What is hump day? It’s Wednesday. The hump to your work week. 2 days down and 2 days to go. On hump days I will be sharing articles, videos, or other form of entertainment. It will include links to other posts I have liked throughout the week. Some are parenting articles, others are personal finance ones, and occasionally there will be a random funny article. Enjoy!
On this day
Most of the following was obtained from the History Channel.
It was today that the short lived California Republic was formed. On this day in 1846, the California (Bear Flag) Republic was proclaimed in Sonoma, declaring independence from Mexico.
California, while part of Mexico, had mainly American settlers at the time. Many people had moved from the United States and the Mexican government was concerned these Americans would push for annexation of California.
John Fremont, an American army officer, arrived at Sutter’s Fort (near Sacramento) and began to push for American settlers to form militias and prepare to rebel against Mexico.
This action motivated a group of 33 Americans led by Ezekiel Merritt and William Ide to invade a Mexican outpost in Sonoma.
They surrounded the home of a Mexican general, Mariano Vallejo. Little did they know that Vallejo actually supported American annexation. He invited Merritt and a few men to his home to discuss his views, but then Ide got antsy and busted into the house, arresting Vallejo and his family in the process.
Emboldened by this win, the group declared California an independent republic. They made the flag with a grizzly bear and a lone star (similar to Texas’s lone star). Soon after, American forces under Commodore John Sloat took Monterey and raised the American Flag over California. Since the goal was to join the United States, the republic was dissolved just 3 weeks after forming. The flag, however, remains and became the basis for the state flag of California once it entered the United States in 1850.
Hump day parenting
Father’s day is around the corner and in fact, yesterday was my father’s 75th birthday. Happy birthday to you dad! This had me thinking about my own fathering. I love it. I absolutely adore being a dad. This morning my son took my hand, grabbed my lunch bag (yup I pack a lunch both to save money and because the food in the hospital cafeteria sucks), and walked me to the door. Then he turned around and said “Big Hug” and gave me the best 2 year old hug he could. Amazing. I truly believe parenting is part of the human experience and am glad I can spend time doing it.
So on to today’s parenting piece. It is from my favorite show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. This article on Fatherly by Matt Berical discusses what he learned watching one of the most acclaimed Start Trek episodes. The episode is “The inner light”. To summarize the episode, Jean Luc is knocked out by a space probe. He wakes up and is living a life on another planet as a husband and farmer. Insisting he is the captain of a star ship, everyone tells him he is crazy. He finally gives in and has kids, grows old, and finds solace in the “normal life”. When he dies, he wakes up back in the Enterprise. Only 20 minutes have passed on his ship, but now he has a lifetime of perspective on what could have been if he was not a captain flying around the universe.
This hits home for me because I have applied 3 times to be an astronaut and been a finalist interviewing with NASA twice (2008 and 2012, not this last round where 12 amazing astronaut candidates were picked). So in many ways want to be Jean Luc. Part of me, a large part of me, wants to be a space man. Flying to space and exploring the limits of man.
The other part of me has this amazing son and wife. I am experiencing a large part of what it means to be human. There is no question that NASA would make my current beautiful life more complicated. Still, making sacrifices to pursue dreams is what FIRE is all about. Fortunately, NASA has made the decision for me easy by not selecting me. So for now I can live the “normal life”. Still, a person can always dream…right?
Now on to the finance stuff….
Hump day finances and more
Our friend Physician on Fire discusses the ever difficult challenge of Minimalism vs Frugality. For me, it is about minimalism as I like to have less things cluttering my life. So I will own one pair of khakis, but those khakis also come from Old Navy as there is a streak of frugality in me. Don’t get me wrong, I will pay for quality, but my track record with clothes is poor. I often spill food, get ink stains, or rip them. No reason to spend $100 on some pants just to destroy them in the next year.
In the same light as minimalism, Distilled Dollar discusses How to be a Minimalist Debt Destroyer. He lived my dream in a camper (though he does not seem to think it was so glamorous) and in the process paid off his debt. Kudos to the couple and I look forward to reading more from him in the future.
Continuing with the idea of minimalism, Jeff Goins writes a guest post at Becoming Minimalist and discusses four lessons on money he learned after making $1 million. Money is a better means then a master is one that I think is most pertinent to my life. Often money can be your master, but if you can find a way to tame it, make it work for you, then it becomes a force for doing whatever else you would like in life.
As my dad turns 75 I think of the life he has lived. He worked hard and became a doctor. Owning his own practice and succeeding by all measures. Then in 1984 decided to give it all up to emigrate to the United States. He did so, not because his life was difficult. By all measures he had “the good life” and would continue to have a comfortable and luxurious existence back home. He left it because he saw the future of his children was fading. The freedoms and opportunities he had would not be the same for me and my brother.
With a revolution, the dynamics and principals of his beloved country changed. In fact, it was no longer the country he loved. It was no longer his country. So he gave it all up and moved to this beautiful country, The U. S. Of A. A country full of opportunity, wealth, and the ability to work hard and rise above it all. He came here and never looked back. He has no regrets.
Due to his sacrifice 33 years ago I am here now and able to pursue my dreams and passions. So I look to him on his 75th birthday and this father’s day and thank him for his decision that allow me and my son to pursue our dreams with no regrets. He has set our generations and many more to come up for success.
Any stories about your dad you would like to share this week?
Also published on Medium.