Jan 31, 2013

Got Ads?

B&P's in the terrible twos, we teethed to a readership of three (thanks mom) in '11.  This blog burns a Benjamin per year on domain, hosting and freebies

It's time to recoup some cash. 

Bigger sites sell ad space to cover overhead.  Many of you reading this run your own blog.  Who's tried selling ads, and was it a pass or fail? 

The tricky part will be plugging space until we reach a certain hit count per month.  This month was 23,000 clicks, might need to grow to several hundred thousand or a million every 30 days before gaining advertisement traction.  

Queue the adult diaper ads on B&P in 3...2...


Jan 29, 2013

And So It Begins...Eating

First it was Coke Wars, now Curls is pretty much hogging the blog.  Fine with me, I'll go grab a bucket of mint chip ice cream and contemplate how to tweak that fireplace.  
Why hello…Curls here!
A handful of posts ago, Beard shared my desire to get on the fitness bandwagon.  Time to share.
Rewind to roughly a decade ago.  I was a very disciplined runner back in the day.  I hit my mid-20’s and thought, “I gotta do something.”  A desk job wasn’t helping, so one day I just started running and watching what I ate.  I refused to call it a diet, instead focusing exclusively on portion control and working the four primary food groups into daily eating.  Both nutrition and exercise pistons were firing at precisely the same time.  I felt wonderful!  I exercised 6-days a week and got hooked on races.  I bit the marathon bug and on my second try qualified for the Boston Marathon and ran it the following spring.  I really surprised myself during that time and still look back at it as a pivotal moment for never, ever underestimating what is possible.  This running went on for years until injury started catching up with me.  I scaled back on mileage and decided I needed a break.  When I tried to aggressively get on board again, I ran into injury after injury that had me side-lined for 6-8 weeks each.  It was frustrating, not to mention very discouraging.  The running became more sporadic, less meaningful and fell off the radar altogether.  The end.  Or is it?

Jan 24, 2013

What Would You Do - Mortgage

The ink's dry on my mortgage refi', softening the rate from 6.25% to 3.3%.  I should have done this a long time ago.

Now I've got the itch to polish this bad boy off.  The idea of no house payment is appealing, I hate all forms of debt.  There is no such thing as "good debt," including financing a home.

If I drain a stock account and do double+ house payments for 12 months, I should be able to finish the mortgage in about one year.

I see two downsides to selling stock:
  1. Capital gains tax on withdraw is painful, and might mean I'll owe federal tax next year vs. receiving a refund.
  2. Unloading the stock pretty much toasts my mid-range savings.  It would take several years to build it back up.  I'd leave my short-term emergency funds and long term retirement accounts intact.
What do you think, is it worth emptying a sloppy bucket of stock (taxed) and be under duress for a year to double down on house payments to close the loan early?

Jan 20, 2013

A Weekend of 50 to -9

Third Sock

Friday afternoon, two days ago, I ran a neighborhood seven mile ring in shorts and 47 minutes.  50 degrees and dripped salt at the finish.

Same route tonight, a north front blowing -9 wind chill, I fought ice for bite and shivered most of the route.  I realize this blog is mostly read by women, so you won't understand...but there's this painful shrinkage thing going on with the cash and prizes on these bitter days.  Windies help a little, Martin usually just dons a third sock.  It ain't pretty.

Iowa winter and summer mercury swings 130 degrees.  I guess it toughens us up so we're ready to toe the line anywhere.  Running Colorado trails at 10,000 feet a couple summers ago was less effort than a July workout in Des Moines with a 95 temp and 80% humidity redlining the blood pump.

Forecast says 50s again in the 10-day, I'll take it.

Jan 17, 2013

Born to Eat - 3, Fat to Phat

A few years back, work ran a fitness campaign called "I Decide."  The gist was whatever workout a person invented in their head was good enough.  Placards interspersed throughout campus flashed large font "I Decide" quotes, employees saying things like "I Decide...to Climb Three Flights of Stairs" or "I Decide...To Get Off the Bus Two Stops Early."

A person may decide to climb a floor and walk from the bus, which burns roughly a quarter slice of bread.  But that's not a workout.

The truth is losing weight and getting in shape are HARD WORK.  

Jan 13, 2013


People, relationships...talking shop and family with friends over a cold one is the best part of tasting a new culture.

seconds before Mayur and I put the hurt on some platters

Without a doubt, next best is the food.

North Indian vegetarian, served thali style

Jan 8, 2013

18 Reasons Why My Teen Won't Have a Smartphone

A mom's 18-point contract spelling the rules for her teen's new iPhone went viral in recent days.  She mostly received praise from parents for enforcing responsible smartphone use by her son.

I think handing over an iPhone to a teen is a bad idea.

Pigtails, here are 18 reasons why you won't have a smartphone when you're a teen.

Jan 5, 2013

Running on Coke

Below is an email set Curls and I exchanged regarding getting back on the running horse.  I told her she offers sound advice for a post, so here it is.  I nearly lost some dangly parts when suggesting cutting Coke.

If readers like the topic, Curls said she'll write a fitness series over the next few months.

From: Curls
To: Beard
Subject: I...
…ran last night.  I rock!

From: Beard
To: Curls

Good job, how did it go?  Was cold out there on my run today, 2 degree real-feel over lunch.

Jan 4, 2013

Circling the Sun - Technology

Who knows what the future holds, but I like to guess.  Today we're talkin' tech.  

I'm excited about what's coming down the pipe, some cool stuff in this category.  People my age are living in an interesting time in history.

The Internet was a bare black command window in my class of '94 high school geek group.  To view an image, say a space photo from the Smithsonian, we flipped through a phone-book thick catalog, looked up the 12-digit IP address of the website (192.168.365...) and typed it into a command window.  Then we waited.  And waited.  The download via 1.2 KB dial-up modem finished 5 minutes later, our prize a tiny, garish shot of a galaxy a billion miles away.  We thought it was cutting edge at the time.  I wanted to be a computer programmer from that moment, and so it is.

Now we have wireless high speed screaming gigs of YouTube driving dog clips and Facebook status updates to our hand by high def' phones.  It's only going to get better, here's how I think technology will trend.

Interview with Pigtails

You asked, she answers.  

The takeaways here are she collects rocks, mushrooms make her queasy and she may possibly wear purple long johns to Walmart.