A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted
In 2001, an ordinary man called Paul Walton had a small pension fund. Paul listened to a
financial adviser salesman from one of Britain’s top wealth management companies, St. James’s Place, and entrusted them with his money. Lo and behold, 15 years later, when Paul checked on his pension it hadn’t grown into a nice nest egg ~ it had all vanished. St James’s Place had taken so much in fees and charges that there was nothing at all left of Paul’s pension, in fact Paul owed £37.32 ($60) in unpaid fees. George Bailey would be horrified.
People often ask me how to make the most of their money, thinking I’ll give them advice on savings accounts, or the stock market, or property investments… Usually there isn’t much point in that. What most people really need is sage advice on how to stop throwing their money down the drain. Most people don’t need more money, what most people need to do is stop wasting the money they’ve got, each and every single day of the year.
No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February. ~ Suze Orman
Paul threw his money away because he didn’t take responsibility for his own financial well-being. Practically nobody I know is willing to really take full responsibility for their finances, or anything else in their lives if it comes right down to it. And, it isn’t rocket science, your grandmother knew all the right stuff.
The more you are willing to depend on your own ability to think and act, the less you will rely on experts, consultants, doctors, contractors, and
advisers salesmen. These days everyone has a vast library of knowledge at their fingertips, it’s called the internet.
- Formulate your own ideas for a sound retirement plan before speaking to a financial consultant, and do not take their word as Holy Writ ~ they
maywill have more of an eye on their own commission, fees, and bonuses than they do on your financial future.
- If you have a really bad headache, make a list of the possible and probable causes of your headaches, and then visit your doctor.
- Work out exactly how much the used car you’re thinking of buying is actually worth, what’s likely to be wrong with it, how much that will cost to repair, and how much it’s going to cost to run ~ and only then visit the lot and speak to a used car salesman.
Someall car salesmen will not tell you anything like the whole truth, and they will rip you off, especially if you are a woman.
- If you’re thinking of moving home, fully research the market, property values, taxes, location, crime rates, amenities, how long it will take you to get to work, & etc., before ever speaking to an estate agent / realtor. Realtors are
mostlyinterested in selling property, not whether the home they’re talking up is a good place for you to live.
- If you have to employ a contractor, never leave them alone in your home, or you may come back and find it’s flooded. Never employ a contractor without getting, at least, a couple of quotes and personal references.
- When you need a loan, thoroughly prepare before you talk with your bank. Work out exactly how much you really need, what a reasonable rate of interest would be, how much you can afford to repay each month, (and if you can save that amount for a few months before you ask for the loan, so much the better).
Practically everyone, (including me in the past), throws thousands of $ £ € away every year just because they are irresponsible, lazy, intimidated by ‘professionals’, trusting, naive, weak, and overly dependent on others. Too many people take the first offer instead of looking the gift horse in the mouth. Too many people think the answer is in programmes, courses, workshops, seminars, and motivational speakers/ authors. It isn’t.
Workshops and seminars are basically financial speed dating for clueless people. ~ Douglas Coupland
If you want to have more money for the good things in life, do yourself a favour, and do the hard work up front, during, and after you make a deal. Whatever happens, it’s always your responsibility.
Financial freedom is available to those who learn about it and then work for it. ~ Robert Kiyosaki
Don’t trust anyone because everybody lies, and never, ever, pay anyone for advice, financial or otherwise. If you want to have more ready cash, take responsibility and stop throwing good money after bad.
these views are mine and mine alone.
This Sunday there’s some cloudscape pictures. Just some more ‘scape pictures from my library. So, what in the world are ‘scape pictures? Seascapes, landscapes, cityscapes, roadscapes, or pictures of clouds. Everyone likes clouds, it’s just that as we get older we forget to look at them in true wonderment.
On the other hand, when you live in a garret, with skylights that look out onto the moon, stars, and the ever changing clouds, you can spend ages just sky-watching. A man has to love that.
All these shots were taken with a compact LUMIX Panasonic DMC-AS3 camera. This camera is so lightweight, small, and smart that it’s good for taking everywhere, or just keeping by your bedside.
most women like a man who knows about clouds,
the myths, artistry, and science
pictures by jack collier
Today, a funny song and a serious lesson for all the real men out there.
There’s one thing about being successful with women the urban warrior must never forget ~ she is always right, and nine times out of ten you will be wrong, (in her eyes anyhow). There is no mileage in arguing with your girl, even if you do have the craziest name in English Popular Music.
Please listen responsibly.
Humour doesn’t always translate across the sexes, what women find really funny men often don’t, and visa versa.
As an example of dual standards, a girl told me a joke yesterday, about the 5 things a woman looks for in the ideal man ~ who, of course doesn’t actually exist, so she gets 5 men instead. It was even more sexist and less funny than this woman in the moon joke. Guys, if she tells you an unfunny sexist joke that gets at you and all men, don’t even pretend to laugh.
It’s always OK for a girl to tell sexist jokes that get at you and all other men, whereas it isn’t ever OK for a man to be misogynist. A man should never tell jokes that make fun of women, it’s just not worth the cheap laugh.
These opinions are mine and mine alone
A stir fry is so easy anyone can cook a great meal in less than 30 minutes, (even my cool friend in Orange County can cook a stir fry). If you’re cooking just for yourself, or for just yourself and your partner, then a stir fry is an utterly brilliant idea. In general, a stir fry is quick, easy, healthy, full of flavour, and best of all it’s usually a 1 pan meal. If you are trying to eat better, lose weight, and feel fitter, then stir fry is for you.
Also, you will find that, even if you buy the very best organic ingredients, these are all inexpensive dishes to make. And, some of this stuff will make a great basis for a lunch at the office the following day. What’s not to like about all that?
From Andrea at Cooking With Wallflower we have this classic, easy 25 minute dish; broccoli mushrooms and chicken stir fry. You need oyster sauce for this dish, and I would add extra garlic. As I’m not eating grains these days, I’d serve this as-is and not bother with rice ~ but a little brown or wild rice would be cool.
Broccoli Mushroom and Chicken Stir Fry
When I make a stir fry I often add a sweet chili sauce, which I have to admit to buying in a bottle. But, also from Andrea we have an easy 5 minute recipe for a sweet and spicy chili and lime dipping sauce. Brilliant.
Sweet and Spicy Sweet Chili Lime Dipping Sauce
Another broccoli recipe, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; easy shrimp and broccoli stir fry This is a 20 minute dish, and if you make it according the recipe it should come in at less than 300 calories. This dish really needs sriracha hot sauce, but you could use fresh red chili, or even Andrea’s dipping sauce instead.
Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry
This is another classic recipe from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes; ginger beef stir fry. Although this is a 25 minute cooking time dish, you will need to allow 30 minutes of marinating time, (or you could marinate it over night). I know my friend in Orange County will like this because it uses cilantro, hot chili, and loads of garlic. Beef with ginger is a magical combination.
Ginger Beef Stir Fry
I just had to include this celery stir fry, also from Elise. This would make a great starting point for any s meat or fish you’d like to add, or as a side dish instead of rice. (I seem to have given up wheat, rice, lentils, rye, barley…)
Celery Stir Fry
This looks fabulous from Heather Christo; chicken ginger tahini stir fry. What with bell peppers, peas, chicken, tahini, garlic, and ginger, this recipe is on my list to make for next week.
Chicken Ginger Tahini Stir Fry
For those among us who say they don’t like pork, this dish uses pork tenderloin, which is brilliant. So from How Sweet It Is we have 30 minute Vietnamese caramel pork stir fry. As well as the tenderloin this dish also has cabbage, garlic, ginger and cilantro.
30 Minute Vietnamese Caramel Pork Stir Fry
From Tieghan Gerard, that mistress of long names for recipes, we have quick honey ginger pineapple & summer veggie chicken stir fry with caramelised cashews. This dish may have the longest name, but it will only take you 30 minutes from start to finish. Nice.
Quick Honey Ginger Pineapple and Summer Veggie Chicken Stir Fry with Caramelised Cashews
Finally this week, from Chatelaine I offer you 10 easy weeknight stir fry recipes, including this kung pao chicken stir fry. I love this 20 minute dish.
Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry
a very big thank you to all the fabulous cooks
featured in this week’s Food on Friday
real men don’t do pink
pink is just too metrosexual
the other guys would likely think
I’d become slightly odd and ineffectual
yet most ladies do like rosé so I’ll think pink
words and pictures by jack collier
No woman is going to want to admit that she’s had casual sex in an Edsel. The Ford Edsel is not a cool car, it’s not even so ugly-pretty that it’s cool. The Edsel is just one of the worst cars ever made.
So what makes an Edsel such a terrible car? Start with how it looks, and it looks as though it was designed by a committee of the most boring preppy men Ford could come up with after searching through the worst colleges in America. I mean, who would design a grille that looks like a surprised toilet seat?
For a brand-new design the Edsel was about as innovative as a horse and cart. It was big and heavy ~ over 18 feet long and weighing in at two tons. It had a newly designed ohv V8 Ford MEL engine, (Mercury, Edsel, Lincoln), which was big at 410 cu in, (6.7 litres), powerful with 345 bhp and 475 ft lbs of torque, and very heavy. The Edsel had a slush-pump auto-box, and Hotchkiss live axle rear suspension that dated back to the 1930s. It also had some weird features, such as push-button gear selectors on the steering wheel.
And then the Edsel had the second worst marketing and sales campaign in the history of road transport, only eclipsed by that even bigger disaster, the Sinclair C5. From a teaser campaign that heralded the Edsel as the car for the future, to setting up a separate Edsel division within the Ford Motor Company and a separate dealership network, everything about the Edsel’s sales and marketing is a textbook example of how not to sell anything. Small wonder this dog of a car sold only 110,847 heavily discounted units ~ peanuts by Ford standards.
The Edsel was also relatively expensive, costing about the same as a Mercury, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Dodge, which were much better products, with much better and more well-known names and images.
Because the Edsel was built on the same production line as standard Fords, the assemblers had to interrupt their routines when an Edsel came along, and many workers just didn’t bother to put the right parts in the right places. Therefore the Edsel was very badly built and suffered from consequent reliability problems. Issues ranged from a leaking trunk, (boot), in wet weather, to bad welding, and catastrophically dangerous power steering failures.
Allegedly, the Edsel drives like a canal barge. That huge V8 delivers pedestrian performance with a top speed just short of 120 mph, a 0-60 time of about 11 seconds, and terrible fuel consumption figures. The suspension is nothing to write home about, and so pressing-on is supposed to be accompanied by a lot of tyre squeal, initial understeer and then mad oversteer. Have I ever driven an Edsel? You have got to be joking.
Luckily there are only about 6,000 examples of this terrible car still in existence. There has to be more than that, everywhere I go on my various road trips I seem to come across an Edsel, or maybe they’re just so bad that they’re memorable. You can expect to pay about $10,000 for an immaculate example, if you were ever insane enough to want an Edsel.
Don’t buy an Edsel. They are not cool, an Edsel won’t make a satisfying hobby, they will make a terrible investment, and no cool girl will ever want to have sex with you in that car.
that you were truly free
to come warmly near to me
now lying under yonder tree
with a jug of ruby wine and thee
women seem to like real men
who will also write poetry for them
words and pictures by jack collier
Be fit and healthy ~ stop eating wheat
This is not about food, this is all about money. Wheat has been all about money since the dawn of agriculture in about 9,500 BC. In fact for a long, long time wheat and bread took the place of money, being both a store of value and a medium of exchange. The builders of the pyramids were paid in bread and beer, both by-products of wheat. Every American consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, and this consumptions pays for the powerful business and political empires that go along with modern agriculture.
Modern wheat is very bad for you, and so are wheat products; flour, bread, cakes, cookies, biscuits, pasta, noodles, tortilla, wraps, pizza, pancakes, flapjacks, doughnuts, soups, beer… The wheat and it’s products that we eat now is the end result of genetic research and long way from the simple 14 chromosome Einkorn wheat plant we ate 10,000 years ago.
Wheat is basically the worst of the worst carbohydrates, and even a modest exposure to the starches in wheat is enough to increase the appetite, raise blood sugar, induce fat accumulation, initiate inflammatory processes, increase bad LDL cholesterol, and cause high blood pressure. Celiac Disease is described as far back as 100 AD, but wheat problems aren’t restricted to people with celiac disease.
Cutting wheat products in my diet, in particular, proved a dietary turning point that reduced my appetite, accelerated weight loss, and just helped me feel clearer, more energetic, and happier than I’d felt in years. ~ Dr. William Davis, Cardiologist.
Wheat is full carbohydrates and some very bad proteins; gluten, wheat germ agglutinin, and amylase trypsin inhibitors. These proteins irritate your gut, and cause inflammation and bloating. This irritation causes a problem called intestinal permeability which is a contributory factor in autoimmune diseases. Wheat germ agglutinin exacerbates this leaky-gut problem which allows all kinds of nasty things into your blood. The gluten in wheat also messes with the friendly bacteria in your gut. All of this makes you prone to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases, along with diarrhea and or constipation, heartburn, bloating, farting, and other gut problems. Wheat is also a contributory factor in brain fog, depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, autism, and other mental health problems. For good measure the gluten in wheat will mess with your skin making you feel itchy and leading to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. The thing is, everyone is gluten intolerant to a greater or lesser degree.
Wheat makes you fat.
- The super starch amylopectin A in genetically modified dwarf wheat that makes great bread and cakes will spike your blood sugar just as much as eating pure refined sugar. There is no difference between whole wheat and refined white flour, both are equally as bad.
- Dwarf wheat gluten has twice as many chromosomes as the gluten protein found in ancient wheat plants, as well as a lot more gluten in general. This gluten will make you sick and fat.
- Dwarf wheat contains a super drug which will make you crazy, hungry, and addicted. Your body turns the proteins in wheat into polypeptides called exorphins, which are exactly similar to the endorphins you get from a runners’ high, which are exactly similar to opioids. People will binge on cakes and cookies because of this super drug, but people never binge on broccoli.
So why do we eat wheat and other grains? One reason is that wheat and other high carbohydrate grains are addictive. The other reason is that we are all subjected to endless propaganda encouraging us to consume more and more of these nasty foods. From the tempting counter displays in supermarkets to pronouncements by official bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom we are constantly encouraged to consume wheat, barley, oats, rice.. all of which are bad.
There is another reason wheat has become highly toxic in recent years. It is common practice in the USA, Canada, and Europe to drench wheat and barley fields with a herbicide called Roundup a few days before the combine harvesters start work. Killing and desiccating the grain plants like this allows an earlier, easier, and more efficient harvest. Roundup contains the deadly chemical glyphosphate, and it’s residue in wheat and barley also kills the good bacteria and contributes to leaky-gut syndrome.
Roundup is made by the giant chemicals company Monsanto. Monsanto is set to merge with the Giant German chemicals company Bayer. No politician or regulator is going to want to annoy Monsanto or Bayer. It is all about money. The production and consumption of wheat and other grains has nothing whatsoever to do with good food, it’s all about money.
Do yourself a favour and avoid wasting money due to ill-health, stop eating wheat and it’s products for six weeks. Then see just how much fitter, healthier, and more alert you feel. I gave up wheat on the 9th of June this year, and today I feel so much better than I could have ever believed.
This Sunday I offer yet more ‘scape pictures from my library. ‘scape pictures, what in the world are ‘scape pictures? Seascapes, cloudscapes, landscapes, cityscapes, roadscapes, or pictures of Venice. Venice California. I thought I might like to build and live there, (notice the vacant lot), then I thought about all that water and that there might be more than a few mosquitos. Everyone hates a mosquito.
On the other hand, most girls like wandering around cool places like Venice. Women are very curious about how other people live. A man has to love that.
All these shots were taken with a compact LUMIX Panasonic DMC-AS3 camera. This camera is so lightweight, small, and smart that it’s good for taking everywhere.
Pictures of some really high-end homes,
and an egret, in Venice by jack collier
and the cute girl riding shotgun
Life is filled with rocks and shoals. To help us overcome life’s problems this blog is changing a little. From today this blog has got a formal structure. From today this blog is all about Urban Survival Skills for Men. So, on Saturdays I am going to post something that includes the kind of song a real man will play on his turntable. Art, music, and literature are important to the Renaissance man, and yes, real men still think the best sounds come from 12 inches of black vinyl.
Sinatra ~ I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Sometimes only The Chairman Of The Board will do.
This is a later recording of the great Cole Porter song with Nelson Riddle providing the music, as usual.
Urban Survival Skills for Men are very different from Wilderness Survival Skills, but the former does include all kinds of disaster recovery ~ from surviving an earthquake, to recovering from a failed relationship. Survival is more than just living, survival is living the life of a man.
And, by the way, if she doesn’t approve of Sinatra, or doesn’t like cool cars, or can’t hold an intelligent conversation, then perhaps you should think about finding yourself a better girl. Alternatively you could be a real man and love your girl for who she is, rather than trying to change her into someone you think you’d like her to be.
Please listen responsibly.