Welcome to brip blap!
My name is Steve, and I am the owner, editor, publisher and (most of the time) the main author of this blog. I am first and foremost the father of my son “Little Buddy” and my daughter “Pumpkin” and husband to my wife, “Bubelah”, but along with that I am a son, a brother, a grandson, an uncle, a son-in-law and a brother-in-law. I am a professional, an auditor, a consultant and a would-be writer and problogger. In an attempt to simplify my life – and live by some of the principles I espouse – I moved two years ago from New Jersey, in the New York City metropolitan area, to a small town in the beautiful Jacksonville, Florida area. I have roots in Mississippi but I have lived as far afield as Russia. I think a lot about personal finance, my career, self-improvement and health, but I also love a good movie. My ultimate goal is financial freedom. I’m going to reach it, because I’m already well along the path to achieving it, but focus and discipline are my watchwords!
Wonder how I named the blog?
The phrase brip blap is from the movie “How to Murder Your Wife” starring Jack Lemmon (which apparently is a comedy despite the ominous title). I’ve never seen it, but my parents have, and they liked the phrase which apparently was used to describe a manic depressive type whose moods went briiiiip….blap. They bestowed this moniker on me at a very early age because my ‘baby moods’ ranged from extremely happy to extremely mopey very quickly. Although I am cheerful most of the time these days I expend a lot of effort controlling my temper and darker moods. Learning how to control my “blap” side is an ongoing process. Learning how to make use of my “brip” side is something I’ve only recently started to do.
What are my qualifications?
I am not a financial planner, first of all. I am not a doctor, second of all. All of my ‘advice’ is my own opinion. Before rushing off and doing anything you read in this blog I strongly suggest you should consult with a professional in that field, because for me to tell you otherwise would be irresponsible, no, eh? All that having been said, I can give advice in the following categories for the following reasons:
- Finance: I have been (and am) a successful consultant, making six figures a year. I advise Fortune 500 companies on their Sarbanes-Oxley, audit, corporate governance and finance issues. I owned a large (for the area) home in the most expensive housing market in the US, New York City (and I am sure some Southern Californians could argue with that), although I picked up and moved the family to Florida in 2009 for the weather and the less expensive lifestyle. I am consumer-debt free and my wife and I have a sizable investment/retirement portfolio, pay cash for cars and other major expenses, and save money like there’s no tomorrow. We have an emergency fund built up for 6 months of my salary, and the final kicker is that we did all of this for years on limited income, since Bubelah was a stay-at-home mom and I was not a full-time employee – I was a contract consultant for 10 years. In 2014 Bubelah started working as an accountant and bookkeeper with her own small business, and I took a job with a client as a director – simply because the time seemed right to give it a go at an executive job.
- Diet: In 2000 I weighed 300+ pounds. Two years later, I lost approximately 100 pounds. Check this out:
- Life: This one’s a bit tougher to quantify, but I have traveled all over the world in my younger days for work and for fun. I have been to places as ‘routine’ as London and Paris more times than I can count. I have been to locations as ‘exotic’ as remote Indonesia, the Romanian countryside and tiny ex-gulag villages in Russian Siberia. I grew up in a small town have now lived in two of the world’s major metropolitan centers for the last 11 years (Moscow and New York). After being a committed bachelor for years, now I’m a committed (and happy) family man, with a young son (Little Buddy) and daughter (Pumpkin). I struggle almost constantly with the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, mostly “Esteem” and “Self-Actualization”. I am not a navel-gazer (yes I am), but I am constantly striving to become more organized, a better person and more at peace with myself and my family. I am deeply concerned about the state of the world and what that means for my kids, both in terms of what I perceive as the decline of US economic and moral power and in terms of the climate crisis. It’s a lot to worry about, plus dealing with little kids!
- Other: I read a lot, too… that’s got to count for something, doesn’t it? I speak three languages (OK, one is English, but I speak German and Russian, too) and I can recite Pi to 10 places. Take that, Stephen Hawking.
Around the Internet
I try my best to be an active commenter on most of the sites on my blogroll, and I’m always interested in contacting other bloggers – and readers of this blog, of course. Check out my blogroll (on the front page), there are a lot of good reads there. If you want to be on my blogroll, please don’t contact me asking for a link exchange – write some good stuff and drop me an email to let me know about it. I’ll add it if it’s good – and I won’t ask you to add me unless I write something you like, too.
- first marketplace radio interview
- second marketplace interview
- third marketplace interview
- fourth marketplace interview
You can also check out the “Greatest Hits” page – I recommend it if you’re new to the site.
I’ll try to publish most comments, but I reserve the right to refuse to publish anything if I think it’s inflammatory, overly negative or not useful in furthering the conversation on-topic. If you disagree with me – you get published. If you call me names without explaining why, you get deleted.
Please contact me if you have any proposals for writing work for me, if you want to write a guest post, or if you want me to write a guest post for you, or if you want to hire me for life and career coaching!
If you’ve read this far, you’re alright by me. Thanks for your interest, and if there’s anything you want to hear from me, shoot me a line by going to my “contact me” page. And remember, you can become a fan of the Facebook page, follow me at Twitter and of course subscribe by email or RSS!