Paquera to Puntarenas Ferry, Costa Rica

A video about the Paquera to Puntarenas Ferry in Costa Rica. The goal of this video is to provide the viewer a preparation course so they can make a smooth crossing from Paquera to Costa Rica.

Tips for Paquera to Puntarenas Ferry

Here are a few things that surprised us:

  • When driving a vehicle onto the ferry, you can only have one passenger in the car. For example, if you and driving with three friends, all your friends have to get out of the car and walk onto the ferry.
  • Crossing as an individual is cheap, crossing with a car costs a bit more.
  • It can be a party. The music plays loud. Lots of people are drinking beer and dancing.
  • It’s exceedingly safe. This ferry is a well-oiled machine.

Questions?

Please let me know if you have any questions related to the ferry in the comments below.

Montezuma Costa Rica – One Day Horse Riding and Waterfall Hiking/Diving Adventure

Montezuma Costa Rica is a bohemian town on a beach on the Nicoya Peninsula. It has a great combination of excellent adventures, fast internet a cool town and proximity to adventure. This blog details some of the things we loved on this visit to Montezuma Costa Rica.

Horseback Riding in Montezuma Costa Rica

riding horses in Montezuma Costa Rica

We rode from the town of Montezuma Costa Rica, across Playa Grande to a freshwater waterfall which falls from a cliff into the ocean. Here is D-Red and V asking for a hug in the waterfall.

El Chorro Waterfall in Montezuma Costa Rica

We went with a tour company called Cabo Blanco Travelers. We found them by speaking to Rodger behind the desk in downtown Montezuma. Rodger is great. He speaks Spanish and English very well. He is honest and has a real desire to help people have a great time in Montezuma. I’d go back to him to get travel to and from Montezuma and to book anything else could need while in that pretty little beach town.

Henry is the guide for the horseback ride. He is an excellent horseman. Though he doesn’t speak much English, he knows horses very well. He has a lot of love for his herd.

Hotel Lucy – Montezuma Costa Rica

Hotel Lucy is a simple hotel and that is why I love it. It’s right on the water and it’s just far enough out of town so that you don’t hear any noise at night. It’s also close enough that I could run back to the hotel from town for anything we forgot. The run took about 10 minutes for me to run from town to Hotel Lucy.

Another great thing about Hotel Lucy is that it is a very short walk to the Free Waterfalls.

When the tide comes in, it’s quite loud. I did awake to the sound of waves quite often. That is actually the best way to be woken up.

Free Waterfall close to Hotel Lucy

This place is very simple. It’s hot. We didn’t have air conditioning but we did have a fan which kept us relatively cool in the evening. They provide a single sheet which is exactly what you need in the early morning.

Waterfall Cerca de Hotel Lucy

This place is easy to check into and it’s often not booked full as they have no website or online booking operation. Coming to this hotel is an excellent way to have a Costa Rican adventure.

Want More Costa Rica?

If you’re interested in more blog posts about things in Costa Rica, check out the photos I took of a beautiful Pizzaria/Hostel called Piko Negro.

2018 State of the Union – Thoughts on President Trump’s Ideas

Notes on the 2018 State of the Union

I wanted to watch the 2018 State of the Union address in its entirety before I started watching Vox, Vice, Colbert, The Daily Show, and talking with my friends.

My Thoughts on the 2018 State of the Union

There is no doubt that I live in a bubble. Everyone I know believes that Trump is either a terrible president or he is dangerously aloof. Therefore I try to develop my own opinion from source material before I’m influenced by other’s take on the situation.

“One American Family.” – Donald Trump

Some Things that Directly Affect Us as Small Business Owners

I really like the idea of all the tax cuts and eliminating the mandated health care. During the time of the Affordable Care Act, we decided not to do the program because the monthly cost was $2,000 with a $5,000 deductible. It was super expensive catastrophy insurance so it was clearly not a wise decision for us. It makes me happy that we no longer have to pay fees for not having that bad insurance.

If the tax cuts are real, we will probably get back a good chunk of the income quarterly taxes we paid during the past year. That will be really good for us.

Eliminating Regulations?

Eliminating regulations sounds good, but it doesn’t really help if they are destroying the capacity for the EPA to regulate companies that destroy the environment for other people. That’s the main job of the government from my perspective, to regulate against market externalities.

Thoughts on Economy

It’s great to hear that he prioritizes bringing car manufacturing backlower prescription costs, build out safe/reliable US infrastructure.

He wants to support paid family leave. That seems like Trump is trying to reach out to what I would consider a more Democratic position.

A focus on helping former inmates to get a second chance at life is critical. I think the worst problem in the United States is the tremendous prison population. How can a country be called Land of the Free when we imprison the highest number of our citizens on a per capita basis? President Trump addressed this and I appreciate that sentiment.

Getting Tough on Immigration

The focus on fighting street gangs seems like a good thing. I don’t know anything about gang violence in the USA so if Trump, who has a lot of access to that info, believes fighting those gangs is so important, it’s probably good that the feds are getting the resources they need. When you watch things about the gang violence in El Salvador, it becomes clear that these are organizations that need to be cut down.

That said, I still think the wall is a stupid idea. Maybe it’s a persuasive talking point, but it’s not a cool direction in my opinion. We should just be trying to be a more open and free society. Walls are for communists.

I had never heard of chain migration… V and I know personally how stupid our immigration system. It seems like Trump is trying to modernize that system. I hope congress helps him change the process. If they make it harder for immigrants, it will be a disservice to the country.

 

Opioid Addiction

64,000 Americans lost to drug overdoses in America? That’s not cool. Not cool at all…

How do they get tougher on drug dealers? Aren’t the drug dealers primarily pharmaceutical companies and doctors?

I’m unaware of this problem aside from some Vice documentaries. This is a really important issue to address and it’s commendable that the White House thought it was important enough to address directly in the speech. I just hope it’s not an excuse to lock up a huge portion of the population.

Nuclear Weapons

Yikes. It’s good that Trump claims to want to eliminate all nuclear weapons. It’s not cool that he says, “[it would be great to eliminate nuclear weapons]… but we’re not there yet.”

Terrorism and Foreign Affairs

I’m generally against the dissolution of human rights under the guise of fighting terrorism.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a name I had not even heard of until this speech. I would think it’s probably a good idea that this character is locked up and his friends find it very challenging to organize.

This is why the president’s job is terrifyingly challenging. How does one protect against evil, yet protect freedom? It’s a balancing act of tremendous consequence.

Foreign Affairs

Venezuela and Cuba sanctions seem harsh… but I don’t actually know much about the cost/benefit of making the countries suffer due to the philosophies of their leaders.

I feel good knowing that the president is hard on North Korea. It’s good that he is addressing specific stories in the hope of informing the public of the horrible situation that exists in countries where freedom is limited dramatically by overpowerful despotic dictators.

Focus on Freedom

The end of the speech is all about freedom, US history, defending the American way and that sort of elegant stuff. His final words are quite pleasant. The words encourage unity, freedom and American pride. I gotta say, I’ve never heard Trump speak in a way that made me think, “wow, I like this guy.”

“There is nothing we can not achieve as long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens and trust in our god. We will never fail. Our families will thrive, our people will prosper and our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free. Thank you, and God bless America.”

Final Thoughts

President Trump is starting to sound like a real President. I hope this trend continues.

His past lies make everything he says a bit dubious. The New York Times put together a piece that leads me to believe that President Trump was generally telling the truth.

With luck, things will continue to be great in the USA and President Trump will keep acting like he did on the podium in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol. He inherited a country in great shape after former President Obama and with luck, everything will continue to be excellent in America.

The Importance of Source Material

It’s important to watch source material because it allows the watcher to develop their own opinions first.

Now, after watching the source material, when I watch Stephen Colbert (2) and Trevor Noah (both of whom I REALLY like) their shows seem dishonest. They perform a divisive comedy act that demeans The President for selected clips of him saying stupid things.

Theirs are funny, but they are reinforcing people hating Trump when his speech was essentially very good.

When I watch Vice, they do a race-based piece about responding to the State of the Union. It does a great job of complimenting the minority groups that are doing interesting stuff in the government, but it doesn’t address the good things that Trump said and his surprisingly presidential demeanor.

So source material is critical because these shows missed that very interesting development.

Thoughts?

What are your thoughts? Did you like the speech? What do you think about the importance of watching source materials?

Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Piko Negro Cabinas y Pizzas – Los Pargos, Costa Rica

Our first night’s stay in Costa Rica in January 2018 was at Piko Negro Cabinas y Pizzas.

The thin crust pizza here breathed delicious new life into us after a 19 hour trip from Reno to Chicago to Miami to Liberia and finally to the front soccer field in Los Pagos in Guanacaste Province (Frente de la Plaza de futbol de Los Pargos, Provincia de Guanacaste, Los Pargos).

The man behind this project seems to be Joel and he is a creative and beautiful wood worker.

These hardwood surfboards with recessed LED lights are really cool.

Everything is custom made from hardwood at this place. There is interesting detailed work everywhere you look.

Even the bunk beds are hand crafted.

This is a VERY good spot for surfing and living. They have fairly good wifi available all night.

Another good example of the handcrafted details you find in every piece.

Another example of handcrafted details. Concrete and gravel custom sink.

This would be a cool place to work and live from. The room is not expensive, the internet seems to be consistent, the surf is quite close and the food is delicious.

Thanks for the stay Joel. Please feel free to use any of these photos for your Airbnb listing if you want. I hope to return after the wedding.

Jocko Clock – The Pomodoro Clock with Jocko Willink

Allow me to introduce Jocko Clock.

Jocko Willink Pomodoro Clock

Free Code Camp has various projects in which aspiring software engineers write programs as they complete the coursework. One of the projects requires the student to build a Pomodoro Clock.

The idea behind a Pomodoro Clock is that you set a 25-minute timer as you begin a task. You promise yourself ahead of time that you will work on that task until that time has elapsed. With luck, you will be inspired to keep working after that 25 minutes is complete. At its core, the Pomodoro Technique is a procrastination elimination tool.

I know no public personality that inspires procrastination destruction more than Jocko Willink. His podcast always inspires me to work harder and wake up earlier. That’s why I made the Jocko Clock.

Jocko Clock

So the above project combines the principles of the Pomodoro technique with audio clips from Jocko Podcast. I sourced the recordings from YouTube.

Clip 1 – Get out of Bed | Clip 2 – Not Feeling It?

Whenever you load Jocko Clock, you’re greeted with Jocko’s voice,

“Get up and get after it.”

After you complete your 25 minutes, you get another message from Jocko.

“…you stayed on the warpath.”

Developing Jocko Clock

While building the clock, I went down a lot of dead-end roads. I integrated JS libraries that were complex, CSS libraries that broke everything and a host of other bad ideas.

After a lot of confusion, I found that simple jQuery and JavaScript were the best for executing these simple tasks.

To get the clips, I recorded the YouTube audio with Screenflow. Screenflow has a leveling tool which I used to homogenize the levels. Then I used Audacity to downsize the audio files from 3-megabyte .aiff to a 100-kilobyte .mp3 (64kbps is fine).

Jocko Clock Improvements

If you think you could help with any of these improvements, feel free to create a pull request. This clock is open sourced and available on GitHub here.

Center Align – I’m having a really hard time vertically aligning the clock so that the font grows and shrinks with the window size. I was able to weasel my way out by adjusting the image and the watch layout, but I wish I could make it responsive to the window size.

Font –  The font should match his actual watch, but I couldn’t find a Google font that fit the bill properly. Below is an image of what it should ideally look like:

jocko clock

A Bigger Library of Audio Clips – The tool would be more fun to use if the audio clips were randomly selected from a large library. That way, each time the user started a working session, they would have a gamified inspiration to get after it.

Catalina Island SCUBA Trip + Helicopter Rides and a Margarita

Here is a quick video about our Catalina Island SCUBA trip. Below I’ll just make a few notes about the day, the experience and lessons learned.

Deciding To Go

When we embarked on this journey, it wasn’t because I actually desired to go.

I actually didn’t want to go at all.

I assumed that it would be cold and dark off the coast of Catalina Island. There was a big part of me that was afraid of seeing Great White Sharks too. There is no part of me that wants to dive with Great Whites. Coral Sharks and big Leopard Sharks are fine, but I have no desire to swim with the man-eating sharks.

Also, I was badly out of practice. This was to be my first time diving since we dove in the Similian Islands.

What I love about having adventurous friends is that they push me to do things that are uncomfortable. David put it best: “We dive because we would rather look back at life, saying ‘I can’t believe I did that’ instead of ‘if only I had’.”

catalina island scuba

Visibility

The visibility was great. I feel like I could see 20 – 40 feet. The water was clear and the video doesn’t come close to describing how beautiful the sea is. SCUBA diving allows the diver to see things no one else can describe. No picture actually does this justice.

Kelp

Diving in kelp is a blast. We swim through it, get stuck in it and help your partners out of a tangled kelp situation. I love it.

Cold Water Diving

Because I was wearing a 7mm suit with gloves, booties and a hood, I never felt cold in the slightest. The most uncomfortable part was putting the gear on and the initial plunge. After that, it was great.

At first, I thought the additional neoprene made it hard for me to get my buoyancy right. I later came to the conclusion that my buoyancy problems were due to my inexperience. I hadn’t dived in a long time. I forgot to add air to my BCD so I was heavy the whole time. This was a very rookie mistake and I adjusted for it the second dive.

The first dive we went to 27 meters which is very deep. Even down there, the visibility was great. The second dive we didn’t go so deep. Both dives were beautiful.

Catalina Island Helicopter Company

Catalina Island

That’s it. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.

How I’m Running my Crypto Currency Hedge Fund

Initially published May 5th, 2017

Today I developed a cryptocurrency hedge fund strategy. I’m using Coinbase to execute all trades.

Hedge Fund Spreadsheet Viewable to Public Here

Why Bet on the Game

Essentially, this is a tiny portion of my overall investment account. Indeed, I don’t actually call this part of my investment plan. This is just a fun way to stay up to date with crypto-currencies and do a bit of gambling.

Crypto-currencies have the potential to dramatically shake up the global financial system. While studying economics at the University of Nevada, I learned a lot about monetary relations.

I have a perceptions that the financial industry plays an important role in the security and mobility of capital for individuals and companies around the world. Though I believe the institutions are important, I also believe that organizations like these are using their importance to behave sub-optimally.

Hedge Strategy

As I don’t pretend to have any idea of what is going to happen with any specific currency, I’ll just bet evenly across all of those coins available on Coinbase.

I’ll use a risk assessment which is entirely emotional on my part to make decisions on the ratio of cash to coins. I’m sure it would be better to create an algorithm to balance dollar weight average or find some sort of relationship between ‘bitcoin’ tweet frequency and the coin price… but that would take a lot of time and I’m primarily focused on other things.

Assessing Risk to Balance Portfolio

I’ll make fund balancing decisions based on how I feel about the currency market:

  • Low (0% Cash) – When I feel that the currencies are at their historical lowest, I’ll take from the cash and invest in currencies.
  • Medium (12% Cash) – When I feel that the currencies could go either way, I’ll take from the cash and invest in currencies.
  • High (25% Cash) – When I feel that the currencies are at their highest and are likely to fall, I’ll take from the cash and invest in currencies.

When I feel that the currencies are overvalued, I’ll hold more cash. When I feel they are selling for less, I’ll hold less cash. Overall, I’ll hold at least 75% of the account at all times.

Trading Frequency

I plan to trade, at the very most, in 30-day increments. This is a long game. I expect to be holding crypto-currencies late into life so I’m in no rush here.

Here is an example of my most recent balancing spreadsheet:

My Crypto Currency Hedge Fund

In Coinbase I was able to execute two sell orders denominated in USD. Then a buy order for Litecoin. From logging into the platform to deciding on a strategy to executing the orders, this took me about 1 hour.

Some people bet on horses, I like betting on cryptocurrencies.

Dominating Theory

My dominating theory here is that I have no idea what these currencies will do. I don’t know if one has a chance for implosion, or if one has a chance to be the next bitcoin.

If Litecoin or Ethereum grows from $25 per coin to $1000 per coin like Bitcoin did in 2013, I want to hold a few of them.

That is why I’m only betting emotionally. That is why I’ll restrict my buy/sell decision to impacting, at the very most, 25% of the portfolio.

The rest I’ll leave to chance and time.

Updated September 9th, 2017

Well, this thing is looking more like a bubble every day.

I haven’t been keeping track at all since May 2017. It was totally out of sight and out of mind. Today I look at the numbers and my cryptocurrency account total looks like this:

updated crypto currency hedge fund strategy

September 2017 Crypto Currency

So I’ll be selling off BTC and ETH to buy LTC, GNT, TNT, and OMG.

All my BTC, ETH and LTC coins are stored at Coinbase. All my other stuff is on a market called Liqui. To buy GNT, TNT and OMG I’ll need to transfer $380.85 worth of BTC to Luqui. Then I’ll cash out $85.46 from BTC, and $365.65 from ETH. The next move will be to transfer $125.42 worth of ETH to LTC.

Coinbase account after balancing cryptocurrency hedge fund
Coinbase Account – September 9th, 2017

Finally, as you have to buy coins with BTC/ETH on Liqui, I’ll use the transferred BTC to buy TNT and OMG.

Buying TNT and OMG

The price in BTC of TNT is 0.00002980 at the time of writing this.

I’ll buy 0.03587 BTC worth.

Buying TNT - Crypto Currency Hedge Fund

 

The price in BTC of OMG is0.00287464 at the time of writing this.

I’ll buy 0.03587 BTC worth.

buying OMG coin - Crypto Currency Hedge Fund

 

When I first tried, the prices kept going up. Therefore I would put out buy orders and no one would sell as the prices were higher than my orders.

open buy orders on liqui - cryptocurrency hedge fund

So I just bought higher than the market a little in order to secure the coins to the account.

Finally, I need to up my GNT levels by $70.10 worth of BTC (0.01625 at the time of writing this).

Phew. I guess this is why some people call trading a job. I’ve balanced my portfolio. Now time to go outside and forget about this for a few months.

Liqui account balance - Crypto Currency Hedge Fund
Liqui Account Balances – September 9th, 2017

Taking Money Out

The most important thing in bubble surfing is to take money out.

My guess at this point is that I’ll take 10% of the account out each balancing. I’ll put that 10% into index funds or something boring like that.

Today, I can’t pull my ‘USD Wallet’ out. It takes a few days to verify the bank account I want to use to send the money.

Cryptocurrency Codes

Surfing on Bubbles

Please don’t mistake this for a commendation for cryptocurrencies as a way to make money. I believe these prices are ludicrous. I expect this to be a bubble which will certainly pop.

Blockchain technology is no joke. It’s a legit scientific development. It’s a new element that humans have created. I believe a lot of value will come due to the technological leap that is bitcoin. That said, markets grow, bubble and pop because of humans being irrational. High coin prices, I guess, will fall just like the value of Dutch tulips in 1622.

tulip mania - crypto currency hedge fund

January 2018 Order Planning

Since I last wrote this, I made a few moves… but I’m not going to detail that madness now. Let’s focus on the big stuff.

2018 Crypto Currency Hedge Fund 2018 update

The AUM of the fund was $3,107.51 in September 2017.

The AUM of the fund is $9,605.29 in January 2018.

(p0 – p1) / p1 = Growth Rate

(9605.29 – 3107.51) /  3107.51 = 2.09099

So the fund has grown 209% in about four months. Radical!

The core of my strategy is to buy lots of inexpensive coins with the chances that they will become the next BitCoin. The following section is me doing surface research on a few coins and deciding if I will add them to the list:

January 2018 Cryptocurrency Research

AdEx

Maybe the Google AdSense killer. Seems like they have a technology team with actual GitHub profiles. The advertising problem they are addressing could actually benefit from the consensus and mining attributes of the blockchain. Whitepaper seems like it’s legitimate – AdEx-Whitepaper-v.7 (copied from their site Jan 12th, 2018). I like this idea – adding it to the list.

SRN

They want to make an OS, a phone and make it all part of a new blockchain. Dramatically ambitious. The head guy’s website could have been coded in a day and is full of buzz words. They even have Jason Silva saying buzz words on their website. Seems like a respectable marketing effort to me. Pass.

SONM

It appears that these guys are trying to do a very similar thing to Ethereum. The way I understand it is that they want to use blockchain mining to power a distributed computation service platform. Like the silicone valley, pied piper program. Sounds interesting. They raised over $42 million thus far. They seem to have some sort of relationship to Hewlett Packard. I’ll add this to the list.

GUP

Interesting… their app wasn’t working for the first part of the day. Registration without Facebook didn’t work either… That said, they have a very good looking website and their development team looks good. They say they are launching the ‘product’, a matchmaking service of many different types on Jan 18th, 2018. I’ll standby for now and hope to revisit this team later. Reminds me of Earn. Good luck GUP team, but for now, Pass.

AST

This a coin that offers the ability to create marketplaces for tokens? I don’t get it. Seems like a non-blockchain thing.  I don’t get it. Pass.

SNT

This is a mobile application that uses Ethereum to build other application on top of it. To my understanding, why wouldn’t someone just build an Ethereum app? I probably don’t get it… but Pass.

EOS

Essentially the team at EOS is saying that they will build a platform that is like Ethereum but it will operate even faster. SNT wants to do it on mobile. At the end of the day, I’m going to add this one to the fund because I like the way Daniel Larimer talks about latency. Adding this to the list.

January 2018 – Allocating Cryptocurrency Capital

First off, I’ve developed the following plan for coins to purchase/sell and how to do it. Here’s the spreadsheet which will inform my allocation goals:

Selling ETH on CoinBase

11:34 a.m PST – Initiated ETH Sell of .1874 ETH

I should see the USD in the Coinbase wallet next day with Ethereum (so it’s not actually instant as Coinbase suggests). The transfer did reflect on the balances within an hour of placing the order. It appears that CoinBase is executing as a reliable marketplace.

*Does not show up in transactions automatically. I’ll have to check in tomorrow to ensure orders went through.

Selling LTC on CoinBase

11:38 a.m PST – Initiated LTC Sell of 3.27 ETH

I should see the USD in the Coinbase wallet next day with LiteCoin (so it’s not actually instant as Coinbase suggests). The transfer did reflect on the balances within an hour of placing the order. It appears that CoinBase is executing as a reliable marketplace.

*Does not show up in transactions automatically. I’ll have to check in tomorrow to ensure orders went through.

Selling BCH on CoinBase

11:44 a.m PST – Initiated BCH Sell of 0.1722 BCH

When the order initially went through the information said the USD in the Coinbase wallet would appear next day with LiteCoin (so it’s not actually instant as Coinbase suggests). The transfer did reflect on the balances within an hour of placing the order. It appears that CoinBase is executing as a reliable marketplace.

*Does not show up in transactions automatically. I’ll have to check in tomorrow to ensure orders went through.

Sending BTC from CoinBase to Liqui

The following transaction log took place on January 16th 2018 and details a Bitcoin Transaction between my CoinBase wallet and my Liqui wallet.

11:28 a.m PST – Initiated Coin Transfer of .027 BTC

Transferring CoinBase BTC to Liqui BTC

11:40 a.m PST – Liqui still shows a 0 balance for Bitcoin so transaction has NOT executed. It is still ‘pending’ on Coinbase.

11:49 a.m PST – No development – Still waiting. 21 minute transaction time and counting…

11:56 a.m PST – Transfer complete. Now I have BTC in the Liqui account which should empower me to distribute to low list price coins.

Transfer time = 28 minutes | Cost = 0.00103 BTC

 

Liqui Trading

12:01 p.m PST – I started this note while trying to sell 240 GNT coins on Liqui. It’s now 12:27 and the order still hasn’t processed. The platform was glitching out. It appears that GNT doesn’t actually work.

The Next Day – According to my trade history, the GNT sales went through at 20:59 which only makes sense if Liqui timestamps everything with London’s time. If that is the case, the trades were executed within 20 minutes of placing the order.

All the other trades were ordered and executed. Perhaps there is a specific challenge with GNT + Liqui. I’m not sure. Here are some screenshots of the buy/sell orders:

At the end of the day, I could place all the orders I wanted because I simply grew tired of working on placing orders.

Final Thoughts on January 2018’s Balancing

The main goal is to have a small position in a few coins in their infancy. I grow more confident every day that this is a speculative bubble. That is why I’m pulling out a strategic amount each balancing period.

I probably don’t plan to revisit this fund until March 2018 at the very earliest. If you’re in the crypto game, please leave a comment below and let me know what you are thinking.