10. Over The Next Year
I hate annual goals or plans. They never work out, or if they do, all of the work is done in the last 90 days.
What I do have is a vision. We are still in the midst of the Coronavirus hoax and being asked to self-quarantine. I have been in a near quarantine for over 2 years. But the difference is this one is forced.
The prior lockdown, and the promise of more government trouble in the future, makes me shift my vision to a one-year plan. I believe it’s going to take at least one year before I have the finances and the situation in hand where I can leave the country again.
My passport expires in August, and the state department is months behind in issuing new passports. The same is true for my driver’s license which expires in September.
Governors around the country are making it very difficult for citizens to leave normal lives. I expect a complete cluster f*ck during the next election.
Before March, I spent 2 to 3 hours each day at Panera Bread working my online business and writing. It’s been my de facto office for months. I can still use the drive in for coffee, but I went there to work and not be bothered or tempted by the television or refrigerator.
There are so many goals I could put in place, with the inevitable failure.
What I will do during the lockdown is map out my ideal vision for the rest of my life. It’s easier to do when there is nowhere to go except to the grocery store. Forced poverty is no challenge.
I have been testing different systems for reversing type ii diabetes with no long term success. Fasting works, but not for long. Right now, I am testing OMAD (One Meal A Day), but you still have to limit your consumption during that one meal. I shot my sugar up from 98 to 467.
So I need to adjust my vision. At the end of 365, I will be diabetes free without the need of medication.
It sounds funny, the ADA (American Diabetes Association) guidelines for diet may be what I need. Should be fine for only 1 meal a day, and if I limit grains and oils, I can increase to 2 or more meals a day soon.
I am collecting various meal plans. I already have my tray.
Even though I’m waking up early, I’m having a great deal of trouble getting started working early in the morning.
Now that the dining room at Panera Bread is open at 6 a.m., I should be able to get my work done before 9 am.
During the coronavirus lockdown, the idea of having a universal basic income for all US citizens has arisen. During the Democratic primaries, the main advocate for Ubi was Andrew Yang.
Communism is dead. And Democratic socialism is not far behind. But with millions of people out of work and millions of businesses being destroyed by the government, the notion of Ubi may take effect.
UBI is also called universal basic income, citizen’s income, citizen’s basic income, basic income guarantee, basic living stipend, guaranteed annual income, or universal demogrant, provides income to all on an individual basis without a means test or work requirement.
The long discussed but newly urgent policy proposal of UBI has received increased support over the past year. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang made UBI the cornerstone of his candidacy.
A universal basic income, or UBI, is a fixed income that every adult—rich or poor, working or idle—automatically receives from the government.
Unlike means-tested or earned benefits, payments are usually the same size, and arrive without request. Depending on who designs a given system, they might replace all existing governmental assistance programs or complement them, as a wider safety net.
Andrew Yang stated that if elected President, he would “enact the Freedom Dividend: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, for every American 18 and older, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation.”
While some advocate UBI as a way to reduce poverty, others view it as an answer to the risk that AI and automation eliminate millions of jobs in the future. This will happen. With the Advent of driverless trucks in the near future up to 800,000 American truck drivers may lose their jobs.
With all the anger and rioting around the US, no one is addressing the long-term issue of no jobs which is coming no matter what we think from automation.
The economic crash is not done. What we don’t know is when full recovery will happen if ever.
The growth of income and wealth inequalities, the precariousness of the job market, and the persistence of abject poverty have all been important drivers of renewed interest in UBI in the United States.
UBI has roots in social democratic, anarchist, and socialist thinking.
The UBI idea itself stretches back to the 16th century, when Spanish-born humanist Juan Luis Vives stated: “Even those who have dissipated their fortunes in dissolute living — through gaming, harlots, excessive luxury, gluttony and gambling — should be given food, for no one should die of hunger.” (1526)
In 1797, American revolutionary Thomas Paine advocated for a “national fund” in the pamphlet “Agrarian Justice.” Every American would be awarded 15 pounds sterling when they turned 21, with another 10 pounds per year after age 50.
Even Martin Luther King proposed UBI.
In his final book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”, King stated that “no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.”
We have seen this recently and the rioting and looting that was sparked after the killing of George Floyd. This is the first time in our history that looters have been walking out of stores and $200 shoes carrying $1,000 iPhone.
Hence the need for the nation to create full employment or guaranteed subsistence incomes.
The biggest obstacle to UBI is the loss of jobs at the federal, state, and local levels of the useless bureaucrats who qualify you for programs or who pass out the checks.
The concept of universal basic income is a government guarantee that each citizen receives a minimum amount of money.
Between 1974 and 1979 in Winnipeg Canada, an experiment was done in Ubi.
The “Mincome Program” gave residents in the city of Winnipeg and the smaller nearby town of Dauphin additional monthly income based on their income levels.
Hospitalization rates fell by 8.5%, high school completion rates went up, and new mothers could afford to stay home with young children. Few people stopped working — one of the key fears cited about universal basic income.
In America, we always assume that the people who would receive UBI would use it unwisely. That’s why every aid program that’s ever enacted has more strings attached than anybody can count.
“Now what it seems to me you ought to do is to give people money instead of a whole lot of separate little baffles and get rid of the bureaucracy that is involved in all these programs…If we want to say we’ll give you money only if you use it to buy toothpaste and not for anything else, that’s our right [as taxpayers] but I think we are very unwise to exercise it.”
~ Milton Friedman
In studies around the world, the poorest of people always use the income they receive from programs like this for food, health care, and education of children.
But without a doubt, the fear that automation may displace workers from the labor market at unprecedented rates explains the revival of the policy, including by many in Silicon Valley.
As in China, no government wants to deal with huge numbers of unemployed young males who have no chance to earn a decent income and start families.
During a recent Chinese building boom, the Chinese had to build the equivalent of a new Houston every month to handle the number of young men that were moving from the countryside to the cities.
If you give everyone a payment equal to the poverty line, no one will have to live below the poverty line. This is the simplest argument in favor of universal basic income.
“There is no reason why in a society which has reached the general level of wealth which ours has…that the security of a minimum income should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom.”
~ Friedrich Hayek
13. Leaving Coronavirus Behind
Leaving the coronavirus hooks behind is only possible for individuals, not for government workers who continue to seek power over our everyday lives.
Those in charge never let a crisis go to waste. It doesn’t even have to be a good crisis.
After 9/11, we saw our freedoms eroded and useless Wars started in the Middle East.
The pandemic will fundamentally change work, education, government and personal relationships in ways both good and bad.
Remote work during the pandemic is changing the way offices will be run forever. Employers will be less reluctant than ever to purchase expensive real estate or to rent expensive office space.
I spoke to people who are working at home during the lockdown who are being asked to go back to their call center jobs in Boca Raton. The problem is with the new social distancing rules, they can only fit about 30% of their former employees into their office space.
It’s not the call center operators who want to go back to having everybody on the premises. Some of the pushback is coming from clients like Dish Network and AT&T.
When people have computers, Wi-Fi, and high-speed internet at home, traditional work spaces are largely redundant. Also the need for middle management will be reduced even more.
A danger for employees is that their current jobs will be replaced by the gig economy. It’s inevitable.
Why should an employer pay for office space and equipment that the worker already has.
The pandemic has shown employers that tremendous sums of money currently being spent on overhead in physical workspaces can be saved by shifting more employees to remote work.
Some of the biggest losers in the workplace are managers who fly around the country to have meetings and to sign documents. Even at my brother’s bank, many transactions that used to require personal face-to-face interaction are now being done with digital signatures. Goodbye expense accounts, expensive restaurant meals, and frequent flyer miles to fund your next vacation.
If it were not for parents going crazy taking care of their young children during the lockdown, we should probably leave the public schools behind. They are extremely expensive to operate and serve as little more than babysitting.
For whatever reason, patriotism in the public schools has been replaced by teaching everybody that their little group is a victim.
But let’s say the schools continue, and everybody got a good education. Nobody believes that the current educational system is training people for the jobs of the future because we don’t even know what those jobs will be.
How far the US economy declines has yet to be seen.
As individuals protecting ourselves and our families, we may see a return to bartering as one way to increase our lifestyles without leaving a paper trail or a money Trail.
The more oppressive the government becomes, the larger the informal economy will be. Instead of just having a farmers market to pick up some fresh tomatoes, we may have an informal economy that covers a large number of goods and services.
Bartering is hard. During the days when I was a Peace Corps volunteer, we had to learn to bargain to buy everything in the local economy.
What happens with Americans used to grocery stores and fixed prices is that you get really pissed and have to bargain over every item such as a bottle of Coca-Cola or even a loaf of bread.
The hustle and bustle of outdoor Black Markets represent freedom bursting at the seams. informal Markets allow otherwise oppressed inhabitants of a country to survive.
Although farmers’ markets, swap meets, flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and garage sales have increased over recent years in the U.S., they haven’t yet reached the magnitude of the informal economy in developing countries. They will get much bigger when the economy tanks again. People will choose to go “off the books” rather than subsist in forced poverty at the hands of the government.
I know there are some primitive cultures that are all based around bartering.
But once you get past a subsistence level, there’s not much need to waste time on bartering for a tube of toothpaste.
15. Side Hustle
After the recent lockdown and self quarantine, it has become obvious that all people, but especially introvert Boomer males, need to have a side hustle to generate income that is not dependent on a location or store.
Even if you have a store, you need to make sure you have a viable online option so that you can work at virtually any time.
16. Before the virus.
Over time, especially during our prime working years, most of us fall victim to lifestyle inflation.
We increase our spending and borrowing as our incomes increase.
When young, we tend to concentrate on the accumulation of stuff. As shoes in her closet will attest, this is especially true of women.
As guys, we have it easy. Throw on a tie and clean shirt, and we are ready for the office. For women, they need about two weeks worth of working outfits to not be talked about behind their backs as being frumps.
Lifestyle inflation tends to come at predictable times.
When you graduate from college and get your first real job, no more stale or cold pizza for breakfast. It’s a bagel and coffee at Starbucks. After 4 years of busting your ass, you are ready to stop checking the bottom of your backpack for change.
I guess I’m older and too cheap for that. I can’t see spending $5 or $6 for a marginal breakfast that is more laziness than satisfying. Call me frugal. I like value.
Over the next 20 years, whenever you get a promotion, significant raise, or a new job that represents a new status, that devilish thought comes to mind. I need a new car. Or I need a bigger house, even if the wife is not pregnant.
Lifestyle inflation keeps you living close to paycheck to paycheck. No matter what your income is.
In the late 60s, many people would buy a new car every 3 years. My father was a ship designer, engineer, and draftsman and we live well on one salary. The men in the neighborhood carpooled to the shipyard and rotated during the week so that each wife was without the family car on one day a week.
The only monthly payments my parents had were mortgage and the automobile plus utilities. And the phone was a landline, actually a party-line, that we shared with the Barbers across the street. AT&T – actually the Bell System – charged more for a private line.
No one could ever conceive of individual cell phones, or credit cards for that matter. Some department stores had store cards, but interest rates were sky high, and were paid off each month.
Now families have two cars, an underwater mortgage or high rent payments, and multiple credit cards being paid off at the minimum monthly payment level.
All it takes is an unforeseen medical bill or something like the coronavirus lockdown to drive millions into bankruptcy.
17. Senior Fitness
First get started. identify the areas of your life where you can improve your health and create a plan that’s meant specifically for you.
Stick to the general plan but make small changes as necessary to get the most out of your plan.
There are no quick fixes or shortcuts especially at the age of 66.
Low energy and fatigue are symptoms of inactivity and too much sitting.
Age is just a number. When I look at people I went to HighSchool with 50 years ago, it scares me just how bad some of them look. Now if you do look fine for the rage but mostly it’s the men who have remarried much younger women and maybe have even young children at this age.
Among the women by age, only a few could compete with women in the Ukraine or China as to looks, fitness, and fashion.
For me, I find it very difficult to get motivated to exercise.
As much as I hate it, exercise boosts your energy level. During the recent lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, I did even less exercise than before. Planet Fitness is still closed as of the date I write this.
I chose Planet Fitness for a number of reasons. First, it’s Dirt Cheap compared to other gems. Second, they call themselves judgement free and I think that’s true. people leave you alone to do your own exercises without competition. and third, the facilities in my area are big, new, clean and available 24 hours a day.
Even though gyms can reopen in the state of Florida, Planet Fitness has not yet reopened in my area. I’m not sure why. But I think Planet Fitness does not trust the government not to create new lockdowns in the near future. It would be expensive to open back up, bring people back to work, get members back in the gym, and then have to do a shutdown all over again.
Update: Planet Fitness reopened with short hours not suitable for my schedule. After 5 years, I am no longer a member.
I need to develop a good routine for at-home exercise that works many different muscles. It can be done in short bursts. I no longer have the energy for long workouts, and I’m thinking about just canceling Planet Fitness all together.
At the gym, I did notice that walking on the treadmill which is very upright helped improve my posture as compared to walking outside. Going outside walking, especially in Florida, is especially important for increasing your vitamin D levels and building up your resistance to viruses.
What I am doing now is building up a routine of rituals and habits that will make exercise and Fitness at this age something that is easy to do and maintain.
For the past two years, I have been eating a whole food plant-based vegan diet.
I began eating the vegan diet to fight high blood sugar levels and diabetes. But you don’t stay vegan forever unless you start to have a spiritual awakening that you don’t have to kill sentenac beings to satisfy your taste buds.
Now I grew up eating eastern North Carolina BBQ which most people around the country call pulled pork.
One of my last jobs where I went out to work for another company, I would take my lunch to work which was mostly meatloaf, chili, and beef stew.
It’s easy to make all of your meals for the week on Sunday and just freeze whatever you need to freeze and add rice and beans.
Part of the problem for seniors is we have memories of how fit we were when we worked out as teenagers or young adults.
After months or years of inactivity, you can’t just jump into an hour of heavy weight lifting and expect not to suffer for the next week for muscle pain.
The workout routines that I am creating for myself are a combination of strength training and cardio. Until the gym is reopened, I want to make sure that I can do strength training at home on my own with a minimum of equipment.
I also want to include a number of stretching exercises that we used when we were cross country and track athletes and high school.
As we get older, flexibility is as much an issue as brute strength.
Strength is the ability of muscles to exert or resist Force.
We exercise and muscle groups by isolating certain exercises and adding stress through weights, exercise bands, or our own body weight.
As we grow older, our muscles weaken and muscle mass decreases. On top of that, flexibility and mobility decreases.
Sports trainers are recommending strength training for all individuals over 50 years of age.
Some nursing homes have found that elderly patients can increase their strength dramatically by weight training.
Could this be the secret to anti-aging?
If seniors do any type of exercise, it is most likely some form of endurance training. Most likely walking. But that shouldn’t be the end of endurance training. Other exercises like bicycling, dancing, Swimming, and maybe even jogging are available at any age.
I don’t know why we look for a single solution to exercise. What we need is a combination of endurance and strength training.
The hardest part for me is mindset.
I don’t know why I’m having so much trouble motivating myself to exercise. Part of the problem is that the gym is still closed during the lockdown. I don’t know why Planet Fitness has not reopened even though it is allowed to reopen in Florida. Maybe they’re waiting for the whole country to reopen.
Being active is a lifestyle not a chore. For me to be able to do this on a regular basis, I have to incorporate exercise into my daily rituals and habits. I Can Begin by including some small changes like walking up stairs instead of taking an elevator or parking near the end of the parking lot instead of near the door of the store.
Another way I can get some activity, and some vitamin D on my skin, is to include cleaning around the house and doing some yard work to make this place look better. It does give me a chance to do a little bit of exercise and get a little bit of sign without having to go to the gym.
I have been debating on whether or not to keep a daily checklist of what I do to see if that helps me increase my physical activities.
Things that are not tracked or often ignored.
Some people like using fitness apps that you can get for your iPhone or Android phone.
For me I like making a detailed checklist on paper and then scanning the results into my computer and saving it on an external hard drive.
Each person needs their own motivation on why they need to get in shape and be physically fit. Mine involves becoming a Perpetual traveler again. No one needs to travel around the world worried about their health or not being able to enjoy the sights because they are out of breath.
I know mine is different. I plan to go looking for my last wife. The only way I can attract the best looking 40 and 50 year old women in the world, used to be physically strong and mentally alert.
And I don’t want to be a creepy Joe Biden.
While we were home during the lockdown, I had plenty of time to develop some in-home workout routines. I just didn’t do it. Now that the country is getting back to a little bit normal, I still need to have something to do at home that doesn’t require any equipment.
Some people like to have workout partners. I don’t. I don’t like to have to depend on someone else’s schedule for me to get my exercise.
At age 66, I have to make the decision to get fit again once and for all. What am I waiting for? To get old.
As a writer, I spend way too much time sitting. I don’t especially like riding at a standing desk. Some people do.
What I want to develop is a number of calisthenics and stretching exercises that can be done in 1 to 5 minutes to help break up my writing.
I have to believe it’s not too late to get started on a fitness program.
If I did believe that, I might as well just give up and die.
With the coronavirus and rioting taking our attention, no one has heard squat about global warming or climate change. Maybe we can just go about our business without listening to that crap for a while.