BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


Science After Hours, Or Perhaps Not So Much

So, tonight was another Science After Hours.  I didn't end up going.  It started that my one friend who was supposed to buy the tickets with her membership kept delaying on giving me an answer on if she wanted to go.  I asked her every couple weeks starting right after the last SAH...

She kept saying that she was "thinking about it".

I got a notice that other day that tickets were going quick.  I was going to purchase a ticket just for myself...

But just decided not to.  I mean, okay, yes, Science After Hours is fun... But, I don't know... It's not productive really.  It's 20 bucks for the ticket, then like 15 or 20 bucks for some drinks and a snack, then another 20 bucks for parking.

At the end of that 3 hours, I come home...  After each of the Science After Hours, I didn't get a number, or a new Facebook friend... I didn't get invited to anything else that could possibly lead me to, the whole reason why I started going to them in the first place, to lead me to meeting someone special.

I mean, we're not even discussing "The One" here... I'm just talking about meeting anyone, like even just someone to date for a few months, or even 6 months or a year.

Nothing.  So, I'm not saying I'm no longer going to attend them... It's just, I'd rather come home after work, make a nice dinner, relax and watch Netflix, and then work on music, then maybe go to the gym...

That's what I did tonight instead.  So, I saved myself nearly 60 bucks that I can put towards paying for the fee to upload a new song when I finish my next one.  And then on top of that, I actually am working a little bit more on fixing some errors and also working on cover art.

So, instead of running around getting blank stares when I try to strike up conversations... I got some work done, I messaged back and forth with a couple of online dating site matches, I made dinner, and I'm about to go to the gym.  And I have 60 extra bucks in my pocket.

I might revisit Science After Hours eventually... But I'd rather put my resources, not only financially, but my time and energy towards other things.

At least I have something that I know I can do when I do finally meet someone.  I think it could make a fun thing to do with someone maybe if I meet someone and we start dating.

Instead, I think I might focus more on staying home, and working on things.

Plus, I have other expenses coming up, like taxes for the house, and I have to get some things around the house fixed up... Although, some of those things I'm going to do myself and hit up Home Depot, and also hit up IKEA to buy a few things.  I want a new fridge obviously, and washer and dryer, but I also want a new couch, and I want to personalize some of the rooms more and repaint.  I also want to just decorate a little better... and then on top of that I want to buy like some little furniture things here and there.  You know, I really want to Pinterest up the house a little.

Instead of going out and hoping to meet a special someone... I'd rather just take a break and make a better space to live in and enjoy the house.

A lot of people have told me to enjoy the time I have by myself, because if I do meet someone, and if it did work out and we got married and had kids, I'd never have a situation like I do right now where I have a house to myself.

I guess that's true...

So, I'm going to take a bit of a break from all the going out all the time.  There are a couple of events that I'd like to go to that seem like they will be fun.  My next event that I'm interested in is to go see a band play that I saw over the summer and have been waiting for them to come back to the area.  I saw them at Musikfest up in Bethlehem and in two weeks they are playing in New Hope at a place there.

So, I'll probably head to that.  But, yeah, maybe just do one or two things a month and then just kind of stay in a lot more and work on stuff around the house.

I mean, obviously the last year I've gone out a LOT.  I actually kept a log of the events I went to... Like, all the festivals and what not... And while they were fun, and I actually did make a few friends at a couple of the events... The vast majority of them I left the event without gaining anything out of it.  I had fun.  But I have fun sitting at home watching Netflix.  I have fun playing guitar and working on music.  I have fun working on various things at a coffee shop.

So... I skipped out on Science After Hours tonight.  Who knows, maybe the future love of my life might have been there tonight and we might have run into one another... But I mean, if I'm supposed to meet her when I 'm supposed to meet her... Then if she was at Science After Hours tonight... I just wasn't meant to meet her yet.

Instead I have a cat on my lap as I type this.  So, if nothing else... I have happier cats because they got to hang out with me all night.  So there's always that too!

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Thin Mints Part Two

So... I got my box of Thin Mints from the one lady at work.  Best 4 bucks I've ever spent, okay maybe not the BEST 4 bucks, but it's pretty up there.  She came by and gave them to me... I was super excited.

Seriously, it's the small things like a box of Thin Mints.

I'm happy just to have a little box of Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies.

Honestly, I and I SWEAR, I've only had 5 cookies from the box so far.  I'm trying to make the box last.  So far so good.  I even waited until after dinner to...

Wait!  Dang it.  I forgot to make garlic bread with my dinner like I was meaning to make.

Bah.  Oh well.  maybe I'll make some tomorrow night with my dinner.  See, that stinks.  And I was TOTALLY looking forward to making garlic bread tonight with my salad and pasta and what not.

Eh, oh well.  At least I have these Thin Mints.  6.  Okay.  I'm limiting it to 6.

Anyways as I was saying... I mean, I'm all about the simple pleasures in life.

I was discussing this today... About, if you could go anywhere and do anything... I was talking to one of the security people at work...

And he was just like "Okay, right now, if you had unlimited funds what would you do..."

I was like "Honestly?"

And she was like "Yeah."

And I was like,  "I've heard that Chicago deep dish pizza is amazing.  I'd probably drive and or fly to Chicago, no, I'd definitely drive take a little road trip in my little Honda Fit get a Chicago deep dish pizza from whatever best pizza joint walk around for a little bit, then drive back home... And go to sleep.  And I'd buy like an audio book to listen to on the way there and back."

He's like "Really?  That's it?  No jets, and speed boats, and luxury cars and private islands"

I'm like... "I like pizza.  I'd just look up the best pizza places and then go trying slices of pizza."  Also he asked me this question just before lunch and I was hungry.

Honestly?  I guess that's just who I really am.  I'm not a glitz and glam kind of person.

I'm like my mom was, she believed in just second hand personal possessions and keep your money safe and sound in an investment place where there's all sorts of cameras and bankers watching over it and they tuck it in at night and pet it and make it feel warm and cozy in the bank.

And that's the kind of person I am.  I know, it's no fun at all... Hey, I never said I was fun.  Funny looking, maybe... But I'm not fun.  I'm boring for the most part.  Every now and then I crack a joke and try to be funny.

I mean look at Warren Buffet.  He's no fun.  He lives in a modest house in Omaha and he's one of the wealthiest people on the planet.  I just don't get why everyone wants glitz and glam and fancy cars and big travel plans...

Honestly?  Pizza.  I mean, ideally sharing a pizza with someone special is probably my ultimate goal in life... But pizza... Is all you REALLY need.

If I had the choice between a drive in a super fancy luxury car and a slice of pizza?

I'd take the pizza.  Hands down.

A box of Thin Mints is my second choice.

See now I just really want pizza.

Also, now I want another Thin Mint.  Okay... I've eaten 1 more Thin Mint.

7 Thin Mints.

Anyways, so tonight I spent the night doing some chores around the house and making dinner and listening to a podcast on the search feature for LinkedIn and how it all works.  It's always cool to hear people give presentations on things that people use every day in real life.  So, now I know a little bit about the algorithm that powers the search feature on LinkedIn and why you get the results you get, and how the autocomplete thing that pops up and autosuggests things as you type actually works.

It's cool stuff!  I can say that for sure.

I geek out about stuff like that.

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Next Moves

So... It's interesting, most everyone I know is all like, married, or with someone and it's super serious... Or they have kids... And like careers, and basically they are all settled for life.

And then there's me.

So, obviously my plan is to continue with the investing stuff and the music stuff and the book stuff... But the IT stuff can continue too.  The thing about IT is that it's a pretty in demand field.  And each time  I browse any of the online job places there's always plenty of positions that, to me, at this point with my IT experience... I could do any of that stuff in my sleep.  Would I be thrilled to do it?  Or find it SUPER amazingly awesome?  Eh.  Probably not.  But it would be a paycheck.

It's my plan B if the music, books, investing, whatever, stuff never happens.

IT to me is cakewalk.  I could do it in the dark, in my sleep.

It's just not what I absolutely love doing.

Some people find a paycheck along with their calling... Just like some people find love...

Others just kind of have what they have.

So at this point, I'm not so much planning any next moves as just seeing what happens.

My thoughts are possibly that I'll rent out, or sell this house...

Then I'll maybe just apply for a job and get an apartment in a new city.  Just try cities that I've never lived in before...

Seattle, or Portland, Oregon...

Or maybe Austin, Texas, or Asheville, NC...

Just see how that goes for a year.

If I rented out this house and had income coming in to me monthly to cover my rent at a place where I lived I could then basically use my entire paycheck to go out on the town more often which would significantly increase my odds of meeting someone special... And eventually that whole settling down/marriage thing with kids like everyone else seems to have.

Then I'd have like... Kind of made a life with direction.

I can say, "This is where I plan to stay because my significant other and I met here, or my significant other has family here so we want to settle down here and buy a house and raise kids here."

You know, that sort of thing.

I probably won't rent out this house though, I'll probably sell it and then put the money into income generating assets (REITs Bond funds Dividend stocks...) along with what I already have invested.  Then that can supplement my income.  My current investments are actually already supplementing some of my expenses.  It's cool to see that in action.

I almost made one large trade this week, but the thing about the large trades is you have to watch them.  Just like you have to watch work study students... Obviously at my job I can't choose.  It's my job to do the work coming in, but during the semester we also have students working for us that I have to supervise.... Just can't do two things at the same time.

And to have 50 grand in on a single stock and not be able to watch it?  Not gonna happen.

So, maybe over the summer I'll do some more day/swing trades...

The thing is though, it's fine, because my longer term trades work too, I just put less in, and let it bounce up and down until it hits a price I like and then sell it.  Here's the thing about that, if you hold your shares over a year, not only do you get to collect dividends (as long as the stock pays a dividend) you also get to pay less taxes on your gains.  So, if you hold a stock for only a few weeks... or even a few hours, you pay a LOT more taxes than if you hold for 1 year and 1 day.

So, if I keep with my old strategy and split up 50 grand into 50 different socks and then buy and sell one stock a week... but hold those stocks for a year... Effectively ladder the stocks, I could technical make a similar amount of money while diversifying the risk, and not having to sit and babysit the stock all day.  It's more like a garden, you check it, and wait for it to ripen up, then you pick the stock when it's ready to be picked...

That's what I have been doing and then I also get paid dividends to wait for the stock to swing up to a price that I like.

Less taxes, less risk...

The thing about putting ALL your eggs in one stock too even if it's only for a few hours, is if you need that money, you can't get at it.

If you put, say 50 grand into 50 different stocks, and immediately 5 of them go up... And you need like 3 grand for emergency expenses you can sell off those gains right away and then use that money for your expenses while you let the other stocks do their thing... Generate income, and eventually return to the green where you can then sell them.

Yes you CAN sell stocks at a loss, but it's like my rule number one.

The last stock I sold for a loss was Dryships in the beginning of 2015.  I traded out of it and sold a lot of little gains trades to match my loss.

That was pretty much a 100 percent loss.  I bought that as one of my very first stocks back when I first started trading.

Live and learn.

Anyways... so yeah.  That's the power of diversifying.  You can take even a 100 percent loss for the year and still make money.  IN 2015 even though I lost like 98 percent on Dryships shares from my original purchase price... I still made money because I bought and held and sold a month later, 6 months later, 10 months later on 20 other stocks to not only cancel out the loss but to actually surpass it.

I also made money on my dividends.  And I also got a tax loss use of those Dryships shares.  So I paid less taxes anyways.

Anyways so far this year I have a fair amount of gains.  I have one stock that's in that significant unrealized loss area.  I could sell it at any time... But I'm waiting to see what happens with oil prices and their bankruptcy status.

I've already traded out of it and surpassed the loss in gains last year.  So if I do sell it, it's just another one for the pile.

Right now my income is still fairly low... But to be fair about 2 thirds of my money is in cash.

The reason for this is because I'm still finishing up distributing money from my mom's stuff, and I still have to wait and see how much taxes will need to be paid.  After that?  It's time to just take the rest of it and invest it.

When I do that, my investment income is going to jump up to at least 3 times what it is now.  Probably more than that since I know a LOT more now about investing as some of the stocks I'm still in on were bought YEARS ago and I just kind of kept them.  One of them is a stock I've own nearly since the beginning.  It pays a fairly low dividend... I could actually sell it for a gain now... But, in recent years their cashflow and profits have gone from meager to pretty darn good.  So, I plan to hold those shares for now because they seem to have a pretty solid business plan going forward.  Took them a while to really get of the ground but, they're cooking now.  SO, I'm going to hold those shares even though the dividend payout is lower than I 'd like it to be.

This is why my dividend income will most likely more than triple or possibly be 5 or 10 fold in the next year as I start to invest this cash that I have sitting.

By the way cash makes next to nothing.  I've had a savings account with like 100 grand in it.... It makes like 1 dollar a month.

And that bank told me I'm getting the "preferred account holder rate for people with high balances".

1 dollar a month is preferred?  Sounds like the banks are making out pretty well.

If the bank is paying me a dollar a month on 100k...

I bet they are loaning that money out at a pretty penny and making a good profit off the spread.

Yep, just looked up the rate for a mortgage from the same bank... 4.1 percent.

That means they are paying me 1 dollar a month on my 100k that I have in a savings account, or 12 dollars a year... And that same 100k they loaned out to someone to buy a house... and are charging them 4k a year.

Obviously they have other administrative costs, paying employees, cost of originating the mortgage, mortgages that go bad... Electricity and bricks and mortar...

But, I'm going to guess they are still making a fair profit off that 3988 dollars they are making each year from my 100k I have.

But here's the thing about invested money, for example AT&T and Verizon both are paying dividends that if you had 100k in shares with either one... You'd be making over 4500 bucks in income from the stock alone.

It goes up and down and there's risk... But 12 bucks from a savings account, versus 4500 alone in just dividends from AT&T?

And that's if you just buy the shares and hold them.  You don't even have to make active trades.  You just sit, and hold your AT&T shares and every 3 months you get like 1200 bucks.  Or whatever it is.  Right now their dividend is 49 cents a share.  Last year it was 48 cents.  The year before it was 47 cents.

So not only are you getting paid that 4500 bucks to sit on your ass... Next year, you'll get 1 cent more per share per 90 days.

SO if you buy, lets say, 2000 shares for example and you get 49 cents a share right now per 90 days... That's 980 bucks every 3 months in your account.  Next year should they push that dividend to 50 cents?  Now every 3 months you get a 20 dollar raise.  You're now making 1000 dollars every 3 months.

You could literally just sit on a beach all day and not even look at your trading account... And just hold those shares... and every 3 months you'd have a grand.

Obviously AT&T COULD go belly up... Just look at JC Penny right now.

This is why you diversify, rebalance quarterly, and look for the strongest dividend payers and get rid of your losses eventually and take tax losses.

I've talked about this stuff over and over again.

So over the course of the next 12 months, it's going to be happening... much more than it has.  I'm in right now on about 54 stocks... I plan to boost that over the next year to probably somewhere between 100 and 150 different holdings that all pay income.

Then, I'll just let it ride and rebalance as needed.

The day trade model might be something I do in the future when I can sit there and actually babysit the stock, but when I have other things I have to do with my days, I can't actually tend to the micro movements of a stock price.  For now, I'm going to go more with macro trends and smaller amounts of invested capital in any individual stock.  Clip my cash gains and then zero out my losses... And let the dividends keep coming in as per usual.  Because most of them, even if I do nothing, are consecutive dividend increasing stocks, so as the years go by and I simply hold my shares, most of them will continue to increase their dividends year over year.

As far as anything else in life?  I have no clue.  Love seems to be completely hopeless.  SO, I'll just keep focusing on this long term invested divided generating portfolio of mine and continue to grow that year over year.



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Something weird happened today.  So, I'm sitting writing a little more of my book, inspired by a certain someone...

And then this one guy behind me mentions another book.  Not the one I'm writing, but another book.  Well, he doesn't initially say the title of the book.  He just says the author, the author is Tim Keller.  He asks the barista in this coffee shop that I'm at if she's heard of Tim Keller.  They were chatting back and forth a little... I think they are friends, or somehow know one another.

SO, I turn around and say the name of the book that I've read.  "You mean the guy that wrote The Reason For God?"

And he's like "Yeah that guy!"

Then he says, "You know it's funny, every time I'm sitting here in this chair and I mention a book, the person sitting right where you are sitting says they know it and have read it."

I said, "Is that so?"

He's like... "Yeah.  That's so strange."

I'm like... "Yeah."

He then asks why I read the book.  I tell him that I read it because for a while I was going to this church and kind of explained the backstory behind the reason for me going to church in the first place... The girl... Then he kind of asked what I was even doing, and I explained I was writing a book... Inspired by that same girl.

And we both were just kind of like... This is weird.

And he was like totally.  And I was like... Totally weird.

And we sort of left it at that.

We chatted some after that but that was really most of it.  Then he left, and I left shortly after that.

I'm calling it a bookincidence.  I mean, one could argue that I wouldn't even have been siting there in the first place if it weren't for that girl.  Or, yes okay maybe if I'd never crossed paths with her, I might have been sitting there at that same time anyway... But I wouldn't have read that book... So then I never would have chatted with that guy about the book because I never would have read it.

There's a whole road of "ifs" I could go down.

I often think about how my life would be different had I never crossed paths with her.  For one, the book I'm writing wouldn't exist.  Over The Bar Scene wouldn't exist.

I would have never moved to Wayne and had my apartment there for 2 years...

I never would have story tweeted probably.  I never would have tweeted so much also probably.

I never would have gone to the churches I went to... Never would have met the friends that I met there.  Although I really don't hang out with any of them much.  The last friend I hung out with was like a month ago and I helped fix her computer for her while we ate pizza as the pizza was my payment.

The if road is dicey though because if you consider all possible outcomes, you can end up in any place at any time anyway given a different circumstance playing out.

Like, the people that you meet.... If you consider the odds that you could have been born ANYWHERE on the planet, and then pretty much had your life journey take you anywhere, the odds of you meeting anyone are so astronomically small that the people that you DO know and meet... The odds of you meeting any one person are so small that you almost shouldn't have met them at all.

If that makes sense.

Okay so, if the odds of meeting any one person are 1 in the population of the planet (which is like 8 billion) technically those odds are so small that they shouldn't actually even happen.

If someone said to me, would you like to place a bet, the odds are 1 in 8 billion... I'd say... No thanks, I'm good.

It's like having an 8 billion sided die and with one person on each side and you roll it each time you meet someone new.

Even if you meet some astronomical number like 100 new people EVERY day... Still in a year, those odds are 100 times 365 or 36,500 in 8 billion.

The people we know, statically speaking... We shouldn't know.

So that's what made today's scenario all the more strange.

Oh, and on top of that, I was sitting at a coffee shop in Malvern... Which is the place that I first met that girl that inspired the book I was writing and was the reason I even read Tim Keller's book in the first place.

I mean, if you place odds on each one of those events and the likely hood of any of them occurring... It's amazingly unlikely.

So that it happened at all is just really weird.

And I'll leave it at that.

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Thin Mints!

Today... I did not get any Thin Mints.  Sadly.  I waited all week thinking I was going to be getting a box of Thin Mints today.

It didn't happen.

Fortunately Monday I will be getting my box of Thin Mints.  So, all is not lost.

See, the woman that I bought the box of Thin Mints from, who is selling them for her daughter... She is off on Fridays.  So, her words were, "I'll order the box now, and it will come in on Friday."

She didn't say she would be in work.  Only that the box of Thin Mints would arrive to her on Friday.

Anyways, so at least on Monday I should be getting my Thin Mints.

For now instead of munching on Thin Mints, I'm sitting with a glass of wine.  I stopped at the wine place after work and picked up another red and a white wine... My last bottle of wine was a Merlot.  My current bottle of wine is a Riesling.  I'm enjoying it.

My next bottle is going to be a Malbec.  And then after that I have a Chardonnay that I bought tonight along with the Malbec.

Another thing I did was buy a coffee grinder and some whole bean coffee.

Seriously, whole bean coffee ground RIGHT before brewing... It's a world of difference.  I wasn't really convinced until I gave it a try.  I was just like... Oh it can't POSSIBLY be THAT different.  Then I tried it and I feel like it definitely has a significantly fresher taste to it when you grind your own beans before you brew.

Personally, I'd like to eventually buy a really good burr grinder, but since I wasn't sure exactly if it was going to be worth it, I didn't want to just go out and buy some kind of top of the line coffee grinding device only to find I would never use it.  I'm definitely convinced.  The grinder that I did go buy was just a basic blade grinder that you hold in the button to achieve the desired amount of grinding.  So, 10 seconds is for a more course grind, such as that needed for a french press brew, and then holding it in for 30 seconds would be an espresso type of very fine grind.  20 seconds would get you the grind you need for an automatic drip.

Seriously though, I'm really enjoying the fresh ground coffee.

Well anyway, kind of got off topic there, so hopefully my Thin Mints are there waiting for me Monday when I arrive at work!  I'm sure they will be.

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Thinking Versus Saying

So, I've always been fascinated with the split between thoughts, and words.

When you walk into a room, any room, be it full of strangers like at the store, or friends at a party, or coworkers...

Everyone is thinking things.  But they are also saying things.  Sometimes those two match up, sometimes they don't.

My curiosity is always, what are these people thinking?

When I used to play shows a lot... I would imagine the people looking back at me saying... "Man, this guy SUCKS."

They wouldn't say that out-loud.  They might instead say to you... "Hey, nice show."

Then they would think in their head... "Yeah, don't quit your day job buddy."

Thoughts differing from words happens SOOOOO much every day around the world.

For example when you're on a date.  You might think one thing but say something else.  You might think something at work, like... I HATE my one coworker because they SUCK at their job.

You wouldn't say that though.  You'd filter it.

Or maybe you think a coworker is attractive and you make up excuses just to chat with them knowing full well they already have a significant other.

I just think it would be interesting to be able to walk into a room full of people and hear their thoughts.  Not have them KNOW you could hear their thoughts though.  SO, like they can't hear what you're thinking, but you can hear their thoughts.  SO, you could sit there and have the edge knowing what they are REALLY thinking.

How sweet would that be?  Totally.  It would make dating a breeze.  No more mystery.  You'd know their every thought and would know their every move ahead of time.  Coworkers... Friends... Family... Strangers.

I mean, go to a bar, don't even bother wasting time talking to the people who's thoughts are shouting... "WHO THE FRACK IS THIS?!?!?!  PLEASE. STOP. TALKING. TO. ME."

And then you could just make your way over to the person standing there on the other side of the bar thinking.... "I wish I could talk to that person over there, but I'm WAAAAY too nervous/shy to talk to them."

You'd know everyone else's motives in any kind of negotiation.  Buying a car or a house?  Cake.

Walking down the street and think someone behind you might possibly be following you to maybe rob you?  Just read their thoughts and find out they are too worried about other things to even acknowledge you even exist.  And then they just walk right by you.

No one could ever rip you off... Cheat on you... Harm you...

If you know what everyone is thinking, you know what their motives and actions are ahead of time.  You know that the words they are saying out of their mouth don't line up with their thoughts.

It's a weird concept when you think about it.  I mean, when you look at it from a function or a utility perspective.

Here you have this being who has the ability to lie to you.  You don't know if the words coming out of their mouth, are the same as the internal voice they hear in their head.

It could be.  It could not be.

Obviously, we need this... Why?  If we took it away, basically every book and movie plot ever would break.

We'd have no such thing as fiction.  When you think about it, the ability to think one thing and say another comes up pretty much in every single work of fiction ever.

If we removed that ability, we'd all be robots.

It's almost like to be human, is to be given the chance for someone to trust you.

Weird right?  Because we don't have the ability to read minds... We have to do this thing called trusting people.

If someone breaks that trust... It's hard to get it back.

Again, this is how tons of stories work.

Betrayal.  I mean, every Shakespeare story relies on this.

If a king knew he was about to be killed by someone else with a hidden dagger... That plot wouldn't work very well.  I mean, you can't even hide the dagger because then the person knows you are thinking the thought... "Oh, I have a hidden dagger in my cloak!"

And then you're like... "I KNOW YOU HAVE A DAGGAR IN YOUR CLOAK!"

And they are like... "WHAT?!??!  HOW DID YOU... I MEAN, NO I DO NOT."

"Yes you do!  It's right there."



"Oh you mean THIS dagger."

"NO.  The one under your other cloak.  YES, THAT dagger."

"Oh, well you see... I was, at a fair..."

"Shut up.  No you weren't."

"Was too."

"YOU were NOT at a fair."

"Okay, maybe I wasn't."

As you can see, it also relies on comedy.  If we could know what someone was REALLY thinking instead of trying to decide IS what this person saying THE TRUTH... Comedy kind of breaks down.

I mean, court scenes break down too.

There's no need for a jury.  You can read their mind.

Really, it kind of turns the whole world upside down.

It's almost like our whole world was built on the ability for people to look at each other and decide, is this person bluffing.

Poker is out.

I mean, there's a LOT of stuff that actually seems to rely on the ability to not give information to other people.

Such as job negotiations.  If they could read your mind, you'd be screwed.  They would already know exactly how much you made previously, and how much you're wiling to settle for.  They would know if you're nervous or not.

There's a whole bunch of things on this planet... It's just something interesting to think about.  What if we knew what people were thinking or feeling, without having to have them say it.  Body language can give away a lot.  SO there's that... But I'm talking more about just straight up hearing their thoughts.

If we all could hear one another's thoughts... That would make for a very different world.  Theft would be quit impossible, that's for sure.  Everyone would know who the their was, and there'd be no need for a detective.  There'd be no murder mystery novels.

I guess it's just interesting to consider how many things actually rely on the ability for people to lie.... But also on the ability for people to give that trust out too... To say, I can't really tell what you're thinking, and I don't know what your true intentions are... But, I'm going to extend to you this trust... Do with it what you will.

So, just consider the next time you walk into a busy room... What are you thinking about everyone else that they don't know about you, and what do you think they are thinking about you that you can't know they are thinking...

Just something to THINK about... I suppose.


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So, my go to cooking oil is usually extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO.  I cook with that like ALL the time.  Tonight I made this spicy sausage thing in pasta sauce with some garlic bread.  The other night I made salmon with pasta.

Cooking is relaxing... Not just for me, it's a fact.  Cooking is just good for your health.  If you google cooking and health, you'll find a whole bunch of articles.  People who take the time to cook at home generally tend to cook healthier meals, but there's always just some sort of relaxing effect as well... In my case, it's probably the glass of wine that I'm having while I cook.

Oh, so tonight I got home after work, and there was this odd shaped package on my porch.  No lie, it looked like some kind of weird homemade who knew what.  I refused to touch it.  I called the information on the return address to verify that it was safe to open.

Turns out it was two gift pint glasses from Cafe Press as a thank you for helping out with the fair.  That was the night I met Fort Lauderdale Mallory and her friends.  Never to be seen or heard from again.  Who knows, maybe a few years from now I'll be in some situation where we cross paths again.  I guess you never know with life.  I certainly don't know where I'll end up in 2 years, or 5 years.

If I can ace this trading stuff and make mucho moneys from it... I'll probably spend a good amount of money on traveling.

See, here's my thing, today I found out that this one actor got married at 42 and then had a kid like in 2013... Or something.  He was born in like 1961.  Here I am looking at all my friends getting married and having kids... and they are in their 20s and 30s... But here's this celebrity getting married in this 40s and then having a kid.  SO, my attitude now is just like, I got time.

Here's the game plan now, make dinner in the evenings, drink some wine, work on music, study trading stuff... Figure out how to make that 100 grand a year income target from trading...


Worry about meeting that special someone when I meet her.

Maybe it won't happen for another 2 or 3 or 5 years.  Maybe I NEED to travel to meet her.  Here I was thinking I would meet her going out to events and thins around Philly... Maybe she doesn't even live ANYWHERE near Philly, maybe she's NEVER even been to this area.  That would explain why I've never met her.

You know?

I think it's a good explanation.  And I think it's a good plan.

Anyways... all that aside, my plan for right now is to go to the gym, and then the store to grab a few small things, and then back home to have a beer in my brand new pint glass!

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Chrome Stuff

So, at work, we've got this issue where Chrome decided to just update their browser and not allow SHA-1 certs unless you click advanced and proceed anyways.

It's annoying.  I mean, yes, they are trying to make the world a more secure place and all that, but what they didn't account for is, a lot of places have this thing called a budget and sometimes they put things, such a 5 year mail cert into their budget every 5 years.

So, now we still have a valid SSL cert, but we aren't budgeted to replace it until it runs out in 10 ish months.

Chrome decided though to update their browser and cause lots of headaches with users of our stuff all not sure how to access their webmail now.

We made a little how to doc though.  I mean, yes, ideally we could just go buy a new cert and let that be that, but since we're a non-profit, we're not exactly swimming in cash.

In all reality, we're probably going to just bite the bullet and purchase a new cert with SHA-2.  Which is what Google wants.

It's funny, I was just thinking today about the... I guess the dichotomy would be the word?

Here I am, a nobody IT guy at a non-profit.  I work with people who have mortgages... None of us really make all that much money... People who, an extra grand in their pocket probably would make or break their family budget.

Husbands and wives and kids... I work with students who even a 50 bucks is like a small fortune to them.

And here I am... Just minding my own beeswax getting ever so much closer to making my first 6 figures trade.

I mean... If any of these people knew I was tossing 6 figures into and out of stocks... Well, okay so I haven't done it yet... My portfolio manager for my trust has... He's made some hefty trades so far.  That's a whole other ball of wax.  Well, they aren't really "trades".  He just shifted some money into ETFs to rebalance the trust.  It's normal money management stuff.  I do individual stocks, he's doing mostly ETFs to shield against risk.  Which is cool.  That's how most money people at banks do things.  It's more responsible and keeps the risk of loss down.  Which is a good thing.  So he's doing things how they are supposed to be done when you manage money on behalf of clients.  What I'm doing is a little more... It carries some more risk.

But, it's just weird I guess.  It's interesting.  I hang out with people who like, if they only knew how much money I was about to start shuffling around... Some of them would probably have a heart attack.  Again, stocks are risky.

I guess we all have secrets right?  I kind of like it.  I like that I'm virtually a nobody nine to five guy who just sits there doing my normal IT work and no one is the wiser... They fret over how to come up with an extra couple thousand bucks to buy a new cert... and I'm over here like... Let's see, maybe I can purchase 1000 shares of this stock valued at 100 dollars a share.

I mean, life is like that though.  You have people who think 10 bucks is a small fortune, and then you have others who even 10 grand is just like play money.  And yet still others who consider even 10 million to be a drop in the bucket.

It's all relative.

I just sit there and do my work...  And then in the in-between time, sometimes I make a trade.  I don't trade often though.  I mean, I've literally make like 3 trades this whole year.  One of them was a swing trade and the other two were just buying dividend stocks to add to my portfolio.

I guess I feel like I still don't really feel comfy with the whole investing thing.  Like, here's the thing...

A lake will run dry, but a river... Keeps flowing.

Right now I have trade capital... But not a lot of income.  That's the problem.  This is why some people who win the lottery go broke.  They don't account for future expenses.

There's always going to be future expenses.  Just like there's always going to be a need to purchase new certificates for websites and email servers.

What I'm setting up with my divided portfolio is income.  Sustainable, continued income.  Trading is fine... But there are times in the market when you can't trade, AT ALL.

Crashes happen.  If you can't trade, you can't pull in money.  And I'm barely trading as is.  Mostly that's because I have actual work to do at my job.  And, I mean, they ARE paying me to work, not trade stocks.

Which is why I'm mostly just getting into stocks that pay long term dividends.  That's why I like dividend aristocrats.  They are known, even during market downturns, to sustain the dividend.

It's a river.  Keep things flowing.

Anyways, so right now I have this lake.  I'm trying to turn it into a river.

That way, no matter what happens I have this cashflow to be able to cover expenses such as what we have at work.

If you budget for your annual costs, and then you have an unexpected cost a year earlier, you can't pay that unexpected cost without having to make some funky wheeling and dealings.

Or, you can just budget for like, double what your normal costs are, but spend only half, and then you always have money for the unexpected.

Anyways... So, while I'm going to start this 6 figure swing trade thing, I'm also going to take any profits that I make from it and put those into building up my river of income.

That's the plan anyways.  Because life is more than just your own little bubble, and even people all the way across the country can do things that suddenly have a profound impact on your day to day life.

Google's decision to discontinue support for SHA-1 on SSL certs completely blew up our ticket queue with all kinds of questions about how to get into webmail, and it also forced our 5 year budget plan to become a 4 year...

So... This is why I trade invest and trade.  I'm not trying to make an obnoxious amount of money because I want to go on some spending spree.  I'm trying to make money so that I can sleep like a baby at night and not have to worry if I get an unexpected cost how will I pay for it.

I mean, yes, it would be cool to have so much money flowing that I have more than I know what to do with... But that's not really my main objective.

In all honesty, it's not like a catastrophic expense.  It's just not something we were planning on spending money on this year.  It's more of an annoyance than anything.

But, it just reminded me personally of my own finances and how I might think that I have a good amount of money in the bank, but I don't know what's around the bend.  And money just sitting, just like a bucket of water, once you scoop from it, that water level in the bucket goes down... And if you can't reset it, or replenish it... It will eventually run out.

Lucky for us at work our budgets reset each year... SO, even if we do spend this money, we can just wait until the budget reset and then we'll be okay again to purchase more things we need.

But yeah, so my own goal is to just make sure that I'm covered for things I might need to pay all of a sudden.


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100 Grand

I've decided that my goal in stocks is to make 100 grand a year, from capital gains trades.  Doesn't matter if those are short term, long term, whatever.  The goal is 100k, per year.

And really, it shouldn't be that difficult to achieve.  Especially using technical trades of well established stocks.  I'm looking for my next 100 share trade.  I eventually want to work my way to 1000 share trades, but for now... I'm just going to stick with 100 share trades.  I may just keep trading 3m.  I'm kind of kicking myself for getting out early as it just recently popped.  Oh well... more to learn.

There are so many good stocks to trade though.  I mean, all you need is a good 1 to 2 dollar spread over the course of 2 or 3 days... And at least a million shares traded daily in volume.

As long as you have those two requirements... 1000 share trades are possible.

So, if there's a stock that tends to fluctuate by like 1 to 2 dollars over the course of 2 or 3 days just bouncing between Bollinger bands... that's an easy trade.

Ideally I want between 50 and 100 dollars a share... If I have 150k in capital, and I keep it under 75 dollars as share...

I can easily just rotate between two stocks.  If I can get a bump of 1 dollar per trade, every 2 days... I can easily hit 100k a year in capital gains.

It's almost like surfing.  You just have to know where to find the good waves.  You buy 1000 shares at 62 dollars a share, sell at 63 or 64... Then get back in again on the next wave.

If I can pull a 2 dollar per share trade over a 48 hour period, that's 2 grand.

Pre tax obviously.  Get in with 62 grand, get out with 64... 2k profit.

Just repeat that 50 times in a year, and you've got 100k.

It's very possible, people do it all the time.

Alternatively I can double my holding and take a longer hold time.  For example...

XRAY is the stock ticker for DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc on the NASDAQ exchange.  This stock has over 1 million shares traded a day... So buying 1000 shares in a single trade is doable.  The reason you need lots of shares traded is because of liquidity.  For every stock buy, you need a seller, for every stock sell, you need a buyer.

You can't sell shares to mid air... and you can't buy shares from mid air.  You need someone selling, and someone buying.  It's called liquidity or volume.

Anyways, so XRAY is a longer term trade.  Let's look at the latest trend...

Currently the stock is trading at 62.68.  A month ago it was at 56 a share.  6 bucks less.  If you bought one share, you'd have made 6 bucks in a month...

Let's say you bought 2000 shares?

So, that's 112 grand in, and you sell now, one month later, for... let's say 62 x 2000... that equals about 124k.  That's 12 grand in your pocket in 30 days.

Not too shabby.  That's totally doable for me right now.

I don't think I'd trade XRAY though... But, there are other stocks that hop over the course of 1 to 2 months between 5 or 10 dollars per share.

I'd probably prefer a month long trade at 5 bucks a share with 2000 shares in.  That would give me 10 grand income in a month.  Okay, so short term capital gains taxes apply, which sucks... but if you work a 9-5 job and you make that kind of money from a day job, you're going to pay what?  Probably some decent size taxes on that paycheck.

So... I'm okay with paying taxes on 10 grand made off 2 mouse clicks.

Anyways, my last trade was a wussy trade... I bought 17k worth of 3m stock and got out a week later for like a dollar profit.

100 shares X 1 dollar minus trading fees.

I'm not going to lie, having 17 grand on the line for a week was a little nerve wracking, but here's the thing, no big time surfer starts in the big waves... You start with small waves on a smaller beach.  You do it over and over and over gain.

Am I ready to put 100 grand down on a stock?  Probably not yet.  Most of my trades are around 1500 bucks... In fact I hold 54 stocks right now at about 1200 a piece cost basis... Those are heavy hitting dividend stocks, so they just keep rolling in the dividends.

But I've been doing this for years.  Sometimes I rotate stocks and re enter back at cost basis.

For example, my Kraft Heinz shares surged last week.  I could sell out for a 300 dollar profit and get back in again at baseline 1200 and then hold again.

Same with my Activision Blizzard shares.  Those popped 20 percent.  I bought those a while back...  I was actually wrong on those initially and lost like 10 percent before going back to green before the pop came through.

That's the thing with 1000 share trades, or 2000 share trades.

See 100 thousand dollars is a substantial amount of my portfolio.

Also, why am I holding so much cash in the first place?  Well, I wasn't sure how I wanted to invest it.  First, I still have obligations.  My aunt needs to get paid 10 grand next week for legal fee reimbursement.  I have taxes that are due from annuities that my mom left me in my name, and as well other taxes due.

My brother and sister are still owed some money.

All in all there should be about 100 grand left after all my obligations are met.  That's where I'll start my big trades.

However, I might also get into house flipping, or renting out condos to grad students.  I don't know yet... See, I could take that 100k and split it into 3 downpayment for mortgages for condos.  Then I could rent those condos out for monthly income.

The thing about actual real estate, is there's no liquidity, you're stuck.  You buy a condo, and you sign a lease with a tenant.... You're stuck.

With a stock, even if it's at a loss, I can still sell and get back to cash.

But I know stocks.  I've been trading 10 years now.  I know a lot of big time blue chip dividend aristocrat stocks and how they move.  Which is where I'd be likely to stay.

Yes, you could put 100k into a small cap stock, some of those will change price up to 10 bucks in a week... Imagine a 10 dollar price movement from 20 dollars a share to 30 dollars a share...

When you down 5000 shares.

10 dollars, per share, times 5000 shares.... In a week.

You do the math.

I just don't think I'd have the risk tolerance to put down 100k worth of shares on the Snap Chat IPO.  I just can't do it.

Look at Twitter's stock since IPO.  Yes, Facebook stock and Netflix would have turned out alright...

This is why I like my dividend aristocrats.  Yes, it's very possible to make 50 grand in a week with the capital currently available to me.

Am I that ballsy to do so?  Fuck no.

I have specific risk profiles when it comes to trading stocks.  I'm not a gambler.

Let's say I'm wrong on a 100k trade... If it's a dividend aristocrat known for long term market dominance and share buybacks as well as annual dividend boosts... I know that worst case scenario, I just hold my position for a year or two, and should the market seriously turn against me...

With a small cap stock, who knows.  You could possibly lose your entire 100 grand.

With a stock like 3m, that has so many different avenues of revenue... While there's never a 100 percent guarantee... 3m is one of the TOP dividend aristocrats...

When I say dividend aristocrats I mean stocks that have been increasing dividend payouts for over 25 years in a row...

If we look at consecrative dividend increases on Dividend Kingdom...

We can see that the number one stock for dividend increases is a boring water utility stock from Cali.

American States Water with 62 years of dividend increases.  I'd be more likely to sleep well at night knowing that my 100 grand was in on a company that has increased the amount of money they pay back to shareholders every quarter for 62 years.

Notice that number 8 down is 3m... with 58 years of increases.

That's downside protection.

Facebook doesn't even pay a dividend.

Anyways, Yes 3m doesn't move up or down ALL that much compared to other stocks... Neither does American Water States... This is called the Beta.  Beta is how much it moves compared to the stock market as a whole.  I like a low beta.

I want stability... There are some penny stocks that have off the charts betas and go nuts randomly...

Honestly, it's entirely possible with 100 grand if you REALLY know what you're doing, and if you used margin trading, and shorted stocks as well... To make a cool million in a month.

There are traders that do that ALL the time.

I am not one of those people.  Ask me when I'm 44... Maybe another 10 years in the market, I'll have a desk at home with 4 monitors and all kinds of stock screens up.  I might trade all sorts of things...

For right now, I'll keep going with my 100 share trades, 5 grand, to 20 grand in... And make a measly 100 to 300 bucks per trade.

I'm just not ballsy enough to be at the 100 grand level yet.

But, my full intention is in the next few years, to make 1000 share trades on a weekly basis or 2000 or 5000 share trades on a monthly basis...

The plan is to get good enough at stock surfing that I can easily pull 10 or 20k a month in income from it.

We'll see though... This is all theoretical at this point, as of right now the only trade I surfed this whole year so far was 100 shares of 3m... I got in too early, and got out too early, making what could have been a 400 dollar profit only 96 bucks.

Obviously I have a lot of learning to do.

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Tabby is a kind of cat.  Fun.  Who doesn't love cats?  Okay, some people don't.  They're probably dog people.  Boo... dogs.  Cats are way cooler.

Well, aside from the cat and dog debate, I like cats, but some people like dogs...

There's no debating that everyone hates confusion at the bar with a tab, or losing their credit card.  That's the worst.

This is why, the other night, I had an idea... Why not create an app called Tabby.

"All the cool cats use Tabby"

I should seriously be a slogan writer.

Anyways, so, I'm out at my friend Jesse's show.  At the end of the night the bar tender is walking around with a huge stack of open tabs.  He's chasing these people around, and trying to figure out who's card goes to who.

Then of course everyone is pushing and shoving at the bar during the show and trying to sign their cards you put the paper on a wet bar and then you can't sign it because it's wet... The pen runs out.  Etc. etc.

So, why not make an Uber for bar tabs?  Tabby.

You open your app.  You tell the bartender what you want, and you give him your ID on your phone, or hold up your phone so he can scan your phone with his phone, like a QR code on your screen.  Then he opens a tab using your Tabby account which is linked to your credit card.  You can see the items you order in real time on the app.  You can see the name of the beer you just ordered.  Or whatever drink is your drink of choice.

For example, I ordered a beer, but wasn't sure what it was called because it was loud and it was busy.  I tried to order the same beer again, and just said... "The wheat beer".  Turns out they had multiple wheat beers on tap.  I took a sip, it wasn't the same.  It wasn't bad, but, it wasn't the same as what I was expecting to get.

Tabby could have fixed this.  You know exactly how much your bar tab is as you are buying drinks.  You don't go to cash out and look at the receipt asking yourself... How on EARTH did I order that many drinks?

It clears up confusion, makes it easier to buy drinks.  You're in charge of your bar tab.  You can't leave your credit card at the bar, you leave your credit card at home.

Tabby, leave your credit card at home, with your cat.

That's a good slogan too.

Tabby cats like to hang out at your home... So should your credit card.  Download Tabby and start using it today.

The question is, how do you get bars to switch over to allowing Tabby as a way to pay and open a tab.  Uber took a long time to get where it is.  I feel like the best way to start is to approach major chain bars, such as TGIF, or Dave and Buster's, or Buffalo Wild Wings, or something national like that.

Then you can approach smaller bars.  The app could collect data as to what beers are popular where and at what times.

It could also keep a history of your bar tab to let you know that you're spending ALL your paycheck at the bar.

What if you forget to tip!  Or, you feel like the tip wasn't enough?  No problem.  You can click on the bar tender you had and add more.  They will receive the additional tip with a note from you.

I mean, really, there are a million options with this.  I don't know why it's not a thing already.  As with everything, I imagine it already exists.  Everything already exists.  I mean, who wouldn't have thought of creating an app that is what Uber does for transportation for the bar scene.

The big pickle is how to convince everyone to use it.  I feel like it shouldn't be ALL that difficult.  This should be a hot app!  I mean, I'd use it.

Imagine at the end of the night, you want to leave, or even your friends want to go to a different bar, but you have to wait to close your current open tab, your bar tender is no where in sight... Who cares.  You can just leave and finish closing your bar tab on your Tabby app as you ride off in your Uber.

Also the app icon would be a tabby cat.  Really, I just want a excuse to make an app that has a cat as the icon.

You wouldn't bring your cat to a bar.  The same should be true for your credit card.

And it meows every time you open the app.


"WAIT!  Are you using Tabby???"



"Me too!"

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