Monday, November 21, 2016

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

4751.  Time slows down when you’re on LSD;
4752.  Songs seem four times as long when you’re on LSD;
4753.  Distances seem a lot further when you’re on acid;
4754.  Coldplay, U2 and “The Who” are the soundtrack to my “trip” in Prague;
4755.  Psychedelic art makes total sense to me now;
4756.  One of the best tasting peaches I’ve ever had was the (one I ate the) morning after taking LSD;
4757.  One of the best tasting chocolate muffins I’ve ever had was the (one I ate the) morning after taking LSD;
4758.  Apparently, tourists invade Prague on the weekends;
4759.  Apparently, the age of consent in Sweden is 15;
4760.  It seems like they only sell tab gum in Europe. . . . I couldn’t find (any) stick gum;
4761.  The cutest(, female,) 7-Eleven(, night) clerk I’ve ever seen was in Stockholm(, Sweden);
4762.  (The) Swedes maintain strong eye contact from the (female,) night clerk at 7-Eleven to the (male,) concierge at the Nobis Hotel;
4763.  People are impeccably dressed in Sweden;
4764.  Swedish women are absolutely stunning (at least in Stockholm);
4765.  The going out/clubbing nights in Sweden are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays;
4766.  Apparently, “The Wall” in Sturecompagniet (Sturecompagniet.se/The-Wall/) is the club/place to be in Stockholm(, Sweden);
4767.  If you’re looking for outer validation, clubbing in Sweden can be very painful;
4768.  Swedish clubs are pretty small;
4769.  Swedish women (will) pay for their own drinks;
4770.  Sweden is very sexually open;
4771.  Shoving is perfectly normal in Swedish clubs.  It’s not a sign of aggression/hostility;
4772.  Swedish clubs are filled with (really) beautiful women;
4773.  Swedish people are very polite and courteous;
4774.  “Bruce” was born on September 1st, 2016 (at the Nobis Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden);
4775.  Ask for her number afterwards;
4776.  In Stockholm, (Sweden) the after parties are at “Hell’s Kitchen” (in Sturecompagniet) (Sturecompagniet.se/Hells-Kitchen/) and (at) “Solidaritet” (Sldrtt.se);
4777.  I think I’ll always have fond memories of Café Opera (CafeOpera.se/en/) in Stockholm(, Sweden);
4778.  Sweden is largely a cashless society.  Even the street vendors have credit card machines;
4779.  Apparently, “princess cake” (i.e., prinsesstårta) is the official cake of Sweden;
4780.  “Princess cake” is pretty tasty.  It’s not too sweet;
4781.  Expresso House (EspressoHouse.com) in Sweden is like Starbucks in the U.S.  (They’re everywhere);
4782.  The Nobel Prize (except for the Peace Prize) is awarded at the Stockholm Concert Hall followed by an awards banquet at (Stockholm) City Hall;
4783.  The cutest, Starbucks barista I’ve ever seen was in Stockholm(, Sweden);
4784.  I had my first “Wi-Fi” experience on September 4th, 2016 (at the Nobis Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden);
4785.  The Swedes (definitely) like to drink/party;
4786.  Brunettes and redheads stand out in Swedish clubs . . . not the blondes;
4787.  There are a lot of 7-Elevens in Stockholm(, Sweden . . . just like in Hong Kong);
4788.  TGI Friday’s is (actually) pretty nice in Stockholm(, Sweden).  They even have a deejay spinning on Friday and Saturday nights;
4789.  You have to bag your (own) groceries in Sweden;
4790.  Watch out for the six year-old girls when playing laser tag in Stockholm(, Sweden);
4791.  A half Russian, half Swede will drink you under the table;
4792.  Anna (Lasko) likes sour drinks;
4793.  Anna (Lasko) has soft lips;
4794.  The “hand of god” does work!
4795.  The best deal in Stockholm(, Sweden) may be the rotisserie chicken at Hemköp (Hemkop.se);
4796.  The cutest, delicatessen clerk/butcher I’ve ever seen was in Stockholm(, Sweden);
4797.  Apparently, you don’t actually have to say words in a loud environment; you can just “mouth” them;
4798.  Apparently, “fladderfitta” means “floppy pussy” in Swedish;
4799.  Swedish crispbread (i.e., knäckebröd) is rather tasty. . . . It’s like a slightly sweet cracker;
4800.  The Swedish meatballs (with cream sauce, lingonberries and potato purée) at Restaurang Riche (Riche.se/en/) in Stockholm(, Sweden) are pretty tasty;

Monday, November 14, 2016

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

4701.  Tiësto is pretty awesome;
4702.  Apparently, you can scroll through your phone using your nose;
4703.  Apparently, you should never tell a woman that you have a scratchy/sore throat or that you’re not feeling well;
4704.  I’ve had a man kiss me on the lips . . . (damn) Germans;
4705.  One U.S. dollar is worth about 6.75 Croatian Kuna (in August of 2016);
4706.  Concentration is the act of focusing one’s attention.  As the mind is allowed to focus on a single object, it stills.  As the mind is kept in the present, it becomes calm.  Concentration means keeping the mind now and here.  Concentration is the supreme art because no art can be achieved without it, while with it, anything can be achieved;
4707.  Rhythm can never be achieved by being overly purposeful about it; you have to let it happen.  But sensitivity to rhythm developed through concentration helps;
4708.  It is consciousness which makes possible awareness of the sights, sounds, feelings and thoughts which compose what we call “experience.”  It is self-evident that one cannot experience anything outside of consciousness.  Consciousness is that which makes all things and events knowable.  Without consciousness, eyes could not see, ears could not hear and the mind could not think;
4709.  When attention is allowed to rest in one place, it comes to know that place because attention is focused consciousness and consciousness is that power of knowing;
4710.  Awareness – Attention – Concentration – One-Pointed Concentration;
4711.  What is higher consciousness, but seeking more of what is already there?  As one’s ability to focus the light energy of consciousness increases, the effective range of her/his vision increases. S/he seems to see things that are invisible, such as the thoughts of others, the so-called past or the future.  Actually, s/he is only seeing what is already there and is now visible to her/him because s/he can focus the energy of her/his awareness;
4712.  The value of concentration becomes clear as we grow to understand that nothing can be enjoyed or appreciated if it cannot be known.  Beauty cannot be enjoyed unless one can know it.  Peace cannot be enjoyed unless it can be known.  The same goes for love and truth-in fact, anything that is valued by man.  By increasing the effective power of awareness, concentration allows us to throw more light on whatever we value knowing and to that extent enables us to know and enjoy it more;
4713.  But it is also necessary to learn to focus awareness in the now.  This simply means tuning into what is happening in the present.  The greatest lapses in concentration come when we allow our minds to project what is about to happen or to dwell on what has already happened;
4714.  Usually part of our energy is left in the thought world of past or future, so that the present is not seen with all of one’s light awareness;
4715.  Since the mind seems to have a will of its own, how can one learn to keep it in the present?  By practice.  There is no other way.  Every time your mind starts to leak away, simply bring it gently back;
4716.  You become more aware of what is going on as you learn to keep your attention in the now.  The most direct means of increasing one’s ability to concentrate is through the practice of meditation;
4717.  How to stay concentrated in the here and now between points?  Focus your attention on breathing.  Some objector activity which is always present is needed;
4718.  Anxiety is fear about what may happen in the future and it occurs only when the mind is imagining what the future may bring.  But when your attention is on the here and now, the actions which need to be done in the present have their best chance of being successfully accomplished and as a result the future will become the best possible present;
4719.  It is perplexing to wonder why we ever leave the here and now.  Here and now are the only place and time when one ever enjoys herself/himself or accomplishes anything.  Most of our suffering takes place when we allow our minds to imagine the future or mull over the past;
4720.  Our desire that things be different from what they are pulls our minds into an unreal world and, in consequence, we are less able to appreciate what the present has to offer;
4721.  The Pharos Hotel (SuncaniHvar.com/Hotel-Pharos.html) in Hvar(, Croatia) is really nice;
4722.  In Hvar, (Croatia) the after parties are at “Carpe Diem Beach” (Carpe-Diem-Beach-Hvar.com) and (at) “Pink Champagne” (PinkChampagneHvar.com);
4723.  Apparently, “being in your body” feels a lot like being drunk except you’re coordinated and you don’t slur your words;
4724.  It seems that people drink and do drugs (in an attempt) to try and “be in their bodies;”
4725.  There aren’t any Starbucks in Hvar(, Croatia). . . . (Come to think of it,) I don’t think there are any Starbucks in Croatia (period);
4726.  There aren’t many chain stores in Hvar(, Croatia) except the grocery store and (maybe) the drugstore;
4727.  Croatia is a very cash heavy society;
4728.  The pizza in Croatia is awful;
4729.  There are no (international) transaction fees for an international ATM withdrawal from Burke & Herbert Bank;
4730.  You have to meet Molly. . . . She’s your friend;
4731.  “Kinder Bueno” chocolate bars are pretty tasty;
4732.  If you want to go to Yacht Week Croatia, but you don’t want to pay for it, (you might) try being a summer intern (TheYachtWeek.com/summer-internships);
4733.  Sunseekers are really nice boats . . . and, apparently, they’re British;
4734.  I can say I’ve gone diving off a boat;
4735.  It’s (probably) not a good idea to swim (out) to a secluded beach without a life vest, especially when the only way to get there is to swim and you’re not a very good/strong swimmer;
4736.  Lori (Hill) has a (strong) sexual energy/vibe about her when she’s drunk;
4737.  One U.S. dollar is worth 24.4 Czech (Republic) Koruna (in August of 2016);
4738.  Prague (in the Czech Republic) is cheap.  A steak dinner at a nice restaurant is about $20.00 U.S. dollars;
4739.  If you thought the strip club panderers in (Las) Vegas were bad, don’t go to Prague;
4740.  Apparently, the age of consent in the Czech Republic is 15;
4741.  Apparently, “Karlovy Lázně” (KarlovyLazne.cz/en/) (in Prague) is the biggest/largest club in central Europe. . . . It’s five stories;
4742.  With the conversion rate, Uber is really cheap in Prague;
4743.  (I can say) I’ve had beef goulash in the Czech Republic;
4744.  A trdlo is like a cross between a cream horn and a cinnamon roll;
4745.  The pork knuckle at Bredovský Dvůr (RestauraceBredovskyDvur.cz/restaurace/) (in Prague) is pretty tasty . . . and cheap (i.e., about $12.50 U.S. dollars);
4746.  Traditional Czech food is similar to Bavarian cuisine;
4747.  Dark, Czech beer is rather tasty;
4748.  Slovenian women hate it when you confuse their country with Estonia;
4749.  It’s (probably) not a good idea to take LSD (i.e., acid) during a rainstorm in the middle of a busy park (specifically Letná Park in Prague);
4750.  Just make it stop!

Monday, October 24, 2016

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

4651.  Red burgundy (wine) refers to pinot noir from Bourgogne, France;
4652.  Once you learn how to learn, you have only to discover what is worth learning;
4653.  It is much more difficult to break a habit when there is no adequate replacement for it;
4654.  It is not helpful to condemn our present behavior patterns; it is helpful to see what function these habits are serving, so that if we learn a better way to achieve the same end, we can do so.  We never repeat any behavior which isn't serving some function or purpose;
4655.  It is difficult to become aware of the function of any pattern of behavior while we are in the process of blaming ourselves for having a "bad habit."  But when we stop trying to suppress or correct the habit, we can see the function it serves and then an alternative pattern of behavior, which serves the same function better, emerges quite effortlessly;
4656.  Habits are statements about the past and the past is gone;
4657.  There is no need to fight old habits.  Start new ones.  It is the resisting of an old habit that puts you in that trench.  Starting a new pattern is easy when done with childlike disregard for imagined difficulties;
4658.  T-Mobile customers get unlimited texting and one hour of free (of Gogo In-Flight) Wi-Fi on Virgin America flights;
4659.  The truth is you don’t know what you can really accomplish until you try;
4660.  The important thing is to experience it.  Don’t intellectualize it.  See what it feels like to ask yourself to do something and let it happen without any conscious trying;
4661.  The grilled chicken at Whataburger (Whataburger.com) is pretty tasty;
4662.  You’d think the wind would be cooling . . . not in (Las) Vegas;
4663.  The daughter of the audio engineer(, who does all of the telecasts) for the NBA(,) is rather attractive . . . and (she’s) a hockey fan (i.e., New York Rangers);
4664.  “Secret Pizza” (on the 3rd floor of “The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas”) may have the best pizza in (Las) Vegas;
4665.  The water at pool parties in (Las) Vegas is (pretty) disgusting/dirty (specifically Nightswim at XS Nightclub);
4666.  I’m not a Skrillex fan;
4667.  There are places (i.e., desert areas) outside of (Las) Vegas where you can go and (legally) shoot (your) guns;
4668.  Loading the last couple of rounds into a magazine is a pain;
4669.  I can say I’ve driven in (Las) Vegas;
4670.  I can say that I’ve helped smuggle in two (large) suitcases worth of booze into a nightclub (specifically Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub) in (Las) Vegas;
4671.  The bungalows at Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub are ridiculous;
4672.  I can say I’ve partied with LeBron James in (Las) Vegas . . . and with some of his teammates on the (Cleveland) Cavaliers (i.e., Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, Dahntay Jones & Jordan McRae) as well as Chris Paul (of the Los Angeles Clippers), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (of the Detroit Pistons) and Tyler Ulis (of the Phoenix Suns);
4673.  Apparently, I should listen to whatever Hanoz (Mistry) and Alex (Page) tell me;
4674.  (Unbeknownst to me,) apparently, I give off a very sexual energy . . . and that I won’t have to worry about not (sexually) satisfying a woman;
4675.  Apparently, I’ll succeed at anything I put my mind to;
4676.  Apparently, if I put my mind to it, I could teach myself (to play) the guitar from YouTube videos;
4677.  It’s good to know a pharmacist;
4678.  If you’re parking at “The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas,” go down to (level) B4.  There are a lot more open spots (down) there because there aren’t any spaces reserved for valet (parking);
4679.  Realize that you’re giving a woman a gift when you’re approaching and giving her a compliment;
4680.  Let me get your number in case we get separated;
4681.  Most of the casinos in (Las) Vegas have free parking.  Look for the “self-park” lots;
4682.  I’ve cracked my back for the first time (ever) . . . and it feels amazing;
4683.  Watch out for (slim,) 26 year-old, Israeli brunettes, who just want a good view of the deejay (specifically Hardwell) from your table;
4684.  Seth (Barr) is glad to be my friend;
4685.  There’s something strange/weird about folding another man’s underwear;
4686.  Sarah (Foster) doesn’t think I’m shy/introverted;
4687.  Danial (Coggan) said I’m an inspiration to him;
4688.  Apparently, I’m an I.N.F.J.-A. (i.e., introverted 78%. Intuitive 64%, Feeling 56%, Judging 70% & Assertive 76%). . . . My role is a “diplomat” and my strategy is “confident individualism;”
4689.  In (Las) Vegas, the police won’t show up to a car accident unless someone is injured;
4690.  You (know you) have good posture if your arms are by your sides;
4691.  I’m a chiropractic convert;
4692.  When you’re at the table mixing drinks, (you should) smell the club soda (first) to make sure it isn’t vodka;
4693.  I didn’t know Calvin Harris had so many hit songs;
4694.  I really like Kaskade;
4695.  Apparently, tall (i.e., 5’10”), blonde, former (college) volleyball players, living in Chicago(, Illinois) date shorter, “loser” men;
4696.  Robert (Roebuck) said I’m an inspiration to him (as well);
4697.  You’re a good conversationalist if you can get into 10-20 minute (long) conversations;
4698.  The breakfast (i.e., two eggs any style & the create your own omelet) at the Strip View Café (StripViewCafe.com) in (Las) Vegas is (really) tasty . . . and cheap;
4699.  Steve Aoki may be my favorite deejay in (Las) Vegas;
4700.  Monica (Stachowski) has soft lips;

Monday, October 10, 2016

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

4601.  Look for the loving presence in others.  Rather than seeing only another physical being, tell yourself that the Christ in me is meeting the Christ in you.  Spend a day silently reciting the word “love” whenever you encounter another human being.  This has such a powerful effect that you may choose to use it as a silent background mantra throughout your day;
4602.  You will build yourself up spiritually by attempting tougher and tougher assignments.  One of the toughest assignments is to disregard the ego message to evaluate yourself with the criteria of appearance and possessions.  But know each time you are able to be less judgmental toward others or yourself, you are becoming stronger by having taken on the heavier spiritual weights;
4603.  Long drives are a good time to listen to podcasts.  They definitely help the time pass;
4604.  My (late) uncle, John, owned a (yellow) Porsche;
4605.  Results take time; a lot of time.  And, you might not realize this right now, but even if you fail you’ll have learned so much from the experience.  So, no matter what, you’re set;
4606.  The worst possible thing you can do right now is quit.  That’s the only way to guarantee you waste all your hard work;
4607.  I used to think fear of rejection and fear of failure were only relevant when it comes to girls, but they really apply to almost everything in life;
4608.  There’s no such thing as wasting effort.  As long as you’re taking action and doing something productive, you’re getting one step closer to your goal.  Even when you make a mistake.  Even when you fail.  Even when it seems like you’re making no progress.  Those things are all part of the process.  How long should you try before giving up?  Forever;
4609.  If you’re thinking, “I tested out my idea and I haven’t seen any results or any progress yet.  What then?”  That’s when it’s smart to try something new and pivot into a slightly new direction.  But once you do have at least a decent idea then you go full-force ahead and never quit.  You work your ass off 24/7/365 until you’ve accomplished what you once thought impossible;
4610.  It all comes down to taking action.  As long as you take action and don’t prematurely quit before you’ve built up some serious momentum, you’re set;
4611.  A significant other can only improve an already enjoyable life.  If you hate your life right now, for whatever reason, no boyfriend/girlfriend is going to fix that;
4612.  Do you think finding your dream guy/girl is going to make your life do a complete 180 and magically fix all your problems?  If it was true, it’d mean you never have to face your fears and you never have to work on yourself.  That your dream guy/girl would just fall out of the sky and fix all of your problems for you.  Instead of learning how to be happy on your own, you’re basically saying, “I can only be happy if I’m in a relationship;”
4613.  Ask yourself this, “If your ideal boy/girlfriend adopted your current lifestyle – hobbies, passions, interests and all – would you still want to date him/her?”  Because if you wouldn’t be happy dating a person like you, why would any attractive guy/girl?
4614.  You need to turn yourself into a guy/girl that girls/guys find irresistible.  Because then, and only then, will you be able to have a happy relationship with your dream girl/guy;
4615.  A relationship is made up of two individuals.  And, therefore, the relationship is the sum of you two: Unhappy You + Girlfriend/Boyfriend = Unhappy Relationship; and Happy You + Girlfriend/Boyfriend = Happy Relationship;
4616.  You need to be happy all on your own before you can be happy in a relationship;
4617.  When you learn to enjoy life on your own.  And then, when you’re completely happy with your single life.  That’s when your dream girl/guy will show up.  And that’s when you’ll be ready for her/him;
4618.  Apparently, boys and girls develop the same until puberty;
4619.  Neck hair is (really) annoying when you’re growing your hair out;
4620.  (White) fish with dill and lemon is overrated;
4621.  A goal without a deadline is a dream;
4622.  An irrational fear isn’t going to respond to a rational argument;
4623.  The more that you can embrace who you are and what you’re good at, and the more you invest in that, the more you can expand your means;
4624.  Who would’ve thought (that) a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage (meat), battered and deep-fried (i.e., Scotch egg) and dipped/dunked in honey mustard would taste good?
4625.  Doing cardio is another good time to listen to podcasts;
4626.  I still don’t take compliments (very) well;
4627.  A 2011 survey found that as many as 20 percent of travelers have had sex on an airplane (though the survey did not distinguish between commercial carriers and private jets);
4628.  80% of all cancer is directly related to lifestyle;
4629.  According to the teachings of Lao-Tzu, the four cardinal virtues represent the surest way to leave habits and excuses behind and reconnect to your original nature.  The more your life is harmonized with the four virtues, the less you’re controlled by the uncompromising ego;
4630.  The First Cardinal Virtue: Reverence for All Life – The first cardinal virtue manifests in your daily life as unconditional love and respect for all beings in creation.  This includes making a conscious effort to love and respect yourself, as well as to remove all judgments and criticisms.  Understand that you are a piece of God, and since you must be like what you came from, you are lovable, worthy and Godlike.  Affirm this as often as you can, for when you see yourself in a loving way, you have nothing but love to extend outward.  And the more you love others, the less you need old excuse patterns, particularly those relating to blame;
4631.  The Second Cardinal Virtue: Natural Sincerity – This virtue manifests itself as honesty, simplicity and faithfulness; and it’s summed up by the popular reminder to be true to yourself.  Using an excuse to explain why your life isn’t working at the level you prefer isn’t being true to yourself – when you’re completely honest and sincere, excuses don’t even enter into the picture.  The second virtue involves living a life that reflects choices that come from respect and affection for your own nature.  Make truth your most important attribute.  Walk your talk; that is, become sincere and honest in all that you say and do.  If you find this to be a challenge, take a moment to affirm: I no longer need to be insincere or dishonest.  This is who I am and this is how I feel.  When you know and trust yourself, you also know and trust the Divinity that created you.  If you live from honesty, sincerity and faithfulness to the callings of your spirit, you’ll never have occasion to use excuses;
4632.  The Third Cardinal Virtue: Gentleness – This virtue personifies one of the most frequently employed maxims: “When you have the choice to be right or to be kind, always pick kind.”  So many of your old thinking habits and their attendant excuses come out of a need to make yourself right and others wrong.  When you practice this third virtue, you eliminate conflicts that result in your need to explain why you’re right.  This virtue manifests as kindness, consideration for others and sensitivity to spiritual truth.  Gentleness generally implies that you no longer have a strong ego-inspired desire to dominate or control others, which allows you to move into a rhythm with the universe.  You cooperate with it, much like a surfer who rides with the waves instead of trying to overpower them.  Gentleness means accepting life and people as they are, rather than insisting that they be as you are.  As you practice living this way, blame disappears and you enjoy a peaceful world;
4633.  The Fourth Cardinal Virtue: Supportiveness – This virtue manifests in your life as service to others without any expectation of reward.  Once again, when you extend yourself in a spirit of giving, helping or loving, you act as God acts.  As you consider the many excuses that have dominated your life, look carefully at them – you’ll see that they’re all focused on the ego: I can’t do this.  I’m too busy or too scared.  I’m unworthy.  No one will help me.  I’m too old.  I’m too tired.  Now imagine shifting your attention off of yourself and asking the universal mind, “How may I serve?”  When you do so, the message you’re sending is: I’m not thinking about myself and what I can or can’t have.  Your attention is on making someone else feel better.  The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what’s in it for you.  When you make the shift to supporting others in your life, without expecting anything in return, you’ll think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving;
4634.  The four cardinal virtues are a road map to the simple truth of the universe.  To revere all of life, to live with natural sincerity, to practice gentleness and to be in service to others is to replicate the energy field from which you originated;
4635.  Compliments are criticisms in disguise.  Both are used to manipulate behavior, but compliments are just more socially acceptable;
4636.  Honey mustard has mayonnaise (in it).  Honey-flavored mustard does not. . . . Who knew?
4637.  There’s a bit of hidden magic in every mistake.  This magic is called learning;
4638.  Even animals have the ability to learn from their mistakes;
4639.  Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new;
4640.  If you are learning something new, you are then required to make mistakes in order to fully understand what you have learned;
4641.  The reality is that if you want to be successful in life, not just get by, you need to be able to try new things.  And if you do that, be prepared to be disappointed;
4642.  Inside every problem lies an opportunity, just like inside every disappointment lies a priceless gem of wisdom.  The key is knowing how to deal with and learn from disappointment;
4643.  Only fools expect everything to go their way.  Expecting to be disappointed does not mean being passive or a defeated loser.  It is a way of mentally and emotionally preparing yourself to be ready for surprises that you may not want.  This allows you to be calm and dignified when things don’t go your way, which in turn allows you to think better;
4644.  Success takes time and, along the way, there is much disappointment.  You have to be ready and willing to keep pushing and learning;
4645.  One of the most painful aspects about making mistakes or failing at something is not what other people say about us, but how hard we are on ourselves.  Most people make a mistake and beat themselves up more than anyone else would.  It’s hard to learn anything new if you punish yourself all the time.  So be kind to yourself;
4646.  We all make mistakes and face disappointments.  The difference lies in how we process them.  This starts with facing the consequences of our actions and telling the truth about why we failed.  Only then can we grow and learn;
4647.  The greatest cause of financial struggle is the fear of losing money.  It’s this fear that causes people to often operate too safely;
4648.  Daniel Goleman, in the book, Emotional Intelligence, uses the ratio of 24:1 in comparing the power of the emotional brain to the rational brain.  In other words, when emotions are high, intelligence is low.  All of us have experienced events in our lives when our emotions overtook our rational thoughts.  It often seems impossible to overcome our emotions and act rationally;
4649.  Part of becoming successful is recognizing patterns that hold you back and taking action to overcome those patterns.  When we are faced with fear of risk, we must be able to rationally recognize that fear before it becomes too strong to overcome.  This requires self-knowledge that is the result of constant self-assessment;
4650.  If you can keep your emotions in check and go for what you know to be logical, you have a good chance of being successful.  It’s a process of knowing which of your thoughts are emotion-based and which are logic-based.  The most important conversation is always the one you have with yourself;

Monday, September 26, 2016

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

4551.  If you have to pay something late, pay a credit card late.  Do not pay your mortgage late (if you can pay for it);
4552.  One 30-day late payment to your mortgage will drop your credit score 100-150 points and it will affect your credit score for a year;
4553.  If you have more than 1 mortgage payment late, you will not be able to get a loan (i.e., 2 30-day late payments or 1 60-day late payment);
4554.  A balance above the credit limit impacts your credit score negatively, similarly to a late payment, regardless if the balance is $1.00 over the credit limit or $100.00 over the credit limit;
4555.  A F.I.C.O. (credit) score of 740 or over is considered “excellent;”
4556.  A F.I.C.O. (credit) score of 700 (to 739) is considered “very good;”
4557.  The credit scores you get when you order them from the consumer credit agencies are not the same scores used in the mortgage business.  The scores you get are usually 10-50 points higher than those in the mortgage industry because the consumer credit agencies do not use as much data and their algorithms are different (i.e., concerned about mortgage default v. credit card default);
4558.  The 3 bureaus for business credit reports are: 1.  Equifax; 2.  Experian; and 3.  Dun & Bradstreet;
4559.  2 simple rules to follow to stay healthy and fit: 1.  Stop eating gluten; and 2.  Stop eating refined sugar;
4560.  Eat as much as you want of: 1.  Fibrous vegetables; 2.  Unprocessed meats (excludes deli, cured & smoked meats, sausage & bacon); 3.  Fish & shellfish as long as it’s not smoked.  There are no rules about the frequency you can eat these foods, but you should try to eat a lot more fibrous vegetables than meat, fish or shellfish;
4561.  For the first 3-4 weeks, you can eat these foods to offset hunger (and then gradually reduce their consumption afterwards): 1.  Nuts – 3-4 large handfuls a day; 2.  Healthy oils (i.e., coconut & olive oils) – 3-4 tablespoons a day; and 3.  Avocado – 1-2 avocados a day;
4562.  Avoid these foods for the first 3-4 weeks and afterwards you can have these amounts of servings: 1.  Lower glycemic fruit (i.e., berries & grapefruit) – 2-3 servings a day; Eat at breakfast or lunch (so your body can work them off).  You can add 1 serving on a workout day especially before a cardio workout; and 2.  Complex carbs (i.e., starchy vegetables – peas & sweet potatoes; whole grains - quinoa & brown rice);
4563.  What to eat for breakfast: 1.  Eggs with vegetables (i.e., omelet with mixed vegetables cooked in olive oil & avocado on the side; spinach salad with grape tomatoes & peppers with poached eggs; hardboiled eggs on a kale salad with peppers, mushrooms & onions); 2.  Add chicken to an omelet or salad; 3.  Cauliflower or nut bread with tomatoes, onions & avocado or with almond or cashew butter; 4.  After 3-4 weeks, you can add fruit (i.e., bowl of berries or grapefruit) and complex carbs (i.e., brown rice or quinoa); and 5.  Grilled chicken/fish with steamed vegetables;
4564.  What to eat for lunch and dinner: 1.  Meat/fish with vegetables cooked in healthy oil; and 2.  After 3-4 weeks, you can add fruit and complex carbs with lunch;
4565.  What type of snacks to eat: 1.  Nuts (i.e., almonds, walnuts & cashews preferably) – preferably raw nuts then roasted nuts with light salt – no nuts with coatings; 2.  Vegetables (i.e., cherry & grape tomatoes, bell peppers, celery & carrots) – no dressing; 3.  Avocado; and 4.  Meat (i.e., steak, fish or chicken);
4566.  Foods that you can eat at restaurants: A)  Meat (i.e., not fried & without sauce); Always try to add vegetables to your meal; B)  Mongolian: Anything except skip the sauce and the fried rice; C)  Thai: 1.  Stir fried vegetables with meat; 2.  Chicken satay – no peanut sauce; 3.  Tom Yum soup; 4.  Koo Moo Yang; 5.  Papaya salad; and 6.  Larb; D)  Japanese: 1.  Sashimi; 2.  Teriyaki without the sauce; and 3.  Brown rice sushi/nigiri (after the first 3-4 weeks); E)  Chinese: 1.  Vegetables with meat; 2.  Ma Po tofu/eggplant; and 3.  Peking duck without the pancakes and sauce; F)  Indian: 1.  Tandoori (i.e., chicken, lamb & vegetables); 2.  Mint masala; and 3.  Chicken saag.  Avoid the heavy curries; G) European/American: 1.  Salad; and 2.  Grilled piece of meat with vegetables; and H) Latin American: 1.  Ceviche; 2.  Guacamole without the tortilla chips; 3.  Grilled fish/meats; and 4.  Fajitas without the tortillas;
4567.  You can try to avoid risk, but it’s impossible to manage every variable.  You simply cannot control the future or other people’s choices and actions;
4568.  You do have two options: to retain risk or transfer risk;
4569.  Trying to avoid risk is really just retaining it.  And purchasing insurance is how you transfer risk through auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and more.  These are proven ways to transfer risk from yourself to insurance companies.  And in doing so, you’re protecting yourself, your family, your assets and your ability to produce;
4570.  The other value of insurance is protecting your human life value.  It protects your peace of mind, your creativity and your ability to perform at your best.  When you know that you’ve transferred risk with insurance, you can let go of worry and produce at the highest levels;
4571.  “Safe” isn’t safe.  Chasing your dream in life (yes the risky one that’s impossible to guarantee) is the safer choice;
4572.  If you’re not truly passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll always subconsciously limit yourself.  Like putting an imaginary brick wall between you and your true potential;
4573.  The safe choice is just another way of guaranteeing you never become happy;
4574.  When you pursue your passion, you have a chance to be really, really great at something because you actually care;
4575.  When you pursue your passion, you won’t waste years of your life on things you don’t care about.  Every second of every day will feel meaningful no matter what;
4576.  The fact is, most people choose a safe path in life because the end result (even if it’s mediocre at best) is guaranteed;
4577.  You want that guarantee.  You can see it way off in the distance.  The path to it is crystal clear.  And does following your passion have that same guarantee?  No, it doesn’t.  But what you lose in a guarantee you gain in happiness;
4578.  By following your passion, you’ll force yourself to be the smartest, best version of you and you’ll love every second even if you fail.  There’s the safety you’re after.  Real safety comes from being great at something.  And the only way to become great is to be absolutely crazy about it.  You can’t fake passion;
4579.  (Just remember) the safe path is the scary one;
4580.  If you want to make an unbreakable piñata, ask Becky (Henry);
4581.  If you want to give your oatmeal some flavor, try some adding (some) blueberries or raspberries;
4582.  Apparently, Ann Gillespie, who played “Jackie Taylor” on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” is a senior associate rector at (Historic) Christ Church in (Old Town) Alexandria;
4583.  William Duvall (the current lead singer of “Alice in Chains”) sounds just like Layne Staley;
4584.  “Alice in Chains” has a lot more hit songs than I realized;
4585.  Axl Rose can be punctual;
4586.  Axl Rose’s voice (actually) isn’t shot;
4587.  Guns N’ Roses live sounds like you’d want them to sound;
4588.  Slash is an amazing guitarist;
4589.  Richard Fortus (the lead and rhythm guitarist for Guns N’ Roses) is a pretty good guitarist too;
4590.  Axl Rose can whistle . . . and he actually does when performing “Patience;”
4591.  Axl (Rose), Slash and Duff (McKagan actually) seem to get along;
4592.  What’s a stupid way to get home from a Guns N’ Roses concert at FedEx Field (in Landover, Maryland)?  The answer is: Getting into an old, paint-faded, dark gray, Crown Victoria that pulls up on Central Avenue with a guy who says his car is a taxi, but there's no taxicab sign on the car, no meter and no GPS and he isn't quite sure how to get you (back) to (Old Town) Alexandria;
4593.  Nuts are nutritious, but they're also calorically dense.  A cup of (roasted) mixed nuts is almost 900 calories;
4594.  An uncompleted project is no better than a project you never began;
4595.  Procrastination is really an escape from living present moments as fully as possible;
4596.  As long as you say maybe, or hope, or wish, you can use these as a rationale for not doing anything now;
4597.  All wishing and hoping are a waste of time.  No amount of either ever got anything accomplished.  They are merely convenient escape clauses from rolling up your sleeves and taking on tasks that you’ve decided are important enough to be on your list of life activities;
4598.  You can do anything that you set your mind to accomplish.  You are strong, capable and not the least bit brittle.  But by putting things off for a future moment, you are giving into escapism, self-doubt and most significantly, self-delusion.  Your putting it off is a movement away from being strong in the now and toward the direction of hoping that things will improve in your future;
4599.  Some techniques for ousting postponing behavior: 1.  Make a decision to live five minutes at a time.  Instead of thinking of tasks in long-range terms, think about now and try to use up a five-minute period doing what you want, refusing to put off anything that would bring satisfaction; 2.  Ask yourself, “What is the worst things that could happen to me if I did what I’m putting off right now?”  The answer is usually so insignificant that it may jar you into action.  Assess your fear and you’ll have no reason to hang onto it; 3.  Think of yourself as too significant to live with anxiety about the things you have to do.  So, the next time you know you are uncomfortable with postponement anxiety, remember that people who love themselves don’t hurt themselves that way; 4.  Be courageous about undertaking an activity that you’ve been avoiding.  One act of courage can eliminate all that fear.  Stop telling yourself that you must perform well.  Remind yourself that doing it is far more important; 5.  Decide not to be tired until the moment before you get into bed.  Don’t allow yourself to use fatigue or illness as an escape or to put off doing anything.  You may find that when you take away the reason for the illness or exhaustion – that is, avoidance of a task – physical problems “magically” disappear; and 6.  Look hard at your life.  Are you doing what you’d choose to be doing if you knew you had six months to live?  If not, you’d better begin doing it because relatively speaking, that’s all you have.  Given the eternity of time, thirty years or six months makes no difference.  Your total lifetime is a mere speck.  Delaying anything makes no sense;
4600.  If you want the world to change, don’t complain about it.  Do something.  Rather than using up your present moments with all kinds of immobilizing anxiety over what you are putting off, take charge and live now!  Be a doer, not a wisher, hoper or critic;

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

4501.  When power napping, don’t sleep for more than 20 minutes.  You don’t want to enter R.E.M. sleep;
4502.  The 20-minute power nap (sometimes called the stage 2 nap) is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano;
4503.  Try drinking a cup of coffee before a 20-minute power nap.  The caffeine should hit you about the time you wake up;
4504.  Don’t wear boxer shorts when doing yoga.  They can ride up and be (very) uncomfortable;
4505.  I (actually) sleep better using a sleep mask.  Who knew?
4506.  Declutter you counters: A messy counter can actually compel you to eat more, according to a study released last year that Dr. Brian Wansink, author of Slim by Design, co-authored.  The researchers found that women with messy kitchens – think: newspapers, dishes, bills and more – ate twice as many cookies and snacks as women in a kitchen with clear counters who had access to the same snacks.  Further study showed the difference seemed to be tied to how stressed the women felt – a disorganized kitchen led to out-of-control eating;
4507.  Store special kitchen tools or appliances: You may love your vintage Kitchen Aid mixer or custom Bundt pan collection, but these items can draw you to special occasion foods more than everyday healthy choices.  Hide them, store them or move them to the basement.  As you declutter your countertop, only keep appliances on hand that will make healthy eating easier, such as the blender for smoothies.  And ditch the easily accessible toaster: Wansink’s studies found that men in households with a toaster on the counter weigh an average of four pounds more than their neighbors who hide this common appliance;
4508.  You can display a fruit bowl: In Wansink’s research, people with cereal, soda and other snacks displayed on their counters weighed, on average, 20 pounds more than those who kept no food out.  On the other hand, he found that putting fruit in a nice bowl, conveniently located, increased how much kids take by as much as 104 percent;
4509.  Eat dinner off your salad plates: Wansink’s studies show that the bigger the plate, the more we fill it and the more we eat – up to 22 percent more.  Aim to use salad plates in the 9- to 10-inch range, which you can fill with a more reasonable portion.  But you shouldn’t go below 9 inches, either: “At that point you know you are fooling yourself and you go back for seconds or thirds or fourths,” Wansink says.  The same rule applies for serving spoons (a bigger scoop can add up to 14 percent more food) and bowls too;
4510.  Swap your rocks glasses for highballs: The same logic for plates applies to your glasses too.  Wansink found that people perceive tall, thin glasses as holding more than short, wide glasses even when they actually hold the same volume.  As a result, people poured (and then consumed) almost 30 percent more when using the short glasses. “Opt for the illusion of the tall glass and don’t pour all the way to the top,” he suggests.  Make your taller, thinner glasses your everyday drinkware;
4511.  Retire your serving bowls for everyday dinners: Big serving bowls on the dinner table for family-style eating only invite us to consume more, Wansink says.  “On average, people eat 20 percent more of any food served off of the table than served off of [the] counter or stove,” he says.  Serve any higher calorie food in the kitchen onto individual plates.  That doesn’t mean you need to toss out all of your beautiful serving pieces – use them for special occasions when you expect to indulge or for everyday meals, where you can serve salads or light vegetable sides family-style.  Even better?  Repurpose those dinner plates as vegetable platters;
4512.  Pull your grandmother’s cookbooks out of storage: It’s no surprise that portion sizes have gotten larger over the years; in fact, Wansink discovered that calorie counts in the Joy of Cooking increased by 44 percent per serving over the past 70 years and seven editions.  “If you need to use a modern cookbook, think half,” he says.  “Make it and put half in the freezer before dinner starts;”
4513.  Haul your Costco busy to the basement: Studies show that we eat half of what we purchase within the first week of buying it, and if we buy bulk, well . . . you do the math.  So if you buy large quantities for the cash savings (or the hungry teenagers in your house), put what you need right away in the pantry and then move the extras deep in storage.  Consider a “kids only” snack drawer out of reach of your regular path through the kitchen.  Another idea is to take bulk and items and break them into small, single serving packages;
4514.  Play hide and seek with your food: Wansink says we eat what we see.  Reorganize so your dishes are stored in any glass cupboards and then move food and snacks behind closed doors.  He also recommends hiding any unhealthy foods in foil or in opaque containers, since leftovers wrapped in plastic or in clear containers get eaten faster.  Place healthier choices, like crudités, in glass containers, since you’ll be more likely to reach for those first.  And if you find yourself digging into your pantry multiple times a day, consider moving it to another spot altogether (if it’s practical), such as an old coat closet, basement or anywhere that requires you to walk a little further to get to food.  “We keep all of our snacks in the laundry room,” Wansink says.  “If we want a snack, we know where to find them, but it’s not as easy as trolling through the cupboards;”
4515.  Of all of the packaged food in the grocery store, 74% are spiked with sugar;
4516.  There are 56 names for sugar;
4517.  (American) teenagers consume on average 30-41 teaspoons of (total) sugar per day;
4518.  Palates that are conditioned for higher levels of sweetness, crave more of them;
4519.  I (quite) like the fruit & nut bread at Society Fair (SocietyFair.net) in (Old Town Alexandria).  It’s like raisin bread on crack;
4520.  The day after a (Washington) Nationals win and save, you can bring in your ticket stub to (a) Chick-fil-A for a free chicken sandwich;
4521.  You can make Skittles-infused vodka by (simply) putting your favorite Skittles flavor in a jar with vodka and letting them dissolve.  (Who knew?)  Blend the mixture with ice and Sprite/club soda. . . . Enjoy;
4522.  Thoughts that generate bad feelings are resistant thoughts.  Any thought that puts a barrier between what you would like to have and your ability to attract it into your life is resistance;
4523.  Stress doesn’t exist in the world.  There are only people thinking stressful thoughts;
4524.  Stressful thoughts all by themselves are a form of resistance.  You don’t want stressful, resistant thoughts to be your habitual way of reacting to your world.  By practicing thoughts of minimal resistance, you’ll train yourself to make this your natural way of reacting and eventually you’ll become the tranquil person you desire to be, a stress-free person free of the “dis-ease” that stress brings to the body;
4525.  You always have options.  In every situation, you can choose how you are going to deal with it and how you are going to feel about it;
4526.  Wherever you find yourself in your life, whatever the circumstances, you can make the situation into a learning or growing experience and you can choose not to be emotionally immobilized;
4527.  You may find it much easier, albeit far more self-destructive, to give in to adversity and become a victim of your sour feelings.  But if you are effective enough at not having victim expectations, you can also work at turning misfortune around and even making it work in your favor.  The cornerstone of your attitude must be alertness for taking advantage of your situations, making your expectations revolve around wanting to emerge as a non-victim and looking hard for the right kind of opportunity.  Even if the opportunity does not surface, you can keep your attitude positive so that your glumness does not blind you to potential advantage;
4528.  You are the product of what you choose for yourself in every life situation.  You do have the capacity to make healthy choices for yourself by changing your attitude to one of creative aliveness.  By being ever alert for turning adversity around, by improving your attitudes and expectations for yourself and by fearlessly implementing risk-taking alternatives, you’ll soon be gratified by the way your life can take a turn for the better.  Be fully alive while you’re here on this planet; you’ll have an eternity to experience the opposite after you leave;
4529.  You only live once, so you should live this life to the fullest.  Be the best you can possibly be.  And don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way;
4530.  And there’s one other incredibly important (yet often forgotten) element: Planning for the future.  If I’ve only got one life to live, I’m going to think about the future.  To put it bluntly, planning for the future is the difference between success and failure in life.  And it’s not that planning instantly makes you successful.  It doesn’t.  It’s that not planning means you have no goal in mind; no target to aim for; no bar to hold yourself to;
4531.  If you could succeed without risking failure, it wouldn’t be meaningful;
4532.  If you’d rather stay in your comfort zone than have a shot at living your dream life, there’s nothing anyone can do to help you;
4533.  Life, and not just any life, your life, is moving forward whether you’re ready or not;
4534.  You need to decide what you want out of life; not the specifics; the big picture.  Planning ahead is about the intangible side of things.  It’s about thinking and knowing what really matters to you.  What does matter to you?  If you can’t instantly answer that, you’ve got a lot to think about;
4535.  When you’d rather fail than not try at all, you know you’re on the right track;
4536.  Almost half of borrowers with F.I.C.O. (credit) scores below 550 became 90 days delinquent at least once during a mortgage;
4537.  The lowest F.I.C.O. (credit) scores you can get a loan with is between 560 and 580;
4538.  For a person with a F.I.C.O. (credit) score of 800 or better, only 2 out of 10,000 became delinquent on their mortgage;
4539.  Lenders began to take a closer look at F.I.C.O. (credit) scores and this is what they found: 1.  F.I.C.O. score: 595 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 2.25 to 1; 2.  F.I.C.O. score: 615 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 9 to 1; 3.  F.I.C.O. score: 630 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 18 to 1; 4.  F.I.C.O. score: 645 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 36 to 1; 5.  F.I.C.O. score: 660 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 72 to 1;  6.  F.I.C.O. score: 680 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 144 to 1; 7.  F.I.C.O. score: 700 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 288 to 1; and 8.  F.I.C.O. score: 780 – Odds of a 90-day delinquent account: 576 to 1;
4540.  Every 20 points of a F.I.C.O. (credit) score affects your interest rate about 1/8th of a point;
4541.  Some of the things that affect your F.I.C.O. (credit) score: 1.  Delinquencies; 2.  Too many accounts opened within the last 12 months; 3.  Short credit history; 4.  Balances on revolving credit are near the maximum limits; 5.  Public records, such as tax liens, judgments or bankruptcies; 6.  No recent credit card balances; 7.  Too many recent credit inquiries; 8.  Too few revolving accounts; and 9.  Too many revolving accounts;
4542.  Borrowers with credit scores over 740 get the best interest rates.  For each reduction of 20 points, the interest rate increases by approximately 0.125%;
4543.  What your F.I.C.O. (credit) score takes into consideration: 1.  Payment history – 35%; 2.  Amounts owed – 30%; 3.  Length of credit history – 15%; 4.  New credit – 10%; and 5.  Types of credit used – 10%;
4544.  A mortgage issuer would ideally like to see: A)  1 mortgage; B)  1 line of credit (if you own a house); C)  1-2 car loans; D)  1 MasterCard or Visa (card); and E)  1 American Express card;
4545.  One credit inquiry will usually take less than 5 points off a credit score;
4546.  3 steps to credit improvement: 1.  Pay all your bills on time (i.e., payment history makes up 35% of your F.I.C.O. (credit) score); 2.  Keep revolving balances low – ideally to 30% or less of your available credit; and 3.  Only open new credit when you need it;
4547.  Higher starting credit scores and first-time negative actions have significant credit score impact;
4548.  The greatest credit score impact occurs in the first month following the action;
4549.  Scoring impact from negative actions diminishes over time and with improved, sustained behavior;
4550.  Late payments on larger, secured debt (i.e., mortgage) are generally more consequential to a credit score than late payments on smaller, unsecured debt (i.e., credit card);