Saturday, April 16, 2022

Lobster!

 

The other day, I turned RQS on to a food truck that travels around the NYC area, serving wonderful lobster to anyone near their 3 food trucks.  So we planned a day that centers around decadent food.  First, I'd pick up a wholesome, decadent meal from the lobster truck in Bayside, Queens. And after our late lunch, we'd make our way to Tipsy Scoop for some booze infused ice cream.

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About a year ago, I found out about Cousins Maine Lobster from a site I stumbled into online. It took me a while to meet up with one of their food trucks.  When I finally did, it was nirvana.  I've never had lobster that tasted this good - and I've had many tasty crustaceans in my time.  Yes, it's a matter of cooking technique that does the trick.  But I've cooked many a tasty lobster.  They are doing something right that I do wrong.

The booze infused ice cream is nothing new to me.  I was introduced to it by an ice cream shop in Beacon, NY.  Although I know the ice cream maker that produces their booze infused ice cream, this firm does not list it on their site. (I'll bet that it's because of our alcohol laws in both the United States and in New York State.)  And then I heard of Tipsy Scoop.  When I first heard of them, they had a limited distribution which would have forced me to travel to Astoria to pick up a pint to go.  Now, I can pick up a pint in a specialty market 20 minutes away from me, and still have it in a condition to be served by the time I get it into my freezer.

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Luckily, the lobster trucks are not limited to New York City suburbs anymore, nor is the distribution of Tipsy Scoop ice cream. If you can find them, I highly recommend these products....

 

 

 


Friday, April 15, 2022

The Mystery Box has arrived!

 

I was supposed to have a doctor's appointment today.  However, the doctor took off for vacation, and I never received a call to change my appointment.  Yet, I enjoyed being able to sleep late and relax.

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The Mystery Box I ordered from Universal Standard finally came in the mail.  As usual, there were some out of season items in the shipment - there were two items with turtlenecks.  However, there were 3 dresses I could wear now, two of them likely to stay in my wardrobe. Given that I am not a cisgender woman, I have to be careful in how I dress.  I don't want to be seen as a man in a dress.  I would rather be seen as a homely woman in that same dress.  So I am careful to choose dresses that draw attention to parts of the body I like, and hide parts of the body that I don't like.

I'm not sure if I'll wear either of the two wrap dresses from the box that often.  But I will consider it IF I wear a statement necklace.  It took me a while to figure out how to work one of the belt ties, and it will be an ongoing pain each time I wear either of these dresses.  (FYI: The belt from the left side of the dress goes through a hole on the right side of the dress, so that one can tie the two sides together for a safe fit.  Given that I don't have a woman's hips, I'm not sure whether I wasted my money.  But the wrap dresses from the "Dresses" shipment look much better than the shirt dress I received in the "Miscellaneous Items" shipment.

Do I feel that I wasted some money?  Yes.  But, as usual, there is usually enough in the box to make the gamble worth the money I spend on the box.  And I think the same holds true for this shipment....





Thursday, April 14, 2022

Waking up late....

 

It's been years since I've taken the Staten Island Ferry and catch this view.  But I was reminded of it today, as I was able to wake up late for a change, and go to a doctor's appointment instead of going to work first thing in the morning.

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Now that I'm about to go on Medicare, this will be one of the last appointments covered by my Obamacare policy.  And I'm not so sure of how I feel about that.  Medicare is not as efficient as care given to the under 65 set.  For example, where I would get yearly physicals from my doctor, he is only allowed to give me "wellness checks"  In short, he has to schedule each needed test on different days, as he is only allowed to test for one ailment at a time.  Although I will have some redundant coverage from work, it isn't that great - my doctor is not on my company's plan.  (That's why I kept my Obamacare policy.)

Once I am done with the doctor, I will be going to work.  That means I will be changing from Mario Mode to Marian Mode in mid morning.  Of course, I will be staying in this mode all day....

Now, if only I had a GP that I could feel comfortable going to as Marian....

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Taxes


April 15th comes awful quick these days.  If you're not careful, you might just miss it.  Yet, it's hard to believe that most people didn't have to pay income taxes a little over 100 years ago; our government raised most of its funds via tariffs and customs duties.  Now, tax day is a day that many people dread.  In my case, I have to over withhold through the year on money I earn so that I can make up for under withholding on my pension.  Although I can afford to pay estimated taxes throughout the year, I prefer to pay them up front and not have to worry about finding money to pay taxes at tax time.

If you think I have it bad, I know someone who has sold a house and is now renting.  Although this person has owned a share of the home for over 30 years, a divorce and property settlement may trigger the payment of more taxes than this person would want to pay.  (As if we ever want to pay taxes.)  Thankfully, this person can shelter a $250,000 gain from the sale, but what about this person's share of the gains that must be shared with an ex-spouse?  I know that my brother and I will be paying capital gains on any gains we have from selling our family homestead, as neither of us have lived in the house for years.

Others have it even worse.  My niece is an American citizen living in the United Kingdom.  She has to file taxes to two governments.  Luckily, the United States allows people to exclude a certain percentage of overseas income from double taxation. (I don't remember the figures or the mechanisms.)  But if she had as large income, she'd be going broke giving money to two governments.  (I want to find out what my brother had to do for her this year - he could provide me with an education on this topic.)  Luckily for UK subjects, they don't get taxed by the UK for income earned overseas.

At least, I only have to give New York under $200 this year.  I'd rather owe NYS  than owe the Federal government, as NYS takes forever to send out refunds....

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Birth and death

 

Today is RQS's birthday.  We celebrated it last weekend, as I wasn't going to be at her place during the week.  But she will be getting her birthday card when I see her next weekend.

Why do I mention this?  Well, our conversation covered the usual topics, as well as the death of some people one step away from me.  For example, the mother of an ex-girlfriend died last week.  An acquaintance from college died at the same time.  And now, my boss's wife died today.  This explains why he's been out of the office so much as of late.

I remember how it was for me when I lost my wife. And I feel sorry for my boss, as he will soon be going through the same type of grief experience I did 26 years ago.  Although I don't know much about the man, I know that he must have cared for his wife as much as I did mine.  

Sadly, death is an important part of life.  It gives us an impetus to get things done if we are smart.  We realize that life won't last forever, so smart people don't waste any time in achieving their goals.  Not so smart people waste much of their time, and accomplish very little.  And yet, that's not a bad thing. If everyone had what it took to accomplish great things, we'd all be in conflict with each other and nothing would get done.  

Would I have liked to have lived a different life, knowing what I do now?  Yes!  Many of the major things would still be the same in a revised life, save that I would have gotten therapy much earlier, put more energy into getting an education, and invested my money better.  Yet, as the adage goes: We have two lives. The first is where one makes the big mistakes.  And the second is where one uses what one has learned in the first life to make the second life precious.

As for me, I'm enjoying that second life.  Coming out as a Transgender person has allowed me to be the person I want to be - even if I can't be that person full time.  A little bit of something good is much better than having nothing.  And I have a lot of something good these days....


Monday, April 11, 2022

Computer Problems

 

The computer shown above is similar to that I used in college and on my first full time computer position.  And if it weren't for bad marketing, the manufacturer might have stood a better chance of surviving the consolidation of the early mainframe industry.  

Today's post is a short one. It's about problems which will always plague  the computer industry - no matter hard one tries, computer bugs will get into the field and cause havoc.  In my case, I was one of 5 people for whom a network change paralyzed our computers - and kept from doing any meaningful work for a couple of hours.

Normally, I get to work somewhere between 8:00 and 8:15.  (I'll make up any lost time at the end of the day.)  It takes me about a minute or two to log on to the computer, activate a service, log into a batch of work, and start working that batch.  Today, I couldn't do so.  My computer couldn't connect to the network.  

Although it took about 2 hours to fix the problem, I started thinking - do we really want things like self driving cars?  Given that everything originates from the mind of a human at one point of creation or another, and that humans are flawed, can we trust any machine designed by a human to act perfectly?  No!  There are cases where Tesla automobiles using the autopilot mode have crashed into stationary objects.  This is why Tesla instructs the driver to remain alert behind the wheel when this mode is used - they know enough not to give unlimited trust to their own computer systems in their cars.  (And I'm one of the people who would trust Tesla's systems, as they are the best in the field.)

Later on, I thought about the story behind the book/movie "2010".  When the HAL-9000 computer (from "2001") was given the order to keep its mission a secret from the people on board, the computer thought the best way of keeping the secret would be to kill the crew. Again, human failings caused a computer malfunction.  Although this is fictional, it should serve as a warning to people who put blind faith in computer systems - they will fail when least expected and cause the most damage.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The difference between two friends.

 


 
Today, I sent a picture of RQS to TCL and Vicki and got two very different types of responses.  Unlike most of  my posts, I plan to adapt the normal format to account for two different conversation threads....

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I started out by sending a picture of RQS to my two friends.  She was wearing a purple coat and colorful leggings.  Vicki responded with:

Pretty. Love all the purple and colors. Makes me think she's a fun person 
 
We then talked about where RQS and I were meeting, with nary a mention of RQS's background.  Contrast this with TCL's responses:

Does she know you took the picture and sending it to me?
What does she think about you wanting to send it to me?
What ethnicity is she?
Is she taking a picture of you? I see she's holding a cell phone.

Notice the difference?  Vicki is focused on who RQS is, while TCL is concerned about whether I have permission to send the picture to her and what ethnicity RQS identifies as.  Who do you think is the more accepting person?

I'll admit that RQS is far outside of the type of person I usually find attractive and want to date.  My wife (and most of the women I've dated in middle age) was a "dirty blonde", and I am attracted to women with this color hair.  RQS is anything but.  This is not the time and place where I plan to tell my readers more about her.  But both of us are surprised that we get along together so well....




An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...