The J&J 1 Shot “shot”


April Fools Day for me was a life saving day. So at the request of some readers, here is an update that I got my shot and I am not going to die. Yes, I would be really sad if I got COVID and died too. While some people in Colorado are having difficulty finding the vaccine, it is even harder to get your hand on the 1 shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It literally is the luck of the draw. When I got to Kaiser to get my shot, they had all 3 different vaccines, and fortunately for me, my nurse had 1 dose left and it just happened to be J&J. The cool thing was all of the syringes were already loaded with the vaccine. So all those videos you see of the vaccine in the little jars, didn’t apply to J&J. I didn’t ask, but I am assuming they did not want to waste any of the vaccine like some places have been doing. I’m really not into a lot of selfies, and you’ll see my Instagram has them sporadically. At the request of a friend, here is me taken, just yesterday. Yeah, I know I don’t wear my hair down like my profile picture, and I usually wear my glasses these days. I know, with my visor on you can’t even tell that I’m Asian Gandolf.

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I took a picture of my COVID card so I will always have it. I am guessing at some point I will have to prove that I have had the shot. Although since I have Kaiser, it should show up in my test history. Thumbs up to Kaiser for being so efficient and organized. They had all the cards labeled in advance and when you get your shot, they peel the sticker off the vaccine and put it on your card so it is presented nice and neat. From my understanding, Kaiser is only giving shots to their own patients. You can’t just walk in and request an appointment. The general public still need to go to the official website and try to score an appointment. Kaiser was able to prioritize patients as they have their medical records and know who really needs the vaccine first. My shoulder is pretty meaty so I didn’t feel anything and there was no after effects or pain.  If you are waiting your turn, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

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Where is the Zack Snyder review? Dude, … the movie is 4 hours long. The first time through I had to sit in awe realizing it was a different movie, same story. Like, how many times can they tell the story of ____ (pick any Disney movie)? I need to watch the movie again to actually enjoy it and then critique it. But if you are waiting, I can tell you that it is “Aaron Approved” and if you like super heroes then you need to watch it. For all you Catholics, it’s Good Friday and your last day to eat fish. Although I love fish. Crab legs all you can eat. I’m down. The Lodge Casino in Blackhawk has all you can eat, but they have to serve your plate rather than grabbing a potentially infected pair of tongs.

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Stop The Hurt

I know a lot of my readers are just as confused as I am. What am I talking about you may ask? Well, if you didn’t know, yesterday an Asian killing happened in Atlanta and this was clearly a hate crime, despite the murderer (in custody) saying it wasn’t. So my YouTube news was flooded with videos and news commentary about the situation, and OMG this is seriously getting out of hand. First of all, they are attacking geriatric fossils who can’t defend themselves. Like, hey, let’s go pick on some fifth graders so we can feel like a big bully.

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If I was witness to that happening to ANY elder person, regardless of race, background religion or whatever, it would be the WRATH OF AARON and I gotta say, it would not be pretty. 35 years of virtual training on a gaming console has left me with some very valuable skills. Yes, that’s right, I have a 9mm handgun. If EVERY person was armed, I think there would be a heck of a lot less attacks. How many first person shooter games have YOU played? How many hundreds of hours looking down a scope for the enemy? I think every Asian needs to be armed with at least a stun gun tazer, so when they see it happening to someone being attacked they can attack back. Shit I’d hit him with a fucking flare gun right at the head. Yes, seriously. Okay, I don’t carry a flare gun, but I carry my keys and I would have no problem paralyzing someone from the neck down. One swift hit in the back of the neck and it would be vegetable city forever. I took a few classes here and there. One thing to remember if you are ever held at gun point, give them your wallet, throw it on the ground and run like hell.

 

I do not promote violence, but when it comes to fight or flight, I will do both. And Dexter taught me how to bleed someone out very easily.

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Las Vegas Review: Secrets on winning

Do you like the excitement, glamour and glitz of Las Vegas? Do you play slots? Like nice dinners every now and then? Yeah, me too. Since my birthday is in July, that is when I have been visiting Vegas. However, due to the pandemic, like everyone else, I have been putting my life on hold and staying home. After watching several YouTubers doing walking tours of Vegas, and seeing how things have changed so much I decided now was a good time to go visit again. I personally hate crowds, waiting in long lines, slowly walking like a dinosaur behind slow pokes. After you finally find that perfect machine you then have to wait because someone is hogging it. There are some downsides, such as needing a reservation at every restaurant, months in advance. Fortunately for me, I made reservations via the Open Table app immediately. Just so you know, there are no “shows”, most attractions are closed, and even a lot of the stores are closed as they can’t keep it sanitized. Decide where you want to eat in advance and make sure you can get reservations for your meals. Otherwise you might just be eating fast food, and that’s okay too. White Castle, In-N-Out, Chik-fil-A are all options if you don’t mind that kind of cuisine.

 

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So here are some things that made this trip extremely enjoyable, so I though I would share it with my readers. Right now there are some amazing deals going on for flights to get people to Vegas. In order for me to get my desired times, I had to use two carriers, which turned out to not be such a bad deal. I left Friday morning at 7 am, going out Spirit. Like all the airlines they charge for every extra, but that is sort of to be expected. I chose to upgrade to the front row seat after I bought my ticket and added a carry on bag. My row only had two seats with a nice armrest between us. Ample leg room and since most people are not paying for a carry on bag, people get seating quickly without holding up the aisle by shoving all their shit in the overhead compartment. Flying back Frontier was an upgraded seat as well but with a window view. I was fortunate that there was no one in the middle seat and the next seat over was a pilot flying standby/home. The trip to Vegas I watched the new movie “The Little Things” out now, starring Denzel Washington, and Jared Leto. I highly recommend downloading your latest favorite 2-3 hour movie to your device as this really does make a huge difference for trip attention deficit entertainment. Also be sure to bring a dark pair of sunglasses as there are no clouds in Vegas and it is always super bright. Dress in layers as it gets hot outside, and you get chilly in the air conditioned casinos.

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So some of the winning strategies for a great time include joining every casino member rewards program. They give you a plastic card that you put into machines. You get points that turn into cool benefits, like a free hotel room. If you are military or veteran you will get an automatic upgrade to the next tier level. MGM owns a boat load of casinos, I won’t go into all of them, but if you stay at the Mandalay Bay end, then almost all of those use the same card. I had always wanted to stay at Mandalay and had heard good things. It was no disappointment. It was super fancy and any king, queen or some level of royalty would feel right at home. What impressed me the most was my early check in, contact-less, and my smartphone digital key. Not once did I ever have to talk to an employee to get my room. Also as a safety precaution, you needed your key to operate the elevator to guest rooms. Another reason to have a rewards card is FREE DRINKS. Okay, so we all know that everything from water to alcohol is expensive to buy it yourself. Sure it is tempting, but why pay for it when you can get it free? Including your morning coffee. So rather than standing in line at Starbucks or where ever, pull out your stash of cards and shove it into a machine, drop in a $100, and a waitress magically shows up asking what you would like for a drink. I ordered coffee and gave her a $2 bill. Of course they will bring you water (normally $5 on the strip), a coke, a beer, whatever, … just as long as you are playing. Having the rewards card tells them you are a loyal patron and they want to make sure you have a good experience. Keep in mind though it takes awhile for them to make it back, to ensure you have fed enough money into the machine. Another reason to have those players cards is you are less likely to get carded. That is if you look young. I hate those stupid bracelets they put on you because they think you are too young to be there. You can’t get a players card without a drivers license.

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Keep in mind that if you stay on the strip to gamble, you will be less likely to win. We went to Fremont Street and it rained money on us the entire time. We also went to Circus Circus, where they actually have silver dollar slots where you put a real coin in and real coins come out. Playing an older machine, that is less glamour and boring will pay out more in small amounts, but more frequently. If a machine does not pay out within SIX button presses or handle bar pull, then you must CASH OUT/COLLECT and move on to another machine. You are there to make money, so don’t fall prey and just feed it money. I keep a billfold wallet full of $1 & $2 bills. The $2 bills are for anyone in the service industry. It ensures they remember me and give me good service. It is too tempting to put in a twenty and lose it in minutes. Put in a buck and hit max bet. I did that and won $99. Cash out, move along, find the next lucky machine. Never play machines by the front door, restrooms or escalators. Those machines are put there to draw you in as you wait for someone, and rarely pay out large amounts.

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In my room I was greeted with a very large room, and a welcome kit with hand sanitizer and a fancy face mask with a custom Mandalay Bay logo patch sewn on the front. The tv also converted into the airport arrival board, so you could quickly see if your flight is on time. Since my room was comp’d for free, I didn’t have an issue paying the $39 daily resort fee, for towels at a pool I couldn’t access since it was closed. WiFi that I didn’t need since my 5G is faster. They did sneak in a daily $10 beverage charge for something that I couldn’t figure out. So one night ended up still charging $59 to my American Express platinum card. I liked it there and would visit again. However, I did have an issue with my neighbors throwing a party. Screaming, laughing, shouting into their phones. By 10 I called guest services and asked for them to quiet down the partiers. They play by the 3 strike rule. If you get 3 noise complaints you are evicted that night and banned from all MGM properties. That usually gets people to call TF down. Also props to them for having a dedicated Uber/Lyft pickup drop off spot. Wandering from casino to casino it can get very confusing, so knowing your hotel has a good one is very advantageous.  NEVER take a taxi. Always tell your Uber driver you visit all the time, and please take the highway for a 5 star review. I also throw out that I was a Lyft/Uber driver years ago when it was fun and safe. Covid and all. They get it and know you can screw their rating. Btw, if you didn’t know, all passengers (PAX) also have a secret rating. If you tip well, they will score you 5 also. I have a 5 star rating as I always tip well, I don’t make them wait for me, and I promise to give them a 5 star rating. That gives me experienced drivers with a 4.9 or higher rating. I personally know of passengers who got a 1 star rating and NO driver will pick them up. Ever. Damage the car. 1 star. Throw up. 1 star. You get the picture. I get a closer, faster driver than the average Joe who just downloaded the app with no rating. I always tell them I love their car (even if I don’t), and thank them for a 5 star experience and please give me 5 stars too.

 

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So if you like to play slots, then Vegas is THE place to be. Giant floor to ceiling screens run by Microsoft Windows, to suck you in, get you to play more and pay more. In the end, most are much poorer. Due to the fact that it is run by software, tells you right away that the machines are programmed to perform certain tasks. Take. Your. Money. So how do you win? Can you be one of those winners? Yes. No. Maybe. First off, do not play a machine immediately after it has paid out big. Talk to the person who was playing. Did they win big or just insert a ticket from another machine, play a few games, and then cash out the ticket. That makes a difference. Remember in the old days, the machines were the boring BARS and lucky 7’s. They worked on a coin based system. The machine had to take in more money than it was paying out, and it was a timing mechanism, and some even worked on a scale/weight used. My personal strategy is to win a lot of low paying machines rather than going for the gold. Never play a progressive machine. Those are tied into some network where you can see in real time how much money people are losing at once. Crazy right? If you recognize your favorite character then that machine has something called royalties and or copyright licensing that needs to be paid. So stay away from Vanna, Carrie Bradshaw, the Flintstones, and definitely Homer. Yes, they look cool, they are fun and make neat sounds but you won’t likely win as much, if at all.

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Vegas has almost returned to normal. Colorado has more safety precautions, as they clean the machine after someone touches it. Not so much in Vegas. Take hand sanitizer and wash your hands a lot and you should be fine. As gross as it sounds, people still do not wash their hands after using the restroom. Remember that when you touch the SPIN button.

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If you liked this article do me a favor and like my Facebook page. I just did my first Tik Tok video on Fremont street. I have 1 follower now. Awesome. You can see it on my Instagram page.

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Mr. Brightside

If you think I am referring to the amazing hit song by The Killers, you are incorrect. Did you know that many colleagues and friends would call ME Mr. Brightside, because I am always looking on the bright side of things. When I worked part time at AT&T, I sometimes only saw some of my co-workers once or twice a week. When we were all required to attend mandatory … whatever, we were all forced to work past our shift. I saw it as a good thing as I hadn’t seen my favorite coworker in a long time. So, trying to make the best of a shitty situation. No one likes to have to count inventory. At least I don’t, and it is a deal breaker for me.

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So if you have decided a vow of silence on television, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever, then you may not know that there has been some nasty shit going on in the United States this past week. I’d like to think you were on sabbatical enjoying your reading and mediation time — and being unplugged is a good thing. So now that you are back with society and checking your email or reading up on this blog, I am here to tell you that the United States government was attacked by some really not so nice people. In a nutshell, there was a “peaceful” protest that turned into a riot in Washington D.C. and sadly 5 people died. Nothing compared to what took a hit due to the coronavirus. But that is not what this blog is about today. It is more about “congress” getting attacked in “their” workplace. Hmmm. When the kids were being shot at in schools, did anyone in congress give a hoot/TWEET? Well, some did, but did anything concrete come out of it? But like most school shootings, they don’t actually directly involve “us”, right? That kind of bizarre behavior is someone else’s problem.

 

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The democrats are adamant about impeaching the president again, … and at this point I’m like, “just let it go”. He will be out of office, the people have spoken/voted. This new president and vice will make amazing things happen that the next term will be a no brainer. Yes, the president was a little too overzealous with his fans/followers. Yes, he should be reprimanded, and maybe just fined. That is what they do to professional athletes. As he has been 86’d from every social media platform, that in itself is punishment. I’m not defending him, but man, that would totally suck if you couldn’t even look at pictures on Pinterest, photos on Instagram, or see updates from friends on Facebook.

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If you are like me, you are still binge watching in your mancave. Speaking of binge watching, if you are not following me on Facebook, then you don’t know that I posted about Discovery +.  Yep, first Disney and now Discovery. It is an add on cable channel subscription that gives you access to those cable channels without having cable. You know I cut the cable months ago, and really the only thing missing was the History channel, since I am kind of a nerd. But VOILA!  Now I can get that and HGTV, the SCI channel and many more. I opted for commercial free for just $7 a month. If you are going to binge watch, you might as well learn something new and old. I am going to be building my dream home in the near future. so all those renovating design shows are just fantastic for me. If you are having a bad day, you can always watch “Naked and Afraid”. Those poor souls are starving, cold, in pain, eaten alive by bugs, … I mean, that is all kinds of suffering.

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If you are reading this via a forwarded email, be sure to hit up the website and scroll to the footer to get your own email when I post. When you are always looking on the bright side of things, your life begins to brighten.

 

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Facebook vs. Parler

73,923,495 people voted republican. Why did I only lose 1 person on Facebook? Oh wait, she is now requesting me to be a friend, … again. Where was this Facebook mass exodus for Parler? For the record, I voted for Harris, just like the other 80 million legally registered voters in the United States. I actually thought I would have this huge decline in “friends” on Facebook. There are some very vocal people who think they can persuade their own circle/network to think like they do. Interesting concept, but that only works for so long.

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Believe it or not, there are thousands of women who “think” they can change their boyfriend once he is their husband. And that ladies and gentlemen is the reason why there is such a high divorce rate in the United States. NEWSFLASH: You can’t change someone unless he/she wants to change, and even then you cannot modify someone’s behavior to suit your needs … long term. Oh sure you can manipulate someone to get your way, once or twice.

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So what is Parler you may ask? Another new social media platform/app that I have to download, update a profile and try to connect with friends/family/role models? Yikes! Okay, I will be the first to admit that I am sort of set in my ways. There are some “things” that I don’t really want to partake in on a daily or weekly basis. Another social media platform … or I guess in this case, an alternative to Facebook. But is it really an alternative platform when it is secretly a place for grown ass adults to go and bitch about things they have no control over? Hmm… I am going to go with the latter. I took I look at their website, and it appears to be a “free speech” platform where users can bitch about Biden and the election and not get banned/muted/Facebook jailed for doing so. Okay, I get it. You can also write your own blog on your website with no restrictions. Complaining doesn’t get results, and it certainly doesn’t accomplish anything on a positive level. Negativity changes your “vibration” within the universe and as you may know, also causes you to attract negative things in your life. We are all spiritual magnets, and you can attract some negative people very easily. You have heard the phrase “birds of a feather flock together”? Misery loves company.

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Now I have not joined so I don’t really know all the tea, but I do know that people are spending way too much time on their smartphones on time wasting apps. If you know me personally, then you know I am usually busying doing “something” and scrolling aimlessly for hours is not one of them. Facebook in general I think is pretty toxic. It used to be a place where you could go and see fun updates about your friends and family. Unfortunately, most of my friends are not writers or authors, and those who are rarely post any actual content of their own. However, many of my republican advocates have REposted various content that usually is just false data that has not been verified. I will be very happy when we go back to a society where lies are not accepted and making false accusations should have serious detrimental consequences. Many of these same supporters also believe that the coronavirus is a conspiracy or a hoax. Just when you think people can’t get any stupider, they pull shit like this. I personally know of a handful of people who have DIED, so there is no trying to pull the wool over my eyes and think that it is a bad case of the flu and those people died of something else. WTF. No. Science and statistical data results are not the liars.

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The scary thought that crosses my mind, is what if the virus has serious long term effects like getting shingles from chickenpox? Thousands upon thousands got exposed to the virus, and many did recover … for now. Thousands upon thousands report constantly feeling weak, no strength, tired, and it is always hard to breathe. We have no data as to what happened to all the vape smokers and their outcome after COVID19. I did watch a video of Alyssa Milana, former Wen spokesperson and Charmed actress, where she is losing clumps of hair when gently brushing her hair. I don’t know about you, but I would probably think that would be a big concern for someone who uses her looks for income. I also don’t want to just lose my hair as an after effect of the virus. We are on the brink of a vaccine/preventative measure. People just need to chill TF out for another couple of months. Start your manuscript. Write your autobiography. For those that are dumb shits and think they are immune, go ahead and write your obituary. I personally did this once as a group writing exercise and it amazing how YOU see your life, versus someone else see it. No one ever “thinks” that it is going to happen to them. Dying that is. If you think about it, you probably have enough supplies to last you for another 30-45 days. I know I have lots of cans of soup in my kitchen. When I was really poor I used to eat rice and egg drop soup. It was cheap and easy to make and it filled me up. Plus with all those eggs, I was getting tons of protein. You bought all those dvd’s years ago on new release day Tuesday. Do you know ALL the lines from each movie? Can you play the “What movie did this quote come from” and always win? I can’t.

 

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In in case you missed all the sales for Black Friday, Cyber Monday is tomorrow and there certainly will be more opportunities for you to spend your voting dollars. Despite the Nintendo Switch and PS5 sold out everywhere, Switch users can go to the eStore and download games at a huge discount. My console is already loaded with games for that rainy day, so I did not get any additional new games. Legend of Zelda Age of Hyrule is waiting for me. I saw online that someone has already beat the game and I can’t get past level 1. Emoji Laugh GIF - Emoji Laugh Lol - Discover & Share GIFsI did watch a cool YouTube video of all the cut scenes made into one. Actually, I saved it to watch it later, as it is almost 2 hours long. Yeah, I know crazy right? If the cut scenes are that long, how many hundreds of hours will it take to finish the game? If you have long hair, did you check out my first YouTube video? I’ll be making another one this week. I got a new hair straightening device I saw on an infomercial. It is crazy cool how it rotates and smooths your hair. Check out my Instagram profile picture. I usually wear my hair in a bun. I tell you, I could totally be an actor or something. I have so many different looks. And with the power of make-up, who knows? Ordinary people get discovered on Instagram more than any other platform.

Although, technically I am writing and producing my YouTube talk show. One thing I have noticed, which most artists don’t do … is market themselves very well. I will be watching something and have no idea who they are. So, with my videos I’ll have my name displayed at all time. Most of my viewers will already know me. I haven’t announced my channel on any of my social media … yet. Why? Well, just like a Facebook page, you really need to wait until you have at least 30 minutes of content/scrolling. If you don’t have very much, people might visit, see you have nothing to entertain them, and they may never come back. I have also noticed that every single YouTube artist tells you to like and subscribe to their channel. I haven’t. Why? Well, I don’t know after one video if I am going to want to see more. It literally took me 20 videos before I subscribed (not liked) Tati. Tati is a beautiful super model YouTube artist/influencer who is super fun to watch and learn beauty product recommendations. What can I say? She is entertaining.

 

Best Buy is running their sales all weekend. Friday morning I scored a new 27″ monitor. They have a 49″ gaming monitor on sale for $750! Normally $999. Too bad my Switch wouldn’t translate into a monitor like that. I wonder if the new PS5 will be full screen for the first person shooter games?

If you liked this article/website, please like my Facebook page. If you read this via forwarded email, you can subscribe on the website in the footer. I am not sponsored by anyone and have no affiliation with Tati Westbrook.

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New YouTube Channel

After months of deliberation, countless excuses of why I was too busy, and hundreds of hours of watching YouTube beauty bloggers, I finally took the plunge and created my first YouTube beauty video. I actually invented a brand new technique to tie up your hair in a man bun.  Or woman bun if it is a lady. It is actually genius and doesn’t rip out your hair when you take it down. For weeks I have been demonstrating it to women with long hair. And every single one of them tell me they do a bun, by making a pony tail first. Ouch. And when I ask them if they rip out hairs the answer is always yes. So, voila, introducing the Bow Tie hair tie man bun by Aaron M. Stephens. I have one subscriber, whom I thought was my mom, but she said it wasn’t. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goVM_nf7EcE&feature=youtu.be

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I will be doing more videos as we are forced into lockdown. It’s not like we have anywhere we can go, and if we did, there wouldn’t be any bars or restaurants to enjoy it. I’m new to the whole YouTube world/community, but my plan is to do more impromptu videos instead of “trying” to write something. For now it will be hair and beauty products that I use to stay young and beautiful.  47 years of age and proud of it. Thankfully I don’t look or act my age.

 

If you like my blogs/writings,  I’m sure you’ll enjoy my new YouTube channel. I plan on chatting about all kinds of things. Give my Facebook and Instagram a “like/follow” and I’ll be sure to post more. A thousand thank you’s!

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Hair Expert

If you know me personally, or you have been following my social media — back to the days of MySpace, then you know I have had short hair most of my life. In fact, I taught myself how to cut my own hair — with clippers, and I have also been cutting hair, unofficially since I don’t hold a license to use a pair of scissors. Crazy right?

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One thing that has remained true my entire life it that my hair grows super fast, at in incredible rate. If I had to pay a barber or stylist to cut my hair I would literally be paying thousands of dollars a year to keep my “high and tight” military haircut. Even when I would go on base, it was $10 for a haircut, and I would need one every week. I had to cut my hair as frequently as guys had to shave their beard/face. So when I approached my 40’s, like most men out there I started losing my hair. Mostly on the top and not at the back or sides. Why is this? There HAD to be a logical, scientific reason why this happened to billions of people. Men, women, teens, kids … no one was immune to hair loss. So, … what are some of the causes of hair loss?

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Well, I am not going to bore you with all the research that I have done, but I will give you one piece of really good advice. Oh yeah? What is that you wonder? Stop washing your hair with hot water, and take better care of your scalp. Hot water as we all know, causes the pores of your skin and scalp to open, making it very vulnerable. When you drown those pores with shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, styling products, you essentially are slowly killing your hair follicles. It’s not your fault. When you were a toddler sitting in a bathtub your mommy put “baby safe” shampoo on your head and let it soak. And then you continued to do that for your entire life. After so many years of abuse, your hair just gives up and dies.

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A few years ago I stopped with the weekly haircuts and focused on letting it grow. My instagram has the latest photos of me, and I have some incredible hair growth pictures. There are many things I did to live a new lifestyle that included a high protein nutritional diet, exercise, lots of sleep and being very gentle with my hair. I would cover it in public, little to no product, and only carefully washing with cold water and never letting my scalp get any “poison” on it. There actually is a whole movement called the “No Poo”, which people have ditched shampoo all together. I actually use Kerastase products, a company from Paris, the parent company is Loreal. It is kind of expensive, but at this point, my hair is totally worth it. So why am I calling myself a hair expert? Well, if you look at my hair where it is now, where it was when I hit my 40’s, you would be asking what did I do? In addition, I have an identical twin brother who does NOT have my luscious locks of hair. I am 47 1/2  years of age, and I don’t look it. I actually am proud to share my real age with people. So, with my youthful appearance and long hair, it has motivated me to begin planning my YouTube channel. Sure anyone can hit the record button the their smartphone and then upload it to Youtube. After watching hundreds of … less than entertaining videos, I have determined that there are several things that makes a video successful. It has to be pleasant to listen to, as well as look at. With lockdown and covid, it doesn’t take too long and you have watched every video of your favorite YouTube artist and you are hungry for more. I know, as I have watched every video of some beauty bloggers/vloggers/artists. Just like you, I’m sort of bored at times, so I think that there are some of my own friends … and fans that would love to see/hear/learn what I have learned about hair, skincare and make-up. I have learned a TON of things that I know other people would appreciate knowing as well. Guys can wear make-up and not look like a clown. They can wear it to just look amazing, so people notice them, and not their flaws. Discolored, UV abused skin is a flaw. Redness, dryness, and wrinkles are not exactly poster child material. So what products do I use and which ones do I like? A lot. And I am not on any PR lists, so everything that I try/use, I buy with my hard earned money.

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I have been a content creator for a really long time. Some of my readers hit my blog daily on MySpace and Xanga. Yes, I know I was much more active writing back then. I have also contemplated using video to maybe read some of my book. It is the one thing that is copyrighted that I have the right to read without getting sued by someone. Maybe I will do different channels — storytime, beauty/hair, educational, HR stuff. I don’t know how other artists do it, but I would like to be organized and have like an outline of the things I am going to talk about and cover. I guess you could say this was sort of my next level of teaching. I used to teach at an online college. This blog probably teaches people in a different way.

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If you are an artist or creator, can you make something that you can sell on Etsy as additional income? I know I will be buying on Etsy as it supports individuals versus the big box Fortune 500 companies. For those from the United States, they will be celebrating Thanksgiving. The day that they stole the land from the native american indians. Yeah, I have mixed feelings about that too. I like to be thankful every day. Thankful my family is still alive and safe. Thankful I am healthy and happy. There are many people who are grieving and my heart goes out to them. Personally I don’t think that people are taking the pandemic as seriously as they should. Stay home. Stay safe. Don’t touch anything in public. I open doors when my butt now, so I don’t have to touch the door handle. Hey, maybe YOU could be a content creator too. Maybe you could launch a YouTube channel on something you know a lot about. Everyone has something they can share. Maybe you have an awesome Thanksgiving recipe you want to share. My sweet potato souffle is always a show stopper.

 

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Your voting dollars could actually be a lifeline for a family in need. Go buy something or a lot of things on Etsy today. Take one day of NOT going to Walmart or Amazon and instead go to Etsy. A thousand thank you’s from every artist. You can also buy gift certificates from you local small businesses as holiday gifts that will totally help that business make it through the pandemic.

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Credit Cards

So after watching a ludicrous but somewhat thought-provoking video from Jake Paul, I thought I would elaborate on his idea. He says that formal school sucks, and that kids need a better education on real life “stuff”. That is the short version, however, he nor any of his “peers” are qualified to educate his millions of followers. One of the things he discusses (sort of as he throws money from a balcony) is the concept of credit. Which is ironic, since he so young it is unlikely he secured any on his own merit. Do people need an education in credit management/debt management? Absolutely. Do they need a full semester in learning all about how to borrow money and pay it back on time? No. I think maybe a mini-workshop within a conference for young new small business owners would maybe be a better venue.

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In this day and age, it is not so easy for a young person to get a credit card, store credit card, or a charge card. From what I gather from small business owners it is also not very easy for them either. So a class in credit, how to get it, how to keep it, what is the credit score and why you need to pay attention to it. What the heck is a credit inquiry? Who are the players and how do you win in the losing game of interest rates? Damn, all those things could make for a really good book, seminar, or Youtube video.

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Because of Covid19, no one is going to go to any seminar, workshop anytime soon.  So for the sake of today’s lesson, I will pretend that you are my 18 year old nephew who just graduated from high school and knows absolutely nothing about credit. Cool? First off, let me ask you some questions. Why do you want credit? Answer: I don’t have the amount of money required to purchase ______ and due to my current financial situation ($ ____ per month/week/hour) I can afford to allocate ____% of that toward my goal of ______. This “should” be the main answer when asked why they want to borrow the money they don’t have. Other reasons, which come up are things like renting a car, hotel room, buying a plane ticket, or maybe it is simply earning rewards points or getting things like extended warranty. All these things come up and are credit card/bank based.
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In order for an entity like a bank to loan you money, you have to prove that you are going to pay it back, on time – every month, until it is paid off in full, plus interest, the additional money the bank is making by loaning the money to you. There has to be something in it for them. How they determine if you are a risk is based on you payment history. We call this a credit score, a complicated report of numbers, accounts, dates, and historical record of YOU paying back an entity. Understanding how this report/credit number is generated is not what this article is about — you can go read about it from another expert. But in a nutshell, you as a consumer, need to pay back any money you borrow on time, every month. That’s it. You would think that was pretty simple, but guess what? Life happens, and some bills don’t get paid on time because there isn’t enough money. We call that being overextended, and that is a reason why banks want to know what your discretionary income is each month.

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A long, LONG time ago, credit card companies all charged an annual fee, just for the privilege of having/using the card. I think my first Chase Manhattan Bank card, billed me $19 a year! Credit cards today are mostly free, and if you get one from your local bank or credit union, there should be no fee. Prestige cards, such as the American Express charge card (green, gold, platinum) offer premium benefits and as such, charge fees to cover those benefits.
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So how did I get my first credit card, you might ask? Well, back in the 80’s I wanted a credit card and my mom understood the power of credit said okay. I was only 15 and at that time you had to be at least 18 to apply for any type of credit. Mom knew that one day I would want to buy a car and I would need to finance it, so starting a credit file of my own was going to be monumental. So mom “co-signed” a department store card, Herbergers, which went out of business prior to the coronavirus pandemic. What this actually means, is that my mom told Herbergers that if I failed to make a payment, that she would be responsible, and if she didn’t it would be bad for her credit report. The account was approved and they gave me a $5,000 credit line, which was all based on my mom’s credit file. THAT was not going to happen, as mom could easily see me going crazy and she called the bank and lowered the credit limit to $100. Yes, seriously. Why? Well, if I maxed out $100, she knew my hourly paycheck job, at $3.35 per hour would cover it. Very smart lady. NEVER give a minor a big credit line. Why? It is super easy to max out a grand, or two, and then not even have enough to make the minimum payment.
Eventually my credit limit got raised due to my excellent payment history. After doing this for almost 2 years, it was enough for me to get a car loan on my own merit. It usually takes about six months to establish a credit file, and then another year to start a payment history. An established payment history of making payments consistently on time, more than the minimum is important when granting someone a line of credit. Think about it, if you loaned a friend $20 and he paid you back the next day, you would be more likely to loan him money the next time he asked. If another friend never paid you back, would you loan him money the next time he asked? Doubtful.

 

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Now that is how “I” did it back in the 80’s, but in 2020, credit cards don’t really work that way. Instead what you can do, is simply add your child to your account as an authorized user. This “does” technically start a credit file for the child, however, most bank officers are aware of this alternative move and take than into consideration before loaning a minor tens of thousands of dollars. As Dave Ramsey says, credit lines are demonstrations of how you borrow money. If you are debt free, you don’t need to borrow or have a credit score. I am totally with Dave on this one. I use the American Express card as it grants a lot of benefits, such as extended warranty, and it has to be paid in full every month. So it is unlikely you will go crazy knowing how much your monthly income is, and where is has to go. I always encourage people to have a monthly budget. Know how much is coming in from work and other sources, and know where it is going — bills, rent, groceries, and so on. When I was younger I used a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to budget wisely. If you are going to go gamble $100, it has to come from somewhere … less gas, groceries, entertainment or something.

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Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved. http://refer.amex.us/AaRONSPFre?xl=cp33 It is in the form of membership rewards points, which you can literally cash in for gift cards, prizes, credit statements or even as currency on Amazon.

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ICYMI – Tech Update – Sony Nintendo Apple

Sony has announced two different versions of the Sony Playstation 5. One will be a digital download only, and the other will include a blu ray disc drive. The biggest accomplishment, yet one that is well long overdue, is the upgrade to the SSD – solid state drive – removing the old spinning technology that was the sad result of gamers sitting “LOADING” screen.  This feature alone has already caused pre-order big box giants to crash. Unlike Nintendo who has proprietary games, like The Legend of Zelda, Sony does not have anything for at least a year. Xbox had Fable, … and most license their games/software to make more money.
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With billions of gamers confined to their already safe man caves and basements, Chinese based Nintendo giant has reaped huge profits with their revolutionary Nintendo Switch. If you are unfamiliar with this little gaming genius piece of hardware, it triples as a handheld, small tabletop viewscreen, and also connects to a big screen via HDMI. Computer monitors can easily be converted as previously they only served VGA. This can be a big thing if kids are in their own rooms with no tv. Crazy as it sounds, not all kids are so privileged to have those luxuries. The Switch has a plethora of games via their download e-store, however, you will quickly fill up the 32 gigs that the device comes standard. I personally have been rocking my Wii U, as it has been impossible to find one in a store. So naturally it put me on a mission to find one in a retail store. After months of hitting every discount store in the Rocky Mountains, I did find one. No, I’m not kidding. I’m totally serious. It was in Rawlins Wyoming, last one of course. And THAT was the day I forgot my credit cards, so unfortunately I would not be able to get the extra year warranty from American Express. I did have just enough cash to buy the last one, and the latest Super Mario game.

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Members of the Cult of Mac:
Is your phone nagging you to upgrade like mine? It should be, and after watching some YouTube launch release videos, I decided it might be a good idea. I have the iPhone 11 Max Pro, in green, so decided I wanted my device to feel all shiny and new again. It is downloading the update as I type. One of the cool new features is sending a voice memo to someone via Siri. I’m not a iOs reviewer, there are already dozens of guys that do that. I do love my iPhone, and as a veteran in the wireless industry, I can say it will always be one of my wireless devices.

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As you know, I am not sponsored by anyone, and I only recommend products and services that I endorse. I do not own a PS4, but I am still rocking my PS3!  Rumor has it the PS5 may be backwards compatible, so you will want the disc drive model.

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If I had a Billion Dollars!

Lately the Powerball lottery has been on everyone’s mind.  Gosh, who wouldn’t want a billion dollars? I know the answer to that one also. Anyone who believes that gambling is a sin, will not participate in such activities. I imagine if you are already a billionaire like Zuckerboy then you don’t buy a lottery ticket either. The odds are so unbelievable, but yet, years go by and eventually there is a winner, or winners.

 

It’s a pipe dream fantasy. Rescued from your financial responsibilities and live the life of a king or queen. I don’t think gambling is a sin, so I bought ONE ticket. Unlike the millions of gamblers, I am one of the few that would actually tithe my part back to my spiritual source. If I was placed in the same situation 2 years ago, that would not have been my answer or immediate response. Money makes you only “more of” what you were before. Many say that they would give to charity and then I ask what charities they give to now … many don’t give, but think IF they won money they would give. Maybe they would, but most wouldn’t.

 

A long time ago in life I discovered a little secret about life. You don’t have to win the Powerball to get what you want in life. Let me say that again. You don’t have to win the lottery to get what you want in life. Believe it or not, but those are some powerful words my friend. When I was younger, I wanted a Bowflex. At that point in my life, I did not have the disposable income to purchase a Bowflex so I kept wishing. I later realized the power of credit, and voila! No Powerball needed to get what I wanted. I also wanted a big screen tv. Now keep in mind, this was in the 90’s when people still watched 27″ tube glass tv’s. The one at Best Buy was $2k, which was a lot of money for me at the time. Again, wished for the Powerball with no results. Instead I got a part-time job at Best Buy and I used all my earnings to pay for the big 60″ rear projector tv. My boss got really nervous when I purchased the tv with my earnings, as he was afraid I was going to terminate my employment since I had achieved my goal.

 

I have also discovered that each of us needs to have some sort of purpose to feel happy. If you had all the free time you could possibly imagine, after awhile you would get bored and need some sort of stimulation. But those things only last for a little while and your active inner child lusts for more. You think that you would read those books on your list, travel the world, and shop like a Kadashian. But all of those things also just occupy your time. Material objects only satisfy your needs temporarily.

 

Time is a luxury that is afforded to everyone exactly the same every day. How you choose to spend it is up to you, … most of the time. While you still have the financial commitment, you may hang onto that job.
So to answer the question of my article today, what would I do with a billion dollars? I would start by using the free publicity to promote my book of course. “International #3 Best-Selling Author of Angel Academy wins Powerball.” With that kind of budget I could paper every magazine with a full page ad of the book. God’s message would be read/heard by everyone. I like that idea. Of course 10% to God. 39% to Federal, and also to the State.  Another percentage to the accountant, financial planner, and the lawyer. Sounds a lot like the publishing industry as the author usually gets the last cut.
One of the things that I would like to do if I had investment money is build 2 Runza restaurants in Denver. Actually, one would be next to Cabela’s in Thornton, and the other would be at Denver International Airport in the main concourse. Part of it would be purely selfish as I love Runza’s and so do millions of other Nebraska visitors/alum.  It would be a genius cash cow investment.

 

Colorado is such a magnificent place to live. It is rather unfortunate our housing costs continue to rise, pushing many people out and preventing others from entering. I’d like to invest in a tiny apartment community targeting millennials and anyone who wanted to live a tiny lifestyle. I’m thinking 1,000 apartments at $500 a month all inclusive. Running on solar and other techy cool advances would make it super desirable. My imagination and design skills would make it spectacular. If it did well, build more. With all the new light-rail stations built between downtown and the airport I’m sure it would be successful.
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