BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


Finding Love Is Like Waking Up On February 29th

Here's what I've figured out after a lifetime of dating...

Ok... So I've yet to find love.  Or at least mutual love.  I've had girls that found love in me, and I've found love in girls... But the girls in love with me I wasn't in love with and the girls I loved didn't love me.

So obviously I'm no expert here.  But here's the thing, it's not that I wasn't COMPLETELY in love with those girls that were interested in me it's just that I was capped from going higher in my feelings.  And it's not that the ones that I was in love with weren't interested in me at all... They were... They were just capped at a lower number of interest...

Let me explain...

Every day we meet people.  We always meet new people.  At work.  At the store.  In line at Wawa if you live in Philly... Or at the beach if you live in Cali.  At the gym.  At yoga.  Out at the bar.  At a show.  Anywhere that other people are... We meet people.

Just like if you wait long enough... You wake up on a February 29th.  It does happen if you wait long enough.  Otherwise no one would ever get married.

But it doesn't happen to everyone at an optimal level on the mutual interest scale.

So most of the people you meet are not February 29th.  Even if they are a high enough number and you are as well for it to lead to a relationship... it might never because you might never have the situation that will lead to love, or at least one of the lower levels of love.

Two people alone watching a movie on a couch and drunk on wine of any level of compatibility above a 1 will probably be enough of a situation to lead to the start.

The start is basically going beyond strangers... Beyond friends... Beyond anything acceptable in public.  Any intimate act.  Kissing... or anything beyond that.

Let's use the drunk on a couch with a movie situation in all examples of compatibility levels.  What is a compatibility level?

Ok so there are different levels of compatibility.  SO for myself to EVERYONE else on this planet... I have a compatibility rating of 0 to 10.  Then every other person on the planet also has a compatibility rating of 0 to 10.

Out there somewhere there is a girl that looks at me and she says to herself wow... Like... he's a 10.  I could totally fall in love with him and never want another guy on the planet ever.  Then there is a girl out there that I say to myself... is a 10.  I could fall in love with her and never want anyone else on this planet.

So most people that are in relationships...  I feel, are lower on the compatibility chart.  When lower numbers meet one another they will stick together until something happens in the situation chart to break them up.  Or until they meet someone of a higher number.

Situations can include things that bring people together... Like a work xmas party where everyone gets drunk at the bar.  Or situations can break people apart... Like fighting over bills.

Now any number can meet any other number at any point through life.

I could be anywhere in public and meet anyone of any number.  Most people I meet are 0.

Obviously if most people weren't 0 we'd all just be walking around wanting to jump one another's bones.  SO it makes sense that love is a leap year.  It makes sense that it's rare.  Otherwise society would fall apart.

You want most people to not find one another attractive.  Or to feel romantic interest in each other.  You want it to be rare.

Then every now and then there's a 1 or a 2.  Or maybe a 3 or 4.  Maybe you're out at quizzo or karaoke and you meet a 4.  Or maybe you are just out with friends for drinks.  You both start chatting...

But maybe you're both not 4s... maybe you're a girl and a guy walks up to you.  That guy to you is only a 2.  You have some interest.  But to him you're a 4.  So he's much more interested.  Right there... it's off balance.  Right there... the next 6 months will end.  And they will have ended no matter what each person did because fundamentally to her he was a 2 will always be a 2.  And to him she's a 4 and will always be a 4.

If they were stranded on a desert island... They could have stayed together for the rest of their lives...

But both people as they move through time meet new people...  SO the following happens:

Here's an example... Person A is a 2 to Person B and Person B is a 4 to Person A when they meet.  They stay together for about 6 months... Then an 8 comes long for Person B.  Obviously the 8 is strong enough to push the 2 out of the way.  So person B breaks up with Person A because the attraction is so strong they are absolutely totally driven to be with that person.  But now you have an 8 and a 4.  So the 8 treats the 4 unkind.  Even though the 2 that they were previously with treated them like gold.

The roles reverse.  The 4 to the 2 was always going over the top because the 2 just had less interest.  It's a seemly one way relationship of that person always fighting for attention.  For love.  Now the 4 is fighting for the 8.  But it won't last because the number spread is just too far apart.

To people on the outside it makes no sense.  They see a person that was with someone nice and is now with someone else that just seems to treat them like crap.  But it's because the mutual attraction scale is miss matched.  At a lower level both people care less... So it's one of those relationships where people are just like "I think they are together?".

If you have a 1 and a 2 together.... It's like not hot an steamy at all.  It's one of those situations where they are like... One person is dating the other because they don't have enough money to afford rent and so they eventually move in with each other because they need to save money.

And maybe they eventually get married because one of them has healthcare benefits and they need the benefits of the other person.

There's virtually no romantic interest.  it's just one of those... Is what it is.

That's a 1 and a 2.  Or maybe a 2 and a 3.  They never say "I love you" to one another.  To say it is like a chore.  The guy spends his nights playing video games.  The girl spends her nights avoiding him.  Every now and then they have sex.

A 1 and a 10 situation would be an old rich guy and a 25 year old model.  Or a 0 and a 10 would be a famous actor or actress or musician with an obsessed fan.

The famous actress has no interest at all in this obsessed fan.  But to this regular joe schmo guy who is a nobody has a 10 for this actress.

Of course this Joe Schmo has a coworker that thinks he a 4.  He thinks she's a 1.  Every year at the xmas party they get drunk and end up making out.

Every year she thinks something might happen with him and every year he tells this girl she's nothing compared to this Hollywood actress.

Meanwhile the other rich guy is probably TOTALLY crazy in love with his 25 year old model.  SO he's a 10 to this "hot thing".  But she's all like a 1 to him... just because she wants his money when he croaks.

That brings us to a leap year.  A leap year is when two higher numbers get together.  A leap year is that couple that met, dated, got serious, moved in together, set a date, got married, and now have a kid and have been together ever since.

I'm going to say a leap year doesn't have to be two 10s.  I would say two 10s are nearly impossible.  I would argue there are only a dozen two 10s in the world.  I would say there are hundreds of two 9s... maybe thousands of two 8s.

Hundreds of thousands of two 7s.  7 to 10s are those people that live into their 90s and both people are still in love after like 70 years of marriage.

That's rare.  Super rare.  It requires a lot of luck of both people meeting high numbers.  And having a drunk on the couch situation to initiate love in the first place.

Although I feel as though if two people above a 6 both meet... The attraction should be strong enough that they hint at one another that they will end up at some point kissing drunk on a couch no matter what.

This brings us to 5s.  5s are leap years.  5s are what you want.  Obviously you want above a 5 but a 5 is good enough to end in marriage.  But common enough to be real.

It's enough of a mutual attraction to induce a wedding.  But low enough on the scale for the odds of it to actually happen to be more realistic.  It's a trade off.  It's a compromise.  Because we all can't be two 10s.

I'd settle for two 5s.  I think most people would.

I feel like two 5s are maybe a million people are a 5 to you.  So out of all the billions of people on  this planet... that means each person has a million 5s.

That means you just need two 5s to cross paths.  Then have drunk on the couch watching a movie to induce a kiss.

That's enough for them to get together and eventually fall in love enough to cross the threshold to marry.

So, I'm not looking for a 10... Or even a 9... or 8 or 7 or 6... I'm just looking for a 5.  I'm looking for a common love.  A lover that shows up every 4 years.  It's rare.... But it's there from time to time.

A 5 and a 6 works too.  As long as each person is within one number of one another... 2 or more numbers apart and you start to get major problems.

This is how things were with the last girl I fell for.  She was WAY up there on the scale for me... but I was lower on the scale for her.

A 5 and 5.  Because everything is best in moderation... Including love.


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Old Rug

So I just was out in the garage trying to find a rug that I had in my apartment, I want to put the rug in my music/creative room.

In the garage is a lot of stuff.  Some is stuff from my grandparents', some is my mom's stuff, some is my great grandmom's stuff, some is a friend of my mom's.  I mean... It's just stuff.  Nothing really super crazy valuable.  Just... Mostly things that were just kept because...

There's items that my mom and her friend were going to have a yard sale to get rid of... They were my mom's friends dad's stuff.

What do most of these people have in common?  They've all passed away.  It's just stuff still there.

Even this rug was originally from my grandparents' house in Califronia.

I feel like... just sad really.  I mean... It has be thinking about this one line in Fight Club... "Given a long enough timeline the survival rate for anyone drops to zero."

It's true.  Everyone you know, including yourself will be gone eventually just leaving behind stuff.  Houses, bank accounts... Things... Photos.  Stuff.

If we did a "where are they now special" on people 150 years from now... I can tell you where they would all be.

All of that corporate ladder climbing... Where are they now at the 150 year high school/college reunion?

You guessed it.  All those accomplishments and all that hard work you put in day after day... Where did it get you 150 years from now?

Sorry to be kind of depressing.  But I mean... I don't know, I live in a house filled with stuff that is now mine... That used to belong to others.

I have bank accounts that are now mine that used to belong to others.

And one day... All this stuff... Will belong to someone else... At least temporarily.  Until the next person in line is handed the hot potato for a hot minute in the grand scheme of all time and universe...

This thought was mostly sparked by a broken piece of glass in the garage that I was sweeping up.  I don't know how it broke.  It was in there broken.  I feel like that's a lot of how life is... Just sweeping up the broken pieces of things that we don't even know how they broke in the first place.  When all we wanted was a rug.

I guess it is a strange thought.  We put all this time and effort into getting to the top... But the top of what?  Eventually... when they do a "where are they now" special on us... in 150 years...

You know where we'll be.

Gone... Broken shards of glass being swept up by someone else and tossed in a waste basket to be taken away...

And forgotten... Eventually.

I know, I know... You just have to enjoy life in the short term while we're all here on this planet.  It's a funny thing.  All of us know the end result.  Yet we do things like get up each day and go to jobs that most of us don't really like... Yes there are a handful of people that found the job of their dreams... But most of us would rather be doing other things with our time... Even the people that are like "I'm on my way to the top"...

Again... top of what?  And then what do you do at the top?  Hang out.  Snap a few photos.  Wait for things to eventually go back downhill... because no one can stay on the top forever.  Eventually one day... things go south.

That's inevitable.  I mean look at all the people that were on the top in 1900.  At the height of their careers.  In love.  Happy with their lives.

What happened to those people that had "amazing lives" in 1900?

Where are they now?

I don't even have to answer that question.  We all know where they are.  Every single one of those people.

Sorry to be kind of depressing.  I'm just having a moment.  I suppose I'll go set the rug up then maybe have a sleepy time tea and head to bed.

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Warmer Days Ahead

It's just nearly March.  Today wasn't bad.  I actually sat outside and soaked in some of the warmth... I suppose that's a relative term.  To the people that live by the equator they would be like warm?  What are you talking about???

It's the same as talking about a hundred thousand dollars to a college student versus Warren Buffet.  Warren will be like what are you talking about???

The college student will be like WHOA SON!!!

It's all relative.  One person's trash is another's treasure.  Kind of like dating.  Someone's ex is someone's new love.  Like the girl I'll one day marry... She'll have been some other guy's "what are you talking about???".  Meanwhile I'll be like WHOA SON!  This girl is what's up!

It's all relative.

What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, warmer days.  So the thing about March is... You know it's almost warm days.  And it's cool because after having all these months of cold air... It makes you appreciate it.  It's like when you haven't kissed someone in FOREVER and then... You kiss someone.  It's like huh... Well now, I'd forgotten how that feels.

Did I kiss someone recently?  I'm not one to kiss and tell.

Let's just say it's warm outside... Or warmer than it has been.

So let's see... It's spring break at work.  I get one day off... tomorrow.  The students have a whole week off.  I'll take an extra day though.  Works for me, to not have work.

I think tomorrow I'm going to get out and do a few little yard work things.  This probably could wait until the beginning of April.  But, I'll at least do a couple things for an hour maybe.  It's supposed to be rainy in the morning but the afternoon looks decent.  High of 57, partly cloudy.  Or... If I decide to go with the glass half full outlook, partly sunny.  I'm an optimist.  I almost wrote optometrist.  I'm not an optometrist.

Sounds like a romantic comedy...

They never saw eye to eye... He's an optimist, she's an optometrist... He viewed the world through rose colored glasses, she viewed the world through prescription glasses.

The Optimist and The Optometrist... Coming to theaters this Summer.

I really have a whole to-do list for things around the house, I could stay home for a week and not run out of things to do.  My next project is to make the room next to mine into a little music studio space/workspace.  I also need a couch for the living room and a new fridge and washer and dryer.  Waiting until all is settled with the money stuff for that.  I don't like to count chickens until I've got lots of hatched chicks.  Right now I have some chicks hatched but... It's only a handful out of all the chicks on the way from the hatchery.

Then I'll order the hot tub for the back porch.  Kidding.  I'm not going to buy a hot tub.  Too much maintenance.  Maybe if I publish a number one selling book or write a number one hit single.

I mean I COULD put a hot tub in if I wanted.  But I'm not going to.  I need a music room first with a drum set.  And a space to write and work on creative things.  And focus on stock trading research.

Splurging on hot tubs will come after I've made it and become established.  You have to be established first.  Once I'm established... Hello hot tub.

Established in what?  I have no idea.  Does it really matter?  Ask any one that's established.  They will tell you.  You just have to be established in something.

I feel like if you have business cards that say "professional" that you can hand out to people.  That's when you know you're golden and then you can have a hot tub in the back.

"So what exactly is it you do?"
"Says right there... Professional established hot tuber.  I go around and sit in hot tubs and show people the exact way to sit in the hot tub and look like a million bucks doing it."
"Oh snap!  I've been looking all over for someone like you.  What's your availability this week?"
"I have an opening this Thursday."
"Perfect.  How's 2pm?"
"I'll pencil you in."

Where was I?

Oh yeah, house things... Yeah, I could just stay home for a week and still have plenty to do. Work on this newest song I've been working on, work on books (I'm soooo close to finishing my first book), work on stock trade research (I sold two stocks last week so I need to replace those with two more to bring me back up to 40 holdings), work on my taxes... I really usually don't start those until mid March because I'm always waiting for updated/adjusted investment tax stuff... I might have to actually hire an accountant.  My taxes are starting to get kind of complicated.  I guess that's how it goes as we age... Taxes just keep getting more and more complicated.

Life gets more complicated.  You know how it goes.

Which is why we all need a hot tub to just sit in and relax at the end of the night.

Story = true.

So yep.  I'm excited for the warmer weather ahead.  Definitely going to have to start running again in Valley Forge Park.  I haven't been there since the Fall.  Maybe head out to Longwood Gardens too.  I haven't had a chance to go there since the Fall either.  Probably have a few more cold days yet to come... but those days are on their way out with the change of the season.  Woo Spring!

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I received a dividend a couple days ago from Costco.  I had decided to purchase some shares a little bit before the Ex-Dividend date because I'm fairly certain it's a pretty decent investment.  I now have to find 2 more stocks to get into after selling for a small profit two other companies I was in.  So far this year my realized gains are still beating my dividends, although my next dividend from Simon Property Group will inch that dividend number closer again to my realized capital gains and pretty soon I'll have to trade again... and again.... and again.  Got to keep that number up just like in a video game.

I'm also trying to nab 300 free trades from my broker.  If I transfer in a specific amount of money they will give 300 free trades.  That would be awesome because commissions do count against my final realized capital gains number.  Hopefully that promotion will still be available by the time the amount I need to transfer in to my account becomes available to me from the various estate and trusts things that are all happening at the moment.

I actually started using the pro version of the trading platform since I now make enough trades a year that they notified me I can have access to that.  Oh goodness.  It's amazing.  The charts and technical analysis features are gravy.  I LOVE the whole realtime thing.  During the trading hours of 9:30 to 4pm they give you realtime stats and price changes.  As well there's real time news and trading signals.

It's kind of crazy how powerful it is.  In the trading world the more information you have and the better analysis tools you have at your disposal, the better trades you can make.

Now my trading strategy still relies on long-term holds.  So I'm mostly just "browsing" at this point.  I have been making test trades, or hypothetical trades with larger amounts of money, like in the 100k range.  This is something I'm very interested in.  Day trading in lots of 100k.  OR perhaps 50k.  I also might do something where I use margin trading so if I put down 100k I can actually buy 200k in shares.

Hypothetically let's look at a stock like Campbell Soup...

This is a strong stock, it holds well, it's in a bull trend, people aren't likely to stop buying Campbell Soup tomorrow.  It's not hugely effected by commodity prices like oil stocks have been.  In fact, most of the water, utility, and food stocks have been capturing my attention lately.  Cheap things.  TJ Maxx... Domino's pizza just hit an all time high.

Everyday stuff is what I like.  I don't care much for the over the top future sci fi innovation.  I want things like Costco.  I want everyday people buying everyday stuff.

Back to Campbell Soup:

If you look at that chart, as of Feb 26, 2016 (obviously if someone is reading this in the future the chart will have changed, and who knows, Campbell Soup could be out of business, or bought up or merged)...

You can see it's holding strong even into 2016 when the overall market is down.  There are two spots that I'm interested in...

The 50 day moving average pull back in January...

And the 200 day moving average pull back in November....

Both of those spots were opportunities to buy in and then hold.  Now, let's say you took that 100 grand and you bought shares at the 50 day moving average pull back in January.  Then you sold a little while later.  Let's go with a purchase of 52 dollars per share.  Then lets sell at the next point of resistance at 56 dollars a share.  SO we buy let's say, 2000 shares, which is 104 thousand dollars... then we sell those 2000 shares at 56, about a month later.

That's an income of, drumroll please...

2000 x 52 dollars a share = 104k

2000 x 56 dollars a share = 112k

Pretax/precommission/pre fee profit?

8 grand.

You have to pay short term cap gains taxes and there's commissions and fees which are not much at all... mostly it's the taxes that you eat it in (see what I did there?  Eat... Campbell... Yep).  But even if you lost half that profit to taxes... 4 grand for two mouse clicks a month apart?  And you spend the rest of the days in January on a beach in a tropical climate?


Or more my style... Sit around and make music/work on books all day.  Which is my dream.  Trade stocks... Make music, make books.  Use the stock profits to fund books and music... and eventually make movies.  I suppose once the music/books/movies start all making money...

I'd probably give up the trading.  So it's a means to an end really.

Obviously I'm making these trades hypothetically at this point because I don't yet have that capital available to me... But we're looking at a scenario like this in my future.

For now I'll stick with my very small trades.  My last two stock sells this past week I only made about 25 and 30 dollars from the first and second one.  Plus, I got in right before the Ex-Div date so I was able to capture a dividend on each one as well.

I don't know if I'll EVER be able to trade in the 100k lot range.  Just because.... I don't think I'd sleep for the time that my money was in the market.  I mean, yes I can say I'm 75 or 90 percent sure this stock will trend in this or that direction....

But there's always variables in the market.  There are always events that you just can't see coming.

That's why the number one rule is diversify.

What I might be more inclined to do is a day trade where I enter and exit my position on the same day maybe even within an hour or two.  This way I KNOW my capital is safe in cash.

We'll see.  Only time will tell.  I just have to continue to trade on a smaller scale and trade my successes and failures and make my decisions based on a data driven analysis.

Oh by the way, if you had leveraged that Campbell soup bull trend month long swing trade at a 2 to one and borrowed 100k against your 100k you put down?  You'd have a 16 grand return in one month.

Of course you have to pay the daily margin fees... But those are fairly nominal at that level.

For now, I'll just hold my Costco shares and collect the dividend and hope that their loyal customers continue to shop there, if this is any indication, I should be in good shape...

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Talia Trails

Maybe you're team Talia, or maybe not.  Either way, there are millions of young-ins that have definitely felt the hardship of moving to a new city or town.  So, I've decided today's post will be a fictitious startup idea that I had this evening while washing some dishes, sipping on some "Blueberry Cobbler" flavored New England Coffee  and making dinner after work.  If any entrepreneurs/venture capitalists out there want to take the idea and run with it... Be my guest!  Just make sure to mention me in the credits.  And maybe throw a few shares my way if things really take off.

Maybe someone at Y Combinator can make this a thing... Just remember to register the corporation in Delaware.  Why Delaware?  Listen to "How To Start A Startup" from Stanford University on iTunes U.  They explain it to you.  I believe it's Lecture 11: Legal and Accounting Basics.  All you really need to know is.... Just register your business in Delaware and worry about everything else later.

Ok so, this idea was partially first hatched last night just before I fell asleep as I read the latest in the letter to the letter to the letter saga that is Talia's Yelp letter to her CEO ( followed by Stefanie Williams' letter to Talia ( followed by Sara Lynn Michener's letter (

Then... Suddenly, an idea was born...

We're all just following in the footsteps of someone else that has been there, and done that, before us.  So...

Ladies and Gents, I present...

Talia Trails


Tagline/Slogan: Moving to a new city can be scary... It doesn't have to be!

Mission: Lets help others help others help others help others... Or, a little less open letter conversation a little more action.  To help and be helped in return.... HALP!  Moving is a cray cray stressful experience, I'm feeling no bueno about this new job/city... Something like that.  (Obviously this is a work in progress)

Moving to a new city can be very scary, but (not a real website... yet) can help.

Maybe you have a job lined up but no apartment, or maybe you've found the perfect place in that little trendy part of town and will be making the big move with savings you've stashed away because you don't have the perfect job yet.  Maybe you have neither, but you just needed a change and a fresh start.  Or perhaps you have both but just no support network to greet you when you arrive in your new city.  No friends or family to hang out with on your first Friday night in a new town.  No big bro or little sis to show you all of whats around and where to go in town... Or that best friend from college to link up with.

I mean, let's face it... Not all of us have those people in life to rely on when moving somewhere new.

That's why we created Talia Trails. is here to help just the way a family member would, or a best friend.  Now everyone can experience familiarity and fellowship even if they are making a big leap into uncharted territory.  With Talia Trails you can find and follow the footsteps of those who have made the same move before you from exactly the same city you are moving from.

And after you've made your big move and become a transplanted local expert on your new digs... Sign up and share your story to help those who come after!  Recommend living spaces, or workplaces.  Share horror stories you've had when times were bad.  Or give a glimmer of hope when you finally made it.  Connect and share.

Tell about that one apartment complex from hell.  Or discuss the workplace that you regretted ever taking a job at.  Or maybe talk about the little part of town that had that one dive bar with the best karaoke around where you met your new best friend.  Share it all in a story for others to search for.  Or message back and forth to give realtime feedback to someone excited to live the life that once bedazzled you in your youthful days.

But with Talia Trails, you can be both a newbie and an oldie... Because you've become an expert in your new scene and new job and new apartment.  You've been in your new town for a few years now.  You know ALL there is to know about the place, but what's this in your email inbox?

You just got a job offer you can't refuse...

Suddenly it starts all over again.  You need a friend, a trail guide to show you the new world you're about to head off to... But once you move, you long for the last few years.  You long to assist some fresh whippersnapper still wet behind the ears from their last move.  You mentor the younger... While you rake in the wisdom from an elder of your new slick little city spot in the world.

From Talia Trails to you... Happy trails!



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Curio Has All The Covers

So... I'm here in my room just working on some things and Faith and Curio come in.  Curio wraps herself up in the blanket...

I actually have another photo of her with only her eyes peeping out at me through a very small opening and the whole blanket around her entire body.  Faith walks over to the blanket and tries to get inside.  Curio wasn't all about sharing her blanket.  She wants all the covers to herself.

Here's an Instagram of one of the photos I snapped...



Oh these cats.  My mom would be laughing so hard at this and telling me to send her the photo so she could send it to all of her friends.

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BOGO: Blueberry Cobbler Coffee

Tonight I decided to brew up some blueberry cobbler coffee.  It's fantastic.  Well, I mean, I'm no coffee connoisseur, so to me it was pretty fantastic.

My latest thing after work has just been to come home and do things around the house.  As soon as I get home I first start boiling the water for a french press of coffee and then I feed the cats.  Then I'll make some dinner while I drink coffee.

Tonight was crazy.  It stormed on until just a few minutes ago.  I even lost power.  Some of the cats were a bit scared from all the lightning and thunder and wind, so I pet them.  They seemed fine after that.

Anyways, back to the coffee.  This coffee I wouldn't have normally bought, but I decided since it was essentially free, why not?  It's one of those BOGO things.  Buy one, get one free.  I'd actually never heard the term "BOGO" until I went to college out near Pittsburgh and they had BOGO signs all over the place in Giant Eagle.  I was like... What the heck is BOGO?  They were like duh... it's buy one get one free.

Me: Ohhhhh.  Got it.

New college friend: Yinz aren't from around here are ya?

Me: No.

New college friend: Oh look... The pop is BOGO.

Me: It's soda.

New college friend: No.  It's pop.

Me: Soda.  It's soda.

Let's just say that friendship didn't last.

So I bought this coffee along with a breakfast blend, even though I drink my coffee after work.  It's breakfast o'clock somewhere right?  Now, the other coffee I've had before and enjoyed it.  I picked up a bag of that and then mulled over my second choice.  I thought about just getting the same one twice, but that's kind of boring.  Sometimes you have to spice up your life!  You know?  Yes.  You do.  Right, so I was deciding between the french vanilla and this one.  I actually placed the french vanilla in my cart, but then decided halfway down the next aisle that I wanted the other one.

I'm sooooo glad I changed my mind.  I mean, I'm sure the french vanilla would have been good too.  But this one?  Like I said, it's fantastic.

What brand is it you ask?

It's New England Coffee...

The only thing I don't like about it is that it's obviously using artificial flavoring.  I feel like artificial flavors just don't always give me the warm fuzzies.  I'm much more into just the natural form of flavor.  Like spices or seasonings or the natural flavor from cooking something.  Like when you slow roast some beef or pork in a crockpot and really get the juices from it.  Like pulled pork.  Or barbecue.  That type of flavor where the meat just has it's own power/presence and you don't have to use anything else.

Artificial flavorings to me have always just kind of made me feel as though the product just wasn't good enough on its own and it needs an enhancement.  Why not just give the product a chance to blossom by itself instead of adding artificial flavoring training wheels?  You know?  Yes.  You do.

But... Hey... Sometimes you just gotta live a little and go with an artificial flavoring even if you don't totally agree.  So I'll be alternating between this one and the breakfast blend in the evening for my after work cup o joe.

Also, I just read an article that linked coffee consumption to lower rates of liver disease (  So... I'm going to go ahead and indulge in the evenings and not feel guilty about it.  Although my dentist will probably not be the happiest of campers when I go in for my quarterly cleaning on the 8th of March.  Oh well.  That's why I go 4 times a year, my teeth stain like crazy from all the tea and coffee I drink.  Eh, can't have it all.  But I can have coffee... Blueberry cobbler coffee in fact.  Mmmmmm.

Oh and the best part is that it makes my house smell all blueberry cobblery.  It's delightful.




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Misty-rita Monday

Yesterday was a full day.  I had to get up early to take my cat Misty to the vet to get a teeth cleaning.  Now all the cats are checked up and their teeth are cleaned and my wallet can hopefully take a breather.  Until their checkup next year.

I have 4 cats: Curio, Misty, Fluff, and Faith.  I should post a little blog about them in the future... Like a little bio about each one.  They each do have a unique quirky little cat personality.

I dropped Misty off early and then picked her up after work.  In order to clean a cat's teeth they have to do a general anesthetics thing.  This means I had to keep the cat from eating starting at 10pm the night before.  It's a whole thing.  Then I had to chase her around the next morning to get her in the cage and then comfort her as she meowed all the way to the vet.

Of course when she got home she was all sorts of tipsy and had trouble walking around.  I eventually got her to sit with me in the living room in my mom's old reclining chair.

This brings me to the evening of my day... While Misty sat next to me I slurped down a tasty margarita in honor of National Margarita day.  My friend Jen came over and we went out to the store to pick up ingredients to make an avocado, fresh squeezed lime and cilantro margarita.  They were soooooo good.  We also got some taquitos.  Then we just hung out and watched some Netflix.  Curio hung and Faith hung out with her and Misty and Fluff hung out with me.

Here's the YouTube video of how to make the drink...



Oh and here's a video of Misty being "drunk" after her teeth cleaning.



On a side note... I had another... "Thanks ex" moment today at work.  Seriously... This girl... It's like she was a muse for so many creative works of art of mine... and now she's still helping me at work.  We haven't even spoken in forever and a day.  And she has no clue that I still have her on my mind pretty much daily.  What can you do though?  Oh well.  Sometimes some people just stick with you in your memory.

I would argue she was probably the most influential person I've ever crossed paths with on this planet so far.  I'm pretty sure no one I'll ever meet will top how inspirational and influential she has been for me.  But... I guess you never know.  Could be someone new right around the corner that will completely change my whole world....

I won't hold my breath.

Anyways so the issue was that isn't working.  We received an email that the site seemed to be down and that it had been down for a few weeks.

I was suspicious of this.  So I used my sleuthing skills to do some detective work.  I decided that it just wasn't possible for a site... Especially one so widely used in the education industry, to be offline for more than a few hours at most.  It just wasn't feasible.

Any business or organization has bills to pay.  They have to keep the lights on.  They have to keep income coming in.  They have employees that work for them who have paychecks to be paid.  Etc. etc.

From their website:

"Turnitin employs over 300 people on five continents.
Here are some of our people working to make a difference in education."

Obviously they wouldn't just allow their site to go offline for a few weeks.  Since their business model kind of relies on it.

Was the site not working?  I tested it out on my own computer.  It was true.  The site didn't work from my computer.  I tried another computer.  No dice.  So it's not the computer.  Then I had a thought...  I'll use a proxy site.

Here's where the ex comes in...

So, I have to admit... Her plan didn't work as well as she'd hoped.  She used to use a site, at least the last time I actually glanced at my Google Analytics, which was like a year ago at least or maybe more, she used this site to read my blog...

It basically let's you redirect your traffic to allow the page to be proxy loaded.  Unfortunately for her I was able to piece together some things here and there by scouring my analytics data (because I was hopelessly in love with her and would spend hours going over my analytics data in hopes to figure out if she was still reading my blog because it meant in some way, shape, or form she was still thinking about me... I know... I know... But, that's what love does.  Don't fall in love.  It makes you do things you wouldn't normally do.) to figure out that it was her using the site to make it look like she wasn't reading my blog.  I knew it was her because I found one little tell-tale sign that the site didn't hide that gave her away.

And then I thought it was kind of super attractive because she was a smarty pants enough to know about hiding your browser analytics by using a proxy site.

Intelligence is so hot.  Especially nerdy geeky computer sleuth intelligence like that.

When a girl figures out how to use a proxy service to hide her browser from analytics collection?

Oh goodness.  Yes.  Holy goodness.  So attractive.  Which was the opposite effect she probably wanted to happen because the point of her using a proxy site to hide her trace was because she DIDN'T want me to know she was reading it.

Because she wanted to make sure I was moving on and wasn't still posting about how in love with her I still was... Etc. etc.

Oh well... That's how love works.  Once you fall... As The Police say... Every little thing she does is magic.

Am I the only one that just finds smarts so attractive?

That girl... she was something special...

Anyways... So I showed my boss using the proxy service site that the site was indeed loading.  To which he replied "Well... Look at you... Fancy boy.  But how do you know it's not just loading a cached version of"

To which I replied... "Good point."

Then we tested the site using some other alternative methods.

We hooked up our alternate Comcast line.  The site works.

This left us with two possible culprits.  It's the ISP... or the firewall.

We checked our firewall settings inside and out and there is nothing that could possibly be blocking that site.  Given that we recently had an issue with our ISP going down...

We decided they were the likely culprit.  Currently we have a ticket open with them.  So I guess time will tell.


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A Date Update

I went on this date last night.  It was a second date.  We were supposed to grab drinks.  The plan was to go to Monk's Cafe in the city...

Sounds like a fine way to follow up some coffee.  I mean... What could possibly go awry with that?

Here's how it actually ended up going:

Me: I'm here.

Her: Great.  Park in the lot in the space that says "reserved".

Me: Are you sure?

Her: Yeah.  There's no one on duty so that lot is free until 7 am.  You'll be fine for a few hours.

Me: Ok, I'm parked... Where am I going now?

Her: I lost my wallet, or I can't find it.

Me: Ok...

Her: Just walk down the street... I'll be out in a minute and then you can come up here while I look for it.

Me: Ok.  She comes to get me... We go up to her apartment.  She shuts herself in her bedroom which I'm now allowed to see because it's a hot mess.  She looks for her wallet.

Her: Yeah, I can't find it.

Me: It's ok.  I was planning on paying anyways.

Her: No, it's not that.  I don't have my ID now.

Me: Oh.  Well... Did you want to do something else?

Her: We'll go anyways.  Maybe they won't card.

Us: We go.  We're at Monk's.  It's super busy.  We decided maybe to try another place.  Three places all card.  It's a Saturday night in the city.  Everywhere is busy, or they card.  Except for...

Her: Gelato?

Me: Sounds good to me.

Us: We grab gelato and talk.

Her: Wanna just go back to my place?  I have wine there.

Me: Hmm... Well... Ok.  I'll just have one glass.

Her: Let's stop at one more place.

Me: Ok.  We stop at an Italian restaurant that also has a bar.  I order a beer, she orders a glass of wine.  We order an appetizer.

Us: Her place again.  We choose a wine.  We open it.  We kill the bottle chatting about life and music and philosophy and religion and exes and such.  The normal stuff you talk about with someone you might potentially get into a relationship with.  It starts getting pretty late.

Her: We can open another bottle if you want?

Me: Ok.  One more glass couldn't hurt.

Her: If you're not good to drive home you can always stay on the couch.  You don't look too good.

Me: I'll be fine.  I just have to lay here for a minute on the couch.

Her: Joking... If you have to puke just make sure you don't do it on the floor.

Me: I'm not going to puke...  1 minute later... I run to her bathroom... I puke.  Well... This embarrassing and awkward.  I'm going to go.

Her: Well, I had a great night and look at that... It's daylight.  She points to the sun beginning to rise.  You better go so you can leave the lot before it opens.

Me: Internally... You had a great night?  Really?  Lost ID and puking?  Externally... That's cool.  Internally... Daylight, there's a different girl that already has a monopoly on that term.  A different chapter in my life.  Externally... Yeah... Look at that, it's daylight.

Her: Text me when you get home.  We'll have to plan something again.

Me:  I text when I get home.  I fall asleep.  A cat sleeps sprawled out on the bed beside me.

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Last Day Of My Budget

Ok.  So today is my last day of my budget.  Woo.  That means tomorrow I'll be going to the grocery store to buy lots of fun things... Like fancy coffee.  Well, not THAT fancy.  I'll probably try that New England coffee brand.  I think I've had their coffee maybe once on my way up to Maine one time when I stopped at the rest stop on the Mass Turnpike for gas.

I'm decently stocked for food but I do need a couple of little things.

Last night I went out with the yoga peeps for some drinks.  It was fun.  I had about 15 bucks left in cash in my wallet in addition to the 20 left on my card.  I'll be using the 20 tonight...  So last night I had to be kind of 'cheap'.  I was going to maybe order a little bit of food, but I decided against it.  Instead I just packed a Cliff bar.  That was basically my post yoga, pre going out snack.

Cliff bars are not the best for like... 5 star dining options.  But they satiate pretty well.  And for the price (usually you can find them on sale at some point somewhere and just load up on them) they are a pretty decent on the go food source bang for the buck.  Beats paying like 12 bucks for an appetizer...

So I had a Cliff bar before I went out with everyone.  So my 15 bucks wasn't going to go very far.  I opted to stick with some cheap beer.  My choice: Corona Light.

It's fairly affordable but it's better tasting than the other "fairly affordable" beer options, at least in my opinion.  Plus it comes with a lime for no extra cost!  Why not just get a regular corona you ask?

Regular Corona is fine with a dinner... But for some reason when I haven't eaten more than a Cliff bar... It just makes my stomach feel a little more blah... after a while.  Especially if I'm going to be there a few hours and have more than one pint.  If I have the light one... I can have a couple and it's no big deal.  I'm fairly certain both have similar ABV but I think the light one might have a slightly lower amount of alcohol.  I'll have to compare them some time.  I don't know, the light one is just... A little more refreshing to me versus the extra.  I think they cost about the same though.  I feel like light beers should cost less than their weighted counterparts.  But unless their's a special of some sort happening or a happy hour... They usually don't seem to.

Ok, so... Why Corona at all?  Well, my choice for Corona more recently is because... I'm a shareholder.  Their parent company, at least when it comes to distribution rights here in the US, is a company called Constellation Brands.  STZ is the stock ticker... So by buying some Corona, in a VERY tiny way, I'm paying myself.  It's almost like the 2 percent cash back I get on my credit card.

A penny saved (or paid to yourself) is a penny earned.

Of course after I got home from the bar I decided to have 2 multigrain waffles with Kerrygold Irish butter and some real maple syrup for dinner.  After having a couple of Corona Lights... That really hit the spot.  Then I went to sleep.

Tonight I've successfully made it to date number 2 with a girl.  Oh my god!  Yes.  It's true.  So there goes my other 20 bucks.  2 beers for each of us on my card to close out my budget at breakeven point.

There's a couple other girls that I've been chatting with on the dating site... That I REALLY have an interest in at least grabbing coffee with or something and meeting.. I haven't met any of them in person yet.  Although one girl I've been talking to that I actually kind of really like... lives in Kansas or something.  So that's not really all that practical to date her.  But I like chatting with her.  I was supposed to talk on the phone Thursday night with one that I actually was super interested in.  She's nearby over in Princeton.  I gave her my number to call me and she never called...  She hasn't responded to messages on the site since either... SO I'm just going to consider her "ghosting".  I guess she got cold feet, or she met another guy and decided to go with him instead.  Or she just got scared or nervous.  Who knows.

This happened last month to a girl I wanted to meet for coffee or a beer or whatever that lived only like 10 minutes away.  She works at the seminary school nearby... We were messaging back and forth, I was starting to get excited and I asked her if she'd like to meet possibly...

No response.  I sent 3 follow up messages... All of them were shown as "read".  No response.

Most of the time you never know... They just kind of fade away back into oblivion and you are just left wondering...

Then you start talking to the next girl and just go with that as long as it lasts until they fade off into oblivion as well.  Or sometimes you become friends when the dating doesn't work out.  Like Monday night a friend that I met YEARS ago on the dating site is coming over to hang out and have margaritas with me since apparently it's national margarita day or something.  We're just going to try our hand at mixing and blending our own margaritas.  Hopefully the blender doesn't blow up.

So it's either oblivion or friends.

Although the ones that you always have the most interest in... Usually end up in oblivion.  I guess for some guy out there they don't end up in oblivion.  Obviously they are picking guys to date... Just not me. So they decided to give me the cold shoulder while they open their door and heart to "Mr.Right".  I just wish I would be Mr. Right for at least one of the girls that makes my heart skip a beat when I see a new message from them... Or new text... Or talk to her on the phone or hear her voice... Or see her in person.

It's tiring always having to start over with someone new.


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