Tynan http://tynan.com Life Outside the Box en-us Mon, 01 May 2017 04:04:33 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator The Fifteen Minute Hug http://tynan.com/community/30803 I used to be uncomfortable with maintaining eye contact. Then I did an exercise where I looked into a stranger's eyes for fifteen minutes, and we'd call each other out every time the other person looked away. It cured me of all eye contact anxiety and now it's no big deal.

I did a similar exercise in rejection therapy to get over the fear of approaching strangers and asking for things, and that worked eerily well--after one hour of concentrated asks and rejections, I got over it.

Like many people, I'm often uncomfortable when hugging someone, especially if it's another guy or I don't know the person well. This is something I want to get over, too. I've heard that if you arrange to hug someone you don't (hardly) know for fifteen minutes, then you're good to go from then on, no matter how awkward a bro hug you're faced with.

Does anyone in the SF Bay Area want to meet up and undertake the scary, useful mission of hugging a stranger (me) and build some hug confidence? We could do the eye contact one, too, if that's useful to you.

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Wed, 22 Aug 2012 16:52:11 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/30803
The Best Mirrorless Camera to Buy Today Is... http://tynan.com/community/11941 This is an email I sent to some friends recently... thought it might be useful to some here:

I've been debating between the NEX-5N and the NEX-7 for a while. I had the chance to borrow an NEX-7 for 24 hours and got to use it a bunch.

Compared to the NEX-5, the 7 has a much faster shutter release (I think it's currently the fastest in the world), a sensor that handles low light significantly better (25% better, measured with a light meter), an amazing EVF, better video recording options, audio-in, and better controls. It also has a weak built in flash, which doesn't really do anything for me.

After using it for a day, I was surprised how little I used the EVF. It is absolutely amazing and would be really nice in sunny settings, but overall the back screen is so good, especially with the angling, that I found it faster to not use the EVF.

I did more research into the NEX-5N, and found that it had every new feature the 7 has except for the flash, audio-in, controls, and EVF.

Interestingly, when shooting with a manual lens, as we do, the controls weren't much of an improvement.  When you're manually controlling aperture, you basically only need to adjust ISO and shutter speed. Most of the time we use auto-shutter, which means that ISO would be the only control we'd need. We already have a rear dial for that on the NEX-5 / NEX-5N.

The NEX-5N has an EVF that you can buy separately. It's not as sleek as the NEX-7, but the combined bulk of the 5N + EVF is still less than than the 7. Unlike the 7, it can also be tilted. Considering those two factors, I don't think the NEX-7's EVF has much of an advantage.

The audio-in is a really awesome feature of the NEX-7, one that I wish I could have on the 5N. The only alternative is a Sony mic that attaches to the top of the camera. I have it and it's high quality, but not as good as something like the Zoom H1, which could be used with the 7. In my mind, this is the biggest advantage of the NEX-7.

The NEX-5N has a better sensor than the NEX-7. It's 16.1mp vs 24.3, which I prefer for the smaller file size. It does about 10% better in low light, and delivers low light performance on par or exceeding any full sized APS-C DSLR. Photos at 6400 ISO are usable, and at 1600 there's no noticeable grain.

Both cameras have extremely fast shutters, go down to ISO 100 (which gives us fast lens people the option to go a full stop lower in sun to get narrower DOF), and can shoot at 10FPS (if not the best in the world, it's close). Shooting video on both is improved with full 1920x1080 at both 24p and 60p. Shooting in 60p and then converting to 24p makes AMAZING cinematic slow motion shots.

After using the 7 and doing some research, I think it's a no-brainer to go with the 5N. Because Sony did such a bad job advertising all the awesome things about the camera, people see it as being an NEX-5 with a touchscreen, so it goes pretty cheap. You can get one for $550 on ebay.

Here's a video shot with the 5N:

Autumn - Getting Cinematic with the Sony NEX-5N


And here's a good review with sample shots: 


Since writing that email I bought a 5N and have been very happy with it. I haven't yet used the more advanced features, but I'll be doing that on a trip a month from now.

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Mon, 11 Jun 2012 21:57:48 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/11941
Rialta: Apple laptop charger hack! http://tynan.com/community/473660 Hi guys,

Been a while! Hope everyone's well!

I discovered a little Rialta hack for my Apple laptop that I wanted to share.

I'm lazy and haven't re-wired the stock wiring to the 12V outlet, under the desk. Because of the lightweight stock wiring, I was always encountering a problem where, whenever my Apple laptop was both turned on and charging the battery (i.e. < 100% battery), it would cause the fuse on that circuit to pop. (Of note, I could charge the battery, but only if the laptop was off.)

This also created a nasty scenario where, if my laptop battery wasn't full, I couldn't use my laptop in the Rialta (since my laptop would immediately start to charge the battery if I plugged it in, and turned it on... gah).

So, I thought about it and hunted down this hack:

TL;DR - If you put a piece of tape over the middle pin of your Magsafe charger, it will prevent the charger from charging the battery, but the charger will still be used to power the laptop.

In my situation with the stock wiring, this allows me to use my laptop whenever it's not fully charged and let's me not drain my coach batteries, just to charge my laptop.

Hope that helps someone! Cheers!

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Sat, 16 Aug 2014 06:08:27 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/473660
Anyone know a good place to park RV in Portland, OR? http://tynan.com/community/57736 Hey guys, I've known Tynan for some time, from back in the Life Nomadic days. My girlfriend and I are permanent gypsies, traveling in our '98 Rialta. We have been traveling up the Oregon coast, and will be arriving in Portland tomorrow. I was wondering if anyone had any experience parking overnight in any central locations in Portland (we are totally stealth, with capability for complete blackout and sound control), or, barring this, if anyone who lives in Portland might be willing to let us hang out in their driveway for a few days. We don't need anything other than a place to park (totally solar powered).

Thanks guys.

PS: @Ty, if this is the wrong use of the community area, slap my wrist and I'll take it down.

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Thu, 25 Jul 2013 05:08:15 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/57736
Investing (and making) money... what are you guys doing? http://tynan.com/community/30916 I'd rather chop off a limb than read financial books right now.  I wouldn't even know how to go about investing in any kind of stocks or bonds and don't really know what other possible avenues I have to choose from other than starting a business or buying property to rent to tenants.  Currently, my money is rotting in a checking account, at the very least, I should put it in some kind of high interest account to defeat inflation.  I've felt overwhelmed lately with personal projects and what to do with my life, and this keeps getting put on the back burner.

I remember Ty's post on Lending Club, how's that going?  Peter Parker, you're with Prosper, right?  I'd be happy with consistent 10% returns, is either of these two sites safe enough to dump a majority of my cash into? 

Background info: I'm 30 years old, live in the Rialta, probably spend under $700/month on normal expenses (super frugal, not glamorous at all), 2-months unemployed by choice and living off what I have saved: a little over $32k, engineering drop-out, don't seem to have many high-paying skills, and don't know what I'll do in the future as far as making income.  I'm not a dumbass, but I'm not a "runner" as Tynan might put it, and I don't know if I can change that... I don't want to work forever.  I love my leisure time.  I guess it's different if the projects you love are making money... maybe that's another discussion.  Along with Tynan's goals, being able to bank a few million and comfortably support a family would be awesome, but I'm not that hopeful; fortunately, I don't seem to mind living very simply and without kids (for now at least...).  My goal might be making $1-2k/month passively.  Some of the entry-level oilfield jobs here pay well, $1900/week for driving a truck a limited amount of hours for example, so I might consider putting up with that for a year or two, but I still need to find out what to do with that money.  Thanks everyone.  Great job with SETT and your whole blog, forum, & book history, Tynan; we're lucky to have you.

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Wed, 29 Aug 2012 19:38:25 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/30916
Rolexes: Why They're Awesome and How to Get Them Dirty Cheap http://tynan.com/community/buyrolex SHORT VERSION: Here is a link to my saved search on eBay that shows cheap Rolexes that are probably worth buying. Read on to see why. A month ago or so I wrote a post called, No One Cares if you Buy a Rolex. If you didn't read it and don't feel like doing any link-clicki]]>

SHORT VERSION: Here is a link to my saved search on eBay that shows cheap Rolexes that are probably worth buying. Read on to see why.

A month ago or so I wrote a post called, No One Cares if you Buy a Rolex. If you didn't read it and don't feel like doing any link-clicking, the gist of it was that when I was younger I bought a Rolex, assuming that people would be really impressed, but in the end no one noticed or cared. You can't buy your way into being interesting.

Ironically, in writing that post, I remembered how much I loved my Rolex, despite the fact that no one else cared about it. At the same time, I had stopped really using the advanced features of the Suunto GPS watch that I had, and was thinking about getting some different watch.

Maybe I ought to get a Rolex, I thought...

Getting something as a status symbol is really lame. Although Rolexes are seen as status symbols (again... that's mostly in theory because no one ever notices them), they're also really excellent watches. I don't think most people understand just how good a Rolex really is.

A Rolex (with the exception of a now discontinued line called the Oysterquartz) is a mechanical watch. That means that it doesn't have batteries and doesn't have a quartz crystal. It has a spring that is wound up either by twisting the crown, or by harnessing the energy generated through wrist movement using a rotor. The spring powers one hundred and fifty moving parts to deliver really accurate time (gaining or losing only a few seconds a day).

To be clear, a $9 quartz watch is probably more accurate than a Rolex. But then again, a photograph is more accurate than a Monet. There's something to the art of it-- the fact that these one hundred and fifty moving parts continue to work for years on end, powered only by flicks of the wrist, through conditions as varied as scuba diving hundreds of feet deep in the ocean to climbing mount Everest.

Rolex isn't the only mechanical watch to be able to do this (Omega and Tag Heuer are similar, and I'm sure there are others I don't know about), but they are real pioneers in the field and, in terms of balancing accuracy and reliability, there is no better.

The point of all this is that a Rolex isn't a jewelry watch like a Gucci watch would be. A gucci watch would most likely be a quartz watched stamped with a bunch of logos. If they do have a mechanical watch, it would have been developed by someone else, made in China, and then stamped with logos.

I personally love the idea of a manual watch. To me it's a triumph of humanity that these things exist. I love the idea that such a rugged and precise machine can be built, and that it can fit in my watch, hidden in a tiny case.

The next most interesting thing about a Rolex is that although the price tag is quite high, it could be argued that the cost of owning one is negative. That's because Rolexes tend to appreciate over time, mainly because the style hasn't changed drastically since inception, making a 40 year old watch look roughly new.

I bought my first Rolex in 2001 for $1400. Today it would sell for $1900 if I hadn't lost it. That's not an incredible return, but it's very low risk (insure the watch from theft/loss for $30/year if you want to really make it low risk), and you get to have a cool watch for many years.

Even more interesting is that right now there are insane deals to be had on Rolexes. I actually have three of them right now because I didn't realize how plentiful good deals are, and I kept jumping on deals I thought were 'once-in-a-lifetime' deals. Some examples:

1. I bought a 1991 Air-King for $1250. I thought I was going to keep it, but one week and two Rolexes later, it's going up on eBay. I estimate that it's worth around $1700-2000.

2. I bought a 1980 DateJust for $1700. I should be able to sell this one for $1900-2000, maybe more.

3. I bought and will keep a 1999 DateJust with a diamond dial for $2100. If I wanted to sell it today, I could get around $3000.

If you combine a really good deal with years of modest appreciation, you're looking at buying a really excellent watch and earning 5-10% per year average on the "investment". On the other hand, any cheap watch you buy will tend to lose value over time. I loved my Suunto and got some really good use out of it, but I sold it for about half what I paid for it after a couple years.

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you to buy a Rolex. I'm just trying to explain what makes them worth having, and will share some tricks to getting them really cheap. My guide to buying a Rolex will focus on the DateJust, which is the classic dress watch (that can still be worn scuba-diving), but most of the tips will work for any model.

The key dates to know for a DateJust are as follows. In 1978 Rolex introduced a "quickset" feature, which makes it much faster to switch the date at the end of a 28-30 day month. My first Rolex was a 1974 and not having quickset wasn't that big of a deal, but it's a nice feature and 1978 is a good starting point.

In the late 80s, Rolex switched the crystal from acrylic to sapphire crystal. Opinion is divided on this, with most collectors and enthusiasts favoring the acrylic crystal. Acrylic definitely looks better and doesn't hold fingerprints as much, but it is easier to scratch. Buffing out scratches with a polishing cloth is pretty easy. Sapphire, on the other hand, is pretty much impossible to scratch. I prefer Sapphire because I tend to do things that risk scratching the watch, but it's a personal choice.

In the mid nineties, the case was switched to a holeless case. This is a very minor difference-- the pins that hold the bracelet onto the watch are hidden. Since then there have been no notable improvements. The quickset movement is called a 3035 and the next evolution, introduced in 199x is called the 3135. Both of them have their strong points and their supporters-- the point is that very little has changed over the years, so you can buy an old Rolex and it's essentially the same as a new Rolex. The 1980 DateJust and the 1999 DateJust I currently have are the exact same color schemes and both keep time with the same level of accuracy. Other than the different crystal, the holeless case of the newer one, and the less worn band of the newer one, they are indistinguishable.

Because you're working with around 20 years of available Rolexes (I've never seen great deals on the newest ones), you will have a LOT of watches to choose from. This means that you can take the approach of lowballing everybody until someone accepts your deal. Given the current economy, pretty much everyone takes your offer. I've really been amazed at how cheaply people are willing to let go of these watches.

The two major places to look are Craigslist and eBay. On Craigslist, just search for Rolex with an upper price of $2500. I wouldn't ever pay more than that. A late 70s watch should go for closer to $1600. Whenever you see a watch, offer a really low price that's $100 more than most people will offer. In other words, offer $2100 instead of $2000, $1600 instead of $1500. I almost got a watch for $1300 just because everyone else was offering $1200, but someone paid his full asking price at the last minute.

Don't get attached to any given watch. in this economy a lot of people are selling their Rolexes, so another one will come up. If you overpay, or fail to get a really good deal, you're largely negating the good-deal benefit of buying a Rolex.

On Craigslist the biggest advantage you can have over other sellers is to be really easy to deal with. Most people on Craigslist are not. My initial email might look something like this:

"Hey, I'm interested in the Rolex you're selling on Craigslist. I don't mean to insult you, but I think the watch is worth about $1600. I know you're asking for more, but if you're interested in that price, I can meet you at your convenience with cash in hand."

The last watch I bought was from a really nice guy who I sent a similar email to. When I bought the watch he thanked me for being so easy to work with and kept saying how glad he was to be done with selling it. Selling on Craigslist is annoying. We both know he could have gotten a bit more money if he held out, but he would have had to meet with a bunch of unreliable people who wouldn't show up with cash, or would try to renegotiate after agreeing on a price. Convenience is worth something.

If you're buying on eBay, you again want to email offers in. Most buy it now prices aren't that great, and auctioned Rolexes, by definiton, go for market price. The ideal watch to offer on is one that's been on eBay for a few days with no bids. At that point the seller might start to wonder if it's going to get bid up or just get sold for his opening price. The Air-King I bought had a starting price of $1000 and no bids. I offered $1250 and he took it. My guess is that if he left it on eBay it would have sold for $1700 or more.

Many sellers will also list buy it now prices that are unrealistic. Email them and offer them much less. I haven't actually bought one this way but I've gotten some really solid counter-offers back.

With eBay sellers you don't really need to worry about fakes. Just look for good feedback, and if it does turn out to be fake, eBay buyer protection will cover you. In person if you don't know what to look for, you might be better off meeting at a watch store, where they can verify that it's real. It's pretty easy if you know what to look for, so they probably won't charge you for the service. If they do, it would be $10-20.

There are two color schemes for the DateJust, stainless steel and 18k gold / stainless two-tone. They are the same price right now because the stainless steel is more in style. However, because the two tone one has a real gold crown and bezel, and also real gold center links in the bracelet, it probably has a higher intrinsic value. If you like that look, I bet it will appreciate more than the stainless one over time. I prefer the stainless look, though, so I've bought only stainless ones other than my first one many years ago.

There are also two ways to make the watch significantly cheaper after buying it. If you're lucky enough to get one that comes with the Rolex boxes, you can sell those for $100-200 on eBay. Resale value isn't really impacted by not having the box (DO keep the certificate if it comes with it, though), so you may as well sell them and take the cash. I got boxes with my 1999 watch, and they're on ebay right now.

You could also consider selling the bracelet of the watch and buying an aftermarket one. An aftermarket bracelet costs $25-75 and is probably better than the one that came with the watch, since the one with the watch will be stretched out a bit from use. The original bracelets go for $300 or so on eBay, which is sort of crazy. The resale value of your watch WILL decrease if it comes with an aftermarket one, but probably not by as much as you gain by selling it.

Using all these tricks, you can easily get a nice Rolex for $1000-1500 that will sell for almost twice as much. There are so many good deals out there that if I wasn't so busy, I would probably start a side business reselling them. Here's an ebay link with the search I use to find Rolexes.

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Wed, 25 Jul 2012 23:03:06 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/buyrolex
Great Read: Work out, lose weight, and stop being single http://tynan.com/community/50421 As some of you may know, Captain Power, a member of Sett, currently published a book. I am writing this because I got it on kindle a few days ago and just read it today. 

It is an awesome book - once I started it I did not stop until I was completely through a couple hours later. It is a biography of sorts, split up into very small chapters that almost all deal with bodybuilding or "game." The genius of the book is that all of these mini-stories also teaches a core concept - whether it is a weight loss tactic or a brilliant way to tease a girl. 

These are also the reason the book is so addicting - once you read the first one, you cannot help but devour the next one, and so on. And if that wasn't enough to keep me chugging along, he strings a narrative of how he seduced a billionaire's wife throughout the book, before revealing how it all went down at the end.

Anyway, great read. Self improvement principles strung together in a very entertaining way. I recommend you guys check it out -  it is only $3 on Amazon.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2013 01:48:38 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/50421
I created a nationwide Meetup for RV Nomads http://tynan.com/community/11846 The Meetup link is http://www.meetup.com/RV-Nomads
I have no ulterior motive whatsoever other than to create a community of fellow RV nomads that I can meet up with when I take off on the road. And if you want, you can join the group too and do the same. I have set up the meetup so that anyone will be able to post events. The only thing that really makes it unique is the Meetup calendar platform, but that's a biggie. You can read more about that at the Meetup link...and join there too. http://www.meetup.com/RV-Nomads I just started the Meetup and already have close to 30 members, not bad. And there are already a couple of awesome Meetups posted by Technomadia. Check it out!  Don't worry that the Meetup group is "located" in Austin, it is really nationwide (heck, I am the organizer and I live in San Diego). If this thing gets going (i.e. enough members and events), I will use this SETT Blog platform to chronicle the events. 

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Tue, 22 May 2012 21:14:20 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/11846
Selling My Rialta http://tynan.com/community/1314854 Not sure if this forum is active still, but I'm selling my 1999 Rialta FD rigged with two solar panels (490W total), two Lifeline AGM batteries, Blue Sky charge controller + remote, 1000W inverter, Maxxfan, and new Norcold AC/DC refrigerator. My ebay auction is coming to an end soon: https://goo.gl/AmYXod

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Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:13:27 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1314854
Internet Marketing question: Twitter http://tynan.com/community/1267758 Does anybody have any tips for automated marketing software for Twitter? Or at least how to Follow more than 5,000 accounts?

I am up to "Following" 5,000 people (accounts) on Twitter. I have done really well on getting orders from the people I have been following. It appears that Twitter won't let you keep following accounts past 5,000. I have Unfollowed some accounts and Followed new people. Any tips on how to break through this limit.

Of course, I can always create more Twitter accounts. Which may be my next course.

Thanks ahead of time for any tips on internet social media marketing. Especially automated software that works good at a low price.


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Tue, 05 Apr 2016 20:58:09 +0000 http://tynan.com/community/1267758