Vlog 14 – New CalSpa Hot Tub

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If you can’t see the video, click here!

In this incredibly short vlog, we look at the new CalSpa hot tub being delivered to the house.

Although I only got to enjoy the hot tub for a very brief time, I still liked it.

The chemicals did take awhile to calibrate and the hard water, which looked slightly green in the tub, took a couple of days to filter out completely.

Hopefully when I go back down to visit everyone after I get a job and make a decent enough income to travel down there, I’ll be able to enjoy the hot tub better. For now, I’ll have to stick with my hand held shower.

TheAndySan

Vlog 13 – Dog Park

This post helps pay the bills thanks to Dog Food Secrets: Learn How You May Be Poisoning Your Beloved Dog!

If you can’t see the video, click here.

Hey guys! Sorry about the lapse in updating, but I had some issues with the apartment to take care of, not to mention applying for jobs.

A week before I moved, Jon and I decided to take both of our Golden Retrievers Zeus (the dark one) and Leto (the light one) out to the new dog park. Needless to say, they had a blast!

They both got along really well with the other dogs and people there. I felt really happy that we could finally walk around with Leto without a leash and without worrying that she’ll run away. She doesn’t like to fetch, but she does love to explore, which is okay since it’s fenced in.

At the end of the day, I drove both dogs back home happy and tired.

TheAndySan

This post is also brought to you by The Rich Jerk: He’s Rich, You’re Not!

Vlog 12 – New Apartment Thoughts

If you can’t see the video, click here.

This video was originally recorded in May before I moved here.

Let me give you guys some backstory. I had sent out an email to all the people looking for subleasers in the BC area because I needed a place to stay and I couldn’t afford to live by myself. Jamie, the girl whom I eventually took over as a subleaser (although it won’t be official until tomorrow at noon when I sign the lease), was the first to respond. I quickly set up a time to meet up with her and had Jon tag along with me because I wanted to save gas money, he wanted to go to Guitar Center, and I needed Hobo Stab Insurance just in case.

On our way home, we decided to film a vlog about our reaction to the apartment, why I’m moving out, a few high fives with our Kelowna movers and some other stuff. I hope you guys enjoy it!

TheAndySan

How I Made 80 Dollars In 80 Seconds On My Bicycle

It’s so easy that I didn’t think it was gonna work, but it really did!

Yeah, I want a little Google Juice, what of it? Anyway, I was out on my bike Wednesday and I was passing the local spillway and I found a $20 on the road. I turned around, picked it up, and thought I was super-lucky. A couple feet away, I saw a wad of $20 and believed that this was the luckiest day of my life so far!

You see, since I’m spending pretty much all of my money on moving to Bowling Green tomorrow, I would have had no money for food that week. Now, I think I’m covered! On my way back home, I decided to look for more $20s, found no more, and got caught in a sudden downpour. I was soaked by the time I got home, but $80 richer than when I left nonetheless.

That’s not the weirdest part. I looked at all of the bills to see if they were fake (oh they’re real, and they’re spectacular!) and they’re all dated 2004, the year my dad died. One of them even had an “A” next to the date. An “A” for Andy or an “A” for Anthony? I later went to his grave to thank him and to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Thanks for the going away present, Dad!

My Last Week In Town

After a shower (like I needed it) and a dry change of clothes, I hung out with Eriopolis and Cody. We marathoned Burst Angel (review coming soon!) until 4 in the morn, left to go sleep, and finished it the next day. It was a pretty good mecha anime, but mecha’s not normally my thing (I like to keep it real with slice-of-life, haha!).

It’s still hard for me to believe that I’m actually moving out into the real world tomorrow. I’m going to be packing all day today and then moving the next day. My mom’s giving me the mini-fridge in the basement so I won’t have to label my cold (but not frozen) stuff, which is awesome!

Flickr Off Or On?

I’m such a fan of Danny Choo’s blog, which consists of a varitable shit-ton of pictures. Pictures of Japan, anime figures, his ever-evolving desk, and then some! I’m wondering if I should join in on the fun and post more pictures in this blog by signing up for Flickr. I remember somebody commenting that they’d like to see something like that and I think it would be a nice addition to TheAndySan.com.

What do you guys think? Lay your comments down below!

TheAndySan

P.S: This is my last blog from my house. The next time you guys hear from me,  it’ll be from my new pad in Bowling Green.

TheAndySan.com One Year Anniversary!!

Can it be? Has it been a whole year since I broke away from free blogging sites like Xanga and WordPress.com and went to my own domain?! Yes!

In many ways, it’s hard to believe that a year has passed this quickly. On the other hand, it also feels like an eternity since I’ve had my own domain.

 

I’m Finally Moving Out To Bowling Green!

Yes, you read that right! No more planning and pondering on how to get there, I’ve finally secured a sweet place and I move there on June 1st.

Let me give you a quick rundown of the amenities of the apartment complex where I’m moving to: outdoor pool, 24-hour hot tub, workout room, tanning beds, washer/dryer INSIDE the apartment, computer study room, 52″ TV, free internet and free shuttle to BGSU every ten minutes until 7 pm! Oh yeah, and I get my own bathroom!! It’s only $315 for June and July and then $284 for the rest of the year. Cable, electric, and gas are split evenly between roommates. I only have one roommate so far, a girl whom I didn’t meet at the apartment showing, but there’s room for two more people!

So how did I score such an awesome pad? Well, it all started off terribly. You see, back in February 2009, a certified letter came for my stepdad that I signed for. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I’m guessing that after I signed it, I put it on the table with the rest of the mail. I didn’t think a thing of the letter until a couple weeks ago when my stepdad said that the house payment didn’t go through.

Apparently, what was in the certified letter was a bill/collection notice/notice to appear in court (I’m not sure which one it was) involving an old credit card that he says isn’t his. He didn’t get the letter and his house payment was taken by the credit card company. Because he wasn’t working for about three months, he fell behind on his house payments and was put on a special plan so that it wouldn’t affect anything. The plan says that he has to pay on time for six months, and July would have been his last month. So he was freaking out and saying that we’re gonna lose the house because I didn’t give him the letter back in February. He then said that I had until the first of June to find a new place to live.

At first, I was freaking out because I was gonna wait until August to move out and I didn’t have enough money to get my own apartment. Then, I calmed down and began to plan for how and where I was gonna live. Once I accepted the fact that I couldn’t live here anymore and after much browsing online, I found an ad on Craigslist looking for a roommate in a 4-bedroom apartment. I set up a time to meet and view the place the very next day.

I took Jon with me because he wanted to go to Guitar Center and I needed some Hobo Stab Insurance, hehe (it is Craigslist after all). I was worrying about pretty much everything when we arrived at BG. In actuality, the girl who showed me around was incredibly nice as was the whole apartment complex. As I mentioned before, I’ll be rooming with a different girl and two other roommates will be coming sometime before the fall semester starts (around August-September).

 

There Are Only Two Guitars Right Here!!

Unfortunatly, I had to sell three of my guitars last month in order to pay off a back cable bill that I owed. I sold off my Silvertone Apocalypse Special, Epiphone SG Junior (with a p-90, bitches!), and my Squier Stratocaster. How much did I get for them? Only $150 for all three of them. I wanted to put them on eBay, but my stepdad wanted the money now dammit! I could have sold only one guitar on eBay to cover the bill (and a little extra left over). Well, there’s not much I can do about it now I guess.

I do have higher-end replacements in mind for all three of them. I want to get a Gibson SG Classic (with two p-90s, bitches!!), a Fender Deluxe Player’s Strat in sapphire with a maple fretboard, and a Dean Splittail Floyd in white.

After Jon and I toured the apartment, we went to Guitar Center and had a field day! I tried out the SG Classic (the pickups were cursed with some wicked 60-cycle hum, but it sounded great otherwise), a Fender Deluxe Player’s Strat (awesome, awesome, awesome!), and a low-end Jackson Kelly (it was set up all wrong and I was disappointed in its tone, but it played okay regardless and felt good to play sitting down).

I got another chance to play on the super-special-awesome Peavey Vypyr amps and tried out all of the guitars on them only. My big gripe with the Vypyrs is that it’s hard to find a super-clean setting right out of the gate. Even though I was on the green channel, pretty much all of the “clean” channels had some gain to them, which works sometimes, but I had a hard time dialing down the gain to get a clean Metallica-esque tone. I’m sure that once I actually buy this amp and dink around with it, this won’t be a problem. However, if I was unsure about the Vypyr in the first place, this would be a big turn-off for me.

Oh yeah, and there seems to be delay that can’t be turned off in almost all of the amps settings. Since I like delay, I don’t mind so much, but sometimes there’s no need for delay and not being able to turn it off is quite the selling turn-off.

What do you guys think? Am I being too namby-panby about the unstoppable global delay as well as having to dial in a super-clean tone or should Peavey do something about it by turning off the global delay and making the super-clean tone readily available in one of the default amp settings?

 

My Goals For TheAndySan.com

First off, I’d like to be posting moAr! I haven’t been posting much at all since the year started, mostly due to not having Internet on a consistent basis. With free Internets at my new place, I’ll be able to post more often.

Second, I’d like to stick to the posting schedule that I mentioned awhile back. However, I want to revise it since I found that posting daily all the time has an adverse effect on my creativity and I end up not posting for a month or two, hehe. Maybe you guys’ll be able to finally get me to talk about anime and Japan for an entire post instead of my boring-ass life. Oh, I crack myself up sometimes, haha!! But seriously, an anime review here and there seems reasonable and is actually in the works.

Next, I want to better incorporate vlogging into this blog. Ever since I got my camera, I thought that I’d be vlogging all the time. However, I found that editing video can be a real time-consumer in comparison to just writing, not to mention my “knack” for creating monologues on the spot. Also, when I do a vlog, I don’t want to just slap up the embedded video and hit Publish. I want to type out the content of the vlog so that I get the higher expression benefits of video along with the search-engine and reader-friendly advantages of plain text.

Finally, I want to make more money and bring in more readers here. Judging from my past experience with monetization, setting a goal of $1,000 a month by the end of the year might be too much for me. Although I don’t want to squash my intention of earning $1,000+ a month from my blog by year’s end, I need to be somewhat realistic about this goal. Therefore, I’m going to be shooting for making a consistent $100 a month from this blog by the end of this year. Since I make roughly $25 a month right now, I only need to make $75 more a month. That’s a steady increase of $10.71 a month.

 

Looking Towards The “Green” Future

Since I won’t be able to bring all of my stuff to the apartment, I’ll be making a list this week of all the things that I’ll bring with me initially. After I get settled in, I’ll stop by and gradually pick things up. Also, once I get a job and can afford to put my stuff in storage, I’ll go ahead and do that. I can’t wait until June 1st!!

Once again, thanks for celebrating my first full year here at TheAndySan.com and here’s to many more years of blogging!!

TheAndySan

P.S: I’ve recorded and edited some material for several vlogs that I’ll upload when I move to Bowling Green since the WiFi here craps out when I try to upload a YouTube video. Stay tuned!!

The 0 Hour WorkWeek Sucks & I'm Changing It

If you can’t see the video, click here.

I got an email the other night from one of my readers. Unfortunatly, he has not given me permission to publish it online. What I will do is just give you guys the basic overview.

In the email, the concerned reader (whom we’ll call Leo for confidentiality reasons) tells me how following what Tim Ferriss and Steve Pavlina (and especially his wife Erin) write about has made me lose control over my own life. Leo lists some examples, although some are more opinionated than factual, and then tells me what I should really do to improve my life.

He says that I should first and foremost find a job, then save up to move out, and then continue to work at that job while enjoying my passions on the side. I think that’s a great idea, and it goes along with what I’ve been saying for a long time now. However, I don’t want my passions to be on the sidelines forever. I want to be able to do what I love and make money from it too. 

I do realize that I can’t make a good living from my passions alone right away. I need to improve my skills in order to do that, whether it be learning to play songs more fluidly, improving the quality of my writing and editing, or working on better marketing my skills.

I wrote Leo back yesterday, and although it’s not as long as his email was, I feel confident in my response:

Leo,

Thanks for the letter. It was long, yes, but I read it all.

Ever since I first read about Tim Ferriss’ book, I’ve also read a lot of criticism about the concept of a 4-Hour Workweek. Most critics simply mistake the forest for the trees. They think that only working for 4 hours a week and maintaining at least a decent standard of living is absurd and dismiss the book as a complete work of quackery. What the 4-Hour Workweek’s really about is managing your time, not a means to work for only 4 hours a week. He has said in multiple interviews that if you enjoy what you’re doing, even if it goes beyond 4 hours, then it’s not a waste of time. 

Hiring freelancers to redo Spicy Melon (which I’ve decided to completely nuke earlier this week) was a bad idea, but it was a lesson that I had to learn. Although there are a lot of principles in the book that are unrealistic for me to apply, there is still some value to be had from it. I ignored the first part of the book, which goes through defining what you want and what you’ll do with all your free time if you were only working 4 hours a week, and skipped right to the monetization part. I pretty much put the cart before the horse. 

I thought that if I quit my job at Wal-Mart, then everything would fall into place. Instead of working, I would be writing and marketing my blog. For a while, it was actually working. However, without a large enough income to support myself and my savings dwindling, I began to get depressed and my writing slowed to practically a halt this year. I did manage to get a job in February, but it only lasted a month and a half because I wasn’t “getting it” according to my supervisor. I’ve been out of a job since. 

I first read about Steve Pavlina when I was looking up how to monetize my blog. I’ve been linking to his posts so much that my friends often give me crap about it. I do agree that he likes to tell people what they want to hear, but is that so wrong? The difference between my stepdad bitching about my lack of a job and Steve encouraging me (albeit indirectly) to follow my passion is incomparable. Even today, I would rather follow my passion than just give up and work a job that I hate.

When I first decided to follow my heart so to speak and to shed the need for having a regular boring job, I put the cart before the horse again. I believed that if I focused on nothing but my passion for writing, that my writing would improve and then my life would fall into place for me. As I’ve mentioned before, my writing began to suffer when I focused on it exclusively. I realized that I didn’t have enough experience with my passions to monetize them right out of the gate, and I still don’t. 

Also, I know that I don’t just want to write. There are several things that I enjoy doing. Watching anime, reading manga, learning Japanese,  listening to all kinds of music, and playing guitar. I also shouldn’t try to get passionate about something just for money.

I realize that I need a job of some kind in order to survive in today’s world. I need it to pay the bills until I’m able to do so with my passions alone. I don’t think that it’s impossible to do, but it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to be able to make a living doing what I love. I admit that I might not be able to reach that point in my lifetime, but I’ll continue to pursue it regardless. Why? Because it’s the only thing that feels right to me, and if I died today, then I can at least say I tried.
So today after I get done eating my lunch, I will call to follow up on my job applications and then go out to apply for more jobs. I’ll continue to do that every day until I land a job.

Once again, thank you for the email and I hope that we can stay in touch.

TheAndySan

Edit : I finally got the video up. I wanted to vlog this as well as blog it, but my WiFi wasn’t good enough to upload YouTube vids. Enjoy!

TheAndySan – Randall RX120D Review, Peavey Vypyr Thoughts, and Happy 20th Birthday Ben!!

Before I get started, I wanna wish my boy Ben a happy 20th birthday today!! Getcha pull!

I’ve come out of my vlogging hiatus and made two new videos. Why is it that it takes so bloody long for me to make a vlog that when I finally do I call it a comeback? It could be from a lack of Internets, lack of time, and/or a lack of motivation. Vlogs aren’t as quick and easy to make and edit as a regular written blog entry is. Despite my legendary crappy video editing skills, it still takes me several hours to film and edit a vlog, while a written blog entry usually takes me an hour to two hours max unless I’m multi-tasking, which I tend to do. Holy run-on sentence, Batman!

Anyway, getting back on topic here. The main video is a review of Jon’s new half-stack, the Randall RX120D, and the other one is a minute of cut footage from the same video where I talk about the Peavey Vypyr series of amps. I had to cut it out so that it would be under the 10 minute mark. No worries though, because now you get two videos instead of one!

Here’s the first video, TheAndySan – Randall RX120D Review:

For $500, it’s a pretty decent entry-level half-stack. However, I’d prefer to wait for the Peavey Vypyr half-stack coming out later on in 2009 (I think it’s July-August).

Here’s the second video, TheAndySan – Peavey Vypyr Thoughts:

I hope you’ve enjoyed the videos! I was finally going to get off my ass and get my own Internets back so that I don’t have to sneak updates through either Jon’s laptop or at work, but something really bad has come up. I’ll explain about it more tomorrow. Laterz!

TheAndySan

My Fancy New Blogging Schedule

Currently Listening To:
Size 14 – Size 14
09 – Let’s Rob A Bank

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been neglectent of this blog.

Without my own internets, I’ve been bumming off of Jon’s laptop (which my stepdad disapproves of) and sometimes posting at work (it’s really hard to focus on a post at work). Because of this, it’s made my posting schedule a nightmare-and-a-half. I thought about it over the weekend and decided to actually adhere to a blogging schedule starting next week.

Here’s my new blogging schedule:

Monday – Learning Japanese

Tuesday – Deja Vuesday

Wednesday – Personal Development

Thursday – Anime & Manga

Friday – Guitar

Saturday – My Life

Sunday – My Life

Breaking It Down

Monday – Learning Japanese

On Mondays, I’ll be posting about my progress in learning the Japanese language. I’ll also be posting some Japanese lessons as well. Depending on the news that week, I might also talk about something in the Japanese news.

Tuesday – Deja Vuesday

On Tuesdays, I’ll be doing what I like to call Deja Vuesday. I got the idea from Writer Dad when he did something similar. My Deja Vuesdays are a little different. What I do is I look through my archives of posts that are at least a year old, repost them, break them down into sections, and talk about their relevence to me today. I like Deja Vuesdays because they’re not only easy to post, but they can give exposure to some of my older posts that are otherwise collecting e-dust.

Wednesday – Personal Development

On Wednesday, I’ll be discussing my personal development. I’ll be gauging where I’m at in life and what I can do to better myself as well as how you can better yourselves through what I’ve learned. If I do any 30-day trials, I’ll be posting my progress that day also.

Thursday – Anime & Manga

On Thursdays, I’ll be talkin’ ’bout anime and manga. I’ll post my anime/manga reviews, what I’m watching and will be watching, and some anime news.

Friday – Guitar

On Fridays, I’ll be posting stuff about guitars. I could post about my progress in playing guitar, lessons, a certain guitar player, buying a guitar and equipment, reviewing guitar magazines, and/or bands in the news.

Saturday and Sunday- My Life

These two days are gonna be about what’s going on in my personal life. They’re essentially free days where I can talk about whatever I want to.

Where Do Vlogs Come In?

Good question! I don’t really have a set day or time to do vlogs; they just seem to be made whenever the inspiration/free time crops up. Because they take more time than writing a blog post, I won’t be doing them everyday just yet. For now, I want to do one at least once a week. It can supplement pretty much whatever topic I’m discussing that day so I don’t want to relegate it to a certain day or what have you.

Having a Scheduled Blog

I feel that having a scheduled blog can be more liberating than restricting. When I was thinking about doing something like this before, my line of thinking was, “what if I don’t want to talk about X-topic today?”. However, now if I run across that problem, I can still write about it; all I have to do is just schedule it to be posted on the specific day.

Also, having a scheduled blog can make things more predictable (but not boring) for you the lovely audience!

The only things I worry about now are if I can get online to post in time and not writing because of writer’s block. These are to be expected of course as every writer experiences these.

Tell me what you guys think of the new schedule along with your suggestions in the comments below. I’m off to take a shower and eat before I go to work today.

TheAndySan