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Personal Update 202006 | 30 Jun 2020 | Tuesday

GREETINGS!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here. The photo at the top of this page was taken on 29 June 2020 using the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

PODCAST

In April, I created a new podcast for those who prefer listening to their information rather than (or in addition to) reading articles and watching videos. The podcast is called Walk and Talk with Greg Johnson. You can pick and choose the shows by topic. You can also subscribe or listen with Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. In May, I created 23 new podcast episodes. In June, I created a few more episodes. You can see them listed on the What’s New page at  ResourcesForLife.com/new or the Podcast page.

WRITINGS

This past month I created 21 posts for the Resources For Life website with some of those being podcast episodes. Some of these are featured videos. You can see the latest new content on the What’s New page.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 20 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.

Personal Update 202005 | 31 May 2020 | Sunday

GREETINGS!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here. The photo at the top of this page was taken on 20 May 2020 using the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

PODCAST

In April, I created a new podcast for those who prefer listening to their information rather than (or in addition to) reading articles and watching videos. The podcast is called Walk and Talk with Greg Johnson. You can pick and choose the shows by topic. You can also subscribe or listen with Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. In May, I created 23 new podcast episodes. You can see them listed on the What’s New page at  ResourcesForLife.com/new

WRITINGS

This past month I created 30 posts for the Resources For Life website with 23 of those being podcast episodes. Some of these are featured videos. You can see the latest new content on the What’s New page.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 20 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.

Personal Update 202004 | 30 Apr 2020 | Thursday

GREETINGS!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here. The photo at the top of this page was taken on 29 Apr 2020 using the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

PODCAST

I’ve created a new podcast for those who prefer listening to their information rather than (or in addition to) reading articles and watching videos. The podcast is called Walk and Talk with Greg Johnson. You can pick and choose the shows by topic of interest, or subscribe through Spotify, and soon other platforms will be available. The first episode was about the show format and what to expect.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

In an effort to limit in-person contact during the COVID-19 outbreak, my consulting work has shifted to mostly remote support, website projects, and some drop-off tech work. I’m grateful to the many people who continue to provide me with work and an income.

WRITINGS

This past month I created more than 50 posts for the Resources For Life website. Some of the posts are tech tips and support documents. Some of these are featured videos. You can see the latest new content on the What’s New page.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 20 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.

Personal Update 202003 | 28 Mar 2020 | Saturday

GREETINGS!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here. The photo at the top of this page was taken on 28 Mar 2020 using the iPhone 11 Pro Max and then colorized using the Masquerade filter in the Prisma app.

CONSULTING

In an effort to limit in-person contact during the COVID-19 outbreak, my consulting work has shifted to mostly remote support, website projects, and some drop-off tech work. I’m grateful to the many people who continue to provide me with work and an income.

WRITINGS

This past month I created 48 posts for the Resources For Life website. Some of the posts are tech tips and support documents. Some of these are featured videos. You can see the latest new content on the What’s New page.

I wrote an article on my personal website about the impact of COVID-19 on daily living, “Realization: Few things were actually essential.”

VIDEOS

I’ve posted a few videos this past month. One video shows an underreported glitch with the New York Times website that sends people to malicious websites. [View] Another video shows a Facebook posting problem that is the result of their recent design change to personal pages. [View] I also posted a new version of my photos from the 13 Apr 2006 Iowa City tornado damage which made our city look like a war zone. [View]

HELPING THE RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED

One of my greatest concerns during the closure of numerous businesses this month has been the many recently unemployed people in our community. I wrote an article “Recently Unemployed? Do This Immediately” offering some suggestions and support to those in need. In that article, I list 20 jobs you can do from home that are in high demand and friendly to today’s need to be socially distant. I’m in the process of helping two people get started with earning an income from home. In addition to helping others, I’m proposing a pay-it-forward initiative. Those who get help to start their own businesses, would then help others get started.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 20 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.

Realization: Few things were actually essential

Like others during this global pandemic and the national emergency in America, I’ve been cutting back on non-essential activities and purchases.

In the process, I’ve started to realize that it’s all been kind of non-essential. So much that we’ve been spending our time and money and energy on, even much of the work and business activity has been non-essential.

Now we’re left with staying home reading books, painting, cooking, baking, gardening, composing music, and going for solitary walks in the park. Families are staying home and spending time together; playing board games, sharing meals, laughing. For those continuing to work, they are working from home.

We’re less ‘hurried’ and not so busy. Whatever it was we were doing that we thought was so important suddenly isn’t so important. Stress is relieved.

We’re acting like Scandinavians in our cleaning, scrubbing surfaces, and getting more tidy at home. There’s a city to the north of us that has instituted free public transit. Stores are dedicating special shopping times to focus on serving the elderly. Everyone is home schooling. No longer wasteful, at home people are becoming frugal and conserving on everything to make supplies last.

Somehow, overnight, America has become another country.

Is this how the world will be going forward?

For now, I’m heading out for my daily trail hike to take a few nature photos and reflect on this new world we live in.

# # #

20200301su1311-kent-park-sitting-on-bench-IMG_3535

Below, the short film Happiness portrays the world we’ve left behind.

Personal Update 202002 | 28 Feb 2020 | Friday

GREETINGS!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here. The photo at the top of this page was taken on 23 Feb 2020 at Kent Park using the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

WRITING

This past month I created more than 30 posts for the Resources For Life website. Some of these are featured videos. You can see the latest new content on the What’s New page.

CONSULTING

This past month I’ve been focusing on my tech consulting business which means there’s not much else to report on. Next month I hope to be creating videos and writing articles about the tech work I’m doing.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 19 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.

Personal Update 202001 | 31 Jan 2020 | Friday

GREETINGS!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here.

The photo at the top of this page was taken using the wide angle lens on the iPhone 11 Pro.

WRITING

This past month I created more than 50 posts for the Resources For Life website. Some of these are featured videos. You can see the latest new content on the What’s New page.

CONSULTING

This month I’ve been focusing on my tech consulting business which means there’s not much else to report on. I hope to be creating videos and writing articles about the tech work I’m doing.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 19 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.

Personal Update 201912 | 31 Dec 2019 | Tuesday

GREETINGS!

Happy New Year! Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here.

The photo at the top of this page was taken using the wide angle lens on the iPhone 11 Pro and then processed using the Dallas filter effect in the Prisma photo app.

LAS VEGAS

This month I had a chance to visit Las Vegas for the first time. Makur and I spent about four days there seeing the city and surrounding areas. I went there with some negative expectations which were mostly based on what I’d seen in movies. Some of those expectations were reinforced, but there were some unexpected positive aspects to Vegas that really made the visit worthwhile.

We booked a room in a “smoke-free” hotel/casino. Upon checking in, we were told that getting to our smoke-free room involved going through a smoke-filled casino. We’d also been warned at check-in, “Don’t touch the Pringles container in the room. There is a sensor on it, and you’ll get charged $15 if it’s moved even slightly.”

As we made our way through the casino, I could see what looked like impoverished senior citizens with a small bottle of whisky or bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, spending their social security checks on slot machines. With us were parents with children, toddlers, and newborn babies in strollers, all making their way through the wall of smoke to their own smoke-free rooms. Once we reached our room, there was a very strong offensive room freshener smell that didn’t seem to fade away.

In the streets of the city, the smoke was made stronger by the addition of marijuana and cigar smoke blended with the fumes from the open over-sized alcoholic beverages that people carried with them from one venue to another. After four days in the city, I had developed a smoker’s cough. I imagined that my lungs must have become like those of a 90-year-old 2-pack-a-day smoker. I eventually went to the doctor about my cough and found my oxygen level had declined to below a normal level (94% instead of my usual 98%). In addition to the 7000+ chemicals found in second-hand smoke, there were additional pollutants from the cars, trucks, and the airport adjacent to the city. In the photo below, you can see the thick layer of smog that blankets the city.

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Despite the drawbacks I’ve described above, there was a lot I really liked about the city.

The things I saw people doing in Las Vegas would be illegal in Iowa City. People carrying open drinks, selling marijuana, smoking marijuana, smoking cigarettes, advertising “girls” for rent, and gambling. But because those things were legal in Las Vegas, the police presence seemed very minimal or even non-existent. The environment there created a feeling of everyone being welcome. A Muslim woman wearing a burka was on the same street with barely clothed Vegas show girls. Despite marijuana being legal, there weren’t masses of people lining up to purchase. Legalization just means you need fewer police. The city streets seemed quite peaceful and people were happy.

We found a very nice organic vegan restaurant and many places selling fresh-made vegetable drinks. A variety of food energy bars were available. Many Starbucks locations were available. Delicious spring water was available in gallon sizes at Walgreens and CVS near the hotel, so we could stay super hydrated. The Las Vegas Strip is about 4.2 miles from one end to the other. So, over 8 miles both ways, including many stairs to climb where escalators were broken leading to mandatory skywalks. It was a good workout.

There were oxygen bars where people could breath fresh oxygen infused air, and also boutiques where you could get an IV infusion of water and electrolytes directly into your veins.

We enjoyed seeing Red Rock Canyon to the west and also the Hoover Dam area to the east of Las Vegas. You can see some photos from those areas in the gallery further down the page.

Las Vegas has over 150,000 hotel rooms with some hotels having more than 5,000 rooms. Many of the hotels cost billions of dollars to build and some have what seem like cities within them – indoor depictions of European towns with evening sky and real gondola rides. There are exclusive luxury brand shops which might only be available in places like New York and London. For example, the PRADA store was selling a new designer water bottle for $500 (water sold separately). Another designer store had baseball caps for $350. It’s a city of extreme extravagance. Yet, if you know what you’re doing, and avoid the traps, you can have an enjoyable and economical visit.

Experiencing Las Vegas made me appreciate Iowa City even more. Iowa City is like a Las Vegas for people who like bike trails, nature, breweries, coffee shops, great food, yoga, education, and the arts. Iowa City is its own kind of overwhelming extravagance.

PHOTOGRAPHY

In the fall of 2018 I’d been using an iPhone 7 from 2016, and it stopped working just weeks before the new iPhone X models were to be announced. Because I’m very dependent on my phone for my work, I wasn’t able to wait a few weeks for the new phones and I ended up getting a year-old model iPhone X from 2017.

My broken iPhone 7 was eventually replaced by Apple under warranty with an identical one, but that process took about a week.

I’m typically a year or two behind on my phone model. So, this month I decided to trade in the old 2017 iPhone X for an iPhone 11 Pro Max which is a larger iPhone that has three lenses. The larger size phone offers good battery life, and the lenses provide better quality photos than previous iPhones. There is a standard lens, a zoom lens, and a wide angle lens. These work for photos and also for video. Unless someone is planning to sell enlarged prints at an art festival, smartphones these days are sufficient for sharing life’s events with friends and family.

What I really appreciate about the three lenses in the new iPhone is that I can get some photos that I previously would not have been able to take. Most of the photos in the gallery below were taken with the wide angle lens. Using a regular lens and walking backwards to get everything in the photo wouldn’t have been possible.

Click on any image below for a larger gallery view.

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 19 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.

Personal Update 201911 | 30 Nov 2019 | Saturday

GREETINGS!

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. To signup to receive monthly notifications from me, please click here.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS

I enjoy making instructional videos. This month I posted a few more on my YouTube channel. These videos are usually inspired by tech support questions people have for me. By posting a video, they get an answer to their question and others can benefit as well.

SMALL HOUSES

It’s been 10 years since I lived in my tiny house on wheels, but I continue to stay involved in the small house movement. This month I gave a presentation about the small house movement and answered some questions from those attending. Below is a video of the event.

 

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 click here to subscribe to the Resources For Life Newsletter.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 19 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.

Tiny House Talk with Greg Johnson (2 Nov 2019)

Greg Johnson of the Small House Society talks about the tiny house movement over the past 19 years. This event took place at the Public Library in Hiawatha, Iowa.