Save 10%

March 23, 2006

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Since my early 20s I've been trying to increase my knowledge of money and how money works. A main goal is to be able to retire sooner rather than later. More importantly, I want to make sure that if I loose or quit my job later in life that I don't have to worry about finding another one.

In this search for knowledge I've read a decent number of books across several financial topics. Investing, personal finance, financial planning, etc… I think that one of the best ones is also one of the simplest, "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clason.

Your local library might have it, but if not, it's worth picking up. It helps drive home the fact that you are going to have to take care of yourself when it comes to your money and that in order to do this you have to save. The central idea of the book is to save 10% of everything you earn. The book does a great job of showing you how to think about this and had answers to all my natural reactions.

I want to make sure that everyone I know can get to the point where they are working because they want to and not because they have to and I think this book is a huge step in the right direction. It's a very simple idea, but powerful ones often are.


The Compact

March 23, 2006

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I've seen a couple things about this idea recently and like the basic idea though it's perhaps a bit extreme for me: The Compact. Here's a USA TODAY article that I saw from yesterday that brought it back to the forefront of my mind. End of the first graph pretty much spells out the entire idea: Buy nothing new except food, medicine and toiletries for six months. I'm really not that big of a consumer and when I am buying something I generally like to try to find a used whatever it is first. Camera lenses are a good example. I end up buying books more often than I like becuase my local library branch is pretty small doesn't have a lot of the stuff I'm interested in. Since so much of what I do and enjoy revolves around "technology" now days a lot of my purchases end up being brand new. Still, I like the fact that these folks are thinking this way.


IMG_0001 - First Shot

March 16, 2006

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Well, the new camera came in today. I walked out on the course and took a few shots with it. Here is, literally, the first shot from the camera after it left the factory:

Number 17 - TPC Sawgrass - First shot

First impressions, I'm very impressed with the camera. It feels right, and going back to a "full-frame" camera where wide angles are actually wide again is awesome.

Incidentally, here is a 100% clip from the above image. It's a little compresses so it's not representative of the full image quality, but it's still pretty good.

First Shot - crop

Only thing that is ticking me off right now is that it looks like Adobe has only released a RAW converter for CS2 and hasn't updated the one for regular old CS. That's a shitting way for a company to try to get people to upgrade and doesn't strike me as the type of thing I would have expected from Adobe.


Get a shredder

March 15, 2006

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I shred pretty much everything. If you don't, read this article about a torn up credit card application.


John Butler

March 14, 2006

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Current Random tune is from John Butler Trio. Saw these guys at the Austin City Limits  festival two years ago. Great live and their disk "What You Want" has gotten a ton of hits on my playlist.


Changing Gas Prices

March 14, 2006

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To get into work each day I pass under I-95 at a fairly major intersection. Like pretty much all such locations there are a bunch of gas stations there. The standard mode of opperation is for them to change their prices once or twice a week, but they don't do it all at the same time. I've seen up to a 24 delay between the first change and the last. Typically, I just drive till the light comes on the dash telling me that I need to get more gas, but when I see a price change where the stations are going up in price but haven't all gotten there yet I fill up regardless of how much go juice I have left in the tank. Just did this tonight. All the stations on the block were at $2.41/gal. save for one which was still at $2.33/gal. It's nice to feel like I saved at least a little.


2 quarts

March 13, 2006

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A relatively slow way to set money aside. Throw all your loose change in a bottle. For example a 2 quart juice bottle. 20060313_150636a.jpg A friend of mine told me that some banks will take change without requiring you to roll it up first. Sure enough, my bank does this, and there's no percentage charge like the change machines at grocery stores. You also get a decent workout lugging the thing into the bank. Two quarts of metal weighs a fair amount.


UV

March 10, 2006

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Not a big surprise, but you can skip UltraViolet. Or, do some drugs and watch the first fifteen minutes of action (that is pretty good and very colorful), then leave. They tried just a little too hard, and it felt like it was a movie designed by a committie instead of an artist. Two out of four stars. Of course, Milla Jovovich is very nice on the eyes.


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