Monthly Archives: August 2010

Get Random

Bear with me as this blog changes its layout.

The blog is simply a hobby, so it doesn’t take priority….meaning it’ll slowly improve.

One cool thing I added is the RANDOM button.

Where will it take you???  WHO KNOWS?!?!?!

I also put one on HouseOfRave:

Getta good look…

….because the last thing to complete on my August 2010 goals is re-design this blog.

————–

I’m just

testing out the

way this theme

displays different

styles of text on
blog posts

Carver Matrix for Monthly Productivity

I was reading a book from the library like I so often do, and I came across this interesting thing:

C.A.R.V.E.R. …it’s a way the military (or in this book, the Navy SEAL’s) use to determine which target is the MOST important.

Immediately I was intrigued because this could so easily relate to everyday situations not-cool-as-blowing-up-a-power-plant on enemy territory.

In the past I’ve wrote down challenges and goals I have for a month, and try to indicate which is most important.  The biggest problem is I pull those numbers out of my ass. There’s no QUANTITATIVE number assigned to those issues to see which one is most important.

This method seemed to help with that.

Carver Matrix

A little while ago I wrote about putting my monthly goals on my iPhone….that was a pretty good idea that has worked well so far….but I think taking that up a notch and labeling them by importance would be even better.  To do this I’d simply run them through the Carver Matrix. I did a sample run to see how it would work:

P.S. The book is called Unleash The Warrior Within….it was decent material with some good stuff tossed in.

Doing Handstands

I don’t know WHERE this whole “Handstands Pictures” thing came from, I just know I probably have more of these pictures than the average population.

Probably because

  • Most people can’t do them
  • They’re hard to capture on camera
  • You look weird trying to do a handstand on the Great Wall of China:


(Notice Tim Ferris watching in amazement in the background)

uʍop ǝpısdn sıɥʇ ǝʇıɹʍ ll,ı ‘spuɐʇspuɐɥ ɟo ɹouoɥ uı

Traffic Spike

Wow….didn’t see that one.

Apparently people really liked my Homeless Experiment.

I’m pretty sure it all started when Tynan Twittered out a message about it.

It was linked all over Twitter the last week….I actually didn’t have the Google Analytics code on the page till after the 23rd so I didn’t get to see the results of the traffic storm.

I Love Klipsch Speakers

Back in late high school and early college I started a couple of businesses and they all made some modest degree of money.  The funny thing was the money went to my single student checking account…and I didn’t know what to do with it!

It just accumulated. I didn’t understand it was like cash.

Then one day I discovered ordering stuff online. I could pay for stuff online with that number it said on my bank statement. SWEET!

One of my very first purchases was high quality speakers. I’m a bit of an audiophile and love high quality sound.

I researched every computer speaker out there and ended up buying the Klipsch Promedia 4.1 sound system which was the best (and most expensive) set of computer speakers I found.

I….was…..BLOWN AWAY by them.

It truly was one of the most satisfying purchases I ever made. THX certified, 400 watts, BOOMING sub woofer (but not just booming…but REALISTIC bass)….the list went on. Watching movies and listening to music on this audio system in a tiny dorm room was the coolest damn thing in the world to me.

I had all four satellite speakers setup in my tiny dorm and the huge sub woofer setup under my desk (when turned up, it would rattle my plastic desk so violently I couldn’t use my computer mouse)!

I actually found pictures of my old setup.  You can see only one speaker in this setup (and apparently someone played a little joke in the top-right corner):

More speakers lining the room.  The funny thing was even the small 40 watt system I had before was more than enough to fill these small dorms with loud music.  But going 10X more was WAY more fun ;-)

It was kind of funny looking through these old pictures, here was our door (yes, I know I spelled “weird” wrong):

About 9 years later, my poor Klipsch speakers have finally run their course. Something is wrong with the amplifier and it doesn’t seem easily fixable.

Anyhow…usually I’d be pissed something I bought is no longer working. But not these.

I’d gladly pay $400+ again for the pleasure of listening to these.  I loved those speakers.

So the last several places I’ve lived I only used two of the satellite speakers, and the bass never gets turned all the way.  The system is powerful enough to keep all the settings at half and still sound incredible.  So I just bought a new set of them, except it has only 2 satellite speakers, and the system is also wireless (so I can play music from my laptop and have it stream directly to the speakers).

Cheers to the speakers that have caused so very, very, very many of my neighbors to complain, call the cops and make them just downright frustrated to live next to me.

Unexpected Benefit of the Six-Pack Experiment

After doing MyBodyTutor for the Six Pack Experiment for several months….everyday…..I learned something:

The sheer power of consistency.

It’s blatantly obvious being consistent in something is powerful, but I never really HAVE been consistent at anything.  Look at my blogging habits for example.  Right now I’m blogging everyday, but there have been MONTHS in between posts at times.  Inconsistency.

Even through school I would have strong periods of doing well in all my classes…followed by a total fall-behind.  Inconsistency.

So when I did the Six Pack Experiment and used MyBodyTutor I had to answer everyday to Adam (whom I didn’t want to disappoint), and also to NevBlog readers (whom I also didn’t want to disappoint).  I also had a solid end goal in mind (getting a six pack) which I didn’t want to miss.  TRIPLE accountability definitely helped me stay on track.

Adam probably used the word “Consistency” more than any other during that experiment…and how true it was.

As Earl Nightingale put it:

Plan out what you want to do for the day.  Accomplish it, and that will be a successful day.

Have 5 or 7 successful days in a row, and you’ve had a successful week.

Do this 4 times and you’ve had a successful month.

…then year.

…then lifetime.

Imagine a bricklayer building a wall.  He starts with laying a single brick.  He may be able to lay 200 bricks in a day.  Everyday he continues laying the bricks, and after a while an immense building can be made.  However it all happened with single bricks, day after day, week after week of diligent work.

It’s such a simple concept I truly don’t think I’ve ever applied till this Six Pack Experiment!  Imagine…I’m 27 years old and never ONCE have been consistent for over 3 months in anything.  Definitely a late bloomer.

However lately I’ve been keeping the consistency up.  I learned that after about 120 days of MyBodyTutor the eating habits I developed stuck around.  I’ve done 30 day experiments before in consistency, but it seems it takes me 4X longer to learn than most people to learn.

The crazy thing is, when I’ve applied consistency to something and its done very well….I wasn’t even working that hard! Usually I would just do a moderate amount of work each day towards the goal, and if I do that little work EVERY DAY it usually ends in a BIG RESULT.

SO I can either be inconsistent and garner decent results with periods of laziness followed by working very hard.

-or-

Just be moderately productive EVERY DAY and garner BIG results.

I choose the 2nd.

“Non-Profit” Apartment Complex Loophole

This was actually a draft of a post I wrote on August 20th, 2006. However I still think this is a clever loophole, as I know people who run apartment complex’s, and it would be GREAT if you could strictly discriminate who lives there (although that’s illegal):

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For the summer I lived in a “student community” where you HAD to be a student to live there, however they weren’t associated with any university.

I went to speak with the manager about this, asking how they were allowed to ask for student ID’s as a prerequisite to live there….as this obviously violates the Fair Housing Act (you can’t decline someone housing based on pretty much anything such as occupation, race, gender etc).

He told me the whole complex was a “Non-Profit Organization” which I immediately didn’t believe.  There HAS to be someone making money from this I thought. The manager didn’t know much about how it worked, but he said there are bond holders and some other people that make money off the apartments.  I knew it.

Someone is definitely profiting off a 400+ unit apartment complex.

I asked a close family friend of mine who deals with apartment complex’s what was going on, and I found it very interesting:

He said that there used to be a loophole in the system where if a property was established as a non-profit, they could accept or deny whoever they wanted to live there. This is why even in a heavily low-income, Hispanic part of town, there are only students living in the apartments.

The loophole was shut down, but people already under that loophole could continue operating as non-profits.  They were basically grandfathered in.

Obviously there were SOME profits, so I asked how those were collected. He said there are bond holders for the loans, so when the apartment makes a profit, it’s issued as tax credit. So if the apartment makes $1,000,000 in profit, they could sell that tax credit for $900,000 in cash to someone looking to save money on their taxes.

So while the complex loses a little money in the tax credit arbitrage, their ability to decline whoever they want probably makes them more profitable than others.

I found this VERY interesting…..it wasn’t illegal, but it’s very sneaky.

I’m On A FIREPLACE

I’m in Detroit right now (stealing WiFi access from a nearby Wendy’s), so instead of my So-Useful-You’ll-Never-Want-To-Miss-One-Or-Else-Your-Life-Will-Suck blog posts…here’s a picture of me by a fireplace:

FASCINATING!
Also checkout what I was up to one year ago in August 2009:
http://www.nevblog.com/2009/08/