Yearly Archives: 2013

Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese

I recently went with my girlfriend to see The Wolf of Wall Street. This movie is about Jordan Belfort and his company Stratton Oakmont. Stratton Oakmont was a boiler room. The story follows Jordan from starting out as a stock broker, to his ascendency and financial success, and finally to his arrest.

I had watched the previews and read a little about the movie before I saw it but I was still surprised by many aspects of the story. First off this is rated R for a reason. There was a lot of sex and drugs. Way more than I was expecting. No matter what else you may think about the characters one thing everybody must agree on is that they lead quite an exciting life. Not a life for everyone, mind you, but an exciting one.

I had three main takeaways from this movie:
1) If something sounds to good to be true (stocks in particular) it probably is.
2) White collar crimes carry way less penalties compared to other types of crime.
3) Don’t do drugs.

The main character and his pals had a lot of money and partied a lot. But they didn’t exactly acquire all of the money legally. They never show the person on the other end of the phone. We only see the perpetrators and their lives. I wonder if this still goes on today, and if it does I also wonder how widespread it is.

After the movie my girlfriend and I tried to come up with characters that we liked. There were not a lot of candidates. I liked the FBI agent and the friend who was a drug dealer (Brad – the character with the mustache and the foreign wife). I also thought the Swiss banker was funny and Aunt Emma was a nice addition to the cast and story.

Did you see this movie? What did you think of it? What was your favorite character?

Goals Page

I have recently added a goals page to the top menu. This will help me keep track of my goals and give me some public accountability. It will also help to keep me focused. I have been known to flit from thing to thing in the past.

I would like to keep the goals page to medium to long term goals that are realistic and measurable. I am not sure how well it will work but I think it will help me keep my goals fresh in my mind.

Do you have a goals page on your blog? Why or why not? How can I make mine better?

The Gap Year – Not Just for Youngsters Anymore

I was perusing Google News when I came across an article about baby boomers taking a gap year very late in life. (Article) I have heard of gap years for younger people between high school and college or between college and starting a full time job. This was the first time I have read about it for older people.

The impression I received from the article is that these individuals took a risk. They gave up their secure but stressful jobs to pursue a passion and they mostly enjoyed the change. I like this idea. I wonder how many people that do this wish they had done it sooner. I hope I have the courage to follow my passion when the opportunity presents itself (or to even make the opportunity.)

I think being at the same job for 30 years would be incredibly boring. I think everybody probably thinks that when they are starting out. I am working hard to pay off my student loans so I have the chance to pursue more opportunities if I wish. I would like to save up a bit of money and then take a year off and go traveling. This might not be the most practical thing to do but it gives me a medium term goal.

This post has given me two goals

1. Pay off student loans

2. Take a gap year to travel/pursue hobbies

I may make a goals page. This would be a good way to track my goals and keep me somewhat accountable. Sometimes just typing things out helps me understand the situation better. I would suggest a blog to anyone.

Have you taken a gap year or know someone who has? Did they feel it was an overall positive experience?

Three Practical Benefits to taking Baths in the Winter

I decided to take a bath this afternoon after a long weekend and I came up with 3 practical benefits to bathing in the winter.

1. It warms you up

I take warm baths and after I get out my body is really warm form sitting in the tub.

2. It warms my apartment up

After I am done I sometimes leave the warm water in the tub and let the heat dissipate into the air rather than sending it down the drain. This is like recycling the heat that is stored in the water.

3. It adds moisture to the air

When I leave the water in the tub it also adds some moisture to the air which can help humidify my apartment which can get quite dry in the winter.

These three benefits are in addition to getting clean and relaxing that come with bathing anyway. Readers of my previous work know I am already a fan of baths. I would encourage you to give bathing a try if you haven’t done it in a while.



It is the season of Carmex! I am partial Carmex over Burt’s Bees and other lip balms because I am from Wisconsin and Carmex is from Franklin, WI. I like to support the home team.

I was reading the tube today and it says”apply to lips not more than 3 to 4 times daily”. I have been flouting that “guideline” every winter. When my lips are chapped I need the soothing relief!

What lip balm do you use?

A Strange Sight on Campus

Horse at UW-Madison

Horse at UW-Madison

I saw this horse on UW Campus right off the bike path on the Saturday of Freakfest. My best guess is that it was going in for surgery. (why else would it be shaved?) Is my idea plausible or is there a better explanation?


I spent the weekend with my girlfriend and we made pierogi. Actually she made pierogi and I tried to stay out of the way. It was our first time doing it and they turned out pretty good.

Pierogi on the counter 1

This picture shows the insides (potatoes, cheese, onion and spices) on the dough before closing them up.

Pierogi on the counter 2

After closing them up and sealing with the tines of the fork. This gives them a nice look.

Continue reading

I recently went to the National Mustard Museum. I wrote a bit about it here. I wanted to share a picture:

National Mustard Museum

Wearing this would have been a horrible summer job!

I am a mustard eater after going to the museum. I have a bottle of stone ground mustard in the fridge to eat with pretzels. Just goes to show that you never know if you will like something until you try it. There are bottles of mustard from many states and countries. And for a price of free you really can’t go wrong.

You can find out more about the museum and shop here.

Have you ever been to the museum? Are there any other small museums I should check out?

November to date

I will start off by apologizing. I have not had a post in awhile. I have no real excuse but I am going to try anyway.

I had been studying for a test at work (I passed). These tests are voluntary and are to earn designations (letters after my name). I find several benefits to these tests and the designations I can earn:

1. It shows I care and looks good to management
2. The designations are recognized industry wide and are transferable
3. The company pays for the tests, bonuses when you reach certain levels and gives study time and extra time off if you pass

I think the time I spend on it is well worth it.

I saw the movie Gravity with my brother the other week. It floored me! It was visually stunning, the story was great and I was on the edge of my seat with the characters. Look for the fetus imagery, the howling at the moon scene (noticed by my brother) and the evolution out of water scene. For those of you that now a bit about the Polish language keep an ear out as well.

My girlfriend and I had the chance to spend some time together. One of the places we went to was the National Mustard Museum in Middleton. I have never really eaten mustard but with the free samples it was a great time to try it. I did like some of them. The museum was free and was pretty busy, much more so than either myself or my girlfriend expected. It was a fun place. I would suggest checking it out if you find yourself in the area with time to kill.

I am continuing to commute by bike. The only problem I have had has been my lock freezing up after the snow we had earlier in the week. It was only just below freezing so I was able to get it undone by blowing hot air into it. I have no shortage of that. I am now being more careful about how I position it. I have also bought lock deicer. Two solutions that I have heard since I was talking to people about it were a lighter and a cup of hot water. I would have never have thought of these things myself. I guess I don’t know everything just yet.

How have you been? Has anything exciting happened to you lately?