A Personal Journey and A New Direction

My friends and regular readers have no doubt noticed that I am not as prolific a blogger as I once was. This is true. Over a year ago I moved from Dallas to Los Angeles to become closer to my daughter. I wasn’t able to find a steady job at the time, but I was all right with that. I have a good skill set as a poker player, and I was content to play poker to pay the rent for a time. I enjoyed what I did and the money, though erratic, did come in.

Still, I had always figured that eventually, I would find something else to do. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy poker, I just wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I took acted out of a luxury that most people didn’t have. I didn’t enter into something in order to pay the bills, I already had that covered. Instead I just focused on what it was I enjoyed doing. I enjoy studying the economy and found that I was able to make predictions about the future. Friends encouraged me to put my ideas down in a book, and so I did. It turned out that the predictions my book made very quickly came true. Since I had made invests according to my philosophical outlook on things, I profited from the crash.

So, in addition to poker, I was making a nice return as an investor. Well there’s two sources of income anyway. I started this blog in order to pursue a third source of income as a writer. So far the income has proven elusive, and that’s in large part what the writing regarding this blog as tailed off a bit. I’ve been spending my time learning a new skill set. In the past six weeks or so I have read and digested CSS: The Missing Manual and Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies in addition to some other books on Word Press.

I’ve started using my new found powers to get some other projects going and they are starting to generate the income that eluded me as an economic blogger. Obviously, that plays a role in how motivated I am to devote my efforts here. Also, this blog was started as an attempt for me to get involved in the financial services industry. The more I’m finding out about it, the less I’m liking it. So that leaves my thoughts on this rather adrift. However, there are some positive things that seem to have come from this blog.

My family has started to take a very aggressive stance against Chase Credit Card Services. Ever since they took over their credit card accounts from Washington Mutual, they have been playing all manner of shenanigans including moving the due date to generate extra fees and interest. It happened to me personally (again) when Chase decided to take two payments I made for two separate months and instead post them to a single month. Invariably, whenever we contact Chase, they tell us that there’s no way possible for them to reverse that fee. As I told Lance, the Chase supervisor I was talking to, “Oh there’s a way Lance. You may not be able to do it for me, but there’s a way.”

I’ve had great luck getting Chase legal to reverse charges. I didn’t bother to try to get in touch with Lance and rub his face in it, but I was tempted to. Others in my family have learned from my example and are writing Chase Legal their own Satisfaction and Accord letters. Good for them. I’m sure they will get their money back. As I jokingly tell my friends these days, Chase has outsourced their customer service to their legal department. Go figure. If you ask me, Chase is cruising for a class action lawsuit the way they are behaving.

I’ve also heard separately from two of my regular readers to this blog, and they both seem to be in the process of converting to Libertarian. I am flattered that I seem to have had this effect on them. This tells me that my efforts here are actually not in vein, they are just not leading me in the direction I thought they would. I’ve discovered that, of all the audiences that I’ve spoken to, that gamers seem to be the most enthusiastic audience for my books and commentary. I didn’t expect this, but it was a pleasant surprise. One gamer told me after buying and reading my book that, “suddenly the news makes sense to me.”

So it’d like to take this blog in a new direction. Specifically I’ve been looking at taking the ideas of freedom, liberty, and economics that I’ve learned in my study of Austrian Economics and put them in into the form of role playing games. The idea of using such games to teach or discuss concepts has always appealed to me, and I really enjoyed the work that Holistic Design did in their Real Life Roleplaying series which included modules such as Somalia D20.

So what I’m going to do is start using this blog as a vehicle to discuss the gaming ideas I’m hashing out and to promote my work to other gamers who seem interested. Given that gamers seem to be my most enthusiastic audience, and make up most of the dedicated readers and commenters I get, I think it should make for an easy transition.

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