2016 Debates – My Thoughts

I will not start a political post just wanted to throw out a funny Meme that came to mind last night while watching the Debacle… I mean Debate.

My love for #Seinfeld will always remain.


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Goodbye to The Deuce

Well last Monday, April 11th, 2016 was the last day I was able to spend time with one of the loves of my life: my 2001 Chevy Silverado. I had purchased this truck from my wife’s uncle and had enjoyed numerous adventures with “The Deuce”. I hope the new owner truly appreciate what that truck was able to do for me.

The Deuce helped me when I ran my own lawn crew for over 5 years. Those jobs alone probably paid for the truck 10 times over. This truck has endured thousands of trips to Home Depot, local nurseries, dumps, landfills and other adventures. Now that I am without the use of a truck I realize how much I truly enjoyed and needed this type of vehicle. I have to agree that the use has diminished as my family has grown. I no longer have the time or need to perform second jobs and other projects have been put on hold. So as a tribute to The Deuce I will dedicate this Upwards of Twenty post to her.


Lately I have been devoting my time to the following Family and Work. I haven’t been able to dedicate much time to Upwards of Twenty so this one fell right in my lap. A coworker was doing some renovations and was unable to haul off the construction debris. The quotes she had received were in the $100 plus range. Being a friend I decided I would help her for free.

Upon arrival I realized I had made a huge mistake. The debris looked as if it would take a semi-trailer to get it all. I stuck by my word and began loading the debris, with help from her family. Luckily it only took two oversized loads to get the job completed. On the way to the dump the second time she handed me $60. I immediately refused the money but she said that was the least she could do. I told her that I would use it to add to the Upwards of Twenty funds. Little did I know that this would be my last adventure with The Deuce. This is also a reason I am sad to not be a truck owner any longer. I miss the ability to be able to help someone out without the need for a trailer or any other equipment.

Oh well. All in all I made $40 for about 2 hours of work. This includes the $10 dump fee for the 2 loads. This brings a 66% increase in the funds totaling $120.71.


Let’s keep this rolling and see how we can end the year. Please help me out by sending me your ideas and comments. Thanks- JB

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A post to my Mother.

Yesterday was my Mother’s birthday. This day was different from most since this was the first Birthday since she passed late last year. I know this post has nothing to do with my blog but I feel like since no one reads this, it is a great place for me to put my feelings to paper. Losing my Mother has really hit me hard. I feel like it still hasn’t set in, even though it happened over 5 months ago. My mother Shirley was truly the closest thing to a saint that I have ever known. She treated everyone with kindness and genuinely cared about what was going on in their lives. Lately I have been experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, resentment and depression. Losing someone that you rely on so heavily truly affects every aspect of your life. I am writing this to get this off my chest. I refuse to let her passing bring me down, as this would not be the way she would want me to handle it. Instead I will focus these feelings towards honoring her memory by striving to be more like her in every way. These areas of focus will be spirituality, humility, kindness, generosity and family. Shirley truly touched many lives through her teaching, but luckily I learned the most important lesson from her: Life is too short. Make the most of time with friends and family. Get out there and experience life because in the end possessions mean nothing and time spent with loved ones is truly the most important. Happy birthday in Heaven Mom I hope you are proud of me and thanks for watching over all of us.





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I’m Actually Going to Sell Something (1 of 2)


Welcome to Upwards of Twenty. I recently stumbled across a cool older chair and wanted to see if I could quickly give it a little love and put it on the market. It is only one chair but for some reason I was drawn to it.

The chair is an early 1900s Oak wooden chair. The chair has a scalloped back, and a dark brown vinyl upholstered seat. Its vintage is most likely from 1890-1930. It is in great structural shape, with its original finish. Completely untouched and un restored, with all its original hardware-pictures say it all! I would call it Craftsman in style, but it may be described as Victorian as well. A great deal on an antique chair in excellent structural and cosmetic shape. Dimensions of the chair are 37.5 inches high by 18.5 inches wide by 15 inches deep. I have some plans in mind for this project but wanted to keep them a secret. I hope to have this completed and pictures posted soon. What would you be willing to pay for a chair like this in current condition?

I have attempted other projects in the past that I figured I would be able to blog about. The problem is that every time I build something we decide to keep it. I bought my wife a peel and stick wall calendar on Amazon. I thought it would change our lives completely. Well…. she hated it and felt like it looked out of place and it doesn’t stick to textured walls very well. So I decided to take the old pallet I had outside for months and build a cool frame for it. If she didn’t like it then I would sell it and post it to this blog. Well pictures below show the completed project and its final resting place.


So this lead me to the chair project. I will keep you all updated but had some additional questions. Should I refinish with stain or paint? Should I keep clean or go with distressed look?  Your feedback is appreciated. JB


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What would you do?

Salary-Vacation question

Well, what would you do? I asked this to different people that I interact with on a daily basis. The answers were:

  • Fishing and relaxing.
  • Spending more time with family, kids especially.
  • Find a second job and save the extra income.
  • Travel and see the world.
  • Begin building up a second source of income so they could leave their current job.
  • Finish projects around the house.
  • Work on writing career.
  • Relax, read, and meditate.

What would I do? I would try to perform a combination of the answers above. Knowing myself I would remain as busy as I am now. I would focus on trying to take the extra income and increase savings/investment properties. I like the idea of being able to spend more time with my family. I feel like when we do have time together we are being pulled to birthday parties, school events or other happenings. I would love a few weeks of just doing nothing with my girls. I know this sounds lazy but some of my best memories are when my girls and I take walks or go to the local park.

The ideas I would not pursue would be fishing/relaxing and traveling to see the world. Both of these would leave me worse off then before this windfall. The fishing and relaxing would lead to laziness. laziness

While this photo does seem like something I would do, I would immediately regret letting myself become this person. Traveling the world is not something I am against, in fact it is very important for people to experience different cultures and regions of the world. I just know at this stage in my life with two young daughters that this would be more hassle than fun. The wife and I do plan on traveling yearly to help the girls experience new things and build happy memories. I also feel like my salary wouldn’t be enough to travel the world for a year…. maybe the 50 U.S. states.

So now the I ask you the reader this question. What would you do with a full year’s salary and unlimited vacation days?  I look forward to your feedback. Sorry I have been absent for a while.






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Metal Scrap Yard – Free Money Pt 2.

As the years moves along I realize that my year end goal of $500 is going to be difficult, mostly due to my failure to focus. I was able to acquire a decent load of scrap metal to take to the scrap yard. Even though I haven’t been posting to my blog I am still constantly researching and discussing with friends and family. This brought me to my scrap heap on the side of my yard, which my wife absolutely hated for good reasons. I was going to spend the time breaking down all of the components to maximize the profits but time became my enemy. My wife told me to call an old friend of mine who scraps metal and sell it directly him.20150605_160312 

Why would I give up my hard earned scrap metal money? Let me tell you why, if I waited until I actually took the time to clean the metal, load the metal and take to the scrap yard across town then most of it would probably have already rusted away. So I cut my losses and called my guy and had him come by and help me regain my side yard back. This brought up a good point, that most people do not own a truck and making extra money scrapping would be impossible. Well here is a quick way to make some money.


DDM Metal came by weighed my metal and paid roughly 40 cents on the dollar. Wow that is quite a blast to the old pocket books. The grand total came to $44.60 in straight profit. He rounded up to $45.00 to make things easy. My guestimates are that he will take this load and clean all of the metal and make close to $125 on this load. Since I don’t have the time, patience or will to do this $45.00 seemed like a fair deal.

9-10-15 Profit Update

This brings my total to a whopping $80.71 from the original $20. In my opinion this is terrible and if I had put forth any real effort I could actually be close to my goal of $500 by end of year. I am trying to regain my focus and push this blog back into drive and make it what I had hoped it would become. Feel free to leave me feedback, share, comment… whatever you like. Thanks – JB


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Will This Be the Start of a Wave of Homebuilder Mergers?

Housing is already booming in my area (Florida).!

24/7 Wall St.

home buildingUsually mergers get a lot of coverage, and often they come with large premiums for shareholders. News that Standard Pacific Corp. (NYSE: SPF) and Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL) are merging is not one of those instances due to it being touted as a merger of equals. What may matter more than this particular merger is whether this could be the beginning of more mergers that could consolidate the largest homebuilders in the nation.

24/7 Wall St. has identified the basics of the merger announcement, but the real focus will be on the other, smaller homebuilders that might be acquired by the larger players.

After looking at the size differences here, the reality is that if buyouts were to come, there are four larger players and three smaller players to consider. The larger companies by market cap than the merger of equals are DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Lennar Corp…

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