Episode 106 – Updates and Organization


Yes, we have topics planned, but we start off talking about drugs, and media control, and not accepting of facts, and how all these things tie in.

Stephen has an announcement of a project he is working on that can benefit authors and bookstores.


Bookstore Project –

Todoist –


Pro football players Alan Page and Dan Dierdof were born in what Ohio city?



[00:00:00] Alan: Hello. Good morning library. Let me get rid of this box. Get here we go. Pour myself a drink, add some drink here. So I have my diet pepper recommendation of relentless for, to caffeinated. I recommend diet Dr. Pepper cause the delicious taste of prude juice or whatever the active ingredient is. And actually I read that long ago.

It’s been proven not to be true and yet whatever the 17 herbs and spices recipe that is inic Dr. Pepper. It’s hooked me my favorite thing. So we

[00:00:33] Stephen: need to get sponsored.

[00:00:35] Alan: there, there must be like, I know that people serious coders talk about, they swear by like mountain Dew code red, or whatever the most like jot Cola.

There’s a couple that buy for. What’s the most caffeine that you can put in something, without it being ammunition, without it being some terrible drug. And I’ll tell you soft drinks are still pretty safe. When you look at what’s in those little power shots that they have, near the checkout counters of all the various different bars and places.

Now they really are a drug there’s, it’s like the fact that it’s in a little like party favor type container doesn’t mean that you’re getting an incredible amount of not only caffeine, but all kinds of other things that because they’re not registered as a pharmaceutical they don’t have any regulation going on.

And yet I’m trying to think what I’ve seen in them, like yo Himba and kombucha, and you know what I mean, things that are known to be natural stimulants, like these are the things they give people to lose weight because it jacks your metabolism up so much that you’re just kinda like vibrating in place while you sit.

I don’t think I’m pretty sure . That there must be studies that say your health is not helped by having your whole body be like ready to fight, or flight adrenaline response. Whatever’s going on there. You’re just vibrating with an up metabolism. We talk a lot about health in that and from what I’ve read, learn, think whatever the caffeine yes.

[00:02:10] Stephen: Gives you that jolt, but it’s a minor temporary thing. And it’s because it’s combating other things that if we would be watch our weight, watch what we eat more of the right good stuff. Exercise we’d have that same amount of energy without having to get the caffeine, but right,

[00:02:30] Alan: with the spikes in the valleys exactly to

[00:02:32] Stephen: America, that’s way too much work to actually be healthy.

So we’ll just drink caffeine. And

[00:02:37] Alan: it’s kind I. It is so obvious to me that we aren’t a, like the whole war on drugs. That whole phrase has been ridiculous for all of my lifetime, because it isn’t a war on drugs. It’s a war on which ones we find acceptable and which ones we don’t true.

The fact that we are a caffeine nation and an alcohol nation but marijuana and Steve, what the active ingredients they’re in have been so maligned for so long that there wasn’t even any scientific study about, they have healing properties, do they have right harming properties, et cetera, cetera and help got swept into that.

Even though hemp isn’t it’s kinda saying, Hey, this one weed is bad. So all weeds are bad. And like in every other way in life that there’s quite a bit of difference between the animal species or flavors and herbs and stuff. And yet people over respond to one thing. Oh

[00:03:35] Stephen: We got the same thing.

Geez. Talk about being all over with topics real quick, but we got the same thing just where people live just because somebody lives in a neighborhood that’s run down doesn’t mean they’re a gang banger and they go Rob you or something like that. But again, it’s, we could probably find multiple topics that cover that way of thinking.

[00:03:55] Alan: It’s to totally expand it. Isn’t that just like whatever it is about how people over respond, how they embrace stereotypes, how they don’t treat individuals as individuals, but always look for what’s the characteristic about them that I can then attach a label to make a straw man argument about and or dislike without knowing anything really about a person.

And that’s so rife not only in our country, but around the world and like, how have we not gotten past that? How have we not gotten

[00:04:23] Stephen: past? Cause we’re not in gene Roddenberry’s star Trek yet,

[00:04:27] Alan: I guess. You know what I mean? And I don’t know if some of us had star bell lead niches or not. If some of us had antennas or not, maybe there’d be the fact that we still have such prejudice over something that is nothing that there’s no characteristic associated with.

What color you are, what kind of hair you are, what no shape you are. You know what I mean? I just, it’s the weirdest thing to see how many people still embrace that because we are still survival animals. You know what I mean? When you’re out there and you’re like, okay, I really don’t have to be perfect all the time.

I have to overs respond in case that looks like a tiger. And you get away from it. It’s oh, it turned out to just be a cat or just the play of light on rushes or something like that. But we overs respond and we find as a threat. So many different things and it might be that indeed, it keeps you alive more, but it destroys the quality of your life.

It destroys your curiosity. It destroys your acceptance of all the facets of the world. And so that’s funny. I don’t think this is preachy at all. I think it really is just a sad comment in reality that whatever the characteristics are that meet people, not know how to do odds, not know how to look at their environment and say, because I got an accident in this spot.

I don’t need to think that this is a curd corner. People, every time they go past where they got a speeding ticket, they slow down and it’s that’s not how that

[00:05:53] Stephen: works. Maybe that’s a known speed trap, but any other ways it’s. Your little animal response, your rept brain response

makes you do right.

Ridiculous stuff. Oh yeah. And it touches on other topics we’ve talked about with how marketing controls people. And that’s what Facebook is. It’s marketing to control people without realizing that’s what they’re doing. And people put up memes, they put up stuff and it just enters your brain.

You start thinking a certain way. And then it’s like that all all bald guy, white guys are skinheads and races. you start pushing that around and suddenly you’re in trouble or any guy who likes to cuz I was in Scouts and girl Scouts and martial arts any adult guy who wants to help teach kids or work with kids in Scouts must be a pedophile, must be a pedophile.

Exactly. You have to fight that. And it’s no are you sure? And you have to prove I’m innocent before we do the innocent before guilty.

[00:06:54] Alan: And what’s weird is I can see for some things where the penalty for failure is high people really have jacked up their suspicions or their you really have to prove the negative instead of assumed positive.

But having said that, then they don’t, they use that in many other ways that are not appropriate. Like a point protecting our children, what a great thing. You must be sure no pedophiles, et cetera, et cetera. But then they don’t apply that to anything that might hurt children. And then they start to apply it to things that have very little chance of really hurting children, but I don’t like it.

And so I’m going to say reading that book dead dangerous. We must ban that book. And I just, it gets harder and harder to have a discussion instead of an argument about people who immediately go from zero to 60 about their taste, their, I read it on the internet, do your own research, all that kind of crap.

It’s. I don’t know how many times we we’ve had a hundred plus shows now how many shows have ended with the despairing? The world is fucked. You know what I mean? We just, we’re trying to part intelligence. I want the fact that there’s 40% of people that are, they just really are not rational.

You know what I mean? Doesn’t even have to be that insulting. I don’t think they’re stupid. I think that they participate actively in the world that plays to their fears that plays to their preconceptions and their rushes to judgment. And instead of boy, I’ve used this line all my life Missouri was known as the show, me state, that they were the skeptics that would say, I don’t care what you’re saying, show me the truth. I’ll figure it out for myself. And suddenly, I don’t know, 40 years ago, the United States decided to just say, I am gullible. I will. The first thing I hear will be my truth. I don’t have people don’t take any pride in really investigating and really trying to find out information on both sides of an issue or not only talk to their friends and their media associates, but talk to people that maybe they don’t like, but that they have their own point of view and their own taste and their own facts, if you will.

And the more that I see how many people that I otherwise want to respect, but what happened to your rational thinking and your filters, like on the face of it? That statement is probably not true. And yet it must serve you somehow to embrace that and be part of that tribe and be boy that sweeps aside, all the thinking I was gonna have to do, that’s hard work.

I’m just gonna go with this one thing. And that makes a bunch of other decisions for me.

[00:09:22] Stephen: And I overheard people. Making the comment and arguing I’m not gonna wear a mask cuz I’m not a sheep and I don’t wanna die in my own breath. Like really? That’s two years old and it’s not happened and they don’t adjust even in the

[00:09:39] Alan: face of I body of new information that should have had them make the change in

[00:09:45] Stephen: there. And then we get the entitlement and like when things first started shutting down and people like pulling guns, demanding that you open a dunking donuts, cuz they have a right to get a coffee in donut.

Exactly. You don’t have a right for that. That’s a, how

[00:09:59] Alan: do they, exactly what I want is somehow automatically a right. And and it’s hard to then talk rationally to the guy with the gun saying that’s not correct. That’s not really a right BL and yet that’s become how many times is that now being used as if I yell louder, if I’m more threatening, if I have the mob behind me, I can silence.

Not only send, but silence just, and

[00:10:22] Stephen: then that makes it right. We strong armed it. Now it is the right thing. You, yeah, so but go ahead. I just, oh, I was just gonna say, and even with all of this, even with knowing the science behind the COVID and the problems and whatever last week, we talked about missing the Mensa ag and this week you’ve heard and found out that there was a slight problem with the Mensa ag.

[00:10:47] Alan: Honestly, this is sorry, American Mensa, but what you feared might come to pass has, there’s been a number of cases, like from what I understand, at least a dozen and maybe more because they’re. Current and forthcoming all the time with statistics because we don’t want bad publicity. That headline writes itself. Smarties group decides that they’re not so smart after all and yes, COVID outbreak, so from what I understand, they really were rigorous with, they checked for vaccination. They checked on site for a recent COVID test. If you couldn’t prove you were vaccinated, they didn’t have a masking requirement, but they followed local ordinances as to when you’re in a closed space without great circulation, you should mask off.

From what I understand, it really didn’t happen that way. You’re having too much fun with your friends. You’re playing games, you’re being, you’re going to the comedy show and you wanna laugh hearted heartfully and wholeheartedly. And then you don’t have your mask on. Hope it doesn’t care. It doesn’t care that these are all small excuses.

And it isn’t silver bullet, anything it’s not vaccination or testing or mask. Instead, if you did all those things, you keep upping your odds as to not getting it. And every one of those things that you take down, it isn’t that’s what got you. But the overall scan of your defense strategy in, in software testing and malware things, they talk about there being an attack surface.

And the more that you can smooth that, and not allow there to be a lot of places for bad things to get in or grab onto. That’s a good thing. It should degrade gracefully instead of once you’re through it shatters. And now you have roots, you have everything that you might need and stuff like that.

And it sure seems like unfortunately once somebody had it either coming in or on site addition, only the medicines that were there, it’s every other person in the hotel. It’s every other person that works at the hotel. It’s all the people that they met, while traveling to get to the event. Or,

[00:12:44] Stephen: or the tours they do.

They go out, they’re on a bus, they’re in a public place, not wearing a mask. One person there could have had it that you know, that. Absolutely. And this is at least in the men’s organization. Cuz there are people that argue the mass and we still get that even with the science, the proven but to say, look how many people caught it at the ag because we weren’t as diligent as we should have been.

We didn’t force you to wear masks. We did what you wanted. And now we got people with COVID. It’s proven that this is what happens. So when I went to the supernatural convention, those actors did not wanna get COVID. They I don’t blame

[00:13:21] Alan: them. What it’s career limiting if you have, I can’t go percent.

I can’t earn my living. Exactly. Exactly. So go home and recuperate. You know what I mean? So

[00:13:28] Stephen: you had to bring your vaccination card to show. You have been vaccinated. You had to do a test on site right then, and you couldn’t move anywhere else into there. And you had to wear a mask all the time that you were there and they had people going around Hey, that’s up over your nose on your chin is not exactly that don’t.

And I did not hear about anybody, an outbreak of COVID from that at all. So

[00:13:52] Alan: I, I it’s possible to have those kinds of gatherings and like boy, to, to kinda, I know it’s possible. And yet I it’s also that, like what lets it in you don’t need to have everybody stop masking. You need to have one.

Person make a mistake. And then they got it and then just you’re in the restroom and you’re standing next to them. And even if you’re masked up I, all the ways in which it might be able to get you, then it’s around that it’s in the population, it’s the mask of the red deaths that holds dominion overall.

You know what I mean? We

[00:14:25] Stephen: have this

[00:14:25] Alan: story. Exactly. Colleen and I, so I’ve been so careful about traveling to California each month to make sure that I didn’t have it. I didn’t get it. I didn’t give it to my mom or anybody else in her facility. But the compliance on the airplane when it really is, wow, you’re in a capsule with recirculated air, even with filtration and so forth for four hours at a time 2%, I’m one of the few that is wearing my mask all the time.

And I, is it like, oh, he’s, he is the old guy that has possibilities of complications. So that’s not why he’s doing it, but like, how is every citizen think that they’re invulnerable. I’m here, I’ll flip this on its head. So we just had 1100 people at the Mensa ag. And right now I’m hearing about dozens.

Let’s say it’s a hundred cases. That’s still 10%. I think that most of the people in the United States just say, yeah, that’s about right. They think that’s acceptable, difficulty that in order for them to have their events and not worry about it, they’re willing to let 10% of the population be at such risk.


[00:15:28] Stephen: Until it’s their family, their father, their kid, that’s in the hospital with breathing problems that their it’s until it’s their grandfather that dies. And then they’re screaming. You should have told us to wear mask. We should have been . I hear you. I hate that. I see that. So often people spouting one thing and then when it really affects, ’em suddenly they change their tune and they’re blaming everybody else.

[00:15:50] Alan: It depends on who ox is being gored, as the old saying goes I there’s, if there’s any conversation that I really have weighted into. I have said that when someone was like cavalier about it and then got it. And it’s honestly, what did you expect? know, You were putting yourself at risk.

You were putting everybody else at risk. I have. I’m sad, worried, because you’re my friend, but I don’t have any sympathy for how you quitted it. Yes. You shouldn’t act as best you could. And now you’re full of complaints instead of full of regrets. Where are your regrets in this scenario? If you’re a cigarette smoker for 40 years and you get lung cancer, everybody around you is really sorry that you’re dying, but they’re all like, what did you

[00:16:28] Stephen: expect?

Exact. Yes. And I, I even said that to I don’t remember who a family member that I believe was like extremely obese, morbid obesity and didn’t care. Didn’t watch it ate badly, knew they were eating badly, but it was good. They liked it. Blah, blah, blah. And then this

[00:16:45] Alan: went on the proof that it’s linked to all these other things and that the best way you can get yourself healthier is the drop

[00:16:50] Stephen: of your pounds.

But then they expected family members to drop everything, to come pick them up and help take ’em to the doctor because their health was too bad. They couldn’t drive, they were going blind. They couldn’t breathe. They needed somebody to push the wheelchair. I’m like. Hold on. You made the choice, you were told, this is what’s going to happen, but now I have to like give up my life cuz I didn’t make, that does bother me.

[00:17:15] Alan: It bothers me too. I’ve had friends and family that have had exactly that kind of thing, where they made a ton of bad decisions. And then for a while, when they were the first couple times it happened, you have sympathy and so it’s have to yell and then it’s wow, every time that you shoot yourself in the foot, I can’t be there with the bandages, the, and the crutches.

You need to stop hitting yourself in the foot. Yes. And that doesn’t seem to take as long as is it tough, love as long as they’re getting away with it, if you will, then they’re gonna continue to do it. It’s only when they finally have to face the consequences of their actions and it really might seem callous, but it’s but you are dragging everyone down with you.

You’re pulling everybody else into your bad situation.

[00:17:57] Stephen: How do you. Oh, the psychologist. That’s one of the things, psychologists, psychiatrists. That’s one of the things if you have a family member that’s heavy drug user and you do an intervention, you get ’em to rehab. You save, ’em get ’em to the hospital.

So they restart their heart and they’re alive. At some point, it drains you, you can’t do it anymore. And they tell you, you gotta say, I’m done. I don’t want contact to you. Fix it and clean it. You have to decide. Yeah. Why it’s the same with other health issues. And God, I know that sounds so elitist so bad because like my father he’s diabetic, he’s had open heart.

He’s been disabled for God 40 years. And that’s not necessarily his fault, but if he wasn’t trying to watch what he. Then that is his fault. There’s a weird line

[00:18:45] Alan: that, that exactly. I don’t, honestly I disagree with the use of the word elitist. It doesn’t sound elitist at all. It sounds like standard human being frustrated with how in the world does do people not care enough about themselves, about the others around them.

They can see how they’re perturbing other people’s lives. But there

[00:19:02] Stephen: are people you’ll get that a lot of that’s just the Christian thing to do, or you’re a horrible person for not caring and not helping them. Okay. You came in on this situation. This one time I’ve been dealing with it for five years already.

I’m done it’s gotta see the whole picture. Yeah. It just labels people throw out if they just, if this is the only episode they ever listened to those two are Supreme elitist. Mansons which obviously mens have proven you can have a high IQ and not be that smart. This is. This just occurs to me. As I mentioned, I’ve been traveling when I get there to get from the airport to the house where I stay and where my father’s car is that I make use of, I still need to get to the airport from there. So I use Lyft and those 45 minute to an hour conversations have been really interesting multiple times because it isn’t just a two minute conversation.

[00:19:54] Alan: You really are trapped for 45. And unless you want to have kinda just silence, oftentimes they’ll say, Hey, what brings you to town? And I don’t hide it. I’m like my father died. My mom was in memory care. We’re taking care of this and this. And that’s the kind of conversation that often insights other people to talk about.

Huh? My family has had that too. You know what I mean? I’ve got and there isn’t always the same story. Of course, in some cases it’s I’m an only child. And so I’m the only one that my parents. Count on. And so I do everything. I’m one of nine and some brothers and sisters are stepping up to help and others are happy to let somebody else carry the piano.

Their hand is on the piano bench. They’re doing next to no work . And all from all those various different conversations, it really occurs to me like I’m going through this, but there’s many of the people that have gone through it too. And what can we each learn from each other? And a little bit of what we’re talking about.

Some people are sympathetic. Some people have a sense of duty and others do not. Some people like they have almost built in limits as to it’s this amount of time or money or pain that I’m willing to put up with. And then after a, while something kicks over and says I’m gonna care for them.

But if I start getting yelled at that, they’re not appreciative. That’s gonna evaporate. You know what I mean? There, I’ve seen that weird stereotype that someone is really dependent on others, but instead of being continually appreciative, they’re actually like combative and right. They assume that you must be doing this thing.

And I think it’s important once in a while to say I could just leave you here in this chair and go about my life and I not have to be the one that takes you everywhere. I’m not the one that has to take you to the doctor. And it sounds on the face of it cruel to say that but you have to, the caregiver has to take care of themselves.

If you’re really getting chat upon, if you’re really getting abused and underappreciated and that kind of stuff, I could see how you have to out of self defense, survival, say I’m this and yeah. Conversations terrible, but they’re there’s so nowadays there’s lot of

[00:21:57] Stephen: there’s some whatever.

Personal personality traits that you could of course that’s how they think because they’re a Sagitarius I NTJ that’s, you know what I’m saying? That, that there, there’s probably part of that in there. And I’m just throwing that out as the thing, cuz my grandmother was the one that would not want to, she didn’t wanna take care of her mother.

She didn’t wanna take care of her sister. I’m not, I’m done. I’ve done enough for them and whatever. And I’m putting ’em in the home and that was it. I’m not dealing with it. But then when she was the one that needed it I expect everyone to come and take care of me. Wait a second. As.

[00:22:39] Alan: The amount of hypocrisy in this world startles me because I so much try to not be like that. You know what I mean? It really is that if I have all kinds of things that I feel strongly about, but if I am blind to it in myself it makes me feel terrible. And I try to not be like that, that I’m not practicing what I preach.

That I’m not the guy. That is a good example of who I’m trying to be to the world. It’s not my words, it’s my actions, et cetera, et cetera. And I’ve not always been like that. You know what I mean? I was an idiot when I was young. I was so just unthinking or selfish or in, in, in ways that like, honestly, I look back everybody, many people talk about, oh I don’t, I have the excuse of I was young and I say that in a mournful.

I was, did some really wonderful things. When I was young too, there was a good me forming there as same as there was the bad me. You know what I mean? Maybe that old statement about there’s a good and a bad Wolf in each of us and which one is the thing? The one that you feed, I think that I’ve been through enough heartbreak or caused enough heartbreak that you just, you decide.

I’m never, I can’t do that again. I’m not gonna hurt someone that much. I’m not gonna let myself be hurt that much. What do you, who do you become and where it seems to like, wow, you’ve made 20 bad decisions in a row. Anything kicking in yet? Any, if the pain isn’t enough to get you to do this, I don’t know what’s gonna work.

It’s you don’t seem to have that sense of nobility. That sense of make the world a better place. You know what I mean? The golden rule, like it applies to you too. So I wish that it was like that nowadays, just in general, about morals and ethics. There’s so much about if you’re not in the right faith or whatever, that somehow you’re not one of that tribe.

It’s wow, I’m pretty sure that you just apply the gold rule everywhere. The world would be better off it’s. Why aren’t you, why aren’t you treating others as you want to be treated? Why is there this weird separation and this weird not elite, but absolutely hierarchical thinking that. Causes many more heartbreaks than it make makes things better.

It doesn’t solve problems. It creates problems in so many ways.

[00:24:47] Stephen: That we could probably get a psychologist on here to ask about that. And I’m sure it had a lot to do with the me social media you know what the main president guy was telling us for a while and what people have that entitlement or what I’m saying is right.

And the golden rule doesn’t apply because this is what’s right. Yeah. know, And I’ve seen the memes too, that just because it offends, you doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And just because it’s what you want doesn’t mean it’s the right thing, yeah.

[00:25:15] Alan: I’ll tell you, there must there, I’m not sure what it is.

There’s any number of good books. About integrity, about resilience, about you choose how you’re going to react to things. The world will continually B you with good and bad things, choices to be made. And when I’ve worked for a bad boss, I didn’t become the bad boss. I was like what’s the compromise that I have to make here.

If I have to stay in this job, if I have to do get this good thing done and kinda work around them as an obstacle, that the I talk about this all the time. Be the internet doesn’t care, what it takes to get the message delivered it routes around the damage.

It doesn’t take a moment to diagnose it. It just gets around it. And there’s so many things that are like that instead of engaging in combat it’s okay to just say you just keep droning on over there with what you think is righteousness, what you think is important. And I’m gonna be over here getting the other goals done.

And we’ll see, in a year, five years in a lifetime who was right who got more done, who perfected more things in a good way and stuff like. So sometimes it’s I’m not perfect. I’m not consistent. Sometimes it’s fun to just wait in with someone who’s really a jerk and say, let’s have a talk then let’s cause I’m, you’re gonna that’s to me, not entertainment because it’s not pleasurable, but sometimes it’s necessary for me to blow off a little bit of steam and say that thing that I would’ve just passed by.

No, it’s going to amuse me to point out all the ways in which what they’re saying is ridiculous. And then probably won’t the attack. Yeah. And it’s not, I’m not trying to talk to you at all. I’m talking to everybody here, that’s listening to this conversation to say, if you had to make a choice between these viewpoints, I’m pretty sure you can’t choose theirs.

It’s ridiculous. It’s idiotic, it’s hateful. It’s wrong. And while I’m trying to be amusing and informed and all that kind of stuff, I hope that’s having some kind of effect. But it’s only a hope. There’s not a lot of proof. I’ve had so many people that are like, wow, I just saw in a discussion a week ago, you were proven wrong taken to the math.

And here you are repeating your same bad talking points. Again. It’s just not in them. They’re the memes have stuck in their brain. The, whatever those things mean to them, they give it up because there’s a great quote that’s been circulating lately from Carl Sagan about one of the problems with getting fooled was getting bamboozled is the ego deaths that comes from admitting you were that foolish to have been fooled.

People just can’t do it. No, they would rather not only believe still in the bamboozle, but actively support it cuz it saves them from what an idiot I was, what a tool I was to be used by this guy. So thoroughly. Do it. Yep. You mentioned doing good and being good and books. So I’m gonna segue.

[00:27:59] Stephen: I got, I’m gonna use our little platform for an announcement. I guess I might have mentioned this before. I had this idea that I’m now finally pushing and actively working on. So we know bookstores are struggling that people aren’t buying the physical books as much, and there’s a paper, product shortage.

So book price has gone up and we got a lot of people buying digital, but there are still people still love bookstores. So I had this great idea of a win-win. So I’ve gotten together a group of indie authors that are, we’re basically all swapping our books and we’re taking this group of books from multiple authors to our local bookstore and donating it to them, putting it in a little display.

Here’s new authors with new books, check ’em out, discover these great new authors and we’re taking pictures. So all the authors for marketing can say, look, my book is in these five, 10 stores across the country. Here’s a picture. And the bookstores get a little advertising pointing to their store and they can sell the books for three, $4 and they get all the money.

So it’s like a donation to help the bookstore from the authors win-win situation for everybody.

[00:29:12] Alan: That’s right. The authors get that, that the book is out there. The book is in circulation that there’s more people that can see it. And Hey, if it’s a series, if they like that first one, maybe that’s continued sales and all that that’s wonderful.

And the banding together, yes. It’s not just each of you trying to do that. Hey, if you can put together a little three by three cool display, that’s nine new things for people to try. That’s really a good idea.

[00:29:34] Stephen: And I know I get some authors that are like I get bookstore.

Owners are like those won’t sell. Okay. Sell for a buck or two. See what happens at get, put it on the thing and let people browse it. And then the authors like that I want paid for my books. I want, okay. But you’re never gonna get paid for ’em if no one discovers you. And if bookstores all disappear, that’s an avenue.

You don’t have. For you anymore. So for marketing okay. I just printed like 20 books. It cost me 150 bucks. That’s not bad marketing to, to be able to say, Hey, my book is available in these 10 stores across

[00:30:12] Alan: the country for 150 bucks.

[00:30:14] Stephen: Yeah. That’s pretty darn good advertising. Yeah.

[00:30:17] Alan: so good for you.

And another thing that goes into this is, so everybody says it will work or it won’t work. And they have strong reasons why, and there’s just come one mindset that would say we really don’t know, trust it. Yeah. Through the experiment. One of the huge things, people don’t talk about this enough at Google that at the heart of when Google started, they were engineer.

They really weren’t ideals. They weren’t college kids, people, they were like, we don’t know. So we’re gonna try it. We’re gonna do regular AB testing. We’re gonna have some websites look like this and some look like that and see, which gets more engagement, more clickthroughs whatever else it might be. And you’re you commit to that perpetual thing of we’re gonna let the data speak.

It doesn’t matter whether I like green or blue, it matters that I made some greens and blues. And then the statistics said, eh, 51 49. It doesn’t really matter if it’s 80 20, you were like I’ve been told the universe has an answer for me. Let’s embrace that. And so I hope part of what you wanna do.

I don’t mean to interfere, but please build in a feedback loop when you send these things out to those 10 bookstores, it’d be great. If the one thing they’d commit to would be to say, Hey, at the end of the first week, these are the four out of nine that’s sold or whatever the numbers are because just throwing it out there and hoping.

Oh, I’ve seen so many advertising campaigns that were just like, give me these number of impressions over the next six months. And here’s it’ll somehow raise public awareness. What would be really helpful is did it work in this magazine or on this radio spot, right? Or in, in the airline magazine, on the airplane or whatever else it might be to go back to MEA for a minute.

They really sucky about advertising and not knowing what worked and what didn’t, what I digress . And so you’ll gain knowledge. What you’re getting for your 150 bucks is if I was to do this again, version two, where would I go? These six out of the 10 bookstores really had activity enough people.

The bookstore was good. The people coming into the bookstore were the ones that would experiment and try a new book. And you get to tune your performance over the course of time instead. Every single experiment, being tabular

[00:32:28] Stephen: Raza, starting from nothing right old. You know what I, so absolutely. I, it’s getting your foot in the door, getting that communication with the bookstores, getting them comfortable with the idea, because who gets told what, in the author goes to a bookstore and says, Hey, I’ve got three of my book and I’ve got 10 other books of my friends.

We’re just giving them to you to sell. It’s always, Hey, would you sell this book for me that nobody knows about? And books are like they don’t sell it’s a pain now I have to figure out how many you’ve sold and owe you a whole $6 and 37 cents. And because I go to Ken more comics and he has done that.

He has put indie books, indie comics up for sale. And every single time he’ll say, oh, you’re interested in that. He like, those things never sell. I don’t pay for him up front, and he’s just it’s just more hassle than it’s worth. But you say, look, we’re not asking for any money back.

We’re not asking the but you get over that hurdle and then it’s you can call ’em up, send them an email, say, Hey, just checking in. Did any of those books sold? I see you had three of these and two of these and two of these. Did any of those sell, would you like more, I can send you another box with some more of those or we’ve got new ones and wow.

When they look at it like heck we sold six of these 10 and we sold ’em for five bucks. Each that’s $30 profit. It was worth

[00:33:49] Alan: giving that little square foot of room on the floor for the little stand and cetera, et cetera. Another, you’re doing a really good thing. I think with sharing the risk.

And by that meeting, you guys have taken on virtue. All the risk, his risk is that little bit of square footage and a little bit of The opportunity cost perhaps of what he could have done instead of this, but instead of it being well in order to buy, in order to have this book, you’re gonna buy it for three bucks and sell it for 15 or something like that.

But there’s still, if it doesn’t sell at all, that’s three bucks down the drain, right? What there’s probably, I don’t know enough about this and the books of the world, whatever the standards are for how much books really are bought for then sold for what the profit margins are, what the return policies are.

It used to be that the cost of at least for comic books, the cost of returning them and re inventorying of them was higher than what they were worth. And so you would just tear off the front cover and return that as proof of I didn indeed carry 20 issues of this 12 sold eight didn’t. So give me whatever the marginal refund is for that that they places have done different things over the course of time, bookstores and news stands and stuff to share that risk.

There’s so many places nowadays that seem to they’ve. Expert at throwing all the risk onto the consumer and none onto what they’re doing. And so how did they get, so

[00:35:08] Stephen: I don’t know, Cav, not cavalier it greedy, you know what

[00:35:12] Alan: Like I, a profit and none of the risk and so well, big segue from the world of bookstores, but there’s all kinds of stuff going on where people can just get in the middle and make sure that they’re making their margin no matter a whole different discussion, but it’s funny you say that, cuz I just talked to an author for my discovered wordsmith podcast yesterday and we discussed a problem where most not stereotyping, not putting it on one group, but TikTok is more a millennial social media and more of the people posting are millennials or younger.

[00:35:47] Stephen: And there are some that review books, but they’ve been telling their audience and pushing people, Hey, buy this book from Amazon, read it and then send it back and you’ll get all your money back. And then the author is getting dinged for that. So they lose money on it. So they’re pushing this and there are people out there oh, that’s a 20 book series and they buy one, send it back by the next one, send it back.

So they read all 20 and they haven’t spent a dime on it. You can do that. The library, you can do it at overdrive. You can, they’re

[00:36:18] Alan: pretty Amazon as a library that happens to have a mail policy or

[00:36:21] Stephen: something like that. And Amazon’s allowing it. So the people hurt are the authors. So if you’re like, whoa, I love this author.

I love their books, but they quit writing well that’s cuz you never gave ’em any money.

[00:36:32] Alan: yeah. That’s, it’s amazing how many things a policy is set and immediately people start saying I don’t wanna just use a policy. How can I gain, how can I gain the system? So that I’m the corner case that they didn’t account for.

There really might be people that would be serial returners and really try to like, i, I.

[00:36:51] Stephen: There should be a limit or something, cuz this was a problem with audio books that people started pushing and Amazon ignored the authors until Kevin J. Anderson maybe, or one of those big sci-fi authors like that had following that had some clout said, Hey it says here that 10 sold, but 10 were returned.

And when you go look at it, it’s oh look, four of those are from one person. It’s like you, you can’t allow people to get an audio book, listen to the whole thing and return it for a full refund that

[00:37:26] Alan: You would think that because they have access to all that data, some of those patterns would’ve jumped out early on and it might be that they just said it really isn’t a ton of people.

It really is only, I don’t know, we sold 10,000 copies of the book. And we could have a hundred people do this. Pretty bullshit thing, but it’s really only 1%. We’re just gonna live with the fact that I don’t wanna perturb my return policy. I don’t wanna write even, I don’t wanna take the time to write the letters.

It says, we’ve noticed that you’re one of these people that abuses the system. You’re gonna say that’s shrinkage. That’s acceptable. Yes. In the system or something like that, so

[00:38:02] Stephen: it’s not a problem, but Amazon’s whole philosophy is take care of the customer, make the customer happy. So they don’t care if there’s a thousand authors that are losing money because there’s a thousand more, they have every other product under the sun.

It’s a small thing to them. Oh, those authors quit writing. We don’t even notice, but they kept the customers happy. But the problem is the customers are assholes taking advantage of Amazon and the author.

[00:38:32] Alan: Yeah. It’s kinda funny. We hardly ever do props. I’ve already. So my particular beef that I’ve had with Amazon lately, It’s not Amazon it’s particular sellers.

So from the consumer point of view and really it’s, I like buying through Amazon, it used to be that you could say, what’s the new cost. What’s the new, very good there’s gradations that use this and stuff like that. And I got I like my books to be in really good condition. I like to see ’em all lined up on my shelf and looking beautiful instead of chew on and dog geared and spines broken and stuff like that.

And it used to be that if you bought something like new, it was like new, except they’ve been read gently once. So let’s take a look at this one. I’m not, and I’m not sure if the camera can capture this. Yes, I see it. It’s see all the creases in the black cover because they stand out on black and see how the back is also.

It’s funny. It really isn’t as obvious just holding it up to the camera, but this is like at best fair. If you’re at all a collector you can’t have anything especially happened to the front cover. You can’t have there’s always a remainder mark this little black guy and stuff like that, but then you can’t have the pages worked, you can’t have look at if it was pressed in the wrong direction for a while or got water on it or anything like that.

And this was sold as like new, and this is like the 10th. There really was over the course of perhaps COVID a big shift in my explanation without any proof. Except this is what I think might have happened is people stopped going into bookstores and many sellers are ones that have both a physical presence of brick and mortar place, as well as the virtual and when their other sales just fell through the floor.

They had to make some money to stay in business and feed their children and whatever else it might be. So all those ratings, they just dropped them by a notch or two and kept selling them. And however many disgruntled consumers, let’s say, it’s do 90% of them sell it back then you’re not doing well. If only 50% of the people say this is not like new I’m returning it.

No I’m just gonna put up with it. What a hassle to find another. I tore open the packaging that it came in. So now I have to go get my own packaging and get the return label and all that kind of stuff. And there’s just a certain amount of assumption of friction that people will just say I got fooled.

I got tired of being fooled after it happened the 10th time. And it used to be that if you left a review on Amazon, that it would be people would The reputation system would drive people towards the good sellers and away from the bad sellers. And eventually the bad sellers would have to go out of business.

Now I’ve been trying to use, okay, I’m getting some bad eggs. Let’s go with the guys that have 10,000 good reviews, not just started business 300 reviews and not all good. I’m even getting this kind of crap from people that have 30,000 good reviews. They just decided to turn. They decided to change.

And no matter what book is on their shelf, they’re sending it to me and hoping I don’t return it well. And if the price was at the you know how it is, this thing cost 15 bucks. Like new is 12 and then it’s 10 and then nine and six and three and whatever else it might be. And so if I bought this shoot on copy for three bucks, it’d be like I got a chance to read it.

What? It really matters. The content of it, the authors work. So I’ll do it for three bucks, but when the difference is between three and 12, it’s like, they just cheated me outta nine bucks. That’s four other books or three other books, four in total, but I could have bought for that same money if I was reading copies instead of collecting copies.

So whatever it, I don’t think it’s like being cheap. I think it’s wanting to get value for your money wanting to not be lied to wanting to not be fooled. That’s not cheap. That’s like, how do you keep the system working? So everybody plays fair and it has become unfair in these last two and a half years.

How was the advent of COVID? So

[00:42:27] Stephen: this is the cynical, but probably more realistic is what we were just talking about. People that have learned to game the system. So you’ve got a lot of sellers on there that literally have listed. 300, 400,000 books that they buy these huge lots and they just start listing them all.

And what happens is they sell so many that again, like you said, they don’t care. They get a couple bad reviews, but the other problem is the consumers will get a bad book like that one. They’ll go to the book page and leave a bad review for the book because the shipping was bad or the cover was ripped.

So the books are getting all the bad stars and the seller themselves, nothing, I think

[00:43:12] Alan: that’s you careful about that, but you might be right that it’s, you’re slashing out to put something out there so that Amazon will fix the problem, act on it or something like that. But it’s not like anybody, how many times has that happened?

You know what I mean? I’m angry and I’m gonna get mad at something or someone, but that wasn’t the right get . You just had to get some satisfaction yourself out of, I, I didn’t pull up with that.

[00:43:34] Stephen: Might be right. That’s what’s going on. Yeah. Alright. You had another big topic that you

wanted to cover.

Yes. Let me ask you this. I, with this bookstore project, I’ve got work, I’ve got the books I’m working on. Like you probably, I always have a million things. I’m like, oh, I could do this. I could do this. I could do this. And I’m running out of day each day to do stuff. So let me ask you Mo mostly projects because organization is becoming big right now with me.

I am working on organizing physical products in the house. Putting things really this is where all my wires go. This is, and really trying to put things back because how much time do I waste running around looking for my sunglasses? Cause I put ’em wherever or I need a wire, where’s my wires but I’m also trying to do it digitally because oh, heck that hard drives six gigabytes.

It’s $80. You know how much crap I can put on there. And then I can’t find anything and I don’t know it, but even bigger is all the projects. Cuz what I’ve been finding is if I have my projects organized and I just have little to dos for a couple projects each day, I, by the, at the end of the week, I’m making much more progress on several projects than I would just saying, I need to do this one and then getting bored or surfing the web or okay. So what organization do you use for any and all of these physical, digital and projects?

[00:45:01] Alan: It’s so I’m a big list maker. and a lot of cases, it’s not whatever the next step is that two do books often talk about is make a list, sign of the priority, get through your important ones. First Coby had a whole book about important versus urgent stuff like that.

What I often do is I make the list so that I download it, offload it from my mind, yes, I have a curtain on my list. I’m not gonna lose track of it entirely. So there’s work things, there’s house things. There’s Colleen things, whatever else it might be. I try to make sure I don’t let any of those hats that I wear in my life get that they don’t get some attention.

So what you just said about putting on a different hat during the course of the week and making sure that there’s incremental progress towards all of those, I do that. Sometimes there’s an individual list for each of those different things. So for instance, when I, a very big example, when I go out to California, I now have an Oceanside to-do list and an Oceanside grocery list and a mom list, if you will.

And I keep those separate from what I’m working on back home, because while I’m there, I’m really trying to be dedicated to that. And while I’m here, I’m trying to not let that absorb my life. You know what I mean? I’m trying to not only be thinking of one or the other, so a little bit of com compartmentalization.

And what I count on is if I get to a list to return to a list that I hadn’t looked at for a while and go, Ooh, I probably should have worked on that. Ooh, that slipped. Then it gives me an idea of, I can’t as rigorously compartmentalize and only pick things up once a week, once one week out of a month or whatever, I have to have a combined list of ticklers where things are more important.

And then honestly that is most often for me on paper. At the start of a day or at the start of a week, I’ll just, I’ll whip out. Here’s one of my many calendars and I have the blank back part of it. And I just will say and I think that this is also any number of books. I don’t need to have a list of 50 of all the things I might work on.

I write down the things that’ll fit on a piece of paper because that’s probably what I’m gonna be able to get to. And probably what will come to me will be the most important and, or urgent things. And then there’s satisfaction of knocking things off if I get to where at the end of the day, I still have things on the list.

There’s a, okay, let’s add that to the start of the next day’s list. Or there’s often maybe that doesn’t really need to get done. It occurred to me when I wrote it down. But now I’m like a whole day, a whole week went by and the world didn’t collapse without nothing getting done, it actually becomes self sorting and self-fulfilling in terms of.

And having said that there are flaws, there are things that I really like my house to be better organized, much as you’re saying, I have too many things and sometimes I’ll spend a day doing that, but do I spend a bit of each day or a day out of each week working on that? Not always. And then things accumulate and then it becomes its own problem.

I don’t want to have stacks. I want have shelves with things. Alphabetized. I wanna put things back to where they came from. So when I define it again and actually I have pretty good habits in that regard, I never lose my keys or my sunglasses or anything. They go to a certain place when I come in the door and then they’re there.

So I never walked through the house, go get myself a drink, milk out of the bottle. Where are my keys? Oh, top shelf of the fridge. Let, just there. Of

[00:48:25] Stephen: course . So we had to hang up hooks by the door, be for me specifically. So I got the habit of hanging my keys for you. I had

[00:48:34] Alan: to, and it’s I, a little bit.

What I said about the very first thing about I make lists so that I offload things on my mind. That’s what I want is I don’t want to have something in my mind that always says, where are your keys? Where are your keys? If I put ’em where they belong. And maybe this is like my mom, my little German mom, a place for everything and everything in its place.

I probably picked that up when I was young that it’s still where it goes back in the silverware drawer, right? Shoes go here in the mud room, you don’t take ’em off. I’ve never been one that like leaves a trail of clothing dirty clothing goes in the laundry basket and then it goes into the basement to get done.

It’s all those little things that help keep me organized, like where things are in the fridge, it’s pretty much the door is for condiments and milk and cream cheese. And as long as I keep putting things where they go and with others like others, then when I need to do a quick, what do we need from the grocery store either?

I just glance in there and I can immediately see, whoa, we still have ketchup and all that kind of stuff. I’m able to say, if it’s not in a place where it would be, we’re really missing it. I don’t need to dig back through things. And I will say this, unfortunately that all works when you’re solo and the minute you have a partner that doesn’t have your same sensibilities or children or a dog or whatever else it might be.

Yes. That it really is things don’t always go in the fridge where they should be. And,

[00:49:56] Stephen: oh, look, we’ve got three mustards open in the fridge right now because it was hidden behind something else.

[00:50:02] Alan: we just had the ketchup incident exactly. That we already had ketchup, but we got ketchup and things like that.

And Colleen is so good in so many ways that don’t this is not a big thing, but it is a different thing than how I am that I hardly ever make that mistake. And I know this is an odd thing too. I like, I have a prodigious memory. I really can, like in my mind picture what was in the fridge. So if I go to the grocery store and I’m not certain, I just of think of.

I don’t remember there being yellow mustard and brown mustard and champagne mustard. And so which ones of those am I missing? Do I want to take a F slot with that kind of thing? I,

[00:50:38] Stephen: life should be like video games. You only have so many spots to put and you have to drop. If not,

[00:50:46] Alan: I, yes, I agree.

You know what I mean? The fact that we really do only have room in the fridge and in the freezer, I, when, again, when COVID hit and I was actually doing some stocking up of various different things, I had to pull myself back because I we have a chest freezer in the basement and it was getting full and it’s if it doesn’t fit here, it doesn’t fit in the regular fridge freezer.

Where am I, what am I gonna do? Eat all the fish sticks in one, go, that kinda thing. So I it’s self-governing and I jumped around a lot about those very different organizations. Another thing that I tend to do is I, we have a calendar. I really make use of my calendar.

Yes. Online about what dates and what things are coming up. And I put particulars in everybody’s birthday is in there, whatever. I have things months in advance, as soon as I found out when Halloween is that year, I make a point of knowing what dates that is. And that’s Halloween the Mensa party, not Halloween, which is always October 31st.

And that prevents me from making mistakes, once in a while, still I’ll make a I’ll have boo, where we have tickets to see Elton John here in Cleveland. We’re going to this comedy festival in Toronto. We hope COVID willing. The last week of this month I had us going all the way to the end of the festival, which is the Sunday.

And unfortunately, Elton John is that Saturday night. So we just had to adjust to get rid of some tickets. I’m hoping we can get rid of some tickets I had already bought for the comedy festival. We have a pass, but that you reserve various different things. And that realization of I really screwed up and in a way that I really wanna do both of these, but you can’t, it’s 10 hours away.

It’s physically, you have to be one or the other. I really regret whenever I make a mistake like that, because I’m pretty good at avoiding those. You know what I mean? I always have our 10 o’clock podcast and when we have to move it, I can say with confidence, what can we go tomorrow? Because there isn’t something that’s gonna collide with that.

Or there is once in a while, my doctor’s appointment is the most important thing and I right.

[00:52:44] Stephen: Changes in that. It, so I have multiple calendars. Google is great with that, and I am synced on all my devices. So I have a personal calendar. I have a discovered wordsmith podcast calendar. I have an activities calendar where I put things that I’m interested in, but doesn’t mean I’m going to it necessarily.

So I can, there’s

[00:53:04] Alan: not a date. It’s a possibility.

[00:53:06] Stephen: Yeah. So I can turn it on and off and see it or not. Okay. I wanna do this other thing, turn on the calendar. There’s nothing scheduled that weekend. Boom. I can add it or, oh, there’s three things. Which one do I really wanna do? You know that it’s funny for all my lack of organization, my calendar is probably one of the most organized things, which is a good thing.

And we even have like commitments to

[00:53:28] Alan: other people. It’s important to me to not be that guy that like I have things on the calendar and I triaged and you two are out of luck cause I’m going to this one. Like funny those two that I just screwed with. They might not be anxious to work with me again to make their appointments.

So I really try not to do that. People are not just appointments. You

[00:53:46] Stephen: know, we had a family calendar where the kids could all put when they’re working, cuz all their shifts changed. So we had to have something so we knew or what activities we were doing as a family. For me, I’ve been, have you seen or used it?

First of all, I find it very interesting and funny how we’re both computer guys and we both rely on written down paper lists for more than anything else. I do the same

[00:54:10] Alan: thing. You know what it is. I think that there’s how your mind works, that it, when you write things, when you say things out loud, when you sing them, it gets stored holographically, multiple places in your brain.

And that way it isn’t only that it’s on the list. It reinforced the connections in my brain that will say right. Cause I wrote that down. I will remember it better than if I just thought about it. If I just typed it in, there really is a difference between writing and typing even and stuff like that. It activates different parts.

And so I have learned that about myself, that I’m good at if I, when I take notes that when I long ago when I was in classes. And now even when I go to a seminar and stuff like that, if I take notes, it’s I remember it better than if I sit there typing on a laptop or if I just sit there well, I’ll remember it, not the details, not the and I have an interesting ability to be like, I can really be focused and hearing fully what people are saying while I’m taking notes.

I have a by camera is not the term for it. I can multitask where I really don’t have to give either of those, my full attention that while writing, I don’t miss what they’re saying. And so I’ve actually been asked for my notes, any number of times, like after going to a colloquium, one of men’s big brainy things because they were so good and so complete, not quite a transcript, I wasn’t, there was a court reporter with my little funny keyboard and stuff like that, but I captured all kinds of things because I wanted to be able to have that information for my future.

You know what I mean? It’s different than watching a video. Yeah. It really is that in the act of writing it, you put it in differently and it stays with you differently. Very much.

[00:55:44] Stephen: Yep. Have you ever heard or used the program to doist

[00:55:50] Alan: it’s I think I have a copy of it, but I haven’t adopted it.

I, because so many of those things, the rigor of, yes, assigning it priorities and checking it all the time. I just don’t maintain the use of anything I’ve ever tried. It starts to feel a little bit too much straight and Jacky or something. Absolutely. Way back in the day of day planners and stuff like that.

Some people swore by it and it really worked for them that they never missed out on anything, but it didn’t work as well for me, because it really started to be that I, there was overhead associated with it. There was more time than I wanted to put into things that were not top priority, but secondary in tertiary.

Yeah. And it just was, wow. I don’t have to remember. All of those things and get all of those things done. A very wise thing said those when you classify things as a priority, a, B and C, you’re pretty much saying I’m gonna get a done B and C are just maybes, right? They’re never gonna get done if you have a full life, a busy life.

Maybe they’ll bubble up to B an a, when something goes terribly wrong and you should have handled

[00:56:53] Stephen: it otherwise. But problem like you, sometimes you get those B C priority things in your head, and it just eats at you because you don’t wanna forget it. Just the fact of adding it to a list or putting it in a project planner gets it outta your brain.

It’s there for when you want it, need it. And even if you go back to it and say, yeah, it really wasn’t that important. The fact that it’s outta your. Let you do everything. And I, so Anthony Robbins, I’m sure you’ve heard of the big make

[00:57:20] Alan: your life,

[00:57:21] Stephen: I mention the giant within and all that stuff. Exactly. One of his big things that he proclaims is we as humans do things either to gain pleasure or avoid pain. And we’re more likely to do things to avoid pain than we are to work, to get pleasure. He says, so when something becomes painful enough, you’ll change and you’ll do the thing that you thought was painful and it becomes

So for me, I’ve, I’ve gotten the feeling like I’ve got all these great ideas and projects and the books and things to do with the books, the subsidiary marketing and other things with books, but each day gets done and I’m like I don’t feel like I really did anything for those. So now it’s becoming more painful to do that.

So I’ve started using to do this more. I’ve had it for years also, and I’ve got stuff I put in there and oh yeah, that was three years ago. I never looked. But now I’m really dividing things up into project subtasks and grouping them and relating them. Okay. This, if I work on this, it’s going to help with the book.

It’s gonna help with the podcast multiple things. So I’m getting more done each day, even if I’m only 10 minutes. I think my ADHD kicks in there too. Sometimes it’s I’m bored with this, but oh, this other thing is bright and shiny. Then we go work on it. Let me go back to this and work on

[00:58:32] Alan: this.

As long as you make progress, there’s only like Flin at it. Look at it and then not get anything done because you addressed it. Yeah,

[00:58:38] Stephen: absolutely. I’ve been using Todoist more lately and starting to rely on it a little more. And I think once you’re using it and it’s a habit and it’s natural, it makes sense.

I tied it into my Thunderbird so I can click an email and send it over to the inbox and then I can move it to a project. My phone will update me. Here’s overdue task. Here’s what you got for the next couple days. I can give them priorities. It really. You have to have that discipline to sit down and work with it.


[00:59:10] Alan: I said, but it pays off. It sounds like you really are getting yes, things done that otherwise would’ve slipped through the cracks or that you decided what really is important. And you really did work on what was important. Yes. I’ve so many times catch myself. I’m gonna go see what’s on TV just to flip around for 45 minutes for nothing or what’s on Facebook scroll, scroll or, Hey, I had this great thought.

[00:59:32] Stephen: Let me do a Google search and I’ll read all these articles that don’t help me in life at all, but it was interesting. I’ve. Not stop doing that, but I catch myself waiting to do those things cuz, oh, you know what? It really is only gonna take 10, 15 minutes. I just have to sit down and do it. Cause sometimes Ugh, I just don’t feel like doing that right now.

But once I do it, it’s it’s done. And that was easy. right,

[00:59:57] Alan: Colleen. And I often comment in that same way that we procrastinate like anybody else. And once in a while, when you finally get it done and you realize, wow, that really only took a couple of hours. I fre it about that for a week. And when I finally knocked it out and encourages you to do that if it’s to be done, then do it.

Don’t wait. Not everything is like that. Cuz there’s often multiple things that could fill that thing. But we, I have started to recapture more the just get it done, get it off the, not even take the time to put it on the list, but just get it done. One thing. I, and kinda funny, always our conversations kinda like wind back on themselves cause they have things.

One thing that I have done, I’ve been, I was a consultant for a long time. One of the things you have to learn is how to bid on jobs, where you have an idea of yourself, how long it takes to get things done, easy, medium, and hard, what your dependencies are on other people or on things that you’re doing and how to then be able to bid the project so that you can have some confidence is that’s gonna take 400 hours broken down in kind of this tax task list.

It won’t just take however, 10 weeks of 40 hours each, because there are these other things that are going to interfere and have a possibility. So really it’s gonna take 15 weeks because there’s gonna be other things will prop up. But to get that confidence of how you can bid on those kinds of things and not continually be well, I thought it’d be 400 instead it was 500 and I lost money on it.

You have to build in that feedback loop. That is your self awareness of. I can write an article for the newspaper in an hour. I can write a good article with all the citations and so forth in three hours. I and those kinds of things. And once you have a little bit awareness of that, you can also then say, if what I wanted to do with my next hour was just knock this out.

I can, I know I can do that. My, my writing skills or such my vocabulary is good. I’m not having to do research on everything. I’ve got a whole bunch of shit in me already that can just come come out in a more organized fashion. And another thing that in entrepreneur books will tell you is the, you should spend almost all your time doing this thing that is you in the world that nobody else can do.

That is your most lucrative. That is your most personal, so that and farm everything else. So a little bit, what we talked about with the ABC list, I’m gonna work on my A’s the things that give me the most pleasure that make me the most money that build most towards my future. And those BES and seeds, if I really want to get ’em done, but I’m not gonna ever do.

’em think of which of those are worth, what would I be willing to pay, to have my house clean, to have my closet get organized, whatever else it might be. And that helps me make decisions as to if I don’t care enough about it, to pay for it, to actually sub manage the project, farm it out to somebody else.

Then it really is. I’m just gonna live with that closet full of crap, because I’m never gonna get to it. And I’m not willing to pay somebody else to do it. So it like sharpens, it puts in sharp relief. How much you really care about something. Yeah. When you start putting dollar signs on things.

And in fact, one of the early things you learn when you’re a database programmer is, and the first time I heard it was like, look, that operation is expensive. How do you know that there’s funny money there’s unlimited computer resources. Oh no. It’s the best way that you can decide whether a query is efficient or not is to start assigning price tags as to, is it going up against a large data set is the query complex that it’s gonna have to do multiple layers, multiple runs in order to be able to satisfy and stuff like that.

And it really helps them to do the same kind of thing for me when I’m at easy, medium and hard. And I know it’s a hard one, but I don’t set up to work on it as if it’s hard. I don’t clear my clutter away. I don’t clear my distractions away that they become near impossible and I can’t let that happen.

So I’m aware of my own expenses, my attention, my energy of my reputation, where I can’t fail on this. I have to get this done. I become, I’ve become really pretty good about I don’t often make promises that I can’t keep. I immediately informed somebody if there’s a thing that I was gonna get done, but it didn’t get done in a timely fashion, but you’re also aware that not everything is like that.

Another one of the difficulties of any kind of organization system is it usually says how long will it take? What’s the priority? What’s the end date. And there’s all kinds of things where you assign it an arbitrary end date, and then people will obsess to get it done by Friday. But if you take a step back, it’s that could be Monday morning.

Yeah. Over the weekend that the person that’s waiting for, it is not so nasty about it, that they will come at me if I don’t have it done a 32nd text of, Hey, I’m having to work on something else. Is this okay for Monday? And almost all, always, they’ll be like, sure. It’s Colleen threats much more about her schedule in that way of thinking that people will be unaccepting of possible changes or

[01:04:48] Stephen: arbitrary

[01:04:48] Alan: deadlines.

Yeah. Know what I mean? Like you don’t always have to be Super human, a duck that they never see the little feet under the water. It’s okay. Once in a while to show them the work to say, wow, this is much harder than I thought it would be. And here’s why, because these people are not getting me the data that I needed.

And this thing than I thought was gonna be easy to figure out, oh, it’s trickier than I expected. And you build kind of respect for how people, not only know what you can do, but know how you can analyze the situation. And sometimes it isn’t a matter of getting it done. It’s a matter of keeping everybody informed so that you set expectations correctly.

Yeah. And that they’re never left. Hey, how’s that project coming? Oh, I don’t know. El I didn’t have it done. They were always able to actually, Al just contacted me and it’s gonna be Monday instead of Friday. And just that being able to always have people in the know that have that you are a dependency for them.

It boy, it really has served me well in my career. You know what I mean? To not, it used to be, I’d kill myself to get things done. And then once in a while I get it done because we set an arbitrary deadline and then I wash it, sit on their desk for two weeks. It’s I am never fucking killing myself for you again.

because how you did not honor how hard I worked, gave up a concert, whatever to get this thing done. And it just was a checkbox to you. It was nothing big to you. So I know I babbled I’ll have to look more to do list because I really would like to be some things when you get three in six months in you’re like, huh, I thought I’d be more working on that.

I thought I’d be further along. What’s stopping me from integrating that into my importance and my urgent so that I’m never getting to it never.

[01:06:28] Stephen: know, It can’t be that way. And one of the problems I’ve found for myself is cause I have a lot of projects I want to work on or do not all of them are necessary, but I realize that just having that many.

Was overwhelming to myself. So I would say, I just, I’m not doing anything and nothing got done

[01:06:47] Alan: that could happen. The plate is so big that you’re like, I’m doing nothing, exactly. Eat a break.

[01:06:52] Stephen: Okay. So things like game programming for tablets and mobile or doing the, what I talked about, the raspberry programming for the trail camp I was making or whatever those are fun for me.

I enjoy doing those. And when I start working on ’em, I get sucked into it and just have a really good time doing it. And I feel good. It’s not necessary to get a video game done that works on my phone, but I really have fun doing it. I just forget that. And so sometimes I’ve been finding if it’s on my to-do list, when I get in the evening and I’m like, okay, I just can’t work on a book.

I can’t work on a podcast. I can’t work on this survey, whatever it is I’m just done. And I look at my todo says, huh? I was stuck on that problem with those shapes falling. And when you click on it, they weren’t disappearing. Maybe I’ll go look at that for 10 minutes. And I go, and three hours later, I’m like, wow, that was really good.

And I fixed it and but then I’m like, check, I got something done on the to-do list that I wanted to do, but wasn’t necess so it frees up the mind a whole lot, again, that pain pleasure and that discipline to actually keep doing it. .

[01:07:59] Alan: It’s boy I have a lifetime of trying to figure me out.

Another thing that I read at one point was like people who I really admire the Isaac symbols of the world that wrote like a book in every single Dewey decimal category, an incredibly prolific author, people would say so when you get like a little bit of writer’s block, what do you do?

And it’s instead of being well, I pound my head on the desk until it gets fixed. It’s like I go to the movies, he had learned to have enough confidence in his subconscious that while he is at the movie, something would come up that would take him past the thing that he had hit that was causing him a little bit of slow down stuff that, and I regularly take a break when I am like for some reason, this thing I know that I’m usually capable of, it’s not going.

So I need to like, get my mind, looking at something else I need to let, let my energy return Banksy has a great quote along the lines of don’t quit rest. That part of what you have to do is not just keep going until you drop it’s build in rest period. It’s built in times of distraction.

Pleasure Colleen and I go play. Minigolf not because I’m gonna be the minigolf champion of the world one day, but it like, or go to a concert. So think it’s like, because that clears my head. When I go for a walk in nature in an hour, I’m just amazed at where my mind goes about things that I’ve been thinking about and something new will occur to me or that Colleen and I will have a wonderful conversation and it’s wide ranging and something will spur.

Oh, I could try that over here that, that you of have to not only be about full focus, you have to trust your subconscious you’re unconscious and let it absolutely have some fun in the background, and I’ve laughed about that thing of can’t quite think of the name of it who was the guy in that movie?

And then 15 seconds later, it’ll pop out. I’ve learned to have trust in that little bit of don’t worry. I know it’ll come out. And then all of a sudden, oh, that was James Wood and best seller. That’s what it was. And, but then it’s also, it’s not only as trivial as that it’s that my mind is always doing things in the background and I will realize all kinds of stuff.

That it was just, I wasn’t consciously thinking of it, but somebody three, three layers deep Al was having some fun with it and was working it out for me. So

[01:10:09] Stephen: that’s cool. Actually, I got an author friend that says he always fixes problems with his books and stuff by taking a shower.

And he has taken up to five showers in a day. Cause he’s trying to fix something me I found, and this is scary. But sometimes when I’m driving, my brain gets on a problem, database book, whatever the music disappears, the road disappears, the exits disappear. I am literal get where I am because I have literally ended up in the wrong city because my brain wasn’t paying attention to what was going on other than that problem and the automated parts of driving.

So you gotta be careful with that too. Okay. Before we go, I got a trivia question for you. Okay. Sorry. This is gonna be a rough one for you. Okay. Sports

[01:10:54] Alan: related. And so we’ll see I have some weird things that I know about in this way without let’s see.

[01:11:02] Stephen: Let’s see. All right. So

[01:11:03] Alan: is it aim Alonzo stag?

See, I know.

[01:11:07] Stephen: So two professional football players, Alan Page, and Dan deer were born in what? Ohio city.

[01:11:14] Alan: It’s Canton. If I remember, yes. It’s so honest. Do you know why this is? I do breaking down tears wise and stuff like that now, because of course it’s the pro football hall of fame and it’s one of the jeopardies that I blew.

Yeah. I, so I’ll never forget that now. And I know it’s a perfect storm and I know that it’s China. You know what I mean? I, I. I’m one of those guys that I tend to remember a lot. And I also, I tend to remember, especially the ones I didn’t get the first time. It doesn’t just go away. Then it’s in there for fucking

[01:11:45] Stephen: ever

Yeah, me and Colin thought it would be funny to see if you remembered that and

[01:11:51] Alan: also it’s let’s see all the Kings men. No, what? Sorry. What’s the ,

[01:11:57] Stephen: there’s a website. I found a website. These people are way too OCD about jeopardy and spend too much time on, they have every episode of jeopardy who was on it, where they’re from how much money they had.

And then they have the grid of all the questions and who answered what and got it right or wrong. And then the da the final jeopardies and stuff for every jeopardy episode.

[01:12:20] Alan: That’s right there. I tapped into some of that, when you’re looking for what are the categories that are most asked about?

You can find out it is indeed Shakespeare geography of the Bible. You know what I mean? There’s certain things that if you’re gonna I often talk about this. I. Probably a month because that’s how soon I got knew that I was gonna be on before I had to go on memorizing all kinds of things. I wanted to make sure I had every Pulitzer, every Oscar, every every country, every currency, all that kind of stuff.

But what I should have done was made sure that I knew what it would be like to be on live television now to calm myself down. Because the thing that screwed me up the most was the butterflies that I had in my stomach. That weird instead of my being, sitting around with my friends and being all like brain running, blue, green.

Cool. And just you witty and everything comes to you and stuff like that. I got into a little bit of panic, a little bit of stage fright, and I could see that I wasn’t doing my usual stuff. It made it worse coming to me. And it was like how do I get rid of the butterflies? I haven’t had butterflies since I was in junior high.

Trying out for your good man, Charlie brown I, and it’s funny. That’s what I can remember. I can remember the last time I felt butterflies, but I couldn’t, I didn’t have the the skill, the practice at how to get rid of them if I should ever feel them again. I almost learned about this as an adult.

I’ve done million dollar meetings. I’ve talked to 10,000 people, things that a lot of other people get stage fright. I just don’t seem to have that anymore. I’m good speaker. I think on my feet, all that kind of stuff, and I didn’t expect that to happen on jeopardy. And somehow it did because it was there’s money on the line.

My parents are in the audience. This is on

[01:13:58] Stephen: TV. I won one day. Oh my God. I’ve gotta prove I can do it again. Yeah. You stress out

[01:14:03] Alan: exactly. It was. It weirded me out to be I know this and it’s not coming. You’re like I, if we were just sitting around the table, I would’ve been able to tell you anyway, it was maybe many jeopardy.

People will say this. I wasn’t myself. I could have done better. But I like honestly provably. I really have right. Been a weird trivia hound for a long time and never in a way that I went and memorized things. Things just stick. I wish I knew why my memory was pretty good in that way.

You know what I mean? And then I make interesting associations and from little word clues, like jeopardy clues are very well written to give you two, two ways in, it’s not only asking the fact they also have kind of a

[01:14:43] Stephen: little

[01:14:45] Alan: vocabulary hint as to what you’re trying to get to and stuff like that. And somehow I just wasn’t processing what, and it’s funny.

I was, I think each of my games, I got either close to, or more than half of the questions that I got ’em right. So usually that would be hardly in a Ken Jennings James Holzer way of doing it. But I was doing well enough to win. In terms of how many answers I got, how many questions I got for the answers, but I kept blowing it on my big questions.

And that was galling. You know what I mean? Like how do I not know that it was Czechoslovakia? I did know. I did know that it was, you get one wrong and stuff like that. It was just, damn


[01:15:26] Stephen: you get one wrong and then you’re, oh, I knew that I should have, wait, what’d he just say? Oh man, I’m missing.

’em all about it. It just

[01:15:32] Alan: What’s funny is that’s not a way in which that nervousness evidenced itself. I didn’t go on tilt and kinda lose track of what I was working on, where I was there’s any number of times where somebody else gave a wrong answer and I swooped in to get the correct answer.

And there’s also one where right after I blew a big one, like an $8,000 I then got the next one for the $2,000 end of category one. In a way that it wa I like, I didn’t go on tilt and then, okay. I’m out of the game. I immediately came back and started to rebuild. So my knowledge of what was going on then is my memory of it is not perfect.

My little Al that looks over my shoulder, watching what I’m doing. I have very firm memories of some things and not of others. So there must have been some times when I did get a little on tilt, but it wasn’t for the entire game, right? Someone just mentioned this, that there was a little joke about, Hey, when you know your categories come up.

And of course it was the cling on warrior, not cling, but that kind of thing. And it was like when they had the category about rock bands that had animals in their name, it was like, just stand back. I’m running this guy. And I got four out of five, and then someone beat me to blue oyster.

[01:16:39] Stephen: Oh, that’s part of your, I, yeah,

[01:16:41] Alan: I was like not only do I know this category, but I love them.


[01:16:45] Stephen: if somebody bugs you before me? That’s oh man. That’s great. That just takes

[01:16:50] Alan: a certain amount to get humbled where it’s I’m just gonna mow the field down here and it didn’t work out that way wow. All well, there’s a little trivia humor for the day and some, thank you very much.

[01:17:03] Stephen: I’m glad I didn’t

[01:17:03] Alan: shame myself. It’s

[01:17:06] Stephen: yeah I was wondering cause some people would be like, ah, I forgot all about that but Nope. It’s

[01:17:13] Alan: I think I, I don’t know who you talked about this before. I was in a very interesting thing called the learned league. That is a big national trivia contest and there’s been certain ones where I knew it and that it wouldn’t come out in terms of how much I wanted to dedicate to it.

It was either in the daily or maybe even in the championship, but there’s a certain thing about what. Bad pseudo, voodoo based secret police force in Jamaica or Haiti that and it’s oh, that’s the Toal Maco. And now it comes out just like it should have, but at the time it just wouldn’t come out.

And it’s so distinctive that a lot of times that’s what I don’t care about John Smith. I care about that this is a particular, like an interesting sounding thing that it’s not a thing, word, letter pattern. And those things tend to stick even more. You know what I mean? So how did I not come up with Han?

How did I not come up with what’s the silver surfers home planet,

[01:18:12] Stephen: We had that one, we talked

[01:18:16] Alan: other, I don’t law, the, those things where it really frustrates me then not only did I reinforce it, my brain, but I like crawled it in there with with an a to make sure that it’s in there forever.

Oh the memory is. An amazing kind of like sometimes I don’t know how it works, like as it does. I just know that most of the time I can count on how do you know that it’s I don’t know, but it’s in there. You I don’t know. I remember all kinds of, especially stuff you love, like comic books, like science fiction, like that kind of stuff.

I’m not perfect. I can’t name every character in game of Thrones, but I could start to put together a pretty good family tree because of how much I love that series. You know what I mean?

[01:18:55] Stephen: Anyway, all man.

[01:18:58] Alan: All right. As usual, we went a little bit over, but that’s fine. Talk about stay cool.

I know it’s hot currently and whatever else we were gonna talk about we’ll add it to that long list of

[01:19:09] Stephen: eventually I’ve got a list. Yep. Okay. We covered quite a few, so very good. All right. Talk to you later. Take care, Steven. Bye.

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