Sunday, January 19, 2014

Smart Shopper

I have some interest in internet marketing and I have recently run across a few businesses that make a profit from being a middle man. Now of course this is nothing new, the broker is a standard part of the business world.

But to my eyes, it seems a bit strange and bizarre. For instance, one business that was started by a Titanium seller on EBay exploits the price differential between Ebay and Amazon. Things are often cheaper on Amazon and all that someone does with this business model is cut and paste merchandise from Amazon to Ebay.

When something sells on Ebay, they simply fulfill the order by ordering it from Amazon and make their profit from the differential in prices. Apparently this can be a very profitable business. If you don't quite get it, you might do a bit of research yourself and you will easily discover this price differential.

This begs the question, why doesn't the Ebay buyer go to Amazon himself? Good question, and I don't know the whole answer. It may just be habit, laziness, or whatever. Some people hate to shop so when they find an item that they need at what seems like a reasonable price, they just buy it. Perhaps they consider shopping a waste of time. But this is exactly what keeps these guys in business.

In another model, they have developed some software that finds people with a certain skill on Fiver. Fiver is the website where people will do services for $5. They use the example of someone who needs a logo for their business. You can easily find someone on Fiver who will design you a logo for $5.

Then all you do is go to craigslist, using another software program and have it look for someone who needs a logo done. You negotiate to do it for say $100 and once you have made the deal you have your Fiver guy do the job. You just made $95. This is not a far fetched example.

So the question is again, why didn't the guy who needed the logo done just go to Fiver himself? Obviously he didn't know about that option. So the middle man exploits his ignorance and makes a profit. Or perhaps you think of it as providing a valuable service. I guess its all a matter of your perspective.

This is why I won't ever make a good hard core capitalist. To me this just smacks of people taking advantage of one another. I like what I am doing now, being the truth teller. And encouraging people to be smarter shoppers. One would think in these difficult times that more of this is happening. And it probably is.

In the meantime, I need to find a better way to monetize my truth telling :) I got expenses too, ya know :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Morning Beverage

One of the most healthful and useful habits I have added this year is a morning beverage; either lemonade or ACV mix. They are both inspired by the ancient practice of Ayurveda.

The lemonade is my preferred mix. I just take a big glass of spring water and squeeze a half a lemon into it, including the pulp. Then I sweeten with a dropper full of liquid Organic Stevia. It is fast and easy to prepare and is delicious first thing in the morning, or as a drink for the day.

The alternative is the Apple Cider Vinegar mix. This is surprisingly pleasant tasting if your thought is otherwise :) Of course it too is sweetened with Stevia. I use the Bragg unpasteurized ACV which has all the beneficial enzyme activity, just a tablespoon in a glass of water. You could use double that if you can handle the taste, but I settled on a single tablespoon. Then sweeten with a dropper of Stevia.

The beneficial effects of either of these morning drinks is well documented. You can do further research on the subject if you need to convince yourself of that. They both help to alkalize the body through some mysterious chemistry that I don't pretend to understand. They say they are both helpful for weight loss, although obviously in order for that to be the case, their have to be other significant behavior modifications.

Anecdotally, they make me feel better, help to avoid colds, etc. I recommend you try adding either or both (on alternate days) of these to your morning regimen; you will be pleased with the result.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fracking

To me the idea of Fracking is so crazy that it is hard to believe that it is real and people are actually being allowed to inject toxic chemicals into the earth just to extract some oil and natural gas. Can you say, poisoned water supply? Most of us have seen the videos of tap water that you can ignite. Total insanity.

I am really feeling inspired to do everything I can to oppose this insanity. Just as a way to reassure myself, I will sometimes consult the Tarot. Long ago I abandon the need to do this, once I established a direct connection with Spirit, but occasionally it is helpful to come back to the old Tarot just to see what it has to say.

So here is my reading: http://www.tarotgoddess.com/cgi-bin/tarot/tarot.cgi?TarotDef=..%2F..%2Ftarot%2Fyesno%2Fyesno%2Fvars.cgi&Name=stan&Question=Is+it+safe+to+say+Fracking+is+bad+news+and+should+be+stopped%3F+FTGOTW&Submit1=get+reading

So let's be Strong and persevere until we stop this desecration of our precious mother earth and the poisoning of the water we all depend upon.

If you are looking for a place to start, you might read this blog post, which also was the source of the illustration I used above: http://1bog.org/blog/how-to-become-a-fracking-insurgent-beyond-going-solar/

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Swanson Vitamins

If you are like me, you order supplements every month, at least. I tend to spend about $50-60 a month on vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. My default source has tended to be Amazon although I have tried many, many others. Puritan's Pride, Vitacost, Nutrition Geeks, etc.

I think Swanson maybe the best. Their quality is consistently high, their prices are at least as good as Amazon's and sometimes way better, and they have lots and lots of house brand products that are really excellent.

As an example, they offer a formula to help you sleep that is very effective and downright cheap. Since I am an insomniac this has been a big help. Of course what often happens is that I get a good two hour nap, but believe me, when you have a hard time sleeping, even that can be a boon.

They are always offering promotions too. This one gives you $5 off your first order, and I get a kickback too. So check 'em out, I think you will like them. And I would love to hear your feedback!

PS. I got an unexpected package the other day which turned out to be a fine demonstration of Swanson's integrity. I had bought some Ceylon cinnamon in capsule form. A little back story: The stuff you buy in supermarkets that is labeled Cinnamon is actually Cassia, a relative that taste a lot like the real thing but is actually a cousin. Since real cinnamon has beneficial qualities, ie, helps to regulate blood sugar, you want the real thing. Well it turns out Swanson had sent me capsules of Cassia that were mislabeled and they sent the real thing to correct their error, with a letter of explanation and an apology for their error.

The point of course is that a company with less integrity would have been glad to sell you the cheaper Cassia as cinnamon. The taste differences are so subtle that unless you have a highly trained palate, you wouldn't notice. So, good for Swanson! http://www.swansonvitamins.com/referral/friend.html?id=d311473d-8ab1-430f-b004-e9c9012b234d

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Jupiter in Cancer

I successfully completed a day long focus group on Monday. One of the fun things about these groups is that you often get paid in cash. So nice to see these two crisp Benjamins at the end of a long day. It really was a full day where we worked hard. We signed confidentiality agreements so I can't tell you too much. But if you are interested in doing this kind of work, you might use the phrase "mock trial" in your Google search.

If you are curious, the wonderful sculpture was done by my late friend, Gary Fey. Those of you that knew him will recognize him in his street performer/clown persona.

In about an hour I have another group scheduled. This one is online, 1/2 hours work and I get a $30 Amazon gift card. If you gotta work for other people, at least it is decent pay, right?

Of course I prefer to be self employed. Since I have retired, I want to develop my new career as an author and public speaker. I also am going to play around with poetry and performance at some open mics to see where that leads. I did discover a great open mic in my 'hood, at Beans and Leaves, a cool coffee house in Long Grove.

When I was born, Jupiter was in Cancer. Jupiter, the planet of abundance, has returned to Cancer and I am getting showered with abundance from all sides. Cancer is the sign of the home. Its rising in my first house which governs your appearance. Unfortunately I have also gotten very fat which you could say is another manifestation of this passage. But I'm working on correcting that!

I put up a gofundme page recently and I already have my first donor so I am excited about that: http://www.gofundme.com/3quo14

One of the principles of prosperity is you have to ASK for what you want. So overcome your pride and do so yourself. The thing is, like with this gofundme project, its win/win/win. I get helped to do work which benefits and is of service to others. Those who contribute get all the warm fuzzies that come from supporting worthy causes and underdogs. So everyone wins!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Revolver Map

You have probably seen this widget before. I love it. It shows who has visited the blog and lots more 21st century statistics. Perhaps I will learn now to install it on the sidebar instead of in a post. Do you know how? If so, please tell me:) Thanks!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Merkaba Market

This was the Grayslake, IL Farmer's Market this perfect summer afternoon. It felt like the best of America as I bought organic produce and some Artisan cheese, strolling among the happy throngs of families, parents pushing strollers, lots of dogs on leashes, many seniors and kids, lots of commerce and everyone just happy to be there and enjoying the glorious day.

Merkaba got into the title in honor of the rare cosmic event that is occurring now in the heavens, where the planets are forming a Grand Sextile that looks like a Cosmic Six pointed star with the planets at each tip. There is too much information about this to include in this brief blog post, but it is a fascinating topic for research. Here is one very juicy perspective:

http://galacticspacebook.com/profiles/blogs/this-is-the-big-one-we-ve-all-been-waiting-for-the-grand-sextile

I would also recommend you look up the work of Laura Magdalene Eisenhower who had this to say about this time we are living in right now:

"This week, many energies might try and keep us from what is available to make our dreams, hopes and deepest longings come true - start with self love and deep gratitude for this whole experience to stay on track.

Self love is choosing to give to yourself rather than engage in any form of self destruction - whether it be an addiction, a lower way of relating to others or engaging in endless distractions to avoid our inner world.

Self-love is choosing to embrace rather than reject and to feel deeply, rather than deny.

This enhances how we communicate with others. It gives them love because you first gave it to yourself. If we seek it externally, we require the validation of others to have self worth, rather than feel our own worth. When we feel our own worth, we recognize the treasures that we have to offer and without effort, they fulfill us and they are shared.

In that moment you could reach for alcohol, a cigarette, a drug, a depressing outlook or an escape - reach for nourishment from food, a creative outlet, a walk in nature or an embrace from your own heart.

Every aspect of our journey counts in helping us to emerge as our true divine self, from the most awful experiences to the best. The wisdom and love that we embody frees us from sinister forces that want us to choose our destruction rather than our elation, transformation and joy... Be that force and watch the magic happen...

Those who have really lived on the edge of death to serve their mission or passion, know that the little things don't need to get the best of us, it's enough to just breathe, persevere and feel Spirit and the Earth beneath our feet.

Let's not take anything for granted."