Befriending Napolean Hill

What would it feel like to be really wealthy?

A query not about the money exclusively but the lifestyle. The comforts, the security, the liberation from worry, stress, never having enough, the constant struggle to stay afloat, nee survive.

A query much on my mind for various reasons, tops among them my stepmother. She’s rich and in no way ostentatious. In fact, given her life tending to her farm and animals, you’d unlikely suspect her riches.

She’s just off to Europe — for 4 months!! Be assured that she’s not hoofin’ & backpackin’ it. Not at 69-ish!

I’m thrilled for her. And share her love of travel. Therein lies my envy. That she can pick up and go and (a) have a home to return to and (b) plentiful money still in the bank — my dream life!

At 61, I’m really contemplating how to make this last leg of life — well, to be blunt — fucking way better than legs preceding.

Enter Napolean Hill. Author of “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937. Fascinating story and man. Tome’s considered not merely groundbreaking but THE Go-To book on creating wealth and abundant living.

I’m so ready to learn what Hill has to teach!

Downloaded the ebook (for free!), read the intro late last night. Today I’ll begin Chapter 1. My goal’s to read slowly, mindfully, shift my consciousness to wealth and abundance (and away from what I was given (and not) growing up).

I’m a Napolean Hill initiate.

Ready, eager and willing to transcend impoverishment for better. Even if I can’t yet visualize what a wealthy, comfortable and secure life would look like to me, I’m game to start that journey.

Speaking of which, safe and amazing travels to my stepmothers over the next 4 months!

As she begins her particular journey, so do I.

 

 

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Craigslist: A mirror of humanity

One of the toughest, smarmy-ist gigs on the planet is craigslist.

Craigshitlist as I sometimes call it but that’s neither here nor there today.

I’m selling some items before a move. Quality items, well cared for like everything I own, and worth some bucks. A few have sold for pennies on their values; others have gotten no nibbles despite practically giving ’em away. So discouraging.

Anyhow, to the story.

I had this router. A Belkin. Mint condition. Original box even! A few years old but still perfectly useable.

I posted it for $5.

No nibbles.

So I posted it in the Free section.

Then I got a bite. Only then did I get a bite. Guy named Mark.

Then I had second thoughts. That in efforts to clear out, I’d been hasty in marking it from $5 to free. And I had.

I reposted at $5.

I so informed Mark.

Then he revealed himself. Wasn’t what he wrote or the way he wrote it. Was perfectly concise.

It was his message between the lines.

He wouldn’t pay (even) 5 bucks for it but would happily take it when it’s free.

That turned me off completely. Ticked me off.

I pictured him taking it then turning around and selling it for some bucks on ebay or wherever. No verifiable evidence but a hunch.

Turns out it didn’t sell for even 5 bucks.

Rather than give it to that guy, I donated it to Best Buy’s recycling, mint condition, cables ‘n’ all!

As for Mark, I simply let him know the router was gone. End of story.

Though not really. The experience reminded that some, many, people want something for free.

They’re unwilling to contribute even a penny. Or appreciate a fantastic bargain when presented.

I hate those people. Probably ’cause I’ve had to work so damn hard and earn everything, beginning with my breath in infancy. Whether I have is debatable.

I’ve NO concept whatsoever of entitlement, deservingness or receiving anything for free. Quite the contrary. Material for therapy.

Sooooo, story short, Best Buy got my router and Mark the Taker got zip. Despite logic, and a perfectly fine email exchange. My gut said otherwise and I went with it.

No second thoughts no regrets — save for a world of Takers.

“There are two types of people,” commented my dad when I was like 12. “Givers and Takers.”

Whooooooooo-hoooo was — is — he right! Proven right by life. That’s all today.

 

 

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.

I hang out in a very cool cafe. It’s eclectic without being pretentious. Cool without trying to be cool. It’s Berkeley circa 1973 meets Arizona Real.

Plus best Americanos in town hand’s down!

A post-worthy as the cafe is, it’s not today’s subject — but rather a moment in that cafe.

As I settle at my little round table, this captures my attention.

cafe1

Notice the guy in the white hat.

He’s reading a book. Intensely, focused.

Not a computer screen. A book!

As a lifelong reader of books — books of actual papers, inks and spines, not cyberspace — I’m both joyful and saddened by societal shifts in literacy when I see someone reading a book.

I could’ve left the moment — worthy unto itself — there.

But extraordinarily curious minds need to know, explore, learn learn learn for life!

I certainly did not want to interrupt or interfere with this fine moment.

I know how I get when I’m reading and writing. I’ve always said that bombs could be going off around me and I’d continue reading and writing. I’m that focused. That AT ONE with words.

What IS that older gentleman, 50-ish, in the hat reading? He hasn’t moved or even looked up in a good 30 minutes.

A kindred spirit. I am in love!!!

True, he’s reading not from the big thick book, rather a second thin paperback, and scribbling notes. Perhaps he’s taking a class.

To satisfy insatiable curiosity, I employ my phone camera’s zoom.

cafe2

Ah ha!

Heavy stuff, Goethe. Prolific prolific & creative thinking human being …

A jump onto Amazon for a better look:

Goethebook

Excerpt: “Rüdiger Safranski’s Goethe: Life as a Work of Art is the first definitive biography in a generation to tell the larger-than-life story of the writer considered to be the Shakespeare of German literature.”

Reckon there ain’t a single American under age 30, perhaps 40, with rare exceptions of students and individuals of arts, writing and culture, who’s even heard of Goethe, never mind read him.

As we speak, the guy in the white hat is reading from that book. Thick too! — about 3-4 inches. He appears to be on … about page 15. Work’s cut out for him!

Praise and glory to all who read books.

A beautiful moment at the cool cafe indeed.

Only fitting that the headline bears his words …

 

Yes, Virginia, rain really happened

Rejoice!

The song of every living creature in Arizona at the moment! From trees to cacti to single blades of grass to animals of earth and sky and human beings … we’re connected in singular Rejoice!

At last: It has rained.

At long long long long looooong last.

From Severe to Moderate to Extreme — as defined by the National Drought Mitigation Center — whichever category your location, all agree that Arizona is in a drought and suffering.

I live in high mountain desert abundant with evergreens and pines. Not my pic but everywhere’s this drought on display:

dyringtree

For too long, precipitation has been record-breaking nil or nearly so.

Snowfall in my area alone last winter was laughable and temps warm — foreboding the dangerous wildfire season we’re experiencing.

BUT! the monsoon season is approaching. (Dollars to donuts you didn’t know Arizona has monsoons.)

Fingers crossed it’ll be a doozy and deliver 2 years’ of backlogged moisture. July and August will tell.

Meanwhile, Arizona is at long dry last getting a small taste of that manna today. Rain. Actual rain.

Not the heaving thunderstorms predicted. Media/forecasting overdramatizing. Yawn.

Light showers. We’ll take ’em. We NEED ’em.

REJOICE! sing all living creatures collectively.

I can feeeeeeeeel it all around me. Hear it in bird chirps. In the light drip-drip-drip from the leaves.

When did we last hear this?!

Even I, too a living creature albeit not deprived of moisture, marvel at the difference elusive water makes upon the world.

I had to grab my phone to capture these celebratory moments, these rare sights unseen. Kinda like shooting Bigfoot.

For these brief showers are ceased. If not by day’s end, certainly by tomorrow, Sir Sol of Arizona shall be back on full shining display, erasing all traces of moisture. Happens that fast in a dry climate.

I wanna capture it all on (digital) film! … this wondrous world wetted … that shall pass all too quickly like a dream … return to burning dry all too cruelly … leaving all of us to ask tomorrow: “Did the rain really happen?”

REJOICE! Yes, Virginia, rain really happened.

wetleaf1

 

wetleaf2

bootiful petal pool

wetleaf3

hear them sing!

EVERYTHING looks refreshed! …

from the clothes rack to flagstone to wooden yard trim … all things spring to life when the rains arrive …

rack

raindrops: captured for posterity

flagstone

from bone-dry stone to glistening

woodtrim

hey, where ya been, ye rain gods?? we’ve ALL missed you

 

I can see clearly now.

Or can’t.

Forced by necessity and years, I finally got new glasses.

My prescription is strong and I wear progressives. Particularly with progressives, which can be tricky, a correct prescription is imperative.

As I’ve done for years, I went to Costco. Starting with the optometrist, an independent contractor.

It started quite badly with his associate, whose very unprofessional behaviors I reported to the main man — who to help rectify the matter conducted another exam.

The new specs and (prescription) sunglasses arrived. I was so excited! I very rarely get new glasses, partly due to cost. I pay entirely out of pocket.

 

The fittings — ever tricky since I feel EVERYTHING down to the minute detail — went extraordinarily well. Certain individuals just have the right touch in adjusting frames. Getting that person makes all the difference!

Left the vision department to stroll through Costco. Within 2 minutes, I knew the brand-new specs weren’t right. By the blur cast upon everything to the right.

As the day wore on, I put both my daily-wear glasses and sunglasses to the test. Each, in their own ways, worsened my vision!

Example: License plates I could read with my old pair were illegible, blurry. With the old ones, I could make out a place maybe 20 feet back. The fresh pair, I need to be feet away from the car’s tail.

Ditto with road signs and streets that I could read with my old pair are now blurred, illegible. I need to be right under ’em before they clarify.

The pervasive blur makes me feel very unsafe on the road. And if you knew me, you’d know that I feel and practice an ENORMOUS and passionate sense of responsibility on the road. For the lives and vehicles of ALL as well my my own.

(To all you texters and phone users, fuck you. Go have your distracted-driving accidents with your own kind and leave us good drivers alone and alive.)

Back to the new specs. It’s like looking through the worldly window wetted with rain.

Is the problem the prescription? The lab’s crafting? Or some of each?

When my 3.5-year-old glasses markedly better correct my vision than new specs, something is wrong. CLEARLY. (ha)

Whatever the source, I’ve now got a big problem.

I hate having to put Costco (and/or the optometrist) into the position of potentially redoing not one but TWO pairs of expensive progressives.

But is it fair that I bear the cost of specs that worsen rather than help my eyesight? Specs that I won’t wear because the old ones offer better correction?

Perhaps I’ll go back to the old prescription, tweaking though it needs. It’s a costly problem, terribly unfortunate.

And while I struggle to absorb the burden rather than place it upon Costco and/or the optometrist, I can’t overlook one fundamental fact: It is my eyesight. It needs correction on and off the road, at all times every day except when sleeping.

I can see clearly now … a consult with Costco is in my future.

 

 

 

Real estaters: Driven by dollars not decency

Real estate agents are a special breed. They don’t give a flying fuck about renters in homes for sale.

They view occupants as interferences … obstacles … blockades to be shoved aside in pursuit of a sale and money.

I know. I’ve been a renter in a home for sale for 10 months

Ohhh the stories that’ve accumulated. The light that’s been shone unto that special breed  called real estate agents!

Selling a home that’s occupied by a tenant, rather than homeowner, is complicated — by legalities, for starters. Advance notice to the tenant, for starters. It’s 24 hours in some states, 48 hours in others.

In mine, it’s 48 hours. That legality was the first to go.

Once I got as much as 10 minutes’ notice by text, today’s norm of advance notice.

I was sick in bed. The owner, a good guy, didn’t know that. Had he, wouldn’t have changed a thing. I still would’ve been expected to get up and out. Agents and potential buyers trump all else.

I obliged. Peeled myself off the mattress, vacated the house. Doubt I even got outta my PJ’s, then when they’d gone it was back to bed.

Then the timeS when agents and their clients came early. That’s as rude as not showing up at all.

Once they arrrived 15-20 minutes early. I’d JUST stepped outta the shower. A few minutes earlier and I’d-a been buck naked when they let themselves in.

So. Not. Right.

Then there’s the no-shows — about 60%.

Because of a very steep driveway. One look from the car and they’d keep on driving. I was sickened but not surprised about how many people won’t even look at a house — a gorgeous one in this case — based on a driveway. Lazy American asses.

Most memorable no-show is the real estate agent who arranged a viewing for a client who is handicapped.

NO FUCKING WAY could this potential buyer negotiate that steep driveway! It was offputting to even normally-functioning people!

Yet the agent scheduled a viewing anyways.

So I set my alarm early, rearranged my morning accordingly.

Buyer takes one look at the driveway from the car window, say no way — JUSTLY SO. Then off they continue.

What the HELL was that agent thinking?

That’s the point — and what I observed time after time after time these past 10 months. Real estaters giving NO thought to the situation or tenant. No reasoning. No intelligence. No common sense whatsoever.

It’s about the buck.

My stories fill page after page. The stack of business cards left by agents stands yey high {1″}.

The number of people who have and haven’t traipsed through the house (due to the driveway) boggles the mind.

The streaming disruptions, intrusions and impositions through the space in which I reside have taken a toll.

As true and tiring that be, the kicker, the illuminating gut punch, is bad behaviors, unthinking behaviors, downright stupid behaviors,  the bulldozing behaviors by agents.

I’ve never encountered a constant stream of people not give a shit about a tenant. Run roughshod, ignore, disregard and disrespect not merely legal tenant rights but their basic existence.

I should apologize to agents for living, for breathing. Clearly that I exist has been their problem obstacle interference inconvenience.

Real estaters are a special breed for sure. They’re driven by dollar signs not decency.

I’m glad, I guess, to have been on this side of selling a home (that’s not mine, I rent). It’s been illuminating and educational. Would never wanna go through this again. Still, ultimately any learning experience, no matter its pain, stressors and challenges, has value.

I am ready to move on. Literally. ‘Til that day fast approaching, now that the house MAY finally sold, toodles for now.

“Humanity. Not a big fan” — an understatement!

To quote gifted and hilarious comic Ricky Gervais: “Humanity: I’m not a big fan.”

Shining example – Reader’s Digest version — in my local Arizona paper:

A woman in Kingman, Arizona (where I coincidentally once lived) has a small case containing $170,000 — proceeds of sales of her house and business in Texas.

She stops at Walmart.

She fears leaving the case in her car due to suspecting someone had tried to break into her home to steal the money. So she brings the case with her to shop.

Sets case at the bottom of cart. Shops.

Returns the cart to front of store. Nice of her! Gets home. Realizes she forgot her case in the cart. Returns to Walmart. Case is gone.

Surveillance photos show two persons of interest in a red car. Public’s asked to call police to identify.

Her $170,000 — gone.

Now the rest of the story that prompted this post.

The story catalyzed a poll in my paper:

If you found $170,000 in a suitcase, would you keep it?

Three choices:

  •  I would keep it (this is an anonymous poll, right?)
  •  No, I couldn’t live with myself
  •  Hard to say until it happens to me

I’m way too honest for my own good — or humanity’s — so the choice was clear-cut: “No. I couldn’t live with myself”

So disturbing are the results to date. (Should note that I live in a great little town, solid community, lots of decent good folk …)

  • I would keep it: 18%
  • No, I couldn’t live with myself: 58%
  • Hard to say until it happens to me: 24%

WHO ARE THESE 42%??!?

WHO ARE THESE “FELLOW” HUMAN BEINGS WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN TURN IN THE CASH??!?!?

WHO WOULD EVEN NEED TO THINK on it? NEED to be in that situation first to know what to do?!

For those who outright admit they’d keep it, there are special seats with their names waiting in hell.

On humanity, Gervais expresses it in that understated polite British manner: “I’m not a big fan.”

Me, I’m bold and direct. “I hate ’em.”

For the journalistic record, here’s the story link link and pic of persons of interest.

They deserve to get caught. As for recovering even part of the money, I fear no. It’s how people are.

Subjects_Walmart_money_t715

People of interest in big cash robbery at Walmart, Kingman, Arizona