Last night, I had this intense craving for a dish we made back in January, a caramelized carrot soup with peanut butter and cinnamon garnish. I swung a deal where, I would get it prepared for me today if I agreed to prepare several loaves of whole wheat artisan breads that could be used over the next week for sandwiches and panini. It seemed like a fair trade, so later tonight, I’ll be busting out the pans. It was fun, because while the soup was being made and filling the house with this really unique, and hunger-inducing fragrance, I tried out the newly remastered Ducktales Game on PlayStation.
At this moment, I’m sitting here enjoying the soup and it’s even better than I remembered. You all have to try it. It’s from the Modernist Cuisine and the recipe is available for free here. It tastes like candy and Thanksgiving and vegetables all at once. It’s sweet, creamy, and rich. Follow the instructions precisely and you will not be disappointed. I’ve never had a dish like it. There isn’t anything near the flavor profile to which it can be compared.
Then, I then go back to work on the minimalism project. Remember the spare room I’ve been shoving all of the books into as I came across them? I bought a library software program and am having all of them scanned into the database so I can track what I own, whether I’ve read it, the format (hardcover, paperback, Kindle, iBook, ePub), whether I’ve marked it up with pens and highlighter, the replacement value, and more. When I get it done, those of you asking me, “What books do you read?” will get a simple answer: I’ll just attach a large report of everything so you can pick through it like your own personal shopping list. I’m hoping the last of that will get finished this afternoon, even if the organization itself isn’t done (I’ll use the spreadsheet to intelligently organize them so I can figure out where a book should be on any given shelf without having to go look for it.)
I’m also doing an inventory of my entire personal pen collection, as I might get rid of 90% of them. Over the years, I’ve built up a fairly substantial group of regular and limited edition rollerball and fountain pens from Montblanc, Delta, Visconti, Parker, and Montegrappa, just to name a few. I’m really serious about reducing the amount of excess stuff and the display has just become too ridiculous and excessive. Not only will this get me further on the minimalism checklist, I figured any cash I raise will get thrown into the energy portfolio or maybe I’ll buy some more permanent shares of Nestlé. I did it because I realized that I tend to use the same 5-6 pens in rotation, so it makes no sense keeping so many when some of them are highly sought after by collectors, and parting with them not only frees up space, it will add at least a couple thousand dollars a year in new, fresh cash dividends from the reassigned capital. Then again, maybe I’ll change my mind. I’ve never sold one to date, and it seems odd to start now. I can tell you which pen I used to buy my first house; which one I used to sign the buyout contract for a particular business; which one I used for my first book contract; which one I used to read a particular annual report in a particular year.
I also need to do some heavy pruning on one of the rose bushes, which seems to be a weaker sample from the nursery. I’m not pleased with it. The others are making up for it, though. Yesterday, I took a cutting from the Dick Clark bush, which is thriving, and it is now sitting in on the desk in the study. It’s rewarding to see it and realize that it grew on my land, due to our care, drinking our water, and us having tended after it since it was much smaller.
I’m also looking over a new reporting format for my securities, which I had my primary broker switch to after I saw it once. It includes things like individual cost lot basis along with days held, meaning the statements now look more like books than a few pieces of paper, but I like it that way. It’s really fun to see things like the fact that as of this morning, one of my oldest positions has been in my ownership for 4,100 days. It’s a tiny position in a relatively small industrial gasket and sealing company that I’ve mentioned a couple times in the past. It’s appreciated right around 1,000% since I acquired it as a Freshman in college, living in the dorms. I received it as a spin-off of another business. At this point, what remains on the balance sheet isn’t more than a rounding error as I’ve long since parted with those older holdings, redeploying the money into other positions that are, themselves, now sold, but I can’t bring myself to liquidate the last of the holding as I like seeing it on the portfolio roster when I do my monthly review.
I need to get back to work. If I have the opportunity, I’d like to get some things off the checklist for this blog tonight, as I have quite a few almost-ready-to-publish posts that could go live once I’ve looked them over a final time.