🦁 While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give. 👑

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.

~~~Mufasa (The Lion King, 2019)~~~

Mufasa protected and managed the pride lands. Hunting only enough food to survive. Scar over hunted and took and took, that is why his reign was a failure.

This is something important to remember, for all of us. I will think of this quote as I develop my career. To remind me to only take enough so that I can give my most back to you.

And now for a controversial opinion…

The new Lion King is better than the original, it is the definitive version of the story! The film follows most of the same notes as the original while adding little touches that enhance the experience. This aphorism is one of those improvements!

These little touches made most characters even more likable. Simba, Nala, Zazu and Scar being standouts. I especially like that they gave Nala some more moments to showcase that the Pridelands had a strong queen, as well as a strong king. Timon and Pumbaa were great, they had to be of course! Not every character is perfect. I wanted more Rafiki, and could swing either way on which version of Mufasa was better.

I’ve noticed that other people had the opposite opinion of the movie. So go see it and form an opinion for yourself!

These two versions of the same story carry a lot of personal significance to me…

A big theme of the story is that Simba is strong but he had to grow up before he could truly be a king. I saw the animated film when I was a boy, Full of promise and wanting to be a man but still a cub like Simba was.

Now I am seeing the story again decades later, as a man. Like Simba, I have been hurt by the world, grown up, and have learned to overcome my hardships. I am have become the man I always wanted to be. I am ready to be king of my life and take my place in this world.

The timing of seeing this film could not be better!

I made some art after seeing the show!

Aphorisms Articles

💵 My First Ad and the Four Days Following 📰

On 7/13/2019, I launched my 1st paid ad!

For $30, facebook will run a 10 day ad. A post that can be seen by over 300 people a day! It was an exciting moment, one of those uncomfortable ones I know will bring growth.

As some of my current readers know…

I survived, and had the flexibility to make this website, by Uber driving. What surprised me about my work with Uber was that I was very good at it. I was a highly rated driver from the start. Quickly, I discovered many quality-of-life habits that made me a more effective driver.

This website was made with a few paid programs in mind, so I felt a course on Uber might be a good service I could give and make some money.

This month, I have been reading The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. A piece of advice he gave is to market your potential products a little before you have a product. Why spend good money and time on a product only to learn the market doesn’t want it?

With that in mind, I realized something about my Uber course. I would gladly pay thirty dollars, learn that there is a market, or find out I shouldn’t make over thirty videos.

After running the ad by a few close friends I posted this final draft:

The most important teachable lesson I have learned over the four days since then…

Good results will come from quality work but expect a lot of harsh, if not pointlessly negative, feedback from your 1st Facebook ad.

As a new unknown with no previously established credibility, you can expect a lot of distrust from some people. It is only after we walk through that gauntlet for a while before we gain a reputation that promotes good feedback. So walk that gauntlet!

I am so grateful to the experiences and mentors who gave me the power to meet that feedback with professionalism and grace. Now, I feel enjoyment with how I handled my 1st three commentators! It is owed to what I have learned.

Here is the exchange between me and my 1st commentator, Ismael:

I saw this post shortly after I posted the ad. My blood started pumping.
Already I was working to extract any useful feedback from Ismael’s post.
I was tempted to ask Ismael to look at this situation from my perspective and charge customers $7 one-time after spending three days making videos. My better instincts prevailed.
Apologies for the long post…I loved writing this though! I had been given a chance to sell my product more, on the fly, on a comment thread everyone can see.
By reading his courses, Dean Graziosi taught me that we want to attract our ideal customer and repeal other customers. I wasn’t super keen on having Ismael’s business from the moment I saw his comment. Do not seek customers who will cause you undue frustration or have many complaints. I felt that Ismael could learn a lot from me, but he was not ready to learn.
Not only was I able to tell Ismael what was on my mind, I found a way to do it with grace. Very thankful to Dale Carnegie’s teachings that made this response possible.
I was pleasantly surprised that Ismael became supportive after our back and forth!
I was fully happy as I wrote this response. Honest too about the “advice”. Ismael had given me a lot of useful feedback. Some intentional and supportive, some unintentional and critical, all useful. Next ad I run, I will be sure to give more background to not elicit such initial mistrust.

My second commentator was Hermes:

Hermes also opened up critical, but not critical of my product. I enjoyed this little exchange. It was another opportunity to show another side of what I offered in my product. An easier conversation than with Ismael too!

My third commentor may have been named Matt but his name is of no consquence…

Because all he had to say on my ad was “motherfuckers.”

I swiftly deleted this comment without a single thought of responding. I suggest to you, my dear readers, that you will be happier by never engaging with criticism that has no value at all. Nor should such criticism be left for others to see. Delete and forget, like I did.

So how has the ad done so far?

My ad has reached 1904 people and had 69 engagements. I’ve gotten 15 likes, the likes stand out. In my ad I asked to “like or comment” if you wanted to get this product. Lets assume 60% of people who liked actually bought. That would be 9 people and $270 earned. After I put in the hard work to get the videos ready, that is money earned without me looking at it.

An encouraging start!

What really matters though is where my time spent nets the most value. For the next month, I will be working on developing a job and/or gigs that pay more than Uber. Now that my website is getting its footing, I have a lot to show for my work and can use it to negotiate exciting work opportunities.

I still may make the Uber course in the fall. The ad showed some potential ROI and a market that would benefit from my experience!

Short Stories

💵 ‘Hey, what can I get for $275 and uh… a Yogurt lands reward card?’ 🍦

‘Hey, what can I get for $275 and uh… a Yogurt lands reward card?’          

“Baby, about 48 minutes of whatever the fuck you want. And a low-fat dessert.”

~~~ Wade Wilson / Deadpool & Vanessa Carlysle (Deadpool, 2016) ~~~

Treat the people you deal with like people. Sharing a bit of humor and charm can turn a simple transaction into a beautiful relationship!

(FYI: I don’t shy away from the occasional bit of raunchiness, profanity, and adult topics.)

Aphorisms Articles

🌶 Three-eyed “Tres-ojos” Don 🤠

“Are you ready to meet Tres-Ojos Don?”

~~~ Ricky West ~~~

Three-eyed Don…a sweet and tart with an aftertaste of spice that warms the body! The drink is distinguished by its three red pomegranate eyes and the majesty of Don Julio’s finest tequila…

A close look at Don’s red eyes…

Includes two ounces of Don Julio Reposado and one ounce of Grand Marnier. Both bottles have a ABV of 40%.

Composed of fine sweet-and-sour, mango, lime, Jserrano syrup, and egg whites.

Please, drink responsibly…

This tequila drink has all the composition of a margarita. Expect a sweet front taste and spicy after taste.

The spice is delicately balanced, so as to not overwhelm. You are welcome to ask for minimal spice, before the drink is prepared.

Three-eyed Don is designed to be served with dinner. It pairs well with savory meals!

The bar price for Three-eyed Don is $25

Available with Don Julio 1942. At additional cost.

Cocktails Uncategorized

🗣 “People need stories more than bread itself.” 🥖

“People need stories more than bread itself.  They tell us how to live, and why.”

~~~ The Storyteller (Arabian Nights, 2000) ~~~

I have been consuming stories all my life. Some stories I tell, other stories I live and are told of me.

Stories form our perspectives, teach us values, and fuel our purpose.

What unites people? Armies, gold, flags…Stories…There is nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”

~~~ Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne, 2019) ~~~
"Looking at blue skies"

🇦🇺 Two years after Melbourne 🦘

"What are you looking at?"

Two years ago today, on 7/7/2017, I left Melbourne after living there for six months…

Do you want to read the cliff-notes of my visit?

Two years and six months ago, I flew there on an exchange semester. At that time, I was a student of San Francisco State University (SFSU). A member of the 1st group to study at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Not only were we students, we were ambassadors. Our behavior would be the foundation for a new relationship between the two universities.

I lived in the city of Melbourne, province of Victoria, country of Australia.

This city is one of my favorite cities in the world! The people are social and easy to meet. Public transportation puts Californian transportation to shame; I did not drive. The innovative city design, Yarra River, surrounding cities and Great Ocean Road were all so wonderful to behold!

Getting more micro: I lived in Brunswick, a suburb 30 bus-ride minutes north of the city.

I lived in a quint home with 5 housemates. I was the only US American in the house. My housemates were from Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey. We got along so well! Often we would have drinks together in the back yard and talk. Occasionally, we held BBQ’s!

During my stay I was elected as a Social Ambassador for RMIT!

I got a week’s worth of rent money and the opportunity to seek out experiences in Australia and tag RMIT (#RMITglobal). Thank you RMIT, I am so grateful for those experiences…

What I did as a social ambassador:

Found beautiful graffiti in the city, watched an AFL game at the Cricket Ground, spotted unique stores, and visited the museums! ArtVo, the Melbourne Museum, and the Immigration Museum were amazing!

My sweet mother, Pamela, gave me a great gift that year: a vacation with Extreme Adventures ~ one fish two fish!

A trip in Queensland that began in Brisbane and ended in Cairns.

We spring-break students traveled north on a ten day trip, sleeping in hostels each night. We traveled through the Australia Zoo, Rainbow Beach, Fraser Island, the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach, the Tully River, and the Great Barrier Reef.

What a thrill! I bungee jumped at Hackett Cairns!! The most moving part of the trip was Raging Thunder – Xtreme Tully at the Tully River.

There was light rain dripping on the river as we rafted through a tropical forest. Being there evoked childhood memories of watching Disney’s the Jungle Book, dreaming I was Mowgli living in the wild. It felt like adventure…

So much fun!!! I felt as though I crammed a year into my six month AU visit…

A part of Australia stays with me, do you want to know what it is?

The feelings of family I have for the friends I made in Australia. Many of us were fellow travelers, experience and marveling at Australia together. This is my Australia family! The people who made me feel at home so far from my land of birth…

To my friends:

Thank you! Two years ago was a formative time in my life. I look forward to seeing you again as we travel through the world and life. Long live the super mega fun team!