Things I’ve learned since buying a home

The last time I’ve had to move was 6 years ago. Now Heather and I will be moving to our new home in less than two weeks, In that time, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about moving and partnerships.

  • Packing up your belongings is a big pain, and it takes more and many more boxes than you first think. It just does, and you just have to do it.
  • Hiring movers saves a tremendous amount of frustration on moving day. You will still have to orchestrate where everything goes, unpack and rebuilt furniture, but it’s a tremendous savings.
  • Your pet dogs will treat the stacks of boxes as an obstacle course, to be jumped over, bounced off and run around, especially when she is excited to go for a car ride.
  • Moving is a great way to cut down your personal library. Personally, I donated 3 large boxes of textbooks and novels, saving about 100 lbs of additional moving weight.
  • Heather and I are stressed, and the stress ramps up the closer the deadline is. I have found the best way to help Heather out is to let her to label the boxes and handle packing of certain rooms so that she feels the most in control when the moving day comes. I have found that I opted to go to the gym more often when facing the task of packing my office belongings.
  • Did I mention to hire movers?
  • There’s a *huge* amount of paperwork to organize around a home purchase (e.g., from banks, mortgage broker, lawyers, realtor) and then all of the other subscriptions and utilities to need to have delivery changed. Fortunately, I made a huge Google doc with these things and have changed as much as I could in July, doing a few a day.
  • Ikea furniture *does not* move well.

At the end of the day, packing up and cleaning the house with Heather is a good way to bond. We’re toiling over a tedious task, but we get to relive some old memories, discuss future plans, watch our acrobatic dog chase us around and that’s a really good thing for which I’m grateful.

Why I joined the only successful pyramid scheme

A pyramid scheme is one in which the single pillar of its business model is to have each customer (or member) go out and subscribe more members. They then go and recruit more members, and the organization grows at an unsustainable rate until it either collapses or cannot grow any more. This is a central principle of the organization’s business model.

I am referring to Continue reading

Modified Wolfgang Puck Pizza Dough

This is a quick, modified version of my favourite pizza dough recipe from Wolfgang Puck. If the dough is allowed to proof (double in volume) once, even twice, you will get a very nice flavour from the dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup all-purpose fluor, preferably unbleached
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp. pizza yeast (or active dry yeast if you can’t find pizza yeast)
  • 1 tsp, finely ground Kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 cup luke-warm water, divided (1 cup; 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add 1/4 cup luke-warm water to a small bowl, add corn starch. Stir to dissolve corn starch, then add yeast. Stir with fork to thoroughly mix yeast. Let sit while completing the next step.
  2. Combine in a mixer: flour, salt, rosemary; stirring until well mixed.
  3. While mixing flour on low speed, slowly add yeast mixture. Continue mixing until dough is complete.
  4. Slowly add oil, then slowly add remaining 1 cup of water until dough ball comes cleanly off the edges of the bowl, sticks to the dough hook and forms a ball. If the dough is too wet, simply add all-purpose flour, 1/2 tbsp at a time; if too dry, slowly add 1 tsp. of water. Dough should  be smooth and firm, and not sticky to the touch.
  5. Once dough reaches desired consistency, turn out onto floured work surface, and knead for another minute.
  6. Place ball into lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp paper towel or cloth, and  set in a warm place to rise.
  7. Once dough has doubled in volume, punch down, and allow to rise once more, or begin spreading the dough out. If the dough is too cold, it will take a long time to rise and will have a spingy consistency, making it difficult to roll out.