Baby vs Dog

It is amazing how having your own kids changes everything.

I love my my dog and because of him I love almost all dogs. I hated leaving him home, so much, that I would not go to restaurants that don’t let dogs in patio. (With Whiskey Cake being notable exception). Every grocery trip, I would buy him a new toy, many times had arguments with wife because he had too many toys. Every vacation we would have huge argument because I wanted dog friendly vacation where we can take our dog.

Once I saw a friend’s child being rough with their dog and dog growled back. My friend got mad at the dog and put him in the crate. In my pre-fatherhood mind, this was horrible injustice. I knew enough to not say anything but I thought to myself I will never do that.

And then I have my own child. Initially, I was treating my dog and my son equally. If I buy a new toy for Ayden, I will get one for Simba too. Simba slept in bed with us while baby slept in the crib.

But soon I find myself favoring baby over dog. Started to leave Simba at home so we can go sit inside the restaurant with a/c. Buying toys for Ayden without buying anything for Simba. Now I sleep with Ayden and Simba sleeps on floor.

And now I find myself disciplining Simba if he growls even if it was Ayden who was being rough with him. Baby changes everything.

Blogging

One of my ideal career is of writer. As a writer, you have freedom to work from anywhere, whenever, and get inspirations from whatever. When I am working on my programming side-projects, I usually get impatient if I am doing something unproductive. Since I started 250 words challenge, I am always looking for ideas for my next blog post form whatever we are doing; watching movies, running errands, enjoying books.

I have attempted to write novels many times, and usually I ran out of steam within a few days. But have been writing blog posts in one form or another since 2002. Only problem is that I never thought blogging as a serious writing. It is more like my stream of conciseness. Sometimes I post affiliate links here and have made a few hundred dollars from those links.

Now that I have challenged myself to write at least 250 words everyday, I feel like that blogging can be my serious side-hustle. Also I have restarted listening to Side Hustle School podcast and there are plenty of examples of people generating serious income from their blogs. It does require more focus writing and marketing efforts though.

I like to keep this blog open to writing whatever strikes my mind but I will try to focus this around real estate, photography, and parenting.

Real Estate

Real Estate is easy. I am working towards my real estate license, then I plan to work part-time as agent and look into real estate investments opportunities. This blog will be perfect place to post about this journey.

Photography

Photography is easy too. I used to post a lot of photography here. Lately, I am reposting my old photographs here. And as I start exploring DFW for real estate opportunities, I will start taking more photos and post here.

Parenting

Parenting is the main reason why I am looking into real estate. I want a job which will let me spend more time with Ayden. As a reader, I read a lot of parenting books and there is so much to share. And while this is crowded space but combined with other focuses of this blog, this blog might stand out.

Photo by José Alejandro Cuffia on Unsplash

Xenogears

Xenogears was my first RPG. I had tried to play Final Fantasy 7 but could not get into it.

The best thing about this game was the story and philosophical concepts in it. It is hard to sum up everything and it has been a long time since I played this game but you can read those concepts behind the story here.

Xenogears_box
Xenogears Box art

Real Estate vs Startup

For years, I was working towards my own startup. I always had various side-projects and learned a lot from these side-projects. But at the same time, all these projects were failures.

I never paid much attention to real estate investing. I had some friends who bought rental properties or got into flipping houses. It seemed so much more work and riskier. I can create a new startup for just a few dollars and a few weeks of my time, so why pay attention to real estate.

Now 15 years later, I see some of those friends have 10s of such properties. They are probably not making enough money from those properties to quit their day jobs yet. But in a few years when their mortgages are paid off, they can start getting nice rental income.

On other hand, most of my friends were working on side-projects and none of us have anything to show for it. We all are very dependent on our day jobs. Some of us have 401Ks but not enough to retire on it anytime soon.

These observations led me to think about real estate. After thinking about this for a while, I am thinking at this stage in my life, I should get into real estate investing. Here are some of pros and cons of real estate and startups.

Real Estate

Pros:

  1. Leverage. It adds risk but let’s say value of your rental property goes down, you will still charge rent.
  2. Physical labor. Some people may consider it negative but as a programmer who spend 8 hours sitting at desk, I cherish physical activities right now. It should be fun to fix some stuff.
  3. Discovering your city. Ever since I started to think about real estate, I have been driving to new neighborhoods to check them out. We usually stop by parks in the neighborhood. Have a fun family outing.
  4. And that brings me to the most important pro of real estate, you can spend time with your family. Finding houses and fixing them could be fun family activities. Since becoming father, this is how I think about everything.

Cons:

  1. It is possible that you may not be able to charge enough rent to cover your expenses. If economy really crashes and then you cannot find a renter would be really bad.
  2. Bad tenets.

Startups

Pros:

  1. Start company with remote first ideology so that you can work from anywhere.
  2. Rewards are huge.
  3. If nothing else, you learn skills that you can apply at your day job.

Cons:

  1. Really hard to focus after day job on another programing project.
  2. Takes a lot more time commitment. Although I can work from home, mentally I will have to focus on projects. So cannot really engage with my son.
  3. Chances of success are a lot lower even if you build a great product.

Photo by Startaê Team on Unsplash

I’m reminded of an apocryphal story I read somewhere about an exchange between K… | Hacker News

Vonnegut: Can you believe this guy? He makes more money in a single day than we’ll make in our entire lives. And you wrote Catch-22!

Heller: Sure, but I have something he’ll never have.

Vonnegut: Yeah, Joe? What’s that?

Heller: Enough.

Source: I’m reminded of an apocryphal story I read somewhere about an exchange between K… | Hacker News

Stranger Things 3 – Gross

So disappointed with Stranger Things 3. Spoilers ahead.

First, there was no suspense. Now I would say this is not a spoiler because you already knew Russian were trying to open the gateway to upside down world. To be fair, location of their facility was a bit of surprise.

Second, instead of nostalgic, it was awkward. As a kid who grew up in 80s, the first season had amazing nostalgic feelings. In 3rd season, kids are teens but still behaving like kids. That just feels weird. And then clothes for men and boys seems a bit exaggerated of 80s style. It is possible I don’t remember how people dressed back then especially since I grew up in Saudi Arabia but I don’t remember seeing people dressed like that in the movies from 80s.

Finally, it was just gross. The shots of rats exploding and turning into goop were just too long. Sure life is gross, but I was not expecting gross factor from this show. The first season didn’t show any gross or gory stuff but it was scarier.

Photo by Puneeth Shetty on Unsplash