Friday, May 29, 2015


REI Credit Card plus $100 FREE MONEY!

On my way to rebuilding my credit I applied for a credit card a few weeks back. Well today I received my REI credit card!

I couldn't help but admire the simplicity of the design of the card. Super cheesy to even mention, I know, but it is a very nicely designed card. I cool grey weave pattern across the background with the simple and elegant REI Logo in chrome proudly in the top right. Even the silly chip, because of the other design aspects of the card the chip blends in beautifully with the card design and adds a techie modern feel to the card and design. I doubt that was planned by the design crew but if so I am very impressed!

The APR is shit (23%) but there is no annual fee and I don't ever plan to have debt again so the APR doesn't even matter really. Nonetheless, having a card on my credit and using it on occasion will help to show positive activity on my credit report. Only a $1000 credit limit but for where my current credit is (650) its a great card.

On top of all of that, if I use the card to make a purchase within 60 days I will receive an REI Gift card worth $100 that can be spent anywhere that accepts credit cards. Not a bad deal to have as a free bonus for getting the card.

If you want a $100 gift card and are in the market for a new credit card you can check it out at

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Current Mountain Bike

My current mountain bike is a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. Its a 26 inch multi speed with Shimano/Avid caliper brakes, Shimano gears and a Rock Shox suspension fork.

I got it off Craigslist a while back for $180. Its been a fantastic bike thus far. Its relatively light since it has small tubing yet strong since it is chromoly (a mix of steels). It came with road tires which I quickly swapped out for the lightest dirt tires I could find, Maxxis Larsen TT.

I haven't changed much on it. Upgraded the brake levers cause they didn't fit my hands very well and brake pads as they were terribly worn. Replaced the grips once they started slipping and getting slimy. Otherwise, nothing has broken or failed since I got it.

To accessorize, I got a water bottle and holder, mini tire pump and a saddle bag (small pouch that straps to the bottom of the seat to hold tools and a spare tube). That's really all I need, simple and solid and a pleasure to grab and go without the new bike panic (being afraid to ride it from fear of dirt or damage).

There's a few things I'd like to upgrade still like the pedals, seat and possibly the rear hub. In the meantime, I'll keep riding and enjoying!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Getting Back to Nature

Nature set the environment and physical laws around us which allowed for our existence to even occur. Nowhere else in our universe have we seen the 'perfect' conditions which led to our existence. I say the 'perfect' conditions because we see them as perfect however nature just adapted to the laws that were in place to manipulate it into what it is. By this same token we simply evolved/adapted to the laws that were in place when we came into existence. However, because we have manipulated the laws of nature so heavily we no longer feel the push of the laws of nature guiding us down the path that we were brought forth in.

Just like being a fish out of water we are humans out of nature. Just like a fish flips and flops and suffers from being in an environment it is not meant to be in we are flipping and flopping and suffering from being out of our environment. If you feel disconnected, out of place, or things are harder than you feel they should be it is likely because you are 'out of water'. The only way to cure any ailment from being out of your environment is to return to your natural habit, nature. How does one do so you may ask? Simply observe what nature initially intended for us and adapt to changes as they occur.

From my experience, life is much more enjoyable being in your natural habit, Nature! This means something different to everyone but the point is the more you can align yourself with the laws of nature and the more you can act as nature intends the happier, healthier, smarter, more creative you will be. Anyone can do this by simply imagining how you'd live, in regard to any topic, if there was nothing but you and nature. I recommend starting with things that are causing you problems or you think are difficult.

A good example is diet. If you are unhealthy or overweight and you'd like to be healthier simply think about how you could align more with the natural environment in regards to what you eat. What would you eat if it was just yourself and nature? Write your answer as you think and once you're done you'll have your guide. Let me walk you through the process:
  1. Write what you'd eat if it were just yourself in nature (before we added all that we have today). 
    • I would eat...
      • Lots and lots of raw veggies, nuts, berries, and fruit of great variety. Basically whatever nature has ripened for you that is edible. After all, you won't know when you'll eat again and since you'd be working hard to survive you'll need any nutrients and these will be easiest to come by.
      • Some meats and fish as you're able to find and capture it also of great variety. If it were just you and nature you'd have to create your own tools and processes to catch and cook food so you'd be guided by nature to eat less of this but still as much as you could catch and eat in one or two sittings.
      • Possibly some eggs as found or if animals were captured and held long enough to produce.
      • Little else. You'd drink mostly water, some milk and tea. Maybe you could learn a method of making your own beverage (such as beer).
  2. Discard anything you've heard or were taught (from sources other than nature) and simply follow your new guide. Nature has created and brought us into an environment that is perfect for our survival.
  3. Find creative ways to adapt and mold your guide into your modern lifestyle and our current environment. It's easier and more fun than you think!
The above is likely very hard for most to follow in our current environment and that's okay, it is only a guide. It is important to understand that the further from your guide you get the greater the consequences will be (disease, obesity, etc). It's something to strive for and will be met by varying degrees by different people. The point is to eliminate the confusion and overabundance of information regarding diet in our modern world. It is overwhelming how much information there is and it stifles action. NO MORE! This is your guide, no excuses for not taking action and no reason to beat yourself up if you can't follow it exactly.

The hard part is disassociating and releasing the beliefs and information regarding the topic. Our emotional attachment to beliefs are meant to hold us in a healthy balance with the environment around us. Unfortunately, our beliefs are rarely tested because all of our needs are so abundant and easily satisfied that we generally don't need to question or consider our beliefs in order to do or get something. I'll go into more detail in another post but for now you just need to know that in order to adopt nature's guide you will need to change your beliefs from whatever they currently are to one's that allow the healthy alternative that you've discovered.

The fun comes in getting creative about finding ways to satisfy nature's guide while maintaining a balanced life in our modern environment. Juicing is a great example of a way to still get most of the raw veggies into your diet without having to drastically change your life to get them. Instead of cooking bacon and eggs or stopping by a food joint just buy veggies, keep them in your fridge and replace those meals with juice. It's just as quick, even more mobile (drink it like coffee on the way to work), and way healthier (which we know because it is what nature provided for us). This doesn't mean all you drink is juice it is simply an aid to help you get more of what nature intends into your life. You can still eat the bacon and eggs (they are still of nature) just eat them in an appropriate quantity and less than you eat the veggies (as nature directs).

I'll be posting my perceptions of what nature is guiding me to do in various areas and how I creatively incorporate them into my daily life. Feel free use any of the guides I share to more effectively incorporate yours into your life and if you've got methods that are working well for you please share with me!

A Commercial Worth Watching

I'm not typically a fan of commercials or advertising but this one is pretty amazing. The music choice, the images, the message all speak so well without being in your face and being entertaining at the same time. Well done Android!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Current State of Employment

I have been working with Aaron's Systems Integrator's (ASI) since July of 2014. ASI is a security, central vac and home automation company based out of Fayetteville, GA. They've been in business for nearly 30 years and have 9 employee's other than myself.

I've enjoyed it thus far as they have many perks that my last jobs did not, such as a company vehicle, company phone, and health insurance (just in time for Obamacare requirements). There are a few downsides as well but all in all it has been a rewarding experience.

I have a role very similar to what I've had in the past which is a installation technician. This covers a huge range of tasks such as programming of Control4 systems (home automation devices), setting up home networks, mounting TV's, running wires (typically through attics/walls/basements) assembling equipment racks, troubleshooting problems, installing surveillance and security systems, and piping central vac systems. I generally enjoy the times I get to be on the computer programming or setting up networks. Rack building and wiring comes second assuming we have the necessary components.

The employees are all really knowledgeable and are great to work with. Two of them have been there about 20 years. Oddly enough I knew one of them through a mutual friend and another I worked with at a previous company so it was a pretty smooth transition and nice to have the familiar faces when I first started. We work about 80/20 on a team and alone respectively. I enjoy both and this mix. I work well with others and enjoy the company, extra knowledge, and double checking of work and ideas but it's also nice to be one on one with customers and troubleshoot problems and know that it was all your own efforts when you figure it out.

We've currently been working on cleaning out and reorganizing our warehouse which is a huge undertaking. The warehouse is quite large and has not had a whole lot of work done as far as organization and design since the company moved in nearly 25 years ago. Huge progress has been made but there's still tons to do. Balancing this effort with all the day to day business is certainly a daunting task for all involved. In the end, it will be well worth it for the increased efficiency and space for more important business.

Stay tuned as I'll be adding photos of our work and other interesting happenings.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Website: Happify

Turns out money can buy happiness...sort of. Happify is a fun website that helps you focus on and be thankful for the good things in your life which leads to being happier. They have a basic program that is free and you can pay for additional features.