Sometime in my late twenties, my wife and I started to make serious money. I’m talking legitimate thousandaires. A penthouse apartment even. Life was humming. 😁
By the time the holidays rolled around, I had already dropped $1000 at a single clothing store all on myself. For me at the time, this was an enormous amount of money and a clear indicator I was spending almost as fast as I was incoming.
Lindsey and I had two adorable little girls under the age of three. For Christmas that year, I remember buying them both lots of little gifts. But Lindsey and I really bought the bulk of the gifts, especially the big ones, for ourselves. Continue reading…
Ten years ago, I had back surgery for the second time. Because my spine was fused, total recovery was six months—an eternity for a busy-body like me.
The first two months of little to no physical activity made me restless. The next several months of low-impact workouts was emasculating. Basically all of the participants on YouTube were senior citizens, if not gray-haired women.
That’s not a bad thing. But it was for a thirty-something like me who was impatiently wanting to return to full activity. Continue reading…
Getting rich in five years is one thing. But living richly involves a lot more than just money.
Indeed, many people are rich in cash but poor in assets, broke on time, impoverished in relationships, destitute in health, and underprivileged in experiences and ongoing education. Of course, the inverse is true too. Poor people can be rich in many other areas that matter.
What can each of us do, then, to ensure we’re living richly in most, if not all, major aspects of life, regardless of income? While I don’t have all the answers, this is what I know for sure: Continue reading…
To the nearly 5,000 of you who read my writing newsletter, thank you. I know many of you are working on writing projects both big and small. To that end, here are five simple things you can do right now to maximize the impact of your writing: Continue reading…
I didn’t notice the duration until after I booked my airfare.
Total flight time from Salt Lake City to Durban, South Africa: an intimidating 22 hours—just under a full day. And that doesn’t include the 7-hour layover at two different airports. Nor the three additional hours of airtime on the return flight (because trade winds).
The longest nonstop I will take on this trip—New York to Johannesburg—lasts 16 hours and 27 minutes. It won’t be as long as the record-setting 18-hour-and-50-minute doozy from Singapore to New York, but it’s close. And it may make you wonder, why would anyone do that to themselves?
If I’m going to go on a life-changing safari, I’ve gotta get my hands dirty, right!? So I do it—I book the flight. After processing the sheer amount of time I’ll spend in the air, however, I mistakenly think my past experience on 10-plus hour flights will make this long-hauler a piece of cake.
I am wrong. Hour 12, I learn, is like hitting “the wall” in a marathon, and at that point I’ll still have five more hours to go. Someone get me outta here! In fact, the latter half of the flight will feel like a slow-motion time warp. Zombie-land in a flying metal tube, and I’m the zombie.
Sounds nice, right? For anyone planning on taking a similar “ultra long-haul”—any flight greater than 16 hours—here’s a psychological run-down of what to expect, plus tips and tricks to maintain your sanity. Continue reading…
Prioritize your health. You cannot be your best or help others if you’re mentally or physically sick. It is never selfish to share your feelings, exercise regularly, or visit a doctor. This is how we put on our own oxygen mask before helping others. It is the foundation for everything that follows.
Create what excites you (not others). Not being true to one’s self is the number one regret of the dying. When deciding what you want to do, never let a family member, friend, society, or logic decide for you. Follow your heart or die with regret.
Take time off. Working too much is the number two regret of the dying. So enjoy downtime on weekends, nights, and periodic vacations. Don’t work extra hard for money you don’t need. Enjoy the limited time we’re given instead.
Keep a calendar. You can’t spend your time with purpose without keeping a life calendar. Failure to keep or outsourcing your calendar is a great way to let others decide how, where, or who you spend your time with, which is how we end up unhappy.
Swallow your pride. Hey, you over there. You’re not that special. You’re one of billions of humans, most of which have done much more impressive stuff than you. So please, suppress your ego and accept your averageness. You are a social creature and not the exception. So act like it, and you’ll enjoy life a whole lot more.
Count your blessings. This is hands down the fastest way to happiness, regardless of circumstances. Harvard research proves this.
Stay curious. Formal education is overrated. Asking lots of questions everyday is not. So ask questions, even big, broad, and hard ones. Seek truth. Talk to people smarter than you. Read books. Watch documentaries. Enroll in classes. Learn something new at an old age. Then learn something else. Do this again, and again, and again. This keeps the mind active and helps us grow, which is a huge factor in living large and finding fulfillment.
Invest in relationships. You don’t want to live or die alone. Like physical fitness, you must spend time on relationships if you want lots of friends and family. At the same time, you must understand that saying “no” to others is saying yes to yourself. True friends and family will support you in that regard, so long as you’re taking an interest in them, initiating social encounters, and reciprocating.
Be adventurous. Travel the world. Go skydiving. Do something that scares you. Visit the “wrong” side of town. Talk to people that look, act, and think differently than you. Do at least one daily thing that makes you uncomfortable. Doing so challenges your beliefs even better than a formal education.
Invoke God. Sorry atheists and agnostics. You’re not gonna like this, But prayer, mediation, and recognition of a higher power does wonders for the soul. You might think it’s a placebo effect. But it doesn’t matter. Invoking God works.
I did some light reading on time-use recently and came across some insightful observations from researcher John Robinson. He’s spent the last four decades reviewing thousands of “time journals” from people around the world.
Contrary to what you might think, Robinson argues we have more free time today than when he started keeping records in the ’60s, something The Atlantic corroborates. Only now we choose to fill that free time with overwork or busy-ness instead of proper leisure (e.g. relaxation, hobbies, or adventures) because that’s how many of us validate our existence.
A few highlights from Robinson’s research: People in Spain spend the most time walking (good for them!), Italians and Slovenians spend the most time relaxing (nice!), and Bulgarians (not Americans!) spend the most time watching TV (tsk, tsk). In the United States, people spend more time on computers than any other country, they volunteer more, and they spend the most time taking care of children and the elderly.
I suspect the increase in childcare is partially due to the rise of helicopter parenting. But those are mostly noble uses of American’s time, I believe. That is, of course, if we’re using computers to work smarter, work less, and facilitate really cool offline adventures.—Blake Snow
The story first published to blakesnow.com in 2014
All songs written, recorded, and produced by Blake Snow. Co-production, mixing, and mastering by Adam Miele. Additional bass, guitar, and backing vocals by Derick Pulham. Additional drumming by Steve Hill.
Piano is hands down the greatest instrument ever made. Even better than drums. And as far as genres go, classical is, without a doubt, the most timeless music ever.
What happens when you combine the two in their most essential forms? You get this: The best classical piano sonatas ever written.
Before I move on, please note: I use the term “sonata” a bit loosely — my list includes some pieces with no additional movements. But I am using the term “classical” strictly — anything from the common practice period of 1600-1910, spanning baroque, classical, and romantic periods.
So put on your powdered wig. Dress in a frilly shirt. And don’t applaud during the pauses, please. It’s the top 10 best classical piano sonatas of all-time. Continue reading…
For that last three years, I’ve played competitive soccer three times a week on my lunch break. I mostly play forward with really good guys between the age of 20-50 at this incredible, $10 million indoor football field (pictured). It’s quite the hookup!
More than just being a fun way to stay in shape though, the weekly games constantly humble and encourage me. The other day I played really poorly, which frustrated several of my teammates. I left feeling doubtful and inadequate, even though my family and work life were both going really well.
The week before that, I scored two hat tricks and assisted on several more goals, which left me feeling like a bigger deal than I really am.
Sometimes I play well when there are stresses at home or at work, and that gives me confidence to push through the hard times. Other times I play poorly and that humbles me when I’m riding high in other areas of life.
Of course, I’d rather be firing on all cylinders all of the time. But the uneven experience helps me grow in what I hope is a slow, upward trajectory, which I’m thankful for.
Moral of the story: find a hobby outside of work and family that can continually humble and encourage you. The rest of life will be better for it.
Several years ago while traveling for work, I heard 61,000 Aussies belt out You’re The Voice by John Farnham at a college football game in Sydney. While I had heard the song before in that great scene from Hot Rod, I had no idea Aussies could sing it word for word like it was their National Anthem. As a devout musician, it was one of the most memorable moments of a remarkable trip to one of my favorite countries. And a great tune to boot. A message to future generations: don’t let this song die!
Like added sugars, a glass of wine a day is back on the chopping block.
“From a public health perspective, reducing per capita alcohol consumption saves lives, full stop,” reports Slate. “One team of scientists computed a ‘cigarette-equivalent of population cancer harm’ and found that in terms of lifetime cancer risk, drinking a bottle of wine a week is like, for men, smoking five cigarettes or, for women, 10 cigarettes a week. Almost 4 percent of cancers diagnosed worldwide in 2020 were due to drinking, according to the WHO.”
After presenting a lot of damning research, however, Slate likens moderate alcohol consumption to eating cake or getting into a car. As a biased teetotaler, I disagree with this justification for two reasons: 1) You shouldn’t eat cake on a daily basis; 2) You have a .001 chance of dying in a car, according to simple math provided by the CDC and the 7.8 billion people that live in the world. Alcohol related deaths are several times higher than that, so it’s not the best comparison.
Either way, it’s good to know the guy who invented “a glass of wine a day is healthy” was a wine seller who tricked a lot of people into thinking it actually was. It’s not. The latest research bares this out.
In 2007, an international body polled more than 100 million people to name their favorite, man-made monument from a list of 200 nominees. After all the votes were counted, these were named the winners—aka the “New 7 Wonders of the World.” I’ve visited four so far and hope to see the others soon. Until then, here’s a summary of each.
Statistically speaking, the world has drastically improved in recent centuries. We live in a measurable (albeit imperfect) Golden Age—never has there been a better time to be born, regardless of gender, race, religion, economic class, and 99% of nationalities.
And yet, most people think morality is in rapid decline, according to new research by Adam Mastroianni. After studying half a million humans, Mastroianni cites two causes for this: biased exposure and biased memory. The first is how people pay more attention to negative news, which journalism disproportionately publishes in order to increase advertising revenue. The second means the outrages of yesterday don’t seem so outrageous today (even though they are).
In short, media bias and our brains have tricked us into thinking everything is worse. As Mastroianni writes, “If you think that morality is declining, then you must think that some switch has been flipped in society, causing it to produce worse humans. No doubt you would want to un-flip that switch, whatever you think it is: smash the social media companies! Kill all the politicians! Ban the bad books! None of that is going to reverse the trend, because the trend doesn’t exist. It’s like activating the sprinkler system in a building that’s not on fire.”
This realization is both refreshing and frightening. In the meantime, let’s not “fix” anything until we verify that it’s actually broken.
I’ve recently corresponded with a woman who insists on being called “doctor.” As the principal of an elementary school, I’m told she asks her students and others to call her “doctor” as well. To further complicate matters, she goes by a hyphenated last name, so basically she insists on being called by three different names, instead of—ya know—just one like everybody else.
Contrast that with the man who raised me, my outstanding father. He went by Brent both professional and personally his entire life, even after getting his PhD. He rose the ranks in higher education and eventually become the second in command at a big university in Texas. But he always went by Brent. No fancy salutation needed.
Last month I met an accomplished woman named “Jen” who earned multiple Ivy League degrees from USC, Berkeley, and a PhD from Princeton. She works for National Geographic and is as accomplished as they come, yet as humble as ever. She simply goes be “Jen” and lets her work do the talking (instead of a salutation).
My family practitioner is the same. He goes by Aaron.
I could be wrong, but I suspect the first woman got a PhD to feel good about herself. She uses it as a reminder that she’s important. For whatever reason, she seemingly has confidence issues. Or maybe she feels the everyday world should validate the extra years of college she went to with a special salutation. “I’ve earned it!”
I wouldn’t call this woman a bad principal by any means. But I understand her insecurities and childish mannerisms have negatively affected some aspects of the school, which is a shame.
There are better and far easier ways to feel good about yourself. Getting a PhD isn’t one of them.
Hey power pop, indie rock fans. In support of my new third album, The Breakers, coming this fall, I’ve recently released a couple of “hit” singles with my new band that are now streaming on your favorite music store:
In case you missed it, earlier this year I released Fancy Hotel and Word Games, all streaming on all major music stores (including Amazon).
Thanks for listening, liking, following, and sharing my music. If you’re local, my supporting band The Breakers and I are playing at the famous Velour in Provo on Thursday, August 24 at 7:30. Hope to see you there! 🤘💪🙏
Smartphones, gossip, social media, substance abuse, endless email, mindless web browsing, too much TV, video games, unnecessary meetings, bargain hunting. When done in excess, these activities rob you of energy, productivity, a willingness to serve, and ultimately fulfillment.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Here are five ways to rig your environment for greater success and happiness: Continue reading…
Once upon a time, I played adult fast-pitch baseball for several years in my late 20s. It was incredibly intimidating, since I played against several ex-major leaguers and college players. Some guys threw in the upper 80s, even, which is unnerving at best and scary as hell at worst!
Anyways, I started at right field, which baseball fans know is where you put the worst fielder. But I usually batted third, fourth, or fifth, which is where big hitters usually line up.
Only problem was, I wasn’t a big hitter. Why did my coach put me there?
Because I had one goal—get on base. What’s the easiest way to do that? Hit singles or walk. So that’s what I did.
I hit a lot of singles back then. Walked a lot too. I never swung for the fences and always made the pitcher work for three strikes, which is very hard hard to do at amateur levels, especially if the hitter isn’t swinging. So I only swung at strikes.
Halfway into the season, my teammate Russ pulled me aside and asked, “Have you looked at your online stats?”
“No,” I replied. As a rookie, I didn’t even know that was possible. “Well you’re leading the team in RBIs (runs batted in) and have an on-base percentage over 70%. NICE WORK!”
That praise and realization felt good. But it also reminded me of an important life lesson: thinking small often leads to big results. Since small ball is boring and unglamorous, however, not many people engage in it. Big ball, you see, gets most of the fame and attention.
Obviously, big ball works too. Maybe just as much, if not more, than small ball. But big ball is harder to pull off. It requires more skill and God-given talent. I’m often short on that.
So I in life, business, and baseball, I usually choose small ball.
PS—Small ball works in all aspects of life and sport, not just baseball. For example, Italy plays some of the smallest, most boring soccer you will ever see. But they are tied for second for most World Cups. Because small ball works.
Although you’re technically dead, I still believe you’re alive somewhere. After all, you taught me to believe in an afterlife, and I still do. So thanks for putting me on the path of faith, moral redemption, and hope after death. And for doing it in a way that was never dogmatic but wise and open to the possibility that you didn’t really know. I respect that immensely.
It’s been two years since you died. I read years ago that it’s healthier to say “die” instead of the more ambiguous “passed” or “no longer with us.” So if I sound harsh, it’s for good reason. No sense beating around the bush. You’re dead. I miss you. End of story.
I don’t know if you can hear this. I’m guessing not, because I’m not comfortable with the idea of being watched, listened to, or otherwise spied on by the deceased. We all need our privacy, right!? But I hope if there is a way, you still get this message. Continue reading…
“Which button lets me quickly clear the screen after I don’t leave a tip?”—New Yorker
The Associated Press reports, “As more businesses adopt digital payment methods, customers are automatically being prompted to leave a gratuity — many times as high as 30% — at places they normally wouldn’t. ‘The onus should absolutely be on the owners,’ one barista said. ‘But that doesn’t change overnight. And (tipping) is the best thing we have right now.'”
While I’m happy to tip for sit-down restaurants and drivers, I feel no guilt clicking “no tip” for counter service or other non-customary situations. If consumers stand their ground, underpaid employees will eventually bolt for better paying jobs, and underpaying owners will be forced to raise their wages.
$375 an hour is a lot of money. It was even more money 20 years ago when a bougie investment bank paid me that to share my honest opinion with some of its biggest customers.
Many people don’t know this, but I got my start in writing covering video games of all things. It was the ideal subject for an early twenty-something like me. I threw myself into the “work,” was one of the most prolific tech bloggers for AOL (aka America On-Line), and had a blast attended game conferences, interacting with readers, and crafting sentences for a living. It was a lot like Tom Hanks character from Big. I was getting paid to play with toys and critique commercial art.
The pay wasn’t great. But when paired with magazine freelancing, it was enough to support my small, apartment-living family. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it. Continue reading…
I love how you’re home to the friendliest and most generous people in the world. I like how you cheer on amateur athletes (even youth ones) almost as much as professional ones. I admire how you champion democracy, protect the high seas from pirates, and smoke less than any other developed country on Earth.
Granted, you have an obesity problem, export many of the world’s biggest vices, and are often ungrateful. But as the inventor of electric guitars, rock ‘n roll, and blue jeans, I can’t stay mad at you.
Here are 35 other amazing things you invented over the last quarter millennia: Continue reading…
Improving the world might seem like an impossible task. But it’s actually quite simple, if you know where to look. Slow-going—no doubt. But simple. Here are five ways to change the world, starting in the very village you live in:
Keep learning. To change the world, you must first change yourself. Learning is the first step in doing this. Sometimes that includes formal education like grade school or college. But it mostly involves a curious mind, asking lots of questions, talking with people from different cultures, seeking answers to questions that inspire you. To be clear, reading news is not learning—it’s staying informed, which is much less important than learning. So focus on learning. Need help? Here are 13 things I learned from the world’s greatest thinkers and 5 things dance class taught me.
Practice gratitude. Gratitude is the secret to happiness. It’s why so many people in Africa are the quickest to smile whereas depression in wealthy countries is at record highs. Point being, gratitude changes our perspective of the world, and gives us hope to keep learning and growing. Better yet, gratitude is contagious. The more blessings you count, the more you see how blessed you really are. Need a good place to start? Here’s how to write a gratitude letter.
Spend less time online and more time in-person. I wrote an entire book on the benefits of doing this. In short, spending more time online denies your ability to make meaningly social connections. And no, online social interactions are not meaningful. They are an illusion. To overcome this (and the related problem of FOMO), commit to spending time in-person with friends and family over meals, daily activities, and phone free periods (especially on mornings, nights, weekends, and during meals). More than anything, living offline lets you live in the present more, which is the only place you can even change the world.
Be kind to everyone you interact with. That inlaces people that look and act like you. But it also includes people who need extra love, such as these 8 especially vulnerable groups. Not only is it this the right thing to do, it connects us to one another and lifts all boats like a rising tide. If you encounter someone who is rude or unkind, simply ignore them or gently remind them they are being rude before walking away.
Donate your time and money. It’s easy to feel powerless when it comes to changing the world. But in addition to the above four ideas, donating your time and money to worthy causes is a proven way to make a difference. As a bonus, volunteering boosts our productivity, self-worth, and happiness. And it reminds us that someone always has it harder than us, that we can make a difference, and that together we can make it happen. So please donate your time and money.
I was working with a client yesterday (Hi, Mike!) on some final edits of a publication-ready story. I really liked how the article turned out. But just as it was about to leave the door, Mike wanted to add the word “business” in front of “performance” in an early sentence, as in “business performance,” instead of just “performance.” I disagreed, because “companies” were the subject of the sentence, so the extra word wasn’t needed. That’s because most (if not all) readers will rightfully assume for-profit companies aren’t in the business of “philanthropic” performance or some other kind of performance. It’s all business all the time for them.
This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered keyword stuffing while working with clients. It certainly won’t be the last. While “search engine optimization” has made keyword stuffing worse, I believe there is another root cause of word stuffing. Executives, marketers, and copyrighters spend the majority of their week working hard to build and promote their products and services. For them, it’s very important work. So they often view the exercise of writing as the greatest, latests, and sometimes last chance to tell their story. So rather than let their sentences breathe and sound human, they try to add every extra word they can to get the story straight. Continue reading…
Jimmy Buffett once sang, “Changes in latitudes change attitudes.” I mostly agree, although I’d include longitudes in the lyric if it rhymed. Here’s why.
Once while rafting through the Costa Rican jungle on the beautiful Pacuare River, my group rested halfway at this extraordinary lodge. On arrival, I beelined to the first hammock I saw overlooking the area. While swaying to and fro, I watched and heard the top-rated river do its thing. Enveloped in greenery, I spotted a hanging bridge off in the distance.
I’m rafting in the freaking jungle, I said to myself, not believing my luck. Moments later, my guide approached and commented on the impressive view as she had probably done a hundred times before. She asked where I was from. “Utah,” I replied, which excited her. “I just returned from Arches and Canyonlands National Park two weeks ago!” she exclaimed. “I can’t wait to return to Zion and Bryce next year.”
Oh, the irony, I thought. The grass is always greener. Or in the case of my Costa Rican guide, the red rock desert is sometimes more appealing than the lush, green and mountainous rainforest I was enjoying at that very moment.
Joe Montana was here. “Like a lot of children from his neck of the woods, raised on the dueling icons of the crucifix and the smokestack, he’s a complex mix of work ethic and guilt.”
The world’s #1 million dollar violin doctor. “Making that guitar had a big impact on me. I didn’t grow up in a musical family, but I realized I wanted to help musicians. I get that same excitement working with classical violinists.”
ChatGPT is the blurry JPEG of the internet. “Starting with a blurry copy of unoriginal work isn’t a good way to create original work. If you’re a writer, you will write a lot of unoriginal work before you write something original. And the time and effort expended on that unoriginal work isn’t wasted; on the contrary, I would suggest that it is precisely what enables you to eventually create something original… So just how much use is a blurry JPEG, when you still have the original?”
Skiing has gotten worse. Why do we still go? “We do a lot for this sport, and yet it still delivers, at a payoff ratio that defies logic or rationality. One guy told me that a single untouched powder run last season made all the other lackluster snow-free days worth it. The math of skiing makes no sense to anyone but a skier.”
Crime of the centuries. Tomb raiders, shady dealers, complicit museums, and the ultra rich fuel the stolen antiquities trade.
I normally don’t blog about anything but good free content. But here we are. It’s for good reason, though. Pinky swear.
Not long ago, a couple of clients (one tech, one consulting) independently approached me about a monthly retainer to help them with ongoing strategic and last-minute writing and editing projects as needed. That includes high-impact and pre-planned articles and editorial planning, but also unforeseen writing decisions and editing choices that need an outside pair of eyes to review and validate (that’s me!)
Both projects have turned out really well. So much so that I’ve decided to productize them as a “Editorial Lifeline.” Basically this new tool gives content, communications, and thought leadership executives on-call access to a seasoned writer of 18 years, who’s written for hundreds of fancy publications and Future 500 companies.
With the editorial lifeline product, subscribers get:
A mix of regular short or long-form articles delivered monthly
Strategic guidance for ongoing editorial decisions, big or small
Rapid turnaround and response times to meet fast deadlines (aka “lifelines”)
Of course, I’m still committed to writing and advising on one-off custom articles or special editing projects. But I’m confident a lot more companies could benefit from a similar “writing lifeline.” If you or someone you know would like to learn more, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
The United States leads the world in weather catastrophes, reports the Associated Press. The result is a whole lot more tornados, hurricane, flash floods, droughts, wildfires, blizzards, and sever thunderstorms when compared to other continents.
We can blame our unlucky geography for this, specifically these five things:
We are flanked by the two biggest oceans. This really messes with our air conditions.
A third “ocean basin” lies beneath us. It’s called the Gulf of Mexico and it further upends our overhead atmosphere.
The Rocky Mountain west. These mammoths trap air, hold it, which causes storms to build then explode as they move east.
Jutting peninsulas like Florida. We’d have a lot fewer hurricanes if it weren’t for this landmass trap more air.
Clashing storm fronts along the jet stream. When combined, this further brews nasty weather.
And there you have it. Land of the free. Home of the brave. Leader of the free world. And the nastiest place for inclement weather. God bless the USA.
After recently learning that a family member was suffering from an eating disorder, I read Intuitive Eating, aka “The Gold Standard For a Healthy Relationship with Food.” I really appreciated the no-nonsense advice and wanted to summarize its 10, medically backed strategies for a sustainable diet:
Reject dieting (no counting calories)
Honor hunger (it knows the right amount)
Make peace with food (give yourself unconditional permission to eat)
Challenge the food police (ie “protein is the best food group”)
Feel your fullness (listen and ask yourself if you are comfortably full)
Discover the satisfaction of eating (which naturally causes us to eat less)
Cope with your feelings without using food (stay away from food until feeling is managed)
Respect your body (get rid of scale, don’t be overly critical about its shape)
Exercise: feel the difference (focus on how you feel working out, not calorie burning)
Honor your health with gentle nutrition (make food choices that make you feel well—it’s what you eat over time that matters.)
My daughter recently asked how someone gets rich. Before I share my answer, it’s important to distinguish rich from wealthy (and upper middle class).
Rich is having a high income, typically north of $300,000 a year in America, regardless of debt. Wealthy is possessing a large amount of money, property, assets, savings, and/or investments relative to debt (aka “high net worth”).
For reference, the lower economic class makes less than $50,000 a year; middle class between $50-150k, and upper middle class between $150-300k. Super rich (just 1% of Americans) make half a million a year or more.
Depending on how fast you spend money, it’s possible to be “rich but broke.” It’s also possible to become wealthy over time without ever being technically rich in any given year. And depending on your lifestyle, where you live, and your family status, it’s possible to live rich and/or approach wealth without hitting those exact numbers.
That said, there are five proven ways to make a lot of money. They are as follows: Continue reading…
Insightful book by franchise owner Alan Payne that argues Netflix wasn’t the problem since Blockbuster was self-inflicting wounds a full decade before streaming took over. I enjoyed the book and suspect those who lived through it would too. ★★★★☆
To young, developing minds, social media can be just as harmful as underage drinking, driving, and firearm use. At least that’s what many experts told me while researching Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting. Having witnessed the declining mental health and fortitude of children in recent years, I believe it.
But it’s not just children that are suffering and social media isn’t the only unregulated problem. Smartphone, internet, and online gaming use in general can be just as toxic, especially for children and upwards of 50% of American adults (myself included). Continue reading…
Green—Ireland’s been doing it since well before it was a buzzword. And not just for one day each spring in celebration of its patron saint. “In Ireland, everyday is bathed in green,” asserts the country’s visitor’s bureau. That’s no exaggeration. Thanks to heavy precipitation and its mild climate (caused by warming ocean currents), The Emerald Isle is a scientific fact.
It’s also a popular place to visit. When considering a trip to this photogenic and evergreen beauty, forget luck and consider these worthy itinerary entries. Continue reading…
My latest for Paste Magazine: “You need three primary ingredients to really see the Northern Lights: Proximity to the North Pole, maximum darkness, and clear skies. Fairbanks, Alaska has all three and more, making it one of the best places in America (if not world) to see the elusive Aurora Borealis.
“But Fairbanks features a lot more than just shimmering ribbons of light swathing across the northern night sky. On a recent bucket list trip with my wife, I braved the coldest city in America to delight in dog sledding, hot springing, arctic snowmobiling, and even reindeer walking.
I recently watched two documentaries that left me shrugging.
The first was a an hour-long report on the lack of truck drivers. Basically the filmmakers openly wondered about how to correct the truck driver shortage. They never acknowledged that everyone’s packages are still being delivered. And they offered no answers to the proposed problem, even the dead-simple one that capitalism is really good at solving (i.e. paying more) for talent shortages.
“This isn’t my and/or society’s problem,” I remarked to my wife afterwards. It’s Amazon’s, Walmart’s, and anyone else who heavily depends on shipping. Let them figure it out. With trillions of dollars at stake, they’re highly motivated to do so. No need to worry. Next!
The second documentary openly wondered about what to do about rising temperatures at our Southern Border, which are sadly killing a growing number of immigrants. While I appreciate the documentary’s concern, the filmmakers implied this was society’s problem to fix. And not by reversing climate change, mind you. Rather, the government should do something to help migrants withstand hotter temperatures as they sneak into America, the documentary asserted.
This too, left me shrugging. Maybe just put up signs warning people who exercise free will of the heightened temperature risks and call it a day? Or trust that migrants will increasingly make the attempt during cooler winter temperatures. They have brains too, ya know.
After rewatching Indiana Jones with family recently, my wife and I screened a handful of other adventure movies we’d never seen before.
Two are Oscar nominees and absolutely crazy fun. One (RRR) breaks into random music videos at times and the other (Everything Everywhere) made me cry by the end. The other is 20 years old and nearly as entertaining as Top Gun 2. I award all three 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommend them.
As for upcoming movies, I have the following on my calendar: 65, Dungeons & Dragons, Air, Guardian 3, Indiana Jones 5, Mission Impossible 8, and maybe Oppenheimer. It’s finally shaping up to be a year where I’m looking forward to more than just a couple of new movies.
My latest for Paste: “Sometimes a country is more defined by what it doesn’t have than what it does. Nicaragua is one of those countries.
“While it doesn’t have the shiny amenities, rave reputation, and tourism machine needed to attract a high volume of visitors, Nicaragua also doesn’t have the crowds, beaten paths, and routine experiences you’ll increasingly find elsewhere. Instead, it is refreshingly undeveloped. Because of this, Nicaragua is notably more affordable when compared to other Central American hot spots (including neighboring Costa Rica, which it definitely resembles).“
We wouldn’t have music in the world if it weren’t for the master wood makers and instrument caretakers like John Becker, whose world renowned and million dollar restorations were recently profiled by Chicago Magazine: “Making that guitar had a big impact on me. I didn’t grow up in a musical family, but I realized I wanted to help musicians. I get that same excitement working with classical violinists.” Love it.
Until I get around to writing a condensed, more interesting story, here’s a chronology of mostly personal events:
1979. Born in Moscow, Idaho to goodly parents named Brent and Cathy Snow as the fourth child of six and second son in the family. Moved to Oklahoma one month later.
1985. Started my formal education at Westwood Elementary School in Stillwater, Oklahoma while my father taught psychology at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!). Said formal schooling would last me 17 consecutive years (gulp) across three state programs.
1986. Exposed to my first home computer and modern video game console after my mother bought a colored IBM PCjr and some neighborhood friends scored a Nintendo Entertainment System. The love affair with technology, personal computers, and video games had begun.