Started the topic with a podcast to help sooth my soul. This is what happened.
I had been complaining inwardly about the content present on my television set for months. At least once a week I was saying, “How can I have 600 plus television channels, and nothing that I want to watch”.
Let me give you some information about me. I’m a little odd in the American male lexicon. I don’t like to watch sports on television and rarely talk about or care, what professional sports team is pitted against who. Sports stats bore me, most television movies are boring or I have seen them before (why watch it again, RIGHT!) or just have little interest because I critique the screen play, direction, acting, effects and accuracy of the presentation. Basically i’m a media snob. I do like music videos, documentaries and concerts on cable TV be they seem to be dwindling too in acceptable content.
To be honest I was keeping my “X” cable providers content levels because my daughter liked certain show and could watch them on here various devices. That was until I received my latest bill which was $168 and some change, $20 dollars higher than the month previous.
WTF, was my reaction as I witnessed my newly emailed cable television bill. Needless to say, my geeky side took over and I calculated what 168 multiplied by 12 represented. $2016 a year. That can buy a great deal of good experiences in my life. $2016 a year for the CHANCE to find something interesting on television. Granted this includes my high speed internet, but shoot, that is just a bit too much money for me. I need my internet so I can get news, blog , watch TED talks, but “never” watch porn.
So , I was all set to get rid of my cable television altogether (except the high speed internet of course) until I called the cable company and was talked down off the ledge, by being offered a lower package. So my bill was dropped in price by 50 percent before taxes and fees. I am a little happier, except they took away some of the stations that I loved the most, for instance VH1, Fuse, MTV, and a few other channels, but I still have Showtime and HBO, go figure. To add insult to a minor injury, my beautiful Samsung HDTV is fed with standard definition signal from my replacement new weeny cable box.
There is one caveat, I searched YouTube and built a DIY HD Television Antenna. It’s ugly, but hot dam does it work for local television stations, 70 channels in all, and they are beautiful uncompressed HD quality.
So when I hunker for HD, and a choice of programming my options are :
- Netflix (Streaming and DVD)
- Local Video Store
- Apple TV
- Computer turned into a media center
- iPad/iPod touch
- Playstation 3
I think its only a matter of time before I just junk the idea of having Cable TV to watch content anyway, at least until this season 3 of Showtime’s House of Lies is done. It would be awesome if I could just purchase rights/subscription to certain television content providers, but that is not available yet.
For now I feel better, but with each passing day my television is becoming my stereo/media center, computer screen.
The motto for 2014, Just let it go, if it takes more than it gives.
Peace, Love and Darts and Beer
We all complain about having to go to work. Work or having a job is necessary for the masses to sustain a somewhat comfortable life. I too have these debates internally about working or a job. Most individual have never asked themselves, “What can I do for a living which would fulfill my life and soul with joy?”.
I have asked myself that very question and sought out that answer, except there is one problem. It’s not just one thing, or my opinions change depending on my life experience. This question is important for all of us to keep asking.
What typically occurs for most humans in America is we settle for what seems to be the easiest, like water down a hill. There is the problem directly. We get a job, putting our future and life and control in the hands of a few people. This is not a bad thing really, but there are alternatives. The alternatives depend on you method of thinking.
Once upon a time in America it was not necessary to attend college, that was then. Now being employed in the middle class requires most people to prove ones self by buying into debt with a college education, which still holds no promise of future earnings. For instance my daughter will exit college $140,000 in debt at the age of 22. WTF!
At the turn of the 19 century, a person could lean a trade as an apprentice. There one could test the waters, gain experience and perfect a craft. Your education was traded for time not dollars and time. Where can a person become a viable apprentice out of high school in today’s society.
Our primary education system is no help to steer individual in the direction of having many options for employment today. The American education was designed to prepare the immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world to have the basic qualification as modern work force. Many individuals immigrating to America had very low education and many could not do the basics of reading, writing or common math. Our education was designed to give citizens the basics, nothing more.
The dream for many early American citizens was to provide for themselves and their family. These people wanted to be their own boss. What happened to that spirit? We are trained to work for other, buy from other but not do for ourselves. Many people use the biggest argument of having health insurance. It is an excuse for most of us. We must stop it.
We need to change our mode of thinking. We need to figure our what would bring us joy as an occupation, while serving the public and eventually employing at least 5 to 10 people.
Create a job don’t look for one. Live frugally. It has taken me years to figure this out, and now I can’t look back. I am constantly looking at the world to see how I can provide joy to the world and value in my life.
Think about a good business owner who has 3 employees. That business owner helps to feed the square root of 3 or 9 people minimally, no to mention how much positive influence the business owner spreads.
Create more, consume less, create your own job.
Enjoy, your life
That is how change is carried out.
Occupy New York could be the kindling wood to start the needed process of mass mindset and spiritual change. It seem as though the powers that be want to keep us frightened and dependent on their rule of law. It is not working any longer. This shit sucks and is old and boring. I am done with being an uber consumer. A buying commodity. Our sense of real community is lost. Plus we work more than we live. The 1950’s post war suburban mentality died in 1979. What are we to do, begin using the time were given to live to love and love to experience what tribal people already know. It’s the experience of the journey for which we are created.
I have food,water, shelter, love and community. The rest of it is just STUFF and Clutter.
When we were children there were people we literally looked up to, because they were, in our eyes larger than life. This is also the American philosophy. In the last 80 or so years it became our mantra. Be First, Be the biggest , be the baddest ( in a good way, Until Bush # 2) in everything we are. The problem occurred when we forgot about the cost associated with being the biggest. It takes effort to keep up the front.
For years I lifted weights to put some man size of my former 150 ~ 160 lb frame ( top out at about 215~217, that’s almost 70lbs..OMG). There is one thing about gaining the muscle, I lost my flexibility, due to my concentration on being bigger. This same scenario has happened in our society too. BIG house, big card etc, yada yada yada.
After realizing how limited my range of motion has been hampering me lately I decided to do something about it. So let me proclaim my intentions, This is not a new years resolution either.
- Ability to place my palms on the floor from a straight legged bent stance. ( can’t even touch my shoes,OH LORD PLEASE!)
- Able to do Chinese split (GIVE ME STRENGTH)
- ability to do backwards rollover into a hand stance. (Pray for me)
- get through 35 minute yoga or stretching routine in great form. ( I got health care so I’m good)
- And last but not least drop down to 185 ~190 lbs (that’s hot). (Just say no to the Grape drink)
I have come to learn in various aspects,bigger is not always better. Most often just right is better than too much.
Acquiring the philosophy of SIMPLE seems to be the best way to live. Learning how having excess prevents many of us from living SIMPLE.
Here comes another list folks.
- Too many people around you for no reason—Drama = NOT SIMPLE.
- Having too much credit -Drama =NOT SIMPLE
- Concerned about other peoples business and not just your own – DRAMA = NOT SIMPLE (IMMA DO ME, U DO YOU)
- Not listening to what Life is telling you to do cause it seems hard -DRAMA = Not SIMPLE
If you live simply, below your means, you can have a Better experience which is more enjoyable than a Bigger experience.
So it’s time to at least TRY taking care of you MIND, BODY and SOUL. Which I feel is our own personal trinity. (BIBLE REFERENCE)
Let’s face it, we all got hoodwinked along the way. We were all told that you are SUPPOSE to have everything you want when you want it.
I bought it, literally, hook line and sinker. Credit cards, multiple car payments, everything on installments. Then I got a wake up call. 2007 the bottom fell out like a size 20 as in size 12 jeans.
I got downsized. It was uncomfortable to say the least. Part of the problem is the word COMFORT. Living in this country we see it every day, everyone is living so dam comfortable, it makes us think to ourselves. “I should be comfortable too.
American is not about family values, baseball and apple pie. It is about comfort and entitlement. Look around and you will see it if you just take the time to look.
Comfort got US(A) into our current situation. and here they are:
- Credit card debit of $5000.00 or more
- Driving cars we cannot afford (Insurance too)
- School loans that rival national debts of small countries
- House payment more than half our income. ( and your house is not valued for what you owe)
- Giving our children too much material and not enough virtue. ( I am guilty)
- Not saving at least 10 percent of what we earn.
These are just a few of the item i took inventory of when I got downsized in 2008. On unemployment ( which was a fraction of my take home pay, but thank you for it.) I realized that I was paying for things, which I could not remember buying, thanks to the ease of acquiring a credit card. I was able to barely hold it together for the 9 months I was “UNEMPLOYED IN MICHIGAN”.
I vowed that when I returned to the stable financial state of being, I would not do this again.
Credit card Companies….ASSHOLES (that was harsh Emmitt) , They are the DEVIL…Temptation . They should be the 8th deadly SIN.
Believe it or not they are almost impossible to live without, unless you know the rules of the game.
During my temporary vacation, several of my credit card companies dropped my limits on my cards to lower than what I owed. Can you believe that! That made my payments on what I owed grow, and my credit rating go down.
I told one credit card during a collection call, I will pay you off when I get the money and never use you again. I heard her smirk. That is exactly what I did. C.R.E.A.M. Cash rules everything around me, is never a better statement of wisdom.
As luck would have it I found employment. I took about three or four months for me to get kinda stable again. I put my plan into action. I told my wife, “I have no money for some time to come for pleasant things. I was on a mission. I did what I had too, every penny I had counted for a bill that had no immediate value. I took about 18 months but I finally paid off my credit card balances.
I bet your wondering how I stayed motivated, Cause it is hard to do. Suze Orman helped but her “GIRLFRIEND” banter made me sick after a while of listening to her podcast. Then I lucked upon Dave Ramsey’s podcast. That was a Blessing. Listening to his podcast everyday for 1 hour helped me stay the course. I began listening to his show, and it helped me to understand VALUE for what I bought.
This Christmas, my wife asked me what I wanted. I told her “Nothing baby, cause I cannot think of one thing you could buy me that would have enough value long term. ” I just wanted to be content with shelter, food, clothes and family.
I realized, I don’t give a dam with the Jone’s think, cause they are not paying for me anyway. My clothes are clean, I have a roof over my head, and if you read my last blog post you know I have had more than enough food.
Here is the MOTTO: Buy what you need and not just what you want. The simple healthy life is the best life.
With the money I am not spending, I am Saving. I have a number in my head to hit by mid-2011, I know I can do that. So by 2015 I will be looking at the world slightly different.
Gordon Gecko in the movie Wall Street declared that “Greed Is Good”.
Well Look where that got us. National household credit card debt that averages $5~10K on the low end, automobiles that are worthless as soon as you stick a key in the ignition, and housing prices that are worth 75% of what you owe to the financial institution.
We got hoodwinked into thinking that the upper class was available to everyone at any time. In that struggle to attain a certain level of life style we lost not only our financial way but our social foundation too.
I watched an episode of Oprah, where people were saying as soon as their financial class status changed their circle of friends changed.(DUH it’s called fair weather friend)
This is an endless topic, but several weeks ago I was having a pint with a friend who recently lost his job, when I began to explain:
This had to happen, this financial melt down. I informed him that at the rate of inflation, spending and population expansion, buy the time my seventeen year old daughter reached my age inflation would be deadly. My summation.
- Average suburban home ( nothing fancy) would cost $500,000.000 to $750,000.00 dollars ( Think Southern California but acr9oss the U.S.A)
- Gas & milk prices would be $8~$10 per gallon
- An automobile would cost $50, 000 for a small sedan.
- Insurance would be $4000~5000 a month for a family of three.
- A college degree would cost $200,000 or more dollars after four years.
- $50.00 Per hour would be a standard wage to be middle class.
- and communities would be privatized.
As my friend tipped back his drink and gently placed it on the bar, he gazed ant me and said, “You are absolutely right” . Then we began comparing the prices of things when we were teenagers versus today’s prices.
I watched Scarface of DVD recently and there was one notable scene. Tony Montana was looking to purchase a Porsche 928s, the sales person said the price was $18k. As yourself what kind of a new sports car can you get for $18k today.
We had to have a economic reset to keep out society stable.
Looking at the new here in Detroit all we hear about is GM, Chrysler, and Crime. GM had t file for Chapter ?? bankruptcy for the simple fact that before they made a dollar they had to pay 2 dollars out to pensions. You cannot run a long term business that way.
We have to rethink the who we are as people. We are not our stuff, things, or external physical representation. We are relationships, memories and emotional ties, basically family. We forgot that because we were busy working for stuff we could not afford and had not paid for.
Change and growth are very uncomfortable, but once it is over things are so much better.
Toastmasters International, Where Motivational Speakers are born.
We meet at
Canton Coney Island Restaurant
At what point does a person just give up a say, ”I am not the most qualified person for this task.” That is is what Detroit’s city council should be saying.
I had a job where I assumed a position that was not the right fit for me. Since it was not a good fit, I had to abdicate the position, of my own free will. That sucked because it paid extremely well, but we survive.
I remember the Shreik name calling incident during a city council meeting several months ago. That was the defining moment where I really began to take notice of what was happening. The only thing that came to mind was “SOCIALLY RETARDED” adults in charge, with inflated egos running rampant.
What happened to the standard high moral and integrity that once prevailed in this country?
It is time to clean house, to help restore the city of Detroit become a healthy state again.
Live 4 Now!