Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bowling with Bumpers

I’m not a good bowler. In fact, I’m quite terrible. Not only am I not good at it, my friends mock my bowling style. They say I look like a monkey. I’ll never forget years ago when I took a girl bowling for our first date and I bowled a 55. I’m lucky I got a second date after a performance like that. I never did get a third date though, she got engaged and not to me. If only I had bowled with bumpers.

Saturday, for the first time in my life I did just that, I bowled with bumpers and it was great. No more embarrassing gutter balls. Sure, I still bowl like a limp wristed orangutan but the results are now quite different. Now instead of getting gutter balls I hit the pins. And it’s not that I don't deserve the gutter balls. I do. While I was bowling I couldn’t help but think about the concept of Grace.
Grace is getting something great even though you don’t deserve it. Grace isn’t earned. Grace is bouncing your bowling ball off of the bumper and getting a strike.Thank God for bumpers, thank God for grace.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Making Money Online - Profit Margin

So you say you want to make money online? It's possible, I make a living selling online. But if you do it incorrectly you can loose more than you make. Let's look at a little something called profit margin. In this blog we will focus on the 3 major online markets for resale to a national market.

Let's say you have a CD that you don't listen to anymore and you would like to sell it and get a few bucks. If you sell the CD for $9.99 how much do you make? Let's break it down.

Sale Price: $9.99
Listing Fee: $.50 (30 day buy it now sale )
Finale Value Fee: $1.30
Paypal Fee: $.59
Profit: $7.60

Sale Price: $9.99
Listing Fee: None
Finale Value Fee: $1.50
Profit: $8.49

Sale Price: $9.99
Listing Fee: None
Finale Value Fee: $ 3.29
Profit: $6.70

As you can see there is a large discrepancy between how much you make when you sell your CD on Amazon vs Half vs Ebay. But there's more. Amazon credits you $2.98 for shipping a CD while Half only credits you $2.39. On eBay you get to set your own shipping cost. But even after taking that into account Half is still by far the best value for selling your $9.99 CD.

But what if you don't want to sell a $9.99 CD? What if you want to sell a $999 flat screen television that you got for Christmas but never took out of the box. Half doesn't sell flat screen tv's so they aren't an option. That leaves you picking between ebay and amazon. Let's break it down.

Sale Price: $999
Listing Fee: $.50 (30 day buy it now sale )
Finale Value Fee: $54.45
Paypal Fee: $.29.27
Profit: $915.28

Sale Price: $9.99
Listing Fee: None
Finale Value Fee: $81.36
Profit: $917.64

In this instance it looks like Amazon is the best choice. But is it? What about shipping? Amazon sets a flat cost for shipping while ebay allows you to calculate it by the buyers distance. In this instance Ebay is still most likely the better value. So, is your head now hurting from all of these numbers? You're probably asking yourself "How am I supposed to figure this all out?" It's easy. There are calculators that do it for you and here they are. Now go make some money.

eBay Fees Calculator
Half Fees Calculator
Amazon Fees Calculator

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Famous IQs

The IQs of Famous People:

Muhammad Ali

Andy Warhol

George Bush Sr.

Howard Stern

Janeane Garofalo
Ronald Reagan

Al Franken

Kobe Bryant

Courtney Cox

George W. Bush
John Kerry

Jodie Foster
Nicole Kidman

John McCain

Al Gore

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Bill Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Steve Martin

Scott Levy "Raven"

Rush Limbaugh

Ben Sten
Bill O'Reilley

Bill Gates

Paul Allen

Sharon Stone

Jimmy Carter

Stephen William Hawking
Quinton Tarantino

Bobby Fischer

Philip Emeagwali

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Cowboy hat kind of Day

Today I wore a cowboy hat to the park. It just felt like a cowboy hat kind of day. Plus I was going to a Westside festival (The Delhi Skirt Game) and I didn't want to blend in. Heaven forbid anyone mistake me for a regular Westsider. I'm not really a regular anything though so I guess that's a given. I saw a ton of people that I knew, some that I recognized and some that were dressed in drag. When a guy in a wig and makeup waves at you and says remember me from church it can catch you a bit off guard. I did remember him but it took me a couple of minutes because I had to re-imagine him without the blond wig, eye makeup and skirt. I even met some new people which is something I tend to do. The cowboy hat helps with that as well.

Fast forward to the end of the night because the rest was pretty uneventful. I was leaving. You're not allowed to live there because it's a park and those are the rules. I was getting close to my car when I started to pass by a large group of teenagers. The guys were angry and the girls were antagonistic. If you know me well than you know I have a strict, "no fighting in front of Dan," rule so I stopped to observe. I'm a bit ADD so after about 30 seconds I quit observing and got involved. I talked the one guy down and got yelled at by a very angry teenager girl. That girl was day time television material. I can't remember exactly what she said but it was something along he lines of, "You don't know me." which coincidentally I agree with. One of the other girls told me that she liked my hat. I liked her better. Another guy started yelling at the casual observers to walk away. This was the perfect opportunity to tell him about my rule. "You do understand that I can't walk away and let a couple of kids punch each other. I just can't let that happen." He assured me that it wouldn't. He seemed like a nice kid but I didn't believe him.

I'm pretty good with angry teenagers. You would be surprised what you can do with the right words, a Cowboy hat and an excessive amount of confidence. The first guy started to walk away only to be pursued by the antagonist. He got up in his face and challenged him in the typical punk kid way, "hit me, go ahead, you flexin? hit me." Apparently, "flexin," is a term used to describe the act of trying to impress a girl. I kind of like that term. It reminds me of a couple of gorillas banging their chests but I regress.

I needed to go home so this was as good a time as any to put this situation to rest. I stepped in between them and said with my best authoritative voice, "Walk away. Both of you, walk away." I pointed just in case either of them were unclear as to were away was. And that was that. Since I made them both walk away, no one lost and both of them saved face. It was the perfect solution. Then, I went home.