Investing cuz bank interest rates suck!

Recently I have decided to use some of hard earned gains to invest in the stock market on my own. I’m not very good at this sort of thing at all but I figured I had a little spare change so it’s a good time to take a dip and see if I can get a better rate of return than if it sat in my savings account. If the banks were giving a decent rate of return in savings I probably would have never even considered doing this but since 2008, the interest rate on savings has been almost non-existent so in order to make money, I am going to take a little risk.

I didn’t put in too much, just some cash for a rainy day that I had so instead of buying an iPad mini or something like that I’m sticking it in the market to see if it can get something around 3-4% instead of 0.0125% in a year or so. To me that would be totally win win since I could use more extra money for a rainy day. The thing I really don’t like is risk but investing is like life, you take on the amount of risk you can stomach and move forward. I take a risk every week by flying but technically that risk is way lower than if I drove to work in Miami of all places.

To aid my endeavor, I am listening to some finance pod casts to see what all this terminology is and what I should potentially be buying. I don’t have cash to buy stuff like Apple or Google since their prices are way too high and owning a single share of one stock won’t net me anything. I decided for something affordable and something that an industry or people need (not want) since I’m not playing for quick growth or anything like that. Slow and steady will win this race. I’ll write more if I make some cash and if I’m silent about this topic after this post it means I really suck at it and I’m trying to win my money back.

IHeartRadio is a battery killer

I have been a fan of iheartradio for a while now since I can listen to a lot of my New York radio stations, and Hawaiian ones for that matter, on my iPhone while I’m at work or at home. I’ve used it a lot while I’ve been at the playground with my daughter as well but there are two issues with the app, and one of those issues is not the massive amounts of data that it consumes when I use it.

The first issue that I have is the battery life. When I use my Music app on my iPhone I can barely notice any battery drain after spending an hour or so at the playground with my daughter. I went out again to the playground and this time I decided to use iheartradio instead and man did the battery get killed. I think I went from around 90% to almost 30% in the time I was at the playground with my daughter. On top of that, my phone got really hot as well which I’m sure isn’t a good thing either.

The second issue really was the heat aspect. Since the battery was draining so fast, the phone got really hot in my pocket. My iPhone runs pretty cool most of the time but this time it felt like I had been running the GPS app on my phone for a road trip which was the only other time that my iPhone ever got that hot. The heat really wasn’t a concern but more of an observation. I like using the app but since these problems occur I only use the app now when I can be plugged into another computer or at a wall jack.

All in all it’s good stuff, I used to have to listen to my Hawaiian music through Internet explorer but now I can listen to it on an app on my phone and not a computer.

*Dislike* for the WordPress Dashboard Update

I wouldn’t say that I’m a very old WordPress user or even an old blogger.  I’ve only been using WordPress for a couple of years…. I think… I can’t remember when I did the switch to WordPress from Blogger but when I joined WordPress the thing I liked was its overly complex Dashboard that was presented to me when I first logged in.  The dashboard had everything I could want!  I could see my mediocre stats on who was reading my blog, a large left hand navigator that can let me see every aspect of my blog, and even a way to quickly “press” a new post.

The new dashboard has none of those things.  It does show me the blogs I manage and the option to “press” a new post but with limited capabilities.  I think this was made for the blogging “newbie” or for all those people coming in from Tumblr that micro-blog instead of doing long winded posts like I do.  I have found a way to get to the old dashboard I know and love but I wish there was a setting that would let me get to the old dashboard like I used to be able to.

Maybe in the next update they will do something like this for the “power” users although I’m not really a power users.  I’m one of those people that get used to using things a certain way and just stick with it.  I still look up my IP address using the command prompt for the most part, now thats really old school!  At least I don’t limit my file names to eight continuous characters like in the days of DOS 5.0.

So Yahoo! bought Tumblr….

Tumbler

The latest and greatest news before the opening bell of the stock market is that Tumblr has been purchased by Yahoo! for a cool 1.1B in cash.  Thats not a bad pay day for the guys who run and manage Tumblr at all in my opinion.  There was even a post in Fast Company that stated that a number of people were abandoning Tumblr for WordPress (my blogging service of choice since I left Blogger a few years ago) for fear that Yahoo! would mess it up as it has some other properties in the past.  I think this will be different though.  I don’t think there will be a lot of interference from Yahoo! except to find new ways to generate cash through ads or by pushing some cool technology platforms out and using the audience as a test bed.

I’m still surprised that blogging among the masses is still popular.  I posted something long ago that even questioned whether blogging was even relevant anymore.  I’ve posted for years and no one follows me as far as I know and my blog gets minuscule hits but that was never the purpose of my blog anyway.  I guess we’ll see how things go and see if this changes blogging…. I seriously doubt this will do anything to shake things up though 🙂

No Google Glass

No Google Glass

I’m as avid as the next tech guy but I really don’t like Google Glass.  It’s not from a privacy thing or because I don’t think the tech isn’t cool or anything, I just don’t like wearing glasses unless they are sun glasses these days.  As a person that wore glasses for most of their childhood and adult life, putting a pair of glasses on to get augmented reality information is just not that appealing.  I spent lots of time and cash trying to eliminate my need for glasses overall and the prospect of needing to wear something on my face just to get some snippet of information that I could probably get on my phone right in my line of sight just doesn’t jive with me.  I will admit that the concept is pretty cool but if its anything like how people use cell phones and drive, I think I’ll be grateful if we can skip Google Glass because the roads are dangerous enough right now with people driving while doing (eating, texting, using a phone, checking email, playing a game, etc.).  Google Glass would constitute one more distraction that really isn’t needed unless you’re maybe walking in an unfamiliar town.

I personally won’t be getting a pair of these, I’ll invest my money into a new iPad or maybe my mid life crisis car instead that has a lot of the things Glass does built in.

The First Ft. Lauderdale Color Run

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Today is Cinco De Mayo but it was also the first ever Color Run in Ft. Lauderdale. Unlike most runs that I or my wife have done in the past, this wasn’t a race where you were timed, it was nearly an event to have some fun with a running component. I personally haven’t run any sort of organized race since I did the Tower of Terror run with my wife way back in 2008 I think. I agreed to do this particular run after seeing some videos of it online and it looked pretty fun. What other run is there where the point is to get really messy by using packs of color and throwing it in the air and running through it?

The run itself wasn’t bad. I did not train at all for it like I was supposed to do and I’m regretting it now that I’m sites here in Miami waiting for my flight to board. The run was only a 5K so it was easily doable and we ended up finishing way sooner than I anticipated. It was good that we got there early so we could leave before the huge crowds gathered at the finish line.

There were numerous “Color Zones” that we ran through. The purpose of the color zones was to essentially spray people with colored dust to make the more colorful as the race went on. They also provided some music to keep things peppy all throughout the race. I think there were at least 4 color zones that I ran through and my Color Run shirt looks like a cheap tie dye right now but I’m keeping it that way as a memento. The very best part is when you hit the finish area and they do color throws near the stage. These took place about every 10 minutes and I was fortunate enough to experience the very first one at the finish line. With our packets for the run they gave us a packet of powdered color to throw in the air. The event coordinators decided to throw more packets into the crowd to get as much color in the air as possible. The picture on this post is the color throw I was able to capture before I put my phone away to participate in the festivities. I think I’ll do another color run just for fun again but this time I’ll take my daughter with me since kids in strollers are allowed and I think she would enjoy getting all messy and us not giving her “that look”. If I’m up to it and work allows, maybe I’ll do the one in Miami. My decision, of course, will be based on how sore my legs are tomorrow.

I highly recommend doing the Color Run and this is from a person that absolutely hates running.