Category Archives: Blogging

Back in Da Burgh!!!

Hi all! Its been awhile since Ive posted. This past year has been amazing! I sold my house in Colorado. Traveled all over the U.S. and finally moved back to Pittsburgh! I’m happy to be back around my family again. Now it’s just a matter of settling in and figuring out exactly what I’m going to do, and where I am going to live.

Currently I am working on getting my real estate license. I have always wanted to do this since I was a teenager and there is no time like the present. From my understanding the road to becoming a successful real estate agent takes a lot of time and a lot of money. Once you develop a sales pipeline and keep it filled it is a pretty nice gig. However, it does take a lot of energy to build the momentum to get there.

I ordered my books and signed up for an online class through Real Estate Express. A few people suggested getting my license in an actual class so I could network with people and keep it interesting, but I am pretty confident that I can just do it online.

In fact, with so much of the real estate sales process happening online, it probably does me good to study and research as I go rather then be stuck in a class listening to a lecture.

Besides that I have a bunch of weddings to go to or be in then the next couple of months. Tom, Mandy, Courtney, and Chelsea are all getting married soon. It’s crazy!

Lastly, I do want to mention I bought another new lens. A Nikon 10-24mm wide angle for real estate photography and also for landscape photography. Here is to taking it to the next level!!!

Also posted in Entrepreneur, Real Estate

Goals For 2012

Hard to believe we have another year behind us. While 2011 turned out pretty dull and average, 2012 is setting up to be anything but.

If anything, the 2012 U.S. election will prove to make this year exciting, as well as all the talk of the end of the Mayan Calendar. Most people I talk to believe something big is going to happen this year, but as always, we shall see.

Most years my goals revolve around learning….

Last year for instance my main goal revolved around compiling everything I have learned about personal finance, personal health, and personal development into a book. This was my main project for Insight Writer and I have to say I fell pretty short of the goal.

I ended up compiling most of the ways I have thought about personal finance into 52 posts over the past 5 months. The hard work of making it into a book is still before me.

I planned on making one book, but decided during the course of things to create three books about each topic, then eventually make a 4th book that incorporates everything I have ever written over at Insight Writer.

At the pace I am going, I’ll be lucky to produce two books next year, the personal finance and personal health ones. But that’s ok because Insight Writer has always been a legacy project for me.

I also started another blog called to focus on local businesses, but after a month or two of serious effort put into my passion for it ran out. Currently, I am deciding on whether or not I want to renew the domain come May, which is when I originally started it. My passion just isn’t there.

This year I stumbled upon the permaculture movement and it has greatly intrigued me. This has rekindled my interest in renewable energy, farming, and simple living. I hope to continue learning a lot more in this area and apply the lessons learned in my life.

Related to this topic is the concept of how we engineer and design our lives. I probably shouldn’t start another blog project, but I think I am going to start an engineering related blog. Studying engineering has greatly interested me for awhile and I think it is time for me to delve a little more into the field.

While some of the above goals came up a little short this year, I pretty much had a grand slam of health and fitness related goals.

I completed the Tough Mudder event in June with three of my good friends. It was an absolute blast training for, and ultimately accomplishing the event! Every weekend we trained in some tough conditions. Running up sheer mountains and jumping into the iciest of rivers. It might just be a guy thing, but it is hard to explain the pride that comes with attaining a certain physical ability.

I also ran two 10k’s this year, shaving 7 minutes off my previous Bolder Boulder 10k run, dropping my time down to 52 minutes. I hope to destroy my best time again and drop it down into the 45 minute range.

I also ran a marathon this year with minimal training (3 weeks to be exact). I had an excellent 13.1 mile time of 2:03 in training, but then failed to get a 4:30 marathon time. This was my 2nd marathon and I doubt I will ever do one again. They are just too tough on the body.

And I have come a long way as a cook this year, mostly inspired by the Paleo Diet movement. I’ve learned the magic of vinegar in cooking meat among other things. I’ve started to master a lot of recipes like Pad Thai and Fish Tacos as well. Nothing like being able to cook better food than the restaurants can.

I also started weight training in September because I lost a lot of weight and probably some muscle mass doing all the endurance training. I planned to add 10 pounds of muscle and added 5.3 pounds of muscle along with 7 pounds of fat (yeah, ate just too many calories). I bought a year membership at Better Bodies which is only 10 dollars a month and is a pretty large gym so I will spend the rest of the year trying to add as much muscle mass as I can.

Since I plan on writing the health book this coming year, I figured I better really fine tune all the things it takes to be in good health. Exercise routines, eating habits, etc.

This year I plan to pay off my school loan, finish the last few projects on my house, and make more money than I have ever made before. And probably save more money than I ever have before. Basically make more money, and spend the same or less than I have been spending.

One thing I plan on doing is only drinking tea or water this year as an experiment. To save money and be in good health. No coffee, no soda, or any other caffeinated products. No alcohol. No fruit juice. No drink with any calories whatsoever. While each of the things listed above may have some benefits, I think the cons slightly edge them out.

I really want to dial in my diet. Basically by eating the least expensive whole foods I can. Save my money and my health. For instance, I plan on staying away from processed meats. More on that later…

Basically this seems to be a year where I plan on increasing my money and my health, both topics I plan on writing books on this year.

So as usual, this year will be a lot about learning, and a lot of growing.

And perhaps always in practice, but seldom mentioned up front. I want to learn more how to love and respect people for who they are. Sometimes it is hard to remember that there are more good people than bad in this world, but I truly believe it. I want to practice the remembrance of this idea daily. Perhaps my hardest goal, and perhaps my most worthy goal in the new year.

Happy New Year To ALL and To ALL a Wonderful, AMAZING, Great Night!!!

Also posted in Insight Writer, Life, Writing Tagged |

The Amazing World of the Internet

I can’t imagine living in any other time period then right now.

I love learning, and I love the internet because the amount of learning one can do is pretty much endless. I can soak up knowledge like a sponge, and hopefully translate it into actionable data and what we like to call wisdom…

Anyhow, before I get too deep I had to answer a few questions for myself… is pretty much the place to share video on the internet. Possibly is a distant 2nd.

Blogging is the way to go for sharing words. Maybe is the place to share an ebook right now. is the place to share sounds.

Just found, a place for sharing photos and video. You can count in there too. too.

You can share a lot on if you have audio content. is pretty sweet if you want to make a podcast.

Just found which is a cool way to collaborate on only text document with people. Google docs can handle this too.

On top of all the specialized sharing you can store as much as 5GB or more at certain places like Google and Amazon and share content from them too.

Not to mention Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Myspace, and all the other social sharing sites out their that let you share anything and everything to your hearts desire.

I love taking part in it all. Being both a consumer and content producer is a pleasure. And I wish more people would take the time and energy to produce good stuff. Alas, the market must demand it first…

Anyhow, I’ll leave you with this piece of awesomeness…

Also posted in Web Logs Tagged , , |

Gaining Muscle, Losing Fat, Looking Great

I have been doing tons of research lately.

Digging back into Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body…

Going through the archives at and

Learning more about MMA training and the differences between big strong muscles and lean dense muscles from people like Eric Wong.

And finally digging through blogs of people who are losing weight to try and find common denominators between them. Found a good link listing 25 blogs to dig through here…

Also, one of my co-workers asked me to get him started on a plan to lose 30 pounds of fat. I am excited to apply all my knowledge to see just how effective it is.

So far I have gained about 8 pounds in 16 days with my weight training and diet program. My goal here is to gain most of my pounds in lean muscle muss and not fat. I do expect to gain some fat but it should be a minimum amount.

I started out weighing 139.2 lbs and plan to get up near 160 lbs in 2 months. My lean muscle mass started at 122lbs and I plan to bring that number up as close to 140 lbs as possible. Progress seems to be coming fast but some of that weight is probably just water weight from increased water retention.

My Basal Metabolic Rate (BMI), the rate at which I burn calories while resting is 1565.6. Every little activity you do during the day adds to your average calories burned per day. Unfortunately most people don’t add much more to the total amount because they are not doing anything too strenuous. For instance, walking only adds an average of 43 to 52 calories burned per mile. *Source

If all you do every day is walk around your home to get ready for work, then walk to your car, then visit a few co-workers at the office, come home, cook dinner, and plop down on the couch to watch tv before going to bed… Well, let’s just say you probably aren’t burning more than 2,000 calories a day. Even though my job requires more movement than most white collar jobs it probably doesn’t cause me to burn a whole lot more calories through the day.

By the way, You can calculate your BMI here…

For my current diet I am aiming for 3,000 to 4,000 kcal per day. I am also aiming for 1.25 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle mass that I am aiming for. I am aiming for 140 lbs of lean muscle mass so I need 175 grams of protein per day (140 x 1.25 = 175).

I am working out twice a week which allows for a lot of rest and recovery time. I also do a full body workout to failure both days. This means my whole body is requiring those nutrients to rebuild itself into something bigger and stronger. My calorie consumption probably only goes up to 2,500 kcal on workout days which leaves plenty of calories left over for rebuilding.

I currently take at least one or two protein shakes a day equaling roughly 300 calories per shake. Sometimes I mix the whey protein with Bolthouse Farms’ Protein Plus which is a blend of low-fat milk and soy milk, or I add it to orange juice depending on whether I want more carbs or more protein during that particular time.

On workout days I take Creatine AND a protein shake with OJ before working out. Then a protein shake with milk after the workout along with the biggest meal I can eat which is balanced between fat, protein, and carbs. Extra protein shakes and big meals help compensate for the extra calories I am burning during workout days.

I’ll talk more about my workouts later, but I will emphasize that it is really important to bring not only your physical game, but your mental game as well.

Until then…

Also posted in Life, Personal Stories, Web Logs Tagged , , |

On Fasting, Volume Workouts, & Alkaline/Acidic Diets

Just wanted to let you know that The Personal Finance Challenge is humming along quite nicely on Insight Writer. I have already published 12 articles with about 4 more already in the works. The goal is to get to 52 by Thanksgiving. And then work on editing and layout in December for a book release in January. In January I will start strong with 52 articles on health, diet, and exercise and have another book released by June. I will repeat the process again over the summer and fall to have a final personal development book released by Thanksgiving in time for the Christmas season.

My plan is to release an ebook for $2.99 and a paperback book for something like $7.95 up to $9.95.

My question to you is should I release the ebook for free, or should I charge the $2.99 as planned. When releasing something for free you have the potential to reach a wider audience. On the flip side, although I am passionate about these subjects, I would like to see some financial reward for the effort involved in putting together, marketing, and releasing an ebook.

What are your thoughts?

Onto my current research….

I am currently digging through the archives at and absolutely loving everything Martin has to say about nutrition and exercise.

The main subject I am digging into now is how intermittent fasting can help keep bodyfat low. Martin’s writing might cater a little more to bodybuilders and athletes, but what he has to say can be applied to anyone’s life. As you can guess by now, a lot of my current research will be published on Insight Writer in the New Year.

So I just had a personal trainer convince me it was a good idea to do a volume workout. While the verdict is still out about how much mass this will help me build, I am pretty sure it is going to help me increase my strength and endurance a lot. I have to do more research on it, but I think volume workouts could be helpful in building mass if you allow A LOT of recovery time after them. My current belief is that they are simply too destructive to do on a regular basis and still add muscle. I think if I do them once or twice a month at most though they will help me break through any plateaus I reach in the future.

Reading forums like this one on show the real debate among everyone on how volume workouts fit into your exercise routine.

This article makes the case for Low Volume Workouts, and cites numerous studies and examples to back it up.

For now I am sticking to the low volume, high intensity workout advocated by Tim Ferriss in his book the 4 Hour Body. It is alternatively called Geek to Freak, or Occam’s Protocol, named after the Occam’s Razor principal.

Finally I am starting to also research Alkaline vs. Acidic foods and how they should fit into your diet. The general idea is to gradually increase the amount of Alkaline foods you eat. The average American diet has about 60-70% acid forming foods in it. The idea is to switch your diet so you eat about 60-70% alkaline forming foods. This is mostly accomplished by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.

And, by food combining! Yep, it all ties in. A steak (which is acid forming) should be eaten with a hearty helping of vegetables (which are alkaline forming), such as broccoli or a salad, so they balance each other out.

There are a ton of myths about eating and exercise out there and I hope to help debunk as many as I can by showing you research that proves them otherwise.

One thing is for sure, of all diet plans out there, NONE of them have anything bad to say about adding more vegetables to your diet. So don’t forget to eat your veggies! 😉

Also posted in Insight Writer, Life, Web Logs, Writing Tagged , , , , |

Web Log #1 – The Beginning

Writing online for an interactive crowd is truly an experience never before seen on Earth. It is both amazing to watch, and amazing to participate in.

Since it is all so new there are a lot of people trying to figure out exactly how we should be working with this new medium.

Some suggest new ideas, some suggest old ideas, and some suggest more of the same.

I recently read a blog post by Jacob @ called, Are We Blogging The Wrong Way?

In that article he suggested the idea that maybe the bloggers should actually do more actual “web logs”. In other words, they should record what places on the net they visited.

I used to do a Saturday Rap over on my Insight Writer blog where I listed my top 3 articles of the week every Saturday. I dropped that habit after awhile, but I think it is a great idea to start doing it again here at

Favorite Article Time…

1. Toss Productivity Out by Leo Babauta – Many people know Leo from Many know he was a productivity junkie when it was at the height of it’s popularity. Now Leo says productivity isn’t worth it and I have to agree with him. I never really liked all that productivity stuff anyway.

2. What To Do In College Right Now by Penelope Trunk – While I certainly don’t agree with everything she writes I can tell you one thing about Penelope… She makes me think! Right now she is writing numerous articles on why college is a bad idea for most people. The solution? Use the money you would have used for college to start a business instead. When people couldn’t handle that advice, she decided to give the best advice she could for people in college right now. Worth the read.

3. Craft the Life You Want: Creating a Blueprint for Your Future by Brett McKay. The Art of Manliness was a blog I got away from for awhile and got back to. Actually I unsubscribed from the vast majority of blogs I subscribed to about a year ago as a way to take a digital sabbatical. (I used to read upwards of a 100 articles a week) Now I am slowly adding the ones I truly LOVE reading. And like a fine wine, I think Brett’s writing has gotten better with age. I really enjoyed reading this article and plan on taking action on it this weekend. That’s how you know you are reading something great. You actually decide to take action!

Well that’s it for now. I plan on doing a lot of reading from now until the end of the year, and I promise only to link to some of the best stuff I am finding. So you don’t have to spend the hours I do trying to find the gems. 🙂 Until next time…

Oh, and I’ll leave you with a quote from Mad Men…

“This is America. Pick a job and then become the person that does it.” – Bobbie Barrett

Also posted in Web Logs Tagged |

I’m Starting a New Business – Want to Follow Along?

I’ve decided to start a new online business. One that will hopefully provide me with a lot of case studies and other experience that I can write about here @

The business is called Lokolee and it will serve two purposes…

“We are crazy for local business. We give business listing and email marketing support to your local mom & pop businesses.”

This is the primary function of the website

All local businesses will be able to enjoy the benefits of free business listings. And they will be able to include any coupons or deals they are currently running too. Essentially will help market a company’s local coupons and/or local deals in a much more cost effective manner than any current competitor out there.

On the back end I will be partnering with a select few companies to help improve their web presence, and to give them excellent email marketing support. Online marketing campaigns can be both cost effective and achieve big results if they are done right. Unfortunately, many companies are doing it wrong, or not even attempting to do it at all.

Lokolee will provide a ton of free information about how a business can increase their online presence through our blogand newsletter. However, Lokolee members will receive one on one support and training to achieve even greater results.

Sometimes a few more sales every month is what will make or break a business. And one of the best ways to increase sales is to strengthen your marketing efforts. Online marketing is a big piece of that, and getting bigger every day. It is wise to do what you can to help make your business a great one!

Also posted in Business Advice, Entrepreneur, Investing, Lokolee, Marketing & Sales, Writing Tagged , , , , , |

Gary Arndt on Traveling the World

This is one of the best interviews I have found in awhile, especially because he ends the interview saying that for people to have authority on a subject they need experience, they need to stop talking and just do it.

The Post is Titled – 70 countries in 3 Years

World Travel is something I’ve always been interested in. Although something I am not super passionate about because of the time and money investment. Currently I have traveled in all 48 U.S. states. Canada and Mexico. And I just recently made the trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. Maybe I will write about my travels more now that I have been inspired by Gary.

Alaska and Hawaii are on the to-do list within the next 2 years.

If you want to find a guy passionate about world travel this is the guy. This interview is worth watching even if all you do is skip to the end. The link to the Huffington post about the twenty things he has learned from traveling around the world is also a very valuable read.

I have to agree with Gary, at some point you have to stop talking about it and just do it!

Also posted in Travel Tagged , , |

7 Thoughts on Ebooks vs. DTB’s

I’ve been spending hours upon hours researching this issue and these are my thoughts thus far…

For those that don’t know yet (i just learned this), DTB is the affectionate name some people have started calling physical paper book. The acronym stands for Dead Tree Books.

In any case, here are some of the things I’ve discovered.

1. My personal experience is that some of my favorite bloggers are releasing pdf books and making decent money from low volume, high profit sales. Seems to work as a business model although I doubt it is sustainable.

2. Joe Konrath is pretty much the evangelist for ebooks and his blog is the go to place for all things fiction and ebook related. Here is a good link to check out…

3. Fiction is the #1 thing selling on Kindle right now. Although this might change I think for the time being most ebook readers are leisure readers and they aren’t trying to learn something (i.e. non-fiction). Forget about the fact that a lot of non-fiction is entertainment and has nothing to do with learning. 😉

4. The market is growing and growing rapidly and Kindle is in a very good position to simply dominate the market. This means at least going with a Kindle version is worth thinking about.

5. Do you want to make money or build an audience? Do you want to reach the most people or just a few? Answering those questions should tell you how you will publish.

6. Any success in book writing will require you to keep producing. Your original book sales will peak and fall, and unless you have a true classic your sales will fall to a trickle. To do this full time you have to keep producing and I feel like that is easier to do when you are a fiction writer. 😉

7. This wouldn’t be complete without a 7th… No matter what you do, what platform you choose, you still have to be business savvy and know how to market yourself. There is a reason distributors make the lion’s share of revenue in the book business. They make the sales.

Once again, you decide whats important for you. Is it more important to be a writer or a marketer? High profit, low volume ebooks or low profit, high volume traditional books? Neither one if necessarily better and its best just to choose whats important for you.

Update: Good little link I just found at Wired magazine. Title : Amazon Sells More Ebooks Then Hardcovers…

Link on the Wall Street Jounal. Title : ‘Vanity’ Press Goes Digital

Last but not least, Cory Doctorow, and how he gives away his work for free… Free Download of his book “Makers”

Also posted in Marketing & Sales, Writing Tagged , , , |

Why Classics Will Always Be Best

And by classics I mean written works that have withstood the test of time.

Lately I’ve been making an effort to read all the 1 star reviews of books I’m interested in on It is amazing to see how well written and insightful some of these reviews can be. Like my last post about critics, if you really think about it, you can see just how valuable critics really are.

Back to the classics…

If a classic is a classic you can tell one thing about it for sure… people are STILL getting a lot of value out of it.

It’s not a classic because it is popular or hyped by all the media, or anything else. It is a classic because it serves its purpose well.

Many of our modern day books will turn into classics. You and I could certainly guess at a few of them. But because there are so many of them to wade through, and because there is so much “fluff” out there, perhaps our time would be better served by simply reading those that are already classics.

A great place to start is the Harvard Classics.

I have read most of the 51 books in the collection, and do plan on finishing all of them within the near future. One thing I can tell you is that this collection will certainly broaden your mind, your outlook on life and the human condition, and will make you a better person indeed.

With a quick search on Google I found one of the best lists for business classics was made by Entrepreneur magazine. They entitle their article Novel Ideas, and they do a great job at reviewing them by saying three things. Why it mattered, why it still matters, and what to ignore. Well balanced advice for picking a business book to read.

I will be posting my own list of top business classics very soon. Please take the time to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss out. 😉

Also posted in Philosophy, Reading Well, Writing Tagged , |