Jason Moran
Friday, April 27, 2012
  Should I Let The Sleeping Dog Lie?
This blog has been sleeping unnoticed for quite some time now. No new posts, no rants, no quips, no ideas, no happy birthdays or happy anniversaries, no complaints about my weight or shape or house or investments, no raging about the government or economy. Should I leave well enough alone and continue to do nothing?
Monday, April 04, 2011
  New Qualities of Potential Terrorists
Are you a domestic terrorist? You probably are if you have any of these qualities according to this:

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Thursday, February 12, 2009
  Happy Birthday Kelly
It's bragging time.

My wife makes a homemade dinner 5 nights a week - and she's a really good cook. When there aren't any leftovers in a Tupperware container for lunch at work, Kelly usually sneaks downstairs while I'm brushing my teeth to make me a sandwich and pack me a lunch. I'm...pretty messy. Somehow I have no natural sense of my own filth, but my wife manages to put up with me and clean up after me as I leave a disastrous path through the house.

Everybody's wife/husband/child is the "most beautiful", but just check that picture out - my wife actually is.

Thank you, Kelly, for the wonderful 9.5 years we've had together. Have a happy birthday and remember that you are my favorite and I love you!


Thursday, February 05, 2009
  Best Albums of 2008
The “top albums of 2008” is obviously a matter of opinion. I am not a well-regarded and highly-heralded music critic. I really don’t care what kind of music you listen to either. Therefore, I have decided to rate the music I listened to in 2008 on the Jason Awesomeness Meter. I took the top 8 albums ranked by how much they *JAM*.

Metallica caught me by surprise with one of their best albums of their career. For those that care I would rank the Metallica albums in this order:
Girl Talk is actually a Biomedical Engineer named Greg Gillis from my Alma Mater (Case Western Reserve University). At first listen it sounds like a mash-up record...and maybe it is. If so he is the best at it. In much the same way you might have a 13 year old cousin named Jared that is a "guitar player" but I'm sure he's no Jimmy Hendrix. That's the rift between Girl Talk and any other mash-up artists.

Biggest Disappointment
Rise Against - Appeal To Reason.
Not that I didn’t like it - it was actually pretty good. I just had such high hopes after the wonderful “Sufferer and the Witness”.

EP of the Year
It's a tie between State Fair - Change and Emery - While Broken Hearts Prevail
State Fair is a local band (to Cleveland) but they deserve national attention because they are truly that good.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009
  RANT: Entitlement Is NOT Your Right
Some things make my blood boil. Boiling blood typically leads to a rant.

Hey all of you "Gen Y"ers or whatever you are called. The 25-and-unders of the world. Those born after 1984, the later the worse. Listen up: You are NOT entitled to just about anything.. I know you think you are, but you are wrong. You are not guaranteed happiness, you are only guaranteed the pursuit of it. The government is not your long lost rich grandparents that will sweep your problems under the rug if you slack off or screw things up. By simply being alive in the United States, you do not necessarily get a free place to live. You do not get to reap of the nation's bounty and eat to your fill. It is not any government's job to take care of your children. School is not a daycare. Even if you stay at home with the kids, the government should not pay you to babysit your own.

Life is hard! Grow up and realize your own personal responsibility! It is the fault of nobody else that you did not study in school and now you aren't qualified for a high paying job. If you got pregnant at 16 years old - buck up and realize it is your responsibility and you really should have just left your panties on. Whoopsie.

What happens when 30 million elderly and needy are on so much expensive medication and hospitalization that Medicaid and Medicare starts costing the government 30 or 40% of the money it can possibly provide? Guess what? It's almost there. At some point the government can't just put a band aid on everything to make it all better. You can wait until the entire system collapses or you can cut out a little bit of what everybody seems to feel entitled to. Is it harsh? Yes - but better than the long-term alternatives.

Let's get back to the modern-day high schoolers and the even younger brats. Don't tell me about the exceptions, there are exceptions to every stereotype. Mommy and daddy don't have to get you everything. You actually don't need a cell phone - and you definitely don't need a texting package. You don't need brand name clothing to survive. Owning every video game system and game gives you bragging rights, but it is a lucky privilege. Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. Go cry about it - nobody is gonna get you a freaking pony.

What about schools that no longer post "Honor Roll" boards on the walls of the school because it will make Johnny or Suzy depressed that they couldn't make the grades. Boo-hoo. Sports that don't keep score so there aren't any losers. Now nobody has any motivation to achieve anything. Now nobody gains any character because apparently the average human has become too frail over the past couple of decades to handle any sort of hardship. If there are no losers then there are no winners. If nobody wins then there's no point to even playing. No wonder the masses are full of unmotivated zombies that aimlessly wander through "life". Everything has become ambiguous and numbed, dulled and jaded. Get off your lazy butt and doing something useful for once.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008
  I'm Nestaron, What's Your Elvish Name?
I always love the way elvish names sound in movies and books such as the Lord Of The Rings. As it turns out, many names have an elvish version. I looked them up for my wife and I:

Kelly Warrior Maethoriel (My-thore-ee-ell)
Jason Healer Nestaron (Nehs-TAR-on)

Elvish female names
Elvish male names

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been busy. I was gonna post all kinds of neat stuff about Obama and McCain and Social Security and taxes and welfare and income redistribution and pay systems and free-loaders and banks and no proof of income loans...but I never got around to it all and it really isn't as interesting any longer.


Thursday, October 23, 2008
  Market Predictions From Grandpa

Grandpa Bouchard stopped in town yesterday seemingly to rave about the stock market, cycles, charts, patterns, and the idiots of the world. Grandpa is retired now, but he has been a broker among a myriad of other things. He has spent 10-16 hours per day for 60 years researching the market - and he has some pretty strong opinions.

He said just about everything fits into one of 16 (or so) patterns and it is so easy to predict what will happen next if you identify the right pattern.

One of them is a depressionary cycle that was supposed to hit a year ago. He told us to get our money out of the market and even to get it out of banks. He was a year off, but it was a 240 year cycle leading into a depression that he identified quite a while ago and it is hard to get down to exact dates when the cycles are that big. Of course it is cool that his predictions are starting down the path that he felt they would, but if he continues to be correct then things will get far more scary than they are now.

Grandpa told me (with crazy eyes) WAIT FOR GOLD TO HIT $650. As in, he's positive gold will continue to drop in price at least to $650 per ounce. Once it does then I should buy up gobs and gobs of it because it will go through the roof for years and years.

So, why are precious metals dropping in price even though demand is through the roof? Have my lessons in economics been a complete waste? He says this: Hedge funds and the other very large owners of gold and silver have to sell now because they need cash to stop the bleeding - that is helping to drive the price down over demand because they are bigger players. They should be all sold out soon which is when those with demand (regular people) will start getting their hands on it...and when prices will skyrocket.

Overall Grandpa B is worried about having almost anything sitting in the stock market as a whole. He is actually serious when he says this will be a Great Depression unlike the 1929-1932 time period. He thinks nearly every financial institution will collapse and he has asked my cop dad which gun he should purchase to protect his home from the crazies in the coming years.

"A depression is when money goes back to it's rightful owner". - Grandpa Bouchard

Unfortunately my grandpa thinks things will get far more difficult than I can imagine (with me being 28 years old and never having lived through difficult times during my lifetime). However, he believes the U.S. will fair better than most of the rest of the world. Sure, there was a housing bubble in the U.S. with home prices going up an average of four times their value over some number of years I can't remember. However, over that same period England's home prices went up 12 times, Ireland 20+ times! Most countries went up a similar amount. So, if a $100,000 house in the U.S. drops down to it's real value at $25,000 that's pretty tough to deal with. However, in Ireland that $100,000 would drop down to about $4,000! My head would asplode.

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Friday, October 03, 2008
  Deleveraging, Depressions, and Bailouts Oh My!
I hate those greedy, evil and selfish banks as much as you do. This predicament is a terrible spot to be in. However, do you want to have another depression? The depression was the result of a "do nothing" policy. The government never stepped in and things were pretty bad for a while. They would have been worse if a world war didn't start up after a few years.

Anyway, $700b bailouts suck, too. I've been paying my mortgage and other debts, so why should I take on more to cover the sorry louts that can't pay up (and to cover the banks sorry behinds for ever approving them in the first place!).

However, have you ever heard of The Paradox of Deleveraging? The same principal carries in the opposite direction. If *I* am thrifty then *I* save money. However, problems happen when *everybody* does the same thing. If *everybody* suddenly becomes thrifty then they do not save money! By spending money I am providing somebody else's paycheck. If everybody stops buying things then *I* do not have a paycheck because of how everything interacts. The paradox of deleveraging is similar because it isn't one or two banks failing - it is all of them!

The third option that isn't being talked about is nationalization a la Sweden a few years back. Not everybody is a fan of it, though. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are already pretty much nationalized...so why not some more financial institutions? I haven't come to a conclusion on this one yet.


I did want to say that the powers that be are finally checking into the silver market. It seems that when demand is through the roof, supply is pretty much gone, yet prices go down it raises some eyebrows.

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Friday, September 19, 2008
  Great Depression II
In the 20s and 30s W.W.I was simple the World War. Maybe we'll start referring to 1929-1932 as G.D.I because it was simply the first of it's kind.

I don't want to be a doomsday nutcase, but I am deeply scared about the world we live in. I'm not scared of life ending - I'm scared about catastrophic economic collapse. Something that can shake the world more than a 10.0 earthquake, a worldwide wipe out of retirement savings, financial institutions, and debt/credit.

Grandpa Bouchard, my mom's dad, was nearly vibrating a few months back because he was so excited about the massive collapses he predicted would be coming in the near future. He was never specific, but he felt like many banks would fail and we might just see times not-so-different than those during the Great Depression. He was envious that I was young enough to experience it, learn from it, and make it out on the other side someday. I guess it is possible that much of what is remaining of his retirement savings could get wiped out. I certainly hope not because if that turns out to be the case then the Average Joe will be in a much worse predicament.

I was reading a few articles and they didn't scare me - but that's because I already scared myself by wildly speculating what could happen.

So many of the banks out there are interconnected such that the rapid failing of a few could bring down the whole lot of them. The Fed pretty much had to bailout AIG a few days ago. If they didn't I think things could have quickly become exponentially worse.

It's no wonder my favorite commodity (silver) has spiked (along with gold, oil, etc) - these things are considered "safe" thus many are buying them up because they don't know exactly what stock will lose them their life savings next. At least gold and silver have a REAL value to fall back on...

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Monday, September 15, 2008
  Convincing You About Silver
It doesn't seem like you are all convinced that silver is a good thing yet. Think again.

I already presented my case by showing that industrial use is growing every year (after all, silver is the most reflective, conductive, (etc) of the pliable precious metals). The world's existing supply has nearly been depleted. One of the richest sultans or oil czars out there could actually buy all of the known silver in the world (if they wanted to). Very little silver exists, it's as simple as that.

However, that article I linked to has something even more interesting to say:
Let me state that clearly - one (maybe two) U.S. bank holds a net 36% share of the entire COMEX silver market. The same one or two U.S. banks hold 82% of the total commercial net short position. This is a concentration that is unprecedented; maybe double or triple or more what the Hunt Brothers held on the long side in 1980. Without these, one or two traders, there would hardly be any commercial silver short position at all. This makes the big concentrated short a danger to everyone, including the market itself. That’s why the regulators must act now.

This bank(s) will probably go out of business (is it JP Morgan/Chase?) because it will simply not be able to buy out all of the shorts it now owns. That may not make perfect sense to you, but this is a way to sort of think about it: One unlucky bank owes the world massive amounts of the not-readily-available silver, and when push comes to shove it will simply be unable to pay up. When it makes the attempt silver's value in dollars should sharply increase.

The gamble is worth it! Worst case it's an even trade, best case you make a pile of money.

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Monday, August 18, 2008
  Mosaic Game
Here is what you do--

1.) Type your answers to each of the questions below into the Flickr search engine.
2.) Pick an image from the first page only (I even tried to go with the first photo on most of mine)
3.) Copy and Paste the URLs for each image into Mosaic Maker.
4.) Save your mosaic to your computer and upload it into your own post.

1.) What is your first name?
2.) What is your favorite food?
3.) What high school did you go to?
4.) What is your favorite color?
5.) Who is your celebrity crush?
6.) What is your favorite drink?
7.) What is your dream vacation?
8.) What is your favorite dessert?
9.) What do you want to be when you grow up?
10.) What do you love most in life?
11.) What is one word to describe you?
12.) What is your flickr name? (or a common handle you've gone by)

I stole this idea from Angela

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Friday, August 08, 2008
  Silver Spoons
"[Silver] was politically demonetized beginning in 1873 and ending in the late 1930s when Roosevelt's silver manipulations forced China off the silver standard. Removing all that monetary demand for silver naturally made it lose value against gold, and rising industrial demand could not yet soak up the excess supply."

It makes you wonder whether the United States is as rich as it is because it went off of both the gold and silver standard. Maybe the fact that America started living off of credit and fiat money (money that the government mandates is legal tender but really has no actual value) gave it the leverage to spring ahead of everybody else. However, we all know that fiat money can have the bottom fall out from under it (see the Japanese Yen in 1989 - it is still recovering. I wonder if it was smart in the short run (of 100 years or so) but dumb in the long run. Sure I can buy expensive houses, cars, jewelry, and great stuff on credit - but that doesn't mean I can afford that debt and continue living that far above my means in the long run.

Historically gold was more expensive than silver because there was 8 to 12 times as much silver as gold. I don't know if anybody has been paying attention, but we've already mined 95% of the worlds surface silver. Nowadays there is 7 times as much gold as silver! Also, silver has a rising demand every year because it has an ever increasing industrial use. In other words we have used 90% of the worlds surface silver in the past 100 years and we are using more every year, yet it still doesn't cost very much.

The government wanted us off actual bullion (silver, gold, etc) as currency so it forced us to use worthless paper money instead. It's an "agreement" that the government has forced upon us. When we run out of money, the government simply prints more. I feel like we've been living in a land of make believe our whole lives and somebody is just going to stop playing the game sometime soon. We're living in the money Matrix and I've just figured out the facade that has been in place this whole time. There is no dollar.

Is it possible that the dollar (well, all of the world's fiat money) could collapse? I mean, do you understand that at a point in time the paper money we had were representations of actual bullion (silver or gold) that was held in a safe repository somewhere (like a bank)? Paper money exactly represented trading gold/silver for other goods or services. Now it is simply paper money that represents...uh...well, the government tells us it has legal value. Dimes and quarters used to have 90% silver in them and were roughly equal in value to the precious metals inside. In 1965 they changed half dollars from 90% to 40% silver and most other coins were filled with worthless metals. Let's just say that coins prior to 1965 are worth a bit more than face value.

Anyway, I haven't plunged into this yet, but I plan on grabbing up all kinds of silver and perhaps gold since it never really loses value. It fluctuates in the market, but over time it is more dependable and stable than almost any other commodity. In the long run your pile of silver and gold can be traded for more and more of the increasingly worthless money we use to buy things with.

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Monday, July 14, 2008
So, there's an African tribe that doesn't count using numbers (the Pirahas). They have a word that means "one or two", a word that means "four or five", and a word that means "many" or "a lot". In other words, they never directly count or say exact quantities of items.

This guy says it the best - and I know it's a really long quote to read through, but it's funny and interesting and it explains how baboons use the same counting system:
So, I grew up on a Bushveld Farm in Africa.

And, as one does on farms in the raw, one must maintain a system of control... over baboons.

Experience taught the farmers how to deal with baboons, as a necessity towards having a harvest- baboons are quite destructive you see.

The first method is by catching one using the 'pumpkin' trick. Quite easy:
Tie down a pumkin, make a hole in it just big enough for a baboon hand to slip in and wait.

The baboon will come along and stick his hand into the pumpkin, grab a handful and then try to remove his hand... but as an empty hand can go in, the clenched fist cannot get out... baboon does not want to let go... and is therefore stuck. Then you paint the fellow white, and let it go. The returning baboon will scare the living daylights out of his tribe and they will disappear for a while.

The other method... well... shoot a couple and the farm will be avoided for a LONG time.

It is not as easy as one would think to hunt baboons, firstly, as they have very effective watch..err.. watchmen (Bobejaan-brandwag) who will sound the alarm as soon as they spot people with guns. The trick is as follows (works for Maize fields):

If one man walks into the field, and hides, the baboons stay away.

If two goes in, and one comes out, they stay away.

If three goes in and two comes out... they stay away...

But if four goes in and three comes out... they seem to think that many went in and many left... all right to plunder. (ok, know it should be 'feed', but we live in a relative universe!)

We used to tease and say "1-2-many" is how baboons count. So, imagine my puzzlement when I saw that there are... well... humans living by a similar system!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008
  Salary Vs Contracting: The Other Side Of The Fence
I thought I'd revisit Salary Vs. Contracting now that I'm back in a salaried job.

I have now worked an even amount of hourly, salary, W-2 contracting, and 1099 contracting.

My overall take on it is this: I want to do pure 1099 contracting if I can help it at some point in the future...but I am enjoying the perks of a salaried job while I can.

I haven't gotten paid for holidays in years, and it is really nice to still get a full paycheck for 3 and 4 day weeks. I don't have any vacation days yet, but when I do and I take my vacation it will be awesome to not take the "double hit". When you are contracting it is a double hit because you pay lots for your vacation and you come home to no pay for the time you took off.

However, let me explain why the 1099 route is the best way in my personal opinion (for software developers). First of all, you don't 1099 under your personal name. You create a corporation (LLC, S-Corp, etc). The business at the front end is the key to the whole thing.

Since you are working for this newly created business you can pay yourself for your work and for rent (because you have to do your work at some physical place). Then you get to write off your computer, supplies, travel, and all kinds of other things on your taxes. Plus, it provides legal protection. If you did something stupid like break a non-disclosure agreement they can't sue the pants off of you directly, they would be suing your company.

Before I continue with a few more good 1099 points, let me tell you some of the bad. Your taxes are way more complex, so you'd better hire an accountant. You'll have to do some payroll stuff for yourself and any other employees you have, including their taxes and sending off IRS paperwork. Some of your clients won't pay, or at least not in a timely manner. Sure, you might make 30,000 dollars, but what if they give that to you in 5 months in a single payment? Can you survive until the check shows up? One last thing, you need to pay double taxes (employer and employee portions).

Anyway, the last couple 1099 pros: You generally make a bit more than salary/normal contracting so that covers your extra taxes and then some if you are writing off enough on your taxes. You can hire other people to do the work for you. Lastly, you can work on your own terms.

Let's say you are busy at a client but company ABC wants you to redo their website for $8K. You don't have the time. However, you ask your website-savvy buddy that wants to moonlight a little how much he thinks he could redo the site for. He says he could redo it for about $4K, but in case anything unexpected comes up it could max out at $5K. You take the contract, let your buddy do it, pay him worst-case-scenario $5K and bank $3K just for setting the whole thing up. You can't do that if you are working directly for an employer.

All that being said, I'm happy where I am at my salaried job right now.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008
  Go Ahead, Chop My Hand Off
I love wacky science and health stories. A guy chopped half of his finger off and it grew back.

Using some cellular matrix powder made out of pig's bladder like some sort of magical pixie dust the dude just sprinkled it on his stump and the finger grew back in a few weeks.

I can't wait until they start growing back amputated legs or tossing a third arm on people. Yo, doc, my liver's going bad can you grow me a new one? Thanks, bro.

I wonder if we can use a sport star's tissue to grow near-superhuman legs/etc for next gen soldiers?

Implants? No, these are natural. Naturally somebody else's, but still natural.

The possibilities are sort of crazy.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008
  Beware of the New World Order
I have always been interested in all of the conspiracy theories and ghost stories surrounding the Illuminati, the Free Masons, and the New World Order. That triangle eye on top of the pyramid on the back of the one dollar bill has ties to the Illuminati/Free Masons. In fact, if you dig into it, the Illuminati has many strong ties going way back into American history.

The New World Order "is a secret shadowy cabal of Illuminati elites who secretly run all the banks and the governments and the big corporations", at least according to some website I read.

This stuff gets really crazy and full of conspiracies the more you dig into it. The conspiracy theorists believe The Bilderberg Group is trying to institute a globalist New World Order. Most of the US Presidents have attended Bilderberg Group meetings or are members of the "Behemian Club" (also called Bohemian Grove). The "Bohemians" are the most exclusive men's club / fraternity in the Western Hemisphere. It's "a Who's Who of corporate board members, bankers, entertainers, faded literati, world-class politicians, and heads of government."

Every July at Bohemian Grove, California (on the south shore of the Russian River) is a commencement ceremony called the "Cremation of Care". The club's mascot is burned in effigy to a 40-foot owl god (Moloch) which symbolizes a freedom from care. The wild story is there are rumors that they do a human sacrifice there (it is very well protected).

The Grove has a Shakespearean motto: "Weaving spiders come not here." Not many details are known about discussions or agreements that have been made in the grove, but one example is the "1967 agreement by Ronald Reagan, over a drink with Richard Nixon, to stay out of the coming presidential race – have helped mould America’s destiny." ~ Maclean’s Magazine, March 23, 1981.

I won't go into much more here, but the conspiracy theorists have tied the Free Mason's to the occult and have tied major politicians and prominent figureheads and decision-makers to Illuminati clubs. I'm not saying any of this is true - but if it is then should we be scared?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
  Time Travel Paradoxes Part 1
If it was 3 AM during my freshman year of college and I was NOT drunk at a party, chances are a few of us engineering nerds at Case were debating about time travel, black holes, or some such pseudo-science / pseudo-mind-fsk topics. My favorite was when we would – scientifically mind you – argue the possibilities and paradoxes surrounding time travel.

We’ve all heard the problem with going back in time to kill either yourself or your parents. It has to be impossible because then the future you that just did it would not exist and it could never have happened in the first place. It’s to time travel what divide by zero is to math. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s a freakin paradox.

What if the universe, by some great cosmic force, course corrected for the changes that you made in time. What if it is more intricate than you thought it could be? Sure, you stepping on the butterfly changed the wind such that the storm hit a different city across the world which caused a different guy to skid in the rain and run over a woman bearing the child that would have grown up to lead the fight against our robot overlords in 2042. So, instead that cosmic force rearranges a few inconsequential things to raise a DIFFERENT robot overlord fighting hero. Is that possible? What would the limits be on such a force? What if you knew what the force either had to do or what it planned on doing? Could you escape fate? Could you live forever? I guess it all depends on whether or not such a force even exists.

Consciousness displacement, also called being “dislodged in time” by Kurt Vonnegut who authored Slaughterhouse 5 (good book, also read Cat’s Cradle if you get a chance), is when your whole being isn’t what travels through time – it is simply your thoughts. This is apparently also what is happening on the television show “Lost” when a few characters suddenly jump between certain times in their own life. Basically think about it this way – you can only jump to a place that you have been at or will be at during another very specific time-space point on the map. However, whatever you knew then is replaced by what you know and are doing now.

Dislodging yourself in time can create brand new paradoxical situations. For example, if I stayed at home because the forecast called for rain but future me jumped back knowing that it never rained and I instead went to the amusement park and got on the roller coaster that fell apart and killed all of the passengers then future me could never have even done it. In fact let’s say I never died, but my experiences changed. Ok, so what happened to all of those memories? They never really happened. Or, is my brain aware of both situations (what really happened the first time and what really happened after I changed things)?

Here I go again…I can think about these things for hours…

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Friday, June 06, 2008
  Mini-Updates About Jason
I was going to write a bunch of little meaningless blog posts, but I became more busy than expected and it would have been some boring stuff anyway. Instead I'll jam a few things into one larger and more useless update.

1. Jason, did you get the laptop, PS3, or Xbox 360?
I decided the laptop would be more useful for my career...plus it was tough deciding between a 360 or PS3. Dude, I ended up getting a Dell. It's super gay yellow, 15.4" 1440x1050 resolution, 4 GB RAM, Core2Duo 2x2.0GHz processor, etc. The super gay yellow is probably the best stat if I had to pick just one. Oh, and it came with Vista, which is simultaneously as bad as I had heard yet better in a lot of ways, too.

2. Wresting with my weight
I have always told myself that I would never let myself become fatter than 200 pounds. So, in mid-January when I was at 199.5 lbs, I decided to give myself until mid-June (6 months) to lose 20 pounds (goal of 179.5 lbs). If it proved to be easy then I really wanted to get down to 175.

So, by mid-March I was 188 and things were looking good. In the first week of April I was slowing down - but I made it to 183.5 pounds. But...I don't exactly understand what happened after that. I was still running at least a couple of times per week. I was eating salads and egg whites and skipping cheese and not drinking pop most of the time.

I creeped up over 190 for a little bit but I'm back down to 187 now. I only have 8 days left and I'm 7.5 pounds over my target, so it looks to be impossible now. I won't give up, though. I've been doing sit ups every day for the past 3 days and I plan to continue until June 15th. I'll give the final weight when I get there.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
  My Dog Sadie Growing Up
Sadie Fergalicious is nine or ten months old now, so she's about as big as she'll get. The pictures start in mid-October and continue until her newest picture at the bottom. The other dog that looks like her is Trinket, which is Sadie's sister who is owned by my sister Kelly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
  Adventures In Wealth Building
The goal is to be able to retire someday without caring whether social security pays me a dime.

You get there basically by increasing your net worth to the point that you can support your lifestyle via stuff you've saved. Net worth is basically this: Take everything you owe anybody (debt) as a negative. Next take everything you have (cash, 401K, IRA, house, cars, giant bars of gold, etc) as a positive (asset). Put those together and you'll have your net worth.

It's very common for a recent college graduate to have a large negative net worth. To increase it, you have to keep paying off debt while trying to gain less new debt while adding to your assets. I signed up at Net Worth IQ to help me track it over time.

I'm happy to say that I made the switch from negative net worth to the positive side in early 2008. I still have $25K of the $36K of college debt left, and I have a huge amount of mortgage debt - which sucks because I owe more on my house than it is even worth now that homes dropped in value. However, I've been stashing money in a Roth IRA, regular IRA, and a 401K. Plus, I just paid off all of my credit cards and I paid off both of my cars as of last month (I used that tax rebate everybody got to make the final payment!).

I just made it into the positive - so I have a long way to go. I hope to be on track by the time my early 30s hit. Check out this formula to see if you are on track:
AGE: Your current age (you can use decimals to be more exact)
$$: Your annual spending. This is not what you make, this also should not include most of your debt (like student loans). This is today's dollar amount that you spend on living or want to spend (food, travel, clothing, property taxes, car payments). Basically the things you'll be paying when you're an old geezer.

Target NET WORTH = (AGE/166 - 0.15) * AGE * $$

That is what your net worth should be today...based on this semi-common premise: "You will need 20 times what you annually spend to retire at 72".

I'm way behind...where are you at?

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