One of the most important things about being an entrepreneur is knowing what your own financing is capable of. You have your product, you realize what it’s worth but it’s not quite there yielding a consistent income flow.

Whether you’re in that category or have a consistent good income flow, it’s always good to have a budgeting plan, for either business reasons or personal fun.

Black Friday is one of those days that retailers try to get a boost in their profit by making you come into the store and buy, buy, buy. It is strategically put right before the end of their fiscal year so they get that last “run” of sales so to speak.

So is it worth it to wait in lines and buy these items on sale? Well, coming from personal experiences, here is the run down of technology (because I am a tech buff and that’s what my businesses run around) on stuff that you may consider getting for the holiday season, for yourself or others. Be wary though, we are still in an economic downturn so the deals of the yesteryear may in fact be better.

Note that all of below are prices compared to usual “deals” that happen throughout the year, as well as last year’s Black Friday. I’m also using my knowledge and memory so I am in way exact on everything I mention.

First up, we have the most notables from Best Buy:

One thing to know about Best Buy is their Insignia brand. It may seem like such a good deal with that brand but it usually fits into the “you-get-what-you-pay-for” aspect. The products Insignia make are usually very, very cheap without any sort of reliability. It can be sporadic at best. So I would steer clear of that brand.

  • Acer – 20″ Widescreen Flat-Panel LCD Monitor – Black – X203 – $79
    Acer’s are generally okay monitors but with the price of $79 for 20″ it’s hard to beat.
  • Dell – 20″ Widescreen Flat-Panel LCD HD Monitor – S2009W – $99
    A little more reliable, this a Dell monitor that is worth the $99 over the Acer. There was a point not too many years ago where $99 would get you a 17″. And as of yet, HD monitors are the sweet spot, but most on sale will not give you that. Especially this.
  • Western Digital – 1.5TB External USB 2.0, FireWire and eSATA Hard Drive – Black – WDH1CS15000N – $119
    Western Digital are the best drives you can get today. Seagate (who bought Maxtor) has been having a lot of problems with failures and firmware. Though the firmware issue has been fixed, the fact that such a widespread issue existed taints their recent reputation. Hitachis are also good, but for long lasting reliable hard drives (usually, there are DOA [Dead-on-Arrival] HDs every once in a while). This deal is probably a mild-to-good deal, nothing too great about it. But if you need some extra storage space, go for it!
  • HP Desktop – AMD Quad Core Processor, 20″ Widescreen LCD, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD, FREE Printer – $499
    There’s nothing like a desktop deal. There is an eMachine that costs $299. I’ve had an eMachine before and they are decent machines with alright reliability – much more than the Insignia brand. However, for $499 you get more of a popular brand name, HP. You get 4 cores, 20″ monitor (in which it is an HP who rank up there in monitors as well), 8GB of Ram, 1TB drive and a free printer. Enough said. There is no word on the graphics chip, but with the current specs, the price of $499 makes it well worth it for its abilities and today’s technology standards.
  • HP – Photosmart Wireless Multifunction Printer/ Copier/ Scanner – C4795 – $65
    The ‘rents of a wireless printer and it’s about time that products like this come down in price. That being said, HP has had problems in the past with their printers, but generally their reputation is pretty good. So, if you have the urge to centralize a printer because of the fact multiple people might use it, get this! It also has a scanner. What is missing though, is the ability to fax. However, I recall printers like this usually cost above the $80 mark.
  • LG Chocolate Touch w/ 2-Year Activation – FREE
    Yes you need a 2-year activation contract. But, if you cannot afford a cool phone like the iPhone (which you can get for $99 now) or you do not care about how good a phone is, this will be a good intro into where the phone industry is going these days. It’s the beginning of the PDA & Phone convergence. It’s not quite there for being a replacement for your laptop however, and I’m not sure if that’ll ever happen in the near future.
  • Insignia – Blu-ray Disc Player with 1080p Output – NS-BRDVD3 – $99
    Ok, so this is the one time I’ll say it’s “okay” to buy Insignia. It’s the cheapest Blu-ray player I’ve seen yet and the reviews are good. Then again, how hard is it to mess up building a DVD or Blu-ray player if you’re abiding by specs and standards? So if you’re in the mood of moving to the HD craze – make sure you have an HD 1080P set! – try this on for size to start your Blu-ray collection. If you have a 720P set, realize that there are upconverting DVD players that in fact make your old DVD collection look REAL GOOD!
  • Sprint – BlackBerry Curve 8330 Mobile Phone – SP8330RIMR - FREE
  • Sprint – Samsung Instinct S30 Mobile Phone – Purple – SPHM810PPS – FREE
  • Verizon – Motorola Rival A455 Cell Phone – Purple – A455 - FREE
  • Compaq Netbook – Atom Processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, XP Home – $179
    It may be from Compaq and may be a netbook that’s a year old, but these netbooks were around $250 a year ago with a deal for $215 maybe once. This is NOT a bad deal…
  • Samsung 40″ 1080p 60Hz LCD HDTV (LN40B500P3FXZA) – $598
    Samsung is one of the well-known quality brands of TVs. For $600, a 40″ HDTV with 1080p is a pretty good deal, especially from a company that’s been doing LCD monitors and TVs for a while now. They even get their panels rebranded by other high profile companies.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for the rest of the Black Friday deals as we look at technology from my personal favorite, Staples (funny enough), Walmart and Target. Until then, try to keep yourself nice and calm. So far the list with Black Friday is lukewarm at best, and you must ask yourself, is it worth the pain and effort to wake up early – around 4:00am – and wait in line with a ton of other people? If you are needing (key word for budgeting) multiple items, then why not. If you can wait on technology, then do so because there is no point in getting it unless you plan on reselling for profit. But again, the deals are lukewarm…

Until soon!

There is a ongoing question on success and learning on whether or not it is good to learn and not make any mistakes or make mistakes and learn from them.

What is of greater value? A person who’s never made a mistake or a person who’s made a lot?

Well that is a question that a lot of people ask especially the higher ups inĀ  companies. Though it’s not in the forefront of their minds, they may wonder that if a person has never made mistake, how would they handle their first?

True these people may be especially talented and hard working and usually in the professional environment there is no room for error – but believe it or not, it’s almost impossible to be completely perfect. And then you must ask yourself the question, is a person that has never made mistakes indeed Perfect?

The truth is, it could go either way. You could be a person to make all the possible mistakes but learn from every single one of them and in return learn faster because you have the first-hand experience in making them.

Or you could be a person who’s never made a mistake but also have the knowledge on what to do when one is made, or how to advert it since this kind of person might’ve been adverting his or her mistakes all along.

Whether or not you are a perfectionist or an unfortunatist (being put in the unfortunate situation on somehow making all possible mistakes), you should learn the other side and grow from the experience. Never made a mistake? What is it like to make one, could you handle it? Making a bunch of mistakes? Ask yourself are you learning from each trial, and then ask if could advert them.

Either way, never forget to grow yourself and learn from your mistakes. And if you don’t make any, don’t be afraid of them. You might be causing more stress to yourself over-compensating vs. a person who believes he or she will triumph vs adversity.

The mistakes written about here aren’t the obvious ones. You should always try your best in whatever you do and avoid mistakes when you can, whether it’s a mistake of compromising your designated position in soccer, or procrastinating TOO late and not being able to turn in your homework on time. It’s about evolving and compensating for the unforeseen future before the definition of “mistake” comes in to play. Can you adapt?

What is written here should not be taken too seriously but rather, and hopefully, be thought about with some introspection in at least some small portion of your mind. And this site will not be purely based on subjects of this matter. This is merely an introduction of the mystery that is unraveling behind this site. Yes “Maybe Something Useful and Biased” may still hang true, but that is not entirely the true meaning behind this.

Stay tuned…

People have heard of Abject Failure but what about “Abject Rejection”?

There is a specific letter that I keep above my desk that reminds me of what it takes to do your own thing in this dog-eat-dog world. No, wait…The world is worse than that. This is a shark-eat-shark world. The competition is vicious and will cut you a part, especially when you are an entrepreneur, a writer, actor or an artist. I happen to be the former 3. Or are you just an entrepreneur for being any of those?

The letter is as follows:

Strotham Agency Rejection Letter

Strotham Agency Rejection Letter

And it reads:

Thank you very much for your query. Unfortunately, your project is not right for us at this time. Publishing is a matter of taste, however, and another agent may feel differently–we encourage you to keep looking for an enthusiastic editor or agent. We wish you the very best of luck with your work.


Rejection Letter from Lauren

Rejection Letter from ...?

So imagine me, who submitted a transcript in my very first attempt to the Strotham Agency, to receive a letter back so fast. What could it be? What would the answer be? I thought. Yeah, the letter was sent way too fast for comfort.

I open it up and receive the above. Hmm…now, what is it trying to say? Publishing is a matter of taste and my transcript leaves a sour taste in their/his/her/its mouth? Is it even possible in this downturn economy they flung my transcript away and just sent the rejection letter? The truth is, I will never know because agencies are so busy and will not take the time to respond to a small-fry. In fact, in acting as well, studios will not take in unsolicited material or respond back. There are so many requests to be in movies and to get published that there is just no time to answer them all.

The problem is, there is no clear answer in a rejection letter. At least they sent one so you don’t ask yourself, Did my manuscript get lost? Did the Post Office not send it? Did I send it?

But one thing I did do was send a letter of appreciation back. Because I didn’t know if it was Lauren or whatever, I copied, cut and pasted (literally) her name and put it in the front of the envelope and on the letter. I mentioned how great it was (hopefully) that they sent a letter back (vs. some automated process) and thanked them for their time. This is all because I feel like we live in a busy world where there is no time to respond to everyone’s request and care for those we do not know the names of. And I decided NOT to be like them, I would take the time to respond with some outwardly and different thoughts rather than their standard rejection letter.

So, are there any signs of rejections you have lying around? Ask yourself this, does it fuel you to succeed in what you want, in your aspirations? And at what price does it fuel you? That’s the question I precisely asked myself and the reason I have it over my desk so that ever time I sit down to work, I can look up, and smile.

In the familiar lyrics of a catchy song:

Ground Control to Major Tom

Commencing countdown Engines On!

And this site has lifted off at last! Stay tuned for more to come on what this is all about. But for your own pleasure, this catchy song was originally by David Bowie and redone in the Lincoln Commercial by Cat Power. However, I can’t seem to find the full version of this new song which puts a modern sound to it.

You are free to dislike and like whichever one, but they are pretty different s. And wow, those Lincoln commercials are classy.

Without further ado, “Space Oddity”:

David Bowie’s in a cool video:

Cat Power:

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground control to major Tom, your circuits dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you…
Here am I sitting in my tin can far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

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