Quick Book Review – Pax

paxI just finished reading “Pax” by Sara Pennypacker.  It is a children’s book about a boy and his pet fox who get separated but nothing will stop them from finding each other.

I may be 49 years old but I still enjoy reading children’s books.  Why not?  I didn’t get to read them as a child.

I enjoy children’s books mostly because they don’t involve all the horrible things that adult books deal with.  There’s no bad relationships, not much murder, no sex.  It’s just good adventure and story that is easy to follow and enjoyable for the mind that needs to relax.

I recommend Pax for readers of any age.  Enjoy it.  It’s good.



Another $1000 day

1kdlrI really can’t wrap my head around how well the stock market has done for me all last year and into this year.   It’s really amazing.  A while back I opened an account with Wealthfront, an automated investing service, and it is doing so well.  Quite often it will increase $1000 a day.   Today was one of those days.  On a minimal day it may go up $250.  That’s not bad either!

If you aren’t good at picking stocks but need to invest some money, I highly recommend trying Wealthfront.  It’s a no-brainer.  You aren’t going to get anything from a bank account or even a CD.

Wealthfront manages your first $10,000 for free, but if you accept my invitation, we’ll both get an additional $5,000 managed for free. Code: AFFD-IWML-XR6T-0EZG

Even then, the fees are minimal compared to the value you get out of it…Totally worth it.

Dish Network Review

dshntwkAfter many, many years of enjoying DirecTV but not so much enjoying the slow-responding DVR and the overpriced service costing me $130 a month, I made the switch to Dish Network.

I’ve had DirecTV a few times as well as Cable.  I considered switching to Spectrum but they didn’t have the channels I wanted at the price I wanted to pay.  Their website is poorly designed and has limited information.  A bit of a turn off for me and most millennials.

Dish is somewhat of a secret TV company.  You don’t see them advertise much and the name was pretty much forgotten.  I remembered that they existed and went to the website.  I liked what I saw.  The base package had almost all the channels I wanted minus BBC America and DIY.   DIY has gotten boring and repetitive so I stopped watching it anyway.  BBC America has Doctor Who.  I’m sure I can get that other ways.

I went ahead and signed up for the service online and scheduled an installation date for Saturday.  The installer showed up on time and did a great job in a short amount of time.   He even brought with him the free Amazon Dot and Hopper GO box.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Hopper 3 DVR.  It is way more advanced than DirecTV’s Genie which seems thoroughly antique by comparison.  Dish’s DVR has voice control, Netflix and YouTube built right in.  It is easy to use and has plenty of configuration options.  It will even connect to your home media server to play your movies and music.  This is some forward-thinking stuff here.   You can even connect it to your Amazon Dot or Echo and voice control playback or ask it to play a movie or show off your recorded list.

The Hopper Go box connects to a USB port and allows you to transfer recordings to it so that you can take it with you and watch your shows on any wi-fi device.  I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds very cool.  Next time I go RV camping I won’t have to drag the whole DVR with me.

The picture quality is top notch.  1080i is as sharp as you would like to expect.  It also supports 4K TVs and has a couple of 4K channels so far.

Best of all, the cost after fees and taxes came to only $60.00 a month.  Half the cost of DirecTV and so much more value.

In conclusion, I am VERY impressed.   It’s a shame that Dish Network is not more proactive with their advertising because they have a quality service to offer. If you are shopping for a new TV services, be sure to consider Dish Network.  I think it’s the best bang for the buck.

Sign up here and use the referral code VCD0018694111 to get a Free Echo Dot, $50 in bill credits or 12 free pay-per-view movies.  You can also call 888-608-6768.

I’m not sorry I switched!!

See the channel packages here:  https://www.dish.com/programming/channels/


Hell is other people’s music

bdmskHave you noticed that no matter where you go these days, they are playing music at you?

It’s on the horrible commercials that I am fortunate enough to be able to skip.  You go out for lunch and it’s blaring in your ear.  It’s in the elevator, the lobby, the restroom.  I HATE IT!

Now they just finished installing a music system in the office that I spend 8 hours a day in.  At least I have access to the volume knob. What a colossal waste of money!  It costs $100s of dollars a month to subscribe to a music service in an office building when a radio costs nothing.  I should probably invest in these musak companies.  They really have the public brainwashed into thinking they need such an overpriced service.

My ears need rest.  It’s like some kind of electronic harassment that nobody cares about except me.  If I want to hear music then I will listen to some good music.  Don’t force me to listen to your crappy shit.  As a musician, I know how to appreciate music and I know what sucks.  Your music sucks.

As we get older, and new music comes along, it is inevitable that it will be weird and horrible.  It happened to our parents and it will happen to us.   It IS happening to us.  Today’s pop music is…. Well… Indescribable.   I can best put it as unintelligent, corporate, computer generated, soulless, repetitive and annoying.   I’m beginning to think they do it on purpose just to piss people off.   I guess that was the point of Rock & Roll in the first place back in the early days.  To be rebellious for the sake of rebelliousness.

I think Homer said it best.

I just want quiet.  Is that really too much to ask?  Make the world a better place and keep your music to yourself.

Land Purchase update

Img_0003My land purchase has been going slowly.  That’s good I guess.  Better to go gently than to be overwhelmed.

There are surveys and paperwork to do.  Fortunately the survey company is handling all the paperwork with the local government.  I’ve had to pay $2500 in fees so far but I guess that is to be expected.  Closing is supposed to be in early January.

In the meantime I’m trying not to get myself too excited about it in case something goes wrong.  I’m letting it happen in it’s own time.  I haven’t been back to visit it to avoid overhyping my hopes.  Chill is the key.

At least I feel like I have my foot in the door.  In January I expect that it gets real.


Quick Book Review – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

nvrwhrI really wanted to like this book.  I’ve heard such great things about Neil Gaiman.  He was even on The Simpsons.

Having just come down from reading all the Harry Pottery series for the second time, I needed something else that could hold my attention.  Neverwhere came up in my search so I thought I would give it a try.

Alas.  It just didn’t work for me.  I struggled through the first half of the book where random stuff happens and there appears to be absolutely no story line.   The premise seems to be that a regular guy gets sucked into a strange underworld where he wanders aimlessly until I just stop reading.

I’m not entirely giving up on Neil Gaiman yet.  Maybe his other books are better.  I want them to be.  Any suggestions?


Memory – Wishbone Cheating

wshbnYou’re supposed to take a wishbone, make a wish and break it with someone.  The person who holds the larger piece gets his wish.

I was a bad little boy when it came to wishbones.  I always broke it with my little brother but I always won because if you look at the center part of the bone, one side has better structural support.  Therefore I totally cheated.

I was mean to my little brother.  Big brothers are supposed to let them win and take care of them.  Shame on me.  No wonder we are not very close.