Errant Adventures

Lifestyle Design, Passive Income, and Location Independence (and a few other things too)

The Adventure Begins

Posted by Mitch on 5 May 2011

The Trip Begins

I am super excited! (and a little nervous) I’m on my way to Italy for a (much deserved) three week romp. I’m NOT going on vacation, I’m traveling and seeking adventure! So… how exactly am I doing that? First the plan is to have no plan. I’ve got a round trip ticket into and out of Rome (5-25 May) and I’m bringing a backpack with a change of clothes (and several pairs of undergarments), a passport, and my ID… that’s it (I’ll link to the packing list here) I don’t even have hotel/hostel reservations for my first night or even a solid plan for what I want to see first! In addition to that I’ve got two rules: 1) Don’t say no to opportunities. 2) Don’t feel like I have to see everything – I will be back. And that’s it. If I bump into a group of people who seem cool and are heading to Sweden all I get to say is “Me too!”

ok… I guess there is a third – stay/think positive. I’m going to do my best to put out positive vibes to the universe and just expect that good things are going to happen to me. (any good thoughts or prayers you all want to send out for me will be greatly appreciated!)

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Day Trip to Seattle

Posted by Mitch on 12 November 2010

Seattle is a great place to be.  Specifically the waterfront area around Pikes Place Market is a GREAT place to spend a little time alone….  it was a little cold though. 🙂

Today my boss surprised me by giving me the day off right after our morning meeting!  This was very unexpected (not that my boss isn’t a good guy or anything) and I had no idea what to do with myself.  I quickly discarded the idea of spending most of the day playing video games in my hotel room and almost as quickly dispatched the idea of catching up on blockbuster movies.  Despite the fact that it was about 40 minutes away I decided to head for one of my favorite places in Seattle – Pikes Place Market.

Upon arriving in the vicinity I ran into one of the things I dislike most about Seattle…  it’s not the traffic, it’s the parking! (a close second would be the really narrow streets in downtown and the fact that the majority of the traffic seems to be oversized delivery trucks!).  After driving up and down a few times I decided to bite the bullet and just go ahead and pay for parking in nearby parking garage.  …Parking garage – this thing was more like some kind of elevated cave network!  There were more twists and turns, barely marked intersections, and tight spaces than I thought existed anywhere!

With my parking dilemma finally sorted out I hit the streets (after even more winding around in the mixed up stairwell and pedestrian escape route exit).  I quickly made my to the water and proceeded to enjoy a chilly stroll along the waterfront.  …but something didn’t feel right…  this place is empty… no people…  I quickly became worried that the movie 27 days has become real and is taking place in Seattle!  IT’S THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE PEOPLE!!!  Alright Mitch, calm down you are in the Army, you can handle yourself…  Army…  wait a second, what time is it anyway?  0813 (that’s 8:13am for you civilian types)…  Oh…  there are no people here because nothing is open yet so there is no reason for sane people to be wandering around the streets of Seattle at this hour!  (I’d been up, gone to work , sat thru a meeting, chatted with my boss, got the rest of the day off, drove to Seattle, found parking, and started to really enjoy myself before most Seattleites (is that the right word) were even out of bed yet!  And there still wasn’t decent parking!

After deciding that I was no longer in danger from the shambling hordes muttering about brains, I once again took stock of where I was…  “where am I?”  Like most things, I realized that the answer to this question could best be answered with a judicial (or liberal) use of the power of my iPhone!  …oh…  seems like I’ve walked juuuuuuuust a little too far.  But wait, how could I have walked past the Market?  Isn’t it right on the waterfront?  …no… (thanks iPhone)  So a quick hop a few blocks off the water and a few more than a few back the direction I came and I arrive (finally) at my destination.

First order of business is a leisurely stroll through just enjoying the fact that I’m not fighting a zillion people (or zombies) who insist on inspecting every single little nic nak on display while simultaneously taking up the entire walk way (I think pedestrian traffic bothers me more than motorized traffic…  at least drivers have rules and courtesy they follow!)  …Hmm…  a bit after 0900 and most shops are closed and the vendors are still setting up.  On to the second order of business – breakfast!  (I am not in the habit of eating breakfast on work days as sleep is usually more important and I don’t have much of an appetite right after I work out in the mornings).  The excellent staff of the Soundview Cafe served up a solid breakfast of eggs (over easy), turkey bacon, fried potatoes, bread, and a cold glass of OJ.A corner booth with great views inspired me to try my hand at a little Hemingway action… but instead of the next great American novel – or even a decent short story all I could come up with is essentially just a diary entry.  Maybe the rest of my day will provide the inspiration to write again!

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A New Direction?

Posted by Mitch on 10 November 2010

When I first started this BLOG I had such high hopes that I’d write stories that people would enjoy reading. Stories about my plans or actual trips locally and around the world. Stories about entrepreneur ship and passive income. How-Tos on finance and budgeting and, maybe, even plans for the Zombie Apocalypse… As you can see, I’ve failed miserably… yet I refuse to delete this blog like I’ve done in the past. I keep coming back. I hold out hope that I’ll write a real post that has some nugget of value to cyberspace and is complete from start to finish… and then a second… Time will tell. For now I think I’m going to expand the concept for this BLOG… I’ll focus more on the Errant part and less on Adventures (but I still want to do some adventures!). Lets wander. Like many people I work better when I’m answering a question. I would LOVE a comment or question that would give me a place to start. Personnel, Professional, Random, Deep, Shallow… I don’t care, ask or make some strong comment I can agree or disagree with and you’ll be the best friend of the day!

Posted in Ask the Readers | 2 Comments »

The Ren Men Show

Posted by Mitch on 25 April 2010

The Ren Men Show.

Watch, Learn, Leave a comment saying “Mitch Sent Me!”  (yes…  I’m trying to win a competition!)

The elevator speech I did for the Ren Men Show:

The Ren Men Show is a weekly video BLOG documenting the efforts of two friends in Lifestyle Design, which is “Making Life Work – NOT Working for Life”. The key component for them is Passive Income; money that comes in day after day with little or no recurring work done by them. They use a “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach with Rental Real Estate, Vending Machines, Commercial Real Estate, and many other “Income Streams” to fuel their ideal lifestyle. In their show they urge you to “Get Off The Bench!” by showing you what AND how they do what they do (or not to do as the case may be). If you’ve read “The Four Hour Work Week”, any of the Rich Dad/Poor Dad books, or anything by Donald Trump then The Ren Men Show is definitely something you need to check out.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Posted by Mitch on 20 March 2010

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

via the impossible cool..

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The Housing Conundrum

Posted by Mitch on 19 March 2010

608 Butler Springs Cr, Grovetown, GA, 30813 – MLS #322333 – Single Family Home real estate – REALTOR.com®.

I made a mistake when I bought my first house.  I didn’t “run the numbers” on the property and bought on pure “gut” feeling.  I’m still a proponent of following your gut, but you HAVE to run the numbers if you have the time – not doing it is crazy and WILL cost you money.

So… what the heck am I talking about?  Back in 2006 I found out I would be moving to Augusta, GA (stationed at Ft. Gordon, GA) and fresh off a high from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiosaki and other similar books I just KNEW I wanted to be the next Donald Trump and I was going to make my start with this house.  I made a plan to spend no more than $125k on a house and I’d picked out neighborhoods that looked great (online) and many houses that I thought looked “quaint” and then I headed out to Augusta on a 24 hour whirlwind trip to look at properties.  Well, to make the store short(er) the properties and neighborhoods I looked at online were real dumps in person…  I quickly realized this and got the realtor to show me some other places…  She showed me a couple that were in the price range and new or newish but my own untrained inspection showed fairly low quality workmanship…  so, the realtor being able to pick up on my cues stepped up the pressure to look closer at the slightly more expensive properties (I was with another Captain who was already looking at the higher priced homes – $160k).  Well the other Captain found one she loved and I found one I liked a lot ($165k) and when she put her offer in that same day…  did I wait to run numbers?  did I say “but that wasn’t the plan?”  No…  I said “and so will I”… sigh…

Now, three and a half years later I’m moving again (thanks Army!) and the market isn’t up…  If I’d stayed in the original pricing I could rent out the house for enough to cover the mortgage (PITI), management fee, and a little left over to cover vacancies or repairs…  not to mention the tax benefits!  …but I didn’t…  I bought a house that can’t be rented for enough to cover the mortgage let alone anything else.  In the long run I will still be making a good profit from this place… but the shortfall, even when rented, in my month to month cash flow isn’t fun! (Robert Kiosaki would not be pleased)

So, what do I hope you’ll take away from this?  Run the numbers (or have someone else do it for you).  Keep emotion (like fear or just doing what others are doing) out of the decision making process.  BUT…  don’t let your fears keep you from taking action!  Ready, Fire (no Aim) is MUCH better than Ready, Aim (and never Fire)…  Problems can be overcome… but it’s better to make good sound decisions up front.

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Press This Bookmarklet — Blog — WordPress.com

Posted by Mitch on 19 March 2010

Press This Bookmarklet — Blog — WordPress.com.

Followers of my blog (and right now I don’t think even my MOM is a follower) might notice that I don’t post very regularly…  It’s always seemed hard.  I don’t like the interface for WordPress…  but I might have just found a solution – the Press This bookmarklet!

The “Press This” bookmarklet is a bookmark that sits in your favorite or on a bar of your browser.  When you see something you want to write about it pops up a window (instead of taking you to a new page like other bookmarks) and you can type, categorize, tag, and either save a draft or publish!  It’s fast and easy.  Check out the link at the top for WordPress’s own page on how to use “Press This”

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“The Menaissance” by Brett McKay – Ignite Tulsa

Posted by Mitch on 19 March 2010

YouTube – “The Menaissance” by Brett McKay – Ignite Tulsa.

I’m often called a metrosexual…  and I never really liked it.  It implied that all I cared about was my own looks…  Now I do believe that a man (anyone for that matter) should take some measure of pride in style but not to the point of dandyism.   My other problem with metrosexual is a thinly veiled homosexual connotation which doesn’t fit my self image.  The new term which seems to fit much better?  Retrosexual.  Go back to our Grandfathers time of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s and you find men who took pride in their appearance, were unafraid to be masculine, believed in honesty and fairness, and; when necessary; were ready to kick Nazi ass…  I like it.

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Different Posts for Different Folks – Beyond Just Being Consistent | The Smart Passive Income Blog

Posted by Mitch on 1 February 2010

Different Posts for Different Folks – Beyond Just Being Consistent | The Smart Passive Income Blog.

I was going to do up my own post for how I picked my categories for blogging and then I realized I stole pretty much the whole scheme straight from Pat at smartpassiveincome.com.  So instead of typing up the whole thing myself I thought I’d do better to introduce you to Pat and invite you to go check out his blog.

Pat is almost a one of a kind (I hope to follow in his footsteps someday – otherwise he would be the only one of his kind) – He makes money online and tells you how he does it …  not vaguely or talking around it.  He lays it all out there for you and then monthly does a roll up to tell you exactly, to the penny, how much money each of his online endeavors has made him – it is awe inspiring!

Please check out his blog and leave him a comment if you enjoy it (and then come back here and tell me what you thought!)

–Mitch

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I’m getting traffic!

Posted by Mitch on 1 February 2010

Hello everyone,

This is just a quick note.  First, I’d like to appologize to everyone who has taken the time to come check out my blog and found one half finished entry and a couple of random thoughts.  Have no fear more is on the way, but as I’ve said before… blogging is harder than it looks!

Now, what is interesting is that by simply following other peoples blogs and commenting I’ve started driving people to my blog!  over the last few days I’ve had between 5-10 people take the time to stop by and check out my blog!  Could you imagine how fast it would snowball if I had a real amount of content to read?

Please leave me a comment if you read this…  just a “hi” will really make my day!

Thanks,

Mitch

Posted in News / Updates, Personal | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »