Camping Mattresses and Electric Pumps

best camping air mattressA good camping mattress can make your next trip much comfortable.  

Camping is fun, dirty, uncomfortable, a lot of work, and fun.

Camping is a tradeoff between “roughing it” to see the wonders of nature, and the comfort of staying indoors.  But do you have to be completely miserable to enjoy nature?

Question: How can I spend less time working and being uncomfortable, more time having fun camping?

Get a good night’s sleep. 

Sleeping on the ground is uncomfortable.  Why be uncomfortable when you can take along a mattress that can compete with your home mattress?  And then, why spend your time and effort blowing up an air mattress?  Get an air mattress and a battery powered pump to fill it up with air.  

You can skimp on a lot when you go camping.  But, especially if you are older, don’t skimp on your sleeping comfort.

This Blogging Community Stuff Is Real

The Blogging Community Really Exists

photo of a blogger for blogging community

Sometimes it feels as though you are all alone trying to get a few audience members to look at your blog.


I am moved to write this post as a shout out to Dave who used my comment as an example of good commenting.  

On his blog, Dave put his cards on the table about having a vacant property, including a negative cash flow. 

Dave and I run different blogs, neither focused on real estate investment.  

But when I saw he was going through the same experience I’d had, I was able to offer some advice.  

Hang on, tighten your belt, property appreciates in the long run.  

You didn’t ask, but here’s the backstory.

I had property I was renting during a time of dropping values.  It had an annoying negative cash flow.  I ate the loss every month.  

One evening at a local watering hole, I ran into a couple of real estate professionals.  

Not quite crying in my beer, I was bemoaning the lost cash every month.  

“What would you do with that extra cash?” one asked.  Had to admit, I wasn’t starving.  

He looked me right in the eye and said, “You hang onto that place.  It’s going to go up in value, and you are paying off a piece of it every month.”  

Well, that advice put steel in my bustle.  

I accepted the idea that I was paying a little extra every month for a shot at long-term value.  Real estate is leveraged, which means on a $200 K property, you have a few thousand of your own money invested betting it will increase in value.  You pay off a little chunk every month, get a tax break, expense all expenses, learn a little.  

House prices have risen.  Historically, they dip, correct, balloon, crash, level off, and continue rising.  

Even with negative cash flow, your tenants are paying most of the interest, and maybe a piece of the principle.  

Time passes.  In my case it was more that a decade!  

Had a few hassles with tenants, some repair costs, some vacancies.  But rents and prices did rise again.

I used the increase in equity to get a bigger rental property.  I sold my property plowed my hard-won equity into a bigger rental property using a tax-free 1031 exchange.  

I made back all my monthly negative cash flow, and more, although not in the form of cash.  

It worked out.

So my comment to Dave was pretty simple:  I did it, you can, too.  

The negative cash flow stings but it’s a glass that’s just about full.  It’s the price of a kind of lottery ticket that tends to pay off more often than not.  

Time is on your side.

It can be a psychological boost to be told, “You’re not losing, you’re winning slowly.”

I’ve had many occasions to thank that real estate pro, whose name is long forgotten.  

But he gave me the confidence to see into the future and stop bellyaching over a little negative cash flow.

Hey, if you read this far you might want to read some books on real estate investing.

Perfect Father’s Day Gift?

Father's Day DadDads Can Be Tough to Shop for

It’s hard to find a gift to the man who has everything.

It’s even harder to shop for the guy who needs all kinds of stuff.

What if you get Dad something you think is cool, but isn’t what he would pick?

All you really want to do is let the guy know that you love him.

Why waste your time and HIS gift money trying to guess?

Get Dad his heart’s desire but giving him a very special Father’s Day card, a colorful, thoughtful, hand-picked card that lets him get whatever he wants at Amazon.

Amazon has come up with a great gimmick.  You can upload your own photo to put on Dad’s gift card.

If Dad can’t find something he would like on Amazon, the world’s largest online source of electronics, tools, books — you name it, Amazon’s got it —  he may really be the man who has everything!

You can e-mail the card, print at home, or have Amazon send a printed version in a card or a box.

Talk about having your cake and eating it, too. Even after Dad uses up the Amazon credit, he can still keep a print of the photo card to remind him of his thoughtful kid.

Amazon offers a selection of  four professional designs themed for Father’s Day.

Barbecue, ties, hammock, or argyle pattern, your choice.  Tasteful, professional, and quick.

My advice:  Take the time to upload your own photo.

I just tried the Amazon system to upload a photo to a gift card.  It’s easy!

Just have the photo somewhere on your computer where you can find it.  You can size the photo right on Amazon.

Some photo ideas for your dad’s Amazon Father’s Day gift card:

  • If Dad is a new father, consider a photo of the baby, possibly photoshopped to look more like him!

Dog 2

  • A photo of his favorite fishing spot or favorite sport
  • A picture of the whole family
  • A photo of YOU!

Whatever design or delivery method you use, Dad will get the gift he really wants.

Because he will buy it on Amazon!

Photo credit: windzdb from