information

Complete Internet

It seems there are quite a few websites out there that let you set up your vacation plans all from a single site.  You can find the hotel where you want to stay, your car, and everything else all from the same page.  That seems pretty useful, I think, and I know of a few

a and b

Going Wireless

So I need to get some wireless internet.  We are using a wired router that works really well, but it’s wired, so, yeah.  That means I can’t grab my laptop and go into the other room because I have no way of picking up a wireless signal.  So the researching for new routers has begun.

furniture

Something A Little Bit More Stylish

I am trying to learn more about how to decorate my home so that it looks a bit more modern.  There are a bunch of shows on television that I watch where they show like before and after home styles and I usually really like the changes they made but that’s not something that I

laptop music speaker

Online Music And Other Stuff

I enjoy going online.  I don’t know about most people, but I have a lot of online friends that I have met through various social platforms and I know that some people might think that’s weird, but I think that a lot of other people have experienced that for themselves.  Now, most of that is

bed made

Making Noise

So my friend was telling me that he has been snoring, at least according to his wife, and he is going to try and see if there is anything he can use that will help him not snore.  I told him that he should probably do some research because I’m not able to tell him

Complete Internet

information

It seems there are quite a few websites out there that let you set up your vacation plans all from a single site.  You can find the hotel where you want to stay, your car, and everything else all from the same page.  That seems pretty useful, I think, and I know of a few sites like that off the top of my head.

I was thinking, though, that I wonder what is going to happen to the actual company websites.  Like, instead of going to a hotel’s website to book your hotel, you can just do it from one of those other sites.  I know it all goes to the same reservation regardless no matter how you do it, but it just seems like things might be getting made a bit more involved than they have to.

I mean, it’s cool that you can do it and all.  I’m not tryign to say that it’s not useful.

And when you’ve got the site available to set up everything at once, it is probably the best way to do it.

I think that it’s probably one of those things where there are going to be a few pages like that and then it’s going to sort of change into something else.  I don’t know what, but that’s how the internet goes.

There is probably a lot of work for travel website designers, too, since they have to get everything set up and make sure that all of the different things people might want are available.  They also probably have to plan everything out so that it works in a way that makes it easy for the user.

And I bet it’s one of those things where you have to get all the different information to be able to go to all the different pages so that you can see the hotel choices while you’re looking at where you want to go, etc.  And the website has to be able to do that without letting the user know what is going on, because they just want to make their pick.

This is definitely an interesting concept, though, and I think that we will probably experience it even more as developers come up with more ideas to give consumers what they want.  It will probably go to simplify things even more, I suppose.  The coolest part of all of this, though, is that it is something that we can all experience.

Going Wireless

a and b

So I need to get some wireless internet.  We are using a wired router that works really well, but it’s wired, so, yeah.  That means I can’t grab my laptop and go into the other room because I have no way of picking up a wireless signal.  So the researching for new routers has begun.

It needs to have good security.

I don’t want anyone using my signal without me knowing.  Of course, if I know someone I might share with them but I don’t want random people doing that.  I also don’t want anyone connecting to it and doing something they shouldn’t be.

It needs to be easy to use.

I know there are some fancy computer things out there but I basically just want to be able to plug it in and have it work.  I  don’t want any fancy setup or menus or weird screen s or anything.  If it’s not easy to use, well, next!

It needs to work well.

I have used WiFi before where the signal wasn’t very strong.  If I am watching a website load I want it to finish loading.  So I need to make sure that whatever I get works well.

Linksys.  Cisco.  Netgear.  How do I know which one is the best?  I have no idea.  I’ve been trying to read about them online but it’s hard to find info about which one may work the best because everyone has their own opinions.  I was reading this site: http://computer-s.com/routers/netgear-r6300-review/, and it made the Netgear one sound pretty good but I’m just not sure.  I know my friend said that he has been using one that he’s been having good luck with but I don’t know what brand it is.  I’m sure they are probably all pretty decent but it’s one of those things where I want to get it set up and then leave it at that.  So I’m going to see if I can find any more information about which one might be the right option for me and then I’m going to go ahead and get one of those and hope that I can get it set up without needing to call my friend and have him come do it.  But as long as I can get it working then I think I will probably be happy with it and I’ll be able to use my laptop in the other room which will be pretty nice.

Something A Little Bit More Stylish

furniture

I am trying to learn more about how to decorate my home so that it looks a bit more modern.  There are a bunch of shows on television that I watch where they show like before and after home styles and I usually really like the changes they made but that’s not something that I would know how to do myself.  I’m not just necessarily referring to the ones where they tear down the cabinets and stuff, but even just getting new items to put in a room and changing some of the elements in the room.  Basically they don’t make any big changes but the place still looks so much nierc nicer when they ar e done.  That’s what I want to do because I feel like my place has been the same ever since I moved in and it’s just kind of general or traditional looking and I would like something a bit more modern.  It seems that not too manyp eople are into the whole modern style, but that is how I want to have it done.  If I am able to redo the inside of my home then I think I would like to make some changes to the outside, as well.

I want to do something with the area behind my home.  I already have some bushes and stuff out there that look nice but I’d like to get a little more stuff back there that would make it look a bit more fashionable.  That may not actually be the right word to describe a yard, but I just want a place where many people can come over and we can hang back there and have some cocktails or whatever.  I am going to want to get a table I think and some chairs to go with it.  Possibly I might want to get some metal garden furniture as well to put in the yard so that it seems a bit more interesting when I have people visit.  One of the things I’ve noticed on the television shows I wantch is that you need to have a palce for people to go for them to want to be at your house.  That’s why in living rooms you should have not only some seating options but also enough room for them, and I think the same is probably true for outdoor areas as well.  If there is stuff for people to do then they will likely want to go out there and use it.  But for now I’m just going to keep watching and see if I can get any more ideas for my place that I like.

Online Music And Other Stuff

laptop music speaker

I enjoy going online.  I don’t know about most people, but I have a lot of online friends that I have met through various social platforms and I know that some people might think that’s weird, but I think that a lot of other people have experienced that for themselves.  Now, most of that is restricted to forums.  I don’t have anyone on my Facebook page for example that I don’t know in real life.  But when it comes to going online I have a lot of friends and bragging about that kind of makes me sound like a nerd.  But I don’t care.

The internet is incredibly social. Even people who might not want to go out and hang out one night can still find people to talk to about stuff online.  I think that’s why everyone seems to like it so  much.  Well, the fact that you can find whatever you want online probably also helps, but much of the net I think is used for people to communicate with each other about a variety of topics.  And then there are places like the different Facebook type sites where you can talk about nothing tat all.  I mean it’s basically like talking to someone in real life where a lot of it is just small talk, anyway.  And I think that’s fun.  I use Facebook quite often.  I don’t play any of the things they have on there, but did you know you can buy Facebook likes?  I have never done that as I get a lot of likes naturally because most of  my friends like what I post, but if you wanted to the option is there.  That seems kind of strange to me, although I guess I can see why there would be a market for that.

The other thing I like about going online is that I can find a lot of music on YouTube.  If you want to hear a song but you don’t want to get the album, you can just go load the official music video on YouTube and hear it.  I think that’s quite cool and I listen to a lot of music there.  The only other thing that i use the internet for is getting things that I can’t find in the stores, but I think that’s pretty common, too.  I have many things that I Have ordered online because they didn’t see them around here and I only knew where to find them on some website.

Making Noise

bed made

So my friend was telling me that he has been snoring, at least according to his wife, and he is going to try and see if there is anything he can use that will help him not snore.  I told him that he should probably do some research because I’m not able to tell him anything since I have no knowledge about any of that.  I know there are some sites online that talk about snoring and the different things you can do to try and stop but I think he’s just going to have to look at some of them and see if he can find anything that helps.  I asked him if he has always snored or if he just started and he said that his wife said he just started.  So I don’t know if maybe she just noticed it or if he really just started but I think that they should probably find a way to get it so that they can both sleep because I don’t think she’s going to want to keep being in the same room with him.  I mean it’s one of those things that can probably annoy people.  I have a friend who snores and I don’t like it when he spends the night because I just hear him snoring.  But I think that if he reads a few articles or whatever online like this Zquiet review from Aaron Creedon he might be able to find a few things that might work.  I guess he can also see if there is anything he can do besides when he is in bed to see if that makes a difference.  I have no idea but it might.  Like maybe if you do a certain yoga position or something that would help.  All I know about snoring is that I don’t like it when people snore.  I’m going to be a light sleeper, I think, and if someone is making noise it will wake me up.  The other thing is that I don’t really even use an alarm when I getup and I will just be woken up by the noises I hear outside.  So if there is something else going on it’s definitely going to be the kind of thing that I hear.

I want to talk to my friend and see if he has found anything that might work just because I want to know.  I don’t really have any experience with this whole thing but I want him to be able to get something that will work so I don’t have to listen to him talk about how he snores.  Ha, I’m sorry but it’s true!  And I also don’t want his wife to leave him because she doesn’t want to be married to a snorer.  I don’t think she actually would but still.

A Little Overtraining

cycling

Man having joint pain sucks.  I’m not sure what is going on but my knee has been hurting for a while.  It started the other day when I got back from a run and I noticed that it was feeling a bit sore when I would walk on it.  It doesn’t hurt when I was running but it hurt afterwards and it’s been hurting a bit since.  I think that I may have stepped on it funny, or twisted it a little bit or something.  It isn’t bothering me that much right now but sometimes I notice it when I am walking and it just feels a bit weird to me so I Think I am going to have a doctor take a look at it.  I know a lot of people have knee pain and have to do some recovery to get it to go away.  I think it’s pretty common with runners and people who spend a lot of time exercising involving their legs.  Sometimes I do squats at the gym but that doesn’t seem to aggravate it.  Like I mentioned it didn’t start bothering me until after I got back from a run and it wasn’t even that bad, just something that I noticed.

It might be a good idea for me to start icing it.  The thing is that I don’t really spend as much time as I should on recovery and sometimes that has lead to injuries.  I tend to overdo it and overtrain because I like training but I don’t like stopping.  Running is something I like to do and even if I’m not feeling entire recovered from the last run I tend to go on that day’s workout, anyway.  So now I end up injured and it’s probably because I should’ve taken a bit of a rest instead of continuing to run even though I wasn’t feeling any pain because of my knee.  So looking online it seems there are some injections you can get if you have certain kinds of knee pain.  I will have to talk to my doctor first to see what is even going on with mine but maybe they provide osteoarthritis joint pain relief.  I think that I want to get my knee back to normal before I start running again so I don’t end up making it any worse and having to tend to more injuries.  I think in the meantime I am going to do some gentle stretching and not put any more weight on it that I have to just to make sure I don’t cause it to work too hard while it’s healing.

Kung Fu Studies

uniform

For a while now I’ve been studying various forms of martial arts. My first style was kung fu back when I was a kid. There was a class nearby that I used to go to and we learned all the basics which are stances, the proper way to punch and kick, etc. I think though that learning that as a kid is great. As you go, you also learn different methods of conditioning your body. For example, we used to punch a bag filled with mung beans that was hanging on the wall in order to be able to punch better. It wasn’t just about toughening the fist as much as making sure you have correct body posture. If you punch a bag incorrectly you will feel it.

I studied a few different styles every few years. What I learned in kung fu helped me in each of the other styles. For example, the stances might be different, but the principles are the same. Sometimes the techniques would be a bit different, but knowing how to do a stance in one style helps when you are doing stances in another style. I also studied karate which is a bit different from kung fu. The punches are a bit different, the stances are a bit different, and the general principles are a bit different, but being familiar with kung fu still helped. For example, karate is more direct than other styles. The blocks are hard, the punches are hard, and the movements are direct. Kung fu tends to be less direct, and more emphasis is placed on absorbing your opponent’s force. But they still both use many of the same principles.

Even when I wasn’t taking lessons I would still sometimes practice on my own. I practice my forms and techniques as part of my exercise routine. I train in my old uniform and I use a few other martial arts supplies in my routine, too. You definitely miss out on something by not having others to train with but you can still get a good workout on your own. I want to make sure that I can still punch and everything and that I remember most of the techniques. I also want to keep up the habits that I’ve learned.

I think it would be cool to study an art that focuses on weapons. I know of kendo but I haven’t seen a school around here.

Making Better Choices

lightbulb

As you may have read in another post on my blog, I’ve been trying to make wiser financial decisions recently.  When I was younger it was one thing to spend most of my money and just have fun, but that’s not the best long-term strategy.  I’ve recently become more interested in investing and finding ways to use my money that can help me make more money rather than spending it on stuff that has no return.  I read in a book that you should spend your money on assets rather than liabilities.  An asset is basically something that provides value to you in the future.  An investment property, for example, is an asset.  You buy it, but then you can rent it out to someone who pays you rent.  Compare that to something like an expensive pair of shoes which costs you money and then you don’t get anything back from them.  Well, you get to wear them, but you know what I mean.  So I’ve been looking at things that may be able to provide a return for me.

I’ve started putting 5% of my paycheck into a 401(k).  My company matches 2.5%, too, so it’s really like I’m putting 7.5% of my paycheck in there, which is pretty cool.  It’s like getting an immediate 50% return.

I’m also interested in how the wold economies interact and have found currencies interesting.  However, I don’t really want to get too deep into that because I’ve been told that some of the brokers are “shady,” to put it mildly.  But I was reading here (http://www.financialtradingschool.com/curriculum/binary-options/) about something called binary options that appear to have a fixed risk/reward ratio and may not be quite as iffy.  I may have to give them a closer look.  I don’t have much of a tolerance for risk so I don’t think I’ll be investing much in that but it may be a good, very small minority of my investment portfolio.

It’s funny how the more you start paying attention to how you’re spending your earnings, the more you start to notice how other people spend theirs.  For example, one of my friends goes out to eat 3 or 4 nights a week.  I used to do that sometimes, but when I think about it now, each night is like $30-50 depending on where you go, and 3 or 4 times a week makes that between $90 and $200 a week just spent on eating out.   I can’t do that.  I mean, I could, but I don’t want to.  Besides, I don’t mind cooking at home, anyway.

Remember These?

tonka truck

So, this week marks the tenth anniversary of my entry into the world of working on construction equipment. I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life after high school. A good friend of the family had been a mechanic at a local construction equipment rental place for years, and he had faith in me. He knew me well enough to know that I would do everything in my power to do the best job I could.

Well, after two retail jobs I finally decided to take Matt up on the offer to try my hand at turning wrenches. I didn’t have to have a degree, I didn’t need much experience. Everything I needed to learn, I could learn from him. Having tinkered on cars since I was around fifteen years old, I had an idea of what to expect, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

See, cars have small parts; cars weigh around three thousand pounds. The pieces of equipment I work on weigh anywhere from six thousand pounds, like a small skid steer, to fifty thousand pound excavators and boom lifts. Needless to say, when you work on something twenty times the size, you need tools twenty times the size as well. The tools I had were appropriate for a mid-sized sedan, but there are hydraulic cylinders on some of these pieces of equipment that weigh half as much as a compact car.

I think after ten years I finally have the tools I need to fix pretty much anything, but believe me, in a shop where you have to buy your own tools (like most shops), the big ones get pricey. In fact, one of the priciest tools in my toolbox was by far one of those 1000lb torque wrenches. This thing probably cost as much as every tool I had combined before I started this job, but it’s something I had to have. The wrench itself weighs almost thirty pounds, it has a one inch drive, and it’s a beast. But, to be completely honest, what else could I use on a four inch bolt that supports twenty thousand pounds of structural steel?

Looking back on ten years in this industry, I’ll say I love my work. It’s definitely hard, it’s grueling, it’s dangerous, but I wouldn’t change it. I have experience working on some of the largest pieces of equipment in the construction field and I’ve loved every minute of it. To be honest, when we’re kids, we love playing with our big Tonka trucks and fake bulldozers. Not everyone gets to actually do that for a living, but I do and love it.

A Reminder

gavel on desk

My friend sent me this email a few days ago.  He said he knows I have a blog so he thought I should post it just so other people could read it.

“I wish I could say that I had something better to write about than my upcoming DUI charge but that is what is on my mind so that is what this is going to be about. I have my first court date in exactly a month from now and I am starting to freak out about it. I have never been in trouble with the law before so all of this is new to me. I mean I know it could have been worse because it wasn’t like I caused an accident or anything but it is still pretty bad.

I just don’t know what to expect which makes it all that much worse. I am going to use a lawyer in Sarasota to represent me in court and they have assured me that I will be fine but their definition of fine and mine are probably different. My biggest worry is losing my license even for a month. My job has me traveling all over the state and I have to drive to get to these places so I have no idea what I’m going to do if I can’t do that. I know I could always risk it but I think if you get caught on a suspended license it is a felony. I’ll have to ask about that tomorrow when I go in to talk about my case more with my attorney.

I also am not too keen on the idea of having to do community service hours or worse yet having to go to counseling. I fully admit that I screwed up when I got behind the wheel but going to counseling is going to accomplish nothing as I don’t have a drinking problem. I guess I have to go to some kind of evaluation and based on that I will either have to go or not. I just hope I say the right things during the evaluation as I know I will be nervous. I have a lot riding on this because not only would that cost me time but also money.

Speaking of money I know full well this whole thing isn’t going to be cheap. My friend Adam supported that when he told me how much he had to pay for his last year. That was in Georgia but I imagine it won’t be much different here. That’s about all I wanted to say today so thanks for reading if you got this far.”

Just a friendly reminder not to drink and drive.

A Cleaning Secret

mgF6p22

My sister called me a packrat this morning.  Can you believe that?  My sister.  The woman who uses her 3rd bedroom as a big closet!  She told me I have too much stuff and it’s affecting the “flow” of my home.  What does that even mean?  My house flows just fine!

In all seriousness, she may have a point.  I’ve been meaning to go through my stuff for a long time and get rid of a lot of the stuff that I’m not using anymore.  I have clothes from a few years ago that I don’t really wear anymore.  I’ve also got a bunch of other random stuff: computer stuff, books, mp3 players.  Ok, maybe I am kind of a packrat.  Anyway, I think I’m going to use one of those sites where you can sell your stuff that you’re not using anymore.  I thought about taking some of it to a local pawn shop but I don’t know how I feel about that, and I was going to try and list some of it on eBay but I don’t want to pay a bunch of listing fees and end up not having anything sell.  Another idea was giving it to my sister, but, uh, I think she already has enough stuff in that bedroom.

I really don’t clean enough, either.  I think that’s part of the reason I have so much stuff.  You know, I always make a note to myself to try and be more proactive with my cleaning.  I know a little bit here and there adds up and you don’t even have to have those big cleaning days if you do it that way, but I just don’t.  It’s always “oh, I’ll do that next time.”  Except I don’t.  And then every few months I have to set a day aside and just clean my entire place.  The floors, the furniture, all my stuff, the kitchen, the bathroom, everything.  I even have an old toothbrush that I use to clean the grout in the shower (which works brilliantly, btw; use your old toothbrushes for this!).  And then when I finish I’m like yeah, that looks nice.  And then it slowly starts getting all dirty again, things being left out, mail piling up on my table, clothes on the floor next to the hamper in my bedroom.  Yeah.  It’s too late to do it as my new year’s resolution this yeah, so, I don’t know, maybe I should just do a little cleaning every Saturday or something when I first wake up instead.

Why Do I Live Downtown Again?

london in the evening

Sometimes I think I’m a little crazy.  It affects my social life. I am cheap. I live downtown, but I don’t like to go out that much because it’s expensive.  I don’t want to because going out and spending £10 per drink is dumb. I can’t justify spending £40-100 in one night because “what if I have to quit my job? What if I get fired? What if I can’t find a job?” I might need the £15 from that drink to buy me a few meals at the local fast food place. I don’t go to nice places to eat because fast food is cheaper and spending £40 on a meal is pointless when you’re getting the same amount of calories that you could get for £4 someplace else.

I sold my car partly because I live downtown and take public transit everywhere, and partly because even though my car insurance rates were very good it was still more money that I was spending.  Plus, let’s be honest, driving anywhere downtown sucks anyway, and once you get wherever you’re going you either have to spend 20 minutes looking for parking or you have to pay for parking in a lot or garage.  More money.

I should note, however, that when someone invites you to go someplace, and you say “sorry, I can’t afford it,” you don’t usually get any guff for it because most people are so in debt that they assume you really can’t afford it, either (altho that doesn’t stop them from doing it). I say “I can’t afford it” because I don’t want to say “I don’t want to waste my money on that.”

Some of my friends give me a hard time, but I can’t help but think “whatever.” Some of my friends my age make £50-90k per year (which I am super jealous of) and they party like rockstars, yet they only have a few thousand saved up. “What if you lose your job?” I want to ask them. “You’ll be screwed because you have no savings.” And then I imagine myself in that position and I become terrified… like literally, I have a mini-anxiety attack.

Now normally I think it’s good to be frugal and concerned about your finances, but I think it’s consuming me to the point that it’s unhealthy. Part of the reason I have a decent amount of saving built up at this point is because I don’t really spend a lot of money on stuff, anyway.

How do I un-consume myself with money without taking the complete opposite approach and not just start spending and getting to debt, etc. I know “you only live once” so people are going to tell me to spend more and have fun, but when if after I spend it, I need it, and I don’t have it because I wasted it away on £100 bar tabs?