One of the many reasons I moved here is the cost of living is very low. That is put to the test by actually living here. Could we do it living on our investments?
After the first month I can safely say YES. I’ve been keeping track of all of our expenses (except rent) on google sheets. I logged every receipt and every time I spent cash and would do a tally every so often to get an average.
||Number Of Days
||Average Per Day
This list doesn’t include the following:
- €1,100/month for our AirBnB in Quarteira
- Around $250 we spent on our cellphone apps to keep our number and to be able to call and text people in the US
- Streaming services (we currently have HBO Max which is €45 a year, Netflix which is €15 a month, and NFL GamePass which is €60 a year)
- Side note: We can get what they call SkyShowtime (which we did for a few days then realized it didn’t have ALL Showtime on it). This service is very new so they’re still working out the bugs. We might subscribe to something else which gets us Showtime/Paramount next year.
We did pay around €1,100/month for an AirBnB for two months which was not factored in. We also didn’t factor in the roughly $250 we spent on our cellphone apps; which are a once a year expense. A lot of this is also miscellaneous expenses such as:
- A new jacket (I lost both my jackets somewhere along the way to our AirBnB the first day)
- A new pair of shoes (I think we’re going to need a lot of shoes since we do a lot of walking)
- We went to eat out maybe 6 or 7 times (plus a few random cafés, pastelarias, and bars)
- The first two days we had a rental car which was €250 to rent and €50 in gas
- Two sim cards which have 15 gigs for €15 a piece
- I drink A LOT of juice!
We could have been a lot more frugal (like not going out to eat or cafés or drinking so much cerveja) but I don’t want to do that. We could have also spent a lot more.
The US dollar to date is also a little bit weaker than the Euro so that total isn’t in US dollars.
I’m going to continue to do this for a few months until I feel comfortable and to get a good idea of how much it costs to live here for two people and two dogs.
Now that I’m all settled in Portugal, there are a few things that I should note that I miss about the United States.
I love living here. The beautiful weather, the friendly people, the bug-free environment (I’ve seen a few bugs but they are very rare), the affordability, the slower pace of it all, the safety… there are a lot of things that are just awesome.
Being said, I do miss the following:
- Friends & Family – Of course I miss my friends and my family. I’m hoping some of them come to visit.
- Variety – You can find almost anything here. However, it’s not in the variety that it is in the United States. For instance in the US you would have entire isles at the supermarket dedicated to one or two items but you had your choice of brand, shape, quantity, etc. Not so much in Portugal. Supermarkets do not have this. You are lucky if you get your choice between one or two things of the same thing.
- Vegetarianism – In the US Beyond Meat and Impossible are almost everywhere. They’re not here at all. You’re hard pressed to find a veggie burger of any kind. It is very possible to be vegan or vegetarian here though, of course. Lots of fruits and veggies.
- Vegetarian Chinese – One of my favorite restaurants was Yuan Fo in Rockville that had the best vegetarian Chinese food.
- Land O’ Lakes Butter – Heidi and I call it our “special butter.” We have Planta here (which is a lot like Promise) so it’s pretty good but not the same.
- Ease Of Cellphone Use – Getting my number ported over (I might blog about it later to try to help others) is a pain in the butt! Cellphones never used to always “work” in the US (we had Google Fi for a while which was a piece of shit; so was T-Mobile when I was in college) but here, porting over my US number is an issue. Cellphone service overall is great though! Data, calls, texts everywhere! No deadzones yet.
- One-Stop Shopping – There are no “big stores” like Target or Wal-mart here. You can absolutely find what you need (baring a few items) but you might have to go to a few places to find specific things.
- Specific Items – We haven’t been able to find the following: maple syrup and yellow squash.
- Things We’re Going To Get Back – When we move out of our AirBnB, our next place should have an ice maker and a dryer. We have to hang our clothes out to dry. Which is great for the environment but they don’t dry very well with us being on the first floor. There isn’t a breeze. We also miss our stuff.
Brian, his brother, a few friends, and I all do the Wordle. A few of us actually do the Quortle (a four word game; 9 guesses) and Duotrigordle (a 32 word game; 39 guesses). In all these games, it is helpful to start out with eliminating and finding as many letters as possible. In Wordle, since we play on hard mode, you cannot do this easily as any letter you get right needs to be placed in the next word you guess. With the other two, that isn’t a good strategy nor is it enforced as there is no hard mode.
Anyway, I decided to make a post about three starting words that use a total of 15 letters to help eliminate letters and guess words for the two for-mentioned games. Here’s my list which I alternate:
- PLAID / FROST / CHUNK
- GHOST / MAPLE / WRICK
- WRITE / PLOYS / MUNCH
- WITCH / PRANK / FUELS
- RANCH / YIELD / SPOUT
- TRIED / PLANS / JOCKY
- PLANT / ROUGH / DIMES
- FRONT / GUILD / SPEAK
- SLAVE / DOING / PURTY
- WAXEN / STRUM / BLOCK
- ROCKS / YIELD / FAUGH
- TRIPS / HOMED / CAULK
- ROUGH / FLAME / DINKY
- SHAKE / ROUND / BLIMP
- HANDY / FLIPS / TOWER
- DRIVE / STUNK / CHAMP
- TRACE / PLOYS / HUMID
- FLAKY / DROPS / CHIME
- WAXEN / ROUGH / FLICK
- OWNER / STICK / MADLY
- FORGE / PINTS / MULCH
- THINK / WORSE / PALMY
- SPLIT / DOUGH / BEANY
- WHALE / TRICK / BUMPS
- DOUBT / SKIMP / CLEAR
- PLANT / HOMER / FUDGY
- WORDS / PLATE / GUNKY
- READY / WIGHT / FLOPS
- YIELD / PORKS / WATCH
- RUSTY / LODGE / CHINA
- THING / PROUD / FLAME
- BERTH / WOULD / FANCY
- STUCK / DRIVE / FOAMY
- CHIMP / SLAVE / WRONG
- DRANK / PIVOT / FUSEL
- RIGHT / PLANE / COMBS
- FREAK / HOLDS / PUBLIC
- COUGH / FRIED / STAMP
- DOUBT / SLICK / REAMY
- QUILT / WRONG / MEADS
These are just a few that I’ve come up with and I come up with some a few times a week. Let me know if there are three words you always start out with on these games. I would like to expand this list.
I’ve decided to blog about this! I’m not sure who reads my blog anymore but here it is.
Bri and I have decided to move to Portugal. The plan has been in the works now for a while. Here I will document what steps we’ve done and where we’re at in the process.
We visited Portugal in December 2021 and decided it would be a place we would like to live. For various reasons, Portugal has been our number one retirement destination. It is cheap to live, has great healthcare, great culture, speaks mostly English (thought we will be learning Portuguese).
Time: 10 days in Portugal.
Choosing A Lawyer
We interviewed a few different lawyers and figured out (roughly) what we need to do. We met with four different immigration lawyers (all in Lisbon) and received quotes.
Time: 4 months (finding and interviewing lawyers). This process might be faster for others.
Signing Up With An Immigration Lawyer
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022 we paid and sent over our information to the immigration lawyer we chose. We sent them over pictures of our drivers licenses and passports as well as some other information they asked for. We paid around $3,000 initially. The remaining is around $1,000.
Time: 1 day.
Cost: around $4,000
Getting NIF Numbers
The migration attorney is in charge of getting us Tax ID (NIF) numbers. We need these numbers to open a bank account (which the attorney will also do). It took them around two weeks to get us these numbers. We received them on Monday, March 7, 2022. The attorney now needs our United States Social Security cards which we will send over today.
Time: 2 weeks.
Getting A Bank Account
We obviously needed to open up a Portuguese bank account there. In order to do this, we need various forms and other information. We had to send them almost everything… copies of our passports, social security cards, proof of income, our last few paychecks, our tax returns for various previous years… it is a lot.
On top of which, they needed INKED documents so we had to print out various documents (bank account information with Millennium) and send it to them… like actually send to Portugal.
We sent these documents (the first time) on Monday, April 4th, 2022. We eagerly awaited their arrival. We sent them through USPS. No tracking info. It cost around $20 to send.
By April 18, 2022, our lawyers were wondering where they were. We decided to print out these documents AGAIN and resign and send them. We did this on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 and sent them out this time through UPS.
This process is finally finished but we still need to fund the account all the way.
Time: 2 months
Putting Money Into The Account
Once we finally got access to the account, we had to put money in it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t cheap. Bri created a Wise account to transfer money from his account to the new Portuguese account. He also couldn’t initially log into the account so he had to call the bank.
We completed this in a week though we need more time to transfer funds as the Wise app takes some money and doesn’t allow large transfers.
We are also playing the market a bit and only transferring money when the Euro is at a better position so we get more Euros for our buck.
Time: 1 month
Finding A Place
Well, we have to find a place to live, right? In order to be accepted, we need a place to stay. We initially started looking on our own but we decided to go with a realtor. We hope to not have to fly over there to look at places. Right now it’s a very busy time. It also costs money and time to go over there to look.
Reading online, it can take a while to find a place. This is why we are hiring a realtor to do the finding for us. We are looking in the Algarve (which is really hot right now because of summer).
Our realtor sent us a listing and we wanted to pick a place from their list but none of the places were available. I don’t know why they would send us stuff that they didn’t first check was available.
We ended up going a different approach through our lawyers. Our lawyers were able to find us a room to rent with a lease. We will be using that address and lease as our housing requirement. As far as a real place to live, we will be staying in an AirBnB somewhere in the Algarve until we buy a place.
Cost: $133 (for realtor to find places)
Time: 3 months
Us living in the DC area, we kind of have an advantage. It was really easy to make an appointment somewhere close to get the FBI background investigation and fingerprinting scheduled. We did that on Wednesday, May 11th.
Time: less than a week
Getting Our Pets Over
More time and research needs to go into this (and I have a checklist for them). So far I’ve bought two dog crates and am getting them used to them. Unfortunately, they will need to go in the cargo hold.
Getting the pets over is a very tricky process. Portugal is a rabies-free country so they both need to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccine. However, they also need to be microchipped which needs to take place BEFORE their rabies vaccine.
We needed to do the following:
- Crate train the pets – This was a difficult process with Lando. Wiki was aces. Lando would whine all the time in his crate and would become destructive. He destroyed a plastic bowl that was left in his crate. He also destroyed a blanket we had overtop of the crate.
- Find a USDA approved vet & make an appointment – This process was more difficult than it sounds as there are not a lot of places that still do it. They need to go to this vet within 10 days of travel.
- The vet did a lot of paperwork and research for us. Lando was an issue as his microchipping occurred AFTER his rabies vaccine. We needed to get him another rabies vaccine which had to happen 21 days prior to his vet appointment.
- We told the vet about Lando’s anxiety and she gave us eight pills. We tried one and that made him calm down. Before the plane, we gave him a pill which hopefully worked.
- Get the USDA certificate certified – The vet looked up what we needed to do. Once we got the certificate we had to overnight it to a place in Albany, NY that certifies certificates and have a return overnight envelope to send it back to us.
- Properly label the crates – The crates that I bought came with “LIVE ANIMALS” stickers so we put those on the crates. We also put stickers with our phone numbers as well as Bri’s dad’s number. We also put a bag of food duct taped to the top of the cages just in case.
- Pet trackers – For piece of mind, we bought Samsung smart tags for both our pets. We tested them out first and they worked! It just needs to have a Samsung phone around to find the pets.
- Call the airline – We flew out with TAP so we needed to call them AFTER we booked our tickets to tell them we had two dogs. They asked about breeds and sizes and sizes of their crates.
- We needed to arrive there two hours before our flight. We went to the luggage counter with them and our luggage.
- We rolled them in then later took off the wheels on the crate. The airport took them on a cart which we followed.
- The airport/TSA scanned their crates. We had to zip tie the doors closed. TSA/the airport said they could no longer touch the animals once we had them zip tied.
- We tracked them and after an hour of no activity on their tags, they finally appeared underneath us! We were the last ones on the plane on purpose so we could see them get loaded. They took them out in this van and loaded each one up on the belt. A lady then walked both of them into the cargo of the plane and I assume strapped them down.
- At the airport in Lisbon, we asked where to pick up our pets. The airport person said to wait by a door (funny story to ask me later). The door eventually opened and we retrieved our dogs, safe and sound. They couldn’t wait to get out of their cages and had to go to the bathroom really bad.
Cost: $263 (for two dog crates) + $618 (USDA vet) + $83 (for certified overnight certificate) + $1,600+ (for the dogs to be in luggage)
Getting A Place To Rent
We contacted a realtor a month and a half before our VFS appointment. She sent us some things but nothing met our requirements or it turned out to be unavailable. She got another realtor involved which had a few places. However, even after making a decision, the properties were unavailable.
Days turned into weeks. The final week we needed a place, we were freaking out. I was reaching other realtors in Portugal to see if they could help. We finally told our lawyers we didn’t think we were going to make the deadline. She offered us an alternative and we took it. We have a lease for a place in Porto.
This was by far the hardest and most stressful part so far.
Time: 2 months
Getting Travelers Insurance
It only took a phone call. But we did some research before we decided on a company. We chose Mutuaide and made the call to have our insurance start on October 1, 2022. No deductible. Best part it was only 1,200 euros for two people for a year! If health insurance was that cheap in this country, we would stay.
Cost: $1250 (1,200 euros)
Time: 1 day
Getting Ready For VFS Appointment
This took a long time. We needed to print out many documents. Our list (per person) was:
- Application for National Visa
- Two passport sized photos – we only needed one but they said to bring two
- Colored copy of passports – we needed them notarized; which we didn’t know; but luckily, the person was able to copy ours and notarize them herself
- Personal statement
- Proof of financial means – we brought bank statements, a letter from our property manager, and account statements from accounts we have which generate income
- NIF documents – we got these first thing from the lawyers; this was one of the easiest things as they did the work
- FBI criminal records – see above
- Release/request for Portugal criminal record check
- Proof of travelers insurance – see above
- Proof of accommodation – see above
- Copy of marriage certificate – they did not ask for this but we provided it anyway
- Representation letter – our lawyers provided this for it; they didn’t ask for it but we provided it to them anyway
- Two money orders – one each person; made out to Embassy of Portugal; both for $95.19
Now all that’s left to do is wait.
Time: months (see above steps)
Cost: $95.19 + $95.19 + $150.38
Selling Our Home
Of course we need to sell our current house before we make the move. It might seem a little pointless to put this in here but I feel it’s important. We had to find some realtors and vet them.
We finally decided to go with a local one recommended from a friend. This same friend also will do the photography and video of our home. We listed our house in August.
After a week and a half of being on the market, we finally got a bid! After a lot of negotiating and the home inspector finding a lot of shit, we settled on a price. We closed at the end of September, 2022.
Time: 6 weeks
After our VFS appointment (mentioned above), the long wait happens… We went through DC which is usually faster than other places but that wasn’t the case for us.
We kept checking on our application online but no update. Just kept saying it had been forwarded to the embassy.
Finally on August 2nd (right as we were leaving for GenCon) we got an email requesting our 2021 tax returns. We quickly gathered the information, went over to Brian’s parents, and scanned it to a PDF. Within an hour of their email request, we had sent it back to them.
We waited another long time to get any feedback back. We emailed them and called several times in September as it was going on 90 days since our VFS appointment.
FINALLY on Monday, September 19, 2022, we got an email saying we were approved! The email came in the morning right before my standups. Finally a weight had been lifted and the long wait was over!
Brian mailed our passports a few hours after we got the good news. They stamped with our Visa and we will have the ability to get into Portugal on our six month D7 Visa.
Time: 95 days + 4 days (we sent our passports on September 19 and got them back September 22)
Getting To Portugal
Bri made flights at the beginning of October for the end of October.
We hung out with a lot of people in this month. We went on a kid of “going away tour” and saw a lot of family and friends before we left. It was quite sweet. I loved seeing all my good friends one last time. We saw:
- Uncle George in North Carolina
- Heidi in Virginia
- Bryan S – We hung out with Bryan S who lived close to Bri’s parents a few times since he was so close
- Megan & Matt in New Orleans
- Our local people: Helen, Andrei, Jason & Brittany, Aaron & Sabrina, Shawn & Jen, Eric & Delaura, Joe & Kate
Like I stated earlier, we booked tickets for October 30th. We flew out really late and arrived in Lisbon on October 31st. We rented a car and got down to the Algarve (lots of steps before, see the pets). We checked into our AirBnB on November 1st.
As I’ve blogged about before and before, Dexter endings seem to suck. And last nights was no better.
It’s pretty absolute. I mean, Dexter’s dead. Last night’s episode seemed so rushed. I would have liked to see more… I mean it just seems like Dexter’s life ended when Logan refused to comply. And Logan was cautious with Dexter to begin with… why didn’t he do typical police protocols like he did before?
The ending was too rushed. I mean, we didn’t even have time to process it. One event after another. Stupid decisions by Dexter.
I really did enjoy the Dexter New Blood season. It was awesome. I loved seeing him not be a serial killer. I loved him not going back to his old temptations.
And he was actually smart up to a point. He wasn’t like the old improv-Dexter where every decision was hap hazard and not thought out. He actually made decent decisions throughout the season. Just the final like two episodes that went to shit.
I really didn’t understand why Dexter did the flashback to all the people whom would still be alive if it wasn’t for him. I have issues with a few of them.
- It wasn’t Dexter’s fault about Deb. I mean maybe inadvertently. But it was that dude showing up like at the wrong time. I don’t see how Deb’s death is Dexter’s fault.
- Lundy wasn’t Dexter’s fault either. That was Trinity’s daughter trying to protect her father. How can Dexter be blamed for that? If it wasn’t for BHB, Lundy probably would have came back to Miami trying to hunt Trinity when he retired. Without BHB, he wouldn’t have met Miami Metro or Deb or Dexter or anyone; most likely.
- Doakes wasn’t 100% Dexter’s fault either. (Inadvertently again. I guess one could argue since he was alone in a cabin but Dexter was feeding him.) But his death is on Lila. She killed Doakes. Dexter even killed her for it in Paris.
- Maria; yes. 100% on Dexter there. He could have handled that a lot better but that was still Dexter’s hap-hazard improv days.
Oh and another thing… I loved to see Batista again. I loved all his scenes especially the ending one. But I’m in pain since the Dexter/Batista reunion will never happen. He’ll show up to Iron Lake and it’s a fucking dumpster fire with the FBI on Kurt Caldwell, Dexter being dead… what a disaster and not what most fans had hoped for. Sigh, another loose end.
When I heard John Lithgow was going to be in it I was ecstatic. But… just one fucking scene. Probably could have been done with CGI or voice over or not at all. Why bother bringing Trinity back for one tiny scene with one tiny line? I would have liked to see Trinity as a ghost or whatever… like Deb was.
Harrison is gone with the wind. How much money did Angela give him anyway? I mean a cop having a substantial amount of cash on her is extremely unlikely. I didn’t even understand how she got there anyway.
What I Would Have Liked To See
Definitely that Dexter/Batista reunion. Judging from Batista’s emails, Vince and Joey still work with him. I would have liked to see them. I would have liked it to play out like Angela said. Dexter holds trial for Matt’s murder and is extradited to Florida to stand trial for BHB. At least then we could possibly get a second season of trials and other stuff.
I love when series references older stuff in the past. Lost did this a lot. It just tied shit together. Gave things more complexity. Dexter did this a bit throughout with references. But having him be suspected of being the BHB would have been great. Re-examine the evidence, walk through all of Dexter’s kills again. That would have been awesome.
It was kind of unbelievable that Angela (a small town cop) could crack BHB when Special Agent Lundy couldn’t. That didn’t seem probable.
Also I would like to see her finally put all those missing persons to rest. I mean, she has a lot of work to do with that.
Who is Batista’s wife? Gosh, I really hope it was that vice detective, Barbara Gianna, he dated in season three. She was awesome.
I would have liked to have seen better. Now that Dexter is dead, the ending that I had pictured isn’t going to come true ever… I guess it’s back to the books again.
Update: I actually like how this Dexter: New Blood ending article explains it.
As some of you may know, Bri and I are looking at Portugal to possibly retire. We wanted to visit the country to find possible towns that we like that could be possible retirement spots. We planned this trip for a few months. We rented a car for the whole trip and stayed at two different places in Portugal (though it ended up being three hotels).
Portugal is a great country full of friendly people, culture, and fun things to do. Cervejas (beer) is sold everywhere and at all hours of the day it is not uncommon to drink. Cervejas are in coffee shops, souvenir shops,Â lingerie shops (just kidding about that one).
Most people speak English but we did run into some who did not but we were able to easily get by. We learned some Portuguese before going of course such as “olbrigata” (which is thank you for women).
It was an awesome week. We did a lot. Visited a lot of places. It seemed like a very long trip even though it was only a week and a few days.
Here’s what we did:
Friday, November 26, 2021
- Got up around 7:30 am
- Went to CVS for covid test
- Ate leftovers
- Lounged around all day
- Bri’s parents picked us up
- Drove to Dulles
- Got there really early
- Ate and drank at bar
- Talked to lady for a while at gate
- Boarded plane
- Started to watch Titanic
- Couldn’t sleep on plane
Saturday, November 27, 2021
- Got to Lisbon
- Very long line at customs but they didn’t ask us anything or checked anything; just stamped passport
- Got luggage
- Tried to find rental car place with no luck
- Finally figured out they didn’t have a stand there; had to wait to get picked up
- Got rental car
- Tried to get to hotel but phones were not working
- Had panic attack because our phones weren’t working
- Bri found wifi and downloaded Lisbon map
- Got to hotel but we were too early for check-in
- Walked around & Got Portuguese dish and beer to eat
- Back to hotel & checked in
- Took a shower and nap
- Walked around Lisbon
- Got a cafe (very small coffee)
- Walked and found beer place outside & Got a glass of wine and 0% alcohol beer (oops)
- Walked around; checked out outdoor markets
- Ate at place outside; bri Got sausage on fire
- Walked around Lisbon & found beer museum
- Had many beers
- Went back to hotel and slept
- Woke up 11PM our time (4AM Lisbon time)
Sunday, November 28, 2021
- Time change fucking with us; got up around 2 am Lisbon time; had sex; played on phones; back to sleep
- Got up around 8:30 Lisbon time
- Headed to breafast; had breakfast
- Took a nap & got up around 11:30 Lisbon time
- Hit the road; got gas
- Ã‰vora; walked around and finally found food inside the castle walls
- Suviner shopping
- Went to grocery store on the way to MourÄo to see if we can eat here cheaply; about a wash
- Went to Castelo de MourÄo; waited for sun to set
- Tried to go to telescope place but it was closed; waited for sun to set
- Saw stars; thousands of then
- 2.5 hours back to Lisbon
- Got dinner at sushi place
Monday, November 29, 2021
- Went to Fonte de Telha
- Had lunch at cool Beach restaurant
- Walked around town
- Tried to go to Corva but it was just a neighborhood
- Back to hotel
- Walked around & Got dinner at hybrid restaurant
- Drinks at hotel’s rooftop bar
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
- Chilled in hotel room (no nap)
- Walked around and hit up a cafe; expresso
- Went to an old church, sÃ© de Lisboa
- Walked to Tagus; had expresso and cerveja by the water
- Went by pink Street
- Walked to PraÃ§a de SÃ£o Paulo; cerveja
- Walked around hitting various cafÃ©s; Benard
- Went to Miradouro de SÃ£o Pedro de AlcÃ¢ntara
- Walked back to hotel
- Walked to Lizzo’s and got pizza
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
- Got going to Quarteira and checked into hotel
- Went to Fonte de Telha but restaurants were closed
- Went to beach restaurant in Lagos
- Walked around Lagos and went to grocery store
- Back to hotel & drank & watched Netflix
Thursday, December 2, 2021
- Back hurt in the morning and too much light in room
- Bad hotel & bad hotel food
- Decided to check out and find a hotel in Faro
- Traveled to Faro
- Checked into hotel
- Walked around and got food at Italian place
- Had to get Euros from ATM
- Walked around and went to marina bar & drank most afternoon
- Went back to hotel & relaxed
- Went to Portuguese restaurant
Friday, December 3, 2021
- Breakfast (better than the others)
- Started early and went to Tavira
- Cafe and walked around; visited shops
- Went to Cavanas (clear winner)
- Drinks on the boardwalk
- Went to Santa Luzia & had lunch
- Went to OlhÃ£o; drinks by the water
- Went back to Faro
- Dinner at nice Mexican restaurant; learned some portuguÃªs
- Talked to Stacy on messanger video chat
- Drank in room
Saturday, December 4, 2021
- Woke up to wrong number
- Went to pharmacy to schedule covid test
- Headed off to Sagres
- Walked around Praia da Mareta beach
- Lunch at beach bar
- Went to Lagos; walked around & Got drinks at a tap bar
- Went to PortimÃ£o; walked around & ate dinner at a pizza place
- Back to hotel
Sunday, December 5, 2021
- Walked to tap pub
- Drank cerveja and had conversations with people from Ireland and England
- Too drunk so Went to hotel to sleep
- Went to covid test
- Bri Got dinner
- I got dinner later
- Talked to Stacy and watched the Ravens game
- Couldn’t sleep
Monday, December 6, 2021
- Got up around 7 AM
- Checked out of Faro hotel
- Traveled to Lisbon
- Got to airport way early; I fucked up the time and thought we flew out at 2 PM instead of 5 PM
- Cervejas and coffee
- Got food
- Walked to immigration
- Waited some more
- Segregated our gate & made us fill out form to return to US
- Loooong plane ride
- The plane could not land so we had to circle around again since the wind was bad
- Briâ€™s parents picked us up and dropped us off home with the dogs
As I’m sitting here in BWI having a few to drink… what a perfect time to blog!
Recently (just in the past six months) my friend from work has been to (and officiated some) NINE weddings. NINE. I guess they all got delayed from years past?
Anyway it got me thinking… one, my coworker must be really popular and two, I don’t think I’ve gone to nine weddings in my entire life.
Counting them, yeah. Thought I would blog with a count.
- Young – I went to a wedding when I was like 5. My parents were still together. All I remember was staying in a hotel and dancing a lot.
- My own – I believe I was there at my own wedding to Bri. No one else was. Justice of the peace, baby.
- Tricia & Travis – Good friends from college got married. I was a bridesmaid! Very good wedding. Also was the same day as Shawn and Jen but we didn’t know them yet.
- Joe & Kate – My in-laws. Fun wedding up in New York. We had to stay at a different hotel from the rest since we had Candi. A few good stories from it.
- Seth & Meredith – Friend from college. Good time. He had karaoke and Taylor Swift songs.
- Leslie & Jason – Friend from college. Nice wedding up near Baltimore. Good food. I photocopied.
- Pablo – Uncle George’s friend had a nice little wedding at his home. I think Bri and I kind of crashed it but it was fun. Very low budget. Coors Light in Coolers.
- Mel & Jim – Right before covid. Friends I knew from Bernie’s campaign. Fun Jewish wedding.
We went to a few wedding receptions (Megan and Matt, Bri’s childhood friend), but we weren’t at the actual “I do” part.
Looking ahead, next year I will go to at least one, Bri’s cousin. I’m not sure who else is on the horizon…
I’m currently learning Portuguese and Spanish. Both these languages (and all languages for that matter) have quarks. I wish it was easier to learn another language.
I keep thinking if I were to create a language, I would get rid of the quarks. Here are some things I would consider:
I finished Shameless a little more than a month ago. This was my first time watching it. It was a good show and I’ll definitely be watching it again (all 11 seasons).
I found similarities between Frank in Shameless and Walter White in Breaking Bad.
I’m not sure if I blogged about Breaking Bad before but I really disliked Walter White during the later parts of Breaking Bad (probably season 2 and on). I rooted for him to die. He turned out to be a gigantic asshole who somewhat redeemed himself (though barely) in the series finale.
I had a lot of empathy for Walter. I mean, Breaking Bad, that entire premise wouldn’t have happened in any other developed country BUT the United States. I felt really bad for him. I didn’t blame him for doing what he had to in order to take care of his family. You gotta do what you’re good at and he was good at cooking meth.
Where he lost me was his obsession with power and getting mad at everyone when things didn’t go his way (ex. him blaming Jessie and Jessie’s friends when Skinny Pete got mugged). I also hated him not doing anything to save Jane. He also should not have killed Gus. Was Gus a good guy? No. But he had a great thing going there and he had to fuck it all up.
In Shameless, yeah, Frank is a big dick to all his family. He steals from them, takes advantage of them, breaks them up, etc. He really is a bad dude. Some of the worst for me was telling Carl that he had cancer, getting the kids removed from the house, and losing Liam.
But I feel more empathy for Frank than I do Walter White. I can’t really explain it but I guess because Frank didn’t really choose his lifestyle while Walter decided to do the things he did. Also, besides deliberately denying that woman her needed heart transplant, thus killing her (that was difficult to watch), Frank really doesn’t rack up many deaths. He works really hard to just not work. I guess maybe since I’m a fan of a universal basic income, the shit that Frank does just to be drunk all the time like he isn’t seeking power like Walter was. All Frank really wanted to do was be lazy, not work, and get drunk all the time.
Well it happened again. I got called out for being wrong about something but, later, after a half hour of research, I found what I needed to to back up my argument. And I feel like a shit if I were to text them later to assert my claim.
Google is a real pain in the ass. It is REALLY hard to find things right as you need them to back up an argument. I’m not sure what I’m going to do going forward, I mean I don’t want to bookmark every single article I read just in case I need to back it up months or years later.
This time it was an argument about whether or not Biden can eliminate student loan debt. Turns out, most likely, I’m right. Trump even used the same kind of logic when he did it.
Here are some links:
And now doing a google search of this: can the secretary of education cancel student loans links to a bunch of articles! Fuck my life sometimes man. I hate feeling like I’m this jerk or crazy person who makes bogus claims and can’t back them up. Fuck me for not having the information right then and there. But looking back at it later, I’ll fucking find it.
Update bonus: Here’s a reminder that POTUS can give everyone Medicare for All under section 1881 A of the Social Security Act. In fact, that act has been used in Libby, Montana where residents can get free healthcare.
Dexter is a tough show to watch for me. Not the premise or anything… just the way things happened. I’m one of the many fans who HATED the ending of it. Although, I’m really looking forward to the reboot later this year! Hopefully it won’t be as disappointing.
There are several things I really hated about Dexter. Here are some and what I have to kind of tell myself should have happened.
I hated that they killed off Brian (Biney). I hated that Dexter did it himself. In the books, Biney is still on the loose. I would much prefer to think of Biney still being out there. In season 6 (I think) when Dexter goes off for a day with imaginary Biney, I would like to think that was real Biney and he’s still alive and well.
God I HATED that. Lundy and Deb were such an awesome couple and such a dynamic. I loved that relationship. And how they killed Lundy off so fast in season 4 really bothered me. I like to think that Lundy got too close to Trinity and had to go into witness protection or something and that Deb is still searching for him. Or maybe he left Miami to be with his daughter (whom we didn’t know about until he died). Anything but killing him off. I loved his humor and his character. If anyone should have brought down Dexter, it should have been Lundy.
Notice a theme of all these awesome characters dying? Rita too, god damn it. I hated that. I mean, WTF? Why??? I like to think Rita left with Cody and Aster and left Dexter with Harrison cause she saw something dark in him maybe? Either way, no way Rita should have died.
So WTF now? I guess we’ll find out but seriously that was stupid as fuck.
You can check out the other blog posts about Dexter by searching this blog (duh).
But here’s to hopefully a better season than seasons 5, 6, 7, and 8! I’m also re-reading the books so I’ll blog about that at a later date.
When we were at Myrtle Beach, during the night, my phone started having a coniption. The charging port was wet. During the rest of the trip it has been iffy to charge the phone by cord.
When I got home, the phone fully wouldn’t hook up to a cord. The wet “moisture detected” warning was always on. I could not plug my phone into any port. Not the PC, not our cords, nothing. I had to charge my phone with our ghetto wireless charger. It didn’t do a good job.
So I went to a place in Gaithersburg to see if they could fix it yesterday. They could not. The dude even lectured me about how the phones aren’t supposed to be underwater… I’m sorry… what? Why would they advertise they can? Why would they have an option to take UNDERWATER photos?
That place sucked. Bri called Samsung and they said go to one of their certified places. I took it there today. They originally said over the phone they had the part but when I got there, they did not. They could not fix my phone either. They suggested calling Samsung.
We did when I got home. After pronouncing my last name 23432359 times to the lady, she finally got my information and emailed me a postage. I was to mail my phone to them since it was still “under warranty.” However, I think I would be paying them since it was a “my fault” kind of thing since I took my phone to the beach and got it wet.
I couldn’t get my photos off my phone! And their fine print said they would wipe my phone. I had to get these photos off!
After trying various things, nothing seemed to work.
Bri wanted to try to charge the phone with it powered off. For some reason, IT WORKED! My phone was able to charge with the cable with the phone turned off! When we turned the phone back on, the wet/damp warning message was gone! Finally that nightmare was over.
However, it said it could not reach a network (the no sign in the top right). After another restart, everything was fine!
Let’s hope it doesn’t come back. WTF, Samsung?
I hope if someone looks for how to solve the wet/warning issue, they come across this blog and maybe it could help them.
My mom’s boyfriend, Kenny, was kind enough to give me his timeshare in Myrtle beach in June 2021. I originally wanted it to be a big girls trip with just Arlene, Becky, and I but I realized that wouldn’t be fair to our guys. When Arlene decided to get her own place, I made the move to have the guys there too all week.
We had an awesome time! We did breweries, wine tasting, lots of mini golf, pool, dinners and drinks, games, and (of course) the beach! I always wanted to do a trip like this with good friends. It was awesome.
Here’s the diary…
Friday, June 4, 2021
- Worked half day; got everything done
- Got stung by a plant
- Dropped dogs off at Bri’s parents
- Got hotel in NC
- Hardee’s for dinner; drank a big beer
Saturday, June 5, 2021
- Crappy breakfast
- Left hotel
- Got to Sands Beach Club
- Found car spot with electric parking
- Met up with mom & Kenny
- Drove to Ocean Annie’s
- Drank a lot of beer, live music
- Got food
- Went back to resort
- Room ready
- Kenny & mom showed us around room then left
- Went to hot tub & drank
- Becky texted & we met up with them
- Hot tub & pool with Paul & Becky
- Twisted Restaurant dinner
- I was plastered
- Back to room
- Arlene & Andy came by
Sunday, June 6, 2021
- Got up & Went to breakfast with Paul & Becky (good place)
- Went to Costco
- Came back to resort
- Walk on the beach
- Hit the pool with everyone
- Played with ball
- Back to room to chill and change
- Went to the pirate Voyage show
- Went back to our place for games
Monday, June 7, 2021
- Talked to Kenny but weather not good
- Went to the beach
- Went to the brewery, Andy & Arlene Met us up there
- Walked to golf but Went to a wine tasting place along the way
- Hung around wine place for a bit
- Paul drove us to alpha gold put put place
- Went to Arlene & Andy’s
- Got pizza
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
- Got up somewhat early to go boating
- Met Kenny & Mom at the marina
- Went to Bird Island
- Walked around a bit, did the ocean
- Got stranded on Bird Island because of the tide
- Had some beer
- Did more ocean and beach
- When we were able to get out, did a toast with wine
- Boated to LuLu’sâ€¦ bad service
- Had lunch, drinks
- Boated back to marina
- Everyone tired & Went to bed early
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
- No one wanted to go out to breakfast
- Bri & I went to blueberry grill for breakfast
- Went to Publix
- Back to hotel
- Went to the beach
- Met up with Arlene, flew kites
- Walked to Harry the hats for lunch
- Hung around hotel
- Hit up the boardwalk around 5
- Paul, Bri, Becky drank at Hurricanes (cat 5 Hurricane’s)
- Played the Mind, alcoholic slushi’s
- Rode the SkyWheel
- Met up with Arlene & Andy
- Went to some tiki bar (bad service) but shots and food
- Went into some shop
- All rode back in my car; everyone drunk
Thursday, June 10, 2021
- Everyone drank the night before
- Went to pancake house for breakfast
- Back to hotel
- Mini golf at two places
- Went swimming in pool
- Met cool guy by the pool
- Went to seafood place for dinner
- Checked out kite place before we ate
- Back to our place for games
- Everyone called it an early night
Friday, June 11, 2021
- Paul & Becky got up, packed and left
- Kind of sadness
- Waited for Mom to message me
- Got in the pool for a bit
- Went over Kenny’s
- Went out to lunch with Kenny & Mom
- Hung out with Kenny & mom for a bit
- Back to hotel
- Met up with Andy & Arlene and went to place next to Ocean Annie’s
- Back to our place & played rummy
- Went over to Arlene’s for their beer
- Watched half of a movie
Saturday, June 12, 2021
- Got up and cleaned and left
- Traffic a lot
- Picked up the kids
- Got home & watched movies
Should have done this a long time ago… here are the algorithms I use to solve the various rubik’s cubes.
Note that I’m terrible at the 2×2. It’s my worst cube and I HATE solving it. Here are two algorithms I use:
R U R’ U R U2 R’
R’ U R’ D2 R U’ R’ D2 R2 B’
(bottom to get edge like +) F R U R’ U’ F’ L
(bottom to get edge properly positioned) R U2 R’ U R U’ R’ U’
(bottom to get corners properly positioned) L’ U R U’ L U R’ U
(bottom to get corners properly positioned) R U2 R’ U’ R U’ R’ L’ U2 L U L’ U L
(flipped edges) L R’ L’ R U’ R U R’
(other solve) R’ L R L’
(2 unsolved edges ====) Dr R F’ U R’ F Dl
(parody) Rw1 U2 Lw F2 Lw1 F2 Rw2 U2 R U2 Rw’ U2 F2 Rw2 F2
(parody corners) Rw2 U2 Rw2 UU2 Rw2 UU2
5×5 (and other odds)
I solve this one differently than what tutorials would tell you. The way I solve it only leaves me with one possible parody; the flipped edges one.
(flipped edges |||) LL’ U2 LL’ U2 F2 LL’ F2 RR U2 RR’ U2 LL2
(to get the star edges; 1 flipped at 6 o’clock & 1 right at 11 o’clock) F R U R’ U’ F’
(to get star corner pieces; 6 o’clock & 8 o’clock will stay) R U R’ U R U2′ R’
(corners; 5 o’clock & 7 o’clock will stay) U 2 U2′ L’ U2 R’ U2′ L U
(corners pieces; piece on right will change; keep repeating until solved) R’ D’ R D
A lot of time went into the making of this trip. Heidi, Bri, and I have been playing Dominion online since the pandemic. Earlier this year (2021) we wanted to do a vacation that was “covid friendly.” Since Bri had always wanted to do an RV trip, Heidi and I went along with it. We let him plan the whole thing which was probably a mistake… we just let him go at it with the assumption that he knows what we like… which he did.
We had several mishaps during the trip like forgetting the pillows and having to drive almost two hours out of the way to pick up and drop off a rental car. But we had a great time but it was very stressful at times (at least the driving was). But we had a lot of fun and have a lot of good memories.
Anyway, here’s a diary of what I did on the trip…
Friday, April 30, 2021
- Worked from home for a few hours
- Heidi came over
- Got the RV, went through the whole spiel about “how to RV”… thinking to myself they need to have a degree program in this shit
- Went home and started to pack, neighbors came over to check the RV out
Saturday, May 1, 2021
- Left around 6 am
- Realized we forgot the pillows!
- Went all the way to some airport to pick up the rental car
- I picked up the rental car by myself and drove to Walmart (ewww! First time I’ve even step foot in a Walmart much less buy something in like 15 years!), got pillows, beer, and other supplies, and other shit
- Got to KOA and relaxed, I built the fire
- Couldn’t sleep, tried to sleep in rental car; half way through the night I was cold so I went back in the RV
Sunday, May 2, 2021
- My back hurt in the morning after the sleep on the top bed
- Went to the Fontana Dam with everyone and dogs
- Walked around Cherokee
- Cherokee memorial
- Went to Firehouse Subs where there was an order for “Trump” (a Trump guy said his order was for Trump; he had a Trump patch on his biker vest)
- Heidi went for a walk so Bri and I could do adult things
- Dominion at night before rain
Monday, May 3, 2021
- Back hurt in the morning after sleep on top again
- Heidi watches dogs while Bri and I went out
- It was rainy all day
- Tried to go to Mingo falls (but it was closed); dudes who walked down said don’t waste a trip up
- Scary one way gravel road next to creek to get out of the place
- Went to Mingus Mill; a nice guy there gave us a tour
- Drove through Smokey Mountain National Park
- Camera broke before Laurel Falls!
- Did the hike up to Laurel Falls; no one wearing masks
- Went into smallish town in Tennessee to get gas; no one wearing masks walking around like it’s Marti Gras… got out of there fast!
- On the way back noticed a “Native Brews” sign
- Ate at Native Brews
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
- Returned rental 3 hours out of the way; I drove rental back by myself; met up with Heidi and Bri
- Got on the road
- Bad wind and rain
- Bad accident which caused traffic
- Heidi panic attack
- We drove through GA for like 10 minutes (very strange)
- Canceled rental for Alabama since we weren’t going to make the time
- I drove through nasty rain storm to get to Alabama; hazard lights on the whole time
- Drank at night outside after rain
- Decided that I will sleep on the table bed which had to have been built for a midget (excuse me, small person) since I had to sleep catty cornered
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
- Bri Bri got pan cakes at the Market place in KOA
- Walked around KOA
- Did laundry and played cornhole; talked to the owner of the KOA
- Debated food; nothing around; no one delivered not even Dominos
- Decided to drive to store and get food
- Bri and I did some adult things in the Publix parking lot while Heidi got the groceries
- Walked around KOA when we got back; cinco de mayo food
Thursday, May 6, 2021
- Breakfast and coffee outside
- Heidi went for a run
- Went and did kayaking around lake
- Birds divebombing us around bridge where their homes are
- Walked and chill; of course drank
- Tried to grill but severe thunderstorms
- Lando kept me awake at nightâ€¦ tried to do adult things but it rocked the trailer too much and woke up Heidi… blamed it on the wind and the dogs
Friday, May 7, 2021
- Got on road to KY
- Got rental car
- I found yet another fucking Walmart (all they got out there) drove there and got cupcakes for Heidi’s birthday
- Went to the KOA store… everyone was super nice; offered to drive me back to RV since I bought 4 six packs of beer
- Walked around and played on bounce thing
- Ordered from New Jersey pizzaâ€¦ story… they did not deliver :( But ordered pizza from somewhere a little closer who did deliver
- Played Dominion and got on Fri night call for a few minutes
Saturday, May 8, 2021
- Drove to random bourbon place but it wasn’t there!
- Drove to Wilderness Trails distillery and did a tasting
- Went to little Mexican place which had awesome food; dogs were welcome too
- Went to Four Roses but they were sold out
- Went to Wild Turkey distillery; Heidi and Bri drank so I could drive
- Debated what we were going to do on Monday; Heidi made some calls and set up a KOA for Monday night
- Bri and I went out on a date night but the first BBQ place didn’t wear masks (very scary!) so we went to another joint that had masks
- Heidi went for a walk so Bri and I could do adult things
- Played Dominion
Sunday, May 9, 2021
- Went to Cumberland Falls with dogs; just Bri and I
- Drove through Boone National Forest; stopping at interesting places
- Came back, rain, the mind, and drank
Monday, May 10, 2021
- Had shower and got on road ASAP
- Part way through I did calculation from home and from KOA to home
- The KOA we booked ended up being another 2 hours total versus just hammering it out and going home being 1 more hour
- Decided to head directly home instead
- I drove the final leg which was all of Maryland; drove by our college, Frostburg <3
- Got home around 6:30; unpacked and cleaned
This post is purely for my record keeping. I’m going to keep track of the good and (I’m sure mostly) bad Joe Biden does.
I’m against having a large military like ours and spending so much on our defense when there are larger issues but it is really stupid that transgender people have to worry about which president is in power in order to serve. That’s messed up.
I hope it goes without saying that Trump was a pretty awful president. He was so bad for the country. It will probably take generations to undo the stuff he has put forth. There isn’t much good to write about him, honestly.
- The tax cuts that he and the Republicans rammed through Congress. We’re in so much debt because the rich got richer.
- Didn’t keep campaign promises on outsourcing jobs.
- Transgender in the military ban.
- Renewed Keystone XL pipeline.
- Did NOTHING for income inequality (made it worse), racial justice, etc.
- Muslim ban.
- Not handling Covid properly.
- Wasting billions of dollars on a border wall.
- I DO NOT have covid. I doubt that I’ve ever had it.
- I REALLY want AOC to force a vote on Medicare For All so then we will know who supports giving people healthcare during a pandemic.
- I say fuck too much.
- My friends are awesome. I miss my friends.
- My dogs are awesome. I don’t miss my dogs since they’re always here with me.
- I’ve been downloading (actually buying) a lot of music.
- I’m really into Chernobyl, Mount Everest, abandoned places, ship wrecks, etc. I would like more recommendations for YouTube but since all I subscribe to and most of what I play is political in nature, I don’t see much.
- I have a weird crush on Jared Harris right now. I just finished binging Fringe and just watched Chernobyl on HBO for the third time. I just love his voice. It’s sexy to me.
- It does not feel like Christmas to me.
- I’m kind of a little addicted to work right now which is not a good thing. I think about it a lot. I’m having fun and (dare I say it) look forward to the work days.
- I’m learning Spanish and actually getting good at it. Speaking and hearing, not so much but I can read it.
- I REALLY wish the Democrats didn’t suck. I REALLY wish we had Bernie in there. I REALLY wish more people realized that the Democrats suck and demand more from them. All I do on Twitter is bash the Democrats because they deserve it. They are beyond pathetic and the next four years are going to be a cluster fuck. Sorry (not sorry) but Joe Biden sucks ass. He’s going to make things worse (and NO that doesn’t mean he’s worse than Trump).
- I wish I had more time for this blog. I wish I could write debunking posts like I used to. I would research the shit out of something and write about it with sources and stuff. It was fun and awesome.
I’m playing the following songs in case I die. I’ll update this blog post to remember me by.
- Matisyahu – One Day
- Kodaline – All I Want
Will my memory live on? God I hope not. My miniscule life means nothing.
I know I’m borrowing this from a Kevin Spacey movie but I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.
Yes, I’m drunk writing this. (Thank God for spell check!)
I’m in Ocean City, Maryland right now. I’ve been looking forward to this time for many many weeks. It’s wonderful.
Am I COVID positive? I don’t know. But I couldn’t tell you that before I came here either.
I’m quarantining for at least two weeks when we get back. I’m wearing a mask always (DUH!) even on the boardwalk. I’m very slow to type but I feel safe at the moment. I want to always be safe.
Being in Ocean City, it’s great but it’s also worrisome. I love hearing the ocean but I worry about COVID.
Just now. Tranquil. It’s necessary. Different change in scenery. I need this. Thank you. I’m grateful I can do this.