Curated Stuff: Week of May 1st

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Thought I’d create a weekly curated list of things I’ve learned. It’s meant to be educational, brief, and encouraging. I know I’ve been hiding in a cave the last few years, so this is also my feeble attempt to keep in touch.



      • Markets remained relatively flat with the DOW at 21,006 and the S&P 500 at 2,399. Tech reported earnings, including Facebook and Apple. 
      • Oil dipped to new lows for the year based on oversupply and low demand
      • The new American Health Care Act of 2017 made its way to the the Senate
      • Keep an eye on the proposed Tax Plan
      • Federal Reserve is planning a June interest rate hike
      • French Elections are this weekend. “Polls” say it’s Macron for the win
      • I started learning about cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology of decentralized ledgers. I even opened an account at a cryptocurrency exchange and bought my first Bitcoin and Ripple XRP! Prices are really volatile and right now are going BANANAS. To learn more about what I’m doing, see my post here.
      • I rebalanced my 401k finally
        • 10% Black Rock US Equity
        • 10% US Large Cap EQ
        • 20% US SML MID CAP
        • 10% Blackrock Non-US EQ
        • 10% Non-US Equity (My company)
        • 10% Interest Income
        • 10% US Bond
        • 10% Fixed income
        • 10% Real Assets (Real estate)


    • I really can’t stand the news, especially SFGATE, so I’ve tried to decentralize my sources. Here are my new sources: 


      • I’m finally back at the gym. Trying to do my own physical therapy to build up my leg muscles because of patellar tracking pain (pain on the kneecap because of muscular imbalance). 
      • Doing more kettlebell: Simple & Sinister routine
      • Testing the tap water quality (lead, bacteria, pesticides, etc) in my house using this kit. I’ll let you know the results next week. 

Side Hustle

      • Working on a travel blog. Not sure if we’ll keep the name, . Please give me feedback!

Podcasts of the week

  • Other Stuff

    • Wine of the week: 2014 Wines of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – bought a bottle at Costco for $12.99. Smooth and tastes like grapes.

    Book of the Week

    • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up – Marie Kondo
      • Why be tidy?
        •  Messy room = Messy Mind
        • By putting your house in order, we can live in our natural state. We can choose those things that bring us joy and cherish what is truly precious in our lives. Get rid of things that no longer spark joy.
        • We can only cherish a limited number of things at a one time.
        • Putting things away / organization creates the illusion of resolution
        • Identify what I really want and need to keep
      • How?
        • Step 1: Visualize your destination, your end goal. Ask why you are doing this, 3x
        • Step 2: Your selection criteria… does it spark joy?
        • Step 3: Gather all items of a category in one room. Hold each item and ask, does this spark joy? If not, thank the item for it’s service, and then dispose (donate, sell, throw away). 
          • When you come across items that’s hard to discard, consider carefully why you have that specific item in the first place when did you get it and what meaning did it have for you then? Reassess the role it plays in your life. If that item has already completed its role in your life, you are free to say thank you for giving me joy when I bought you, and let it go. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude you will be able to truly put the things you own and your life in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure. To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.
        • Don’t start with mementos.
          • Tidy by category (ie books, clothes), not place (ie bedroom)
          • Order: Clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, mementos
          • Mementos: By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past. If u store these things in a box they will become a weight that holds  you back from living in the present
        • Acknowledge it is difficult to throw away items of:
          • Functional value
          • Informational value
          • Rarity
        • Discard all at once, intensely and completely, vs a little everyday
        • Tackle it while your spirit is uplifted
        • Don’t let your family see
        • Confront your own stuff first, leave communal items and areas until the end
        • Don’t victimize others by giving them junk
        • Create a meditative, quiet space to evaluate, ideally early morning
        • Tidying is a special event, so don’t do it everyday.
      • Tips for daily living
        • Designate specific spots/ home for everything (keys are always placed on the wall)
        • Do not pile and store things vertically
        • Do not store in bags
        • Appreciate your belongings
        • Wear items at home that you love to reinforce self image (not cruddy baggy sweatpants and that tattered team building shirt)
      • Conclusion
        • Tidy up quickly and get it over with, because tidying is not the purpose of life. Choose what to keep and what to discard, and care for the things you decide to keep.
        • Use your time and passion for what truly brings you joy, your mission in life. Not tidying!

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