Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 25th

Now that most of the easy tasks have been knocked out, more planning and prepping is needed for the remainder of the 101. I also need to come up with new goals for all of the goals that are for finishing an individual book. Since one of the goals is to read and write a summary for each book I finish, all of those are a bit redundant.

In the works for planning a way to visit Bryan and Brittany in Thailand. They are leaving for New Zealand by the end of December though, so I need to get cracking.

In other news, I have a fight on October 2nd in San Francisco, Ca. I have been training hard and should come home with a win. After that, I will probably take a bit of time off from competing in order to put off moving up to "Open Class" before the next Golden Gloves. I'd like to give myself one legitimate shot at winning the Golden Gloves trophy.

Heading out this weekend to Big Sur to see my buddies from Southern California. It's not quite a yearly event, but it's a good excuse to keep in touch and see how everyone is holding up to the weathering that comes with age. As much as anything, I am looking forward to getting out of the concrete jungle for a few days. San Francisco is awesome, but I need to see, like, a tree every now and again. Kind of makes me feel like moon-walking...


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#93 - A Few More

"Blink," by Malcom Gladwell

One of the more interesting books I've read in a while. Discusses how we make split decisions, and when and how this is useful. Worth a good read.

"Strong Boys and Buttercups," by William Plummer

An inside look at amateur boxing along the same vein as "The Gloves." Maybe even more readable and gritty.

Monday, September 7, 2009

#93 Progress - Finish all books on shelf

I have 3 shelves worth of books that I have bought and paid for, but haven't read. This goal recognizes how ridiculous that is. Here's my progress:

1. "The Old Man and the Sea," by Ernest Hemingway

Notes: Hemingway writes the books that I wish I had written. There is not a single extra word used in the entire book, and he is probably the best I have ever read at saying as much as possible with as little as possible. Great book dealing with Man's resistance and acceptance of hardship.

Favorite Quotes/Lines:

"Let him think I am more man than I am, and I will be so."
"...And pain does not matter to a man."
"I must hold his pain where it is, he thought. Mine does not matter. I can control mine. But his could drive him mad."

2. "In a Sunburned Country," by Bill Bryson

Notes: Witty and charming humor, like all of Bryson's books. A bit more fact-heavy than some of his stories that I liked better, which is why it sat unfinished on my shelf for so long.

3. "Cities of the Plain," by Cormac McCarthy

Notes: 3rd part of McCarthy's "The Border Trilogy," and it was the best of the 3. Understated writing, with brutality, violence and dark humor. GREAT book.

Favorite Lines/Quotes:

"What is wrong with this story is that it is not a true story. Men have in their minds a picture of how the world will be. How they will be in that world. The world may be many different things for them but there is one world that will never be and that is the world they dream of. Do you believe that?"

"You didn't answer [my question.]"
"Ask it again."
"Let me ask you this instead."
"All right."
"He's in trouble, aint he?"
Eduardo smiled. He blew cigar smoke across the glass top of his desk. "That is not a question," he said.

4. "This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own," by Jonathon Rendell

Notes: A journey to the end of boxing. Jonathon was a sports writer, enamored of boxing, and ends up managing the career of an aspiring contender. As they climb the ranks, Jonathon ends up encountering all the seedier sides of boxing's underbelly. Good story, but a bit depressing as the author finds the "bad" of boxing to eventually overwhelm any "good" in the sport.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#34 - Track Finances Daily for 3 Months

This goal came about after reading "Your Money or Your Life." While the book managed to stretch about 20 pages of useful info into over 400, there were a few valuable tips that I managed to pick up. The book's authors put a huge priority on knowing exactly where every penny that comes into or out of your life goes. To do this, I now keep a small notebook with me all the time to track my expenses. The point of this is to know exactly where you stand in regards to your spending habits.

The second useful tip I picked up is to put all of these expenditures into monthly categories to be analyzed at the end of each month. The goal here to is to review and determine if I am getting satisfaction or fulfillment out of where my money is going. If I am, then I need to make the decision on whether I should put the same amount of money into that category or if it is ok as/is. If I am NOT getting fulfillment out of a category, then I need to make the decision to scale back on expenses in that area.

Examples here would be money spent on meals with friends versus money spent on meals by myself. The former helps build up my social life and is a way to spend time with friends and family. The latter usually comes about when I was too lazy to pack a lunch for work and need to buy something from a local restaurant. The one I get satisfaction from, the other, not so much.

The final tip I got from the book was to make a wall chart tracking my expenses, income, savings and debt from month to month. Having this visual reminder has made a big difference in getting control of my finances.