Bitcoin Musings, Getting Things Done and Stacking Sats

On October 20, 2019, the 18 millionth bitcoin was mined. It took 3,935 days to mine 18 million bitcoins. That’s just a few months shy of 11 years. As you may, or may not know, there will only ever be a maximum of 21 million bitcoin in existence. More than 85% of all bitcoins have already been created. It is estimated to take over 120 years to mine that final bitcoin in the year 2140.

Bitcoin was born on January 3, 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block, which created the first 50 bitcoins. Every 10 minutes a new block is mined and a bitcoin reward is awarded to the successful miner. The bitcoin reward for the first 210,000 blocks was 50 bitcoin, then it was cut in half to 25 bitcoin.

When 210,000 blocks are mined, a “halvening” or “halving” occurs, which cuts the block reward in half. On average the block reward is cut in half every 4 years. On November 28, 2012 the reward was cut from 50 BTC to 25 BTC. On July 9, 2016 the reward was cut from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC. The next halving is estimated to occur in 7 months on May 20, 2020 when the bitcoin reward will be cut from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 bitcoin per block.

As bitcoin gets closer to reaching its maximum mined capacity, the difficulty gets harder and harder to reach the final finish line. I’ve noticed this is the same with many of my projects.

Yes, getting started may be the most difficult step for most people, but once you get started, the initial rewards usually come easily. It’s reaching the final pinnacle which can require the most energy and resources; the final mile, the final paragraph, the perfect finishing touch.

I’m currently working through several projects which I intend to complete before the end of the month. I was thinking about the project on my desk. I completed most of it in the first week I worked on it, but it takes a second week and sometimes a third week to complete the final 25% of the project. If I stay on schedule, I will finish this one tomorrow and then I can complete the final 2 projects over the next 8 days in time to pass out candy on Halloween.

I know I am a perfectionist, so I’m acutely aware of my internal battles with procrastination and perfection. This year has been a struggle, but the philosophy of done is better than perfect has been my guiding light.

I am aware that 85% perfect is usually more than enough for most of my projects to pass with flying colors. Only a small, select few would notice the difference between my 85% and 90% perfect. In the time it would take to go from 85% to 95% I can usually complete a new project in that same time period. So, for the sake of completing additional projects and keeping my clients happy, I will celebrate 85% perfection.

So, how will I celebrate the completion of my next project? I’ll continue “Stacking Sats” and buy some bitcoin. Bitcoin is on SALE at the moment (hovering at $7,400 per BTC as of October 23, 2019).

What does “Stacking Sats” mean? A bitcoin can be divided into 100 million units, the smallest of which is called a satoshi, in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto. Just like a penny is the smallest unit of a dollar, a satoshi is the smallest unit of a bitcoin. I’m stacking my pennies, so I can stack sats. Bitcoin, here I come!

Cheers!

TofuAlan

Ride Sharing is Caring

My mother was in town for 3 weeks. It was a fun experiment in getting around town.

As I mentioned before, I was recently in a car accident and my car was totaled. Instead of replacing my car right away, I thought it was the perfect time to try a travel experiment in my life.

A couple years ago I heard about someone who decided not to drive for a year. It seemed like an impossibility for someone living in Los Angeles, but with my current circumstances, it seemed like the perfect time to try this for myself. 

WDW, It Requires People To Make The Dream A Reality!

While walking through the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, my sight was drawn to this shield on a wall surrounding a construction site. It read, “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world… but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney.

As my birthday approaches, I look back upon this past year and the many years before it, and I am thankful for all the people who have had their hand in shaping my life. There were those whom I shall never know. The ancestors who built their lives and raised their children. Those children repeated the process and after generation upon generation, eventually my parents were born.

My parents meet in college, (I should really inquire about how they met and get the whole story). How much of their meeting was chance? It blows my mind to think about that. Eventually, they get married and several years after, I am born.

I am born into their group of friends, acquaintances and families and we are linked for life. My godparents come from this pool of friends and I see them throughout my life at all the special occasions, including my birthdays. They had children about my age and I wonder where life has taken them since we lost touch?

People flow in and out of each others’ lives. Some are there for a short time and some are there for decades. I realize that it also takes effort on my part to stay in touch. Late at night, I think about souls I have met and I am thankful for them in my life. Some have shuffled off this mortal coil. I think about them the most. Death had a huge impact on me as a child, and I carry those who have died with me in my heart, more than I realize.

I am very thankful for my teachers in preschool, kindergarten & elementary school. I was a rambunctious kid and they had more patience with me then I may have deserved at the time. Their patience really helped to motivate me in school and gave me a love of learning which I still have to this day.

I may have been a dream for an ancestor long past? Of maybe, I am just a link in the chain for a future which was dreamt ages ago? Either way, I strive to live true to the dream I have for myself. I know I can try to do it alone, but why go that route, when I have chosen friends who will walk, run, dance and skip along the road with me?

I thank you for being part of my life and I hope I can help inspire you as others have inspired me. Remember, you don’t have to build your dream alone. There may be more help available than you realize. Sometimes, though, all you need to to is look around and ask!

Cheers!

TofuAlan

Walt Disney World Adventures In January Two Thousand Nineteen!

I love to work! In fact, I consider myself a workaholic! But, several times a year, I book a trip out of state, to force me into another “state” of mind. This month, I’m in Orlando and I also booked a trip to Amsterdam to attend a friend’s wedding later this year in July .

I wouldn’t say I’m a HUGE DIsney fan, but I must say I have a great time anytime I’m at a Disney amusement park. Do I have a Disneyland Pass? Yes! Hmmm… Maybe I’m a bigger Disney fan than I thought I was? So, what am I doing in Orlando? Well, it just happens to be my birthday weekend, so why not travel across the country to visit the Magic Kingdom?

I usually work from sunup to sundown, and maybe a few hours beyond that. It’s coming to my attention that maybe this isn’t the norm for most people. I always, ALWAYS travel with my laptop, so I can sneak in some work when I have a spare moment. An extra bonus about traveling to the east coast, is that I’m now 3 hours ahead of California time. It makes me feel so responsible when I can reply to emails and phone calls 3 hours earlier than normal. It also makes it easier when I return home to hit the gym early in the morning.

I took the redeye from LAX to MCO. I was marveling at the ease of travel these days. In the past, I would beg a friend to drive me to the airport, but now a shared ride service like UBER or LYFT make it super convenient to travel around town.

A friend of mine in Los Angeles always complains about how hard it is to meet new people. I find it interesting that I always meet new people and it usually feels very spontaneous. As the saying goes, it takes 2 to tango, so I know the mathematical equation needs to start with 2 people. Or maybe, it just needs to start with 1 person, and that person is YOU.

I can rely on the OTHER person being open to meeting new people, or I can take responsibility and be in the “vibration” of wanting to meet new people. By taking the initiative, it makes it so much easier, because now I can just be ready to talk to anyone who is willing to talk to me.

Oh boy, this may sound like so much new age mumbo jumbo. I must say that it simply falls into place when I’m in the right vibration. Tonight, after taking the whole day off to wrap up a project, I was pleasantly surprised to meet an outgoing gal and her friends while visiting THE EDISON in Orlando, (which is modeled after THE EDISON in downtown Los Angeles).

My new friend, who shall go by the code name “J” approached me and said hello. We danced a few songs and then I met her friends, and then she met my friends, and it turned into a HUGE dance party. Now, I can chalk it up to coincidence, or I can give credit to my friends and our fun loving attitude and seizing the moment. =)

It’s still the beginning of the year and if you want to meet new friends, the first step, is to be open to the idea of meeting new friends. I consider myself an introvert, but I have learned to be more outgoing by practicing being outgoing. I took baby steps; talking to people in an elevator (which is always fun and potentially against the rules), talking to my cashier in the checkout line (as long as it’s not too busy), striking up a friendly conversation at a bar, or even volunteering time at a local food bank and talking to fellow volunteers. Sometimes, the conversation can be stilted at first, but it gets easier with practice.

Whatever you’re interested in trying more of this year, practice by doing more of that thing. I have found that www.MeetUp.com is a great resource, especially when I’m visiting a new city. If you want to explore the outdoors, join a local hiking group. If you want to start running, sign up for a 5K run. They can usually direct you to local training groups. If you want to explore new dining experiences, join a local foodie group, and if none exists, start your own and see what happens.

Many years ago, I had a dining club in my neighborhood and it was fun sharing my dining experiences with my friends and their friends. By special request, I’ll be starting up my dining group again very soon, so If you’re in Los Angeles, I would love for you to join me.

Good Luck on your adventures!

Cheers!

TofuAlan

Done Is Better Than Perfect

This has been an exciting week for me! It’s the 2nd week of the new year and I’m still (mostly) on point with my 2019 goals and intentions. I’ve read and made my bed daily. I’ve hiked Inspiration Point twice and I’ll probably go again this weekend. My daily steps need some help, but I did log in 24,000+ steps yesterday while swing dancing at Lindy Groove in Pasadena, CA.

I have been voraciously consuming the podcasts from Side Hustle School and I ONLY have 582 more to go until I listen to all the past episodes. Today, while listening to episode 588, Chris Guillebeau mentioned a quote which electrified me. The quote was: “Done, is Better Than Perfect.” A quick google search and the quote has been attributed to, Sheryl Sandberg.

Done, is better than perfect, really resonated with me. As a perfectionist there are many times I find myself frozen when I’m so close to completing my goal or project. Ever since I was a child, I would have a paralyzing fear of not doing my work perfectly. This has been an issue for me my whole life, but when I heard the quote today, I suddenly felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

Currently, I have about 20-25 work projects which need to be completed this month and I was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of time I would need to complete everything perfectly. When I applied the quote to my work, I suddenly realized I could still do Grade A work without the pressure of making it Grade A+ work.

I do amazing work! I’m really good at what I do. That’s not just an idle boast. Because of my perfectionist upbringing, I have really honed my skills over the years. One thing I am very aware of though, is that the time needed to bring a project from great to perfect can be an additional 30-35% of additional time.

Many times, I would look at the competing work in my industry and I was baffled at the projects which would pass inspection. If you compared my projects to similar projects done by someone else, you can definitely see the difference. When my “competition” was getting hired for more work than I was, I was profoundly, perplexed. I questioned one of my long time clients about why I wasn’t being hired as often. He said, “because all I need is a quick sketch, and you’re trying to create a photorealistic oil painting worthy of a classical master.”

In my effort to, “just get it done,” I’m happy to say that I had an idea for a “Side Hustle with my buddy Frank. We were talking about it last year, and I decided to just make things happen. I stayed up late one night and built a prototype for our website with some sample products I thought we could market. Now, to select a handful of products we will actually be selling on our website.

It feels good to have it DONE. Well, in reality, the website is nowhere near perfection, but it’s created and just needs to be refined over the next year. Normally, I would have wanted it to be be perfect before I let it go live. I know I am a work in progress, but I see the value in getting the job done instead of getting the job done PERFECTLY!

Best of luck to getting your work DONE this year. I’m excited to work on www.FrankAndAlan.com this month and to completing at least 15 of my other projects over the next 2 weeks.

Cheers!

TofuAlan

Wishes Come True, It’s All Relative and We Bid Farewell To 2018!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the last day of the year. It seems like just yesterday I was writing my new goals after hiking to the top of Inspiration Point. Note to self, dust off your hiking shoes and get ready for the beautiful view from Inspiration Point TWICE this week.

As I look back on the year, there were a lot of great things which happened. I met some fantastic new friends, I reconnected with friends from my past, I read a lot more books than I did in 2017, The Burrito Project expanded across California in 5 major cities and I was able to launch several new businesses.

On the flip side, there are quite a few things with LOTS of room for improvement this year. While managing 5 seperate businesses, I felt bombarded by phone calls, email & texts which were seriously limiting my productive work time during the day. I thought outsourcing all of the communication to someone else was the answer, but it created more problems.

In an attempt to wean myself off social media, my phone and almost all electronic communication, I attempted to have my assistant(s) return my emails and phone calls for me, but too much fell through the cracks. I ended up creating more issues with my clients and friends due to non communication which could have easily been prevented with a simple phone call.

A new business coach recommended creating boundaries with a time schedule for when I returned phone calls, texts, emails and participated in social media. I’m excited to put this tactic to the test this year, so expect to hear from me more consistently. It’s difficult to give that personal touch when it’s not me giving that personal touch. I guess sometimes I need to learn things the hard way.

It’s all relative, so beware when you compare yourself to other people. I like to have an idea of what’s going on around me, but I prefer to focus within, versus without. One of the reasons I like setting goals is to see how I measure up to my past performance and accomplishments. I’ve always liked setting goals which make me stretch, but I also sprinkle in some simple goals just for fun.

Some of my simple goals are making my bed, reading for 30 minutes a day and spending 15 minutes a day organizing something in my bedroom or office. One of my goals which I need to actively work on to complete is reaching 20,000 steps per day with my fitbit.

Some friends tell me I should set my daily goal to 6,000 or 8,000 so I’m guaranteed to hit it everyday. Although I’d love to hit my personal target EVERYDAY, and that is my continued goal for 2019, I’d much rather miss my target goal of 20,000 steps and settle for 16,000+ steps. For comparison, my friend is completing his/her goal everyday, while I only hit my goal a few times a week. Now, when you compare actual steps for the week, I’m usually in the lead. I’m twice my friends size, so maybe I should be hitting 25,000 steps per day. It’s all relative! =)

If you’ve had a chat with me this past year, you probably know I love cryptocurrencies and will chat crypto almost anytime and anywhere. I was analyzing the market in 2017 and I officially entered the market in January 2018. I made my first purchase of bitcoin on CoinBase and while I was waiting for my bank transfer to go though, BTC dropped from $15,500 to under $12,000 in the 7 days it took before the transaction was complete. That was the perfect introduction to the volatile world of cryptocurrencies for me. Wow!

Despite that almost 25% drop in BTC value, I was even more curious and started mining bitcoin, dash & ethereum. Among my fellow crypto enthusiasts, we would talk about missing the opportunity to buy BTC at prices below $10,000. Well, as luck would have it, bitcoin has been below $4,000 for most of December 2018. I guess wishes really do come true. Thank you Santa for the HUGE sale on BTC. These low prices have more than made up for the high prices I paid earlier in the year! Yes, bitcoin is about 20% of what it was a year ago in December 2017, but for comparison, BTC is 4 times HIGHER now in December 2018, than it was in December 2016. I guess everything really IS relative. 😉

Mining is no longer profitable with the price of BTC so low, but trading has been very nice to me. It just goes to show, when one door closes, another door opens. I’m excited to be trading bitcoin and etherium over the next year and look forward to turning on those mining rigs again when the price rises to a profitable level.

As we bid farewell to 2018, I hope you learned a lot this year and can apply your new knowledge to the next 365 days and beyond. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Cheers,

TofuAlan

Earth Day, Spring Flowers and Beautiful Buzzing Bees

Thank you Google and Dr. Jane Goodall for the Earth Day google doodle message.

It’s April 21st and everybody knows today is Earth Day
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday to whoever’s being born..” These lyrics from, Dramarama, always echo through my head when this date is near.

It may be argued that the date of April 22nd is the actual official date of Earth Day, but I have no need to split hairs on this distinction and strive to live every day like “it’s 1999″…. Wait, sorry, that’s a different song! As much as possible, I strive to live everyday as Earth Day. Our everyday small choices can create a large impact over time.

I have been a vegetarian for over 2 decades and being a quiet vegan is my simple way of being kind to Mother Earth. I love that many people I know have adopted Meatless Mondays, a simple step creating diversity in their diet and making their meals intentionally and thoughtfully healthier. If you haven’t yet tried this with your family, here are 2 “green” facts I found interesting.

If everyone in the U.S. went meatless for just one day we would save 70 million gallons of gas–enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare.

If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just 1 day a week for a year, it’s like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road. (source: Environmental Working Group)

As a Southern California resident I understand our dependence on cars. Driving is a way of life ingrained in many of us who live here. If a change in my diet can help offset my driving miles, then I think of it as a small price to pay for the pollution I may be creating. I also try to limit my solo driving as much as possible and attempt to carpool when I can.

Whatever you do on this Earth Day, thank you for being mindful of your impact on our society and our global community at large.

I was visiting my dad earlier this week and when I walked up to his front door I was welcomed with a beautiful array of flowers. There were bright yellow daisies and a few noble purple ones decorating the garden.

Daisies and sunflowers always bring a smile to my face and can lift my spirits if I’m ever feeling low. Thank you Mother Earth for the joyous treat in my day.

Among the daisies were some buzzing bees. I have always been fond of bees. My first bee sting was in my adulthood and that was by accident. I stepped on a bee while enjoying a picnic in the park. I heard a podcast today about the importance of bees in the pollination of our food crops and the fact that it’s getting harder to do so because of the declining bee population every year.

I guess it’s appropriate on Earth Day to contemplate the symbiotic relationship of humanity with the earth and the impact we have on our planet and it’s ecosystems. It’s possible that our actions in decades past created an imbalance in our ecosystem through the extensive use of pesticides and fossil fuels. I love that there’s a social movement around the globe with greater importance placed on the preservation of the environment.

On this Earth Day I raise my glass to everyone who in their unique way is making a positive difference in our world. Thank you to the bees for their part in keeping us fed and to the flowers which bring sunshine and color into our lives.

Cheers!

TofuAlan

Hello 2018! Inspiration Point, Bite Sized Goals & Infinity Abundance!

Hello 2018! I’m super EXCITED for this year and ecstatic about the next 365 days!

For the past several years, it’s been my tradition to hike to Inspiration Point to start off the year with some great exercise and to write out my goals & intentions at the top of this mountain. The view is always breathtaking and the effort to get there is rewarding. It’s not the highest peak in the neighborhood, but it’s no easy breeze either with an elevation gain of about 2,700 feet.

I love that on a clear day you can see Catalina Island and most days you’re looking down at the local clouds. When I arrived, there were 2 other people already there scrolling through their phones, possibly doing the same thing I was there for? It was super quiet and felt sort of like church or a library. I was almost afraid to talk because I didn’t want to disturb the peaceful silence.

I made several goals, many of which had a bite-sized component to them. In 2017, I think I barely squeezed in 4-6 books all year long. In 2018, I want to read 4-6 books a month. This seemed nearly impossible at first glance because I’ll probably be more busy this year than last year. After doing the math though, if I set aside an hour a day to read, I think I can easily get through a book a week.

I love my fitbit because it gives me a fair assessment of how much I’m moving on a daily basis. My monthly goal is 400,000 steps a month with a high end goal of 500,000 steps for the month. Ideally, I would love to hit 100,000 steps a week which is always a great accomplishment. This past week I worked so much, I hit less than 2,000 steps a day several days in a row. (That was slightly embarrassing). I understand it’s more about my daily activity than cramming it all in on the weekends, so I’m setting a 10,000 step goal minimum for each day, but I would LOVE to hit 20,000 steps per day. If I can hit the higher daily goal, I can easily hit my big monthly goal. It’s all about the bite sized activity.

With dancing at last night’s NYE party combined with the Inspiration Point Hike today, I jump started my year, month and week with a 41,000+ step day. I’m excited to get this year’s fitness started.

I love numbers and one of my favorite numbers is the number 8. I love it because it looks like an infinity sign. I am planning to launch 3 new businesses this year and with any new business, it’s probably similar to another business in the neighborhood.

I have really been focusing on the  idea of abundance. There’s more than enough for everyone and if I offer excellent service and quality, then I know there’s a chance to succeed. My focus is to provide the best value possible for my clients. If they win, then I win too.

I love that there’s an “8” in this year. It’s yet another sign to me of a prosperous year full of infinite abundance!

Cheers to you!

TofuAlan

Sayonara 2017

An amazing year of up’s and down’s and now we find ourselves at the final day of the calender year of 2017.

I have an intentions list I read weekly (daily if I’m on point) and I added on some extra goals at the beginning of December.

One of my many goals for 2018 is to learn how to ride a unicycle and to juggle. It’s a little out of my comfort zone, but a dream talent since I was an kid.

Tonight, I was invited to a friend’s NYE party near my home. Although the past 2 years I celebrated new years eve by going to bed before 10 pm, this year I felt compelled to go out in public instead of hiding in my cave.

While chatting with Jon, a new friend at this new years party I attended, I find out what he does for a living and it blows my mind.

He’s part of a physical comedy duo with a performance featuring juggling and unicycle tricks. What are the odds? He’s totally legit too. He’ll be performing at a Lakers halftime show in LA on January 21, 2018.

I tell him about my newest goal for 2018 and with a sly grin on his face, he offers to show me something in his trunk.  We walk to the parking lot and he opens the hatchback of his vehicle and laying there is his unicycle.

This thing is amazing, super tall with extra fancy gears. It’s the most sophisticated unicycle I’ve seen in person. I ask if I can take a picture, and he poses with the unicycle.

As we walk back to the party, Jon asks me what my favorite colors are and if I have a nickname. He offers to send me a free sample of personalized starter juggling balls in my favorite color. I find out Jon also has an online business and sells juggling gear.

Wow! Thank you, 2017 for helping me get started on another goal on my list. 😁

Yet another example of writing it down so it can become a reality.

Cheers to 2017 and welcome 2018!