Get ready for summer 2024!

Did you have a good Memorial Day weekend? I heard on the radio that it was one of the busiest days of the trip. Boy, am I glad we stayed home. I hate traveling when airports are too busy. Anyway, it was too early for us to travel away as school is still in session. We didn’t even travel locally. The weather in Portland in late May is usually cold and rainy. We learned years ago to never go camping before Independence Day. Too cold and rainy to sleep in a tent right now. Yes, we are getting soft in our old age. This year, we opted to stay home and have a cozy BBQ. After the school year ends, we will go to Japan.

End of 7Th grade

Memorial weekend marks the end of the school year for many students. Congratulations to all the graduates out there! Don’t miss my best advice for new college grads. As for the little ones, enjoy your summer break! You don’t have many of them left before life gets real. That’s what I tell my son.

Unfortunately for RB40Jr, he still has 3 weeks of school left. 7Th Grades have been good for him. He is more familiar with the school and the teachers. He also made a lot of new friends and that is always helpful. Last year was tough because he loved his elementary school and moving to a new middle school was a big adjustment.

This year was a busy one for the RB40Jr. His class staged a mock trial and he was the final aggressor. It was great to see the kids dress up and argue in “court”. RB40Jr did well and his team won. However, the girls were much better on defense. He prepared more and argued his case well. Unfortunately, the jury ruled for the prosecution. I think it’s great that kids get a chance to learn more about our legal system.

Another fun task was making a trailer for a medieval movie. This weekend, RB40Jr and his friends met up at the park and made several hilarious clips. They are now editing it. Children had a lot of fun together. The clips are funny, but they are very funny. I think they will get a good grade just for laughing. Sorry, I can’t show clips here because other kids are in it.

Speaking of school, I’m taking an intro to ceramics class at the community center this quarter. it’s awesome. I am learning a lot. 2 weeks to go and I’m trying to push as many pieces as possible. It is easy to make pottery at home, but it is difficult to fire them in a kiln. There is an alternative, though. I learned that you can fire pottery in a pit or barrel. Over the weekend, I tried firing up a bowl in my new fire pit. I will take it out on Tuesday and see if it works. From what I understand, the survival rate for this type of shooting is pretty low. Pottery is a lot of fun to make. I am enjoying it immensely.

Remembrance Day 2024

Well, we had a nice sunny memorable day. RB40Jr invited a few friends over and we had a great BBQ. I got 2 racks of ribs, 4 bunches of greens, 5 bags of chips, corn and drinks. Yum! I had a great time relaxing outside.

Ahh… that’s life. Why go anywhere when you can grill at home?

Backyard shooting

I’m taking a ceramics class because I want to make some chawan in a Japanese matcha tea bowl. They’re really neat because you don’t have to be perfect. A misshapen chawan is worth more than a perfectly shaped piece. I am having a blast making these bowls.

The hard part of pottery is getting them out. Soil is very fragile after drying. You need to harden them by firing. After the first firing, you can flash them and fire again at a higher temperature. The community center has 3 kilns and they fire for the students. That’s great, but how do I fire my pots after the class is over? A local studio charges about $10 to fire a piece. It is quite expensive.

One alternative I’ve found is to set fire to clay pots in your backyard. Recently, I got a fire pit so it’s perfect. I can try to fire a bowl and enjoy the fire.

Hit my poor bowl with a frying pan while drying in the oven. Mrs RB40 was putting the frying pan in the oven without looking at it first. If you’re Asian, you know what the oven is for. Hahaha anyway, let’s get on with the experimental backyard shootout. There is nothing to lose now.

I wrap the bowl in aluminum foil with banana peels, corn husks, dried seaweed, and various random scraps from the compost bin. Supposedly, these can provide some color. In the center of the fire pit, I put a layer of charcoal and wood. Then I placed my package on top.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well. After about an hour, the cup shattered into several pieces. I think this is not the right clay for pit firing. Also, the fire probably got too hot too quickly. Oh, live and learn. Next time, I will add more sand to the clay and reduce the fire somewhat.

Did you have a good weekend? What did you do to start the summer?

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Joe started. Retire by 40 2010 to find out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at the age of 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have tons of projects all over the US so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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