Writing & Writers

I've known a lot of writers over my life, and I've met hundreds. After all, I worked for a newspaper for nearly a decade and a half, and I worked in a bookstore for over half a decade before that, and I was a literary studies major as an undergrad. Most my adult life I've been surrounded by people who make a living stringing words together. I've even had a paid gig or two in my day. There are basically two kinds of writers; those who can get the job done no matter what tools they have at hand even if this means dictating a story over a satellite phone, or those who need everything to come together just right to write. This second group can't get shit done if their favorite coffee mug is dirty or it's too late in the day or because the gibbous moon is waning. These sorts spend all their time allowing external influences to dictate when their ass actually gets in the chair. They spend more time trying out new software packages to find the perfect word processor. They can't write if they are uninspired or if their muse is uncooperative. Every writer I've met imagines themselves as the first sort, but most are the second.

Flexible Reinvestment program

6/15/2017 AAPL Bought 1 AAPL @ $144.149

A few days ago I got my 205th share of Apple, and I did nothing to get it except keep my money at play and at risk.

I love my FRIP. It always feels like free money. I'm not going to get rich from my dividends any time soon, but I'm not playing the game for soon.

Grav CMS

I am trying to teach myself the bare minimum I need to know to get sites off the ground quickly and to look decent when finished. I've fired up pretty much every CMS out there, and have purchased many of them. I run my Jackass Letters site with ExpressionEngine. I've been running that CMS since version 1.0 (actually I even used their previous product "PMachine" as well.), but it was never intuitive for me, and I have a hard time keeping it patched and secured (I hate running updates). I also find it frustrating to have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. EE brags about there being no templates to get in your way, but on the downside you have to literally design everything by hand. EE give you more flexibility than pretty much any other CMS, but you have to keep your site to standards compliant yourself. Want a responsive design? Have fun making it. For someone like me that wants to focus on content, and who can't afford a professional designer, EE has always been frustrating. I know I don't follow best practices, and I know I did a lot of cheating and hacking just to get the site to run at all. I have tons of bugs and no real time to fix them. I just get tired of working with the backend of things. I just want to write! I own the multisite manager, with additional purchased sites, so I can run quite a few installs out of one EE instance, and I can reuse content and code from site to site, but honestly that just introduced a level of complexity I wasn't interested in.

Investing

I like investing. I haven't done enough of it, but I get a little thrill when I buy stock. It kind of reminds me a bit of playing poker. Each day is like a new hand. Your chip stack gets higher, or your chip stack gets lower, but it's not the hands that matter, but your overall stack. The trick is knowing when to walk away from the table.

It's a bit crazy to me that I can have a daily swing that is more than I used to make in a month. What is even crazier is this doesn't generally get me going either way. Sure, I prefer when the stock goes up, but since I don't plan to sell any time soon, it doesn't really matter to me too much. But when it goes down I don't get too upset. I have confidence it'll go back up in the long run. I don't mind fluctuations as long as the trend is in the right direction. I change my emotional response to market corrections and just tell myself this is when stock is "on sale." If you're wanting to get in, these are the moments you are looking for. Buying high and hoping for higher isn't a bad strategy. Expecting to get in on hot IPOs or to pick the next Tesla probably isn't going to pay off. Remember, there was a time when Yahoo was golden and Netscape was a rocket to the moon.

Jackass Letters

Note: this is modified from a previous post on the Jackass Letters Facebook page.

Here’s the deal. You can still buy my book! It’s still for sale. You can trade some ill-gotten gains, some of your filthy lucre, for a copy of Jackass Letters: Archive Volume 1.

No one will think less of you if you treat yourself to some stupidity. Ok, your mom might, but be honest, you’ve always been a disappointment to her.

Already purchased a copy? Then buy another! Surely you have someone in your life you love enough to give a copy as a gift, but don’t love enough to make that gift be truly anything special (think third-cousin, or former boss!).