Just Give Me A Keyboard!

Recently, I decided I was going to settle in to one place for more than one month. Kind of a nice feeling, actually.

With this also came the decision to actually buy some…stuff. Namely, a decent sized monitor so I can stop squinting at the 13″ screen in 11″ body that is my Dell XPS.

Actually, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Any and all back, neck, and other “ergonomic pain” has pretty much gone by the wayside since. And it was getting pretty bad up to that point.

With that being said, it also meant that I needed to get an actual keyboard, too—in order to utilize both screens. Plus I might as well keep the wear and tear off of the laptop keyboard itself.

Which leads me to my dilemma—finding a simple English-only keyboard has been hell. They all have foreign letters and layouts—which actually changes the way that you type and use them. It’s not so much the letters themselves but the fact that my shift key is now half the size of a normal one so that a backslash can fit there (next to Z).

The reason it’s there is because there is some super duper special apostrophe that needs to go next to my enter key. Or something. I don’t know. It’s maddening.

But I’ll take it over my fancy ergonomic keyboard I had in my cubicle back when I was a slave.

“Hey, I Want This”

When people ask me the biggest difference between dating in America and dating abroad, it’s actually quite easy to sum up in one word:

EFFORT.

I’m going to illustrate this point with a couple of very simple photos. This is Khachapuri, a Georgian dish. It’s sort of a cheese or meat pizza. It’s probably my favorite food I’ve found abroad, albeit it’s absolutely terrible for you.

I’ve got a couple of Georgian restaurants on the list of best restaurants in Kiev, so needless to say I think it’s quite unique.

I asked my Ukrainian girl if she could make it. The answer was, “No, but I can try.”

Fast forward a couple of days. It’s Sunday morning and she’s pouring over recipes on the internet to see what’s the best method of attacking the dough, cheeses, and how to cook it properly. It turned out to be relatively simple (compared to some other dishes she’s made in the past), and, well—they came out fantastic, too.

See for yourself:

The one on the left is a cheese version, and the one on the right is stuffed with minced meat.

That’s just it, the effort. She knows I love the dish, I mentioned it, and she went out and took it upon herself to figure it out. It’s that kind of effort from girls that makes dating abroad so different.

She is a good one, too. She makes my life easier, fun, and obviously tasty.

Just one word—effort.

If you’d like to try the recipes yourself, here they are:

Weekly Wrap: March 20th

Another week has come and gone. Spring has started to creep into Eastern Europe. I actually had about four days of sun last week, so that was nice. I’m starting to get into a great working routine, and the results are definitely paying off.

This upcoming week, I’ll be partaking in a challenge of my own design: build a niche website in 1 day.

Not to full completion, I admit. But I plan to install WordPress, put the design in, and then write somewhere between 12 and 15 posts for it. It’ll be a nice little money-making machine for just a day of work. When you think about it that way, making money on the web doesn’t have to be impossible…

…does it?

Some might ask why I do that instead of building This Is Trouble even faster. The truth is because you can only grow a brand so fast. I could spend all day on Twitter, tweeting and “building a brand”—but I frankly think that doesn’t work apart from a select few. That, and I hate social media overall. Some people tweet more in a week than I do in a year.

Not for me.

Look forward to that challenge this week—I also go into more details about it in the following videos (make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here):

So what happened in Troubleland this week?

This Is Trouble

Eastern European Travel

Ukraine Living

Weekly Wrap: March 13th

Recently, I had the first opportunity to return to the first European city I ever went to…

Wroclaw, Poland.

So many memories in that place. I was always apprehensive about going back. I didn’t want to taint the memory. I got in late and ended up staying out really late with the restaurant staff where I had a late dinner.

They couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming.

Memories intact, and more made.

Anyways, here’s what I posted across the Troublesome network this week.

This Is Trouble

Eastern European Travel

KyleTrouble.com

In any case, my life has a lot more stability than it did at this time last year. I’m back in Eastern Europe, as opposed to the Balkans. To me, this is really now the one year mark of moving abroad.

I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings me.

Why Do We Hate Success?

The Formula 1 season is closing in on it’s kickoff date—late March in Melbourne, Australia.

For the last three years, Mercedes has absolutely wiped the floor with Formula 1. I’m not going to bother to check my numbers, but I think they won all but three races in 2014, all but three races in 2015, and all but two races in 2016.

They also won pole for I think every race but maybe…three?

It’s been absolutely incredible, and also incredibly boring. Every week you know that they’re going to be up front, starting and finishing first barring some major mishap or mechanical failure.

Which got me to thinking…

Why do we hate success so much?

There’s been so much hate on Mercedes for the last few years for ruining the competition. It’s not deserved, because they outsmarted and outworked everybody to get there. But in racing, I kind of get it. It’s no fun to see no passes or action.

Racing is, at it’s core…driving in circles. So it makes sense why people are bored when there is literally nothing but driving in circles because Mercedes were so far ahead of everyone.

But that led me to think about Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Plenty of people hate them for winning so much since 2001.

And football is not racing. It’s not like the Patriots won every game by 50 points because they had superior equipment that gave them superpowers (all the “gate” controversies aside).

Plenty of their games were close—but when it mattered, their hard work, patience, etc. paid off. They’ve been rewarded with a handful of Super Bowl rings as a result.

We hate success because we envy it.

It’s really that simple. Some envy the success that dynasties like the Patriots and Mercedes F1 have enjoyed. However, over time that hatred turns into something else.

Respect.

I think people now respect Tom Brady and what he’s done. I feel the same way about now 7-time champion of NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson. A few years ago I hated him as his success pushed my favorite driver aside.

Now though?

I respect the dude for what he’s done. I’m hoping he can actually pull an eighth championship off before he hangs up the helmet.

As for F1…well, I usually pull for Ferrari. And they looked awfully good in winter testing these last two weeks at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. Of course, the last few years they’ve been at the top of the winter time charts only to get demolished come the drop of the green flag in Melbourne.

Hopefully this year is different.

Because while I respect Mercedes, I’m tired of seeing them at the front.

Weekly Wrap: March 6th

Missed the weekly wrap-up last week. Of course, the week after I said I was going to start. Heh.

I spent three entire days traveling last week. From Kotor I went onward to Serbia (loved that place!), and then onwards again. I’m now settled and quite happy with my new apartment. It now really feels like the year is “starting’ so to speak. I’m in Europe (home now). Settled. Happy. Ready to kill it.

With that being said, it’s always a good reminder to travel, because you realize what a time sink it can be. I’m not a productive person when I’m moving around. I need focus and to have a home base for at least a month.

I love traveling, but travel + business is not a good mix for me as an entrepreneur.

With that being said, let’s talk posts.

This Is Trouble

Ukraine Living

Eastern European Travel

The Reality of Selling on the Internet

I’m aware of something: I’d probably be a lot more rich if I hadn’t stuck with This Is Trouble.

Because that’s a tough market to hit.

If I’d continued for the last year pouring all the time I have into Trouble into smaller niche sites, focused on selling, instead—I probably would have more money in my pocket.

But it also came down to me wanting an authority site that had a brand.

I’m not sure which will be more profitable, long-term. At least on Trouble though, I get to write about whatever I want and it’s essentially “work”. I have a lot more freedom.

If you’re a freelance writer in a past life, you might find it far easier to stomach writing about topics you don’t care about. My tequila site is a good example of that one.

It’s very possible I would have made more money because I would have built sites around niches that I knew would be profitable—or at least had a good chance.

I don’t kid myself though. I wouldn’t be having as much fun with it, that I’m sure of.

Trouble is who I am.

What do you think of the pros and cons of a big blog versus a smaller army of niche sites?

Weekly Wrap—February 20th

I run a lot of sites now. And no, some of them won’t ever be publicly disclosed. But, I thought it might be good to do a sort of weekly wrap-up across all my publicly-available sites.

I’ll try to post these every Monday, as it’s what I consider the start of my week. Of course today is Wednesday. The idea just came to me today. So cut me a break 🙂

Fun fact: I take Fridays as my “day off”. Well, I don’t really take any day off, but if I’m going to have a lazier day, it’s always Friday.

Why?

Web traffic is always lowest and as a result I find myself less motivated.

Anyways, here’s what was going on last week.

This Is Trouble

Eastern European Travel

Ukraine Living

In other news, King’s Code is available in paperback now, too.

Get Your Copy Here

The Season Is Here

The season is here. Time to start the motors.

Racing’s always been a part of my life. I got given some racing game when I was five years old. Something from Papyrus.

It had a #24 car on the cover and I just never lost interest in it.

It got me through some dark times. Teenage years with depression and anxiety. No girls. But, most Sundays of the year I got to look forward to unplugging from the rest of the world, even if it was just for 3 or 4 hours.

I’ve been fortunate enough to go to a half-dozen races in NASCAR, and a few Indycar races, as well. Probably the highlight was taking my dad to the Indianapolis 500 for his 50th birthday. I have aspirations of going to a Formula 1 race this year.

Being location independent means that all the European races are easily accessible. Well, all of them really. But given that I’m mostly hanging about in Europe (in random Balkan countries), no less, it makes more sense. I have my sights set on either the Baku Grand Prix, or the Italian GP.

My girl would love to see Italy so it might be a good way to get to show her Rome and take in a race at an incredible venue.

Well, the season is here now. I’ve discussed how I would enjoy starting a racing blog—but it’s simply not profitable (click here to find out why).

That’s not changing. I’m not gonna start a racing blog. But I might occasionally write some stuff up about it.

First race of the year just ended. It’s time to go. Start your engines.

PS: I’m experimenting with online business (as always), and this week I just launched this quick-start guide to dating in Ukraine.

Burnout

The other day I penned 10,000 words in my new book, plus another 4,000 across my other sites. Then I went on to Twitter and bragged about it.

You can follow my Twitter here.

So, humble pie was served to me over the next couple days.

10,000 words Monday.

0 words Tuesday.

And…1,113 so far today (Wednesday).

It’s not so much writer’s block as it is burnout. You see, I just torched myself with that 10k day on Monday. I could probably get to that point of doing it consistently, but I took too far a step (I usually average 5,000 a day across various websites and projects).

It was just too much and when it was done I didn’t even want to look at my book.

Today I set a goal of 2,000, but the 1,000 was hard. Why?

A Hard Chapter

The book has a central theme of deconstructing what happened in my own life, how it related to society’s problems as a whole, and then tying it into some actionable advice for the reader.

I haven’t picked a title yet, so don’t ask.

But, the chapter I wrote today is called “Dear Daughter”.

It took a lot out of me for one reason or another. Grappling with reality and what I want out of life. Good to get it out, but it leaves you a bit hungover. And 1,000 is actually not much for a chapter, I know I’m going to have to revisit it and add more later.

Time to go have a walk around Kotor and get some air.

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