For years now I’ve been interested in real estate investing. I like the idea of a tangible asset that I can see and touch, versus stocks and ETFs. I enjoy working on homes and can put sweat equity into it “someday” if I choose. And as the saying goes, they aren’t making any more land (random volcanos and wealthy Middle Eastern countries aside)… So I set myself a summer job task of learning about it, talking to people who’ve done it, and making the leap myself. Research mode: You’re reading what? I went to my local library and browsed through several books on the topic.Read More →

I love gadgets. And yet, despite being knowledgable in tech, I still get frustrated from time to time with problems that just seem to get in the way of enjoying them. If a lover of tech like me gets annoyed, how much worse is it for people who aren’t tech savvy and can’t solve the problems? Do you find yourself sometimes hating the technology that’s supposed to make our lives simpler and does the opposite? Recent examples: Roku Premiere+ Video and Audio Issues Last week I upgraded my Roku so I could take advantage of 4k content (specifically, I buy streaming movies on Vudu, and their UHDRead More →

Learned something new yesterday while looking at options for rental car bookings: Chase Travel does not allow you to do one-way rentals. American Express Travel does allow one-way rentals, but does not allow you to originate from any location that isn’t an airport. Strange restrictions, but good to know. Instead of paying ~$650, more than three times the cost of my transcon plane ticket, I opted to take Amtrak from Philadelphia airport to Lancaster where I’m staying overnight with friends ($17 ticket and as fast as driving). I’ll be using 1350 Hertz points for a one-way car rental in Lancaster to visit other friends near Harrisburg before driving toRead More →

Although I’ve been a member of Turo (formerly RelayRides) for a long time, next week is my first time using them. Turo is like the AirBnb of cars. When you’re not using your vehicle, you can rent it out through their platform to make extra cash. They help you locate drivers, provide valet lots at major airports like SFO where you can leave your car to get rented out for extended periods, and cover you with insurance. The last bit is the interesting part: insurance. While they provide a $1M liability policy to owners, damage coverage starts to get confusing. It’s taken me a couple ofRead More →

I finally got around to updating the Blog sharing buttons today. I wasn’t happy with the first one I tried since it wasn’t rendering correctly on mobile devices. I did some research and liked the look of SumoMe as well as MashShare. For now, SumoMe is enabled, and I’m pretty happy with the way it looks. The initial burst of energy for this blog hasn’t diminished, but it did get directed into other areas for a while. What have I been up to? Traveled to the Cook Islands and New Zealand in April – both amazing places that I loved. Launched a new product atRead More →

Didn’t take long to get a wave of spam from registering my contact details with WhoIs.  I remembered that Gmail allows for essentially infinite email addresses, because it: Ignores dots. myname@gmail.com is exactly the same as my.name@gmail.com, or my.na.me@gmail.com.  Ignores anything after a “plus” character. myname+anythinghere@gmail.com just goes to myname@gmail.com.  Both of the above are great for setting up simple spam filters, and were going to be my temporary approach. However, since 1&1 provides free private domain registration, I enabled that, which hides all my contact info. No more spam. Read More →

It’s been interesting learning about blogging options. Though I’ve had my own web hosting before, and ran sites based on Drupal and Joomla, I’ve never used WordPress and decided to start with a managed install to make my life (much) easier and remove the barriers to just getting started with content.  What options did I look at? Free, Shared, Dedicated and Managed. Free hosting – banner ads, limits on usage, must have ‘wordpress.com’, etc. Avoided this. Shared hosting – buying “normal” web hosting then installing a WordPress theme. More control and cheaper; however, you must manage and update all security patches and so on. WordPress is very popular, theRead More →