In this quick video, I talk about how the book The Four-Hour Work Week has changed how I blog as well as my life.
Back in September 2008 when I had finished my shift at Wal-Mart, a new book had caught my eye. Enter The 4-Hour Work Week.
After reading the first 32 pages, I was hooked. The next day, I bought the book and a candy bar and walked out on my shift. I had over $1,000 in the bank saved up for a car that I was gonna use to start Spicy Melon, a social network dedicated to sharing recipes online. While the idea was good, I didn’t have enough capital to bring it to life like I wanted. I then looked for employment and watched my savings dwindle.
Although starting an online business didn’t work out for me, I have used the time-management principles in 4HWW on my blogging schedule as well as my overall online time. Don’t get me wrong, I like being online; however, there comes a point to when being online consumes all of your time. When blogging about your life, you tend to run out of words to say if you aren’t away from your computer doing stuff.
I hope you guys enjoy the video, and feel free to leave me a comment telling me how 4HWW has changed your life.
Hey, what’s goin’ on? I finally added the TTGC bios after I forgot to last time. Sorry! I removed the cool former theme of Whuzzupp!! for an adequete Mega Man X3 Intro Stage MIDI. The reason behind this is because everytime I try to add anything to the site, my data transfer limit is exceeded. So while we will all miss this incredibly cool theme, I must remove it for the sake of the rest of the site. If you want the song, contact me and put in your subject “Song”, otherwise I might not read it. Accursed SPAM!!!! See my new “About Me” page for contact info.
Back then, it was hard to add multimedia to websites because you were always afraid of exceeding the allowed daily bandwidth, even if you were just checking the pages to see if everything was working. Now, it’s much easier to add multimedia to a website thanks to services like YouTube and Flickr, not to mention the increased bandwidth that’s able to handle it all.
Sometimes, I miss the early days because websites were simpler to design and maintain than nowadays, but all I have to do is visit a random MySpace page to remind myself that technology progresses for a reason.
Well boys and girls, the holidays are upon us. And yes, I did here about the idiot that bought the $23,000 Cyber-Stein when he knows full well that Upper Deck is gonna re-release it as an easier-to-get promo card. Duh! And my folks say that spending $20 on cards is stupid…I mean honestly, who out there has 23 large to spend on one single card? Anyone? C’mon, don’t be shy. I guess no one except that idjit (translation: big idiot). Now if I had 23 big ones, besides obvious choices on what to spend it on, (car, house, semi-permenent vacation from McDonald’s, the list goes on), I would make sure it was all well-spent. Even if I used every last cent on nothing but Yu-Gi-Oh cards, I would make sure I got the most bang for my buck. For example, instead of getting 1 card, I would get lots and lots of booster boxes. Or better yet, I would buy UDE stock.
The first review of the (at the time) tournament legal Cyber Stein can be found here via Pojo.com. Five years later, I still think that $23,000 is a ridiculous amount to pay for a trading card!
Well anyway, now that I’m out of Rant-Mode, I finally have my computer upgraded and man, what a difference! I went from my rockin (sarcastic) 128 MB of RAM to a poultry 640 MB of RAM. I also got a DVD burner, which is kickin’! I can’t wait to get another 512 MB stick of RAM! As of this update, all of my Christmas shopping is done! Huzzah!! All I have to do is give out the presents for my friends Eric and Steve. By the way, Eric; if you’re reading this, please update your site. I’m sure all of us would love to here what you’ve been up to lately.
Oh my, how the times have changed! In March of 2009, I bought my HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop on eBay, which is also my third computer overall. It has 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, an AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56 dual-core processor, and a DVD burner. Ironically, the laptop’s DVD burner is slower than the one for my desktop, and it’s five years old!
Since I don’t have a job, I don’t have the funds to buy stuff for my friends (or even myself). Sorry guys!
Speaking of jobs, I did have an interview today for a temporary position at a local bank that went well. I should hear back from them by the beginning of next year if I’m hired. I can’t wait!! *fingers crossed*
In other news, our local Wal-Mart is announcing a Duelist League coming in January. That’s all I heard so far. I will keep you updated when possible. Another bit of local news, we are scheduled to be buried in snow 5 to 10 inches deep. Huzzah!! A White Christmas!!!
Well, boys and girls, it’s that time. Time to go the the outside world to deliver the first of my presents to Steve, as he is the closest, it’s getting dark, and with the descent of 5-10 in. of snow coming, he is the best choice. Sorry Eric, but you and Ben’s present is coming. Buh-By!
“Pokemon?! Pokemon!! With the Poke and the Mon, and the guy, he comes out, and he goes ‘awhaga, awhaga, awhaga’!
-A relative translation of Bill Cosby’s reaction to Pokemon on an episode of The Simpsons.
Yeah, the Wal-Mart Duelist League never happened. It got as far as the flyers and that’s about it 🙁 .
It’s too bad that I didn’t get into Magic: The Gathering as much as I did for Yu-Gi-Oh! because I sometimes miss playing it with Eriopolis, Cody, and everybody else. Since there’s no (decent) MTG video game and the online version is so-so, I can’t practice by myself. Also, money’s tight so my buying abilities are limited.
Well gang, it’s been fun, but I gotta work on some stuff so see you guys later!
I’d just like to make this quick post to apologize for not uploading this week’s WAR or a new Jonny Diff clip this week. My stepdad came home all pissed off and it threw my posting schedule off.
I’m going to the Navy recruiter later on today to get more information about the Navy. Everyone in my family wants me to sign up, but I’m not going to. I’d like to continue to be a writer, but it’s not yet paying me enough to do it full-time so I need a job that’ll cover my expenses in the meantime. However, my family has grown impatient and wants me to join the Navy.
I know that they offer schooling and other great benefits, but something about it just feels wrong; it could be a lot of things, but I think that it’s because my family is making the decision for me instead of me making the decision to go into the armed forces.
Instead, I’d like to go into the Job Corps. The big selling point is that if I don’t like it, I can quit. I can’t do that with the Navy, at least not legally. Yeah, Job Corps is like ghetto college, but it beats the crap out of signing my life away for 8 or so years and have no legally sound escape route from it.
Upcoming Videos’ Schedule
Getting back to the subject, I have the sixth WAR video all ready to go and it should be out next week, pending at-home drama. Same with the Jonny Diff video.
Well, so much for being a quick little update post! I’m outta here! See ya next week, I hope…
…Till my birthday!!! Hey guys it be the Andy-San here trying to relax from the thought of going home for Christmas.
I had no exams to worry about today so I went on a walk to McDonald’s cuz I missed lunch. I tried to play Tetris DS on the WiFi but no one was online so I just played a marathon and left. I then walked to the music store to see if they got something new to play with. They didn’t so I just messed around on the keyboards and discovered a couple new riffs. After that I walked back to campus and waved at Dan as he was leaving to go home for winter break.
Wow, I haven’t been to J & L Music since I left Urbana back in 2007! It was a pretty small store, but I enjoyed going there and playing on the keyboards when I went out on walks. I played their guitars a couple of times, but I enjoyed their keyboards much more.
In other news, my bro Jon bought his first guitar; a Les Paul clone. He didn’t have the money for an amp or anything else besides the guitar, some picks, and a gigbag. He says that it’s horribly out of tune but he’s been practicing Stairway to Heaven so I’ll work with him on getting better over the break. I’ve been practicing like mad lately but I still can’t do some chords right despite being Lord of the Fifths (kinda like power chords but using only 2 strings instead of 3).
So, Jon’s been playing guitar for three years now? Wow, how times flies! In January, I’ll have played guitar for five years. I did originally pick up the guitar around 1992 when I was seven, but I quit shortly after and didn’t pick it back up again until 2005 when I was nineteen.
I’m still quite uneasy about going home for break because my parents will get on my case about not having enough money to get a car and spending it on “bullshit”. And my stepdad’s gonna find out that I quit my job working in the cafeteria eventually. If and when that happens he’s gonna be furious. However I’ll tell him that I’m getting a work study job with the IT department on campus this coming semester so it won’t matter.
Well I’m gonna go and do something (I don’t know what) so take ‘er easy!
Well, it seems that not much has changed when it comes to my parents getting on my case about stuff. This is something that shouldn’t be a problem for me since I should be living on my own at this point in my life, but I believe that things happen for a reason. I’m sure that I’ll be back on my own in a couple of months, I just know it!
In the second half of this week’s Deja Vuesday, we’re going to look back at one of my posts from the recovered AnJa (my very first website) for the first time! This was five years ago when I did a major redesign to AnJa:
Greetings and welcome to the revamped AnJa. No, AEC isn’t operational. But, I have corrected and updated the site. Why have I renamed the site? Well, “Andy’s Ultimate Site of Ultimateness” isn’t exactly search-engine friendly, so I renamed it to AnJa, a much easier-to-search name. I do apologize for the long lapse in updates, but I’ve been busy with work & school and my computer has 128 MB of RAM, which makes it very difficult to have multiple programs up at the same time, especially Yahoo! Pagebuilder, that memory-hungry little…
At this point, my Dell desktop that I had bought for my high school graduation, which is currently collecting dust downstairs in my basement, wasn’t powerful enough to run the web editing programs that I was using (i.e: Dreamweaver & Yahoo! PageBuilder). Later on, I added an extra 512 MB stick of DDR RAM and a couple of hard drives that all added up to 720 GB.
Well anyway, I am for sure going to give you a sneek peek at my new comic, “Teen Titans: Genesis Chronicles” as well as bios for TT:GC and Teen Titans (as in the show). Also, today is a very special day. Today is my B-Day. I’m now 19. Huzzah! I plan on buying that new Nintendo DS for X-Mas. I saw tons of pix & clipx of it and it is DA BOMB! My only gripe on it is the lack of games for it: only 6 will be available for the holidays, which is DA BUM! Oh well. I’ll have to wait until ‘05 to get the good games, namely the Yu-Gi-Oh! game. Well kids, that’s all for now. See yuz!
“If you like freshness and you know it, raise your paw. Meow!”
-Steve Robinson II, from my school.
“I want some crack!”
-James “The Snowman” Snow, also from my school.
TT:GC was my fanfic of the Teen Titans series that was on Cartoon Network at the time. I might put it up here, but I dunno for sure.
I bet you guys are chomping at the bit wondering what I got for my 24th birthday, huh? Well, I got the tags for my car and a candy bar…
Why are tags so fucking expensive?!! なぜ？If anything, the tags are a practical gift that I can use for the rest of the year; the candy bar, not so much 😉 .
In June of this year, I moved out of my parents’ house to live on my own for the first time in my life (not counting college). I really enjoyed being on my own and I was beginning to pick up the pieces of my life.
You see, I had failed out of two colleges by 2007 and my life has been incredibly unstable ever since. Bouncing between jobs and homes, I was just plain frustrated with my life and had no idea on how to fix it. This is when I began to read Steve Pavlina’s blog and things were moving slowly in the right direction, but I didn’t really get anywhere until I moved out.
After I had moved out, I began to think clearer and was making steps towards going back to college to complete my 4-year degree and go to Japan to teach English. However, there was a problem with my leasing agreement (long story) and I was forced to move out. I went to my best friend for help, but his parents didn’t want me around to distract him and threatened to pull all of his graduate school funding if I even stayed for the night. I told my boss about what had happened and if he knew of any kind of temporary housing so that I could still live and work in-town while I looked for another place to live. It wouldn’t have taken me very long to get the money for a new place since payday was just days away and even if that wasn’t enough to cover me moving in, I could either take out a small loan via Cashland or wait another two weeks to get paid again.
Unfortunatly, I chose to move back in with my parents. I thought that I would get unemployment and I would just use that to save up and move back up there. However, I had to go through two appeals and unemployment hasn’t contacted me yet about when the over-the-phone hearing will be. They did say that there will be a hearing though, but another letter will say when it will be held and I have yet to receive that letter.
It’s been 15 weeks since I moved back in with my parents, and I am flat-broke. I used all of my money to move back in and to pay for my first month of rent. I’m now three months behind and my parents (my stepdad especially) are frustrated with me not paying them rent or moving out again. Since it’s the end of the year, not a lot of people are hiring during this time, regardless of how the economy is doing. I’ve been looking all over my local area for jobs and calling them daily as well as showing up to ask if they’re hiring.
My parents then offered a solution: join the Navy. They have all kinds of benefits like paying for my education, relocating me to different places around the world, etc.
My initial reaction was hell no. I don’t want to get involved with working for the government because I don’t want them monitoring me closely. I know that the government is watching all of us in some way, but as long as you don’t make a stink, nobody’s gonna send a SWAT team after you. I know that I’m coming off as some hippie-dippy conspiracy theorist, but I want to have some kind of privacy.
There’s also the grueling two months of basic training, which I heard was easier than the Army’s but still pretty tough. Also, according to my cousins, who are an all-Naval family, they won’t actually send you to work on another base (not counting training) until you make rank, which could take up to two years.
In those two years, my blogging and vlogging could become a major source of my income and allow me to live off of that alone so that I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a job once I move. With this, I could travel around the world and still make money, regardless of where I am at any given point (so long as I have internet access).
On the other hand, the Navy offers a very good benefits package that could end up very well taking me to Japan like I always wanted and giving me the best health care in the country as well as a secure job while I’m serving and after I’m done. When you’re sitting penniless like I am, surviving only on the $37 a month from my blog that usually goes towards gas for my car, it’s a really enticing deal.
After reading some of Steve’s posts on making tough decisions, it seemed like continuing to blog for a living was the right choice for me. However, as I began to think about it, was I really making the right choice? Was I deciding to reject going into the Navy out of fear or because I’m more passionate about writing? Am I too scared to continue writing for a living because my parents might throw me out and I’d be homeless? This is the big question: How do I know if I’m making a conscious decision or an unconscious decision? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!
I’m just giving you guys a quick update on my job hunt. I’ve been looking for a job for the past three months and I haven’t gotten anywhere.
Because I doubt that my stepdad will let me stay rent-free for any longer, I’ve decided to go into the Job Corps. From what I understand, it’s basically like college in that you dorm there and take classes there as well.
If any of you guys are in the Job Corps or have gone there, please leave me a comment telling me about your experiences there and if you’d recommend it.
That’s right kids, I’ve decided to stop doing Twitter Thursday Throwdowns. They were getting too difficult and lengthy to make and my views were declining on Thursdays. It’s had a good run (almost four and a half months as of today), but it’s time to move on to something bigger and better.
Right now, I’m brainstorming a bunch of different ideas on what to put up on Thursdays. It will most likely be something guitar-related, but I’m open to other ideas. Please feel free to leave me a comment with your ideas. With that in mind, let’s begin the final Twitter Thursday Throwdown:
Due to my stepdad being home a lot, it’s been difficult to post on time. Also, my online time has been greatly limited because I’ve been mostly out looking for jobs. So far, I haven’t gotten shit, but I have been getting a lot of shit from my stepdad for not having a job for the past three months. I have a pretty bad history of job-hopping, and I know that it’s holding me back when it comes to looking for work. I’m still working to get work because I need it in order to move out on my own again.
is a bit behind schedule today. He’s uploading the new J-Vid right now!!2:29 PM Nov 23rd from web
On Monday, I was out and about with Jon and we went up to the St. Marys Taco Bell to ask about my application. The general manager asked me about my unstable work history and I gave her a brief summery of it. She then said that she’s going to talk with the Taco Bell that I had worked at previously to see if I’m rehireable. I’m going to be talking with her again on this coming Monday after the craziness of Black Friday.
is going offline for the night. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when he reviews Lights’ album The Listening!!5:41 PM Nov 24th from web
I have noticed that my views in November have been going down rapidly (an estimated 706 views for this month compared to 858 views last month). This could be due to me cutting down on my online time, but because I doubt that I’ll be able to increase my online time until I move out again, I’m going to focus on improving the quality of my content instead of posting more often. This is another reason why I’m cancelling Twitter Thursday Throwdown; I’m not posting on Twitter nearly as much and I feel that the super-long recap articles are weighing down the focus of this website.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in the quality of WAR 04, but I think it was good considering how quickly I made it. Looking at how I’ve made my recent J-Vids, I like to have a couple of prerecorded videos on-hand so that when Monday rolls around, all I have to do is upload it and that’s it. However, I don’t like to record too many videos in advance.
Well gang, it’s been fun doing these Twitter Thursday Throwdowns for the past four-and-a-half months, but I think it ran its course. Will it ever come back? It’s hard to say right now, but if it does come back, it won’t be anytime soon.
As far as what will replace Twitter Thursday Throwdown, I don’t know exactly. I’m going through a bunch of different ideas in my head and I’ll be posting some of them on Thursdays. When one really stands out and resonates with you guys, we’ll have a replacement.
Well, I’ve got to go drop off a movie so I’ll see you guys next week with a brand-new J-Vid. Laterz!!
In this week’s album review, I’m going over The Listening, the debut full-length album by Lights.
Lights has often been considered to be the female equivilent to Owl City, and when comparing their music, I see the similarities: the use of auto-tune, the ethereal vocals, playing in the synthpop genre of music, the combination of synths and real instruments like guitars, etc.
However, there is a major difference between them: Lights’ lyrical content seems much more focused than Owl City’s tendancy to be all over the place lyrically speaking. It’s definitely a fun ride for me when listening to Owl City, but some listeners might be turned off by the randomness of it.
For a good dose of synthpop bubbliness, let’s give The Listening a listen:
I first heard of Lights earlier in 2009 when Owl City sent out a Tweet complimenting Lights about The Listening. Since I love Owl City, I gave Lights a quick listen.
I can’t remember exactly which song I listened to first, but it was most likely February Air, a very Owl City-esque song. I loved it, but I forgot about Lights until recently when the music video for her single Ice came out.
I found out that Lights actually had her name legally changed from Valerie to Lights a couple of years ago, which I found kind of interesting.
The Track Breakdown
The first track, Saviour, is an odd way to start off the record, but the chorus is good.
The next song, Drive My Soul, is a nice trippy little number that really shows off the similarities Lights has with Owl City.
River is a heavy synth track that gives off a Depeche Mode vibe.
Up next is The Listening, which is the title track of the album and reminds me a lot of T.A.T.U..
After that, it’s Ice, a short Kelly Clarkson-meets-Nine Inch Nails song that melts together pop vocals with a lighter version of the synths from Pretty Hate Machine, which happens to be my favorite NIN album.
Pretend is another dreamy song that really reminds me of Owl City.
The seventh track off this album, The Last Thing On Your Mind, is a nice sing-along song.
Second Go has an uplifting feeling about it that makes it one of my favorite tracks on this album!
February Air, one of the most talked-about songs on this album, really reminds me of the chick-rock movement in the 90s.
Track 10 is Face Up, another soaring Owl City-esque track that’s also very singleworthy.
The next track, Lions!, is my all-time favorite track on this album that gives off a heavy U2 vibe.
After that is Quiet, a tune once again reminiscent of Owl City and 90s pop.
The final track on The Listening is Pretend (Reprise), which is a piano-driven version of the earlier song Pretend.
The Goodies, The Baddies & The Uglies
After listening to The Listening, it’s clear that Lights is really into Owl City as their music is very similar, which has a double-edged effect.
I really like Owl City’s music so it was easy to get into Lights’ music. On the other hand, because I really like Owl City’s wild writing style, I found some of Lights’ song to be boring and too straightforward. This is just my personal preferance, as I’m sure other people might not mind such straightforward songs.
Another gripe that I have with Lights is that, although there are some really nicely done songs, none of them really hit me hard like Owl City’s songs, which might explain why this review is so brief compared to my other reviews. Lights is still a fairly new artist so I’m sure that her songwriting will only improve with time and experience.
Despite the frequent comparisons to Owl City and kinda bland songwriting, Lights’ The Listening is off to a good start with some interesting bits here and there that make me look forward to her next album!