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:


2400 tiles and 80 hours later, I was done. Just the tile part mind you: Not installing the second post. Not building the box that the I’d set the tiles on. Not building the forms and pouring the concrete caps. Just putting all of those tiles on took 80 damn hours:

300 tiles per post * 8 posts = 2400 tiles

What the hell was I thinking? While the final product looks great, had I known it would take so long, I may have gone in a different direction.


By the time this post project is all done, I’ll have about 150 hours into it. I am the Don Quixote of home improvement.


401(k) Fun

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 8.06.46 PMIf you know me at all, you know that I’m obsessed with 401(k)s. After eating, breathing and making sure my sock drawer is in order, my top priority is to max out my 401(k). I write about them constantly. This time, I wrote a post for my buddy Nate over at InvestmentZen about how much you should have in your 401(k). Go check it out. It will change your life*.


Electric Planes (!!!)

Propelling our wheeled and winged vehicles with fossil fuels isn’t going to end any time soon. However, as Bob Dylan once said (sing it with me now):

The Times They are a Changin’

Everyone knows about electric cars thanks to Nissan and Tesla. Did you know that Larry Page, co-founder of Google, threw $100,000,000 of his own money into two electric plane companies?

I cannot express with words how personal, electric planes make me feel. The idea of flying around in a human sized drone titillates me even more than 401(k)s. I can see it very clear in my mind’s eye. This is pretty much what it’s going to look like:




Vacation fun

I’m not good at vacationing. My modus operandi is to schedule so much stuff that I’m more exhausted by the end of the vacation than when I started. (A very weary Mrs. 1500 note: This statement is 1000% true. Sigh.) We just went to California and I vowed to try harder to relax. I was mostly successful, but I still packed too much in.

First, I went to Yosemite and met up with old friends for some hiking. The water was flowing and the Valley was as beautiful as ever.


After Yosemite, I picked up the family and we headed over to Pismo Beach. We mostly built sand castles and walked up and down the beach, but we also went to San Simeon and Morro Bay.

Top row (San Simeon): Some enormous room, Princess Leia feeding a corn cob to a sheep, the front of the Hearst Castle. Bottom row: Pismo Beach and reliving my teenage years at the Morrow Bay Skateboard Museum

Top row (San Simeon): An enormous room, Princess Leia feeding corn to a sheep, the Hearst Castle.
Bottom row: Pismo Beach and reliving my teenage years at the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum**.

We had an early flight out of LA, so we spent our final night in Santa Monica.


Anyway, we’re back at home now and those damn posts around the deck are calling. I’m responding to their calls with rude gestures and colorful metaphors, but they won’t be quiet. With any luck, I’ll finish the bastards this week. I look forward to working on blog posts, but the damn house posts come first. (A very weary Mrs. 1500 note: If anyone knows how to get him to just stop for a minute, I’m all ears…)


*Pure lies.

**Skate or Die!  \m/ \m/

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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38 Responses to Random Crap

  1. I like Random Crap. Well, I like posts about Random Crap, I mean. I don’t like actual random crap.
    I love the stone posts by the way. Over at our house, I decided to re-tile our kitchen backsplash so I started taking the old tile down. That frickin tile came off so slowly, I felt like Michaelangelo chipping away at the Statue of David. It came off a fingernail-sized piece at a time. So, after 2 hours, I have a whole square foot of tile missing in my kitchen. That was 3 months ago.
    Guess I need to back to work. Sigh.

  2. Leigh says:

    Um that chart in your 401(k) article says I have what a 40 year old should have saved in their 401(k). I have about $140,000 in my pre-tax 401(k) and I’m 28, with six years worked. I didn’t max it out my first year post-college, but I did get all of the employer match at least? And that’s even with carting some Roth 401(k) contributions off to my Roth IRA instead of leaving them in my 401(k) when I changed jobs. I guess I’m secretly 28 going on 40?!

    Can’t wait to see what the front of your house looks soon – those posts look great even though they’re a ton of work!
    Leigh recently posted…Unbudgeting in 2016: reflections halfway throughMy Profile

  3. Team CF says:

    hey Don Quixote, nice posts! Looks really slick.

    Note to Mrs 1500 on how to stop Mr. 1500 for a minute: duct tape is a wonderful product! 😉 You can even use the new posts to attach him too.
    Team CF recently posted…May 2016 Dividend UpdateMy Profile

  4. Oh my, I’m sure it’ll feel soooooo good to finally get those posts done. If it’s any consolation, they are looking great!

    Also, sounds like a fun vacation. A hike in Yosemite is always fantastic!
    The Green Swan recently posted…My Investment PortfolioMy Profile

  5. Nice Posts! and that has noting to do with the Random crap.

    Pismo Beach! We’re heading there in a few weeks, such a great spot. If you can’t relax there, well I’m afraid as Team CF’s said duct tape is the only answer.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Could you Cover an Unexpected Bill in Cash?My Profile

  6. Wow – The posts look amazing but I can’t believe how much work you put in to get them done. After about 5 hours I would have said screw it – and learned to love the naked posts haha.

    • 1500 says:

      Believe me, I thought of abandoning ship after post #1 was done. I’m too stubborn though.

  7. Posts look great and so do the vaca pics. Hope you can slow down and rest soon.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Mid-2016 UpdateMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks Fervent! I have to finish up the girls’ playhouse and then I can sit back. Soon…

  8. Those posts look awesome!! Nice job!!

    I definitely hear ya on the needing a vacation after your vacation. I just got back from a vacation in Texas… and I’m exhausted! Had a great time, but I have to figure out a way to just relax and not do anything but lounge around all day.

    — Jim
    Jim @ Route To Retire recently posted…The Cost of VacationMy Profile

  9. Mr SSC says:

    Man, those posts look nice, but holy cow, I wouldn’t have guessed that amount of time to get those things almost done. Yipe! Although, that is typically how most of my DIY projects turn out, at least timewise. It reminds me of the show Renovation Realities where they follow an amateur couple doing a major renovation and their proejcted timeline and budget. I’ve only seen one couple hit their timeline, and most of the time it was an easy 2-3x longer than intially projected. 🙂 Good luck!
    Mr SSC recently posted…Road Less Traveled – SSC StyleMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      With my DIY, I’m super picky. Not even one of those tiles went up without some thought. They were arranged by color, shape and length.

      Yeah, projects always take longer. I wouldn’t mind it if I didn’t have a job…

  10. Well I have to say, the house is gorgeous and the work you’ve done on the posts looks fantastic! I also have the same problem with over-planning vacations. By the end of it all, Mr. Picky Pincher and I need a vacation from our vacation.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What a Frugal Weekend!My Profile

  11. Steven says:

    The posts look great, I half expected you to entirely replace them all and get stuck with a car jack holding up your house for 3 weeks. This is probably better. Nice little vacation time. We are on different levels of vacation. I prefer to stay at one spot and relax, see something for 3 days than 1, just a preference I suppose.

    Cheers to more posts and an occasional P90x or tasty beverage!
    Steven recently posted…Buying a New Trek BicycleMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Hey Steven-

      Yeah, the idea of slow travel is really, really appealing. I can’t wait for it. Party in Miami after we’re all done with our silly jobs?

  12. Those tiny tiles seem like the perfect opportunity for child labor. You know, because children have tiny hands and will work for tiny wages. Win win.
    Done by Forty recently posted…When a Million Ain’t EnoughMy Profile

  13. Your vacations look a lot like my vacations. Go, Go, Go!

    By day 4, my wife is wondering what she got herself into. Not with the particular vacation, but marriage and life with me in general.

    Yosemite is definitely high on my list. We got to see San Francisco, some vineyards and redwoods, but didn’t have time to go East. I hope in early retirement, there will be time for slow travel that will entail more sightseeing at a less frenzied pace.
    PhysicianOnFIRE recently posted…I Just Made a Bad $10,000 Investment. On Purpose.My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Ha, go getters will be go getters, whether at work or on vacation.

      Oh man, Yosemite is spectacular! You. Must. Go. Do it in the early summer when the waterfalls are roaring. Just book a campsite in the part a year ahead of time.

  14. Hello Mr. Don Quixote. I took one look at that project and thought, “wow, that’s a lot of work”.

    I’m terrible at estimating DIY projects too, but I’m trying to get better!
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…Reader Case Study: Mr. CricketMy Profile

  15. I like the job you have done with your house DYI project. It’s amazing and really inspiring. Thank you for this inspiration.
    The Russian Guy recently posted…Power of annual budgetMy Profile

  16. Hey Mr 1500, just wanted to say thanks to the link to the electric plane article…that was interesting!!!

    I’ve always wondered if “real” planes will ever become electric?

    Nice job on the posts, a lot of hours but they look great! Hope you get them finished off soon.
    theFIREstarter recently posted…an introduction to the house crowdMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Yeah, everything will go electric with the next big advancement in batteries. If someone could produce a battery with 4x the capacity of what’s out there now for the same cost, same reliability and same charging characteristics, fuel powered cars would be out of business.

  17. ZJ Thorne says:

    The posts are gorgeous, at least! I’m still learning the balance of vacationing with my girlfriend. She’s teaching me to be more play it as it lays by example. Definitely good for me.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Stonewall Reverberates at PulseMy Profile

  18. Linda says:

    The posts look awesome!

    Whenever I go on vacation I research some things to check out, so we have something to do. But, I like moving slowly on vacation and hate rushing around.
    Linda recently posted…May Financial UpdateMy Profile

  19. The posts look really good. Like whoa!

    I’m terrible at vacationing and relaxing so I have zero wisdom. Mr. FW is better, so I try to learn from his example–although he is, for father’s day, currently outside chopping down a tree (his choice of activity). So, yeah.

  20. Hannah says:

    Dear Mrs. 1500,

    Like you, I married a man who can’t seem to stop going. He was stressed out about the amount of activities on his plate, so he decided to start remodeling the bathroom.

    I don’t think guys like our husbands can be changed.

    I would say let’s start a support group, but I’m too busy trying to keep up with Rob.

    PS- Your posts look awesome!

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