Why I am thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I wanted to take a moment to write about some of the reasons I am thankful.  This year has been very good to me, and I have many many things to be thankful for, but I wanted to put a few of the more prominent ones out there.

Review: Aggi

Review of “Aggi” by Linda Scarlett.
Format read: Kindle

“Aggi” is the story of a young girl who carries around a finger in her pocket.  This is the simple description that drew me in.  I was not disappointed.

The story turned out to be so much more.  Throughout the story there are hints that Aggi is much more than she appears.  She lives a hard life, suffering at the hands of everyone around her.  But she learns that there are people who want to help.

As the story progressed, Aggi continues to find clues to help her toward freedom.

Once I got going with this book, I couldn’t put it down.  I’d recommend this for anyone looking for a haunting read.

Grab your own copy of “Aggi” on Kindle or Paperback.

Getting Used to the Idea of Becoming a Dad

It has been just about a month since my wife and I found out she was pregnant.  Which means than in about 7 months I’m going to be a dad.

At this point it isn’t really real.  She’s not showing at all, and the initial ultrasound really doesn’t look like anything.  So at this point I know it’s real, but at the same time it doesn’t seem like it.  In a way that’s good, it gives us some time to process the change to our life (this will be our first child).

For the last several months we’ve talked about having a baby (well, really for a few years, but more so in the last 6 or 7 months).  I’ve always been nervous, and even a little hesitant about the idea.  A big part of it is just the change.  As I mentioned earlier, this is our first, so it’s clearly a big change in our lives.

I realize it’s selfish, but a big part of my hesitation to change is that I always thought it would take away from my “me time”.  But I’ve spent the last few months watching other people at work, watching friends who have kids, and I realized that it just changes what “me time” means.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Another of my hesitations is that there are certain times of the year I work a lot of hours.  My wife too.  Twelve or more hours in a day is not unheard of.  Again, I’ve watched my co-workers.  I’m not the only one working a lot, and they make it balance.  At some point it dawned on me that I’m not the only one who has gone through this (I know, that’s obvious, but it’s hard to wrap your head around simple things sometimes).

One of the strangest moments for me was the night we took the test and found out my wife was pregnant.  The test was positive, and somehow I just knew I was ready.  Despite some of my reservations, I wasn’t panicked or worried, I just knew it was right.  It’s a hard thing to describe if you haven’t been through it, but I imagine some of your readers know what I’m talking about even if it wasn’t about a kid (I’ve had similar feelings when we bought our house – it was just right).

So even though things aren’t quite real just yet, I think I’m as ready as I can be for now.  I’ve still got some adjustment time, and I know that the reality of having a baby will continue to grow but I’m finally ready for it!

Short Story: The Car Accident

I remember it was late October, one of the first really foggy days of the season.  The intersection was terrible.  There were always accidents there.  The city had needed to take out the four way stop and put in a light years ago.

I stood on the corner watching the various agencies go about their business.  The police officers were redirecting traffic away from the intersection.  Fortunately it was the weekend so there weren’t a lot of cars, but everyone had to be turned back and find another route.

I shivered and watched my breath form a fog in the air as I breathed out.  The ambulance pulled into the intersection, but no one looked in a hurry to get out.  That couldn’t be big news.  The fire engines had been first on scene, and they hurried to help the driver of the car that had been hit.  They must not have been successful.

My hands were shoved into my pockets but they never seemed to get any warmer.  I looked over at the officer trying to calm the young girl who had run the stop sign.  She hadn’t seen the sign and went right through, t-boning the other car right at the driver’s side.  He never really had a chance.

After a few minutes I decided to get nosy.  Everyone seemed pretty preoccupied with their tasks and I wanted a closer look.  I tried to be nonchalant as I slowly moved into the intersection.  The cars still looked basically fused together.  The airbags had both deflated by this time, adding to the sad look of the scene.

I leaned over and looked into the car.  My face didn’t have too many scratches.  That was nice.  At least there was still a chance for an open casket.  I looked at how contorted my body was and wondered if the doctors would be able to salvage any organs.  I had wanted to be an organ donor but I didn’t know if it would work out.

I sighed and stood up.  There was nothing else to see for now.  I knew I’d come back for the funeral, but I didn’t want to be there when my family arrive.  I turned away and walked into the fog.


Cards Against Humanity “Holiday Bullshit” is back! Sort of

Last year, Cards Against Humanity did their “12 Days of Holiday Bullshit” where you could pay money (I think it was $10 or $15) and you would get 12 “gifts” from them.  There were comics, games, and custom Cards Against Humanity cards (You can read my posts about all the gifts here: http://www.jaimeh.com/category/cah/).

Well, they’re bringing it back in a way.  This year it’s the “10 Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa”.  Similar to last year, you pay $15 and get 10 gifts.  I ordered mine and will be posting the gifts again this year.

As of this posting, there are about 97,000 spots left.  You can get yours at https://www.holidaybullshit.com/

Acorns App Review – 2 months in

*This is a follow-up post to my original review of the Acorns App which you can view here: http://www.jaimeh.com/2014/08/29/acorns-app-review-invest-with-your-spare-change/

A few months back I posted about the Acorns App, which is designed to let you invest with your spare change (link to the original post is above).  I had hoped to post again last month but time go away from me.  It actually works out well.  With a full two months of investments through the Acorns App I can give a better review.

To give a re-cap of how I got started, I loaded my account with $50 to get started.  Since then I’ve added about $80 worth of round-up investments.

The app itself works very easily.  Once your round up account is linked (for me it is a Visa that I use to pay for just about everything), the App takes care of everything.  The App simply looks at your transactions and rounds that amount up to the next dollar.  When you total $5 of round ups, then it pulls from a funding account (for me it’s my checking account).  So if you spend $4.53, then $0.47 will be your round up amount.

One interesting thing to keep in mind about the round ups is that if you spend an even-dollar amount, then $1 will be your round up.  So if your spend is $4, then you will have $1 as your round up amount.

The only annoying thing I’ve run into on the app is that I occasionally have to log back into my round up account (the Visa I mentioned before).  This might be a security feature, but the App will give me the alert that it can’t verify the account anymore.  Maybe it’s semantics, but I find it kind of annoying.

From an actual investment standpoint, my concern with the App is that I would have to make at least a couple dollars each month to cover the fees ($1 + 0.25%).  That was looking bad the first month I had the App since the stock market was tanking.  That has since come back, but I also haven’t been charged any of the fees I should be.  I should have a fee of about $1.05 for October but my statement doesn’t show anything.

I’m definitely not complaining about this, but it something to keep in mind for any investor that you need to be able to cover the fees to make the investment worth it.

Overall, I’d recommend this app on a few conditions.  One, like any investment you need to be able to handle the loss.  If you don’t make money, you shouldn’t be missing out on meals or anything.  Second, you need some money to fund the account to start with.  I did $50, but $100 might be a good place to start.  If you have a lot of time to invest, that can turn pretty big over time.

Have you tried the Acorns App?  What do you think of it?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!