Season’s Greetings and other cool stuff


“A Happy Christmas”

Bizarre Victorian Christmas Cards

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season…

Dancing under the mistletoe

By Malachi Rempen, Itchy  Feet

and a

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2017!

With thanks from our friends at RockStar Finance, a cool old song updated and made cooler for us weird FI types:

Santa Baby for Savers

Christmas 1933

The very cool message inside this depression-era card

A few more “gifts” for your enjoyment:

ape & cigar

river by t. mullen

 Life lessons revealed by rivers

Smoking Is Not For Children (7)

The good old days

You are 1 in 100,000,000,000

Ways the world didn’t end

Soviet pinup

Soviet-era pin-ups

First, we go to India and build a Royal Enfield:

Then we ride it up into the Himalayas:

Daily wind pattern over the US active map. Very cool.

The Sun in ultra-HD, cool soundtrack, too.

Traversing the Solar System at the speed of light. It is a BIG place.

Itchy feet flags

By Malachi Rempen, Itchy  Feet

Beast national-geographic-travel-photographer-of-the-year-contest-2016-79-572c4634a36b5__880

The Beast, #2 in the 2016 National Geographic Photo contest

BEST store facade brickpile

Finished BEST Store facade

a hell of a lot more interesting than Walmart

Mount Washington

One of two of the ten most dangerous places on the planet I’ve been to.

Another guy who needs F-you Money!

OK, Class, listen up….

Who v. whom: the final battle

Vivien Leigh

Scarlett O’Hara or ?

Princess Belle

Princess Belle or?

Both the pictures above are the same 17-year-old girl.

This is the saddest picture I’ve seen in a long time…

Istvan Reiner

Little Istvan Reiner smiles…

The reason being this is the rest of the caption:

…shortly before being murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1943-1944


How long can humans go without: Air? Water? Food?


Renaming the animals

Woman beautiful native american

Portraits of beautiful women from the turn of the last century



 It is well known that the European arrival in the Americas brought diseases that decimated some 90% of the native populations. But why didn’t it work the other way, too? This short film illustrates

Why there were no American plagues to infect the Europeans

Here’s a great book that further explores this and other issues as to how and why history has unfolded as it has:


Guan Yu

beard chicken gap_002460-57d07767cd5cc__700

 Guess what kind of contest this guy won


“What you see in these photos is a peaceful interaction with crocs,” said the photographer.

Guess what photographer we’ll be reading was eaten by a crocodile…

LAFF, October 1945: the full magazine

What magazines were like in my parents’ time. The old ads are the best.

Finally, this video is the best primer I’ve seen on how to live a happy, prosperous life.


Here are two guest interview posts I did for…

Physician on FIRE:

Christopher Guest Post – JL Collins 

Millennial Revolution:

An Interview with the Godfather…of FI


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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. Physician on FIRE says

    Lots of cool stuff, indeed. I would not choose to get that close to a crocodile, but I’m glad someone did.

    Thanks again for the link to our interview. Such fun!

    Wishing you & yours a Most Merry Christmas,

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Amazingly, many readers seem to be skipping past that song link. To me it is a “must” listen. It made my holiday!

  2. Freedom 40 Guy says

    Great randomness! In addition to great financial advice, I feel like I can always rely on you for great book recommendations (I read Blue Zones and Sapiens last year) and other fun and cool things to look into. Best to you and your in the new year!

    • jlcollinsnh says


      Might be my unrecognized goal in life. 😉

      Glad you like the books. There are so many I read that are OK but that I don’t recommend… 🙂

  3. Trish says

    Cool stuff, as usual! (How do you FIND these things?)

    I’m avoiding the island with all the snakes – and I LOVE the photo essay with the smile portraits.

    -And of course – love the Itchy Feet comic!

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Sanjib Saha says

    It was the most refreshing piece I have seen this New Year. There are lots of cool stuff indeed. Thank you for giving us some weird goals with this post and teaching us that happiness lies in the little things. The “crocodile” post was awesome and the beard on the “contest winning man” is totally hilarious. We got to see amazing stuff in this post. Please keep posting more stuff like this.

  5. Kris Kramer says

    I know you’re a busy guy, but just have to ask as my holidays were clouded by fears of Jan 20. I’m on ACA for health insurance and with the new outlooks, that might disappear. I have what insurance companies consider a pre-existing condition (even though I’m ridiculously healthy) and over the age of 50, which makes everything cost more! How does a FI person get insurance when they’re too young for Medicare and private insurance is too expensive or won’t even take you?

      • Darrow Kirkpatrick says

        Thanks Jim!

        Kris — they’re talking about keeping the protection for pre-existing conditions, but without the mandate for everyone to buy insurance, that will likely drive prices through the roof. If so, there may be some options for you under “Alternatives to Obamacare” in the first post of mine in that list above. Good luck with this.

        • Kris says

          Thanks. I’ll take a look. Without subsidies, right now we’d be paying almost $1300 per month with no co-pays and a $15000 annual deductible for 2 people. That’s f’ing crazy!!!!

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