day stay at Disneyland will be free other than the flight.  Hmm..!

Does this jive with the FIRE lifestyle?  Not really.  But when you count in fun and great memories, and the sheer joy my kid is having, it is more than worth it.  Life is more than being a cheapskate and saving up to retire early.  It's about enjoying life and not going broke doing sp.

I am a bit concerned about my tomato plants.  This was one of the best years in many and everything was just ripening.   They are being watered by grandma, but as I spied on it with my Ring camera, they are not getting the proper soaking they need in the hot weather.  Oh well.  Things wilt..

Friday, August 9, 2019


We found some tasty looking sausages at the store. We sampled an Isernio's Parsley and Pecorino Chicken Sausage. Good enough to forget dinner plans, get 6 of them to roast with some peppers. And they're chicken so they only have 110 calories a sausage to boot.

Normally, I would slap 'em on the grill, blast them a for a bit and eat them with a bun. But I didn't want to stand out in the sun and I have no buns or patience and keep an eye on something that easily splits and dries up. But we have a few bell peppers. Perfect! I'll roast them up like I had in an Italian restaurant.

6 Italian Sausages
3 bell peppers cut into 1 inch strips
1 sweet onion thinly sliced
garlic clove or two
olive oil
salt and pepper
splash of white wine

Preheat your oven to 350.

Sprinkle peppers onion and garlic in a bowl with oregano, olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

Place peppers, onion, garlic in roasting pan and layer on top the sausages.  This helps the sausages to brown.  

Stick it in the oven.

 Roast for about an hour turning occasionally. If it's dry in the last 10 minutes, splash with a small bit of white wine.  That  adds that little bit of amazing sauce you can sop up with some crusty bread.

Arrange on a platter and serve.

This can be as satisfying as Thanksgiving dinner.  Really...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


There is nothing like the lead singer of Mudhoney covering Bob Dylan.

"The Freewheelin' Mark Arm" single (SUB POP 87)  was a one off solo effort by one of the fathers of grunge (I hate that term).  Recorded by Jack Endino at Reciprocal Recordings.  This has never been released on CD or digital to my knowledge.

This camo out in November 1990, almost exactly one year before the release of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" destroyed the Seattle Sound (grunge?!?) for the fans in Seattle by becoming a worldwide smash hit.

The cover is a take off of Bob Dylan's "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" album.  The gas mask adds a nice touch..

Got this years ago at some Seattle record store for about $7.  It came in orange, red, green, purple, and black vinyl.

Side A is "Masters of War", a Bob Dylan cover.  It actually has a Velvet Underground kind of sound to it.  Great cover.

Side B is a an original.  To say the least..  "My Life With Rickets". Kind of a Bo Diddly meets the Seattle sound.   The lyrics of the first verse:

One morning in Amsterdam 
I punched a girl and ran
She turned into a man
And beat the shit out of me

Perfect.  Very Mark Arm.

Here's a you tube clip.   My Life With Rickets starts at 3:55.  Don't miss it..



Sunday, August 4, 2019


Updated the  WATCH LIST  today

Added quite a few new companies.

When it comes time to buy, I'll see what is the best value at the time.

Friday, August 2, 2019


Spent the early evening doing some cleaning of my "office".  Buried in my desk was my old badge from

I wonder if my email was recycled at the company.   So I wrote an email to

Here's what I wrote:

I don’t know if anyone at amazon will get this, but I worked there from 1998 to 2004. I would not be surprised if my email name has been recycled since then, 
Here’s my badge. (attached photo)
If anyone gets this, please write. 
John Edwards, the original jedwards….

It did not return as undeliverable!   Hopefully someone will write back!


I am normally a rock fan, especially garage rock from the 60's and the post punk world of the late 70's and early 80's.   But here's a jem of a jazz LP I picked up at a thrift store.

Duke Ellington's "Ellington Uptown" LP on Columbia .  The copy I have is a 1953 pressing of a 1951 album.  It includes and extended version of "Take The A Train" and the 13 minute masterpiece "A Tone Parallel To Harlem" (The Harlem Suite).   Just a couple years earlier, long versions of songs were straight up impossible with a 12"  78rpm record holding a max of a bit over 5 minutes per side.  Long songs are not the same when you have to go and flip over the record for part 2...

Here's The Harlem Suite..

What makes this a particularly cool find is that it was in Near Mint condition sitting in a Goodwill store.  Most records at thrift stores are usually thrashed.  Hell, most records at thrift stores are awful AND worn out.  Who wants a worn out Mac Davis album..

For a dollar, this is well worth it.  A copy this clean goes for about $25 or so


Recently, I made a rather major purchase when my wife's phone decided to dislike its battery.   My wife's iPhone 6  needed to stay plugged in after 90 minutes of use, and she needed to get a new phone for the upcoming vacation s owe can go in the water with it.  First World problems....

So off to the Apple store.  We left with 2 new iPhone X's.   Payed full price since I hate having a contract with payments.

So to make up for the cost, I have decided to match what I spent on the phones with a purchase of AAPL at the end of the year.

I had done this in the past when purchasing other Apple items (laptop, AppleTV).  I would buy the equivalent amount in AAPL.   I get a dividend back, and it's grown in value, so I am pretty much break even.  Took some AAPL profits this year and diversified.

Now I have decided I will do the same for some other companies.   At the end of the year, I will match my purchases of a few companies in share purchases.   I want to track my "reimbursement" as the stock gains and pays dividends.

Here's my running count for 2019 :

APPLE - $2032
AT&T - $1322
TARGET - $790
COSTCO - $698
STARBUCKS - $48 Skipping this. Maybe a 2 year plan...
McD's - $25 Well, I can skip this.... for oh, 10 years or so...

I will update this at the end of the year.  See ya then..

Any comments about this plan?

Thursday, August 1, 2019


As a kid growing up in the 70's, I would love to spend my time splaying my parents records.  Nothing like watching them spin around and make a sound.

One of the cooler ones was Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps' "Be-Bop-A-Lula" from 1956.  One of the best example of early rockabilly.   I don't quite remember doing this, but my mom mentioned I wore it out and also tried to rip the label off the B side.

A few months ago, I stumbled across a Mint copy of this song on a British 78.  Usually they are quite worn out pieces, especially the 78 shellac version, and they still go for $25 or more.  This mint one was on sale (at a famous on line action site...) for $10.  I could not pass it up.  Was it a counterfeit?

Once receiving it, I combed over the details with a fine tooth comb.  The run out matrix was perfect.  The label was perfect.  It was in PERFECT condition.  It was real.   Who in their right mint would fake a shellac 78 anyway?  The effort in doing so would be more costly than getting a vintage copy.

And I love the paper cover it comes in!

I really dig the B-Side "Woman Love"  Here's a clip


I'm being paid for simply being alive!  

Here are my July 2019 dividend earnings.  I collected $1,524.75

There is nothing like getting a dividend payout almost every day.    

The January/April/July/October dividend payments are the largest of the financial quarters.  The upcoming August will be my low month of the quarter,in the $900 range, but I'm always looking to add some shares to it to balance the return.  






























 It's all good.


In July,  I only had 4 dividend increases, but made a huge difference when it comes to the bottom line.  It all adds up in the long run.

Caterpillar (CAT)  raised their dividend almost 20% to $1.03.   My annual dividend went form $68.80 to $82.40, a $13.60 increase

Bank of America (BAC) raised their dividend 20% to $.18.  My annual dividend went from $70.20 to $84.24, a $14.04 increase

Discover Financial Services (DFS) raised their dividend 10% to $.44, increasing my annual dividend by $8.80.

National Retail Properties (NNN) raised their dividend 4% to $.52.  My annual dividend increased by $1.17.

Overall, these increases added $37.61 to my annual dividends. 

Can't complain.