C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by snow_leopard » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:02 pm

Awesome journal, enjoy reading your adventures.

I would also recommend Dead Horse Point, breathtaking views. Kodachrome Basin State Park is also a great low-key place to camp, it's about 30 minutes from Bryce Canyon and has showers and a laundromat. A local also told me one of their favorite spots in southeastern Utah was Goblin Valley S.P. but I didn't get a chance to visit, looks wild.


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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:50 pm

Ok. I came up to Portland a bit faster than expected due to a number of different things. Nothing big.

Currently, the two major things I have in motion are:
  • Phase two of and a significant expansion in scope of a ‘Lentil Buddy’ housing hack.
  • An expansion of “C40 Industries” (which is the name I’ve given to income-producing hobbies, work, and investment management).

The original forum term for this is “Lentil Baby”, but this is a non-sexual and non-romantic relationship, so I’m calling it “Lentil Buddy”. See intermixed posts on pages 1-4 of The “Random Relationship Derailment Thread” for a definition of the title. Credit to 7Wanabe5.

Short version here:
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:24 am
“I would like to suggest that it is important to differentiate between two very different modes of functioning which might be referred to as Sugar Baby vs Lentil Baby. A Sugar Baby would be the stereotypical individual who trades youth, beauty, charm, and other associated skills for the posh lifestyle provided by the significant financial resources of another individual. OTOH, a Lentil Baby is the extremely rare individual who consequent to much study in the realms of home economics, perma-culture, finance, modern relationship and systems theory, is able to readily help another individual to reduce personal resource waste and improve over all quality of lifestyle through intelligent process resembling beneficial symbiosis”

I’ve arrived up in Portland a few days ago to live with my close friends. I lived with them before, for 4 months, ending a year ago. Then I left to build that van for my mom, and then lived in Tucson for 6 months.

My friends don’t care about rent (and when I first suggested it before coming up) they said “ohh, no, no…… “. I felt a bit like a freeloader sometimes, so I was doing some things for them basically in lieu of rent. The main ones I remember are making them really nice coffee most mornings, exercising their dog most days and training him (they have a huge dog who goes nuts without heavy exercise), and general management of some house things and projects.

After I left, one of the friends asked me many times to come back. So, I’m back. Before I came, told them some of the things I planned to do here, and asked them to each pick one specific thing they’d like me to do for them in exchange for staying here. For now, between my own and their requests, the list is:
  • Making lattes most mornings (a monumental improvement over the utter shit coffee one of them has been drinking every morning)
  • Exercising their dog regularly
  • Command and obedience training for their dog
  • Planting and managing a garden, providing a significant harvest
  • Organizing their disaster of a garage and keeping it organized.
  • Fitness coaching for one friend
  • Restoring an old motorcycle for the other friend (he bought it 10+ years ago and hasn’t touched it)
In order to make a big entrance, and to clear space for projects, I did a full day of garage organization yesterday and made a HUGE improvement. It was really a disaster, with barely any room to walk around. Now there is room to walk around and start some projects.

On some fronts, improving their efficiencies/organization/lives will take leading by example and significant time to allow convincing/adoption. When people are accustomed to merely throwing money at problems in order to solve them, changing that takes time and mindset changes.

One example of a hurdle was when I was looking at shelves for the garage on craigslist, and finding some good options, and making a list in excel calculating storage volume per $price, my friend saw the screen and declared “I don’t want any cheap flimsy shelves!!”. I abandoned Craigslist searching and bought the same style to match one they recently purchased (at 25% of the storage volume per $ of Craigslist options). The friend reimbursed me, so I’m not losing any money myself, but in this case didn’t save them money.


C40 Industries is a made-up and legally non-existent business conglomerate including all my income-producing efforts.

I’ve long been meaning to make more income from hobbies or work that I enjoy. So far, most of my non career income has been from art - I made about $8,000 in shirt design sales over 6 years, and less than $500 from shooting portraits of people over the last 6 months. I have a big list of potential income sources somewhere. At the moment, I want to expand my shirt and portrait income, and start two additional sources.

So, the current plans for C40 Industries include:
  • Art - Graphic design
  • Art - Portrait photography
  • Investment management
  • Horticulture - gardening
  • Animal Husbandry - dog sitting / walking / exercising
If all goes well, I’ll get over $3,000 from these this year. If success continues, I’d hope for $8,000 next year. I’m not sure how long I’ll be here in Portland Lentil Buddying, and leaving would interrupt some of these.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by chenda » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:08 am

Good luck with your business ideas. I'd be interested to hear about your graphic design work. I've dabbled in Photoshop and illustrator though never tried to monitise it.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Quantummy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:24 am

C40 - do you have advice on products & methods for inexpensive lattes? If so thanks in advance!

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:34 am

I predict that you will have more success as a Lentil Buddy than I have had as a Lentil Baby. Nobody in their right mind would enlist me as their fitness coach or let me touch their motorcycle with a tool.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:24 pm

@C40, how's Portland? Would you recommend it as a place to live & accumulate through multiple streams of income?

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:32 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:24 pm
@C40, how's Portland? Would you recommend it as a place to live & accumulate through multiple streams of income?
Its.... ok. I don't recommend all that much because it's so expensive and I don't believe it's worth it. I don't think incomes are scaled up with costs (though maybe I wouldn't really know). A good deal of people here - particularly those who have lived here since before it was expensive - are sort of jaded and annoyed. It's nice here. The neighborhoods are cool and there are tons of people around my age and younger out and about. But it's not nearly as nice as the real estate is expensive. There are other cities that have cool/fun/hip neighborhoods. Even ones where you can buy a house for 1/3 as much, like St. Louis. (though St Louis does come with it's own set of problems)

Portland might still be a good idea for someone younger than me and with more of a gleam in their eye. Personally, when I think about cities/places to move to, it's to places that are less expensive, and usually smaller cities.

Quantummy wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:24 am
C40 - do you have advice on products & methods for inexpensive lattes? If so thanks in advance!
Here's what I use:

Flair Espresso maker, which costs $160 and up. (I finagled one for half that in exchange for promotion. It's worth full price though. I've used it nearly every day for about 2 years). Here's a really short video that shows what it is. There are other manual espresso makers, probably some that are quite good. This one is definitely good and I'm quite certain better than at least some of the competition. This doesn't have the same repeatability of the full on espresso machines, but it also does give you the ability to do things that a machine cannot (whatever pressure profile you desire, saving a shot when you grind too fine or coarse by modifying the pressure, whatever pre-infusion process you want, etc.)

There are like 5 different high quality hand grinders. Watch this video:

The grinder is very important for espresso, so don't use a cheaper blade grinder. Get a nice burr grinder. I use a Lido 3 ET and I like it. It has larger burrs than most of the others which means it grinds much quicker. It's significantly larger, which is not a problem in nearly all actual situations. When I bought this, availability of some of the other grinders in the comparison video was extremely limited and one of the reasons I bought a Lido is because I could actually buy one.

Bellman 50ss stovetop steamer. I've seen people make good looking latte art with other methods like frothing with a french press. But, when I tried similar things, I was getting horrible results (bubbles way too big). This steamer is the real deal and you can make real-deal micro-foam. I also bought a metal steaming jar, probably on Amazon. If you prefer stronger drinks (with less milk), definitely do not buy a large one. I think the size matters and if the cup is too large and the milk too shallow it might not work right.

Along with the espresso maker, roasting equipment choice can save somewhere from a fair amount to a ton of money. I hand roast using a Gene cafe roasting pan.

Looks like they might be fairly difficult to purchase now. One day in Target or a similar store, I saw a larger pan (maybe in the cooking part of the camping isle) that is essentially the same thing but larger. Can't recall if it was cheaper. But you could maybe find basically the same thing (for cheaper?). It's important to have all those holes in the pan and to have the edges of the pan turn back in past vertical so the beans don't spill out while roasting. The Gene Cafe pan is large enough that a max capacity roast in it will fill up a 1 pint (16oz) jar, which is about 160 grams of coffee, which is enough to make 10-12 shots of espresso. I'm currently taking about 12-15 minutes per roast batch.

I buy green (un-roasted) beans from Sweet Marias. AFAIK, they are one of the largest and maybe best suppliers. Roasting myself saves some money (IDK exactly how much, maybe 50% at most), but also has other advantages like being able to match roasting timing and amounts to control days past exactly how one wants. Compared to driving to a store/shop to buy beans, it doesn't take any longer and is way more fun.

So many people drink and love coffee (and/or are just addicted to caffeine) that making high quality coffee at home provides a good reason to invite people over to socialize. It also has caused one of my room mates to feel very dependent on my presence and gives me almost un-beatable bargaining power if I infer or remind her that I could stop making her a latte every morning.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by George the original one » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:05 pm

Portland quit being Portland about 15 years ago, during the runup to the Great Recession. There are too many people, the transportation system is a shambles (for many reasons), the homeless encampments are out of control, but it's not so bad if you are a pedestrian who can live just within a neighborhood of your choosing.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:17 am

Yeah. It's sort of like Voodoo Donuts or various other places that were good and got popular but then they got a lot more popular because they were popular, and now the main reason they are so popular is because they are popular.

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