Friday, January 29, 2010

Apple Comes Out With Ipad

And now another company that tosses their hat in the e-reader wars. Apple already has tremendous popularity due to their Iphone and IPod, but  now they will take on the e-ready and net book market. Yes they have the Itouch, but seriously it really doesn't count. No this Ipad will be a site to behold. I say this because of its features, not because I think Apple products are really cool. Right now there is the Kindle, the Sony E-reader, and the Ipad as the main contestants. Hmm...kind of reminds me of the console wars between Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Yes, I have been playing games for at least a quater of a century so I can recall the console wars. So what is going to be the Ipad's asking price? $499.

So what does the new Ipad do? See for yourself. Check out this CBS news article and the demo video.

Apple is obviously trying to connect with four demographics of people.
1) Loyal Apple Customers
2) Netbook Users
3) E-reader Users
4) People who wish to save money on their electricty.

Believe it or not, Apple might have actually turned it up a notch in the netbook and e-reader markets. Netbooks, mainly being dominated by Acer, will now will have to make a product that has varius functions and is  affordable. Also Apple will definately get its cut in the e-reader market. That LED screen is a lot brighter and easier on the eyes than the old school LCD 1980s mesh. The companies out there try to make that stuff like it is new technology, but in reality it is  not. My electronic dictionary from Japan and the TI-83 calculators made by Texas Insturments is testament to that.

LED is in too. The LED screen is becoming more of a staple feature to add into the LCDs. This means that computers will be able to eventually run on a 12 to 14 hour battery life. Right  now, I see some laptops that can run on a 10 hour battery life. LED technology also does not run as hot as plasma and the weight of LED systems is significally reduced. Soon with the combination of nanotechnology with LED technology, you will probably be able to own a almost paper thin laptop (although I do not see much praticality there). People seems to misunderstand that their screens are LED LCDs and not stand alone LED or LCDs. LED stands for Light Emitting Diote or something really cool that brightens up your picture with 40 percent  less energy consumption than a traditional LCD and 60% less than a heavy hunk of headaches known as the plasma.

Why do I spend  so much time talking about the Ipad. It is perhaps something to consider in the stocks. Apple stocks will probably fall for a bit due to the who fear and readjusting to new technology, but once that phase is over, it will more than likely rise, especially when the technology becomes  more affordable and they can produce a  product for a higher margin. Did I mention that the who app. store land scape just got altered. And with a rising Asian population becoming increasingly interested in such a product there might be shortage on the first generation of Ipad. Meaning it could potentially flip for 2 or 3 times its normal price.

In frugality terms, perhaps getting a netbook would be a better avenue to travel for now. At the $200 starting range, it just seems more affordable, but if  you have the extra cash I would wait until the 2nd or 3rd generation of Ipad comes out. They will more than likely be cheaper and less prone to electronic defects. So holding off might be more prudent. Investment wise, I would keep an eye on Apple and the e-reader market find out when it company falls [in price] and then sale at the height of their popularity.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beware of Aim Trust

This is one of the messages I received from another blogger. I was skeptical as usual and never take anything based on just face value. Although theoretically you could make that kind of money quickly, more than likely it's not likely unless it is something illicit, meaning illegal. Luckily no one ever has to worry about this poster ever again because I am about to debunk Aim Trust because obviously this/these blogger(s)  is/are affiliated with them. I have been approached by multiple "get rich quick schemes" which there will be more of these in this ailing economy. Now if they wanted to legitimately do something besides scam me they would have not left themselves be totally anonymous to me. It is just bad business to not introduce oneself. In case if you're wondering how I know this person is a scammer, feel free to go to the site and read the content. Looks like a bunch of testimonials directed at Aim Trust. Here is the post:


You may probably be very curious to know how one can make real money on investments.
There is no need to invest much at first.
You may begin earning with a money that usually is spent
on daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one company's work for several years,
and I'm ready to share my secrets at my blog.
Please visit blog and send me private message to get the info.
P.S. I earn 1000-2000 per daily now. [url=]Online Investment Blog[/url]

A good way to avoid scams outright is to type in the affiliates names into a search engine and see which keyword trends show up with their names. For example, if  I type in Wal-Mart the words associated with their departments show up along with the layoffs (which normally it wouldn't but I did a search on the layoff news) would appear. Another thing  is that a company that is looking to scam people focuses on getting "big gains" in a short time. And when its online it is usually under some euphemism like HYIP. What is all the HYPE about HYIP? This stands for High Yeild Investment Program. Sounds familiar? Remember Madoff and the boys on Wall Street? They took many a high profile client to the cleaners using a HYIP similar to this. No stock out there has ever had a continual upward arc on their graphs in profitability. Note: if there is a person that is boasting about earning 1,000-2,000 a day using only one affiliate, either they had some pheomenal luck or they are scammers. This is reeks of a scam if you know the laws of marketing and how to measure the success of online marketing.

Here are a few simple steps to find out if Aim Trust is "legit".

 1. ) Go to and put their official website in their search engine and it is a "proxy".

 2.)  There is this insistent need to include Aim Trust in every other sentence. No true investor would  be earning money from using  just one source of income. That is just dangerous. Depending on just one source of income is like depending on a job. For example: I work, sell used stuff at home, invest in stocks and I have gone through a real estate deal years back with gives me a small amount of income for a "finder's fee". I am about to invest in more stocks this year along with opening up a Roth IRA in a few months. No true investor, and I mean no true investor has all of his money coming from one source which it advocates on the site. This is risky and you should not invest in that way. At the same time you should not diversify too much and buy 30-40 different stocks. Most successful stock analysts usually recommend only a few stocks which have nothing to do with mutual funds although there are some who do like them. I am not one of them, but I will say that they are more legit than anything Aim Trust will try to sell you.

3.) Since the website is so good at SEO optimizing their branding Aim Trust. I  thought I would "help" them out by doing some of my own. Aim Trust is a scam. Aim Trust has random people trying to spam my blog. Aim Trust and all the lackeys under it are probably scammers too. If you invest with Aim Trust you will get taken to the cleaners. If you want a High Yeild program besides Aim Trust, it will take some serious research. Aim Trust can only offer you promises which they cannot keep. I have yet to meet an investor near the level of George Soros, Warren Buffett, and Andrew Yanyi give high praise about Aim Trust. Aim Trust is a power level scheme corporation who leaves their identity a secret. You cannot get accurate numbers on Aim Trust's  research. You can only get scammed by Aim Trust. Aim Trust only wants to see you become broke. Aim Trust is like a magical unicorn out in the forest which people chase after. So elusive yet it must be real...not!

I think I am driving home the point about Aim Trust so I will conclude here. If you have stories about being scammed by companies similar to this, I would  love to hear from you. Real comments are appreciated.   

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Frugal Snack: Super Easy Puppy Chow

This is just a fun side thing to try if you want to save money. This is on the Hiroko Channel at YT. If you like cooking and want to cook and affordable snack, then try "Super Puppy Chow". The languages of the video are in English and Japanese so it should be understandable. Japanese is used a little more than English but both of the languages are in its simple form, nothing too complex. Students that study Japanese should also find this video interesting as a learning resource.

 Note: it is not really "Puppy Chow" so do not feed it to your dog for the recipe calls for a lot of sugar and butter. The dessert is called "Puppy Chow".  Also if you like Hiroko's recipe, feel free to subscribe to her at YT. She also helps people learn Japanese at the Japanesepod 101 channel. If anyone makes this, let me have some!

City of Reno is Short Paying for Aces Baseball Contract

This just a response to a Sparks Tribune post. Sparks is a neighboring city that is near Reno. I used to work for the City and let me tell you, the people elected to manage their budgeting cannot hold one for the life of  them. When I was in the recreation department, they would hold all of these meetings and trainings. Some of which we would not even need. Who really needs Greeter Training? Sorry, but I do not think I need to know how to say "Hello Ms. Smith, your kid was good today". The only thing that matters is the necessities in training. Just to give you an idea of the stuff talked about that did not relate to kids and recreation there were seminars on sensitivity training and how to sale to people at the ice rink. No seriously.

Going back to point, I need to say that Reno has the right idea in investing back into the city, but they need to do so on a  lower level. First, Reno needs to focus on building a source of income that is not based around gambling and tourism. Tourism is going to come to a stand still soon enough. Reno will have to find a new market. One they need to focus on the small businesses, not fly by night tourists. Tourism is a seasonal thing. Reno needs steady income. Industry has to be focused in the local market. Not on events were people spend money in town one day then leave.

Now the Aces is entertainment differs from Street Vibrations and Hot August Nights which brings the city a week of revenue. The Reno Aces bring at least 7 months of revenue. Okay, that is different than a come and go event. We need to focus on what we have already replicate success. We have a strong group of warehouses and factories along with a engineering  firms so why not start there? We need innovators in Reno and other people need imports.

Another area we need to focus on is bringing more businesses to Reno and creating businesses. Small businesses drive Reno's economy and small businesses are need it for it to thrive in the next decade. A sports team like the Aces provides small vendors and contractors, not just baseball players. Now I am no fan of baseball, but I can see why we need the Aces in Reno. They indirectly foster those businesses. Last year the management bought $70,000 dollars of vending food from Sam's Club. For something that actually brings Reno, money the board members need to pony up. The team is an asset that brings a crowd, brings revenue, brings money. For Reno to short the team is a huge disservice to the community.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wal-Mart lays off 11,200 Sam's Club Employees

I only talk about Wal-mart's layoff for two reasons: 1) there is a lot of people complaining about how "unjust" they are and 2) there is this inherent "entitlement mentality".

First off, the Walton family do not owe anyone anything (unless of course they get sued for someone getting injured on their property). Second off, there are plenty of businesses going out of business. Wal-mart is doing what it can to stay in business. 2009 has been a rough year for those in other retail stores, and do not think for a second Wal-mart is omnipotent from going out of business. For all these people trying to nanny a crowd into believing that Wal-mart should show some compassion, stop it. These people do not actually know what the store figures usually are. We are losing money on some days while gaining on others. The Sam's Club I work at is doing good because we really put forth an effort to stay in business. So instead of pointing the finger at Wal-Mart and its shareholders, why not create a business that gives people jobs? Wal-mart is one of the highest suppliers of labor next to McDonald's.

Third, for those that say this would not happen if one was part of a union, I would say get off your high horse. Unions only drive up prices. When I went to Safeway to buy food, I couldn't get any there because the prices were too high for my budget. Unions drive up wages and prices. End the end the first jobs to be cut are actually union jobs. Look at the motor and culinary worker's union in Nevada. Las Vegas is a dead zone right now and most of those union workers have lost their job.

I would like to conclude here with a lesson from Aesop about the cricket and the ants.

The Cricket liked to play all day and not store food for the winter and the ants seeing that winter was around the corner wanted to prepare for the blizzard for they knew that hunting for food during winter would prove fatal to them.

One day the Cricket made a lewd comment towards the ants that went something like this: "Hey the sun is great out here. You should not bother with collecting breadcrumbs."

The ants reply was "When the sun is gone there will be snow in its place we must collect food so let us make haste".

The arrogant cricket blew them off and continued to sunbathe. One day, the sun was replaced by a cold wind and some snow. That is when the cricket started to look for food. But, there was none to be found. For it was too late. There were just blankets of snow in its place.

Starving and out in the cold, the cricket asked the ants for food and shelter. The ants replay was "we have prepared until Winter's end, you have done the same, for you'll never make it to spring again."

The moral of the story is people should not wait for bad things to happen to start to prepare for a loss. They should anticipate it ahead of time. Notice that the ants are like the frugal minded person. This person will whether any storm necessary, because they do not want to deal with the harshness of cold. So they do it ahead of time.

The cricket was frivolous with his food gathering. Nair-do-well attitudes towards the economy is one of the main reasons why there are so many people living in tent cities. For those that continue to blow off problems throughout life will be met with many unnecessary hardships.

There is still time to adjust to the economy but it is running out. So what are you going to be? A cricket or a ant?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chuckie's Blurbs Vlog Ep.1

You know how I promised videos for CB last year? I am following up on that promise. There will be more. There will be more. This video is focusing on frugality. I go a little bit into languages, but I want to raise an awareness that used book stores tend to have a variety of knowledge on a shoe string budget. You can find books that are almost new and save 60-80% on its retail price. Enjoy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Response: Overcoming Fear

There are many things that happen in life that we have a variance of control over and then there are these situations in which we have little to no control over. I know it is a tough cruel world out there and there many people becoming homeless due to this ailing economy.

But people who want a better life in the recession will ultimately have to make sacrifices to achieve it. This is a personal response to a guy that just got done asking me to help him get hired at Sam's Club. I have a few things I have to get off my chest.

1. This guy got a job offer in Japan in the engineering sector and was given a severance check of $10,000 when he left the site. His job supposedly paid 40K annually. I know that is low on engineering standards, but he was originally meant to do some other position. He did not save his cash. Right now, I have more disposable cash than he does.

2. This individual is closed minded towards working in other fields and only tries to take on any job only when it is necessary. Such as when his account hits zero.

3. He had the nerve to tell my room mate that "I was going to fail", when I got over there (meaning Japan) and "hit a glass ceiling".

4. He also said that "I was going to blow through my cash" after I just saved 12K last year.

5. Also he told me I should not invest in the stock market because it is risky even though I made a few grand out of doing so and continue to make money.

I just want to say a few things here. First off, this is the same guy that graduated with a engineering degree in honors. To him he values is success on degrees and accomplishments. I have gotten a vocation degree, an Associates Degree, and a double major B.A. I know it is not the same as a Bachelor's of Science and I do not care. I have more realistic things to worry about like growing my money more by next year. When you go to college for a prolonged period of time and you come from rock bottom like me, you will amass huge amounts of debt as you go on to the M.A. , M.S., PhD. etc. Unless you have a full ride with a healthy stipend that allows you to put away at least half of that per month, (I am serious when I say half because stipends tend to only be partial and full rides tend to only cover living expenses) I would not suggest going beyond a 4 year degree if you so choose to do college unless you have saved up to cover the later years in full. (Meaning you would have to go to school and work which your earnings go towards being a better employee.) That is the stark reality of it.

I do not want to hear financial advise from people that cannot live a frugal lifestyle. They are just living their perceived image of what it means to be "rich". My definition of rich is someone who has a) amassed a healthy amount of savings, and b) someone who is Stanley and Danko's classic definition of what a PAW is. PAW means Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth. This acronym can be further defined here.

Also it is considered rude to criticize someone who has already lived in that culture. I have lived in Okinawa prior to trying to apply for English teaching position jobs. I have received job offers while I was there and turned them down for educational reasons. I also have multiple phone conference interviews I have to make to the schools that are interested in me and I have only started getting my name out there.

Another assumption is that I will suddenly forget how hard it was to earn that money after a year of sacrifice and living below my means is to me insulting. I am in no way a UAW. I live within my means. For sake of debate over the Danko and Stanley terminology, I am a AAW for now because I am off to a late start due to college. I now have enough money to totally exclude myself from the workforce and just focus on job hunting, but I would not be earning continual income from multiple sources; just one secondary source which is my private online vendor IDs. But even if I did quit my job to become an English teacher, my money does not stop. And I will certainly not be eating out everyday like this critic.

If one thinks the laws of frugality cannot be applied in another culture then that is being financially closed minded. This is a dangerous trait to have overall. Being financially closed mined could leave to many problems in life such as rejecting different jobs and closing yourself off from avenues of success from the wage slave system.

Whenever you reject something out of fear, it is a lose-lose situation. There are no winners in fear. Fear has to be overcome in order to achieve real success with anything. I am being blunt here when I address this person. He is afraid of living with his dad even though he can get him jobs and help him get on his feet. If you have a way to get money that does not involve totally leaching off of someone, then use it. Do not be a victim of economic outpatient care. You will not become frugal easily. It will instead cripple you, instill fear in you. To get the things you want out of life we have to conquer our fears. If you need a moral crutch such as religion, other people, a book or an advisor, then so be it. Do whatever it takes to overcome it. Fear is detrimental to success. Be fearless.

There are prepaid phones in Japan, there are studio apartments in Japan, there are even those magical places called second hand stores and grocery stores in Japan. In fact, you can haggle for fruits and vegetables there! For electronics however, all the real "deals" are here in America. I will not and refuse to "blow through" my cash like it is toilet paper. I will only become richer in 2010. Believe that. I know people and I have my networks and will only continue to network more. I will start off with one English paid job and turn it into multiple. I will be able to make a well-timed exit from the rat race and will be able to set my own hours. (Meaning 50+/week since I am a workaholic) I will not be living above my means there, rest assured.I know that there is a high level of discrimination there. I went through my fair share of it, but if I have problems getting a good rental agreement, I will just find someone who will accommodate me. I lived there for one year. Japan is not perfect and America has its own fair share of problems. Overcoming fear goes hand and hand with adapting to various situations. Businesses go out every day because of the inherent ability to adapt to danger. Ever heard of adapt or die? It was a saying that decribed adjusting to obstacles thrown at you. It mainly applies to businesses, but I think the philosophy should also be adopted on a personal level.

On that note, for the "what-ifers" out there that would say that I could fail, yes I "could fail" at my job, but my life does not revolve around a single job. I would just get another or teach privately at that point and if I could not make ends meet that way, Taiwan which has a super low cost of living is just next door. In other words, I am financially getting to the point where I am becoming unstoppable as far as achieving goals is concerned. I do not fear failing. I do not fear momentary setbacks. I will find work in Japan and I will make it work.