Presidential Marijuana

Did you know at Mount Vernon, George Washington grew hemp as his primary crop in 1797. Thomas Jefferson grew hemp as a secondary crop at Monticello.

Interesting food for thought.

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Digital Diet: update 3.

Week 2 was the hardest so far and now all is calm again in week 3. I’m not sure why but I really started to create excuses and reasons to why we would need the Internet at home. What if I need to complete a business need? What if my wife needs it to work from home? I have a global company, I can’t be disconnected at all? These are a few of the reasons I concocted in week 2 but have settled into week 3 comfortable with the idea of no home Internet. In fact, I’ve begun to look at this as another step in my minimalist lifestyle. Un-wiring my house from the digital world. Here’s what’s been done thus far.

1. Internet disconnected.
2. Apple TV swapped for an iPod Touch with a composite cable.
3. Apple Time Capsule moved to my office to backup my iMac.
4. Sold 3 extra iPhones. I had a backup device for myself to use while my everyday iPhone would be charging. Didn’t want to miss an iMessage.
5. Our iPad Mini does not see as much use nowadays.
6. I’ve been playing more Legos with Porter.

Last thing I need to do is swap out my Nest thermostat for a none networking device and then our house is back to analog. It’s really weird to have a disconnected house but it feels good. This move has sparked some ideas for home products for those of us without Internet. I’m currently gathering a team to construct a prototype.

All in all, I’m happy with the change and my wife could care less. I was the one who was all geeked out about not having Internet. We’re saving nearly $800 a year and we made some decent cash to put towards a deep freezer for this seasons wonderful harvest of fruits and vegetables.

Now that I’m not distracted by pixels I’ll be out back making mud pies with Porter.

FDA: Federal Department of A**bags

Our government is out of control. Obama recently appointed former Monsanto VP as the director of the FDA. Monsanto VP? Really?

Now if you don’t know who Monsanto is have a spin around Google, the info will horrify you. For those of you who think I’m just picking on Obama, your wrong. I have plenty to disagree with from the previous administration.

I just can’t believe how in control business is in this country. That’s who controls our government, all the politicians are just puppets for their Sugar Daddy’s.

Eat local. Eat natural. Get crunchy. End of rant.

Read more here.

Crunchy or weird?

I’m a minimalist. No, not because the term is cool or it’s the latest trend. I’ve always been that way. Before marriage I was able to move my entire life at the drop of a hat and I would. I could literally make one trip with my vehicle to my new abode. Traveling light and keeping my life free of clutter has always been a natural part of my being. It’s a tad more difficult now with a wife and two sons, but as a whole we have far less than the typical consumerist American family and we like it.

It’s so common now days for families to not park in their garage because its packed with overflow. The Self-Storage industry is huge and Americans rent space for stuff. Really? How dumb is that? This though I will save for future a post.

My life of minimalism is still going strong and I’ve taken another step in minimizing my life even more. I find clothing a huge annoyance. Shopping for them, picking out something to wear, keeping up with trends, even though I never really cared about what’s “in”. It’s all just a headache I really don’t want to deal with. So, I no longer will. I’ve gotten rid of every single shirt that either wasn’t a short or long sleeved black t-shirt. Yep, that’s all I have for shirts.

My shirt selection has been reduced to 3 long sleeve and 6 short sleeve shirts for “good.” For work I have 2 long sleeve and 5 short sleeve. I have 2 pairs of khaki’s and 5 pairs of jeans. When the occasion calls for a really dapper look I have my vintage Woolrich Houndstooth sport coat. That’s about it besides my loungewear and I love it. No more thinking about what to wear. I just grab and go.

Of course my family and friends think I’m really weird. That’s fine, I can handle it. As a designer and having spent countless years in college with an art focus this is par for the course. Keep in mind though, there have been some very successful and notable people who wear the same thing everyday. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg and Albert Einstein are a few of those who didn’t want to be weighed down with the mundane task of picking out clothes.

So, am I crunchy or weird? I say minimalist.

Ditching paper towels

Jen’s post a few weeks back about ditching paper towels has inspired me to do the same. This week at the grocery I avoided purchasing them even though my wife had them on the list. I couldn’t help but think about how much of a waste they are. Not only are you tossing money in the garbage but also a lot of unnecessary paper waste. With that, they have been eliminated at this household.

Today I was cleaning out one of my t-shirt drawers, ditching any shirts that were faded or had holes in them. Got out the rotary cutter and board and went to town making rags. I’ve got quite a nice pile out of 4 shirts and now after a rag is used it will go in a bucket of borax solution to soak before washing instead of the trash.

Thanks Jen for the inspiration.

* Here’s a little fact I learned this week. 40% of food purchased in the US goes into the garbage. Sad!

UPDATE: Digital Diet

Well, since my original Digital Diet post my wife and I have taken some very positive steps toward disconnecting ourselves as well as lowering our monthly expenses. So we have:

1. Sold extra, unnecessary electronic devices. iPhones, Apple TV and more.

2. We cancelled our home Internet

3. I successfully unlocked an iPhone and it is now on the Straight talk network for half of what Verizon cost

Since we started we’ve made about $225 selling some things and we are now saving $150 per month. More cuts to come.

Head over heals for your credit score.

So many of us are head over heals for our credit score. Many of us nurture that number as though life depends on it. We actually believe that life would not exist without good credit. We’re wrong.

My wife and I have come to realize that our credit score means nothing except we’re playing “kissy-face” with the bank. Yep, a good credit score is not a reflection of financial stability but rather a reflection of how good you are at paying back borrowed money.

I used to worry and work diligently to keep my score around 740 but I work at it no longer. We’ve cut up all credit cards and are intensely working to pay off debt as quickly as possible and one day we will have a credit score of 0. Yep, I won’t need it again. I’m done cuddling with the bank.

Keep this in mind. If you were to invest the average car payment of $475 into a Growth Stock Mutual fund with a 12% rate of return, in 30 years you’d have $1.6 million. I don’t know about you, but I’ll keep driving my beat up van. After all, it’s only a transportation appliance.