Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Almost Halloween 2020

Guide dog Leif sits near window, lit from behind. Though he is in full shadow his eyes reflect the flash from the camera making them glow brilliant white making him look ghostly or demonic

 Well, it's almost Halloween again. Time almost to prepare for a whole bunch of holidays. For us, Thanksgiving and Christmas and a New Year.

The photo to the right shows Leif, my black Labrador guide dog sitting in our kitchen. There is a brightly lit window behind him so we can see him almost only as a silohuette. My camera on my phone, set up this photograph with flash active and as Leif must have been looking straight back at the flash and camera lens, his eyes are reflecting the light of the flash back. His eyes are both glowing white. Quite spooky, and a bad photo technically, but at this time of year, I think pretty good.

Leif and I have been together for seven years now. We were introduced on October 21, 2013. He was about eighteen months old. 

He was then and is still a character. He grumbles a lot of the time. Will throw himself down with a loud "Hummph" Lie beside me as I write or work on my investments. Sometimes he might nudge me with his heavy black nose. A pat is required, or a belly rub. Just to make the bond good again.

This year has been hard for us. The virus and the lock downs make it difficult to go out. I often have to use Lyft or Uber, and many of the drivers don't take kindly to dogs, in spite of it being illegal to refuse us a ride. But I am not picking that fight, it's not worth the bother to me. We used to love riding the bus, but not now. We used to love walking around the local college campus, he always got a little pat from other students. But of course with the colleges and schools closed, we don't go there any more. I am not taking a class either, with the main reason for taking classes being to get out and mix socially, there is no point and my certification classes closed to me as I have heart and lung problems due to having suffered several heart attacks and lungs scarred with "Valley Fever" then a dose of Corona Virus could be pretty serious for me.


So all in all, 2020 has been a year of sitting at home. Watching Leif's muzzle start to gray.

There are a few gray hairs on his upper lip these days. A reminder that he is getting a year older. Wondering how long it will be before we decide to hang up his harness for the last time.

I must say he is still eager to work. When I pick up his leash and harness, rare occasions this year, he is there in front of me. Pushing his head through the leather chest harness. Padding impatiently beside the door eager to strut his stuff. 

We may go back to college in the Spring 2021 Semester. Maybe, if all goes well.

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Saturday, October 10, 2020


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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January 2020, A Month That Will Go Down in History

I am already tired of January 2020!

It all started so well. Was it really just one month ago that I was planning a great start to the year, new class, posting more regularly, working harder?
a colorful water color pattern, of mingling red, blue, green and yellows that make for a bright display.
A Colorful Pattern

Well class at school began well. The professor is accommodating. She even wanted to see where my problems lay with the online interface for my personal finance class. Ah! The online text book is full of ALT Text bugs so I cannot read the textbook online.

Then suddenly on January 21, I hit a full stop.


A pain in my chest.

A trip to the Emergency Room.

Chest X-Rays.

A blood clot blocking a coronary artery.

Blotches on my lungs. Cancer says the Doctor, no old, 14 year old Valley Fever Scars, say I.

Four days in the hospital arguing with the doctors, I have been through this all before many times. Its not cancer. No we need to do biopsies and tests, we cannot be sure.

No deal with the blood clot, not the old Valley fever scars.

It's cancer.

No it's not!

No it's not cancer the doctor finally says after four days. It would have helped if you had told us that you have had Valley Fever in the past.

What had I been doing for the past four days?

It took me one week to get home. I am exhausted. My old problem of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome has flared again. This time causing a clot in my heart.

Now my life is all up in the air again.

Nothing is set for the next month. More doctor visits, possible heart surgery. Probably that will not happen though the doctors were talking about it yesterday.

But right now, it is good to be home.

Tonight I won't be woken for yet another blood draw. Tonight I can eat a meal that tastes of something, rather than dine on nutrition.

Tonight I can drink a cup of tea when I want to, not just when my visitors smuggle one past the nurses station.

Tonight I can pat my dog and hug my wife.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Back to School

Well today I received my first weeks schedule for my next college class.

Going back to school 
A fountain rises in front of the old administration building at fresno city college. The two story building stands at the end of a walkway and is built of red brick, with steps going up to the front door.
Fresno City College

Going back to school at the beginning of a semester is always exciting and scary, even when you are 58 years old. How did I survive from the age of four until I was sixteen?

This semester, I am taking a step away from my Social Work Certificate. There was just so much depressing concepts in those classes, so I need a break. This semester, I am going into business classes. I am taking Personal Finance.

Wait a minute! I hear you say, didn't you say you had over forty years of investing and running a family business?

Well yes you did, and I have done those things, still do, but I believe I still have a lot to learn.
  •   You can always learn something new.

 Most of what I have learned over the years has come from books and putting into practice what I thought I understood. It has worked, but it is not a perfect system. When I was young and sighted I read a book about driving a car, I knew all of the theory but non of the practical things with driving. For that I had to take driving lessons.

There is lots of stuff that you only learn by practice, some of them we can't go through here without adding an adult content rating to the site.

Believe it or not I even had to learn how to live as a blind person. So. Why not go back to school for a semester and learn about personal finance.

I am looking forward to class. There seems to be lots of read. I haven't got the book as yet. At $150 from the college bookstore and only $55 from amazon. I decided to take an option of saving some of that personal cash and go for the cheaper option.
Leif, a male black labradore retriever in harness of a guide dog, and is also wearing a white bow tie.
Leif, My Guide Dog

Plus it seems that I need to buy a graphing calculator. Need to buy? Do I need to buy anything that I cannot use? Well I will have a chat to my professor tomorrow.

Then there the nerves about who will be in class. First days are always nerve wracking, but at least I get to take a cute dog along with me. Last week, last Friday, we went to get my student I.D. and took a walk to find the classroom. It is in a building which we haven't used before, so Leif, my guide dog, enjoyed lots of treats as we explored.

Wish me well. I will keep you appraised of the first week news later.

If you are going back to school this week. Good luck, I am with you all the way.

All the best.

Please share this  post if you have enjoyed reading it.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Financial Independence For the Visually Impaired - Part 3

Two months ago I set in motion the basic foundations of a plan to generate an income stream from dividend investing, the aim to reach an income of $10,000 as soon as possible. For the initial plan read more here.
Financial independence for the blind and visually impaired, cash flow
Cash Income

My latest steps to Financial Independence

I initially funded the brokerage account with $50 then added another $110 in November, 2019. In December I received $2.16 in dividends which were re-invested in their stocks which added a few fractional shares and some units of Mutual Funds..

This income stream led to my investment increasing to $162.16
In addition the stock market added another $5 to my investment so as of yesterday my total investment is  just over $166.00 (Rounded Down). Growth of 2.17%

 The account has a projected dividend income of $6.09 for the year, but this will increase monthly as more dividends are put back into the account.

 Also I have introduced a new stream of income from online advertising. This income will be used in addition to my amazon affiliate income to generate funds for further investment throughout 2020 and beyond.

I am also using the Spring Semester for studying Personal Finance at my local Community College. I have a long history of investing behind me, forty years of history. But there is always something new to learn in the subject and I think it is time to go to school and learn if I am doing as well as I could or if I am missing some really important information in my investing knowledge.

As Mark Twain once said "It's not what you know that what gets you into trouble. It's what you think you know for certain, that gets you."

So with a nice two percent rise in my initial portfolio, I will say thank you for reading and if you have found this post useful please like and share it with your friends and family.

If you would like to know why I love investing for dividend income read my blog at "The Investor".
Possibly leave a comment or question below.   Happy New Year.