I’ve Finally Written a Book!

Here it is.

I am proud of having made my second published work on Amazon. I know it is in the early stages right now, but because I’ve developed my writing a lot over the last few weeks, I’ve been able to make changes that were more than a little helpful. I’ve figured out a few little things here and there– primarily, that I can have a ghost writer write a book for me, and I can proofread, edit, delete, and check all sorts of grammatical issues while only spending a few measly bucks.

This isn’t a new idea, either! People have been ghostwriting for centuries, so I can’t see how a willing writer would complain about being paid a paltry introductory price for something that might be extremely valuable to the world. The only thing is simply that they’re not making a good living off of their work. Myself? I’m great at editing, but my first book was so terrible, I wouldn’t have the guts to show it off to anyone. It’s still available on Kindle, but I’m not promoting it. I’m promoting this book  for people to see. I believe it will be a helpful thing for people who are wishing to generate passive income online from their own efforts. I don’t see how anyone could resist that! But there are many things about passive income that people don’t know.

First, it does take a lot of hard work up front. What you’re doing is developing a brand for yourself over the long term. This won’t be a get-rich-quick scheme, like you’ve probably been fed by internet marketing gurus (whose skill set is intertwined with selling a product). Rather, my book reveals a few passive income streams that you can try on your own.

Some people have managed to get by on passive income alone, and it replaced their day jobs. You might wonder how this is possible, and the answer is simple– time and experience. You see, people who spend a lot of time doing one thing will eventually become very good at what they do. People who write blogs tend to become very adept at writing their thoughts down and expressing themselves in a literary manner. People who spend a lot of time reading about classical literature will undoubtedly become very skillful in their prose. And yet again, people who spend a lot of time studying fashion will inevitably become professional fashionistas who design their own clothing. It goes hand in hand with what you are good and and what you like to do.

Myself? I enjoy correcting peoples’ writing– a lot. I have no explanation behind it, but people have called me a grammar Nazi. I just have a knack for noticing editorial errors out of the blue, and I actually take the time to read things just to find these errors. This means that I can proofread essays without so much as breaking a sweat over the keyboard.

I’m considering outsourcing my e-book writing to some ghost writers… More often.



















My Personal Passive Income Stream Idea(s) for 2018?

I have been watching lecture after lecture, video after video, and reading blog post after blog post of some of the best passive income streams. I have learned a great deal of information from each of these methods. I’m keenly interested in making money online and I’m in a mindset right now to put out as much helpful information and energy I can to help others watch or learn my journey from my personal rags to riches (no, I’m not entirely homeless, but I’ll be damned if I keep having to struggle every month). I’ve almost made it a personal goal to improve my financial situation, since I’m going to be the determinant for my future anyways– I cannot keep relying on others’ help for this.

I ran across many hundreds of tidbits of information ranging from investing, real estate, drop shipping, driving people around, harnessing your knowledge to help others in your field, and perhaps more than I can mention at this moment. The latter idea (harnessing my knowledge) is perhaps the greatest service I can offer to everyone. Not only will it let me feel better about having been useful to more than just my locality, but as I’m already deemed an expert in this field, I felt that maybe the little golden nugget that helped me was this video right here. Ms. Perkins mentions about three in this video that I know beyond all shadow of doubt that I can perform with ease, and it could be almost exceedingly profitable for me, since it has been my top strength for decades now. In no particular order, these three clicked for me:


As someone who has gone to school for greater than half of his life, in a setting not suited for people like myself [read: standardized education], I’ve come to realize that it was never about myself having had a problem– it was always the means by which information was delivered by the instructors (to memorize and quote upon a test, almost like a legalized form of plagiarism). It was never the instructors’ fault, though I blamed them and hated having to speak to them about why I couldn’t understand how this, that or the other. It dawned on me recently that I am going to have to put forth my own energy to teach people in a field that appears to be in decline since the advent of text messaging– English and writing. Not once before my 30s did this occur to me. I was always interested in the feeling of excellence in my writing and expressing it to others just for the sake of having them read my content, but it never occurred to me to help anyone out. Given platforms like Fiverr and Udemy, however, I’m currently in the process of developing my skills, improving my own knowledge, and reach a global audience where it counts to actually utilize my skills to assist those who are studying English, whose first language might not have been English. This is where the internet will come in handy.

I’m not a certified educator, but I know well enough how to research using verified and trusted sources for information (the dictionary and thesaurus, and some of my English textbooks that I never threw away). Using these tools, I’ll be generating a decent Udemy course and helping people edit books on Fiverr (as well as write blog posts and guides, as I have been already) . But it’s going to take some effort on my part, because my speaking skills for video presentation are crap.


This one is right up my alley. You know how people are considered grammar Nazis? It turns out that their keen recognition of grammatical errors isn’t just out of the desire to sound like a b-hole on purpose– we just point out flaws in writing that would make communication far easier for the rest of native English speakers and readers. It turns out that this skill is useful in not only providing assistance to those whose writing skills might not be the pinnacle of their skill set, but also to those who wish to become writers, and have a great message to give to their readers– but they don’t have the time they need or the energy necessary to perform self-editing and corrections for their works.

Enter people like myself. This is a very skilled arena on Fiverr, and I’m waiting until I can take a week-long vacation to focus strictly on doing exactly this, because that would mean a significant amount of my skills could be focused just in that aspect. There are more people writing books than ever before in history, and there aren’t really enough people editing books to keep up with that demand. Here I was, on Facebook, pointing out errors for free, when my knowledge of writing could have been much more helpful to a wider audience who actually appreciates that kind of behavior because they had something to tell the world about their experiences, their fan fiction, or their otherwise deeply-rooted past and how they reflect on it now. These are things I’d never once become aware of before, and it’s all dawning on me in record pace. My mind is now full of ideas that I can’t keep up with, and all my energy is almost wasted on working full-time for someone else. I’m not even that good at my job.


This doesn’t have anything to do with law, rights, or anything of that nature. I’m not blandly verbose enough to care about being a law student (thank you, George Carlin). Instead, what this entails is capturing the attention for those people who do shop for things on a regular basis online, who are looking to obtain some means by which to save money, or almost blatantly stated, advertisements. I’m not really huge on clicking advertising links, but I understand the amount of my own attention they’ve garnered over the years (I looked at ClickBank). I’ve paid a bit more attention to these than I realized; perhaps not enough to write splash pages, landing pages, or sales funnels– but certainly enough to have some attention-grabbing text that will astound anyone scrolling through Facebook or Twitter or any of the other social media platforms currently available. Facebook ad managers are willing to pay people to create content along these lines, and I’m thinking that it might be more than lucrative, in my experience.

Between the three of these, I think I can make or earn enough to replace my day job. In between working for these, in fact, I could be writing my own series of e-books that will supply a passive income stream. I know it sounds like a lot of work, and perhaps it is– but passive income takes a lot of work up front. If I could create this lengthy blog post in a matter of 40 minutes before work, then don’t you think maybe I might have a chance to go about seeking alternative sources of income that don’t guarantee the shortening of my life and deterioration of my health over the long run– for a partly retirement? I’ve rarely taken major chances, and I don’t gamble, but this is one thing I have great confidence in.

One thousand, two hundred thirty words. Forty minutes. That’s the ticket right there, everyone.

Investing into myself

I realize that, in order to get the most out of life, you have to be willing to put the work into what you think is your most valuable asset or group of assets. One of the best investments you can make is to invest into yourself, according to multiple financial gurus. So, if this (you) is (are) the greatest asset of your life, then what sort of resources do you think would be the most fitting towards your financial future?

Self education. This means, very simply, that you take the time to learn from the people who know finance, life coaching, or education principles that would launch you to a world of success and happiness. Now, I’m not saying I know anything more about this than the next person. I do know and understand the importance of books. I have plenty– they just don’t get read. I work a physically-demanding job, so eight hours of my time every day for five days a week is immediately followed by naps, then dinner, then back to sleep again. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t think that’s going to be so much of a problem. Actually, I don’t even really get onto social media much. My biggest time waster is gaming, but that’s not doing anything for me.

Right now, as it stands, I have to take a bit more time to develop my writing. I have a very strong affinity for this, but I rarely find myself motivated enough after the hard workdays to stay awake to find any time to do anything but try to rest. So my blog posts don’t even come out once a week. Sometimes, yes, I can manage, but other than that, I’m usually taking care of chores or other stuff.

When it comes to investing into yourself, the first thing you’re going to have to find is time– time to read, time to watch a few informational or educational YouTube videos related to your self-investment, and time to put into practice all that you’ve learned and read thus far. I have heard that applied knowledge is really what constitutes power; knowledge alone is power in reserve. That’s the potential energy you read about in physics, which is a ball sitting atop a hill with a flat top. Kinetic energy, then, is energy motion–applied knowledge is the ball rolling forward, accelerating a little faster with each passing moment in time. This is the very fundamental explanation behind becoming something better than you ever thought could be possible.

So, that’s well and good! You have just learned a little about how to invest in yourself! Below, I’ll be listing a couple of books that I personally have in my library, which I have read and refer to whenever I feel stuck.

1. Think And Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill


This is the quintessential book for anyone wishing to really get into the mindset of becoming wealthy in all aspects of their personal lives. I’ve read this a couple of times, and each time I go through the pages, I see something that applies to a new feature of my path, which, had I only read this book once, would have passed me by– I would have missed an opportunity otherwise. It’s focused on how the wealthy made their money, by using nothing more than the will of their mind to become rich. Now, there are multiple paths to becoming rich, and thought alone will not get you there. A “burning desire” is what really helps to forge your path to wealth, because it forces you to think about how to go about developing yourself, which is ultimately the path you take in life to obtaining your wealth.

Anyone who has ever read anything about finance has heard about this book. I recommend it only because it’s helped me a little bit, but I’m not claiming to have utilized it to my full potential; it’s only a small stepping stone!

2. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey


This book has introduced the idea of limiting my spending habits to such an extent that I have an emergency fund for immediate use, since a good portion of the population for my demographic seem to not have such a thing. His recommendation is to have at the very least $1,000 for emergencies, to start. Later, this increases, but at least you’ll have this available and at the ready, before taking on some of the next steps towards financial independence.

Now, this book is more common sense than anything, focusing on eliminating your debts through your own efforts first and foremost and living below your means (this term will become apparent to those who are only hearing this for the first time). Rather than buying the latest hot gadgets, the focus is to really only get what you need for your daily life until you can realistically afford the small luxuries.

Last, but certainly not the very least, two books from the same author:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki


These two books are more geared towards the person who has already developed their financial literature, and has a more confident approach to how they’re going to move from the left side of the quadrant to the right side. This is the path I’m currently taking. Now, these two books have done quite a lot for me in addition to the other two which I have mentioned, because they’ve exposed to me a mindset and perspective which I wish I would have had when I was much younger. Of course, I never did listen to my parents’ advice, so here I am struggling financially– but the difference here is that, after a couple of years of consideration, hard thinking, and long hours of physically working too hard, I realized that life doesn’t have to be as such. It’s a humbling thing, understanding your flaws and accepting yourself for who you are after years of self-deceit. I’ve been on the left side of the cashflow quadrant for a long time, and I feel it is now time to start taking steps to get to the other side.

Not only am I doing this for my future, but for the future of my family and siblings and nieces and nephews. I hear so many stories of personal success, and it never occurred to me that I should be doing the same. After watching a few videos from Jeff Rose on YouTube, I’ve become more motivated to doing what it really takes to succeed. Now, it’s going to be up to me to find a niche or career path which is best suited for me, but perhaps I should just start right here on my blog. Blog posts are a good foundation for stepping into another realm of financial security and decisions.

Featured Image of money from these guys at The Green Head.

Affiliate Marketing Or Writing?

I’ve been working with affiliate marketing off and on for a little while, and I haven’t made a single dollar. The only time I ever made any money was through a book that I had written in the early stages of my career as a custodian. I made a single sale since its release! Yay!

But, as far as I can tell, it hasn’t made any headway. Apparently, the first thing one should know about writing a book is actually how to write one. This takes time and effort to really develop. I spent a measly 6 hours writing it out, and it ranks relatively low on Amazon within several categories, which are as follows:

Ranked # 3,725,672 Paid in Kindle Store
Ranked #2,727 in one cluster of categories
Ranked #5,644 in another cluster of categories
And ranked #1,644,760 in nonfiction

Funny thing, though: I released it last year on the 23rd of December. So it looks as if I’m revisiting this area in a cycle. By this point in the amount of time I’ve spent in my job, though, I have a far deeper understanding of how the system seems to be working. This is the general basis behind writing on anything– you have to know what you’re doing if it’s an everyday thing that you do, or if it is something with which you’ve been involved for a significant amount of time. This was something that had escaped me.

Now, I’m not much for knowing a whole lot about affiliate marketing myself, but within the realm of passive income are many opportunities for one to earn money almost entirely without doing anything– after, of course, putting in the amount of hard work that’s necessary up front. I’ve seen everything ranging from real estate, to REIT methods (real estate investment trust), all the way to writing a book with good information that will sell for as long as Amazon is around. People set up Etsy shops and make physical products, sell them, and successfully own their businesses and maintain their brands. They know what they love to do, and their passion no longer remains inexplicable.

So, what do I know about writing? I apparently know enough to edit on the fly for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors, which is only a basic (I mean BASIC) function of writing. I have a deep understanding of my personal level of literacy, and everyone else who has seen my writing prompts has agreed. I really do not brag on this skill. However, I’ve noticed some really awesome things which really boost my confidence in eventually making money from combining writing with affiliate marketing. Here’s why: based on the number of free Amazon books I’ve read on the subject, I have seen that even these very basic principles are those to which not every aspiring writer seems to adhere. This is only easy for me to say, because I’ve excelled in English all my life, particularly when it came to college. I’ve never once before this particular decade considered writing a means by which to earn money, up until perhaps just last year (2016). But, even when I become motivated to begin writing, I almost end up with something terrible. This is because I’m not following a plan on what it is I’m writing.

Funny thing, brainstorming seems to have escaped me. Right as I ended that last paragraph, I had a random flashback to high school, where my senior English teacher first imprinted onto my mind the importance of planning out one’s writing projects, which led to a memory of my English teachers from college having told me the exact same thing.

And when I did, I actually began to write a little better. I still REALLY wanted to get into affiliate marketing, but that wasn’t happening. I still REALLY want to continue my efforts in the realm of affiliate marketing, but until such a time occurs when I am more motivated (and have more energy during the day to actually spend writing) I’m just going to have to brainstorm a plan to follow through with that after I’ve first graduated from writing blogs (which is another way to make money– in fact, isn’t this a blog already? I just feel like I vent here more than anything) to focusing more on writing. Maybe I could actually teach advanced English through a series of ebooks.


Playing the Lottery

Once in a while, I’ll pick up a scratch off ticket from the convenience store, and a good portion of time I’ll get the little dollar or two dollar scratchers. Maybe one out of every three times I play, I will land a ticket or a dollar. Even less frequently, I’ll play the mega Millions or Powerball. Once, I won $33 on a dollar scratcher. Not too shabby! And I, too, have won the lottery on two occasions, with a grand total of $2 in prize money, so maybe I unconsciously utilized the strategies outlined in Richard Lustig’s book.

Last night, I bought a $3 scratcher at random and it raked in a cool $25. I like the times I win because it feels nice, but it is not every run. Such is the basis of gambling. You place a bet on an unknown variable in hopes that you’ll bring in more than you slapped upon the table. Your odds of winning are terribly against you with much higher payouts, and with much larger numbers of participants. The lottery is one such form of gambling, where many will enter and few will win.

Wouldn’t it be severely unlikely that someone ought to win the lottery more than once, though? Close to impossible! With a few exceptions, one notable person in modern times has managed to develop a strategy to purchasing lottery tickets, claiming that there’s a means by which to increase your odds of winning. I mean, for someone to win multiple grand prize jackpots and actually have succeeded in consciously doing so? I believe that would far more than justify claims of his success being intentional. Of course, some critics might argue something along the lines of, “Oh, sure, he has won jackpots, but he only won just over a million dollars. Why doesn’t he win the massive jackpots and really prove himself?” To which I would respond, quite simply, “How many millions have you won thus far after reading his book?” Chances are fairly high that this critic hadn’t even made a single purchase.

Of course, when it comes to success, everyone has their particular means by which to obtain the greatest possible leverage against the given odds. And some people might have been given a single stroke of awesome luck, but it still doesn’t hurt to accept that some people just happen to have developed a sense of methodically carrying out their will in this area of the world– the gamble-sphere (I know it sounds dumb, but that’s what I say). And you know what? They have the car to prove it.

I understand that a good portion of winners out there fall into bankruptcy within a few years of a substantial windfall, so maybe it isn’t all strategic luck out there. I know I’ve figured out what I would do with my winnings– investments across the board. I would even start buying websites by the dozen and figure out marketing like crazy. Wealth building. I would even make an investment into a program that automatically trades sports like the stock market with a resounding success in favor of accuracy.

Maybe some people out there have purchased Richard Lustig’s book for themselves and made their hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have come across this blog, let me know what it felt like for your big time win!

New to Affiliate Marketing?

Me too. I mean, it seems like one of those American Dream stories– two parents, one a housewife and the husband a hard worker, putting in 40+ hours per week, all for the pile of debt which won’t be paid for years because of minimum payments and the annual percentage rate keeping their principle in check. Dad gets tired of working so hard and spending so much time away from family eventually. I mean, I’m there right now. I’m frustrated with the amount of time I’m trading in for the amount of money I get paid. This isn’t about me, though. It’s about the thousands of other people who have done exactly this thing and felt as if they were wasting their lives away, paying someone else’s mortgages with their mortgage payments, or a land owner’s house being paid by the multiple tenants in the apartment complex.

Eventually, the paradigm shifts for those who are keenly aware of their own preferences in life. Instead of working for their dollar, people have figured out a way to make their dollar work for them. For these individuals and families, it is nothing to place six hours of their time over the course of a whole week and spend the rest doing a hobby they love to do, or traveling and hosting a blog or YouTube video blog to show to the world where they’ve been, experiencing different cultures the world over, while the masses who have not figured out their secrets to wealth building are left feeling hopeless because they’re working a basic job somewhere for minimum wage. The difference here is simple: those who have become successful have become aware that their time is not worth a measly $10.50 an hour. These individuals, then, have decided that their time is best spent just enjoying life.

That’s where I want to be. I know that the life I’m living right now can be described (as someone once put it) as “trans-financial,” identifying oneself as feeling as if they have tons of money but were born into a family that either budgets very poorly or doesn’t budget at all (I found that here). I know it seems like a funny thing to say, but the reality is that people don’t know their own potential, just as much as I don’t know my potential– and just as with any highly successful person, my personal paradigm is shifting into a mindset where I’m no longer working for my money; I’m no longer aware of the importance of a job, personally, because I keep telling myself if I could just develop a sense of how to market, how to become an affiliate, or how to just work my mind a different way, and actually UTILIZE the power in reserve which has endearingly become called “knowledge,” then I could also enjoy a life of luxury, boat cruises, excellent savings, or even just a nice Zippo lighter to add to my collection, I could become more relaxed about life than scraping change and recycling cans and bottles just to make some extra money here and there. I know what it’s like to struggle, and I can only imagine what financial independence feels like.

Now, I’ve been finding affiliate marketing to be a wonderful niche unto itself, and this is for good reason– it is one of the most popular ways for an individual to potentially make tons of money. There are tons of resources available online, and for the last ten years I have not been utilizing the internet correctly. If you’re familiar with Uber or Lyft, you know that ride sharing is more profitable for individuals than simply re-selling physical products from your own home on eBay. Vitamin supplements are still extremely popular. There are probably more links than I can mention in this one post, because you might be looking at more characters in that post than exist in pi.

Now, I can’t guarantee to any of you out there that my method of blogging versus owning an actual brick-and-mortar business will be of any real success. I actually have to be going to bed right now, because I have to work in the morning, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can earn money while you sleep, for real? I look forward to hearing some information about how you became successful in a niche!

Spoken And Written

I posted a question on Facebook a few weeks ago noting how I had unintentionally eavesdropped into conversations during a trip to Target one day. I had passed by no fewer than ten individual conversations, one of which involved a woman speaking to another regarding something relating to grooming or cleanliness. I do not immediately recall this one, but the ten individual conversations I had run across made me ponder something. Words, both spoken and written, are just here; hundreds of years from now, these individual conversations will have never crept out into the world to be heard. The gift of communication is basically wasted on complaining about what others have said, and those words will not echo forever. Those conversations will have been forgotten by time, both by the speaker and the listener.

Writing is far different. It’s the physical embodiment of speech. Yet, when someone tears up a note they’ve written, or burn their Morning Pages, they’re destroying a permanent record of their existence.

How interesting is it that literacy has separated the great men from the common peasant, and it is only those great men will be the only ones to be remembered throughout history. The rest are lost to time, a ghost in history books except by mention of mass casualty from a world war. How depressing it must be to live and die in the blink of an eye, while the world continues its cyclic path of days, weeks, months and years without even a hitch of sadness.

Overtime As A Custodian

So if you’re like me, and work a full-time job, you might hear the wails and lamenting of people who have it so hard because they have to pull overtime once in a while. I, on the other hand, tend to welcome some extra overtime work. The reason for this is because my job is not very difficult. As a custodian, there are only so many difficult things to do, which, given that I have experience, are not that difficult at all. Just a minimal amount of training over the course of a year and a half has allowed me to clean houses at breakneck speeds. I have the capacity to earn over $30 an hour based on my expertise, but I choose to clean houses once a week to avoid burnout.

So, back on track– overtime. Some people have too much of it,and it is reflected in their paychecks. It is also reflected in their health as well. I once knew of one guy who works over 100 hours a week, and had done so for a few months straight. Between the time he started and the end of that hefty chain of work he had gone from a relatively happy person to looking terribly pained. When I work overtime, however, I welcome it with open arms, because it only occurs once a year. It is to strip and wax a floor. That’s it. That’s all. Anyone with half a brain can figure out how to do this type of thing.

So what about overtime has it become such a huge deal when a certain amount of work is necessary, and a company is excessively reluctant to pay overtime? If I were the head of a company which commanded a large workload, I would most certainly be happy to pay overtime or increase the work force to accommodate for job requirements. But, in my field of work, which is basic cleaning, such a thing is unnecessary, much less unavailable except in office environments.

I’m looking at it from multiple perspectives, and I’m pretty sure I can be a one-man workforce for housecleaning. This is not a difficult arena. I can Ajax any mildew and bathtub scum away, given enough elbow grease. My vacuum cleaner is perfectly capable of whisking away dirt from hard-to-reach corners and dust bunny escapees which survived the pass of my dust mop (I need a new dust mop head). I might be relatively new to this industry, but if this isn’t the most simple way to make money, I don’t really know what is (affiliate programs notwithstanding).

The most difficult part of my job is pricing. I know I mentioned earlier that I have the capacity to earn more than $30 an hour, but if I can clean a three-bedroom house in two hours, I ought to be requesting more moneys. The problem with this is that I hate asking people for money. It might just be a comfort level thing on my end, because I certainly know I like paying people who know what they’re doing to help me with something with which I have zero experience.

Who knows? This might just be a useless article on the internet, but I would really like to hear your opinions as to how you’re charging based on house size, square footage, etc. If you’re in the cleaning industry and you have been at it for a while, and you have some advice to offer me in terms of how I should be pricing against “competitors” or other cleaners, I am all ears.

They say becoming a leader requires good listening skills, but listening doesn’t do a thing unless you apply the expertise to your repertoire of actions. I’m putting this to the test. Let me hear your words of wisdom and encouragement!

Back To Ocarinas!

I’m always weaving in and out of interests, and this I may have mentioned a multitude of times–here it is again! What’s I’m thinking is simply this: if I tend to rediscover information about something, or re-enter a phase where I’m wanting to learn something new, what do I do about it?
The opportunity to obtain tools necessary to build my own pottery wheel has arrived. In a local auction, held in approximately two hours, an old stone grinding wheel can be re-purposed to act as a flywheel for a kick wheel. Given the amount of momentum I could generate with this thing, I could whip up some pots like crazy!
The thing is, I’ve never done pottery, and I switched out my conversation about ocarinas to talk about pottery wheels. You’re wondering what happened. I know. I realized it myself a few years ago when I was in this same rotation of interests, but there’s a very strong connection to ocarinas and pottery. You’re probably wondering why I’m even typing this out.
Well, as it turns out, pottery is a multiple-thousand-year-old craft which allowed rainwater and food to be stored, and within which food could be cooked. This is a similar idea to modern cookware that’s made of stainless steel, except stainless steel doesn’t crack like pots do under similar thermal shock conditions. That’s because stainless steel is more malleable than fired pottery.

You: Okay, so what about cookware? What are you talking about? Your title says, “Back To Ocarinas!
Me: Slow down! Just a minute!

Music is also multiple thousands of years old, one of the oldest instruments known to man being the didgeridoo. Ocarinas and flutes rank a close second in terms of longevity throughout written and unwritten human history. Some of the oldest flutes are more than forty thousand years old, and these were made of eagle bones and mammoth ivory (in fragments, of course, but still ancient nonetheless!). It fits, then, that some of the oldest characteristics for humans happened to be music and the arts. Besides, pottery is still offered in art classes, so one cannot convince me otherwise!

You: You’re still talking about pottery and old flutes. Bones aren’t pottery.
Me: Yes, I’m aware of this. Sit down a minute, I’m getting to the connection here soon.

Pottery does not just involve pots, although it is safe to say that pots were the primary purpose behind pottery, thus the name. But people can make a great variety of other things out of clay on a wheel, and it just so happens that, when I was first learning about ocarinas and other things of that nature, one such potter by the name of Anita Feng was a known ocarina maker, but that was the only association between pottery and music that I could think of, being that she was the only example of throwing vessel flutes on her pottery wheel. Perhaps she was unique in the ocarina awareness storm that happened in the late aughts and early teens (2006-2017) as she was the only potter (that I knew, of course, but I’ve since learned MUCH more about it) who made ocarinas on a wheel. By the bye, it was my ignorance which fueled my thirst for knowledge.
It’s been occurring to me that pottery is one of those things which consistently keeps calling back to my interests. Sure, I like collecting other things, but ocarinas are the one thing I have not yet had the heart with which to part; and in fact, when it comes to my revolving interests, I keep stumbling upon pottery as something which almost permanently holds my interest on a consistent basis, and I’ve never had proper training in making clay anythings! I did, once upon a time, make ocarinas out of clay, but my capacity to fire them was limited by the fact that the local ceramic art store stopped letting people use their kilns for personal projects due to the increased instances of exploding and damaged pieces. So it was this incapacity to fire ocarinas in the first place which kept me from really diving in to this realm of interest, and my scaredy-cat nature which prevents me from learning how to build a propane kiln out of fire bricks (I’ve watched plenty of videos and tutorials, and I still can’t bring myself to make them for some reason. I know to use ceramic blanket if I’m using an old oil drum. I know to use fire mortar and to drill out a certain number of holes for oxygen supply for a propane kiln. I know how to dig out a hole, pile wood up into a miniature mountain and suspending pieces among the branches properly for an even smoke-fired look. Maybe it’s that ONE step that’s keeping me from actually doing what I want as opposed to what I need to do.)
Lack of financial power really kept the doors closed to my interests, and even more so now due to things which I’ve pretty much brought upon myself (debts, et cetera). On the other side of the coin, I’m always changing interests, and that might be keeping me from really pursuing something of this nature. Whatever it is, I know I’m interested in it NOW, and I would like to get a wheel made or given to me, since I cannot afford to purchase one–and maybe a kiln, too. Maybe I’m being picky about what I want, or maybe option paralysis has its iron grip around my well-being. Whatever it is, I’m feeling pretty strongly in favor of using a wheel to make ocarinas, just as a means for trial and error to see if I can produce some of the nicest-sounding ocarinas I’ve ever made. I understand Menaglio ocarinas tend to sound wonderful!
Do you have an interest in pottery or ocarinas? Or perhaps music in general? Maybe you’re a Zelda fan. Whatever it is you’re into, if you liked this post, share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter! If you want, I’ll even give you a link to use so you don’t have to go through the trouble of creating your own link: http://bitigee.com/27CK


   As I sit and hear the water bubbling in the percolator on the stove, I am considering how my financial problems have been eating away at my happiness. And as a slave to debt and payments in adult life, I’m constantly reminded of how little I’ve kept for myself while others have taken from me– all the while, I believed that it was a good thing, to pay later for something I felt I had to have post haste. The thing is that I have blamed others and really taken a look at the proverbial mirror, and I’ve seen what kind of dimwit I’ve always been. But in the same breath, those who are ignorant are not ill-intended towards that which they don’t know. Sadly, this is a reality for many millions of people. They’re not taught the ways of the dollar, and how spending less by buying none of the crap you really need is not entirely discouraged. Our whole lives have revolved around buying everything on credit, or in the form of a down payment, or some other means by which to purchase something over the course of time, since you didn’t have that money to begin with.
Thus, I’ve decided it is going to take great testicular fortitude to reverse the financial damages I’ve rendered to myself. I’ve not dug myself into SEVERE debt, luckily. I rent an apartment, and so I don’t owe for a mortgage. I do have car payments, nice smart phones (ironic) for my fiancee and myself, child support arrears (definitely blaming others for my own luck)– and here it is YEARS later, and I’m coming to the realization that I had not exercised the very common sense I told people was not very common. Spouting off quotes doth not a smart man make (to make use of random, non-verbatim, and highly altered quotes as a means to prove a point). As a newly-discovered personality trait, I’ve suctioned myself down a funnel, into a twisting spiral that is reality and karma only to discover that I, myself, have lived verily as a hypocrite. And ignorant one at that.
Denial knows no boundaries, intellectual or otherwise. As it turns out, I’m a great reader! I’m an okay writer! And I’m very much sobered by this slow-but-steady reality check. As a person who has not done much in the way of intelligence at all, I’m very much sobered by the fact that I have never taken the time to even learn much about budgeting, financial intelligence, or money in general. I have heard from countless people over my lifetime: “More money would be awesome.” “I could use more money.” “If I had a million dollars, I would be set!” The unfortunate thing about desiring more money is that it would be used as a means to highly fuel one of the greater problems that we as a society have already had to face for decades: we’ll waste it on crap if we have neither the proper financial literacy nor proper discipline. We’ll buy things on credit, buy the expensive house, the expensive car, the expensive this-or-that with high maintenance costs.
Look, I’m a custodian. I know a thing or two about cleaning, and basic maintenance is not exactly rocket science to me. I can fix a gasket in a faucet, soft reset phones, figure out the damn remote for the TV, and kick the dog if it doesn’t work— just like anyone else. I do all of these things in the run-down apartment which I live, and yet when it comes to controlling my spending habits, I’m like a kid in a candy store. “Gimme this and that and all of it! Shiny! The hardest part about learning this is that I actually have to look at myself, and I see a dunce cap on a donkey. Regret sucks!
So, I’ve made it a point to really start to try some of the savings and payment exercises as expressed by a man who goes by the name Dave Ramsey. This is a person who has written a few books, held many seminars, taught millions about controlling their money, and means by which to eliminate their debts. It seems as if he not only has good content, but he knows a thing or two about what has worked for him during his lifetime.
By this time next year, if I can change my spending habits and stick to it with great diligence, then I should be out of the debt hole. But, I understand fully that it will take a monumental degree of discipline, heartache, and tantrums by my inner gimme kid. The only thing I should be investing in at this point is my knowledge of money, but it starts with the first step. All great journeys begin with the first step.
Baby step number one is to save for an emergency fund. This is almost unheard of in my household, but I’m starting off by keeping accurate count of how much I have in my emergency fund, which I will store somewhere. I’m not sure WHERE just yet, but I will have it somewhere.
As I work through the book, I’ll be keeping a sort-of journey through my Instagram. I already have a single post regarding some related reading, with a total of five or six books that I’ve been working through over the last few weeks. They are:

How To Read A Book
The 9 Steps To Financial Freedom
Rich Dad Poor Dad
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
The Total Money Makeover
Cash Flow Quadrant
Wealth 101: Wealth Is Much More Than Money

So, that’s a lot to absorb, but when I study something, sometimes I use a laser focus for extended periods of time. A lot of this is basically common sense, but it still doesn’t hurt to read a book on the subject as written by those who have actually done something to make money far in excess of what I’ve even achieved to date. If you have any awesome tips that I could use, please feel free to share with me in the comment section below!