Archive for December, 2008

Inspired to build wealth

Posted: December 30, 2008 in Books, Christian, Money/ wealth
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I just finished reading a book called, “Rich dad, Poor dad.” This is the forth or fifth book on becoming wealthy I have read. Each one has a different take on what to do and how to do it. I’m not sure why, but this one affected me more than some of the others. And before you say, “But Dan, you’re Christian right? Money is evil. You shouldn’t be trying to make money.”  This is a passage by Russell H. Cornwell in his book Acres of Diamonds.

“We preach covetousness in the pulpit and use the term filthy lucre so extremely that Christians get the idea that it is wicked for any man to have money. Money is power, and you ought to be reasonably ambitious to have it. You ought to because you can do more good with it than without it. Money prints your bible; money builds your churches; money sends out your missionaries; and money pays for your ministers. If you can honestly obtain…riches, it is your Godly duty to do so. It is an awful mistake of these pious people to think that you must be awfully poor to be pious.”

So yeah, I want to make money. I don’t want to work for someone else my entire life. I want to be able to travel and take time to climb some mountains and play outside without having to worry about how I’m going to pay for food or my next mortgage payment. But all that still takes work. I need to read and study a lot more before I make any big moves. I’d like to get into real estate and the stock market. Each one is vastly complicated so I know I need to be smart about it. Maybe I’ll hire some professionals. You’ve got to spend some money to make money right? We’ll see how it all works out. I’ll keep you posted.

So my wife and I are thinking about joining “The Compact.” When I told my parents, they asked if that it was some kind of cult.  I explained that it’s just a group of people who agree to not buy anything new for a whole year. Food excluded of course. My Mom said “Oh, well that was the first few years of our marriage anyway.” I think it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for us. We rarely buy lots of things anyway. We’re not big Mall shoppers. I like to pick up the occasional CD but the only difference is that I would have to find it used. That’s no problem. I just got three used PS2 games for myself as a birthday present and I like them just fine. Who cares if they’re a few years old. One was $2.99. Can’t beat that. Unless it’s free. Yes we’re joining Freecycle as well. The site that facilitates giving things away to people who want what you don’t anymore.

The whole idea of this is to be less of a consumer. Less materialistic, if you will. Let’s see if we can stick with it for a whole year. What do you think?

Feliz Navidad!

Posted: December 18, 2008 in baby, Christian, Family
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Merry Christmas to all my friends in the blogoshphere! Think of this as your Christmas card from me.

And yes, I said Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. I don’t want to disrespect other cultures, but I celebrate the birth of Jesus in my house. So enjoy the season. May it be snowy and white, filled with egg nog, snowmen, hot chocolate, and sledding. Baby’s first Christmas will be fun.

More on this later. I’ve typed too many words in the last few days…

So basically imagine this + this = my book.

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There’s also a little of this:space_116

I had a lot of fun writing it. I thought that taking a creative writing class would be a good motivator for me and I was right. Originally I wanted to do five short stories set in our universe, in chronological order. But when I got into it, I found I could only concentrate on one plot and characters at a time. So I set out to write a novella (<17,500 words) but as I kept writing, I thought that just maybe I can make it novel length (<40,000 words) The “final” first draft is 45,000 and change, 91 pages single spaced. I still need to do a lot of work expanding the characters. Most of what I’ve written is all story driven.

This is the first time I’ve written anything this long before. It was interesting seeing the different directions the story flowed. Characters took on minds of their own and went places I never thought about going. The book is actually pretty bloody, not something I was shooting for, but that’s what happens. Towards the end, I almost worked it so one of my characters survived, but then I thought, “No, he has to die.” It wasn’t nearly as sad as when I killed off someone else back around page 29.  I loved researching stuff for my book too. I take the science part of science fiction very seriously. From ballistics tests to secret NASA laboratories to cuttle fish physiology, I went all over the map. I hope people have fun reading it. Now I just need to get it published. Any suggestions?

I just got a catalog in the mail yesterday from the Paradise Pen co.

$3,000 pen

$3,000 pen

In a word, snooty. The first pen on page 2 is on sale for the low low price of $1,115. There’s another one half way through that goes for $3,000. Yes, you read that right. You could buy 12 pens for $4 at Staples, or you could buy one pen for the price of a decent used car. Don’t get me wrong, these writing instruments are works of art, but who can afford one of these things? As I kept looking through the pages, my righteous indignation increased along with my distaste for snobbery until I got to page 44. “Hey that looks familiar.” I said. I think I have that one. Whoops! There goes my high and mighty attitude. I went to my art pouch and pulled out a German made LAMYyhst-7749489752851_2023_987288 fountain pen that I had received as a gift, years earlier. I looked at the price and saw that my model was only $30. “Well at least that’s reasonable for a well made fountain pen.” I thought. Others are nice to look at but the price tag is far too high. And the truth is, how much writing do we do now with ink and paper? I’m not writing this article out by hand before I post it, I’m typing on my laptop. Is writing a lost art? Here are a few of the other ones that caught my eye.

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Listen to Scott Sigler. He writes some of the best stuff out there now. And he is very approachable/ available with a big online presence. He started out inventing the Podcast Only novel, but now he has books in print with a new one (Contagious) coming out December 30th. All of his stuff is really fast paced, gripping, violent, and pretty frickin awesome. You can get the podcasts for free on his site, but you should buy his books too. I have reviews of his stuff in other posts but I recommend you just read/ listen to them.

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I just got my signed copies of four John Scalzi novels in the mail yesterday. Woo hoo.

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Who is John Scalzi? Only one of the best sci-fi writers out there today. And he’s a great guy. His blog is always fascinating The Whatever . Anyway for the holidays, he is offering to sign his books for free. All you have to do is buy them from his local bookstore and they will ship them out. Here’s what he says:

“And thus I get to do two nice things at one time: Make my readers happy, and help out a local independent bookseller who has been very good to me as a local author. Everybody wins.”

Details can be found on his blog right here:on-the-getting-of-signed-personalized-book-from-me-for-the-holidays

So drop by and pick up his books signed by the man himself. He even inscribed them to me personally. Very cool. A great gift for any sci-fi nut.

I was playing XIII last night on the PS2 and thought about how stupid video games are sometimes. XIII is an older first person shooter with cell-shading to make it look like a comic book. It’s decent as far as those games go but not amazing by any means. Anyway, I got to the end of a level 08120304350979986600after killing numerous guards with a few shots each, only to meet the “Boss” of that level. A mad doctor whose main attack is throwing scalpels at you. He also gets in close and stabs you with a tranquilizer and slashes you to pieces while you are dazed.

The thing is, this guy wouldn’t die. He took a total of 4 shotgun blasts, 22 9mm rounds, 6 44specials, and 2 GRENADES! before he died. His special armor consisted of one white lab coat. So my question is: How is it that I can kill goons with a few shots with a pistol from far away; 4719 but then have to blast all my firepower at some old man at point blank range before he goes down? Video games are crazy sometimes. I guess the developers just needed something hard at the end of the level thought, “I know, let’s give this guy 500 hit points so he’ll be really hard to beat.” I guess in that sense, they succeeded. It took me four tries to beat him, but still.

Around the world, the debate over using genetically engineered food is heating up. This is an article from Yahoo and the AP.

“Influential voices around the world are calling for a re-examination of the GM debate,” says C.S. Prakash, a professor of plant molecular genetics at Alabama’s Tuskegee University. “Biotechnology provides such tools to help address food sustainability issues.”

Genetic manipulation to insert desirable genes or accelerate changes traditionally achieved through crossbreeding can help make crops resistant to insects and disease or enable them to tolerate herbicides. Livestock similarly can be altered by inserting a gene from one animal into the DNA of another.”genetically engineered food debate heats up

over 2,000 views!

Posted: December 2, 2008 in Uncategorized

I broke 2,000 views today. This second thousand only took a little over a month to build up unlike my first thousand which took three months. Yay.