Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bats in the Belfry, Birds in the Pond

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live where you could see sites like this? Photo by: Suna

I’ve been looking into ways to continue to make a little money once my current contract with ALE ends. With the economy going south, I have been a little worried about the availability of other contracts. So, I’ve been doing some research.

The first thing I am reminded of—I actually learned this lesson a long time ago—is that the only people who make money from the advice found in entrepreneurial magazines and conferences are the publishers and speakers. I am amazed at the number of ads claiming that you can make ludicrous sums a week by doing nothing and without knowing anything. I am reminded of a Far Side cartoon where a shady character is offering a book for sale to a 40W bulb—the title Double Your IQ in Two Weeks Or No Money Back.

In the day, my parents made a bit of money fixing up and selling old houses. I have the skills for this endeavor, and I know what to look for. The mistake I’ve made in the past was trying to live in the house and do the updates on a shoestring after work. That approach is a recipe for stress and failure. Over the past few evenings, I started doing research on houses that I could afford to look at with this purpose.

Today, Suna and I made the trek through the Hill Country to look at three of the most likely prospects. One was unfindable (the GPS kept trying to route us through closed gates), we decided not to bother with the second, and the third was in a neighborhood that was way too scary. So I have determined that I can’t afford to approach this investment the way I wanted—a very disappointing result. I will just have to be patient and keep looking for an opportunity.

The best part of the day—other than spending time with Suna—was the getting out of the city. We saw some amazing sites, including the wader pictured here. The birds were worth the cost of gasoline.

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