Set in Ink

One of my side gigs is promoting concerts. I’ve been doing in on and off since I was a kid. I play gigs too. Honestly, if you want to play gigs and have anyone show up you need to have some degree of understanding promotion.

I joined my first band when I was 13. This dirty longhaired kid walked up to me while I was at the roller rink and asked me if I wanted to be in a band. I had long hair. I told him I only played clarinet. He told me that meant I was the keyboard player. I had a tiny monophonic kids keyboard at home so I said yes. From then on, it was something right out of Beavis and Butthead. We even looked the parts. To this day I wonder what my life would have looked like it I had leaned against the Ms. Pac Man machine instead of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one.

Things have changed a lot over the years when it comes to putting on concerts. It used to be that you got a ton of posters printed and you put them up everywhere. That still happens to some degree but a lot of it happens online. I’m old school though. There’s just something about a physical flyer that a Facebook invite just doesn’t match.

I had to search far and wide to find an online retailer who could deliver as quickly and cheaply as I needed to turn a profit. My allay came from a strange corner. I knew Vistaprint as the “Free Business Card” people. I must have had 20 different cards back in the day, all courtesy of VistaPrint.

I never would have guessed it but it turns out that Vistaprint is HUUUUUUUGE! They can create and fulfill orders incredibly fast and efficiently. I have learned to watch for the deals I want and then to order all at once. They always have deep discounts on one product or another,

As a bonus, they give you store credit for every new customer you refer and they give the person you’ve referred a discount as well.

I have a concert coming up and I could sure use some more handbills. Why don’t you follow this link and check it out:

Give Me That Universal Discount

I am addicted to buying things online. I don’t have to endure bussing all over town just to look at a limited selection and to stand in line. Arguably,  I’m spoiled. It makes sense to me to see every variation on a product possible, every Chinese knockoff, every designer brand. Everyone has standards, sometimes my standard is; “I have this much money”.

I already have explained my opinion on the “universal discount” that I should get just for being me. Recently I found an app that comes pretty close to that online. Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is another in a long series of cashback apps. The thing that makes this one special is that it works. There are hundreds of participating retailers and you get a significant amount back. I’ve made almost $50 in the last couple of months. It’s not huge but it’s super easy.

I installed the Chrome extension and the phone app. When I’m browsing a relevant shop, I get a notification to turn on cashback and then it’s done. Qualifying purchases automatically return cash to my account. I often use this in conjunction with purchasing an Amazon gift card. You get 5% from the gift card and 4% from Rakuten. Not a shabby return on something I would have bought anyway.

Another unique bonus of this app is that it works on Lyft rides so you get discount transportation to boot.

You can get started with Rakuten here. You’ll get a free $10 bonus the first time you shop with the app for using my referral link. Enjoy your free money back.

A Band-Aid for Financial Oozing

I seem to bleed money from day to day expenses. It seems hard to get ahead with the passive income when it’s just nickels and dimes and you’re being nickel and dimed to death. It’s not just a matter of collecting resources without daily work. It seems to me that it’s just as important to keep as much of those funds in circulation to work with as possible,

That’s why I’ve decided that it’s important to take advantage of every little discount or cashback opportunity I can find. Ideally, I shouldn’t have to do anything and I should get a discount just for being me. That’s why I have started using the Ibotta app. It’s a simple way to get cashback.

Most of these coupons/cashback/retail apps seem to be crap. Ads and horrible UI. Ibotta is actually pretty smooth. Especially when compared to the competition.

It’s pretty simple. You install the app and then you browse deals for cash back, picking the ones that are relevant. Sometimes you’re forced to view an ad. Once you’ve made a qualifying purchase somewhere you just upload the receipt and the money is deposited to your account. I’ve been using it for a month and so far I’ve made about twenty-five bucks.

As an added bonus, you get five bucks for each new person you refer.  Why don’t you give it a try using my referral code: hpwusfq  

You can sign up and download the Ibotta app here.

In Search of The Least Evil Bank

I haven’t always been a big fan of banking. It’s one of those things that the more you dig into it, the creepier it gets. What exactly are these tokens we spend all our time chasing? Where do they come from? Who decides how it’s going to work? I’m no conspiracy theorist but the whole thing sort of does make me want to wear a tinfoil hat.

I didn’t have a bank account for 20 years. Not that I had much worth putting in a bank. Nonetheless, when I finally had to break down and embrace the plastic in early 2017 I decided to do the legwork and figure out which bank was “least evil”.

The answer turned out not exactly to be a bank. It’s a credit union, originally founded in 1935 to serve the employees of The Boeing Company. It’s an incredibly progressive, socially conscious credit union without fees. 

So what?

Well, I’m on the quest for free money. Who doesn’t like free money? Until December 31st, BECU is offering us both free money. It’s not a completely commitment-free offer. You’re going to have to open a BECU account to make this work.

Here’s how it works:

  • Establish BECU membership by opening a Member Share or Member Advantage savings account and checking account.
  • Use promo code 100REF18 and referral code 2250727
  • You must keep your account open for 90 days


  • You must also perform 5 or more qualifying actions from this list:
  • » Make a purchase using their BECU Debit Mastercard®
  • » Write a check or electronic check
  • » Make a payment using bill pay


  • Deposit $500 or more into your new checking account


It seems like a simple enough way to make $100.

A Bunch of Hot Air?

I started college in 1995. When I stepped into the computer lab for the first time I discovered a nubile internet and I was ready to absorb as much of it as possible. It’s worth questioning whether it was endless sleepless nights waiting for the 14400 modem to download blocky, blinking websites to my 386 DX 40 running Slackware or my incredible cannabis consumption that had a greater effect on my poor attendance. The world may never know…

After my brief bout of college, I immediately teamed up with a local serial entrepreneur and did what everyone did at that time, I started a started life as a network solutions provider for business. The stated goal was to connect legacy equipment to modern networks. It sounded like a good idea at the time. What we actually wound up doing was revolutionizing the world of domain squatting. 

The internet was the wild west. Anything was possible; buying for $100 and turning a profit on it for example. maybe wasn’t as good of a deal…

Regardless, it was boom and bust. I made a million dollars. Everything was in my partner’s name and I had been working on a handshake. When I started to get flakey, he folded the company and took the profit. I’m incredibly grateful to him. It wasn’t until then that I truly understood business.

Over the years I’ve had a few other tech businesses. There was that one time I got slashdotted… But that’s another story. I think I had a point around here somewhere. Oh yeah, I have always been enamored with tech. I have big ideas, forget to start small and bite off more than I can chew. Lately, I’ve been obsessing over the potential of blockchain, P2P networking, and IoT technology, I went so far as to map out a peer to peer network concept that pays participants in a cryptocurrency.

I guess I don’t get out much.

Turn’s out it exists already. The project has already raised $51 Million in funding. It’s called Helium and it’s “LongFi” wireless network debuted in Austin, Texas this June. Helium has already partnered up with the Lime company to control the nonsense associated with the endless armies of rideshare bikes. The evil giant Nestle has plans to use it to track water consumption from its ReadyRefresh coolers as well.

The $498 price tag is a bit of a turn-off but, if as advertised, 200 or less of their devices could blanket a city in wifi, the cost could be well worth it. Once again, as with Pi, the actual value of the cryptocurrency is somewhat dubious. The idea itself though is cool as hell. I wish I had thought of it first.

I’m not quite ready to shell out $500 to own one but if you’re considering it, follow this link:  because I’d love to give it a try when it rolls out in Seattle and if enough people buy one through that referral link, I’ll get my chance.

I Hate to Work or Theory of the Greater Pi

I am beginning to realize that I hate having to work. I don’t so much hate the work itself as I hate being required to do it. I have given it a lot of thought and I believe that my options fall into two broad categories:

  1. “Suck it up Buttercup!”  – Work, save, strive, and slave; so I can retire old and tired and comfortable.              OR…
  2. Find another way.

The first one sounds very noble. I come from a Midwest, working-class family. They could appreciate that. The only thing is, I’ve always been sort of the black sheep of The Family. 

Have I mentioned how I feel about work? 

Therefore, I am left with number two. If you happen to know me IRL, you may have noticed I have a little bit of an OCD thing going on sometimes. It really comes into play when I go down the rabbit hole with a new idea. One thing leads to another until…

Here we are.

I once read an account of a man who traded a paperclip for a house. This blog will chronicle my journey to do something similar. I’m starting with a moderately normal job and a moderately normal life. I want to quit my job and run away to join the circus. Or something like that…

My very first shenanigans to be featured here will be a seriously dubious cryptocurrency called Pi. It has a pyramid scheme feel but, I can’t quite find the angle. You put an app on your phone, click on it once a day, and you start collecting the crypto. There is limited data on what’s really going on and everything has that cut and pasted tagline sort of feel.

The marketing message to data ratio seems high and you’re encouraged to invite people to the app to increase your daily earnings. This I believe is actually a good thing. This is probably a sh*tcoin but if there’s a lot of interest suddenly, there’s maybe an opportunity to make some money off of it somehow. C’mon, it’s apparently “being developed by a group of Stanford PhDs.” What more could you ask for?

To join Pi, follow this link and use my username (budweather) as your invitation code.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

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