Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Figure out what you want or where you want to be: this is the fifth thing you need to do.

After getting out of debt, take a moment and feel proud. Getting out of a hole is a good feeling. After getting out of the red and into the black, you should have a good understanding of how much money you can save a year. You will know how much money you make annually. Since your debts are gone, your monthly expenses should go down significantly.

After you have paid off your debts, you must have learned a very important lesson. Having to work for money to pay off debts is awful. Try to avoid that as much as possible. With excess money, you can decide what you want to do or achieve in life. Chances are, you will have to accumulate some amount of money over time.

If you can't figure out what you want out of life, at least set a goal for how much money you want to have saved up at a certain age in your life. For example, you can set the goal of accumulating $200,000 by the age of 45.

When you set this goal, you can then set a plan how to get there. The easiest way to do this is to find out how many years you have until your goal and do a little math.

For example, if you are at a $0 net worth at the age of 30 you need to save up a total of $200,000 within 15 years which is $13,333.33 per year.

Since everyone has a different situation, this goal may be too easy for one man and completely impossible for another.

Realize this, the more stuff you want, the more money you need to make. In pursuing a life of minimalism, you don't need to make as much money as a man who gets married, buys a mansion, vacations to Italy twice a year, and buys a few sports cars. A man that wants that sort of lifestyle will require a lot of money.

However, a single man that lives on his own and lives minimally can easily get by on $15,000 a year.

After you set your goals, go ahead and execute your plans. Remember that if you run into problems along the way, make sure to see if you can still reach your goals. You might have to reassess your goals.

By taking time to focus on personal financial planning, a man can make good decisions to make his life much easier and enjoyable.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday's MGTOW's Money Manager: Monkeynomics

As I stated before, I want to see our men be free. If there is a really important way to help free them, it is to spread as much knowledge about financial preparation. Very recently, Turd Flinging Monkey has been continuing his Monkeynomics 101 videos and his most recent one is Debt Management and Bankruptcy.

He looked up the average amounts of debt that the average American carries along with the average interest rate. I would recommend watching his video just to check out those numbers. Hopefully this trend of money management will keep spreading through the manosphere.

He seems to be very optimistic about the stock market. Maybe after I reach my goal of getting my safe money, I'll start investing extra money into the market.

Check out his videos if you haven't seen them already.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Monday Morning Motivation: Majora's Mask

As a little kid, one of my favorite games was The Legend of Zelda Majora Mask. Out of all the games in the series, Majora's Mask is the darkest and most somber game. Even though most fans regard either Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past as the greatest Zelda game, I like Majora's Mask more for two reasons.

I really enjoyed how the three day cycle was done. Actions that you do or do not take will effect events that play out in the 3 day cycle. Since you go back through the same 3 days, you can see what happens if you do or do not perform certain actions.

Most of the NPCs were given some sort of personality and backstory. Within the 3 day cycle, NPCs will react differently depending on the actions you do or do no perform.

Since there are only 4 dungeons in the game, a lot of the experience of Majora's Mask is experienced by completing all the tasks in the bombers notebook to help all the NPCs. Out of all these sidequests, the most elaborate one is the Anju and Kafei sidequest. But that isn't the quest I'm thinking about for today's motivation.

In Clock Town, there is one postman who delivers the mail every day. Because of his dedication to his job, he makes sure that he is always on time and ensures a successful delivery. During the course of the game, all the citizens of Clock Town are nervous that the moon will fall and destroy Clock Town so most of the citizens flee.

The postman feels the same fear as the rest of the citizens however he can not flee because he lives his life by his schedule without deviation. His schedule does not account for the moon crashing into Clock Town and killing everyone. Despite imminent doom, the mail is schedule for the next morning.

You can enter the post office on the night of the last day and see the post man torn up in agony. His sense of duty is so great that he would sacrifice his life just to deliver the mail on time.

If you give him the priority mail, he will deliver it to the Mayor's wife. Surprised to see that the postman hasn't left she takes the priority mail then orders the postman to flee Clock Town.

Afterwards, you can talk to the postman. He gives you his hat and says that he will flee. He can set his own schedule from now on. He takes off with 10 hours before the moon crashes into the town.

Get out of debt. This is the fourth thing you have to do.

After figuring out what your monthly expenses are, the next step is to get out of debt. The amount of debt that you have will determine what kind of strategy to take. If the amount is small like a few hundred or thousand dollars, go ahead and pay that off as quickly as possible. There is no good reason to have it around. If the amount is much larger like several thousand dollars, it won't be possible to one shot it.

You only make so many dollars a month and you do need to eat and have a place to sleep. Try to keep your living expenses to the bare minimum. Since you have already looked back at your spending history, you know how much money you spend on groceries, gas, and rent. You also know how much money you spend going to the bar, buying new video games, dates, electronics, etc. If you are in debt to the tune of several thousand dollars, it is important to cut out all the unnecessary expenses. Reduce the amount of times you go to the bar, buying new electronics, going out for dinner, and traveling overseas for vacation. Take that money that you save and use it to pay off your debt.

It is a good idea to keep some amount of money as liquid cash in checking or savings accounts. Life is full of moving parts and you might be faced with some unexpected expenses such as your car breaking down or you getting injured and going to the emergency room. If you don't have the cash to pay for this, you will have to pay for it on borrowed money which means more interest will have to be paid. It is also a good idea to have adequate health insurance (in general and especially) during the period of time when you are paying off debt. It would be a real bummer to be in the process of paying off thousands of dollars of debt to be stricken with hospital bills that add thousands of dollars of debt to your total liabilities.

Chances are, you might have multiple loans to pay. Most likely, you have to make monthly payments on all of them. When you decide send over-payments to pay the debt faster, make sure to pay off the debts that carry the highest interest rates first. Most likely, this will be your credit card debts. You want to pay these off first because a debt with a higher interest rate means you will be paying more interest.

There is on unique debt I want to mention. The interest paid on a mortgage can be written off when you file your taxes if you itemize deductions. Make sure to take this into consideration as the tax impact can make the mortgage cheaper than other debt you may carry.

After all you debts are paid off, the total liabilities of your net worth statement will be zero. After this point, you will no longer have to pay off debt as part of your monthly expenses. you will have a lot of extra money each month as a result.

One thing I want to mention is that people of older generations might advise us to invest in the stock market because your money can get higher gains than the debt you carry and you will have an easier time paying your debt off. This is a risky strategy and I do not recommend this. It is possible to get high gains in the stock market but it is also possible to get high losses in the market. When paying off debt, I would not leave things up to chance. I do not want anyone to be put into a position where they risk bankruptcy.

After you get out of debt, you have a lot of options. The next step is to figure out what you want out of life then make a plan on how to get there.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Figure out what your monthly expenses are. This is the third thing you have to do.

Now that you have figured out what your net worth is, the next step is to figure out what your monthly expenses are. They key thing here is that you have to spend less money than you make. Every month that you spend more then you make, that deficit will accumulate to your total debt.

Figuring out what you spend money on may be easy or difficult depending on how you pay for things. If you use the same credit card to pay for every single transaction, you can simply log in to your online banking and look up your credit card statement for the last 12 months. When you analyze your spending habits, you want to take a look at as large of a data set as possible so you can get as accurate a picture of what expenses you incur. Typically, the amount of money you spend on gas, groceries, or rent will stay consistent month to month. You want to look at a long period of time because there will be some events that don't happen on a monthly basis but are quite expensive. Some examples include your car breaking down and needing repairs. Tickets for traffic violations are unexpected and could run a few hundred dollars. Some people enjoy taking vacations and traveling to other countries. It may be a good idea to look at your credit card statements for as far as five years into the past.

If you don't have a credit or debit card, I would recommend just buying a notebook and recording every single transaction on a day by day basis. I actually prefer this approach because it makes you think about every single transaction at least twice (once when you buy it and once when you record it) and you can easily check if you are on track for the current month.

With enough real data, you can get a good estimate of your living expenses. After getting the estimate and studying your spending habits, you will know how much money you spend on groceries, gas, rent, maintenance, and student loan debt.

I focus on expenses a lot because your income will be much more consistent if you have a salaried job. It is your goal to make sure that every month, you are in the black. You aren't spending more than you make. This is crucial if you have several thousands of dollars in debt. The reason for this is that borrowing money isn't free.

In almost all cases, loans come with interest charges. The longer it takes to pay off your debt, the more interest you will have to pay off. It is for this reason it is a good idea to pay off credit card balances in entirety on a monthly basis as the interest rate for credit cards can be anywhere from 8 to 20%.

After you get a good estimate of what your monthly and annual living expenses are, the next step is to set some goals and make a plan. The first goal I'd recommend is getting out of debt.

Figure out your current financial position. This is the second thing you have to do.

After you estimate how many years you have left to live, the next thing you want to do is figure out where you are now. I've read some very disturbing statistics on ZeroHedge about the finances of the average American. I have this gut feeling that the average Joe doesn't know his current net worth.

For example, most Americans probably use only one bank. With online banking, the average Joe can easily pull up the amount of money in his checking account. As long as this number is positive and is enough to last until the next payday, everything is fine and there is no need to fret. This is the mentality of the average Joe.

The same guy most likely has a balance on a credit card, maybe some student loans, and a car loan. Without too much trouble, he can look up all these figures. With about 15 to 30 minutes of effort, the average Joe can put together a simple Net Worth Statement. You simply list out all the stuff you own and all the stuff that you owe. Subtract your total liabilities from your total assets and you get your net worth. I'm very confident that the average guy doesn't know his current net worth because in the time it takes to figure it out, he could have played a few online matches of Call of Duty.

When you put your net worth statement together, make sure to list only the stuff that you own and owe today. You don't want to to include monthly expenses like rent or future sources of income. The reason for this is that expenses and income can change in the future.

On a net worth statement, start out by listing your assets. Include the amount of your checking, saving, retirement, and brokerage accounts. I like to total up the liquid assets. Further down, you can include bigger items that you own such as vehicles and real estate. Include precious metals and other tangible property that you could sell. Add all of these items together to get your total assets.

The second half of the net worth statement is the liabilities. Here, you want to include your credit card debt, car loan, mortgage, student loan debt, and any other amount of money you owe. Total this amount up and you will have your total liabilities.

Subtract your total liabilities from your total assets and you will have your net worth. If you have a positive net worth, that is good. If you have a negative net worth, that is not so good. A negative net worth means you don't have enough money today to pay off the people you owe.

If anyone comes up with a negative net worth, I would encourage them to start working to getting a positive one. The reason for this is that the future is full of uncertainty.

With your net worth statement, you don't want to include your monthly expenses or sources of income. Your monthly expenses can fluctuate in the future. The amount off your insurance bills can easily change with your actions and decisions. Rent can be variable depending on how much housing you want. Your income is also subject to fluctuations. Raises and promotions will increase the amount of money you make. If you get terminated, then your source of income is gone.

A net worth statement is useful in the case of emergencies. If you lost your job tomorrow, would you be able to pay your debts or would you default on your loans and be forced to declare bankruptcy. You need to know what position you are in today for this reason.

After figuring out your net worth, the next step is to find out what your current living expenses are. You want to figure out this portion after your net worth because, if you have loans outstanding, you will most likely be required to make monthly payments which will increase your cost of living.

I'll talk about that next time.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Estimate how long you will live. This is the first thing you have to do.

When financially planning out your life time, the question to answer is a very simple one. How much money will I need to last the rest of my lifetime. The question itself is simple but it is very difficult to answer. The reason for this is that there are so many different variables involved in you life that will affect your finances. A lot will be in your control such as choosing where you want to live, what kind of car you want to buy, or deciding to take out loans to finance an education. Some variables will be outside of your control such as inflation, stock values, and natural disasters.

Just like a transmission, there are several moving parts. If any part gets damaged or needs repair, the whole component can get disabled or destroyed. A financial plan is the same way. The economic meltdown of 2008 set baby boomers several years back when it comes to retirement.

In a perfect world, we would have perfect information. We would know how much money we needed to make. Once we acquired it, we would never have to worry about personal finance again. However, this isn't a perfect world and perfect information doesn't exist. Despite this, it is important to make financial plans. It is important to revise financial plans. After all, it is far better to have an idea of where you are going then to wander aimlessly.

So, where does a man start in planning his personal financial plan? The first thing a man needs to do is to estimate his lifespan. Obviously, I say estimate because no one can be for sure when it is they will die.

Answering the question of how much money you need for the rest of your life is an impossible question to answer accurately because step number one is based on an assumption. But accuracy isn't what you are going for. You are going for an idea. You are trying to get a reasonable estimate.

It is important to get an idea of how long you expect to live for the reason that a longer life span will require more money to sustain. Conversely, a shorter lifespan will require less money. Of course, realize that if you were to die in a car accident at the age of 37, the concept of financial planning will be completely moot. An estimate of your lifespan makes the assumption that you will not die due to an accident or assassination.

To get the best idea of your estimated lifespan, you want to look at at least two key factors.

1. What is the average life expectancy in your country?
2. How long did your parents and grandparents live?

Here in America, the average life expectancy is 80 years. 80 years doesn't seem like a long lifespan but take into consideration that 80 years is the average life expectancy. You will have the healthy and unhealthy Americans grouped together. The last time I checked, there are a lot of unhealthy Americans out there. Obesity is very common and the leading cause of death is heart disease.

If you have a healthy body weight, then you are already doing better than the average American. If you have a healthy body weight, don't drink, and don't smoke then you are doing much better than the average American. If you meet all of those qualification above and exercise regularly, then it would be reasonable for you to make it to the age of 90 and further.

You really want to take a look at your family tree to see how long your parents and grandparents lived. The reason for this is that your relatives will likely share the same characteristics as you so they will be a better gauge than the average American. You also want to look into your family history to see if there are any diseases that may run in the family that you might be more likely to get. This would include different cancers or high blood pressure.

I estimated my own life span based on a few factors.

My grandfather lived to 85. I have a BMI of 23.6 which is normal body weight. I don't smoke. I do enjoy to drink an average of one beer a week. I can bench press 270 pounds. I can run 3 miles in about 30 or 32 minutes. I have a poor diet as I eat more fast food then I should and not enough vegetables and fiber.

Based on these factors, I estimate my lifespan to be 88 years. I might be able to make it to 90 if I'm lucky.

After you have your estimated lifespan, you subtract your current age, and you have your estimated years left to life. If I was 32 today, I would have 56 years left to live. So in that case, I need to figure out how much money I would need for the next 56 years.

If you wanted to have a very crude idea, you could estimate an annual cost of living and multiply it by the number of years. If I estimated an annual cost of living of $25,000 per year, I would need a total of $1.4 million dollars in order to sustain the rest of my life.

The second step to planning out a life is to figure out your financial position as of today. I'll write about that later though.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What I would like to see for my fellow man

Even though I am a misanthrope, occasionally I get feelings of altruism. In today's economy, my generation shot themselves in the foot by first spending way too much money on a worthless degree. A few grand on chemical engineering is a good investment but a few grand on sociology is not.

Men live on impulse and will rack up lots of consumer debt. I think that a lot of Americans have credit card debt that they just never pay off. Carrying a balance on a credit card is just insane because the interest rate is at least 10%.

If there is something I would like to encourage everyone who reads this post to do, it is to save up a huge rainy day fund. I would encourage every man to work towards saving up $100,000.

If not $100,000, I'd encourage every man to save up as much as he possibly could. Just $10,000 or $20,000 would put a man in a much better position then the average American. Disasters can always happen. Cars can break down, injuries can happen, employment contracts can be terminated, but a large cash reserve can help a man from breaking down and falling to pieces.

Ideally, a man could build up a large amount of capital and he could get to the point where he wouldn't have to worry about making more money. Maybe that amount of capital is $50,000 or $200,000 depending on the man. Whatever the amount is, If that man just made sure he always had that large amount of capital, he would feel a lot less stress in life

Once again, I want to repeat this point. Everyone who reads this, please work on a path to save up a large amount of capital.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My one and only post poking fun at feminism

When I started this blog, I wanted to have the clear objective of making this blog solely dedicated to helping people save money and plan for their futures. I wanted to make sure not to waste any time dumping all over feminists or feminism. The reason for this is that... well it has been done. There are tons of places all over the manosphere rejecting or debunking feminism.

However, in writing for the manosphere, I feel like I am partially obligated to produce at least one post poking fun at feminism. So here it goes. I'm going to do this one time. Just this one time to get it out of my system and I'm going do be done. I won't have to do another article about feminism.

A few months ago, some girl named Alexandria Blue or something made a video called Dear Men. I'm not going to link to it because I don't want to send traffic that way, I'm too lazy to link to it, and I'm pretty sure most people over here have already seen it already. Vention1MGTOW and NeoUnplugged made response videos to it already.

I don't hate this girl, I just think she is silly. She made a video about how she wished men could know how hard it is to live life as a woman. Her grandmother got married at the age of 18 and she didn't want to start pumping out babies at that age. I can understand and relate to this. In today's economy, starting a family is much more difficult then it was in the past.

She went on to say that it is creepy when men try to approach women in the street and that men should just make approaches to women in night clubs because that is safe and appropriate. I can understand her concern because unwanted attention can be bothersome.

She goes on to say that walking in high heels in uncomfortable and she spends $500 a month replacing shoes because she keeps on breaking her heels off and furthermore she had to spend over $1000 a month replacing her phones because every time she tripped, she dropped her phone on the sidewalk. Ok, I probably just made up that last part. I didn't bother to re-watch this video.

But then she said something really silly.

She mentioned what her problem was. I'm not sure if she said it was her biggest problem but it was probably the first one that came to mind. If it was the first one that came to mind, that would imply to me that it is her biggest problem.

Her problem was that she opened up the refrigerator and there was no milk so she had to leave the apartment to go to the grocery store to pick up milk. On the way to the store, some creepy old guy looked at her and licked his lips.

After watching the video, it was implied that this was the biggest problem she faces on a daily basis.

That was her biggest problem? This is what feminists worry about?

I wish that was my biggest problem. That would be awesome.

If that was my biggest problem, it would imply that I wouldn't have to worry about the following.

Work more than 60 hours a week
Commute 8 to 10 hours a week
Plan for my future
Plan out my finances and how to invest my money
Fill out my taxes
Getting my car repaired every time it breaks down
Restore my computer when it is infected with malware
Thinking about how America is falling to pieces because of the welfare state
Beating level 16 of Angry Birds
Figure out how to create extra sources of income

Assuming that this girl's biggest problem was getting unwanted attention while buying milk, I can reasonably assume that she probably has some guy taking care of all the above problems for her.

Being a feminist is tough, sometimes you might run out of milk.

Ok. That is it. I'm done. I've made my one and only post poking fun at feminism. I've satisfied the tradition. And I will never do this again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Observations from the corporate world: When your managers encourage you to spend money

In the last few months, I've come up with an observation. My managers have been encouraging me to spend more money and enjoy life more. It started when I would talk to my superiors about marriage and children and how I want to have nothing to do with those. They tried to imply that those bring great happiness to your life.

My managers also encourage me to travel the world and see lots of different countries and people. I respond by saying I've never really had a desire to see other countries or cultures. I don't derive joy from seeing other places. I derive fulfillment by doing different things and achieving things like lifting more weight or running a faster mile.

When I was having car troubles, I spent hundreds of dollars repairing my car when everyone else was telling me to just spend the money on a new car. I responded by saying that it would be cheaper to maintain the car that I already have rather than try to find a new car.

Everyone told me that I should really just crack down and buy a smart phone but I can't do that when my prepaid phone costs me less than $10 per month.

In the past, they have tried to encourage me to move into an apartment closer to the office. I had to decline because that would be really expensive.

I know why they encourage me to do this. Spending money on things can improve the quality of your life. I wouldn't have to spend 2 to 3 hours in traffic a day. I could play Angry Birds and surf the net on my phone. I could drive without worrying about breaking down in the middle of traffic and blocking a road off.

However, I can't help to think that they have an another motive. Intentional or not, I believe they want me to be more dependent on my job. The higher my cost of living, the more dependent I become on my income. This builds security for the employer in that the employee is less likely to leave if the work environment becomes too hostile. My desires would bind me to my job making it harder for me to leave whenever I wanted to.

Once again, this is the reason why I am a minimalist and why I encourage minimalism. You own your things. Your things don't own you.

If I drop my phone in my coffee, it is no big deal. It only costs $30 to replace. If my car gets scratched, dented, or dinged, I don't care. It isn't a Benz.

A few weeks ago, my computer got infected with malware. I simply did a factory reset because I had nothing important on the hard drive. No headache there.

It is funny. I am thinking about that story in the Bible when Jesus is wandering in the desert for 40 days. He meets Satan and Satan tries to tempt Jesus with a bunch of stuff.

Bow down to me and I'll give you a bunch of cities and guarantee that everyone will worship you including inanimate objects like rocks.

And Jesus refused because he didn't care about any of that stuff. It didn't matter to him.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The most effective way to cope with red pill rage

Of all the emotions a man is capable of feeling, anger has to be the worst one. And by anger, I mean the kind of rage that makes a man happy to watch any of the Saw movies. Today, there are countless reasons to be rageful. Mismanagement of our country, traffic jams, conflicts at work, conflicts in relationships, unexpected disasters, etc.

Maybe it is worse. Maybe it is caused to some sort of trauma in the past. Incidents like this can turn rage into an obsession. A man can feel desires of vengeance on a daily basis.

Its not healthy. Not only is it not healthy, it can be counterproductive. It can also be dangerous.

Unfortunately, there isn't any real medication or over the counter drugs that will cure this condition.
Well, okay, people do try to self medicate with alcohol and drugs. I don't recommend either. These substances won't cure the condition. After the medicine wears off, you are still in a prone position.

Now, there is no real cure for this condition. It will be with you for life. You will die with it. The best that you can do is cope with it. So, from personal experience, the most effective way to cope with this condition is to pursue a path of self improvement. The best way I found out how to do this was to accumulate a lot of money. Recently, Sandman made a video about rage which is linked here. The video was the inspiration of this post.

When I was younger, I had violent thoughts on a daily basis. I was young. I was still in school. I wasn't working. The economy just melted down. I couldn't drive. In general, I just felt completely inferior to all of my peers. There was a point I felt like going through with the Smith and Wesson retirement plan.

It took some time but eventually, I was able to start driving and start working. And when I first started making money, it was the best feeling.

It was the best feeling because I didn't feel inferior anymore. I felt like I had a chance to make something of myself.

This is the best advice I could give anyone although it might not work for everyone. Once again, it is not a cure for the condition. It is just a way to cope.

After saving up a few thousand dollars, I noticed that the violent thoughts and desires weren't as frequent. And when they did occur, I could just look back and think about all the wealth I had accumulated. I would think to myself that things weren't so bad after all.

To cope with red pill rage, you don't necessarily have to accumulate lots of cash, but it does help to improve something. When you make progress, you feel like you are more in control of things. You feel like you have more options.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monday Morning Motivation: Believe in the you that believes in yourself

Sunday nights are just the absolute worst. I the anticipation of going back to school or work might be worse than Monday morning itself.

Process TPS reports? Who the hell do they think I am? I'd rather bust through brick walls using just my face. If I had the chance, I'd make sure to drill through the Earth, pop out of the other side, and start piercing the heavens. Life is much too short for bank reconciliations, space, or multi dimensional whatevers. Sometimes it is completely necessary to kick reason to the curb and go beyond the impossible.

With that being said, today's motivation comes from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It is Kamina's last words.

I would like to point out that I have never seen a single episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. I know of this anime by the reputation of its sheer absurdity. That being said, I do consider myself a fan of it. Kamina's last speech is a video that I'll come back to every now and again on youtube.

Hopefully, one day the DVD box set will be available in Wal-Mart and I'll pick it up for $40.

But if that isn't enough, I've also linked this scene from Little Kuriboh's abridged Naurto movie. After all, sometimes it isn't enough just to believe in the you that believes in yourself. Sometimes you have to believe in the me that believes in the you that believes in the One Piece.

Have a good Monday and hopefully, I'll have found my marbles by Tuesday.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Getting harder and harder to be a patriot

April 15th is coming up pretty soon. Anyone who hasn't filed taxes yet pretty much is expecting to owe money to the federal or state government. Back before I knew any better, I didn't feel so bad about paying taxes. They go to pay for our infrastructure, public parks, and other public services. Well some of it goes to that.

After reading much of Cappy's blog, I heard that 70% of your tax dollars go to wealth transfers. Our money goes to welfare, food stamps, WIC, and several other programs. Earlier today, I was thinking about the video SYSTEM SURFERS by Terrence Popp. In this video, he breaks down all the services available to women who act irresponsibly by having children that the government pays for. And by government, I mean us. In this video, he displays the worst possible example of people who ride the system in New York. His analysis can be found on his website. According to his analysis, the average man makes 1.2 million dollars over the course of his life. In New York, it is possible for a woman who takes advantage off all the government programs and laws regarding alimony and child support to make the equivalent of 2.4 million dollars over the course of her life.

Remember this when you pay your taxes. It is this mismanagement of our country which makes it harder and harder to be patriotic.

On a side note, I decided to check out some of his recent videos and I saw his take on MGTOW. It looks like MGTOW is still growing. After all, a recent article stated that 70% of men aged between 24 and 35 had never been married.

Living life on equity versus living life on debt

When it comes to the millennial, the biggest problem facing the generation is a poor financial position. Stereotypical of the generation, the average millennial goes to high school, applies to college, gets accepted, and borrows a lot of money to pay for tuition and living expenses. Student are trained to go straight into college. They aren't told to wait a few years. The logic is that the sooner you get your degree, the sooner you can make a good income.

Students aren't encouraged to work and save up all the money needed to pay for tuition before entering college. The more common approach is for a student to work part time while in college.

Looking at a college degree as an investment, deciding how to pay for it illustrates the concept of leverage. Leverage is borrowing money in order to get an investment and sell the investment for a return in order to gain a return while having less equity. I probably didn't do a good job explaining that so I'll try to explain it with the example below.

There is a house that is being sold for $100,000 and it can be sold one year later for $150,000. You buy the house, hold it for a year and sell it for $150,000. After the sale, you profit $50,000 making a return of 50%.

Now say you didn't have $100,000 today. Say you only had $10,000. In order to buy the house, you need to take out a loan for $90,000 and pay 10% interest on the loan. You buy the house today. When you sell it one year later, you get $150,000. After paying the loan back with interest ($99,000), you have $51,000. You started out with $10,000 and earned $41,000 from this deal. Your rate of return on your equity was 410%. Much greater than 50%.

Obviously, this example is very simplified. It doesn't take into account things like closing costs, inflation, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. You also will never have a guarantee on selling price. However the example illustrates the concept of leverage.

Leverage can maximize your returns, however it can be very risky. If that house didn't sell or if it was destroyed by a natural disaster that insurance companies would not cover, you are still on hook for that $90,000. And if you don't have that money, things won't be easy for you.

Before going to college, you have to make sure you will major in something that has a good starting salary and good job prospects. Go become a doctor, an engineer, or almost anything related to STEM. Remember though, if you become a doctor, this will be really risky. Since tuition can run you past $100,000 you have to follow through and become a doctor in order to make that lucrative income.
If you quite after a few years, life won't be easy paying off those expensive loans which cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.

Majoring in a different STEM field can give you a good $50,000 to $60,000 income with the requirement of just the undergrad degree so it is much safer. You just might not make that six figure income.

However, the academic system offers several majors that do not have good job prospects. Most liberal arts and humanities degrees don't provide high paying jobs outside of academia. The real problem here is that tuition for your degree is dependent on the college you go to. This means that at State University, a degree in art history will cost the same as a degree in actuarial science. One degree will lead to a path to easily pay off student loans and build wealth. The other degree will lead to a path much harder to pay off student loans and build wealth.

If you decide not to borrow any money in order to pay for college, you are living your life on equity. You don't buy anything that you cannot afford. In choosing this strategy, you have less potential for maximizing your gains however you also limit your potential for catastrophes.

Living your life on equity has another term. You live within your means. Not having the option to borrow money, you have to make sure not to waste money on things that don't provide value to you. It also makes you think really hard about the things that you do purchase. Say at the age of 18, you decide to work whatever job you could find and were able to save up $10,000 a year for 4 years.

While your peers are graduating, you will have the option to decide if you want to pursue higher education and what you want to pursue. You build a real connection to the wealth you accumulated. You know what it takes to earn money. At that point, you could decide if you want to spend your equity on something like sociology or engineering. If you major in something worthless, then at the end of four years you are broke but not in debt. If you major in STEM, then you can start earning a good salary and not have to worry about paying off debt.

Deciding to use debt or equity will be your choice. Personally, I am very risk adverse and will only live on equity. However, if you do decide to use leverage, make sure to do a lot of research.

Make sure your investment can reasonably provide a good return after you pay off your debts. And make sure you can sustain yourself until you make that return.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Week 10 results

Week 10 was met with failure. The routine was as follows.

Bench press 275 pounds at 3 reps, 245 at 4 reps, 215 at 6 reps, 185 at 8 reps
Incline bench press 185 at 3 reps, 165 at 6 reps, 145 at 5 reps
Bar dips 75 pounds attached at 8 reps, 50 pounds attached at 5 reps, body weight at 9 reps
Dumbbell Flies 60 pounds at 7 reps, 50 pounds at 6 reps, 40 pounds at 10 reps

I failed to lift 275 on my own power once. I only was able to attempt two reps once.
I failed completing 8 reps of bar dips with 75 pounds attached.

There are only two weeks of this program left.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bernard Chapin's finest work

The manosphere is full of colorful personalities. A lot of the content producers provide really good entertainment value. For tonight's Monday Night Motivation, I've linked this video of Bernard Chapin.

Here, he pokes fun of some guy named Rudolpho. I have no idea who this Rudolpho fellow is but he sounds disappointing.

The presentation of this video is just superb. I was immediately taken by the anthem that Bernard was singing and the theatrics of him going to the side just to sniff a bottle of glue.

The fact that Bernard is wearing 10 ties probably implies that this Rudolpho fellow might have worn 2 ties at the same time sometime during his career. Man, the 10 ties is just great.

Bernard goes on to mock some article and spends the entire 9 minute video just doing so.

Enjoy your Monday Night Motivation as much as I have and I'll see you tomorrow.

Good night.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Worthless college courses part 2: American Folklore

Whatever major you decide to choose in college, realize that a lot of your time and money will be spent on completely worthless classes. And by a lot of time, I mean more than 50%. Remember to check out Academic Composition if you ever need Alex's services. As I've stated before, I went to college to study accounting and I've taken filler classes such as American Folklore to meet the 120 credit hour requirement.

The class was taught by some guy that looks like he might have attended Woodstock and listened to Jim Morrison. Just like the class Art and Environment, I found this class interesting but a complete waste of time. If I didn't need to take the class, I would have rather been studying for another class, working out, or sleeping. I guess that describes almost any liberal arts or humanities class.

So, how did I get there? Well, my major required me to take an elective class that was level 3000 or above outside of the business college. American Folklore just seemed kind of painless and it fit my schedule.

So on to the class itself. It was largely a class about anecdotes about different groups of people. We studied the Amish a little bit and talked about shoe fly pie. Every now and then, the professor would bring in a record player and play records of some native songs or recordings of New York street vendors trying to sell things. I was always amazed how record players work. No wires or anything.

There were interesting anecdotes. The professor mentioned one game that he and his friends played in their youth. A bunch of kids would bunch together in a tight circle. They would take a pocket knife and expose all the knives. One kid would throw it up into the air. And the last kid to run away from the tight bunch won the game.

We learned about different superstitions in American culture. One example that comes to mind is the way for a real estate agent to sell a house. If a house has been sitting around forever and has trouble being sold, what an agent can do is take a figurine of the carpenter Joseph, dig a hole in the property, and bury the carpenter Joseph. The property will sell shortly after that.

However, the course went into the most trivial of trivial things when we read about Latrinalia. Latrinalia is the scribbling or writing on the inside of bathroom stalls.

I want to let that sink in for a little bit. For anyone that pays taxes or is about to take out student loans. Please realize that a small portion of it (no matter how small it is) is going to pay a professor to teach college students (anywhere from the age of 20 to 40 years old) about the writings or scribbling of things on the inside of bathroom stalls.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

No loyalty to name, race, or genes

In order to live the easiest and stress less life as possible, I've made some decisions that older people find disagreeable. Namely, don't get married and don't have children. The criticism I get from older generations is that a family and children bring joy and happiness to your life. My immediate rebuttal is that joy and happiness is not guaranteed with a wife and children and that a wife and children require work. And I hate working so much. Work creates stress and misery.

This criticism hasn't just come from older generations. My current generation asks me the following question.

Don't you want to have little versions of you running around?

"No. Those require work."

I can understand their point of view. We live and we die. We don't last forever. Maybe some people believe that there is a duty to preserve your name, race, and genes into the future.

But I don't care about any of these things. I didn't realize why I didn't care about these things until I heard it from Cappy. Cappy said that you can tell if a person is worth something if they describe themselves by what they have accomplished in life rather than what they were born with.

I'm Chinese. Well only half Chinese. But I don't use chopsticks. I don't speak Chinese. I've never been to China. I don't have a lot of Chinese friends. I don't really celebrate Chinese New Year. I hate shrimp. And every time I go to an Asian buffet, I bring shame to my ancestors by getting a pizza, french fries, and a spinach roll. I don't really practice any Chinese culture. So personally, I've never felt I should have pride in my race or culture. I didn't do anything to become half Chinese. I was just born that way. My race isn't who I am.

I'm the only child in my family. If I don't procreate, my family's last name ends with me. And I'm totally cool with that. My name isn't who I am. I don't even really care for it. My name is just an identifier to represent me. As I am the only child in my family, my genes are in the same situation.

My genes make up who I am. My body is made of genes. But even if I did create a child, that child wouldn't be me. I don't know. I guess I just never really felt like wanting to create a child.

Maybe people want to procreate to ensure that they aren't a genetic failure. After all, according to Darwin, an individual is only successful if he produces offspring. But who cares about what Darwin thinks? I never met the guy.

And genetic success doesn't necessary equal lifetime happiness. Given a choice between the two, I'd rather choose lifetime happiness. Not saying that both are mutually exclusive though but it can be hard to have both.

And the idea of my genes phasing out of existence doesn't sound so bad. It is kind of nice actually. I'm the one and only. I'm the end of the line.

Masculine vs Intelligent Music

Several months ago, I was listening to one of Matt Forney's earlier podcasts. He mentioned that most of today's popular music is either masculine or intelligent. Nothing in-between, those are your only two choices. I'd have to agree with Matt. This would give me the explanation of why I listed to so much trap music in college.

A week ago, I was driving with my friend David and we were talking about this topic. Both of us aren't the target demographic for hip hop but we love it for the following reason.

Rap music is full of energy. It makes you feel manly.

Stereotypical, rap (today's rap)  isn't really known for intelligent and thought provoking lyrics. Most people would describe the rap music as going to clubs, making money selling drugs, spending money irresponsibly, and getting all the women. One of my favorite songs by Lil Jon, What U Gon' Do, encapsulates this perfectly. Actually, never mind, that song is all about rolling up to a club and insulting all the other crews there.

10 out of 10 times, if I had to choose between manly or intelligent music, I'll choose manly music. This is why Young Jeezy is my favorite rapper and why I really enjoy his song I Luv It.

At its face value, it sounds like a song about Jeezy celebrating his success, how great he is, and how he sells bricks. However, every time I listen to the song, I hear a story about the American dream.

Before even mentioning the lyrics, I want to mention the music. I think it is either synthesizers or auto tune but go ahead and listen to the song while paying attention to just the music and ignoring the lyrics. It kind of sounds like success. Not only success but grand style. It makes your feel like you are accomplished. It makes you feel like you already went out and made a million dollars.

The lyrics themselves portray a day in the life of Young Jeezy. Obviously he has both his legitimate and illegitimate business endeavors. In the song, Jeezy is just talking about how much of a success he is. But that is the point, he is successful.

Each time I listen to this song, I am reminded that this is still America and if a man works really hard, he can make something of himself. The fact that Young Jeezy accumulated his success by selling bricks and entering the rap game doesn't make the point any less valid. And, I wouldn't recommend or condone those two career paths.

The song has this message for me. Work hard and become a success then enjoy your life. There is nothing more American than that. I would be amused to hear if Young Jeezy encouraged the kids of my generation to go out and become doctors, engineers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and computer networkers. However I am convinced it is more likely he inspired kids to become drug dealers and aspiring rap stars.

Enough about masculine music and Young Jeezy.

David then mentioned that his brothers like to listen to music like Modest Mouse.

I've listened to Modest Mouse before. I'm not sure if it is all that intelligent as I've only listened to a few songs but it never seemed all that manly to me.

When Modest Mouse comes to mind, the first song that comes up is Float On. The song itself sounds very trance like. It almost makes you feel like you are sleeping or dreaming. After looking at the lyrics, it is a song all about experiencing bad things but knowing that it will be okay in the end. Other songs by Modest Mouse seem very somber or melancholic. They never really inspired me to go out and do something with myself or make something of myself. But I don't think they were aiming for that.

While nowadays, I don't really listen to music that much, it is fun every now and then to listen to some of the music I listend to back in college.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The age of artificial relationships.

When I say artificial relationships, I'm not referring to the tinder hookup culture of today. The artificial relationships I'm referring to is actually micro celebrities. It has been said that our population is growing more and more isolated. I can see signs of this isolation in that millennial in general are overburdened by debt and have to work as much as possible just to get a head above water. Sometime ago, ZeroHedge linked to an article stating that the average work week is now 47 hours a week rather than the standard 40 hours for full time. In my case, Monday through Friday, I spend more time in the office then I do at home. Outside a skatepark, I only get to see a friend once every month or every other month on average. On a daily basis, I interact with the same 6 people.

While working, I'm lucky that I can listen to my own music via earphones while I work. However, I'm never really listening to music, I just put on podcasts to listen to. Thankfully, because of youtube, there is a treasure trove of stories, anecdotes, and lessons to listen to. I had the realization that I listen to these men on the internet more than I listen to people in real life.

It has only been since 2005 or 2007 since this content has been available. Before this content existed, there was still the artificial relationship but to a much lesser extent.

Talk radio has been on for as long as I can remember. Reality TV has existed since the beginning of 2000. Biographies have been around forever. All of these have limitations though. Radio and TV isn't always available 24/7 and the content doesn't always get rerun. Books can last much longer but they take a long time to create. Lastly, these 3 forms of media aren't compatible with doing your work in an office.

With podcasts, you have access to content from years ago and the content is relatively easy to create which means much more content can be created. Best of all, you can enjoy it with working.

I love listening to the content for the personalities of the content makers. Because everything is recorded and available, I can look back in time and watch the personalty react to different current/past events.

Lately, I've been going through all of Davis Aurini's podcasts. I think I've got another 50 or 60 videos to go. I regularly listen to Bernard Chapin's content and Stefan Molyneux's content. I really don't think I'll go back through time to watch everything as Bernard has been on his channel since 2007 and has more than 3000 videos and Stefan has been around since 2006 and has more than 1000 videos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A lesson from Aaron Clarey: Why America hasn't fallen to pieces yet.

After listening to a lot of Peter Schiff and Stefan Molyneux, I've heard a lot of statistics and figures about how America's economy is declining. The statistics I'm referring to is the declining labor force participation rate, number of people collecting government assistance, and ratio of part time and full time jobs to the total jobs. As I've talked with older conservative men, they have the same opinions. One thing, I kept hearing repeated is that America cannot fall from grace for one simple reason.

Every other country is doing worse than we are.

Great, this is what I have to be proud of?

Still, I didn't know what this meant. If every country is doing awful, why is it good for America if the other countries are just terrible. I was told that America has the world reserve currency. All I really knew about that was that other countries used our dollars to buy stuff from other countries.

But, in the last few days, Cappy wrote this post with an explanation of why the world reserve currency gives American such power. Read this if you haven't already.

This is the first time I've heard a decent explanation of why world reserve status is so important to America. If I understand correctly, America doesn't just own America. America owns the world. This is why I keep reading Captain Capitalism.

I write this post mostly for myself. I know that eventually I will forget this explanation and I want to have it in my blog record to I can come back to this. His explanation is really good.

Now if America were ever to lose world reserve status....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The one reason why I admire the grass eating men and the hikikomori

For anyone who doesn't know, the demographics of Japan is in crisis. The population is aging and there aren't enough babies being born to replace them. There has been an increasing trend of teenagers not pursuing romantic relationships and creating babies.

These men are called the grass eating men. Instead of finding a relationship, these men would rather eat pudding, read manga, and watch anime. To take things one step further, the hikikomori are men who never leave their rooms and have completely withdrawn from society.

While most of the world views these sorts of men as losers that gave up on life, there is one thing that I absolutely admire about them. They are putting pressure on the Japanese government. As of 2012, the birth rate in Japan is 1.41 children per woman. This is far lower than the replacement rate of 2. Within the next few decades, the population of Japan will experience a great decrease and the economy will continue to decline.

The grass eating men and the hikikomori aren't helping the situation. They are just making it worse. It has gotten to the point where the Japanese government is scrambling for ideas on how to fix this crisis. Some crazy ideas include the implementation of a handsome tax.

By completely giving up on life, these men have stricken back at a government that messed up things in the first place. Mismanage the country by creating a welfare state and a housing bubble and then expect future generations to pay for it. Forget that. Japanese men aren't going to create kids in such a harsh economic environment. An environment that forces a man to work 80 hours a week. They will not create the future tax base. They will not create young slaves to a burdensome system.

By pulling out of the system, these men put a strain on the government and the people who voted the officials into office. As there is a growing trend of men dropping out of society, there is also a trend of the elderly having to go back to work because of poor economic conditions.

As crazy as it sounds, sometimes you do have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And this is the reason why I admire the grass eating men and hikikomori of Japan.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Thoughts about the work of pick up artists

A few days ago, I was searching for some content to listen to. I hadn't listened to Jordan Owen is sometime so I decided to see what he was up to. I had no idea the first video I saw was going to be a bombshell. It looks like Jordan and Davis split up before the completion of The Sarkeesian Effect.

It was a bummer to see the news and a lot of figures commented it in the days that followed. I took a look at some of Jordan's recent videos and saw a video of him dumping all over Roosh. It seems like Jordan really didn't like pick up artists.

In Matt Forney's latest podcast, he started dumping all over Jordan and rebutted Jordan's main arguments. Roosh doesn't identify as a pick up artist and it is insane to believe that a woman will just approach you for a romantic relationship without any work on your part.

In the middle of Matt's podcast, I heard him mention the name David DeAngelo.

David DeAngelo. I haven't heard that name in years. He was the first pick up artist I'd ever heard of and I actually read his book Double Your Dating in high school.

Even though pick up artists don't have the greatest of reputations, they provided a lot of good work. Particularly, they wrote about what creates attraction in women and why men typically fail with women. For a kid that has had no success with women at all, I would recommend that he pick up some sort of resource. At least things will start making sense and he wouldn't feel like he was wandering through the desert so much.

I've only read David's book once and this was almost 10 years ago but it was from that book I was able to learn a few things that no one had ever explained to me.

Had I asked my father for advice, he would have just said you have to take a woman out to dinner (and that's about it). Had I asked my mom, she would have said just be nice.

David's book explained a few very important facts. These are the 3 that stood out the most to me.

1. Beautiful women get approached by men every single day.
2. Women want a man who is confident and assertive.
3. Attraction doesn't just happen. You have to build it up.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but before reading this book, I believed that a woman would just come up to you. All you had to do was look manly. Needless to say this didn't work.

David emphasized repeatedly in his book to be cocky and funny. He also emphasized playful teasing in order to build up attraction. There was also the two steps forward and one step back method.

His logic was that women get approached several times on a daily basis by men who are pushovers. Since these men all are the same, the woman gets the benefit of the attention and just pushes the man away. When a woman meets a guy who is cocky, arrogant, and teases her, the woman gets confused and interested to see what the guy is all about. And when the guy gets attention from the woman, he has opportunities to build up that tension and attraction.

All throughout high school, I never had any success with girls until reading this book. After reading it and trying the techniques and adapting the mindset, I experienced an overwhelming amount of success.

However, when I look back on those experiences, I'm left with a question that I haven't found an answer to. How much of my success was due to the techniques listed in the book as opposed to my own ability?

Before reading the book, I never really made approaches to any women. While I was reading the book, I was filled with this sense of competence, power, winning, and awesomeness. It seemed like the book I was reading was a self help book or a motivational self improvement book rather than a step by step guide to get more dates/attention/girlfriends.

After reading the book, my mind went into sort of an overdrive. I created scenarios on how to interact with women. What I would say, how I would say it. How I could steer a conversation into something naughty or risque. How I could create the most amount of attraction out of a situation. I thought about tactics on how to use my body language effectively. How I could limit the space between me and the target and how we would be situated to have some very close contact. Looking back on this, it sounds like I was planning missions like an army tactical officer.

There were also a few variables I couldn't isolate. I had been lifting weight for a few years and by the last year of high school, I had some pretty good results. My biceps were large and my pecs were pretty good too. I started wearing a smaller fitted shirt that helped show off these features. The women I mentioned earlier would comment on how buff I was and would touch my biceps.

The other big variable was I was taking a class called intro to theater. It was a slack class in high school but we did get to perform a lot of skits. I've been known to be a completely different person on stage than in person. I'm really over the top and crazy actually. But several times in that class, I caused the whole class to laugh because of my performance on stage

So, to reiterate my question earlier, I don't know how much of my success was due to using the techniques in the book, or just me feeling amazing and feeling like I could say or do anything and be a winner. Me feeling like I could approach any girl and be funny, witty, manly, and handsome.
Maybe the book was just a morale booster and I was just experience a placebo effect.

Maybe I should go ahead and read Roosh's bang guides. The thing is though that I don't really have a need for those books anymore. If I read it, it would just be out of curiosity. I've heard that the guides will teach you how to be a good conversationalist.

I don't pursue women anymore. That part of my life is behind me. However, I would recommend Roosh's guides, a pick up artist book, or a game blog to any guy that his just failing with women and wants intimacy or a relationship. While I believe that life is just so much easier without getting involved in some kind of crazy relationship, I remember what it was like to feel like an inferior and unworthy person.

At least with some resources, a man can understand the world around him and why he is either succeeding or failing with women. At that point he can then make the choice to pursue women or forsake them.

Either option has its benefits and downsides.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Worthless college courses: Art and Environment (my retrospect)

I've written before that most of a college curriculum is there to waste your time. I took 120 credit hours to get through the undergrad program while accounting hours only made up 27 total credit hours. Any kid going through the college path will have the same experience regardless of what major he declares. There will be classes there just to waste your time and have nothing to do with your major. By the way, check out Alex at Academic Composition if you ever need his services. The following is the testimony of a worthless class I took.

The class was called perspectives. It was a two credit hour course that met once per week. Each session, I'd show up and listen to the lectures. Each week, we had an assignment to read a piece and write a two page paper on it. While the class was worth nothing to me, it was vaguely interesting.

The instructor's main work was an art exhibit that focused on bits of plastic that found their way into the oceans. Each year, tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean and different currents swallow it up and turn it into a giant swirling vortex of garbage. One such notable vortex of plastic is somewhere out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and is supposedly the size of Texas. This has had a detrimental effect on some wildlife like albatrosses. The albatrosses will mistake small bits of plastic for food and eat them. Unfortunately, these birds can't digest plastic so the plastic just sits the the stomach and the birds die from eating too much plastic.

Much of this plastic also washes up on the shores of Hawaii. My instructor went to Hawaii to try to clean up the plastic on the beaches but there is just tons of it. After hours of cleaning, the polluted beaches look exactly the same because there is just that much plastic.

To raise awareness about the situation, our instructor took the plastic that she cleaned from the beaches and turn it into art work for her exhibit. I went there to check it out just to get extra credit for the class that she was teaching.

After finishing the class, I didn't give much thought about swirling plastic vortexes the size of Texas until about 2009 or 2010. Gorillaz release their third album called Plastic Beach. I'd always been a fan of Gorillaz and it was a no brainer that the concept of the album and the artwork was inspired by plastic laden beaches and plastic vortexes in the ocean. However, none of the songs from that album really made a reference to the plastic. But the creators did make sure that the album was sold in paper sleeves instead of plastic cases.

Looking back at that class, I'm really glad I had scholarships to make it through college. That class was kind of interesting but definitely not worth the few hundred dollars per credit.

I sat through that class just thinking about how much I'd rather be skateboarding or what it would be like to finally take some accounting classes.

Week 9 results

Week 9 was difficult. I failed the work out all three days.

The work out was as follows.

Bench press 265 at 3 reps, 235 at 7 reps, 205 at 9 reps, 175 at 8 reps
Incline bench press 175 at 5 reps, 155 at 6 reps, 135 at 8 reps
Bar dips 50 pounds attached at 8 reps, 25 pounds attached at 7 reps, body weight at 6 reps
Dumbbell Flies 65 at 3 reps, 50 at 5 reps, 35 at 10 reps

Starting out, I had to bench press 265 3 times. I was able to get the first rep without any assist. The second rep, I always needed a little assist to complete the lift. The third rep, I could not come anywhere close without spotter assist.

The next was 235 at 7 reps which is really hard after doing 265. Each time, I was getting killed after the 5th rep. Sometimes I was able to get the 6th rep up with some spotter assist and I usually needed lots of assist with the 7th rep.

After 4 sets on the bench press, 175 pounds on incline felt like murder. After the incline bench, dipping 50 pounds was very strenuous.

There are only 3 weeks left. On Tuesday, I'll start out by lifting 275. I've never been able to lift 275 before without massive assist from a spotter. I'm not going to be able to lift it 3 times but if I can lift it once without spotter assist, I'll know I've made some progress

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What is keeping you up right now?

I've been in this situation countless times before, and if you are reading this, chances are that you are in the same situation. It is late at night and probabbly past midnight. You know you should be getting some sleep right now but either you can't sleep or don't want to. You stare blankly into the monitor just hoping to find something to amuse you or make you content.

What is keeping you up right now? What is bothering you right now?

It can be a number of things and everyone is going to be different for everyone. Maybe you are lonely, maybe you are incredibly stressed out right now, or maybe you are feeling great terror of what could happen soon. In most of these situations, I can come to just one conclusion.

Tomorrow is just going to be awful.

The sooner you go to sleep, the sooner tomorrow comes. The sooner that tomorrow comes, the sooner you have to embrace the pain, agony, terror, and frustration.

As soon as you go to sleep, tomorrow is here. However, just by staying awake in this moment, you get to delay all the stuff that you have to deal with tomorrow. This is what causes 10 pm to roll to midnight to roll to 1:30 am to roll to 3 am.

Look. Just take a deep breath and put the coffee down. Tomorrow probabbly won't be so bad. Just try to relax a little bit. Turn your monitor off and just try to make it through tomorrow. Just finish off the rest of this work week and make it to the weekend. You can get some rest then and take some time to unwind.

Have a good night. Get some sleep. And just try to relax.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Don't blindly invest in companies.

I've never bought, owned, or traded stocks before. Before college, the only exposure I had to the stock market was stock market games in elementary school. The teacher would break up the class into groups of three and each group would pretend to have a certain amount of money and we would pretend to buy stocks. We would track the progress of the stocks over the course of a few weeks.

Later in college, I took a capstone business strategy course in my last semester. The biggest part of the game was playing a business strategy game where the class would split into groups and we would take control of a simulated shoe company. We could log into the game and mess with all kinds of variables like the quality of materials used in the shoes, how many models of shoes were produced, where the manufacturing plants were located, how much to pay the employees, and several others.

As part of the grade, we had a set of investor expectations that we had to meet in order to get an A. One of the expectations was meeting or exceeding the benchmark earnings per share. Earnings per share is just the net income divided by the total amount of shares outstanding.

At first look, a higher earnings per share would indicate a high net income and a strong company. Since the simulated industry was very competitive, my classmates and myself quickly realized that we could also boost that ratio by simply buying our stock back. In other words, if our company performed poorly, we could just buy back our stock in order to make our company look like it was doing better than it was.

I like to check up on ZeroHedge quite often and I see reoccurring articles that stock buy backs are at an all time high and will continue to climb. This gives me the impression that stocks are very overvalued. Companies could be performing rather dismally and look pretty good on the market.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What I would rather be doing with my life.

I spend a lot of time talking to people about the stuff that I want to avoid in life and what I don't want to do. I don't want to spend the next 40 years of my life commuting to an office, working 12 hours a day, and driving home. In order to minimize this part of my life, I intend to save up as much of my earnings as possible and then pursue a life of minimalism. This would provide me the maximum amount of time available.

Most people ask me the following questions?

Well don't you want a wife and kids?

Don't you want a McMansion?

Don't you want to travel the world and see France, Italy, China, and Dubai?

Don't you want to buy a BMW?


Well what do you want out of life?

As crazy as it sounds, there aren't really that many things I want out of life. I just want to have my time to be free and I want to spend that time skateboarding. I have no higher purpose and I see no reason to pursue much else than skateboarding.

You could actually call it my first love. It was the first thing I ever found in life that gave me a sense of fulfillment. It was the first thing that ever made me feel proud of myself. It was the first thing that I ever felt like dedicating my life to (as crazy as it might sound). I love it so much that I would want to pursue a life of minimalism in order to skate as much as I possibly could.

When I was a still in middle school, I'd get home, do some homework, then head out the door and try to figure out how to kickflip. 

Summer vacations were just the best. I'd wake up, play some Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, then skate with my friends for hours. Back then, I'd always watch a couple skate videos before heading out. I watched Flip's Really Sorry every single day and I've linked Arto Saari's part here.

The greatest joys I've had was when I've learned new tricks. I've also had the greatest terrors when I've just barely escaped disaster.

I kept skating throughout high school but I started to cut down a bit in college. As much as I loved skateboarding, it would be too risky to try to become professional. It was a much safer to become an accountant. After all, there is a higher number of accountants demanded in the labor force than professional skateboarders. 

After college was done, I started working full time and had to cut the skating back even further. When I was young, I skated a few hours every single day. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can get to the skatepark for 2 hours a week.

But when I'm free again, when I finally buy my freedom, I'll spend as much time as possible skateboarding because this is what I want the most out of life. I guess I was lucky to find a ridiculous hobby that I wanted to spend my life pursuing. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Night Motivation

The beginning of each month is always difficult because that is when I've got to reconcile all the accounts. Going through this process each month really makes me consider dropping and abandoning everything in order to live out the rest of my life in a van in the desert of Nevada. Sometimes a man needs a little motivation. Last month, I threw up a link to the scene in Metal Gear Solid 4 where Solid Snake is crawling through the microwave hallway.

Tonight, I'm going to link to the ending scene in Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core. For anyone who played the original Final Fantasy 7, you know that Zack is dead by the time the events of Final Fantasy 7 starts. In Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core, you get to play as Zack during the few years leading up to the events of Final Fantasy 7. This is cool because you get to revisit the flashbacks from the first game. You get to see when Zack first meets Cloud Strife. You get to see when Zack meets Areis Gainsborough. You get to see when Zack and Cloud confront Sephiroth in the old reactor. Lastly, you get to see Zack and Cloud escape from the mansion and confront the Shinra Soldiers.

The further that you play the game, you kind of wonder how far the plot will go and the more progress that you make, you come to the realization that you may end up fighting the Shinra Soldiers that eventually kill you.

But Crisis Core takes the original scene and dramatizes it like no other. In the original game, Zack gets hunted down by 3 soldiers and shot with a rifle. In Crisis Core, you are confronted with a giant mountain of Shinra Soldiers. Hundreds of Shinra Soldiers have guns pointed at Zack and then Zack goes in charging with his Buster Sword.

Link of the cutscene here.

You take control of Zack but you know it is futile. Zack has to die in this battle otherwise a time paradox would be created. So Zack just takes his Buster Sword and just starts slugging away at Shinra Soldiers. Oh, by the way, did I forget to mention there are three helicopter shooting missiles at you? Because that part is kind of important. I want to say it is a Mil-24 but I'm probably wrong.

During the fight, scenes from Zack's history flash. Inevitably, your HP drops to one and a cut-scene plays where the 3 soldiers gun Zack down.

The game ends with Cloud Strife coming out of his coma, seeing Zack fade away, and Cloud takes the Buster Sword and leaves for Midgar take Zack's personality and memories as his own.

I never played Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core but I had to watch the let's play to experience the story. The final scene is one of the most moving scenes from any video game I can remember. Every now and then, I'll re watch it for some extra motivation.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week 8 results

Week 8 of the 12 week program to bench 300 pounds was successful. Week 8 was an easy week in that the heaviest weight I had to lift was 225 pounds. This was encouraging after failing week 6 and 7 with having to bench 265 pounds 3 times.

The schedule for week 8 was as follows.

Incline Bench Press: 185 pounds at 5 reps, 165 at 7 reps, 145 at 9 reps
Bench Press: 225 pounds at 4 reps, 205 pounds at 5 reps, 185 pounds at 6 reps
Bar Dips: 50 pounds attached at 8 reps, 25 pounds attached at 7 reps, body weight at 6 reps
Dumbbell Flyes: 60 pounds at 5 reps, 45 pounds at 8 reps

I was able to complete all exercises successfully.

Once again, this work out was found at The entire 12 week plan can be found there.

This week, I was switching heavier weight for more reps. I really started feeling the strain after doing the bench press and doing bar dips with 50 pounds attached at 8 reps.

The next week becomes difficult again. I've got to start out lifting 265 pounds at 3 reps. Maybe it will be slightly easier this time. The difficulty spike will be felt earlier because the second set is 235 at 7 reps. A total of seven sets is spent on the bench press. Then week 10 will have be lifting 275 pounds. If I can lift 275 once, I'll be happy.

After all 12 weeks are complete, I'll test my max rep to evaluate the workout plan. I'll go back to week six of the program and start revising weeks to see if a revised workout would be more effective.