The thoughts, stories and advice of Bill Riddell.

Money Matters Part 1 – The Art of Buying the Right Things at the Right Price

July 14th, 2009 Posted in advice | 2 Comments »

This is part 1 of 2, where I’m going to share with you some of my theories, thoughts and personal rules regarding all things money.

Take or leave my advice, it’s up to you. I’m not rich – I don’t even have an above average income. I am however a great saver (though I do have incredibly low overheads – mostly by design) with some quite healthy lifetime financial habits.

“It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.” – Albert Camus

Essentially I don’t just look at the cost of an item, I look at the value of it. Basically it’s about weighing up the cost of an item with the quality and taking into consideration how you will use it to determine the value.

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Short Story – The Renovator

July 10th, 2009 Posted in writing | 6 Comments »

I am really excited to share my first short story. I’ve been writing since I was a kid but school work aside this is the first work of fiction I have completed. The idea had been rattling around in my head for a few years and I have spent a the previous months wrestling with the idea and trying to make it work.

You can read the story below or download the PDF version. Feel free to share the link to this page or the PDF with your friends or print it out, however it is not to published online or elswhere without my written permision.

It is just under 1,900 words or about 5 pages and should take between 4 and 8 minutes for an average reader. I would greatlly appreciate your thoughts and comments, I hope you enjoy the story.

Update: Thanks to a few readers, who provided some great feedback, I have done a more thorough edit.

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Life Lessons

July 2nd, 2009 Posted in advice | 2 Comments »

Today I present to you a handful of life lessons. Each one of these topics were destined to become a blog post in their own right, but most have sat as rough outlines for over 6 months on my computer.

Since I’m clearing house, rather than delete what was already there I have joined them together, added a bit of polish and here is the result.

I’m sure you will get something out of it and it will push me to create some more original posts for you to read, rather than stretch the contents below out for a month or so.

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Clearing House

June 28th, 2009 Posted in goals, personal, writing | 2 Comments »

I’m officially clearing house, not my personal belongings, but my backlog of draft posts.

I had well over 50 drafts in various stages of completion (from a few lines of notes, to dot pointed outlines and a few 600+ word drafts).

Basically it could have been as much as a years worth of blog posts. However something went horribly wrong!

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Outsiders and Tall Poppies

June 23rd, 2009 Posted in advice, writing | 2 Comments »

I am in the process of writing about a character who is somewhat of an outsider – someone who largely does not follow social conventions, the way we are expected to live our life.

It is fascinating to look at people and charecters who inhabit the fringes and extremes of socitey and the reactions they recive from others.

I would like to share three brief case studies of such people with you today, they have fascinated me and Im sure will capture your imagination as well.

While writing I couldn’t help but think of two outsider figures that I have enjoyed reading about and also reflecting upon what is largelly an Australian social phenomenon know as ‘tall poppy syndrome’ where we seek to criticise and topple the popular and succsesfull particuarlly after cheering their rise to the top.

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Destinations and Autographs

June 12th, 2009 Posted in personal, travel | 1 Comment »

Travel and sport have always played a large part in my life. Some of my fondest memories as a child are of summer holidays spent playing or watching sport and travelling with my family.

As any self respecting sports fan is bound to do, during my youth I hunted down autographs from the star players that I revered whenever an opportunity arose.

Sorting through my library recently I found my old autograph book and postcards bundled together. Looking through them I was reminded of the thrill of the hunt for a star athletes and realised the parallels with travel for me.

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Rethinking Success & Life Balance

May 26th, 2009 Posted in advice, personal | 4 Comments »

Many people have unhealthy views of success and what it means to be successful – myself included.

There was a time when I believed the measure of success was a high income, big house and a great car  - but those views slowly changed.

Over the last few years I have realised that money, while useful, is not a true measure of success.

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Theory Overload

May 14th, 2009 Posted in advice, personal, writing | 1 Comment »

We seem to have built up a society that values theory over practical.

The majority of our formal education now seems to enforce this habit.

Society applauds researchers and writers who publish grand theories and hypothesise endlessly. Instead should we not be worshipping the practical people who they profile and research.

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Suicide – The Not So Easy Way Out

May 10th, 2009 Posted in advice, illness, personal | 1 Comment »

I wrote this post almost a year ago and seriouslly debated sharing it, this is an incredibly sensitive topic. Since then I have seen too many people whos lives have been torn apart by the loss of a loved one to suicide. I simply have to share this. It may offend some people, I’m sorry, but it may just save someones life and that is more important.

Some say suicide is the easy way out. In a sense it is. For the person who commits suicide they decide they have had enough of the cruel world and end the pain once and for all, case closed.

But sadly things do not end there. One persons hardship and suffering becomes the painful burden for many.

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An Emergency Review

May 5th, 2009 Posted in advice, writing | 2 Comments »

Today I want to review the latest book by one of my favourite authors, Neil Strauss.

A former journalist for Rolling Stone and the New York Times, Strauss had previously mastered the art of the ghost written bio and has now produced two superb books that take you into a whole new world, where the author drags you by the hand into the most intriguing subcultures.

His first such book, The Game, unearthed the world of Pick-up Artists and men overcoming their fear of women – while today’s topic for discussion, Emergency, deals with people afraid of a major event causing social collapse.

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