Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201810

 

Personal Update 201810 | 1 Oct 2018 | Monday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my October update.

NEW SCHEDULE

Starting with this month I plan to begin sending out my updates at the beginning of the month rather than the end of the month. For the recap of September you can read the end-of-month update I sent out yesterday.

DEMOCRACY

For most of my adult life I’ve been interested in civics, governance, and politics. If you do a Google search for “a government of the people” you’ll see of the 10 million results the top site is AGovernmentOfThePeople.com which I created about five years ago. The site has had about 30,000 visits since then. It’s designed to be a reference site for materials related to democracy — what helps democracies thrive and what causes them to fail.

The site also looks at other governance models for an honest comparison and reference point. Countries with communist foundations like China, or monarchies like Jordan, also seem to thrive and function fairly well. So, the question is how can we make our fairly young democracy function well and thrive to produce equally desirable outcomes.

According to Social Progress Imperative, we are currently in position #25, lagging behind Slovenia, among countries graded on their positive impact in the world. The Good Country Index also has us at position #25. By just about any measure, we’re unfortunately not leading the world. This suggests that our Democracy needs tweaking.

Some European and Scandinavian countries offer us examples of successful democracies, but every country has unique challenges and opportunities and we have ours.

This summer from May through July, I assisted with the publishing format and layout of a book called “Columns of Democracy” by Nicholas Johnson (my dad). Through a collection of recent writings, the book examines the core institutions that support our democracy: media, education, judiciary, voting, and libraries.

I’ll share an excerpt from the introduction to the book (page 15):

It is said that as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention he was approached by a man who asked, “Well, Mr. Franklin, what kind of a government did you give us? A Republic or a Monarchy?” To which Franklin replied, “A Republic – if you can keep it.”

For 230 years we did keep it. American democracy confronted challenges along the way, but none succeeded in abolishing democracy. From the time I first thought about such matters at the age of seven (December 7, 1941) the possibility we would not keep it never entered my mind.

Then my father was able to reassure me that America’s democracy would survive a traditional World War II. Today’s attacks on the columns of democracy are in many ways more invisible, invidious and destructive than those from Japanese fighter planes and bombs in 1941. Can we give our children and grandchildren a reassurance similar to what my father provided me 77 years ago – reassurance that American democracy will survive?

Not now.

What the future holds is up to us.

That’s an ominous warning, yet true. Keeping a garden, owning a car, or maintaining anything of value takes skill, commitment, and sometimes hare work. Democracy is no different.

However, like a car that has been neglected, and increasingly takes more time and money to operate, our democracy has recently been having more and more problems. It’s become more costly, stressful, and time consuming to manage. I find I’m spending several hours a week or more to keep up with current news. This last week I spent about 12 hours watching the Supreme Court nomination hearing and related news.

I’m embarrassed to converse with my friends from other countries. “Hey Greg, how’s that fancy sporty democracy doing?” they ask. My reply is often, “Oh, it’s back in the shop again for more repairs. It was getting really poor fuel efficiency and making a lot of noise.”

Our civic duty is more than just voting in elections. We need to stay engaged, be informed, and participate to help determine what initiatives and candidates will be on the ballot. Participation on election day is important, but it’s like participating in a football game in the final minutes of the game, rushing on the field and hoping we can impact the outcome of the game. That’s just not how democracy works. We need to be involved along the way.

Columns of Democracy” is a great field guide for those who want to have an informed and effective positive impact. If you’re someone who is civically involved, or want to be inspired to become so, I’d suggest getting a copy of the book. It’s available on Amazon, and locally in Iowa City at Prairie Lights.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201809

 

Personal Update 201809 | 30 Sep 2018 | Sunday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my September update.

Health and Wellness

During the month of September I continued my normal strength training workout, lifting over 234,000 pounds which is up from last month. Toward the end of the month I’ve been emphasizing fresh raw vegetables, nuts, grains, fruits, and salads in my diet while working to reduce some of the unnecessary sugar, carbs and snack foods.

Consulting

My consulting work continues to be a mix of tech support and web design. The tech support is a good mix of business and residential, Windows and Mac, mobile and desktop, Android devices as well as Apple iOS. I like the diversity of support issues that arise. With the convergence, connectedness and integration of technology, I’m sometimes helping people with their home stereo and home theater technology.

Photography

I’m carrying a DSLR camera around these days and favoring that over my iPhone or point and shoot camera. I find the image quality is much better, and I’m adjusting to having an extra bag with me. The photo at the top of this newsletter is a photo from 27 Sep 2018 that I thought would make a nice background image.

The Department of Defense Read My Article

Sometimes after writing an article, I’ll check to see if there’s been any interest by looking at the page visitor stats. An article I recently wrote was almost immediately flagged by the Department of Defense and visited by a bot or person from the DOD Network Information Center. The article “U.S. Southern Command Uses Most Powerful ‘Weapon’ in History” explores a little known operation being conducted by the military.

In Defense of Nice People

I never thought I’d need to write an article defending nice people, but apparently nice people are now being criticized and there’s a national call for all ‘nice people’ to be removed from public office to be replaced by ‘street fighters.’ Learn more in my article LEADERSHIP: National Religious Leader Calls for Fewer Nice Guys – Asks for street fighters at every level of government. (29 Sep 2018)

A Special Message from Charles Koch

I try to seek out information from various sources with diverse viewpoints. So, recently I was curious to learn more about the views of conservative Republican billionaire Charles Koch. I was surprised to learn that he shares a lot of views with Bernie Sanders. Learn more in my article DEMOCRACY – Charles Koch Speaks Out Against Corporate Welfare and Crony Capitalism (25 Sep 2018)

Topics and Writings

In September I shared and wrote about a several topics of interest including: energy readiness, health, democracy, leadership, governance, diversity, technology, and more. A few are mentioned above, here’s a more complete list.

As you’ll notice in the list above, I’m starting to use all caps for an initial topic descriptive word to make the titles easier for people to skim through and identify on social media.

If I’m writing a commentary about some past event or video, I’ll assign the current date to my post. If I’m simply posting a video without substantive commentary, the original release date of the video is assigned to that post. For example, I recently posted over a dozen videos about education that date back to 2015. These are mostly of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201808

 

Personal Update 201808 | 31 Aug 2018 | Friday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my August update. I’m sending this newsletter a few weeks late and plan to send the September update out a little later this month. Although I’m writing this on Sep 21, I have dated the post as 31 Aug for the publish date.

HEALTH

For those of us working on weight loss, there are periods of success when we count how much weight we’ve lost, and other periods where we gain it back — usually in much less time than it took to lose it. So, it can be difficult to effectively track our net progress. That’s why I track my progress based on my highest weight. I’ve lost about 10 pounds since my highest weight, and about 7 pounds since last month.

For some people, weight isn’t an issue — losing it and keeping it off is easy. For other people, it’s easy to gain weight and hard to lose it — requiring more effort to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Some people who are overweight may be so because the live a sedentary life and make poor food choices. The lack of exercise and poor nutrition perhaps more than the weight itself produces life shortening conditions. Those with an ideal body weight who don’t exercise or eat right can be at greater risk than those who may be overweight but exercise and make good food choices. Of course, the combination of a healthy weight, diet, and lifestyle are the ideal.

I use a nutrition app on my smartphone to keep track of my calories and nutrition goals. In addition to tracking calories, I also track sugar and carbs because they can stimulate fat storage in the body — causing more weight gain than other foods of equal calories. If certain foods stimulate fat storage and slow down metabolism, then the net impact of those foods is similar to them having more calories. Also, foods that result in an eventual energy crash down (like sweets or caffein) can result in a desire to eat more to gain energy. So, the end result in more consumption. I tend to eat when I’m tired so I try to avoid foods that make me tired. My daily diet is usually a salad and veggie protein patties for breakfast and dinner, with a variable lunch meal — trying to keep everything around 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. The lower the better, but it’s easy to have an off day.

I’m very committed to regular exercise — not to burn calories, but to give me more energy during the day, reduce my appetite, build strength, increase stamina, avoid injuries, and give me better sleep. During the month of August I lifted about 196,000 pounds. That’s a 30,000 pound increase over my July strength training total. I also have a cardio exercise routine that includes walking, elliptical, and bike riding.

The small number of calories burned during exercise are inconsequential. A single bagel without cream cheese can wipe out the caloric benefit of a 3.5mph 1-hour walk. (source) There are some indulgences and restaurant meals that would require you to run a marathon to burn the calories off. In other words, skipping some food excesses has an equivalent caloric benefit as running a marathon every day.

If I lift about 200,000 pounds per month, get a cardio workout every day, watch what I eat, practice intermittent fasting, and consistently get the quality and quantity of sleep I need, I can lose about 1-2 pounds per week as long as I don’t slip up. So, the program takes discipline, self control, and consistency. It’s easy to get side tracked by other things that in the moment seem pressing.

TOPICS AND WRITINGS

In August I shared and wrote about a few topics of interest including:

MUSIC VIDEO

I created a music video in August using a song with permission from the artist and some stock video footage. I thought the song and the visuals went together well. I hope you enjoy it.

 

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201807

 

Personal Update 201807 | 31 Jul 2018 | Tuesday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

PHOTOGRAPHY

I’ve been using a new camera lately and it seems to be performing well. I’ve posted some photos from a recent hike on the Squire Point trail. I hope to get more photos uploaded soon.

LAKE TAHOE

During the 4th of July week, we were able to visit Lake Tahoe. At the top of this page is a sunset photo from July 5. I hope to upload more Lake Tahoe photos soon. This month I created two Lake Tahoe websites: TahoeSupport.com offers remote tech support to people visiting the area, and BestLakeTahoe.com offers information about local attractions.

DOGS

This month I had a customer wanting help with creating a website for selling a specific breed of versatile hunting dog. Something I do when creating a website for someone is to create companion magnet sites (typically at no cost to them) that help draw in and direct additional traffic for their site. So, I created VersatileHuntingDog.com as an online guide to hunting dogs and other dog breeds. One of the nice features of the site is that as dog breeds are featured, high quality identification photos are included on the information page for each breed.

MUNICIPAL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

Periodically, cities are pressured by residents to address deer and other wildlife populations that find their way into residential and urban settings. Deer tend to eat flowers and other landscaping which upsets people. When people are upset, they want to grab high powered rifles and start shooting deer. Yet, more effective non-lethal long-term solutions exist. Because Iowa City is currently considering paying sharpshooters to kill deer, I’ve written an article to address the topic: “Effective and Economical Municipal Wildlife Management.”

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201806

 

Personal Update 201806 | 29 Jun 2018 | Friday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update. This month’s newsletter will be shorter than usual.

PHOTOGRAPHY

I mentioned last month that I had finished a deep dive examining DSLR cameras. I’ve shared a few photos through social media, but plan to share more here on my website in July. The header photo is of a sunrise here in Iowa City.  I’m looking forward to using more photography with websites and print media.

WELLNESS

This month I lifted over 257,000 pounds. That’s a higher total than previous months because I’ve increased some weight and reps. For those perplexed by such a high number (a quarter of a million pounds) I’ll explain that the way this is calculated is to take the weight being lifted multiplied by the number of times it is lifted. So, a tricep exercise with 30 pounds, when lifted 96 times becomes 2,880. Finding the right balance between weight and reps is key. If I keep going at this rate, I’ll lift over 3 million pounds in a year. I plan to write more about this topic and produce some videos soon.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201805

 

Personal Update 201805 | 31 May 2018 | Thursday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Each month I try to do a ‘deep-dive’ into a subject. In past months topics have included investing, wellness, cryptocurrency, and audio systems. This month I spent some time researching cameras in an effort to upgrade my photography equipment. Of all the content I create (video, photos, music, and articles) the most popular seems to be photos. So, in response to that, I want to produce higher quality photos for print or sharing online. In addition to using photos for entertainment, and some paid professional work, I also use photos for backgrounds and graphic design accents on websites I design.

You can read some of the articles from this past month about photography on the ResourcesForLife.com/photography web page by scrolling down on that page. Mostly you’ll find some camera reviews there. Much of what I wrote was based on discussions and emails with my brother Sherman who really helped in the research process. Thanks, Sherman!

Over the past 7 years, my camera gear has included a smartphone, a superzoom compact camera, and a DSLR camera. Over that time, I’ve continued to upgrade the equipment in each category.

There are many snapshots for which a smartphone is a perfect choice. Taking photos of receipts or getting adequate quality photos from events for sharing. With nicer cameras available in smartphones, they are serving a higher percentage of photography needs.

The superzoom camera is nice for wildlife photography, architecture, and close-ups of flowers. A powerful telephoto lens for a DLSR camera can cost $1,000 to $20,000. The superzoom compact camera fits in your shirt pocket and provides similar telephoto zoom capabilities for about $400-$500. It’s also smaller and lighter than a telephoto DSLR lens. However, as you might imagine, the resulting photos aren’t as crisp as what a DSLR can offer.

I’ve been using the same DSLR camera since 2010. It’s been limited in features and the quality of the photos isn’t as good as they could be. So, this month I swapped that camera out for a full-frame DSLR. I’m looking forward to creating some higher quality photos to share.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve spent a lot of time on my bicycle commuting and also riding trails for enjoyment. Photography is a big part of that experience. Between bike rides and wilderness hiking, some weeks I would have hundreds of photos. My goal has been to share weekly collections of photos, but I got behind on that. This year I hope to do better keeping up with photo sharing.

WELLNESS

I’ve continually been researching and experimenting with and developing exercise, nutrition, and overall wellness systems. With nicer summer weather upon us, I’m hoping to get back into some outdoor activities that were hampered during the winter months. I’ve settled in on a workout that I do most days fairly consistently (strength training and cardio), and I have a nutrition program I want to focus on that requires a lot of discipline but produces good results: very low sugar and carbs, lots of salad and protein, combined with intermittent fasting.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201804

 

Personal Update 201804 | 28 Apr 2018 | Saturday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

SOCIAL MEDIA

As I reported last month, I’m looking for alternatives to social media for many of my communications and collaboration needs. Stories that I might have just shared on Facebook, I’m starting to share through the Resources for Life website. For example, there’s an amazing video about a woman who was in a coma for four years experiencing seizures 20 hours a day, and then she had a miraculous recovery. I’ve also shared some technical reference articles on the site such as a document on WiFi Mesh Networks.

I use my own About Greg Johnson website for more personal news, writings, and sharing of photos. The Resources for Life website is for more general writings. Rather than communicating with people on Facebook or Twitter, I’m using email and phone calls more. Brief text exchanges on social media platforms tend to force us into somewhat superficial interactions with many people. Traditional media like email, phone calls, or in-person meetings, opens up the possibility for a different kind of interaction.

HANDWRITTEN CARDS

This month I’ve started sending out some handwritten cards (instead of emails or ecards) and I send them through the postal mail system to people who seem to prefer that method of communication. It’s relaxing to slowly write a card. I use a fountain pen that I dip in ink to refill. I know some people who are good about mailing physical cards for holidays or as thank you cards. I’ve admired that practice and wanted to return to it myself.

THANKS

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

__________

Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201803

 

Personal Update 201803 | 31 Mar 2018 | Saturday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

Social Media

In my January update, I wrote about how I’m spending less time on social media. During my time away from social media, I’ve been reflecting the benefits and drawbacks of what services like Facebook and Twitter offer us.

The numerous drawbacks have been in the news lately, mostly relating to a loss of privacy and the addictive nature of social media. The benefits are many. People who would otherwise not have an online presence are able to create a free Facebook hosted personalized web page. Announcements can be share and re-shared to reach many people. Freedom of speech is amplified allowing everyone a way to express their views in a way they’ll be heard.

As I weigh the benefits and drawbacks, and see many people leaving social media platforms, I am thinking about alternatives to social media. I think personal websites are a great substitute for (or addition to) having a Facebook page. I like the free WordPress.com hosted websites that let people ‘follow’ friends online and keep up on news just like Facebook but without many of the drawbacks.

Tech Library

I’ve informally maintained a technology library for many years. It’s a way to loan out systems, tools, and test equipment to people where owning these items just isn’t practical.

For example, wattage meters let people test the electrical usage of various home appliances to determine what devices are using the most electricity. It’s a fun device to use for a day, or a week, but beyond that most people don’t need to own one.

Laser thermometers that let you check the temperature on any surface, even those beyond reach. In the winter, a person can see where external walls or gaps near windows may be letting cold air in. Checking refrigerator temperatures, or surfaces of overheating electronics would be other uses for a laser thermometer.

To learn more, visit ResourcesForLife.com/tech-library

Audio Services

During March, I continued my ‘deep dive’ study of audio systems and wrote some audio resource guides and articles. I finally completed the installation of an audio system that I use for my daily work. To learn more, visit ResourcesForLife.com/audio

Thanks!

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 17 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201802

Personal Update 201802 | 28 Feb 2018 | Wednesday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

Deep Dive

Since last fall, I’ve been doing a ‘deep dive’ into a specific topic each month, gathering data, doing research, and developing solutions, practices and systems that once implemented can continue on auto pilot. Here are some examples. I spent about a month studying KETO diets and intermittent fasting. Based on that research, I’ve further honed my diet and wellness strategy. In November, I began researching cryptocurrency. In addition to buying small amounts of cryptocurrencies, I began working on building my own mining systems, and investing in cloud mining. In the first year, the ROI should be 20%. In the second year, the initial principal investment should have doubled. I’m using a creative combination of existing mining approaches and systems. In January my focus was on saving and investing. In February 2018, I’ve been studying audio systems and have revisited and expanded on the audio services that I began offering back in the 1980s. Audio services have always been an area of interest for me, and something I’ve been offering my existing customers, but now I plan to focus on audio more — which I’ll explain below.

Audio Services

I’ve had an interest in high-end audio systems since I was a young teenager. Over the years, I’ve spent many hours evaluating systems and setting up my own components for audio production and audio listening. In the mid 1980s, my first nice system consisted of a liquid cooled Denon DENON DRA-425R receiver and some Boston Acoustics tower speakers. I used it as a home hi-fi system, but also as an amp for a Yamaha DX5 keyboard. I also used that system for the ‘Oakland Sound Studios’ business that I launched in Iowa City back in 1986. Thirty years later that stereo system is still running. Audio systems have changed much since then. In my deep dive this month, with a LOT of help from my brother Sherman, I created a much improved and revamped Audio Services page on the Resources for Life website. As a musician, and enthusiast of composing my own music, my interest in audio is multifaceted. In 2000, I began the Heart Songs personal selections of music offered in an annual CD that later became monthly selections and continues 18 years later. In 2011, I established the Inspiring Music Videos website as a place online to offer a curated collection of music videos that inspire, energize, and promote the creative process. In the year ahead, I’m looking forward to developing some audio tracks based on nature sounds around Iowa City. On the Audio Services page I refer to music with a purpose. I believe music can offer us something beyond superficial enjoyment.

Multi Sensory Renewal Spaces

The audio systems I’m working with have a clarity and accuracy that result in not just hearing music, or listening to music, but experiencing music in a deeper way that can envelop the listener. In addition to offering an in-home demo services, I plan to do some consulting to help people create their own multi sensory renewal spaces. These would be acoustically insulated room conversions where people can rest, floating in a zero gravity chair, listening to relaxing music or nature sounds, smelling essential oils, surrounded by the natural light of candles, and watching inspiring HD natural scenes from around the world — all configured depending on each person’s preference. Such rooms could be used for relaxation, meditation, or as studios for massage practitioners and energy healers. The idea is to create a space where people can experience renewal and healing.

Wellness

In February, I didn’t get to the gym as much as I would have liked. I ended up getting that cold thats been going around, and as with others who experienced the cold, it kept me out of commission for quite a while. I’m hoping in March to get back to my wellness plan.

Thanks!

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 17 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201801

Personal Update 201801 | 30 January 2018 | Tuesday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

Wellness

This month I lifted about 209,000 pounds at the gym. I’ve done very little bike riding due to the extremely cold weather. I’d planned to ride through the winter, but with ice on the streets and trails, I want to avoid having any accidents.

Career

I mentioned in my December 2017 update that I would be “bringing in the fishing nets” and assessing the various projects I’m working with. For the month of January, I’ve focused on my technology services work. In addition to actual time with customers, I’ve been developing some business management tools for office workflow of invoicing and work notes. This has helped improve my ability to document and bill for my time, even shorter support calls. It’s a scaleable system that can take very little time for some billing or longer if needed for more complex billing.

Social Media

For the month of January, I’ve mostly stayed off social media — checking in briefly on Facebook only a few times per week. This has helped me dedicate more time to my wellness goals and career.

Last month I mentioned I was developing an alternative to Facebook. In January, I worked on creating a system using WordPress.com hosting that would allow individuals to have their own Page (free website) where they could post whatever news and announcements they’d like to share. WordPress members can ‘subscribe’ to any WordPress blog (the equivalent to following on Facebook). Groups of people wanting to create a shared discussion forum experience could post on a shared WordPress website. Anyone subscribing to that site would get an aggregate of all the stories that the authors posted. Such a system needs no further development and can be implemented immediately.

This system can foster more articulate communications and put people into democratic control of the platform. This post you are reading is an example. If you subscribe to this website, as many have already done, you’ll be automatically notified of updates and can select how often you get those notifications.

Here’s an example of what a group of bloggers could do with a multi-authored and collaboratively managed site: Famplace.wordpress.com.

Weekly No-Tech Day

We’ve become so dependent upon technology, that when it isn’t working right, it can be very stressful and disruptive. We typically don’t have alternative systems in place to continue functioning. During the transition from paper to digital sales in retail stores, there was a period of time when stores would train their employees how to conduct sales without any computers. Businesses would have paper-based forms and log books to keep running when computers were down, and then manually enter the data later when systems were working again. Today, we have no such redundancy.

Once a week, typically on the weekend, I try to have a no-tech day. I’m not strict about it. If an important email or phone call comes in, I’ll take care of it, but in general I try to take time away from electronics and work with notebooks and paper based systems on that day. It’s reassuring to have a working model in place for when systems fail.

This month the Netflix website was down for over 5 hours and the company was apparently unable to repair the problem quickly. It’s unknown whether the problem was the result of human error, system failure, natural disaster, or an intentional malicious attack. Regardless, the outcome is the same, and that’s just one example of many where massive systems are becoming unreliable.

Thanks!

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

20120224fr-greg-signature

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Want More News? For additional news and updates you can subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter by sending an email to resourcesforlifenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 17 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.