Posted on May 1, 2014
So couple of weeks ago I got hit by a crazy taxi driver who decided to just keep going afterwards. That was the worst lunch break I’ve ever taken. Several things happened that I noticed later.
First of all, no one tried to assist me or help me move so I wouldn’t block the road. Like what the hell is with that? Since I arrived I learned people are suing each other in this country for absolutely everything but I mean come on. Who would sue a guy for helping you limp couple of feet so you can sit down and wait for medical assistance? Its just plain weird.
The paramedics arrived pretty quickly and placed me nice and cozy in back of their van, checked everything and asked questions. When I’m recalling it now it feels as if it was a movie. That could be just because of all the stuff doctors ended up pumping me with… when I finally got my turn. The hospital in Chicago was crowded, there were so many hurt people ahead of me that I had to wait in line as if I was waiting for concert tickets. Doctors and nurses were running everywhere, people moaning, it seemed as if there some huge accident.
Anyway they did patch me up and I did get a bed to rest on, eventually. The most horrifying thing happened afterwards though, I shall remember it for the rest of my life. The hospital bill.
There’s a great chance it would have been cheaper to fly me to UK, patch me up, fly me back here and save some money.
Posted on March 27, 2014
One of the things that were confusing to me straight away as I arrived were prices. I land and go to the store to get a bottle of water, which lets say its written costs 99 cents. So I give one dollar to the cashier and I’m told I need to give more money. I didn’t even bother to ask, I was tired and I wanted to take a nap more than anything.
Next time I went shopping I learned that in America stores quote prices without sales tax, so it is practically impossible to know how much anything is going to cost you until you get to the register. Which makes no sense to me and all it really does is fill up my wallet with coins and confuses the hell out of me.
The lovely thing about the states is that gas costs are low, very low. First time I went to fill up I thought the meter was broken. Now whenever I fill up I think about illegally transporting fuel to UK and laugh maniacally while striking mr. Burns pose.
The last thing I would like to touch upon money wise are tips. What’s with all the tips? You have to tip everyone, everywhere, and you never know how much is proper to give. I suppose I will eventually get better in math having to calculate tax and tips every single day to know how much I am about to spend. I just have to figure out if every person living here is a math genius, or perhaps they have memorized real prices of all products they buy.
Posted on December 15, 2014
Since I moved here from the UK, I’ve fared pretty well when it comes to employment. Being a software developer has its definite advantages. As long as I stay up to date on coding and technology, I’m in a career field that shows no signs of dying off anytime soon, and I’m set up to take as much work as I can handle.
So far, most of my jobs have been contracting with actual companies. The kind of thing where I get up at 7am, jump on the L trains, ride into the Loop and stroll into some little sixth-floor office full of computer workstations. And it had been working out fair brilliant, until a few months ago when the company I was working for had to sell. Shame, too, because we were working on some really excellent alternative operating system software.
After that, suddenly it’s become a struggle to find steady work in the Chicago area that will pay me anywhere near what my skills are worth. Every company is looking to build a smartphone app or some piddling nonsense along those lines, and the pay for that kind of work is beans right now. I can’t support myself on Candy Crush Saga knock-offs.
I mean, as a software developer, I’m luckily pretty flexible when it comes to work. I can work from home writing new programs, I can contract online internationally, or I can even own an online software business and be my own boss. If I decide to go the independent business route, it’s even pretty easy to get a quality business valuation done if I want to sell my current business and start up a new one.
So all things considered, it’s not like I’m going to starve. I’m leaning pretty heavily towards starting my own online LLC, and either offer my own proprietary products or contract myself out. At least that way I can work from home for customers all over the world, and maybe the local job market will pick up soon. Honestly, I was never much for freelance. I work better on a schedule, with a team. But a guy’s gotta get by.Leave a Comment
Posted on November 15, 2014
Stand-up comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler brought her raunchiest, most irreverent A-game to Chicago’s Harris Theater last June with a memorable and completely sold-out stop on her worldwide tour for her new book “Uganda Be Kidding Me”. If you managed to miss the real live show (like I did), I’ve got good news. The show was recorded, and now it’s available to stream on Netflix!
“Uganda Be Kidding Me” is Handler’s latest autobiographical comedic book, which chronicles her recent trip to Uganda and her adventures on the African continent, ranging from the fearful to the self-deprecating to the downright embarrassing. The book’s theme hits squarely on the topic of how Americans interact with the rest of the world. The fearlessly sharp-tongued Handler said of her decision to have the Harris Theater show filmed: “I chose Chicago because that city has always been very good to me and I love my fans there, mostly because they aren’t allergic to gluten.”
The tour performances, as well as the book, have received mixed reviews from a range of audiences. Handler is notorious for her eyebrow-raising proclivity for culturally offensive material spanning ethnic, racial, and thematic boundaries that many of her more politically correct contemporaries refuse to touch. However, it seems like most audiences are willing to give her a pass, because no one is the brunt of her jabs more often than she herself is.
Some well-constructed social critique of Handler’s material comes courtesy of Daily Dot contributor Allen Weiner: Handler’s masterful, high-wire, without-a-net series of witty stories (laced with a steady stream of F-bombs) and quips serves a serio-comedic microcosm of our current hyperactive culture.”
Entertainment Weekly journalist Carolyn Todd is also a fan of Handler’s no-holds-barred approach to comedy: “Her easygoing charisma somehow softens her sharp tongue, and she skewers herself more than anyone. The stories that the author/talk show host spills from her book are at once ridiculous and relatable.”
But Ellen Jones of the Independent was not impressed, writing: “It would have been interesting to hear her First World thoughts arising from an extended trip to (in her words) ‘the Aids capital of the world’. Disappointingly, this hour-long show never quite gets around to life in Uganda itself.”
Is Handler’s live show as hilariously debauched as we’ve all hoped it would be, or does her stand-up fall flat? Go watch this 70-minute special and decide for yourself. (International viewers: If you’re wondering how to watch Netflix overseas, check this out!)Leave a Comment
Posted on October 21, 2014
I’m not necessarily a modest person; I just don’t think it’s necessary for me to be so. I don’t have problems attracting women. I go on at least two dates a week with different women. I’m not interested in settling down yet and they all seem to understand that.
I have had one problem though. I can’t pin down what women want in bed. I just want to make sweet love to the beautiful women I date, but they all seem like they would like to spice it up more. Some have even suggested bringing toys into the mix. I’ve never experimented with toys before, and I’m not against it.
I found a great site about what women want in bed by the Attraction Institute. The original writer of the blog had a female guest writer talk about what women want in her experience and I found it rather eye opening.
She shares several different tips with the reader. In the first tip she says that men should just take charge, but at the same time it is important that you watch for her cues if things are going too fast. If she pushes you away, back off. At the same time, don’t stop, just back off for and apologize for being very turned on by her.
The second tip she has is to respect the clit. Here is a link to a website that has seven facts about the clit and it also has a diagram to help you find it. She says that before you start on the clit to first ask the woman what she likes.
Just like men, different women respond differently and it is important to ask them how they like their clit to be rubbed. She says that you should approach each clit like it’s the first one you’ve ever been with because women like all sorts of different things.
The third tip that the author shares is that most women like to be fucked hard. She says that it is important to consider your partner’s movements. If the woman is pushed hard against your cock you should respond by going deeper and harder.
I think that this third tip addresses my problem the best. Like I mentioned earlier, I always just try and make sweet love to my partners, but some of them want to be fucked silly. Harder and faster is good for me too; I’m just worried that I won’t last as long.
The fourth tip is that some women enjoy a little roughness, but don’t start off with the whips and chains. It is important to have good communication with your partner, or to at least start slow and if she doesn’t seem to like it, just stop.
The fifth tip is that it’s okay to make noise, this is not a problem for me, I’m very primal. I just let it all out, I love it when she’s loud, and why wouldn’t she love it when I am?
There are several other tips that she shares, but I feel like I have those down pretty well. Including, never just assume the money shot is okay.Leave a Comment
Posted on August 29, 2014
Go, go, go, STOP! This city is out of control, everyone rushes around just to wait. The motorways are crazy. Cars swerve around each other only to stop at the same traffic light as the car they just passed. I’ve been travelling around the city more. When I first got here I visited the regular tourist places.
I took a Saturday and visited the Shedd Aquarium. I took a lovely lady that I met with me and we had a great time. We sat in the front row of dolphin show and they released some penguins out of a box right in front of us! We could have reached out and touched one, we were that close. The next weekend I took a different woman to the Field Museum, I think I annoyed her with my childlike glee. Something about being that close to history stirs my childhood dreams of being an archeologist. I don’t mind that she was annoyed; I didn’t like her as much as I like the woman I took to the aquarium.
I’m not looking forward to the winter. I hear it gets very cold, but I’m excited about my first American Christmas. I’m told that the city is absolutely beautiful that time of year. I was also told that it snows a lot and that motorists drive even more erratically then. As if the motorways could get any worse than they already are. I’m glad that I only live a couple of blocks from the office so I don’t have to be in a car very often.
It seems like most men in this city are sporting some sort of facial hair. I wonder if it is to keep themselves warm over the winter months. I’m not having any trouble with the ladies, but looking more masculine probably won’t hurt matters, and if it does I can just shave it off. That’s the beauty of beards it will take about a week to grow and I can shave it whenever I want.
Facial hair seems to be very commonplace in the states, not just in Chicago. One of my coworkers has a beautiful beard. He told me that he uses something called beard oil from beardbrand. He claims it’s like conditioner for beards. I figure I will have to purchase some of this beard oil, because beards looking very itchy to me.
I don’t know if it’s my accent or my unusual lack of facial, but the women are attracted to me like flies. I am usually a modest person, but even I can’t ignore the amount of attention I have been getting. All my male coworkers get annoyed when we go out for drinks after work.
My female coworkers don’t seem to be nearly as annoyed with my presence. I told them that the next time we go I’ll fake an American accent. It will be like an experiment, and I will be a love scientist. My coworkers don’t really like the term “love scientist”, but I think it’s amusing.
My brother will be flying in next month for a visit. It will be so nice to see him and to show him around my new town. We were always really close growing up. I’m sure all take him to all the typical touristy spots, but I don’t mind going again. I’ve seen recent pictures of him and he seems to be growing a beard as well. I’ll have to grow mine out in time so we can compare them.Leave a Comment
Posted on August 28, 2014
I have always compared owning a business to raising a child. You build them from the ground up, so to speak, cultivate them, nourish them. You tell the world about them – most don’t initially care, while the family just nods their collective head and smiles, thinking back on that time you had jaeger bombs for breakfast.
You raise them up and invest all the wisdom, energy and money your soul has to offer into their success, and then, when the moment finally comes, when all of the hard work is finally realized, you sell them off to the highest bidder and go fishing.
It’s one of the greatest accomplishments in human history.
Having been a small business owner for the better half of my life, I was starting to feel the hankering for a lifetime stay on the living room couch; or travel overseas. Whichever came first.
Selling your business isn’t all that cut and dry though. There are plenty of folks out there who have been struggling for years to sell their business or property, and it’s not because no one is buying – even grandmothers are buying – it’s because no matter how much you’re offered for your business or your child, you will never feel completely satisfied with the offer. I definitely felt the symptoms of the undersell.
For a while I would look at large corporations like Marvel Comics and how it sold for $4 billion, and I would sit there and think, “Where’s my $4 billion? I definitely deserve at least that much, if not more. No, I definitely deserve more. I refuse to sell until I am offered a cool $5 billion in unmarked bills and an old-timey gumball machine.”
It takes a lot of pride swallowing to get those thoughts out of your system. Even now I tend to look back on how everything went and feel as though I deserved a bit more, but that’s how every big decision goes. When a chapter of your life closes, there’s always a part of you thinking it could have been written better. In the end, all you can do is hope that the decisions you have made are going to make you proud, if not fully satisfied, in the days that follow.
So, okay, I know have been using this child-selling metaphor a bit too much, and I refuse to call it “applying for colleges,” so gear up for one more round of what could be misconstrued as child-slavery.
Knowledge is power. And when you sell your child, there are a few factors that help smooth the process: aptitude tests, grades, anything with the word “standardized” in the title, these are all programs used as proof for all your hard work; and the kid’s too, I guess, but enough about him.
The point is that a business has many of the same benefits. The most useful program is a business valuation report. It helped me during a time when I thought I was better than Marvel Comics. The trouble is knowing exactly how to get it.
I had my business valuation done through Business Valuations Sydney. I did a lot of looking around before I decided to bite the bullet and they seemed the most honest and trust worthy. They opened my eyes to many things I couldn’t, or wouldn’t consider because this business is like my child – things like the number of employees, your daily reach and profits all play a huge role in what your company is worth.
When they came back to me with less than the $5 billion I was hoping for, I got another one. And according to Valuator (they’re in Sydney as well), the first valuation was just about right…
DAMMIT! Back to the drawing board.
In retrospect, these are all things that crossed my mind when embarking on this venture, but in truth they were glossed over faster than a donut at Krispy Kreme. I had too much pride, and pride is an exchangeable currency for more money. The valuation provided me with a fair estimate of what I was worth and within a month I had sold my business. I then moved overseas and have never left my living room couch since.Leave a Comment
Posted on August 14, 2014
So, I’m doing it. I’m biting the bullet. I’m sick of driving around in this piece of junk 1994 Honda Civic.
Why would I do that to myself? Why would I put myself through the misery of being a… well… LOSER???
I’m not going to do it any more. There’s just no point to it! It’s time to get myself a REAL car. The kind of car that makes women go weak at the knees.
I want to be THE MAN. I want to be the king of Chicago.
But I’m not. And I never will be in a 1994 Civic.
No woman EVER swooned over a Civic.
So, I’ve started doing some looking around. I’ve started investigating what’s available and how much I’m going to need to borrow if I’m going to actually get behind the wheel of a sleek piece of machinery.
The really surprising thing is that it’s FAR less than I imagined.
I had images in my head of having to fork out $30k+ for a sweet ride but I don’t! You can get something really decent for less than $10k.
I’ve had a look at some websites. Classic Cars had a lot of great stuff but it was almost too overwhelming. There are so many options in there.
The classic cars for sale on Prestige Classic Cars were VERY impressive. I spent about an hour going through every photo, one by one, and salivating like a fat kid in a candy store, until I realised they were located in Australia.
I should have guessed by the steering wheel on the right hand side but it turns out that I’m not that smart.
Yes, I know. It’s as big a shock to me as it is to you.
So, the search continues. I’ve talked to the bank about getting finance and they seem pretty happy to provide it. I’ve got a good credit rating and enough cash in the back to make a solid deposit so there’s no problem there.
It’s just the job thing that I really have to take care of.
So, anyone reading this ever got a vintage car before? Any tips? Anything I should be looking out for? Are there any kinds of scams that sellers might try and pull when an enthusiastic newbie turns up on their door step with a wad of cash and no idea what to do with it?
Id you’ve been through this before, please let me know so I don’t fall into any of the classic traps.Leave a Comment
Posted on July 26, 2014
Being a Web Developer, I’ve really taken a keen interest in the whole tech scene in Chicago. At first, I didn’t think I’d find much, but boy was I surprised! Apparently, Chicago’s tech scene is alive and kicking, it’s just not as “high profile” as say, Silicon Valley. But lots of up and coming startups started right here in Chicago.
One of the most popular apps who claim their humble beginnings in Chicago, is Groupon. Groupon is pretty much a deal of the day app, where their users get discounts based on what they’re promoting. Their whole team is great because they’ve found a way to give back to the tech industry in Chicago by starting the “Chicago Ideas Week”, which strengthens the community and encourages investing.
One of the founders, Brad Keywell, had this to say : “The pace of startups being founded in Chicago is moving faster than ever, with 195 companies started in 2014 according to data that Built in Chicago shared with me. That’s about double what it was two years ago. We’ve also seen exits (acquisitions, mergers, IPOs) at almost four times the rate they were two years ago. With a new digital startup every 48 hours, we’re in the game and building our own unique global tech hub.”
That sounds really awesome to me, and is a great opportunity for all developers, so it seems I made a great choice by moving here!
I personally believe that one of the greatest challenges that the city faces isn’t finding talent; I mean, they have top ranked business schools, design schools and excellent computer science programs. The problem is but them here and preventing them from running away to one of the more “glamorous” cities.
There’s tonnes of potential in Chicago, and even the government knows this. Usually you wouldn’t find the public sector interfering with the private sector, but both the mayor’s office and the state government of Illinois are super engaged with the community and encourage a very tech-friendly environment. Not to mention the government backed, early venture fund which has been pretty integral to the development of the tech scene.
One of the best events for techies is their New Year’s event called the “Entrepreneurs Eve” which is this great gathering of amazing entrepreneurs, politicians and business leaders. They all make great toasts and have lots of fun. One of the featured teams this year was Digital Exits, they’re website brokers who happened to help a lot of people make tonnes of money last year. I bet they were so stoked. I’m definitely gonna get tickets to go next year. It looks like a lot of fun. Not to mention, all the proceeds go to the H Foundation, which aids cancer research.
All in all, I’m really glad I moved here. And even though Chicago does take a bit of getting used to, it’s good to know that I’ve definitely got a future here, because the tech scene is alive and kicking.Leave a Comment
Posted on May 13, 2014
I was originally planing to make a post about differences in food, quality, marking of the food and so on but…
I am more blown away by all the different kinds of cuisine in a single city. I am not here very long time and I have already met people who moved here from all over the world. I have already seen Greek restaurants, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, Korean, Pakistani, Indian, Mexican, French and many more. While I have not eaten on all those places I was guided to what was described to me as one of the best steakhouses in town and I have to say, I am definitely going back there again.
So far I didn’t find an American beer that matches my desires but the quest continues, and fear not my dear readers for I will try every last one of them. Most probably multiple times.
Now onto junk food. There is a huge choice of cheap snacks everywhere, I am actually surprised how people stay so slim when spying onto what things they are buying in the stores. Couple of days ago I literally saw a grown man buying all kinds of Doritos, Chips, Pretzels, Zoots, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Peanutbutter bars, rolo’s, m and m’s. Oh and lots of juice, probably just to be able to wash down all of that sugar, with liquid sugar.
The important thing is that there is wide range of choices here which is amazing, and people can buy whatever their heart desire. Lets just hope their hearts can handle it.
Posted on May 6, 2014
Ah the wonders of technology. Since I arrived here I noticed one crucial thing. It is impossible for me to be outside and not see someone on the smartphone. What is up with that? Its like everyone is addicted to staying in contact and tweeting every single thing they see. “lol, i just saw a bird!”
On to the television, everyone seems to have a cinema size TV’s in their living room, when its turned on I feel like I should walk into another apartment so I could see all of the content being shown at once. Everything is really big in America I’ll give you that. Not only cars, roads, buildings but people too. Just the other day I got called a skinny British **** by a lady so overweight she have to drive around in a little car designed for disabled people… I am currently overweight by the UK standards.
The commercials here are rather strange too. They advertise all kind of drugs and recommend you go get them right away from the nearest pharmacy. Since when commercials know what kind of medicine is good for you, and what kind of medicine should you mix? People are swallowing antidepressants like tic tacs, tweeting, calling, always in rush and always under surveillance. What the hell, there’s like 7 cameras pointed at me at any given time of the day. And the weirdest things are those flying little quadrotors. Living here sometimes feels like being part of a setup for a futuristic movie.