Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Simple Living Space

I am a huge believer in the positive effect a living space that is in good order can have on people.

In my degenerate days I lived in several pig styes of houses, apartments and bedrooms that were so bad even half a decade later people I know still talk about how bad they were. It is worth mentioning that some of these times were the most depressing of my life, but hardly surprising when you think about it. When you live in chaos your mind will naturally follow suit.

These days I follow a more minimalist and disciplined approach to living; not just with less stuff but also a much more simplistic one. When you are facing the daily chaos of the World really this is the only way to live. I leave my apartment before 5A most mornings and the last thought I have before I leave is ‘no matter how fucked up my day is at some point I will come back to this’. This being my peaceful sanctuary. And that gives me comfort and sometimes when I’m still grinding away at 7P it pushes me through.

When it comes to minimalism I am the first to say that I don’t shun material possessions, but I am a firm believer in finding balance and only having material possessions that add some kind of value and have a function. Books are a prime example: I have a lot of them but they add value to my life and by having physical copies I can refer to them at any time. A lot of random crap that most people have in their houses does not fulfil this criteria.

Here are the three simple principles I follow:

  • Everything has its own place. I know where everything is at all times. I never have to look for anything anymore. Time saved and peace of mind.*
  • Have routines. Have a time every day where you do the same tasks. I make my bed with military level discipline at the same time every morning.
  • Set the standard and keep it. It is no good simplifying everything, tidying everything up, decluttering and all of that when you let it slip again.

Essentially all of this just comes down to being disciplined with yourself, and discipline is what you’ll need to take you to the next level of excellence.

*Years ago I posted about bug out bags and what mine was like. I don’t have one but I keep a couple of G’s of cash stashed away and a small bag of essentials ready to grab and go. The point is that I have the stuff in the same place and can pick it up and go within seconds.

A Framework For Success – The Millennial Edition

I’m writing this up because I’m fed up.

Fed up of what exactly?

Lost kids, the Millennial generation; the product of our awful society posting on the Internet, looking for the answers to their problem. Their problem is their freedom.

They can’t drive.

They live in a toxic home or in another dire living situation.

They cannot do the things they want to do.

And they come to the Internet hoping for a magic pill to solve their problems.

And yet the answers are simple. But most people have been conditioned in a way that renders them incapable to see the obvious. Some have been instilled with a sense of worthlessness that means even when they do have the answers they cannot take action because they are afraid of failure.

Strap up, this is going to be a long one.

***

Freedom of Movement

When I was a younger lad, I lived in the middle of nowhere in rural England. Yes, there were a few cities relatively close by but most people were scattered all over the places. Public transport was a thing of legend. When I turned sixteen, I knew if I wanted to see my friends, hook up with chicks and have a good time I would have to learn to drive.

I realised the first step was to get an income.

I’d started a business but I gave it over to my brothers and it didn’t make that much money anyway so I started a few little online businesses, made bits of money here and there but that didn’t get me very far. So, enlisting my pals we set about running little scams, some of them completely illegal that I won’t go into here. The money was great but sporadic and we ran into trouble constantly. Everybody knew everybody so if you stole from someone you were marked. I decided to step back from that kind of stuff and get myself a job.

Getting a job was fucking hard. Everywhere that employed teenagers had lists of people ready to work for them so if you wanted a job with them you were at the back of a very long queue. In the mean time to alleviate the costs of driving lessons, I decided to use my initiative and borrow the cars of my friends who could drive and my girlfriends car and even my mother’s car so I could get practice. I’m not recommending you do this but it shows you the lengths I would go to in order to get what I wanted. There are ways to achieve things which are out of your comfort zone, you just have to go and do them.

Eventually an opportunity came up with a large local employer for a job with a very nice wage. There was a problem, the company had an aptitude test that was fairly difficult and few people I knew had passed it. So, I found someone who had already done the test who told me exactly what to do and what answers to choose. I got the job. I had two six hour shifts a week and truthfully was a very lazy employee but there was always overtime and shifts on Sunday’s which paid exceptionally well so I was able to put a lot of money into my bank account. While I actually blew a lot of this money I gave some to a family member to keep safe for me. When he passed it all back to me I had enough money for a beater and insurance.

It was then that I decided I had to make the car pay for itself.

My problem, the fact that my friends lived tens of miles apart and the cities nearby weren’t easily reachable became the idea behind my next move. I let everyone know that I was essentially now a taxi service. This rewarded me in many ways. I was making nearly £100 some nights and my beater had good fuel economy so nearly all of that was pure profit for me. As well as that I got to meet plenty of girls I wouldn’t have met otherwise, social proof and access to parties.

I finally had independence.

Sometimes when I was bored and had time to kill, I would literally drive hundreds of miles to go to new places, see old friends; It felt like I could do anything I wanted too. It boosted my self-esteem and my confidence. When I turned nineteen, the fact I had a car allowed me to get a job that paid more than what many university graduates earn. The keys to my car were in essence the keys to my freedom.

I can’t tell you what to do, I can only show you my path and hope that you can take something from it.

A Roof Over Your Head

If you aren’t going to college, joining the military or live in a toxic home environment I don’t actually recommend leaving home as soon as you turn eighteen. There are several reasons and several exceptions to this.

Firstly, living at home means you can stack money you would otherwise burn on rent. I know people who didn’t leave home for a good five years but saved enough for a deposit on a house. I don’t think living at home in your early twenties is ideal or to be strived for but these people will probably never pay rent in their lives.

One of the reasons I don’t advocate leaving home is that if you’re young and living with others it can be a recipe for disaster. I essentially ended up living in a squat for a year and it destroyed me, yes I was stronger as a person for living in that dump but it set me back over a year. That’s a year of my life where I could have been building my life and working on myself gone. Most young people have zero discipline and that is infectious and distracting. If you can live on your own and are capable of looking after yourself then go for it. But the truth is most people can’t. I wish it wasn’t so but most people are incapable of looking after themselves, let alone a house or apartment until they’ve grown up a bit. Blame it on society or the individual but it’s the truth. If you can live alone. It shifts responsibility solely onto you. Being alone for long periods will allow you to build discipline, study, work on yourself and deal with actually being alone, something that again most people seem incapable of doing.

People might say, “but I can’t take girls to my parents”. Listen, you can sneak girls in and out while your parents sleep or when they’re out. You can bang girls in your car or somewhere quiet. If you want the bang, you’ll find a way.

Financial Freedom

I touched on this earlier. When I was trying to get work I was relentless. I estimate that in six months I probably rang, emailed and gave my CV to at least a hundred different businesses. I went out. I got rejected. I handed my CV to people knowing that it would be laughed and scoffed at and ultimately trashed. This is the attitude you need to have not only to get a job but to keep a job and actually succeed in it.

Everybody has skills they can leverage. Everybody has problems that need solving. You need to find your niche.

Increasingly temporary/short term employment is going to be utilised by companies as business and labour demands shift over certain periods. Many people will not take advantage of this. You should. Find companies offering short stints of work. Look online. Many companies advertise in other businesses or on sites like Craigslist or Gumtree.

Once you have the income, then you stack.

Like I said, this article will not solve your problems. Only you can do that. This article highlights the possibilities and allow you to develop your own ideas to solve these problems in your life.

Let me know how this works for you.

As always, peace out.

An Introduction to Investing in Silver

One of the posters on our forum, JekyllandHyde, produced this article on investing on silver. I thought it was really good and serves as a perfect introduction for investing in silver and definitely worth publishing on this blog – He agreed to let me use it and all credit goes to him! If you want to discuss this in more depth, register and head on over to the forum – Gracias!

If you want to submit an article, either get in touch with me in the comments section or forum. Cheers.


 

This is an introductory article for newcomers (and oldtimers) for the various investment forms of silver that are available. Please feel free to discuss this article in the thread below.

Silver comes in many forms – bullion, coin, scrap, silverware, even paper, and varying finenesses – a new stacker might be at a loss knowing where to start, or what sort of silver they should be acquiring. The first question that should be answered is “WHY are you buying silver” – is it for investment purposes, wealth protection, nest egg, fallback stash, or even for some survival scenario! Once you’ve answered this question, you will be in a better position to decide what silver to acquire and from where.

Bullion Bars

The most commonly recognized form of investment silver to most people would be bullion bars. Condition really should not matter with bars – they are for all intents and purposes merely a lump of metal that is eventually destined for industrial purposes. What matters is the purity and weight – if possible get .999 or better fineness. Some countries have laws that dictate whether or not a metal is investment grade depending on the fineness. This is important when it comes to taxes! For example, in Australia silver needs to be .999 or higher to be classed as investment grade, and therefore not subject to GST. Check your local, state, and federal laws to be on the safe side. Commonly available weights are 1oz, 10oz, 20oz, 1kg, 50oz, 100oz and 5kg – even 1000oz bars are available. Larger sizes like 5kg and 1000oz bars may not have an exact weight, e.g. 5.005kg, and they are usually priced according to the exact silver content. Amongst casual investors though, perhaps the most commonly held sizes are 1oz, 10oz and 1kg.

Bars may be minted, milled or poured.

Occasionally bars gain a collectors status, and their worth can be more than their intrinsic value alone – usually they are historic bars, or bars associated with defunct mints or companies. For the casual or novice stacker though, these are best avoided as the premiums are subject to the whim of the markets.

Do consider liquidity issues when buying bars – larger sizes like 100oz or 5kg may be difficult to sell privately, particularly if a dramatic increase in the spot price occurs. The 1kg bar that is affordable today may be beyond the reach of many casual investors in a few years time if you plan on selling privately – so consider a mix of sizes.

Bullion Rounds

Another form of bullion are rounds – also known as generics. Usually 1oz in size (although available in larger sizes as well), these look like coins, but are privately minted. As they are effectively just a round form of bullion not issued by a government mint, they should not be priced any higher than the equivalent sized bullion bar, however they are usually minted and of a higher quality finish.
Some rounds have outlandish designs (e.g. Christmas or political messages) that may not appeal to a wide range of buyers, so consider liquidity issues when it comes time to sell. The 1oz size however is a very nice size for smaller sales if you do have to liquidate part of your stack. Best to stick to tame generic themes that don’t have the potential to offend or turn off potential buyers though.
‘Junk’ Coins

A sometimes overlooked source of low-premium silver is so-called ‘junk’ silver. This is an informal term used for any silver coin which is in fair condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. The actual silver content of junk silver coins can vary quite a bit, even within the same geographical location. In American the actual silver content of junk silver coins can be 90%, 40%, or 35% depending on the coin.

You will need to research your local junk silver coins to see what is worth stacking. Also remember that the higher the actual silver content, the less space it will take up.

One difficulty with stacking silver in this form is liquidity – on the open market this silver often sells below spot, and is not always in favour. However it is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain fractional silver in Australia, with the occasional upside of a numismatic find amongst bulk purchases.

World Bullion Coins

Three very common world bullion coins are the American Silver Eagles (ASE), Canadian Maple Leaves, Austrian Philharmonics, and Australian Silver Kookaburras. These are all 1oz silver coins, and issued for bullion purposes. As a rule, these coins come loose in tubes of 20 or 25 depending on the country of issue, and have the appeal of international recognition. Expect to pay more per ounce for these government mint issued coins than generic bullion rounds, but there should never be a need to pay the same or more for these coins than for local Australian bullion issues.

Other forms of Silver

There are numerous forms of silver beyond that covered in the preceding paragraphs available for purchase – however by sticking to these recognized forms of silver, the average stacker will find themselves building a stack of recognized silver with generally good liquidity. Below are some of the more dubious forms of silver to acquire:

Graded Slabbed Coins

A common sight on auction websites are graded silver coins in plastic slabs, usually accompanied with guarantees and praise for their investment potential. Don’t be ripped off. Unless graded by a recognized tier one grading firm like PCGS or NGC, any grading is generally suspect. For bullion purposes, gradings have no meanings other than the potential numismatic premiums that a grading might attract, and for bullion coins in Australia, collectors of such items are few and far between. It is common to see world silver coins such as US Morgan dollars in plastic slabs from “no-name” grading firms – avoid paying anything more than spot price for such items – the slab is merely fancy packaging and a trap for the unwary. Another commonly slabbed coin is the American Silver Eagle – coins in MS-70 slabs from PCGS or NGC do attract massive premiums, but in the Australian market, the choice of such an investment could be questionable.

World Silver Coins

Most countries throughout the world have issued silver coinage at some time or other during their history. It’s not uncommon to encounter silver coins from Papua New Guinea, Great Britain, USA or New Zealand. For silver stacking purposes, these coins are often available under spot in Australia, but liquidity is an issue at resale time, and you may find it hard to recoup your investment if the spot price has not moved greatly. These coins are best left to collectors, unless you can obtain them for under melt value (which is the price a refiner will pay you, which is usually only a percentage of the spot price).

Sterling Silver

Sometimes bargains can be found in the form of sterling silver – whether it be in the form of flatware (cutlery), ornaments, commemorative issues… unless the items have particular historical or antique value for resale, paying spot for such items is a questionable investment. A better pricing guide is to find out the current melt prices that a refiner might pay for hallmarked silver, and use that as a pricing basis, ensuring that if you can’t resell the items as antique, you can scrap them and sell to a refiner. Be very wary of accidentally purchasing silver plate items over sterling silver – plated items have no value whatsoever from a refining perspective. There are numerous websites with good references on the various hallmarks, and you will soon learn to identify hallmarked pieces as sterling or plated. As a beginners guide, anything marked A1 or EPNS is merely silver plated – the relevant hallmark to search for on most Australian pieces is the lion with raised paw, indicating sterling silver of English origin.

In Summary

Hopefully this primer has given new stackers an appreciation of the physical silver scene. If after reading that and you’re still stuck, I think most readers would agree that the following three classes of silver would be a good place to start your stacking adventures if you were just looking for someone to tell you what to buy!

* World bullion coins (ASE, Maples, etc)
* Bullion bars or rounds
* Junk silver

 

Eliminating Consumer Behaviour (Part I)

This is going to be a fairly long post, split into two parts.

The next part of my self improvement adventure is to reduce my consumer behaviour. I already talked a lot about reducing the amount of money I spend on food in an earlier article, but I am going to continue in this vain, reducing my consumer behaviour and increasing my productive behaviours.

What is my motivation for reducing/eliminating my own consumer behaviours?

Western society is fundamentally miserable. We want, want, want. We spend aimlessly and thoughtlessly with no thought for our future. Buy consuming we put more money into the pockets of corporations who seek to influence government legislation and have us buy more and more of their products. Spending money is unfulfilling. Producing content, creating and selling products and improving ourselves is much more fulfilling. I’m sick of seeing those around me consume and I’m sick of seeing some of those traits in myself too. Above all I’m eliminating my consumer behaviours in the hope that I can be a happier person. Apologies if this sounds like a rant – That’s because it is one!

The first step in eliminating my own consumer behaviour is looking at what I consume that can be eradicated or reduced to as little as possible:

  • Clothes
  • Caffeine drinks
  • Social Media
  • Alcohol
  • E-Liquid
  • Time spent in nightclubs/bars
  • Pop culture

Clothes

I will happily admit that I have spent a lot of money on clothes. I own entire collections of various brands. Buying these clothes makes me temporarily happy and I will admit I get a long term enjoyment from wearing nice clothes and people telling me how well dressed I am and asking where they can get the threads I wear. On the negative side I have spent far too much money on clothes and realised the other day that realistically I could go a whole year without having to buy any new clothes, with the exception of suits. I may do just that. People buy clothes because they like the feeling of novelty and guess what? That feeling dries up the longer you have your once new clothes for, so you have to buy more clothes to get that feeling.

Caffeine Drinks

Again, I’m addicted to Diet Coke and am partial to a lot of other junk drinks. I’ve gone four days without a Diet Coke at the time of writing and I honestly cannot remember when I have gone this long without. If each bottle costs £1, I estimate that I am spending somewhere in the region of £350-£500 a year on this addiction alone. That is staggering and unbelievably it’s something I’ve never really thought much about. On the plus side, I own shares in Coke and Pepsi, so…

Social Media

This isn’t really financial consumerism but more of a time sink. I shudder to think about the amount of time my use of social networks adds up too, but it must be a lot. Even checking your Facebook for 20 minutes a day adds up to five days a year spent on Facebook. Most people have Twitter, Instagram, etc. Spend 20 minutes each every day and that’s FIFTEEN DAYS a year spent browsing those sites. I discovered what I call Facebook withdrawal – A sinking feeling that happens when you don’t check your Facebook for several days that I suspect is due to lack of Dopamine and possibly a secondary feeling of “Thank God, I’ve escaped”. Who knows. 120 hours of working even at minimum wage is almost £800. When you think of it like that…

Alcohol

Admittedly, these days I’m not so much of a drinker, but I still spend money on booze and it also causes/encourages a myriad of consumer behaviours such as spending money wastefully, eating crap food and doing nothing. Even buying as little as a four pack a week costs £250 a year. And I know people who drink that much every day.

E-Liquid

E-Liquid costs nothing compared to cigarettes but if you buy expensive liquids it can still add up. For me kicking cigarettes was the start of a renewed interest in consumer behaviour because it is addictive, costly and not good for you; the three characteristics I think makes up so much of reckless consumerism.  I buy all my juice wholesale so I pay about a third of the price and I’m looking at mixing my own juices.

Time spent in nightclubs/bars

I spend a few hours a week at least inside nightclubs and bars. I spend money in these places so I can consume more pussy. That is almost the sole reason I go out. I have plenty of friends and I make plenty of acquaintances and associates anyway. What’s worse is it has held me back from meeting higher quality women because you won’t find quality women in the places I frequent. It’s a harsh truth. When I’m in bars and clubs I’m also spending money on alcohol too. I don’t spend much, but it adds up. Frankly I’ve spent the best part of ten years going out and getting hammered and pulling girls in those kind of environments. I’m bored of it and I don’t want to be hanging out in bars when I’m thirty, either.

Pop Culture

We all consume pop culture on some level. Social networks practically shove it down our throats. The same with mainstream media too. Does anyone in the western World not know about Kim Kardashian fathers sex change? More worryingly I know people who know more about the goings on of the Kardashian family than their own. I’ve never been a big consumer of pop culture but I still watch junk on the Internet from time to time and find myself clicking on pop culture related clickbait. Fuck that.

Part II will be published ASAP.

Ibogaine – An Actual Miracle Drug?

I came across Ibogaine reading advice for someone who was trying to give up a 15 year Heroin habit. I must confess, I had never heard of Ibogaine before, not on the old Rorta forums or anywhere else and when I heard it could cure Heroin addiction in one treatment I was sure it was a complete scam or a drug manufactured abroad by a questionable Chinese pharmaceutical firm.

Perhaps I should be less cynical.

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive drug with psychedelic properties that can be found in several plants. It’s also a tryptamine similar to drugs like AMT but its tripping potential isn’t what interests me. What interests me is its reputation as a drug that can cure addictions. People have reported its success in treating Opiate, Alcohol, Stimulant and cigarette addictions.

Ibogaine seems to achieve this by encouraging introspective thoughts where people look at their what led to their addictions in the first place as well as alleviating the symptoms of Opiate withdrawal, which as any Opiate user will tell you is fucking awful and is one of the biggest reasons why quitting Opiates is so tough.

Of course it’s not a commonly found drug on the black market and has a dubious legal status in many countries meaning that independent research is difficult to achieve.

There are a lot of trip reports and detailed encounters with Ibogaine, such as the links below. I’ll be publishing any new information I hear about in further articles.

https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=86662

https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=38833

http://www.vice.com/read/can-a-psychedelic-root-cure-heroin-addiction-234

Hermit spends 27 years living alone in the Maine woods!

This is an amazing story, a couple of years old now, but I only heard about it today. To give the low down, a guy disappeared into the woods for 27 years, having human contact only once, but feeding and supplying himself through breaking into peoples homes and creating a status of myth in the local area.

Here’s the story – give it a read because its the best thing I’ll probably read all week. 

iStick Mini – A Review

I talked about giving up smoking in a previous blog post and since then it’s been a battle, it really has. I decided to go balls to the wall and actually invest in a proper eCig. I spent a lot of time on Reddit’s various eCig/Vape sub-Reddits as well as a lot of forums and YouTube channels trying to figure out what my first move would be. Continue reading iStick Mini – A Review