Saturday, December 31, 2016

Baja'Exit - Adios 2016

Old School Pool @ South Bowl: Philly 12-30-16
For some reason, yesterday I woke up at 0300. I still don't know why, but I didn't have anything to do so I rolled with it. It was an opportunity to get more work done in the house. I still don't think I'll make it in time. But that's another story. I got a good bit done. Maybe I don't have as much stuff as I thought.

Okay.. so 0300 to sun up I cleaned and cleared and scanned and shredded until the 1000 meet-up with Dan at a small cafe called The Green Line. It lies somewhere between the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Sciences. Luckily it's holiday time so there are not a lot of students mulling around. So we chilled there and talked about the e-book, business and passive income from the internet and such.

There's so much going on and so many opportunities I get a bit confused at times. It makes me a bit anxious.

After the meet-up I went home and nodded. The afternoon siesta.

Good move too. In the evening we rolled out to play pool at South Bowl. I called it "Old School Pool" because that's one of the first rituals we launched back in the day.

Finally we rolled out to Trestle Inn and listened to some authentic Old Soul selected by DJ Lil Dave - who happens to be the DJ I've experienced most this year. It just worked out that way. Anyway, Trestle was thin, but fun. You know one of those nights where not a lot of people showed up, but the people who did REALLY wanted to be there and party!!!

On any normal night out we'd have hit a diner and maybe arrive home with the rising sun, but we streamlined it; A quick stop at Wawa for an all-protein night cap. I was still fairly energetic by the time I pulled the sheets over my head... somewhere between 0200 - 0300.

Today I figured I'd be in most of the day... once again, cleaning and clearing, but no sooner than I rose I was tapped for a brunch. Not so very far away so it won't take much time away from the work. I think I'll probably get more done the closer I get to leaving. I may have to come back to tidy up.

The next update will likely be in 2017... So Happy New Year. I know a lot of us will be happy that 2016 is over. It seems like a new start, but I predict it will be even trickier.... but I'll cover that when it comes.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 is like a Societal Disease

The day moves rapidly when you wake up at 0900. It's the perfect day to stay in and get work done. Cleaning and packing. I have to rescue item I don't want to throw out... just yet. Privately, I can't throw them out. I don't think I'd mind if I were discover they'd been thrown out if I were to return ten years later.

Havertown, Pa early 1990s. Approaching fatness.
Despite the Vagabond Philosopher handle, I don't want to get too philosophical, not now anyway. This is just a break. I have more today. This blog will be a work i n progress. Begun at 13:00-ish, it will be completed when I am completed.

It's dreary and rainy. Perfect day to stay in. It's 12-29-16, that no-mans-land week after Christmas and a lot of people emotionally rush to escape the current year. Especially this year. A lot of emotionally challenging events occurred this year. No need to enumerate them.

2016 has been like a disease. Literally. Many people have felt, or today feel ill at ease, which is literally the definition of disease. The 2016 disease has manifested itself in several unhealthy ways, mostly fear and hate. Those emotions, similar to the way a sneeze can transfer a virus into another person, have manifested into hateful actions, designed to cause even more fear. Some of those actions, (hate speech, hate posts, hate graffiti, micro-aggressions, et al) have further spread fear, suspicion, and distrust, even among people who considered themselves friends.

As friendships dissolve so does unity and the co-energy that makes us strong and healthy. Thus, the 2016 disease metaphor comes alive, as in addition to our depression over the events of the year, we also generate negative emotions towards those who, let's say intellectually betrayed us with their positions on politics, social justice and the like.

This social media disease, I observe, has spread like a contagion and manifested itself in emotional status updates, mean memes and withdrawal.

Not everyone is affected. Some of us seem to be immune. Perhaps we were inoculated in the past or have built up an immunity during events like Vietnam, Water Gate, Reaganomics, The Gulf War (I), 9/11, the Crash of 2008 or the countless false flag events of the last four years. We don't allow these events, authentic or not, get into out hearts and souls and eat them away from the inside. We have our coping methods, however, little if any of them include self pity, cursing the times, or some abstract diety or becoming cruel to our friends and colleagues.

This is all I have. It just came to me in an auto-write fit. I should go on, but I have to get back to cleaning. I hope you get to read this. I keep reaching out, little by little... maybe you'll reach back.

Mas tardes.

I spent a lot of time shredding pictures today I saved a lot as well and this evening I will scan them. I got out of the house after sundown for two reason... first, simply yo get out and second to get some stock for my smoked turkey soup. The front room is a bit cleaner. A lot of stuff has been boxed and a bit more has been trashed. It looked like there was more than there was.

I have several tasks to work on this evening. I also have to exercise. That will take priority. Looks like it will be "Home Work" for the duration of my stay. Might not get back to the Y unless I catch up with this work. I think I'll put clothes on the agenda tonight although my go-to clothes donation contact is MIA.

Remind me to rant/explain how to tell if someone who claims to be a friend is indeed a real friend... or basically how to tell if you should actually rely on them for things they say they will do.

Anyway, let me get this up and get on with teh rest of the night.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Freedom Year... Next Level

Blowing smoke, Limerick, Pa. 12-28-16 selfie
It gets a little more real with every meeting. Today was the Pension Board where I found out I won't get another paycheck until February 13th, 2017!!! Gasp... an early Valentine's gift. I wonder where I'll be that day. Wonder if I'll be able to check it from my mobile device. Until then I'm just gonna chill and roam and NOT shop.

Not only did I get that bit of business out of the way I made a few other moves that will help ease the pain of not having a steady, fortnightly paycheck. Note - I'll only get funds in once a month. Talk about being on a fixed income. I am in for some lean years, but I've been warned.

It's worth noting that I ate both meals at home today. I've been on a 176.8 lb. plateau for 4 or 5 days... all days/nights I've eaten out and not trained (too much). It would be ironic if I gained weight today.

Before I got back home and started pretending to be a FOREX trader, I took one last walk down to Wricley's (the wholesale nut factory, which I have only called The Nut Spot and then mispronounced when I tried to big them up.) As mentioned in one of two of my video clips, it's a place I will miss. I like their products. And come to think of it, since I've been retired and not sitting around eating trail mix for 3-4 hours I've dropped a pound or two. Makes me wonder if the trail mix was keeping my weight at a certain level. I expect a lot of changes as I move away from my at-work behaviour.

After a few hours of cleaning up the house... more or less.. Roll Dawg came by and we took a local road trip. Whenever I get in the vehicle I don't even ask where we're going. This time we ended up in Limerick, Pa. (I thought those smoke stacks looked familiar) for some outlet shopping. I am not a shopper, in fact my series Men on Shopping is a reaction to having a friend who likes to shop. (I have to do something while I'm waiting.)

In a classic act of irony a lovely lady handed me a coupon with a deal attached. But three items and get an extra 10% off. Did I mention this was a Tommy Hilfiger outlet store? Did I mention that I am NOT a TH fan?? So I bought these socks because they came out to like $4.00 a pair and they weren't white sports socks... I figure they will be comfortable on the train, plane, or bus.

Other than that the day wasn't very eventful.

If you're still asking how it feels... it's comfortable, it feels free and I notice I am a bit friendlier and open to people. I talk more freely and openly - if you can imagine that. I have nowhere to be. No curfew - I'm not abusing it... I don't think. Heck, I was up at 0400 this morning working out. If this becomes my thing, so be it. I'll keep getting up at 0400 until I stop. I'm not going to force anything.

And that's today.... I'd better start looking for flights. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Feeling Like A Player

Foodie Tour Continues: Winter Harvest Grill
Today was highlighted by two good meet-ups, first part two of our Harvest tour with Venise; it seems like we are catching up from twenty years back... and I guess we are. 1996 was a pivotal year for both of us. She left the job and went to for the federal government and I started working graveyard shift (from previously working 3-11PM.)

Later to Aksum, where I met up with Number One Son Wolvie for a great meal at the down tempo spot on Baltimore Ave. He's digs the place... ambiance, the vibe and we had a very nice server as well. Afterward he came by and relieved me of some items in the house... as much as he could carry. Ha ha.

On the technical side, I learned how to do a few moves with Google Drive, including upload the pix from my phone, download a video clip to my phone, so I could share it on Instagram and access and complete my body weight chart in Google sheets.

Part of my plan is.. let's call it Operation: Best of Both Worlds; the goal is to live like a twenty-something (energetic and curious, in my case about the new technology) with the wisdom, experience and savvy I've accumulated along the way. Someone joked about employers wanted to hire Millennials with thirty years experience? Well, I'm that employee - problem is, you probably can't afford me... ha ha. (Watch, someone offers me a gig.)

On the financial side - and I've never been a big fan of money, but I love numbers... but not math(s)... I realize I have to position myself to be able to afford food and shelter on the road. I've been listening to the Financial Media for the past 2 years and they've been painting a gloom and doom scenario particularly for the USD. To answer those concerns, alternative as well as classic, even ancient, strategies for purchasing what's required have been emerging via the - dare I call it - Millennials - dominated interwebs. This is where I have to surmount the technology curve as well as the faith curve. That is faith in the predictions/warnings of the wackos and crackpots I readily admit to listening to.

I refer to them as such with admiring respect because several predictions they've made during 2016 have come to pass and I've scored some wins that have eclipsed the earnings from traditional financial institutions and even the long-term traditional investments. Of course I realize that one day I can be cheering about wins and the next day licking the wounds of my losses, so this isn't bragging. I'm not in for buckets of ducats, just enough to get around, from points A thru Z without too much strain and stress.
Body weight chart 6-19-16 to present (Google Sheets)

It's not only the wins that have me feeling like a player, it's being able to navigate that technology curve.

Oh, and one sobering development - a Jury Duty summons came today. Of course I won't be here, but I think it's not a random event that it arrived just over a week after leaving the gig. I'm sure it hasn't been three years since the last time. Fairly sure anyway.

Tomorrow I'll find out when I'll be able to officially leave this City.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Those Old Emotions

The property purge continues... 

Pic of the Day 122616 Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
I don't have a lot of stuff, but I have too much stuff. A lot of it is physical photos which I've managed to save during my Philly life. Some of what I dug up stirred some emotions, from the turn of the century. I was pretty screwed up during that era, perhaps even a bit of an asshole; which is probably partly responsible for making me so popular. I worked over night, so often I'd show up at an event and have to scoot out with no explanation. That made me seem mysterious, or so I've been told.

 Rolled out with the roll dawg today and he warned me that he'd picked up a bug... apologizing in advance. I told him that it up to my immune system to fight off any invaders that enter its domain, although I had to do my part to help. My number one go to weapon is Vitamin C. I forgot to take them as soon as I got in, hiked to the market for food and still didn't take any - that is, until I sneezed - then I took 4 grams. I learned, by way of attending medical lectures, that you can take as much Vitamin C as necessary without any ill effects... that is unless you consider a softened stool an ill effect. Anyway, I feel like something may be coming on, but I'm not sure whether it's psychosomatic or whether I'm just tired and up too late. Either way, there are symptoms and I must at least address them. 

Viruses cannot survive in environments upwards of 100 degrees F, so a fever may come on tonight and I can kill this viper before I wake in the morning. I've also noticed that these invaders seem to cause fat loss; the body needs to burn something to raise the body temperature and I've still got plenty (about 25 lbs. worth) of fat to spare. So hot tea, apple cider vinegar and some aminos before bed. 

More tales about the technology curve. 

I don't know what the heck's going on with these Google apps on my phone/device; there are too many things that do too many things that I am just not understanding and/or needing these days. Anyway, they seem very intrusive. I could use Google Drive on my computer, but I am a bit leery about Chromium, I had to shut that down. It was like an annoying approval-seeking child-man.

I installed Letgo on my Android; it was the craziest thing. First it took me too long to sign up because I didn't do it through Facebook. I don't know if that's a good or bad move. I may want FB connects to see what I'm selling. But back to the experience. I took a picture of a camera, and the app identified the camera and posted it up. I didn't have any way to write a description or anything. nd then there was this wacky commercial where the item appears as product placement - actually, the camera was the main idea of the commercial... starring Dolph Lundgren. Crazy!!! So then I had the option to share it on Twitter, but not Facebook. Go figure. I don't know a thing about the Letgo app right now, except with I've mentioned, but I guess I'll learn. 

The plan is to be flying out of here on January 10, 2017. My final interview is in two days. I should know whether I an book my ticket - or not - by then. 

So back to hangin' with the roll dawg - now that we are Men of a Certain Age and more importantly of a certain maturity; meaning we're taking better care of ourselves nutritionally and physically, we've been spending more time in cafes and such eateries that serve healthier grub than your average tavern (however the health revolution or at least a greater nutritional awareness has caused taverns and pubs to up their food games)... mostly reminiscing - but not really because we have some future plans as well. So there's a good bit of both going on. Over all it's a good vibe, good company, gets us both out of the house and into some different scenery. 

We are friends like Yin & Yang or in this case bookends... in the DJ sense at least. I started spinning in 1996 and brought him to the wheels in 2001. Now he's got his own night going and he puts me on from time to time. There's one coming up in January, three days before I'm scheduled to fly off into Freedom Year. I'm not going to promote it as my final appearance, unless I have the flight booked. I've still got a lot to do at the house, I may have to give up a few trips to the YMCA, if the weather stays mild, I may get a few park workouts in. I'll miss the leg press though. 

Tempting Fate: St. Jack's Old City c. 2001
Let me just finish with one of those fond memories of someone I was very attracted to and, so I am told, the feeling was mutual. But... the timing wasn't right; or maybe it was my awareness that wasn't right. In any case, what it was, was, what it was and that's all that was meant to be. We've lost touch, but if I'm not careful, the Universe will throw her in my lap. With that last sentence my mind has wandered and I am wondering how such a meeting would go. 

I hear she got married. Not a bit surprised. I don't even know where to go from here. The photos I've managed to dig up have been reminding me of forgotten moments and a plethora of emotions better left buried... maybe. As the centuries changed and I was going through my transition years (1996 - 2002) a lot of people came into my life and I probably treated a few, or several of them unkindly.   But this is no time for regrets. If the Universe brings of paths together, I'm sure we'll have a nice time reminiscing, maybe confessing... maybe apologizing. Who knows??? 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Neo-Xmas X'it Traditions

I'm taking a little shredding break. I feel like I am accomplishing something when I shred. This evening it's photos.

Pop-pop with his first grands - c. 1988
In terms of occupation, I've been a photographer for more than thirty years. I used to run around with a camera and pockets full of film... rolls that is, taking pictures of events, DJs, bands and such. As a result I have stacks of them that have been sitting in my house in various locations for a long-ass time.

It's tough for me to get rid of images because they hold memories. That's exactly what they are supposed to do, and as a photographer and someone with a freakishly good memory I put a sentimental value on both; especially when it comes to my children.

However, today's reality is that I must give up some of these moments and memories, at least in solid form. Some of the subjects in those memories have changed dramatically to a point where they'd rather not have the memories of those times rekindled; others have passed on... almost all who have, left us too soon, if not tragically.

In other Christmas news; as expected I didn't rush to get out of bed. No kids, no Christmas tree and no one else here or anywhere to answer to. What wasn't expected was the 2 miles I combo'd (mostly run, but partial walk, 31 minutes) this afternoon. Once again, some other part of my Me took over and next thing I know I'm huffing and puffing down the parkway and back. I didn't even have time to make one of those clips I imagine I've become so infamous for.

Other than that, the day is going along well. It's just the cleaning and discovering of such items as photos, mix cds, and booklets... lots of diary-type notebooks mostly filled with daily exercise routines, weight and percentages of body fat and muscle mass, but inter-sprinkled within are some bits of wisdom.

Also on the front, of the items to be completed list, is to get my wealth-game in order. I've been listening to the whispers of the Freedom and Liberty media and while I don't buy all of their rhetoric there are a few strategies that I feel can benefit me during Freedom Year. Of course I am hesitant to mention any specifics in a public forum. Wealth is like Health... in fact their etymologies are connected, in that I don't give advice on either, except when I've tried a particular strategy and have had satisfactory, or better results with it. What makes sense to me, financially or physiologically, might not make sense to anyone else. I think I'll be experimenting in the next year on the wealth side and see what happens.

I envision needing wealth for the most basic things, mostly food, shelter and transportation. I won't be out purchasing comfort amenities.

Later... The cleaning continued and I came across more photos that I wanted to save. After a battle trying to find free software to operate my scanner.... which is probably a clunker by today's standers (at least it has a USB connection) I rescued several classics and now I can triple save them for the future. I can also put the originals away to display just in case I decide to settle somewhere and I want solid images from a hundred years ago to hang onto the virtual all in my virtual apartment... or whatever they will call the space that far in the future.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

I got a late start today.

I woke up and sure enough, as predicted it was raining. I sacrificed the day before. Probably one of the best days of the week, to stay home and gather together the memories/junk that has to be de-housed from my place. I need to get as much out as possible before I hit the road.

Today is a workout day; not just any workout, but a 500 day and I didn't feel like going, but I knew I had to. I started making contingencies; maybe I work out at home, but then asked when was the next time I'd be able to get to the Y. I was still wondering whether or not I'd go as I got dressed to go.

Glad I did too. I'm always glad I go to the YMCA. This is probably why I allow my subconscious and/or my body/mind just to go without Me getting in the way with contrary thoughts.

I didn't go too hard at the Y; but I did bring the video/phone in the room with me so I could demo some of the exercises I've been doing for the 500.

The 500 is a time-consuming and challenging series of only five exercises; each exercise require 100 reps. I've written about this before, so I won't go into much detail. In fact, from today's workout a video was created.

The 500 Video if you care to take a look.

I finished up just in time for the great people at the Y to get home for Christmas Eve festivities. They closed the building at 1500.

Next stop for me was Mom's house then off to a family gathering not very far away.

I generally end up playing with the children.

This isn't exactly why I exercise so relentlessly, but it's a nice benefit. I get to play "strong-man uncle" at holidays. We fished up back at Mom's over holiday libations and reminiscing about our fractured childhood. It made us strong and closer and some of the stories are exaggerated for laughs.

Our family, which is four generations deep now, is small, but spread out, so we use the technology of the day to keep in touch. Thus face-timing to parts of Southern California and Miami bring us a little bit closer.

And that was that. Day 8 of Freedom Year; going into my second week on Christmas Eve. I plan to spend tomorrow in the house all day trying to clean up and clean out... maybe rescue some more memories. I'm thinking I should make a time capsule.

Good night, good morning, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Home Boy

Thought for the day
Well it's Day 7 of Freedom Year. The first week is over and after a week of hanging out meeting up and gym time and goodbyes... it was time to stay in and get some work done. Of course it was the nicest day of the week; fairly warm and sunny out. My only consolation is that it's one of the shortest days of the year, so time-wise I didn't miss that much sunlight.

I can't even remember the last time I was in all day. Occasionally I would have a day like this when I couldn't bring myself to go outside, but that's changed. I don't remember when, but it has changed.

The theme of the day was clean up, clean out; I don't have that much stuff, but it's too much. I've been trying to give much of it away for the last five years. I've been pretty successful with vinyl(s) [ha ha ha], CDs and movies. Dishes and cutlery have been more difficult and clothes... well I have a contact for them. I don't just want to dump them into one of those bins. My massage therapist collects clothing for homeless men and those generally in need. Some of the stuff is in pretty good shape, so she shares some pieces as well.

Also, my son is the same size as I am, just longer above the waist, so he can grab some if necessary. There is too much to travel with. And if I fill up my dufflebag I won't have room to collect any new items along the way.

Another act I did today was pull my camera out of its bag and start taking pictures. I have to rekindle my love of taking pictures. Ironically my profession, as a photographer, all but killed it. When I got my first camera I would take it with me and just go around snapping pix of just about everything. So I did that today. So here are the results of today's photography... and house cleaning/clearing.

Front Room... the speaker is spoken for.
Weight bench and not an ironing board.
My exercise area. Home gym, (banister)
I don't sit in this chair. It must go!!
I did some shredding today.
Arial view.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

On Vacation In Philly

Suburban Station, Philadelphia 12-22-16
As I walked home from the train station I was mulling over in my imagination today's contribution. Some key phrases came to mind, but when I rounded the corner I saw a front end loader on the small street a third of a block away from my house and there was a Water Department truck parked across the street. The fact that is was parked, between other parked vehicles suggested it had been there for a while and it would be there a while longer.

My imagination always prepares for its worst case scenario; no running water in my house? Do I have enough stored to make a cup of tea? As I opened the door, what to my ironic eyes should appear? but that little blue envelope that contains the water bill. This Universe business is a bit much for me at times. I think It's stacking the deck, not necessarily against me... but not for me either. It's a rigged game, but I don't expect too much.

SO I get in the house and before I even turn on the requisite music, I check the water - running!! So, of course I make a cup of tea.

Now we can get down to business... Today's Blog.

It's day six and I have come to the realization that I need to stop dining out so much. It's as if I am on vacation... or staycation in my own back yard, but never go inside to eat. But let's get to this day.

Woke early - and couldn't get back to sleep; good sign, so I started the AMX, which was more of the same. There's a lot more balancing on the pushup bars than before. Good sign. I have gotten better conditioned here. I want to say "stronger" but I'm not sure I am stronger over all, just in this particular group of exercises/poses. I may record a few clips for us.

Had to go into the (former) job today to get the retired ID, check out, turn over at least 25% of the balance of my time to the city to withhold for you guessed it... taxes. While I was there a co-worker (well, former now) showed up. We'd scheduled lunch for next Wednesday but decided to go ahead and do a brunch-ish meet-up today. Good timing. We went to the first place I ate when I started on day work; Pagaon's... a salad/food bar where I have a bit of a crush on the lady who works there (slash owns it). She's friendly in general and I have the feeling that even her rather stoic-all business husband detects the mutual attraction - but of course I would never do anything about it... not even introduce myself. Nobody needs that drama.

So Frank and I went over a combination of socio-political drama, economic conspiracy theories and some sci-fi plots that seemed to have come into our reality; and heck, we even discussed if this reality was even reality and that in some dimension of the multi-verse the outcome of the US election had been, well... different.

Then I went to the YMCA. This is around the time I started realizing that I'm pretty much doing the same pattern as I did in Los Angeles, except I got my workout done first thing. I'm a day early for a 500 workout, so I did a mainly body weight workout which including balancing, pulling and lots of leg work. It gets kind of random, but I generally get three or four sets in. I also did dips.. I hate dips so when I do them I need to acknowledge that. I should do more. If I do it will really improve my upper body strength.

At this point I don't really like doing upper body, body work, because I'm not as strong as I'd like to be... however, in order to get stronger I have to do the deed and put my ego on the back burner and not be mad if I can only do six reps instead of 20. I need to keep at it.

This session wiped me out and it didn't even seem like I did that much. Working the legs with the bands ignites different nerves and muscles... those rarely worked, so it gets my cardio-vascular system going... and the brain as well because it's not used to it. I expect some kind of pain tomorrow.

Okay after a goodbye hug from Rebecca, and young girl who sprouted into a young lady while taking my classes (she's also a pretty badass runnner too) I headed into town to meet up with Number One Son, Wolvie. I knew I was in for a loud ride when I saw the Eagles jerseys on the trolley. I am NOT an Eagles fan, but I don't knock anyone who is, so I had no idea they were playing tonight. I won't go into the suburban-kids-in-the-city bit.

I caught up with Wolvie down at suburban station and we headed to a restaurant called James that is still open in the midst of the construction that's going on across the street from it. Once again, I am completely oblivious to what's happening in the city from which I am escaping. Anyway, for three or four weeks, Mika - whom I met several years ago at The Cafe, kept telling me to come by to say farewell on Thursdays after 1600... today I finally got down there are the lace was "closed" for a private party. Humpf!! I got my goodbye hugs in nonetheless and Wolvie and I went in search of some Vietnamese food.

After a decent meal in an empty Vietnamese restaurant, we went for our traditional drink (beers) in Chinatown at a place called Sea Bar. The bartender was funny, she gave us nuts. They didin't have any dark beer on tap so I had to settle for Alagash White, which was pretty good the first time I had it, but now I can taste its bitterness. We have these occasional man-to-man talks about career and life and opportunities and such like that.

I realize through my kids and some of the other "Millennials" I come into contact with, that right now is one of the hardest times in US History to be alive and be young. I was very lucky coming up in the hood, and getting through the military and getting in at the gig when I did. I was raising kids, so there may have been a different kind of hustle and a different kind of tolerance for what kind of job I would accept. Of course I didn't have the same opportunities twenty-somethings have today, so I steer clear of the "when I was your age" speeches.

Once I get this journey of self discovery completed, I might find out that my duty it to create a business that will employ and help secure my childrens' futures... or at least make it a little easier on them.

I'm done at the job, but that will only unleash my creativity. When I find the partner (even if it's me) that can harness, focus and direct that creativity, we'll be in business.

Shot a lil clip for ya... Enjoy..

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Don't Buy Any Green Bananas

The Freedom Year roll-outs, meet-ups and funnies continue.

We be chillin' in Cafes like it's not Philly
Today I finally got out of bed at 0630 because I had an "early" (1000 hrs) breakfast meeting with Dan. Good breakfast at Honey's and good ideas exchanging. This Minimum Wage Fitness scheme might get going after all... only, I don't want to spend too much time on it. Dan gave good feedback on the ebook so far. Still in development.

After breakfast we went over to see Dan's friend Carl, (who I met for the first time today. And it's very worth titling this entry after something Carl was told.) Carl's writing a series of books about how everything we think we know about how the body works, how the Earth works and how intelligent design is wrong.

After his second heart attack at age 63, Carl was advised not to buy any green bananas. His doctors didn't think he'd live long enough to see them ripen. At that point he quit his meds (he refers to them as poisons) and "started listening" as he says. He'd made his peace and was ready to be taken from this plane.

Well, apparently "God" (and Carl often secularizes the word for the atheist/agnostic reader) wasn't quite ready for Carl to depart his Earthly body. I'm not going to tell his story because Carl's doing that in his book series. Suffice to say that Carl began learning about the body, its functions and its components from the perspective of a mechanical engineer.

What he shared about how the body "unwinds" was fascinating, because I've followed and heard several other people make the points he's made about humans, the earth, the Creator, etc. So I was on the same page. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to do a more thorough piece on Carl. Mostly I sat and listened to him present his first book. He has a very good reading voice, super good energy and an excellent vibe. Very worthy of a follow up and friendship.

Next stop... Reading Terminal Market where I meet up with mah roll dawg, DJ Zollielama (Rybrew). I couldn't resist getting the gator sausage po' boy (that means hoagie), but I could resist the bread. As long as I've been in Philly... and working downtown, I am just now trying out some places for the first time. Another first for me was the smoothy spot also at RTM. It was pretty good... like a virgin pina colada, with ginger. [And no stomach/digestion issues, either.] And I got to practice my Chinese.

Lately we've been doing a lot of chillin' at cafes and coffee houses and recounting adventures and remembering the old days and laughing. My sense of humour seems to be in high gear lately and there's always some bit of philosophy, business, travel advice, or drama (not ours) to chuckle over.

I've been forgetting the names of the days, but not the dates. So I'm still good. I've lined up a few more meet-ups this week. I have to check-out of the job tomorrow and get my new ID, the one that identifies me as being actually retired.

I have to admit there's a best of both worlds feeling to this [which if I could coin a term and sell it, that could be my accidental million] part of my life. To look (so I am told) and feel too young to be retired, but to have the "age," the experience(s) and the wisdom that comes along with those qualities to be able to go off and do those things that I kinda-sorta only imagined (out loud to my friends during BS sessions) doing, is pretty dope.

And that's what Freedom Year is all about for now. If you like this blog so far, subscribe, or follow or comment... (not sure what the options are) and you will probably receive an email alert in your email. Also share it with your friends, especially those who like to wander, imagine and explore.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Brexit Paradox - Bizarro Dream #122016

I don't have the energy to recount the entire dream for you in this blog. Suffice to say it was wrought with symbolism which no doubt dealt with myself and those around me. Transitioning is a delicate way of describing what's happening this year with several of my friends, and I'm surprised that I am taking it a little harder than I might have as recently as five years ago.
Melrose Diner, 15th & Snyder Av. Philly, Today

Apathy shall set you free, I always tell people. I am not one to get attached to ideas, institutions, concepts, dogma or even relationships. I like it that way, or so I tell myself.

Anyway this dream started in Philly and ended in Los Angeles where I am under a pile of Millennials who are creating a human sculpture. I am somewhere on the bottom holding everyone up. They dig me even though I have lived many years longer than them.

Anyway the end of the dream gets pretty silly, however at some point an actual adult picks up a cell phone left on a desk and asks "Who is Brexit Paradox?" That was my name in the dream. I think it's a pretty cool name. I may come up with a character for that name. I wonder if it means anything to anyone.

[*Note, a Google search revealed this; "This is the Brexit paradox: the longer it takes for pragmatism to re-enter the debate, the higher the chance that the chilling effect of the unknown will cause permanent damage to both the United Kingdom and the European Union."] As written by, Ana Palacio, should you care to read the entire commentary. But why would this be in my dream??]

I'm not sure this could be interpreted on the internet. I think it's very specific to what I've been witnessing this year and to an extent what I've been going through. I am about to make my Exit from Philly and Los Angele is one of my stops. It may be my last stop on the continental US... or maybe not.

I keep forgetting what day it is. I do remember the date, but the day of the week keeps slipping my mind.

I went to the YMCA to do the 500s Workout today and realized when Auntie Fran that's we'd done group exercise (GX) yesterday!!!

Today the 500 was more like 450. I over-reached on a few weights, but then again succeeded on a few sets as well.. So here's a quick recap; highlights and low-lights:

Leg Press: I'm starting with 360 lbs now and the first set yielded 20 reps. Not enough to start at the next level (which will probably be 390 instead of 450 because I need to advance slower when I get to higher weights). I half-stepped (adding 50 lbs instead of 90) up to 630 lbs., and decided to see if I could free-push it without the safety of the pegs. I was successful for 8 reps over 2 sets, but felt a slight twinge in my right pectineus (inner, upper thigh). I used a platform to push 680 off the pegs and that's where I maxed out. I had to finish up working down and the final twenty reps were with 270 lbs.

Lesson; sometimes we can't expect to progress all the time. Also, might not have been the best idea to push hard after a GX day (it hadn't been 24 hours since the class.)

I stayed at 100 lbs for the bench press, and didn't get much past twenty reps on the first set. I've noticed my first set is where I get the most reps... the middle sets are maybe 10 - 12 reps fairly consistently and the last set I can get above 12 reps, usually 15... the cleanup set is strong because I am hype to get finished.

Leg extensions were weaker than usual. I used the same weight (130 lbs) and same with the cable row. I had to cheat it a little bit (lower back motion) because I didn't want to lower the weight (105 lbs.)

Cable crunch - this is where I over-reached adding weight... so in this case I dropped reps instead of weight, so I settled for 50... also I was beginning to run late for a meet up.

This session took a little over two hours. There's lots of stretching and resting between sets. When I can up the weight and get the session down under two hours, I will be progressing.

The meet-up calendar is still full. Today we reached back in time to the days of KOLLAGE, Magazine of the Visual Arts and John Leary who we had to the cover back in the mid-1990s; 1994 I think t was, the same year I came up with Noxsoma.

John is still doing his  "John" thing; working on projects and being an advocate and working on visual productions. We met about several projects he's got going and fitness and nutrition etc.

We met up at the Melrose Diner, which is a landmark destination diner in South Philly. As long as I've spent in Philly, this was my first time at the Melrose. It's a pretty nice diner. Nothing outstanding - not to disrespect its legacy. I don't really know how it got its reputation aside from being the place where the local news would often broadcast live from, asking diners their opinions of current events, or the weather, or the badly the local football team was performing. Heck, they don't even have WiFi, free or otherwise. Can't really blame them. Diners are for talking as well as dining.... not so much surfing and camping out in the booths.

Anyway, thanks to our lovely and attentive yet, unobtrusive server, who kept my tea cup filled and didn't get bent out of shape as we sat there for three hours.

This Phlexit is getting real and I may have to curtail some of my social activities and goodbyes in order to get my house in order, to leave.

And that's it for today folks. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

More Meet Ups and Transitions

The first Monday morning of Freedom Year. Somehow I think I should wake up at 0630, so I set an alarm for it. The alarm sounds and I turn it off and stay in bed until I'm ready to wake up. I need to decide how much of the day I want to stay up in... so to speak. Will I be awake and active for 14 or 16 hours? I will also need to spend more time packing up the stuff in my house.
Image from Nov. 7th 2016 YMCA

So today I met up with a co-worker who left the gig twenty years ago. We caught up for lunch and discovered she's had a great career of traveling, per diem, side-traveling etc. We caught up, but not completely, so we scheduled a part two for next week. That will be after Christmas. It doesn't seem like Christmas - but it hasn't for me, in years.

Next stop... the YMCA for the last Functional Fitness class taught by yours truly. We had a good time and the class gave me a standing ovation at the end of the class... hugs and handshakes. The YMCA is in every respect a Community facility. I really do believe they will miss me.

Then another meet-up with a friend going through this year's signature transitions. It's just talking about life and such. It was really like old times. There are a lot of encounters that feel like old times these days. But I'm leaving soon.

Events happen for reasons.. Manly Hall surmises that such events occur to help us to grow. Several of my friends have had opportunities to grow this year.

I think I was up until about midnight. Had a late (after 8 PM) burger and salad... no carbs, except for the dark beer... and that was ONE beer.

Maybe 0800 to 2400 is a good range. I think I have to be consistent or I will drift off into bad habits. Bad habits lead to bad health - and I can't have that.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Life and Synchonicity

"The majority of people are carried along as the falling stone, obedient to environment, outside influences, internal moods, desires, etc..." The Kybalion.

This quote seemed relevant to me today, although I like to think I have a bit more control. I know what I have to do and when I have a choice I put it to the Universe and the Universe usually answers.
At the beginning of the countdown 12-16-2015

Today's meet up with Isabella was postponed for a couple of hours due to whatever chain of events influenced the person who was supposed to show up to work... not to show up. This resulted in my decision to leave the house at a particular time when the bus I needed, which runs less frequently on Sundays, was only a block away from where I was to catch it.

This fortuitous synergy between myself and the bus operator, a (too) cutie, by the way who had the rear view mirror maladjusted so that passengers could not stare at her, put me at the Green Line Cafe just as Dan was getting himself a cup of tea. This unscheduled but welcomed meet-up was clearly a sign; something that was meant to be.

Dan and I have been meeting up and sharing and comparing information and analysis of alternative finances, let's say; crypto-currencies, passive incomes by way of the internet, international travel and the rapidly changing paradigms of our history. We set up a meet for Wednesday, which - if the signs remain consistent, could be mutually beneficial for all involved.

Isabella and I always have interesting conversations about life, relationships, personalities, future goals, paths, dreams that sort of dialog. Our friendship in undefined (on my end anyway) and seems to be on a long-term slow burner. She seemed impressed that I maintained friendships for long periods of time. I told her we'd still be friends twenty years from now. I have no doubt.

It seemed like any one of our meet-ups and not as if we won't see each other for an undetermined length of time. I feel that together we're the type of friends who'd be able to pick right up where we left off. We have no tragedies or heartbreaks or breakdowns to share. It's been just over a year since we've been hanging out.

There's always - or so it seems - that get to know somebody curve that gets in the way. Or maybe it's the agenda that gets in the way. My agenda... stay friends, see what happens, stay chill, don't freak out, keep it moving. Same as my agenda for life in general.

I think it was the same book, The Kybalion, from whence I quoted above, that suggests that a Master can rise above or control the circumstances that often cause chaos in other peoples' lives. Although I strive for mastery, not over external elements but from within myself, I do not consider myself much of a master at anything. However, it does seem that without much conscious effort, events, circumstances and unexplainable timing has been working to my advantage.

As long as I don't try to consciously manipulate the Universe, things will continue to progress as they will. As long as I am willing and able to accept these events, the synchronicity and the magic, if you will... it will continue manageably if not always smoothly.

I shall speak no more of this.

Until the next time.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

The 500 Workout Explained

Pic of the Day: YMCA
I didn't wake up this morning the way I imagined I would. Well, I didn't imagine I wouldn't wake up... I just pictured it differently. I didn't picture a dark, warm room, and I didn't imagine there'd be frozen rain falling from the sky; or was it snow?

I'm not one for extreme emotions so I didn't do any kind of freedom dance. In fact, I stuck very much to my wake-up ritual, sans the AM exercise, (AMX) and the doom and gloom reports about the economy collapsing and the truth about the geo-political climate in the planet.

There's a lot of newness in my life. It seems like it came suddenly, but it's been brewing for a while now. The only surprise was the laptop replacement. I am getting used to this Dell and slowly but surely logging in to my social networks and obligations from this "new device."

Of course I weighed in; 176 even, 14.4% body fat (less than 25 lbs of fat on the Bod) and 44.5% (78.3 lbs.) of muscle, according to my scale. That's a 3.09:1 ratio. That may not mean much to you yet, unless you've been following the Bajai Boot Camp 6 Sessions. Attaining and maintaining a 3:1 Muscle Mass to Body Fat ratio has been a goal of mine for two years. I figured I'd be able to meet that goal only after I managed to leave the gig. I'm sure it's just a coincidence. The biggest change I've made is a new 2 - 3 times a week workout I call the 500s. I snagged this name from the 300 workout from back in the day, when the movie "The 300" was released. I think that was around the time people started flipping tires and such.

Simply explained, I perform 100 reps of five exercises. They all target big muscle groups and all except one are combination exercises, which involve multiple joint movement. I think today was the fifth session. The theory is sound; although I'm sure I see any results in the mirror, the feedback I am getting from the scale is impressive. [At this point I hope the results continue, otherwise I will be very perplexed.]

Leg press type at the YMCA
So here's the set up. I give myself guidelines for these programs to help keep me honest and injury-free. Ideally I start with the leg press. The challenge is to do 30+ reps on the first set before I can increase the weight. Today I started with 360 lbs., and only got 20 reps. So next time I'll start with 360 lbs again. This way I can gauge my progress. Before today I'd add 90 lbs per set, however that was getting pretty hairy, so I half-stepped in a few sets. I was able to go from 360 lbs to 450 lbs., but had to stop at 500
lbs. before I took it 540. I maxed out at 720 lbs., but kept the safety pegs engaged.

I am a firm believer in legs day. People, especially men, neglect their legs to their detriment. There are quite a few men at the YMCA who are top heavy. They can bench incredible weights, but have no leg development. The way I see it, these gams got to keep me up and walking for a long time.

Next station is the bench press. I started out with the 45 lb. bar the first time out and today I advanced to 100 lbs. The guidelines are different here and for all the rest of the stations - maintain a steady weight and and push 100 reps in as few sets as possible. I don't count sets. I try to get 30 reps in the first set - I have not achieved that as of yet. I get carried away with adding weight, but now that I'm up to an even hundred I may be able to stick around there for a while.

The next station is a leg extension machine. I'm at a good weight, 130 lbs., I've been trying to increase the reps (18) today. I'll stay at this weight for a while.

Seated cable row is the same procedure, only today I realized I can change the grip to make the same weight more challenging as well as hit different muscles in the back. I think I'll explore that.

Cable Crunch
Finally, is a cable crunch. Only today I opted out of the cable... I am very close to racking the bricks on this one so I used a tension band, which provides a very different feeling and I expect a different result as well.

And that was that.

In case you want to try this here are a few items to keep in mind. #1) use lighter than usual weights, (if you're used to lifting weights). #2) This program is time consuming. Break times can range from 30 seconds to several minutes. Sometimes I can feel my heart rate spike (not to dangerous levels) and I have to wait for it to settle down before I do the next set. I also stretch a bit between sets. My main goal is to get 100 reps done and although I haven't had to resort to single rep sets, I think I would do it to complete the task. #3) This isn't a program to be performed daily, or every other day for that matter, (especially if you're just starting out.) This is a full body workout so you have to rest and repair your entire body before you go again, and that generally takes 48 hours. Two days break, I have found to be idea. Three days is too much. I took three days off once (due to circumstances) and I felt I lost the momentum.

Finally, despite the positive results I've gotten and the strength gains I've apparently made (lifting and pulling higher numbers) I find it boring, (but that's just me.) So I am considering doing something like this every so often over 30 days. If you maintain an every third day schedule you'll get ten workouts in. Thirty days is a good duration - you could probably even stretch it out to 90, but I've found that after three weeks, I start to lose any gains (or weight loss) I've achieved. So It's probably a good idea to go for thirty - do something light or fun or aerobic like walking, yoga or Zumba for a week or ten days and then get back into some kind of resistace training.

I will be experimenting with such strategies during the year (2017) and reporting back, either on You Tube,  Facebook (Minimum Wage Fitness), or right here.

Confession: This entry didn't really go the way I'd envisioned it, but it certainly went the way it needed to go. And with that, I bid you adieu.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Freedom Year Begins 12-16-16 to 12-17-17

When you can take the pebble from my hand... it will be time for you to leave...

I must have been pretty excited about my last day on the job; or maybe it was having heat in the house for the first time this season. Either way, I had a tough time getting to sleep. I was probably worried about over-sleeping or someway not going in to work. I woke up at 0319 this morning. Usually I don't even look at the clock if my eyes open before the alarm sounds, but this morning was different. I didn't get straight out of bed, but I was conscious for the 41 minutes until that alarm played its familiar ring-tone.

As mentioned in the video I shot (but may not have uploaded...yet), it was important to me to come in today. I choose the day; the date actually (12-16-16). I thought it was cool that it landed on a Friday, but didn't realize until later that it would be my first day of the week. I like that irony, my first day back is my last day on the gig.

So, from this day forward I am Noxsoma: personal services corporation and I'll decide what that entails as I go along. For sure there will be fitness, exercise and general health and activity offered and I am working on some ways to create some passive cyber income, even if it's bitcoin. I might even tend bar somewhere, just for the experience. Friends think I'd be good at it, but I might get bored. If I move to a city and want to learn my way around, I might drive for one of the car services.

But first; people have been asking me where I am going. Despite my reluctance to reveal, I tell them anyway. I believe there's some kind of magic in reinforcing my ideas.

I've promised to be four places this year; Miami, Los Angeles, Singapore and Dublin. Seeing this written down here reminds me that three of these places are locations I've visited this year and are returning to. I will probably pursue some other options along the way, pick up some tips, and get more leads for later, but this year (2017) I will have to stay focused.

For me, I am calling 12-16-16 to 12-17-17 Freedom Year, although I am also predicting it's going to have to be a #badass_year for most Americans and have been hashtagging it all over the social media.

At some point - that point being when and if the "conspiracy theories" also known as the truths (or facts) about the Obama Administration's crimes against the people of Syria et al, are revealed, Americans are going to have to wake themselves up and adjust their realities to the paradigm shift that they missed while they were being entertained and misled by the mainstream corporate media. It's going to be very uncomfortable.

This shake-up could occur the other way around, however. The Liberty Media as they call themselves, might be wrong about the impending collapse of the economy and the Neo-Con agenda that's ripping the nation apart from within. If they are wrong, then everything will be fine. People will be employed and America will be "great again." If not... prepare for chaos and confusion.

Either way, I'll be out there doing something... learning something and maybe even teaching something.

Subscribe to this blog and the Noxsoma You Tube Channel for updates, insights and dare I predict, "Interesting stuff."