Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Two Food Reviews!! Yama Sushi and Carrows

It has been a long time since I have done a food review, but it is just because I mainly have not been in any specialized local restaurants as of late.


First up is Carrow's. I went there Memorial day as a way to get something to eat when other chains were closed. The staff seemed a bit distant but the service was still good. +.5

Food was okay. I had the spicy gumbo. It was not memorable though and that is one of the things I look for when I write these reviews. I have to say their shake was good, but I think the spicy gumbo 2 course meal was not that filling as I thought it would be. The cream of broccoli soup that came with it was excellent. Perhaps the highlight of the dining experience. +.75

The atmosphere was perfect for presentation. It felt like a diner. +1

Price wise they were a little high. If you wanted to get something similar to their cooking for the same price, I would suggest going to Denny's. +.5

Also the staff was a bit uptight with handling the bill. Usually breath mints and toothpicks are handed out at the end of a diner. At least throw me a mint chocolate. +.25

Carrow's while okay in food, needs to work on service. Usually they are balanced in presentation and it pangs me to give them a mediocre 3/5. Good if you need a quick bite to eat. Not so much on the value of your dollar. Just stick to the mainstream; Denny's blows them out of the water.

Yama Sushi
Next up to plate is Yama sushi. The fist thing I noticed is a concrete floor in a sushi
restaurant with the fact there was a eloquent bar. Even if you are going to open up a sushi place near Grove street aka Reno's ghetto, presentation is still key. I talked to the owner and said he doubles the place as a club on weekends. There is one tiny problem with that: there is no where on the outside of the club that states that he is a club and there loses half a star. +.5

The service on the other hand was top notch. While I would of bought the chef a beer (it is a custom in Japan) I instead left a generous tip. He was earnest and eager to make the next roll and yack it up with me. And the waitress never left me with an empty drink. +1

The value for the dollar was equally impressive. The roll selection was fairly generous for the lunch time and the freshness of the fish is not bad for Nevada standards. While the staff is Hispanic, it does not mean they do not need to know anything about fish and prosper. You can tell they studied earnestly the art of sushi merchandising. +1

Their logo is perhaps the most memorable mainly because they made it feel stylish by writing Yama in katakana. More than likely they learn the rules from other stores, but if one has read Sushi Economy then it will be apparent that sushi is being embraced by other cultures more and more. +1 For presentation and effort.

Bill handeling was a snap. They were done with me in seconds. They also had business cards at the ready of private catering.+1

Yama Sushi in their generousity and snappy survice gets a generous grade of 4.5 stars matching the Thailand Gardens restaurant that I reviewed earlier this year.

That's all for today. Hopefully I will find some more time to help you satisfy your palets. Until next time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Been Busy As of Late

I just wanted to say that something might actually came through for me. I am currently doing some correspondence writing for this inventor. I need to concentrate some of my efforts towards this, because he knows some very prominent figures on Capitol Hill and I need to concentrate towards that.

As far as my resolutions, I am currently at 42 books. I am currently reading Hal Leonard's Guitar Method books I, II, and III because I really like music as well as foreign languages. Oh and I just need 4K more and I will have my goal for this year. It would be nice if I exceed ten thousand dollars. The more I have for Japan, the better. I want to create my own consulting firm so the more the merrier!

I also have my other investments going for me. For the most part, I am just going to sit on them until their peak arrives. One of them will have seasonal peaks and valleys while the other one will hit a huge peak in 5 years. I will probably be back in Japan sometime by 2010 with a job.

I am just giving an update on the events in my life.

Until next time--save money now; avoid poverty later!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Social Healthcare

Today's news gave me the most eerie chill I have ever experienced. America is on the verge of getting social health care. Which means, expect long lines at the hospital and bad treatment. The overall end to achieve is less care not more.

Frugal people know how to survive without a nanny society. This one seems to want to baby us more and more. Barack Obama is inadvertently hurting the dollar even further by allowing social health care. We are a nation in debt: we do not need to burden ourselves with everyone else's debt. Think of all the hypochondriacs that will come out of the wood works. People will be demanding services from the government that will not be covered. We are on the verge of catastrophe. In Japan they have national insurance. Why not have this as an option instead? This nanny state that America is become will only beget more wage slaves.

If Barack Obama legitimately cares about the U.S. government, then he will see that this plan is a detriment to creating a welfare nation. I should not stand for this and neither should you. This system will only cause more havoc. I for one will refuse the social welfare err I mean health care card. Everyone here should refuse it too.

That is all I have to blurb about. Until next time--save money now; avoid poverty later!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Loans Are Bad

Now for those of you breaking into frugality, loans are the epitome of economic failure. If you think a loan will get you out of debt. you are sadly mistaken. It is debt. Like the saying "money begets money" debt begets debt.

The only true ways to go beyond your means from a 9-5 job is to get another job, invest, or to cut down your standard of living. The best advise is to go through the standard of living first, find the job, then invest for cash flow or revenue. While the market is in the pits and we are in the "Great Recession", it does not mean that you have to go broke with everyone else. That is a slave mentality.

Frugality mixed with investing is the turn key to your success. Continue saving money, but you will want to invest what you are not using. The rest of your money should be a windfall, but never invest more than 50% of what is in your account even if you are financially well off. One of the golden rules is never lose money. That rule has to be followed to a tee. In other words, research is three to five times more important than the money you put up because the money is just an end to gain more money. Do not go in on an investment unless you are certain you will gain money from it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fight Tax Raises With Common Sense

As you may know Nevada's ivory tower is debating on whether or not we have to raise taxes. If Nevada is in debt, there will have to be a tax hike anyways. They are just putting off their ways of generating money for the state. Tourism is doing ok, but it will only get you so far. We are not Switzerland; a self regulating autonomous nation which could practice secrecy. Like it or not. the officials we have elected now and 4 years ago, mismanaged our taxpaying money and now we have to pay more. But why should we?

So Governor Gibbons wants to do this without tax cuts huh? Well he would have to take everyone across the board and will have to cut their overinflated wages. Seriously, some county and city secretaries get around $60,000 per year before taxes. Wait let us use their official titles: administrators. Now target the overpaid managers and police officers and you are looking at a couple hundred million. But no one is willing to sacrifice their paycheck for the betterment of the state--as they should not have to. They should instead start using viral marketing instead of these elaborate ad campaigns that are omitted from every one's TiVo anyways. They already cut their checks once before along with having employees taking extra days off.

Nevada needs money. your elected officials will eventually get their heads out of the clouds and will be forced to raise tax rates. However, many of these rates you do not have to pay. Nevada state sales tax only covers luxury items, tobacco, prepared food and other small amenities. But why pay all of your taxes to people who are just going to flush your hard earned dollars down the toilet? Pay only what is mandatory and you go far. Here are some examples of non mandatory taxes that you can avoid. Using your frugal mindset, I am sure you can think of more ways to succeed with paying what is necessary.

For instance you do not have to pay alcohol and sales taxes if you decide to quit drinking and smoking. If you want to get extreme you could create your own moonshine and set up a home brewery. If you totally devote a whole room to a hobby in your house it is also considered a IRS tax break. Also smoking hookah tobacco instead of cigarette tobacco tends to have vendors that will not charge tax on hookah.

No matter what route you choose, make sure you exercise your vices with caution. CB does not condone people to go off drinking and smoking using alternative sources.

Another tax that just came out is the hotel tax. Most owners will waive this tax if you are a local resident, but if you are from out of state, try to board up with a friend instead. There is a 3.3% out of state resident hotel tax in Nevada. I would suggest doing this even if you have the money though. Just do chores to make up for crashing and do not ware out your welcome.

Now Big Brother might step in and hit us all with this one: the Carbon tax. That's right, there might be a tax soon based off of what type of carbon footprint you leave behind. To clarify you might have to pay for the air that somebody else breathes. Meaning that you will not be able to take out the tax, especially if you own a car. This is pure propaganda brought on by David de Rothschild in his "adult educated" level book called The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook and by former Vice President Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth If you want the truth about how much it would actually cost there is a Penn and Teller video episode that address this along with a brutally funny article at http://cracked.com/.

For those of you that do not reside in Nevada, study your own state's tax code and try to find loopholes. Do not get me wrong, you should pay only the taxes for the items you consume along with the IRS statements. Just do not get nickeled and dimed for taxes that you absolutely have control over.

Remember save money now, avoid poverty later!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Banks Rallies Back?

The moves are in. Banks are failing, but suddenly pass "stress tests". Is your money safe? Note that July 22nd, the national minimal wage will go into $7.55/hr. Inflation will set in. Your dollar will get weaker. What does this mean for you?

Everything is set up by design: there will be a shift in economic and political power. Why is it that we need to save money then? It is simple. It is to combat inflation. What you should be doing is not worrying about the "stress tests". Instead prepare for the financial counter attack. Now it is a misnomer that banks are "passing stress tests", rather they are digitally fabricating fiat.

Stock markets are "rallying" due to socialism. How do you battle the financial stress tests? Simple. Eliminate debt. If every American got out of debt, America will have 15% of its national debt paid off. While this might not be so much of an impact, this amount would actually appreciate the overall value of the dollar. Once the "rally" is over, there will be more job loss and even more unemployment. It is like a financial enema that will happen: if you are in debt due to a bank, it is not the bank's fault. Look in the mirror and it will reveal the culprit at fault. If you are in debt, mirror your mistakes and turn debt into profit through frugality. I do not stress about debt because I am no longer in debt. I am in the black every month.

Also invest in liquid assets such as stocks and precious metals. Gold is likely to go up, but silver will gain on gold due to demand and technology. Just be prepared for it.

If banks are stressing eventually you will be stressing. Do not take a loan that you cannot pay. The best thing to do is to never borrow more than you have. This is how to stop the debt game. You ALWAYS have more assets THAN liabilities.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

MLM Scams In The Crosshairs

These are definitely bleak times if you rely on just 9-5 jobs. I know there is pressure out there for many of you to become affluent and wealthy. Just remember there is no such thing as a free ride. You pay time to receive the ride. It is basic economics. No one has any incentive to give you or me a million dollars. they earned it with their blood sweat and tears.

Today I want people out there to know that there is a variety of schemes in the wake. Ponzi schemes and MLM schemes are just designed to take your money!

With that said, it should be obvious where I am going with this. There are a variety of scams just cropping up across the United States. There are people out there that are promised the world on an oyster and get fed day old tuna. Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and MLM schemes are just designed to make only the people at the top rich.

Would you like to know who gets there cut of the pie? It is not the online marketers. It is not the "distributors". It is the "motivational" speakers that get the pie. they peddle their books on stage and get their cut. John C. Maxwell has replaced Robert Kiyosaki in doing this because he exposed the scheme. The rust just get crumbs. Do not quit your day job to go through with this. It is not worth it. The best thing you can do for yourself is to look up some other marketing venture.

If you have a frugal mindset, "easy money" does not exist. Period. You still have to work one way or another. You think Wal-Mart is going to give me 20K/year for just working 10-15 hours a week? Sorry, not happening.

the whole concept of an online mall is not new. It can be done. If you are willing to put in the time to learn code and study SEO, you could have the next Ebay, but that takes... effort and it also takes a committment towards saving money.

Ways to avoid a MLM scam.

1. Ask what the start up cost is. (Unless it is an investment, additional labor for working 10-15 hours should be lower than $200, the price of a World Wide Group website. This means that you can get about 3 years worth of website for that chunk of change! Totally not worth it.

2. Whenever someone promises to "take care of everything" is also a bad sign. If you are relying on someone else to build up traffic to your site that is not contracted to do SEO work, it is a major red flag.

3. When someone says they want to be your mentor without knowing you. This is another red flag. I know tons of brokers and millionaires in the United States and a few in Japan. Unless you know them first hand and on a first name basis from childhood, do not expect handouts. Do expect consultation fees.

The reason why I am writing this post is because I was approached by people from Quixtar, HerbaLife, Your Travel Business (ytb), [insert scam here] etc. etc. I am not going to fall for these schemes and I am not going to go broke over buying their products. The best thing they can do for themselves is to choose another mark.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Focusing on Frugal Hobbies

One thing that keeps me from spending huge amounts of money is different hobbies with a low start up cost. One hobby of mine that I have is playing the guitar. I have finally gotten to the point where I can riff and chord my music up a little, which I am elated by this discovery. If you shop around, i wold actually bypass Fender and go with a First Act guitar. Luckily I have received one for free for my birthday. But if you are not one of the lucky ones, try paying $90. But hey, $90 to play guitar or pay $300 video game system: the choice is up to you. There are certain packages that even include the amp. Remember that if you already are proficient in guitar and you want a better one, you will have do some shopping around and First Acts and Fender will not be the way to go (since they are essentially stock machine parts). You might want to check out http://www.musiciansfriend.com, for some the better deals out there. They have some killer deals for the starving artist. While their effects pedals are a bit pricey, they have guitar deals like no other. In fact they give Craigslist a run for its money!

Another thing I do is look on the web for free e-books. No I do not mean downloading. I actually go to other peoples blogs and download their e-books and read stuff at http://writing.com, which by the way is a excellent site to have your own scholastic work or fictional work reviewed.

If you want exercise and for cheap, consider walking to work, especially if you only live a few miles a way. For me to walk to Sam's Club takes me about 30-40 minutes depending on how fast I walk. Walking really is the ultimate 'green' energy. It runs off of you!

Learning languages are also frugal from the start even though they get more expensive later on. When I was going to college, I started learning Japanese from UNR and yahoo chat rooms. YouTube really works wonders and i wish it was something I had when I first started to learn. Of all the languages, probably Spanish is the most easily accessible language to begin studying. You do not necessarily need Rosetta Stone (tm) in order to be able to gain fluency. If you have it already, that's great just focus on learning from that and keep your nose to the pavement. There are websites devoted to learning languages out there; you just have to look for them. One of my favorites is http://jisho.org, which is for looking up Japanese characters and learning vocabulary words.

Going to free venues in the paper is a good form of socialization and a nifty way of getting out of the house. Just because you are frugal does not mean you have to be a recluse. I look for free events through the Reno rag. Also there are things called books: you pick them up and read them. Books are the cheapest yet most important piece of media in the world. I can find books for free or $1 if i look hard enough. If you are reading this blog, then congrats, you do not need to be coached on such a cheap hobby.