We never learned the lessons from 2008

Considering this is a travel blog, and right now, travel has all but disappeared. I am not planning to travel until my son travels to Colorado in July. I am writing about more pressing issues that are on my mind.

I’m glad I didn’t send this post out when I originally wrote it earlier last week. It was profanity-laced tirade that meandered and wasn’t coherent. It was how I felt at the time but didn’t make for very informative or decent writing. So let’s try this again, and please be aware of where this is coming from. It’s coming from a place of caring about my fellow human beings. 

The response by the state is both brutal and swift to squash uprisings

I am extremely concerned if the current economic situation in this country continues on its current path, it will lead to social unrest. In other words, riots, to put it in different terms. Inequality has been a significant focus of Bernie Sanders’ campaign as well as major news outlets. In history around the world, anytime there are huge disparities in income and wealth, you will commonly see social movements but may see riots. In turn, the response by the State is both brutal and swift to squash these uprisings. The levers that have been put in place from the Bush Presidency through to the Obama Presidency allow the State to infringe upon our rights in ways that have never even been thought of before.  

We cannot go back to the time of Lord and Serfs, and that is precisely where we are heading. For us to move forward as a healthy society, we need to involve as many people as we can in the economy. It’s not rocket science if we structure our society the way we currently have it where only a tiny fraction gets to enjoy massive benefits at the expense of the many only that fraction move forward. However, if we structure our society where the majority of the population enjoys the benefits, we can have a healthier, happier society.  

The current symptoms of a sick, diseased society: pornography, gambling, rampant drug use, and suicides. Pornography has almost become mainstream. Gambling has corrupted our way of living. I don’t need to go into the details of the current drug use situation in this country. A subject close to my heart are suicides are going up in this country at an alarming rate:

A healthy society doesn’t need to medicate its way out of feeling

[On average, adjusted for age, the annual U.S. suicide rate increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, from 10.5 to 13.0 suicides per 100,000 people, the highest rate recorded in 28 years]. I lifted this from Wikipedia. But I also researched several other sites, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and they all say the same thing, the suicide rate has skyrocketed in the last 20 years. The bottom line is this is a significant problem along with the other things I mentioned. A healthy society does not need to medicate its way out of feeling. It does not need to resort to get-rich-quick schemes like gambling. And finally, we are not even close to a healthy society when one-third of the population is considered pre-diabetic, and the mortality rate has actually increased in our country for the first time in modern recorded history since the industrial revolution.

Switching gears; to the latest bailout of the economy are coming in around $2 Trillion. I know that politically it was imperative to get relief of some kind to the general population very quickly, but the sheer non-oversight of the whole bill is astounding. Republicans, of course, got what they wanted to give almost $500 Billion away via Steve Mnuchin to corporations that will need help. But you have to put strings attached to the corporations to help out the people that desperately need it. You can’t just say here are billions of dollars do what you want. There are restrictions but can be rescinded if deemed appropriate(???) Are you serious? Again, this is massive government interference. Corporate welfare without strings attached is the bottom line. It’s infuriating. And you know who stood up to vote ‘No.’ No one. Not one member of Congress voted ‘no.’ Only one member of Congress has spoken out against it- and he is a fuckin’ Republican. To his credit, Representative Thomas Massie. The Democrats, including the Progressive faction of the Democratic party, didn’t stand up because they bundled the relief package with the corporate bailout.  

It’s not profitable to produce masks, ventilators, tests and beds

We have (are) experienced three crashes of the economy since 2000. The Dot-com crash, the housing/mortgage crash, and now the crash is coming with the Coronavirus. With all these boom and busts. We didn’t learn about the problems of the past. It’s not profitable to produce masks, ventilators, tests, beds, and then stockpile them for the companies that we permit to produce these items. In addition, the Government didn’t offset the lack of preparedness that the modern Capitalist system failed to do to fight a pandemic. ‘They’ are trying everything to get us through this crisis without changing the underlying problem. Which is the modern Capitalist system is incapable of getting us through these crises without throwing the mass of people out of work. It didn’t learn the lessons from the past. 

 The current situation isn’t the first time a virus has disrupted our lives. SARS, MERS, Ebola, and the most catastrophic was called the “Spanish” flu- which most scientists agree it started in Haskell County, Kansas. The only reason it’s called the Spanish flu is that Spain was neutral during WW I and they had a totally free press whereby they had reported much more honest about how the flu was spreading through their country.  

The Corporations and their idiot minions have captured our Government. Our Government is not the problem. The problem is the fact that they are willing to do the bidding of the Corporations at any cost. We have a Congress that is BOUGHT and paid for by Corporations. And nothing is going to change until we change that one simple fact. Democracy takes work and an engaged public. We have to take back our Government at any cost. Because if we don’t, the ramifications will be catastrophic.  

To travel or not to travel- Coronavirus

I started writing this blog post 2 days ago and meant to finish it before all hell broke loose. Apparently, I’m a little too late. I just came back from work where I was awestruck at the destruction of the Club I work. My 9 to 5 job is a forklift driver and bakery clerk at BJ’s Wholesale Club in South Central New Jersey. My co-worker sent me a text yesterday, alluding to how busy we were, and she shot me a picture. It was a picture looking out from the bakery to a line of customers that wrapped around our tables. This picture included our completely bare bread racks. People started panic buying Thursday at my store and have continued through today, Friday the 13th. It was absolute mayhem. With that in mind, I wrote the following a couple of days ago.

I’m just an individual with no specialized degrees or special qualifications to espouse advice on this subject. However, I think people need to hear how other people are handling the crisis and to state some facts. Make no bones about it, it is a crisis, or soon will be. The only reason we haven’t seen more cases of COVID-19 in the US is that there hasn’t been the level of testing that there has been in South Korea or the United Kingdom. South Korea was testing upwards of 10,000 a day, and the UK is testing around four thousand a day.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in the beginning insisted on developing their own kits, instead of adopting those provided by the World Health Organization. So they lost out on precious time and to get ahead of this virus. The President’s response is best described as malevolence tempered with incompetence. Instead of letting the experts, i.e., Doctors and Scientists, take the lead, our President has pushed himself and his V.P., both politicians, to take the lead on the response. This tactic is dangerous at best and irresponsible at worst.
At this point, our country is not prepared for this crisis. As of Tuesday, around 4300 people have been tested according to the Atlantic magazine and their independent team that’s studied each state’s reported numbers.

According to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the federal government may have finally ironed out the difficulties: He announced on March 8 that “around 4million tests” would be sent out by “the end of next week.” Irwin Redlener, a physician who studies public health and disaster preparedness at Columbia University, condemned the federal government’s response as “the most egregious level of incompetence in an administration that I think we’ve witnessed at least in my memory‚ĶIt’s actually stunning.”

This country is in no situation to weather the storm of a full-blown pandemic. The shocking number of bankruptcies each year, 530,000, due to healthcare bills also exacerbates the misery of society at large. The lack of paid sick leave for regular ordinary persons. There’s already talk about bailing out the cruise lines and providing a stimulus package, so Wall Street doesn’t freak out any further. The ordinary person is supposed to obey the rules and not get for any help, but when it comes to our corporations, they get all the help they need from the federal government.

On a personal note, I took a $3000 pay cut the year that my health insurer started implementing co-insurance deductibles in addition to co-pays. That was about five years ago, and it has progressively gotten worse. So any “pay increases” have been woefully too little to offset the enormous pay cut I endured five years ago.

I currently and still work in a retail environment at a 9 to 5 job four days a week. I have witnessed our store blow through at least 30 pallets of water last weekend alone. Sales are up across the board from cleaning supplies to perishables, to storage bags and all “end of the world” type items. The people around me, including myself, have convinced ourselves that this is not as bad as the 14 to 46 thousand people who die from the influenza virus each year. But because the full scope is not yet visible, we don’t know the mortality rate of this virus. From what I am reading, in Italy, it is hovering around 5%. That’s a little different than the flu.

I hope this article doesn’t scare you from taking any vacations this year. Quite the opposite, I hope it empowers and informs you to make the correct decision for yourselves. I flew, with my wife, a week after 9/11 to Colorado from New Jersey. Yes, the plane was empty. I have a strong foundational belief when it’s your time to go; it’s your time to go. So I’ve lived my life with this ethos and have taken risks that I know other people would call foolish. After the coronavirus had already taken hold in February, I traveled to Australia for several workshops concerning my Digital Marketing business. I never once thought about canceling the trip. I was not alone. Everyone showed up that had booked their journeys, and both classes were full. Granted, it was early on during the coronavirus outbreak.

I believe this virus should subside and hopefully disappear during the summer months, but it’s summer down in the Southern Hemisphere, and the virus is spreading down there as well. I have the opportunity to go to Disney World in late October, early November of this year, and we took the plunge. Last night I booked our plane tickets, and my wife previously booked our rooms at Animal Kingdom lodge. I also have a trip planned to Colorado this summer with my son through Boy Scouts that I hope doesn’t get canceled. I tell you this because I want you to realize that even though I’m extremely concerned about what could happen in the coming year, but I still will continue to live my life to the fullest. Now, after I’ve stated this, I do have a line in the sand for my family and me. I will not under any circumstance, go on a cruise until this virus goes away. I just learned my mother and father-in-law are currently booked to go on a cruise this summer. I have full intention of talking them out of it. I desperately want to cruise out of New Orleans, which my wife and I have never been to, on Disney Cruise Lines, but until a vaccine is created or by some miracle the virus subsides entirely, I will not book a cruise. I believe the US State Department stated we should avoid going on cruises.

My advice to myself and others is that everyone lay low for a couple of weeks and practice excellent hygiene, and we should come out on the other side of this, okay. I’m preparing for the worst but hoping for the best and praying for everyone else. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Jet Lag

Have you ever had really bad jet lag? For some reason, I don’t believe I’ve ever had jet lag. I flew from the East Coast of the United States to Europe three times. I really don’t remember having terrible or even mild jet lag. The savior, if it can be called that, is I don’t sleep on planes. On a 12 hour flight, I might sleep an hour or an hour and a half at the most. Then the rest is dozing off and on. So when I get to my destination I tend to take a nap when I get to my hotel. This is the important part, I set a timer so that I don’t oversleep from my nap. I usually go out have some dinner, watch some tv or do some work on my laptop then go to bed kinda early and sleep until I wake up the next morning. In the past, that seems to have worked. In my most recent trip across 15 time zones to Australia, I did this routine and I had no problems. However, when I flew back home I didn’t come home until the evening which gave me no time to take a nap. I went to bed kinda early but don’t remember when I woke up in the night. I remember the second night I woke up at 12:30 wide awake and got up and stayed up. The subsequent nights I wasn’t able to sleep through the night until finally, I had to go back to work after being home for 3 nights. For some stupid reason, I didn’t realize it was jet lag until the 3rd day back and I was reading about it online. The definition of jet lag is when you’re body’s internal clock is out of sync with cues from a new time zone. I wasn’t sleeping all the way through the night and then I was crashing and taking a massive amount of naps during the afternoon. Duh!

Again, I never experienced it before so I really wasn’t prepared for it either. I went back to work on Wednesday after coming home on Saturday night. It took me a full week to recuperate and get back to feeling 100% where I wasn’t ready to crash after I came home from work. I am up for work at 3:55 am and get home around 1:30 pm and every day that I was at work I felt like a Mack truck hit me. It was not a pleasant experience. Click on the link below if you want to read about how to get rid of jet lag. Personally, I think I like my version better.


Please share any experiences you’ve had with jet lag in the comments below.

Elevate your home-based business

Do you have or are you currently looking into a home-based business? Maybe you’re getting your feet wet with doing your “thing” on the side of your 9 to 5 job to help make ends meet. Perhaps your passion is your side job and not your main job? I know several cake decorators who work from home, and I also know people that are doing photography on the side to help with the bills.

The fact is most people I know have a side or a second job. The truth is most 9 to 5 jobs haven’t kept up with inflation within the last 30 years. The lower-skilled jobs don’t pay anything close to making a living, so people are working 2 or 3 jobs. On the other end of the spectrum, I know a woman living in San Francisco located in a prime real-estate location who is a successful architect but living with several other people to help pay for the rent- how crazy is that?

A home-based business will allow you to work from home – so less wear and tear on your car and less fuel. It also allows you to become a more fulfilled person.
I’m here to tell you your home-based business can be more than a side hustle. It’s all about the work you want to put into it and how much time your willing to spend on it. When I started with my home business with Affiliate Marketing, I already had my eyes and ears open for a side opportunity. I have a leg up on most people because I don’t work 50 hours a week at my 9 to 5 job, and my downtime does not consist of watching TV.
If you want to learn how to start making money that allows you to be independent and travel extensively then check out my home page and click ‘Start Here’.

I’ve never been more satisfied or impressed working with an absolutely fantastic bunch of human beings in all my life than I have with SFM. Six Figure Mentors is an online personal development and affiliate marketing company. Don’t take my word for it listen to the founder – Stuart Ross in his introduction video.
Please click start here on my main page to inquire further.

Make every day your best day-

One day in Paris, France

Tuesday was our day to tour Paris, but the wife and I couldn’t agree on how exactly we wanted to do that. As I have stated before- do as I say, not as I do. Don’t ever wait until the last minute to book a tour in a major city. However, I had been to Paris twice before and my wife once before. We had been planning out this entire trip almost a year before it happened. So in those months leading up to the trip, I just forgot to book a tour.

If I did not make it clear in my last post, the Eurostar train dropped us directly in front of the gates to Disneyland Paris. Our hotel was a short walk to the train station, but we decided to take a taxi into Paris. It was a lot more expensive, but we felt it was a better option in our case. We didn’t feel comfortable with two kids and having to change multiple trains to get into Paris. The night before, we booked a tuk-tuk tour, and we scheduled to meet around 10 am a couple of blocks from the Eiffel Tower. (See my wife’s pictures of the tuk-tuk below). The tuk-tuk is an open-aired three-wheeled vehicle with a driver who was also our tour guide. It was bizarre at first, but afterward, we all agreed it was one of the best tours we’ve ever done in any city. We booked this tour through the Paris City Guides App on my iPhone. It was ridiculously easy, and the best part is I booked the trip the night before! Yes, our family does fly by the seat of our pants. As I mentioned previously, it was idiotic to wait until the very last minute to book a tour, but it turned out to be a fantastic mistake.

We had a wonderful breakfast again at the buffet in the hotel and then promptly caught our taxi. It was roughly an hour or so drive to our destination in Paris. We wound up getting there 25 minutes early, so we decided to call our contact for the tour to just let him know we were there waiting. I didn’t expect him to rush to meet us, but he was there 10 minutes later. I think the kids were a little baffled when the tuk-tuk pulled up to the curb. “Are we going on this?” I believe was blurted out. I have to laugh now because everyone in this country drives in humongous vehicles and Europe it’s precisely the opposite for obvious reasons. I have to admit I was a little uncomfortable at first riding in the vehicle, but I adjusted to it after a while. I’m not sure how my wife felt at first, but I know what the kids were thinking. We took this trip in August, so it was warm, but not hot outside. Paris had been going through an extreme heatwave earlier that summer, but by this time, it had cooled to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime. So being in an open-aired vehicle was perfect. I think we all appreciated that you could feel so connected to the city.

We were able to tell the driver, Mike, to take us wherever we wanted to go, and first up was to take us to the best bakery he could find. We settled on one not too far away, but it was the best one in the area. I apologize I don’t remember the name of it. I’ve looked through all my receipts and even my credit card statements and couldn’t find the name of it anywhere. We bought some bread that came in handy for lunch later, and several other goodies. Unfortunately, my son, who is allergic to lots of different foods, cannot ever eat at a bakery. There’s too much exposure to nuts. We resumed our tour of the different arrondissements or districts of Paris. We booked Mike for four hours, and he took us everywhere!

Of course, we stopped at the obligatory Eiffel Tower stop, the Louvre, and the Arc De Triomphe on the Champs Elysee. When we stopped at the Arc, we saw an older man running across the circle, which you’re not supposed to do, just before a stream of oncoming cars almost mowed him down. Some people are stupid beyond all reason. We were all starving for lunch, so we stopped for ice cream. Yes, you read that right- ice cream. It was the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. The name of the place is called Amorino. I don’t know how, but we spent $44 on ice cream. My wife bought macarons to eat and also for gifts. That had to be it. We’ve bought macarons in South Florida (delicious believe it not), New Jersey, and now Paris. These macarons were unbelievably delicious, as they should be, but I also remember the macarons in South Florida were made by a Frenchman as well.

We also stopped in an arts district, Montmarte, on the hill overlooking the Eiffel Tower in the distance. It was right next to Basilique Sacre-Coeur de Montmarte. Since we did not plan this trip ahead of time, there was no way to get into the basilica. We took a break at the basilica, found a restroom, and browsed some street art. I was very tempted to buy a few items. I prefer to support independent artists than larger commercial artists. But I didn’t see anything that really caught my eye. I remember, at this point in the tour, we were starting to get hot. We didn’t make any more stops that I remember, and we drove through a half a dozen districts in Paris- it was all kind of a blur, but I tried to savor every minute of it. I look back now and realize that we both showed our kids as much of Paris as we possibly could in one day.

Paris is to this date my favorite city I’ve ever visited with Vancouver coming in a very close second. I’ve been lucky enough to go there for my third time, two times with my wife, and the first time was another time in 1995. There’s something magical at night that happens in the old district. All of the buildings are in a glow of streetlights, and the city is most spectacular at night. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve seen pictures of Singapore at night, but for me, nothing compares to Paris. The architecture is captivating and made more magical by the lights at night. The myriad of people, there’s no better place to people watch.
I could go on about Paris, but I think I need to wrap this post up.
If you’ve never been to Paris, but have always wanted to go, please do so and make sure you stay centrally located. I have the name of a centrally located hotel in the 1st district, that has a bakery right down the street and that is very cozy. (Cozy in Paris means small). My wife and I stayed there in 2004- Duminy Vendome located not too far away from the Louvre. Please, please leave any comments or thoughts on your favorite city and why. I love hearing about other people’s travels.