BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West

13Mar/170

This Way! That Way! Which Way?

Saturday Night I went to Triumph in New Hope to see this band I like called This Way To The Egress...

It was a REALLY good show.  Although, I'll admit I meant to have 1 less beer than I did.  See, what had happened was, they had two different pilsners on tap.  So when I ordered, I got the other one instead of the one I wanted... So, then I really wanted the other one, so I got that beer after I finished that one that was supposed to have been my last one.  See this is where my Tabby app would have come in handy because in the app, maybe you order the drink, and then the person clicks on that, and it shows up in your app right away, and you can say... Wait!  Before you pour... This is the other one and I wanted a different one.

I did the responsible thing though and walked ALL the way down main street New Hope and back to my car.  Or maybe it wasn't so responsible since it was the middle of the night...

Anyways, I had a slight hangover which turned into me sleeping all day which is why I'm up at 3am writing this blog... About to head to sleep.

So, the band was great, the beer was great... and tonight I just took it easy and went to the gym and the grocery store and stocked up for this incoming snowstorm.  It looks like it's going to be quite the doozy!  My only thing with storms is, I like them, as long as the power stays on.

I make hot beverages, I work on things around the house, I watch the snow, I watch my cats, I watch Netflix shows in my queue, I make music, I read... Etc. etc.

As long as the power stays on, I'm set.  I do however have some back up plans if the power does go out.  I have food that doesn't require power and my laptop can stay on for a while without power so I'll just write and work on that stuff.  I bought stuff for sandwiches.  So yep.

Anyways... I'm actually kind of excited... Who doesn't love a good snowstorm!  It makes me feel like a kid again.

Anyways so that band is playing again in a few weeks, this time closer to my house, over in Manayunk.  SO, I plan to go to that show too.  I was going to go to a third show thinking it was a festival but it's not, it's like... Something else... I'm not sure, so I'm probably not going to that.  They are just like playing before and after a movie showing or something?  So, I'll probably just go to the one in Manayunk and that will be it.

They remind me a lot of this band called The Hush Sound.  I've you've never heard The Hush Sound... Check them out, they rock too.  I don't think they are still together anymore but they're pretty awesome.

Anyways, I'm going to attempt sleep again.  That's what I get for sleeping ALL day today.  Hah.

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11Mar/170

Talent Show Party!

I had a dream last night that the yoga studio where I practice yoga had a talent show.

The only problem?  Whoever coordinated the show decided to have everyone just stand on their mat and all go at once.

Suffice it to say that all of us performing at once wasn't the best idea.  No one was paying attention to one another, and I mean, it was just one big mess.

Today while I'm doing some reorganizing and a little cleaning about the house, I had an idea...

I should have a talent show party!  How cool would THAT be?

I could make a little stage area over in the corner, and setup lights and such.

Have a spot as the bar area, and a refreshments and food table.

There can be a few acts that go, and then a break... Then more people go.  Maybe do 2 or 3 acts and then break again, depending on how many people came to the party and such.

I feel like that would just be a REALLY fun night!  And then someone could emcee it or M.C. it.  I've seen it typed both ways, so I never know if it's MC or emcee...

According to the internets, the real wording is Master of Ceremonies.

So there ya go!

Anyways, yeah, I think a talent/no talent show party would be cool.  I suppose not EVERYONE who attended would have to perform... But it would be encouraged. I mean, the guests could do anything, just tell a joke, play a song, do a dance, read a poem, juggle, I mean anything would work.  Make a paper airplane, or origami.  Pretty much anything would be fair game.  Even a multi person skit.

So from my dream last night, and into reality.  One of these days I'm going to host a talent/no talent night party.

I actually have this big back porch from my house, so I'm thinking it could be a spring or summertime party and the porch could be the stage.

So there you have it!  A talent night themed party.  How awesome would that be?  I think it would be really neat.  I need to make it happen.

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10Mar/170

Statements

So, every month now I get a statement.  Those started late last Summer/early Fall.  My siblings also receive monthly statements.

It's just the general activity and comings and goings of the trust that we all share.  It's interesting because the trust was supposedly meant to have been split in twade or three ways, one for myself and then two other equal parts for my siblings.  It never was though.  So, instead it's just one larger thing-a-ma-bober...

Which we're all cool with.

My aunt got her stuffs already, so this is the portion that was meant to be for the benefit of my mom.  Trust accounts are always for benefit of... Or FBO...

Anyways, so the statements that come in always say my mom's name on them.  I guess, I've started to look forward to seeing the statements... Obviously it shows what's going on with the trust... But it also just kind of is, in a way, like having a little reminder from my mom.

Three siblings have a a common root in their parents... But now that my mom has passed, our common root is in this trust.

It could be split in three separate trusts, but we just kind of said... I mean, hey, it's not all that bad having something there that reminds of us our mom to share and be rooted to.

I guess I just like having it there and knowing that there's still something tangible of the people from the past that were so influential in my life and obviously gave me life in the first place.

Anyways, so when I get the monthly statement I just kind of look it over and see what's what.  My mom's name is actually on every page at the bottom.  If the trust were split up in three separate trusts, her name would then disappear and it would become FBO me...

So, for now, I voted to keep things as they are and just stick with keeping my mom's name on it.  It's like a little hello from her once a month, and I like having that monthly hello, I look forward to it... Even if it is something as boring and bland as a bank statement just letting me know that transactions have occurred.

So, I keep it on my calendar now looking forward to seeing that little hello from my mom and as well, actually, my grandparents too since there is a very small part in the beginning where their names are on it as well... Along with my name too.

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9Mar/170

What’s In Store?

Tonight after work I went to yoga and then off to the store.  Then I cooked dinner.

My newest thing is trying to make dinner with things I've never had before.

Tonight?

Hello goat cheese.

I know!  Crazy.  Strange... Weird.  I mean, not ALL that weird.

Cheese is cheese.

Anyways, yes, I made something using goat cheese.  Wanna know what t was?

A quesadilla.

Yep.  I did it.  I made a goat cheese quesadilla.  I mean, I put other things in it too...

Chicken.  Okay, that's not new.  It's chicken.  I've had chicken more times than I care to count.  Somehow I haven't gotten bored of eating it yet.

Which amazes me.  Like I eat a banana in my cereal almost EVERY morning... I have for like decades!  Same with my glass of orange juice.  But, I'll pour a glass of OJ tomorrow morning and still be all like...

"That's one damn fine refreshing glass of orange juice!"

Which kind of blows my mind.  You'd think I would have gotten bored of it by now.  Apparently not.

Anyways, the quesadilla also had onions, garlic powder, cumin powder, kale (chopped), medeteranian olives (chopped), Sriracha sauce (I like it spicy), and some black beans.

It was pretty good!

The goat cheese definitely gave it an interesting flavor, that's for dang sure.  But I still enjoyed it.

I also made a small salad to go with it too.

So there you have it!

Something else I bought at the store is a star fruit.  I honestly have NO idea what the heck I'm getting myself into here with goat cheese and star fruit, or any of the other things I may try out in the future.

It's possible that I've had goat cheese or star fruit in some kind of prepared meal and not even known it.... But I haven't, like, gone to the store and just bought that on purpose.

That's my whole challenge.  Walk around and browse anything, actually, that I've never purchased before.  Then try to incorporate it into my meal.

So, it can be something I've had, like at a restaurant, or something like that.  But, the thing is, I always seem to buy the same items at the store over and over again.  SO, I'm kind of forcing myself to try new things, or just try to purchase items that I normally push my cart right on by and don't stop to inspect or consider it.

We'll see what coms out of it.  I could end up trying some very interesting new foods, or food items at the grocery store.  That's for sure.

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8Mar/170

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women's Day.  I'm glad that this seems to be gaining steam and is more recognized than it was even just a few years ago.

I feel though, that it's gaining steam because of the recent events with the election... But if that's what it takes to reach equality, then that's what it takes.

I found this article mentioning 7 things to be optimistic about.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/moiraforbes/2017/03/07/7-reasons-to-be-optimistic-on-this-international-womens-day/#2c8fd21d7ed5

I feel like as a society it's a bit ridiculous that we aren't ALREADY at the point where everyone is on an equal level, but hopefully we'll get there sooner rather than later.

So, I just wanted to post that article.  I liked its positive tone and optimistic outlook about the future.  We just have to keep working to continue to make the changes needed to make the world a better place for future generations or women.

As a guy... I guess it's hard for me to really say much here because it's impossible for me to REALLY understand or grasp what it's like to be a woman in the world.  SO I guess the best I can say is... Just that I'm ready and willing to help and be open minded and try to do whatever it takes to help the change along.

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7Mar/170

Transactions

Okay, so I've really been into this feature with my credit card online thing-a-ma-bob that lets me download the last 18 months of my credit card transactions.

I started this process about maybe two weeks or so ago.  I'm not exactly sure when they added this feature. I imagine it's always been there though.  It puts the transactions in a nice and neat CSV/Excel sheet that lets you sort and filter how you please.

It's great.

First off, I started looking for recurring purchases.  Holy cow... I've been wasting money, that's for sure.

Okay, so not a complete waste... But some of the places I was going to over and over again.  I mean 12 bucks at Panera Bread, over and over, like I went at least 20 times in a year... Going a few times... Okay, but I mean, I've just been really kind of going out TOO much.

I can do the same stuff I do out at bars, or coffee shops... here at home instead.

The original reason I started skedaddling all about town was that I was hoping to bump into/cross paths with someone... Love probably doesn't work like that.  Or maybe it does.

What DOES work like that is... Spending money where I don't really need to spend it.

Again, a coffee shop maybe once a month, or a bar like once a month... Okay.  But 600 bucks spent at one bar alone?

That's just crazy talk.

That 600 bucks is my new iPhone that I've been meaning to buy.  My current phone is old as molasses.

New plan, comb through those transactions and really find places that I could take money from food/drink/bar/coffeeshops and put that money into buying a drum-set, recording equipment... buy new appliances.

Upgrade recording equipment and such.

It was fun going out, people watching, trying to make attempts at small talk... But let's face it... Where did that lead?

I'm not any closer to finding someone special right this moment.  Nothing stuck.  There's no one that I met out at food truck festivals (searched for all my Square purchases, there were quite a bit) or at any of the wine tasting events, or bars, or coffee shops.

I've met more people just going to yoga on the regular.  And that's costing me WAY less money than any of the other things I did.

Now, that's not to say I probably won't skip out on a few events.  I liked the goat race I went to last year at Slyfox... And the bethlehem Musikfest is fun too.

This Friday I actually plan to go see this band I first discovered at Musikfest.

But instead of trying to go out ALL the time... I'm going to pick and choose.

I guess I just feel more responsible staying in over going out.  Plus, I feel my time could be better spent working on recording music, or even just being creative in my own home.

The more I stay in, the more money I can put towards things that then generate more cashflow... Instead of things that cost money.

I feel like my go to default setting is to stay in and not to be out and about.  I just feel more comfortable when I'm staying in and being productive.

I guess my way of looking at it is that I like to make investments for the future, and if I'm home instead of out, I can better make investments for the future.

Be that investment just spending my evening relaxing and unwinding, saving money that I can then put into home renovations or to save to purchase things that can help me make music.

Or the music itself.  I can then record more and put more up online and then those songs get streamed... and then I can put that money back into making more music.

Anyways the key to it is to keep more of a watchful eye on where I'm spending money and put less money into nights where, for example, I'll drive downtown, pay for parking at a parking garage, pay for 2 or maybe 3 beers at 6 bucks a piece plus tip, and then also pay some kind of cover charge or a ticket to a show.

I mean, that's a waste of a good 40 or 50 bucks, sometimes more!  And what happens at the end of the night?

I just end up back home.

Why not just start at home, stay at home, and end at home instead?

Then in the time I would have spent driving, parking, trying to awkwardly make meaningless conversation...

I could have worked a few hours on a new song, or cleaned a part of my house, or moved some furniture around and reorganized...

And after enough of those nights, I can go over to IKEA and get some cool piece of furniture with the money that would have been spent on beer and parking.

Or, I can buy a new appliance, or whatever...

Or I can buy a drum set, and then practice drums for an hour.

Anyways, at 34, I guess I'm just not interested in running around chasing after some mystery girl who may or may not even exist.  I'd rather put my time and effort and money into just staying in, and being productive.

Maybe start painting some parts of this house and patch up some things that need to be fixed...  And in between I can take breaks to work on recording, and books, and what not.  Instead of stuck in traffic trying to get home late at night and having felt like I wasted money for no reason.

I think this is definitely a much better choice.

And then when I do go out, I'll go out just to see a band that I like, or something like that, such as this Friday night.

Seriously though, I recommend looking over where money is going for anyone.  At the time that I would whip out my credit card, I would say to myself, oh, it's just 15 bucks.  It's just 25 bucks.

And then you look over the report and you filter to show all purchases made at parking meter kiosks in the last year and a half?

Like, REALLY?  I spent THAT much money on just parking meters alone?!?!?!  I mean who knew!?!

Anyways, so I mean, and hey, I might be more likely to meet someone if I just stay in and work on projects, or even do a little extra work for my 9-5 job... Then who knows, some how THAT might actually lead me to meeting someone... And if I met someone through hard work and motivation and being responsible, that's a better way to meet someone as opposed to just stumbling into one another tipsy at a bar.  Of course, I'd be fine with either one as long as it worked out I guess...

But, at least by staying in, I know the outcome... I know that I'll get work done, and I'll get projects accomplished... By going out?  I just end up coming home with my to-do list still filled and nothing accomplished and having less money in my wallet, less gas in my gas tank, and feeling slightly sad that nothing came out of it.

It's better, in my opinion at the ripe old age of 34, to just stay in.

Oh, also the other cool thing about staying in and saving money, is that instead of going out locally... I could instead travel more.  I'm kind of finding out that a lot of other people that I meet they don't go out much locally, but they travel places.  Like, so instead of weekly coffeeshops at like 3 bucks for the cup of coffee, and another 3 or 4 bucks for some kind of muffin type thing to go with the coffee... PLUS another dollar or two for a tip...

They instead put that 8 bucks into a travel fund.  So, even on a Saturday or Sunday, instead of going to a coffee shop and spending 5 or possibly 10 bucks on a drink and a small pastry... I could stay in, working on things at home, and put that money instead towards a travel destination.

Like, I've never been over to England, or Ireland or Scotland!  Or anywhere in Europe for that matter.  8 bucks a week towards that seems like a better idea than just going around the area trying out coffee shops or what have you.

So, I might start a small travel fund with my savings.  Not sure yet.  Right now I'm just going to stay in and save and see how much I end up saving and then put that money towards something cool and new and great and wonderful and grand.

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6Mar/170

Action ReAction

So, this curious thing happens with one of my cats, Curio.  She sometimes won't poop in the litter box.  There are 4 litter boxes.  It's only after I change the litter but before this other cat of mine pees in the box that she'll poop.

So, I just kind of thought about it and was sort of like... Who's at fault here?  Is Curio really the culprit for pooping outside of the box?  Or is she just not liking the smell of the other cat's pee and is then pooping outside the box?

Basically, there's two ways to look at what's going on.

You could look at her and say, it's her fault for not just "sucking it up" and using the box just like the the other cats...

Or you can say, if she lived on her own, she wouldn't poop outside the box.  She'd be a normal cat and use the box as is.

This really opens a whole box of thoughts to examine.  I mean, it's kind of like a microcosm for life.  You have the actor, and the reactor.

Sometimes someone who is better living alone, does NOT do well at all with roommates.  Some people are fine with roommates.

Same with work environments.  Some people work best solo in their own office with the door shut.  Others work great in an open office with their peers.

I'm probably more one of those solo people.  I work in an office with 2 other people in the same room.  It's fine, but the problem is I start yapping.  The same thing happens at camp.  I get all ADD and start yapping while other people are able to concentrate.  But when I'm in a room alone... I'm more likely to focus and do work.

One of the biggest issues with the whole world that I've noticed is that many of us fail to see that people don't fit a "one size fits all" mold.  We're all different and thrive under different conditions.

That's how life is naturally, be it my cat who would do better on her own minus the other two cats while the other two cats are not at all picky about the litter box, or some other example from nature.  Take the coffee plant... You can't grow coffee in Nebraska.  It just won't happen.

It's interesting because at work, while I don't really mind working in the office with 3 people... There's no questions REALLY asked about optimizing productivity in a more data driven approach.

I listen to podcasts often that discuss making data driven decisions to optimize productivity and what not... It's interesting to kind of have both sides, where I'll listen to a guy who works at Spotify discuss what worked for them, but then see in my own place of employment an entirely different approach to the work environment...

I'm not saying one is better than the other, ours works too, mostly because we have virtually no turnover.  It's been the same people in my department for, at least 5 years, maybe more... SO we just know one another.  It's more like just knowing what your friends or family are thinking without needing to really analyze WHY you know what you know.

So, things just carry on as is... Which is fine... And it works... But what I wonder too is maybe we could be more efficient if perhaps one day a week I work from home.  Or perhaps we have flex hours... Or perhaps we have single offices built off of one big main office.

SO, for example when I'm doing something like account creation, or configuring network equipment I could have that door shut space... But when I'm just helping students with password resets or what have you, I could have the main space and be in the big room with everyone else.

Or, I do account work from home one day a week.  Etc. etc.

The same thing is happening with our country as a whole... The fight between conservative and liberals... Everyone has a different view on the world depending on where you grew up.

Like I grew up with cats, so to me, I'm a fan of cats.  But some people grew up with dogs so they like dogs better.

It's all about what suits you and then trying to make a compromise to work for the best and most efficient outcome.

At least, I feel like that's how things should be.

Anyways at the moment I'm at home doing some work remotely between other things that I'm working on around the house.  I went to the bank today to consolidate an account into another one, and then I also picked up more cat food at the pet store.  These cats eat me out of house and home I tell ya!

But I feel as though the best way in any situation is to listen to what it is that makes people their best, or in my cats case, my cat... And try to figure out a better way to make things work.  I attempted to give my cat her own litter box away from the other cats... But it was no use, the other two still found and used that box.

This is also sometimes what happens with people.  Unintended consequences or outcomes happen ALL the time.  In game theory (nothing to do with video games, it's more, think, chess moves, or what happens in business negotiations or wars) there's this idea that rational decisions don't always lead to rational outcomes.

This is true, and the outcomes you get may take you in a completely different direction.

Which I've always found to be super interesting.  Like, you can't predict a lot of things, they just kind of happen unexpectedly.

But what I was really thinking about in all of this is, how much is blame actually placed in the wrong spot.  If the root of something is actually someone else taking an action that then causes the other person to have a reaction, but we only see the reaction and never the action...

Are we placing the blame on the wrong party?  With roommates, or coworkers, or someone in traffic or even a pet.

If the design of the whole system causes introverts and extroverts to crash and clash... Maybe the design of the system in place needs to be reworked or tweaked slightly?

Just kind of consider all the various variables when it comes to any events, or people or places or things or anything...

Maybe the reason why a coworker isn't doing their best is because they work great alone instead of in a team, or they are more productive from home or with flex hours... Or maybe the reason why someone is upset all the time is because they really value their own space and having a roommate who is always loud makes the home space into a place where they can't recharge.

I'm one of those people who likes to come home to a quiet space to recharge.  I don't mind going out places, but I like to have a calm and stable space to relax and recharge.  It's strange because living in the house I live in now, it feels the same as when I lived here with my mom.  It's that same relaxing "home" kind of feeling.  When other people are staying here though, it's not relaxing.  Like, I'll have house guests from time to time, but at the end of it... I'm just like okay, time for you to get in your car and go.

When it was just my mom and I here and she would be in the hospital, I'd be like, okay, time for you to come back home.  Although, that's definitely different because my mom was there for my ENTIRE life... So we could talk to each other in a way that no one else could talk.

It's definitely a bit strange though not having her around, almost like TOO quiet.  But her cats are still here so they kind of make it feel more like she's kind of here...

It's interesting though because if I have a roommate, like I did in college, or if I have a houseguest... Eventually, I need space.

But when there's like a significant other... Like when I was living with my girlfriend at the time in college, the whole space thing didn't seem to apply.

I guess if it's someone that I care a lot about, like my mom, or a significant other, that whole wanting to live or be alone rule doesn't apply.

Anyways...

I know people who love and thrive just being a wanderer.  A lot of the people who work at the summer camp I'm associated with are like that.  They basically have all their belongings in a suitcase and after camp is over, they go work a cruise ship, then after that's over they go work a winter teaching skiing in Canada.  They literally don't have a home and they thrive with roommates, they actually hate even sleeping alone in a room without other people in the room.  They don't even like having their own space for even a minute.  They always want other people around and they don't even really much care about personal belongings, they are always borrowing and lending out as if they have no real concept of ownership, and their bank accounts are almost always in the red and they are just basically living for the moment and paycheck to paycheck.

I'm the EXACT opposite.  I like my little couple weeks at the camp, and I don't mind even having a roommate for 2 weeks...

But boy, after those two weeks are over, you better believe when I get in my car and go home, I'm ready for it.

I love having backups and backups, I love having all my own stuff, I'm not a sharing person.  And not everyone is!  I did donate today when I was at the pet store and they asked if I wanted to donate to help pets in need... I said "sure".

So, it's not that I'm being SUPER selfish... Or maybe I am.... But I like the idea of ownership.  I like the idea of my space.  I like the idea of having my stuff.  I like the idea of trying to save as much of a paycheck as possible to be able to pay cash for things and never take out loans.  I like driving my own car, owning my own house...

Etc. etc.

I like my name on my stuff and other people's names on other people's stuff.

But that's the thing about it is we're all different people and we all are comfortable in our own zones.

I even do strange things like insure things and pay the insurance premium... But then when something needs to be fixed, I like to pay cash for it.  That's something my grandfather always did.  He would just basically pay the premiums for things and only use them for emergencies.

SO, like someone the other day was saying how you could claim this or that under insurance and get them to pay for part of it.. Even though it broke due to wear and tear, and I was just like, that's not how I operate.

I don't like to do anything that involves the idea of something like, "Oh, you know if you take that back to the store after using it for a month, you can just get your money back?  That's what I do, I buy it, use it for a month, then take it back and get a gift card and get something else..."

Instead, I'd rather buy something, pay cash for it, use it... Then if it still has value, sell it or possibly just give it to someone else.

I don't much care for the idea of taking advantage of a business to try and gain personally.

Although, yes, part of that is because I'm a shareholder in a lot of companies, so if you're ripping off Target for example, by abusing their return policy to get a new toy for your kid every week instead of ebaying the toy if the kid doesn't like it... Then you're ripping off me.

So, there are some things that should be considered such as that when saying, let's cater to everyone's individual preferences.  If the preferences cross the line into criminal... Or something where they are trying to work the system or take advantage for personal gain of a loophole... Like a wealthy business person trying to figure out a way to get out of paying taxes entirely that would normally go to help those less well off be educated, that needs to be considered.

But on the other end, if you're using money that was given to you to pay for education expenses to then pay for a trip to Vegas...

That's not what I'm talking about either when saying let's consider where people come from.

I'm more talking about things like introversion versus extroversion and such.

Or priorities that are different for each person.

Some people like their own defined belongings, and others are more into swapping their entire closet with their small group of friends.

Like, to each their own, within reason.  And as long as it improves things and doesn't make things worse.

All that from watching my cat poop outside the box... and then me having to clean up the mess.

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5Mar/170

An Interesting News Article

Today I found this article about one of the early pioneers with liver transplants.  I had no idea who this guy even was.  Kind of neat though to learn about him and read about him!

Sad that he passed away... But he left quite the legacy.  It's because of him that my mom had an extra 15 years added to her life.  So, I'm incredibly thankful for his work.

It definitely made me miss my mom a lot more than usual.

Anyways, here's the article...

https://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2017-03-05/liver-transplant-surgical-pioneer-dr-thomas-starzl-dies

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5Mar/170

Going With The Flow

Life is all about things flowing.  The flow of oxygen into your lungs and carbon dioxide out as you exhale.  The flow of coffee from the coffee pot...

Or, the flow of text, voice, email messages to family or friends, or coworkers.

Lately I've been thinking about that a lot.  How life is just kind of a flow... I wrote in a previous blog about cashflow... In my investing I focus on that way more than just the overall value of how much money is in my portfolio.

Everyone always looks at the total value.  But, if you look at life, in general.  It's ALL about the flow.  I mean, even the sun shine is a flow.  It's an even rate of sunbeams hitting the earth, a constant flow of solar energy.  No one cares about the size of the sun... It's about the even flow of energy to earth.

SO, that's why I'm WAY more interested in flow rate when it comes to investing.

The last 6 months or so, I've been working on buying into shares that produce cashflows, both on their books from the products or services they sell, and as well in the form of dividends for me.

So far this year I've made a few hundred, which I know, isn't enough to live off... And in my upcoming dividend calendar of income, March alone is going to be a heavy hitting income month... I'll most likely make more in dividends for March than I will for January and February combined.

The reason for this is because most companies that pay quarterly pay every 3 months... So, you don't have an even flow.  It's more like having cloudy or rainy days, or weeks, or months.... And then lots of sunshine.

Though the sun is shining and flowing every day, sometimes it doesn't seem that way due to weather.

But investing aside, life really is about a flow.  I mean, that's just how it all works.  A flow of TV shows from Netflix... Or a flow of books from an e-book device.

It's all about information, money, goods, services, sunshine, oxygen... Flowing from person to person, or place to place.

A flow of paperwork or emails at work.  I constantly have a flow of emails coming into me.  In exchange I get a flow of paychecks once a month.

Just one of the many things that I ponder.

But the key to being in control of any flow, is net positive or negative flow.

If you seem overwhelmed at work, it's not about getting it ALL done RIGHT NOW... It's about measuring the flow coming in, and just staying 1 email ahead of the flow.  As long as you get one more item done than is coming in, eventually that work will dwindle down to a more manageable amount.

With cashflows, savings is simply using less money than is coming in.  Same with investing.  As long as you don't use all of the cashflow, you can then reinvest some of that flow and generate more flow.

Net postive flow, or net negative flow.

Right now I'm in the process of making a little excel sheet with my flows... It's stupid, and silly, but I like to make excel sheets for things... So, my money flow for one, is also known as a budget... A budget is actually a flow!  It's a flow that is net neutral.  Not positive or negative.

Accountants do this kind of stuff all the time.  They are all about balancing the monetary flow.

Balancing the budget.

Anyways my flow is not only a budget, or investing, it's the amount of sleep I get, workout routines, amount of work I do... Budgeting creative time into my week.

Basically it's a weekly flow tracker where I'll take ALL the hours in a week, and then look at how much flow I'm dedicating to each thing.

When you look at the big picture you get a better idea of where your time is going in the overall flow...

Like, look at a week...

24x7=168 hours.

If I'm not sleeping enough I can then steal some time from something else and increase that.  So if I sleep 6 hours a night, that's 42 hours... Now I have 126 hours... 8 hours a day 5 days a week working... now there's 86 hours left.  Now I try to work out for an hour every day, another 7 hours.  Then there's time to get dressed in the morning, and free time to watch TV... And creative time to work on music and such...

It's just like a cashflow but with hours in the week.

I guess I'm trying to be more creative with managing my time.  Like, map it out, measure it, create schedules.

I thought of it while I was combing through the last 12 months of credit card transactions and I realized that each one of the transactions is part of the great big flow of money, and if I wanted to reduce my frivolous spending on silly things to gear that spending towards other things, like new home appliances and renovations and such...

I'd have to identify where I spend my money foolishly... And where I can take that money and put it to better use.

We do the same time with lots of things in life.  Sometimes we flow in the wrong direction... Which isn't bad... It's all about what you want and what direction you want to go.

So if you're trying to work towards a goal of some sort, don't just start from zero and go full throttle to the max.

Start with one thing, and then take it from there.  Just spend an extra 5 or 10 minutes a week on something, and then work it up to an hour.  Or two or 3 hours.  But just know that if you're spending in one place, another place is probably going to have to sacrifice.

It's all about a flow that works for you.

My cats for example have a flow goal of maximizing the amount of times they can get pet, or treats, or the amount of naps in sunshine coming through the window they can take.  It's all about what your goal is.

Making an excel sheet mapping out the total hours in a week, or even total minutes, and then carving out your week to put more time to work, or exercise, or taking more "me" time... I just think it makes it easier  to see.  Just like making a money flow, or budget, and looking at where all your credit card transactions are being made and then decided do you REALLY need to go spend that 5 or 10 bucks here or there?  Or can you do without that for a few months to then put that money towards a different goal.

Flows and goals.  Start with a little flow here and a little there, and adjust to taste.  Just some thoughts that I'm thinking over this three day weekend as I work on things at home.

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4Mar/170

Three Day Weekend

This upcoming week is spring break for the students where I work.

So, while they gave the students a significantly longer break, we get 1 extra day.  It's really basically the day that everyone else at the normal corporate jobs received on Presidents Day.  We had to work that day... So it's just kind of like having that day off, but pushed back.

Anyways, I'll take it!

A day off is a day off.  So, I plan to use my three day weekend not to travel somewhere, or go out and about.. I'm just going to stay in and get things done.  I need to vacuum the house, that's one thing I need to do.  I am going to go out and go to the gym, and the store...  I have the bottle of red wine that I opened last night, a Malbec... I had a glass from it last night... So I want to go shopping and find something that will go well with it tonight.

My latest thing has been to open a bottle of wine on Friday night, and then enjoy it Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.  I usually get enough to last the weekend from a bottle.  I like to alternate between red and white wine.  Then sometime in the week, like Wednesday nights I'll have a beer with my dinner.  I do the pick your own six pack thing at Wegmans.  Then Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are off nights.

I've been trying to stay in more.  I feel like going out shouldn't be something that I do ALL the time.  Like, I should just kind of save that for more special occasions.  Just kind of stay in more, and then when I do go out somewhere for something, it will be more of something enjoyable instead of all this going out almost every night type of thing I had been doing.

The whole point of going out anyways was to try and end up like all my peers and find that special someone and end up married one day like they all are.  But, it wasn't leading anywhere.

The truth is, I may never end up finding someone.  Some people just don't.  Not everyone has that happy ending of meeting someone and getting married.  Some people just end up staying single for their lives.

SO, it's possible that could happen.  In which case I would have wasted all that money going out just to find myself broke.

I'd rather have a nice home, and for example have plenty of money to go buy like a new couch, and fridge and washer and dryer and redo the floor and make repairs...

Basically spend all the money I WOULD have on someone else... To make for a nice comfy living room where I can crack open a beer mid week, or a open a nice bottle of wine every Friday night and enjoy sipping that wine while I make dinner and watch a movie or the next episode in my favorite TV show...

It's a better use of my money and efforts than trying to find someone who may or may not even be out there.

You know?

And in the mean time I'll go to the gym and yoga and what not.

So my plan today for day one of the three day weekend is to just clean, practice music, go to the gym and the store then come home and work on some music and make dinner and then have some more of this bottle of red wine.

Then tomorrow, I'll probably do more of the same.

I might meet a dating site match for coffee either tomorrow or Monday... Not sure.  There's a couple that I've been talking to for a while now.  One is like going on two or three months.  It's weird because she flat out told me she's been trying to see where things go with this other dude but she wants to keep talking to me... I'm not sure how I feel about that.  It feels kind of like I'm some kind of safety net back burner guy.

One of my friends said there is no other guy and she's trying to make me either feel like "quantities are limited, act now!" type of deal, where I will then try to chase her more to win her... OR, she wants to talk more without meeting and is trying to make up excuses.  I guess... But my thing is just say that?

I don't know.  Who knows.  It's okay though.  Anymore I still chat online but without any kind of expectation that it might actually even lead anywhere.

I just keep responding until something happens.  If we do make it to a first date... I just make sure to say at the end that I'm interested and I'd love to go on more dates... And leave it up to her.

I mean, I'll be the back burner guy.  You never know... maybe years later she'll change her mind and then we'll start talking again.

My thing is, I'm single... SO until there's a girl out there that decides to give me a chance... I'm open to dating any girl.

So, even if I talk to a girl on and off and she dates guys in between, and then if none of those guys work in the long run... I'm still here single.

At least that's what my one friend said as a way to look at it.  That just because someone on a dating site or anywhere else you met that person decides not to go with you, doesn't me that 5 years later you won't start talking again and then at those different places in life that you're at now, you find out what didn't work 5 years before now works...

I guess that makes sense.  Who knows, I might find out at 40 that someone I met when I was 20 is actually the person I end up with.  But we had to become different people over those 20 years to become a match.

That makes sense, as we're all always changing.

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