11/23/2014

Flying Shoes, Small Soap and Syrup

When I was a kid, sometimes they told me stories that may or may not have been true.

For instance, I was told that Burger King was not a hamburger restaurant.  They were in fact a paper and paper bag company.  Which wasn't selling too well.  So the owners decided to put things in the paper and bundle that stuff into a paper bag.  They went with hamburgers, and the rest is history.

That story is true, but I'm not sure the facts are true.  Like I said, my reality was blurred due to stories like this.

In fact, people in my home were tricksters.  They would leave my door cracked open a bit, place a sneaker at the top of the door balanced just right, so when I opened the door, the shoe would fall on my head and there would be some snickering in the background, "I got you".

Now, I'm sure this happens in every household, you know, torture the kid for amusement.  I'm sure it had no side effects like making me paranoid or fearful of doors and such.

And I did not realize you could purchase soap.  We had our entire bathrooms filled to the brim with small soaps from hotels.  And we'd use those soap and nothing else.  When the soaps got too small to use, they'd mash em together until it widdled down to nothing.

It wasn't until I got to college and purchased a real bar of soap, it was really big, wasn't used to it at first.  Who knew you could purchase soap.

And syrup.  When we ate our pancakes, we had to put the syrup on the side, only use as much as we needed, nothing more.  It wasn't till I got to college, I saw friends dumping gallon of syrup all over their pancakes, drowning in it.

So people look at me and say man this guys a little "different".  Well, you may be correct in that statement to some degree.  But you probably didn't have to look out for flying shoes or use hotel soap or dabble smidgets of syrup on your pancakes.

So I'd say I turned out pretty good under the circumstances.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

I Didn't Order Tax

So we went out to eat the other day.  When the check arrived, I asked the waitress what this fee was at the bottom, something called "Tax".  I said I never ordered tax, please remove off the bill.

She said it was mandatory part of the transaction, no way to remove it.  I demanded to see the manager.

I said I didn't order this tax and I don't think I should have to pay for it.  I already get taxes taken out from my paycheck, and then pay more taxes around April 15.

And then when I earn profit from my investments, they tax that as well.  They put tax on our gas, food and now you want to tax me on dining out at a local restaurant.

This can't be right.

If I was to sit here, with a spreadsheet and calculate just how much taxes I'm really paying, it's got to be close to $0.50 on the dollar.

I thought our founding fathers of this great nation fought for their independence due to taxation without representation. And now this.

This has got to be some kind of joke.

So in the end, I paid the tax on our meals.  And I have to find a new restaurant to eat at.  Jeepers.  Some people are very sensitive to asking some basic questions.

Invisible Rays Flowing Through Our Bodies

Our house sits across from some electric wires, about 100 fee up in the air.  Sometimes when its real quiet I can hear a frequency buzzing in the background.  I wonder if those things are throwing off low voltage?

Of course we have a wireless network, as does every other person on our block.  Lots of invisible frequency there.

And wireless phones, about 5 different brands, each have satellites sending frequency every minute of every day.

And of course we have XM satellite, 3 radios in fact, so there's more invisible rays flowing threw our bodies.

When I was a child, they'd say get back from the television and microwave, they're emitting stuff that isn't good for you.  Now we are absolutely bombarded by invisible rays everywhere we go.

I wonder if this has harmful effects?  Surely they would warn us of any possible risks.  Just like they wouldn't sell cigarettes without warning us.  Only makes sense.

Perhaps in 50 years we'll look back and say we cooked our brains with the bombardment of invisible transmissions flowing through our bodies unprotected.

Let's check back in a few decades to see the truth.

Quite a few Computers

How many computers does a person really need?

I had a desktop computer for a while.  Bought a laptop for work (side jobs) and gave the desktop to the wife.  Then I have my work laptop.  In fact, I'll be getting a second laptop shortly for a specific client, so that's two work laptops plus my laptop.  Then I have a tablet device, although it's actually a very powerful machine, on a tablet, which I won at a Microsoft Big Data conference in Orlando.

So my wife wanted a new laptop, I purchased on last week, so I inherited back my desktop.

And then there's the Windows Phone which is basically another computer.

That's quite a few computers for one person.  I don't know what the correct number is or the average per household.

I wonder how much money is spent keeping these things powered and charged with monitors and such.

As a kid, we had one computer for the entire family, now we have close to 10.  These time's they are a changing.

Germany Bound

My wife was recently downsized.  Except one of the subsidiary's got spun off into a new company.  Team Viewer, you may have heard of them, they're located in Germany.  She got hired in the accounting department.  An starts her new job tomorrow.  Two floors down from her old office.

And every new hire must attend 2 week training, in Germany.  So this Friday, the two of us will be heading to Europe.  Both never been overseas before so it should be exciting.

The weather is expected to be chilly.  So we're bringing warm cloths.  I don't like German food so eating may be a challenge.  I don't speak a word of German.

So they say to bring some Euros with you to pay for taxi and food when you first get there, then convert some Euro's while there.

My two main concerns are coffee and cigars.  Other than that, I'll make sure my wife gets to her office each day, then probably back to the hotel to work, assuming the internet connect and electricity convert both work.  I think we're staying at a bed and breakfast walking distance to the office.

We purchased travel insurance as well as the German Rail Pass, maybe get to travel on the weekends.  Munich or Frankfort or even  Berlin, maybe get a hotel over night.

My wife's expenses are all paid for, I have to pay my own airfare and food.  Still ads up quite fast.

So we're both starting jobs in the month of November, I started mine two weeks ago.

It should be a fun time, although we are both a bit nervous.  I called the cell phone provider to make sure I don't rack up a $1000 bill on minutes or data usage.

This time next week, we'll be overseas in a far off country hopefully having the time of our lives.

Cheers~!

Free Email Providers

So who do you use for free email providers?

Back in the day, they had AOL.  If you find someone still using AOL today, you've got to scratch you're head and wonder why.

Yahoo was the next best thing.  I signed up for an account, and over the years, used to send email and sign up for goodies on the internet.  They give you the option of creating an alias, so that's good.  At one point, I split my email into 7 or 8 emails, using each one for specific purposes.  Then realized it was too much work to maintain, consolidated back to one.  Yahoo probably gets the most spam, here's my current spam count:

1356 spams picked up by their filter.  Don't you think that's a bit much.  For a while I paid a fixed amount have the banner ads removed, figured it was too much to spend so I dropped that feature.  I find the web interface to be a bit clunky and way too many ads.  But it's tough to migrate all users to new address as some recruiters from 15 years ago still the yahoo email address.

I had Tampa Bay Roadrunner email address forever.  Except their speeds weren't the fastest and I moved around a lot and it kept changing.  And they didn't have web mail for the longest time.

I now have Verizon Fios, 150 down, 150 up, costs a bit but definitely worth it, and it's a tax deduction.  I think they provide an email account as well.

My main email is Microsoft Hotmail.  I like the graphics, easy to use, stores a lot of emails archived for easy searches.  And best of all, they provide Office in the Cloud along with OneNote and OneDrive.  Two great features.  The only downside is when logging into work at www.microsoftonline.com, it sometimes gets confused who I'm logged in as, for OneDrive and OneNote.  Still I think its the best free email going.

I've never had a Google email address, possibly because they would target you ads based on your email content.  So if you mention in an email that you like hamburgers, you'd soon get an add showing up for hamburgers, kind of spooky.  That's life I guess.

Suffice to say, free email is great, but keep in mind, each provider offers pros and cons so choose wisely.

And there you have it~!

We Need...

Life moves fast.  And you have to keep up.  Nobody likes complainers.

We need to go to the health food store.
We need to go food shopping.
We need to deposit this check at the bank.
We need to drive the mother in law to get hair cut and nails done.
We need to go to the spa at 6am every day to work out.
We need to cut apples.
We need to let the dogs out.
We need to let the dogs in.
We need to feed the dogs.
We need to go to the pet store to buy pet food.
We need to fix the computer, its frozen.
We need to make sure all the bills get paid on time.
We need to pick up food for the to go order.
We need to go to Costco.


We sure do need a lot of things.

But what about the other stuff.

Like getting stuff done on my job.
And studying for tests.
And blogging.
And reading books.
And getting the hair cut.
And some free time to ponder.

Life balance is really 90% time spent doing stuff for others, and then cramming in 10% for ourselves.

And perhaps I'll go for a cigar out by the pool from time to time.  Or go to bed at 9pm out of sheer exhaustion.

You know, we'd get more stuff done around the house if you weren't always smoking and going to bed real early.

Oh vey~!

Slow and Easy Wins the Race

I can lift a thousand pounds over my head.  And I earned over a million dollars.  And I'm not a liar.

How is this possible?

Well, I lifted 100 pounds ten times.

I earned average salary over the course of 20 years, which exceeds a million.

You see, we can accomplish great tasks.  Most people want instant gratification,  Sometimes it takes longer than most people are willing to persevere.

 A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so says the Tae Te Ching.

Once started, you take one small step at a time.  Repeat until complete.

That way, anyone can perform great feats.

Slow and easy wins the race, so says the tortoise.