Wednesday, June 9, 2010

PODCAST "Is Osama Bin Laden Living Comfortably in Iran?"

Osama Bin Laden Living Comfortably in Iran?

Are they good friends?

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Osama Bin Laden, hanging out together in Iran for the last five years or so?  That's what rumors from Kuwait and Israel are saying.  They even said the town that Bin Laden and his top terrorist leaders are living in is Savzevar, Iran, and that they are supposedly under the protection of the Iranian Intelligence Service.

If it's true, then what?  Should President Obama command our special forces to go after them in that town?  Would our president even care about such a matter, in light of all the other problems in our world?  Would our Military Special Forces be able to kill or capture the Bin Laden Gang if they knew where they were?  Or would they simply have to blow up the entire town and everyone in it, in the hopes of getting the terrorists.  Would it set off World War Three at the same time?

If it is found that the Iranian President has allowed Bin Laden to live in Iran, should the United States eliminate the Iran President as well?  Would Iran, as a country, then be declared to be a threat then to our national security?

Is the war on terrorism meaningful to Americans?  Did Osama Bin Laden orchestrate and sponsor the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001?  Many conspiracy theories question the actual events as well as our government's explanations.

If Osama Bin Laden is really hiding in Iran, should the United States Nuke the shit out of the entire town of Savzevar to be sure of getting rid of Osama Bin Laden?  That would probably get the job done.......

Realistically, using nuclear missles on that town would kill many innocent people, but how about some more civilized, small, tactical nukes, just enough to toast the bad guys?  I like that idea!

I do hope that the United States Government and the Pentagon follow up on this matter and let's get some respect back for America on the world stage!

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

PODCAST "It's Not About What You Did in the Past!"

"It's Not About What You Did in the Past!"

We were so great back then weren't we!
Seems like only "yesterday" to us, so recent that we're still somewhat tightly connected to our past accomplishments. (When we were so amazing?)

It's over, it's gone!  No one else gives a damn, they don't even listen when we talk about about what we did "back then". 
It's all about right now.  What are we doing now?

Things do go wrong, our paths suddenly take a different turn, and it's necessary to have a back-up plan.  One thing that we can do is continue our forward momentum if we experience a setback, whether it's a work-environment reversal, or detour, or whether it's something more personal, like your fitness program.
It just happened to me on May 7th, this year, almost a month ago.  I'll tell you what happened to me.

You know I have been a runner for 32 years, and have quite a track record of endurance tests, like 100-mile bicycle rides, marathons, a 105-mile running week, and a 23 mile beach run, entirely in the sand.  Stuff like that; sounds like a lot, but it's not anything that's out of the realm of possibility for long distance runners, bikers, or people who are known for perseverance and strongness of will.  All of this year I have been on a pretty decent running pace, looking to achieve perhaps 1500 miles for the year, a year when I will become 61 years old.

On May 7th, in the evening I was hurrying into the bedroom carrying a big cup of hot tea, trying not to miss the beginning of some TV show that was starting at 9pm.  Somehow, in my haste, I slammed my left foot into the bottom of my dresser, which pulled my little toe back in a severe manner.  The pain was like a lightening bolt, and my whole foot began to swell up.  When I ran out of curse words, I took time to examine the damage, and I noticed that my little toe was much farther away from the fourth toe than it normally is, in fact there was almost enough room for an additional toe between them!  The pain seemed to glow inside my foot, as the foot swelled, and I was unable to see the tendons and veins of my foot any longer.  The toe may have been broken, but there is not much, if anything that doctors can do for broken little toes.  Knowing that, I tried to treat the injury myself.  Ibuprofen, ice, stretching, and rest---I thought that should do it.  What made me the maddest was the effect that the injury would have on my physical training (running, and swimming in particular).  It even hurt to put a sock on it, especially when the toenail snagged the sock material, pulling on the toe.  So what then, just sit on my ass for a month while it healed? 

 I can't do that, I'm too stubborn, so I had to improvise my fitness training.  Like I said, it's necessary to have a back-up plan when things go wrong!

May 8th, a Saturday, the day after I hurt my foot and toe, I did no exercise, it was just too painful.  The next day, Sunday, I tried to put on some running shoes to at least take a walk, but the pain in the left foot was awful, so I re-laced the left sneaker, using only the top 2 eyelets, in an attempt to widen the running sneaker enough to make it comfortable to my injured, wider-than-ever-before foot.  It did make wearing the running shoe more comfortable, and I managed to walk about 30 minutes, with some pain and discomfort, but I did not walk with my usual foot plant.  That means my step was not normal, I was compensation for the pain in the little toe area.  Never the less I was determined to get in some exercise so I kept it up.  The next day it hurt so much I decided not to walk like that, and I skipped the day after too.  Like my wife said to do, I rested it a few days, but I was very unhappy about it.  I thought it was a good time to add some alternate exercises to my routine, so I started doing a few pushups each day. That week I did 329 pushups, and I was pretty sore in the chest, and arm areas, but at least I did something. 

Well, the pushups hurt, but they gave me some encouragement anyway, I could see and feel some neglected muscles again.  How quickly we lose what we do not use!  Trouble was waiting for me the very next week................

I was making only slight recovery from the foot/toe injury, and I only felt like running one day, a meager 3 miles, it had me worried!
I started going to the gym here at our condominium clubhouse, and I took up using one of the exercise bikes that was available.  It was a TruFitness, model PS900.

This is a wonderful exercise machine, you can't wear it out, I know because I tried.  The second week I developed a bad backache from the way I was walking, and from the start of a pushup routine.  Why do I always overdue things, I asked myself?  Because of the backache I could only do 146 pushups that week, but I swam 6 days in a row, which felt OK and it gave me some alternative strength building.

By the third week I was sufficiently recovered to run 3 days, for a total of 13 miles.  I also used the exercise bike relentlessly for 350 minutes, and as far as the pushups, I grunted out 860 of them, over a 6-day period, doing 75, 125, 135, 155, 168, and 202 in that order.
I swam 5 days that week, doing 30 lengths in our olympic size pool, on my best day.  I was feeling much better, but my foot was a little swollen, the toe still hurt, I still needed 800 m. of Ibuprofen daily, flexibiliy was returning to my little toe gradually, but new aches and pains from the pushups were occurring all through my body, from the feet and ankles to the back of my neck.  Even so, the results of the pushups were obvious, and the exercise bike was wearing away some fat too.  Optimistic describes my mood!

Oh yeah, I used my hand grippers almost every day too.

Week four just ended, and it was a good one!
Daily swimming for strength and endurance, 20 miles of running, 264 minutes on the grueling exercise bike, and one thousand fifty pushups (220, 250, 125, 150, 305) I took off two days from the pushups for needed rest to my muscles, but I averaged 210 pushups a day for 5 days.

Today is Sunday, the beginning of week 5, since the injury.  My toe is still a little bigger than normal, and I still need Ibuprofen some, but a lot of flexibilty has returned to the little toe, and I feel like I'm on the mend. 

 I ran 4 miles at 5:30 am today to kick off the week, and the temperature was a sweltering 82 degrees at that early hour!  I was drowned in sweat.  Now I'm heading to the pool and later I'll be in the gym at the exercise bike.  But I'm  resting today from the pushups, no sense hurting myself....

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PODCAST "NAKED TRUTHS and Fun-House Mirrors!"

"NAKED TRUTHS and Fun-House Mirrors"

Maybe you'd actually look better naked in front of a fun-house mirror!  You know, the kind of mirror that distorts your image, making you much taller, or wider, shrinking your torso, or lengthening your legs, arms, or neck.  If you are carrying in your mind a distorted self image already, it is probably the time to do something about your body. 

Go ahead and get started soon as you get home from work, get naked, weigh yourself, take a bunch of pictures of your body from all angles.  Then you can study what you really look like right now.  What you look like right now, that's who you are, that's who you ARE!  That's the way it is with all of us....
Maybe we got too used to thinking of ourselves as the person we were in high school.  When we played some sport, or when we were more active.  It is fun to talk about how we were always "able to eat anything we wanted without gaining any weight", and things like that.  But what about NOW?

Now it's a lot different, a lot different.  Now maybe we are not active at all.  We watch tennis on TV, but we don't play it anymore.  Used to be on the football team, or the swimming team, went to practice every afternoon after school, but that was long ago...  But we do have a gym membership!  Means nothing, unless you go to the gym and workout.  Hey remember, that going to the gym is not the same thing as working out!  Just like going to the pool is not the same thing as swimming.  Also, being in the pool is not the same thing as swimming, either.

Calisthentics? What are calisthentics exactly, did we do them in phys ed class in high school, I think?  They are the performance of physical exercises to promote flexibility, strength, and fitness.  Like squats, stretches, bending, situps, crunches, pushups, leg lifts, movements like that.  How many adults could do any such exercises at all, or without hurting themselves?  I know, you used to do all of them, no problem, but what you could do is Not what you can do!
So, what can you do now?  What do you do now?  How about some endurance exercises too!  Biking, walking, or running.

Those are embarrassing questions.  Get naked, stand in front of your bathroom mirror, ask yourself the same questions.  While naked, in the privacy of your bedroom, try some of those calisthentics.  Now what are you going to do?  How old are you right now?  Late 20's?  Already in your thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, older than that?  It doesn't matter what your age is, it's what you do!

How much did you weigh when you were 19 years old?  You were probably at your full height by then weren't you?  Doesn't matter if you are woman or man, you were a grown up person by then, weren't you?  Then you began to "fill out", spread out, thicken up, started to forget about your health, become complacent about your body shape?  Got married, started thinking about responsibilities, and the future?  Stopped thinking about your appearance, bought age-appropriate clothing, bigger sizes every couple of years?   Started showing less skin, covering up the bulges, dressing to impress others, but not trying to impress yourself?  Yes you did, all of that.
Get out all of your old pictures, it's time to find out what the lifestyle changes did to you.  Let's see what everyone but You sees!  SHOCKING, isn't it?  What happened to you, what about your youthful looks, your younger shape?  Gray hair is OK, that's not the problem....

You want to look better, you want to eat better, and that's pretty easy to do.  But if you want to look good, look much younger, much sexier, and reinvigorate yourself, then you have to incorporate daily exercise into your life.  Daily exercise, like children do, like you did when you were a child.  We look at kids running around, and we usually remark that kids have so much energy, and say that we wish we had that kind of energy, right?  Well, you can have that energy again, but you must earn it by doing something physical, or several physical things, as a way of life.

Some people are intimidated by the idea of beginning an exercise lifestyle.  I see many people who feel that way.  They think people will stare at them, see them trying to change their bodies.  They are afraid of being talked about, criticised, laughed at.  They're right about one thing, and that is that people will talk, they will make fun of you, and they will criticise your efforts.....
In the beginning they will.  But eventually all that negative commentary will turn into respect and positive compliments.  Your physical activity will cause others to examine themselves in the mirror, nakedly, and some of them will reach the same conclusion that you reached, "It's time to do something good for themselves, before the sedate lifestyle kills them."

Ten years younger!  How would your husband react if you looked and acted 10 years younger?  Men, how do you think your wife would enjoy being married to a much-younger you?

Why don't you just find out the answer yourself!

Front Closet vs. Back Closet?
All those old clothes of yours, some of them you hardly got to wear.  The ones you bought that were too small for you when you bought them, but you wanted to fit into them, and you convinced yourself that you would..... But you never yet convinced yourself to get your body in shape, because of laziness.  Laziness, or a complacency that took control of you, perhaps as a result of living with your mate, someone who also doesn't do enough for their own body.  (Like, "I won't complain about you gaining weight, if you don't say anything about my big belly!")  Know what I'm saying?

Let's review things, Go home, get naked, take a look at yourself for real!  Then get started, fix your body, fix your mind, and start getting younger today.  You Want To!

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr.

Monday, May 31, 2010

PODCAST "Will We Nuke the Oil Leak in the Gulf?"

Will the US Military NUKE the Oil Leak?

The Russians used nuclear bombs to stop and seal 5 of their uncontrollable oil leaks so far!  They are encouraging us to do it now.

Wonder why we never heard of it before!

What a scary concept that is, but it may be the only thing that will work.  Of course BP doesn't have nukes, so our military would have to help them with that solution.

Do you know what the smallest nuclear weapon the United States ever made was?  It weighed only 51 pounds and was designed to be shot from a large recoil-less rifle, called the Davey Crockett.  Yields between 10 to 20 tons of TNT.

Our smallest nuke!

We'll probably need a lot more power than that on a project this huge.  I think it will happen that we'll have to use nuclear devices to seal up this oil volcano!

That idea frightens me right out of the idea of eating seafood at all!  Radioactive, oil soaked, contaminated with every frigging thing, fish can't be healthy for you, can it?  By the way, did you see that the wholesale and retail price of shrimp just went up 35%!

How much Time is left?

Nukes are very cheap right now, that's the good news.  You can buy "last year's model" at deeply discounted prices, get a never-before-offered rebate, and take advantage of zero-percent financing for a limited time (if you qualify) and if you live long enough to make the payments, that's great too! 
That's a deal that will Blow You Away, won't it?

What if the government decides not to try the nuke solution?  Will they ever stop the leak then?

It's a Devilish Idea...

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PODCAST "Will You Quit Your Job When WW III Starts?"

If World War III Begins, Will You Quit Working?

For the last nine years, ever since 9/11/2001, I have said that if our country experiences one nuclear detonation I would stay home and never work again.  One more attack, one that is bigger than those of September 11th, 2001, would put me into a "shell".  Make me stay close to home, in front of the television, or listening to the radio 24 hours a day.  Praying, freaking out, eating and drinking with no regard to the consequences.  I was that upset, after we were attacked on 9/11/2001.

During the tough years I worked since 2001, I relaxed my fears about terrorism some, but I always told people that I would be quitting my job the next time the United States suffered mass casualties at home from terrorist acts.  Call me an alarmist if you want to, but that's how I felt.  I always said, if the worst thing happens, then I want it to happen on my day off, so I could already be with my family.  I don't want anything like that to occur, but logically, I think it will happen eventually.  The CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security, they all say it will happen, so why should I think otherwise?  Millions of undocumented aliens other than Mexicans, enter this country every year, many with the intent to do harm to our homeland!  Either they are not stoppable, or the government is not really trying to stop them? 

Our American borders are porous, full of holes, easy to cross undetected.  I do not excuse our government for their failure to protect our borders!  They certainly could stop all illegal immigrants with our military if they decided to do so, couldn't they?
What do you have to say about that, President Obama?

If World War III starts this year, as predicted by Nostradamus, will you stay home?  You'll probably be laid off from your job anyway, the place you work may just close it's doors....
I'm already retired, so I know I'll be home.

We may see WW III begin as a Korean War.  If that happens, Iran may decide that's the best time to attack Israel, or Israel may hit Iran first.  China could take the opportunity to invade Taiwan.  Russia may elect to "take care of business" with it's old renegade republics.  Terrorists might attack the US homeland with everything they have.  Other countries, who are economically dependent on countries who are at war with others, may be so affected by financial problems, that they will retaliate against some of the warring countries, even though they, themselves have not been attacked.  That's how fighting turns into a world war.  No large conflicts can stay as isolated incidents!

Nations around the world are moving their armies, their navies, and their special forces into place right now.  They recognize the need to be ready when the action starts, ready to assist their friends, and pressure their enemies into stopping the aggression.  The greatest fear is that any regional conflict will spread like the flu, and turn into World War III.

Let us remember those who have served our country this Memorial Day, and pray for peace in our time.

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PODCAST "You Have to Be Nice to Whoever Lends You Money!"

"You Have To Be Nice To Whoever Lends You Money, Don't You?"

When I was a boy, I looked forward to receiving my allowance each Saturday morning.  That was a long time ago, probably around 1957 or 1958, and I didn't get much money each week, something like 15 or 25 cents, I think it was.  Still, it was a lot of money to me then, and I had no other source of money, except an occasional bottle return prize of two cents; they refilled soda bottles at the time, and finding one meant a guaranteed trip to the candy store.  I also kept an eye to the ground anywhere I walked, looking for lost pennies.  Back then I learned to be on my *best behavior* the day before and all during the day that my allowance was paid to me.  I couldn't afford to miss collecting this money, or have the amount reduced or the payment delayed.  Money was important to me then, I had my needs-candy, popsicles, soda, marbles, comic books, things little boys wanted, etc.

In those days I never owed any money to banks, so whatever I "earned" was mine to spend.  I didn't have to pay any interest to lenders, but I would have gladly borrowed money from anyone if the opportunity presented itself--it never did, fortunately.  My reputation as a trustworthy kid was already questionable, too!  Of course, I didn't realize how different things would be when I grew up.  As a young adult I amassed debt at a frantic pace, until I was buried in installment obligations like great numbers of other Americans.  But, that's another story altogether.

"My Country 'tis of Thee"
Remember these words?  They remind us that America belongs to each one of us, and to all of us at the same time.  "Sweet Land of Liberty" (from the same song)  If liberty refers to freedom, it's not freedom from debt, that is for sure.  "My Country" owes about 13 trillion dollars, which is the amount of the National Debt.
Just click right here to see the National Debt Clock "live".  It will show you how much we owe, right up to the minute.  It's probably one of the most enlightening things you'll ever lay eyes upon!

Do you ever wonder how America came to owe this thirteen trillion dollars, and to whom the money is owed?  Wonder how we borrowed most of the money?  I will explain some of it to you!

The United States Treasury sells bonds, which are debt obligations, to anyone who wants to buy them.  The treasury bonds, notes, or bills,whatever you want to call them pay very low interest, but they are generally regarded as the safest loans that can be made.  So investors (lenders, really) are inclined to buy them, when they have a lot of cash to invest (lend).  They'll never get rich lending money to the US Government this way, but they do it....

OK now, so the United States owes thirteen trillion dollars, and a lot of it is from borrowing money from big investors, other countries specifically, countries which have purchased heavy amounts of Treasury Notes from the US Government.  Here are the top 5 holders of US Treasury Notes:

1. China holds $895 Billion Dollars worth.
2. Japan holds $785 Billion Dollars worth.
3. United Kingdom $279 Billion Dollars worth.
4. OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, holds $230 Billion Dollars worth!
5. Brazil holds $164 Billion Dollars worth.

"You have to be nice to whoever lends you money, don't you?"

Don't forget, I bought a lot of those
Treasury Notes from you!

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr.

Monday, May 24, 2010

PODCAST "How Many Oil Rigs in the Gulf of Mexico?"

How Many Oil Rigs in the Gulf of Mexico?

There are currently more than 3850 oil rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico!

Worldwide there are over 3.5 million oil rigs.

How much do oil rig workers earn?
Want to know?
Just click this link to see the salary survey of oil rig workers!

Oil rig disasters are not a new thing at all.
There have been many since oil drilling first began.
I'm providing all information with photographs on the most tragic, the deadliest, the most expensive oil rig spills/disasters that have occurred prior to the current environmental oil spill.

Click this link to see the records, and the pictures of most of the world's worst oil spill messes!

What about Oil Dispersants? What are they and what do they do?  Oil dispersants are toxic chemicals, in fact some of them are a lot more toxic than the oil that they are sprayed onto!  Anyway, the oil dispersants do not remove the spilled oil, they do not clean it up, like a mop does.  What the dispersants do is break the oil into tiny globs and allow it to mix with the water column, so that it mixes with the seawater and gets washed away with the tides.  "Away where?"  "Everywhere" is a good answer....
Dispersants act to dissolve the oil in the oceans where some of the oil residue can be attacked by natural organisms, but most of it just falls to the ocean bottom, where it continues to ruin marine life for centuries. 

Stopping the flow of oil,
That is the priority!

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr

Sunday, May 23, 2010

PODCAST "Unstoppable Disaster-the Oil Spill Crisis!"

Unstoppable Disaster? Oil Spill From Hell!

How did this oil spill disaster really happen?
Was it a buildup of some kind of gas, like methane, that exploded under the rig?  Or could it have been a deliberate act of war or terrorism, as some rumors have it?  Did you hear the theory that a North Korean submarine fired two torpedoes into the rig, and that there is a huge coverup?  Who can say if it's true or not?

Regardless of the cause of this terrible tragedy, one thing seems certain---That the efforts to stop the uncontrolled flow of this toxic oil are ineffective, they are not working!

I am troubled by something I saw on television today...The White House said that if the BP Oil Company doesn't do everything they are "supposed to do" to solve this runaway oil fountain, then the government would step in and take control of the situation!!!
Something is VERY WRONG with that statement*
Is the White House implying that they know what to do to fix this mess?  How could politicians know what to do about this?  Can they know more than the oil company?  I don't think so.  But they must know some terrible secrets about the situation!

So, the story is that by Tuesday, BP will try pumping a heavy "mud" mixture down the well, then fill it up with concrete cement, and see if that works, but experts (and there are really no experts in this exact procedure at such a deep depth) can only say that it might work!

If it doesn't work they will try something "else", but they said on TV today that the oil company  won't be able to try the next "fix" until some time in August! AUGUST????  We are 33 days into this mess now, a mess that all scientists now say is not able to be cleaned up!  Not able to be cleaned up!  What will be the SIZE of the horrible spill seventy-five days from now?  75 more days!!??

The problem is MUCH BIGGER than the public has been told.  They are telling us hundreds of lies about the problem, and they are concealing the extent of the oil spreading all over the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean.  You could almost say that everything is a big lie!

The oil is poisoning the world's food supply of seafood.  Nothing can prevent the cancer-causing oil from infecting the world's fisheries.  Maybe you don't eat seafood, so you're not that concerned with that?  Have you heard that the people who are trying to clean up this oil are getting their lungs filled with black soot and poisonous chemicals from breathing in the fumes that are being constantly released by the flowing oil?  A lot of the fishermen who were contracted to help clean up the oil are now deathly sick, and can't stop coughing---so you can visualize what is happening to all of the affected fish and marine life! 

These "smoker lungs" are what doctors are seeing right now among the non-smoking oil clean-up workers.

 Feels like a plague of Biblical Proportions---a plague that might eradicate a large chunk of humanity.....

Researching rumors on the internet, I found that many people are saying that FEMA has evacuation plans working for areas that are surrounded by toxic oil.  If that's true, then they would not be the type of evacuations that occur when people are fleeing a hurricane or tornado, because those evacuees are able to go home after the disaster ends, usually in a few days.  If the oil spill causes evacuations, I think that the people evacuated will be gone from their homes for a very long time!   I say that because they really don't know how to get rid of the oil and the fumes, in an effective manner--remember they announced that there is no way to clean the filthy, deadly oil out of the marshes, the tidal wetlands, the canals, etc!  No way?  That's what they said!

This mess is not reversible, the toothpaste never goes back into the tube once it comes out!  The oil company can't fix it, the government can't fix it.  Who is left to fix it?  Can our military nuke the well or something?  Would that fix it? 

As you read this, maybe you are thinking that I am some kind of an idiot for asking that, about the nukes.  It's OK, I understand why it's so upsetting to hear about it.  Don't you think that scientists are thinking of every crazy idea, trying to come up with any solution that works?  Of course they are, because there is no rule book, no standard fix for the problem.  They will try everything for as long as they can!

If the flow of oil continues, unrestricted, until the oil runs out, then what will become of our world?  The oil spill has become a weapon of mass destruction.

Go to the beach while you can!

"May God Save America's Environment"

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
coyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr

Thursday, May 20, 2010

PODCAST "I Believe Everything I hear in This Crazy World!"

It's A Crazy World, So I Believe Everything I Hear!

For me, it's easiest to believe everything I hear!  Most of what I hear is bad news, too.  Or it's "false good news".

  Or it's something that sounds ridiculous---Like the theft of 5 paintings from the museum in Paris, 5 paintings that are supposedly worth about $631 million dollars?  That is ridiculous!  That can't be real, but I believe everything, so I believe that some people would pay millions for a damn painting.  I've visited many museums, looked at wonderful paintings, some by master artists, but I can't remember any of the ones I saw.  Hanging on my living room wall is a wonderful desert landscape, beautifully done, and showcased in a beautiful wooden frame.  Whenever we have people over, they always compliment the painting, and we tell them it cost us thirty dollars at the Salvation Army store, tax free.  We could buy more than twenty-one million such paintings for the price of the 5 ones stolen from the Paris museum!  So let's get REAL now, those stupid paintings are not worth the money!

For sale, One Million Dollars!
(or best offer)

I'd rather pay $20 dollars for 2 Tylenols if I was in the hospital-at least I could get rid of my headache, now that would be worth the money!  But still, it's smarter to buy them on sale in the drug store, where I can get a bottle of 40 for ten dollars.

You know what pises me off a lot?  The price of cold cuts at the deli counter; they are all overpriced.  Yesterday I was in Publix, and my wife bought ham @ $8.89 a pound!  At the same counter they were selling sliced chicken or turkey for $8.29/lb.  That is nonsense, I just got boneless, skinless, more healthy chicken cutlets for $1.99 a pound!  Where is the value in this shopping trip?  Even at those crazy prices, people were lined up to buy cold cuts along with tiny jars of spicy mustard for $4.69-holy ripoff!

Can you believe the furor in the United States over illegal immigrants?  I can, these illegals suck down millions of our tax dollars every day.  We have to get a grip on it.  But I hope we do without plunging the country into civil war!  Imagine Arizona threatening the city of Los Angeles with cutting off their electricity!  Well, the city of Los Angeles said it is boycotting all companies that are from Arizona, too.  I hope we don't get to the point that Thailand is in right now, where unhappy government protesters set fire to the Stock Market, banks, one of the largest shopping malls in Asia, and many other businesses, as well as getting over 75 people killed in the local rioting since late March.  The financial markets and banks are closed for 4 days or more over there right now due to the mayhem.  The protesters didn't need guns, bombs, or tanks, only matches!  Could shit like that happen in the US?  I believe everything, so I think "Yes".

South Korea proved that North Korea torpedoed their warship and killed almost 50 sailors.  Everybody saw the proof.  But North Korea says they didn't do it, and if they get any kind of punishment because of it, they will go to all-out war with South Korea, and other enemies.  I believe everything, so I think that it will happen; I read that the United States is preparing for this eventual war, and that we have 3 aircraft carriers standing by in the vicinity.  I believe that too.

That damn oil spill disaster!  Every time they mention it in the news, they say that the size of it is more than previously claimed!  EVERY TIME?  Does it keep spilling more and more at a time, is the pace of the leaking oil increasing continuously?  I believe everything, so I do think it keeps getting worse and worse!
Is it going to ruin the economy of the entire country even more?  I believe everything, so YES it is!  Will it kill many generations of marine live and destroy the wetlands and beaches too?  I believe that it will.  Are special interest groups profiting from the massive cleanup process?  I believe they are.  Pass it all on to the working people any way you can!  Will it take 20 years to make it go away?  MAYBE IT WILL.....I didn't hear that one yet, but if I do, I'll believe that too.

New, tougher sanctions against Iran---so what, I believe that there will be, but I believe that it won't accomplish what they want, will not stop Iran from pursuing the nuclear weapons.  They want to use weapons of mass destruction on all of their enemies.  I believe that they are scheming to use cyber attacks against the United States the minute they possibly can, or explode a nuclear device above North America to cause an "electromagnetic pulse" which would plunge the largest part of this continent into the dark ages, no electricity for 5 to 10 years, plus all the havoc that goes with that.  I heard that so many times already over the last few years, that I believe it's possible.

It's fashionable these days to blame social netwoking sites, like "Facebook" for all the problems in the world.  Some countries, like Pakistan, are blocking internet users from accessing these sites, as they believe that freedom of speech, and freedom of expression is a bad thing, something which underminds their style of government.  Can you believe that?  I believe that they believe it.

Does it seem to you that all of the economies around the world are connected?  It certainly does to me.  Why else would everyone in the finance sector be buzzing like they are over other country's fiscal problems?  Everyone gets a bailout?  Every country, every industry, every special interest group?  I think I believe it, but where does all the money come from, anyway?

People are still trying to get on commercial airliners with weapons of all types, like that guy in Puerto Rico yesterday, who had 4 boxcutters and a stun gun in his carryon.  I have to fly out of Tampa International in July, and I just read that this airport will be employing the new full body scanners, so fine, I'll make sure I wear my newest underwear that day, have to look my best!
They said they won't be taking pictures of my genitals, I read that in the newspaper, so I believe it.  What does TSA stand for again?  Ha ha, I'm not going to tell you what I think it means.  What do You think?
You can always email me....

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater, Fla.
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PODCAST "Don't Have Time to Get Into Shape?"

Don't Have Time to Get in Shape?

That's Bullshit!
There is time, and you know you're just using that as a pitiful excuse to hide your laziness.

Get up earlier, watch less TV in the evenings, use your lunch hour.  Those are three time slots that are always available for you to get in some exercise. 

You still insist that you "don't have time?"
I still say that's bullshit!  There is time, but you haven't used it, and it's most likely because you don't want to do the physical work that defines exercise.

I'm speaking from my own experience.  What kind of experience do I have?  Here are a couple of examples:  I never had a job that required me to work any less than 50 hours a week.  Lots of weeks I worked 55 to 60 hours;  commission jobs are like that.  During some of those weeks I was able to squeeze in 30 to 100 miles of running, without taking any time off from work.  How did I do it?  By maintaining my focus on the need to exercise...I always kept workout clothes and sneakers in my car, even if I already exercised or ran that day--having extra clothes immediately available allowed me to utilize free time for working out--time that became available at the spur of the moment--unplanned recreational time.  If I had to put something off until later, I didn't make it my exercising.  Think about it.

Besides working out before or after work, or on lunch hours, there are a number of exercises that can be done almost anywhere, and by that I mean at work, or while working.  Pushups, deep knee bends, toe raises, hand grips, stationary resistance movements, and seated abdominal exercises that you can do while working at a desk, those are a few of them.

"These are a few of my favorite things"

Call them what you like, grippers or hand squeezers.  They are available in over 20 different "strengths".  They are incredibly useful for developing flexibility in the hands and wrists.  They take up no space in your desk drawer or glove compartment, and can be used quietly almost anywhere.  Just start squeezing over and over until you can't do any more, then switch to the other hand, keep repeating the exercise.  You'll notice a quick increase in the strength of your fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms.  Keep it up, and the affected parts of your body will include your biceps, triceps, all the muscles of your shoulders, upper and middle back, chest, even your abdominals!  If you don't believe me, see for yourself.  I discovered the benefits of hand-squeezing grippers 20 years ago, and I have never stopped building strength from these wonderful little devices.  My son John started using them when he was 10 years old, he always carried them in his school backpack too, used them on the school bus, and during breaks.  He developed massive muscles from using them.  I did too.  They cost very little, and are durable--although I have personally worn out (broken) at least 18 squeezers from overuse.  That should demonstrate to you the strength that can be gained from their use.  I keep squeezers in the bedroom night table; it's handy to squeeze them while watching TV, both of my cars have a squeezer in the glove box, it's safe to squeeze while driving as well as when you're parked, waiting in the car.  You don't have to look at the thing to use it...

The most incredible, total-body exercise.  One that can be performed any place.  No equipment or special clothing required!
Most adults who don't exercise already can't do any pushups.  Did you know that?  The military considers pushups to be one of the most important exercises, highly valued for their overall strength  building effects.  You can do these at work even if you only have two minutes to spare!  Get over any embarrassment you may have and try it.  You'll surprise yourself, and your coworkers.  The gains in strength you'll experience will be all the motivation you need to keep you going, and since pushups work all the muscles in the body, you'll notice the toning effects on your "core", that is your stomach, back, and chest within a few days of beginning this challenging physical exercise.  Impress yourself, it's a supreme confidence builder!
How do I make such a claim?  Because I have done it, and I do it now.  Here's an extreme example--When I was working as a finance manager in a car dealership in 1999, I started doing pushups at work, sets of 10 to 20 at a time, did them all throughout the day, as time permitted.  One Saturday, when the dealership wasn't very busy, I did 610 pushups at work, right on the showroom floor, in between handling customers, I was wearing my usual business clothes, and there were no problems in doing all those pushups except that I had to wash my hands many times that day!  I'm not exaggerating at all, and in fact I had over 20 witnesses to my exertions, including the owner of the dealership, who told me that from then on he wanted me to do the pushups in the back office, so the customers could not see me doing them.  Don't try to convince me that you don't have time to exercise!

Walking shoes, a great thing to wear to work as your everyday shoes, if you are allowed to, that is.  If not, then keep a pair available to change into for your lunch hour and get in as much brisk walking as time permits every day, at work!  Walk everywhere you can, walk as often as you can, and walk as fast as possible.  Take the stairs, up and down, not the elevator-every step means more fitness!

If you decide to get in shape, then do it!  Just do it.
Stop fooling yourself....
No one else has been fooled, by the way, only You...

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

PODCAST "Want To Sell Something? Then Look the Part!"

"Want to Sell Something? Then Look the Part!"

Selling is a challenging profession.
I know hundreds of salespeople, mostly in the automobile business, and in the real estate business.  But I have also encountered many other salespeople who sell appliances, insurance, windows and doors, mortgages, loans, gym memberships, electronics, everything that needs to be sold.  So have you, and that means we have all seen the same thing....unimpressive-looking salespeople.  When we meet a salesperson, we form a subconscious opinion of them instantly.  If we decide in the first minute of talking to them that we want to buy from them, then that salesperson will probably make the sale, assuming that she or he has the product available and that a price can be agreed upon.

There are many situations in which a potential sale is lost before the selling atempt ever begins.  This occurs when a buyer forms a negative opinion of the seller right from the start.  It can happen when the first eye contact occurs, like if the seller doesn't have her/his "game face on" or doesn't greet the customer enthusiastically.  I've seen it happen so many times when I was in the car sales business.  Our auto salespeople usually sold vehicles to about 20 to 25 percent of the people they waited on, but not all the people purchased during their first visit to the dealership.  Also it frequently happened that a salesperson would help dozens of people over a couple week's time without making a sale--closing ratios were a long-term indicator of sales success, rather than a strict short-term measurement.  So what we experienced all the time was rejection by up to 80 customers out of every 100!  That was normal, but it is hard to deal with when you're trying to make a paycheck.  Too much rejection makes anyone feel lousy, and when we feel like crap, we often look like someone just beat the hell out of us.  You know how different we all look in the mirror when we're upset, unhappy, disappointed or boiling mad.  Meeting a new prospect, or client when we're in that kind of a mental state is a tough thing to do.  The problem is that a lot of times we don't know when we'll see a customer, and so there's no warning that a prospective buyer will appear in front of us.  When we are surprised like that, it's vital for us to be able to flip the switch, the one that turns on our brightest smile, lights up our personality, makes us glow with accommodation and welcome.  That switch has to be in readiness and in perfect working order in a single moment's notice.  Our customers will react positively to us when they encounter us looking good, sounding good, and feeling good.  That relaxes them, and makes them believe that we are the person they want to do business with!

Naturally, it's impossible for us to be in such a good mood all day, every day.  That's why we must practice our professional personality, our stage performance, so that it becomes automatic for us to be in our best form whenever we meet with or work with a client.  The customer doesn't need to know anything about our personal stress, and we don't have to reveal personal problems or distractions at all-we never should.  Focus is a good word to describe our need when we are trying to make a sale.  If you're showing a house to a buyer, block out everything else that's on your mind and focus your every thought into the presentation of the property.  It took me years to master this technique when I was selling cars for a living....planes and helicopters flying overhead, (we were near a busy airport) cars driving through the parking lots, ambulances or fire trucks racing by with sirens screeching, stuff like that.   As well as phone calls, pages, problems with other deals, the schools calling about the kids, the wife calling me, the manager looking for me, etc.  Focus, and concentrating on the customer, that was so important.  Give the customer ALL of your attention.

Keep checking your appearance in the mirror.  The prettiest woman, or the handsomest man can still look uninviting to a customer if she or he isn't friendly and smiling when they meet.  A worried or distracted salesperson is seen by the client as uncaring, unhelpful, unworthy of the buyer's time.  It's a giant factor in your success as a salesperson, but it is the single thing over which you, the salesperson, has the most control.  This is the part of the selling process that can be 100% perfect, just the way you want it to be, always!  It's completely in your hands...

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr

Friday, May 14, 2010

PODCAST "Once a Year, That Should Do it!"

"Once A Year" Should Do It!

Once a year........

That should be enough to make a really big difference.

Every year I try a new food plan, a better diet, you might call it.
One year I even gave up so many food items that I estimated I would only have to go to the grocery store once a month.  It didn't work out like I wanted it to.  There was one year, 1983 I think it was, that I gave up adding salt to food--that was the first diet success I ever remember, I never went back to using the salt shaker.  Salt-free I am not, but at least I don't pour salt on everything like I did in my younger days.  I remember what eating was like before that--I would start out by completely salting almost every plate of food, before I even tasted it.   After the first mouthful, I always felt that it needed more salt, so I re-salted the whole plate again, and I repeated the salting process after each bite, so that the last mouthful of food was 10 to 15 times saltier than the first bite was!  Totally unhealthy, for sure.  In those days I salted every piece of bread or toast too.  People who observed me eating were horrified by the amount of salt I consumed, it was a horrible obsession, and my desire for salt was increasing all the time.  One day I just stopped adding salt to foods-27 years ago, and I never went back to it.  I still like foods that are naturally salty, but I don't add salt-ever.

In 2005 I was enjoying a buffet lunch with my wife at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.  Those places are well known for rich, high quality food, and I was being a food-vacuum that day.  When I finally reached my limit of gluttony for the afternoon, I announced that I was going to give up eating all beef and pork forever, which at the time my wife, Little Sweetie, assumed was only a reaction to the suffocating amount of roast beef and pork chops I just finished consuming, along with the copious amounts of shrimp, oysters, salmon, and chicken breasts that were offered at the buffet.  To her surprise, and to my own, I never ate beef or pork again since that day-five years ago.  Did it help me health-wise?  Maybe it did.

Once a year I used to think about trading in my car, until I did the math, of course.  Once a year I would get our vehicles safety inspected, and hope that they didn't need any repairs or maintenance.  Once a year I would look at the tires, and say that they looked good enough for another year's driving.

Once a year we did our taxes, lamenting that we didn't let them take out enough income tax, and we promised that "next year" will be different.  Different is the operative word there, not better...

I like to look at old photographs of myself, once a year, that's often enough, because it hurts to see how much different (worse) I look every year.  I started to dye my hair gray when I was 40 years old, about the same time I realized that my arms were not long enough for me to read any more without reading glasses.  Those old photos of me revealed that I had a much smaller forehead when I was younger.  Maybe I'm just gaining face.  It's important to shave everyday, to avoid looking at white hairs growing out of my beard.
Once a year I think about a new hair style, just think about it is all.  It's more convenient to keep my hair cut short, so there is no style, no need for a comb.  I noticed there was a comb in one of the vanity drawers yesterday, so I tried using it to comb my hair after I took my shower, and when I came out of the bathroom Little Sweetie asked "Did you use that new conditioner in your hair today?"
She didn't know that I only comb my hair once a year.

Some people have all the money they'll ever need, they are rich.  Others have only the means to survive.  Me, I've had some bad years and some good ones, but I learned one very important thing, and that is that whether you're rich or poor, once a year it's a good idea to get all new underwear!  Nothing else will make you feel as good as this!  It's your opportunity to get a size that makes you feel the most comfortable too, and you don't have to explain any stains-hahahahahah, those aren't bacon strips either.

Once a year most people do a self analysis of their job situation, their compensation plan, the salary they earn.  They try to imagine what their future will be like in their present jobs.  Once a year we might ask ourselves where we expect to be in 5 years, in 10, or in 20?

Once a year we call our distant relatives, our old friends.  Or we send them a holiday card, or an email. 

Once a year we look for our bathroom scale, to see if we had a weight change?  Because the tightness of our clothing is not a reliable indicator, what with the way clothes shrink as they wear.  It seems like I always need a new belt every year.  Once a year I shined my shoes, but I always thought I shined them monthly, until I admitted finally that I couldn't think of where we kept the shoe polish anymore, then remembered that I was looking for the shoe polish several months ago too.

Once a year I raked and fertilized the lawn, trimmed the trees in the yard, cleaned out the shed, fixed the fence, weeded the walkways and the driveway.  Once a year I washed the outside of the house-what an awful chore that was.  Once a year I cleaned and  scrubbed the deck, and maybe sealed it too.  Once a year I got a bee sting while mowing the lawn, and once a year I thought about getting new garbage cans.

Once a year I decided to get in better shape, to build some muscles, to lose some fat.  Once a year I vowed to save more money, to stop my foolish spending.  Once a year I decided to read more, to watch less TV.  Once a year I decided to get a physical, to get my vision checked, to take better care of my teeth.  Once a year I thought about taking a multivitamin.  Once a year I wondered about all the stress I had in my life.  Once a year I decided to work harder, to work smarter.  Once a year I thought about doing something different with my life.  Once a year I wondered what might have been......

Once a year I realized I was grateful for what I had, for what I didn't have, and for what I would never have.  Once a year I was sad for what I'd lost, and for the losses of those whom I cared about.  Once a year I saw myself getting older, getting closer to the exit...

More than once a day I'm happy now.  Once a day I wake up, and smile, because I can sleep as long as I want to now.  Once a day I laugh because I don't have an alarm clock, don't wear a watch any more.  Once a day I have to look to see what day of the week it is, what day of the month.  Once in a while I talk about how fast the time goes, the week goes, the months.  Last night we spoke about the rapid passage of time, and I recognized something significant--that in the years I was working, I had always counted the hours rather than the days or the weeks and months.  I counted the hours until each workday concluded.  Counted the hours until my day off began, counted the hours until I had to return to work.  Counted the months, the weeks, and finally the days until my next vacation.  But some years there was no vacation, because we couldn't afford one, so those were the years we counted only the minutes, the minutes until we could take a little break.

Once a year it's my birthday, but so what?  Once a year it's everyone's birthday too.  Once a year it's New Years Eve or New Years Day, but once a day it's a new day for all of us.  A new day, possibly the best day of our lives.  Feel this new day!

John DeFlumeri Jr. in Clearwater
"Decisions About Money and Controversial Commentary"
copyright 2010 John DeFlumeri Jr.

Our money Today in Obama Dollars

Our money Today in Obama Dollars
What's left in your wallet?