Stuff I Use: Jackery Bolt Battery Pack

This is a great battery pack if you don’t have a USB C device. It comes with two cables built in, one for micro-USB and lightning for iOS devices (and can simultaneously charge both), has a USB port for another device, and even a built in LED flashlight (which is very useful). I find a very handy gadget for day to day use and very food for traveling (via the Wirecutter).

Stuff I Use: Pocketmonkey

I’m surprised there are a couple of these card shaped, omni tools out there; basically, they pack a few tools in one card. They’re kind of like swiss army knives, minus the knife. The one I use is called the Pocketmonkey. I keep it in my wallet for the occasional screw driving and measuring, but I’ll admit the bottle opener is what I primarily use it for.

7 months in and somehow I still can’t believe I’ve moved to London

Me at "Platform 9 3/4"
I know nothing about Harry Potter, but when in London…

I’ve left this blog pretty dormant for a while, because, well frankly, I haven’t had a lot to write about (or at least nothing I felt like writing about anyway).  Recently, though, I’ve made some big life changes and I thought I’d write about them and what I’ve learned from these life changes. The big change is that in April of 2017, I moved away from Los Angeles and am now living an ocean and continent away in London, England. Why there? I’ve worked for a multinational company for a little while now, and honestly, I had been hoping for just an excuse to come out to Europe for a week or two. As I kept hearing about opportunities more and more, I prodded and patiently (and not so patiently) waited for a opportunity, and when my bosses told me they were giving me a visa to move, I knew I had to take the chance because I never would get another chance like this again.

I thought today I’d share some quick hit observations about the move to London, and perhaps if I get interested or (if a reader is interested), I can write up about a topic more at a later time. Here are some observations I’ve made about London since I’ve moved here:

  • Immigration is hard. And to think I did mine fairly easily, as my job paid for a lot of moving expenses, I make a decent salary, and I didn’t have to learn a new language or learn too much of a different culture. Even with open borders in Europe, I’d still say things can be tough for moving from country to country.  I told my parents after I moved here that I couldn’t imagine how they did immigration back in their time. I’ve learned to appreciate their situation back in the day more for sure even if I didn’t fully experience it myself (thank goodness I didn’t).
  • On a lighter note, there are two Youtube Channels I really recommend before any one comes to the UK as a tourist or as an immigrant: Anglophenia and City Hacks London.  They both have pretty good explainers on things about Britain and London itself that I wish I had known before I left.
  • A friend of mine told me about a great website for any one who is moving to another country: Teleport. It has two major features: 1) it asks you personality questions and gives you possible places you would like to live based on your answers and 2) it provides checklists for the process of moving to your destination of choice.   Was definitely handy for sure.
  • Banking is much better here than in the states.  Yes, while the United States has for the most part eschewed paper checks, they’re still a far more common sight than they are in Europe.  Your primary banking account isn’t even called a checking account, but called a current account here in the UK.
  • Unfortunately, because of American tax laws, there are a few added complications being an American living in another country.  I’m still dealing with this and don’t know much about it right now, but since I like personal finance, I’ll probably write a blog post at a later time talking about dealing with money in both countries.
  • Food is better than I expected.  I’ll admit, I still make fun of British food (as let’s face it, the country isn’t known for it’s cuisine quite like Italy, France, Japan, or Thailand), but there’s a lot of variety in food more than I expected here in London.  There’s a lot of different kinds of food just like in metropolitan cities in the States.  It’s been fun exploring these different places for sure.
  • Weather is terrible compared to LA. That’s true of most any place in the world, but I think that’s very true here with all the rain.  If you like that though, you’ll love it here.
  • Perhaps I’m using them wrong, but seems like common household fixtures and appliances aren’t as good in the UK as they are in the US.  Toilets seem to sometimes require a few flushes and dryers take much longer than in the states.  It seems a bit odd.
  • I like taking the train to work a lot, though I will say I miss my car for the grocery store.

Alright, those are some quick thoughts I have on my move to London so far.  I will have more blog posts on travel, finance, and perhaps a few other thoughts on London and other places.  If there’s anything else you want me to over, let me know in the comments below.

Invest in yourself

Mark Cuban: “Invest in yourself. Do the things that can get you closer to your goals and dreams. It wont come from a brokerage commercial. It will come from preparing yourself , working hard and standing apart from your competition. You Inc is the best stock you can ever buy…if you are willing to do the work.” – from My Investment advice for 2006

Solving the Right Problem

“When you are solving a difficult problem re-ask the problem so that your solution helps you learn faster. Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again. If the problem you are trying to solve involves creating a magnum opus, you are solving the wrong problem.” -Aza Raskin on You Are Solving The Wrong Problem

The 85 Percent Solution

Ramit Sethi: “The 85 Percent Solution: Getting started is more important than becoming an expert. Too many of us get overwhelmed thinking we need to manage our money perfectly, which leads us to do nothing at all. That’s why the easiest way to manage your money is to take it one step at a time—and not worry about being perfect. I ’d rather act and get it 85 percent right than do nothing. Think about it: 85 percent of the way is far better than 0 percent. Once your money system is good enough—or 85 percent of the way there—you can get on with your life and go do the things you really want to do.”- page 8 of I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

While the quote above directly applies that money, I’m certain that’s true about many things (about 85% of them at least).

My Top 30 Favorite Tips and Practices from the last 30 years

I’m turning 30 this year and over those years I’ve hopefully collected quite a few bits of wisdom and advice from a variety of sources. Some of it is inspirational quotes, some of it is practical advice, and some are just great how tos. You can find them all at

David Allen’s Two Minute Rule

David Allen (author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity): “If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it. If you don’t avoid the question about what’s the next step, lots of two minute items could be done right then”- 1-on-1: David Allen’s Two Minute Rule

Split First and Last Name into Seperate Columns in Excel.

If you have a First Name and Last Name in one column in Excel, here’s a tutorial on splitting them into two separate columns (without VB macros) from LauraJ’s blog. It involves using the Data to Text feature. Very handy.

Using Facebook and LinkedIn for your career

Quick Sprout has some tips on using Facebook to help your career. Reminds me of Guy Kawasaki’s posts on using LinkedIn like 10 ways to use LinkedIn and his LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover. (via Lifehacker)