Opening The Gate

Actually, I don’t think I have too much to talk about. After trying to move offices last week and Thanksgiving all wrapped into one week, I’m still a little exhausted. Despite me being tired, what is keeping me going right now is being able to write at Double T Nation and this makes me happy. I love thinking about sports, sports quandaries, sports problems, sports issues. Anything to do with sports has been a relief simply because it provides an escape that I normally don’t get to take in real life. Actually, I used to take those breaks, but it would be in front of the television. I’ve almost all but given up on the television, sans a couple of shows, and that suits me just fine.

Since I normally don’t have a post until the weekend, here are some things to get you through the week.

  • TuitionCoach is birth control. Ever wanted to know the costs of your kids college tuition? If you have kids, then you might not (via Techcrunch).
  • I am in the process of reading a really great online article called the Bootstrappers Bible. This is essential reading for all people who ever wanted to run their own company or start their own business. Actually, I take that back, it’s required reading for anyone who wants to be inspired to do something on your own. I always find it amazing how the written word can inspire people. (thanks to Lifehacker)
  • Need more inspiration about doing what you love, the read What Do You Want To Be When You Grown Up, from Get Rich Slowly. Make sure and read the comments too, they can be awfully inspiring. I’ve had two career and that seems to be the minority in today’s society.

Catching Up Again

Here are some pictures from Stephens most recent birthday party:

Stephen and Ashley T.

Courtney and Greggo

Tony and Leslie

Landy and Chris

Michael and Erika (spelling?)

Richie and Ashley

Justin and Ashley F.

Miranda and me.

I finally have an office of my own. For the past 3 years, I have operated in a cubicle, and there is nothing wrong with that, and now our firm has moved offices, just down the hall, and I have an office of my own. I know that I am very lucky to be in the situation that I’m in and to be completely honest, I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

Given the time of year, and as cliche as it is, I should shout from the rooftops that I am very thankful for my wife. She means so stinking much to me that it’s a little ridiculous, but it’s always important to tell people how much you appreciate them. Thank you Miranda. So as not to rub anyone the wrong way I have a couple of more thank-yous to pass out:

  • I am thankful for my families, my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my sibling in-laws, my extended family, etc. I am thankful for all of you.
  • I am thankful for my friends, as dysfunctional as we can be at times, I appreciate every one of you.
  • I am thankful for my puppy dogs.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to write about something that I love.

For those of you who are regular readers, I have been a little obsessed with personal finance recently, and thankfully for you, the trend continues. I found an enlightening article from Get Rich Slowly about young people and money (yes, I still consider myself young). Let’s take this quote from the article:

“Mindy Fetterman and Barbara Hansen of USA Today have written a piece exploring the debt problems facing young adults. This article is the first in a six-part series exploring these issues. Despite some alarmist reporting, there’s interesting stuff here. For example, the authors report that:

* Nearly two-thirds of twentysomethings carry debt. Those who do have debt have taken on more in the past five years.
* Nearly half of twentysomethings have stopped paying on a debt. (This stat shocks me — when did this become acceptable?)
* Sixty percent of twentysomethings believe they face tougher financial pressures than previous generations.”

How many of you fit into these categories, and I hope that none of you fit into the second point. It’s a really good article, I hope you all enjoy.

I also ran across an article from Techcrunch about whether or not Yahoo can save local papers. Which got me thinking, how many of you actually have a newspaper delivered to your home? I think that of my friends, only Stephen/Ashley and Tony/Leslie have a paper delivered to their home, but I know of few young people who do have the paper delivered. Don’t get me wrong, if I see a paper, I’ll read it, but it is no longer a necessity.

Gordon Keith, linked the fake Drew Bledsoe’s website, Tony Homo. It’s actually well written and very funny.

Miranda and I watch too much television, but we have discovered two new television shows. Bear Grylls has a show called Man v. Wild on the Discovery Channel. The premise of the show is that he’s dropped out in the middle of nowhere with a canteen and a knife. Bear then has to find his way out of whatever wilderness he is located. Along the way, you begin to realize that the guy will literally eat anything. The second show is called Rob and Big on MTV. Both of these guys are really funny, it’s not your typical MTV show, there’s something to this.

We’re Up and Running

This is a opening for a cow’s head for a cattle shoot at my parent’s home.

Finally, after about a month of exchanging emails and being patient, Double T Nation is up and running. Although I seriously doubt that I have any Texas Tech fans out there other than Tony R. and Justin F. I encourage each and every one of you to pass along this website. It will mean so much to me if this little venture is successful.

Earlier this week, Lifehacker linked a great article titlted, “10 Reasons You Should Never Get A Job.” Being the type of person who can’t seem to function without a job (I like structure) I was really intrigued with the idea. As some of the commentors in the Lifehacker post stated, it’s not that easy to start a $40,000/month website that earns money as you sleep. I am not advocating that we all get creative and start our own companies or websites, or somesuch, but do we owe it to ourselves to figure out if we are equipped to do something other than a 9 to 5? Last time I remarked about how my new website was going to allow me to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.

How many of you could exist doing something creative, or creating your own niche so that you are working for yourself? Personally, I think that I would always have to rely on a steady income of a normal job, but what if the niche you create becomes normal in the sense that you begin to receive regular income? How many of you would actually quit their job to do what you love?

I have been fascinated with debt management and saving and stuff like that and I ran across two well written articles, both by Get Rich Slowly. I’ve preached before about the need to make this website a regular of yours and I hope that you are. The first is about taking control of your life and being your own CFO. I love the idea because so many of us just drift through life without any sort of financial plan, or rather our financial plan is predicated upon what your employment provides. I’ll probably drive my wife crazy, but I think that I’m going to ask for Quicken or Microsoft Money for Christmas. The second article is about how to get out of debt. I know that some debt is impossible to get out from under, and I think everyone knows the danger of credit card debt, but this is really solid advice if you really want to be proactive in reducing the debt that you have.

Because I’ve been bad about posting here, I’ll give you a number of links. You are to only click on one a day in the off chance that I don’t post again for a couple of days. FYI, all of these are from Lifehacker:

Finding the Right Moment

This photo is taken from my parents’ front porch, Sunday morning, last week.

When I was in 6th grade, a Dallas Morning News sports columnist, Kevin Blackistone, came to our school and gave a talk about what his job was like. At that moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to write about sports. It was the perfect job, it allowed me to do two of the things that I thought I loved to do. Write. Watch sports. As high school continued I became increasingly aware that I was a horrible writer. I remember my first paper my freshman year and it was covered in red ink. My ego was completely shot and, of course, since I was in a honors class, I really couldn’t believe how poorly I had performed. The idea of me writing for a living was quickly forgotten as my current grasp of English grammar was something not to be desired. As I progressed through high school I was never one who could really figure things out on my own, no one really sat down with me and taught me why my grammar was poor. Teachers simply graded papers and sent them back and I was an average student when it came to English.

When I went off to college I had no idea what I wanted to do. Literally, I was without a major for the first two and one-half years of my college career. This was not including the two weeks that I thought I wanted to major in landscape architecture. That dream was forgotten when I had to build a three foot bridge out of toothpicks, which would have to support a bowling ball. No thanks.

When I transferred to Texas Tech I decided, along with the help of my father, that I wanted to major in English, and teach. I knew that the pay wasn’t very good, but I seemed to have a knack for reading something and recognizing the underlying theme of the book and then writing an essay about it. To me it was very easy, so I would capitalize on one of my three completely useless talents (the other two is washer playing and memorizing professional basketball player’s colleges and heights). To me I was still accomplishing the thing that I really wanted to do, which was write. I quickly learned that teaching was incredibly gratifying, but did not pay the bills. And as many as you well know, I moved onward to law school.

My legal profession was a means to an end, an end that might mean a better life for myself and my wife (although I was not married at the time, this was my thought). I picked up writing again almost a year ago, December 9, 2005 to be completely accurate. This is how I wanted to write. No editor, just write what I feel. Although I have taught grammar, grammar was never my strong suit, and I always felt that my downfall was that the way that I communicated, in a written form was more conversational, and less formal. This was great if I really wanted to discuss how I felt about someone or something, but less advantageous if writing a letter to a client.

September 3rd of this year I started a Texas Tech blog. I noticed that there was a complete lack of information about Texas Tech sports. I thought that there was no reason why couldn’t do this. Recently I joined a sports blogging network called SBNation, and although my website is not up and running quite yet, it is something that I am very excited about doing. The long and short of it, is that this is a network of individuals who are passionate about their teams and they write about them.

This is what I’ve wanted to do since the 6th grade. I’ve never thought about life coming full circle for me, but at this point it certainly feels that way. I guess to be quite frank, I don’t think I’ve lived long enough for my life to come full circle. Anyway, I was inspired, twenty-something years ago and now I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do. The internet has provided an outlet for folks like myself, the opportunity to write and be passionate about something, without having to really pay your dues. I get to write about Texas Tech sports. I don’t have an editor or anyone to censor what I want to write about and that’s a great thing. The name of the site as already been secured and it will be called DoubleTNation. It is not quite finished, but I hope that it’s done sometime before the end of the year. I am not the type of person who is proud about something, never too high, never too low. I think I have realistic expectations about this venture and I don’t think this will ever replace my “means to and end”, but it’s a nice distraction and it is the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

Three Pictures

Three pictures all taken at the same time. I’ve been fiddling with my camera quite a bit, especially the manual controls and I needed a forum to post pictures so I could compare. Mostly the saturation levels and the ISO.




Although the differences seem to be small, I think my favorite of the three is the last picture because it offers the greatest contrast, especially between the white rock road and the grass, however, I’m drawn to darker pictures, for whatever reason. The other bad part of this picture is that it’s cloudy, so there’s no real contrast between the road and the sky, which seems to be a visually displeasing effect. Isn’t it also true that small details is what makes art (please don’t get me wrong, I do not consider the photograph of a road and pasture art, but the general idea of art) interesting are the small details that the photograph or painting?

I am going to try to post two days this week. Lately I have been trying to educate myself on investing because it’s one of those things that I know absolutely nothing about. Today’s topic, the index fund. For general information about what an index fund is then check out one of my favorite websites, Get Rich Slowly.

I’ve talked about a DSLR camera before (digital single lens reflex) and not explained why it’s so important that I get one. Please read 10 Reasons to Buy a DSLR (thanks Lifehacker).

Halloween 2006

We had our annual Halloween party at the Hetmer’s new home. You can order as many as you want on Flickr (if you have a Flickr account). Enjoy.

Greggy as Jason:



Miranda, as the “good angel”.


Ashley F. as French maid, Elizabeth M. as the “bad angel”, and Leslie R. as a bee.


Ashley F. and Miranda.


Tony, the chick magnet, and Chris, a farmer.


Stephen as fire rescue and Ashley T. as cop.


Me, God’s gift to women.


Ashley F., Ashley F., Ashley T., and Courtney.


Miranda and a pug.


J.D. as Loyd Christmas.


Miranda, Elizabeth, Leslie, Landy and Ashley F.


Recent Convesation

This is a simulation of a conversation I had with my wife last night while she’s on the computer:

Miranda: Aren’t these jeans cute?
Me: I guess, don’t all girl jeans really look the same? I don’t think I could tell one pair of jeans from another.
Miranda: No, they’re not all the same, these are much cuter than what I have.
Me: Humh.
Me: Don’t you already have a lot of jeans?
Miranda: No.
Me: Are you sure those are almost exactly like a pair you already have?
Miranda: No.

By the way, do I realize that this facsimile of a conversation will get me in trouble? Yes.

Here’s the problem. I haven’t bought a new pair of jeans since I met Miranda. I think I’ve bought a crap pair of jeans at the Gap Outlet, but that really can’t count. By the way, that time period includes dating. So we’re going on about 5 years since I bought a new pair of jeans. I currently have two pair of J. Crew jeans that are part of my weekend attire which were the last real pair of jeans I purchased. I don’t know anyone that care less about clothes than myself. Seriously, it’s really sad. Sometimes when I get dressed for work I think about how bad I look and then I go get some more coffee.

Recently, I thought that I need to make some new clothes purchases, mainly consisting of some new wool pants. I seriously doubt that anyone shops for wool pants, but if you need a good pair then try LandsEnd. I know, that sounds like some place your grandfather would shop, but I’ve looked, trust me, for wool pants and there just aren’t any that look good and are as well made.

Halloween photos by this weekend, I promise.

Here’s a couple of links:

First, I tried to talk Miranda into letting me buy this desk or bookshelf or something because it would be nearly impossible for me to break this “assemble at your own risk” furniture. I can do this, RealSimpleFurniture.

At some point I’m going to buy a DSLR camera. Of course, I over research everything and ran across this article.

102 Personal Financial Tips Your Professor Never Taught You. Simple advice is usually the best advice. I like #89.