Running a mile

So one of the things I’ve been doing when I get up at 5:20 each morning is working out.  I’m not being very strict about it, but I’m trying for 3 days a week. But lately it’s been 2 for various different reason’s.  This week perhaps it will be 3!

Any how as I progress through this, it was time to do a mile test (end of the first week).  So after I had managed to push the sleep from my eyes and get stretched out a bit I did it.  I suppose the fact that I did it should be satisfying enough.  However when I look at the time it took me today and the time it took me back in high school I’m kind of…challenged.  The challenge is really a couple of different things.  The first is can I get my time down to less than a 6 minute mile (I don’t have the exact figure, but I think it was around 5:55 we’ll say).  And can I drop 40 lbs to where I was in high school.  I’ve been trying to lose that weight, as viewers of this blog know, and have had a hell of a time the last two years.

Now having said that I’m not going to go and do anything extreme.  But I’m hoping that at least by next spring I can bust it out…or at least cut my 13+ minute mile down to say 8 minutes! 🙂

Something to watch: Long Way Down

If your looking for something to watching and don’t really want to sink your teeth into a 22 episode TV show I’d highly recommend checking out Long Way Down with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.


This is the story of Ewan and Charley traveling from the most northerly point of the United Kingdom (sorry I don’t remember the exact point) to Cape Town South Africa on motorcycles.  I suppose you could call it a sequel to their other trip called Long Way Around (we’re watching this right now!).  It’s an incredible TV series/documentary that covers a ton of Africa.  They of course have to go through a bit of Europe, but it’s really about Africa.  It may sound a bit boring just watching two guys riding on their motorcycles, but it’s so much more.  There’s really kind of two parts to this 10 part series. The first part is really about how they are going to get through Egypt and covering ground.  Somewhere after they get through Egypt they have some sort of blow up and it becomes more about seeing Africa and experiencing what Africa is.

Highly recommended!

Investing Style

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’ve been investing since I was 18 years old.  One might think I’d be swimming in the dollars right now but that is not the case.  Let me give you a history of my investing.

When I graduated high school, like a lot of new graduates, I got a bit of cash.  I’m not sure what I did with the rest but some of it went to buy my first mutual fund.  I believe that mutual fund was Pioneer Class A shares.  I put some more money into it over time and bought another mutual fund.  And it got me a certain ways down the road. And then I wanted a bit more. So somewhere along the line I bought Schering Plough (bought out by some other company), GE and Nokia.  I also started a ROTH IRA (if you don’t have a ROTH IRA now…get one ASAP!).  The three stocks I owned did nothing.  And my broker kept convincing me that I should stay in there.  I really should have told him to get off his butt and do something but I didn’t. While I still had my broker, I opened an account with Scottrade.  I just put in $500 and made an investment into Netflix.  That did pretty good for me.  I managed to make some money off of it.  I think in the end that account was somewhere near $3,000 if I’m not mistaken (adding more money and making money).  This showed me that I could do it on my own.

In early 2008 I finally told my broker it was time to part ways.  And I took the money above, the 2 ROTH IRA’s we had and a rolled over 401K and I started investing our money.  As many know 2008 is when the stock market went to hell.  Despite this I didn’t do to bad.  I made some more money off of Netflix (if I remember I doubled our money…had we held on we could have walked away with a hell of a lot more…that was right as NFLX headed to $300 for the first time!).  What was the most frustrating thing was having no system or style for investing.  How did I know to get into a stock or how did I know to get out of a stock?

So I happened up on Rule 1.  I devoured it and began looking into it.  I did my analysis on a few stocks and found a message board that I could post on (as I write this I think I’m a bit off on my dates).  Through various circumstances someone suggested that I check out Dorsey Wright and Point and Figure charting.  It took me awhile to find out what Point and Figure charting was, but once I did I again threw myself into it.  This was what I was looking for.

I found myself spending a ton of time trying to find the next best pick so I made the decision that it was time to hand our money over to a broker, but a broker that knew Point and Figure.  And I found one.  But then she retired and I ended up with another broker that I didn’t really see eye to eye with, but I stayed with him until early this year.  Early this year I moved our money to another broker who follow Point and Figure.

The moral of the story: find your investing style and do it sooner rather than later.  Had I been a bit more decisive in my investing I’d probably be rolling in the bucks right now.  I wouldn’t say I’d be retired, but we’d be well off.  Just this year alone I’d be up more than 20%.  Also find an investment style that suits you.  Point and figure works for me with the relative strength portion of it.

 

Intrests vs Passions

I’ve followed the passive income/entrepreneur community for awhile now. Always dreaming of coming up with that idea that would allow me to retire to some mountain cabin with a nice stream flowing by and a lake at the end of it.  However when I sit down and think about it, I can’t come up with a passion. ( as I look back on that sentence it sounds kind of bad ) This passion, at least according to the people that I follow, is what everyone suggests.  I suspect I’m not the only one that has this problem finding a passion.   I’m not here to tell you that I’ve had some big break through and that’s why I’ve been absent.  But I am here to tell you I heard something awhile ago that might help.

I think it was John Saddington who mentioned it (think it may have been in a Wordcamp speech…I can’t find it right now).  But what I’m talking about is interests.  We each have interests.  Maybe a passion is a bit hard to find, but interests are everywhere.  It’s very easy for me to come up with things that interest me.   For instance here are a few that pop up right away.

  • Golf
  • Investing
  • Databases
  • Writing

Now I haven’t started my passive income site off of any of these, but it has given me some place to start.  Where as with passions I couldn’t really figure those out. The question that now needs to be asked, I suppose, is are interests passions?  I’m not sure.  I don’t think that they are.

 

Read, Read, Read

I’m sure by now the few people who follow me on Goodreads are thinking I’m researching a new career as a spy or assassin.  The past few weeks I’ve been reading like I haven’t read in a long time.  I go in spurts like this, but this one is a bit more deliberate.  I’ve found, in the past, the more that I read the more I want to write. So as I’m trying my hardest to get some sort of writing done each and every day, I’ve also been trying to do a bunch of reading.  I’ve collected about 28 books I wanted to read on Goodreads and I’ve started knocking that list down (currently at 25 I believe).  Most of them are related to spy type of things. I’m trying to find a replacement for Vince Flynn, who passed away not to long ago.  I loved his books with Mitch Rapp.  Going to miss them, but I’m discovering there’s some other good authors out there worth reading.  More on that in a minute.

So I’m still doing my 5:20 in the morning thing.  Now 5 days a week.  Three of those days are spent working out, which I think helps my focus, but the other two are spent writing.  I’ve currently got 2 stories I’m really focusing on right now.  I’m not sure what will come of them, perhaps they will never see the light of day, but one of them I’m kind of keen on putting out there for others to read.  Not sure why, but I am.  If I do decide to do anything with that, I think I’ll need to change a few things on it as some of it is a little to personal.  I’ve also got some other ideas floating around in the back of my head.  We’ll see. But for now I’m just really trying to get better at writing and get something down on paper.  I would love nothing more than to be a published author, but I’ve got a long ways to go in order for that to happen.

Here’s what I’ve read over the last month.

 The Paladin Prophecy – Mark Frost

I think I downloaded a sample of this on my Kindle and was kind of interested in it.  It’s a Young Adult book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it.  Overall a pretty good book, but I will say this.  I was about 70% of the way through the book before things started to fall into place. So you’ll have to be patient.  The first 70% is not boring, it’s just a bit of work to get to what’s happening. There is a 2nd book that is going to be released in January of 2014.

 

 

 The Lions of Lucerne – Brad Thor

This was the first book on my list of possible books to replace Vince Flynn’s series.  Super quick read and not a dull moment.  Which is good but I also find it a bit unbelievable at times.  I will however be picking up the second book and seeing how that one goes.  I suspect that the later books might be better paced.  We’ll see.

 

 

 

 The Gray Man – Mark Greaney

This was next on the list for a Vince Flynn replacement.  Like the Thor book above this one was very fast paced, and also a bit unbelievable, but I’ll be reading more if there is more.  I’m not sure if there is or not.

 

 

 

 Fault Line – Barry Eisler

I’ve read some of Eisler’s other stuff and follow is blog.  This one I just started yesterday so I can’t say much about it other than I was a bit confused in the first couple of chapters and had to do a back track to put some pieces in place.  I doubt that this one will be action all the way like the 2 I mentioned above, but we’ll see.