Part-time Work

In the early years of my last job I confessed to a co-worker how I would rather work part-time hours. Her response?

“That’s not very attractive.”

I guess to her a single man’s purpose in life is to be attractive to women. Her husband is probably a sucker. Women don’t necessarily have to be in love to marry a man, they’ll settle for a slave. So would I though. If someone is willing to give you everything you want in exchange for hanging around while also providing a pension if you ever decide to leave, it would be difficult to resist. Ironically or maybe not, she only worked part-time which is acceptable of course because she’s a woman. How come the term loser is never assigned to women? I ignored her for the next 5 years.

Recently, I entertained the idea of part-time work again. There was a union gig I found near my home servicing public bus coin boxes. I want to say I turned it down but I can’t because I didn’t even apply. It seemed like a really lonesome job that only offered money in exchange for my effort and time.

The way I see it is that an unfulfilling job is going to take away much of my good energy. When I finish my shift I’ll want to do crap all or at least only activities that are easy(watching videos) or fun(eating hamburgers). On my days off I’ll be recovering from work from the day before and will likely continue doing crap all. Hangovers aren’t only created by alcohol.

Perhaps I’m not very productive as it is but my belief is that having too much time will make me really bored which will push me to do things I wouldn’t do otherwise. This all sounds crazy or at the very least a poor excuse to not work a job but I don’t want to take any chances. Dead end jobs only pay you for your time. If you have a Plan B then you’re doing your Plan A a disservice.

As for now my choices in the stock market have been financially supporting me. It was punching me in the gut late last year but I have been slowly catching my breath back. If it decides to assault me more severely in the near future I’ll still be okay. If it continues to rally then I guess I’ll also be okay.

 

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Reading Books

My former Amway sponsor said if you don’t read books you might as well be illiterate. I responded by saying I would still need to read restaurant menus, but I get his point. I don’t believe that people who read abundantly are more intelligent because it depends greatly on what you read and how you process the information. Finishing a large catalogue of books from the teenage vampire genre doesn’t make you an intellectual.

In the past couple of years I have been trying to make it a habit to read more and I have been failing at it for the most part. In a book that I have been slowly reading over the past few months it suggested that when it comes to progress anything is better than nothing, just don’t give up. So I made a promise to read at least 2 pages a day no matter what. I’ve been failing even at that but I never mentally called it quits.

I’m on a quest towards self-improvement and progress. For $20 or free you can get a lifetime of information from people who are smarter, more educated and more experienced than you are. All you have to do to absorb their powers is to read what they wrote.

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I don’t know if I’d recommend any of the books I’m reading to many people. Marilyn Manson’s book is the most entertaining…surprise surprise. The other 3 books have good information but can be boring too. Reading internet articles seems to be more practical. I believe books have to be a certain number of pages so that the publisher or whoever can justify a higher cost, and in return you get a bunch of filler pages and paragraphs.

If you want to improve in a particular area in your life, reading the appropriate books is a must. If you’re not seeking out information to improve in a particular subject it means you’re not interested in improving or you think you know it all.

If I was a parent I would be reading books on parenting, children, social sciences or at least a stripper’s autobiography for lessons on what not to do. There’s books to help you with your career but a good sign that you don’t like your job is if you have no interest in doing it better. Who wants to read books on something they hate doing? If you’re not interested in seeking information on raising a better child then maybe you don’t really want to be a good parent?

Today I read 20 pages. I deserve a cookie.

The Dark Side

In the circle of people I grew up with, selling drugs has had a few types of doors. There’s the revolving door where someone quits but returns in the future. There’s a few reasons why they quit but the most common is because they weren’t making enough money. They’ll tell you it’s because of something else but ultimately it’s because the money stopped coming in.

Hoods never stop, they just take a break.
– City of God(movie)

Transitioning from the world of drug dealing to legitimate life can be difficult. Your education, work experience and people skills can be comparable to that of a 12-year-old. Even if you do power through, your possibilities seem limited. During a period when life puts its squeeze on, some tend to break and walk back over to the dark side.

Most assume that if you have made it past your 20s without having given into the temptation of making easy money then your remaining years of life will be entirely a legitimate path. When life bends you over and gives it to you then you might just walk through that new door. You know how life lived for over 30 years on one side of that door is and it has sucked with a bleak outlook going forward. At least maybe on the dark side the stars will align for you.

You are the sum average of the 5 people you spend the most time with
Jim Rohn

Associating regularly with drug dealers but never taking a bite of the sinful fruit seems somewhat impressive but it’s like herpes. The dormant virus is in you and it only takes a single occasion to produce an outbreak. When you say you’ll never do it but you’re always around people that do, you’re sending mixed messages to the universe. One day it’s going to give you the only answer that makes sense.

 

 

Human Behaviour

In the first 3 months of marijuana legalization I’ve spent more money on cannabis products than I have in my entire life on black market weed. It’s not saying a whole lot since the illegal total was about $100. I didn’t like the whole experience of buying illegal weed. It required me to phone someone I didn’t know too well, set a time and place and then have that person know my habits.

There seem to be many critics and pessimists of marijuana legalization. Some were convinced no one would pay the higher prices. It’s a reasonable argument if you have the life experience of a child. It’s reasonable to think no one would spend more money than they earn. It’s reasonable to think no one would smoke cigarettes because they might kill you slowly. It’s also reasonable to believe no one would kill their wife and think they could get away with it.

Then you have the ones who believe people will just grow their own weed. Sounds reasonable except some people don’t even make their own lunch. If people were so resilient Starbucks and the supermarkets would not exist. You can even buy Starbucks grounded coffee at the supermarket and make it at home. I don’t think anyone thought people would pay $5 for a coffee until they did.

People are going to stick with their dealers, they say. One girl told me she has a “rapport” with her dealer. One day when there are retail stores she’s going to be off work, tired, see a legal marijuana store on her way home and think, I’ll just try it this one time. A few weeks later and she’ll be thinking, to hell with our rapport.

Legalization has not been a smooth process and people have been quick to criticize the lack of supply and retail stores. Marijuana was illegal for 90 years and people are complaining how the roll-out of legalization was not perfect in the first 2 weeks. One drawback from legal weed is that now the mailman thinks I’m a stoner.

 

Easy Money

How you treat your parents might be related to how well you think your life has turned out. Once you’re near the pinnacle of your life you’ll probably ponder how you arrived there. You’ll realize your dad was grooming you for success and deserves much of the credit or sometimes parents tried their best but it wasn’t quite good enough. Sometimes their best was pathetic and should have been illegal. If your parents were unsuccessful in life then you’re at a disadvantage.

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If I had a dad or mom who had an interest in the stock market it would have at least given me an edge. The most common Canadian investments in the stock market are Canadian banks due to the oligopolistic banking system and conservative regulations. Even as a considerably safe stock they generate good returns.

In 1995 an 18-year-old could have about $1000 worth of Royal Bank stock or they could have bought a sound system for their car that went boom…boom…boom. Look at me…boom…boom…boom. If one could have delayed gratification that $1000 could be in the area of $15,000 today…BOOM! One could and probably would entertain the idea that a stock can go to zero. The odds of someone stealing your boom box within 1 year at 3 AM is about 1000 times greater though.

If I was someone’s dad I would say to my kid, “hey butthead, you want to spend all of your money looking cool to your friends for 5 minutes or do you want an opportunity to laugh at them forever?” Even better, I’d get them started when they’re pre-teen and buy them shares of a company to get their interest. 10 years will go by and they’ll be like, holy shit! You can’t tell kids anything, you have to inspire them.

Above is a Toronto Dominion bank investment calculator. Just $1000 invested in 1973 with dividends reinvested would be $517,758 today. This beats investing in real estate on many fronts. You don’t have to mow your stock’s lawn or worry about your loser tenants plugging up the toilet.

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You do the math

 

If this stock chart could go back to the beginning the line would be touching your feet. Sure, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns but if I had to invest my money this option looks promising.

No one in my family embraced the stock market which is why it was never included in the family curriculum. They probably heard you could make money in the stock market but more importantly to them you could also lose money. Humans are very uncomfortable with anything that involves risk especially if there is any possibility in their mind of their money going to zero.

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s too risky to feel safe.

 

 

A Great Time To Be Alive

It’s been said that the invention of the washing machine has had a bigger impact on people’s lives than the internet. As my dog attempted to jump onto the couch a piece of shit fell out of her butt. It’s a similar situation to when a person is naked during a strip search and asked by the officer to split their butt cheeks apart and cough hard. I say “attempted” because for whatever reason she chose the highest part of the couch to clear.

As I confronted her about the mishap she felt bad about what had just happened and went to her bed where she then peed all over. It’s been raining very hard these past few days and even though there’s a doggy door to the yard she is very reluctant to go outside in the rain or snow. When her bladder and bowels are full it only takes a slight move in emotion for the flood gates to release.

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The washing machine is a blessed piece of technology yet I live the majority of my life wearing semi-clean clothes instead of thoroughly rinsed and spun material where I would be able to breathe in the nice scent and go aahhh. Why do I wait until I’m down to the last piece of underwear to think about doing laundry? Why do I put myself through frantically looking for an acceptable semi-clean shirt by doing sniff tests? That’s just the human condition.

It couldn’t be any easier to wash clothes. You gather them and huck them in the machine, pour some soap, spin the dial and pull, and walk away. Not a lot to ask in exchange for a continuing rotation of clean clothing. Any easier the clothing would have to self-clean.

I picked up the dog’s bed and did what I had just described. It will be dry by tomorrow morning and it will be like no one even wet the bed. Life is good.

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Winning Matters

Not knowing or avoiding the laws of life landed me in Nowheresville by the time I was 30 years of age. Life is a competition. If you’re not competing then you’re not playing. If you’re not playing then you’re just watching other people score(I stole that line from a TV show).

The name of the game is being better than others because that’s the difference between feeling good and feeling like a loser. A few try to win but most play not to lose. The common mindset is to tell yourself that you don’t want to win so that you don’t feel so badly about yourself for chickening out. Spectators in the arena criticize the competitors but also secretly envy them.

People feeling inferior about their lives while in my presence should have been my goal in life. It may be lonely at the top but sheep get slaughtered, they just don’t see it coming. This all sounds slightly primitive and unevolved but to believe otherwise is pretending we’re fundamentally different than our recent ancestors. The game changes but the rules stay the same.