Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Sun Grown Queen B

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I don’t normally start my cigar reviews talking about my wife, but she’s relevant to the story so stay with me.

Truth be told, my cigar habits are pretty boring. Having enjoyed them now for going on 25 years, I know what I like and I tend to stick to it for my “daily driver” cigar, my “yard work” cigar, and when I occasionally go upscale.

Old habits die hard I guess.

That’s where my wife comes in. She buys me cigars for pretty much every occasion throughout the year that requires some sort of greeting card. And I don’t think in all these years of her doing that she’s bought me the same one twice. So that way I get to sample a bunch of different cigars every year.

I asked her once several years ago how she selects them, because the ones she comes home with are always were unique looking in one way or another. When I asked her about her selection “process”, she said she always picks the ones that are the most interesting in the way they look or the way they’re packaged.

I thought that was intriguing, because I had never cared about that until she mentioned it. But since then I’ve started to notice.

Which brings me to my review of the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Sun Grown Queen B torpedo.

It is flat out a beautiful cigar that is in turn beautifully packaged. From the classic red and gold Arturo Fuente Casa Reserva label to the cedar wrap to the band of red ribbon at the bottom.

It’s definitely a cigar that my wife would pick. And when I got them I was hoping that they would smoke as good as they looked. And I was not disapponted.

Why is Real Estate Better than the Stocks?

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I get this question asked to me a lot. “Why would I invest in Real Estate, why wouldn’t I just leave my money in the Stock Market.”

I see a lot of these financial papers or financial write ups that show financial comparison of a stock performance or of a stock index performance as it relates to Real Estate or Real Estate indexes as well. One of the things they show is just an increase line. So for example a graph, they will show the price of the stock or that index from 20 years ago and then they show increase of that stock and maybe a leveling or an increase or whatever. Then they will show at the end here is where we started, here is where we are now and has risen

Then they will take the same Real Estate analysis and they will show the same thing. Maybe they will show Real Estate didn’t improve at the same rate of appreciation or the same increase as compared to the stock. When they are doing that all they are really showing or comparing si the price of the stock vs the price of the Real Estate or the price of the property. So if you bought the property for $300,000.00 and they are showing over 20 years that property is now worth $600,000.00 compared to the Stock where there’s a bunch of stocks that you bought worth $300.00 and now they are worth $700.00.

Cigar Review: The Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Toro

Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Toro

If you’ve been reading my stuff here you may not know that for some time I’ve been doing cigar reviews.

Why have I not posted any of them here?

Yeah great question. But today that changes.

While I do have my favorites, I also like to experiment on occasion and try a cigar I haven’t smoked before. I plan to bring you reviews of both going forward.

To start I’m going to review a new one for me – the Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Toro.

I’ve been smoking cigars since I was in grad school in 1991, and so I’m very familiar with the Romeo Y Julieta brand. From my experience they’ve been great quality cigars, flavorful smokes, and reasonably priced. They never made it into my regular rotation however, because I never felt that they really stood out from the crowd.

Their Reserve line has changed that.

The company describes the line like this:

Romeo y Julieta Habana Reserve premium cigars are the most full-flavored Romeo y Julieta cigars ever! Handmade in the Flor de Copan factory in Honduras, the Habana Reserve combines Romeo y Julieta’s legendary smoothness with the rich, hearty flavor of only the most choice Nicaraguan & Honduran long-filler tobaccos, seamlessly rolled in dark, oily Nicaraguan wrapper leaves. A marvelously robust cigar brimming with earthy-spicy tobacco flavors on a long finish with a sweet and spicy aroma, too.

After smoking three of them this week, I agree. This is a GREAT cigar. Let me run down my evaluation of the four categories:

Taste
This cigar had a great taste – I give it a 91/100. It’s billed as a full bodied cigar, but I didn’t find it to be all that strong. It had a smooth earthy/woody taste that was light on my palate and didn’t hang around all evening. I do think though that they might get overpowered by my Macallan 12, but it would be an excellent complement to perhaps a port or a lighter scotch. It’s a great all-around smoke.

The Truth About Those $500 Detroit Houses

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I saw a piece in Yahoo News about this and I wanted to pass it along. I get at least a couple of calls every month from out of state folks asking about these.

The article does a good job in explaining just why a $500 house isn’t the bargain that people think it is. Here it is…

Tempted by Detroit’s $500 Properties? 5 Things to Know

By Beth j. Harpaz, Associated Press – March 11, 2015 4:45 PM

DETROIT (AP) — Sixty-two thousand properties have faced foreclosure in Detroit this year over unpaid taxes. About half will likely be auctioned for $500 apiece this fall.

Buying homes or vacant lots for $500 might sound inviting, even in a city as troubled as Detroit. After all, look at New York: Decades of crime and decay gave way to a real estate boom that has gentrified even outlying working-class neighborhoods. Properties that sold for thousands in the bad old days are now worth millions.

But there are no guarantees. “The opportunities are there but there are huge challenges,” said Dang Duong, a law and business student at the University of Michigan who has bought and renovated several dilapidated homes in Detroit. “If you’re under the impression you can buy a property for $500 and wait a few years until Detroit has recovered, that’s going to be difficult.”

Here are five things to consider before buying property in Detroit.

1. THE HOUSE MAY BE OCCUPIED

Are you prepared to evict former owners, longtime tenants or even squatters? Loveland Technologies, a mapping company that has surveyed every property in Detroit, estimates that half the properties facing foreclosure are occupied, housing about 100,000 Detroiters.

Critics question the morality of buying occupied homes and fear the program may increase Detroit’s homeless population. They say many owners stopped paying taxes because they weren’t getting city services in return. Others say those who failed to pay taxes contributed to Detroit’s troubles.

Incredible Productivity System: Bullet Journal

Starting with my first Franklin Planner in 1995, I have been engaged in a seemingly endless quest to develop the perfect productivity and organizational system.

The Franklin system was truly spectacular. I was working in Silicon Valley at the time, and taking the introductory class from a real FP trainer was required after you got hired. It didn’t take long to see why. The class was two full days long, and it laid out a simple and elegant paper-based methodology for organizing and tracking everything in your life – from appointments to tasks to random thoughts and ideas.

I used it religiously. Right up to the point when I bought my first Palm device in 1999. With it I was able to sync my calendar with the device, and that made the entire calendar function in the FP redundant and ultimately unnecessary.

Then I found GTD – David Allen’s methodology, which had a huge impact on my productivity, and I started using various paper-based and electronic methods of tracking notes, tasks, and projects.

None of which worked particularly well. I even used the GTD add-in for Outlook. It was good but not great.