Punk Rock and a Potato in my Pants

“Hey, I got a great idea,” the singer from our band says, “Let’s throw ground meat at the audience.”

The rest of the band looks at each other and the rhythm guitarist is the first to speak.

“Yea, I dunno about that. Meat is expensive.”

“Right,” my singer pauses, “How about potatoes?”

We all look at each other and smile.

Back in the early 1990s, I played bass guitar in multiple punk rock bands. Those were glorious but hazy times of my life.

“You mean our music isn’t enough?” I asked.

We played in and around New York City, recorded original songs, pressed a 7” record, and had a ball.

All the punk bands I played in lasted typically a few months. Egos, violence, and a host of other problems always doomed them. For this particular band, we managed to survive long enough to get some stage time.

The band consisted of a drummer, two guitarists (one rhythm and one lead), me the bass player, and our uber punk rocker singer.

We wrote a few catchy tunes and my singer said he got us a gig, at a bar just outside New York City. It wasn’t a typical punk rock bar but more of a regular neighborhood bar.

At first, the rest of us were concerned about this since the “locals” don’t really like punk rock music. He assured us that he was going to set up a punk rock festival and invite more punk bands from the area to play too.

We started practicing harder to make our debut on stage a success when my singer says, “we need a hook, something they’ll remember us by!”

“You mean our music isn’t enough?” I asked.

“No, we gotta do something like what Gigi Allen does!”

One guitarist says, “I’m not shitting on stage if that’s what you mean!”

“No! Something different, how about throwing ground meat at the audience?”

My rhythm guitarists chimes in, “Yea, I dunno about that. Meat is expensive.”

My singer pauses and says, “Right, what about potatoes?”

I could see my singer holding up a giant russet potato in one hand and the microphone in his other hand.

We hatched a plan to shove a large potato down our pants, play the gig, and then when we hit a break in one of our songs, reach down into our pants, pull out the potato, and throw it into the audience.

We all agreed.

The night of the show the bar was filled with two kinds of people. The locals and a sea of punk rockers with colored hair and mohawks, and the shaved heads of skinheads.

Things were getting rowdy as the bar was overwhelmed and the staff was shooting each other glances that translated to “WTF is going on here?”

We take the stage and start playing loud. I don’t remember how we remained in time but there was a wall of noise directed from the stage into the bar and outside onto the sidewalk.

This was NOT the impact we wanted to make…

The punk rockers and skinheads started to form a pit and slam dance. The locals had a look of fear on their faces because this was like nothing they’d ever seen before!

Then the moment came, we hit the break in the song. Everyone reached down into their pants and pulled out the potato.

In the glow of the blue and yellow stage light, I could see my singer holding up a giant russet potato in one hand and the microphone in his other hand.

A light shone on the audience closest to the stage, they had this look of “WTF is this” across their faces. With the flick of his wrist he threw the potato into the audience, we followed seconds later and tossed our potatoes as well.

We then launched into the remainder of the song, smiling at the impact we made until I felt a potato come whizzing inches from my head.

Another potato hit the drum kit, knocking over a cymbal stand. Then I saw my singer drop the microphone when a potato hit him squarely in the face. The rest of the band looked at each other as we dodged the rest of the potatoes.

This was NOT the impact we wanted to make, be the target of impact!

We lifted our guitars in the air and yelled “thanks” to the audience indicating our set was done and for the next band to come. We rushed over to our signer who was clutching his eye, it was swollen and he’d get a black eye for sure.

“Ground meat doesn’t hurt as much as potatoes,” he muttered as we helped him off stage.

How Passive Investing Saved My Life

Passive investing saved my life in many ways, but not in the way you think. It didn’t swing from the trees like Tarzan and snatch me away from a charging Rhino nor did it give me a Flu shot. It did it in two main ways: Saving my time and avoiding costly mistakes. How? Read on my friend, read on.

I know many people that lived through the Real Estate boom and implosion in 2008. My wife and I bought our first home and first rental property back in 2004 and 2005. Prices and values were going up and up and we managed to swing these two properties financially. I was also trading ‘machine-learned’ market models to help my trend trade Forex and some stocks. I thought I had found the means to a quick retirement and wealth. Everyone thought they did.

I was wrong.

First the Boom, then the Bust

When the Real Estate bust happened, it wiped out friends and colleagues. Luckily we had the rental property rented out and it was generating enough income to cover all expenses, so we operated at break even. A friend of mine blew out spectacularly. He nearly lost everything and is now – 10 years later – finally recovering.

After all the injection of money from the Federal Reserve and the backstopping of the financial institutions, the markets stabilized. Not until after trillions of dollars of wealth evaporated. I don’t need to go into a history lesson here, but it was the closest this generation ever got to a Great Depression.

My 401K shrank, my Forex models blew up, my stock models stopped working, my office was close to shutting down. It was horrible but it was the best thing to ever happen to this us and this generation.

Cynicism and Clarity

I hear it all the time, the Millennials aren’t investing in the stock market. How are they going to save for their retirement? Why aren’t they stock trading like their parents? They’re just passive investing and it’s costing us money!

The Millennials are cynically, and rightfully so. This generation of people apply logic and well thoughtful arguments to cut through the bullshit. They see Wall Street’s game and don’t want to play it UNLESS it’s on their terms. That’s clarity and good for them. They know the system is rigged.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. When you purchase a product or service using one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep my content free of charge to you.

Rigged System – Long Term Investing

It is rigged. The entire stock market is rigged. Howard said it best here:

The markets rarely frustrate me but the players do. I invest and trade assuming the markets are rigged…because they are.

The markets are one big reflection of a hidden shit-show run by shit people. Ok, I’m generalizing here and there are some good people in the markets but for the most part, it’s one big scam meant to separate you from your money. Usually via fees but often through bad investment decisions.

Here’s a few off the top of my head:

-Brokerage Fees

-Trading Fees

-Expense Ratios (Fees)

-Management Fees

-Hot Stock Tips

Like Howard, I don’t hate the markets at all, I just want to outsmart the masses. I didn’t know how until I read this book, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.”

The gist of the book? Long-term investing always wins.

Long Term / Passive Investing

A Random Walk Down Wall Street takes a data-driven approach to the markets and shines a light on all the ‘hocus pocus market participants believe in. Elliot Wave, Technical Analysis, Day Trading, etc. Can you make money using Technical Analysis, sure. It might work now but won’t work at some point in the future. How about Elliot Wave? Of course, a broken watch is right twice a day.

Investors get tripped up when they do stuff like Day Trade. They churn up fees, make some money, have to pay taxes, etc. Then one day the market turns against them and they give back a lot of the gains. I’ve seen many a ‘day trader’ blow up and this one is a classic. Yes, there are ways to limit your exposure by stops or risk size positioning but sometimes you need a blowout to reevaluate your choices.

Markets are great teachers if you only listen and learn.

I switched from active trading to passive trading around 2010. I stopped chasing stocks and forex markets after my models blew up. I realized that I was just being lucky. A rising tide lifts all ships and I mistook luck for brains.

Instead, we started maxing out my 401K’s and IRAs. We saved up more money in our accounts, paid off debt where applicable, and remodeled our kitchens and bathrooms.

The Advice

I took the advice of the book and started to do the following:

  • Invest in index funds
  • Buy funds with low-cost fees
  • Don’t market time
  • Dollar-cost average (easy to do in a 401k)
  • Assemble a portfolio that is diversified across many assets
  • Adjust my portfolio based on my risk tolerance and age
  • Sit on my hands
  • Turn off the screens and focus on my hobbies

Well, number 8 isn’t in the book but the first seven are. Once I started doing 1 through 7, I started doing better. I sat on my hands because I realized that I suffer from market panic just like everyone else. I wanted to time the market and look like a hero but that’s just luck. Like right now, there’s a Wall of Worry in the markets, I call it the Trump Trade. No one knows which way the market will go in the short term but in the long run, it goes up.

Do I own a few individual stocks? Sure but that’s really mad money for me. I barely trade and I save money from not creating taxable events and commissions via my retirement accounts. I have more time to spend with my family and invest my time with them, instead of staring at a screen and building models that may or may not work. If the market goes down? So what? I’ll just buy more shares in my funds when my 401k contribution hits.

So what if the Markets are rigged? People have such a short attention span with everything that they can’t see that long-term and passive investing is the way to success. It has been for me. I can sleep at night knowing that I’ve saved time, money, and stressing about the future.

The Sages at Reddit

I’ve been updating my Python Forex Trading Bot tutorial with new trading classes for my readers to try out. No matter what I code and try, my bot keeps losing money. These results reinforce my beliefs on passive investing.

Then I stumbled across a post in r/AlgoTrading

I find that passive investing does just that, especially if you’re diversified. You don’t know which stock will do well but a basket of them will probably do well in the long run.

This sentiment is what Jim Simon alludes to in his ‘fallow ground’ comment toward the end of the TED Talk. His hedge fund has pretty much cracked the Wall Street code through mathematics and simulations. If I had another lifetime, I’d become a mathematician and try this.

Feds clear the way for Gateway Tunnel project to get billions in funding

Federal funding could be as much as $5.6 billion, or approximately 44% of the projects cost to build two new rail tunnels under the Hudson River and rehabilitate the existing 111-year old tunnels. Amtrak would fund $1.4 billion and also has purchased Manhattan property needed for the project. The state governments of New Jersey and New York would fund up to $6 billion, through low interest, long-term railroad infrastructure loans.

Feds clear the way for Gateway Tunnel project to get billions in funding – nj.com

Many of my former co-workers in the transportation field are rejoicing, and rightfully so. This is a much-needed project and will put a lot of Engineers, Planners, and Construction Workers to work.

The trick now New Jersey and New York is to not vote in any politician that could kill this project, you know like Chris Christie did in 2010.

Remember voters, don’t vote against your best interest, even if you feel like you want to “own” the opposing side. That’s how they keep the masses weak and unorganized.

Humility and Equanimity in Sales

Dear Friend,

I’ve been meaning to write about the importance of humility and equanimity in sales. From my personal past observations, it seems these are attributes only a few salespeople have.

What are humility and equanimity?

Humility is defined as:

“a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.”

Equanimity is defined as:

“mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.”

The Monkey Brain

Recently I was enlightened by a sales colleague about the concept of the Monkey brain. It was from a book he read.

The Monkey brain is hubris, fight, flight, any emotion or reaction that ties us back to the days when we started walking upright.

Our reaction must be the same, always.

When you give a presentation, it’s the Monkey that says “you’re going say stupid things” or “you don’t look pretty enough.” When you sign a great sales deal, it’s the Monkey that says “YAH! I’m the King/Queen, nothing can touch me!”

The Monkey Brain is not enlightened. It is the attachment to this world, it is that prevents you from achieving moksha. It is what causes the downfall of many a Salesperson.

Leave the Monkey Behind

When you are in Sales, you are essentially asking someone to trade resources (money) for something you have to offer. Your offer must be more of a perceived value to that person that they are willing to part with their money.

This offer. It can be anything. It can be a product or service.

You must sell it so that your organization can survive.

It is the Monkey that goes out hunting for the tribe.

The Monkey gets scared if the potential sale appears to be falling through.

The Monkey parties when the sale goes through, just like if he killed food to bring back to the tribe.

The Monkey falls into the same trap every time because it is the Monkey Brain.

You must leave the Monkey behind.

Humility and Equanimity

Humility is not of the Monkey, it is an understanding that you do not understand everything. Humility is looking inward to oneself and finding that Monkey, hiding in your emotional trees and quieting him. Humility means that you will try your best and do your best, but not let the Monkey control your fears.

Equanimity is not of the Monkey as well. When the Monkey wins, he is elated and thumps his chest. When the Monkey loses, he gets angry and depressed. In life, we will win and we will lose. We will learn and we will make mistakes. It is how we react to the good and bad that is equanimity. Our reaction must be the same, always.

We are doing our job when we win and we are doing our job when we lose.

Be Humble.

Be Equanimous.

The Social Contract is Broken

Workers are organizing and fighting back – it’s about time

I’m happy to pile on to this video that exploded over the weekend. It’s of James Iannazzo formerly of Merrill Lynch. He was, until a few hours, a wealth management advisor and supposedly one of their top performers. He’s been fired and now arrested.

All over a smoothie.

Good. Fuck that guy.

This shit happens more than you expect because it happened to me when I was teenager, over 35 years ago. I worked low wage jobs in the 1980’s. I pumped gas, I bused tables as a bus-boy, and I worked the overnight shifts at a 7-11. I had to deal with all kinds of ungrateful people that wanted to shit over a kid trying his best to serve them.

…he flips his lid and threatens to “put my ass in a sling.”

I remember one Sunday afternoon when I closed up the gas station. It was 5:55PM and I needed to lock the pumps and count out the register. That would take me all of 5 minutes so I’d be done at 6PM. Why not close at 6PM and stay till 6:05PM, you ask?

Simple, my boss told me to do this because he wouldn’t pay me after 6PM and I shouldn’t donate my time for free. Wise words from “El Heffe” but looking back now I realized he was a pretty cool boss.

At 6PM, just as I’m about to lock the front door a guy comes in to get gas. He jumps out and asks me to fill it and I kindly reply we just closed. He starts to get cranky and tells me to get the key to open the station back up and I reply again that we’re closed. Not getting the answer he wants, he flips his lid and threatens to “put my ass in a sling.”

So now I flip my lid and proceed to tell him that 1) he’d be assaulting a minor, 2) I memorized his license plate, 3) people are watching (it was a busy intersection), and 4) to go right ahead asshole. Call it 16 year old hubris or stupidity but I wanted to fight. He thought about what I said and got into his car and drove away.

Looking back, my altercation couldn’t gone a completely different and possibly violent way if it happened today.

The customer is not always right

I’m here to write that the customer is NOT always right. They’re not right if they belittle you, verbally, emotionally, or physically assault you. Once they attack you in any of these manners you have a right and a duty to fight back. If your manager or company doesn’t have your back and tells you to take it because it’s part of your job, then you tell them to fire you or quit on the spot.

Low wage workers are told they’re expendable, are forced to work in crazy conditions, and get paid at a poverty level.

I told my boss what happened the next day and he had my back. He called the police and let them know what happened and gave them the license plate of the guy’s car. I don’t know if anything ever happened to that jackass or not, but at least if he came back and this happened again it would be on some record somewhere.

I get it, everyone has bad days but don’t take it out on people that are working too hard for minimum wage. They’re people too and you are not always right.

The great worker awakening

Ever since the pandemic took hold workers have realized that 1) they keep the corporate machine running, 2) they’re treated like shit, 3) and are severely underpaid. The Trump and Biden direct payments was the match that struck this new worker revolution.

(c) Pixabay

Workers woke up and realized that they’ve been getting the short end of the stick, the social and moral contract between humanity was broken. We keep hearing horror stories about this especially from companies like Amazon and 1000’s of others. Low wage workers are told they’re expendable, are forced to work in crazy conditions, and get paid at a poverty level. Companies than cry when no one wants to work anymore when workers just get up and leave. They leave because they’ve been treated like shit.

Wouldn’t you?

Add in the deaths of nearly 1,000,000 Americans, early retirees, and people quitting en masse because of the Covid19 shit show, you now have a recipe for workers to demand more and get more. Add in Internet and smart Millennials that can out maneuver Boomers and things are looking good for workers.

The current system we have in place is broken

For the first time in a generation, workers of today can change the narrative of the social contract between us all, if they stay together and “put the pedal to the metal.”

The social contract is broken

I fully believe that our addiction to permagrowth and toxic capitalism will destroy this planet. It’s already destroying lives by treating people as expendable labor units – in MBA school we called them labor units. Yes, the dehumanizing starts in business schools.

A growing majority in Congress still fights to prevent us from having universal health care and caters to the corporations over the citizens that they’re supposed to represent. There are so many other ills in our society (i.e. racism) that it would take paragraphs to shed light on them, but the one thing that’s clear is that the social contract – what it means to live as humans with one another – is broken.

The current system we have in place is broken. When we have the richest men and most valued companies in the world and yet we still have poverty and hunger in this country. We have so many inequalities and so many wrongs that need to be righted.

The current social contract needs to be ripped apart and rewritten. We need a new social contract, one that values us humans as humans. One that has universal healthcare, one that treats workers with respect and pays a living and increase living wage. We need a new contract that actively fights systemic racism and one that mandates equality.

We need a new social contract that satisfies the needs of people first before it satisfies the greed of a few. We need to realize that there is power in the tribe and there is an unspoken rule that if you “shit on one of us, you shit on all of us.”

We must make this change before it’s too late, before we leave our children a dead world while we clutch our dollar bills in our graves.

Carnival of Medium Writers

It’s Sunday! My fun day, my I don’t have to do shit but lie in bed and read Medium articles day. So turn on the electric sheets, lift up the covers to air out the farts, and start reading.

But first, an announcement from your Ringmaster (that’s me)!

In this article, we’re going to bring something back from the Web 1.0 days.

I’m talking about Blog Carnivals and I’m bringing sexy back them back.

What the hell are Blog Carnivals? Blog Carnivals were a loose organization of writers, bloggers, and Interwebz nerds that blogged about certain topics like finance, travel, and other things.

…if sex is a pain in the ass then you’re doing it wrong!

Below are two fantastic writers that decided to take part in this experiment. Behold the first acts of the Carnival!


The first entry today comes from Mysterious Witt. I’ve been a long-time reader of her sex and relationship articles on Medium. Her latest foray has been into writing articles on rekindling sexless marriage. The Medium article I want to highlight in this week’s carnival is her “14 Tips I Wish I Knew Earlier for Painless, Orgasmic Anal Sex.”

There was a running joke among my friends that went something like, “if sex is a pain in the ass then you’re doing it wrong!” Haha!

Well… no haha!

As I’ve gotten older, matured (that’s questionable), and have regular sex, I find this joke not funny at all.

Mysterious Witt recounts her first-time experience as painful and terrible. She goes on to explain how her first anal sex experience completely turned her off until she decided to give them a try again.

Words matter and words have power

As she started experimenting with and figuring out how to open her back door, she learned a few things and turned into an anal sex aficionado. Her tips are a fantastic “no hole’s barred” and “no ands, if’s and yes to butts” kinda list.

Check it out and make sure to follow her.


Our next article comes from Reuben Salsa and is carries a serious tone to it. Why? Because it’s a major chapter in our collective history as humans and its lessons are being ignored and grossly perverted today.

In the Not Satire section of the Judean People’s Front (he makes a wonderful Monty Python reference in the About Section of his publication), Reuben writes Everything Comparable to the Holocaust According to Medium Writers and the important nuances of the Holocaust and a holocaust.

As someone that obsesses over the misuse of the words literal in conversation, or how it’s not a cement sidewalk but a concrete sidewalk, I get his frustration.

His frustration is further exacerbated by the fact that many authors and articles keep referring to the extermination of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in World War 2 to their inconveniences (Hi Tim!) or pet peeves.

Just stop it! Words matter and words have power. Check out his article and follow him.


I hope you enjoyed this Carnival of Medium article by some fantastic Medium authors. Next week’s Carnival Ringmasteris Reuben Salsa, so stay tuned for that.

Millennials can’t catch a break!

This is just nuts. Millennials just can’t seem to catch a break. Now AI is coming for their jobs.

Research released by Gallup on Thursday indicates a collision between technology and “business as usual” is coming soon, and the fallout will be ugly, especially for Millennials. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are among the most disruptive forces descending upon the workplace, says the Gallup report, and 37% of Millennials “are at high risk of having their job replaced by automation, compared with 32% of those in the two older generations.”[via Forbes]

If you’re considering a career move, get a beat on what jobs are trending up (software engineer) and which ones are on their way out (reporter). You can boost your skills through a boot camp or with a traditional degree, no matter what your industry is, but know that some companies may prefer a regular degree over a boot-camp certificate or DIY learning.

But those industries might be susceptible to offshoring.

Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that programmer and coder jobs will decline 8% due to outsourcing to other countries from 2014 to 2024, there will still be plenty of work, and in many cases, it will be too unwieldily to move massive operations overseas.

So in other words, Millennials can’t seem to catch a break. If I were part of that creative and awesome generation, I’d probably go the route of entrepreneurship.

Update

Some Millennials are grabbing market share and are changing the world. Uber is the first one that comes to mind but there are many other small niche businesses and startups. I really love the Millennial generation, speaking as a Gex X’er, because I know what it’s like to be given a raw deal from the Boomers, who are on track to become the most hated generation on record.

Passive Income – GILT Dividends

I added $GILT to my passive income portfolio at the beginning of 2021. I did it because the ex-dividend date was on 1/8/2021 and I saw that it had a low price with a history of big dividend payouts.

Albeit it is a short dividend history.

I’ve written that my goal is to build up a passive income portfolio. My measure of success will be when I generate a $100,000 a year income, and right now GILT is part of that strategy.

The angle here was to buy 200 shares for $1,400, net the dividends, and keep it going. That’s the main one but here are the reasons WHY I zeroed in on this company.

Some Attractive Fundamentals

As of this post date, GILT has negative earnings of -$0.07 per share. Not great, but it’s paying on a decent dividend yield of 3.75%. The only drawback is that it pays dividends yearly. You’d have to wait a whole year before getting more dividends! Still, if you bought GILT before the Ex-Dividend date, you would be netting $0.63 per share of dividends on 1/20/2021. Wowzers!

It might pay a special dividend in the latter part of the year but that’s ok, I’ll take my money now and reinvest it! I use TD Ameritrade, and pay zero dollars in commission for buying GILT. I’ll pay zero dollars for reinvesting my dividends too!

With my 200 shares that would be $126 in dividend income. Again, assuming GILT stays at $7 a share, this would net me 18 more shares!

A drawback I see is that GILT is trading around $7 a share. That’s pretty low and I don’t always buy low-priced stocks. There’s something about owning stocks with rich prices, everyone wants them! When they’re low, you wonder why. Still, I’m Bullish on them. Their satellite technology that enables 5G communications and 5G is a win in my book.

The other fundamental I like is that it has a pretty low Beta, it’s 0.65. The big risk I’m making here is that it has negative earnings. You never know if earnings will collapse and take the stock with it. Still, it’s just below $0, so it could become profitable at the next earning’s call in May.

My mitigation for that risk is that I bought a small number of shares in my tax-deferred IRA account. I could sell this stock after the payout date, net my dividends, and not worry about the short-term capital gains. Of course, this means I have to stay vigilant all the time and be active in the market, which isn’t my passive income strategy at all!

$126 down, $99,874 to go.

GILT Update 2022

I wrote this post just over a year ago and watched GILT’s stock price shoot up to $22 a share after I bought it. Now the share price has dropped to just above where I bought it. So far I haven’t lost any money and I’ve made a bit from my dividends.

The thing with dividend investing is that you want to buy high-quality companies, this way you know that they’ll continue to perform over time and make you money.

Companies like GILT play the dividend game to attract investors. I’m not knocking GILT, I knew what I was getting into back then. I was seduced by the high dividend yield just as I am today. Its dividend yield is over 13% and the dividend is expected to be $0.99.

I will continue to happily reinvest my dividends into more shares and leave it at that. I’m not betting the farm on this company and I have just enough level of risk invested in GILT to let me sleep at night.

Disclosure: Still Long GILT

The Great Content Reorganization

I’ve made some major moves (again) with both of my blogs. Part of the reason for the changes is how I write content and how I was impeding myself.

While I absolutely love Hugo, it was not as WYSWIG friendly and it impeded my writing flow. I got close to streamlining my writing life when I started hosting my own Ghost instance and I love Ghost but it’s not as mature as WordPress, and frankly, I didn’t have the energy to always be hacking my site for uptime.

So I took a hard look at myself and started experimenting with WordPress again. I started moving my thomasott.io Hugo-based blog to WordPress as a test a few weeks ago and realized that I like it a lot.

Why? WordPress works really well with my preferred writing tool, iAWriter. I find iAWriter with its simple interface, markdown forward, and ease of integration with 3rd party services a dream.

I hate to say it but I got tired of writing content with iAWriter, copying and pasting the content into a markdown file, adding the YAML headers, then spell checking and running it through Grammarly, committing the updates in my GitHub repo, then merging pull requests, and keeping it all running on AWS Amplify.

Now I just write, click publish, select what blog I want to publish to and it handles all the image uploads, the titles, and puts things in DRAFT. Sure I have to do a bit of tweaking but doing this workflow saves me a ton of time!

So I went to WordPress.com, reactivated my thomasott.io and neuralmarkettrends.com sites, and paid for hosting. Yes, I put my money where my mouth was with respect to supporting open-source and great products.

I paid for iAWriter and I now pay for WordPress. The best part of sitting on WordPress.com now is that I can build premium content and build a paid newsletter.

Now onto the hard part. I need to stop myself from sabotaging myself in the future. My Neural Market Trends blog is littered with all the back and forth switches between Blot, WordPress, Expression Engine, TextPattern, Hugo, and Ghost.

My goal now is to build this site and rebuild Neural Market Trends. I enjoy writing and I want to do just that. I want to share my thoughts and ideas with the world and keep building my brand – whatever that is – with you all.

What’s going to happen? Not a whole lot on the surface but there will be some content reorganization happening between my two blogs.

I will probably move my finance and passive income-related posts over to thomasott.io and keep Neural Market Trends purely focused on Startups, Machine Learning, and Data Science (all left-brain stuff) like it was before.

My site here, Thomas Ott dot IO will be everything else. It will be my hyperactive hamster in a spinning wheel. Topics all over the place from money, sex, relationships (the biggies) to my photography work (all right brain stuff).

I just have to remember to not sabotage myself, again.

Biden the Negotiator Confronts the Cold Reality of Capitol Hill Gridlock – The New York Times

“If I made a mistake, I’m used to negotiating to get things done, and I’ve been, in the past, relatively successful at it in the United States Senate, even as vice president,” Mr. Biden said in a news conference on Wednesday. “But I think that role as president — is a different role.” “The public doesn’t want me to be the ‘president-senator,’” Mr. Biden said. “They want me to be the president and let senators be senators.”

Biden the Negotiator Confronts the Cold Reality of Capitol Hill Gridlock – The New York Times

Methinks that if President Biden were to forgive student loan debt he’d become very popular, spur the economy, and help Democrats win the mid-terms.