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Monday, September 26, 2016

Playin' In The Dirt

This whole, "homesteading" gig is pretty cool.  A TON of work, but very cool.  I get up most mornings knowing I'm going to be physically working my ass off, and I love it.

Right now, I'm in major, "attack the deferred maintenance" list.  The previous home owners, to be blunt, didn't do shit to maintain this property for the past couple of years, at least.  And the way systems and "stuff" were configured, leaves me scratching my head.

For instance, we're in 4-season country.  While not as cold as much of the northern part of the US, our average temperature during the winter is below freezing, and we get into the teens overnight.  We actually have an 18" to 24" frost line, which is a new one for this former Kalifornian!

They installed a sprinkler system for the property - but didn't include a way to winterize the system by blowing out the lines to keep them from freezing over.  To add insult to injury, when the system was installed, they just tee'd it off of the supply line that goes out to the freezeless yard hydrant (these are hydrants that are designed to deliver water to horses/animals during the winter without freezing over).

So, in winter, when I turn off the water for the sprinkler system, I'll also be turning it off for the hydrant.  If I had animals - say, in our horse barn - I'd have to haul the water.

We're looking to add some animals next year, so that will need to be dug up and re-routed next spring.

Done So Far

> Added exterior surveillance system (thanks bro for running the cable)

> Added security system

> Started compost pile

> Cleared 1/4 acre of thorny SOB tumble weeds (1/4 acre to go).  Made a note on the calendar to have county spray next year (previous owners "forgot" to do it this year)

Before



After




> Drilled a half-dozen 3-hole ventilation groups in eves to get air into attic - absolutely NO airflow currently into attic

> Removed pine tree limbs and unknown species limbs from rubbing on roof - really, people?!

>  Pruned 4 of our cottonwood trees of the wild growth on the trunk up to 12 feet.

Before and after





Before and after







And, as you may have guessed from the "after" pictures, I've got a yard full of cottonwood leaves - compost bound....

>  Installed 2, 24 inch risers for septic system access (had to be dug up before each time it was pumped - at a cost of $85 per hole dug)

Before




After




Coming Up

>  Next week - rent a Bobcat, move a yard of gravel from one side of property to another, drag railroad ties piled on one side of property to be used as borders in backyard area, level area for planting beds, lay out first course of planting beds (will be raised beds), scrape final 1/4 acre of tumbleweeds.  Also, hire a tree trimmer to cut back and top a 35 ft cottonwood that is perilously close to back of house.  Terminate a heating duct that was not connected to anything when the previous owners installed a new heater 4 years ago (yes, they'd been warming the crawl space for 4 years).  Get chimney sweep out to clean chimney so we can use the awesome fireplace.

>  Mid-October - (or as soon as cool weather hits the Kalifornia foothills) Harvest and split oak firewood (dried deadwood) from relative's property.  Also, our well system is a bit jiggy.  We commonly get a "wet spot" right at the well head, and have gotten outright pooling one time.  Anyone with ideas, PLEASE CHIME IN. (And, no, the water isn't draining from some other surface area.)  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason when this happens.  Stumped.



>  Late October - have our first legal burn.  Mostly the aforementioned tumble weeds and some tree trimmings.

>  November (or as soon as I can't do stuff outside any more) - get workshop in order (it's just storage now), reorganize prep foods (a total CF after the move), build a Murphy Bed for guests in wife's office

>  January - Prune both apples trees.  Doubt if they've ever been pruned.

>  Early April - if ground not frozen, run sprinkler system out to garden beds.

>  Also on the list - relocate a shed from right in front of our view of the Sierras to side of property (or tear it down and rebuild - which ever is cheaper), re-roof horse barn and turn into storage and saloon (a gamey man-cave of sorts), install new flooring in home (currently 2 different types of tile and the most ugly blue carpet you've ever seen).

Lastly, I've gotten a number of private emails about how I'm doing the "business in California, live in Nevada" gig.  It's working very nicely.  We've been able to hire two new employees and re-jigger the schedule to where me an my business partner have, shall we say, very favorable in-store hours.

When I do have to go in, here's what my commute looks like...

(From my dash-cam.  Sorry for the bug guts on the windshield...)








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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, September 5, 2016

What's This Alt-Right Stuff?

So I'm hearing all of this buzz about the "Alt-Right".  A little snip here, a blurb there.  Suddenly, it's everywhere after Hillary goes off on Trump and his ties to the Alt-Right.

I'm thinkin', "If Hillary's soiling her Depends over this, I gotta get me a slice of that!"

So I go to site after site trying to get a clue as to what it is.  When the Tea Party came about, it was pretty clear cut - smaller government, less public spending, less intrusion into our lives by TPTB,

With this Alt Right, it's different.  Some truly were racist-based - spouting white racial supremacy like the NAACP does for blacks, and La Raza does for Latinos.

I'll take a pass, thank you very much.

Racial supremacy ideology is bull shit.  "I'm better than you because of the color of my skin."  Supremacy in life is dependent upon exploiting your natural God-given talents, and applying effort and actions.  

In broad strokes, each race has been given certain innate advantages - be they math, athletics, management, engineering, etc.  To deny this is as foolish as thinking that just because you're of a certain race, you'll be successful at a give task.  Waste those natural talents through lack of effort, and see how well you do in life.

Any-hoooo, I found a site that came thiiiiiisssssss close to getting me to say I was an Alt-Right.  Literally right up to the end.

Here are their criteria -

People Are Different.  Amen to that, brother!  The America I want actually celebrates and encourages that belief.  We all get an equal bite at the apple, but our effort and talents are what separate the wheat from the chaff.

The Left wants us to believe we're all the same, thus we should all have the same outcome in life.  This is Socialism/Communism 101.  We're NOT THE SAME!  Our efforts are what differentiate us.

Our World Is Tribal.  Oh hell yes.  There is a huge difference between when a racial tribe discriminates against another racial tribe simply because of the color of their skin, and when a racial tribe wants to primarily associate with their own tribe.

This tribal association is primal.  You doubt that?  Go to any prison in America and see how the races choose to associate.

Again, the Left wants to force feed racial integration.  How's that working out?  It's not.  People will choose with whom they will associate, government mandates be damned.

Ironically, it is the Left that plays the Identity Politics game - telling each different tribe what they'll do just for that tribe.

Now, for a stir of the racial pot, most races seem to play well with others.  The biggest exception is blacks.  In the big picture, they clash with everyone else.

Why?  Here's something to consider:  Normative Commons.  I'd never heard about it until a few weeks ago, but it's an idea worth considering (the article is long, but well worth your time).
Black males are notoriously prone to violent crime. 6-7% of the population in the US is composed of black males, yet they make up 50% or more of the perpetrators of violent crime, depending on the crime. In 85% of inter-racial violence between whites and blacks, the black is the aggressor.
...
 
Not every black person is a violent criminal and I am not trying to claim that. However, a much larger percentage of the black population is composed of violent criminals than any other racial group. So how should a rational person respond to this undeniable fact?
So, is acknowledging that blacks in general are more prone to violence a racist statement, or is it a recognition of reality?  For me, it's the latter.  Call me a racist if you will, and I'll tell you to pull your head out of your ass.  Now we're even.

Our (the white) Tribe Is Being Suppressed.  Far fetched?  Try starting up the National Association for the Advancement of White People, or the United Caucasian College Fund, or the White Panthers and see how long it takes for you to be labeled as a hate group.  Hell, the phrase, "ALL Lives Matter" got trashed as racist, simply because it included whites.

Kiss my ass.  Now, I don't play identity politics, but I won't be shamed because of my race - I had no choice in the matter!  And as I've noted before, how could anyone be PROUD of their race?  What did they DO to become black, white or brown?  Nothing.  It's nothing more than an excuse of a personal failure when someone has to pull out their Race Card.

If you've been discriminated against because of your race (or gender or whatever), DO SOMETHING and sue the bastard.  Otherwise, stop your whining and shut the hell up.

Men Are Not Women and Women Are Not Men.  I'll now give you reason to call me a sexist in addition to being a racist.

Genetically, and thus historically, men provided primary sustenance and security, and women gave birth to, and nurtured the children, and provided secondary sustenance.  Up until the late 1950's, women weren't prohibited from having a career, and men weren't prohibited from raising the kids, but it wasn't the norm.

Since this change in roles - where everyone works and families (if they exist) don't have as many kids - we've seen a general true economic decline in America.  When I say "true economic decline", I'm talking about the country as a whole.  On the surface, everyone is fat and happy, but it's all funded by debt.  And debt kills.

No?  That big ol' pile of National Debt, if divvied up between all 330 million people in this country, would result in a bill of over $60,000.  Each.  Every man, woman and child.  Cash and credit card payment not accepted - sorry!

As more and more people belly up to the Social Security, Disability, Welfare, et al, bar, AND fewer tax payers are being born to American women, more money must be borrowed and more tax payers must be introduced from outside of the system.

Both political parties understand that the socialist state that is now America can't continue to exist - let alone thrive - if we don't import more bodies.  The problem lies with the standards for admission being lessened or ignored.

It's gotten to the point where if you can steam a mirror, you're allowed in.  The idea of  "assimilation" - becoming American and embracing OUR culture - is racist, nasty and just not discussed in polite company.

It's a joke.  When voting material are required to be printed in a language other than English - and speaking English is a requirement for citizenship - you know you're in trouble.

This was a long way around to the Unintended Consequences punchline.  Everyone working sounds like a great idea.  Like it or not, in practice, it's helped (but is NOT solely responsible) for undercutting The American Way Of Life.

Alt-Righters are pissed.

Freedom Is A Responsibility And Not A Right.  This is HUGE.  Government can't make you free.  In fact, history has shown that it usually attempts to restrict your rights to serve ITS needs.  Your right to benefit fully from your labor, or the guaranteed natural right to protect your life and property, come first to mind.

The Rule Of Law - the idea that all laws are applied equally to all people - is a core concept of American life.  When we see the elites being treated differently, it is incumbent on us take responsibility to change the system, by force if necessary.  Hell, that's how this country was founded (American civics is also a requirement for citizenship - what a joke that is).

See, "Animal Farm" (video, 1+ hour and worth every second) and the phrase of, "Some animals are more equal than others."

If We Must Be A Democratic Society, The Franchise Should Be Limited.  This is perhaps the key concept that has led to the demise of the American way of life.  It was summed up nicely by Benjamin Franklin -
When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
In my opinion, the only people that should be able to vote on tax matters are those that would be required to pay the tax.  Anyone who buys stuff should be able to vote on sales taxes.  Car taxes voted on my car owners, property taxes by property owners, income taxes by those that earn income.

If there's not enough money to go around, cut some of the programs that are "going around".

Yeah, I know, racist, sexist and elitist.  Bite me.

"But, but, but Chief!  Think of the children!"  I do.  My children.  Your kids are your responsibility.  People - kids and adults alike - that "fall through the cracks" will be helped by private charities.  They ALWAYS have been.

It's amazing how many people are able to find a job when they don't have a free meal ticket available from government services.

Along these lines, we've got our representatives out there representing us.  We see that all they do is vote to increase our various taxes and levies, and spend, spend, spend.  Think about it:  We give them the power to tax AND to spend.  What the hell is wrong with us?  That's like putting a cocaine addict in charge of production AND distribution.  It won't end well.

I don't know how to even propose it, but my new state of Nevada uses part-time representatives.  They meet every other year for 4 months.

That's it.

Unless there is a special session ordered by the governor or 2/3 of the legislature, if it's not done in 120 days, it ain't gettin' done.

They get a salary for the first 60 days of their session, and get a per diem for every day they are working, including days after the legislative session while they're doing state work.

My state representative is a retired law enforcement officer and business owner.  He happens to live in my new city.  My state senator is a rancher in the "off season" of government.

No full-time, line-your-pockets state legislature.  Quite different from my former home state of Kalifornia, where - much like the federal government - you go in middle class, and come out rich.  Funny how that works, huh?

How do we do this on the federal level?  I know, I know, it's a bigger kettle of fish, but for God's sake, the way we're doing it now just isn't working.  It'll never change, but it could be changed in YOUR state.....

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And then there's this:

Jewish elites are opposed to our entire program.  Ya lost me there, boys.  It sounds like the Race Baiter's from the other side.

If this is a core belief of the Alt-Right, count me out.

And I've got to say, when reading a number of the comments on the article, there was a lot of crap on racial purity.

I'm good with the over all nationalistic message most of these sites support.  It's why they (and I) support Trump's, "Make America Great Again" message.

But when you start with the "keep the races pure" bullshit, you lose me.  I judge you - and choose to associate with you - by your actions, not something over which you have no control, like your race.



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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Saturday, August 6, 2016

He's Alive!

Well, it's happened:  I'm free at last!  I am now a Nevadan (damn, it feels good to say that).  Escrow closed about 3 weeks ago, and we've been busier than hell trying to get stuff to our liking.  It will take (I'd guess) 6 months to get the home up to snuff, and likely 2 years for the property/land, but it will all be a labor of love.  I genuinely look forward to the challenge and reward.

While I have only moved about 3 hours to the east, it's a world of difference.  That is not hyperbole.  The difference in face to face interactions, as well as public interactions (i.e., driving) between Kalifornia and Nevada is striking.

Oh Lord, I'm an idiot for taking so long to do this!

Anyways, more tales and perspective to come.  It's interesting to now live in an "up for grabs" political state.  I can tell you that here in Northern Nevada, every person I've encountered is libertarian/conservative.  I guess part of the Reno crowd as well as Vegas makes up the liberal/socialist contingent.  I can tell you that I will be working and spending my political dollars like a crazed banshee to ensure my new home state doesn't go like its sad, sad neighbor to the west.

I'll be back soon with some stories of the whole process.  See ya in a bit.

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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Time To Run And Hide and Confiscate

Seriously, sorry for the dearth of posts.  Explanation below.

First, though, I want to address the stupid bastards with regards to this morning's Muslim terrorist shooting in Orlando.

There will obviously be calls for weapons bans from The Usual Suspects, including the need for Common Sense Gun Controls like detailed background checks to protect us from all of the evil that is out there.

1.  Background checks WERE conducted on this guy.  In fact, he had the super-duper background check you need for a "G" class permit - the one that is required for private investigators, private security (you know, for the big-wigs who want to take your guns, but employ "hired guns" for themselves) and repossession folks.

In short, this bastard was thoroughly vetted, yet this still happened.  Why's that?  Because he was a crazy, Muslim fanatic that thinks gays should be wiped from the face of the earth.

GOING THROUGH A BACKGROUND CHECK ACCOMPLISHED EXACTLY NOTHING, other than keeping a civil servant employed by the licensing fees, and giving the soft-heads in our society the warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies, "at least we did something".  These people make me want to puke.

2.  There will be calls for banning "Assault Weapons" and/or their ammo (why are they called "patrol rifles" when they are fully automatic and held in the hands of police officers?).

Exhibit 1:  Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.  These guns are banned in France yet somehow the Muslim fanatics got their hands on them.

Exhibit 2:  Bataclan Theater massacre in Paris.  These guns are banned in France yet somehow the Muslim fanatics got their hands on them.

Exhibit 3:  Inland Regional Center massacre in San Bernardino.  These illegally altered, fully-automatic guns are banned in the US yet somehow the Muslim fanatics got their hands on them.

Do I need to continue or do you get the point?  I could add the daily news reports of Muslim suicide bombers blowing up scores of people around the world.  I haven't checked the facts, but I'd lay good money that every single one of those countries has laws against building bombs and blowing them up in public.

How's that working out?

Banning weapons and ammo only makes it easier for the bad guys to kill the good guys.  Period.

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So, how do we respond?

Get ready for the onslaught from the Liberal Media, and respond.  Respond forcefully, clear-eyed and often.  Use facts AND passion.

These bastards (the gun-grabbing, liberal politicians and their media Quislings) are going to do a full-court press with this one.  Guns and dead gays - this is going to be a field day for them.

What WON'T happen, is they won't tie it 100% to Muslim fanatics.  The target of their ire will be the tool of their murders, not the murderers themselves.

Push back HARD on this!  "These guns are illegal around most of the world, yet these massacres still happen.  Why is that?  What's the common denominator in all of these acts?"

They will deflect with their answers ("The body count would not have been so high if these guns were illegal").  Bring the discussion back on track ("You have no way of knowing that.  Dozens have recently been killed with bombings in Turkey.  Bombs are illegal, yet they are still detonated.  The issue is the murderer, not the tool he used.").

Adapt and respond.

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What do we do to protect ourselves?

As noted by The Great And Powerful Remus, stay away from crowds.  Serious as a heart attack.  This is the single most effective way of keeping yourself away from a mass shooting.  Stay away from the masses!

If you were a Muslim fanatic, where would you hit to do the most damage?  I dunno, maybe a nightclub full of sinners (gay or straight).  Or a sports stadium.  Or the church full of the non-believers.  Or a shopping mall.  Or a school full of non-believer kids.  Or a movie theater.

Now, for me, this is easily accomplished.  I no longer attend sporting events (I refuse to voluntarily submit to any sort of search to watch a ball game in person - that's insane).  My clubbing days are WAY behind me (just celebrated wedding anniversary number 30 - woo hoo!).  My kids are grown men, so no worries about schools, I buy most things online (except for the important things), I have pay-per-view  for movies and I've never been a church-going guy (don't you DARE tell me how to speak with God!).

When I must go to malls or grocery stores or restaurants, I'm always armed.  No exceptions.  I refuse to allow the unconstitutional laws of this state and country to put my life at risk.  Not gonna happen.

I understand there are risks in that approach, but my life is more important to me than being "law abiding".  My choice, and I make it clear-eyed.

I encourage you to do a similar self-assessment, and make your own choices.

But, but, but Chief, if you stop doing all of these things, the Muslim fanatics win!  Sorry to break it to you, but they've already won.  As soon as the horrific USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law, they won.

Instead of Bush exhorting the nation to "buck up", "stand tall", "never take a step backwards", he cowered and handed to key of freedom to the Deep State.  Instead of, "There is nothing to fear, but fear itself", we got the DHS, TSA, VIPR squads and the whole lot.

We're encouraged to be weak and timid and compliant.  Just what the Muslim fanatics wanted.  Mission Accomplished.

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OK, the reason for my lengthy absence:  I'm finally gonna be OUTTA HERE!  We're moving from the liberal cesspool known as the SF Bay Area, and moving to Nevada.  Getting through all of the selection process, making the offer, doing inspections, et al, has been incredibly time-consuming.  So cut me some slack!

If all goes as planned, I'll be a Nevada resident in late July/early August.  The house we're buying faces the Eastern Sierras, so I'll be able to see the dust cloud when California finally implodes to the west of us.  The beer is on me if you want a seat.

I WILL still be an owner of the precious metals store.  I may touch on how that will happen at a later date.

Even though our current town is semi-rural (we do $300-$400 million a year in agriculture) our new COUNTY in Nevada has 10,000 fewer people.  Me likee!

The only drawback to this location is its proximity to Reno.  While we're over an hour away, Reno is an illegal alien haven - yep, a "sanctuary city".  Even more disturbing, is that it has been chosen as one of the upcoming relocation endpoints for a batch of "refugees".

To say that my county and Reno are polar opposites would be an understatement.  But that can change quickly.  California went from giving this country Ronald Reagan, to evacuating its collective bowels and producing Jerry Brown, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer.

This happened amazingly fast - literally during my adult years.  I can say that I will do all that is in my power to ensure it doesn't happen in my new home and region.

So, for a while, posting may still be light.  I'll eventually finish up the final segment for the Multiple Sources of Income series, as I think it's an important topic.

And if a rant presents itself, well....



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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

That's Some Funny Shit Right There

I haven't died, just been busier than a Hillary organizer trying to find people to fill the seats at her "riveting" speeches.

A good friend sent this to me, and I laughed my ass off.... then cried.  Probably overly stereotypical, but damn, it's close.




Leaving for a fishing trip, will finish up the series of articles for the online income streams late next week, and then dabble in the offline realm.

Fish on!


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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Historic Day and More On Multiple Income Streams

First a little note:  This was originally intended on being published on April 19th.  Well, life interceded in my plans, and it's getting posted today.  Still, I want to publish the "preamble" of sorts.
In my opinion, today is the single most important day in American history.  On this day in 1775, "The shot heard 'round the world" was fired in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the American Revolution was on!   They made it official in July of the following year.
Tyrants should take note that the line in the sand that was crossed was over gun control.  The British were on their way to abscond with the the patriot's weapons in Concord.  The line was drawn in the first place over taxes, thievery, brutish behavior, and the destruction of the inalienable rights of the citizens. 
I'm just sayin'....
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In the last post, I talked a bit about using ebay as an additional income stream.  Follow some rules, and you can have a nice chunk o' cashflow each year.

Today, I want to address royalties.  What exactly am I talking about?

Well, royalties are payments for something that you do once, and get paid when other people use or gain benefit from whatever it is that you produced.

A common item is royalties for actors and musicians.  Act in a movie or TV show, or write or record a song, and you get paid a little bit of money any time your work is seen or heard.

You've also got things like inventions.  Patent a better mousetrap, license the rights to your design, and you get paid for every mousetrap that is produced.

An insurance salesman gets a royalty commission each year when you re-up your policy.

Work once, get paid for a lifetime.

I recently read an article where they discussed how Don McLean gets paid over $300,000 a year for writing and recording "American Pie" in 1971!

So, you may be thinking, "Chief, holy crap!  I'm no song writer or inventor.  You're barking up the wrong tree on this one".

Maybe.  Maybe not.  If that's your attitude, go change the oil in the french fry cooker.

You've just got to come up with a better - or more efficient - mousetrap.

Technology today allows anyone with a laptop, some inexpensive software, a camera and a website to become a "media mogul".  If you can teach someone how to do something better, faster and cheaper, you might have a winner.

Lots of people have Youtube channels on a million different topics.  You can actually make some pretty scary money with a hot Youtube channel,   You can make upwards of $100,000 per year, but you need to put out 20 videos a week!

That sounds too much like work to me!

In that model, you're giving away your content, and getting paid by advertisers.  Think "broadcast TV".  You need constant fresh content to keep the viewers coming back for more.

What I'm talking about is spending some quality time developing quality content that people are willing to pay for once.  More along the lines of producing a great movie or printing a book, as opposed to a weekly sitcom.

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So you've got to have a niche - your special skill or knowledge that can be taught to others - for a price.

You can get paid in two ways.  First, if you've got a site set up that includes a merchant processing account for payments (stupid easy these days), since you are the writer (who usually only gets the royalties from sales) AND the publisher, you get paid for both jobs.  But, as the publisher, you're also responsible for all advertising and operating expenses.

The second way is you can subscribe to services like Clickbank where other websites advertise your product, and they get a large chunk of the sales proceeds.  Since they're paying for the advertising and use of their site (and traffic count) they will many times be paid up to 75% of the sale, and you get the 25% royalty.  Not a bad gig - the folks that sign up to sell your stuff can reach millions of potential customers.

I'll be doing both on my next project.  I've been on the "get paid for having their product on your site" side of the equation, and it works very well.

OK, your product has got to fill one or more of these human needs and desires (obviously more is better):
  1. Save me time or effort (efficiency)
  2. Make or save me money (monetary gain)
  3. Make me safe and secure (safety)
  4. Make me cool or more desirable to others (vanity)
  5. Teach me a skill or craft (how-to)
  6. Explain something to me in detail (educate)
  7. Titillate me (vice)
Before you get started with your epic training or how-to video series or book, check out the marketplace.  Here's what you want to find:

1.  Is there competition?  I hope so - this is a good thing.  It is very rare that you're going to be the sole subject master on a product or idea that also has a market you can make a buck on.  For instance, you may want to teach people how to make beer.  There are lots of sites and experts on this topic - which indicates a healthy potential market.  The question is, what do you bring to the table that makes your technique different enough for people to pay for it?

2.  Is it legal?  While this type of subject usually has a disclaimer on the materials stating, "for educational purposes only", you may be leaving yourself open for some scratchin' and sniffin' by the authorities.  If you've got a way to save people taxes that is a wee bit iffy, you might be OK.  Teach them how to make an explosive device from household goods, and there WILL be a knock on your door!

3.  Is it ethical?  Obviously, that's a personal call.  I've stated before that products and services about safety, money and vice will always find a market.  Do you want to sell porn?  It makes tons of money, but I'd never even consider it.  Teach someone how to grow better marijuana?  Oh hell yes!  I don't smoke weed (I've tried it AND inhaled, and it absolutely sucks!) but I believe that morally, you have the right to put whatever you want in your own body.  I own me!  Others disagree.  Check your own moral compass.

4.  Along the lines of the competition question, is anyone else making money doing something similar to what you want to do?  Using our beer making example, if I do an online search for, "beer making videos", I get a butt-load of free info, and a smattering of paid sites.  I clicked a couple of them and I can see what they're selling and how they're pricing their items.  Are any of these sites doing exactly what you're doing?  Do you have a way to spin (market) YOUR offering to get people to buy YOUR product?

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Finally, you must make your product difficult to copy - as in "burning another copy" and giving it to your friends.  While it is impossible to stop all copying, you can make it much more difficult.

With printed material, you have two options:

Hardcover book
Kindle e-book

If you expect to make any kind of money, you can't do it with a PDF formatted book.  Yes, it's the easiest to make, and also the easiest to copy.  I can buy one copy, and send an email to a thousand of my closest friends with it as an attachment.

Hardcover books make producing copies much more difficult and expensive.  Kindle and similar readers have copy protect safeguards that I've yet to find a way around (and I've tried!).

Publishing books on Amazon is very easy, you just have to work to make sure the formatting is done well.  There are tons of helpful sites that can walk you through how to do this.

With video material, you also have two options:

DVD
Subscription Online videos

With DVDs, you must ensure the Copy Protection has been added to the disc to thwart copying.  Obviously, it can still be copied - by shooting a video from the video showing on the TV set - but the quality is crappy, and it's a pain in the butt.

With the online videos, you set up a password protected site, and disable the "copy" function.  Again, people can get around that by sharing passwords, or doing copies of the screen like with DVDs,  All you can do is to make it more difficult for them.

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My final thoughts on this subject will be on marketing.  Through a lot of trial, error and mis-spent money, I've got somewhat of a clue as to what works and what doesn't.  I'll share those thoughts in the next post.

Now go on!  Get crankin' on that next idea that will slay the world!

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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, April 18, 2016

Multiple Streams Of Income

Been hip deep in a mess o' mess, but it's done.  I'll write an article sometime in the future about the pluses and minuses of business partners.  I had two of them.  Thank God I had a good one I love working with, and we're going to move our precious metals business forward.  Again.

Speaking of money, I've written often about the concept of multiple streams of income.  You must always assume one or more of your income streams will go dry (like getting fired or laid off from your job).  The monthly bills don't give a damn about that.  They still want to get paid.

My household currently has 4 income streams.  One of them could independently pay for all of our monthly bills.  The second one would come close by itself.  It would be tight, but we'd make it.  The other two are in their infancy, but each has the ability in the future to cover our bills.

And that's the idea:  Every income stream pays ALL of your bills.  The beauty of this is, if some of them are churning money that you don't need to spend, you roll it back into other investments to provide yet another stream of income.

A couple of ideas for ya....

Ebay.  People bitch and moan about the fees between them and Paypal, but if you look closely, where else could you get a national audience to sell your stuff for such a low cost?

Here's a tip:  To save yourself some tax dollars, DO NOT set up your site as a business site.  If you do, you WILL get lower seller fees (usually) but you'll also get an IRS 1099 form at the end of the year.  Pay up, bitches!

If you set it up as a personal site, AND you don't sell more than 200 items totaling $20,000 a year (verify this for yourself first on the ebay and Paypal sites), you don't get the 1099 (for now).

Tax free cashflow, boys and girls.

Ebay/Paypal will nick you for about 13% of your sales in their various fees, and obviously, since you're not a business, you can't have any business expenses, including the Cost of Goods sold.  You're selling your personal stuff.  So, you need to make sure you're selling items with sufficient profit margin to make the math work for you.

Lastly, with regards to the 1099 rules, the $20,000 is a hard and fast number.  Cross over it, and you're 1099'd.  You have a bit more flexibility on the item count.  The 200 is for the number of sales/auctions that are completed.

For instance, if you're selling knives, sell them in a bundle of 6 knives (1 sale), not one at a time (6 sales).  You'll also save a butt-load on shipping as well by bundling your sale items.

If you're new to selling on ebay, start slowly.  The payments from your first few sales are held in a "pending" status for a couple of weeks while ebay monitors your performance.

And make sure there is a market for what you're thinking of selling!  Again, let's say you want to sell hunting knives.  Enter "hunting knives" into the search box at the top of the page.  You'll get a listing of everything on ebay that meets that criteria.  Don't get happy just yet on the riches you'll be making.

Click the "Advanced" link at the top of the page.  You'll be taken to a page with a bunch of check boxes.  Check the one that says, "Sold Listings" and hit the search button.

You'll now get a listing of hunting knives that actually sold, and what they sold for.  That's all that matters.  People can ask a million dollars for a knife, but if buyers will only pay 10 bucks, that's your market price.  Check out the ones that are similar to the style you're going to sell.  If the math works, get at it.

Do the successful sellers charge for shipping or not?  What are the key words and page styles used by the sellers with lots of positive feedback scores?  Copy the successful stores - businesses and private alike.  Don't reinvent the wheel.

If the math doesn't work, find something else to sell.

One last thing about ebay:  If a dispute occurs over an item, their default position is to side with the buyer.  As a seller, you need to make sure your description and pictures accurately depict the items being sold.  If not, the buyer can weasel out of the deal, and in certain circumstances, you can be forced to refund their cost to ship it back to you!

Seriously, don't sugar coat the condition of the items you're selling.  It'll bite you in the butt.

Tomorrow, I've got a post lined up on a new income stream I'm working on:  Royalties.  Yeah, they're not just for movie and TV stars any more!



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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A New American Creed

I ran across this and wanted to share it:
An American's Creed
I do not choose to be a common man.  It is my right to be uncommon - if I can.
I seek opportunity - not security.  I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence;  the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade my freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "This I have done."
All this is what it means to be an American.
Ready for the kicker?  This was written by a liberal in the 1950's, Dean Alfange.  He ran for Governor of New York, splitting the liberal vote, which got Thomas Dewey elected.

Think times have changed a bit?  Here's my take on the rally cry of the current crop of liberals and socialists.

A New American Creed
I choose to submit.  I do as I'm told.
I choose to obey my Keepers unquestioned;  I will capitulate on demand.
I seek gray acquiescence over vibrant originality; consensus over principle.  I want only for the grace of my Keepers.
I tremble at conflict unless directed by my Keepers.  I neither seek nor encourage individuality.   I long for the warm embrace of conformity.
I lower my head, lower my gaze, lower my voice lest I incur the wrath of my Keepers.
I gladly cast aside my dignity and know not the meaning of shame.  I will comply, and I will be fed - this is all I know.
I gladly trade my freedom for the asylum of my Keeper's cage.  I offer my soul for my safety.
It is my place to submit; to surrender myself as demanded; to vilify and denigrate the creations of others, and to meekly ask, "How may I serve you now, My Keeper?"
This I teach my children.  All this is what it now means to be an American.

Maybe a bit harsh.

Maybe not.  We're well along this road as a nation.


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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Accept The Challenge. http://bisonrma.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Selective Civil Rights

Imagine, if you will, this horrific scene in 2008, where terrifying right-wing activists blocked the roadway - stopping people from hearing the words and ideas of then Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Source:  foxnews.com
Instantaneously, the following self-described Civil Rights organizations would spring into action, calling for the arrest and conviction of the haters that were taking away the civil rights of their fellow Americans.
NAACP:  The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
ACLU:  For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
LCCR:  The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. 
Rainbow PUSH Coalition:  Our mission is to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world
As anyone who has even glanced at a TV, the Internet or picked up a newspaper knows, these abusers of American Civil Rights pictured above are not right-wing fanatics stopping supporters of Barry.  They're left-wing fanatics stopping supporters of Trump.

Apparently, these civil right organizations - who purport to defend the civil rights of all Americans - have one teeny-weeny exception to their laudable missions statements:  Conservatives and libertarians need not apply.

But it begs the question:  Why HAVEN'T these bastards been arrested en mass?  I see that 3 of them have been arrested, 
Enriquez later told CNN that three protesters were arrested and two cars were towed from the boulevard. The deputy emphasized that the arrests were due to protesters blocking the roadway, not because of the protest itself.
Wrap your head around that last sentence.  They were arrested for traffic violations, and the PC Police made sure it was clear that it wasn't because of their protest?

THEIR protest!?  No mention of them infringing on the civil rights of the people going to a political meeting.  Are you fucking kidding me?

Where is the Justice Department with their "At-the-drop-of-a-hat Civil Rights Investigation"?  I guess they've got the "conservatives and libertarian exclusion clause" as well.

In my mind, this is no different than Klansmen keeping blacks out of the voter booth.  Or Black Panthers doing the same to whites in Philly in 2008 [youtube].

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Your right to protest - to speak freely - doesn't supersede my right to get to work, freely walk down the street or run my business without being vandalized.  Or to attend a political rally, regardless of how much you hate what's being said at that rally.

Constructing a blockade is NOT peaceably assembling.

If you don't like what's being said, DON'T GO AND LISTEN.  You weak, whiny, pussified snowflakes are so concerned with "hate speech" and "safe spaces" that you don't even recognize you're becoming the very definition of fascism.

Or maybe you do.

Serious as a heart attack, cupcake, read up on fascism in Italy during World War II, and elsewhere throughout history.  Spoiler Alert:  It doesn't end well for the fascists.

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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gimme Another Feel Good Law To Follow. I Will Follow. I Promise.

I was recently at a gathering, and had an interesting conversation with one of the other attendees.  This person is former law enforcement, and is now involved in politics.

We were talking about guns.  He was discussing an interaction he had with a congressman that is pushing a piece of gun control legislation.  This person was discussing how this congressman has a number of "procedural loop holes" he can use to get this legislation through congress, but he chooses not to due to the political baggage that gets attached to such a move.

The person I was speaking with has been asked to rubber stamp his support for this legislation as a show of local support for a federal law.  He won't do it.

Excellent.

BUT, during our discussion, we got into the arena of my most hated phrase, "reasonable gun control".  My stance is that unless a law can GUARANTEE that a gun won't be used in some sort of crime, it is nothing more than window dressing.

Intelligent people understand that some people will break any law that is written.  So, with regards to gun laws, any law written will only be followed by the good people who are not inclined to break just laws in the first place.  Laws like theft, murder, rape, assault - you know, little things like that.

Writing another gun law won't do a damned thing about reducing crime.  It will only make it more difficult for good people to protect themselves from people inclined to break laws in the first place.

Our conversation broke down when he stated he could support a gun law concerning the sale or gifting of guns.  His stance was that if you knew or believed that the person you were selling or giving the gun to had an "unstable" personality, and then that person committed a crime with the gun, YOU, the seller/giver should be held at least partially responsible for what happened.

Apparently, my face turned red, and/or my eyes narrowed, as the subject was quickly changed.  Not wanting to ruin this gathering, I shut my pie hole.

Before I tear this apart, let me give you my 30,000 foot view on judgement:  I ALWAYS trust the judgement of "the people" before I trust the judgement of government.  Are there idiotic, unstable and evil individuals in "the people" camp?  Oh hell yes!  But in a comparison of the citizens versus government employees, the government has a stupendously higher percentage of people I judge as idiots, unstable or evil than is present among "the people".

The collective judgement of "the people" exceeds the judgement of government - at any level of government.

So, back to our "reasonable gun law".  Paraphrasing, I'd envision this law would state, "If you sell or give a gun to someone you know or should have known was mentally unstable, you are liable for the acts of that person if they use the gun in a crime".

Really?!  For how long am I on the hook?  For a year?  Forever?  What percentage of the crime committed by this person is attributed to me?  If they commit a robbery that carries a 5 year prison sentence, do I go away for half that time?  20 percent?

If they commit pre-meditated murder and get the death penalty, then what?  Am I executed too, or do I just get the shit kicked out of me?

Maybe the law adds that you are absolved of all liability if you require that the person receiving your gun first submit to a state or federal background check.  Hey, that sounds reasonable!  It's a proven fact that every person who has a background check will never commit a crime with that gun, right?

But what if the person still commits a crime after a background check?  Who is then held criminally liable for the actions of the crazy individual?

Queue the "crickets chirping" sound track.

We all know the answer is, "No one will be held responsible".  You see, government is allowed to lie, cheat and generally FUBAR things with no consequences.  They pass laws giving immunity to themselves and their ilk - individual government employees, and whole cities, states and the federal governments - who failed miserably in the execution of their duties.

Hell, if there are no consequences, why do the job correctly?

How many government employees went to prison after the mass murderer at Virginia Tech passed his gun background check?

How many government employees went to prison after OK-ing the San Bernardino terrorist entry into this country?

How many government employees went to prison after failing to deport the 9/11 student, tourist and business visa offenders?

How many government employees went to prison after a death at a government certified restaurant?

The answer is:  None, none, none, and uh, none.

Government sets standards of conduct and consequences for "the people", then exempts themselves from both.

The samples above show examples of one death, to thousands of deaths, all because government did not do its job.  In every example, they had "the law on their side", yet they did not enforce the very laws they wrote, and people died.

Not even a slap on the wrist.  I doubt anyone even lost a job or had to endure the humiliation of a "job reassignment".

So I don't put a lot of credibility in the proclamation that another law on the books is going to stop people intent on doing harm, from doing so.  Real life has proven otherwise.

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In real life, here's how I think this would play out:  I've got a gun available.  The person interested in it looks nuts, is acting nutty or I know to be nuts.  I use my judgement and don't sell or give them the gun.

Well lookee there - no law needed!

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You see, no law on the books is able to guarantee compliance with the law.  Their only benefit is in meting out punishment after the fact.

Laws written now are nothing more than attempts to control you and eliminate your free will.  A crime used to be when you acted, and that act infringed on the rights of another citizen.  Now it means you disobeyed an arbitrary act or standard meant to control your actions, regardless of how that action may affect those around you.

Their judgement is better than yours, so obey the law.  Or else.



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Copyright 2016 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com