Bumber Stickers & Baseball Bats

April 22nd, 2014

I really hate bumper sticker politics. In a lot of ways I subscribe to the whole “Obviously but maybe” theory that Louis C.K. espoused so effectively on HBO one time. Feel free to Google. So many local political things going on right now (Medical marijuana, Sunday sales, etc) and everybody wants to distill it down to a bumper sticker. Yeah right.

To return to the subject of budgeting, its pretty fascinating to me that I have blown my budget both months since I installed it. Pretty badly at that but both times was with good reason that will bear future dividends. I am ok with that. The really fascinating thing to me is how easy it is to blow your budget. Either way I am still coming out ‘ahead’ in a very general sense.

Last month I received a used macbook pro. I had forgotten just how polished the whole OSX experience is to use. Its simply much more polished than any of the competitors even if it isn’t as powerful. Whatever that exactly means at the end of the day. harder to get to the guts I suppose. I have a lot of complaints with their hardware choices but I still think they are a very very functional machine. Odds are good that within a few months that macbook will be my primary personal use computer for day to day stuff (not gaming of course). Also its really fucking nice to have a laptop again.

I have been reading like a madman recently. I have read something like 20+ books in about the last month. nothing particularly noteworthy other than the sheer volume of books that I have been reading. Unfortunately I have fallen into the habit of not reading what I should have been reading. One book I did read however was The Four Hour Work Week. Its pretty fascinating to me to see what can be taken from it and also what I think doesn’t really apply to anybody or anything. There were two things I really got out of it (both of which I knew to some extent already): time management is what you make of it & side hustles don’t hurt. I suppose arguably the methods of limiting communication were interesting but I do that already anyway. Overall I think the amazon reviews are pretty accurate.

A side effect of doing all of that reading is that I have been playing less video games lately. Not that I played much already but it has generally been cut down. Rogue Legacy and Arkham Origins are about it. I have to wonder whether in the future I will even bother to buy a PS4/XBONE/Gaming PC. It simply seems less important as a means to spend my time. Part of that however might be the spring being here and the fact that I am going outside more as a result. It was such a miserable winter that its nice to be outside and doing something, anything, instead.

I heard recently that everybody is the average of the 5 people that they spend the most time with. I suppose that I am the average of the lady and then 4 different versions of myself as of right now. The simple fact of the matter is that, as a terminally ill man said ‘I am leading a quieter life now’ which seems actually quite fine. I have started associating with a different group of people than the guys who hang out at the bar 4 to 7 nights a week. It has nothing to do with alcohol, instead it has everything to do with the fact that its just not very interesting anymore. Also I pretty much hate wilful ignorance and that seems to be a common theme with bar flys. Might be a harsh judgement I suppose but I think there is at least some validity there. In other words I am in the process of finding a few new people to become the average of. Raise the bar son.

I have considered going a bit ‘Donner Party’ on my group of friends. That is strictly metaphorical by the way, I am not considering actual cannibalism. Unless I get hungry enough I suppose…. But regardless I am a bit tired of feeling like I am one of the people putting in all of the work for some friends. We’ll see whether that lasts or whether others start to exert some effort. I kinda doubt it but that happens as we get older I suppose.

I have taken on a few new projects recently as well as restarted a few older projects. However in the interest of not doing what I have done in the past I am not telling people what they are nor when they can expect t be finished. The reasoning behind that can be found here but the short version is this: Some people get motivated by telling people what you are going to do and being held accountable. Some people get less motivated because they receive some of the psychological satisfaction from simply telling people their intentions. I am not sure whether I fall into either of these categories but I don’t feel like being held accountable for things I want to do myself. I would instead rather hold myself accountable and either succeed or fail on my own merits here. If there is something worth announcing I will do it on my own schedule and my own terms.

That reminds me that I need to schedule my skydiving day.

Other than that…. 8feet has slowed down in updates but I think its probably to something a lot more manageable at the end of the day. I like where its at now and think I will probably stick there.

We went to Florida a month or so ago for my birthday. It was pretty awesome to get the hell away. Especially since i have had to postpone my European trip this year, probably for at least an additional year. The reasons might be acceptable but still, its kind of irritating to postpone something that I was looking forward to. The good news is that I am out no money whatsoever since the situation changed prior to me spending a single dime on anything. Take the small blessings where you can find them I suppose.

I think that’s enough rambling for the moment.

Cavier & PBR

March 8th, 2014

I have been giving a lot of thought to class lately as well as money. Mostly how the two relate after a conversation I had last month sometime. The context and content of the conversation are ultimately unimportant, really all they would serve to do is paint me to be an insensitive jackass for talking about somebodies situation. So instead I am going to talk about the realizations I have made recently. Here is the big one: Class is a lot more than the money that you actually have physically in your pocket. Its why those lotto winners always seem to end up bankrupt 5 years down the line (although I am sure they enjoyed their monster truck or whatever). They might suddenly have upper class money but not have the tools to understand how money actually works. Its also why you can be earning sub 50k and still be solidly ‘middle-class.’ What does all of this really mean in true day to day life? Almost nothing at all. But its something for me to keep in my back pocket and use to my advantage somewhere along the way. And yes, I do consider myself solidly middle-class.

House hunting is progressing. In terrify lurches and stumbles. It’s difficult to contemplate spending this sort of scratch simply because it is so opposite from how I generally live my life. I spent some time today going over my current budget with a much finer toothed comb than I normally use and realized just how much money I have wasted over the years simply by virtue of not having a budget. To say nothing of other money that I have wasted in various ways over the years but whatever. Whats more important is making sure to actually stick with the budget now as well as redo the budget when I do purchase something. Don’t get me wrong, its obvious that I have done ok so far. If you have the money to even consider putting a down payment out there you have obviously done ok. But I am realizing that I have champagne taste and beer budget. Or perhaps caviar & PBR.

I will also admit that looking at my budget recently has made me realize just how many opportunities I have had available simply due to my better half. Its making me look at things in a variety of new and exciting and sometimes vaguely uncomfortable ways. Not sure what, if anything, I am going to do about all that.

The trip to Oktoberfest is coming together. Or it will if I can ever manage to book a room for my time in Munich. That one item is the big sticker that i want to have taken care of before I book plane tickets. Thank god for AirBnB in many ways as it is has allowed me to get shot down by 4 or so people already! More importantly though is that if I can’t find a place soonish I might have to scrap the trip. Hotels for that time period are already in the grand+ range for a shitty place far from the actual fest. No thank you!

Otherwise things are pretty good. 8feet is generally still keeping up with what my expectations were when I started that side project. I seem to have abandoned the beer review site however. My heart isn’t really in trying to break into a saturated market and I am getting back into my better habits regarding alcohol anyway so it just doesn’t add up well. As much as I love beer and craft beer and local beer it doesn’t seem like a great use of my energy to try and spread the gospel in that manner. Instead I will probably just do the drink and be social and be merry thing. So… if you want to be an oddly specific URL let me know!

The weather is starting to get better here. We are breaking freezing, we are staying above 0 even at night… its a big long list of things that point towards a nice spring. Soggy but nice. Makes me look forward to getting the front fork taken care of on my bike and then get out there. Additionally however I am trying to stick with the whole ‘go to the gym’ thing (5 for the past 6 days. notbad.jpg) and that will be much nicer when the weather is better.

Other than that… not much doing I suppose.

A place for everything

February 1st, 2014

And everything in its place.

A while back I mentioned that was was working on a few minor projects. I needed some stuff to keep myself busy etc and frankly I like having little projects around. So today I am letting one fly and putting it out there. 8feet.me is, at its simplest, a photoblog. Not even a particularly good one to be honest. But the point of it isn’t to be good, its to do. Instead it is to get out and see new things, to share things and to look at things through a different lens. I am supposed to update it pretty regularly and it will most likely be random ass cell phone shots but who knows what it will evolve into. I would recommend if you do follow it to actually subscribe to via RSS in the event that I do daily updates. Of course there is a good arguement to subscribe to RSS for idoru as well. So there you have it, one project out in the wild. Who cares that its kind of a shitty one man instagram rip off. It shouldn’t interfere with my unscheduled idoru updates however.

Of course I am doing this two days after I blew the cap off my data plan so who knows how viable it is until that resets in a few days. Something weird happened with my phone where it got stuck in some sort of crazy map search for like 2 hours before I noticed… Whatever.

I am trying to keep myself to a more rigid schedule than normal right now. Which is odd because it actually allows me more ‘free time’ so to speak since I am leaving myself entire blocks of time where I don’t schedule stuff. Hopefully it allows me to stick to the things I am tying to stick to, 8feet being one of them.

The trip to Oktoberfest is continuing in the planning stages. Honestly I am wondering if I can afford it with how expensive accommodations are in Munich during the fest. The tripping point is that I need to decide quite soon as the price for everything from hotels to airbnb rooms is going to do nothing but climb as the fest draws near. Its kind of a strange situation to be in since I am still planning on going but unless I move sooner rather than later I am going to be priced out of going. Much the opposite of the normal vacations that I take where things get cheaper as time draws close. At least airbnb in iceland is pretty cheap looking. Kind of anyway.

In other news, I reconnected with an old friend last week. I don’t think I had seen him more than perhaps once or twice since we had graduated high school. It was rather pleasant in a strange little way. I don’t suspect that we will be super close friends or anything, our paths have diverged rather a lot in the meantime. But I hope that he and I can maintain at least more regular contact then “once every decade.” We’ll see though, there is a certain amount of effort that it takes on both sides and he has to deal with the wife and child. Choices man.

Aside from that…. not a ton new going on right now. Which is probably ok.