Why Midlife Crisis?

I am not sure if women experience midlife crisis but I know several men who have experienced or are still in middle of midlife crisis. I have a theory that every 20 years, men need a big change.

Usually, there is a big change in 20s, people are moving out of their parents’ homes, going to college or starting their careers.

And when people turn 60, they are getting ready to retire. Downsize their homes.

But at 40, there is no change. Usually, same career, if not same job. Kids and mortgage payments keep one from taking risks.

Perhaps that’s why we see so many men experience midlife crisis. Lucky ones just buy a sports car; unlucky one may divorce, lose their family or even worse.

I have started to think of 40 as being second life. I didn’t get to choose my first life. I didn’t had a lot of freedom or resources. Some choices were made for me and I made a lot of mistakes.

But now I can take my current hand, and play it wiser.


Don't buy the house

We just recently bought a beautiful single family home. Before this, we lived in a townhouse. And before townhouse, I have lived in apartments. Buying a townhouse was a big step but buying single family home is a whole new beast.

First, buying a house is probably a sound financial decision. There are plenty of articles and research that shows people who own homes are financially better off.

But very few people talk about negatives of homeownership. And I think because lack of that information, a lot of people make incorrect decisions and end up regretting their home purchase. I did. I had huge buyer’s remorse the day we moved into our new home. I am still getting over it.

Here are some of the reason to not buy a house.

Feeling Trapped

Some people love their “Forever Home.” Perhaps that works if you buy your dream home in your favorite city. The home we bought while great is not our dream home, especially mine. So when I hear forever home or 30 years of payments, I feel really trapped. I don’t even have words to describe the feeling.

Yes you can sell the it, perhaps even make profit. But transaction costs are high and if you bought the home right now, it seems prices are going down. So selling may end up costing you more than usual.

Filling up the space

People like to fill up empty spaces even when they try to not. We lived in our townhouse for 9 years. We accumulated so much stuff. We realized that only during the move. Things that we will never use and have almost zero sentimental value.

When I lived in smaller space, I could not own so many things. So I regularly donated or sold stuff. That not only was financially better choice but also good for environment.

Now we have even bigger space and I can only imagine how much more stuff will end up keeping for no reason whatsoever.

Yard work with no real benefits

People talk about how they want their kids to go play in backyard. But here is the truth, among my friends, only time they use their backyard is when they have a party. Maybe occasionally on weekends they will hit up their backyard with their family. But 6 days out of 7, backyard is just a chore.

Our townhouse had no backyard, but I took my son to parks after school quite often, more than, I say, my friends’ kids went to their backyards. Going to parks is also more social.

There are people who truly enjoy yard work, I see it in my new neighborhood. But most of them are old and retired. Yard work is great if you are bored and have plenty of free time. If you got kids and a job, then you don’t have time for yard work.

So you end up hiring someone else to maintain the yard that you will not really use.

Pool for friends

What about a pool? Unless you are an avid swimmer, pool is another expense and a chore. Its only value is entertaining your friends.

I love water and spent countless days in our old community pool, made new friends there, exercised or just relaxed in there. Pool was so close to our townhouse that I used to say that it was our private pool.

Now we have our own real private pool. It was my idea to get a house with a pool. It was a huge mistake.

This private pool is not big enough for swimming. It is boring to chill in there by myself.

Only thing is that this pool would be great for parties. Very expensive parties.

Less Socialization

My wife wanted a bigger house because she wanted to entertain bigger parties. Be more social. We just moved in here, so maybe we will have more parties.

But when I lived in smaller spaces, I was forced to go out. We met our friends outside, discovered new places, enjoyed “outdoors” life a lot more. Many times it felt like we were on vacation.

In this bigger space, our mortgage payment has increased significantly. We cannot afford to go out to restaurants regularly now.

Not only that but also there are more chores to do, so on Sunday instead of meeting up with friends, we are doing chores. So we are not even going to free places as much.

What about the kids

One of the argument for single family home is that it is good for kids. They have more space to run around. But there are millions of kids who grow up in apartments or smaller spaces and they seems to be just fine.

Maybe it is better for kids to go to parks and variety of different places regularly instead of staying in the confines of their property boundaries.

Maybe parents are so busy doing additional chores in a bigger space that they have no time to take their kids to anywhere. So they appreciate bigger space for their kids because it allows them to do all the additional chores.

But it is a good financially, right?

That’s what common wisdom and data says. But still wondering if it really is with additional expenses. What if you just invested all that extra expenses & interest portion of your payments in your 401K.

Just to give you an idea for how much extra monthly expenses are:

Expense Townhouse Single Family Home
HOA $278 $55
Insurance $100 $350
Water $60 $350
Power $50(Winter) - $150 (Summer) $300 (during summer)
Mowing service $0 $120
Yard landscaping $0 ?? (Still looking, mowing service doesn’t trim bushes or trees)
Pest Control $0 (didn’t need it) $20
Pool service $0 $200
Gas $20 (Summer)- $65 (Winter) $65 (Summer, probably pool heater?)
—————– —————————- ——–
Total $580 $1405

That extra $900 a month invested at 6% return rate would have yielded over $500,000 in profits over 30 years.

It gets more complex with interest payments, inflation, and home appreciation.

Please note this is not a financial advice. Just an alternate viewpoint.


Oven Baked Beef Ribs

Found this receipe online, modified it a little and it is our favorite food right now.

Ingriedient

3 lbs meaty beef ribs, (grass-fed) 2-4 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika 2 teaspoons oregano

Instructions

  1. Rinse ribs and dry COMPLETELY with paper towels.
  2. Lightly coat ribs in olive oil.
  3. Mix together seasoning and sprinkle generously over ribs, front and back.
  4. Place the ribs in a large ziplock bag or covered bowl and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
  6. Place the ribs on a foil lined baking tray in a single layer.
  7. Add another piece of foil on top to create a pouch for the ribs to cook in. Be sure to seal the edges of the foil so that it’s tight and steam won’t seep out.
  8. Bake on the middle rack of 3 1/2 -4 hours.
  9. When the ribs are done to your liking, drain off the excess fat.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!!

via https://divascancook.com/easy-oven-baked-beef-ribs-recipe-bbq/


10 Years Goals

There is a saying that we overestimate how much we can do in days but underestimate how much we can achieve in years.

Nothing makes a father as proud and happy as his children. My biggest guiding principle for my long term goals is to provide Ayden and Zayn an environment where they can grow to be happy and successful. Also it is important to realize that I cannot make anyone happy or successful. Only thing I can do is create an environment for them to grow in.

My next guiding principle is to seek simplicity. I love playing with all new gadgets and technologies but all their complexities leave me overwhelmed and anxious sometimes. I dream about using pen and paper to earn my living. Going some place remote and just writing, listening to limited offline music, and reading.

I have always wanted to start writing seriously and make this my career. But I have read how so many writers barely make any money. So I never pursue it seriously. On other hand, I need to teach my kids to take risks and pursue their dreams.

So my goal is to write and learn to write. I want to earn majority of my living as a writer by the time I am 50.


Digital Minimalism

Recently, I read a blog post, “My awakening moment about how smartphones fragment our attention span”, well, actually, skimmed through it.

It made me realize that I have same problem, it has been a long time since I read a book. Even when listening to audiobooks, I am doing something else and rarely truly enjoy them.

Also I start so many projects and then abandon them once I have to fill in details and do grunt work. It is a lot of excitement to setup a new project but to finish something is tedious and boring.

I haven’t read the books mentioned in the above blog post yet. I might but I really liked the idea of digital minimalism. Once I was a minimalist. Other than some furniture, everything else I owned would had fit in a backpack & a small suitcase for clothes.

So going forward, I am going to minimize my digital and social media usage. I already barely carry phone on me when inside the home. And when I do it is mostly because I want to be ready to take photos and videos of my kids. I will try to use GoPro as my default camera.

Also other main use of phone for me is audiobooks. But usually I am playing with my kids while listening to audiobooks and barely understand anything. Might as well 100% focus on kids and read books when I am truly free.

As for my side projects, I


It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario

It’s What I Do” by Lynsey Addario is probably in my top 10 favorite books. As someone who always wanted to be a serious photographer who would use images to make the world better place, I felt a real connection while reading this book. While reading it, I imagined myself being in the situations that Lynsey was in and I really don’t know if I would have been able to handle those situations.


Nightmares of 4 years old

  1. We are in our house on second floor. There is a giant lobster outside.
  2. There is Amazon delivery truck. There is a package. There is a car. The delivery truck is crushing the car and possibly package.

Be the people that Evan's be

Last year, Ayden got into Minecraft thanks to Evan Storm’s channel.

So we bought Minecraft on PS4 and started to play. I preferred to play in 1st person perspective but Ayden preferred 3rd person. But he didn’t know how to ask me change the perspective. So he would say, “Be the people that Evan’s be.”


Can you bring toys back home?

Tonight, I was reading Puss in the Boots bedtime story to Ayden. Story begins with Old Miller dying.

Ayden asked me if people die in real life. I am not ready for this conversation but I also didn’t want to lie. I said yes and hoped we can move on quickly.

Ayden’s eyes turned teary. In crying voice, he asked, “Why?”

“It just the way it is.” I said.

I watched him as he processed this new information about life. He has seen dead worms, read stories with death in it, but never connected that with people.

Eyes still watery, voice slightly shaky, he asked again, “why do people die?”

I really didn’t know how to respond. I winged it, badly.

He asked, “Do they fix you back to normal?”

One last try to be stoic and I explained that death is normal part of life. There was nothing to be fixed.

“What if you want to play?” he asked with a lot of concern in his voice.

Religion to rescue. I tell him about heaven and how there are all the toys there. He is feeling better, he even smiles when I tell him about all the monster trucks in the heaven. We spent a lot of time discussing heaven and how much fun it is. How we live and play there forever.

“Can you bring toys back home?” he asked.


Avicii - Wake Me Up

Lyrics

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn't know I was lost
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn't know I was lost
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
Hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don't have any plans
Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life's a game made for everyone
And love is a prize
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
Didn't know I was lost
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself, and I
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins / Michael Aaron Einziger / Tim Bergling


Junoon - Main Kaun Hoon

Lyrics

Jab aasman girnay lagtay hain
Aur zameen jalnay lagtee hai
Aik chhupa huwa khwaab janam leta hai
Sehraon main awaaz aati hai

Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Gham geen hoon
Aur tum mazloom ho

Jab bhook nachtee gaatee hai
Aur nafratein jashan manatein hain
Aik chhupa huwa khwaab janam leta hai
Sehraon main awaaz aati hai

Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Majboor hoon
Aur tum bay naam ho

Aik chhupa huwa khwaab janam leta hai
Sehraon main awaaz aati hai

Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Gham geen hoon
Aur tum mazloom ho

Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Gham geen hoon
Aur tum bay naam ho
Tum kaun ho
Mein kaun hoon
Tum kaun ho
Majboor hoon
Aur tum bay naam ho

Poet: Sabir Zafar


Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin - Don't You Worry Child

Lyrics

There was a time
I used to look into my father's eyes
In a happy home
I was a king, I had a golden throne
Those days are gone
Now they're memories on the wall
I hear the songs from the places where I was born
Up on a hill across the blue lake
That's where I had my first heartbreak
I still remember how it all changed
My father said
Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
There was a time
I met a girl of a different kind
We ruled the world
I thought I'd never lose her out of sight
We were so young
I think of her now and then
I still hear the songs reminding me of a friend
Up on a hill across the blue lake
That's where I had my first heartbreak
I still remember how it all changed
My father said
Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
See heaven's got a plan for you
See heaven's got a plan for you
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry, child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now
Yeah
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Yeah

Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Steve Angello / Sebastian Ingrosso / Axel Hedfors / Martin Lindstrom / Michel Zitron / John Martin


Ask HN: What book changed your life?

Saw this post on Hacker’s News. A lot of interesting books to read.

Book Links
The Stormlight Archive (series) by Brandon Sanderson https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30739083
Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=thatjoeoverthr
Dune
Man’s Search For Meaning
How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life - the Dalai Lama
Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
Debt: The First 5000 Years
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Luther Vandross - Dance With My Father

Lyrics

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
How I'd love, love, love to dance with my father again, ooh
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah, yeah
Then finally make me do just what my momma said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance, one final step
One final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
'Cause I'd love, love, love to dance with my father again
Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
And I'd hear how my mother cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me
I know I'm praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved?
I know you don't do it usually
But dear Lord she's dying to dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep and this is all I ever dream

Wheels and Engine Sound

Last year, we took Ayden to monster truck show. We didn’t know how loud these trucks can be. So we bought ear protection headphones for him. He was still feeling a little scared.

Later he came up with idea that sound of engine comes from the tires. He would keep telling me that monster trucks tires are loud or they made it louder after he put on his headphone.


How to backup Kubernetes’ Config

The easiest solution seems to be following script by Stackoverflow user, Timothy Perez:

#!/bin/bash

# NAMESPACED EXPORTS
for ns in $(kubectl get ns --no-headers | cut -d " " -f1); do
  kubectl --namespace="${ns}" get -o=json bindings,cm,ep,ev,limits,pvc,po,podtemplates,rc,quota,secrets,sa,svc,controllerrevisions,ds,deploy,rs,sts,localsubjectaccessreviews,hpa,cj,jobs,leases,ev,ds,deploy,ing,netpol,rs,pods,netpol,pdb,roles,rolebindings | \
    jq '.items[] |
    select(.type!="kubernetes.io/service-account-token") |
    del(
        .spec.clusterIP,
        .metadata.uid,
        .metadata.selfLink,
        .metadata.resourceVersion,
        .metadata.creationTimestamp,
        .metadata.generation,
        .status,
        .spec.template.spec.securityContext,
        .spec.template.spec.dnsPolicy,
        .spec.template.spec.terminationGracePeriodSeconds,
        .spec.template.spec.restartPolicy
    )' >> "./${ns}.json"
done

# NON-NAMESPACED EXPORTS
kubectl get -o=json cs,ns,no,pv,mutatingwebhookconfigurations,validatingwebhookconfigurations,crds,apiservices,tokenreviews,selfsubjectaccessreviews,selfsubjectrulesreviews,subjectaccessreviews,csr,psp,nodes,psp,clusterrolebindings,clusterroles,pc,sc,volumeattachments | \
    jq '.items[] |
    select(.type!="kubernetes.io/service-account-token") |
    del(
        .spec.clusterIP,
        .metadata.uid,
        .metadata.selfLink,
        .metadata.resourceVersion,
        .metadata.creationTimestamp,
        .metadata.generation,
        .status,
        .spec.template.spec.securityContext,
        .spec.template.spec.dnsPolicy,
        .spec.template.spec.terminationGracePeriodSeconds,
        .spec.template.spec.restartPolicy
    )' >> "./cluster_non-namespaced_export.json"

Script copied here under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.


Crispy-Skinned Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • 8 (4 oz each) skin-on chicken drumsticks (about 2 lb. total weight)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the drumsticks in a single layer on the parchment.
  • Make the seasoning paste: In a medium bowl, use a fork or a spatula to mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices.
  • Using a pastry brush or your hands, coat the chicken pieces with the seasoning paste.
  • Bake the drumsticks uncovered until their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, about 40 minutes.
  • Baste the drumsticks with the pan juices using a clean pastry brush. Serve immediately.

Via https://healthyrecipesblogs.com/wprm_print/22974