Category Archives: Life

The World Runs to the Tune of Early Risers

I hate getting up early.  I feel tired for the rest of the day.  And it’s not like I can just go to bed earlier.  If I go to bed too early then I can’t get to sleep, so I toss and turn and in fact end up getting to sleep later than I would have if I just went at the time I like.

But of course if you have kids, you have to be up early to get them off to school.  And if you work, you have to be up early to join every other poor bastard to get to work.

Here is a talk about how to go about things if you’re someone who is a late riser:

I found it very good, but am still perplexed as to how to go about this on the days I take the kids to school.

 

Awesome Documentary

Just watched this, and I think it’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen.

It’s abut a dutch designer who wants to create a mobile phone that is created using fair labour and sustainable environmental practices.

For me, one of the most important parts was when the main guy who set up and ran this company, basically hit a wall and had to seek medical help.

This is actually very common for CEOs in startup organisations, but we hardly hear anything about it.  The loneliness and stress you have when you are driving a business, doing everything from top to bottom is really really underappreciated.  Some people can do it, but many can’t.

You basically just burn out.  And I’m saying this because of course, I’ve experienced this myself.

It was also interesting to hear how when you create a business, it becomes something you can’t stop.  You have customers who want products and services, you have contracts with employees and suppliers and all sorts of others, that you can’t just end.  You can’t just stand up one day, say “I don’t want to do this anymore” and walk out.

Anyway, it’s interesting, enjoy.

You’re a Total Loser!

These kinds of stories crop up quite frequently:  Link
 

‘I made millions from my lounge’

 

Is the headline on the front page of the Herald.  Which makes you click on it…

And then once you click on it, you get this headline:

Founder of cosmetic brand ZOEVA turned her eBay store into a multi-million dollar venture

 

Which is of course, less click-baity, but still drags you in…

But what we never hear about is the millions of others who have tried something very similar and failed i.e. made no money and probably lost a bit.
 
Closer to home on programmes such as Country Calendar, we only hear about farmers who make lots of money, whilst restoring their wetlands, home-schooling their 6 kids and putting on BBQs for the locals.  Not to mention developing an award winning garden, having their 3 generations of family over (who of course farmed the land before they did) and also having the local school kids over for day trips.
 
We don’t hear about the ones who bought herds and expanded their dairy farms just before the milk price crash and they then went out into the middle of a field and blew their brains out. Which happens quite often, but as I said, we just don’t hear about it.
 
And why is this important? Because these success stories tend to make us feel like failures. If we only have a normal job, or a small business that doesn’t make much money or perhaps we took a risk with something but lost out, or we’re up to our eyeballs in debt, then we look at this lady who seemingly started up a webiste and then started raking in the money.
 
Of course it’s much harder than that.  But it’s presented in these news stories like a really easy thing to do.   They don’t mention the thousands of hours of work put in, and of course the essential ingredient, a huge dollop of luck!

And the inference is that if we haven’t or can’t do the same thing, then were a collossal loser.

We also see this kind of thing in various other areas like: People who have lost a lot of weight, people who are very good looking, pictures of ultra expensive houses (cars and every other material item) and so on.

And so maybe it’s a reminder not to compare ourselves with others.  But it’s damned hard not to do that.  And the journalists and retailers know this.  In fact our whole economy is based on it.

The Entire Westernised Economic Model is a Ponzi Scheme

Why? Because it relies on an ever increasing population – otherwise it falls over.

Here’s an article about Denmark for instance:

Population explosion due

Denmark’s birth rate is about to surge following a series of sex campaigns, including one that called on Danes to “Do it for Mom”.

“The Danish welfare system is under pressure. There are still not enough babies being born, despite a little progress. And this concerns us all. But those who suffer the most are perhaps the mothers who will never experience having a grandchild,” the ad said, showing an older Danish woman imagining her future grandchild.

 

 

Link

 

 

Some Commonsense Needs to be Brought to this Issue

Road toll heading back to the bad old days despite best efforts of police

Link

Some quotes from the article.

“The most immediate part of the solution relies on driver responsibility,” Greally said.

Shocker!

Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson said the Government’s strategies were failing because they were targeting the wrong areas. 

“The police managed to convince everyone that lowering the speed tolerance and making it harder to get a licence was going to solve everything. In fact, it clearly hasn’t worked.”

About 80 per cent of fatal crashes occurred at speeds below the legal limit, and almost everyone who caused them had no regard for the law anyway, Matthew-Wilson said.

“Therefore, to target the average driver was never going to work, because the average driver was never the problem.”

And I agree.

Exercise Doesn’t Help You Lose Weight

I found this article really good.  It tallies with what I have found with exercise, eating etc.

How exercise can make you fat

Ever spent hours pounding away on a treadmill, then coming to the end of the week and finding your weight hasn’t shifted at all?

Or how about eating cake in the knowledge you’d been for a long cycle ride, yet somehow piling on the pounds? You’re not alone – or going mad. You’ve simply fallen foul of something scientists are increasingly recognising: exercise often doesn’t help you lose weight. And worse yet, there’s increasing evidence that it could even make you fatter. Just last month, in an article for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine, doctors said we have wrongly emphasised that physical activity can prevent people becoming very overweight.

The truth, they said, is that while physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of disease, it “does not promote weight loss”. That false perception, they claimed, “is rooted in the food industry’s public relations machine, which uses tactics chillingly similar to big tobacco companies – denial, doubt and confusing the public”.

Link

So I think exercise is good for all sorts of reasons, but losing weight is not one of them.

 

 

Interesting Article on Patagonia

Patagonia’s Anti-Growth Strategy

Yet anti-consumerism is clearly helping to build the Patagonia brand. Indeed, the company is seeing double-digit annual growth.

The company’s anti-materialistic stance ramped up on Black Friday, 2011, with a memorable full-page advertisement in the Times that read, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” The ad’s text broke down the environmental costs of the company’s top-selling R2 fleece sweater and asked consumers to think twice before buying it or any other product. The attention the ad received helped to bump Patagonia’s 2012 sales significantly.

 

Link

Rats

I’ve written a couple of posts on how I’m trying to catch/kill rats around our property in west Auckland.

I’ve tried a GoodNature trap – which has caught a total of 1 rat in over 6  months.  Got to say I’m dissappointed with it.

And a couple of weeks ago, we started hearing rats in the roof/ceiling cavity.

So we investigated, found lots of rat droppings up there.  Put the GoodNature trap up there along with 4 conventional traps.  We have caught 1 in a conventional trap.

Today we had a ceiling hatch put in a part of the roof/ceiling cavity we couldn’t get access into.  And I’ve set 2 conventional traps along with a bait station.

I hate to use the toxic stuff, but have no choice really, the rats are making a real mess up there and are really noisy too, waking us up each night as they scurry about, scratch etc.

Also put 2 bait stations outside the house.  Will be interesting to see if they get rat attention.

The cat has been catching one about every 10 days or so as well.  The other day he caught and killed a really big one.

So there’s obviously heaps of them about.  Will be good to get rid of them!

Big Government?

I’m no fan of big government but I do agree with this article:

Robert Reich: Big government isn’t the problem

The former secretary of labor on our newest spending bill — and why it’s everything that’s wrong with Washington

Topics: RobertReich.org, Big government, Dodd-Frank, Big Pharma, Capitalism, Business News, Politics News

Robert Reich: Big government isn't the problemRobert Reich
This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.

Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.

Consider the new spending bill Congress and the President agreed to a few weeks ago.

It’s not especially large by historic standards. Under the $1.1 trillion measure, government spending doesn’t rise as a percent of the total economy. In fact, if the economy grows as expected, government spending will actually shrink over the next year.

The problem with the legislation is who gets the goodies and who’s stuck with the tab.

For example, it repeals part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to stop Wall Street from using other peoples’ money to support its gambling addiction, as the Street did before the near-meltdown of 2008.