Michael's Blogger Shower

Welcome to my Google sponsored shower! I like to spout out the thoughts jumbled in my head, My original blog no longer exists.If you want to be able to post comments, contact me. :)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

House rich, cash poor?

Seems like everyone has an opinion on what to invest in. I have come to accept the idea to invest in everything. Or rather, every market sector.

A coworker recently told me about Zillow. It’s an online real estate tool.  He actually looked up my condo. I was impressed at the value it said it was worth.

Years ago someone asked me about the appreciation of my condo. I knew it would grow in value over time, but didn’t know much beyond that. I told him I appreciated the property just fine.

There are a lot of variables that can go into an investment to provide the best return. Luck is probably one of those variables.

Although the estimated return on my condo was impressive, it was probably less than half of gains I made elsewhere with less capital and a shorter time frame.

With any luck, the Market will not crash tomorrow and I can continue to invest for the future.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Haven

I tend to minimize time looking in a mirror. I like the image my mind creates of myself more than the real one everyone sees.

As I was showing off some pictures of my recent cruise, I was making fun of the pictures of myself while stealing quick glances of the position of my head and what not.

It's been about 6 months since I have had my eyes straightened. Although some improvements have been very noticeable, new challenges have come up.

While trying to hike up the Norwegian mountain side, it became very clear some things had not changed at all.

I recall being angry with myself that I was having so much trouble and I could sense I was angering the people trying to help me. I could have endured a few “steps”, but the climb never stopped.

Finally I was convinced to give up. Going down was a lot easier. I could actually see the rock formation into stairs.

Perceiving depth is still a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I have no problems at all. Lighting alone can throw off the calculations the brain makes for safe passage.

On the cruise ship, deck 14 midship was called the Haven. Honestly, it was nice having a private area. I'm tempted to always cruise on a ship like that one.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I was telling stories about my brothers to some coworkers. They didn't believe me when I told them we weren't very close.

Before I got to junior high school age, my older brother repeatedly told me there were a bunch of guys waiting to beat me up when I got there. I was totally freaked out for the longest time. I remember hiding in hallways and running from class to class room.

“And your brother was not going to protect you?” They asked.

“My brother was probably on the top of the list who wanted to beat me up.”

Next story I was laughing so hard when I told them about the year I went to this computer trade show called Comdex, I packaged up all the better swag and gave it to my little brother's for Christmas. i can still see the shocked looks on thier faces as they dumped the crap out of the box!

My coworkers thought I crossed a line with that one. I couldn't argue with that but at the time I wasn't even trying to be a jerk.

One year, one of my brothers was all in a huff and didn't want to sit next to me on the train that circled Disneyland. After a few stops, more people got aboard. My brother finally came over and sat next to me.

“I'd rather sit next to Michael, then some stranger.” he announced.

I agreed with that logic. I'd probably say the same thing.

That pretty much sums up our relationship.

Sunday, May 07, 2017


When I was growing up my dad had a routine that he followed every morning. It was like clockwork. I learned his schedule so well I could tell what time it was depending on the signs from his routine.

One morning I needed to get up early and I waited for him to leave. Prior to this morning, I realized he didn't like when I invaded his private time. So, I waited for him to go to work.

Anyway, this particular morning he came back, running inside from the garage, yelling that some kids had busted out the window of his car. Turns out that day was April 1st. My Mom didn't think it was funny at all.

It's been several years since I've lived under my parents roof. Every now and then, early in the morning, I can hear the neighbors walking around upstairs. My brain tells me it's my dad on his routine.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Out of sight, out of mind

One year a roommate of mine sent out an email to meet up at the Cheesecake Factory. The email was to a Yahoo! group if I remember correctly. We wanted to see who would show. It was quite a surprise this known, directionally impaired lady friend walked through the door.

When I asked her how she got there, I learned she had a car now. When I asked again, she told me she had a GPS gadget too.

On the way out of the restaurant, I asked her if she recalled where she parked. She did not so I offered to help. We walked around a bit until she recognized anything familiar. In the car, the GPS device could not acquire a signal for a few minutes. This was years before I had a smartphone, so I was left with what I knew about the area.

I found it funny a visually impaired person was navigating for a directionally impaired person. We got home, so it worked out.

Every now and then when I went to events, some people would be surprised to see me and offered a ride home. Some times I felt upset and wanted to ask them where they were before I took public transportation or what not to get there.

Several people had offered rides upon request, but I forgot who had offered what and I don't like bugging people all the time.

Anyway, once a friend told me that when I was out of sight, I was out of mind.

Wow, I reeled. That explained what I figured most people thought. And this from a friend?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Called to serve

Over the last 11 years I have annually traveled with my parents. Generally it has been on a cruise. I felt I was cutting their costs by a third.

My parents traveled a lot on their own, especially after my Dad retired. My Mom left her part time job years earlier after receiving complaints from her boss that she was taking off too much.

My Aunt once asked them when they were going on a mission. I think she was somewhat jealous of all the places my parents had been. I wanted to object to the idea of them going, but I hoped the idea would die on it's own accord.

I feared the day my parents would want to go on a mission. Apparently, they were waiting for my grandma to pass away.

Shortly after that event, we were eating dinner at Outback restaurant in Northern Virginia. My Mom told me they had submitted this mission papers.

“How could you do this to me?” I complained. “It's so selfish. Who am I going on a cruise with?”

My Dad chuckled at that last question.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Could be worse

Regrets? I think that is too strong of a word. I am always analyzing or evaluating what I could do better, what I should have done, what I probably should not have done, etc.

There was a short book I read when I was a kid called Could be Worse. It's a story about a grandfather who had an outrageous adventure. I remember, or at least I thought I remembered that it was a story about his attitude. All these crazy things happened to him, but things could have been worse.

Many years later, I found the book at my sister's house and started to read it to my nieces. It didn't take long to realize that the grandfather made up the whole story! I was pretty upset.

A friend of mine asked me once how things were going. I told her things could be better.

When questioned further about what could be better, as if I was losing sleep over something, I told her that things could always be better.

There was a missionary on my mission that stated his father would rather have him return home in a body bag then full of regrets. I made the mistake of using that word when saying that I had some regrets. The collective gasp was unreal.