It’s hard to believe that my last day of full-time employment was May 24, 2019. A lot has changed in the world since then. I thought about my next move many times, and the timing finally feels right to step back into full-time work. I’ll be starting on March 25, 2024, just a few months shy of a five-year break. I’ve gotten to do many things that I wanted to do, and missed out on doing many others, but I’m glad I did it. This was actually my third mini-retirement: my first in 2012 for six weeks, where I traveled to the Philippines, Singapore andRead More →

I’m currently re-reading the Sherlock Holmes series, and one of the interesting aspects is the glimpse into the standard of living in the late 1800s. In some cases I’ve found myself asking, why don’t we have that option today!? In others, it’s clear that purchasing power does not at all correlate directly to inflation. Let’s take a look at a few examples from the books. Dr. Watson’s Income: A Study in Scarlet (the first Holmes story) Published in 1887 but set in 1881, A Study in Scarlet is one of the four Holmes novels and introduces the reader to Sherlock Holmes through his introduction toRead More →

2022 will be remembered as a crazy year for the financial markets. I can’t even count how many times I heard finance professionals use the word “unprecedented” in the news. As I did last year, and every year since 2019, it’s time to take a look back at my own predictions and performance. This year I was totally right and totally wrong at the same time.  2022 Market  The S&P 500 dropped 22% in 2022. The Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) went down 19.5%, so this drop affected the entire market, large and small. Apart from the dip in 2020 from covid, which was rapidly erased,Read More →

Did you know that Yahoo Mail currently offers 1TB of storage capacity? That’s 66 times the capacity Gmail offers today (15 GB), which hasn’t increased since 2013.  I didn’t either, until I checked for this article. After all, who uses Yahoo anymore, thanks to Gmail’s market dominance? But it’s that time of year again, when Google tells me I’m almost out of space, and prompts me to pay a monthly subscription fee for Google One. Gmail, the free product that encouraged users to archive instead of trash and “never throw an email away”, and pioneered an ever increasing amount of storage… until they didn’t, andRead More →

Hi all. Posted a new video on the YouTube channel, covering a bunch of work I did in Fall 2021. I’ve also been writing a series of articles over on LinkedIn, covering old work stories with a mix of fun and instruction. It’s been fun to publish over there so my old coworkers can chime in with their reactions. Feel free to check those out, starting here. Read More →

Another crazy year has passed us by, and despite so much uncertainty in the world with continued shutdowns and staffing shortages, the stock market has once again performed very well.  The S&P 500 is up 27% for 2021, and small-cap stocks also increased. Although there were seemingly many knee-jerk investor reactions every time a Fed meeting was imminent, the market consistently bounced back from any drops. Anyone invested in the market, even the most simplistic market-tracking ETFs (which many investors will tell you is a wise diversified choice for many), did very well this year and last. Next I’ll take a look as always atRead More →

Time for a quick update on what’s been going on! I’ve been wondering about doing more vlogging as well, vs. the website posts. It always seems a bit weird to me when I talk to a camera, but of course, I consume plenty of that content myself on YouTube without ever reading a word of what they write online. Go figure. I didn’t get back from my summer CA trip until August, I was out there almost six weeks. I got in some family and lake time in August, and a trip down to PA to see friends for a long weekend at the endRead More →

Do you watch all of those renovation shows on HGTV? Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, Good Bones, House Hunters Renovation – a seemingly endless list of programming. And in every one of them, a massive renovation budget. $17,000 custom cabinets. $6,800 quartzite countertops. $13,000 appliance packages. Total budgets start to eclipse $200,000 even when they’re only doing a few rooms of the house. That’s just ridiculously too much for most people I know. Since the shows are meant to be entertainment, not instructional, that’s fine. But it’s not difficult to make a renovation look great for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s aRead More →

I haven’t updated since my “spring break” trip, so what have I been up to? Thankfully, a lot more than last year mid-pandemic! May 2021 Road trip: Nashville, TN and Lynchburg, VA When I drove cross country in 2019, I resolved to bring my mom and sister to Nashville, Tennessee. I really enjoyed it and knew they’d love the city, the music, and the scenery. Those plans were put on hold in 2020, but once all three of us were vaccinated, we decided to go for it. While my sister goes all over the U.S. on travel, my mom hasn’t gone out of state forRead More →