My Friend

The guy who lives next door to me is really interested in having a garden and keeping it available. He was telling me about all the styles of plants and stuff he has in there and while I haven’t heard of most of them it’s the kind of thing where I think I will probably

Studying Karate

Martial arts have been something I want to learn, and I think that I am going to start training. I have gotten some good information recently about Tae Kwon Do and it seems like something I would enjoy. There are a few other styles I am interested in as well, but I will probably start

Crazy Ideas

When I am not running, or even while I am running, I will think about some of the different things I would like to try. One of those things is hang gliding. Seriously, how incredibly thrilling does that seem? It’s like you’re flying but there’s no engine and you’re just up there flying around and

I Watch A Lot Of House Hunting Shows

I like to look at homes that are for sale and for rent even when I have no intention of moving. I watch a lot of HGTV and even though I don’t know much about decorating or anything I still like to see how they decorate their homes. I like to watch House Hunters and

Relationship Drama

My girlfriend has been acting differently recently.  She seems to be getting super annoyed at just about everything which is pretty unlike her.  At first I didn’t mind and I figured she was just having a bad day or whatever, but it seems like it’s all the time now and it’s getting to the point

My Friend

The guy who lives next door to me is really interested in having a garden and keeping it available. He was telling me about all the styles of plants and stuff he has in there and while I haven’t heard of most of them it’s the kind of thing where I think I will probably get more into it as I proceed. The thing is, I always thought it would be cool to grow your own flowers and stuff because you could use some of them in your recipes. When I am making something and it calls for whatever it makes me think that someone had to have that, so I might be able to get it if I grew it myself.

But the thing I really like about his garden is the way it is sectioned. He’s got diverse plants on the side and then other things in the middle. The side of his grounds has a selection of aluminium garden furniture that I think is really quite the excellent touch. It’s like you go there and it is just the style of place that you would want to go over and see, even if you aren’t really into that kind of thing.

So he was telling me about the plants and stuff he grows and I was trying to keep everything sorted out but I am really going to have to learn about it on my own if I decide it is something that I want to do. I’m sure there are some things I will have to get and make sure that I know what I think I am planning, but the main thing is just like I said that I want to be able to grow my own flavorings. Then when I am making something I’ll be able to use those and it will just be like a sweet little thing that I can do.

So really I have been trying to learn about how I am going to do this and what kinds of implements if any you need to have a garden. Since I have never done this kind of thing before it is really something that I have been trying to figure out and my friend is giving me a lot of suggestions. I’m sure that I will get it. I’m sure that I will have a big assortment of flowers and stuff which is the purpose.

Studying Karate

Martial arts have been something I want to learn, and I think that I am going to start training. I have gotten some good information recently about Tae Kwon Do and it seems like something I would enjoy. There are a few other styles I am interested in as well, but I will probably start with one that I think would be good for a beginner. Looking at some of the different sites I’ve seen, it seems like there area few things that most of the styles have, and that is physical conditioning as well as respect. I know that respect is pretty important in anything, but I think it’s played up a lot in self defense schools because it’s an important thing to learn. Another thing I noticed is that people seem to have different opinions on whether things like breaking bricks are important. A lot of people will associate that with martial arts, but there are some who think that it’s a good test of skill, and others who think that it serves no purpose whatsoever. Whether or not I learn how to do that isn’t too important to me, but might be something that would be good to learn. There are some schools that make you break boards as part of your tests. And one style of breaking that looked kind of complicated was iron palm, which I read about on this site where there was a lot of good explanation of some of the training.

Maybe I will start with one style and then change to another, or maybe I will like the first style and stick with it. I think that there is probably something you can learn regardless of which kind you study, and I know there are people who study different styles at their own decision because they might feel like one is good at teaching certain things, and others might be better for other purposes. But that seems to be stuff that I will learn as I go, so I am going to check out what there is around here and maybe look at a few other places and then start my training. It is probably a good idea to start out by watching a class so you can get a feel for what it is like, and I would like that, too, so I can make sure that it seems like it would be a cool place to organize my learning. And it is probably also important to pick a place where you like the other people there, too, since you are going to be practicing with them.

Crazy Ideas

When I am not running, or even while I am running, I will think about some of the different things I would like to try. One of those things is hang gliding. Seriously, how incredibly thrilling does that seem? It’s like you’re flying but there’s no engine and you’re just up there flying around and taking in all the sights. I have only seen people hang glide on TV but it looks like something that I would really like to try. I don’t even know how I would begin but I still think it looks like fun. There is probably a bit of excitement as you jump off the edge of whatever you are on, at least that would seem like the best way to begin. Since there aren’t any people around here to hang glide I don’t really have anyone to ask, and I’ve only seen pictures of people in the air, now launching.

Surfing is something else I want to try. I was thinking about going to one of those surf camps where they teach you everything you need to know and they show you how to do all the different moves and stuff you need to know. I think that would be fun and I’d rather learn that way than try to figure it out on my own. Plus, that whole type of environment is probably really exciting and I think it would just make the learning that much more enjoyable. But I need to find out where I am going to go. There are a few around here and there are also ones like that link up there that are in Costa Rica. I think that would be really fun but I don’t know if I would be able to go there although I’m sure if I was going to take a week off and go there I would be able to do it. I just want to give it a try and see if it’s something that is as much fun as I think it is.

One of those competitions where they have the obstacle courses set up is another thing that I was thinking of looking into to see if I could participate or if it would be something that I actually don’t want to do. I have read about them and they seem like they would be fun but I don’t really know much about them and I think that some of the obstacles are things that I could do. It seems like it would be an interesting variation on the races that I normally run especially if I’m going to be jumping over stuff.

I Watch A Lot Of House Hunting Shows

I like to look at homes that are for sale and for rent even when I have no intention of moving. I watch a lot of HGTV and even though I don’t know much about decorating or anything I still like to see how they decorate their homes. I like to watch House Hunters and look at the places they look at and decide which one I would pick and which one I think they should pick. Sometimes I’ll spend hours online looking at places that are available in my town just for fun. I’m not really planning on moving but it’s fun. I’ve noticed that the prices vary a lot, too. You can click here to see one of the sites I use to look at available places.

I also like to watch this show called Love It Or List It. Basically they take a family who are thinking about selling their home and they have a specific budget that they use to make renovations to their home and then there’s also another guy who takes them out to look at houses that he thinks would better meet their requirements. At the end of the show they get to see the renovations to their own home and think about the places they looked at and then decide if they’re going to stay in their own home or put it up or sale and move into one of the new homes.

I don’t really watch that much TV but I do watch a lot on HGTV. The renovation shows aren’t really that interesting to me, though. Seeing the end result is cool but actually watching them make the changes is kind of boring. I prefer the shows where they’re looking at places that are already done. I have pretty modern tastes so I don’t really like the older homes, but I like the newer ones with updated kitchens and big kitchens. Everyone seems to have their own tastes, though. Some people really want the older style and want to make changes themselves or just want that style. Not me. I wouldn’t get along with some of the people on those shows at all. Our tastes are too different. I guess that’s why there are so many different styles of houses, though, because everybody wants something different and if everything was cookie cutter that wouldn’t be any fun now would it?

Relationship Drama

My girlfriend has been acting differently recently.  She seems to be getting super annoyed at just about everything which is pretty unlike her.  At first I didn’t mind and I figured she was just having a bad day or whatever, but it seems like it’s all the time now and it’s getting to the point where it’s starting to affect me because I’m around it.  It’s kind of frustrating to me because I don’t want that kind of negative energy around me.  When you’re with someone who’s always in a bad mood it’s draining and it ruins your own mood.  It’s even to the point where it’s impacting how we interact, like she doesn’t really seem interested in doing anything together anymore and I’m wondering why we’re even dating.  Maybe she wants me to break up with her.  I don’t know.  But if things continue like this I going to start thinking about it.

It’s almost to the point where I prefer to do some things by myself since she doesn’t seem to enjoy doing things together anymore.  You’re probably thinking “why don’t you just talk to her about it?”  My girlfriend isn’t the best at communicating but I don’t think it’s something I’m doing or not doing, I think she’s just kind of losing interest in the relationship, and I think when that happen sometimes people don’t even realize that it’s happening so they’re not able to give a reason for why they feel the way they feel.  I’ve been in that situation before.  I was really into this one girl I was dating but then we eventually started to kind of drift apart and I lost interest.  She was still a cool person, I just wasn’t interested in her in that way anymore.

I think that’s what’s happening here.  It’s kind of giving me a stress headache, too.  We need to figure out what is going on soon because I’m not happy the way things are going and I don’t want to stay in the relationship if it’s going to be like this.  Of course I’m willing to help her or work with her if she’s having issues that are related to me or to us, but if she’s just not that into me anymore then I don’t think we should stay together.  I don’t want to keep dating someone who isn’t interested in being with me.  And I don’t think she really wants to be in a situation where she’s not happy, either.

About To Move

I just ordered some wire shelves in preparation of my move next month.  I am moving closer to my job which will be nice but I’m going to miss living in the city. That is right you heard it right; this city snob is moving to the suburbs. From my perspective right now there is only one good thing about this and that is I won’t have to sit in traffic for over an hour each way going to and from work. I just can’t do it anymore as some days like yesterday it took me over 2 hours to get home. I also know that later this year they are starting major construction on the main road I take now and that is going to cause even more headaches. I just can’t do it anymore.  Oh, I ordered them from http://www.wire-shelves.com.  Did I mention that I’m moving to the burbs yet?

I also can’t say I will miss the parking situation. Right now where I live it is pretty much park wherever you can find a spot and on some days that can be tough. I long ago quit driving places at night because trying to find a spot later on in the evening is next to impossible. I remember the last time I tried was last year and it literally took me 45 minutes to find a spot. To make matters worse I had to park almost a mile from my apartment. The place I’m moving into now I won’t have to worry about any of that because I actually have my own garage spot. It wasn’t much more to get one (still cheaper overall than what I’m paying now) so I did it. It will be especially nice in the winter months. I won’t have to spend 10 minutes scraping ice off my windows. That alone is worth the price.

Anyways like I mentioned in my first sentence I ordered some things that I can use in my new place. I have to be out of here in 3 weeks and I have a bunch of stuff that I want to put in storage. That’s another thing my new place has. I get my very own storage unit. It isn’t a big unit but it will more than hold what I plan on putting in there. I told my Dad about it and he seemed more excited about me having that than anything else. My Dad is weird though so nothing really surprises me with him.

My Own Style

Life hit me pretty hard last month. My girlfriend of three years decided it was time to call it quits. To be honest, we were growing apart. I felt it, I knew it, and I had really started to prepare for it. But, I’m a young guy…I’ll bounce back. I can handle my own affairs and to be kind of honest, there are some things I miss about the single life. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy this phase of my life.

The hardest thing to deal with is the fact that she took most of my stuff. Well, I shouldn’t say “my” stuff, I should say “our” stuff that became “her” stuff around a week ago. She moved out and took most of the furniture, half of the appliances, and basically left me with a bed, a TV, and a computer. Luckily I am a habitual saver, so money is no real issue. I can’t go out and go crazy, but I can afford to get some nice stuff.

First on the list is the living room. I’m not saying that I’m going to go full-fledged ‘man cave’ but I’m definitely getting what I want this time. Most of the furniture that Abby took, we picked out together. She loved the traditional stuff. She loved the “very” traditional stuff. In fact, other than the flat-screen, I’m pretty sure our living room could have passed for a 19th century family room. It’s time to say goodbye to anything floral, anything “Victorian,” and say hello to cool, modern styling.

Some of the old stuff is cool, don’t get me wrong. But I am a huge fan of contemporary furniture. In fact, I’ve been doing some research and I’ve found a few contemporary couches that I am in love with on this French website, as they call them, canapé contemporain.  They are priced pretty reasonably and they are super-comfortable. The other day I even saw a couch that had cup-holders. As somebody who is generally pretty nerdy, a couch with cup-holders would be awesome. There are many times I’m surfing the ‘net on my laptop while I’m watching TV and that seems like it would be an awesome feature to have.

I know remodeling should be the last thing on my mind right now, but believe it or not it seems to be a great thing for me to think about because it lets me be creative and constructive. Two things I probably wouldn’t be if I jut sat around moping. Anyways, it’s time for me to get out there and design the most radical bachelor pad I can!

Exploring My Options

As I’m getting older, I’m finding myself with a bit more money in the savings account and a willingness to take a few more risks to make that money work for me. When I was younger, living what seemed like a life destined to remain paycheck-to-paycheck forever, investing was never an option. Now that I have money lying around to play with, there are many different things I want to try in terms of investing. I’m already making max contributions to my 401K, so retirement isn’t a reason for me to play the stock market. Honestly, I just want to have a little bit of fun, learn a few things, and hopefully see a decent return of investment.

Something I’ve discovered that I really like is trading using binary options.  According to this, it’s a bit closer to making a wager than it is buying a stock or a currency, but the rewards are higher (and the risk is greater). Whereas most people buy a stock and let it sit, binary options trading is a bit different. Instead of buying a stock, you choose where you think a stock will be in a certain timeframe and, much like meeting the spread on a sports bet, you either win big or you lose your wager. For example, if I am watching stocks, and I see a stock that I believe will move up (or down) twenty points in the next eight hours, I purchase a binary option stating that “stock xxx will move up/down xxx amount by 5:00PM” or “stock xxx will close at 120 a share by noon tomorrow.” I buy that option for a set amount, and then if I’m correct I get a predetermined payout. If I’m wrong, however, then I lose the amount I used to buy the option.

It’s definitely a bit more complex than simply buying a stock and sitting on it but there is more opportunity for short term gain. That’s what interests me. I’m not worried about what happens over the course of ten years with one of my investments. That’s why I have a 401K and an IRA. I enjoy short term investments that have the potential for big payout. There’s definitely a learning curve, though. At first I didn’t grasp how to properly trade using binary options and I did horribly. Now, however, I’m doing much better. It’s definitely been an awesome experience though.

Wise Words From Mr. Franklin

Expanding on one of the topics I mentioned in my New Years post, I’ve recently been looking for more ways to save money.  Many people focus on trying to make more money (usually so they can buy more things), and while I am definitely interested in that, I am currently more focused on saving more money since the overall result ends up being about the same, anyway.  Plus, I probably spend too much money on stuff I don’t really needy, anyway  As I mentioned, I’ve already canceled my cable service which was around $80/mo.  I don’t really miss TV as much as I thought I would, although I am not going to cancel my internet service.  But here are some other things I’ve done to try and save money.

For starters, I’ve stopped eating out so much.  It is kind of hard when there are a bunch of good restaurants nearby, but they’re just so expensive.  Of course the foodies would disagree with me, but let’s look at it like this.  I can go to a restaurant and get a strip steak (which is the best cut, by the way) and it will be like $35.  Yes, it will be pretty good, but $35 is a lot of money for me.  I can go to the grocery store and get a strip steak of the same size for about $10.  But sometimes even $10 is a lot to spend on just part of a meal, because don’t forget you also need a side dish, some veggies, maybe a salad, etc.  With all those things added in, it’s probably about $15 for the same meal, so more than 50% savings from the restaurant (not including tip!).  Ok, but really, $15 is still a lot of money for one meal.  I don’t eat steak that much anymore for just that reason, and instead eat more chicken and fish (when it’s on sale).  I try to buy food in bulk, too.  Frozen chicken breasts can be had for around $8 for 3 pounds, and that makes at least 3 or 4 meals (depending on how much you eat).  I know it sounds simple and it’s not fancy like eating out at restaurants, but it helps me save a lot of money.

I also am considering cheap car insurance from Washington DC Agents options.  I think I’m paying too much right now and I’m seeing it as another monthly expense that I can cut down on.  My car is in good condition but it is old so it’s not like I have a brand new car or something, and I don’t think my insurance should really be that much.  I see ads all over the place though and it makes me wonder if I can really find a better deal somewhere else, so that is the next thing I’m going to look into.

I figure, the more I can save, the better off I will be, because like Ben Franklin said, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

Pulling It Together

I need to get my life together and it starts with my finances or lack thereof. My main problem is a couple credit cards that have high interest rates. I can make the payments on them but they are the minimum payments and barely anything goes towards the principal. I looked at one of them the other day and it said the way I’m going now it would take 17 years to pay off! That is ridiculous and depressing. I was also looking at my credit report and that isn’t much better. I have a couple late payments on there and supposedly they take 7 years to come off. That means of course I can’t get a better interest rate on a new card so I’m more or less stuck.

The one thing I can do now is try to find a better job. I am working at my brother’s shop now but he doesn’t pay me much and overtime is not an option. I have been working there for almost a year and I will admit it is laziness that has made me not pursue another job. I also really like working there but I know I need to do better. I was sort of hoping he would expand by now and open up another shop and put me in charge of it but that hasn’t happened. Knowing my luck I’ll go work somewhere else and in a month he’ll open another place up and have somebody else run it for him.

The other thing I need to focus on is getting out of my current apartment. My lease is up in three months and I definitely don’t want to renew it. It isn’t in the best part of town for starters. I’m also paying more than I should as my place has a second bedroom that I don’t use. I had grand plans of making it my office but that of course never happened. I’m just not looking forward to moving. It is such a pain boxing everything up and then unboxing it at the new place. I wish I could afford to hire movers to do everything for me but those companies cost way too much. I know because I looked into it the last time I moved and was blown away with how much it cost. I’ll just rent a van and do it the old fashioned and cheap way.