Hi there! We were recently nominated for a Liebster award by Emily over at Simple Cheap Mom! From my understanding of this – it is an award from bloggers to other bloggers, mainly aimed at those of us running a small time operation and just getting started! It’s a way to get to know each other and recognize some newer, and less well known bloggers (hey – we can’t all be MMM!)
So, thank you Emily, and let’s get to the fun part – the questions! We will start off with a few random facts about ourselves:
- I play banjo, and it’s not just because I grew up in Kentucky. I also play around with the guitar and other string instruments, but the banjo is my passion.
- I love watching football, but never played it recreationally. I played soccer and was a diver, Greg Louganis style, not Jacques Cousteau.
- I love fishing. I didn’t in KY because it was SO dull – toss a line in and wait (mock excitement) Yea…. I got into fly fishing while living in Denver and LOVE it. I like that you get to hike to get to the river, walk around in it, and try to figure out what bugs are hatching or even that the fish will recognize. I also got into tying my own flies, and coming up with my variations on traditional patterns is fun.
- I let my “need to be ironed” clothes pile up until I get what I deem is enough to make it worth going through the drudgery of ironing before I knock it out. Or when I run out of wrinkle free shirts or pants….
- I find weeding relaxing. Seriously, just sitting in the flower bed and pulling weeds is my Zen. I’ll even pull weeds in the yard by hand. On a related note, I find it very hard to sit on the back porch and not look at the yard and see something(s) that need to get done.
- If University of Colorado Denver hadn’t been such tools about engineering degree requirements (this was post-geology degree), I would most likely be a geotechnical engineer living in Denver right now instead of a geologist in Houston.
- My favorite hobby is organizing and balancing the checkbook. Followed by reading and crocheting – but those require sitting still, I don’t like sitting still unless I’m about to fall asleep.
- I love taking photos, but hate downloading and editing them, since it requires me to sit at a computer. So, I had my dad make me a standing computer desk for the house – I’m hoping it helps me tolerate working on the computer.
- I’m a partial vegetarian. I started becoming vegetarian about 15 years ago, because I don’t agree with the mechanization of the slaughtering and raising animals. I gave up types of meat one by one… but couldn’t give up chicken and fish. So now I just don’t eat mammals. But, if you hunt a mammal yourself, I’ll eat it. Just invite me over for dinner!
- I love walking. I would walk everywhere if I could. I don’t even buy a pair of shoes for work if I don’t think I could walk a few miles in them at a time. Unfortunately, I have a desk job – so I spend my work day inventing reasons to walk and move around.
- I used to be a rocket scientist. OK, not really. But, I spent about 4 years working on radar and antenna designs for fighter planes and missile detection systems. Then I realized I had to find a new career because I have pacifist leanings, and even though I only worked on defensive systems, I knew there would be a crossroads in my career eventually where I would have moral objections.
- I really enjoy lifting weights. It’s fun to lift heavy things. And it’s fun to lift heavier things then some guys my age at the gym… not that it’s a competition…
Here are the questions Simple Cheap Mom posed to us:
How many hours of sleep do you need each night? How many do you get?
Mrs. SSC: I need 8, and I usually get 7 to 8. But only because Mr SSC is so wonderful and helps with the kids.
Mr. SSC: I usually need at least 5-6, and I stay pretty true to that. I tend to stay up later, and some nights I may get 7-8, but most nights, I’m a consistent 6 hrs.
2.) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Mrs. SSC: I would love to go to New Zealand. It is so beautiful in the images I see, and I have a passion for mountains and hiking. More immediately – I want to go to the Grand Canyon. I’m a geologist. It’s like a mecca for our type.
Mr. SSC: Oddly enough, I don’t have a driving passion to visit one particular place. I had wanted to visit France, but knocked that off the list on an awesome field trip in grad school. Not to skirt the question, I would say Costa Rica would call my name. From friends that have visited it seems awesome with jungles, volcanoes, possible whale sightings, and a lot of really friendly people.
3.) What was your best Christmas gift as a child?
Mrs. SSC: Huh. Honestly, I can’t remember many (note to self – that means my kids won’t either, so maybe I shouldn’t go overboard with their gifts.) I remember getting a My Little Pony castle – it was pretty cool.
Mr. SSC:I would say the Christmas I remember most, I went into the living room and most of our toys had been set up already, and it was awesome seeing the Hot Wheels fold out playset like a construction scene set up with some new hot wheels staged on it. Although, we also got a delivery of kindling blocks, think small 2×4 sections, delivered and spent most of the morning using those and the playset making Hot Wheel cities.
4.) Do you have any pets?
Mrs. SSC: Yep! Although this is bad timing of a question. We had two dogs, sisters and litter-mates that were 14 years old. But one of them was diagnosed with two types of cancer last fall, and she passed away last week. So, currently I am in the process of spoiling her sister – hoping she doesn’t get too depressed and lonely. It seems to be working thus far! Oh – and we bought the kids a fish tank for Christmas. We have only killed half the fish so far…
Mr. SSC: I wouldn’t say killed, but we did have a run where we it seemed like we lost a fish every 3-4 days.
5.) How many credit cards do you have?
Mrs. SSC: More than I care to admit –5 total. OK – we have one main one that we use for household stuff, and since it is a Discover and not everywhere takes Discover, we have a backup Visa for household stuff, that rarely gets used. For our allowance system, we each have our own independent credit card, and Mr SSC is in the process of switching cards to one with a better rewards system, so he has two right now.
6.) What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for your finances?
Mrs. SSC: Automate our investing… I have a set amount that I invest through Vanguard each month, and I treat it like a bill that has to be paid. That insures that we are investing every month!
Mr. SSC: I would say marrying Mrs. SSC. Seriously, if we weren’t together, I’d still have most of my student loan debt, and probably still be in credit card debt wondering how I can be in such a nice job situation, and still be broke. She has definitely helped me figure out that I don’t need to buy things just to buy things, and saving money is better in the long run than spending it all and more right now.
Here are a few questions to get them started:
1) Since everyone’s reasons to achieve FIRE or just RE or FI seem to be different; What is your driver for achieving FIRE?
2) What do you do for fun when you have free time?
3) If you could have an afternoon to spend with anyone from History, who would you choose and why?
4) Do you have any heroes? What is it that makes them a hero to you?
5) If you could live somewhere outside your home country, where would you choose and why?