Thursday, July 09, 2015

A New Understanding of Addiction

I have watched many many great TED talks, but this one is absolutely life changing. I have been trying to undertand addiction for my whole life and this talk brought me a whole lot closer to really getting it. We all have been affected by addiction, have had loved ones who were addicts, and likely have addictions of our own, if not to some illegal drug, it could be to food, smart phones, sex, etc. Please give your full attention to this brilliant talk and share widely:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Squeaky Fans, Getting some Zees, and a Waking Dream Earwig

I have a broken old fan that still works but sometimes I have to give the motor a push start on the blades when I turn it on. Its other problem is that it tends to squeak if not positioned properly and of course if it runs a long time unattended, the vibration tends to move it around until it starts to squeak again.

This morning it was squeaking like a banshee and woke me up. I looked at my digital clock and it said 4:43. I had to smile because I know that multiple same numbers, according to Doreen Virtue and others who commune regularly with Angels, are an indication of the presence of angels who move our attention to the multiple numbers to remind us of the constant presence of God.

So I sat there contemplating the clock until it popped over to 4:44. Nice way to start the day!

The artist and writer in me loves to work in the cool and stillness of the night. I had gotten enough rest for the moment so I was ready to start my day. One of the major perks of being retired and self-employed when I do work, is that I get to totally make my own schedule. The only time I have to be concerned is when I need to coordinate with a consensual-reality timed event.

Like for instance I know I have a webinar scheduled for 9 AM today. No problem, and I wouldn't be surprised if I want to lie back down after it is over to catch a few more Zees.

As an Eckist, we have to smile at the special meaning of “catching some Zees”. Our spiritual leader in Eckankar has a special Inner Name: Wah Z which is often shortened to just “Z”. So when we sleep and catch some Zees, that means we are hanging out with the Master in the dream state, more than likely at some cool place like a Golden Wisdom Temple on a higher plane somewhere.

These dream state experiences are very real, and a really conscientious Eckist will write down his experiences in his dream journal as soon as he wakes up. If the meaning of the dream doesn't occur to you right away, having captured it on paper, we know that in a few days a good interpretation will filter through.

And for those of us active on social networks, sharing our dreams, whether sleeping or waking with our crew of ECKists on FB for instance, can often lead to a good interpretation from a fellow Eckist.

An example: I have gotten into the habit of making a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade to drink when I wake up. Out of juicer crawled a very healthy looking earwig who just kinda sat there and waited, as if saying to me, “Get it?”

I did get the feeling from this that I was in the presence of a waking dream whose significance was greater than what appeared on the surface. Since the bug was posing so obligingly, I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook.

A dozen or so Eckists offered various interpretations and I compiled the best two: Get the bugs out! Turn up the volume on your inner ear, please!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Dealing with Comcast

Comcast has a reputation as one of the big Boogymen of corporations and I do understand where that reputation ccmes from. But if you learn how to talk to the minions of the Boogyman, it can show some humanity:)

My last bill was close to $90, 88 and change. I have very high speed internet and that's all. They sent me a cable box but I have never hooked it up. TV is a dangerous drug and I spend too much time in front of a screen as it is, but that is not what this post is about.

I called their maddening customer service on Sunday and after jumping through the digital hoops to get to a live person, they recommended I call back on Monday, and they even told me what codes to press once you got to the main menu; they said 5 and then 1

Ok so Monday AM I am on the phone. Turns out the rate was so high because my yearly promotion was over and this was the regular rate. I said, OK, this is unaffordable so bottom line, they put me back on another promotion where the monthly bill will go back down to less than $60. Now we're talking!

The lady with the thick accent even suggested I could only pay $70 this month without penalty and next month I would get a prorated rebate, blah blah blah.

So the old saw about catching more with honey instead of vinegar applies. Talk nice to the lady, explain that you need their best deal, and surprise, surprise, they will give it to you. Perhaps it helped that Jupiter was conjunct the Sun today, I dunno but I'll take it.

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


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:

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:

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!