2017-11 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for November, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $560.60. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $5699.20.

The income for November, 2016 was $506.98, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of November was $5048.77.

I am in the process of selling most of my stocks and putting my money in ETFs, with an emphasis on dividend growth ETFs. I plan on writing more about this in the future.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each November from 2011 through 2017:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-11 $5699.20 $560.60 $559.31 $560.58
2016-11 $5048.77 $506.98 $502.98 $500.27
2015-11 $4517.55 $460.83 $477.55 $452.28
2014-11 $3528.16 $291.27 $357.30 $343.53
2013-11 $2811.61 $252.75 $277.74 $291.48
2012-11 $2898.91 $247.99 $262.78 $284.49
2011-11 $2577.05 $246.37 $232.84 $240.81

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for November, 2017:

  • AT&T: $53.95
  • Verizon: $64.58
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $18.31
  • ABM Industries Inc: $9.95
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $22.96
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $64.92
  • Clorox Co: $50.16
  • Texas Instruments: $68.84
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $46.00
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $16.94
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $30.04
  • Procter & Gamble: $43.02
  • Eaton Corporation: $70.93

“Crucible of Creation”  taken by the Hubble Telescope and released by NASA on November 20th, 1995. Image from Hubble Site, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2017-10 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for October, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $341.83. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $5138.63.

The income for October, 2016 was $281.09, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of October was $4541.79.

There is not a whole lot to report this month. Just rolling along and making money.

I might sell Kellogg. They were below my cost basis, and I was thinking they might not be profitable for some time. I do invest in stocks for the cash flow and not capital gains, but that does not mean I want to take a loss. If a firm cuts its dividend and the price has dropped, then I still lose money.

I had thought that getting into a food stock would be good since everybody needs to eat. However, that does not seem to be working out. Both Kellogg and General Mills have not increased their revenue and/or profits by a whole lot over the past few years. Even Coke is having problems keeping revenue growing, and they have Warren Buffett on their speed dial. Kellogg did get a boost in earnings from a weaker dollar. But I don’t know if I should count on that in the future. An article on Bloomberg about this had a quote from Ken Shea, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence: “They’re really tripling down on cost cuts, which tells me they know the top line is not going to turn in their favor any time soon.” It reminds me of a quote from Starbucks founder Howard Schultz: “Cutting prices or putting things on sale is not sustainable business strategy. The other side of it is that you can’t cut enough costs to save your way to prosperity.”

Berkshire Hathaway was behind the merger of Kraft and Heinz, and from what I have read KraftHeinz is also relying on cost cuts to make a profit. Maybe food is not a good industry to be in. There is also a lot of churn in the agricultural trading industry. I hope that my investment in ADM will work out. I might wait a while before buying Bunge.

On a side note, Glencore tried to buy Bunge a while back. Part of the pitch to investors is that doing so would break up the “ABCD” quartet of ADM, Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus. But is “AGCD” any better than “ABCD”? Or is reducing the quartet to a trio any better?

One reason that I was looking to invest in food is that I thought that people would pay for something they need. It turns out they will, but people want low prices for things they need. Many people will pay a lot of money for things they want, like electronics. Or things they want but have convinced themselves they need, like iPhones.

On the other hand, water stocks seem to be doing pretty well.

WRT energy, I did see an article on Bloomberg’s site about Exxon’s research and investment into green energy. Hopefully they are sincerely looking into it, and not backing smaller companies to buy their technologies and take them out of the market.

I am also looking at insurance. It seems like a no-brainer: a financial product people need. But I wonder how climate change is going to affect insurance. Berkshire Hathaway‘s insurance divisions lost money due to natural disasters. Travelers and Munich Re were also negatively affected by natural disasters.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each October from 2011 through 2017:

 

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-10 $5138.63 $341.83 $566.34 $556.11
2016-10 $4541.79 $281.09 $508.05 $496.43
2015-10 $4056.72 $312.23 $459.42 $438.15
2014-10 $3236.89 $243.87 $368.19 $340.32
2013-10 $2558.86 $184.81 $295.19 $291.08
2012-10 $2650.92 $225.14 $285.46 $284.35
2011-10 $2330.68 $208.90 $258.17 $238.44

 

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for October, 2017:

  • Automatic Data Processing: $35.28
  • Coca-Cola Co: $51.28
  • MDU Resources Group Inc.: $11.81
  • Kimberly-Clark: $59.11
  • Illinois Tool Works: $44.60
  • Leggett & Platt, Incorporated: $54.73
  • Chubb Corp: $45.86
  • Sysco Corp: $20.03
  • RPM International Inc.: $19.13

“Edge of a Wheatfield with Poppies” (1887) by Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853-July 29, 1890), assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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More Thoughts On Idea Machines

I have started making daily lists of ten ideas a day per James Altucher‘s suggestion. I got Claudia’s book and I am reading it using the online Kindle reader. Hopefully it will lead to something better. (Claudia is James’ ex-wife.)

It sounds almost too good to be true. Just

  1. write down ten ideas,
  2. *** magic happens ***,
  3. profit.

I listed a few people who wrote about it in a previous post, and I have found a few more since then. Many people report the same effect. I think that perhaps helping develop and/or reinforce consistency might also be a factor.

A couple of things made me stop in the past. One is that I kept coming with idea lists about idea lists. It was getting too meta for me. I don’t want to make idea lists about making idea lists (process, results, lists of ideas for future lists), but it might not be a bad thing to do every once in a while to have a backlog of possible topics, like agile teams keeping a backlog.

Another is that since then I have gotten more serious about meditation. Wouldn’t quieting the mind and accelerating it be at odds with each other? Meditation seems to stop unnecessary thought. Becoming an idea machine seems to be about spawning thoughts. Is it possible to do this and meditation? According to Claudia, it is. Plus, some advanced meditators say that with meditation you can change the speed/volume of your thoughts. Granted, it takes a while to get to that point.

There were a few other reasons I kind of hesitated attempting the idea list practice and were arguments against. One is: Wouldn’t freelance writers be more successful than they are, or at least more quickly? Don’t they deal in ideas all the time?

Another is that James wrote his daily practice helped him turn his life around. But now he is divorced from Claudia. I guess I assumed he would stay together with her. It seemed like a sign of his success after a divorce and multiple bankruptcies. Making the same mistake AFTER you are doing the right thing is kind of an argument against what you are doing. But according to his blog, he seems to be bouncing back. (I still have not gotten to his podcasts; it’s on my to-do list.) It looks like Claudia is taking longer to bounce back. Or she just might be keeping a low profile. She want about a year without any blog posts or tweets, but it looks like she is starting to post more consistently.

One inspiration for starting is that James wrote a post in July about how he has lived off of his ideas for 20 years. He mentions that he might give an online/email course about becoming an idea machine. The outline looks pretty interesting. The response was overwhelmingly positive, but so far I do not think there are any updates. His big thing now is doing standup. He hints that one thing he would cover in this course is how he got started writing down 10 ideas a day. On one of his pages he implies he got it from somewhere else. In another post he implies he did it to get interviews.

Another inspiration to get started again is a story that I saw on Hacker News in August  linking to a site called “Random Ideas“:  “The point is to get the brain thinking, to exercise the brain muscle.” That sounds like James Altucher. A few commenters also said they had started doing the same thing, or that the site inspired them. One commenter pointed out that coming up with 3650 ideas in a year would “be an amazing accomplischment [sic] of endurance”, although the guy stopped after a month. Random Ideas are usually lists with items that are not related, generally ten business ideas. I know Altucher says you should do ten ideas on a topic, and there is something to be said for being creative within contraints, but I had a hard time coming up with topics. To follow Altucher’s method, you really need eleven ideas: the first being the topic, then ten more for your list. Perhaps it might be okay to just make random lists to keep the momentum. (See Note 1 below.)

Another inspiration is that the project I am on at work is reducing staff in a couple of months. I work for a big, multinational consulting firm. I am on a team that makes an app for a state government, and while they are happy with us, the department is having to cut their budget. So I kind of need something that will make me a wild success. I asked about some training, but I was told that company policy states that the project would have to pay for it. The problem is that they are rolling a bunch of us off because they have no money. So there goes that idea. On the other hand, my manager is an Indian guy who not only has a thick accent, but also mumbles. It’s possible I completely misunderstood what he said.

I have no desire to be a manager. Right now I have to put up with decisions I do not like. If I were a manager, I would have to justify other peoples’ bad decisions to still more people. I have no desire to do that at all. So I need to change how I think and I need to change my life. For reasons I will not go into, getting on a project in Austin is highly unlikely.

So I am working through Claudia’s book. I started on October 1. So far it is okay. I might have stopped at nine once or twice, and sometimes my understanding of the question changed while I was coming up with my ten answers but I just kept going. One guy wrote somewhere that he did not like some of Claudia’s topics. One of them is to come up with ten yoga poses. It is a bit hard when you know nothing about yoga.

One thing I have found is there are more people than I thought who are doing this, in addition to the people I found online the last time I posted about this.

One is a site called idealist.today that sent out idea list topics for about a year. They recently stopped. I subscribed, so I have a backlog to use if I need it. They have a facebook group. I am not into facebook, but I might log on to see if there are any success stories.

Another site is 10 Ideas A Day which will give you themes, lets you submit themes, and has a few links to other sites. Some of the links are out of date. Here is one of Claudia on a podcast talking about becoming an idea machine, one of someone on Claudia’s podcast, and someone sharing their lists as they go through Claudia’s book.

A guy named D.R. Fideler who moved to Sarejevo got the idea bug from James. He has a post and a PDF about it. It sounds like this guy goes into some detail with his lists. Some are “complete business plans”. Maybe I am not putting enough into my answers. Or maybe the magic will just take longer. Looking at James’ post “How To Have GREAT Ideas” my one-sentence ideas might be too short. Maybe each of the ideas should be lists themselves, like SMART goals.

Chris Remus wrote about it here,  which I think is a copy of this article. He gives you a list of ideas.

Let’s not forget this one and this one and this one.

I plan on emailing some of these people to get a bit more info on their daily idea list practice.

  • How long have you been doing this?
  • Do you still do it?
  • Was there a gap?
  • When did you start seeing results?
  • What results have you seen?
  • How long does it take to come up with ten ideas?
  • How long/many sentences is each idea?
  • Where do you get your topics from?
  • Do you ever share your ideas? If so, how?

 


Note 1: He spelled dubious as “dubias” in a post bad-mouthing educators. The one time in life you want to have perfect spelling is when you are saying you are smarter than someone else. (“Dubias” is a species of cockroach; I am assuming he misspelled “dubious”.)

In all seriousness, I would love to know if this guy has read James’ blog and/or Claudia’s book. I looked up his domain on whois, but after a few steps his registrar uses a registrar that uses itself as its own registrar. Using the “Yo Dawg” trick to hide in plain sight.


Here are a couple of more posts from James Altucher’s website:

Fragment of a manuscript by Wang Zhideng (1535–1612) available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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Thoughts On Tom Petty

There was an article on Bloomberg the day he died (but presumably before he actually did) that reports of his death were false. (I cannot find the article on the Bloomberg site.) Like Jackie Chan. Then a week later, I saw a cartoon about it on Bradblog.com which inspired me to do some more searching.

So it was more Abe Vigoda than Jackie Chan.

I was a fan back in high school and into college. I had all the Heartbreakers records up through “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)”, and his first solo record. But eventually I got out of the loop. When I was younger, I did not want to become one of those older people who just listened to the same stuff from their youth. But that is kind what happened to me.

I used to listen to WXRT a lot in my car. But then I moved closer to the lake, and I took the CTA to work, so I spent a LOT less time driving. In addition, at some point I lost the antenna on my car. I think a car wash tore it off. I tried a few times to use a radio in my apartment to get WXRT, but for some reason the reception was terrible. I have fallen behind on Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan as well. And I have no idea who the new bands are in rock and roll. I will try to pick some of it up again. I was so out the loop on Tom Petty that I did not find out about the death of Howie Epstein and the departure of Stan Lynch until several years after both events happened.

One thing I did find odd about Tom Petty is: Why did he do solo records? He was the leader of the Heartbreakers, he sang, he wrote the songs. I don’t see what he was not getting from that arrangement. On the other hand, you could argue he never really did a solo record. Mike Campbell was on all his records (except the Traveling Wilburys, which obviously is not a solo project). I always felt that unless Petty worked on his own without Campbell, he wasn’t really going solo. Granted, Mike Campbell is an amazing guitar player, so I can see why Petty wanted him around. I guess I am using a pretty strict definition of “solo” here.

I know there is a documentary out about him, and an authorized biography of him by Warren Zanes. Apparently Petty felt he made some mistakes in his life there were not in the film, but were discussed in the book.

I did see them live with Bob Dylan on their “True Confessions” tour (June 29, 1986, to be precise).

I also had their live album “Pack Up The Plantation” and the concert film of the same name for their “Southern Accents” tour. I think I taped off of MTV. I think I watched that at least two dozen times. A couple of things that I remember from that is being impressed by both Mike Campbell and the drummer Stan Lynch. I was surprised to later learn that Stan Lynch was not confident in his drumming, but this may have been earlier than the “Southern Accents” tour. But on “Pack Up The Plantation”, he was pretty awesome. And the coolest Heartbreaker ever.

So in addition to looking into what Springsteen and Pearl Jam have been up to, and finding some bands that are more contemporary, I have to catch up on what Tom Petty with and without the Heartbreakers had been up to for more than a decade. Going forward, there may not be any more Tom Petty music that will be new to the world, but there is still some out there that will be new to me.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their final tour (but NOT the final show), available at Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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Why Investing For Dividends Is Better Than Capital Gains

There are many ways to invest in the stock market.

There are a few I will not discuss here, such as options and other derivatives. I don’t have time to try to understand them, and I honestly think that a lot of the people that deal with these instruments on a daily basis do not understand them too well themselves.

I will discuss two ways in this piece. The first is investing for capital gains. This is done by trying to buy at a relatively low price and hoping to sell later at a higher price. The other is investing for cash flow. This is what I do by investing in stocks that increase their dividends every year.

Even when I was growing up, I would hear people say that the way to make money in the stock market is to buy low and sell high. The capital gains model is drilled into people, and most people never become aware of any alternative. I did not until stocks started going down in 2008. It was not until later that I learned that reinvesting dividends are responsible for at least half of the gains in the stock market in the 20th century. Until about the 1980s, investing for dividends was more common. It is a self-reinforcing cycle. Almost every financial site has charts for stock prices. Technical analysis is mostly about looking at charts of the stock price. But there are far fewer charts for dividends.

During the dot-com boom, prices were rising at an accelerating rate. Why invest for a 3% yield when your stock doubles every year? Because eventually it will stop doubling every year. We saw this again in 2008: Many stocks went down in price by a lot, even stocks that paid dividends. But many of those dividend paying stocks still increased their payouts.

I think that capital gains investing is no different than the Greater Fool Theory.

Granted, these are not entirely mutually exclusive. I have said on this site that “price doesn’t matter”. Actually, it does not matter as much to a dividend investor as it does to a capital gains investor. If one of my stocks goes to $0, then I will get no income out of it. (But it would probably have cut its dividend before that happens.) “Price doesn’t matter as much as you think it does” is more accurate, but has a bit less punch as a catchphrase.

You can only sell once. Dividend investing is like having an animal for its milk or eggs or wool. You can milk a cow, harvest a chicken’s eggs and shear a sheep multiple times throughout its life. But you can only get meat from them once. And you can only sell a share of stock once. If you are only owning something in order to sell it later, you only really get the benefit of owning it when you stop owning it. I think that is pretty strange.

I don’t think pigs produce any goods while they are alive, so perhaps pigs are a better analogy to stocks that do not pay dividends.

You can sell a stock that pays dividends for capital gains. That makes investing for dividends better than just investing for price appreciation. But relying solely on price can be more risky. You can only make money one way, and only at one time: when you sell.

And you are assuming that you will get the price you need. Liquidity dries up when people need it the most.

Captial gains investing is more like the fixed mindset, and dividend growth investing is more like the growth mindset.

Selling means you are dipping into principal. Eating your seed corn. Someone once compared selling shares for profit like sawing off a tree branch while you are sitting on the wrong side of the branch.

“Bahram Chubina Kills the Lion-Shaped Ape Monster”, Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020), available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2017-09 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for September, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $775.50. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $4796.80.

The income for September, 2016 was $720.86, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of September was $4260.70.

There is not a whole lot to report this month. Just rolling along and making money.

It looks like Exxon might get back to where it was a few months ago. I think eventually oil companies will either become more diverse energy companies or go out of business. Some of them are doing research into other forms of energy and/or funding other companies. They have gone back and forth on this a few times. I think eventually they will need to stick with funding/backing other forms of energy. Some are really backing offshore wind.

I can’t find it now, but I read an article about this energy transition (I think it was on Bloomberg) in which an executive at Royal Dutch Shell pointed out that the reason the Shell Oil Company is called the Shell Oil Company is because they started out in the 19th century importing sea shells into the UK. I guess people liked having shells in their living rooms. But shells have nothing to do with oil, and the founders were not named “Shell”, so it is kind of an odd name for an oil company. He said they survived the 20th century by becoming an oil company, and if they want to make it throught the 21st, they will have to do something in addition to and/or in place of being an oil company. So there is a transition going on.

If you are a startup fanboy who thinks that big companies never do anything right and small companies are never wrong (and always useful), you can pretend all of this is not happening if it makes you feel better.

I will have to look more into what Chevron and Exxon are doing.

Also on my to-do list: Look at water utilities and insurance companies. It would be nice if there were fit women who found this sort of thing exciting.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each September from 2011 through 2017:

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-09 $4796.80 $775.50 $562.76 $551.05
2016-09 $4260.70 $720.86 $505.47 $499.02
2015-09 $3744.49 $659.59 $443.06 $432.46
2014-09 $2993.02 $536.75 $353.04 $335.39
2013-09 $2374.05 $395.65 $293.78 $294.44
2012-09 $2425.78 $315.21 $283.66 $283.00
2011-09 $2121.78 $243.26 $256.81 $233.01

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for September, 2017:

  • AFLAC Inc: $48.07
  • American States Water Co: $29.79
  • Black Hills Corp: $17.01
  • Bemis Co Inc: $32.40
  • Vectren Corp: $26.28
  • Aqua America: $35.00
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland Co: $39.28
  • Honeywell International: $68.66
  • Sonoco Products Co: $53.38
  • Chevron: $27.77
  • Emerson Electric Co: $53.30
  • Exxon Mobil Corp: $93.42
  • Johnson & Johnson: $88.91
  • 3M Co: $16.67
  • Walgreen Co: $23.92
  • Dover Corp: $11.40
  • Consolidated Edison Inc: $22.95
  • Kellogg Company: $59.25
  • RLI Corp: $28.04

Image of Spell For Not Letting Ani’s Heart Create Opposition Against Him from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, available at Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use (it dates from 1550 BCE, so I assume it’s public domain). The image may not be relevant to the contents.

 

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2017-08 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for August, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $581.69. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $4021.30.

The income for August, 2016 was $522.20, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of August was $3539.84.

There is not a whole lot to report this month. Just rolling along and making money.

I might buy some ETFs. USAA might make some new ones, I might check those out.

I have thought about selling ExxonMobil. I think that oil companies will probably go down in value. I think they will definitely have fewer employees in a few years. I am still above my cost basis. It has gone up because of Hurricane Harvey. Usually hurricanes wipe out investments. Now one is helping bail me out. A hurricane is keeping my Exxon shares afloat.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each July from 2011 through 2017:

 

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-08 $4021.30 $581.69 $558.23 $546.50
2016-08 $3539.84 $522.20 $493.44 $493.92
2015-08 $3084.90 $406.45 $427.26 $422.22
2014-08 $2456.27 $323.94 $348.41 $323.64
2013-08 $1978.40 $305.11 $279.05 $287.74
2012-08 $2110.57 $316.04 $280.53 $277.00
2011-08 $1878.52 $322.35 $254.56 $225.45

 

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for August, 2017:

  • AT&T: $53.28
  • Verizon: $62.45
  • WGL Holdings Inc: $18.20
  • Clorox Co: $49.85
  • ABM Industries Inc: $9.92
  • Vodafone: $40.13
  • Lowe’s Cos Inc: $22.84
  • Air Products & Chemicals Inc: $64.50
  • Texas Instruments: $55.18
  • Colgate-Palmolive: $45.75
  • Hormel Foods Corp: $16.85
  • Northwest Natural Gas Co: $29.67
  • Procter & Gamble: $42.70
  • Eaton Corporation: $70.37

Portrait of the dogs playing poker by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (September 18, 1844 – January 24, 1934), available at Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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Thoughts On Squat Thrusts

I am starting to have a bit of a fitness crisis. I have not been working out much lately.

For the past few years, I have mostly been doing squat thrusts for fitness. I do between 10 to 20 sets every minute for about 30 minutes. And the issue is that it is making my legs get bigger and making me worried I might become some sort of quad monster.

I know that squatting a lot can make your legs bigger, especially the thighs. It can make the front of your legs bigger. Or the back. Or the outside. For me, sometimes it feels like all the growth is on the inside, particularly near the top. It is starting to crowd my boys out. I sometimes worry that I will have a hard time fitting into a seat on airplanes. Or I will have to spend the reast of my life walking like I have to go number two all the time. Like I have to ride the fudge dragon. Sign the paperwork. Serve an ace. Plus I just don’t like feeling my legs touching.

Sometimes I also feel like I am encouraging uneven leg growth by all my workouts these days. Sometimes I do kicks and punches, and the kicks seem to work the inside more that the rest of my leg.

It’s not that I did not think my legs would get bigger. I wasn’t expecting them to get bigger quite that way and cause problems.

I started this about eight years ago. I read an article on the New York Times about workouts people were doing outside of gyms. I read the comments on the story (which are not a cesspool like Breitbart). A lot of people talked about their no-gym workouts. One commenter said they did the “prison workout”. I search for that term, and I found a few pages that used that term for different sequences of burpees. I guess they are easy to do in prison yards or cells. Some people did nothing but burpees for their workouts.

I found out later that some people use the term “prison workout” to refer to workouts using different calisthenic exercises, because those are also easy to do in your cell.

One common sequence was to do countdown sets: A set of 20, then a set of 19, a set of 18, etc down to 0. I thought, “How hard can it be?” So I decided to try it out.

I went down to the small, not very good fitness room in my apartment building. I decided not to jump since I have had knee problems in the past. But I still did the pushup. I think I got down to 16, but I think I did three sets of 16 before I realized that I was losing count. I only lasted ten minutes. How hard can it be? I found out it can be pretty hard.

The next day my arms were tired. But I decided to persevere. So I started doing workouts in my apartment. Eventually I started adding some kicks and punches, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and a few other exercies, but squat thrusts were the basis. I think the squatting helped my knees. I was a bit worried then about my inner thighs getting bigger. But it was not too bad then.

I was unemployed when I started this. I started working out on my own to save some money. I quit the gym not just to save money, but also because I never really talked to anyone when I was there.

After doing this for a year, and after I had another job, I thought about going to a gym again. There was a boxing gym near my apartment. I thought about going in to ask about rates and schedules. But before I ever did, and the class was doing squat thrusts. I thought to myself, why should I pay money so some doofus who barely made it out of high school can yell at me to do something that I am doing on my own anyway.

My first few years in Austin I did not do too many squat thrusts. I was living on the second floor and I was worried about disturbing the people below me. The complex had a nice gym, but I got tired of people knocking on the door like I was some damn doorman. It only happened a few times, but it should not happen at all. Now I am on the first floor in an apartment with a wooden floor.

And now my legs are really starting to get big. To the point where sometimes getting in and out of my car is difficult. And now I have to keep pulling my sweatpants up every few sets. I don’t have the thigh gap the ladies love.

I like squat thrusts because I feel like I am preparing myself for anything. I feel like I can push myself harder than with other workouts. Plus I don’t need to go to the gym. And the squats help my knees.

I don’t have great range of motion, but a bit better that the Crossfit Efficiency burpees. Burpees and squat thrusts have the fundamental motions of the human body. Another issue with the way I do them is that my spine is neutral, and not much arm/shoulder action. But it is my one stop fitness shop.

I found out about this guy named Funk Roberts who really pushes burpees. Funk Roberts said to have feet wide and put your hands in between, but that really hit my inner thighs. Having my hands about shoulder width with feet a few inches behind and pointed out was okay.

Portrait of the Imperial Bodyguard Zhanyinbao (1760) by unknown artist, available at Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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2017-07 Dividend Income Report

Here is the dividend income report for July, 2017.

The monthly dividend income came out to $331.08. The yearly income total for 2017 through the end of the month was $3439.61.

The income for July, 2016 was $273.36, and the yearly income for 2016 through the end of July was $3017.64.

There is not a whole lot to report this month. Just rolling along and making money.

Here is a table with the year-to-date amounts, the monthly amounts, and the three- and twelve-month moving averages for each July from 2011 through 2017:

 

Month YTD Amount 3MMA 12MMA
2017-07 $3439.61 $331.08 $541.56 $541.54
2016-07 $3017.64 $273.36 $464.99 $484.27
2015-07 $2678.45 $263.13 $412.44 $415.35
2014-07 $2132.33 $198.43 $333.77 $322.07
2013-07 $1673.29 $180.57 $258.23 $288.65
2012-07 $1794.53 $219.72 $261.24 $277.53
2011-07 $1556.17 $204.83 $235.96 $211.69

 

Here are the stocks and the income amounts for July, 2017:

Automatic Data Processing: $35.08
Coca-Cola Co: $50.87
MDU Resources Group Inc.: $11.72
Kimberly-Clark: $58.67
Illinois Tool Works: $37.00
Leggett & Platt, Incorporated: $54.36
Chubb Corp: $45.64
Sysco Corp: $19.91
RPM International Inc.: $17.83

 “Le Simoon” by Eugène Fromentin (October 24, 1820 – August 27, 1876), available at Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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Notes About Myself to a Penpal

A few times I have found pen pals on Craigslist. The first time was when I was thinking about moving to Austin, and I emailed with a few people to see what Austin is like. A few times I have answered ads in the “Strictly Platonic” section.

Sometimes women want to see a picture, which is odd for “Strictly Platonic”. Usually when I do that, the correspondence stops. (And yes, I send a picture of my face, not Little Elvis (aka “the purple-headed warrior”, or “the love muscle”, or “the master of ceremonies”).

Here is one that I sent recently. This person wanted me to make up stuff about myself, but frankly I thought that was too much effort. Plus she gave me two different email addresses in two successive messages, which I thought was odd.

I am a WM, 4X. I am from Chicago and I have been here almost 5 years. I live in north Austin. I came here for a job in Taylor which did not last long. I now work as a software developer in south Austin. I don’t know if I will stay in Austin for much longer. One thing I miss about Chicago is that I did not need a car there. Plus Texas is hot. I knew it was hot before I showed up here, but it is really really hot. I find it amusing when people complain about how cold it is when it is 40 degrees. If I ever complain about 40 being cold, I will pack up and move north even if I have no job lined up. Perhaps more Texans should try the Wim Hof method.

I have a sister in Florida and a brother in New York. My brother has two kids, ages 3 (boy) and 4 (girl). I have long hair because my brother is bald and my sister-in-law has no brothers, so the only guy who can show my nephew that hair is an option is me. Granted, the last time I went he really only paid attention when his sister thought it was fun to jump on me. Perhaps this is all in vain.

I used to have my hair short. I would ask for “the George Clooney look” because that prevented me from having to answer a lot of questions. (To date none of them have laughed at me or told me I was delusional.) It used to be a guy could just walk into a barbershop and ask for a haircut. Now they want a detailed description. Asking for “the George Clooney look” mostly worked, until one barber/stylist asked me if I wanted “older George Clooney or younger George Clooney?” I drew a blank for a moment since the whole point of “the GC look” was to avoid questions.

I am also growing a beard to look like Sean Connery. However, I have also gained weight, and I have heard through the grapevine that people think I am starting to look like Jack Black. This was not my intent. If visiting my niece and nephew result in nothing but them pulling my hair and scratching my face, I may revise things.

“Self Portrait as Hamlet” by Eugène Delacroix  (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863), available at Wikiart, assumed allowed under Fair Use.

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