The Monthly Bug – Sports + Quick Bag Edition

I’m keeping things sharp and tight these days.  It’s keeping me focused on what’s important to me right now.

A full on rugby season is eminent.

1-stay in one piece
2-win a lot
3-laugh a lot

I’d love to see you at a game.  Here’s the schedule.

While my weight has stayed the same (approx – 250lbs), I’m getting leaner and stronger, in light of the running and cardio.  I’ve also been focusing on my core, so as to support an achy back, but i feel it only a small part of the battle.  Inasmuch, I’ve all but convinced myself that 93% of back pain is between my ears.  When I am happy and feeling good – no pain.  When everything is grey and my breakfast tastes like cardboard with a dash of dirt – my back expresses itself in incredible ways (pain).

Last month I completed a Basic Keel Boat sailing course, which allows me to now rent a sailboat.  Watch out, ye old salty dog!

I first held my hand on a tiller as a boy in Boy Scouts, with Lazers and Sunfish.  At 14 years old, my dad bought a 14′ flat bottom Jon boat, which we still have at our river house in Burgaw, NC.  I’d have to say that that is where I really learned to pilot a vessel.

I also recall courting a maiden in college under the helm on a 20′ Hobie Cat.  Real smart.

“Yes.  Absolutely.  I’ve sailed all over.  There’s the mast and boom.  Those are the sheets and..and that thing controls the rudders.” I explained to the 16 year old manning the rental station in Wilmington, NC

“Ok.  Here’s the sail.  Have fun.” He replied and walked back to his goings on under a medium sized umbrella.

We were on Wrightsville Beach facing the sound and the wind was at about 15 knots.

I almost tipped it several times.  We nearly drown several times, but we didn’t.  However , she didn’t go on another date with me.

I simply did not know how to control the wind in a craft that fast. Alas..

I do now!

The thrill of sailing is capturing my spirit more and more every time I am on the water.

Moving right along, I built a “Quick Bag”.

It’s basically a backpack with all of the necessities I would need if I just had to go.  Like, right now!

No, I haven’t robbed a bank (yet).  I just know emergencies happen and I like to be prepared.

The grooming has taken place over my entire life.

First as a Boy Scout.  Camping as a teenager.  Road trips and hurricanes in college. Global vagabonding and a few minor earth quakes having since moved to California.  Constantly seeing the disasters on the TV’s at the bank (I hate watching the news for this reason).

To sum things up, the proverbial shit does hit the fan sometimes.

I’m prepared for it.

  • SAS Survival Guide
  • Map of Los Angeles county and California
  • Written contingency plan
  • Copy of drivers license, passport, birth certificate, and credit cards
  • Portable CB radio w/ extra batteries
  • Signal mirror and small flares
  • Head lamp w/ extra batteries
  • Lock blade knife
  • Hatchet
  • Water purification pills (Iodine)
  • Water bottle (rigid)
  • Water bladder (flexible)
  • Gloves
  • Mittens
  • Ear plugs
  • Sharpie
  • 2 Pens
  • 2 Pencils
  • Binoculars
  • Compass
  • Flint and steel
  • 2 lighters
  • 2 packs of matches
  • Folding stove with fuel cells
  • 2 trash bags
  • Shoe laces
  • Tourniquet
  • Twine
  • 200′ para cord
  • Small roll duct tape
  • Small roll electrical tape
  • 12 zip ties
  • Foreign country power converter/transformer
  • 4 D carabiners
  • First Aid Kit + medicine and contacts
  • Bear spray (I camp in the Rockies and I don’t currently carry a firearm.  In addition to bears, this stuff would certainly deter the belligerent drunk..and rabid it made the cut)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Self inflating sleeping bag mat
  • Wool hat
  • Work grade jeans
  • Light convertible pants/shorts
  • Rugby shorts (super comfortable/swimming/indestructible)
  • 2 breathable shirts with zipper pockets (holding secrets)
  • 1 light jacket
  • 2 socks
  • 1 pair sneakers
  • 1 large hiking bag
  • 4 misc sized nylon compression sacks

I’d like to spend a bit more time adding to my first aid kit, replacing the clothes with more multi purpose gear and a pair of solid boots, and perhaps even a different bag.  I’d also like to get some dried foods and bottled water and certainly some disaster currency ($100 small bills cash, tobacco, alcohol, batteries, etc.). In due time.

Its a start and it provides a ton of peace of mind to know its just sitting there, if I need it.  It took me about 3 hours to put together on a rainy Saturday and most of the stuff I found laying around the house.

Some really good resources can be found here, here, and here if you want to make one for yourself.

If you never need it, great. FANTASTIC!  If you do need it, well, I suppose it’ll be a good thing you took the time to make it happen.

That’s it for now.

This past year has been nothing short of amazing and 2011 is going to be awesome! (I really love prime #’s)

Be sure to look out for next month’s Bug for the first annual Year in Review!

Stay close,


pr – have I mentioned lately that I love my mom?  It probably wouldn’t hurt to say it again: “Hey Mom!  I love you!”

You may ask, why have I received this email from you, Aaron.  The short answer is that our lives have probably crossed paths at some point and I have your email address.

The longer answer may require a connection

Are we connected?  We’d be a lot cooler if we were..

Subscribe to my blog
Friend me on Facebook
Link to me on Linkedin
Follow me on Twitter
or, for the love of all things easy, call me 310-663-2865

171 Pier Ave., #251
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The Monthly Bug – Inspiration Edition

Lots of things inspire me.

Making a positive change in my life is inspires me to make more. Video (Day 1) Video (Day 30)

Playing rugby with my friends inspires me to deepen relationships. Photo

Visiting the Smithsonian inspires me to learn. Photo

Witnessing the raw power of Mother Nature inspires me to respect.  Photo

Listening to one of my favorite bands in a small venue with a ridiculous sound system inspires me pay greater attention to the small things . Video

However, these events pale in comparison to the inspiration manifested by watching my only sister hold her 2 day old daughter.

On September 25, 2010 at 8:27 am Kalina Louise Racheva was introduced to the world.   She has a full head of dark hair, a humbling dimple in her right cheek, long thin fingers (and toes) that will be perfect for the piano, and spirited vocal cords.

Elizabeth, Danail, and Kalina are all healthy and happy.

I’m amazed and proud and thrilled and excited and nervous and…inspired!

Stay close,


The Monthly Bug – Sales + Change Edition (Video)

I’ve gone on a bit in the last few installments of the Monthly Bug about my passion for real estate, learning, and marketing..but after much reflection, I realize I might be spreading a bit of a mixed signal.

Yes, its true, I absolutely love those industries, but my interests span much wider than that.

In the last 60 days I have consulted with a travel company, a digital media company, a law firm, a credit repair company, an industrial recycling outfit, a photographer, a massage therapist, an event organizer, and a sports rehab start up.

Why did the principals want to pick my brain?  What is the common denominator?


I know sales.

Come to think about it..

Everyone is in sales..and everyone should be cognisant of its virtues.

A trainer in a gym is selling their expertise about fitness to worker outers and facilities.  The director of a non profit is selling their idea to grant  providers and those that might benefit from their services.  A teacher is selling their capability to educate to their student and the faculty.

I could go on.

But, its not always money that is being exchanged.

Its ideas, collateral, tools, advise..value.  Read that again, value, is being exchanged.

Value is represented sometimes as money and sometimes its the feeling that you made a difference.

I call it sales, whereas you may label it something different. What you call it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you are offering value.

What are you doing to insure you are offering value to your audience?  Drop me a line or comment on my blog to let me know your ideas.

Talk soon,


ps – 3 links everyone should visit

1 – Are you failing often? You should be.

2 – Are you focusing on dramatic emergencies? I am working on the long run (Video).

3 – A 5 step plan for just about everyone and everything.

pps – I’m growing out my beard for the winter.  What do you think?

The Monthly Bug – Buffalo Edition

I know you’re busy, so I’ll get right to it..

You may know that I have my little paws pretty deep into the real estate, online education, and internet marketing games.

These industries excite me for a number of reasons, but never mind me for right now.

Today, I just want to pass along some really cool stuff that I hope you’ll find some value in…and share a video of me almost getting gored by a buffalo 🙂

Real Estate & Insurance: These guides provide answers to a few commonly asked questions.  They will remain on my blog under the resource tab and are free to share.

What Is The Role Of A Realtor And What Do They Do?
What Is The Role Of A Mortgage Broker?
What is the Escrow Process?
What Is Title Insurance?
An Easy Guide to Buying a Home

What Is The Role Of An Insurance Broker?
What Is An Insurance Company And How Do They Work?

Monthly Household Budget Worksheet
Personal Budget Worksheet

Online Education: With my Father, I run, an accredited insurance continuing education company.  However, there aren’t to many things that do not interest me.  Here a few of my favorite resources for finding super cool things to learn:

MIT OpenCourseWare – OpenCourseWare is a free publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT
Open Culture – Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community
Academic Earth – Courses on nearly every subject from many of the worlds leading universities
Video Lectures – Video lectures from leading scholars and scientists from many of the most important science events
Khan Academy – 1400+ videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance given by Salman Khan
How Stuff Works – Figure it (just about anything) out with pictures, diagrams, and users generated manuals of all kinds – a do-it-yourselfers paradise
The Human Body – Point and click to dissect the human body.
Google Books – The Library of Congress (plus a ton more), digitized, searchable, and free
TED – Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world
The Complete List of Nobel Laureates – Global leaders in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, & Economics – the net’s largest collection of weird, bizarre, and interesting sites – Tips, tricks, and experiments to hack almost anything you do..from sleeping to making a solar cell
The Smithsonian – the world’s largest museum complex and research organization
Conceptis – Logic puzzles to tease and twist the brain

Mind Share – Los Angeles based enlightened debauchery (my personal review – awesome!)

When you’re ready to get serious with your brain – Do a MENSA Workout

Internet Marketing: I started dabbling on the internet in 1999, my first company being (the link is to the Internet Archive, as the site is no longer up).  Today, I work nearly completely online and wouldn’t have it any other way. Vanessa Fox, creator of Google Webmaster Central, just wrote a book – “Marketing in the Age Of Google: Your online strategy IS your Business Strategy”.  Plain and simple: your clients and your competitors are online…why aren’t you?

Jump start your company’s online marketing do-it-yourself style by familiarizing yourself with these free tools:

Beginners Guide To SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Beginners Guide to Local SEO
What are the Signals That Affect Local SEO – 69 Experts Weigh In
Expert Site Review From Google I/O (Video)
Google Webmaster Central
Google Adwords – Online advertising that reaches 80% of internet users, globally
Perry Marshall – Some think he knows more about Adwords than Google does
Bing Webmaster Central
Bing & MSN Advertising – Smaller audience than Google, but also cheaper
Facebook Advertising Guide and Tutorials
Facebook Page Marketing Guide + How To Use Facebook For Business (requires opt-in, but I think its worth it)
Fascinating and staggering statistics surrounding Facebook..displayed in images

Just for fun, I thought it would be a good idea to pet a buffalo.

That’s right, a wild full grown 2,000lb male buffalo.

What on earth was I thinking?

There is explicit language, so young ears may want to cover up.

Also, if your boss knows you have friends that do this sort of thing, you may get fired.

Watch the video here

How might I be of service?  Ask me anything..

Stay close,