Random Questions with Mr. 1500

Mr. 1500, Legosaurus Rex
Today’s post is easily the highlight of my blogging career. I am thrilled to have Mr. 1500 as the very first participant in my Random Questions Series.

If you are part of my Personal Finance readership, Mr. 1500 needs no introduction. However, if you are from my dad blog base, you are probably wondering, just who is this Mr. 1500 guy and why is he riding a dinosaur?

Anchorman, Ron Burgundy, Mr. 1500, Big DealI don’t know how to put this, but Mr. 1500 is kind of a big deal! Way back in 2013, you remember, when the Harlem Shake was a thing. Well back then Mr. 1500 had an awakening. He realized that in just 1500 days he could officially retire from mandatory work…I should probably mention he would be just 43 at the time of his intended retirement!

For the past 1588 days (and counting) he has taken us readers on a hilarious and informative journey, and a mere 2 weeks ago, he formally left the world of required employment. (Though he could have retired well before he hit his 1500 day mark.)

With all the free time he now has on his hands, he has very generously agreed to kick off my Random Questions series in style. This is particularly special for me, since it was his 10 Questions Series that inspired me to start this quirky spin off.

For long time Mr. 1500 readers, I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did, and maybe even learn a thing or two you didn’t know about him.

And for those of you who haven’t heard of Mr. 1500, well, you are in for a treat and as soon as you’re done with this post, you absolutely have to check out his site.

Lego Car
Vehicular Representation of my Site (sorry, it’s no NSX)

Wait…what about the dinosaur?

I’ll let Mr. 1500 address that question. But if your a dinosaur purist and want to see them in their natural habitat, be sure to stop by his site and see what else they’ve been up to.

While my site may not be the NSX he was hoping for, it is my honor to hand the keys over to Mr. 1500:

Who are you?

My name is Carl and I blog over at 1500 Days. The blog is about my journey to financial independence with some dinosaurs thrown in:

Frugalsaurus and Spendosaur in the Nevada desert

I’m married to a mostly sane lady. We produced two girls who enjoy fighting with each other and making crazy faces whenever I take their picture:

I reached my financial independence number about a year ago and quit my job. I still work, but on my own projects and according to my rules.

What are you passionate about?

Building stuff: I love to build. Nothing makes me feel better than creating software, building a new shower for my home or even an electric bicycle. I sleep better knowing that I’ve been doing cool things all day. Gratifying work is the key to a happy life.

The future: Despite what the mainstream media tells you, we live in wonderful times. The world is safer than ever. Lifespans are increasing. Cars will soon drive themselves and we’ll all be flying around in electric jets, maybe even before the decade is out.

What song do you want played at your funeral?

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It’s a beautiful, happy piece of music. I don’t want anyone to be sad that I’ve died. I want them to be happy because I’ve lived by my own rules. My life has exceeded all of my expectations and I’m thankful every single day for it.

Who’s your favorite comedian?

Eddie Murphy. I was in 3rd or 4th grade when my best friend got hold of some Eddie Murphy tapes. As children, we shouldn’t have been listening to Mr. Murphy as he was incredibly dirty. Our vocabularies expanded, but not in a good way.

Murphy’s potty mouth also presented a logistics dilemma. If either of our parents discovered this contraband, it would have been immediately seized, so we had to listen strategically with a lookout man.

What are you insecure about?

My voice. I hate listening to myself. I probably should so I can improve my speaking skills, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

The Mad Fientist interviews Mrs. 1500 and I on stage at FinCon. Yet another recording of myself that I’ll never listen to.

Tell us something the readers of your blog or listeners of your podcast don’t know about you?

I never kill spiders.

When I was a kid, I saw a big spider making its way across the garage floor. I mindlessly stepped on it. When I lifted my foot off the spider, I saw little dots moving away from it. I had no idea what I was looking at, so I kneeled down for a closer look. I had killed a mother spider. The dots were babies that she was carrying on her back.

I feel terrible about it to this day and I’ve never killed another spider.

What are you afraid of?

Like most people. I was afraid of public speaking, but Mrs. 1500 and I recently gave a talk to a group of college students and it went well, so I don’t fear it anymore.

I do fear meeting new people. I don’t pay attention to sports and have no time for TV, so it can be difficult to find common ground (also, I’m strange). There are people I’ve known for years, but I can’t carry a conversation with them for longer than 5 minutes. It’s very uncomfortable and slightly terrifying.

*looks down, shakes head, sighs*

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?

Travel: Now that I’m done with work, I have five glorious weeks of vacation planned. We’ll spend two weeks in the Midwest visiting family and friends. We’ll spend a week in Michigan and another in Minnesota. Shout out to Minnesota:

Later in the summer, we’re going to the Northeast (Maine, Vermont and NYC) and Scotland for three weeks.

Why did you start a blog/podcast?

I started blogging because I enjoy writing. I also wanted to hold myself publicly accountable. I had no expectations beyond that. While the blog makes money, this was never my goal. In the first 3 years of writing, I made less than $1,000.

What post/episode are you most proud of and why?

My favorite post is about my philosophy on money. At some point in my journey to financial independence, I realized that money is just a very small part of the equation.

How is blogging/podcasting different from what you expected?

I didn’t expect much to come out of it. I had zero expectations. But then, people started reading the blog. I’m incredibly grateful that people find my words amusing.

The best part is the people who I’ve met through the blog. I consider many of them good friends. If I didn’t blog, our paths would have never crossed. I’m so thankful for this.

A recent weekend with the Wealthy Accountant and JL Collins

What unique skill do you have?

I am tenacious. At work, I was often called on to fix the most difficult issues. At home, I never give up when things go wrong. I spent many hours working on a dishwasher that only cost $50 to begin with.

Dishwasher shaming

What is your favorite book that doesn’t relate to the topic you write about or discuss on your podcast?

Voltaire’s Candide: Hilarious satire. Read it.

Dog person or cat person?

Dinosaur person:

What celebrity have you been told you look like?

I was at a Taco Bell back in high-school and a very old man told me I looked like Jim Harbaugh. I don’t think I look anything like Jim Harbaugh, but that’s all I’ve got.

What famous person have you met?

I lived in Chicago for a while when I met my one and only famous person. One morning, I stepped out of our condo building and saw a film crew. I asked one of the camera guys what was going on and he mentioned that Billy Corgan and his new band Zwan were filming a video. Wowee! I was a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan (Corgan’s band prior to Zwan). I grabbed my Zwan CD and went off in search of the band.

I found them moments later. They were sitting around waiting for the crew to finish setting up. In the nicest voice I could muster, I asked the drummer, Jimmy Chamberlain if the band would mind signing my CD. He graciously motioned me over and signed. Billy Corgan signed it too, but was incredibly annoyed. I’m sorry if you were having a bad day Billy.

You really shouldn’t meet your heroes.

Squint and you can see Corgan’s bald head

Let’s stretch those writing muscles. Write a Haiku summarizing your blog/podcast?

Fifteen hundred days,
Dinosaurs, money, life, beer,
Life is best lived free.

Name three days that changed your life, for better or worse:

  1. In college, a girlfriend took me to a money seminar. I consider it to be the most valuable day of my life because I learned the basics of investing. It set me on my way. Once I started earning real money, I started socking it away.
  2. Also in college, my sister called me to tell me that my grandfather had passed away. He was a big influence in my life and I was incredibly sad. I would later learn that my family knew he was going to die, but didn’t want to disturb me at school. I would have liked to say good-bye and he was only an hour away. I’ve always thought that making the most of my life would be the best way to honor his memory.
  3. I had a horrible couple weeks at work in October of 2012. It was so stressful that I barely ate for a week. Out of that stress came the goal of early retirement and the 1500 Days blog. My life is drastically different and better for it. I’m so damn thankful for those horrible weeks of stress.

Note from MSF: I’ve been a reader of Mr. 1500 for years and I never thought I’d be writing my own blog, let alone having Mr. 1500 guest post on it. It has been an amazing experience. Thank you Mr. 1500.

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed as a Mr. 1500 reader is his creativity and sense of humor. So as a somewhat silly thank you to all of the Mr. 1500 readers that have found their way to my site, I wanted to get a little creative myself. So next Thursday I’ll be trying out something new just for the Mr. 1500 readership. Stop back to check it out. I’ll give you a hint: it involves the fate of Legosaurus-Rex.

UPDATE 5/18/17: Legosuarus Rex Finds a New Home – Thank you to all the Mr. 1500 readers that stopped by!

48 Comments

  1. I still remember the Eddie Murphy Delirious video. It was eye opening when I was in the 6th grade. Needless to say many of the jokes went over my head but I loved it. Over the years they became more and more obvious but that was my introduction to humor 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping back MSM, you’ll always have a special place on this site as my very first commenter. Sounds like Eddie Murphy was the comedian to watch as a middle schooler back in the day.

  2. Thanks so much for having me! That is the best introduction ever and I’m turning red right now! You’ve done a far better job with this than I ever did with my series! Thanks again!

  3. Good job teasing out facts about Mr. 1500 that are news to even long time readers MSF!

    I don’t kill spiders either, or any other insects barring mosquitos and roaches. I spent months teaching Toddler BITA to be nice to insects. Then one day we espy a small spider and she just goes berserk, stomping with crazed frenzy. I’m like WTF just happened? She tells me how there was a spider in her school a day ago and Zachary screamed and stomped it and all the children screamed and joined in the stomping and it was such fun. Damn you Zachary and that stupid toddler mob.

    1. Ha! I’ve been less than impressed some of the things my kids have brought back from school as well, but fortunately my kids bad influences aren’t as bad as that murderous Zachary 🙂

      Hopefully this will be a fun series and will help us unearth some previously unknown facts from the blogging community. Thanks for checking it out!

  4. Great interview!
    I wish I didn’t eat when I was stressed. So happy for you that your college girlfriend took you to a money seminar, Mr. 1500. I thought you were going to say she took your money, which is probably closer to the experience of many.

  5. Ha! How did I not know that SP was your favorite band? Zwan was great too but his stuff after that has been pretty bad…Billy needs Jimmy and a strong producer or he spends too much time navel gazing.

    1. I’d never heard of Zwan until I read Mr. 1500’s anecdote. I had to look them up, but discovered I wasn’t missing out on much. I enjoy Smashing Pumpkins way more.

  6. Vehicular representation – haha, great stuff! I guess that would make me a bus?

    All personal finance bloggers pretty such say the same things, what sets Mr. 1500 apart is his creativity and informality. It makes him very genuine.

  7. I listened to Rhapsody in Blue the entire time I read this post and during the comment. Well chosen, sir:) But don’t die too soon.

    For those who don’t know Carl, well, this is pretty much him in a post. Funny. Genuine. Smart. Wise. I think I laugh out loud at least 2-3 times every time I read a post. My wife always knows when I’m reading 1500days.com!

    I agree on not meeting celebrities. Especially the Hollywood/Music types can be a let down. But BLOGGING celebrities like Carl, that’s another story. Buy him a beer, ask to see his dinosaur, and you’ll be off and running:)

    Great post MSF! and glad to be introduced to your site. I love both the topic of being a dad and personal finance, so I fit right in:)

    1. I feel a little like my site is the red carpet today, so many PF blogging celebrities stopping by. Glad to have you here coach, I feel like it was just the other day I was listening to you on the Mad Fientist. You were awesome by the way!

      If I wasn’t a longtime Mr. 1500 reader, I might think “buy him a beer, ask to see his dinosaur” was a euphemism.

      Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate you taking the time to check out my site!

      1. Ha, Ha. I don’t know if I’m in the celebrity PF blogger category. More like the guy who showed up in the old pick-up truck:) But thanks!

        Maybe Carl would go for either the clean or the crude/euphemistic interpretation:) Lol.

  8. Stopped by from the 1500 blog and am enjoying your work as well. I look forward to reading more! Did a double at your cover image…looks just like a bridge next to an elementary school where my kids play basketball.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Aaron, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve been reading so far. I don’t want to blow my secret identity, but it is a bridge right by an elementary school. And the picture was taken while we were waiting for my kids basketball practice to start. Just don’t tell anyone.

  9. Yay, Random Question series is back. That’s awesome. And thanks for inviting Mr.1500 to answer the questions.

  10. Nice interview! I never knew Mr 1500 didn’t kill spiders. I had a similar experience with a mother spider, except she was a big hairy wolf spider in my kitchen and when I zapped her, the floor around her became alive with babies… More scared than amazed I also got them too, but omg that was freaky watching how many of them came off of her back. Shudder….

    I like the 10 questions series and looking forward to more!

  11. Well done… I’m a big fan of the old series, and I’m glad to see it continue on. Definitely introduced me to some folks that I would have never otherwise been exposed to.

    Keep up the good work!!

    1. Thanks Mr. Wow! Love the avatar by the way. I’m excited to meet some new bloggers as well and get to know more about some of the bloggers I’m already reading. I appreciate you checking in.

  12. MSF,

    Such a cool series! I am now going back to read some Mr 1500 posts on this. I am looking forward to reading these in the future as well!

    As far as spiders go, I kill them. The only one I ever let live was in an old apartment I rented. I had trouble keeping ants out of the kitchen no matter the amount of spray or cleaning. A spider took up shop in the corner and I had no ants for months. Good guy, that one…

  13. Great to see that this interview series is carried on! It also helped me to end up at your site; guess I’ll have some reading to do in the next few days 😉

  14. That was certainly fun! The ever-gracious Mr. 1500 also kicked off my interview series. I had so much fun answering his questions that I came up with a few of my own.

    Mr. 1500 has a way of keeping the mood very light while tackling some heavy topics. It’s not often that a writer can have you laughing out loud and contemplating the meaning of life in an 800-word post.

    I would have gone after all the baby spiders, too, stomping until all movement had ceased. But that’s just me.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    p.s. Who farted?

    1. I’ve loved your adaptation on the 10 questions series. I always think of my favorite Spinal Tap scene whenever I read a new Christopher Guest post – (“Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.”).

      You’re welcome to take on my Random Questions any time you like. I’d consider it a great honor to have my two key inspirations for this series participate in it!

      p.s. I think it was Spendasaurus!

  15. I second the motion on meeting awesome people because of the blog. Carl and Jim are awesome and it was an honor spending a weekend talking shop.

  16. I was pretty bummed when Mr. 1500 stopped his 10 Question Series, so I’m thrilled you are taking up your own version MSF. Awesome, starting with him.

    Mr. 1500 if you have any available time while in Michigan, I’d love to buy you and Mrs. 1500 a beer. We could even talk dinosaurs.

  17. Great interview! Glad to see the series will be carried on and will stopping by regularly to check it and the site out.

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