Monday, March 25, 2013

new lifestyle

I want a cave to live in and a garden to feed off of.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Goodbye Atari

With heavy heart, I bid you adieu. Sweet old friend, your black lines and wood grain shall never be forgotten. I only hope that you will receive the care and attention that you deserve for you have served me well.

I sold my Atari today.

Of all the game systems I have, the Atari is both the best and worst choice of systems to get rid of. The worst because of it's rarity and age but the best because it lacked the memories of my youth which the other systems are tied to.

I never imagined getting rid of it before this week. I always thought that it would end up as an old dusty box that I would bring out later in life and surprise or entertain people with. Or perhaps I imagined having a house where I would keep all my game systems on display and ready to use at a moment's notice. Clearly it was a decision made by my logical side. In an effort to lighten the burden of my stuff it just happened to be in the way. I was running through the usual list of questions that I ask myself each time I encounter an object I don't know what to do with. Do I really need this? Do I use this object often? Can I get another one if needed?

Somehow the Atari was in my direct line of sight while I was running through these questions and I couldn't answer "yes" to any of them. So onto craigslist it went and within a half day I had several responses. It ended up in the hands of a very odd video gamer. Which I guess is a good thing although I can't help but feel as though something is missing yet I can not remember the last time or place that I had used it.

Perhaps it is the fear of losing the memories that I am most afraid of. Without the visual que for the memories will I still remember it?

Right now there is a hole in the remaining fragments of my heart and a blank spot in the shed, how many holes and blank spots are needed until I feel free again? What happens when I have nothing?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The battle over stuff continues

A movie quote to start off:
Once more into the fray,
Into the last good fight I'll ever know,
Live and Die on this day,
Live and Die on this day.

At least that is what it seems like when I have to deal with my stuff.

What happens when you discover that you are the only person who cares about something? Am I the only person left who cares about the past?

When I decide to let go of stuff, will there be anyone left who is interested in my things?

For example, I like interesting cars, which just so happens to also be older cars. The number of people who also like the particular old cars I like keep dwindling each day till one day there are none left. Have you ever seen a 1961 Renault Caravelle?

It eventually seems as if I am the only one left who gives a damn about old stuff, but what happens when I stop caring? Do those things disappear entirely? Do they end up in museums? Am I just an unpaid museum curator?

What will happen to my 1963 Hughes Aircraft Industries Oscilloscope if I put it on the curb? Will it end up in the hands of someone who wants it or will it end up in the landfill or recycled? I look at it fondly and remember having fun with it, I appreciate the effort it took to construct, the craftsmanship in it's construction, the simplicity. Will anyone else appreciate it as much as I do?

Is it worth keeping things of my past simply because they are obscure or obsolete? Should I hang onto my Atari 2600 gaming console with joysticks and games because I enjoy it or because it would end up in an attic or basement of someone else to be forgotten forever or worse, to be thrown out with the trash?

Is there some sort of reward that comes from preserving old things for a lifetime? Will anyone care at that point in the future about old Ataris? old odd cars? or anything?

If I let everything go, will I feel free? Will it be worth it to not have these boxes of things from my past anymore?

Will I still be the same person without these things? 

Hello Snow, I've missed you

Denver is supposed to receive 8 - 14" of snow today.  I was wondering if it was ever going to snow around here. The state needs the moisture so I guess it is a good thing. It feels weird, but I think I am actually enjoying this storm. I have no where to go and nothing urgent to do so all I have to do today is enjoy the storm. It is fun to see everything disappear in a blanket of white. Fun to see but I have no intention of going outside today.

I will be crunching numbers on investments and rental properties with my free time today. Yeay for numbers!

Friday, March 1, 2013

2/28/2013 - Monthly Financial Breakdown

The Eighth Unemployed Monthly Financial Breakdown.

Well, another month has passed and this means I need to do a financial breakdown. This past month is a mess due to the vacation...Lets see how it went. How much is Van dwelling in my VW Westfalia saving or costing me?

Previous Monthly Financial post here

The bill for the vacation came in, $1200 bucks. Ouch! I have already paid for the flight so this was just the raw cost of being in the virgin islands.

If I sum up total expenses from 2/1/2012 through 2/28/2013 I get -$535 :-) A rough calculation would put my yearly expenses at $6420. I was under the 11K mark but the vacation expense isn't included
Regular Food costs: -$47 or -$12 per week (normal-ish)
Fun Food Costs:  -$38 or -$9.5 per week (eating out in the Springs)
Fuel: -$62 or -$15 per week (Have a return trip from springs to add into bill)
Van: -$8 (All for projects for the Mini )
Travel: -$0 or -$0 per week (Next vacation is to Yosemite in June)
Insurance: -$160  per month   (Reduced Van Insurance and health insurance)
Clothing: -$0 (Nothing new in February)
Misc: -$80 (Cash expenses, propane, medical bill)
Mailbox:  -$15
Gifts: -$0 (zip)

Things that were not necessary this past month: The Vacation and fun food, the car projects.  This brings my luxury expenses to $46 and necessary to $489 Yikes!! Without the luxury for this month, my yearly is at $5868... :)

Ok, clean out the unusual stuff and do a monthly for the rest
Regular Food and fuel: -$200
Mailbox only:  -$15
Insurance: -$160 
Clothes: -$0
Van:  -$50 (minor maintenance next month)
Fun: -$25 (very reasonable)
Yearly expense estimate with the new numbers: $5400

Estimated to be under my 11k mark again for March.

Another Unemployed month but my expenses were OK if you don't include the vacation bill. I might have an extra bill for January, I do not know if my insurance paid for my eye exam, if not then I will own another 100 bucks or so. 

Here is the status of my dividend income:
I have a running total of yearly expenses which I base my numbers off of so if my monthly goes up my dividend income against it decreases in value.
Since I re-aligned my investment strategy I've been putting extra cash into dividend paying stocks and other investment opportunities.

 Last post it was at 47.63%. Previous Monthly Financial post here

Current level is now estimated at 47.64%

Progress is stagnant, My plan for March and the rest of the year is to put any spare cash that I receive into dividend stocks and trim expenses. Such slow progress and the market has not been very favorable. Currently in the red on several stocks but many are improving, I am still optimistic though. 
I recently sold two very large positions because they reduced their dividends to levels below some of my more productive stocks. I will transfer the balance into the productive ones.