D & H

Weights Routine

I try to "lift" 3-4 days a week, play pick-up basketball at the Y 2 days a week, and walk to work (15 mins / .75 mi) to try to round out my exercise routine. I've been able to maintain it for a solid 4 months, so I would recommend it to anyone (especially beginners) as sustainable.

The only downside is that lifting has made me hungrier, ha, which was a tall order.

Day 1

  • Bench Press, 4 sets of 8 - I try to start out as heavy as possible, even if for just 1 rep, and just play it by ear from there
  • Decline Bench Press, 3 sets of 8
  • Dumbbell Flys, 2 sets of 10
  • Incline Bench Press, 3 sets of 8
  • Incline Dumbbell Flys, 2 sets of 10
  • Cable Extension w/ Rope, 4 sets of 10
  • Single Bench Dip - 3 sets of 10
  • Tricep Dips - 3 sets of 8
  • Butterfly - 3 sets of 10

Day 2

  • Bent Over Row - 3 sets of 8
  • Chin Up - 3 sets of 8
  • Lat Pull Down - 3 sets of 8
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row - 3 sets of 8
  • Seated Cable Row - 3 sets of 8
  • Cable Curl - 4 sets of 8
  • Close Grip Barbell Curl - 3 sets of 8
  • Dumbbell Preacher Curl - 34 sets of 8

Day 3

  • Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over Bench - 4 sets of 10
  • Reverse Seated Barbell Wrist Curl - 4 sets of 10
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
  • Military Press - 3 sets of 10
  • Arnold Press - 3 sets of 10
  • Seated High Barbell Front Raise - 3 sets of 10
  • Smith Machine Shoulder Press - 3 sets of 10

Day 4

  • Seated Calf Raise - 4 sets of 8
  • Standing Barbell Calf Raise - 3 sets of 10
  • Squats - 4 sets of 8
  • Leg Curl - 3 sets of 10
  • Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 10

The Great Winter Penny Stock War

Scott: $25 in PSUN at $3.42/share
Me: $25 in APP at $1.19/share

Competition ends in 6 months. It's going to be a wild ride. I'm using this competition to quell my desire to gamble on penny stocks with any real amount of money.

Update: Since Sharebuilder gave me $50 for placing a trade, I also bought WPCS at $2.50 a share.

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they don't understand, but for me I have always noticed that the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
Mark Twain

To Do List: Baseball Stadiums

Baseball is a sport with an endless amount of nostalgia. Ballparks are part of the American experience, and I hope to visit them all some day. My goal is to see a home game for every team in the majors -- no time limit.

Current Tally: 13 down, 17 to go

AL East

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox
  • New York Yankees
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central

  • Chicago White Sox
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Minnesota Twins

AL West

  • Houston Astros
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Texas Rangers

NL East

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Miami Marlins
  • New York Mets
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Washington Nationals

NL Central

  • Chicago Cubs
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • St. Louis Cardinals - NLDS Pirates @ Cardinals

NL West

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
Mark Twain

Money and Investing

I am by no means an expert, nor am I rich, but through research and observation I've put together my own investing strategy and set of rules/theories that I hope will serve my family well.

  • Give. Be stingy with yourself, but generous with others. Invest in worthwhile causes that help people.
  • With the current state of the economy, debt seems to be a worse idea than ever, I have no plans of going into debt (having already climbed out of that hole after our sizable college loans), and would only do so in case of an emergency.
  • Create a budget and stick to it. Eliminate excess now so you have some excess later.
  • Unless you're really, really loaded, cars should be a utility and not a status symbol. I don't need or want a car payment. I buy reliable used cars with cash at whatever price I can actually afford. This is even less of a concern as I can now walk to work!
  • For emergencies, it seems to be a common recommendation to have 6-8 months of expenses in savings. I was surprised to read that 2/3 of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
  • Buying Individual Stocks is not investing, it's more like gambling, so we should treat it as such. The stats I've seen show that it's just not statistically feasible to play the market and come out on top. Also, how much do you trust wall street now?
  • Open IRAs and try to max them out because of their tax benefits. With Vanguard it's easy to select the funds for your IRA based on your projected retirement date and the IRA will take a more aggressive approach when you're young and a more conservative one when you're closer to retirement. Roth & Traditional IRAs have different tax benefits, research which one is best for your situation.
  • A diverse portfolio is not buying stocks from different industries. A diverse portfolio really means investing in different asset classes (Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate, Natural Resources, Precious Metals...).
  • Compounding interest is your friend. Invest early and often and it will pay off later.
  • I'd recommend Vanguard for investing in IRAs or different funds because of their reputation and low management fees. You don't have to buy an actual gold nugget -- you can buy something like ETFS Physical Swiss Gold (SGOL) from Vanguard.
  • There is no silver bullet. There is no reward without risk. Bank on the numbers that have a proven track record, but realize that nothing is guaranteed and you're not entitled to high returns.
  • Patience and time generally decreases the amount of risk, so hold on to your investments for the long haul.

I feel like that's a reasonable approach to investing that avoids the ever-present temptation to try 'get rich quick' schemes. As with everything, do some research. For entertaining/informative looks at investments look into the Dave Ramsey Show (free podcast -- he also has a few good books on getting out of debt), the Suze Orman Show (free podcast), and the book Money for Something (e-book).

Do your research and do what makes sense to you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and remember that the Jones's are likely broke.

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory
Brighton Lakes Trail near Salt Lake City, UT - Panorama of Lake Mary
"One day you might look up and see me playing the game at 50. Don't laugh. Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion." - Video
Michael Jordan from his Hall of Fame induction speech
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