Monthly Archives: July 2005

Camera & Stock

As previously mentioned, my camera died after a skydive from about 7 feet onto a concrete floor. I’ve dropped it many times in the past with no problem, but this proved a little much for it. It works sometimes, but barely.

So here’s saying goodbye to my old camera, it had a great run:

The best part about breaking something is you get to buy a new one! So I jumped on Ebay and bought this Casio Exilim EX-S500. It’s a great camera, and comes in a LOUD ORANGE COLOR, and I love loud things.

It cost me a cool $393…that includes shipping, shipping insurance and a 3-year warranty (Which would have been really useful with my broken camera right now).

On another note….
While I don’t keep up with the stock market all that frequently anymore, it seems everything has been doing really well lately. My current holdings are as follows:

I’m in these stocks for the long run, so I’m not selling anything.

It’s Friday, so it’s once again time to party!
-Nev

Random Updates

Random update:

My camera is dead….sort of. After a recent fall from about 6 or 7 feet onto concrete, it’s acting VERY weird.
One day the camera will not even turn on.
The next day, it might take garbled pictures like this:

The next day, it will work perfectly and take normal pictures:

The next day, it might decide to take regular pictures with heavy distortion over it:

I’ve got no more warranty and might be forced to Ebay this otherwise great condition Casio Exilim EX-S3.

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As a lesson in controlling myself, last week I decided not to eat anything for 2 days. Only water. It’s not difficult to give up chocolate or coffee etc….but to give up a basic requirement of life requires a bit more self control. Instinct gets involved and tells you to eat.

I tried it out, and caved after exactly 24 hours. My stomach started doing all the thinking, and it endlessly searched for reasons to break the experiment. Unfortunately, I found one: a two hour rock climbing and free-bouldering session the next day….something you want SOME energy for!

I didn’t learn much from this failed attempt, other than I get really hungry after 24 hours.

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The Herb Kelleher experiment is already going well. Previously I was ranked #47 on Google for the keyword Herb Kelleher, now I am around #15.

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To further improve my knowledge, I am starting to learn about databases. There are all sorts of free MySQL tutorials over the web, so I have already started doing them with my spare time.
If you know the ins and outs of databases, you can integrate them with existing shopping cart software to do some pretty amazing things. You can also create customized solutions for businesses in need of automation.

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I mentioned I had a new bussines venture underway a little while back. I’ve registered two domains, and I’m slowly creating content for the first site.

I have been trying out all sorts of different software to get the site to act the way I want. Hopefully the database experience might help….or else I will hire a student with database experience to do it for me. The business should be online innnnn…….a month?

I took a picture with my camera of a formal business plan I drew out so you can see what the business is:

:-)
-Nev

Google Experiment 2 – Herb Kelleher

Over the years I’ve become pretty good at search engine optimization.

I proved this in my last google experiment where I successfully dominated the keyword “Starbucks Liquor.” To get where I am, I continously do Google Experiments…just to stay up-to-date.

The challenge is to get ranked high on common and saught-after keywords such as “Business”. I’ve become an expert at ranking #1 in less common keywords, thanks to this I’ve never had to pay for advertising on some of my businesses. That has always been a HUGE money saver.

To further hone my knowledge of how Google works, I am doing another experiment. For some reason I want to pick on Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines. I met the guy as seen here:

I detailed how I met him in this post about a corporate governance conference.

My goal for this experiment is to see if NevBlog can place #1 when someone Googles in the keyword “Herb Kelleher” or “Founder of Southwest Airlines

I’ll be timing this experiment, and hopefully I will learn something new along the way.
-Nev

Study Posters Business Idea

I came up with a new business idea while talking to a law school student. I got excited about the idea, but then realized I have entirely too much on my plate to pursue it.

Well, to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, I’ll give it away:

Study Posters. The domain StudyPosters.com is even available to the first person who goes to GoDaddy.com and spends $9 on it……

…..Talking to a law school friend studying for her bar exam, she showed me an elaborate flow chart she made containing much of the necessary information needed for the exam. The chart was about half the size of a large poster board, and packed to the brim with tiny, neatly sorted, color-coded handwriting.

I thought to myself: “How cool would it be to computerize that flowchart, and make a giant poster of it??” You could sell these posters to law school students, or better yet, SCHOOLS or TEST PREPERATION CENTERS. Students could put them in their rooms and see them every morning and every night….perhaps like this:

Law school students spend $2,000 – $5,000 on preparation courses, and having a giant poster of some critical information to view each morning and night would be a GOLDEN idea.

They have these posters for medical memorization already, but they can also be applied for:
-Law school students taking Bar exam
-Prospective law school students taking LSAT
-Students taking medical MCAT
-High school students taking SAT/ACT etc.
-Sell posters with Javascript commands for programmers
-Common Spanish verbs for Spanish students
-Common math equations for calculus students
-Specialty professions and beyond.

…..just go wild with possibilities. The cool part is, all this information you will put on the posters is free…but you might want to pay someone who specializes in the field to give you input on what would be useful to themselves and their colleauges.

I think the big money in this idea would be selling large quantities to schools, colleges, test preparation centers and companies. Thanks to the internet however, individual sales can be extremely profitable.

Hopefully someone runs with this idea. It would be a great 1st business.
Good Luck!
-Nev

Staying Organized

I have a lot on my plate right now, and managing time has been getting a bit difficult. Since I am frequent user of my tablet PC, it’s the perfect place to keep my to-do list.

Here is what my computer desktop currently looks like:

I made a wallpaper (download it) with a “Today” section and “This Week” section and used it in conjunction with AT Notes, a very efficient and free program that lets you put “Sticky Notes” on your desktop (The program was brought to my attention from TheKirkReport).
I’ve been using this system for a week or so, and it has been very effective so far.

I know what must be done everyday, but managing my time is difficult for me. To solve this problem, I bought this little egg timer.

Now I can set one hour for reading school work, the next hour for business, then another hour of school work etc.
Once the bell rings, I move onto the next thing on my agenda. The timer works well at work.

I also bought this big dry erase board to keep track of business projects. This way I can see the most important tasks on my agenda in one place. I hung it above my desk.

Hopefully this will make it slightly easier to manage my time between business stuff and school.

-Nev

What’s In My ROTH IRA

Today I logged into my ROTH IRA for the first time since I started it in March.

I put $5,000 into it and just left it there. I called Ameritrade for my username/password and found out that my account value is $5,032!

Apparently it was all sitting in some sort of money market account building interest. I’ll slowly start hunting for places to put that 5k.

On a different note……
I had a cool post prepared to put up, but I nixed it because I got a great business idea from it! No one has done anything like it before, and it can easily be a very very simple way to earn $1,000+ every month.

I’ll have the site and service fully operational within two weeks or a month max. No public details yet.

I’ve also found out that having my name so closely associated with this site has its drawbacks….when I try to negotiate a deal, people KNOW I have at least $X amount of money, so I can’t pull the “I can’t afford that!” routine.

-Nev

Vonage, WordPress, Stock, Starbucks

My longest held business has a phone number, and paying for phone service costs me around $21/month. Since I deal with people in all states, I always call people back with my cell phone….this confuses customers with different area codes and intermingles my personal and work life.

The perfect answer seems to be Vonage. So long as you have a broadband connection, you can get unlimited phone service anywhere in the United States and Canada for $25/month. You can also select ANY area code and number, no matter where you are.

I bought a nice Vonage Router from Fry’s this weekend which also doubles as a wireless router. Cost: $118 with $100 rebate. I just sign up on their website and hook my phone directly into the router.


On Another Note:

For some other side projects, I’ve learned to use the WordPress blogging system. I installed it on my server with ease and picked it up quickly. It was extremely dynamic, quick and intuitive. Anyone with just a little bit of web publishing experience can pick it up in minutes.


On Yet Another Note:

Here are my current longterm stock holdings:


And on One More Note:

I did a Google Guide a while back, and to prove I knew what I was talking about, I did an experiment concerning the keyword “Starbucks Liquor”.

Well, the experiment worked and put me in the #1 spot when “Starbucks Liquor” is searched on Google. I get several hundred hits on my site p/week from people typing that keyword, so I decided to give them what they were searching for: Starbucks Liquor Recipe’s!

FancyBlog

What the f-heck…FancyBlog.com actually gets traffic, and AdSense clicks?

This obscure little side business I started on April 29th in a coffee shop has fallen off my radar for quite sometime.

I quickly got bored of the site and only posted very few blog templates. The idea was solid and pretty unique, I just didn’t further pursue it.

I checked today and was surprised it got ANY traffic at all. Apparently it’s getting over 160 hits a day and an average of two Google Adsense clicks per day. Interesting.

I immediately redesigned the site with Dreamweaver instead of Frontpage and I will post it this weekend. I will also try to updated it twice a week. I already made all the page templates today and just have to copy/paste more blog templates.

It won’t be a big money maker, but a $100 check every now and then wouldn’t be so bad. I still refuse to put Adsense on NevBlog.

Overspent

The weekend was a blast, but more expensive than I had prepared for. I started the weekend with $78 in spending money, but ended up spending $105.

This is a first for me and unacceptable. For punishment, I am setting my spending account at $-27. No spending till it’s back in black.

Of all the fun things I spent my money on, this Ying Yang Chocolate Martini was probably the most delicious. It was almost painful to ruin such a work of art by drinking…..it was like eating a Picasso.

And of course it was also Independence Day. I had to reflect for a moment on all the people who paid the ultimate price for the freedom and opportunity I enjoy every single day.

And on an entirely different note, I think sombrero + 6th Street would be a good mix: