Category Archives: Commentary

Compound Interest and the Spiritual Experience, Part 3

Bringing together the thoughts from my last two posts concerning Compound Interest. Here is Part I, and here is Part II.

“Those guys that can do amazing things didn’t start like that…”

This is Greg.

Greg Manchess painting away

Greg Manchess. He’s an amazing painter, and an even more amazingly nice guy. I’m lucky enough to be able to call him a friend.

He’s received just about every award there is at The New York Society of Illustrators, and I don’t want to jinx him…but…let’s just say…there are many of us who will be surprised if he doesn’t wind up in the Hall of Fame, someday.

For two years I lived in New York, hanging around Greg weekly while working as an assistant to his agent.

Greg was kind enough to pass on a lot of little bits of wisdom to me, and one in particular fixed in my mind.

The topic?

Well, you can probably guess, but I’ll give you a chance to figure it out.

We were talking about the young guys who are so talented. I think I was expressing my frustration with how Jason Chan–who is my same age–grew so fast with art, while I had to struggle a lot more for technical progress.

Greg’s response stuck with me. Continue reading

Compound Interest and the Spiritual Experience – Part 2

Last week we briefly went over the current events surrounding the surprising rise of cryptocurrencies. This week, we talk about Compound Interest a little more, away from the cryptocurrency market.

Eleventh Grade, High School Calculus, Mr. Shaw

“And the saddest part…really, the truly tragic, unbelievable thing is…”

Mr. Shaw pauses, shaking his head.

I sit on the front left row, across from my math teacher. He wears shabby black pants, a clean-pressed maroon polo shirt, and horn-rimmed spectacles. The shelves of our math room are littered with graffiti-filled textbooks.

Hanging on the wall right next to me is one of Mr. Shaw’s quirky prized possessions: a piece of paper filled down to the last millimeter, front and back, with microscopic notes. Every mathematical formula one can think of is written on it.

It is the leftovers of a procrastinating student who was allowed one page of notes for a test, and took it as a challenge to bring essentially the entire textbook on this scrap of paper.

Mr. Shaw has the page framed in a gold-trimmed picture case and protected behind glass. As young students in Mr. Shaw’s class, all we see in the crammed notes is a funny chance to laugh at ourselves over our desperate natures on test days, nothing more.

Today, though in his typical kind humor, Mr. Shaw is staring at the chalkboard with an unusual amount of frustration. He growls at us, “…Really, no matter how many times I say it…each and every year…not a single one of you listens.” And he bites his upper lip till the skin turns pale. Continue reading

Compound Interest and the Spiritual Experience – Part 1

Watching the unbelievable explosion of the miracle, “cryptocurrency”, this last month was beautiful, and there’s far more to it than just the “overnight billionaires.”

bitcoin

The “Tipping Point” just flipped: digital money is in our future

If you have not already, very soon you will be hearing about the shift that just happened in the world of finance.

In fact, you will likely hear about it year after year from now into forever.

We don’t understand yet what exactly is happening, but we do know is that the world just changed, forever.

To explain, let me take you back in time, all the way to 2009. Continue reading

Finding the right motivation to keep in shape

Tying in my goals to be in shape with my passions is the most successful thing I’ve done so far.

The problem with gyms…and running…and diets…and…

The Rock at the Gym

Like most adult Americans, I’ve tried dozens of strategies to get my body healthy. Most attempts end in a climactic pizza-for-breakfast fest.

My first good attempt was Body for Life, a “12 Weeks to Change Your Life” strategy. You know the type: the weight-loss program where you see before and after pics of people that look too amazing to be true, except they are true?

I followed the program. Lost twenty pounds! And then life got busy, and I went right back to where I was before.

Dang.

Eating at the Gym

Next, Continue reading

An Unexpected Blessing of Marriage

Places in my mind that I had to work so hard to keep empty before marriage evolve in a surprising way now that I’m hitched.

Born and raised a good ol’ M’armon

Growing up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. the Mormons), I had to follow super strict rules.

Among those rules, perhaps the hardest was The Law of Chastity: No pornography, no masturbation, no sex before marriage, and keep those thoughts in your brain super squeaky clean.

That last one in particular–clean thoughts–for an imaginative young boy: that was a doozey. Continue reading

How I spent the last 7 hours of my life spraying down my computer with bleach

You’d think I’d know better by now. But nope, true story.

1. I’ve got this great idea for a post!

Excited Guy Meme

Hey, I’ve got some interesting information I’d like to post. There’s this thing happening right now on the web and I can record it with some screen-capture software. Then I’ll make a meme out of it and post it on the web. It’ll be great! Everyone will share it and I’ll have contributed to the gentrification of The Internet.

2. Gotta get that screen-recording software running

Work Hard meme

So, I’ll need to install some software to make this thing. What was the name of that software I used years and years ago? Camtasia? Is that it? Ahh, yeah. It worked great back then. Let’s install it.

3. Hmm, could something be wrong with this installation? Nahhh.

When You Go Too Fast meme

Hmm, last time I was installing this I don’t remember the software asking me over and over again if I “AGREE” to installing this stuff. Doesn’t it just have to ask me “once” if I agree?

Oh well. I’ve used this stuff before and it worked great, so let’s keep moving.

Intermission

Titanic meets Michael Bay explosions meme

4. I’ve made a terrible mistake

computer virus meme

…Why is my computer now flooding with biki babes and product suggestions? Shouldn’t it be recording?

It couldn’t be that I…a comfortable computer user…who even knows a little bit of Javascript and CSS…it couldn’t be that anyone such as me…so smart as I am…could…dang…

5. Sttaahhhhhp! Please!

Madly Typing Cat meme

5. The only solution

Burning Computer meme

And we’ll purge this part of my hard drive…and this part…and this part…. Minor detour. Should only take…oh…all night or so to fix.

Hours and hours later…

6. Good to go again…

Semi Missing a Wheel on the highway meme

There we go. I just had to run eighteen full-system scans, download three types of malware removal, and spend $60 on software. There’s only a few programs that are permanently uninstallable, due to problems with the computer registry, and I can still access most of my documents folder. That’ll do. So, let’s write that blog post…

7. Meanwhile…deep within the belly of my computer…

Evil Witch Hiding meme…I won’t be up all night thinking about what might still be lurking in the belly of my desktop beast…really, I won’t…

 

A quick lesson in how to be me on the phone

Image of pastor exclaiming B-E-U-S

If, for any reason in the course of our friendship, you have to answer the phone and pretend to be me, here’s a quick tutorial.

Nice lady on the phone

“Okay…I’ve got your address for this application here, and now I just need your name.”

“It’s Bryan…spelled with a “Y”…and last name is Beus. That’s “B” “E” “U” “S”.”

*sound of the keyboard clacking*

“Okay, I’ve got Brian Bues [pronounces it “Bauze”]. “B” “U” “E” “S”?”

“Nope. Beus. That’s “B” as in Boy. “E” as in Edward. “U” as in Uncle. “S” as in Sam.

Beus. “B” “E” “U” “S”.”

“Okay. Brian B-E-U-S.”

“Correct. And you got the “Y” in Bryan?”

*keyboard clacking*

“Oh…yes…Bryan Beus [Bause]…”

“Great.”

“Okay, and can I get your email?”

**Thinks to myself: I should probably get a different email…**

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson

On Turning Imperfect People Into Heroes

All real-life heroes are human. When we make them into something more, do we also play with tyranny?

The most beautiful words ever written

In the years leading up to the War of Independence politics in Philadelphia were at their height. Congress argued at each others’ throats, wary of the idea that the legislators with whom they negotiated today could be military commanders on the opposing team tomorrow.

Amidst all of it, Thomas Jefferson said next to nothing. Rather, he listened, asked questions, and avoided taking any particular stance.

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

As the political fervor grew to the point of open war John Adams requested that Jefferson pick a side. Jefferson stated he was for Independence. Adams then said to Jefferson words to this effect: Continue reading

Picture of Denali

Dealing with Frustration

If you ever meander through the history of my blog, you find that the last few years of relative silence have been a departure from basically…everything.

 Sometimes, there’s just not much of a silver lining. And that’s okay.

I would love to say that in these last two years I have some secret project spawned, some equivalent of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter burst of creativity that occurred shortly after her divorce.

All I have to show, fortunately or unfortunately, is simply a new perspective. I now know what it feels like to spend 13 years straight working for something that you want with every part of your heart, only to have the whole thing get derailed right at the climactic moment.

It’s not the first time it’s happened in human history. I’m told that after an oil spill in Alaska a team of biologists spent $60,000 rehabilitating a sea otter. When the little creature was clean and healthy, they popped champagne on the beach and released it back into the waves.

Thirty seconds later, the little otter made a delicious crude-oil-free meal for a killer whale.

Continue reading