Category Archives: Life

Changing Seasons, Changing Directions

Dollar Sign The time has come for The Magnum Life to change directions and focus on a different aspect of life … increasing income for salesmen. Not in the conventional way, but by teaching salesmen the importance of the numbers behind what they sell and how it affects their commission checks.

As I work with salesmen, it is apparent many don’t understand the basics of markups and margins, which is critical because commissions are generally based on the gross margins of their sales.

With a teacher’s heart, I have started working on a book that will cover this aspect of sales in depth, with The Magnum Life acting as the rough drafts and sounding board for the book.

Where It Began

For the last several years, The Magnum Life has been about my travels and experiences on the road as a traveling salesman. The name originated as a result of buying a 2007 Dodge Magnum for a road/sales car. It has a lot of room, runs great, looks great, and gets good gas mileage. But The Magnum Life means far more. It’s about living and enjoying life.

I am no longer a traveling salesman covering the State of Texas, having left the road for a management position for a wholesale/retail distributor. I do, however, still work with salespeople and see several recurring themes … difficulty in getting new business and commissions.

I may address gaining new business as it pertains to the math of commissions, but the main focus is on increasing paychecks by understanding how the percentages work.

Your Input

One of the ideas of writing articles about the endeavor is to solicit your input, questions, and ideas. If I write something you agree or disagree with, that is valuable information in structuring the book. It might not change my viewpoint, but I think discussion about this is important.

The math portion is based off commissions plans I’ve worked under or know other salespeople have been compensated with. The rest is based on my experience as a sales manager for many years.

That’s it for now …

New shoes for Inara

New Pirelli P4 tires installed at Discount Tire

The Michelin HydroEdge tires have survived the road for about 100,000 miles so it is time for a change. Since the HydroEdge tire is discontinued (replaced is probably more accurate), I decided to return to the P4s from Pirelli.

The price is better than the replacement Michelin and I don’t live on the road like I once did.

If you have followed this website for any time, you know I first ran the Pirelli P4s, then when I had to replace them, I had the Michelin HydroEdge tires installed. I wrote several reviews about each tire and I would recommend both tires.

Inara Mileage thi morning

Here is a picture of the odometer a few miles after the tire installation. Inara is about to turn 218,000 miles old, which she did a few hours after this shot was taken.

Inara has a big smile on her face. She likes her new shoes..

Oil & Filter Change


It’s that time again. I would think since coming in off the road, changing the oil & filter would get less frequent, and however, my commute still adds up to 1600 miles each month plus errands and lunch. That means this errand still rolls around every few months.

I’m trying a new service center this time. The local oil change business shut down some time ago, but a new one has opened up a mile from the house. It will be nice if they do a good job because of convenience.

I had to quit using the previous business in this location because they were careless. They changed the oil and filter but didn’t have a quality check process in place and I drove off with a loose drain plug.

I was 400 miles from home when the oil light came on. Yep, when I pulled the dipstick it was dry. No oil… It had all blown out leaving me broke down in Hale Center, Texas. Don’t know where that is? You really need to check a map to grasp the circumstances. Oh, and there are no shops in Hale Center. And after hours is worse. The nearest wrecker was 75 miles away.

I’ll save the rest of the story for later. I think they are about done.

The 100 most congested Texas roads

Just in time for Labor Day, the Texas Department of Transportation released a list of the 100 most congested highways in Texas. Not surprisingly, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston fill out the top 30 spots with San Antonio showing up at 31.

Number 32, Stone Oak Parkway and Hwy 281 is one I must deal with every day on my commute into and out of downtown San Antonio. I knew it was bad, but to make this list confirms it.

Which problem area do you have to contend with on a daily basis? Is it in the top 50 or languishing in the bottom 50?

USPS offers varied services

These two goups of mailboxes are across the highway from each other and have always caught my attention. I wonder if one truly is more efficient than the other.

2012-08-18 15.46.162012-08-18 15.49.07

Is this the antique and the modern, the old and the new, the inefficient and the efficient?

To me it seems more like the sterile and the natural.

What do you think?