Friday, October 31, 2014

The Economy - Stock Prices

What has caused the stock markets to rally? Is the economy doing better? Is Ebola not a problem anymore? Are companies doing better and better? I don't think so, so why is the market up? I think it is in anticipation of the Republicans winning big in the upcoming election. If the Republicans take over the Senate, then things will probably be more positive for business and stocks in particular. But what will a Republican Congress get done? Will it be able to override a veto? Probably not, so a Republican win is a step in the right direction, but I don't imagine much happening. What will the markets do when they figure that out?

The Economy - Oil Prices

The good news is that oil prices keep falling. It is so nice to go to the gas pump and not have to spend so much money on filling the gas tank in my car. The bad news is that lower oil prices is actually going to cause more instability across the world. Iran, Venezuela, and a couple other countries need oil to be up over $100 a barrel to keep them afloat. How long will it be until the countries who need oil to be higher do something to cause oil prices to go up? A regional war, a terrorist attack, or maybe a small civil war would be very convenient right now. So we can enjoy lower prices at the pimp for now, but I don't expect them to last. Especially if the price of oil keeps falling.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Creativity - Curiosity

I am listening to a CD series on how Da Vinci thought. One key skill he had was curiosity. He was probably one of the most curious people to have ever existed. Now curiosity is one of the primary skills that helps increase creativity. When was the last time You had an idea? Being curious is one of the best ways to create new ideas. When was the last time you asked a question? Being curious is one of the best ways to find things to ask questions about. When was the last time you did something new? Being curious is a great way to find new things to do. What are some ways to be more curious? Ask questions, seek to understand, take notes, go and look, talk to people, read new books, take some more notes, and keep a journal. Curiosity is like a muscle. The more you practice being curious, the more curious you become. The more curious you become, the more creative you will be.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Coercion - Doesn't Work Well

If you have to force people to do something, then maybe it's something you should not be doing. Coercion might make someone comply, but you never get the best work or effort from them. The best way to get the best from people is to engage their free will. Always give people options and then when they chose, they are engaging one of the greatest aspects of motivation. What is one of the greatest aspects of motivation? Self-determination. When people feel they are choosing their own path and direction they engage their own self-determination and the result is one of the best ways to engage someones motivation. This is how you get someone to give you their best efforts. this is how you engage someones attention. This is how you get people to move with power and intention.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Economy - Wages

I was reading tonight that the largest employer in the U.S. 50 years ago was General Motors. The average wage in that company at that time was $50 and hour (in today's dollar). Today the largest employer in the U.S. is Walmart. The average wage in that company today is around $10 an hour. My how things have changed. I think that explains exactly what has happened in the U.S. over the last 50 years. We have gone from a manufacturing and production based economy to a retail and service based economy. Unfortunately, retail and service jobs can't pay as much as manufacturing and production based jobs. The margin in profit is not there to support higher wages. For many reasons (which would require way more space) we have squandered what made us prosperous and have become a nation of low wage jobs.

Thanks to globalization and the internet, that will not change. What if government did all it could to encourage manufacturing? How about tax breaks, reduction in regulation and compliance laws, zero interest loans, and maybe a tariff or two on imports (though I know that many times tariffs are counter productive)? Our government could and should be doing much more, but even that I doubt will not help now. It's to late and the U.S. is stuck. We will be a low wage job economy for the foreseeable future. I feel sorry for future generations. They will probably never know how good things could be (and were).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Personal Improvement - Why?

I think that one of the most important important questions we can ask is why. Why should we do this or that? Why should we sell this or that? Whys should we build this or that? Why should we go here or there? Why should we buy this or that? Why is at the heart of all good decisions. Unfortunately, we do not ask it enough. I know I don't. We also do not ask it as a society. Why do we need public schools? We just assume we do. Why do we need big government to solve our problems? We just assume we do? Why do we need certain laws, or more taxes, or more regulations? I could go on and on, but I think I made my point. We do not ask why enough. We also do not ask why at the highest level of our thinking and beliefs. Maybe if we asked why more often we would not have some of the problems we have now.

Personally, asking why is the best thing you can do for yourself. Why doo I do what I do? Why do I have the job I have? Why do I live where I live? Why do I do what I do? If you spend sometime asking why you might be amazed at what you discover.

Friday, October 24, 2014

California - Poverty

I read today that the U.S. census is using a new measure to gage the level of poverty. Gues which state makes the top of the list with the new measure? That's right, good ole California, where the poverty rate is over 23%. I am not surprised because even though we have many people who are above the poverty line, in California being above the poverty line is not enough. The cost of living in California is one of the highest in the nation. If you are too survive here, you need to make much more than just above the poverty line. In fact, to live a modest middle class life style you need to make over $60,000. Since the median wage in the U.S. is about $28,000 and the average wage about $43,000, most people are not even close to making it in California.

So what is California doing about? There is a new move to raise the minimum wage. Will that help? It would if employers actually hired people with low or no skills to work full time at that wage. Unfortunately they will not. There is a reason employers pay low wages to those who have low or no skills. It's because that's all the market will alow. You can't pay some one to do work that the market will pay for. Customers will not pay $10 for a Big Mac. What will happen is that if (and when) the minimum wage is raised employers will slash hours, cut the head count, and automate as much as possible. If that does not keep them profitable, then they will close up shop and move to another state (which is already happening in California). The end result is that employees will make more per hour, but fewer will make more in total pay because hours will be cut, people will be laid off and replaced with technology, or there just will not be any jobs to be had (because the business has moved or closed it's doors). The poverty level will actually increase.

What needs to be done is for the minium wage to be abolished, taxes lowered, regulation streamlined and reduced, workers compensation reformed and made less expensive, union power and influence curtailed, all business related costs lowered as much as possible, and to make the business climate made as positive as possible. Why? Because this will actually create a flood of jobs that will eventually pull people out of poverty.

The only thing that pulls a person out of poverty is a job. The only way that there will be jobs in good quantity (and eventually quality) is if businesses feel that it is in their best interest to be in California. Is that going to happen? Not in my lifetime.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Opinion - Culture and Work Ethic

Does culture affect work ethic? In other words, is it culture that produces societies that seem to be more "laid back" or more "driven"? Or is it some other factor? Based on my living in north and south America and also my travels across north America and most of Europe. Here in my opinion and observation.

I think work ethic has something to do with geography and climate. Since we have all "evolved" around farming, I think that farming (and all the related activities like planting, harvesting, etc...) is a big factor. Northern European cultures tend to be more productive and driven while southern European cultures seem to be more laid back. This makes sense in that it takes much more work to survive in colder climates. In northern Europe the farming season is shorter because of frost and snow. You don't have the luxury of taking it easy. Thus societies in colder regions tend to be more driven (in my opinion and observation). Societies closer to the equator tend to be more laid back. The farming season lasts longer and there is not as great an urgency to get things done (you can take your time harvesting because frost and snow is not necessarily a factor). You can also see this in the U.S. where the south is much more laid back then the north.

What about South America? I think South America reflects a bit of the influence of geography and climate, but it also reflects the huge influence of colonization. I have noticed that the culture in south American countries tend to be like the cultures that colonized them (Argentina like the Spaniards, and Brazil like the Portuguese). I have also notice that the colder the climate, the harder working the population tends to be.

What about Africa and the middle east? I am not sure in these areas since I have not spent any time in the area. I suspect though that climate, geography, and colonization have had their effects. I also think that maybe religion has been an influence as well.

What about Asia? I think there is a different influence in this area and it has to do with farming rice. Cultures that are dependent on rice tend to be harder working than those that don't because rice is very labor intensive and hard to farm. I think that is why you see countries that are closer to the equator in Asia still have a harder working ethic than say European countries that are closer to the equator (or the southern area of the U.S.)

Does that make one culture better than another? No, in no way! it just accounts for some of the differences. Also, cultures are not monolithic. Though some may be more driven or hard working than others, that does not mean every person and that culture is. I also think that each individual also has their own work ethic (or maybe it would be better to call it work style). For example, my wife has a very driven work style. I on the other hand seem to be much more laid back (or lazy as my kids tend to remind me).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World News - Terrorist Attack in Canada

The terrorist attack today in Canada came as a surprise to me. First, that it happened in Canada and not in the U.S. or in one of the E.U. countries. The Canadians have not been that involved in the war on terror, so to have them experience a terror attack is surprising. Second, that we have not seen these type of attacks more often. In the west, we have a multitude of soft targets that can be attacked at will. How some gunmen have not attacked a mall or a school or some government office before is surprising considering how unprotected they are. Maybe this is just the first of many such attacks? Can you imagine the effect on our economy in the U.S. if we have gunmen attack our shopping centers or schools? The result would be panic and chaos. So I guess I am surprised that this type of attack has not occurred before, and in the U.S. or the E.U. Then again, maybe it's coming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Poverty - Lawlessness

I wrote in the past about the moral rot of nations and how that causes them to fall. What then causes poverty? I believe the greatest contributing factor to poverty is lawlessness. That is, the failure of the rule of law and the increasing lawless activities of a population. As I look at countries that have a huge poverty rates I see countries where either there is no justice or crime is rampant (or both). For example, how can people be confident that if they are productive it will not be taken away by criminals or worse, the actions of their government? Why start a business if you are not sure you will be able to keep the profits (or even make one at all). Why plant a field if you are not sure that you can take the crop to market and make a profit? In a country filled with lawlessness and injustice basic economic activity can't take place. No one can better themselves because however they better their lives, it will be taken in one way or another.

How do you fix a lawless situation? The only way is by imposing the rule of law, but you need a lawful entity to do that. You need a lawful law enforcement mechanism and government, which usually does not exist in poverty stricken nations. Maybe what citizens could do is start with enforcing the rule of law in their own neighborhoods and once that is established, then expanding the rule of law to other areas. Is that easy? Absolutely not, and that is why poverty is so persistent. That is also why aid does not seem to help. If you supply aid to a lawless nation it just gets stolen or wasted. It rarely gets to those who need it.

The other issue involved is what happens if the population at large is lawless? Then you have chaos and and there is nothing that can be done. I think this is what concerns me most about the U.S. It is increasingly becoming lawless. There is more and more corruption. The is more and more failure of justice. There is more lawlessness among the population. If the lawlessness persists then we can expect poverty and a host of other social ills to increase. God help us then.

Monday, October 20, 2014

California - When will it run out of money?

Fortunately for California there are plenty of deep pocket democrats, liberals, environmentalists, and technology companies that it might pay it's bills for a while. Unfortunately for the citizens of California, unemployment will remain high (still one of the highest in the nation), taxes and fees will remain high (still one of the highest in the nation), regulation and government intervention will be high (still one of the highest in the nation) the cost of living will remain high (still one of the highest in the nation), and the quality of life will not be all that good (high traffic, crime, and other issues of the like).

I think where California will run into trouble is if real estate and stocks drop in price once again. Much of California's "income" comes from property taxes and capital gains taxes. So if the real estate markets and the stock markets take a dive (which I think they will any time soon), California will have a deficit once again. One other thing that California has working against it is that the state and local governments keep spending more and more. Though the state has a balance budget, it has spent every dime it has taken in and has very little in reserve. One nice downturn and California is going to be hurting.

Well, that was a long way to say that if the economy is fine, California is fine. If the economy tanks, California is going to be in a world of hurt.

One more thing. There has been an exodus of people from the state, but it has mostly been productive conservative individual and businesses. So there is not much left of a conservative base here in the state to keep the politicians from spending as much as they want or get whatever they want (though there has not been many conservatives for many years, there were enough to defeat stupid ballot measures, but that is now gone). So the state keeps digging a whole when it comes to finances and obligations. California's unfunded liabilities are huge and basically will never be paid. There is just not enough money to pay for it all. In the long run, California is doomed. It's not a guess, it's math!

Creativity - Do The Work

One of the enemies of being creative is just not wanting to do the work. You could call it being lazy, but I don't experience it like that. It is easier to just be normal, or like everyone else, or to copy someone or something else. Being truly creative is hard work and I think many times we fail to be truly creative because we don't want to do the hard work it requires to truly birth something new and different. A variation of this is to create something like what you have already created. In this case, you are just copying yourself. Unfortunately, our society sometimes rewards that. If we create something truly new and original, our society sometimes wants more of it and we are left with little option than to go ahead and make something similar. Hey, I've done that because it pays the bills.

True creativity means being willing to do the work it requires. Just go for it and do the work. Don't avoid it. If you have to pay the bills, then go ahead and create something similar to what you have already created, but get started on something new and different as soon as you can. I guess it is a matter of courage. I have also found that the more you work on something different and original, the easier it becomes to start and create something new and different.

Do you want to be remembered for being average or not being able to break out and do something different? Go and start something new as soon as possible and do the work. In the end the reward is worth the effort.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Writing - Putting Words On The Page

There are times when i don't know what to write about so I just start throwing words up on the page to see what comes up. I do this to get my mind working and to also keep my word count up. Since I have a daily goal of writing 2000 words a day, it is sometimes very easy to run out of things to write about.

You would think that with so much going on in the world I could find something to comment about, and that is actually true. But, there are times when I just don't feel like writing about anything that has happened in the word. I could write about Ebola, but not much has changed since the last time I wrote about it. I could write about the plight of Argentina, Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria, or the rest of the middle east, but things are not much different since the last time I wrote about these areas (they are all just a mess). I could write about Russia or China, but here again, not much new has happened, so why bother. I guess I would like something to happen that way i can write something new.

Well look at that, i just wrote about 200 words just by putting some words on the page. If you are writing and you seem to be stuck, just keep throwing words up on the page and see what comes from. Maybe nothing much comes from it, but then again, you might write enough to creat a post you can publish.

Technology - iPad v. Laptop

I have an iPad which I don’t use very much. Why? I seem to gravitate to my Windows laptop instead. Probable because all the writing I do. Yes, I can write on my iPad, but since I write over 1000 words a day, having a keyboard has become essential. Now I could use a keyboard with my iPad, but then I have one more thing to carry around. I could look at using a Surface, but my laptop does the same stuff and it was much cheaper. In fact, it was much cheaper than my iPad.

Is there a solution to having so many device options? Is the one device to rule them all? I’m not sure there is a solution. I think that we will just need to use the right tool for the job at hand. If you are creating lots of content, then a laptop is the way to go. If you are just surfing the internet and checking you email, then a tablet or even an smartphone is all you need. I have not used a large smartphone yet, maybe that might be more of a fit for the one device that will rule them all? Well, my phone contract is not up for another year. I’ll have to wait till then to see if that will work for me.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Laptop - Acer E3-111

I bought this laptop for about $250 for school last summer. I needed a windows machine to do many of my assignments. I bought it with reward points I had on a credit card, so it did not cost me much. I was also looking fo the least expensive machine I could find on Amazon. I was not expecting very much since it only has 2 GB of ram and uses a celeron chip, but it has turned out to be a nice machine. I can do all I need to do including using Word and the other Office programs. I can write using Finale for all my school ensembles (I am a Jr. High band and choir director). I can also use my favorite mind mapping program, FreeMind. Considering that I was not expecting very much, I have been pleasantly surprised by how well this laptop has worked out for me. For the price, I can also upgrade to a newer version when they become available.

The economy - Insiders Selling Stocks

One way to tell if the economy is healthy is to look at what corporate insiders are doing. If insiders (like CEO and corporate officers) are buying their own stock, then things must be going well. If insiders are selling their own stock, then things must not be going so well. So what are insiders currently doing? They are selling their own stock. Now that might not be a bad thing if it's just a few of them, but according to what I have been reading, insiders are selling like crazy. In fact, the level of selling is back up to where it was in 2000! Maybe all the hype of Wall Street is just a con. Maybe they are hyping things as being good so that they can unload their own holdings and leave the retail investors with the mess they have created? Things just don't feel good to me. i think we are going to have a big crash at some point and we will all be left holding a mess.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Socialism - California

California was once the greatest state in the Union. It had one of the most vibrant economies. It had abundant water and natural resources. It had a fantastic school system. It was a great place to raise a family and run a business. It also had an affordable life style. California was an amazing place.

So what is California like now? It's a mess. The poverty rate is over 20%. The schools are a among the worst in the nation. The economy is on life support. The state has run out of water and refuses to tap the natural resources at it's disposal. Housing and the cost of living are among the highest in the nation. Taxes and fees are through the roof. Running a business is a nightmare. In short, California is one of the worst places to live in the U.S. What happened?

Socialism happened. California decided that it was going to provide hand outs for all sorts. It decided government knew best and it was going to micro manage as much as possible. California decided that it had to interfere with local schools and raise taxes as high as possible. California decided that social engineering was the best way to make sure everyone succeeded. Did it work? No, and the proof is in what California has become.

Is there a chance California can be great once again? I don't think so. The socialists are well in charge. The productive class has either stopped being productive or has moved out of the state. Those who are left are so dependent on the state that they will continue to vote for the socialist even as the state goes down the tubes. It is a shame what has become of California, but California has no one to blame but themselves.

Socialism does not work. look at Venezuela. Look at Argentina.. Look at many of the nations that make up the E.U. Socialism ends in ruin. Only true free market capitalism with true freedom and justice works to make the lives of everyone better. Is it perfect? No, but it is the best way to make life better for all. to bad California will never figure it out.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Online Business - Making Money

If you buy into all the hype, there are a million ways to make money online. After thinking this through, reading a bunch of books and articles, and finally giving it a go, I have boiled making money online to three steps.

First, sell something or provide a service people want or need. Yes you can make money from advertising or subscriptions, but after trying to I have come to the conclusion that in the end, the best way to make money online is to sell something or provide a service people want or need (or can be convinced they want or need).

Second, be good at what you do. If you provide a service, be as good as you can possibly be. No one buys from some one who sucks. If you provide a product, make sure it is a good one. Either make sure your supplier provides quality products or create a quality product yourself. In all instances just ask yourself that if you were in the market for your product or service, would you buy it and use it?

Third, market, market, and market. If you do not actively go out and do something to get attention (and page views) no one will know you exist. This can include anything you can do for free, or paying for some kind of service or advertising. The point is that no matter how successful you become, you never stop marketing because the moment you do, your business begins to die.

Everything else I have read is either a variation on these three points, or just hype in search of a dollar or two. Save yourself the wasted time and treasure and stick to the three I outlined above and you will be successful.

Just a note, not much has changed when it comes to making money. In the days before the internet these three steps were how you built a profitable business. What has changed is the medium. Instead of being fully physical (like having a store or an office), you can be fully digital. The steps still remain the same though.

World Economy - Venezuela

I am not the only one who is looking at oil prices and thinking that some countries are going to have problems. There is an article on that talks about how Venezuela is in a world of hurt as a result of the price of oil dropping. It turns out that Venezuela needs oil to be at about $120 a barrel to break even on all the spending the government does. With oil being down near $80 things are going to get even uglier in Venezuela. So we can expect some kind of government action and possibly more rioting and protesting. Since much of the population is dependant on the government, things will not be pretty as the money runs out, since Venezuela will not be able to borrow very much. With inflation running over 60% and crime being rampant in the streets of the capital, expect things to get out of control quite soon. How will this effect the countries around Venezuela and those who are friendly with them (like Argentina and Cuba)? Things are going to get uglier and it will happen quickly if oil price do not start to rise.

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Writing - By Hand

I truly enjoy writing by hand. It is something that I just find truly enjoyable. I just wish there was a way to store it digitally. I have tried a few apps on my iPad, but it is not the same. Maybe what I could do is write by hand and then just scan what I write into my computer with a scanner. I have one built in to one of the printers I use. I will give it a shot and see what I can do with it. I could save what I scan as a jpeg picture and then import it into a word document. That actually sounds like fun. In the mean time I am going to try to do more writing by hand just for the fun of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Writing - Using FreeMind

I started using a mind mapping program to keep my journal and to also write my blog posts (which is part of my journal). I got the idea from reading a book by Ian Stables called "The Amazing Book Writing Method". In it, Stables talks about how you can write full length manuscripts using FreeMind (a free mind mapping program). So I gave it a try and it works great for me. In fact, it has doubled my writing output. It turns out that writing in chunks works great for me. Here is what I do.

First, I create a map for my journal with a "node" for each day. Then for each day I create nodes for what I write (which for me includes a section for prayer, scripture, my day, my thinking - which is were I get my blog posts, and writing). Then I create entries for each of the "chunks" I want to write in each section using what is called a long node (created by hitting Alt and Enter together in any node). Then I just write in each chunk until I have down what I want to say and I move on to another chunk.

So far this is working fantastically for me (thank you Ian). If you are so inclined, give it a shot. FreeMind is a free Java program that runs on either Windows or Macs (but not on Chromebooks though - bummer). Just Google FreeMind and it comes up.

The Economy - Stocks

Stock markets were a roller coaster today. We have not seen this kind of volatility in a long time. I think that the level of volatility is indicative of a market that has not decided what direction it is going in. Is it going to sell off, or is it just going to dip and grow? Is this a small correction, a major correction, or is this a crash? The markets have no clue, so you will see this level of volatility till the market finds a solid direction. My guess is that the markets will go lower because there is nothing driving growth. In fact, what ever growth we have had over the last seven years has been artificial thanks to the FED. In any event, I don't believe things will end well and eventually the markets will crash. To bad my whole retirement is wrapped up in how well the markets do! I guess I'm working for a few more years (Though I doubt I will ever be able to retire).

The News - Ebola

Is it time to panic? No not yet, but it is getting scary. Now we have another Ebola patient. It's another health care worker who helped take of the first Ebola patient. That makes two health care workers infected with Ebola. I find this interesting. What about the people who lived with the first Ebola patient? How come they have not come down with Ebola? What was different with the health care workers who took precautions? Is the virus most virulent when it is in it's final stages? If that's the case, then health care workers are the ones who are at greatest risk. I don't know about you, but I would not want to be working in the health care field if an Ebola patient walks into the room. If health care workers are not safe, what about the rest of us? This could truly get ugly. This could get out of control. This could become a panic if it gets worse.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Economy - Oil Prices

I just wrote about how oil prices were falling and today they fell even further. Oil is now at about $82 a barrel down from a high of over $105 not to long ago. This drop is great for consumers but it is going to hurt oil producers especially Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. How will they react? Will they intentionally create a situation that pushes oil back up over $100? That would not surprise me. If you had bills to pay what would you do? I think a little mayhem would be worth the risk. So watch for some action from those countries that need oil to be over $100. They are not going to just take a loss.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Economy - Stocks

Wow, stocks are correcting. Is the FED going to let them fall more than 10%? Or will they step in and start buying stocks and bonds before they do? Time will tell, but maybe the market has finally figured out what the rest of us have. There has been no real recovery. Sure, the numbers have recovered, but they have all been rigged to look better than things truly are. We all know that. Just look at your local shopping center. People might be there, but they are not buying very much. Look at your local restaurants. They do not seem to have very many people in them. Are people getting jobs? Are people getting raises or promotions?

In my neck of the woods things have not improved much over the last 7 years and things will probably get worse now that we see a correction on Wall Street. It might be a good time to go to cash if you are in the market. If it's just a correction you can buy back in when the market turns. If this is worse than a correction, then you will look like a genius.

The fall of nations - Moral rot

What is the main reason nations fall? Do the fall because of invasion? Do the fall because of economic calamity? Do the fall because of some act of God? Actually, as I look over history I see the the most common reason nations fail is because of moral rot. When a nation becomes increasingly immoral they become unable to deal with national calamities and military threats. When a nation becomes full of liars, cheats, sexual deviants, murderers, and generally lawless people, then it becomes week. When a nation becomes week it can then easily be conquered by a foreign power. When a nation is full of moral rot, it's economy will falter and possibly collapse. If a nation is full of immoral and lawless people it can be decimated by some plague or natural disaster because it will not be strong enough to deal with the situation. In other words, nations reap what they sow.

Sowing immorality and lawlessness will lead to sure destruction. It's just a matter of time. So where are many of the nation on the globe today? What level of moral rot is there in this world? How far gone is the United States? I believe we are in a cesspool of immorality and we are ripe for reaping destruction. It's just a matter of time before we suffer some calamity that will end the United States as a union and a force for good.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My thinking - Gas prices

Gas has dropped to bellow $3.50 a gallon (in California) and looks to be dropping even farther. The world economy needs oil to sell at $100 dollar a barrel to fund most of it's socialist governments. If oil keeps dropping this will spell trouble to many countries around the world specifically Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. I think these countries will lash out in some fashion. Could we see the spark of greater regional conflicts? When countries get in trouble they go to war to distract their populations. Every country on this planet has done this in one way or another. Buckle up people, it is going to get interesting if the price of oil keeps falling.

Technology - Chromebook

I have not used my Chromebook in some time. I have been using my Acer Windows 8 laptop because of school. I also like the fact that I can write music and use FreeMind, a mind mapping program. I can't do that on my Chromebook. I also like the fact that I can use my windows laptop without having to be online. I keep looking on Amazon and I see that there are many more windows models that sell in the $200-$300 range. I also notice that many of the new Chromebook models are selling wither in the same range or for more. I think this spells trouble for Chromebook. One of the selling point for Chromebook was the price. Now that you can get a windows laptop for the same price, why get a Chromebook? Now Chromebooks are more reliable and they are faster online, but windows machines are so much more functional.

In the end, I have gone back to my windows machine. I wish it was as fast and reliable as my Chromebook, but I like all the functionality. In the end functionality wins.

My thinking - Reboot

I have not posted anything to my blog in three months. Why did I stop? I just lost interest and became busy with work and school. I am halfway through the semester at school. Things are going well. I finished an introduction to computers class this summer and this fall i am taking an intro to the internet and intro to programming classes. Why am i back at school? To defer my student loans and because I love going to school (no wonder I have a masters and most of a PhD.).

My goal is to just post the stuff I write in my journal on a daily basis. I have a section in my journal that is called "my thinking". Every day I write entries that reflect what I am thinking about. So that is what I am going to post from here on out. I figure that I will post at least one thing every day and more if things pop into my mind and I write about it.

Thank you to all of you who have come by and read what I have written. You guys are awesome!