Tuesday, September 1, 2020

How To Survive The Pandemic & Keep Your Sanity

Folks, believe it or not, but it's me again. Your favorite retired blogger's retired blogger. Yes, this site does still exist, and yes, on rare occasions I use it when I've got no place else to say what I need to say.

This yeah, obviously, has been like no other. Vacations are a thing of the past. The concept of "quality time" with your family doesn't really exist because you're literally spending all your time with them. Like everyone else (I hope) me and mine have simply adopted to the smaller world inside the confines of our residence. We only venture out for groceries and essential stuff. Recreation is a thing of the past. Zoom schooling is in, playgrounds are out. It's a harsh new reality and one highly unlikely to change anytime soon. The current abnormal will likely just become the new normal, until there's a vaccine. And even then, who the heck wants to be first to get said vaccine?

I don't mean to get all Andy Rooney on ya'll, but keeping your sanity in the midst of all this containment can be a challenge. I'd love to go to Nats game, spend a day at the Bay, or maybe a weekend at the beach. All of those things have to wait, because they mean nothing if you're dead. So, we adjust, we adapt, we pivot. But that doesn't come without a price.


Assuming you're a longtime reader, you'll know this blog is nearly a teenager at this point. I kicked it off in 2007, because I loved reading other people's blogs and figured "how hard can that be?" Turns out, it was hard AF, especially in the first year or so when my daily readership consisted of my then-sister-in-law and me. Over time, I caught some fortunate breaks, some people told other people and before long, AB.com was a full fledged daily community with guest posters, several thousand daily unique viewers, and a comment section that felt like the neighborhood watering hole, assuming such a thing still exists. I made friends here that I still speak with daily.

Of course, social media changed the landscape of where people went to exchange opinions, and blogs quickly fell out of favor. This one is no different. I keep the lights on here because, well, there's financial incentive to, but my daily thoughts have migrated elsewhere along with the rest of the world.


People keep talking about how awful 2020 has been, and there's some truth to that. A lot of beloved people have died, the economy has cratered, people are protesting (and getting killed at protests) continuously, and of course, there's the elephant in the room that's taken many lives and altered others permananently. But the overarcing menace here is the same one that's been around since 2016. And I sincerly hope that part of this horrible year ends, come November 3rd.

Be good to yourself, and those around you.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Summer Drinks for Entertainment

Summer is almost upon us, and that means evenings of frivolity. Whether your backyard is large enough and inviting enough to entertain a group of your friends, or you prefer an intimate affair indoors, you will be sure to delight when you make one of these summery cocktails. We give you seven ideas that are just as fresh as what they are made from and taste delicious on a warm summer's day. These drinks can be made individually or in large batches out of a pitcher. They are perfect for a steamy summer garden party.

1. A Sweet Authentic Mojito

There are so many mixers available for this Cuban favorite, but nothing can quite compare to making one from scratch, just raw ingredients to make the perfect drink. A good rum will give it the sweetness it needs. When mixed with a bit of sugar and club soda, poured over ice, and garnished with some lime wedges and sprigs of fresh mint leaves, it is sure to please everyone. This is a great drink for a summer evening because it is fresh, it is light, and the mint works perfectly to make it a summer staple.

2. Use Blackberry Syrup in a Bramble

As almost anyone with even a passing interest in bartending lore can tell you, the bramble is a British cocktail that pairs a gin sour with the refreshing, tart bite of blackberries. For a more modest and time-sensitive host or hostess, a bramble can be made by preparing a gin sour and some blackberry syrup in a tall glass over ice. Add another dash of lime juice for an ultra summery twist on a modern classic.

3. Daiquiris to Use Up All the Fresh Strawberries

While it may seem like the ultimate in girly drinks, daiquiris are just plain delicious, no matter how they appear. This drink, as a cocktail packs quite a punch of rum, but the slush, when made with fresh strawberries, is delicious on its own. Simply mix a cup of strawberries (fresh is preferred) with 1/2 cups of sugar and lemon juice in the blender. Blend it to your preferred consistency and pour it in a glass over ice with half as much lemon-lime soda and a few ounces of rum if you like. To preserve the beach day vibe of this drink, use light rum.

4. Use Seasonal Fruit in a Sangria

Wine does not really have a season. A fresh bottle can be opened and enjoyed at any time in the year. However, summer calls for the fresh, light taste of fruit to be added in the form of a sangria. Adapted from the Latin for blood,  a "sangria" is meant to be made with red wine, staining the fruit it contains as blood can stain. With the advent of summer, you want to use the summer fruits that are now plentiful. Things like strawberries, watermelons, or orange slices are welcome and delicious additions. The fresh fruit in this drink just adds to its benefits. Sangria is an excellent addition to any gathering you throw for the relaunching of a sport or anything else you think is worth celebrating.

5. Mix Up a Frozen Summer Slush Treat

Sometimes when the weather is warm, nothing will refresh us and cool our bodies like a frozen slush treat. This is a sweet, flavorful slush that is very versatile, not being tied to just one type of drink. In fact, you can change up the drink with whatever you would like to have in it, but it is recommended that you have this with clear liquors. Simply mix some cans of frozen orange juice and lemonade concentrates with a few spoonfuls of sugar and some water in a blender, add your favorite drink (gin is recommended), and serve it in a glass with a straw. This is a drink that tastes like a dessert.

When you are entertaining your friends and family during the summer, you want to be able to serve them something that is light and refreshing and captures the taste of the season. Mix up a cocktail that is perfect for a warm day and uses all the fruits around you at this time. No matter what a person's drink of choice is, you can find something that delights them.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

5 Things To Remember Regarding Love, Career, and Money

My nephews asked me for advice about life the other day. They are in the middle of their teen years and still have a little ways to go before they are adults. I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’ve had money and I’ve been broke. I have known complete love and felt utterly painful rejection. I’ve had an interesting life. Recently I suffered a knee injury and have been stuck in a wheelchair for a few months. Friends have commented, "You always seem to be positive and come up out on top. How do you do it?" Let me share with you some advice my parents told me when I was young.

Nobody cares about you as much as you do

Everyone in life has their own concerns and essentially focuses on their own circumstances. Be realistic. This is true. Family and very close friends love you and can often be counted on to come to your aid, but they are living their own lives with their own set of ups and downs. When you are young, your parents shelter you from many problems, As you get older and begin your life on your own, you cannot always depend on someone watching over you. You are independent and the only one that can ultimately choose your paths in life.

Show genuine interest in the welfare of others

Even though you are dealing with your own goals and issues, you should show genuine interest in what happens to those along your journey. These people affect your journey in one way or another, no matter how small their part. When you care for others besides yourself, you will find help in your time of need. Call it karma, paying it forward, or the golden rule. Whether it be helping a stranger on the street, helping a lost child, providing a ride, helping a friend or family in need, or just crying with someone who is crying and providing a shoulder of comfort, your heart will be lightened. Somehow when you find yourself needing assistance someday, someone will be there for you.

This includes how you treat others in your business dealings. You should be fair in all of your business deals and try to give more than you receive. An example would be a BiggerPockets review. BiggerPockets is dedicated to helping investors at any stage of investing experience. New investors will find lots of free materials. They are trying to provide a service intending to help others. Whatever you do as a career or vocation, even if for now it is a temporary job at a restaurant, seek to give far beyond expectations.

Be consumed by love for the people in your life

We all like to have nice things, stylish clothes, and the latest gadgets or mobile phones. There is absolutely no reason not to if it is within your means. Physical items are fleeting. They come and go. Don’t let having things detract you from what is important like love, health, and career. Going into debt for that possession that can be lost, stolen, or may break isn’t necessary. The U.S. Government says we have trillions in personal debt because of our desire to have things. By controlling possessions instead of letting them possess you, you will find that you seem to always have money when you truly need it, even to the extent of helping others.

When you can love people around you more than the possessions you have, then you will find you will always have what you need. I don’t mean to sound preachy, but I’ve lived the experience. When I focused on the things that truly mattered, like the people who flowed in and out of my life, I always had more than enough.

Choose a career that you love doing

A career is your chosen profession. It should be something you enjoy. I can’t imagine dreading going into work day after day. If you choose a path with a career you enjoy, it can be a joy to work. I’ve tried many jobs in my life. The days flew by when I was employed at something I enjoyed. For me, that was starting out as a bookkeeper and eventually creating my own company. For others, it may be hairstyling, being a baker, a computer analyst, or any other activity.

Tons of resources are available to help you along the way. Thousands of articles and videos are available to help guide. Visit AverageBro.com for some interesting tips you may enjoy.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow

If you live for today, you are able to enjoy the moment. I have planned for my future. Setting aside small investments along the way has enabled me to be prepared for unexpected problems or to afford that special trip. Remembering the experiences of yesterday has helped me avoid pitfalls and make better choices.