retirelazyandhappy

There are lots of things to think about.


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Cover of "The Six-Figure Second Income: H...

Cover via Amazon

I said that I would say more about how t increase your wealth, and what programs help you do that.  A while ago I described AWAI which stands for American Writers and Artists Inc.  The website, which I do recommend is:  www.awaionline.com.  That is a good place to start if you are interested in a side job while you are working, a full time job when you are ready for that, or extra income when you are retired.

Here are some other resources which I recommend:

The Six Figure Second Income by David Lindahl and Jonathan Rozek.  Published by John Wiley and sons, 2010.  The subheading is: How to start and grow a successful online business without quitting your day job.

This book, available on Amazon, is a clear, specific step by step roadmap for creating, promoting and selling products online.  There are many specific suggestions for promoting your ideas, presenting your ideas, and attracting customers by giving them specifically what they want.  They go on and give you some very helpful information about making money through advertising.  This is a great How To book.

Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.  Published by QUE in 2011.  The subheading to this book is: How to use social Media to invent or reinvent yourself.  This is a book primarily about being successful in promoting yourself in traditional business, although their discussions also incorporate individual businesses.  This book is about slf promotion, and they give very specific step by step instructions about how to use Linked In and Twitter (for business connections) and Facebook (for social connections).  They start by helping you identify your brand, who you are, and what you want to be known for.  This book is also available from Amazon.


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Great Book: Where’d you go Bernadette?

Español: Hermosa vista de Bahia Paraíso en la ...

Where’d You Go Bernadette is a great read by Maria Semple.  Maria has written other books including one other fictional book: This One Is Mine.  She has also written for TV shows including Arrested Development, Ellen and Mad About You.  I saw part of the first episode of Arrested Development and I have decided that it will be the next sitcom that I catch up on, once I have run out of one of the 6 that I am watching now. Admittedly I am on my second run through of Boston Legal, but to be fair, it only ran for 5 seasons.  I am on season 5 of Mad Men and I am hoping that some of season 6 will be available before I have run out of season five.  If not: well here comes Arrested Development.  I thought Arrested Development was a very funny somewhat wacky satire, with a mix of unlikely, yet winning characters.  somewhat like the characters in Pride and Prejudice and Boston Legal, and Niles Crane in Frasier.  They are somewhat exaggerated, but not too far out, and in an odd way extremely likable.  That combination makes great satire.

And Where’d You Go Bernadette is very much like that.  Very funny, odd situations, but recognizable.

I am not sure that Bernadette is the main character, perhaps it is Bee, her brilliant and very giving, kind daughter.  Bernadette was an acclaimed architect, a professional who could not follow the traditional rules, and was able for a while to make her own.  She left the traditional architecture firms to do her work her own way, and created such unusual buildings that she won a McArthur grant.  However, her personality was so hypersensitive, that she had to retreat into unlikely places.

Her marriage was surprisingly traditional except for her choice of a living space.  The family consists of Bernadette, her husband, Elgin, who works at Microsoft, and Bee, their daughter who attends a local private school.

By the way the book provides some really fun insights about work at Microsoft.  True or not, they are amusing and enviable.

Bernadette finds life to be overwhelming.  She retreats from normal work by taking on projects such as her housing that is falling apart.  She retreats from interactions with Bee’s school by removing herself from their email list.  She retreats from normal interactions with the business world by hiring an “assistant” from India to manage daily transactions and bill paying.

When her husband and others who are concerned about her believe her to be mentally ill, Bernadette withdraws again, but this time to Antarctica.  The rest of the story is about Bee’s determination to find her mother.

Because Bee’s experience was that her mother was there.  In the hospital while she underwent many heart surgeries, at her meals at night, at her school, to pick her up, always there for Bee in spirit and in interest, even when Bee wanted some withdrawal of her own.

So when Bernadette finds the reality overwhelming, and really leaves, Bee is horrified, sad, lonely, and frantic to find her mother.  The story explores the varieties and tragedies of mother love and father love, from the child’s perspective as well as from the adult perspective. And it does this in Antarctica, with its brilliant light, piercing cold, and otherworldly ambience.  And does this while being extremely funny, very sad, and so real.  This combination doesn’t seem to be possible, but gosh, it is.

Read this book:  “Where’d you go Bernadette” **** (The four stars reflect the quality of the book.  I just finished Ruth Reichl’s book “Garlic and Sapphires” about her expereinces as a food critic for the New York Times.  that was another good read, but can wait for another post.


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A happy introvert

Good morning,  I have kept busy with reading, walking, going to some movies, and music.

More thoughts on self discovery:  I am reading a book called Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.  This is a book which considers the role of introverted persons in various roles in our lives.  This has struck a chord in me because I have always been an introvert and admittedly a somewhat extreme one, and especially when I was younger, a shy introvert.

Reading a book

Reading a book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since we live in a society which supports and celebrates a lot of socialization and busyness, introverts can have a hard time fitting in. I have recently accepted the comfort of my own personality, and I have enjoyed it.  Those of you who are readers and writers may also have experienced this same struggle:  Am I OK?  Why can’t I just read a book this afternoon? Why does everyone go to parties?  and I don’t really want to.  I think amusement parks are tedious  and noisy.  I was a mystery to my parents, who liked my good marks in school, but also wanted me to be more social and especially, to have more boy friends.

So it is a good feeling to read a book which 1: validates the experience of not fitting in, and second: celebrates the real contributions and strengths of introverts.

Today I have been reading the section where Susan discusses the difficulty that introverts have in very social religious practices, such as the very successful evangelical church, the Saddleback Church.  She discusses the work of a man named Adam McHugh, an evangelical minister, who struggles with the sense of being “not right” and wonders if God is pleased with him as he is.  He is now accepting himself as a religious introvert, and is speaking up about the need for more solitude and contemplation in religious practice.  His book is called Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture.  I haven’t read the book, if you have read it or if you do read it, I would love to receive a comment on it.

I don’t want you to think that I only read serious books.  I have almost finished Agatha Christie‘s book “The Secret of Chimneys.”  Lots of fun.  I am trying to read Christie in order, alternating her books with other fiction.

(OK, I admit it I am a little obsessive, as well.)

I also have gone to some good movies, not usually the blockbuster types.  I recommend Moonrise Kingdom which has had excellent reviews but is not widely released, and Woody Allen‘s  latest movie: To Rome With Love.

This was not well reviewed, and not well liked, but was a really funny spoof of a lot of social relationships like success, hollywood relationships, and even opera. Have fun with these.


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Problems in the airline industry.

United Airlines

United Airlines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just finished reading the book Attention All Passengers: The Truth about the Airline Industry, by William McGee.

Mr. McGee has good credentials: he is the former editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter.  In 2012 the U. S. secretary of transportation appointed him as a consumer advocate to the Future of aviation Advisory Committee.  He has spent almost seven years in airline flight operations management, and he is an FAA licensed flight dispatcher.

The problems evident in the airline industry are the same problems that are characteristic of much of American industry:  Excessive attention to profit, high executive compensation along with too little attention to quality production, safety, and good relations with employees and customers.

Many concerns will be familiar to any one who has flown on commercial airlines recently: crowding, little seat space, inadequate storage space in overhead bins, problems with the loss of luggage, delays, and cancelled flights.  The comfort and sometimes even the safety of passengers is overlooked.

Outsourcing of flights, reservations, and even maintenance increases frustration and decreases safety.  While the major airlines publicize their safety records (and have no doubt, flying is the safest way to travel), and claim that they have had no crashes in 10 years, the truth is they outsource many flights to regional airlines where the record is not as clean.  Passengers may not know that they are not flying on a major airline, the ticket, the plane, and the staff may all look like the major airline, but they are not.  Pilots and flight attendants in the regional airlines may be seriously underpaid, unable to support themselves, commuting long distances, and grabbing some sleep when they can.  (Second jobs in order to meet expenses, to say nothing about meeting the school loan bills are often essential).  These employees are then responsible for the comfort and safety of hundreds of passengers.

Outsourcing of maintenance of the planes is the scariest of the stories that William McGee has to tell.  It is truly frightening to realize that so much maintenance is done overseas.  The mechanics may not be licensed, and an entire staff may be supervised by only one licensed mechanic.  The FAA oversight is limited by distance, inadequate funding, and by a strong culture of inappropriate friendship with the airline executives.

This has been sad for me in part because I have a family member who works for the airlines.  I also hate to see the deterioration of an industry which we once were so proud of.

I recommend this book, obviously it is a disturbing one. People who are interested in flight, in aviation,a nd in American business, will find it enlightening.

Enjoy!


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Good reads: airline travel, and mystery.

Right now I am reading a book about airline service and safety (or lack of service and safety).  It is called Attention All Passengers,by William J McGee.  Once I finish it I will discuss my thoughts about it.  For now, I will just say that I recommend it, but it is sad to explore the deterioration of what was once such an enjoyable and exciting experience.  Full  disclosure:  my son is a pilot, so problems in the industry hit home.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am also reading a fun book, an early novel by Agatha Christie.  I read many of her books long ago when I was much younger.  Then I believe I missed what is evident now:  Her writing is very funny.  she has a delightful way of mocking upper classes, foreigners, self important people.  There is a lot of prejudice which was characteristic of her time and sad to see today.  However, we all come in for some ribbing, so that helps to keep things in perspective.  Was there once a time when villains were all brutish looking with fat, squat noses?  Well check out Agatha, she will let you know.

I am also reading the New Yorker magazine:  that keeps any reader very very busy, and well informed.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves variety and who loves reading.