My Psychiatric Evaluation with Physician on Fire

The Physician on Fire (PoF) participated in my 10 Questions feature a couple weeks ago. HIs answers were pretty great, so go read them if you haven’t already.

The PoF then asked me if I’d be willing to answer some of his questions. “Sure!” I enthusiastically replied , not knowing what I was getting myself into.

The interview started off fairly normal. The doctor asked me routine questions about money and financial independence. Then he hit me up with this one:

What do you see here*?

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.13.09 AM

Damned if I know. It kind of looks like the front of my shirt after I’ve eaten dinner and spilled my food or beverage all over myself (a common occurrence).

The questions returned to normal for a while. PoF asked me about travel and food. Easy; warm beaches and cold beer! Then, it got weird again:

What was your relationship with your mother like**?

And this one:

Tell me about a recent dream***.

And then the interview went off the deep end. PoF is obviously a fan of the movie Airplane:

Do you like movies about gladiators****?

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison*****?

PoF, I thought you were an anesthesiologist, not a Freudian psychotherapist obsessed with Airplane. I’m confused.

In any case, please read the entire therapy session interview over at Physician on Fire.



*He didn’t really ask me this.

**He didn’t ask me this either.


****I made this up too. For the record, I don’t enjoy gladiator movies.

*****More lies. And I have never been in a Turkish prison.

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Ping Pong Machines and Jet Fighter Dreams

Recently, I learned two things about ping pong:

#1: Don’t call it “ping pong”

I recently attended a local Ping Pong club with a friend, A Noonan Moose from Frugal Fringe. I wasn’t sure I was at the right place, so I asked the guy working the front desk of the gym:

  • Me: Is this where the ping pong club plays?
  • Desk Guy: What?
  • Me: The ping pong club. Am I at the right place?
  • Desk Guy <sneering at me now>: Huh?
  • Me: Ummmmmmm…
  • Desk Girl, speaking directly to Desk Guy: Table tennis! He’s talking about table tennis.
  • Desk Guy: Yeah, you’re at the right place.

The guy knew damn well what I was talking about. He was just obstinate. Who knew there could be this kind of pretentiousness in a game where you hit a little plastic ball at someone?

the table tennis club

The table tennis club

#2: I suck at ping pong table tennis

I entered the gym to find the club attendees setting up tables. Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: What will your FI Life look Like?

Below is a picture of Michael Bolton. My strange mind has been waiting to use it in a post for a long, long time. We’ll  get to him in a moment.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 8.39.59 PM

Last week I asked you to comment on two things:

Tell me about a ridiculous purchase.

Could you guess what my recent ridiculous purchase was? The only hint I gave you was that it’s a ball machine that will set me back $500.

I’ll tell you about my new ball machine on Wednesday. Here is what you had to say about your silly spending:

Reader Becky is hilarious: Continue reading

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10 Questions with Pauline Paquin

Today is the 52nd edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.

Today we hear from Pauline Paquin, who has one of the most interesting stories of all that I have read in the personal finance world. She was born and raised in France, quit her last full time job in 2010 to travel wherever she chooses – including two 6-month motorcycle trips!

Pauline, take it away!

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

atardecer San DamianoI blog at Reach Financial Independence, and talk about life in early retirement in Guatemala. I don’t need to work for a living, but keep busy  as I turned my house into a guest house, and with this blog and two more

  • Make Money Your Way which covers all the ways to make more money with side hustles, online income, improving your career, real estate and investing
  • Savvy Scot where I talk about general personal finance from a UK perspective.

I am also a freelance writer for a few more sites. I made about $8,000 online last month and $60-70k a year the previous two years.


My life is not the typical 9-5 life so I think I offer a refreshing perspective on money, goals and simple living. Continue reading

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Preterpluparenthetical Performance Update 41/50 (Coming clean about my Addiction)

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017.  I made my goal a couple months ago, but believe that it’s a worthwhile exercise to continue my financial updates until the end of 1500 Days, so I continue.

It’s time to take a look at May. First though, I need to talk about an addiction I’ve been living with for quite a while. Bear with me, this isn’t easy.

Preterpluparenthetical Me

I have a confession. No need to beat around the bush. These words are painful to write, but I must:

I’m an addict. A junkie. A user and an abuser.

It’s true. I’ve been living with my demon for a long time now (most of my life). It’s finally time to come clean. I suffer from preterpluparentheticalism.


I’ve love to write and I’m OK at it, but I’m certainly no Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King. I recently looked back at some of my early posts and was filled with dread. Many of those early paragraphs I had published were horrible. My old prose was clunky, ugly and excessive.

This made me happy too. My disgust with my earlier work shows that I’ve improved. I still have a long way to go though.

One problem is over use of parentheses (news to no one). There is even a name for my affliction:

Preterpluparenthetical: addiction to parentheses.

I admit that I’m addicted to parentheses (is there a support group?). However, the first step in recovering from any addiction is admitting the problem, so at least I have that going for me (what is step 2?). I’ll try to stop (I swear it!).


Preterpluparentheticalistic Performance Update!

May was a good month (not great). My investment portfolio started at $1,102,113 and ended the month at $1,120,455 (up $18,342):

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 5.09.53 PM

Yeah, I’m also addicted to Personal Capital!***


Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: Tell me about a Ridiculous Purchase

UPDATE: We have a winner for the “Guess my stupid purchase” contest. More details next week…

I am planning on buying something ridiculous that will set me back about $500 (queue Mrs. 1500 rolling her eyes). If this thing works, it will provide me with hours and hours of enjoyment. I won’t tell you what it is now, except that is has to do with balls and will make me a better player (I fully realize this sounds dirty). $10 Amazon gift card if you can guess it! Tune in next week for the answer.

Other recent, ridiculous purchases.

Other recent, ridiculous purchases.

Anyway, first we must get to the previous question.

Three weeks ago, I asked you about 5%. The question was this:

Would you take a 5% rate of return for the rest of your life?

The Financial Samurai had stated in a recent post that he’d take if for the rest of his life:

If I could get a steady 5% overall net worth return every year, I’d probably take it.

When I asked the question, I purposefully left out the issue of inflation to spice up the conversation. I was hoping that The Samurai would chime in and he did: Continue reading

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10 Questions with Physician on Fire

Today is the 51st edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.

A wise man once said:

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”

This quote can also be twisted around to apply to frugality. When I was a college student, I was supporting myself on under $40/week. I was completely frugal. I had to be.

While I’m still frugal now, my lifestyle did expand when I started getting paid: Good-bye spaghetti 5 times/week! However, I still live modestly, saving most of my income.

Recently, I learned that there are physicians on the frugality/ early retirement blogwagon. This is awesome! I love to see people at the top of the income heap who choose to live a restrained life in favor of saving and investing. To rephrase the quote:

“The true measure of frugality in a man is found when he has almost infinite money to spend.”

Today, we have Physician on FIRE. If this Dr. Dude doesn’t make you laugh out loud, there’s something wrong with you. He’s an anesthesiologist, so perhaps he can hook you up with some laughing gas?


Before we begin, I’d like to thank Mr. & Mrs. 1500 Days for giving me a platform to publicize my blog and its mission. I intend to take full advantage of this opportunity, and will absolutely pepper the page with links back to, a practice the instructions explicitly encourage. Thanks!

I reached out to Mr. 1500 when I realized I was more or less his evil Up North twin. We’re both about the same age, with 2 kids about the same ages, spend too much time at Home Depot, plan to retire early, share a zeal for science, Diet Dew and craft beer, and of course, have a blog. I’m not sure how he feels about run-on sentences, semi-colons, hyphens, and Oxford commas; I’m all about them, though.

Now, on with the 11 questions. That’s right. This one goes to eleven.

1. Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
I offer perspectives on life and personal finance that can be helpful to most everyone, but I’m specifically targeting my physician colleagues. Doctors are in a rut. The burnout rate is skyrocketing. There are real consequences for the individual physician, and for society at large.

Frustrated doctors can’t deliver the best care. Depressed doctors will find a way out; the suicide rate of female physicians is double that of non-physicians. Efforts are underway to identify and correct some of the underlying causes of burnout, and I’m glad to see the issue being recognized and addressed.

I’m approaching the issue from a financial perspective. I see other doctors trying to buy happiness. Work more, spend more, smile more? Nope. Not working.

My message is this: work some, spend more time doing the things you want with the people you care about, spend less, and create the life you deserve with financial independence. My goal is to educate, entertain, and enlighten my readers, leaving them informed and inspired to consider living a life unlike the stereotypical spendthrift doctor.



2. What post(s) are you most proud of and why?
I made it plural; I gotta get my links in! I recently wrote up a very actionable 20 Steps to Effective DIY Investing. I think it’s a great starting point, chock full of resources and links to sites better than mine, that can help anyone who’s wondering “how do I get started with investing?”. Investing Fees Will Cost You Millions is a true statement, and you don’t have to be a big saver for this to be true. Writing about the Things I’ll Miss gave me a renewed appreciation for the positive aspects of the work that I do. Continue reading

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Random Crap

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 8.51.24 PMYou know you’re reading quality, high brow material with a title like Random Crap. I’m tired. When I’ve had little sleep, the very small amount of creativity that I usually have is gone. So, you get a post called Random Crap. Sorry.

Besides lack of sleep, I also have had an amazing lack of time lately. Hence posts like Random Crap. I’ll return to my normal schedule shortly. In the meantime, brace yourself for some random nonsense in my life:


Post Pondering

Not blog posts, real ones. They are what have been consuming all of my time. The front of my house used to look like this:


Those naked 4×4 posts didn’t move me. I had to do something about them. They had to die! Well, not really or the roof over the deck would collapse. Instead, I thought of a way to cover them up.

I decided to tile the bottoms and put some nicer wood veneer trim stuff on top. A cement cap would separate the two. This plan was a fine one, until I got to the tile part.

I had a helluva time locating tile that would work. I finally found these nifty tiles, but they didn’t work well as a 1′ square sheet:


I cut them up and set each one individually by hand. The first post I did looked like this: Continue reading

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10 Questions with Eric Bowlin

Today is the 50th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.

Eric Bowlin from is answering our questions today. His journey is a good one. I stole this from his My Story page:

Hi, my name is Eric Bowlin. I’m 30, I’m retired, and I love it.

That my friends, is inspirational. Eric accomplished Financial Independence with real estate, almost by accident.

Today, Eric has 22 rental units and is looking for his next challenge.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 4.53.51 AM

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great. is a blog focused on helping people start building passive income streams, specifically with a focus on real estate. I’ve accumulated 22 units at the ripe old age of 30 and now my wife and I are mostly retired. I say “mostly retired” because I can’t sit around and do nothing – I’m always trying to find new ways to earn even more passive income.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 4.59.02 AM

Tenants, I advise you to pay the rent on time.

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
Most real estate investing websites are focused on house flipping, wholesaling, or other money making schemes. I take a completely different approach than most other sites because I don’t consider flipping to be a type investing. On my site, I explain the difference between an investment and a job. Flipping is a job. My blog is focused solely on building passive income.

What post are you most proud of and why?
Currently, I really like two of my posts: “Working Hard Does Not Mean You Will be Successful.” and also “Pay for College or Invest the Money?”.

The point is to challenge the readers perception of what is a smart decision. Just because convenitonal wisdom tells you something is right, does not mean it will actually make you successful. From what I’ve seen, most people are actually afraid to do the financially smart things because it goes against what most people are saying and doing. It’s a strange psychological truth that most people will do what everyone else is doing, even if it’s the completely wrong thing to do. I believe this is true with finances as well.

These are my favorite posts because I believe that anything that challenges a readers belief in conventional wisdom will make them more likely to be truly successful.

1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
I’m retired now. To me, retirement is being free from the requirement of having a job. It doesn’t mean you cannot work. I work on my blog and I’m a Captain in the Army National Guard because I enjoy them and find them personally fulfilling and valuable in my life. My wife and I are both 100% free from the need to work for money, so we can focus our time on whatever we want. Continue reading

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Creativity, Caskets and Fried Green Grasshoppers

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. –Rene Descartes

When you get married, you have to choose the best [spouse] you can find that will have you. The rest of life is the same damn way. – Charlie Munger

The more I live, the more I realize how little I know. I wish for my life to be a journey of constant learning that I’ll put into overdrive when I leave my full-time job. Show me someone who thinks they have learned enough and I’ll show you an ignorant person.

One of the best ways to acquire wisdom is to surround yourself with wise people. Seek them out. They don’t have to be your neighbor or even be alive. Books do the job just fine.

My neighbor HB is an interesting guy. I mentioned him when I asked about creativity a couple weeks ago. He comes up with all kinds of neat ideas which has caused me to question and reconsider of my remodeling projects.

Some of HB's work

Some of HB’s work

He also has a casket business, has written a children’s book and studies entomophagy. I wanted to learn more about HB’s thoughts on creativity, so I asked him if he would be interested in writing a guest post. I’m thrilled that he agreed. Take it away HB!

Creativity, Caskets and Fried Green Grasshoppers

1-gon“That’s funny,” said Dr. Fleming, as he looked at his petri dishes and discovered that mold had contaminated one of them. Interestingly, the mold seemed to have destroyed the Staphylococcus bacteria that had been growing in the petri dish. And you know the rest of the story: penicillin was born, gonorrhea sufferers rejoiced, and eventually antibiotic use became profligate.

2-urinalIn a development equally important to humankind, I was speaking with some friends at our neighbor Laura’s house, the drinks were flowing, and I suddenly had an epiphany: “I just had a great idea. We could make urinal cakes that look like somebody has taken a bite out of them.” “What the hell are urinal cakes,” my wife asked. “They’re those little scented pucks they put in urinals that make them smell like perfumed pee,” I explained. “You should try going into the men’s bathroom sometime.” We laughed heartily and then Laura posited “Or how about urinal cakes that look like cookies?” Some brilliant ideas were hashed out, and I dutifully made note of them in my little black idea book. Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post | Tagged , , | 20 Comments