And The Sea Will Tell

pexels-photo-248797.jpegHello and my apologies for not being more disciplined in posting.  Sometimes, my brain is my own worst enemy.  🙂

When I visited my mother over Thanksgiving, she loaned me And the Sea Will Tell I put off starting the book until a few days ago because I had to finish up a book I already started. (One of my resolutions this year is to read one book at a time, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days being the one exception, as it’s a workbook vice a book for entertainment and distraction. Rationalization is a wonderful tool. 🙂 )

Anyway, back to And the Sea Will Tell I picked it up and started reading it the other day and I loved it. Bugliosi grabbed my attention right away and I struggle to put the book down at night. It’s probably bad form to write a review or recommend a book even before I finish it but I couldn’t wait. (I have impulse control problems.)

Bugliosi tells the story of a tropical island paradise that turns sour for two couples, each sailed to the deserted – not dessert – island in hopes of being alone for up to a year. Unfortunately for Buck and Jennifer, and even more unfortunately for Mac and Muff, the island turned out to be like Grand Central Station for open-water sailors looking for solitude.  I recommend this book to any and all readers but especially those who love a good story well told.

Reading the book also made me yearn for my days when I sailed the high seas, well not exactly high seas but I learned to sail many years ago while stationed in Japan. I, an Airman, took an American Red Cross course on sailing from two Army Colonels and we sailed in the Tokyo harbor from the docks of a US Navy base. Talk about Joint Operations! I still have my copy of Start Sailing Right!: The National Standard for Quality Sailing Instruction (US Sailing Small Boat Certification) and refer to it often when this landlubber gets wispy for the salt air. I recommend this book and the course if you’re interested in learning to sail the high seas or just want to get your deck shoes wet.

Avast ye mateys. It’s time to weigh anchor and set sail for further adventures or at least to read a few more chapters. Enjoy the day!

p.s. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. 

Learning to fly

If you read my posts, you know I want to break out of my shell, my non-entrepreneurial shell, so I started reading Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days and decided I want to sell some things on eBay as a test.

So I bought these Verizon 4G LTE LG phones from government surplus and tried to make a listing on eBay which turned into an odyssey of learning and joy. I’ll save you all the boring details but here are my lessons learned, starting with eBay.

1. eBay is closely tied to paypal and well, I learned some things about paypal as well.

2. When you are a new seller (or a seller newly entering a particular category) eBay limits the number of listings you can make in any one category. In the category of cell phones, that limit is one listing for every 30-days. So I get to learn patience.

3. My research indicated a much higher price for these phones than eBay suggested so I will have to wait and see what an auction might gain me.

4. eBay charges an insertion fee of $0.30 for each listing, although they give you the first 50 insertions free.  eBay also charges 10% of the final sales cost.

As for lessons learned regarding PayPal:

1. One method PayPal uses to verify identities is phone numbers registered in the account holders name. I share a family plan with my daughter and son-in-law so this became a point of frustration. I sent a photo of my driver’s license which took a day longer to verify than if my phone number was registered in my name.

2. PayPal could not link up with my credit union accounts. I had to create an account with an online bank in order to link an account with them. I recommend using the differing deposit amounts to verify the account with PayPal.

3. When using PayPal’s website on a computer, clicking the “call” button only returns you to their contact information page.

4. PayPal charges 2.9% of the transaction plus $0.30 for each transaction.

Anyway, I managed to work through all these problems with patience and persistence, which I think are traits of an entrepreneur. 🙂

Thank you for reading and enjoy the present!

Dreams Do Come True

L’O! Saturnalia, merry Christmas, and happy holidays!

Well, this past week or so has kept me busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest but in general, that is a good thing for me.

Probably one of the most satisfying things that happened over the weekend while visiting my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grand kids. Visiting them was special in and of itself, of course, but this weekend we pre-celebrated Christmas because I am traveling to Denver over the Christmas weekend to visit my daughter and my son-in-law.

While visiting with my son and his family, we did the usual things: exchange gifts (for my oldest granddaughter I bought The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook, for my middle granddaughter I got Fake Out!: Animals That Play Tricks (Penguin Young Readers, Level 3) and Young Cam Jansen and the Lost Tooth (Penguin Young Readers, L3), and the youngest loves pirates so I got him Maisy’s Pirate Ship: A Pop-up-and-Play Book, played board games like – Uno Card Game, Sequence Game, and Doc McStuffins Matching Game. That was a blast but what truly made the day special was singing Christmas carols with them.

If you read my previous blogs, you know I struggled my whole life trying to learn guitar. One of my motivations to learn guitar was to sing Christmas carols with my family and friends during the holidays. I always loved singing carols and other songs but without musical accompaniment, the other singers and myself would quickly slide out of tune or forget the words, and well, let’s just say things just didn’t turn out the way we planned. Then, I finally started to get serious and I learned a few things about having fun: I learned to accept progress not perfection which lets me relax and enjoy myself; I learned that copying exactly what is written isn’t all that necessary to have fun – in fact, it often detracts from the fun; I learned that I was the biggest obstacle to my learning new things.

Well, practicing patience and persistence, I eventually learned how to play several Christmas carols well enough to keep us in tune. My oldest granddaughter sang along while the two younger ones kept rhythm by clapping their hands and tapping on the box of the Hola! Music HM-21BK Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Canvas Tote Bag, Strap and Picks, Color Series – Black I bought her a few years ago. I had so much fun and I know my son and daughter-in-law did too because they came and sat down on the couch and joined in the singing.

I used The Best Christmas Songs Ever (Best Ever) to learn these classic carols and, of course, Jane was by my side. I couldn’t have done it without her. Just to add a shameless plug for Dave Navarro and Epiphone, Jane is a Epiphone Dave Navarro Signature “Jane” Acoustic/Electric Cutaway Guitar.20171220_032829796_iOS

p.s. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Curled corners

Greetings and Salutations!

The other day, I almost tripped over a corner of an area rug that lies, sneakily, in my living room.  I should provide some back story.  A few years ago, I asked a friend of mine to tile my house and he did a great job.  I put down some area rugs in all the rooms to keep my feet from getting cold.  🙂 Well, this sneaky little rug is the only one that gives me any trouble.  I should say one sneaky corner of this sneaky little rug gives me trouble.  The others just lie there, waiting, patiently, for the right time to attack.

Anyway, as I continue to read Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, I keep thinking of business ideas and when I tripped over this corner of the area rug, I thought, hey the world needs something to trap these corners down.  So I started researching and found a lot of people already created something to keep these sly little corners in their place.  I took a look around and decided to buy NeverCurl’s Best “V” Shape Design to Instantly Stops Rug Corner Curling. Safe for wood floors. For Indoor & Outdoor Rugs. Not an anti-slip pad. Made USA. Patent Pending.  I installed one of them on the trouble corner yesterday evening and so far it is working out just fine.  I am a little worried about how high it seems to sit above the floor but so far, I haven’t tripped over it; so it appears my problem is solved. Yeah Team!

So, if you’re looking for something to keep those sneaky rug corners in check, the NeverCurl’s Best “V” Shape Design to Instantly Stops Rug Corner Curling. Safe for wood floors. For Indoor & Outdoor Rugs. Not an anti-slip pad. Made USA. Patent Pending gets the job done.

I don’t think I will try and build a better rug corner keeper-in-checker though; so as far as side hustles are concerned, it’s back to ye olde drawing board.

Until next time, happy trails!

p.s. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.” 


There is no try

Greetings and salutations!

I hope all is well in your world.  Today, I’d like to review Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1:  Book/CD Pack, a book that really helped me learn how to play guitar.  I suppose some background is in order.

For years, I sang in choirs and in my younger years, I played the trombone and the sousaphone in school bands but I always wanted to learn guitar.  Through the years, I purchased at least four guitars, which ended up collecting dust and taking up space.  Each time I “tried” to learn, I would get frustrated at my apparent lack of progress and would simply put off practicing for another day.  Well, as you can imagine, I did not learn how to play guitar.  Then a little more than four years ago, I decided I would take Star Wars Legendary Jedi Master Yoda (Discontinued by manufacturer) advice: “there is no try; there is only do or do not.”

So I ordered Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1:  Book/CD Pack through and started to practice patience and persistence on my Johnson JG-100-B Student Acoustic Guitar, Black, which was collecting dust and taking up space.  I began to appreciate progress not perfection.  Each day, I told myself “I am better today than I was yesterday”.   Eventually, I learned some of the songs in the book.  In a fit of confidence, I bought The Best of John Denver: Easy Guitar and started to learn his songs.  I was very good but each day I got a little better and I practiced patience and persistence.

Unfortunately, I did not take very good care of my Johnson JG-100-B Student Acoustic Guitar, Black, I live in a dry climate and I should have created a more humid environment for it but I didn’t.

Enter Jane, my Epiphone Dave Navarro Signature  “Jane” Acoustic/Electric  Cutaway Guitar.  I bought her and we began an incredible journey.  I started to gain more confidence and began to enjoy playing.  Eventually, I began to play and sing in front of other people!  I became nervous and jittery but I did it and it was fun.  Best of all, people said they like it.

Back to Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1:  Book/CD Pack.  This book will take you through basic yet common chords and rhythms and also teach some finger picking and lead guitar parts.  It includes various styles like folk, country, rock, and blues.  I recommend it as a starter book for any beginner.  It helped me start playing other people’s songs and with time, I began to write my own songs.  Here’s a link to the very first song I ever wrote:  I hope you enjoy it.

The pictures above are of Jane and my John Denver song book.  I loaned my Hal Leonard book to my son.  He has a guitar that takes up space and collects dust.  🙂

That’s all for now; enjoy your day!

P.s. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.” 



GlassGuard screen protector


I know I haven’t posted a blog in a while; imagine me not being consistent. 🙂 I haven’t made those breakfast bars using the new recipe yet but I will and I’ll post pictures.

Today, I wanted to recommend iPad 9.7 in (2017) / iPad Pro 9.7 in / iPad Air 2 / iPad Air Screen Protector, Anker [Double Defense] Premium Tempered-Glass Tablet Screen Protector with Retina Display,Anti-Scratch, Anti-Fingerprint screen protector for the iPad by Anker. Mine arrived on Sunday but I did not want to rush to install it so I waited until this morning when I had a few minutes to follow the directions.  (Following instructions is yet another change I made in my life.  It seems to make life easier.)

Anyway, GlassGaurd comes with ‘hinge stickers’ that are used to help hold GlassGaurd in-place before exposing the adhesive which holds the screen protector on the iPad.  This little invention really worked well.  I lined up the protector, then applied the hinge stickers as directed.  Then I cleaned up the screen with the alcohol wipe and microfiber cloth.  The alcohol seemed to leave behind a residue so I used some eyeglass cleaner to completely clean the screen.  Then I peeled back the plastic sheet which revealed the adhesive side and flipped the screen protector, using the hinges, onto the screen.  Like magic and as described in the instructions, the screen protector self-adhered to the screen.  I ended up with a iPad screen protector with no bubbles.

Today is going to be a good day.

p.s. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Breakfast Bars

Hello and welcome back,

On my last entry, I mentioned how Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days really changed my way of looking at the world, and not just in areas where I might make a profit but in other areas as well, like breakfast bars. I’ll explain a little more. I often eat oatmeal with peanuts, honey, and Raisin Bran. I cook the oatmeal overnight by letting them soak in soy milk, vanilla flavored if you must know. 🙂 That is one delicious and hardy breakfast in case you’re looking for that sort of thing. It’s also quite quick providing you remember to put the oats to soak overnight. I simply wash the dish after eating my breakfast and refill it with oatmeal and soy milk to start the process over again. There’s no harm in letting the oatmeal soak longer.

Anyway, back to breakfast bars. For a while now, I have been thinking about turning this delicious and hardy concoction into a healthy breakfast bar but I always hesitated. Some self-doubt or fear of failure or simple laziness would creep in and I would not do it. Well yesterday I did it! And they turned out pretty bad but that’s ok. SH helped me realize I could learn from a mistake or two, I could also analyze what I did correctly and I could improve the recipe and the process.

Here’s the recipe I tried yesterday:
Silk, Soy Milk, Vanilla, 32 oz 2 cups
Quaker Oats Oatmeal, Old Fashioned, 42-Ounce Containers (Pack of 4) 2 cups
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, 18.7 Ounce (Pack of 3) 2 cups
Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts, 34.5 Ounce, 3 Count 1 ½ cups
Honey from local farmers’ market 1/3 cups

Layer the soy milk, oatmeal, Raisin Bran, peanuts, and honey.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Allow it to cool and divide it into bars.

I found the bars did not hold together but tasted delicious so it is back to the drawing board.

Some of you with baking skills may have already detected ways to improve the process and the outcome. For my next attempt, I will blend all of the ingredients, maybe even breakdown the peanuts to smaller chunks – hey that gives me another good idea, maybe I’ll use chunky peanut butter instead. See that’s the kind of thinking, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days kick-started. I think will also use more honey. 🙂

By the way, thanks to the two people who visited yesterday’s post.  Please post a comment and say hi.

p.s. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”