Catching up with summer…

Bare Naked Ladies at DTE Energy Theatre, June 2016Summer’s been here for a few weeks now here in Michigan, finally shaking off a wet and cold spring. Along with the warmer weather, there have been some changes and updates in life that I’ve been I’ve been meaning to mention. Sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin…

Bare Naked Ladies – summer 2016

The Bare Naked Ladies were in town for a concert last night, and if you squint hard-enough you might just be able to make them out in the photo I took above. There is a reason why I’m an engineer and not working as a professional photographer after all.

We saw BNL at the same venue last year but they came back again this year. They have a great time putting on a show and it’s infectious. They also just happen to play one of the songs on my Financial Independence Songlist; one of the reasons I enjoy their concerts so much.

Accompanying them this year were two artists from the 80 & 90s – Howard Jones and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). I love OMD so it was great to hear some of their songs and they were awesome playing live. You’ll know them if you’ve watched the movie Pretty in Pink from the song If You Leave. Enola Gay is another popular song; about the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb at the end of World War 2.

My favorite OMD song?

I’m now an American!

I finally gained American citizenship last month; another milestone in the 16 years since I first moved to the US. It took about 7 years to get a Green Card; 5 years after that you can apply for full citizenship. I suppose technically I’m a British-American since I hold dual-citizenship now. I can also channel James Bond and carry a bunch of passports around when I travel.

Why apply? Citizenship isn’t strictly necessary if you’re a permanent resident, and if you’re likely to move back outside the US, being an American citizen can mean paying additional taxes back to the US. But since I’m living here and not planning to move; it felt natural to make a commitment since the US has given me so many opportunities.

The citizenship application cost about $700 or so; and was fairly straightforward, taking about 5 months as I applied at the end of last year. I even have my US passport now – just time in for our UK trip next month!

Ironically, although I’m finally able to vote in a presidential elections, this November offers a choice between two of the most uninspiring candidates I’ve ever seen.

The Blog

You may have noticed some disruption with the blog via missing links / comments or just having weird layout over the last couple of weeks. It’s getting back to normal but I wanted to apologize (that’s my British half speaking who apologizes for everything) since I rushed through a brand new WordPress deployment and there’s still some odds and ends to fix up.

This is all because I checked up on the internet company who were hosting this blog since the hosting contract expires in a couple of weeks. They were asking something like $300 to renew the hosting service for 2 years.  Instead, I decided to use the same Azure cloud service that’s running dividendchampions.uk and run my blog there instead, so there’s no additional cost for me. I’m hoping the blog will run a little faster and be more stable now too.

DividendChampions.uk

I’ve been late (again) in updating the UK Dividend Champions list for June. It’s the next thing on my todo list and I should have it completed in the next few days. Sorry 🙁

Work

I’ve just starting working on a new special project at work which is exciting. The project itself is a huge undertaking and I can imagine how the team given the order “Take us to the Moon” must have felt. The next few years are going to be very interesting…

Travel

We’ll be visiting family and friends in the UK next month and we can’t wait! Plus since we’ll be in the neighborhood so to speak, we’re also spending a night in Barcelona for Ms. DL’s birthday so that’s going to be exciting too!

Are you enjoying your summer? What are you looking forward to?


Quote of the Day

I have had a holiday, and I’d like to take it up professionally.

2 thoughts on “Catching up with summer…”

  1. Ciao DL,
    The move to WordPress is just great in my opinion, of course some glitches might happen, but it looks great and works like a charm.
    On the citizenship, well congratulations! For many people having a Green Card is a lifetime dream, you went the extra mile there! 🙂 Still as an ex British resident (5 years of uni there), I wonder how much your UK friends will pull your legs for becoming American… My flatmate Rob used to address American students in campus with “we’ve got more history in our pebbs than you in your country” (expression that I am now using too, of course) 🙂
    Last, and really the reason for me writing here, check out a restaurant called “LA PARADETA” in Barcelona (if you eat fish). It’s a bit away from the touristic center (couple of stops with the metro), but it’s worth to go there, very local. 😛
    Ciao ciao
    Stal

    1. Hi Stal,
      Yes I expect I’ll get some grief back home but I’ll likely just tease them for being “European” assuming the UK decides to stay in the EU. I think all my family want out by the sound of it. We’re only spending one night in Barcelona, to visit a Flamenco show / dinner but if we like the city, we’ll be sure to go back so thank you for the tip!
      Best wishes,
      -DL

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