Monday, May 30, 2016

Ruminations on Black Beans

Current Music Selection:  America:  Eponymous album 
There are costs and there are costs.   Trying to establish one's needs and separating the same from one's desires is a difficult job.
Gotta have a place to sleep.  In the long ago, I could have camped out and lived as an urban freegan, but at my age the thought just makes me laugh.  Nope, I want a warm bed and carpet under my feet on a cold morning.  I want a warm place to shit and a shower and a covered place to prepare my food.  Here in Stumptown, that will run you a minimum of $600 over in felony flats, I opt for a bit more luxury in a clean little suburb near the Max line.  $725 is the bill.  Looks to be going up to $750 next year
I like my 110 vac plugs just fine.  The dams on the Columbia send me their best and will be doing so for quite a while yet.  I don't see any reason to change this pleasant little arrangement.  $30 bucks here
Garbage is taken away by noisy fuckers around 05:30 every Monday morning.  I do my best to give them as little work as possible.  Water and sewer are paid with the same $20.00 I pay to my landlord for the noisy bastards waking me up Monday morning.
I own a POS 1999 minivan.  160K and still running.  Paid off, costs me around 30 gallons of gas a month and the insurance for it and my apartment run me $36 a month.  I gotta toss around a grand into it every year or so to keep it running.
Cell phone is $35 a month.
I am paying $32 every month for my internet.  Exploring options here, I am certain that there is a way I can make this go down.  I'll get back to you on that.
In a nutshell, base costs are $876.00 plus whatever 30 gallons of gas costs.
Eating and drinking come next.  I am currently trying to cut a little fat off the gut I have grown.  It has got to be reduced.  So, I am eating low on the food chain.  Rice, beans, and pork are the mainstays.
Beans are cheap.  Figure $1.25 a pound for buy on the fly, $0.50 a pound if you buy a 25 pound sack.   Brown Rice runs the same price as the beans.  When you buy bulk pork sirloin from Cash and Carry, it runs about 1.35 a pound (yes you gotta buy 20 pounds or so).
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) of dried beans (soaked overnight) is 508 calories for $0.17
  • 3/4 cup (135 grams)  of brown rice is 488 calories for $0.15
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) of lean pork sirloin is 216 calories for $0.50
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil is 119 calories lets call this $0.10
  • Spices from Winco's bulk department.  $20 goes a long way.
  • Couple of Bouillon cubes.  Grocery outlet just sold me three boxes of 24 Knorr chicken cubes for a dollar.  Major score there.  Might have to head back for more.  $0.03 here
  • 1-3/4 cups of water
Easy rules.
  • Fry up the pork using the olive oil until it is browned.
  • put the water in and bring the water to a boil
  • toss in the bouillon cubes and the spices and stir until the bouillon cube is dissolved,
  • drain the beans and toss them into the boiling water, let the water come back to boil
  • Dump the rice in and let the water come back to a boil
  • boil for 2-3 minutes, the rachet the burner back to between low and medium low
  • Cook for 30 minutes
Cost for a full quart saucepan is less than a buck.
Calories 1433 (6000 kJ) 72% Protein
From Carbohydrate 818 (3425 kJ) From Fat 313 (1310 kJ) From Protein 302 (1264 kJ) From
Total Carbohydrate 199 g 66%
Dietary Fiber 27.5 g 110%


I guess that what I am trying to do here is work through the process of living a life outside of the endless me, me, me of the consumer world.  What are your needs and what are your wants?  Are your wants organic to your desires, or merely a artifact of what the culture around you wants you to buy?  What do you maintain that is merely a status marker?
We live in a culture that has become increasingly complex over the past forty years.  That complexity is a function of the wealth destruction involved in the looting of the energy resources of oil and coal and the relentless mining of metals.  But now that the we can see the end of that particular process, we seem to be, as a society, doing the equivalent of drumming our heels, sticking our fingers in our ears and chanting la la la.
The spasms that the political superstructure of our society/culture is undergoing now is beginning to reflect the harsh realities of the coming changes.  The Trumpmeister has tapped into the anger of the proles, who are the first being shoved out of the game and who have the unfortunate habit of memory that permits them the understanding that things have been getting worse for some time now and have every appearance of continuing the downward slope unless some changes are made.
Bernie is a wildcard.  He appeals to a slightly different flavor of  folks being pushed off the boat.  Trump seems to appeal to the proles who were on the boat and were pushed off a while back.  Bernie's supporters seem to be drawn from the folks who have come to the realization that they are next.
Then there are Hillary's folks.  They are working hard to make certain that the folks who are being shown the exits do not have the opportunity to horn in on their share of the remaining pie.
The political decision being made in the next two or three elections will define the future of the Republic.  What we have is not sustainable at any level.  What is not sustainable will wither away.  What will replace it is in play for everyone.  Regardless of which way the cookie crumbles, as an individual, you had better get used to the idea that your life will be significantly different in five or ten years than what you have now.
We may well be coming into a period of time when the preconditions necessary for a lot of people's plans will be changing.  The plans built on the stability and continuation of those preconditions may well be in serious jeopardy.
To be able to do weather that change, I think that what will be necessary is a serious inventory of your needs, your wants, and your skills.  That is project that thinking individuals will need to get cracking on.
Good luck

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