Drowning in debt? Great Ted-Talk on Debt. Short, too.
I should have posted this a few weeks back.
As regular readers know, I tend to disappear each summer for a few weeks of extended travel. We roam around at other times during the year too, but usually only for a week or two at a time. Unless you are paying very close attention to the blog you likely don’t notice those.
Since I travel without a computer, laptop, tablet or other device I am for the most part out of touch. I confess I kinda like that and it is a great break from the daily routine. Which, after all, is part of the pleasure of traveling.
Sometimes the places I stay will have a “house” computer and I’ll log on to check emails and the blog. But these are far too uncomfortable to do any serious writing. At least for me.
The point of telling you all this is so you won’t be surprised as the coming weeks pass without any new posts. I’ll also be very slow in responding to comments and questions. But go ahead and leave them. I’ll try to get to a few from the road and will respond to the others when I return.
Actually, our summer travels have already started. We just got back from my in-law’s beach house on Lake Michigan, which they graciously make available to us. You walk out the door right on to the sand that stretches miles in both directions. We returned wondering why it has been four years since last we were there, and resolving to make this an annual trip.
Since I grew up about a mile from the lake, and spent my mostly unsupervised boyhood adventures in and around it, it holds a special place in my heart. But even without that history, I can’t imaging not finding it magical.
After this short return to New Hampshire, in a few days we’ll head to Ecuador. My wife will spend the first two weeks with me in Cuenca, our favorite city there, before heading back home. For my part, I’ll then head over to the little beach town of San Clemente. For $15 a day I’ve secured a water front room right on the beach. Breakfast included, of course.
If the low price concerns you, this place came with the seal of approval from some local expats. They don’t know it yet, but I’ll be paying for their advice with the taco mix, baking soda and Miracle Whip I happen to know they like and can’t easily get.
From there I head to the Chautauqua. I am very much looking forward to this event. It has taken a lot of work and planning (fortunately for me, mostly by Cheryl :)) and it seems we have an exceptionally interesting and adventuresome group joining us.
Rooftops of Hacienda Cusin where we’ll be staying
Join us in Ecuador
When we first announced the Chautuaqua in late February, it took all of three weeks to fully sell out. But since then, life has intervened for a couple of attendees. Unfortunately, illness and job loss were the reasons. We are very sad as these were two couples we were especially looking forward to meeting.
So we find ourselves unexpectedly with four open slots. If you’d like to join in, just go to the registration page let Cheryl know. Hope to see you there!
Even when I return, things around here are likely to be more quiet that usual. Thanks in large part the kind encouragement of many readers here, I have finally begun writing my book. I figured this would be far easier than it is turning out to be. While much of the material has been written in the form of the posts here, those have come together randomly as topics were suggested or occurred to me.
Putting this all in book form requires a rather dramatic rethinking and organizational effort, combined with no small amount of rewriting so the material actually flows. Then, too, there is actual process of preparing it for publication. That’s a whole new area for me. It will be fun, but time consuming, to learn.
While far more work than I had imagined, it is also great fun and very rewarding to do. Plus, I can’t wait to get it into your hands. Assuming, of course, you’d want to have it.
While I complain about writing one, my pal Tom has written several in between roaming all over the planet having grand adventures. Oh, and he also just started his own book publishing company: http://www.roundwoodpress.com
Irritatingly, he’s also younger than I. But then, more and more people are these days….
The New Podcast
Earlier this week I sat down for this
interview podcast: Why your house is a terrible investment
with Joshua Sheats who recently launched his blog Radical Personal Finance. Joshua reached out to me a couple of weeks back after having read my post of the same name. In his email he said:
“I’ve really enjoyed reading your site–your “worst possible investment” article is an absolute gem. I’ve sent a bunch of people to it and literally read it aloud to people a half dozen times. I also really enjoyed your interview on Mad Fientist’s show.”
At first, with all this travel going on, I put him off. But then it occurred to me this might be a great bit of extra content here for while I’m gone. Plus, look at those nice words he wrote to me! Who says flattery doesn’t work? 🙂
Once you are done listening to my podcast with him, or if it just bores you too much to carry on, check out some of his others. He also has interviews up with The Mad Fientist and Paula of Afford Anything.
A new cell phone?
An upstart new cell phone company has asked me to give their new phone and service a test run. My pal Mr. MM already has, and with high marks, so I expect to be impressed.
Assuming I am, I’ll do a full review on it when I return. It will include a link for the discount the company has promised to offer my readers if they sign up.
It will get its first harsh test when I take it to Ecuador. As I mentioned above, I don’t typically travel with gadgets. But I’m making an exception for this one. Seems I’ll be able to make and receive calls to US area code numbers from anywhere in the world that has a wi-fi connection, in addition to accessing the internet of course. We’ll see.
The phone uses a wi-fi/cell hybrid service that I’m told is transparent to the user. The cost is $19 per month + whatever taxes apply where you live. Unlimited data, texting and minutes. Pretty sweet deal.
As you might imagine if you read this blog, my first and main question was:
“Is there anything I can do with this phone that will ever cost me more than that $19?”
My first impression (and hope) is that these guys could be to phone companies what Vanguard is to investment companies. And that would be a very good thing for us. I’ll let you know.
Random cool stuff
As always, I’ll leave you with some random cool stuff I’ve been collecting….
Photo by Melissa Boulanger
Here’s some great music from Stan Hirsch, my favorite guitarist:
The Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, MI
Rocks moving themselves along the desert floor
WPA – Works Progress Administration art.
As you watch this two minute clip showing all the features, remember: This thing was built some 200 years ago using only hand tools:
The Roentgens’ Berlin Secretary Cabinet
Say, Luke, this place looks oddly familiar….
Finally, here’s my favorite motorcycle video:
It’s Better in the Wind
I first put this up in my motorcycle post way back in ’11. It deserves another look. Even if you don’t care about motorcycles, it’s 15 and a half minutes well spent for the sound track alone.
(I have it playing as I write)
This short film was created by a young guy named Scott Toepfer and as much as anything I’ve seen it captures the sheer joy of motorbiking. Doesn’t hurt that a couple of the bikes in it are Triumph Scramblers like mine. Scott and his pals have good taste.