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Old 04-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #61
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Bottom line for that LT was that he got $90,000 extra for leaving a couple of months earlier.
I saw a lot of that. The Navy was just getting to the point of using computers for activities-based cost analysis on their manpower, but not quite to the point that those computers were able to see where they'd cut too deep. The attrition of the submarine force's YG96 officers is legendary, and practically every one of those guys is guaranteed to make O-5.

I was at what we used to call Fleet Combat Training Center Pacific (Point Loma, San Diego) in 1994-'97 as the Internet gold rush was ramping up. We were buying Cisco routers and fiber optics (for the training simulators) by the pallet load. The place was full of contractors, civil servants, and other military-related employees. Whether your active-duty skills were enlisted or officer technical/training, that command was like a perpetual job-networking conference.

The guy I relieved was retiring, yet he showed up to work as a contractor the day after I relieved him-- and he stayed at the command almost as long as I did. So when VSI/SSB started paying other fence-sitters to jump for the greener side, it became very commonplace to see FCTCPAC as a final tour where you'd turn in military uniforms for office-attire uniforms. It also gave some of these people a real short-timer's attitude that made it difficult to obtain any use out of them before they started terminal leave. There were some hard feelings when those big separation incentive bucks were turned into hot sports cars, swimming pools, or home additions.

I stayed in touch after I left. When 2001-'02 started putting the squeeze on the tech industry, it became commonplace for these veterans to show up in their Reserve uniforms or to apply for civil service positions... those short-timer attitudes had a high karma payback.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #62
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Plex, more power to ya, but I would not willingly do what you do. Food is about the only real splurge in our lives, so I don't go nuts but if I have a dish in mind or feel like buying strawberries or asparagus I do it.
I hear that!

Recently made a fantastic Beef Borguignon. The recipe calls for a whole bottle of decent drinking wine, among other things. Plus a nice bottle to have with it. All in it probably cost about as much to make that meal as it would for a moderately priced dinner out (~$60). My only regret is that I'll soon be leaving a real kitchen and won't be able to make it again.

Tonight is shrimp & avocado in a ginger-tamarind sauce. With a very inexpensive, but incredible, sauvignon blanc the whole meal might run $15 for two of us . . . with possible, but unlikely, leftovers. Yum.

I'd go back to work if that was the only way I could continue to eat and drink well.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:02 PM   #63
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Why can't Boeuf Bourguignon be made in an RV kitchen?
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:26 PM   #64
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38-Not even close. Still married to the first wife at that point That divorce cost me millions. Even 48 would have been tough. Things got very good very late for me. Lucky I guess.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #65
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Why can't Boeuf Bourguignon be made in an RV kitchen?
It possibly could be. I won't have a real oven. I'm not sure a convection oven will work for braising. I thought about trying to use a crock pot, but I don't think it will come out the same.

I might try it. I imagine I'm going to be improvising a lot of things to make do with much more limited facilities.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:34 PM   #66
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It possibly could be. I won't have a real oven. I'm not sure a convection oven will work for braising. I thought about trying to use a crock pot, but I don't think it will come out the same.

I might try it. I imagine I'm going to be improvising a lot of things to make do with much more limited facilities.
I make my boeuf bourgignon in a cast iron Dutch oven -Le Creuset type- on a stove (simmer over low heat for about 2+ hours). Comes out just fine. In fact it's the traditional way.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:46 PM   #67
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From a simple question about early finances, we end up discussing how to cook in an RV. What a group we have here.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:23 PM   #68
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I make my boeuf bourgignon in a cast iron Dutch oven -Le Creuset type- on a stove (simmer over low heat for about 2+ hours). Comes out just fine. In fact it's the traditional way.
Should work. Thanks.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:30 PM   #69
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From a simple question about early finances, we end up discussing how to cook in an RV. What a group we have here.
It's all about enjoying life!

Yes, these residents of the lumpen slum of cyberspace still know how to make do with the limited means that we toiled to accumulate without the 7-figure annual income of the elitist SEC (or was it ex SEC) lawyers.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:32 AM   #70
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I make my boeuf bourgignon in a cast iron Dutch oven -Le Creuset type- on a stove (simmer over low heat for about 2+ hours). Comes out just fine. In fact it's the traditional way.
In the interest of extending this extreme off-topic discussion, I'll just add . . .

One of the challenges I'll have to work out is the limited amount of space on the RV range. Only three small burners. If one is occupied for hours with a simmering stew, then braising the onions, sauteing the mushrooms, cooking the potatoes/noodles/?? will have to be done in stages. Certainly not impossible, but a bit more time consuming for an already time consuming dish.

Ah, such problems in life.

Bon Appetit!
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:24 AM   #71
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Certainly not impossible, but a bit more time consuming for an already time consuming dish.
Excellent! It solves the problem of "What are you going to do all day". I would just answer, trying to keep a straight face "Why, it takes me all day to prepare a dinner".

Seriously, I am a slow cook. I cannot cut or chop one ingredient while sautéing another and keeping an eye on it. I would cut myself, burn something, and get really mad at myself. Better take it slow, and enjoy the activity. Yeah, one can practice the Zen of cooking without being a graduate of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:49 AM   #72
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In the interest of extending this extreme off-topic discussion, I'll just add . . .

One of the challenges I'll have to work out is the limited amount of space on the RV range. Only three small burners. If one is occupied for hours with a simmering stew, then braising the onions, sauteing the mushrooms, cooking the potatoes/noodles/?? will have to be done in stages. Certainly not impossible, but a bit more time consuming for an already time consuming dish.

Ah, such problems in life.

Bon Appetit!
I have to confess that it has been ages since I had to cook in an RV so I have forgotten how small RV ranges are.

But back when I was a college student in France, I used to live in a 150 sq ft apartment with a kitchenette equipped with a small 2 burner (electric) stove, so I have learned to adapt recipes based on this type of restrictions. Since I had a small sink too, I became very fond of "one pot" recipes. I made elaborate recipes like Boeuf Bourgignon on the weekends when I was stuck in the city due to a nth strike by SNCF employees. So I had plenty of time to cook and enjoy the process.

I think that you can braise the onions and then saute the mushrooms in the dutch oven. Reserve. Then slow cook the meat and add back the onions and mushrooms after one hour or two. Reserve the meat/onions/mushrooms. Cook the potatoes. When they are ready, quickly reheat the meat in a microwave (I believe that most RVs have those nowadays) right before serving. I know that the use of microwaves if considered to be a sacrilege amongst (French) purists, but microwaves can be a life savers in small kitchens.

Sure it is a bit more time consuming to cook it in stages but, now that you are retired, what's the rush?
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:58 PM   #73
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Before I get back to the sidetracked thread of cooking, let me answer the OP question about retiring at 38.

No, I probably could not do it at that age. I don't know what my networth was at that point, but it was under $1M. I was too busy with my work to count my beans everyday, like I do now. Besides, the idea of retiring early did not occur to me until later, once I have failed in my attempts to strike it rich by joining a couple of startups.

Now, back to the leisure cooking that a retiree can indulge in, I remember a show on FoodNetwork, where a couple of Italian chefs demonstrated the preparation of Bolognese meat sauce. Speaking English fluently, one said that the perfect tenders of this sauce would be doormen, as they could hang around all day to stir it.

So, this sauce would be perfect for retirees too while Web surfing, no? Just be sure you do not get all ruffled up by some forum posters that you neglect the sauce and cause it to burn...
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:17 PM   #74
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Why can't Boeuf Bourguignon be made in an RV kitchen?
It can be. I haven't made it, but I plan to some day.

Here is how I do braising in the RV:

- Start on the stove top for browning meat, sauteing veggies as needed. (This is really necessary for developing the flavor).
- Put all of it in a crock pot and cook on low!

Just be careful to not add too much liquid - almost none escapes from the pot.

I have a 3 quart crockpot in the RV and it's a great piece of RV equipment. It hardly draws any current too, and it doesn't heat up the RV either which is great. I've made Irish Stew, Osso Bucco, various braised lamb dishes, beans, soups, and a bunch of other great stuff!

Oh, and I generally use only one burner at a time in the RV. It's possible to use two at once, but I almost never do so.

Ask me any RV cooking questions! I cook a lot, enjoy it, and after 5 years I have learned a lot of tricks.

Audrey
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:29 PM   #75
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I'll be 31 this year. I could possibly retire at 38, & I could definitely retire at 40. However...

That would require continuing to work full-time in my current industry, which often involves being high-stress (and responsibility-ridden) to the point where it's impossible to take more than a long-weekend vacation. I haven't had more than a few days off at a time for years. And it has affected me negatively.

Currently, I'm planning on leaving my current job April/May '11 & having enough saved to take 9 mos - 1 year off. Part of what I plan to do that time (after a long rest) is trying to get a side business or two up & running; something that would generate relatively passive income, or be easy to keep up with after the initial set-up phase.

After those things are set up, I will probably go back into my field after a year & work 2-3 year blocks at a time (taking about a year off in-between jobs).

Depending on a number of factors (how well the side businesses go, my salary & retirement benefits at any future jobs, the stock market, other factors), I could RE anywhere between 42-48. Although I would continue to work on a part-time basis, doing those side business, or something else that I love, just because...well, I have a feeling that I'm the kind of person who's happiest with some kind of "work" or something more than unending vacation going on. Not that there is anything wrong with unending vacation - I just seem to have inherited by dad's "must always have some work going on" gene. He's 67, has been retired for about 10 years how, could have retired 10 years earlier than that, but didn't want to. And even in retirement (from being a school teacher) he works part-time in my cousin's restaurant.

So right now, I'm working towards that time off next year & keeping my fingers crossed that things come together.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:00 AM   #76
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I did at age 40, but it was from my part time job in the Army National Guard. Cola pension starting at age 60, but pretty puny. I call it my beer and pizza money.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:05 AM   #77
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I call it my beer and pizza money.
That's about what my Megacorp #1 pension will be, having frozen the pension at "beer and pizza" levels while I was still employed there.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #78
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In 2007 a guy I knew was passed over twice for O-4, so he knew he would have to get out as of Oct that year, and that he would be receiving about $70,000 as severance pay (no retirement for him). Then in the Spring of the same year, the Navy put out a message saying that certain officers were eligible for 'voluntary separation pay' if they would resign. Their incentive was money, and this guy was eligible for about $160,000 or so, provided that he would resign in the summer. The idea was that the Navy would get rid of some officers and avoid paying them a 20-year retirement for the rest of their lives. Bottom line for that LT was that he got $90,000 extra for leaving a couple of months earlier.
Does it mean that he left a COLA pension for just this extra money and working 2 months less?
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #79
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Does it mean that he left a COLA pension for just this extra money and working 2 months less?
I believe he said that this person already knew he'd be forced out before he was eligible for retirement, but by jumping on this "incentive" he gained an extra $90,000 for leaving a couple months earlier. There wouldn't have been a pension either way; if he gave up a COLA'd pension for life for only $90K he would have had to have rocks in his head.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 04-26-2010, 06:50 PM   #80
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At 38 I just embarked ion a second career in the head office of a technology company, after a career in technology, sales and sales management. I would never had the enjoyment I got from influencing corporate direction.

At 49 I was given a golden handshake and immediate reduced pension. Ten years and an extra wife later, I finally retired.

I think the Kalderlis are a model for people who will take drastic action in order to reduce the risk of early retirement. They write books to sell them so, in a sense they just traded a 9 to 5 job for freelancing (granted for much less $). The nice thing is that they have gained some real experience that can help all those who follow.
The opportunity you had would have been good reason for anyone with an ounce of ambition to stick around for another 10 years. Coming out of business school, I was pretty gung-ho about knocking one out of the park, but 3 years later, I'm still stuck in the same crappy entry management position. Of course, having a boss who was essentially a short timer the day he started probably didn't help that much.

I believe the Kiderlis didn't write their first e-book until 2003, some 12 years after they had first retired, so I believe that they wrote the book more for passing on the wisdom than for making money.

There is always trade off. For me, the trade off is the prolong periods of bad sleep for more money.
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