BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


Fox Trot 5K

I signed up to run the Fox Trot 5K race at Sly Fox.  Should be a good time.  I forget if I said that already.  I think I might have.  It's been a long week at work and I'm dragging.  Tomorrow is graduation at work... The worst day of the year.

Blah.  The parents always make a stink.  Every parent wants to be front row center for their kids graduation.

Which is understandable.

Let's see... Oh, so, I went to yoga tonight after work and then when I got home, I had a phone call from my bother while I was eating dinner to check my email.  Looks like we're getting more "stuff" from California coming our way.

When I say "stuff"... That's my codeword for something specific that you can use to exchange for goods and services.

My coworker today told me that I'm not supposed to talk about money.

So... I'll just call it stuff instead.

Anyways... More stuff.  Yep.  We're being told we should be getting it next week.  Or the week after that.

Speaking of stuff... Today I actually bought some shares in a company that loans out stuff to companies so they can then use that stuff to increase the amount of assets they own and in turn make more stuff from their customers... okay, let me explain...

It's kind of like leveraging capital to increase your returns.

Still not making sense?  Okay... so, you probably work at a company.  And that company has revenues... Sales.  They either sell a good, or provide a service.  Or maybe both.

Then the money they get from that goes to pay bills, and anything leftover is profit...

There's more to it than that... But... Let's just say the company makes money from selling something.  And let's say they want to sell MORE of that something because the people have spoken and said they really like the something that is being sold.

However... You can't just create MORE out of thin air.  Sometimes... You need to buy another factory or something to make MORE of that something...

This is where a BDC comes in.  It stands for business development company.  They will loan money to a company, in return for interest on that loan.  If you run a business and you have a strong demand from customers... You can then borrow money to buy more equipment to make more of the product you make faster to then increase your customer base even more.

So, you can make more stuff.

Leveraging capital gets a faster rate of growth than just using the cash you have on the books...

It's an everyday business thing.

There's a lot to it.  Just know that I decided to invest in a company that loans out capital to other companies.

If you want to know more... Listen to this podcast.

Anyways, so now I'm a shareholder of this one company that loans "stuff" out to other companies in exchange for more "stuff" later on down the road.

Or, interest on the "stuff" they loaned out.  Companies borrow money just like people do.

I mean, stuff.  They borrow stuff.

So, yeah... My "hedge fund" started a small position in that company today.

Anyways... SO, oh... yes, I'm about to get more "stuff" from Cali.

My plan is to use that to continue to increase my investment base... But also, I'm going to buy some actual stuff... I was thinking that I will use it to upgrade my recording gear.

I want to get a new input box.  I also want to upgrade my recording software to the latest and greatest versions.

Some other things I think I might purchase are some new shoes for this upcoming race.  My shoes are definitely wearing thin.

So, yeah... I'm going to invest some, and then spend a little.  I need to buy that new fridge... And washer and dryer.

My brother is going to do the same.  He's going to invest like half of this distribution and then use the other half as play... He said he wants to buy a "play" car.  I'm surprised his wife okayed that.  Although... Maybe he didn't tell her about it yet.

I told him he should invest in a food truck.  He doesn't seem keen on the idea.

I should buy a food truck.  I'll just drive it around.  It can be my wheels.

Show up to a food truck festival in a food truck.

Maybe not so much.

Well, anyways, there will be more to come in the future... So, technically, it could all just be play money.... "stuff".

Sorry, I know... I'm not supposed to talk about money... according to my coworker.

I just won't talk about money around him.  Shhhhh, don't tell him I'm still going to talk about money.  He doesn't have to know.

Okay, so... As I was saying...

My goals right now are as follows:

  1. Setup a home office to run things out of, and by things I mean really setup shop.  Really get serious about investing and music making and whatever other things I want to do with my life.
  2. Continue to build my "hedge fund" portfolio as a core where all of my business activities will run out of... This will provide capital for myself... Let's say I want to go get head shots for acting?  Or take more acting classes?  I can use my investment income to do that.  Let's say I want to buy a new guitar, or a drum set... I can use this investment portfolio capital to make investments in myself.
  3. Make more music.
  4. Finish my first book, and then ALL the books I've started.
  5. Maintain the house and spruce things up to add value to the house for when I go to sell it.  Need a new fridge.  Maybe install a fire pit, or a hot tub out back?  Probably not.  New washer and dryer and fridge for sure.
  6. Start my company.  Actually incorporate it and create it for real.  Buy a surf board to hang on the wall in my office.  Surf View Inc.  Take up surfing lessons.  Or whatever.  Get inspired.  Make business cards.
  7. Eventually go full time running my company that deals with my investments, music, books, and other creative endeavors.  I guess eventually in the longer term... I'll probably end up leaving my job to run Surf View Inc. full time.  I mean, I like my job... But the thought of being an entrepreneur and really doing big things with all my creative ideas... Hey, I can always work IT at a company or college.  But you only get one chance to really take life by the horns and do something great.  Or end up failing miserably and then work another 9-5 job again.  But, like I said... Jobs are always there.  Anyways, Surf View is a side thing at the moment right now, so I'm not anywhere close to taking it full time.  Right now I'm just making music, posting it online, and buying small amounts of shares in publicly traded stocks, and working on my book.  Really, that's pretty much all I'm doing right now.
  8. Drink some beer and wine along the way and run a 5K.  Because, you gotta have a little fun!

I think that's a good start.

For now, I'm gonna go shoe shopping and run this 5K.

Anyways so... That's the latest news.

Oh, and at the 5K they have food trucks and bands after the run.  Also the 5K itself is to raise money for charity.

So, what's not to like?  I'm excited for the run, the beer, the food trucks, and the tunes.

Well, I'm gonna get to sleep.  Gotta be at work super early tomorrow morning!


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Tonight, I'm going to hit up Lowe's and buy a new hose.

I've been wanting to type that all day because it rhymes.

No, seriously though, the hoses that are around the house are all old and crappy.  I'm going to buy two new ones to be exact!  And toss the old ones out in the trash.

The new ones I'm buying are these hoses called "Zero-G".  Basically, they roll up more compact and won't kink like a normal hose does.

Here's a video...

It's pretty awesome.  I mean, for a hose I guess.  But it's more about sprucing up things around the house.  I'm continuing to upgrade things... Trying to make the house super spiffy.  Eventually I'll sell it... But for now... I'm spiffing things up.

I also plan to buy a cork board/dry erase board too.  You know, they really do sell a lot of cool things at Lowe's!  I may go to Target to get that stuff though.

I also have to go to the store.

Oh, but okay so the hose, I'm buying from my own personal funds (AKA my regular old work paycheck).  The cork board and dry erase board?  That's for my home office.

Now, the home office is going to be my new worldwide headquarters for Surf View Incorporated.  Within Surf View Incorporated is Surf View Media... And Surf View Capital.  And also Surf View Publishing.

Surf View Media makes the music, and future movies... Surf View Capital runs my investments... And the Publishing arm of things is for my books.

Surf View is actually buying the cork board and dry erase board.  So those will belong to my company.

It's all still fictional at this point... But, one day it will become a real company I've decided.

But you're asking, how is the company going to buy those items if it isn't a real company?

Easy.  Right now, I have a portfolio of stocks that all produce dividends, so that's my "cashflow".  For example, yesterday I got a dividend of $9.80.  My next slew of dividends is on the 15th of this month.  The 15th of every month is usually a big dividend day.

So, that portfolio of stocks and the income coming off it... Is what I'm using as seed capital.

Every month I get dividends from those investments I hold.  As the dividend income comes in... I can use that money to buy things... I'll start with things for my home office.  Then I'll start buying things that I can use to make money with.  Anything that makes money in return, those profits can go back into more investments to increase my dividend income.  Then I can use that income to buy more things and attempt more things that generate income.

All I do is wait, let the dividends come in... Just like paychecks do... And then use that cash in the account to go purchase things.

Just like a business would.  A business might purchase new desks... Chairs... Computers... Might buy things for the staff kitchen.  A new coffee maker... Or whatever.  I can use that income to pay for things that I need to build up Surf View Inc...

The idea is to keep building it and let it snowball in size.  Just like a garden hose, like the new Zero-G one that I'm about to go purchase, lets you water a garden, or plants, or trees... So that they can grow.  The more revenue coming in means the more I can then do with that money coming in.  I can own property... Create studio space... Hire employees eventually... buy camera equipment... Software... Pay bills... Basically anything I need to take the creative ideas that pop into my mind from my head.... And make them a reality.

So right now... I get enough each month to buy smaller items like a cork board/dry erase board to hang on the wall.  Or, since I'm getting close to finishing a new song, I can use my upcoming dividend checks to pay the fees for copyrighting and uploading my new song to be able to sell it online.

That's the master plan anyway.  For now, I'm going to head to Lowe's and Target, and what not to get those supplies I need.  As well I'm going to practice some music and work on more mixing on my new tune.

Just keep upgrading things and doing more with what I have to reach the next goal.

Anyways... I'm off to be productive!

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Sly Fox Goat Race

Well... I'm going to stick to my promise.  Since, I checked my analytics stuff just now... and saw a little dot...

Here's another post.

Of course, there's always the off change that by saying I wasn't going to post, she isn't going to read it anymore... And then it's like this self fulfilling prophecy feedback loop.  Which is the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen.  That would stink.  I guess we'll see right?

Anyways, and I suppose this couldn't be more appropriate given the bank sponsor name that the goats wear on their little goat coats.  Or, they aren't actually coats.  They are more like jackets with numbers on them.  Or not even really jackets... Here... Here's my Instagram post of what I'm talking about...


if you race a goat and I race a goat what happens if one of us wins. #GoatRace #SlyFox

A post shared by Kenny (@kennywest82) on


See... They are like little shirts.  Goat shirts.  Although I think the term goat coat is funnier.

Okay, anyways...

Yes.  I went to the Sly Fox goat race.  It was fun.  I kind of want a goat.  I think.  My boss told me not to get one.  I want a pygmy goat.  They're cute!  At least I think so.

Well... Okay so, it was raining cats and dogs when I arrived.  Or, raining goats?

Parking was limited.  I had to park a mile away... Crazy.

There were SOOOO many more people there this year over last year.

First thing I did when I arrived was purchase food and beverage tickets.  You need tickets to get food or beer.

Then, I got a beer.  I bought 5 tickets.  One ticket got you food, or a beer.  SO, I had a beer, then a food item, then a beer, then a food item, then a beer.

Then I kind of got another food item for free.  Then I kind of got another beer for free.

So, that was pretty sweet!

The goat race was great.  Although, the goat I was voting for didn't win.  Vincent Van Goat... You're the true winner in my heart.

Instead, the same goat from last year won!  That's totally bogus in my eye.  I mean, really?  How can the same goat win two years in a row?

I don't know how I feel about that.  It's possible.  Oh, and the winning goat is what they name that year's bock beer after.  So, it will again be called the same as it was last year.

Well, I ended up chatting with lots of other festival goers.  Some were local, from right down the street... they worked at the haunted Pennhurst place... They said it's going to be SOOOO much better this year because they are now their own place and no longer owned by someone else.

I've got it on my calendar to go this Fall.

Others were from Virginia.  And still others came as far as Ohio!  Ohio!  That's a far distance to see goats run.  AND it was their second year in a row going.

Well, anyways there isn't too much else to say.  There was a band, and I watched them play for a while.  Then things kind of wound down.  I eventually went to the store to do some food shopping.

Autocorrect just changed it to woodchopping.

No autocorrect... I didn't go to woodchopping.

SO, after that I just came home and ate some more and watched a show on Netflix that was recommended to me by someone at the festival.... it's called Sense8.  SO far it's weird.  But I'm interested.  I'll probably keep watching it because I'm always looking for something new to watch on Netflix.

And that was the goat race!

I saw a thing when I was at the race for a 5k that's coming up.  I think I might register for that and run it.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I think tonight I'm going to sign up for that.  It benefits a good cause too... which is always a good thing.  I really like Sly Fox and the events they throw.  All in all I think they are a well run brewery.  This event actually benefits the local SPCA which is good.  Goats helping cats and dogs.  See, aren't goats cool!?  I think they are.

Anyways, now I'm going to go do some woodchopping.  No, not really, just some yard work... I'm still working on my plant beds and trimming some bushes and weeding... And some more lawn cutting.  But it's close enough... I'll give autocorrect that.

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Calling It

So... Since I'm not really seeing hits from Miss Daylight down in Plantation Florida... I think I'm getting close to calling it quits with this blog posting.

Which sucks.  But oh well.  If she's not going to read it... I'm not going to post it.

It's weird, but... I mean, really pretty much one of the biggest things I looked forward to in my entire day most days... Was seeing a hit from her on my analytics.

Obviously, I would have rather of been able to actually speak to her.  But... Since that's not happening since 2013...

Blog posting was all I had.  And that little dot on my analytics to confirm that she'd read it.

But, as far as I can tell, she's been taking breaks from reading my posts...

I do wonder why... In my mind its because she's just decided to call it quits with following me.  Again in my mind is because she's engaged, or married to that other dude that she was with the last time I checked her online stuff.  Which is why I don't check her stuff anymore because I don't want to know.  If I were to check it and she were single?  I'd want to know.  But if I were to check it and she isn't?

I don't want to know.  Especially if she made it all the way to marrying the dude.

But anyways... The hits seem to have been coming less and less...

In my previous blog I said I would keep posting if I saw hits from Plantation Florida.

I mean, if continue to see hits?  Yeah.  I'll probably still post.  If I know that she's reading it?  I'd continue to post.

I mean, I like posting once a day... But if I'm going to be posting and she's not going to be reading it... It's sort of just like...

I just don't feel inspired to post.  If you know no one is reading your stuff... It's just like... Not the same.

So anyways, I think this might be the official last blog post.

I'll keep checking my analytics about once a day or so to see if there are any more hits... But, I think maybe if a month goes by and there's no more hits a month from now... I might stop checking the analytics too.

I mean, it's been a pretty good run I guess.

You know, it feels weird though... It feels like, empty, to not have that feeling of her waiting for the next post.

Like, when she would read it pretty much every night, I would think about what to post, I would think about what she was thinking about reading it... I would have her on my mind 24/7...  And then I would get excited about posting a blog...

Even if it was sometimes really difficult to think of something to post every single day and some times I just had to post anything and everything.

But sure enough, there'd be a hit from her.

Seem's like she's lost interest.  Which kind of sucks... But my guess is... She has bigger fish to fry than read my blog.

I don't really know what is happening with her right now.  I don't know what her living situation is, her work situation is, her family, or friend, or... Romantic situation is...

Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to know and follow her stuff... But that feeling that I felt when I saw her posting stuff about another guy?

It was probably one of the worst feelings I've ever had.

So, I just can't bring myself to read her stuff.

Anyways, so... I guess if there are no further blog hits on my analytics that I can tell are from her...

Then this is calling it quits.

So, I guess, for now... Or maybe for good...

This is me signing off.

Good night blog world... Here's my (possibly) final blog post.  It's been real.  Peace out.

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Future Posts

So here's the deal.  Really... My only reader on this blog thing... Is Plantation Florida.

Or, perhaps, WAS Plantation Florida.

You've been slacking on your reading.

Yes, I've been watching my analytics.  I started again a few months ago after not looking for a while.

January and February were the usual, and most of March... Then you started going gaps without reading it.

So, I decided... I'm going to only post a new post each time you visit.

You seem to have started reading it even less now...

I figure, you're probably married by now.  Or, totally in love with that guy you started dating the last time I read your stuff.

Which was like... March of last year.  well, really it was like late summer of 2015 when you started posting stuff on your social media about this dude.

Then I took a small look at your stuff in March of last year to see if you were still visibly with him.  You seemed to be.

So, I stopped reading all your stuff.

Not really by choice, just more like... I don't really want to know.

If you're single... Sure.  If you're not and it's going well?  Not so much.

Anyways... SO, while I couldn't bring myself to read any of your stuff... I did start looking for hits again on my blog analytics recently.

Plantation Florida.  There you were showing up.

Anyways, it seems as though you possibly have stopped in the last month ish.  There were some large gaps...

I mean, here's the deal... No one else reads my blog posts.

I mean... No one else.  Literally... No one.

You're basically the only one.  Sure there are some stray hits here and there... but it's you, ALL you.

Let's say you've stopped completely.... Because, maybe you ARE married, or at the very least, engaged... Maybe you've just decided, why read anymore when your future is with that other guy.

That's fair.

I often wonder why did you read it for so long in the first place?  If your future eventually would have been with another guy... Why even bother spending time checking up on me?  I mean... I don't know, just seems kind of like... unnecessary or something.

Well anyways, so, since there's really no other readers...

And really I shouldn't even bother posting for you if you aren't single because... Why?

But... I have decided, single or not, engaged, or married or not...

I'll continue to post for you, as often as you visit.

So, each time I see a hit in analytics that I can tell is you...

I'll write a new post.

No hits... Then, no posts.

At least, that will be my future blog policy of now.  Should I decide to finally just call it quits... And I might... I might just stop posting all together.

It's not that I WANT to stop posting... But... Again, why?  You know?

I don't know... I mean, considering that... We don't talk.  And, from the last time I looked at your online social media stuff, you seemed pretty content without me.  And since no one else reads this...

Again, why?

So, that's what I've decided.  I post, when you read.  If you don't read... I don't post.

But if you want my HONEST opinion?  And it sucks to say this, and I NEVER could have said this even just a few months ago... but if you're good, you know, with that dude.  Or ANY other dude... You know, if you think you're on the path to get married, or if you already are married...

Don't read my blog anymore.  You shouldn't.  Because, again, why?  What's the point of that?  Your life, supposing things are going swimmingly with whatever guy... Your life and future are with that guy... Not me.  Not reading my blogs at midnight on your iPhone right before you fall asleep.

And besides, you should be asleep before midnight.  You shouldn't be up so late.  I bet you wake up at like 5 or 6 am to start your day.

That's not enough sleep.  You need more sleep than that.

SO reading my blog is just cutting into valuable sleep time for you that you need in order to make it through your day better.

Well anyways... SO, that's what I've finally decided to say.

If you're good with another guy, I should see no future hits in my analytics.  But if you DO want posts...

I need to see those hits.  No hits... No future blog posts.

Anyways, so there ya go.

I like writing blogs for you... Is that weird to admit?  Probably.  I don't know... Most of me is just like... Frustrated that I never could get you... But part of me is just, fine that at least you were there, in a small way... That all the time I thought about you wasn't just... Without reason.  The reason that I thought about you so much was...

Because you were still reading my stuff.  So, it made sense... in some small way.

But... I don't know.  I guess it doesn't make sense to still read it if you're future is another guy...

But anyways... As I said, that's my decision.  IF you want blogs... You can have them... If you don't want them.  Then there won't be blogs.

All you have to do is visit.  It's up to you.

I guess if you move from Plantation Florida... You'd probably have to visit multiple times for me to figure out that it's your new location.  I've done that before...

Malvern>Trooper>Phoenixville>Davie>Coconut Creek>Plantation...

You move a lot.

Anyways... SO... yes... Visits = blogs.  No visits = no blogs.

Engaged/married = probably shouldn't visit anymore.

Single = visit all you like.

I think that works.

I mean, I guess if that doesn't work... I don't know anymore.

You tell me what it is you want.  I guess?  Well anyway... That's what I've decided to finally decide about this whole blog thing.

So, there ya go.

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Mash Up

There's this one song I found recently that I really like for one reason or another.  It's a mash up of a few songs.


What is a mash up you ask?  It's basically when you just take a bunch of songs... Or pieces of songs and mash them together.  Mostly DJs do this because they can gain access to all kinds of raw tracks that everyday people can't always get.  One thing you can do though is use filters and effects to filter out the other parts of the tracks.  But, that usually sounds like crap.

One of the best mashing up music people is this guy named Girl Talk.

Here's one of his tracks...

As you can see or hear... It's a mash of famous songs to make a new song.

Okay, so, there's something about these types of songs that just, it's interesting.  Their fun.  It's like taking memories of different parts of your life and putting them in one scene/setting.

It's weird.  It's like remixing history.

But here's the thing... Some songs just don't go together at all.  Some songs go together really well.

For some reason, they just mix, or don't mix.  They mash or don't mash.

I just think it's a good representation of things in life.  Some things mash really well.  Some things don't.

But we're mashing all the time.  I mean, life is sort of a big giant evolving mash up.  You know?  Don't believe me... Look at your room.  All those things around your bedroom.... They all came from different parts of your past, but each one is existing in the present together.

Weird right?


You're a mash up of the past.  You have all sorts of things from the past all coalescing (love that word) together in the present.

Your friend network.  New friends... Old friends.  Mash up.

Your memories of places you've lived or visited.

It's all a mashup.  Anyways I really like that first song, I guess because it seems to fit really well.

And isn't that when life is good?  Isn't that when we love things in our life, when they mash well together.  When you're out on the town with good friends... And the food is good, the drinks are good, the service is good... It's a good mash up.

Life is all about mashing things up.  Finding things that work... and figuring out things that don't work.

It's a bit like decorating your room.  Trying to figure out where the pieces fit, and moving things around.  Getting rid of things that don't fit, getting new things that fit right.  It's all about making the perfect mash up that just leaves you feeling really good.


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Cat Sitters R Us

I'm in need of a cat sitter for when I go to Maine.

I'm offering a starting salary of 30 dollars a day.

My 3 cats are kind of high maintenance.  They're diva cats if you will.  Those diva cats.

So, I have 3 cats... Curio, Fluff, and Faith.  Let's talk about the cats.


Curio is the main diva.  She's super into attention time with anyone that will give it to her.

She's also kind of a snob when it comes to litter boxes.  For example, I changed ALL four litter boxes last night.

You guys... There are 4 litter boxes.  FOUR!  And only 3 cats.

Guess what she did tonight?  She pooped beside the box.  It's not like she missed the box.  She just goes next to it.

I know... Right?  Annoying.

Diva cat.  Also, she takes pills.  So, she needs one big green pill every night with dinner, and she gets one smaller half a white pill every other night.


Fluff is a big ball of fluff.  She sheds like crazy.  White fur EVERYWHERE.  She needs grooming.  There's a little grooming brush that I have.  She hates it when you're grooming her but then after she walks away, she turns around and comes back, then hates it more when she's being groomed... Then walks away, then comes back... It's the funniest thing ever really, it's like she hates it and likes it at the same time.  She also pukes sometimes... Hairball.  So, that needs to be cleaned up.  Then additionally she needs puke meds only when she pukes... It's this thing called "cat lax".  You just kind of put it on her paw, or face and she licks it off.  She hates you after you do that for a good little while.

Until you break out the treats... then she's your best friend ever.


Faith is a lap sitter.  She needs as much lap sitting time as possible.

She also only eats dry food.  The other two cats?  They like an 1/8th of a can of wet in the morning and an 1/8th of a can of wet in the evening.

That's about it for the cats.

Let's see, what else.

Well... There's a turtle.  Turtle needs about 10 to 12 sticks of his turtle food in the AM and again in the PM. He eats these things like they are the best food he's ever had.  Truth is... They are the only food he's ever had.  You'd think he would get bored of it.  He hasn't yet.  He might need water too... Since water evaporates and such.

I clean his tank and change the filter before I leave for camp, and put fresh water in.  So, the person who sits for me doesn't need to change the turtle water or filter.

I think that's about it.  Oh, the treats... So, the treats happen generally at night, I give them no more than 3 a piece.

They will try to work you for more though.

Obviously the litter boxes need poopin' scoopin' every night.  I will put fresh litter down before I leave, but scooping still has to happen every night.  And the mail needs to be brought in.

Then of course there's one trash night while I'm away which is Monday nights, so, tonight!  That reminds me I need to take the trash out!  Snap.

Hmmmmmmm... Well, that's about it for the cat/turtle/house sitting.

So yeah, I'm still looking for someone.  It's going to be probably around 10 or maybe 12 days straight, at 30 bucks a day.  I feel like I might also offer some kind of bonus if I arrive home and all is in order.

Anyways... So far everyone that I've asked seems to not be free during that time, or they have a cat allergy.  Or a turtle fear.

What I need to find is a Cat Sitter R Us place.  But here's the thing... Since I want to know that things are taken care of each day... I ask that a phone call, or some kind of iMessage thing happen to see that you're at my house and actually tending to the things that need to be done.

I'm going to keep an eye out and stay on the look out to find a cat sitter in the Philly area that is willing to tend to 3 high maintenance diva cats, and a diva turtle.  Oh, the person doesn't have to stay the night or anything like that, they can just breeze in and breeze out ideally twice a day, morning and night.  But if they can only make it once a day, that's okay too.  As long as all the stuff gets done.

Oh... There's always dry food.  I use a mix of three different fancy dry foods from this Pet Valu place.  So, I make sure they always have dry food.  I like to put fresh food in the right bowl, and then dump down the line to the left.  Then the far left bowl food gets trashed.  There are 3 bowls... New food goes in bowl 1, then 1 goes to 2, then 2 goes to 3, and 3 goes to the trash.

Got all that?  I know.  Like I said... They're high maintenance diva cats.

Ohhh... One more thing.  Make sure they all have water.  There's one big bowl downstairs and one big bowl upstairs.

Okay, that's all.  I think.  I may write up a formal post with the full set of instructions for the cats and turtle and house.  For now... I THINK that's it.

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Threat Or Challenge

I'm listening to more of this human emotion podcast from Yale University while I'm outside working on the mulching and weeding and lawn cutting and picking up sticks that fell from the trees over the winter...

And they discussed stress.  Turns out, and I had no idea before listening to this podcast, that if you perceive stress as a challenge instead of a threat, you are able to deal with it much better.

It's interesting, so if we look at whatever is causing stress in our lives as a challenge, a few things change.  You actually get more blood flow to your heart, your brain, and your organs and muscles.  Your body releases the same chemicals that it would right before you would compete.  So, that means your body amps up.

If you look at it as a threat, your body does the opposite.  It preserves blood flow and only delivers it where it thinks it might be needed and withdrawals it from places it thinks aren't needed for the fight or flight response that it's preparing for.

Now, it didn't say HOW to look at stress as a challenge instead of a threat, but I guess that's kind of the trick.  But they took two groups of individuals and they found that the one common survey question among people who were able to fair better in a stressful situation, such as right before they were about to take a test or something like that, or about to go into a job interview, or going on a first date... Or about to give a talk of some sort for work.

The people who did better, looked at all those stressful situations, like moving to a new place, or even a new apartment or buying a house... or going to a work convention for the weekend to give a big presentation...

They viewed it as a challenge.

So, that's kind of neat.  What I found also interesting is that according to the studies cited, it turns out that stress events isolated actually drive us to be more creative and to sort of become better people.  That is, having events in our live that produce stress that we then come up with ways to handle it... Lead us to changing ourselves.

So, individual stressful events are actually good.

What's not good is chronic stress.  So what we do need are breaks of relaxation.  So, if you have an event happen, but then you relax after that even is resolved... That's good.  Just having constant stress though is very bad.

People who have stress events followed by breaks and relaxation have better immune response to colds, but the opposite is true for constant stress.

Interesting stuff.

The last thing they mentioned was that people who are hopeful and curious seem to have less chronic diseases than people who are not.

SO if you look at everything as a challenge and remain hopeful and curious about everything.  You do better overall than if you view everything as a threat and are not hopeful and don't care to know more about things.

Well anyways, I got more lawn work and mulching done.  I'm remulching the plant beds.  What I did so far looks pretty good.

I really want to get one of those cut in half whiskey barrels from Lowe's and fill it with potting soil and plant something in it to put on top of this stump I have in my yard.  I think that will look good.  There's a tree stump from a tree that was cut down a few years ago.

I have so many projects though.  I want to re-do the vents around the house with these fancy ones I saw at Lowe's and I also want to get a new screen door.

I want to put in one of those wood overhangs on the back porch, maybe.  We had one growing up in California and I thought it was cool.  It's just planks of wood that are over the porch.



Patio overhang.  One of those would be cool off the back of my house I think.  We'll see.  I do need to pay this obnoxious tax bill first.  And I want a drum set.  And my iPhone is old as dirt.

My portfolio manager is supposed to talk to me in the next couple weeks to start setting up a monthly or quarterly payout from the trust income.  I've decided that I want 50 percent pay out and 50 percent reinvested.

I have my own portfolio too, I'll be getting 53 bucks in dividends on Monday!  So, that's cool.

I really am considering using some of my money to buy property, maybe a condo, and then start AirBNBing it.  The thing is, anything I do of that nature takes away from music time... Which is the whole goal of my life is to be able to make it so that I change my life and figure out a way to do more music.  Not less.

Which is why I'll probably just continue to put money into dividend stocks.

It's a challenge!  To figure out how to get my life setup and geared towards making more music.

Well anyways, so, the next time you have something in your life that is stressful... Try to view it as a challenge instead of a threat!  At least that's what the science people at Yale say to do.

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How My Life Could Be Different

Let's assume we go back to the day I was born and make some changes.

Now, my grandparents had about 10 million in assets in 2007 as we were told my the previous trustee.  When he came off as trustee there was about 4.

He used trust money to defend the trust and stay on as trustee, so he was using our own money against us to keep himself on as trustee and pay himself a management fee.

I would argue at least 2 million was lost to legal fees alone from 2007 onward.

Additionally my great grandmother had 5 million when she passed in 2002.  Now, the previous trustee used my grandfathers money to fight the other side of the family that took most of her money.  There actually should have been more money because I know for a fact that before the dot com bubble she had at least 15 million.

So that money was probably not invested right.

But let's assume that we walk with the 5 and the 10 million in 2002 and 2007.

SO let's assume there was no previous trustee.

Let's also assume that my mom never moved me from California.

Let's also assume that money gets divided equal parts in my own family members, there are 6 of us.  Now 5 because my mom passed.

Now let's assume I live in LA.

This places me at getting my first 800k in 2002 at 20 years old living in LA.

I then use that 800k from my great grandmother to start my music an acting career at 20.  I invest that money and let dividends come off that money.  If you had invested 800k of money (that's 5 million split 6 ways, it's a rough estimate, there's taxes and whatever and I didn't do the actual math but it's close enough).  Even if I never make it anywhere in music or acting... I still have 3 to 5 percent of 800k in dividends coming in, I also have capital gains.  800k invested in 2002 would have grown pretty nicely.

Then 7 years later at 27 I get 1/6th of 10 million.  SO, that's another 1.2 million or something.

Now I have close to 2 million to fall back on... But I've also been working at my music and acting now for 7 years.

Could I be someone famous in hollywood right now?  I could be.  We'll never know because of my grandfather's friend who basically mucked it all up.

So instead where are we now?

Instead I live in Philly... I've spent 11 years working IT... I chased a girl I never got for many years and she now lives in Florida.  The trustee who mucked things up also lives in Florida...

So I have an ex trustee and an ex romantic interest who both live in Florida.  The trust is in LA.

There should't even be a trust at the moment actually because my grandfather's original wishes were for it to terminate at 30 years... But the previous trustee's plan was to make the trust go until we were 50 so he could mooch off the trust in fees that he charged as management fees.  But the court didn't throw that out because the doctor mysteriously refused to testify any further when asked about my grandfather's condition.

It's a whole thing.  Nearly 10 years in the courts.

I still make some time for music but it's very little.  I started writing books... I took a handful of acting class things improv and other stuff.

But here's my thing... Maybe I'm here where I am because the other path in life would have lead to something worse?  Maybe I would have ended up in some other situation that would have been worse.

Or maybe being a famous actor or musician just wasn't where I was meant to be.

Who knows really.

So, what I know is here I'm.  I'm not poor by any means.  Yes if all that money would have been invested properly and none of it lost to the various things it was lost to... My great grandmother's thing was that her husband who lived longer than her was supposed to sign a document not taking half of her share.

So then his kids took half of her money even though he had his own 10 million himself.

That means my grandfather and his brother and another step sibling each got 2.5 million to share between them.  But the previous trustee used my grandfather's share to appeal and file court decisions to try and get the other 2.5 million back.

So most of that money was lost after a few years of wasted court money and legal money.

Well anyways... SO here I am.  My goal now is to get back to making as much music as I can.  To use what I have left to just live my life as is and hopefully try to build things back up.

What I find interesting is simply the order of things.

If my great grandmother had outlived her husband... That issue with half her money being taken by her husband's children, or her step children (she remarried in her 60s and died in her 90s) wouldn't have been an issue.

If my grandmom had outlived my grandfather she probably would have moved back to the east coast to be closer to us.

See my grandmom passed in 2001.  That's when my grandfather's friend moved in on the cash and started getting my grandfather to sign papers.  So here's a grieving man... Who was married for 50+ years... just lost his wife, and 2 weeks after she passed away, the first document is signed giving his friend sole power of attorney over everything.

Then shortly thereafter... He's made trustee of my grandfather's survivor trust and my grandmother's stuff.  And he's then made trustee of my mom and her sister's stuff, then our stuff.

Then he goes after my grandfather's mother's stuff as soon as she passed in 2002.

But if my great grandmother had lived longer than my great grandfather... And my grandmother had lived longer than my grandfather...

Theoretically there would be 15 million there, and let's assume it was never split up between the 6 heirs... If you had invested 15 million in 2007 lets say my grandmom passed then...

The general rule of doubling is that money doubles in investing every 7 ish years...

Today?  We'd have about 30 million.

The order of things changes so many things.  If my grandmom and great grandmom had outlived my grandfather and great grandfather...

My life would be significantly different.  I could have moved BACK to LA, or NYC... I could be a famous musician or actor right now instead of an IT person.

But maybe fame wasn't the path I was meant to take.  It sounds glamorous... But maybe something really bad would have happened from all of that.

It's still not all bad... I still have 1-2 million in a trust in LA.  And assuming the rule of doubling... By the time I turn 50 and the trust is cashed out in 16 years... I should have a pretty nice nest egg to then carry me through into my golden years.

Maybe I'll be one of those actors that didn't come on the scene until I was up there in years.  Or I'll really get cracking on these books and become an accomplished writer in my 40s.

Or I could use what happened to me with my trust to advise others with wealth so that they don't have the same situation when they go to pass money to their heirs.

I guess only time will tell where we go from here.

Maybe I could have had a different life... But my past has brought me here to this point, so... I gotta take things how they are and make the best with them!

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Unhatched Eggs Don’t Pay Taxes

The tax man cometh.  Or something like that.  Isn't that the phrase?  Pay now, pay later, eventually you're gonna pay.

Anyways, I'm definitely paying.

Okay, so here's the deal with taxes.  Taxes always have to be paid.  Sometimes you pay them now, or you pay them later.  Sometimes you don't even pay them, someone else does.

But at some point, they get paid.

A long time ago, my grandfather started an IRA.  I mean, I have an IRA too.  And every year, I don't pay taxes on my IRA.  It's a ROTH IRA.

That is, I don't pay taxes RIGHT NOW.  Eventually... I'll pay taxes on the income made within the IRA.

Well, so this IRA was part of the trust.  Here's the thing... Let me first say that everything with my grandparents and great grandparents stuff got messed up.  I know this because the current trustee has told me this.

He's told me that they had to fix a lot of stuff.

Additionally, my mom's stuff was messed up.  And we had to fix stuff with that.

Additionally additionally additionally....

A lot of money has been lost between my great great grandparents, my great grand parents and my grand parents and my mom.

If things had gone right?  There would be somewhere around 20 to 50 million in that trust.

But it didn't go right and now there's between 1 and 2 million.

Why didn't it go right?  People stuck their paws where they shouldn't have stuck them.  A lot of money was lost to legal fees, to taxes, to things not being done right.

It wasn't invested properly.

The thing is, if you have money and you have it not only invested properly, but you also have it in tax efficient investing, and you also have it setup in a way to avoid legal and bank fees...

That same amount of money can be worth 10 times what improperly setup money is worth.

If you go back 20 years and you setup two investment accounts... One has everything right... It's invested in a proper way and managed by a seasoned portfolio manager.  The taxes are done right... The paperwork is done right and you avoid legal fees and you have lower bank fees and investment fees.

The other one?  Invested wrong, lots of changing hands and active trades, lots of pulling the trigger on selling stock when it's down and buying when it's over priced and losing money.  Legal fees, large investment fees.  Pulling out capital instead of just distributing income, or letting the income reinvest...

Etc. etc.

Those two accounts can be worth VERY different amounts as time goes on.  Fees hurt, lawyers cost money, invested in bad investments hurt returns in the long run... Pulling out money makes the compounding effect go WAAAAY down.

Anyways... One of the things that happened with our stuff is this IRA was cashed out last year.  It wasn't supposed to be cashed out like that in one fell swoop.

What happens when an IRA is cashed out?  The IRS sees it as income.

So... Income is taxed.  Now the way our trust is setup is that the principle stays how it is... Or was supposed to stay.  And then the income was supposed to be distributed to the beneficiaries each year.

This didn't happen.

Why is that important?

Well, because as the income comes in, the IRS thinks we're getting that income in the form of checks.

We're not.


That means the IRS thinks I made 37 thousand dollars last year from my trust.

I did not.

That means I have to pay tax on 37 thousand dollars in income that I didn't actually receive.  It's sitting in the trust.


Tell me about it.

So, what are you broke or something?

Nope.  Here's the thing, I already knew this was coming, years ago.

My mom always said, don't count your chickens before they hatch.  Most people count unhatched chickens in their favor.  I count unhatched chickens against me.

What I mean to say is this...

My view on life is as follows... Things are always going to cost more than you think, you will always make less than you think you will, and everything will always take longer than you think it will.

I like to use doubling as my go to.

So, I try to live within half my means.  Take your salary and half it.  That's how much you should be living on.

Take your costs and inflate them.  When you buy stuff, make an excel sheet and double the cost.

Save more, spend less.  Live below your means.

Don't count money until after it's been in your pocket for some time.

That's what I did.  I received a distribution in the fall... I didn't spend a dime.  That distribution wasn't part of the income, it was part of something else.

But I knew that this tax situation would be coming.

Additionally, even though I have money in accounts, I don't spend what's there.  I only spend what my monthly income is.

I could have 10 million in the bank... But if my monthly income coming off that 10 million in interest is only lets say... 3 grand a month or something (That would be very poorly invested money, but for the sake of argument) I would only spend 1500 a month.

I know, I'm crazy.  But that's my policy.

It's also the reason why when I go to hit the file my taxes button and I have to pay 3 or 4 thousand dollars in taxes... I'm going to be okay to write the check.

Because instead of taking the money I received and booking a flight to Paris... and buying a new car... and going on a mall shopping spree... and buying the latest and greatest iPhone and all sorts of other things...

I just put it all in the bank and let it sit, and didn't change a thing about my lifestyle.

Trust me, I know people who inherited money and immediately went on a spending spree and travel and vacation spree... Guess what happened when they had to pay taxes on that money?  They had actually spent so much of the money that they had to take out a loan to pay the taxes the next year.

So what's the deal with paying these taxes going forward?

Next year will be different.  The IRA is already cashed out.  That's done.  And they are going to start a quarterly distribution schedule, or possibly monthly schedule of the income coming off the investments.

What that means is I'll get that income into an account that I can then access.


No thanks.  That money will then go into an account and be held to pay future taxes.

I probably will end up investing the money and then maybe use some of the income that comes off those investments.  But, no, it's not time to go shopping.

Most people make that mistake.  They spend most or all of their paychecks... For most people though, they get a tax return when they file... And then they go shopping with that too.

Who am I to tell anyone what to do.

My thing is... just remember don't count your chickens before they hatch... and sometimes not all chickens hatch at the same time.

So, remember to buy enough chicken food to feed all your hatched chickens, but make sure to keep some extra for those eggs that hatch after the fact.

That's why I saved money instead of partying like a rockstar.

I knew that my chickens hadn't hatched yet, but I knew that sooner or later... They would hatch.  And they would be counted against me.

The good news is.... Going forward, there should be less expenses because 2017 and forward everything has been setup and fixed so that it's all properly invested, the accounts are correct, and the taxes are all up to date and filed right.

If anyone is going to setup a trust for future children or grandchildren... I recommend the following...

Don't appoint anyone in your family, or anyone you know as trustee... Now, this also includes what happened to us... That means make sure the paperwork specifically appoints the following, and cannot be changed...

Make 3 corporate trustees and each one has equal say.  Each one has to agree in an all or nothing.  No changes can be made to the trust no matter what.  3 different doctors have to evaluate the person making the trust and they all have to agree if the person is of sound mind or not.

See, with my family trust... My grandfather did make my mom and her sister the trustees initially... but there was a loophole in that changes could be made to the trust.  That means all you need is a doctor willing to say someone is of sound mind when they really aren't and you can then change the trust.

If you specially setup a trust and say that there has to be 3 trustees non-family tied, no one related, and 3 medical doctors have to sign off on it...  And 3 different accountants have to sign off... And 3 different money managers have to approve the investment changes.

You're pretty much set.

Anyways... All that being said... The number one take away from this post is...  Even if you don't have a trust... Even if you just have your regular work paycheck each week, or maybe once a month like my check is...

Save some money.  You never know what costs are going to come up in the future that might be unexpected.  And if you didn't save... You'll find yourself in quite the pickle when it comes time to pay that cost.

I know, no one wants to save (I mean, I wanted to buy tons of things for my house when I was at Lowe's tonight... But I walked away from unnecessary purchases and went with only what I came in for).  We all just want to cruise to the Bahamas 24/7 and buy everything and anything we can get our hands on.  But just trust me... Chickens will eventually hatch and they'll be hungry and waiting.

Spend half of what you make, double every cost... And plan for everything to take twice as long as you think it will.

Oh and don't put all your eggs in one basket.

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